What Should I Expect From My Wedding DJ?

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What Should I Expect From My Wedding DJ Near Me?

What Should I Expect From My Wedding DJ? What does a wedding DJ and MC actually do for you at your wedding?  Will they do more than just play music or make a few announcements? Is the music just on an iTunes playlist or are they streaming free music from youtube or Spotify? Who supplies the gear, the music or the DJs table? It can be just so confusing when you are out looking at wedding DJs.

The DJ Gear

Let’s talk about wedding DJ gear to start with. They should be bringing their own gear including such basic things as speakers, mixer/controller (to blend songs and control volume) and a microphone for announcements.  Of course, they also need to bring their music collection.  Did you know that wedding DJs must have licenses copies of the music that they play? That means they can’t use Spotify or Pandora or buy their music from Itunes.  Having unlicensed music can result in significant fines ($100,000 per song).

You may also need or want things like a wireless microphone for your Best Man toast.  Maybe your wedding venue has an outdoor cocktail area or multiple rooms that need sound coverage.  Then, you might need multiple sound setups or wireless speakers at your wedding.

Is your wedding ceremony onsite? A separate dedicated ceremony sound system is required.   Typically, you need 2-3 wireless microphones to properly cover a normal ceremony.  Is your ceremony outside or near the shoreline?  A standard wireless mic may not work.  You may require the newest digital wireless mic so people will hear the emotions as you exchange vows without those awkward mic cut-outs.

What Else Should I Expect From My Wedding DJ?


DJ gear and capabilities are one of the things you need to consider when looking for your Wedding DJ.  But, let’s be serious – if you took the same DJ gear (good or bad quality) and had three different wedding DJs play music at the same wedding venue to the same wedding guests, you will get drastically different results.  Not every wedding DJ is the same (nor do they deserve the same compensation or rate).

Have you been to a wedding recently?  Maybe you’ve been a guest at multiple weddings in the past year. Now, think back to each of those wedding DJs.  Was one wedding kind of lame?  The DJ probably couldn’t get people to dance or if they did get people dancing – did they play a song and clear the dance floor just when things were getting good?

Then there was that second wedding that you attended.  Maybe they played 3 line dances in a row?  Or did they make some inappropriate comments over the mic? Maybe there were gaps of silence between songs or a weird uncomfortable moment when no one knew what was going on?  Did you miss the cake cutting or father/daughter dance because you never heard an announcement?

Now, close your eyes and picture that perfect wedding DJ.  Everything just seemed to flow.  They only made announcements when it was necessary (no talking between every song) and the dance floor was energized the entire time.  Maybe they even had people up and dancing before dinner or between courses?  This wedding was ALIVE and like no other wedding you’ve been to.  This is what a trained professional wedding DJ will bring to your event.  It’s not all about the gear or the years DJing.  I know DJs who are still doing the same stupid cheesy DJ stick for over 20 years.  This is the difference between an OK DJ and a Pro.

Master of Ceremony – Wedding MC

A polished professional wedding entertainer knows that there is a balance between great music selections that fit their couple’s interests and being a great MC (Master of Ceremony) to allow them to be in control of the entire wedding.  A great MC will coordinate details between you, catering, photographer and your parents.  Being behind the mic as your DJ/MC is like running a huge 125-person theatrical event where NO ONE has been to any practices and everyone is looking to your DJ/MC for direction.  Yep, that’s what they will do for you.

Your wedding DJ/MC will keep things flowing smoothly from event to event, keep your guests entertained and focused on key moments that are staged for maximum emotional impact.  Yes – being a wedding DJ is so much more than “just playing music”.  If you want “just music” at your wedding – try Spotify.  If you want an amazing wedding, think about spending more than your average cheesy wedding DJ ($900-$1200) in this area.

What Should I Expect From My Wedding DJ With Regards To Cost?

Your Wedding Budget v. Wedding DJ Cost

Yes – you need to have and try to keep your wedding budget.  You also have to figure out what is most important to you.  Are you a foodie?  Then your choice in caterers might be the most important to you.  What about those wedding images?  Then you should be looking at spending more on your wedding photography to ensure your wedding photos are spectacular.  Maybe you always wanted to get married in a mansion in Newport or The Berkshires?  Then, your venue budget needs to reflect that.  If you are all about having a great party – then finding a great wedding entertainer/DJ (and budgeting more than average) to get the best entertainment should be your priority.

