All posts by shannon@kdinteractive.com

newlyweds dancing at reception after sorting through chicago wedding dj prices

Sifting through Chicago Wedding DJ Prices? 4 BIG Factors to Consider

Navigating through Chicago wedding DJ prices can be tricky, especially with hidden costs and “extras.” Here’s 6 factors you should consider as you choose the “one” for your big day.

Service Time Included

A wedding reception typically lasts 7 hours. Approximately 5-6 hours of the reception is the wedding dance. The way wedding DJs charge for their time varies by company. Some Chicago wedding DJ prices include the full length of the reception, regardless of how long it goes (great for couples who want to dance the night away!) Other wedding DJs in Chicago charge per hour. Overtime fees are added to the bill if the wedding reception goes over the set time.

Takeaway: Decide whether you want to a wedding DJ who charges by the hour or reception. Remember, if you choose by hour, you may have to pay extra for dinner music and if your reception goes late. Always ask your wedding DJ up front how they charge (plus these other wedding DJ questions), what is included in the cost, and if there are any travel fees so you can compare Chicago wedding DJ prices. Plus, you’ll know the full cost up front and won’t feel tricked if you are charged overtime fees.

Experience

The best Chicago wedding DJs keep the dance floor packed and have a ton of experience. But how do you know if your wedding DJ checks off both boxes? The best way is via a little research and a short interview.

You can find out if your wedding DJ is good at what they do by talking to other couples who’ve hired the DJ. It’s easy to do online on wedding review sites like The Knot and the Wedding Wire. These sites are full of reviews—good and bad—from couples who’ve hired the wedding DJ or wedding DJ service. You’d be surprised at how helpful these reviews can be—and the insight they can give you about working with the DJ.

Takeaway: Once you’re convinced a DJ is worth your time, schedule a meeting or give them a call. Ask them some key questions about their availability and past experience.

Individual vs. Service

Typically, Chicago wedding DJs work alone or as part of a service. There are advantages to both, but it’s important to know up front whether you’re dealing with an individual or service. While an individual DJ may have their own company, they are usually the only DJ available. Unfortunately, that means that you may have to deal with a DJ who doesn’t respond promptly and doesn’t have a back-up available in case of an emergency. (Don’t forget to ask the wedding DJ if they have back-ups when you ask your initial interview questions.) On the other hand, individual Chicago wedding DJ prices are typically lower than services.

A wedding DJ service comes with own set of pros and cons. Hiring a Chicago wedding DJ is incredibly convenient because their staff is typically very responsive during the planning process and have experienced back-up DJs ready in case of an emergency. Wedding DJ services also typically update their equipment and play lists more often, and have back-up equipment in case of a breakdown. Plus, their DJs usually deejay weddings regularly, so they have a ton of experience.

Takeaway: Don’t choose a wedding DJ for your Chicago wedding based on cost alone. In many cases, it’s worth the funds to have an experienced DJ that keeps the dance floor crowded, plus the convenience of a responsive staff and back-ups if needed.

“Extras”

As you’re thinking about wedding entertainment, don’t forget to think about other ways to entertain your guests. Couples can use table games, lighting, photo booths, yard games, and a million other wedding entertainment ideas to make sure their guests enjoy their wedding reception.

Takeaway: When researching wedding entertainment ideas, ask your wedding DJ for ideas or other rentals they available. Often, you can get these items as part of a package, saving you time and money.

chicago wedding reception with couple and guests taking selfies

10 Tips for Planning an AMAZING Chicago Wedding Reception

An amazing Chicago wedding reception is the highlight of the day. The dancing, unforgettable photos, and memories all add up to a day your friends’ll be talking about for years!

That’s the good news, but it does come with a disclaimer. Wedding planning can take any numbers of twists and turns—but it’s sure to be a lot less stressful if you use these tips for planning an amazing Chicago wedding reception!

Where to start planning your Chicago wedding reception

ALWAYS start planning with some important questions.

Before you start going wedding dress shopping or setting a dinner menu, sit down with your fiancé and ask some key questions. The answers to these questions can help you as you make decisions on big details, plus your fiancé’s answers might surprise you!

Don’t wait to set a wedding budget.

