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Is A Wedding DJ Worth It? [Should You Budget For This?]

Music can really bring to life a party or celebration and is an absolute must-have for your wedding reception. When planning our own wedding, the conversation as to whether to book a DJ for our reception or hook up our chosen playlist on Spotify came up more than once. We looked into the pros and cons of a wedding DJ and this is what we found…

So, is a Wedding DJ worth it? We would advise couples to ask themselves: do you want your guests to dance? If the answer is yes – a wedding DJ is definitely worth it. From curating a playlist to reflect the type of celebration you would like to piloting the event, to making announcements, to reading the room and playing hit after hit that really gets things going, a wedding DJ is going to provide you with so much more than just music on your big day.

It is important to contact potential Wedding DJs prior to booking to discuss your requirements for your Wedding day.

Consider whether you will want them to co-ordinate and announce things like cake cutting and first dance and discuss this with them.

Do You Really Need A Wedding DJ?

There are many different factors to consider when asking yourself whether or not you need a Wedding DJ on your big day.

For instance: the number of guests you invite, specifics of your venue, and vibe of your Wedding are all things that couples should consider.

On your actual wedding day, it is likely that your DJ will arrive towards the end of your Wedding Breakfast to set up for the reception that evening.  

If you are having a formal sit-down dinner as your reception, or an event where it is unlikely that your guests will dance, a wedding DJ potentially is not necessary for you.

However, if you are envisioning dancing and music for your reception a Wedding DJ can help manage all the different aspects of your evening do!

Even if you are hiring a band or live music for your reception, an experienced Wedding DJ will ensure cohesion and continuation of the party atmosphere between sets.

Most wedding venues these days will offer use of their PA and speaker system included in the cost of hire, to cut costs, some couples might consider using the system and a pre-collated playlist as music for their reception.

And whilst this seems like a budget-friendly option – using your own playlist on a device can often be more hassle than it’s worth.

There is no bigger buzz-kill than sudden, unexpected silences right in the middle of the dance floor right?

That being said, I’ve been to couple of Weddings in recent years that have used Spotify for the reception music.

This only tends to work if there is a dedicated (and willing!) guest who will monitor the playlist and ensure that there are songs lined up for the whole evening.

A Wedding DJ does so much more than just playing music.

The best wedding receptions we have been to are definitely the ones where the DJ plays tune after tune, reading the atmosphere of the room and guests are on the dance floor having the time of their lives!

It’s common for the happy couple to send out song requests with their invites: encouraging their guests to choose their favorite song that will get them up on the dance floor!

These selections can be passed on to your Wedding DJ who will put them in an order that will allow your celebrations to flow!

How Important Is A DJ At A Wedding?

If your Wedding DJ is going to be announcing important events at your reception – such as cake cutting or first dance – then arguably they are quite important to your big day.

Choosing the right Wedding DJ can feel overwhelming as it is likely that both you and your partner will have opinions and preferences about the type of music you like and how involved you would like your DJ to be with your day.

If you are choosing to have dancing at your wedding reception, your choice of Wedding DJ is important.

We would recommend asking your venue for their recommendations and looking at the testimonials for potential DJs to determine whether they will be a good fit for your celebration.

A Wedding DJ has the power to create the atmosphere of your reception. It is important that you discuss your requirements with them prior to booking.

If like us, all you really want is a party atmosphere without any of the cheesy wedding songs – an experienced DJ will be able to make recommendations and create a playlist that reflects you as a couple.

If there is a lull in the dancing at your wedding reception, your wedding DJ will be able to play songs that are dancefloor fillers and get the party going!

If dancing is what you are after for your reception, then we think a Wedding DJ is important.

Why You May Want A DJ At Your Wedding

Wedding DJs don’t just provide the music for your big day. They can often play the role of on-they-day, in-the-moment co-ordinators: instructing guests on where they need to be for particular elements of your wedding celebration.

It can be both reassuring and relaxing for couples to know that their evening entertainment – if they have chosen a DJ – is in hand and being taken care of by a reputable professional.

This means that all the guests at the wedding can enjoy the evening without feeling the pressure of maintaining that all-important wedding playlist.

After all, music creates a major part of the atmosphere at wedding receptions. If you are the type of couple who would rather just relax and enjoy your celebration, then we would highly recommend considering a Wedding DJ.

An experienced DJ will be able to read the room at your wedding. They will be able to mix a playlist that not only is cohesive but also brings out the best in your guests and encourages your guests to dance the night away!

Often, Wedding DJs as part of their kit will provide lighting that can further enhance the atmosphere of your wedding celebration.

You should speak with your DJ and enquire about the extras they can offer for your reception.

If your venue doesn’t have a speaker system; the importance of the right Wedding DJ becomes even more prevalent.

It is highly likely that as part of their service, your Wedding DJ will be able to provide speakers and a sound system that can be used throughout the day.

If you are unsure, we would always recommend reaching out to potential DJs in your area with specific questions about your wedding.

Is It Better To Have A Band Or DJ At A Wedding?

Music creates an atmosphere. There is no doubt about that. So the choice between a live band or a DJ for your wedding reception can be a tough one.

Either option will ensure your wedding celebration is one to remember. However, if choosing between the two, weigh up the pros and cons as a couple.

A band playing live music can feel extremely personal and special.

Your guests are likely to dance, sing along and enjoy listening to their set and you can almost guarantee the vibes and atmosphere created by the band will be awesome.

Weddings that we have been to where there has been a band have always been super fun and we have loved the sometimes quirky and edgy feel they gave to the reception. Wedding DJs can have this effect also.

Something to consider is that if you choose to book a wedding band, typically they will perform between 2 – 3 ‘sets’ during your reception.

Typically, sets can last anywhere between 30 – 60 minutes before the band will take a break and prepare for the next set.

Couples will need to consider what they will do in between sets. Potentially this is time for a playlist to be put on?

If your budget allows – and you can afford both – why not indulge in a wedding band and a DJ? This will ensure that your reception truly is a party to remember!

How Much Does The Average Wedding DJ Charge?

Generally speaking, couples can expect to pay anywhere between $750 to $2,000 for a DJ at their wedding. The price will be based on a number of different factors including equipment hire, the experience of the DJ and any travel costs incurred to list but a few.

And while this may sound like a lot, when we actually look at the role they have in your special day, the price actually makes more sense.

Wedding DJs do so much more than simply playing music at your wedding.

Their role can often extend to coordinating the finer details of your day and ensuring your guests are in the right place at the right time.

A good DJ is a difference between a ‘nice’ wedding reception and a reception with an amazing atmosphere.

Experienced DJ’s are worth considering as they will be experts in reading the atmosphere of your Wedding and playing tunes all night that really get things going!

When budgeting for your DJ, you should consider: how long you want them for (just the evening or during the day too?), whether or not you will need to use their speakers and lighting, and if there is a particular DJ or company that your venue recommends.

All these different factors are likely to impact the price that you will be charged.


We would recommend researching DJs in your area and asking for recommendations for people before contacting DJs to ask for a quote.

Your DJ has the power to create the most amazing atmosphere at your wedding reception so it is important you discuss with them your preferences and requirements prior to booking.