Do you Actually Need a DJ at a Wedding?

DJ or live band

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So you’re deciding on your wedding music, and you’ve started asking yourself the question, do you actually need a DJ at a wedding reception?

We’ll run through everything you need to think about to decide if hiring a DJ is the best option for your wedding receptions, and what the other options are too. 

Why Should you Hire a DJ?

There’s no denying that there are some massive advantages to hiring a DJ for your wedding reception. Here are some of the best reasons to hire a wedding DJ.

  • Wedding DJs are experts are getting everyone on the dancefloor and keeping both you and your guests entertained all night.
  • There are plenty of wedding DJs available meaning that you’ll have no trouble finding one for your reception.
  • Wedding DJs are one of the cheapest wedding event service providers.
  • Hiring a DJ takes the pressure of yourself having to sort out the wedding music. 

To summarise, hiring a wedding DJ is a great way to make sure you have some quality entertainment that doesn’t cost over the odds and means you can relax and enjoy the reception!

How to Choose a Wedding DJ

  • First think about the style or genre of music you’re going for. This will help narrow down your choice significantly.
  • Next, have a look at some reviews or testimonials for DJs  in your area.
  • Once you’ve got a shortlist, then you can start contacting prospective DJs to check their availability, pricing and to discuss your requirements a bit more.
  • Once you’ve made your final decision, make sure you have a full discussion to make sure you know what to expect on the night and to make sure it’s in line with your expectations. 

Why Should you Not Hire a DJ?

So if wedding DJs are so great, why would you not want to hire one for your reception? Here are a few of the reasons why you might not want to hire a wedding DJ.

  • Although wedding DJs offer their service at excellent value for money, if you’ve got a tight budget, you might not want to pay extra to hire one.
  • Wedding DJs are hugely popular, but you might want to do something a bit different for your wedding reception music.
  • You might not trust a DJ to create a setlist that’s perfect for your wedding. 

Usually, the main reasons for choosing not to hire a DJ for a wedding reception are to either keep the costs down or because you want to do something a bit different. 

So What Should you Do?

Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of hiring a professional DJ for your wedding to help you decide if you actually need one.

Advantages of Hiring a Wedding DJ

Disadvantages of Hiring a Wedding DJ

They’re great at keeping everyone entertained

It’s another wedding service you’ll need to pay for

You don’t have to put much effort in

It’s not the most unique wedding music option

There are plenty available, so you’ll be able to find a great DJ in your local area

You don’t get as much control over the music compared to if you DIY

They’re one of the cheaper wedding music options

You can provide direction but ultimately you have to trust the DJ to play the best music

What can you do Instead?

Okay, so no matter what reason you have for deciding not to hire a wedding DJ, you’ll need to come up with an alternative. Music is an essential at a wedding reception, so next we’ll go through some other options to make sure you have the best entertainment possible. 

DIY Wedding Music

Sorting your wedding music yourself is one of the cheapest options, but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. A wedding involves so much planning, that adding DIY party music to the list can be a huge additional pressure. But just because you’ve decided not to hire a professional, doesn’t mean that you have to do everything yourself. Think about asking for help from friends and family to take the pressure off. 

So if you’ve deciding to go DIY, what should you think about next? At the very least, you’ll need a phone, AUX lead, speaker, and a way to play the music. Take a look at our ultimate party playlist tips for some expert advice. 

Apple Music is the perfect way to create a playlist. IIt’s only $9.99/ £9.99 per month and you can get a free 3 month trial to check it out. And don’t worry, you can use it on Android devices too! Join over 50 million subscribers and sign up for your 3 month free trial today! 

Keep in mind though, that this option only works well if you have a smaller venue, or if you can connect your phone to the venue’s speaker system. 

Live Band

If cost isn’t a concern, and you’re looking to stray away from DJs to be a bit different, then hiring a live band to play at your wedding is a great idea. Hiring a live band is one of the best ways to have some unique and personal entertainment that’s guaranteed to make the reception a success.

Here are some of the best reasons to hire a live band to play at your wedding reception.

  • Live bands create unique and personal performances.
  • They are great at entertaining your guests and creating a great atmosphere.
  • Live bands can be good if you don’t want to dance the night away and would prefer to watch and enjoy the performance.

Live bands aren’t always the best route to go down though, so here are some disadvantages of hiring a live band at your wedding reception.

  • They need a larger area to set up than a DJ.
  • More can go wrong on the night as it is a live performance.
  • They usually play less varied music than DJs.

Other Options 

There are plenty of other options for your wedding music if you don’t want to hire a DJ. Here are some of our favourite wedding music entertainment ideas to help you decide.
  • Karaoke is a great way to get all your guests involved in the wedding music and is the perfect way to keep everyone entertained. Take a look at our karaoke party tips for some advice. 
  • Why not hire a jukebox for your wedding? Not only is it a great way to decorate your venue, but it’s also the perfect way of getting your guests involved and keeping everyone happy.
  • Hologram tours have also been growing in popularity, and if you’re quick enough you might be able to jump on the trend and hire one for your wedding music entertainment. 

We hope this has helped you decide if you need a DJ for your wedding reception. Take a look at our in-depth party music guide for some more options, tips and advice. 

Head over to our ultimate showdown between wedding DJs and live bands too!

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