Category Archives: cost of a wedding DJ

Wedding DJ Cost

How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost?

Weddings are one of the largest expenses you will incur in a lifetime. Yet most couples are willing to go big as weddings are likely a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The average wedding costs nearly $30,000. This figure varies depending on your location and what services you purchase.

A wedding DJ is one of the many costs that go into your special day. DJs are well worth it because they make your wedding unforgettable.

Read on for your guide to what a wedding DJ cost entails. 

How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost?

Many couples debate over whether to hire a band or a DJ for their wedding. The average cost to bring in a band is nearly $3,300.

For their base service, DJs cost less than bands and can help your total budget. On average, the cost to hire a DJ is between $1,000 to $1,400.

Location is going to impact your costs as well. If your DJ has to travel a considerable distance, there may be transportation costs added on.

The wedding duration is also a factor. Longer weddings require that the DJ entertain your guests for additional time. This is naturally going to increase costs as your DJ spends more hours on the job.

What Are the Different Services That DJs Offer?

Unlike bands, however, wedding DJs offer many different services as well. For example, you can upgrade your service by adding a photo booth to your package. We offer a full-sized arcade photo booth cabinet that features a built-in camera and printer.

Many couples want extra lighting for their wedding. Your DJ can bring in uplighting in a variety of different colors. This is certain to make your wedding venue stand out.

We offer lighting technology that can put your name in the lights. This is a great backdrop for photos throughout the wedding.

Hiring an emcee is another additional service to consider. An emcee provides entertainment to your wedding and gets your guests on the dance floor. They also announce the VIPs during the reception and make other important announcements.

The best DJs offer video montage services as well. They creatively mesh your favorite photos and videos together. Add in your favorite songs in the background and your guests are sure to be entertained.

How to Achieve Cost Savings?

You can get all these services from a different company. However, this is going to add a lot of logistics to your wedding day. It is also likely to increase the total price tag.

Instead, you should hire a company that performs all of these services. Wedding DJs do a lot more than play music these days and you can take advantage.

Your Recap to Hiring a Wedding DJ

You now understand the costs and services associated with a reputable wedding DJ. They do much more than play great wedding music for your guests. You can consolidate services like a photo booth and uplighting to make your wedding stand out.

If you are wondering what a wedding DJ cost includes, contact us today to speak with a professional.

newlyweds dancing at reception after sorting through chicago wedding dj prices

Sifting through Chicago Wedding DJ Prices? 4 BIG Factors to Consider

Navigating through Chicago wedding DJ prices can be tricky, especially with hidden costs and “extras.” Here’s 6 factors you should consider as you choose the “one” for your big day.

Service Time Included

A wedding reception typically lasts 7 hours. Approximately 5-6 hours of the reception is the wedding dance. The way wedding DJs charge for their time varies by company. Some Chicago wedding DJ prices include the full length of the reception, regardless of how long it goes (great for couples who want to dance the night away!) Other wedding DJs in Chicago charge per hour. Overtime fees are added to the bill if the wedding reception goes over the set time.

Takeaway: Decide whether you want to a wedding DJ who charges by the hour or reception. Remember, if you choose by hour, you may have to pay extra for dinner music and if your reception goes late. Always ask your wedding DJ up front how they charge (plus these other wedding DJ questions), what is included in the cost, and if there are any travel fees so you can compare Chicago wedding DJ prices. Plus, you’ll know the full cost up front and won’t feel tricked if you are charged overtime fees.


The best Chicago wedding DJs keep the dance floor packed and have a ton of experience. But how do you know if your wedding DJ checks off both boxes? The best way is via a little research and a short interview.

You can find out if your wedding DJ is good at what they do by talking to other couples who’ve hired the DJ. It’s easy to do online on wedding review sites like The Knot and the Wedding Wire. These sites are full of reviews—good and bad—from couples who’ve hired the wedding DJ or wedding DJ service. You’d be surprised at how helpful these reviews can be—and the insight they can give you about working with the DJ.

