Getting Married this year? If you have not booked your vendors yet, you most likely will have a hard time booking the professional you want.
Couples should book their Dj one to two years in advance to avoid disappointments. The most popular time that Professional Wedding Dj's get booked, are the months of January & February proceeding the wedding season starting in May through to September. The earliest you can book, especially before January, will ensure the likelihood of your date to still be available.
Can couples typically request specific songs they'd like the DJ to play?
Yes absolutely but bear in mind that the experienced Dj knows the crowd the best. If the couple requests a song the Dj knows will not work in the dancing portion, his expert opinion will recommend similar alternatives to keep the couple and crowd happy. If the song is important but not dance friendly then the Dj could if appropriate play it during dinner or cocktail hour.
Do Disc Jockeys usually play requests made by the guests? If yes, how is
this typically done?
Yes depending on a few factors. First off the Bride and Groom will typically provide the Dj with a do not play list. The request needs to be dance floor friendly. If the Dj is two songs in to an 80's set and the crowd is really getting in to it, the Dj is not going to play a request that will not compliment the current set(the Dj will save it for later when they get in to what ever genre it is). The Dj will play request that work. For example a dubstep track or underground hip hop song if played would clear the dance floor, unless the song has some special meaning that the majority of the crowd knows about. The last reason a Dj might not play a request is if it's offensive or tasteless/appropriate for a wedding. I would advise couples to allow the seasoned professional to get the crowd going and then go up to the Dj and ask. Unless they have a request book with a pen they have already set up.
What are some extra services that a couple can add on to their wedding
One of the most popular extra services couples can add is uplighting. Uplighting gives the venue an extremely desirable and sophisticated look. Couples can also add in a monogram or their names projected on the wall with a special projector, slideshow projector for personal video or photos, music video dance partys, extra dance floor intelligent lighting, extra bass/more speakers, fog machine, and hazer are the most popular. Some companies have live band or drummer integration services with the Dj as well.
How can a couple see a DJ "in action" at an event, prior to deciding
whether or not to hire them?
Most Dj's will have promo video's of them in action. It is possible to see if the Dj has an open or more casual event the couple could attend, but most likely it will not be how they would Dj at a wedding. A real professional will not invite you to another clients wedding, as this is not a tasteful business practise. You would not want uninvited guests at your wedding. I would also recommend you check their testimonials with pictures, video, and third party online reviews.
How does it work with deposits? Specifically, how much should a couple
place down for a deposit and when is the balance due?
Depending on the company you will need to give a 20% and upward to solidify the date. The remaining balance is generally paid two weeks prior to the event. Del Vinyl requires a 40% deposit to solidify the date and in the finalization meeting two weeks prior, the remaining balance is due.
Make sure you get receipts and a contract specifying all services and pertinent information for the wedding in it's entirety. The contract is mutually beneficial by protecting the couple and the Dj.
What should a couple pay attention to when interviewing DJs for their big
I would say personality, professionalism, knowledgeable, experience, and attention to detail. If the Dj presents himself/herself in a professionally dressed manor and has a great outgoing and genuine personality combined with a vast array of knowledge and expereince it will show. Not only in the first meeting/interview but on the big day as well.
How does a couple let the "Master of Ceremonies" know what needs to be
said at their wedding?
This is all covered in the Entertainment Agenda well before the big day. If there is something that is forgotten or needs to be said Del Vinyl will communicate it to the MC. Del Vinyl also highly recommends the Master of Ceremonies read "The Wedding MC" by Tom Haibeck. This book will enhance the MC's performance dramatically! http://www.theweddingmcbook.com/index.php