Planning a wedding is a marathon, not a sprint. A set wedding budget ensures that you set funds aside for aspects that make the biggest impact. Plus, it keeps you on track as you check off items on your wedding planning checklist.

It’s worth it to hire a strong team of wedding vendors.

Wedding planning can be incredibly stressful, but a strong team of wedding vendors make it easier. An experienced caterer, wedding planner, DJ, and photographer can help you solve problems and coordinate wedding details into a smooth and incredible wedding reception.

This list can help you find and hire the best wedding vendors so you have the best on your team. (Don’t wait. The best wedding vendors’ calendars fill up fast!)

Never hire a wedding vendor without asking a few questions and doing some online research.

It’s one of the biggest—and most common—wedding planning mistakes couples make: hiring a vendor without vetting them. It may be tempting to hire a wedding vendor because it’s your friend’s relative or a family member recommends them. You should never hire a vendor without doing your due diligence. Start the process with a few questions that tell you if they are experienced and the right “one” for your big day. Then, head online and look for reviews so you know what other couples have thought of them.

Wedding Reception Tips

Choose the best wedding reception entertainment right away.

Your wedding reception entertainment is the focus of your reception, which is why it’s important of find and hire the best for your big day. This decision should be one of the first steps of planning a wedding reception in Chicago, and starts with answering the question: DJ or band?

Know the typical order of wedding reception events (and feel free to make it your own).

Planning an awesome wedding reception is a step-by-step process, but it starts with taking the typical wedding reception and making it your own. (Ask your wedding DJ for more ideas that put your wedding reception over-the-top.)

Decide what “other” entertainment you want to add.

Don’t feel confined to one form of entertainment. Sometimes guests need a break from dancing, or just want to hang out and enjoy one of these fun wedding games. (Don’t hesitate to ask your wedding DJ for other ideas too!)

Stay organized.

The best wedding planning tip is: stay organized! It’s important, especially when dealing with different wedding vendor deadlines and trying to pull all the details together. Luckily, there are quite a few wedding planning apps and a wedding planning checklist that can help, plus these tips that help stay organized (and less stressed!)

Try to stay one step ahead.

It’s important to stay one step ahead of your deadlines and your vendors as you plan a wedding reception in Chicago, primarily because your vendors need those confirmed details.

Find ways to take your wedding reception to the next level.

Want to make your wedding reception unforgettable? Start brainstorming with these ideas, and then turn them into an idea that feels completely you!

wedding dance floor with guests dancing to wedding theme songs

10 Items to Have Ready for Your Chicago Wedding DJ

Hiring a Chicago wedding DJ comes with a long list of interview questions, but did you know that there are items your wedding DJ needs from you? Here’s a list of items your Chicago wedding DJ needs to know from you—and when they need to know it.

What Your Wedding DJ Needs to Know When Hiring

Don’t worry you don’t need to have every detail set in stone yet, but there are a few details you should have confirmed when hiring your wedding DJ.

Wedding Date

The best Chicago wedding DJ calendars fill up quickly, which is why you should have a set wedding date when you contact them. (Or, if you really want your favorite DJ, you can call them first and ask them for available dates!) You can choose a wedding date based on special dates in your relationship, other special family dates, your favorite season, or your professional commitments.

Location

Right after when, your wedding DJ is going to want to know where. Is your wedding confirmed at a popular Chicago wedding venue? Or in your backyard? If your choice is the latter, ask your DJ if there are any specific electrical requirements you need to have ready for them on your special day.

Dinner Music

If you need dinner music, let your wedding DJ. Some Chicago wedding DJs may charge extra for the time, while other DJs offer packages so you don’t have to worry about “extras.” (It’s all included!)

What Your Wedding DJ Needs to Know Right Before the Wedding Day

Wedding planning is a continual process—you don’t have to get every detail confirmed right away! This wedding planning checklist can help you break it down, and help you have these details ready for your Chicago wedding DJ before your big day. (Ask your wedding DJ for their specific deadline.)

Wedding Day Schedule

You and your wedding DJ need to synch schedules before your big day. Hopefully, you should have this finalized weeks before your big day. Your wedding DJ needs to know the order of events, and when cocktail hour, dinner, and the reception is planned for.

