(Closed) Cut DJ to increase catering budget?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
3448 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

This is what we did! Splurged on the venue (which included caterer), and had a DIY DJ. My cousin volunteered to be in charge of music (and I would highly recommend having one person in charge) and rented equipment for less than $200. It worked fantastically.

Post # 3
793 posts
Busy bee

We hired a DJ just starting out, I think we were his 5th wedding. We got a crazy good deal, 70% less than the top DJ in our area, including up lighting. He was adequate, started off kind of rocky but once he started taking requests the party heated up.

Post # 4
7803 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Are you looking for a traditional reception? Dancing, party, etc? IMO the music can make or break a party. If you still want a party atmosphere, I’d lean towards still getting a DJ. I’ve personally never been to a successful dance party wedding with spotify/ipod music. Background music sure. As a pp said, you can find cheaper DJs. Or also look at JUST the DJ and not the uplighting/strobe lights/etc.

That said, there are other ways that you could your budget to have both. $2k over 100 people isnt that bad. Favours, cheaper/less flowers, not top shelf open bar, etc. I’m a huge foodie as well and we put a huge emphasis on our food and drink, but to make up for it we had budget invites, flowers, accessories. We splurged on food, drink, venue and photographer. The rest we did very inexpensively. 

Post # 5
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

If you are looking for the typical dance reception I strongly suggest having some kind of DJ. While using spotify, ipod, etc is okay for background music,  it’s not really successful for dancing and party type receptions. Djs do a lot more than just press the play button, they are able to read the room and play the music that gets the best results. An ipod can’t do that. I would try to cut the 2k from other areas. 2k for a DJ seems outrageous to me so I suggest booking a cheaper DJ and cutting out any favors, limiting florals, and going minimalistic with decor. 

Post # 6
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - New York, New York

I considered not having a DJ because Joe and I are on a tight budget, but we ultimately decided to have one. One major reason to hire a DJ is because they act as the master of ceremonies and announce everything, from introductions to speeches to cake cutting to father/daughter mother/son dances. Having a good DJ can keep your wedding on track. Plus, if the guests are stuck in their chairs, a good DJ will have strategies that work to get guests onto the dance floor because they have experience.

Post # 7
2763 posts
Sugar bee

We skipped the DJ and made our own spotify playlists (downloaded so they would play regardless of internet connection): ceremony playlist, cocktail hour, and dance music. We did have professional speakers and microphones, so factor in the cost if you’ll need to rent those.

Nearly everyone at our wedding danced, from teens to seniors, and I got tons of compliments on the playlist. Some of the success probably depends on how confident you are in your own DJing skills, but honestly I was so glad we went that route. I am not a fan of what most wedding DJs play anyway and I have a good amount of music knowledge, so I felt quite comfortable curating my playlist, and felt that it was much more personal than it would have been if a stranger had made it. 

We skipped most announcements because it just didn’t seem necessary (but we had mics available had we needed them), but in a pinch those can also be done by your day of coordinator, officiant, or a member of your wedding party. 

Post # 8
3589 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

View original reply
browneyedgirl24 :  Same here! I see a lot of comments about how making your own playlist is never successful, but ours was AWESOME and literally even my 90 year old grandmother was breaking it down. So happy. You do have to be thoughtful and pick the most universally appealing songs, rather than just your own personal taste. Going a bit old-school was a big hit. 

Post # 9
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

I had 2 receptions as my DH and I are from different countries. In the first we did the full DJ thing and he was amazing. Like others have said the DJ does so much more than press play. He really got our crowd going and it was nice not to have to worry about it on the day.

For the second reception we had a much lower budget. We borrowed speakers and equipment from a friend and my DH made the playlist. I was worried how it would turn out but honestly, it was great! 3 things are crucial that made it a success though. 1: My DH spent days on the playlist and really knew his crowd. Downloading a random playlist may not get people dancing but if you’re willing to spend some time on it it can work beautifully. 2: Make sure you do get the right equipment/speakers. No one will dance if they can’t hear anything. 3: Don’t expect to have anything to do with the music on the night. There will be too much going on. Instead, ask someone you trust to set up/take down the equipment and run the music during the night.

Moral of the story: it can be done, but only if you’re thoughtful and prepared. At the same time, know your crowd. Sometimes it pays to have the right personality behind the microphone.

Post # 11
6302 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

It depends on if you want a party or just a dinner?

If you’re wanting a typical party atmosphere you should have the DJ. If you don’t care about people being up and dancing just have background music and dinner. Just keep in mind most people will likely head out shortly after dinner/cake.

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