Good question. A lot of Bridal magazines, books, and even other DJ companies will tell you to go pre-screen & watch a prospective DJ at a reception. If a DJ will invite you to watch him/her at a wedding reception, he/she will probably invite people to come and crash your wedding as well. At a private function like a wedding reception, the last thing you want is strangers poking in and sometimes helping themselves to the food or the bar. This has been known to happen, with DJ’s who actually invite clients to come. It also creates split loyalties for the performer because now he/she is auditioning for you as well as trying to perform for his primary client.
Disc Jockeys that do this professionally will tell you they won’t allow a client to come to a private function like that, but rather they will verify their talent and services through feedback surveys, client references with their e-mail addresses to contact them. In today’s economy, most private venues will not allow outsiders to peek in on receptions due to the growing number of thieves stealing gifts. Also because of the facts mentioned above. Remember, every wedding is different so the reception you’re viewing may have a completely different style of wedding you’re looking to have. Just like a movie or a play, you really can’t get an overall evaluation of the outcome of a 4 to 6 hour reception by watching just 10 to 15 minutes of a performance.