How much should I pay for wedding entertainment?

wedding guests having fun dancing at wedding receptionA wedding budget is one of the key elements of wedding planning; it can also be one of the most frustrating.  You don’t want to pay too much or too little for your wedding cake, food, or your wedding entertainment.  Because the cost of wedding bands and DJs vary greatly, it’s hard to know how much is the right amount to pay for your wedding reception entertainment.  While there is no right answer, there are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding how much you should pay for wedding entertainment.

Keep it all in perspective.

As much as you want to save money, remember that the important parts of your wedding are what you and your guests remember.  In the case of wedding entertainment, it may be tempting to save a few hundred dollars on a cheaper DJ, but remember that wedding entertainment is only a small percentage of your overall wedding budget and has a HUGE impact on the enjoyment of your guests.  If your budget is tight, be strategic where you spend your dollars.  Allocate the majority of your budget to areas of your wedding that make the most impact on your guests: food, entertainment, venue, etc.—and enjoy a memorable wedding night with good food and entertainment.

Make sure to ask your band or DJ about all the costs.

To make sure you stick to your wedding entertainment budget amount, ask your band or DJ about all the total cost.  Many companies or bands quote you an amount that doesn’t include set-up, take-down, or overage fees (such as when your reception runs over the allotted time)—or choose a wedding DJ that doesn’t have any of those painful charges. Your goal is to keep your guests dancing and having fun—why would you want to be charged for a successful wedding reception?

If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Does that quote from a wedding DJ seem to be too cheap to be real?  Remember the old adage, “if it seems too good to be true…” when hiring a wedding DJ.  If the amount of the quote seems low, there is a good chance that the DJ is an amateur and the quality is going to be subpar.  Amateur DJs (you know, “the friend of a friend”…) tend to have low-quality equipment and no back-up plan (what if the DJ gets sick or the equipment breaks?).  A low quote is only one sign of an amateur DJ; be wary of any DJ that doesn’t have a business address or can provide references (or shows any of these other signs of a bad DJ).

Keep in mind the total cost of a DIY solution.

With all the wedding costs adding up, it can be tempting to go the DIY route for wedding entertainment.  Make sure you factor in the total cost of DIY wedding entertainment: the equipment, cost of songs, time spent compiling a play list and trying to run the equipment during the wedding reception (wouldn’t you rather be having fun?), and the lack of a back-up time in case of a breakdown.  Evaluate all the costs, including time, when you select the right wedding entertainment for your special day.

Find other ways to save money—without compromising the fun of your wedding reception.

Reasonable amount of wedding favors, an off-season wedding date, a creative wedding desert—all these ideas (plus a few more) are ways to save money on your wedding.  For more ideas on how to trim your wedding entertainment budget (while still getting the best wedding DJ), or to get a quote on wedding entertainment for your big night, contact us.  We can give you a number and advice about your wedding entertainment, so you can have an awesome wedding reception without breaking the bank.

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