Image by Cox Weddings

Image by Cox Weddings


Let me start off by first saying this: DJs are probably more important than one might realize. Really and truly. Not only do they set the pace and tone of your event, but if you don’t choose a polished and professional MC, the chaos, confusion and kiltered vibe will probably leave a strange taste in not only yours but your guests’ mouths. We’ve worked with quite a few DJs over the years here at the venue, and Upbeats DJs definitively sticks out to The Lily Crew as one of the top DJs clients can select to MC their special events. Not only are they professional, but they do their homework: everything from finding out the names of the attendants and their order of entry to working very closely with clients to understand the flow and tone they expect. All of these items are SUPER important…and that’s exactly where Upbeats DJs shines. So I asked Doug from Upbeats DJs what questions he would recommend asking before booking a DJ, and exactly how he personally would answer those same questions for you.




Libby: Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us all about finding the right DJ and knowing exactly what to ask! Couples often don’t know where to start and I’m so excited for this cheat sheet to help them figure out where to start!

Doug: Thank you! It’s my pleasure! There are five questions I recommend you ask every DJ you talk to before booking. I’ve included my answers, as well, for you.


Doug: I tell every client that requests are the fuel for the dance floor (many think beer is, and that could be a good debate). But, requests are our friends! I work with my clients to collect their favorite songs as well as songs they do not want. That way I know where the safe zone is musically. But requests should be encouraged where possible.


Doug: Our team travels with powered speakers, and sometimes passive (non powered) depending on the size of the guest list. This has no effect on price of our package. We all run virtual DJ software and digital decks. All carry wireless mics, as well. We do have a ceremony sound system available since most wedding ceremonies happen on site. Plus we have an indoor reception sound system (with uplights or dance floor lights) which make the inside really pop during the celebration dancing.

Libby: That definitely is a bonus to help get the party going!

Doug: Speaking of which, the next question I would recommend asking is…


It starts as soon as the guests arrive. Acting as my client’s MC, I set the tone for the celebration. I build sense of excitement, letting the guest know what to expect without telling them everything. I suppose setting a high expectation for them to party until the final song and to be a part of the send off of our couple. So this is where communication is huge between guest and myself.


Another great question. First, each client couple has their own identity. Be it music, formalities or the level of interaction they want me to deliver. I just let my host’s personality shine. I explain it like this: I am like your Ryan Seacrest (from American Idol) hosting your celebration. Ryan moves from contestant to judge to results to next contestant to commercial to bragging on the band to getting the guest excited. This is what I do at my client’s celebration. There are many moving parts at a wedding celebration and someone (Upbeats DJ’s)
needs to guide and direct everyone through the celebration and have fun doing it. This gets and keeps everyone excited cause nothing happens until someone gets excited! Secondly, My team and I use what is call the detailed custom itinerary. It is a detailed itinerary for the entire day. The couple supplies us with information from our site and we custom build this itinerary from their information. My dad told me this many years ago. If you fail to plan you are planning to fail. So this itinerary is the plan for our couple’s day. It helps us keep the celebration on point and moving forward and having fun. Keeping communication going with
the guests about what is next and again building expectation, keeps every excited!

Libby: Yes! The Marmalade Lily wedding coordinators here are ecstatic when they know that a fun, professional DJ who works and cares to really understand the wedding day itinerary is coming. When the DJ isn’t on board, it’s harder for them to ensure the day runs smoothly.

Doug: Right, and I want to be involved in any way I can to make the day better. From getting setup on time to helping couples select songs which leads me to my final recommended question to ask:


Well many times this is personal to the client couple. Be it the first song they heard on their first date. A song that they both deemed as “Their Song”. A song that describes how they feel about each other. A song that is just theirs. Now if couple is still having issues finding a first dance song, I can guide them to places where they can get help. I try not to offer songs personally because I want songs to come from them. I want their fingerprints to be on everything from order of formalities to music to interaction. It is their celebration, not DJ Doug’s, Haha.

Libby: That’s so perfect! Every couple is so sweet and unique and The Lily Crew always so enjoys seeing their personalities shine. And you always do such a fabulous job helping them do that while directing their reception!


Since 1984, I have been hosting BIG celebration days. That is why Upbeats DJ’s is the fastest growing DJ company in the tri-state area. My team understands what is takes to entertain and what elements are required to make it the most memorable for you and your guests. You can’t go wrong with our 4 decades of experience, unlimited hours and our 3 P’s (Planning, Production & Performance). We are your cutting edge DJ source. We listen and deliver exactly what your vision is and turn it into reality.

We will see you on the dance floor.