newlyweds dancing to wedding first dance song at wedding reception

How to Choose the Perfect First Dance Song

Your first dance at your wedding is a special moment for the two of you, which is why it’s so important to choose the perfect first dance song.

Ways to Choose the Right Song

The good news is that it’s easy and fun to choose the perfect first dance song. After all, it’s fairly easy to listen to songs until you find the “one.” The bad news is that there are a TON of songs to choose from. But don’t stress. We’ve got a list of ways to inspire and spur your search for the right first dance song. (Don’t be afraid to ask your wedding DJ for ideas too.)

Choose a special song from your relationship

The song that was playing the night you met. A song that you both love to listen to together. The song that was playing when you said “I love you” or when you proposed. A song from a concert you were at together. Think back to those special moments, and don’t get discouraged if the song doesn’t have the right tempo for your first dance. Instead, look for other versions of the song online or ask a very musically gifted friend if they can record an instrumental version for you.

Ask a treasured friend or family for their first dance song

If you want your first dance to be a nod to a special couple, ask them if you can use their first dance song at your wedding. This could be a first dance song from your parents, grandparents, or close friends. Or for a twist, use an updated version of their song.

Select a song from your favorite era

Do you both love a particular era? Or is your wedding a vintage affair? If so, a hit song from another era may be the perfect first dance song for you—and it’ll be tons of fun finding it! Pull out your a-tracks or head to the internet to find a special throwback song that you both love.

Look for a song that speaks to a common interest

Your differences and commonalities brough you together, so why shouldn’t they play a part when you choose the perfect first dance song? Look for a thread that ties you together, such as a favorite music genre, activity, or dance you both love. If you don’t want a super-common song that everyone uses, look for a song online from a favorite group or do a search by topic.

How to Add Spice to Your First Dance

For a wedding first dance as unique as your song, use these tips to spice up your first dance.

Practice, practice, practice

If you want to pair a traditional dance with a modern song, head to a local dance studio for dance lessons. Make sure you choose a traditional dance that works with the music, and have fun.

Choreograph a routine

A choreographed routine is a bit more complicated, but definitely scores higher in the wow factor category. If you need inspiration, search online for videos of newlyweds that went over-the-top with a choreographed wedding first dance.

Get your wedding party in on the fun

If you want to create more of a flash mob effect, ask your wedding party if they want to get in on the fun. This is an idea with ton of possibilities, such as starting with a slow dance until your wedding party “crashes” with a fast song. Get your wedding DJ in on the fun. They can come up with cool song suggestions and build up to the moment. (Don’t forget to tell your photographer and videographer so they can get the dance on film!)

Add a confetti or balloon drop

Another way to make a wedding first dance momentous is to add an effect to the dance. This can be a surprise appearance by a celebrity or a confetti or balloon drop. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to surprise guests during the wedding reception; this is your chance to make your wedding first dance completely and truly your own.

fun wedding reception dances with newlyweds

Fun Wedding Reception Dances & Tips

There are so many fun wedding reception dances and so many ways to take those dances to the next level. Best yet, there are so many ways to customize those dances and make the reception reflect your style as a couple. (Don’t forget to bring your wedding DJ into the mix when you plan out your fun wedding reception dances. They can give you ideas, help you capture those moments on camera, and make it extraordinary.)

Choreograph your wedding reception dance.

Your first dance is an opportunity to show your true personalities and your style as the couple. If you are planning a wedding with a retro theme, consider choosing a song and dance that reflects the decade. A wedding planned around a movie is the perfect chance to dance to one of the movie songs. If you don’t have a theme, the sky’s the limit for first dances and fun wedding reception dances routines. If your fiancé isn’t into choreographed dances, ask your parent to get in on the fun.

Practice, practice, practice.

If a choreographed dance isn’t your thing, or you want something more traditional, consider a more classic dance and head to a local dance studio. You can choose whatever dance fits you, and wow everyone as you glide across the dance floor with a classic dance favorite. Or, for an unexpected twist on wedding reception dances, come up with a new take on a traditional dance.

Get your wedding party in on the fun.

Want to make a big statement? Ask your wedding party if they want to have fun with a choreographed (or semi-choreographed) routine. While this may take a bit more scheduling and coordinating, the result is sure to make a big impression on guests. Plus, if you get your wedding DJ in on the fun, they can make a dance feel like the event of the year.

