Are you thinking about whether to hire a Wedding DJ or to go down the live music route with a Wedding Band, Musician, Singer or Instrumentalists?
This guide highlights the benefits of having a DJ, to help you decide if going down the Wedding DJ route is for you, and if so, how to go about it
If it’s proving too difficult to decide on a DJ rather than a live band for your wedding, remember that it is possible to combine the two!
You could hire a classical ensemble to accompany your ceremony and a wedding DJ to provide the tunes for the dance floor. Or you could find a DJ who can collaborate with an instrumentalist — such as a saxophonist — to make your wedding music unique while avoiding the technical complications that come with a full band.
- Benefits of having a DJ at your wedding
- Technical Requirements of Wedding DJs
- How to find a Wedding DJ
- How much should a Wedding DJ cost
- Questions to ask a DJ before booking them for your wedding
- Questions to ask your DJ after booking them for your wedding
A professional DJ will be able to manage their technical setup with minimal fuss, and won’t have difficult requirements when it comes to space and staging. Set up time will be quick — so your DJ will be able to move seamlessly from ceremony to cocktails to dinner to dancing.
Playlist flexibility – as much or as little cheese as you’d like!
Unlike a band, a Wedding DJ’s repertoire is not limited to the songs or pieces they have been able to rehearse in advance. Your DJ will be able to play an endless array of recorded music — and happily field requests from your guests, too!
If you want a night of cheesy classics and disco balls, that’s fine. Equally if you want your Wedding DJ to play the latest hits or cutting-edge releases, that’s OK too.
Unlike a Classical String Quartet or a Wedding Cover Band, a DJ won’t need to stop the music in order to take a break. You might also appreciate having fewer people to provide a meal for!
Many wedding venues have noise restrictions to adhere to, and this is tricky for bands because musicians playing with low-level amplification can sound strange. But recorded music has been carefully produced in-studio to sound good at any volume, so a DJ can adapt to the venue’s limitations without hassle.
One DJ with a simple, professional set-up will be significantly cheaper than a band of five who have to transport instruments and complex technical gear to your venue. You could save thousands of pounds.
One of the great things about opting for a DJ — or even a DJ and instrumental combination — is that the technical requirements are far simpler than those of a band. Many DJs will bring their complete set up with them, leaving little for you to worry about.
They’ll usually have their own decks, PA and microphones, and many have disco lighting. The quality of their gear makes a big difference to the quality of the sound and experience they create — and the more expensive DJs are often the ones who have better equipment.
Discuss with your DJ whether they do need you or the venue to provide any equipment, such as a PA system or lighting.
It’s important to check your venue’s license details; they may have a cut-off time at which music will have to stop. In addition, it’s a good idea to ask the venue if they require the DJ to provide proof of PAT testing for any electrical equipment brought on site. PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing, and an up-to-date PAT certificate proves that equipment has been checked for safety within the last year.
With Encore Musicians, finding the perfect DJ for your wedding day is easy. Simply start your enquiry by entering a few details about your wedding — including the date, time and location — and you’ll receive quotes from experienced DJs who are available.
It saves you precious wedding planning time and effort, as you won’t waste hours contacting DJs who can’t make your date or travel to your venue. And you can breathe easy in the knowledge that every DJ on our books is professional, reliable, and talented.
The amount of money you’ll pay for a DJ depends on a number of factors, including:
DJs with higher quality professional gear will cost more. It’s worth it.
Their experience & success
If if you want to a DJ with club experience, it’s worth opting for a DJ with solid experience with playing at weddings, who you can trust to run to your wedding timeline, create the vibe you want and adapt to any curveballs that might crop up on the day.
How far they have to travel to your wedding venue.
The time of year
Everything is more expensive in peak wedding season (May-September in the UK).
Bottom-line, you can expect to pay anywhere between £450 to £1000 for a good Wedding DJ.
Armed with your shortlist of DJs with quotes that suit your budget, it’s time to ask a few questions to make sure you lock down the right one for your big day.
- Do you have Public Liability Insurance (PLI)? Most venues will not allow a DJ to play without valid proof of PLI, so make sure your DJ sends you a copy of their certificate before you pay a deposit.
- Is your electrical gear PAT tested? They’ll need to be able to provide proof of this if the venue asks for it.
- Do you play lots of weddings? Luckily, by using Encore Musicians you’re already a step ahead of most people when they book the music for their wedding, because we do lots of the work for you. But it’s always a good idea to make sure that your DJ knows how weddings work, and how to work the crowd. Building an incredible atmosphere at a wedding is a very different thing from playing a club night. They’ll need to be confident in playing for a mixed crowd of people of different ages and potentially different social backgrounds, too.
- What music do you have? Can you play our favourite songs? And crucially, can you play the song we want for our First Dance? Most DJs these days will have a near limitless range of tracks, thanks to the freedom that comes with digitalised music. But ask them, all the same.
- How long will you play for, and how many breaks will you take? Check that they’ll set up music to continue playing during those breaks.
Congratulations — you’ve found your DJ! Now all you need to do is put the final logistical arrangements in place. And of course, discuss the style or styles of music they’ll play on the day, and give them the lowdown on the songs you’re most excited to hear.
- What time will you arrive? Early is good. Make sure they won’t be setting up their gear while your guests are milling around nearby with champagne in hand.
- Can you visit the venue, or talk to them on the phone, to get an idea of the space you’ll be playing in and the equipment you’ll need?
- Can you dress according to our wedding style? This won’t be a problem for most DJs, as long as your expectations aren’t outlandish!