Category Archives: wedding reception dj chicago il

wedding dance floor with guests dancing to wedding theme songs

Your Guide to Hiring the Best Chicago Wedding DJ

For any couple drafting a wedding budget, the cost of a DJ may the top question, but it shouldn’t be the only question. Here’s a few more questions you should ask when finding the right wedding DJ—and the answers that connect you to the best Chicago wedding DJ for your special day.

What is included in a Chicago wedding DJ price?

Before you start finding and researching wedding DJs, it makes cents (pun intended) to understand what should be included in your wedding DJ’s price. Note the “should be.” All of these factors play an important part in providing quality wedding DJ services, but may not always be offered by an amateur DJ:

  • Experienced DJ (and a back-up experienced DJ, in case of emergency)
  • Equipment (and back-up reliable equipment, in case of breakdown)
  • Insurance
  • Play List
  • Time

When should I book my Chicago wedding DJ?

According to the Real Simple Wedding Planning Checklist, you should hire a wedding DJ at least a year before your wedding day—but there’s nothing wrong to being ahead of the crowd. The best Chicago wedding DJs’ calendars fill up quickly, so you should start researching wedding DJs and interviewing them once you’ve confirmed the major details (i.e. venue, caterer, etc.)

How do I research a wedding DJ?

Before you hire a wedding DJ, research local wedding DJs to ensure you are getting a high-quality, reliable professional for your big day. You can research wedding DJs on third-party sites, such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, and even social media. These are great places to read through reviews and get insight into the services of local wedding DJ.

Once you’ve done the research, it’s time to interview the top wedding DJs on your list. Ask every wedding DJ about their availability, how long they’ve been in business, their cost (and the length of time included in the cost), if they have back-up equipment and staffing, and a few other important wedding DJ questions.

How long should I book a wedding DJ?

A wedding reception typically lasts for 4-6 hours, and a wedding DJ is typically present for most of that time (especially when providing cocktail hour and dinner music). Some DJs do charge overtime fees for any extra time (ask the wedding DJ about this when contacting them), while other wedding DJs offer an unlimited package without any time constraints.

What other services do wedding DJs provide?

Some DJs offer “extras” that put a wedding reception over the top, such as photobooths and lighting. Many time these services can be included in the wedding DJ package, making these extras extra budget-friendly.

Wedding Reception Dance Planning Checklist

collage of pictures from epic wedding dancePlanning a big wedding dance party comes with a million decisions—and, luckily, a guide to get you the wedding reception of your dreams! This step-by-step guide can take you from the first wedding reception idea to dancing the night away with all your friends.

___Select a wedding date.

___Set a budget. (Tip: use this wedding budget worksheet.)

___Decide on a desired wedding atmosphere.

___Choose a wedding venue. (Tip: if an epic late-night dance is a priority, ask the venue planners about curfew times and volume limitations.)

___If the venue is outside, make a plan B in case of inclement weather. (Tip: if the dance is outside, make sure the venue meets your band or DJ’s electrical needs.)

___Set a timeline for the wedding reception and program (i.e. toasts, dinner, dance moments, etc.) (Tip: customize this sample wedding reception timeline and share with key vendors, such as the entertainer and photographer.)

___Choose the best wedding music entertainment: band or DJ. (Tip: When interviewing DJs, ask them these questions to weed out the sub-par DJs. A good DJ uses a custom play list that fits with the couple’s style.)

___Sign a contract with a quality band or DJ. (Tip: use these tips for navigating through the fine print.)

___Draft a venue layout with spots for the cake, interactive tables or tasting stations, and strategically-placed entertainment. (Tip: to keep the dance floor packed, plan for a beverage table or bar near the dancing.)

___Book other entertainment, such as a photobooth or one of these other fun wedding entertainment ideas.

___Plan out the logistics and location of any interactive tables or tasting stations.

___Set a wedding menu play list and coordinate important details (i.e. announcements, wedding party pronunciations, etc). (Tip: to avoid any songs that make you cringe, choose a wedding DJ who honors your ‘Do not play’ list.)

___Choose dinner & cocktail background music (Tip: if you don’t have major preferences AND trust your DJ, ask the DJ to choose songs.)

___Select songs for the traditional wedding reception dances (if included in the reception).

  • ___ Wedding party entrance music
  • ___ First dance
  • ___ Father-daughter dance
  • ___ Mother-son dance
  • ___ Bouquet & garter toss songs
  • ___ Dance songs

____Plan surprises if you want to add them to the wedding reception. (Tip: use this list of wedding reception surprises for inspiration and don’t forget to include your DJ in on the fun.)

___Purchase favors that fit with atmosphere.

___Enjoy!