Throw a surprise into the mix.

The unexpected can make guests howl with laughter or sit in awe (or both). It’s fun to imagine the look on your guests’ faces when an unexpected guest shows up (such as a favorite relative or celebrity) or confetti falls from the rafters. There are so many ideas for wedding reception surprises, and so many ways to customize the surprise to fit with your wedding reception theme and/or atmosphere.

Add table games for non-dancers.

A great wedding reception goes beyond fun wedding reception dances and includes everyone. Table games are a great way to include non-dancers and give guests some down-time fun when they need a break. Plus, table games can become a group activity when your wedding DJ doubles as a game show host. (Ask your wedding DJ if they have experience with table games, plus these other wedding DJ questions, when hiring them.)

Personalized trivia about the couple can leave guests in stitches, or become a conversation starter as guests compare what they know about the couple. You can also take trivia onto the dance floor with fun games like the shoe game. (Make sure you hire a DJ with the experience to lead your dance floor games.)

End your wedding reception with a bang. (Not a literal one.)

If your venue allows it, make a big bang with an awesome firework show at the end of the night. Make sure you tell your DJ so they can discreetly direct guests to the windows or outside to view the show. (Don’t forget to put out late night snacks, like flavored popcorn, cotton candy, or another themed refreshment, for guests to enjoy during the fireworks.) It’s a great send off idea, or a way to hang out with your guests after the fun wedding reception dances are over.

couple dancing to list of wedding songs needed for wedding day

A Full List of Wedding Songs Needed for a Wonderful Day

You spend months (maybe years) planning out almost every moment of your wedding day. So why shouldn’t you plan out wedding music? Now, you can with this full list of songs needed for a wonderful wedding day.

Before we jump to the full list, it’s important to think about the music you’ll need before you walk down the aisle. This is the time to think about wedding playlists for your time in your dressing room getting ready for your big day. You can also plan out your engagement party, showers, rehearsal dinner, and other pre-wedding get togethers.

Ceremony

For your ceremony, you’ll need at least four different songs, including the prelude, processional, bridal processional, and recessional. The prelude is the music that is played when guests enter the ceremony. It is followed by the processional, which is played as attendants walk down the aisle. Bridal processional music is for that beautiful moment when the bride walks down the aisle. After the ceremony, recessional music is played as the wedding party and newlyweds exit. Some couples add other music to their list of wedding songs for the ceremony, especially during key moments. Ceremony music can be played by instrumentalists or a wedding DJ.

Cocktail Hour

Beautiful wedding ceremony music is followed by beautiful cocktail hour music. Again, this list of wedding songs needed for this time can be played by instrumentalists or a wedding DJ. Many wedding DJs offer this service as part of a package. If the DJ charges by the hour, you should ask them before hiring if cocktail hour music is included (along with these other wedding DJ questions). Cocktail hour music flows into the more upbeat songs of the wedding reception.

Wedding Dinner

The list of wedding songs needed for a wedding reception is markedly longer. After all, this is your chance to celebrate! It shouldn’t be surprising then, that the wedding party entrance song is typically and upbeat song. (Note: it doesn’t have to be upbeat! Talk to your wedding DJ for recommendations.) If you want to spice up your entrance, use one of these wedding party entrance ideas.

Once you’ve arrived, it’s time for dinner and toasts. You’ll need music for this time too, so guests can enjoy the atmosphere and each other’s company. If you’re using a wedding DJ, ask them if they can provide dinner music and provide a microphone for toasts. (Not all wedding DJs and bands do.) A wedding DJ can also, if needed, emcee the affair.

When dinner is done, it’s time for the traditional cake cutting (or cupcakes or another non-cake dessert). If you’re using a wedding DJ, ask them to make an announcement for guests and to coordinate the big moment with your videographer and photographer. (Tip: the best wedding DJs know how to work with other professionals to get your key moments on film.)