What to Play

If you have any favorite “must play” songs, this is your chance to speak up! Tell your DJ what you absolutely must hear, and any songs that have a special meaning to you, your fiancé, and your friends. (DJs love to share neat back stories!)

What Not to Play

Have any songs that sound like nails on a chalkboard? Tell your wedding DJ! You can use this DJ song list or just make a list of never-ever-play songs.

Wedding Party List (and Pronunciations)

Let your wedding DJ know who is standing up in your wedding, plus any friends or family you want announced. If anyone on the list has a hard-to-pronounce name, give them some pronunciation aids so the announcements go smoothly.

Special Dance Songs

If you’re having a traditional wedding dance, let your wedding DJ know what songs you would like played for your first dance (here’s how to pick the perfect first dance song), parent-child dance, and any other special moments.

Surprises

Have a special surprise planned? Let your DJ in on the secret so they can have fun with it and set the stage for your BIG surprise. (If you need an idea for a fun wedding day surprise, use this list of surprises for inspiration.)

Volume Limitations/Curfews

Some wedding venues and municipalities have curfews or volume limitations. Let your DJ know now, so your wedding reception doesn’t get shut down.

wedding dance with chicago wedding dj and couple dancing

When should I hire a Chicago wedding DJ for my wedding?

Hiring a Chicago wedding DJ is not a task you should put off! In general, you should hire a Chicago wedding DJ 14-18 months before your wedding day. However, the best wedding DJs’ calendars fill up fast so the sooner the better.

How long to hire a Wedding DJ

Typically, wedding receptions last 7 plus hours. The wedding dance is a solid 5-6 hours. So how long should you hire a wedding DJ for? The answer depends on what you are hiring the wedding DJ for.

Some couples opt to have a wedding DJ for the cocktail hour, dinner, and dance. Others choose to hire a wedding DJ for the dance only. If you choose the latter, you should plan on hiring a Chicago wedding DJ for 6 hours. You can also choose a wedding DJ that offers an unlimited, inclusive service that is not based on an hourly rate. This option ensures that the Chicago wedding DJ is available for the entire wedding reception. It also eliminates any worry that you’ll have to pay overtime fees.

How to Hire a Wedding DJ

Hiring a Chicago wedding DJ isn’t complicated, but it is important to find and hire the “one” that makes your night memorable.

Make a list of Chicago wedding DJs.

The first step of hiring a Chicago wedding DJ is to make a list. You can find DJs by asking friends and family for recommendations, or check out wedding review sites like The Knot or Wedding Wire. If you get recommendations from friends, be careful about hiring DJs that they haven’t personally experienced or amateurs. Amateur wedding DJs often don’t have updated equipment or any back-ups if the equipment breaks down or the DJ can’t attend because of an emergency.

Research your options.

Online review sites can be incredibly helpful for not only making a list, but also researching possible wedding DJs. When researching DJs, look for positive reviews that give you insight into other couple’s experience with the DJ.

Interview possible Chicago wedding DJs.

The next step of hiring a Chicago wedding DJ is to interview possible wedding DJs. When contacting wedding DJs, ask them about their past experience, if they can customize their playlist, wedding DJ costs (and if they charge overtime fees), what their plan is in case of an equipment break-down or family emergency, and if your wedding date is available. Reputable Chicago wedding DJs should carry insurance and should have a clear cancellation policy. (Find a full list of wedding DJ questions in this post.) If you schedule an in-person meeting, some wedding DJs can also show you their equipment.

Review the contract.

A reputable wedding DJ should provide a contract for your review. As you look over the contract, verify that you are familiar with the wedding DJ cost and cancellation policy. This is also an ideal time to ask about deadlines so you are familiar with payment deadlines and when you need to give them information about your big day. The last step is to book your wedding DJ and get ready for your special day.

beautiful wedding reception with items from chicago wedding vendors

The First Chicago Wedding Vendors You Need to Book

Hiring the right Chicago wedding vendors for your big day is incredibly important! Having the right team in your corner makes planning easier, and gets you one step closer to the day of your dreams.

