Everybody has to cancel something at some point. I was canceled a few times in my DJ career as well for various reasons.
You can cancel your DJ before the wedding, just like any other service. If you have signed a contract, you will have to check the cancellation terms and fees you will still need to pay. See what you have agreed to in e-mails.
There is a lot of detail to consider. Let’s explain a bit more.
What’s the reason for canceling?
So you want to cancel your wedding DJ for a reason. Reasons I can think of:
- The party isn’t happening and is complete. Image a world wild virus outbreak, preventing us to party. Not that this will ever happen. Ow, wait!
- You decided not to get married for, well, the obvious reasons. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen to you!
- You have doubts you booked a good DJ or heard a few bad things since you booked him.
- You found a better one
- You found a cheaper one
I can only speak for myself, but I’m not a money-hungry animal. If you give me a good reason why you want to cancel, if it is long enough upfront, I will probably just cancel the party, without you to pay me anything.
Of course, it’s a different story when you are telling me 3 weeks before the wedding that you want to cancel me because your nephew is going to play music for 100 bucks less.
The first question you should ask yourself. Did you sign a contract with the DJ?
If so, it becomes a lot more complicated to just cancel. See if there is a cancellation policy in it. Most DJ contracts will claim 50% of the total agreed amount, which definitely rules out finding a cheaper DJ.
Keep in mind that probably no contract will say: “Yea! Cancel meat any moment, no problem!”
“Yea! Cancel me any moment, no problem!”Nobody said before…
If there is no cancellation policy, probably the commercial law will happen when you break the contract. I’m not a lawyer, so I suggest contacting one and ask this what the implications are to cancel.
Something on e-mail?
If you don’t have signed a contract, you’re not out of the woods yet. See if you have sent something in an e-mail to agree on the booking. In many cases, you will.
See if you find something about the cancellation in the emails he sent, and check his website if anything is written there.
You can choose to ignore this and just cancel, but be prepared to receive a letter from his lawyer in that case. Again, checking upfront with a lawyer can save you some headaches.
The sooner, the better!
The earlier you can cancel (if you have to), the better. If it is a few months to go before the party, the DJ (if he’s good) will be confident enough that he can find another customer for the same date. In that case, he will make less of a fuzz canceling your booking.
But if the party is only a few weeks, or worse, a few days away, he won’t be able to find another job for that evening, so you will likely to pay a cancellation fee.
If you do want to cancel the DJ and book someone else, I suggest you FIRST have another option BEFORE you cancel this one. In high season, finding a DJ might be challenging, you don’t want to have nasty surprises not finding anyone free anymore.
When you cancel your DJ, whether you signed a contract of not, I always suggest you are doing it like this:
- Give him a phone call and tell him you want to cancel his services and talk about it. You would expect the same if you were at the other end.
- Follow up with an email, referring to that phone call and write you have agreed to cancel the contract for the reasons discussed (put them in the email!)
- If you have something on paper with a signature, send a registered mail, saying you want to cancel the contract, refer the phone call and sign it. Make sure to mention your wedding date and the reason (in short) you want to cancel.
- Again, I’m not a lawyer, if there is a contract, let it double-checked with your lawyer, together with your response, before sending it out.
DJs are not beasts!
Most DJs are nice human beings. At least, they should. If you have a good reason to cancel, and you are early enough to cancel, most of us won’t even charge the cancellation fee.
A couple of years ago, someone that booked me, called me, asking if it was possible to cancel the contract. His grandma died, and they were postponing the party for obvious reasons. What do you think what animal I would have been if I had said: “tough luck” and still claiming the cancellation fee!
The majority of us, DJs, will react the same way.
The DJ knows we might do business together later, or someone you know might need another DJ at some point. If the DJ is greedy and annoying, claiming you have to pay the cancellation fee, he won’t be recommended by you.
Of course, if you are not nice to them, this can change rapidly.
Try not to cancel…
That’s it. Don’t forget, having to cancel a booking is not a nice experience, both for you, as the customer, as for the DJ. Try to avoid it and think twice before booking the DJ, so changes you have to cancel him are slim.