Wedding Dance

Now for the wedding dance! The wedding dance typically includes a few traditional dances, though you can customize your reception with games and dances—if you hire a band or wedding DJ that customizes their playlist to your preferences. (Make sure you ask your wedding DJ this question when contacting them.) Typically the wedding dance includes these key moments:

  • Wedding Party Announcement
  • First Dance (use these first dance ideas to take it to another level)
  • Mother-Son Dance
  • Father-Daughter Dance
  • Last Dance & Exit

You can come up with your own ideas for these dances (with this wedding DJ checklist), or you can ask your wedding DJ for recommendations. (To spice up your reception, use these parent-child dance ideas and first dance ideas.) Remember, have fun!

wedding table game ideas at wedding reception in chicago

10 Fun Wedding Table Games that Guests Love

There are so many wedding entertainment ideas for couples to choose from: photo booths, dancing, wedding table games, yard games, sampling stations. If you’re trying to choose a wedding table game from the list, we’ve put together a list of wedding table game ideas that’ll inspire and keep your guests laughing.

Table Games for Adults

Local Crossword Puzzle

One of our favorite wedding table games is a crossword puzzle with clues related to your venue or city. This game is really fun for guests…and you! Just think about all the fun you’ll have learning about your venue or city when you are putting this together.

Couple Trivia

See how well your guests know you with this entertaining wedding table game. As you plan this game, make sure you choose questions and answers about items that not everyone knows, but aren’t so secret that no one knows! If you want to keep the fun going all evening, have your wedding DJ give out hints throughout your wedding reception.

Marriage Advice Cards

Marriage advice cards are a fun way to get your guests’ recommendations for a long and happy marriage. This game is also super easy! Just put a card at each place setting requesting their marriage advice, then give them a box to put them in. As an added bonus, the cards can be really interesting to go through after your big day is done.

Themed Bingo

If you want your guests to get really into your theme, this wedding table game is for you! Find out what your guests know about your favorite time period, movie, or other favorite wedding theme. (Get ideas for wedding themes here.) Plus, this wedding game can quickly turn into a group activity when your wedding DJ gets in on the fun. (Find more about choosing the right wedding DJ in this post.)

Couple Mad Libs

Brush up on your parts of English and get ready for some laughs! Plus, it’s easy to personalize a “how we met” or a “our honeymoon” with crazy fill-in-the-blanks. Plus, this game is a really fun conversation starter and hilarious fun activity with your wedding DJ at the helm.

Local Word Search

If your wedding reception is all about your favorite city, this wedding table game is the perfect choice. Simply come up with a word search format, and get ready to come up with fun clues and answers. 

Song Request Cards

Song request cards are a cool way for your guests to weigh in with their favorite songs, and gives everyone something to laugh about on the dance floor! Plus, your wedding DJ can have fun making announcements about your guests’ requests.

Games for Kids

Kids Coloring Sheets

This wedding table game is a great way to keep your younger guests entertained, and make their parents grateful that they have something to do. Plus, you can choose coloring sheets that coordinate with your theme for a personal touch. Don’t want to worry about a mess? Look for crayons that only color on selected coloring sheets.

Tic Tac Toe

Tic tac toe may be listed under wedding table games for kids, but this exciting game is a favorite for guests of all ages. If you want to take it up a notch, get magnetized boards so there are no crayon marks…but lots of giggles.  

Connect the Dots

Educational and entertaining. This wedding game for kids checks off all the boxes, and gives kids and adults the chance to make fun pictures that kids can fill in later. For a personalized touch, choose a connect the dots design that coordinates with your wedding theme.

An Enchanted Evening Named Winner in 2021 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®

Schaumburg, April 06, 2021. — An Enchanted Evening was announced as a winner of the 2021 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®, an accolade representing the top wedding professionals across the board in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism reviewed by couples on WeddingWire, a leader in the $200 billion global wedding planning industry.

In 2020, the rise and spread of COVID-19 unfortunately impacted the wedding industry and the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who bring weddings to life every day. However, wedding vendors worldwide continued to guide their couples through wedding planning and the challenges of the global pandemic. In celebration of local wedding vendors nationwide and overseas, the 2021 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® recognizes the wedding professionals who excelled in supporting to-be-weds despite unprecedented challenges resulting from COVID-19.

To determine these distinguished wedding professionals, WeddingWire analyzed reviews across more than 20 service categories—from venues and caterers to florists and photographers—to find the most- and highest-rated vendors of the year. The winners exhibit superior professionalism, responsiveness, service and quality when interacting with the millions of couples who turn to WeddingWire to help with their wedding planning process each month.

Wedding professionals who win WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Awards® are members of WeddingPro, the leading B2B wedding brand. As the largest marketplace and community for wedding professionals, WeddingPro connects businesses with more than 13 million unique monthly visitors who are planning weddings on WeddingWire and The Knot, as well as with hundreds of thousands of pros in the industry. Through its online marketplaces, educational programs and community-building events, WeddingPro is dedicated to helping wedding professionals build relationships with couples and pros that grow their businesses.