Takeaway: Once you’re convinced a DJ is worth your time, schedule a meeting or give them a call. Ask them some key questions about their availability and past experience.

Individual vs. Service

Typically, Chicago wedding DJs work alone or as part of a service. There are advantages to both, but it’s important to know up front whether you’re dealing with an individual or service. While an individual DJ may have their own company, they are usually the only DJ available. Unfortunately, that means that you may have to deal with a DJ who doesn’t respond promptly and doesn’t have a back-up available in case of an emergency. (Don’t forget to ask the wedding DJ if they have back-ups when you ask your initial interview questions.) On the other hand, individual Chicago wedding DJ prices are typically lower than services.

A wedding DJ service comes with own set of pros and cons. Hiring a Chicago wedding DJ is incredibly convenient because their staff is typically very responsive during the planning process and have experienced back-up DJs ready in case of an emergency. Wedding DJ services also typically update their equipment and play lists more often, and have back-up equipment in case of a breakdown. Plus, their DJs usually deejay weddings regularly, so they have a ton of experience.

Takeaway: Don’t choose a wedding DJ for your Chicago wedding based on cost alone. In many cases, it’s worth the funds to have an experienced DJ that keeps the dance floor crowded, plus the convenience of a responsive staff and back-ups if needed.


As you’re thinking about wedding entertainment, don’t forget to think about other ways to entertain your guests. Couples can use table games, lighting, photo booths, yard games, and a million other wedding entertainment ideas to make sure their guests enjoy their wedding reception.

Takeaway: When researching wedding entertainment ideas, ask your wedding DJ for ideas or other rentals they available. Often, you can get these items as part of a package, saving you time and money.

wedding dance floor with guests dancing to wedding theme songs

Your Guide to Hiring the Best Chicago Wedding DJ

For any couple drafting a wedding budget, the cost of a DJ may the top question, but it shouldn’t be the only question. Here’s a few more questions you should ask when finding the right wedding DJ—and the answers that connect you to the best Chicago wedding DJ for your special day.

What is included in a Chicago wedding DJ price?

Before you start finding and researching wedding DJs, it makes cents (pun intended) to understand what should be included in your wedding DJ’s price. Note the “should be.” All of these factors play an important part in providing quality wedding DJ services, but may not always be offered by an amateur DJ:

  • Experienced DJ (and a back-up experienced DJ, in case of emergency)
  • Equipment (and back-up reliable equipment, in case of breakdown)
  • Insurance
  • Play List
  • Time

When should I book my Chicago wedding DJ?

According to the Real Simple Wedding Planning Checklist, you should hire a wedding DJ at least a year before your wedding day—but there’s nothing wrong to being ahead of the crowd. The best Chicago wedding DJs’ calendars fill up quickly, so you should start researching wedding DJs and interviewing them once you’ve confirmed the major details (i.e. venue, caterer, etc.)

How do I research a wedding DJ?

Before you hire a wedding DJ, research local wedding DJs to ensure you are getting a high-quality, reliable professional for your big day. You can research wedding DJs on third-party sites, such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, and even social media. These are great places to read through reviews and get insight into the services of local wedding DJ.

Once you’ve done the research, it’s time to interview the top wedding DJs on your list. Ask every wedding DJ about their availability, how long they’ve been in business, their cost (and the length of time included in the cost), if they have back-up equipment and staffing, and a few other important wedding DJ questions.

How long should I book a wedding DJ?

A wedding reception typically lasts for 4-6 hours, and a wedding DJ is typically present for most of that time (especially when providing cocktail hour and dinner music). Some DJs do charge overtime fees for any extra time (ask the wedding DJ about this when contacting them), while other wedding DJs offer an unlimited package without any time constraints.

What other services do wedding DJs provide?

Some DJs offer “extras” that put a wedding reception over the top, such as photobooths and lighting. Many time these services can be included in the wedding DJ package, making these extras extra budget-friendly.

bride and guests at wedding reception dancing to reception entertainer

5 Quick Tips about Wedding DJ Costs

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?”

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.