But who do you hire first? How do you find the right Chicago wedding vendors for your big day? Where do you start? This list of wedding vendors and tips can get you started planning your special Chicago day.

First Chicago Wedding Vendors to Book

Wedding Venue

The site of your wedding day is one of the most important details. Fortunately, there is a long list of Chicago wedding venues to choose from, including your own backyard!

When considering the best location for your wedding, have an open conversation with your fiancé and ask these questions:

  • What is our wedding date? (Use these tips for choosing the perfect wedding date if you haven’t narrowed down your options yet.)
  • What is our style (i.e. modern, historic, rustic, etc.)?
  • How big is our guest list? (You don’t need an exact count, but an estimate is helpful.)
  • What is our budget?

If there is anything you really wanted in a venue, now is the time to speak up! Do you want a big wedding venue with a big dance floor? Or a Chicago wedding venue with plenty of room for family seating?

Caterer

The Windy City is full of wonderful wedding caterers. Finding the right caterer comes down to a number of factors, such as your budget, what kind of dinner service (i.e. sit-down, family style, buffet, etc.) you prefer, and your menu. When contacting wedding caterers, ask each caterer if they are available on your wedding date, carry insurance, can prepare your menu preferences, and, if appropriate, when you can schedule a wedding tasting. (Always ask if there is a cost for the tasting. Every caterer has a different tasting policy.)

Wedding Entertainment

Your wedding entertainment boils down to the question: band, DJ, or DIY? Typically, wedding DJs are less expensive than bands, and don’t require you to purchase the equipment or man the music equipment station. Both wedding bands and DJs come with professionals that keep guests on the dance floor. Wedding bands often have limited playlists, while top-quality wedding DJs come with extensive play lists with all your “must play” songs. Talk through your options with your fiancé, plus whether you want live entertainment, need an emcee, and what your budget is for wedding entertainment. (Beyond a band or DJ, consider adding a little extra for wedding entertainment “extras” like lighting, trivia games, and photo booths.) If you choose a DJ, contact Chicago wedding DJs with this list of DJ questions.

Wedding Planner

If you need full- or part-time help planning your big day, seek out a Chicago wedding planning service or ask your wedding venue if they offer planning services. Ask every wedding planner if they have experience, for examples of their past work, and a few other important questions.

How to Find a Quality Wedding Vendor

Ask friends and family for recommendations.

Your friends and family members can be an invaluable source for wedding vendor recommendations. Be careful when their suggestions are for other friends or family members that offer the service “on the side.” Unfortunately, amateur services often come with unreliable communications and dated equipment that can lead to less-than-satisfactory performance.

Do online research.

There are many wedding review sites that give couples not only a list of Chicago wedding vendors, but also reviews. When researching wedding vendors, you should look for information about their service, testimonials, and a high review rating (from a large amount of reviews).

Meet with the vendor.

Never hire a wedding vendor without meeting with them. Never book a wedding venue without touring it. Never choose a wedding caterer without tasting their food. Even if your meeting is virtual, make sure you meet with the vendor so you can interview them and see if they are the “one.”

Review the contract carefully.

When hiring a wedding vendor, always review the fine print before signing on the dotted line. Once you’ve returned the contract, don’t forget to add deadlines to your wedding planning calendar or in your wedding planning app. (These other tips for organizing your wedding planning ensures that your experience is smooth—and yields an awesome wedding day.)

shot of people dancing at epic wedding reception

Wedding Planning in Chicago? How to Manage Your Wedding Budget

A wedding budget is an important part of planning a wedding in Chicago, and one detail that it pays (literally) to stay on top of. That’s why we’ve put together a list of wedding budget tips for couples looking to throw an awesome wedding reception on a set budget.

Talk with your fiancé.

The first step in managing your wedding budget is to set a budget. You can do this by sitting down and discussing finances with your fiancé. This is your chance to have an honest conversation about how much you both have available for the wedding and how you plan on paying for it (i.e. savings, credit card, loan, etc.) If anyone else has expressed interest in contributing to your wedding budget, discuss who it is and how you are going to approach them about their gift.

Use a wedding planning app or budget checklist.