An Enchanted Evening is honored to be one of the top vendors in Schaumburg on WeddingWire.

For more information about An Enchanted Evening, please visit us on WeddingWire. To learn more about the Couples’ Choice Awards®, visit www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.

About WeddingWire

WeddingWire is a trusted online marketplace, connecting couples with local wedding professionals and a suite of comprehensive tools that make wedding planning easier. Operating within a $250 billion global industry, WeddingWire helps millions of couples every month find the right team of wedding professionals to personalize and pull off their special day. Couples around the world can read millions of vendor reviews and search, compare and book from a directory of hundreds of thousands of vendors local to them. Visit WeddingWire online at WeddingWire.com and follow on social media: Facebook.com/WeddingWire and @WeddingWire on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

couple at wedding with guests and DIY wedding music or DJ

DIY Wedding Music vs DJ: 12 Pros and Cons

DIY wedding music or DJ? The choice is different for every couple, but may be easier to make after you’ve weighed the pros and cons.

Wedding DJ

Pro: Experienced emcee

It’s common to focus on the music when deciding between a DJ and DIY wedding music, however one of the biggest pros of a DJ is their ability as an emcee. An experienced wedding DJ keeps the dance floor packed and guests entertained! They can also draw on their past experience so they can choose the best playlist and dance floor games that fit with your wedding atmosphere. (Pro tip: don’t hesitate to ask the wedding DJ how many weddings they’ve emceed when you hire them, plus these other wedding DJ questions.)

Con: Cost

A wedding DJ is going to cost more than a DIY wedding playlist, but the cost difference may not be as big as you think. If you’ve got the equipment and have already paid for the songs, you won’t have to make much of an investment. On the other hand, coming up with your own wedding play list is a significant investment of money and time—the latter of which you may need for wedding planning.

Pro: Comes with HUGE playlist

A quality wedding DJ comes with a huge wedding playlist, so you’re sure to hear all your favorites! (Use this wedding music checklist to help you.) Plus, a wedding DJ has the expertise to “fill in the blanks” with songs that guests love.

Con: Equipment may break down

Wedding DJs can supply the best equipment, but it is prone to breakdowns like any other equipment. To prevent a stop in the action during your wedding, always ask your wedding DJ if they have back-up equipment available. Unfortunately, any equipment you use for a DIY wedding playlist can break down too.

Pro: Quality equipment

Most DJs come with some quality sound equipment that’s sure to make your guests feel like they are part of a dance party. When searching for a wedding DJ, you should be able to ask to see the equipment if you have any concerns. (Pro tip: always be careful about hiring an amateur with dated equipment or these other warning signs of bad wedding DJ.) If you want to get the same effect with DIY wedding music, be ready to do your research so you can get good sound equipment.

Con: DJ may be sick

Hiring a wedding vendor always comes with the risk that they may not be able to be there, but there are ways to avoid this scenario. Whenever you hire a wedding vendor (including a wedding DJ), always ask about their ‘plan B’ in case they get sick or have some other emergency. In the case of a wedding DJ, do your research (i.e. check reviews on wedding sites and social media) and make sure you hiring a reputable service.

DIY Wedding Music

Pro: Inexpensive

DIY wedding music is very affordable! It’s usually cheaper than a wedding DJ, though it does require money and time. Make sure you get speakers that adequately amplify music so everyone on the dance floor can hear and enjoy it.

Con: Need to find someone to make announcements and play music

Even if you have a fantastic playlist, you’ll still need someone to make announcements and “man” the DIY equipment. (Pro tip: always choose someone who is just dedicated to this task, and can do it well all night!) Make sure you choose someone who doesn’t have any other roles to fill—and make sure it’s not you, because you have other things to do throughout the reception.

Pro: You can make sure the list is full of your favorites

On the biggest perks of DIY wedding music is that you can make sure you play all your favorites. As you choose music, make sure you choose songs that your guests actually want to dance to. Plus, don’t forget to think about the right songs for your special moments, like your first dance, cake cutting, and parent-child dance.

Con: Takes a lot of time to customize playlist

It does take a lot of time to make a customized playlist, and wedding planning does come with a long wedding planning checklist. But if you’re up for the task, make sure you do your research and get started early.