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What are you searching for in a wedding DJ?

Making The Short List

So, how do you figure out which DJ is right for you?  Here are some things to look for:

 Check out their online presence – Website, Facebook, Instagram accounts.  Get out your smartphone and do some digging.  Are they up to date? When was the last time they posted to their blog, social media or Instagram accounts? Are they all hype and no content? A lack of updates might indicate a lack of experience actually doing weddings.  If all they have are posts from their weekly karaoke bar job – don’t entrust them with your wedding!

Request information from them – How long did it take for them to respond? Was it more than a day?  A couple of days? Imagine trying to plan your wedding and never hearing back from your wedding DJ (or photographer or caterer…) for days.  Wouldn’t that scare you?

Pricing and Contract – Your wedding DJ should be able to provide a written price list and detailed contract so that you know exactly what you are getting and what you are paying for.  Wedding DJs should not be charging you sales tax.  Sales tax is only for deliverables such as prints, rentals, etc.

Listen To Them – You can’t come to someone else’s wedding so you will have to rely on video or audio recordings for this.  An edited promo video is not a good way to evaluate one wedding DJ v the next. That might be a great way to decide on a wedding videographer, but raw footage of your potential dj doing introductions or mixing a set of dance music will make more sense and will give you a better feel for what they will be like at your wedding.  Do they speak fluently or are they screaming in the mic? Does their voice match your personalities and the feel you want at your wedding? Listen to that music set – does it feel dated?  Do you want to get up and dance?  Or does it bore you?  Are their awkward song transitions or does one song blend to the next smoothly?  Do they have experience with the style of music you want at your wedding?

Reviews – Check out some handwritten reviews.  Look at their online reviews on Wedding Wire and The Knot.  Are the reviews short and just say generic things like “we had a great time at our wedding”?  Are the reviews not specific enough?  How many reviews do they have? How old are they?  Make sure to read both the good and the bad reviews just like if you were looking to buy something expensive on Amazon.  What do you want your family and friends saying about your wedding when the last song fades out?

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One-Stop Shopping

There are wedding vendors out there that also provide additional services that might make it convenient for you.  Sometimes going with an all-in-one option helps with your wedding budget and the chaos that is wedding planning.  Many times, it could adversely affect the quality of the end result.  What if you want the BEST PHOTOGRAPHER available, but your caterer only has one photographer to choose from and they are not that great?  Complimentary services such as lighting or AV rentals might make sense for a DJ to offer, but having one company that does your flowers, catering, DJ, lighting, photography and invitations – just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

When Disaster Strikes

Things don’t always go as planned on your wedding day.  Utilizing wedding vendors that have contingency plans ready in case of emergency makes sense.  Does your DJ have a backup laptop?  Backup speakers? Backup DJ in case of illness?  Our company goes to the extreme in making sure your wedding goes without a hitch.  We have 2 laptops running at all times (and a backup ready to swap out!).  We even bring backup power in case the electricity fails in your facility.  A full redundant backup system is with us at every event.  We can’t come to you on your wedding day and ask you if we can reschedule you in for tomorrow?  You don’t want to wait 2 hours as your DJ tries to go get backup gear or borrow someone’s laptop.  The show must go on and go on schedule without any downtime.

What Do You Do Now? Find A Wedding DJ Near Me.
What Should I Expect From My Wedding DJ?

Use our contact form below to see if we are still available for your wedding date. We’ll send you information and pricing. We’ll then reach out so we can get to know you and your wedding needs and help you create the perfect atmosphere for your wedding soundtrack.

What Do You Do Now?

Contact DJ Rob today to learn about our pricing and availability for your upcoming event.
We offer wedding DJs, Custom Lighting Design, and Photo Booth Rentals.

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Our stomping grounds are The Berkshires and Hartford CT areas, but we travel from Hudson Valley NY to Boston MA, and Southern VT to the CT Shoreline and Newport RI. Get started today.

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