A Wedding DJ is one of the many vendors you may hire for your wedding reception. Picking the right DJ can seem like a huge task, especially since you may not be able to see them in action until your reception.
Your wedding DJ helps get the party going and makes great memories (and opportunity for plenty of embarrassing photos of all of your uncles).
Tips to Finding a Wedding DJ
Traditional wedding DJ acts as your emcee, music and helps to run your reception. They set the tone for your reception by playing the right songs at the correct time, reading the crowd and adjusting the music tone to keep the party going.
One mistake I see couples make in picking a DJ is choosing someone without checking their qualifications and reviews. Any wedding industry professional should have a contract, and have reviews that you can check out!
Many people think that a DJ just play music and can be substituted by a friend or family member, or even just Spotify. If you want to help the evening run smoothly and not have awkward pauses (or people just constantly changing the Spotify playlist mid song), a DJ is definitely a necessity if your reception is not just dinner.
An experienced DJ can read a crowd, transition into reception events, can enthusiastically make announcements and get the crowd pumped, and know when to play which types of songs. The peace of mind that comes from having a DJ that can do all that, and more, is well worth the investment.
02. Don’t Just Go For The Budget Brand
A DJ on the “not costing an arm and a leg” side of things can come with great cost. DJ equipment is expensive and there are quite a few pricey operational costs.
03. Find the Right Fit
If you can, try and have a meeting (whether in person or virtual) with the DJ who will be there on your wedding day. You want to make sure that your DJ matches your tone and style as a couple!
Are you looking for energetic and fun to pump the party up and get people to join in dancing? Or are you looking for a more formal option that will offer up simple announcements and follow a strict schedule?
Guests can easily be put off by an obnoxious or boring DJ. Meeting your DJ gives you the time to establish an understanding of what kind of event you’re planning and you’ll be able to feel confident you can have the reception you’re dreaming of.
04. Package Options
Some wedding DJs, especially if they’re with a company, may offer more than just DJ services! Are you looking for a photo booth, videography services, cold sparks (and other pyrotechnics) in addition to your DJ? Some services may have a package that suits your needs!
Plus, some DJ services also offer the option of traditional DJ music combined with some live music!
Wanting to spice your wedding up a bit? A wedding band can be a great way to show off your personality and have a lot of fun!
Receptions with live music have been some of my personal favorites. From the relaxing ambiance of listening to acoustic music during dinner, to lively sing-a-longs, there always seems to be an extra special spark that comes with live music.
While most bands won’t do your typical “club” music, some DJs offer a combo of live music and DJ or can still get the crowd going. Just take this dueling piano duo, Felix and Fingers, which had one of the liveliest receptions I’ve ever been a part of!
Dancing and Fun!
It’s a pretty well known among industry professionals, that without alcohol and a great DJ the party is over pretty quick. My personal observation has also been that much of it depends on who you’ve invited to your wedding!
Do you have a hype squad that will get everyone on the dance floor? Are you going to be dancing the night away on the dance floor? (Just remember that EVERYONE wants to talk to the Bride and Groom, so sometimes it can be hard to stay very long)
A great DJ can get the party going and keep it going for a loooong time! But I’ve also seen plenty of awesome DJs a little disappointed when the guests barely make it onto the dance floor. And I’ve seen a lot of brides disappointed that their reception ends earlier than planned because most of their guests left.
Having been an RA in college and having planned plenty of events in the last decade, I’ve learned that part of a great event is making sure it ends before everyone is ready for it to. Always leave your guests wanting more and they’ll remember it forever.
It seems like a weird concept! But timing is definitely important, and it’s a great idea to talk with your wedding coordinator, DJ and some of your most important guests to find out how long you should plan for your reception and how much time to plan for dancing!
Wedding Planning 101: The Series
Check out some of our other tips and tricks on wedding planning with the rest of the series!
Two | The Wedding Planner
Three | Our Proposal Story
Four | Wedding Venue Open House
Five | Wedding Officiant
Seven | Wedding Planning Goals
Eight | When to Elope