Pro: Easy to do

If you love music, it’s fairly easy to find your favorite songs. Just make sure you make a long enough playlist; typically, you’ll need 18 songs per hour. You should also think about atmospheric music for dinner, cocktail hour, and any down time.

Con: If there is a break down, it takes time away from guests for troubleshooting

Unfortunately, even the best planned out DIY music comes with the risk of breaking down. Be aware that you may have to take time away from fun—and your guests—if any of your equipment breaks. The only way to avoid this is to have another person who can troubleshoot or have back-up equipment.

couple posting for photos before enjoying music for outdoor wedding

Music for Outdoor Wedding: 9 Wedding Planning Questions to Ask

Need music for your outdoor wedding? These tips can help you plan the music for your outdoor wedding, and put you on the path to the wedding of your dreams.

What kind of music would we like for our ceremony? Cocktail hour? Reception?

The first step in choosing music for your outdoor wedding is to think about what kind of music you want during each step of your wedding. There are several options: do-it-yourself, musicians, band, and DJ. Sometimes, the solution is one of the wedding music options, but it can also be a combination. For example, a couple might choose to have musicians for the ceremony and a DJ for cocktail hour and reception. (If you choose the latter, use this list of wedding DJ questions to find the best DJ for your special day.)

For couples who need music for the cocktail hour and reception, make sure you ask a band or DJ for the total cost; some music professionals may charge charges for additional hours. (You can also contact a wedding DJ that offers a package with the cocktail hour and reception services included without any overages.)

Are there adequate hook-ups for lighting and music?

If you want to host an outdoor wedding with lighting and/or DJs, you are going to have to determine if there are hook-ups for lighting and music. You can typically ask your venue staff at a wedding venue, but the matter may be more complicated for a backyard wedding. In these cases, ask your wedding DJ or band for information on required hook-ups for your wedding. (A rental company can also give you information on the electricity requirements needed for event lighting.)

Do we need a tent? A dance floor?

While you may want the weather to be perfect for your big day, it’s (sadly) not always the case. Decide whether you need a tent for your ceremony or reception. Fortunately, there are clear tents and tent styles that still allow you to bring the outdoors in.

If you want to host the ultimate dance part, consider whether you want a dance floor. A dance floor can be a beautiful focal point, and an easy way for your guests to dance without wrenching an ankle (and doing damage to the lawn!) If you are holding the wedding at a venue, always ask before renting a dance floor. Some venues have guidelines specifically about dance floors.

Is there a curfew? Do we need a permit?

Some municipalities require that couples secure a permit for their event. If you are planning a backyard wedding, contact your local municipality for information on permits and curfews. At a wedding venue, staff should be able to give you information during your initial meeting or venue tour. (Don’t forget to pass curfew information on your wedding DJ or band.) Either way, it’s important to do your research; you don’t want the cops to shut down your wedding celebrations and end the fun.

What other entertainment do we need?

As you plan your outdoor wedding, don’t be afraid to consider other forms of wedding entertainment—especially for those who don’t want to hit the dance floor. Fortunately, there are tons of other outdoor wedding entertainment ideas (in addition to music for your outdoor wedding) that guests’ll love. You can choose from any number of ideas, such as yard games, photo booths, table games (with personalized questions about the happy couple!), and tasting stations. (Some wedding DJs even offer photo booths as part of their wedding entertainment package.) You can also talk to your wedding DJ or band about adding dance floor games to your wedding reception line-up. Whatever you choose, be creative and have fun with it!

couples headed to wedding reception with wedding music

Answers to 6 Common Wedding Music Questions

It’s normal to ask a million questions about almost every aspect of wedding planning, including wedding music. We hear many of these questions as we assist couples planning their Chicago wedding! Here are our answers, and some tips, that can help couples as they plan their wedding reception in the Windy City.

Do I need a DJ during cocktail hour?

This is a wedding music question with two answers: yes and no. The answer depends on the couple’s preferences. Some couples prefer the music of a musician (or music group), while others like to keep the music seamless at their wedding reception with a wedding DJ for the whole reception. If the cost of additional hours is a concern, couples can look for a wedding DJ who offers an all-inclusive wedding package with no fees for “additional hours.” (Use this guide for finding and hiring a Chicago wedding DJ.)

