Category Archives: chicago wedding entertainment

wedding day planned after meeting with DJ

What is included in a wedding DJ cost?

Budgeting funds for a wedding DJ can feel like a guessing game full of questions. How much does a good wedding DJ cost? What services does a wedding DJ offer? How do I find a wedding DJ that keeps my guests on the dance floor without busting the budget?

Hiring the Right Wedding DJ

Every wedding DJ offers different services as part of the cost. At the very least, a wedding DJ should offer the basic services: equipment and a DJ. At the very most, a wedding DJ service should provide equipment, an experienced (this is important!) DJ, back-up equipment and DJ (in case of emergencies). Some DJ services also provide other entertainment as part of a package deal, such as lighting or a photo booth rental.

Choosing the right DJ and wedding DJ cost starts with setting a wedding budget. (This article from Wedding Wire can give you insight into the amount for the wedding DJ line on the budget.) The next step is to compile a list of wedding DJs to contact about services and wedding DJ cost. As you contact DJs, watch for red flags that signal they are not the right DJ for your special day. Be cautious about wedding DJs who don’t have a business address, don’t want to meet or show their equipment, or don’t return your calls.

Once you have compiled a prospective list of wedding DJs, interview each service to narrow down your options. Ask each wedding service:

  • “Are you available on our wedding DJ?”
  • “How long have you DJ’ed at weddings?”
  • “What is the cost of your services? What do those costs cover? Do you charge overtime fees?”
  • “Have you ever DJ’ed at my venue? Do you charge a travel fee for coming to my venue?”
  • “Do you have insurance? Can you provide proof of insurance?”
  • “What is your plan if your equipment breaks down or a DJ can’t make it?”
  • “Do you offer any other services or package deals?”
  • “Is dinner music provided as part of the cost? Does the DJ serve as an emcee?”
  • “Can we meet? What is the best way to contact you as we plan our wedding reception?”

In addition to an interview, research each DJ service. Check their social media sites and major wedding websites for reviews from past customers. Before signing on the dotted line, carefully review the contract fine print to ensure that the DJ is the “one” who fits your needs and your budget.

Wedding Budget Tips

  • Allocate the majority of budget funds for wedding details that make a big impact on guests, such as the venue, catering, and entertainment. While a particularly budget-busting favor may be incredibly cute, good food and an excellent wedding DJ have a bigger overall impact on guests’ experience.
  • Use a wedding budget checklist or wedding planning app to stay within budget and avoid overspending on minor details.
  • If the wedding budget is a concern, try to choose a wedding date during the off-peak season (when weddings aren’t popular) and on a day that isn’t in high demand (such as a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday).
  • Always review every vendor contractor for hidden fees, such as overtime charges by wedding DJs.
  • Ask wedding vendors if they offer additional services or package deals. Many wedding vendors offer discounts for packaged services (i.e. many wedding DJs offer discounts for music and lighting).
  • While sticking to a wedding budget is important, be cautious about always choosing the lowest cost option. The cheapest vendor is not always the best vendor for the job.
  • Carefully screen each wedding vendor. Look for red flags, such as a vendor with no business address or no communication before the big day.

wedding party celebrating at wedding reception

(Fun!) Bridal Party Entrance Ideas

The bridal party entrance is another opportunity to take your wedding dance to the next level. If you’re planning a wedding dance that’s over-the-top, these tips and ideas are a ‘must’ for an incredibly memorable bridal party entrance.  

Bridal Party Entrance Tips

Bridal Party Entrance Ideas

Plan a dance that gets everyone in on the fun.

If you have a bridal party full of dancers, ask them (don’t assume!) if they want to plan a fun bridal party entrance dance. Have each attendant pair choose their favorite dance song, then turn the songs over to the DJ to take the medley to the next level. For a bridal party that doesn’t want to stand out, ask your DJ how to create a “flash mob” effect with everyone dancing together. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you plan times when your attendants can practice so you look coordinated and polished.

Make your entrance pap-worthy.

For couples who want to make your bridal party entrance feel like a walk on the red carpet, plan an entrance flanked by the paparazzi. You can make this fun by asking friends to fill the roll (make sure you fully outfit them for full effect) or hiring entertainers for the occasion. Complete the bridal party entrance with a real red carpet and a song that would be fitting of any Hollywood style entrance.

Prop it up!

Props can be a fun addition to any bridal party entrance WITH a few caveats. Remember the non-tacky tip above. Choose props that are fun or fit with your wedding theme AND make sure your bridal party has an easy way to get rid of them. Don’t leave your DJ out of the fun. Ask the pros for song ideas that fit with bridal party entrance ideas and the props.

Make the entrance a trivia contest.

If you are a couple who loves trivia contests, make the bridal party entrance a trivia contest. Have fun with this bridal party entrance idea; choose an awesome DJ who can serve as the perfect trivia contest host and give him or her the information that makes this an unforgettable game show.

Plan the ultimate race.

Make your bridal party entrance feel like the end of a fantastic race. Have your bridal party attendants cross the finish line—and cheer you on as finish your first race as newlyweds. Get out the checkered flags and lights…this is sure to be a race that everyone’ll cheer for!

20 (Fun!) Wedding Reception Table Games

Beautiful floral table decorations and table games at wedding receptionWedding entertainment is about more than hiring the best DJ in Chicago. Obviously, that is a BIG part of a memorable wedding reception, but there are the “other” times to plan for, too. Guests need to be entertained before the bride and groom arrive, while they wait for dinner and the dance, and for those moments when they need a break from their dancing shoes. The obvious choice—and the solution that keeps guests at their table and ready for dinner—are wedding reception table games.

Of course, if you want to make those in-between times more fun, bring your DJ into the conversation (and make sure you have a pro that’s up to the task). They can make announcements, coordinate games, and basically make the night more fun for everyone.

For adults…

  1. Trivia (i.e. related to the theme, about the couple, etc.)
  2. Crossword
  3. I Spy
  4. Word Search
  5. Wedding Hash Tag Game (i.e have them post photos with the wedding hash tag to social media)
  6. Mad-libs Wedding Style
  7. Find a guest with…
  8. Bride or Groom Guessing Game (for a funny photo, ask the DJ to play the game as a group give the guests signs they can hold up)
  9. Wedding cootie catchers
  10. Marriage Advice Cards
  11. Bingo
  12. Request Cards
  13. Photo Booth Props (that they can model and take to the photo booth)
  14. Date Idea Cards

For kids…

  1. Tic Tac Toe
  2. Coloring Sheets
  3. Connect-the-dots
  4. Legos/Bricks
  5. White Play Clay (that doesn’t stain)
  6. Simpler versions of adult trivia, crossword, etc.