Chicago is a big city with a host of wedding DJs to choose from, but not just any DJ is right for your big day! This step-by-step guide helps you narrow down your list of wedding DJs and choose the “one” that’ll keep your guests on the dance floor and create a custom wedding playlist that feels incredibly you.
Ask friends and family for recommendations for an awesome wedding DJ.
One of the easiest ways to find and choose a wedding DJ is to ask friends and family for a recommendation. It’s a bonus if you were at the wedding where the DJ played, because then you have first-hand knowledge if the DJ was any good.
There is one note of caution that comes with the ask. Every couple should be very careful about choosing wedding DJs that are a “friend of a friend…” or “my cousin…” Though the person recommending that acquaintance may be well-meaning, never hire a friend or family member without some knowledge of what you’re getting (either through online reviews or from another customer). Unfortunately, this approach can lead to hiring an amateur DJ with a one-size-fits-all playlist and amateur equipment. Or worse, a DJ with no back-up equipment or DJ that can leave you without any reception music.
Do your research.
If you don’t have a friend who can provide a wedding DJ recommendation, let Google do the search for you. Once you have a short list of the best DJs in Chicago (either from an online search or from friends), research every one of those DJs online. You can check review sites for testimonials from other couples and social media sites for videos and reviews.
As you research DJs, make sure you look for common wedding vendor red flags. Couples should always be wary of DJs that don’t have a business address for a meeting, are unwilling to show you their equipment, or can’t give you a set price for the evening. Some DJs charge on set price for a certain amount of time and charge overtime fees for any reception that runs over.
Find a DJ that checks off many boxes.
Many wedding DJs in Chicago offer services that go beyond music; if you’re looking for those extras, such as lighting or off-dance floor entertainment, you should look for a wedding DJ that can offer those services as part of a package. In addition to saving you time during wedding planning, this approach can also save you funds when you get all those services in one package (as opposed to renting them individually).
You can find out if a wedding DJ offers any other services by asking them the question (either via message or phone) as part of your initial interview:
- “Are you available on [insert wedding date]?”
- “How long you have been a wedding DJ?”
- “Do you provide other services, such as…?”
- “How much do you charge? Does the charge cover the full reception or just a set amount of hours? Is there a travel fee?”
- “Do you offer cocktail hour or dinner music as part of your fee?”
- “Do you carry Insurance and can you provide proof of Insurance?”
- “How often do you contact clients?”
- “If there is a problem, do you offer back-up equipment and DJs?”
- “What time will you be at the wedding venue? Have you ever worked at our wedding venue before?”
- “Do I have a say in the playlist?”
- “What do your wedding DJs usually wear?”
- “When can we meet?”