Picking a DJ: All the Need-to-Knows

It’s a decision that will make or break the mood of the night, and could be the difference between a party that fizzes out at 10.30, and one that rages until the early hours. We quizzed Stewart Hunt from Discotech on all the musical must-knows.

  • Story by Photo Williams Photography

It’s a decision that will make or break the mood of the night, and could be the difference between a party that fizzes out at 10.30, and one that rages until the early hours. We quizzed Stewart Hunt from Discotech on all the musical must-knows. 

Why is a DJ a good investment?

The music on your big night, or for any milestone event, is simply one area that you should never compromise or skimp on. You may have had well meaning relatives or friends offering to DJ or provide the music via an iPod or smart phone. In this instance you have no control over the music content, and this means that songs, which are not appropriate for dancing or for a wedding, will be played. 

Is it important to get not just any DJ, but an experienced DJ?

The skill of a good DJ is reading a party and playing the songs to suit, and this is a skill that only comes with fine-tuning your selections crowd after crowd after crowd. Are they ready to rage? Is it a romantic moment? Do they need a rest? Is there a part of the group that is in need of a little extra attention? The more weddings a DJ performs for, the better they will get. At the end of the day, you are not just hiring a DJ for his or her music, you are hiring them for their experience in knowing what songs work when with different audiences.

What’s one of the most important things to look for in a DJ?

Any good DJ should be able to show you a stack of glowing reviews from previous wedding clients. They should also show respect for your dresscode, and for the scheduling of your day – the last thing you want is a shabbily dressed guy showing up half an hour late!

What’s one must-ask question for a DJ?

Could I please see a contract? There can be many grey areas when hiring wedding vendors, and DJs are no exception. Be sure to have a written record of how long your DJ will play for, and whether there might be any extra costs involved so you’re not met with a nasty surprise come bill time. However, it pays to remember that you get what you pay for: if a DJ or DJ company is charging very low rates, the chances are that they are inexperienced, have substandard equipment, or are not that reliable.

About Stewart Hunt:
As well as organising DJs, Stewart is part of Tongue and Groove: Tongue and Groove has consistently been considered Auckland's premier live band, performing for wedding receptions, company events and private parties New Zealand wide. With Zara's stunning unique soulful vocals, Bruce on sax, and Stewart on keys Tongue and Groove perform a wide range of songs to satisfy all age groups and play only well known songs that everyone loves which range across five decades. Tongue and Groove are very experienced in choosing the music that will work best to achieve a full dance floor and very adept at reading the audience mood and creating the right cover music mix for their enjoyment.
 

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