Customer advice, help and tips, wedding entertainment ideas

Wedding DJ Hire – Ultimate Booking Guide (DJ Price Guide, FAQ’s and Tips)

Wedding DJ hire guide

Wedding DJ hire is one of the most important parts of booking your wedding entertainment.

Booking a DJ for your event may bring up a lot of questions. Here at Warble Entertainment, we’ve helped hundreds of couples plan their wedding entertainment.

wedding dj hire

Here is our ultimate guide to hiring a DJ for your wedding. To help us answer the most important questions, we’ve teamed up with Warble’s number 1 DJ and wedding entertainer – DJ Will!

Will is one of the most experienced wedding DJ’s in the UK.

In this guide we will cover everything you need to know about DJ hire for weddings.

This includes how much you should pay for a DJ in the UK, whether you should book a wedding DJ or a live band, the most requested wedding DJ songs and playlists and loads more!

How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost?

Wedding DJ’s for hire in the UK will typically charge between £200 – £600. Our data has shown that the average cost for a professional wedding DJ in the UK is £404.

Average cost of a wedding dj UK (1)
Average cost of a wedding DJ's for hire in the UK, data taken from Warble Entertainment

DJ’s with slightly smaller set ups should charge for weddings anything from £200 upwards. DJ’s may automatically provide big lighting rigs, dance floors and other add-ons which can bump up the cost.

The top end DJ’s with the top end gear will charge £600 upwards for this, maybe a little more.

A DJ’s rate can vary and this can depend on several key factors as well as a few other things to look out for.

Firstly, experience.

The main thing is to remember that DJ’s for weddings are self employed and therefore they can charge what they want to earn. But most will charge based on how long they have been DJing and how good they are. 

If a wedding DJ is getting lots of positive feedback about their work then they will often add extra cost to their services.

How much is a dj for a wedding
How much is a DJ for a wedding? These factors will affect the cost of your DJ

Secondly, peak timing. If a DJ is doing a good job, then not only will they cost more, but expect their rates to be a little more during peak booking times as they will be guaranteed to be working on those busy times of the year.

You can save money by having a wedding at a quieter time of year or even at a different time of the week as Friday’s and Saturdays in the summer will be a DJ’s busiest time.

Other things to consider may be the distance your wedding DJ is travelling to your venue. If they have to travel far, there will be fuel prices to add on as well. On top of this, long after your night has finished your DJ will have had to pack down and make a long journey home. This may well add to the cost of your DJ booking.

So what figures should you be looking out for? Well, one things for sure – avoid the ’50 quid Sid’ at all costs!

When getting a quote, don’t be afraid to ask what you will be getting for your money. Any DJ should be happy to justify their costs and what you are getting for your money.

How Do You Create The Perfect DJ Playlist For a Wedding?

The key thing here is to make sure that you are happy to trust your DJ.

Give your wedding DJ a list of your all time favourite tracks, but be prepared for them to use their knowledge and expertise to keep everyone on the dance floor happy.

Firstly, I always ask the customer what music they like. Everyone is different, as are peoples taste in music. I always give the happy couple first dibs on which types of music or what song choices they would like for their wedding. 

The perfect DJ playlist isn’t really out there, but knowing how to read a crowd and get them on the dance floor comes from that knowledge and experience.

You can play the same venue twice, at the same time of year, to a similar number of people but the odds are both audiences may well enjoy two totally different sets of music!

Dj at a wedding

When Should You Book Your Wedding DJ?

As soon as you have a date and a venue confirmed, start looking for your wedding entertainment.

The best DJ’s and wedding entertainers get booked up first, so you want to be the one at the front of the queue to have the best chance of booking the best DJ.

From personal experience, I have taken bookings up to 24 months in advance, so get in there quick to avoid disappointment.

Wedding DJ Dance floor

Should You DJ Your Own Wedding or Hire A DJ?

Having been one of the luckiest to enjoy my own wedding day, I can say whole heartedly from experience that DJ’ing your own wedding day is a big no no.

