Category Archives: wedding dj chicago il

disco balls from a wedding dance

Wedding DJ Checklist

There’s one thing that’s remained true in all the years we’ve been wedding DJs in the Chicago area: every couple is incredibly different. Some couples come to us with absolutely no ideas for wedding reception songs and others have definite ideas for their wedding playlist.

If you’re one of the latter, this checklist is the perfect way to get all those wedding music ideas down on paper. Once you’ve chosen the perfect wedding DJ, give them this list and prepare yourself for a night of fun!

Must-Play List

These are the songs you absolutely have to hear. Use these wedding playlist tips to come up with the right combination of tunes!

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Must-Not Play List

Make sure you don’t take your guests’ favorites off the list. These tips for crafting a must-not play list can be incredibly helpful.

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Cocktail Music Ideas

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Wedding Party Entrance Music Ideas

Don’t hesitate to ask your bridal party and DJ for suggestions!

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First Dance Ideas

If you don’t have a clear favorite, use these tips to narrow down your options to the perfect tune that fits you as a couple.

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Father & Daughter Dance

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Mother & Son Dance

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Bouquet & Garter Toss Songs

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Surprise Dance Song

Want to surprise your guests? Use this list of wedding reception surprises for inspiration and don’t forget to include your DJ in on the fun!

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Wedding Dance Games

Use these ideas for wedding dance games that give your guests more than dancing to spice up the fun!

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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.

Bad Wedding DJ? Watch for these Signs of a Terrible DJ

wedding day planned after meeting with DJWhen you are in the throws of wedding planning, it can be tempting to check off items on your wedding planning checklist without doing your due diligence. You just need to type in “wedding DJs in Chicago” or “wedding DJs near me,” make a few calls, and choose the cheapest wedding DJ, right?

The truth is that choosing a wedding DJ without doing a little research can leave you with some major wedding day regrets (and some crazy unhappy guests). The internet is full of stories of weird and sub-standard DJs. (And we won’t even mention the YouTube videos! Yikes.) Don’t join the ranks of couples unhappy with their wedding DJ; be wary of these signs of a less-than-stellar DJ that is a complete wedding disappointment.

No business address

It’s okay to meet a wedding DJ at a local (and convenient) coffee shop or chat online, but beware of amateur DJs that operate out of their basement. A physical place of business signifies that a wedding DJ is established and reliable; use an address as proof that the DJ has been around for awhile—and is going to show up on your big day.

No reviews or testimonials

If you want to make sure your DJ can do an excellent job at your wedding reception, look back at their past record. An easy way to do this is to check out the wedding DJ’s reviews and testimonials on social media and review sites. Look for positive reviews from other couples; a quality and experienced DJ should have stellar reviews that back up their claims.

No back-up equipment

Don’t be shy about asking if the DJ has back-up equipment for those “just in case” situations. A good wedding DJ is proud to show you that they have state-of-the-art equipment—and back-up equipment—so they can fulfill their promise of excellent service.

No contingency plan

Wedding DJs are really cool people, but people nonetheless. As such, wedding DJs can get sick, or be unavailable due to family emergencies and circumstances beyond their control. As tempting as it might be to hire a friend or a friend of a friend, be wary of a one-man show without back-up DJs available for those emergency situations. Make sure this is one of the questions you ask the DJ before you hire them—and don’t sign on the dotted line unless you are satisfied with the answer.

Lack of Questions

Just as with any other wedding vendor, ask your DJ questions before you hire them (we’ve given you a full list of questions to ask your wedding DJ here). Be cautious about DJs that don’t return the favor; a good DJ customizes their wedding play list specifically to the couple’s favorites and not-so-favorites (use these tips to craft a wedding “do not play” list). If the DJ doesn’t ask for your preferences (such as the fact they hate country music or want tunes specific to the era of your vintage wedding), search for a wedding DJ that does—and can meet and exceed your expectations.