When it comes to wedding planning, organization and budgeting go hand in hand. For some couples, this means setting up a binder with a wedding budget checklist, planning checklist, calendar, and pockets for receipts and various items. If you’d rather use your smartphone or tablet, check out one of these wedding planning apps with a built-in wedding budget checklist.

Allocate funds to the most important wedding details.

As you set a wedding budget, remember to allocate the majority of your funds to items that make the biggest impression on your guests. Plan on spending half of your budget on the biggest items that guests appreciate: venue, food, and entertainment. Be realistic with each budget line item; quality Chicago venues and wedding vendors come with a cost that is typically reflected in their service. Simply, the saying, “you get what you pay for” definitely applies to wedding planning.

Research every vendor.

Planning a wedding is about more than just filling in the blanks. As you plan, research every wedding vendor so you get exactly what you expect (both quality and cost). When hiring vendors, research local vendors by asking friends and family for recommendations or browse reviews online (on these wedding vendor review sites). Once you have a short list of vendors, interview each vendor to determine if they are the “one.” (For your DJ, use this list of wedding DJ questions.)

Read the fine print.

Your vendor interviews serve two purposes: 1) to determine if the vendor is a good fit that offers quality services, and 2) to get a full list of costs. Many wedding vendors have hidden fees, such as travel charges, overtime fees, etc. As you interview them, ask them for a full list of costs or look for wedding vendors that offer a package.

Don’t stop budgeting.

The key to managing a wedding budget is to develop a system and stick to it. As you plan, add your receipts into your app or on to your checklist. Take advantage of all the wedding budget tricks you can, and plan on adjusting costs if one line item is more than you planned for. If you stick to it, you’ll have a well-managed budget and a beautiful wedding day to show for your efforts.

beautiful summer wedding with lighting and beautiful dance floor

6 BIG Questions that Kick Start Your Chicago Wedding Planning

Once you’ve uttered, “yes!” it’s time to start planning your Chicago wedding. But where do you start planning your special day? We’ve been involved in countless wedding days over the years, and we’re here to help you start planning an awesome wedding in the Windy City.

The first step wedding planning isn’t complicated, but is important! Start by sitting down with your fiancé and discussing the important details that guide every step of your planning your Chicago wedding.

When do we want to get married?

One of the most common questions you’ll hear as you plan is, “when is your wedding?” Almost every wedding vendor needs this information so they are can check their availability. (And that’s not even counting all the friends and family that are going to ask!) There are a few ways to choose your wedding date:

  • Select a special date (i.e. the day you met, your first date, parent’s anniversary, etc.)
  • Choose a month when you are more available based on your professional commitments
  • Set a date in your favorite season (i.e. spring, summer, fall, winter)
  • Choose a date when your favorite Chicago wedding venue or vendor is available (contact wedding vendors and ask them for dates)
  • Pick a favorite holiday (i.e. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc.)

Don’t get stressed out if you don’t have a set wedding date! Instead, choose a month and contact your “must have” Chicago wedding venue or vendors. Ask them if they have any dates available.

Where do we want to get married?

You’ve narrowed down the city, now it’s time to choose the perfect wedding venue. Fortunately, there is a long list of Chicago wedding venues that are perfect for wedding. Your wedding venue can be close to home, like your backyard or a family member’s home, or an incredible venue. If you have a favorite wedding venue you’ve always wanted, now is the time to speak up and add them to the list of possible Chicago wedding venues.

What is our style?

Your style as a couple is going to guide almost every detail you choose. Would you like to host an elegant day? A casual and fun picnic? An outdoor wedding with natural elements? Or is a traditional wedding more to your liking? Have you always dreamed of a rustic wedding?

What is our wedding budget?

This is an important wedding planning question that is very important to ask before you start planning your Chicago wedding. When setting a wedding budget, it’s also vital to remember to allocate most of your wedding budget to important details. The wedding venue, caterer, and entertainment are all important details that make the biggest impact on your guests, and should receive most of your wedding budget.

How big of a wedding do we want?

Do you want a big wedding? Or is a smaller wedding more your style? You don’t have to set a guest list right away, but you should discuss with your fiancé whether you want a big bash or smaller, more intimate affair.

Is there anything we really want on our big day?