While it may be tempting to make a do-it-yourself music playlist, it’s important to weigh the amount of time it takes to compile a wedding playlist and get the right equipment. With a long wedding planning checklist, many couples opt to use a musician or wedding DJ so they can enjoy every minute of their big day.

When do we need to book our wedding music?

Typically, couples should confirm their wedding music 12 months before their wedding date. However, the best Chicago wedding bands’ and DJs’ calendars do fill up early, so it’s important for couples to start looking for wedding entertainment early. (This wedding planning checklist helps couples stay organized as they plan their special day.) When contacting potential wedding DJs, couples should use this list of wedding DJ questions and tips to decide which DJ is the “one.”

How many hours of wedding music is needed? What is the typical order of dances at a wedding reception?

Typically, wedding reception dances last 4-6 hours. This timeline typically includes the meal, toasts and dances.

For the latter, a wedding reception typically follows this order of dances:

  • Introduction of Newlyweds
  • Newlyweds’ First Dance
  • Father-Daughter & Mother-Son (Or Parent-Child)
  • Wedding Party Introduction & Dance
  • Guest Dances

While this is the traditional order, it’s okay if couples want to shake it up and set a custom plan for the night. They just need to make sure they hire a wedding DJ who sets a personalized play list for every reception and can change things up. (Here’s questions those wedding DJs typically ask, so couples can tell if they are hiring a high-quality professional.) Also, if couples are adding any surprises for the night, they need to tell their wedding DJ so they can seamlessly incorporate it into the order of events. A good wedding DJ can also coordinate announcements and special moments with the videographer and photographer to make sure they are captured in photos and video.

What other entertainment should we offer with wedding music?

Wedding music is a huge part of a wedding day, but not every guest wants to hit the dance floor at the reception. Fortunately, there are other entertainment ideas for guests who don’t want to dance, such as a photo booth, table trivia, sampling stations (i.e. ales, desserts, wines, etc.), and yard games. (Get a full list of “other” entertainment ideas here plus a list of wedding reception surprises to take the reception to the next level.) Couples should also let their wedding DJ know about the “other” entertainment so the DJ can make announcements and direct guests. Plus, the wedding DJ might be able to incorporate these ideas into the entertainment for the reception. (Don’t be afraid to ask your wedding DJ for ideas!)

newlyweds dancing at wedding with chicago wedding DJ playing music

How to Book a Chicago Wedding DJ (Fast)

Need to book a Chicago wedding DJ quickly? These step-by-step instructions and tips can get you an awesome wedding DJ and reception in a hurry.

How to Book a Chicago Wedding DJ

Find an experienced wedding DJ (or DJs).

The first step to booking a Chicago wedding DJ fast is to find a good fit for your big day. This doesn’t mean you should hire the first wedding DJ you find or book the cheapest. Instead, look for an experienced wedding DJ or wedding DJ service. The latter may be a good fit for couples who need a DJ quickly because a service is more likely to have a DJ available.

Research, research, research.

You can find a local wedding DJ by asking friends or family, contacting wedding venue staff for recommendations, or doing a search online. Whatever method you choose, it’s important to research your options before you book a Chicago wedding DJ. Look for wedding DJs with experience, “extras” (like lighting and photo booths-great for couples trying to check off a lot of boxes in a short time!), back-up equipment and DJs (in case of a breakdown or emergency). Don’t forget to check Chicago wedding DJ reviews because they give you insight into other couple’s experiences.

Ask key wedding DJ questions.

Now it’s time to narrow down the list of potential wedding DJs in Chicagoland. You can do this by contacting each wedding DJ on the list and asking them questions about availability, costs (including overtime and travel fees), and whether they have back-up DJs and equipment if needed. (Find a full list of wedding DJ questions here.) Be very careful about hiring DJs who don’t have back-ups, a business address, or solid Chicago wedding DJ reviews that prove they provide quality service.

Schedule a meeting.

Now down to the final steps of how to book a Chicago wedding DJ. It’s time to schedule a meeting with the potential wedding DJ, either in-person or virtually. This is your chance to get answers to your other wedding DJ questions and to (hopefully) get asked a few key questions that shows the wedding DJ creates a custom playlist.

Review the contract.

