Have you ever been to a wedding reception where the music was tired, no one wanted to dance, it took ages to move from event to event, and after dinner and cake you just decided to leave? Those are all signs of a bad DJ. Believe it or not, the abilities of your DJ will make or break the party.
When searching for a DJ for your wedding reception, start first with friends who have recently gotten married. If their reception was amazing, ask them who their DJ was. Get several referrals, as DJ's have different styles of doing things and what works for one couple may not work for another.
Search for reviews online. Google, their Facebook page, or on their website. Don't let one or two bad reviews stop you though. As a service professional you can't please everyone. If the majority of their reviews are glowing and there aren't any other red flags, don't count them out. Make sure to read as many reviews from multiple sources if possible. It will help give a more complete picture.
Try to schedule a face to face meeting with any DJ's you might be interested in. Obviously personality plays a huge part in the success of your partnership. And that is what this is, a partnership. You, the bride and groom, and your DJ will work together to make your reception rock. You will be working together to set the timeline of the reception events and order in which they are to take place. Your photographer will help with this as well.
A good DJ will work with you on music choices, but also know what music will keep people on their feet. They will know how to work with other vendors such as the venue, caterer and very importantly, your photographer. It is the DJ that will announce each event at the reception. Being able to communicate with the venue and caterer will allow the DJ to know when to move on to the next event. The DJ should stay in contact with your photographer as well, so that no event is missed, and also how to proceed with certain events to guarantee the best images from your photographer. (Some angles/locations will make capturing things like the tosses or cake cutting difficult.)
Once you find that one DJ that just makes you want to dance..... BOOK IT!! A good DJ's calendar will fill up quickly. Don't let "the one" get away!