Some couples dream of their wedding day for years, while others build a vision of their wedding day as they go. If you have any ideas you really want, now is the time to speak up before you start on your wedding planning journey. You may want a special venue, an awesome Chicago wedding DJ, or a sampling station with your favorite cocktail.

Once you’ve talked through these questions with your fiancé, it’s time to organize your wedding planning, get started checking off tasks on your wedding planning checklist, destress when you get overwhelmed, and enjoy planning your Chicago wedding.

wedding guests in photo booth with silly hats and funny faces

How to Rent a Photo Booth for Your Chicago Wedding

Renting a photo booth for your wedding may not be overly complicated, but it is important to follow these steps for a stellar photo booth rental experience—for both you and your guests. Renting a photo booth is a win-win! You get to enjoy the photos, and your guests get a night of making those great shots.

Decide what “other” wedding entertainment you want.

As you plan your Chicago wedding, consider what wedding entertainment fits your special day and guests. Are you dreaming of a big dance? Would you like to see your name in lights? Do you want table games for guests to play before and during dinner? Would you like to give guests who don’t want to dance other ways to enjoy the wedding? What entertainment fits your guest list?

As you decide, think about your guest list so you can choose the wedding entertainment that fits your big day. The entertainment for an adult-only wedding is usually markedly different than a wedding with kids. You may also want to include wedding entertainment that fits with your wedding theme or heritage for a unique twist.

Research Chicago photo booth rental companies.

Once you have a clear list of wedding entertainment, including a photo booth rental, start researching companies for the rental. Often, this list can get shorter if you choose companies that offer multiple services, such as a wedding DJ company that offers DJ services, lighting, and photo booth rentals.

Before contacting any companies or signing a contract, research potential companies in Chicago and make sure they are reputable. There are several ways you can research the companies: 1) by asking friends and family 2) browsing through social media sites 3) reading online reviews. Researching companies shouldn’t take too long, but you should feel confident that your short list of companies has provided satisfactory services to many Chicago couples over the years (and will do the same for you).

Ask the photo booth rental companies key questions.

As you contact Chicago photo booth rental companies, ask each Chicago photo booth company questions that give you an idea of the cost and what to expect:

  1. What size photo booths do you offer? Is your equipment durable?
  2. What is the cost of the photo booth? Is it per hour or a set cost per event?
  3. Do you deliver to my venue? Are there any delivery fees?
  4. When is payment due?
  5. What is your cancellation policy?
  6. Are there any back-up photo booth units in case of a breakdown? Who do we contact in case of a breakdown?
  7. Do you provide any photo booth props?
  8. Do you offer any other services? Can I rent the photo booth as part of a package?

Read the fine print.

Before signing on the dotted line, always read the contract fine print to ensure you are getting a quality photo booth and that there are no hidden costs. Start thinking about photo booth prop ideas and get ready to enjoy some really crazy fun photos!

disco balls from a wedding dance

Absolute BEST Places to Find Chicago DJ Reviews

Chicago DJ reviews are an important part of choosing the right wedding DJ. After all, who doesn’t want to know what other couples have thought about their wedding DJ? Chicago DJ reviews give you an idea of what to expect before and during your big day, though they are not the only step in finding the right wedding DJ.

How to Find a Wedding DJ

Finding a wedding DJ isn’t tricky (or too lengthy), but it is an important to find the right one. Your wedding DJ is one of the biggest wedding details that guests remember (along with food and the venue). You can find the best wedding DJ for your big day by following these steps:

Research local DJs.

The first step is to make a list of local wedding DJs in Chicago. You can make this list by asking friends and family for recommendations or by going online. The next step is to research each wedding DJ and narrow down the list. You can look on wedding review sites and social media for testimonials from other couples that have used their services.

As you research wedding DJs, remember the old adage about getting what you pay for. The best wedding DJs have high-quality equipment and the experience to keep your guests on the dance floor. In addition, they also have back-up equipment and DJs for those “just in case” situations. They also huge wedding song playlists that allow them to create a customized list that fits the couple and the occasion.

Contact potential DJs.