The last step is to review the wedding DJ contract and make a deposit. When you return the contract, be sure to ask about deadlines for information and payments. You are going to need to provide the names of your wedding party, your “must play” and “do not play” list, and other key details. Don’t forget to bring your wedding DJ in on big surprises. In addition, you are also going to also need to give them the names of other wedding vendors they need to coordinate with (i.e. videographer, photographer, venue, etc.)

Tips for Hiring a Wedding DJ

  • Don’t automatically choose the cheapest DJ. The best Chicago wedding DJs often cost a bit more, but are worth it when they keep the dance floor packed—and your guests talking about your reception well after it’s over.
  • Get organized as you plan. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Create a wedding planning binder or use one of these wedding planning apps to stay on track.
  • Be wary of hiring friends or friends of friends. Many a couple has felt compelled to hire a friend’s friend or relative and has been disappointed by their service. Instead, do your research and hire an experienced professional.
  • Watch for red flags. Be cautious about hiring wedding DJs that don’t return your calls (or messages), can’t show you their equipment, and don’t have a business address. Unfortunately, many a couple has received sub-par service (or no service) from an amateur wedding DJ.

bride tossing bouquet after choosing best wedding DJ and asking wedding DJ questions

10 Questions You Should Hear from Your Wedding DJ

This list of wedding DJ questions tells you when you’ve found the “one.” Hiring a wedding DJ in Chicago is a bit like dating, with both parties asking key questions that make sure it’s a good fit. Plus, if your wedding DJ asks you these questions, you know they’re a high-quality DJ who actually customizes their playlist to you.

Questions Your DJ Should Ask

This list of wedding DJ questions is not all-inclusive! An experienced wedding DJ wants to know about you—everything!—so they can craft a playlist that fits your tastes and coordinates seamlessly with other wedding details. Be cautious if a wedding DJ doesn’t ask these questions; many sub-par DJs use the take a “one size fits all” approach to their weddings. (In addition to not asking these questions, always be alert for these other signs of a low-quality wedding DJ.)

  • What type of music do you like? Do you have any songs that are special to you as a couple? (Good wedding DJs love to know little details about you as a couple.)
  • What songs do you want played? Do you have any favorite songs do you want played during your dances (i.e. entrance, first dance, mother/son dance, father/daughter dance, etc.)?
  • What songs don’t you want played? (Get the perfect ‘do not play’ list with these wedding songs tips.)
  • What kind of cocktail music would you like played?
  • Where is the wedding? (This is more than a logistical detail. An experienced DJ has probably been there before, and has a relationship with the staff! This will be helpful for coordinating set-up and other details.)
  • Do you have a theme or style you are incorporating into your wedding?
  • Who is your videographer and photographer? (A good wedding DJ coordinates special moments with your videographer and photographer so you get the best shots.)
  • Do you have any special announcements I need to make? (Like a surprise!)

What to Ask Potential Wedding DJs

It’s just as important for you to get to know your wedding DJ, as for them to get to know you! Use these wedding DJ questions to weed out sub-par DJs and find the DJ that offers the best services, plus has other “musts” like a back-up DJ and equipment for emergencies.

  • Are you available on my wedding date?
  • Have you DJ’ed weddings before? Do you have proof of insurance?
  • Can you provide testimonials from couples you have DJ’ed for?
  • Do you have back-up equipment in case of a breakdown? Do you have another wedding DJ that can fill in in case of emergency?
  • What is the cost of your services? What does it include? Is dinner music part of the total cost? Do you charge overtime fees?
  • What is the amount of the deposit? When does it need to be paid? What is the payment arrangement?
  • Do you offer any other services (lighting, photo booth, etc.)?
  • How should we contact you? How will you contact us? When will we hear from you?
  • What information do you need from us? How should we get it to you? When is the deadline for information?
  • When do we need to sign a contract and return it to you?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Have you DJ’ed at my venue before? Is there a travel fee charged?
  • When do you typically arrive at the venue? Do you dress in formal attire?
  • What songs do you typically include in your wedding DJ playlist?

While asking about the cost is an important item on your list of wedding DJ questions, remember that it shouldn’t be the only question. The cheapest DJ isn’t always the right wedding DJ; in some cases, the cheapest DJ is the cheapest because they offer the same playlist with no customization. Unfortunately, these DJs often come with dated equipment and no back-ups in case of emergency.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting with your wedding DJ, either in-person or virtual. A meeting is your chance to see your DJ’s equipment and find out if they are the “one” that can make your wedding reception unforgettable.