If you have never hired a DJ before, here are some things you might want to look for in a DJ
(These are some of the things I would be doing at your wedding by the way).
Your DJ should have an excellent reputation backed up by referrals and reviews. Your DJ should have years of experience working weddings. You should know exactly who is going to show up at your event. Responses to your emails or phone messages should be prompt.
Make sure the DJ who will be at your event will meet with you and your fiance to get to know you before you make the decision to hire him or her. Your DJ should meet with you a second time to help you create a detailed time-line of events that ensures things run smoothly. Organization is the #1 KEY ingredient to a successful wedding reception. Communication is #2.
Make sure your DJ is proactive and does not wait to be told what to do. He should quietly and unassumingly take the lead to ensure all the pieces fall into place.
Sometimes getting guests to be seated before the introductions and dinner can be difficult. Look for a DJ who will personally invite groups of guests to be seated after the cocktail hour rather than just relying on an announcement.
Make sure your DJ will inform the photographer before anything happens to ensure they are ready to take photos of the activity, such as the cake cutting or first dance.
Make sure your DJ will will line up the wedding party and double check to make sure the names will be pronounced correctly. They should also inform the wedding party of their route to the head table and where they will be sitting.
To avoid killing the momentum of the party, make sure your DJ will check to see that the cake knife, plate, fork, napkin are in place - and if there are champagne flutes, he should make sure they are filled before announcing the cake cutting. You would be surprised how often they are not.
Make sure your DJ works with the catering staff, he should coordinate the release of guest tables through the buffet if necessary. Dinner is a good time to locate the throwing bouquet and talk to the parents about the upcoming parents dances. If you are having a buffet, here is a fun way to release tables. I do this all the time.
Make sure your DJ will keep the guests informed of upcoming events such as toasts. He should make sure that the wedding party is seated and parents are all in the room before the toasts.
The DJ should discuss with the photographer the best location for the toasts prior to the toasts.
Your DJ should coach the people who are giving the toasts about what order they will be in and the correct way to hold/position to hold the microphone and remind them to end the toasts by raising their glass then saying "Cheers", "Salud", "To the bride and groom", etc. He should also make sure that they have a beverage to toast.
For the first dance, your DJ should confirm all VIP's are in the room, make sure the photographer and video are ready, and be ready to adjust lighting. He should remind the groom to put his suit or tuxedo jacket back on because it will make the first dance pictures look so much better.
There are many more details but I think you get the idea that to make the reception go from good to great it takes a lot of preparation, thought and attention to the little details. All of these things greatly enhance the guest experience and leads to more dancing and people staying longer.
Good luck with your search and remember what I always say: Find a DJ who will invest in you, and you will find a DJ worth the investment.