For those of you reading this that are deep into your wedding preparations, you are probably well into THAT list of ‘things to do for the wedding’… I remember it well and the list was HUGE!

The last thing you want to do is add an extra fifteen plus bullet points & problems to solve onto that list. What songs do I need? What about the equipment? How will I get it to my venue?

On top of all that, don’t forget, IT’S YOUR WEDDING DAY! You want to be enjoying everything about what will be the best day of your life, not worrying about the pressure of having to keep the party going all night long!

  • Check out DJ Will's FAQ's!

So here’s what I think. If the issue is budget, then of course, DIY DJ is an option, but make sure you find someone you trust to take this big responsibility. Let them do the work for you so you can concentrate on being one of the two most important people of the day.

If however you can budget for a DJ, then simply leave it to the professionals.

The fantastic ladies and gentlemen at Warble Entertainment are to be trusted to ensure they can sort you out with a top wedding DJ from their roster of some of the finest DJ’s in the UK!

What Are Your Most Requested Wedding Songs of All Time?

There are some absolute classics out there that get requested, but here are my top 5 most requested tracks:

Some of these may surprise you, but the stats don’t lie! A wedding simply wouldn’t be a wedding without most of these songs, which is why everyone requests them!

  • Stand By Me - Ben E King
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
  • Yeah! - Usher
Usher
  • Mr. Brightside - The Killers
the killers mr brightside
  • I’ve Had The Time Of My Life (Dirty Dancing) – Billy Medley, Jennifer Warnes
Dirty Dancing

Is It Better to Have A Band or DJ at a Wedding?

When comparing the two, both bands and wedding DJ’s have their pros and cons.

Wedding DJ or Band_ Pros and cons
  • More often then not a DJ will end up being significantly cheaper than a band.
  • A band can offer two hours or sometimes more of live music, tailoring their set list to songs and styles you prefer.
  • A DJ can play from start to end of an evening without any breaks.
  • As much energy as a DJ can give, bands will more often be able to out do the DJ for the excitement factor.

These are just a few key points in which I could go into way more detail or perhaps write an entire fresh blog on, so we will have to save that for next time.

However, after debating this point for many an hour over the years, the simple conclusion is this. HAVE BOTH!

  • Check out our wedding band vs DJ debate with DJ Will!

More often than not a DJ can set up in the required space.

They can have the finest DJ booth, a really good quality lighting set up, some of the finest speakers on the market for crystal clear sound. It can all look very smart, slick and most of all, professional.

But you can’t really replicate walking into the room and the excitement and buzz you hear when your guests see the band set up.

The guitars, the drum kit, the microphone stands… they all create that real sense that something extra special is going to be happening later on!

The band has it. They have already created a feeling of something special and they have already won the crowd over.

wedding dj

Your wedding band comes with one key limitation though.

Your evening reception may last from start to finish four to five hours. How are you going to fill all of that time? Most bands offer around two hours playing time, broken up into 2 x 1 hour sets or 3 x 40 minute sets.

This means you could still have two to three hours space you need to fill to keep your guests entertained!

Again, many bands will offer as standard the option to play a playlist of music through their sound system before, in between and after they have played their live music. But what you lack with the playlist is that energy or the ability to adapt to the crowd like a DJ can do.

If you want to continue the excitement and energy in between sets and after the band has done until the end of the night, then what better way to fill that all important space with a DJ who can keep your guests going right through until the very last song?

Can a DJ Work with a Sound Limiter at a Wedding Venue?

Of course.

It’s as simple as turning the main volume setting down! It is, however, best to let your DJ know beforehand as they may not need to bring their entire sound rig, thus saving them time and energy and perhaps you one or two £’s as well.

wedding dancing

Does a DJ Play Every Requested Song?

No! Songs that get requested must at least fit into the criteria of the day.

Now usually most or all song lists that the wedding couple hand over to their DJ will at some stage get played throughout the night, but that’s the idea. It’s the happy couple’s big day, so they should be allowed to enjoy some of their favourite songs.

