How To Choose A DJ

Since we perform at hundreds of weddings each year we speak to a lot of people each and every day who are searching for the right entertainment for their wedding. Most of our potential customers have never hired a DJ before and don’t know where to start. Unfortunately with this lack of experience the main question we typically get is “how much do you charge?” I understand why people ask this question as a wedding is a major investment (and you do have to set a budget for any type of event) but the one thing I advise all couples on is although cost is an important factor, it should not be the determining factor in choosing a DJ, as a DJ can either make or break a reception.

Although budgets will vary, the average cost of a wedding in Chicago is over $20,000. When you look at the big picture a Disc Jockey usually only accounts for about 5% of your wedding budget (which is small compared to how important the entertainment is for a wedding reception). In addition the DJ is one of your less expensive wedding vendors (yes it is a nice look to spend $1500+ on chiavari chairs but it won’t have any impact on the success of your reception). Most people would agree two things most guests remember about a wedding is Did we have fun? and Did we have a good meal? Give it 5 years and most guests won’t even remember what they ate at your reception but they WILL remember if they had a good time or not. So here are some facts to think about when choosing one of the most important vendors for your wedding reception.

I_0232Many DJ’s charge less because they do not have the same level of experience to offer, which in many cases could result in disastrous outcomes. Others use inexpensive equipment and/or charge extra for so-called “options” that are really needed for a wedding reception. While others quote a low price for 4-5 hours, and at the end when additional needed time is added, the cost goes way up. Keep in mind most DJ’s in the market are smaller, part time companies and although their packages might appear similar, the service itself is not the same. Most do not carry the same quality of equipment (and although they say they have a digital system, using their Laptop they also use for School is not professional). In addition most do not carry the essential back up equipment, and although it is rarely needed, if your wedding is the exception it is good to know your wedding will not be ruined because of this. The same is true with a back up DJ. Most less expensive DJ companies do not have a member from their staff who is a paid, on site, back up DJ (outside of possibly having an arrangement with another DJ company that can hopefully help them out in a jam) but if the DJ you hire is sick or there is a last minute emergency and they do not have a solid back up plan you could be out of luck (and believe me this happens much more than one might think in the wedding industry). These are just some things to keep an eye out for in choosing a DJ. It is always important to go with a reputable, full time wedding business to handle such an important event.

An Enchanted Evening has been in business for almost 20 years and we have performed at over 4000 events since our beginning. Our firm specializes in wedding receptions, with over 90% of our events each year being weddings. Our package is an all inclusive package that includes unlimited time for the reception (rate not based on an hourly rate nor is it limited to a number of hours) and also includes features many companies treat as optional such as, but not limited to, a professional digital sound system, upgraded lighting, wireless microphone system, on site back up equipment, back up DJ and one DJ/Emcee who will also act as master of ceremony and your personal wedding coordinator. YYou can find DJ’s pricing as low as $500 ranging up to $5000 but the average cost of a Full Time, reputable DJ company is typically $1000.00 to $1500.00 (with our company being at the low end of the average). And obviously everyone wants to save money, but when looking at the full picture, when you’re spending thousands and thousands of dollars on a wedding, when all said and done paying a couple hundred dollars more for a professional, full time quality DJ only costs you 1% more overall, but the quality of service received will far outweigh the additional money spent as a DJ can make or break a wedding reception.

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