Hiring a wedding DJ inevitably involves the question, “how much does a wedding DJ cost?” The answer may seem straightforward, but there are a few tips for hiring a wedding DJ that keeps your dance floor packed and your wedding budget on track.
Tip #1: Be mindful of quality during the hiring process.
When hiring a wedding DJ, it’s easy to be tempted to sign a contract with the wedding DJ that gives you the cheapest quote. However, a quote doesn’t always tell the whole story. A quality DJ keeps guests on the dance floor and creates a custom playlist specifically for the wedding. (Some DJs use the same playlist for every wedding.)
If you don’t want to get sub-par service that matches the price tag, research every DJ before signing on the dotted line. Wedding review sites are a great place to start; sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire have sections with reviews about Chicago wedding DJs. If you want to really see what you’re getting (and who), schedule a meeting with the DJ and ask to see their equipment and meet the DJ.
Tip #2: Always ask about other wedding DJ costs.
Some wedding DJs and DJ services quote a cost that doesn’t include the “other” costs. Overtime fees, travel charges, and other fees can add up quickly.
To avoid those annoying charges, couples should always ask wedding DJs how many hours are included in the quoted cost and if there is a travel fee (plus these other wedding DJ questions). Some wedding DJs offer inclusive wedding DJ packages that have a set fee regardless of the length of the wedding reception.
Tip #3: Never hire a DJ without a contingency plan.
Unfortunately, emergencies come up that can keep a wedding DJ (and equipment) from performing flawlessly on your wedding day. That’s why hiring a wedding DJ with back-up DJs and equipment is so incredibly important.
When hiring a DJ, always ask about their “just in case” plan in case they get sick or hurt or their equipment breaks down. Be cautious about hiring one-man operations with no back-ups or old and antiquated equipment; instead, look for DJ services that offer a DJ and state-of-the-art equipment PLUS the back-ups that can fill in when emergencies do occur.
Tip #4: Consider a wedding DJ package that saves you time and money.
If you want more than just music at your wedding reception, look for wedding DJs that offer packages with other entertainment services. It can be really helpful to have one service that provides lighting, photobooths, and the cocktail music—especially when juggling communications with multiple wedding vendors and an extra long wedding planning checklist.
Couples who want other services should look for wedding DJs with packages that offer those “extras.” If you have any questions about additional services, look through reviews on social media for more info or contact the service directly for other wedding DJ costs.
Tip #5: Ask about dinner hour music.
One of the biggest benefits of a wedding DJ is that most DJs provide dinner hour music as part of their service. To make sure the wedding DJ you’re hiring is like most DJs, always ask if dinner hour music is included in the wedding DJ cost. In addition, always ask these wedding DJ questions:
- “Are you available on my wedding date?”
- “How long have you been a DJ? Do you have a lot of experience with weddings?”
- “Do you offer any other services (lighting, photo booth, etc.)?”
- “Can you do….” (Ask this question if you have a really special request)
- “What is the final total cost? Do you charge any overtime or travel fees?”
- “How much of a deposit is needed? When is the deadline for a deposit?”
- “What is the cancellation policy?”
- “Does your service carry insurance?”
- “If there is an emergency, do you have a back-up DJ and equipment?”
- “What time will you be at the wedding? Is dinner music included in the total cost?”
- “Do you offer any other services? What is included in your wedding package?”
- “Do you have a wedding DJ checklist that I can write my favorite songs and songs I do not want played at my reception?”
- “Will the DJ be in formal attire? Can the DJ be the emcee?”
- “Is there a time we can meet?”