Music is a vital part of your reception, which is why hiring the right wedding is such a crucial part of your wedding planning!
Your DJ is the one who will introduce you as a married couple to the reception, orchestrate your first dance, and play the special songs that mean the most to you, your new spouse, and your guests. With the right DJ, you will have guests dancing and singing all night long, making precious memories that they will cherish for years to come.
At Entertainment Unlimited, your number one source for professional DJs in Pittsburgh, we’ve put together a guide to help you choose the best wedding DJ for your big day!
Do I Need a Wedding DJ?
Yes! It is highly recommended that couples hire a professional DJ for their reception. Keep in mind, DJs don’t just arrive, set up their equipment, and play some music for a few hours. They will work with you prior to the wedding to understand the reception schedule, your musical likes, and dislikes, and coordinating your special songs and introduction list with you.
They will also prepare your music, test their discs and equipment prior to the wedding, and will arrive early to unpack, set up their equipment and lighting, and straighten their area, so they are ready to make your night special.
Professional DJ to Set the Mood and Coordinate the Reception
Your DJ is crucial to keeping your guests entertained. They will adore your cake cutting ceremony, gush about your dress, the flowers, and compliment the table decorations, but none of these elements of your wedding can keep guests entertained, making a DJ such an important part of the event.
As guests arrive, the DJ will set the mood with your choice of background music. They will also play your bridal party introduction music and handle the MC duties of introducing everyone to the party. They will also provide you with a great entrance to the reception as husband and wife. From there, the DJ will guide you and your spouse to the dance floor for your first dance and then make the announcement for dinner.
They will also play background music while your guests eat and will help coordinate the toasts.
Your DJ will also be an integral part of coordinating the traditional dances after dinner, such as the father/daughter, mother/son, and any other special dances you requested. After that, the DJ will kick off the dance party!
Your DJ Will Keep Guests Entertained
What better way to show guests how much you appreciate them by having a DJ who keeps the party going?
At the reception, your DJ will have a coordinated list, including your special songs, as well as a mix of songs that match your style and your guests. With a professional DJ, you don’t have to worry about forgetting a special dance or other common events such as the cake cutting, bouquet toss or garter toss. They will host the reception and make sure you don’t miss anything!
As the MC, your DJ Will also play the last dance song and thank you and your guests for an amazing night. Your DJ will likely be cheaper than your flowers, and they are a great investment for your special day! Your guests may forget about the food or flowers you chose, but they won’t forget how much fun they had, so be sure to hire a DJ you are confident in and let them make your reception extra special!
When working with your DJ, be sure to follow these tips to make sure everything goes off without a hitch!
Don’t Skip the Soundcheck.
If your DJ has never worked your venue before, it is crucial that your schedule a walk-through with them and check with the manager of your venue to see what limitations there are in regard to:
Time of day restrictions
Your DJ should also perform a sound to check to identify any other issues that could occur with the sound or volume to avoid any unpleasant surprises the day of.
Start the Ceremony with Soft Music.
We all know that silence can be very awkward. Since many of your guests will arrive early for the ceremony, it is important to book a ceremony musician or your DJ to play some soft music prior to the ceremony beginning.
Don’t Get Stuck on One Genre.
While you and your spouse may love classic rock music, your guests are likely to get tired of it. Remember, you are sharing this celebration with your family and friends, so make sure your DJ plays a mix of songs from a variety of genres that your guests can enjoy and dance to.
How to Pick a Wedding DJ
As we mentioned earlier, your wedding DJ is the source of entertainment for your guests and is one major way you can ensure that your guests have a great time! Whether you want to throw an amazing dance party or add ambiance to your reception, a wedding DJ is the way to go.
Since a wedding DJ is an important piece of your day, here a few tips for how to pick a wedding DJ to make sure you pick the best one for the job:
Know what kind of DJ you are looking for and where you can find them.
One option is to go with a DJ who primarily does weddings. This type of DJ will have experience with the ins and outs of wedding reception and will also have experience serving as an emcee for your announcements.
To help you in your search, you can look for wedding DJs online, or you can check with your other vendors and see if they have any recommendations based on DJs they have seen at weddings they’ve worked at or attended.
Be sure to listen to samples of the DJ’s work.
After you’ve found a wedding DJ that feels like the right fit, ask them to provide you with some samples of their work such as a mixtape, some sample playlists, or a video of live performances. This will help you gauge the quality of their music and their emcee abilities. You should see and hear as much as you can before you hire.
Provide them with your playlist and do not playlist.
As mentioned earlier in this guide, if you are set on a certain playlist, make sure you provide your DJ with it and check that they are willing to follow it. You will also want to give them your do not playlist to avoid any surprises.
Ask them how they bring the fun to the reception.
If you are looking for a DJ to get the party going and keep it going, ask them in what ways they engage the crowd. To better understand how they work the crowd, be sure to ask them:
How do you get guests who are reluctant to dance out on the floor?
Do you take requests from guests?
Are you willing to act as an emcee and make announcements for the reception?
This will help you get a better feel for their personality and who they are as a DJ. These questions can help you determine if the DJ you are considering has the style of entertainment you are looking for and if their abilities will meet your needs.
When to Hire Your Wedding DJ
At Entertainment Unlimited, we recommend that you hire your wedding DJ and get a contract in place at least nine months before your wedding. The best wedding DJs book up fast and far in advance, so it is important to put “hiring a DJ” at the top of your wedding planning list. You don’t want to be left choosing a DJ that doesn’t suit your tastes or isn’t as experienced, so prepare to book sooner rather than later.
Whether you plan to hire a live wedding band or a professional DJ, they will create the ambiance of your reception and are a crucial part of your special day with their music. Both are great options when it comes to reception entertainment, but you will want to make sure you give yourself enough time to shop around and find a professional that you love and are confident in, so be sure to make hiring the right musical professional a top priority while you gather all the other important details of your special day.
How Much Does It Cost?
Budgeting for your wedding is a very important and challenging task, so while you are searching for a DJ, it is important to understand the factors that can cause your DJ costs to rise.
Size of Your Venue
A larger wedding may require more speakers, more microphones, and even upgraded sound equipment to provide quality sound. This can lead to an increase in your costs. Outdoor settings also affect the cost because they may require additional equipment to perform in an outdoor setting.
Amount of Time You Need the DJ
For the most part, the longer your ceremony and reception are, the more you can expect to pay. If your wedding and reception last all day, you may need more than one DJ for continuous service, which can lead to an increase in cost as well.
Many times, DJs will factor their travel time into your overall costs. So whether you are hiring a professional wedding DJ from out of state or locally, you will want to see if they charge extra for travel fees and how the fee is determined or if they are included in the overall cost.
If you have a smaller budget for your wedding DJ, you may consider choosing a DJ who is just starting out and looking for experience or booking your DJ for just the reception to save on costs. You can also save money by forgoing special lighting or effects or being selective with them.
Professional Wedding DJs Pittsburgh
At Entertainment Unlimited, we have a wide range of experienced DJs to suit your style and musical tastes. We also work with a selection of live bands that are sure to keep your guests entertained all night! Contact us today to learn more about hiring the perfect wedding DJ for your special day!