I will encourage my customers to send me a list of their favourites prior to their wedding day with the advice that they make sure their song choices will be popular and recognisable to keep the dance floor full.

The question here is, “Will that Black Eyed Peas album track really keep the party going?”

Always aim for the big hitters and you can’t go wrong.

DJ Set Up

But what about those making requests on the night?

More often than not, requests on the night will go down fine.

However, it can be a regular occurrence when you can get an out of the blue request for a track which will not go down well.

This has actually happened to me before…

Your friends and family are dancing away to ‘Valerie’ or a classic such as ‘Dancing Queen’ and all of a sudden over comes a wedding guest, (usually a few lemonades in) and says “Do you have 21 Seconds by So Solid Crew?”

I’m thinking, “Yes I do but will it really go down well with the current crowd that are enjoying these particular tunes?”

So in this case it’s about compromise.

The night may change allowing for the So Solid Crew track to happen, but ‘Dancing Queen’ into ‘21 Seconds’ will ultimately be bad timing and clear that dance floor quicker than you can cut the cake!

Can a DJ’s Equipment Be Used for Speeches and Announcements?

This is very dependant on your DJ.

Some DJ’s will be able to set up early on in the day in order for you to utilise their equipment for wedding speeches and announcements, but this will come at an extra cost as your DJ will be working longer.

It’s worth checking what options your venue will have for speeches as most do have an audio system with wireless microphones.

Do All DJ’s MC Whilst Performing?

Many wedding entertainers will do this as it makes the DJ performance more interactive with the guests, and brings that extra excitement to an evening.

Announcements are part of this, so whether its informing your guests that the cake cutting is about to happen or announcing the wedding couple to the dance floor, it’s vital for a wedding DJ to MC this well in order for your guests to know what is happening.

MCing an event is a particular art but it’s important to let the music do most of the talking.

A DJ that MC’s to music can get annoying quite quickly, so I find its best to stick to MCing important parts of the evening and to announce special requests etc, just to give that extra energy and buzz!

Is It Important for DJ’s Set Up To Look Good, As Well As Sound Good?

Set up is really important.

Each DJ will have a different set up and different equipment to one another, but the rule is always the same: To try to make the set up look as good as you can.

Lighting can help with this massively and there are certain tricks DJ’s use in order to make their set up look slick.

Sound quality is equally important for a wedding DJ. Tin pot sounding speakers just don’t cut the mustard, so DJ’s will always invest what they can into high quality sounding speakers and equipment.

Wedding DJ Light Up Love Letters

If it sounds good and looks good, you know a DJ is doing their best in order to promote themselves and their hard work.

Most wedding DJ’s will include good pictures of their set up on their websites or on their agency profile pages to show you what they have to offer.

What Is Your Best Piece of Advice for Anyone Looking To Book A Wedding DJ?

The best advice I can give you is to ask about anything you are unsure of.

If you book through an agency such as Warble Entertainment, your agent will be able to answer most questions straight away and if not, pass on questions to us DJ’s so you know help is always at hand.

Also, be precise with your enquiry, as your agent can then pick which DJ’s will best work for you.

Once you’ve given your agent all the information you can, let them worry about finding the right act for you. They are industry experts and do this on a daily basis, so you can trust them do all the hard work for you!

How Important Are Reviews for A Wedding DJ?

Every single review I get really does mean a lot.

It’s easy to forget that you are going to be part of the most important day of your customer’s lives, but I never go out wanting to do a mediocre job.

Sometimes that can mean stress levels can run high and I always want to give it my all, so knowing you’ve done your job and receiving a top review for it is the icing on the cake.

Wedding DJ Set Up Lights

Thank you DJ Will for answering these important questions for our ultimate wedding DJ guide! Check DJ Will out here.

For more wedding entertainment ideas and help in booking the perfect acts for your event, visit Warble Entertainment.

Published by Warble Entertainment, where entertainment lives.

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