Wedding DJs wear many hats. Playing the right music at the right time depends on the DJ’s knowledge of what is supposed to happen and when, and his ability to help the bride and groom with last-minute changes. He is, above all, in a CUSTOMER SERVICE position.

Often the first to arrive and last to leave the reception area, your DJ meets the hall staff, greets other wedding vendors and familiarizes himself with hall amenities. This allows him to guide others and coordinate special moments with vendors and guests.

As you interview DJs, ask them to list their responsibilities before and during your reception. If they talk endlessly about their state-of-the-art equipment and fabulous lighting, then that’s where they will focus their energies during your reception. Hire a DJ who understands all of his responsibilities, including these seven key things.

1. Emcee

Your wedding DJ is a master of ceremonies. Don’t settle for a rookie. A good host only becomes great with practice and a great MC has a charismatic and friendly presence. He speaks with authority while directing guests’ attention to important events. He enunciates clearly and pronounces names correctly when making formal announcements.

2. Sound Engineer

Great DJs will intentionally engineer his equipment to the size and shape of the room, his placement, as well as to the number of guests. He knows that proper sound checks and engineering can make an enormous difference in the quality of the sound. Your DJ will also take the time to teach guests how to use his microphone for speeches and toasts, saving time and avoiding embarrassment.

3. Wedding Planner

Before your wedding day, a great DJ will be in contact with you to help plan the sequence of events and offer suggestions for fresh ideas and how to implement them. An experienced wedding DJ has attended hundreds, even thousands, of weddings and knows what works and what doesn’t. He can be a powerful planning ally for you, whether you hire him months or years before your wedding day.

4. Wedding Reception Coordinator and Organizer

Since he has received and, in some cases, helped you prepare the night’s itinerary, your DJ knows what needs to happen and when. He arrives early and meets the staff and other vendors and makes sure everyone is on the same page. Most importantly, he knows how to take a leadership role without being pushy or stressed-out, and knows who to coordinate and when.

5. Maitre d’

As he’s in the room well in advance of the party, your DJ is already familiar with where things are and which staff persons to contact. Your DJ can direct guests to the gift table, help them find the restrooms or bar, and send them to the hall’s lost and found department. He’s able to quickly address heating and cooling issues or guest spills and accidents with the appropriate staff.

6. Counselor

Your DJ is often put on the spot and finds himself placating nervous brides, arbitrating family disagreements or mediating when guests wish to hear music that the bride or groom doesn’t want played. An experienced DJ calmly resolves potentially volatile solutions that would unnerve novices.

7. Personal Assistant

As a person in the customer service business, a DJ’s primary responsibility is to care about you and the success of your party. A professional DJ will go many extra miles to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. It’s not uncommon for a DJ to fetch drinks, find safety pins, aspirin, bouquets to toss or track down guests. This is all part of making sure the reception runs smoothly.