Wedding DJs: Where to Get One and What to Expect

Bridesmaids dancing at weddingPhoto: Bella Scottsdale / Ryan Nicole

For couples who love music and dancing, one of the most important parts of wedding planning is finding the right DJ.

Some choose to have a live wedding band perform at their reception, but the vast majority of couples opt for a DJ instead. And finding the right one is just a matter of knowing where to look and asking the right questions.

Here’s everything you need to know about wedding DJs, including where to find one, how much to budget, and what to expect. 

Where to Find a Wedding DJ

There are all sorts of ways to go about your search for the right DJ for your special day.

Did your best friend or coworker have an amazing DJ at their wedding reception? 

Ask for their number or social media handle and put them on your list of people to interview!

Another way to search is to ask for referrals from family and friends. You might have a distant cousin, neighbor, or friend of a friend that DJs professionally and not even know it!

If you hire someone you know, they might offer you a discounted rate, which can make it tempting to want to hire them. But there’s more to consider than just the cost. Interview them as you would any other DJ, but do not feel obligated to hire them just because you have a personal relationship.

You can also ask your venue if they have a preferred DJ that they use regularly. A DJ who is familiar with the venue will already know the acoustics in the room and be able to set up their equipment to get the best possible sound.

And, when in doubt, turn to Google! Online reviews and social media are also great places to find a wedding DJ company or ask your online friends if they can recommend an awesome local DJ. Do a search for local disc jockeys and read what other customers have to say about them.

Related: 21 Best Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To

How to Choose a Wedding DJ

Bride and bridesmaids dancingPhoto: Bella DC / Clapp Studios

The first step is to decide what type of DJ you want.

Do you want a wedding DJ service that specializes in wedding receptions, birthday parties, and corporate events? Or do you want an all-out banger DJ’d by a pro that works at the hottest clubs in town?  

Knowing the type of DJ you want will help you narrow down your list of interviewees.

The second step in finding a great DJ for your big day is to set up interviews with at least two or three different ones. You’ll want to get a sense of who they are, find out what they have to offer, and compare the costs for the services they provide. 

Even if you think you are 100% sure of the DJ you want, it’s still helpful to interview a few, just to know your options.

When you interview potential DJs, be sure to ask LOTS of questions. 

Here are eight key questions to ask, even if you are already familiar with their services:

1. Are They Available on Your Wedding Day?

Ask this question before you schedule an interview. There’s no need to do an interview if they’re already booked on your date.

2. What Is Their Musical Taste and What’s in Their Musical Library?

The best wedding DJ for you will be the one who knows and understands the type of music you want them to play. In other words, don’t hire a DeadMau5-style electronic trance DJ if you want your wedding reception to be a hip-hop dance party.

3. What Type of Equipment Do They Use?

For the best sound quality, you’ll want a pro who uses up-to-date equipment and brings backup gear. It’s important for them to have a plan B, just in case something goes wrong. 

4. How Do They Engage With the Crowd?

Ask the DJ how they typically handle wedding announcements. Some DJs only play music, while some are also skilled emcees.

5. Do They Work Alone or as Part of a Team?

If your DJ has a medical or family emergency on your wedding day, will they be able to send a replacement DJ to handle the job? Make sure they have a backup plan!

6. Are They Insured?

This may seem like a minor detail, but it’s not — many venues require DJs to carry liability insurance.

7. Do They Have Samples of Their Work?

In the age of social media, it’s common for DJs to post videos of their skills or drop their own mixes on SoundCloud. Ask your candidates for links to online videos or samples of weddings they’ve worked in the past. If you don’t like what you see or hear, don’t hire them.

8. How Much Do They Charge?

When it comes time to discuss pricing, get all of the details so you know exactly what you’re paying for. You should also ask if your down payment is refundable or not before signing a contract or making a deposit.

How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost?

Wedding DJ pricing varies quite a bit, depending on what type of DJ they are, where you’re located, and their experience level. You get what you pay for, so professional DJs with years of experience will always cost more than amateurs looking for clout. 

The average cost for a wedding DJ is approximately $1,000 to $1,200, with some charging as little as $500 and some charging upwards of $2,000. It all depends on their experience level and what services they provide.

Want your DJ to set up additional equipment, like uplighting or a photo booth? Expect to pay more for every additional service that you add.

Related: Your Complete Guide to Wedding Budgets

When to Hire a Wedding DJ

Neon sign hanging on wedding cabana tent that reads, "'Til Death Do Us Party"Photo: Taryn Baxter

It’s common for professional wedding DJs to book their schedule about a year in advance, so as soon as you set your wedding date and venue, make finding a DJ a priority.

If you want a great wedding reception where everyone spends hours on the dance floor, you’ll need to act quickly. Otherwise, the best DJs in your area could get snatched up by other couples getting married on the same day!

Once you decide which DJ to hire, sign a contract and make a deposit to lock in your date. 

Make sure that your contract includes every single detail:

  • Price

  • Date and time

  • Amount of hours they will perform

  • Any lighting options or other special equipment that you require

After you hire your DJ, give them a playlist and a DO NOT PLAY list full of songs that grind your gears (i.e.“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke). 

Also, let them know if you want them to stick to a specific list of songs or if you want them to accept and play requests from your wedding guests and bridal party.

Should You Tip Your DJ?

Like all of your wedding vendors, it’s customary to tip your DJ. The standard is about 15%, so factor this cost into your overall wedding budget ahead of time.

Still looking for the perfect bridesmaid dresses? Bring your squad to a Bella Bridesmaids location near you!


From your first dance to your last song of the night, the DJ you choose will have a major impact on your wedding day festivities! So interview a few different ones, ask lots of questions, and find one that can provide the services you want at a price you can afford.  

And if you’re torn between hiring a band or having a DJ, don’t worry — you can have both!

Like all aspects of wedding planning, choosing your musical entertainment is a personal decision, and it can be whatever you and your future spouse want it to be.

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