A little background about wedding DJing
Hiring a DJ for your wedding is an important decision. Music sets up the mood for your reception. You can choose to have a band, a DJ, both, or a friend hook up speakers to their phone. We wanted a DJ for our wedding. A DJ can play everything from rock to hip-hop. Wedding DJ’s tend to be less expensive than wedding bands. We have seen friends that listened to a horrible wedding DJ tip, and we want to prevent you from making the same mistake.
It might seem opposite to everything we’ve told you on our blog, but our huge wedding DJ tip is – don’t try to cost cut too much on your DJ! The difference between an experienced and inexperienced DJ can be huge.
Here are some reasons why we encourage you to keep your DJ as a priority in your budget:
- Avoiding “technical difficulties”
Setting up all their equipment and preventing feedback loops should be something they’ve many times. You don’t want them experimenting at your wedding.
- A good DJ has experience with working the crowd
They will help tell you with the order of events and when to have upbeat and slow music. They will assist you with timings of wedding rituals and when the guests will be best-paying attention.
They will know how to switch from song to song and get the whole room dancing (the young, the old, and everyone in between).
- They will run the show
You get to sit back and relax knowing that a professional with smoothly transitioning from one event to another. They know your timeline and will queue you in when you forget.
- Mistakes happen
What if your father has diarrhea during the father daughter dance? What if one of your guests gets drunk and starts shouting? What if your cake didn’t arrive on time? An experienced wedding DJ will know how to roll with the punches and turn awkwardness to humor and will be able to stall smoothly.
- Coordination with other vendors
A good DJ will ask for your event timeline and will talk to your caterer, your alcohol team, your cake team, your photographer. He will give them queues when its time to bring out the cake, or when to pass out the champagne. Instead of you having to tell each vendor your exact timeline, your DJ can help out tremendously.
If your band is bombing and the crowd isn’t into their sound, there isn’t much you can do to change it. A good DJ can notice that your favorite songs are getting awkward stares, and switch it up quickly to keep the mood going (if you let them of course).
How much money should I leave as my wedding DJ tip?
Many wedding websites will give you a tipping rule of somewhere between 10-20%. We believe it is better to think about when and why to tip, and the implications of tipping. In the US we have become accustomed to the belief that tipping is obligatory, mainly because restaurants pay waitresses less than minimum wage assuming they will make money from tips. Unlike waitresses, wedding vendors get to set their own prices. You don’t have to worry that, without your tip, your photographer, DJ, wedding planner, or florist will go hungry. Therefore we believe in giving a tip mainly to show them how much you appreciated their service. So since your goal is to show them they are appreciated, you don’t want to give them an amount so low that it looks like an insult. DJ’s generally cost around $1,000 so a $5 tip would likely seem like an insult. We believe that at around $50, the tip will be received as a form of appreciation compared to not getting a tip. If you are looking to tip, we consider that the minimum. Try to make a budget for how much you can afford to tip, and then divvy out tips based off who went above and beyond the most. Save some money to tip those that may get paid similar to waitresses (like bartenders, and yes waitresses)
We know you are probably surprised we aren’t giving you a money saving wedding DJ tip. We thought it was important first to show you how helpful an experienced DJ can be. That doesn’t mean you need to get the most expensive DJ in the world. But make sure he is not an amateur. Ask lots of questions, and meet in person or via Skype. Make sure you feel comfortable when talking to him, and that you could sit back and relax knowing he’s in control. The average cost for a wedding DJ is slightly under one thousand dollars. And we think that’s a fantastic deal for what they offer. If you have found a great DJ that you love but still want to save money you can also use our tips to negotiate a better deal.