It’s important to contact your DJ and schedule a meeting, either in-person or virtually. This is your chance to vet your wedding DJ and find out if all those positive Chicago DJ reviews are true. At the meeting, ask if they have experience, insurance, an extensive list of wedding songs, back-up equipment and DJs, how they are going to communicate with you, plus these other wedding DJ questions.

Wedding DJ Review Sites

Wedding Wire

Wedding Wire is an online tool for couples looking for their team of wedding professionals. Wedding Wire contains a long list of local wedding DJs, including information and Chicago DJ reviews.

The Knot

The Knot has a ton of wedding planning tips and information on wedding vendors of every kind, including wedding DJs. In addition to information, The Knot also has Chicago DJ reviews, a wedding website builder, and a wedding registry tool.

Expertise

Expertise is all about connecting couples with experts, including Chicago DJs. Expertise ranks businesses on their reputation, credibility, experience, professionalism, and engagement and puts the best into a list of the best Chicago wedding DJs.

Facebook

Facebook is a great place to find helpful wedding planning tips and Chicago DJ reviews. Luckily, the reviews can be viewed without having an account.

wedding dance floor with DJ after planning a Chicago wedding

How to Start Planning an Awesome Chicago Wedding

Time to start planning a Chicago wedding that is completely you? Whether your ideal big day is a huge bash or a smaller, more intimate gathering, these first steps can get you started planning the day of your dreams.

Talk to your fiancé and set key details.

The first step in wedding planning is to sit down and have a conversation with your fiancé. This is your chance to discuss key details, such as style, budget, when you want to get married, and whether you want a big or small wedding. If you have any one thing you really want at the wedding, mention it now! Most importantly, discuss whether you and your fiancé have time for wedding planning or whether you want to hire a Chicago wedding planner.

Get organized.

Even if you decide to hire a wedding planner, it’s important to get organized. During this wedding planning step, you can set a timeline so you can stay on top of planning. Fortunately, there are a ton of great wedding planning apps and printables you can use to stay on track.

Pick a date and venue.

Remember the old saying, “which came first the chicken or the egg?” The date and venue are a similar question—and either wedding planning checklist item can be completed first. Some couples like to set a date first, and narrow their list of Chicago wedding venues down to the venues that are available on that date (and can accommodate their estimated guest count). Others set a season or month, and choose the date based on their favorite Chicago’s venue availability. If the venue is incredibly in demand, you can also call the venue and choose the date based on the few they have available. The last strategy for choosing a wedding date is to call a favorite wedding vendor that you absolutely have to have—a caterer, photographer, wedding DJ, or baker—and ask about available dates.

As you choose the wedding venue, remember that this is one wedding detail that is incredibly important. The wedding venue is the backdrop for your wedding and creates an amazing first impression. Make sure you choose a Chicago wedding venue that is reputable (luckily Chicagoland is full of amazing wedding venues!) Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you ask each wedding venue these questions:

  • What dates is the venue available? OR Is the venue available on my date?
  • What is the maximum capacity of the wedding venue?
  • Does the venue hold multiple weddings or events on the same date?
  • What is the cost of the venue? What does the cost cover? When is the first deposit due?
  • Does the venue provide rentals (i.e. chairs, tables, etc.)? What is the cost of the rentals?
  • Is alcohol allowed at the venue? Does the venue provide the alcohol?
  • Does the venue provide staffing? Is a staff member going to be on-site during our wedding?
  • Does the venue carry liability insurance?
  • Is there nearby parking? Are there hotels or accommodations nearby for guests?
  • Is the venue handicap accessible?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • What dates are available for a tour?

Start checking items off your planning checklist.

There is one note of caution with this step: always do your research before hiring a vendor. Unfortunately, there are quite a few couples who have been burned by sub-par wedding vendors. When researching vendors, always ask for references and check sites like the Knot or Wedding Wire for online reviews. Never hire a wedding vendor without doing your research and interviewing the wedding vendor.

When hiring your wedding vendors, ask each vendor questions about their cancellation policies, how they prefer to communicate, and other important questions. (Ask your Chicago wedding DJ these important DJ questions.) The goal of every interview is to determine whether the wedding vendor is the “one” and reputable, and to create an ensemble of details that coordinate into a wedding atmosphere that is completely you.