How to Pick Your Destination Wedding DJ!

Music can make or break a party and your wedding is no exception! The DJ sets the tone for EVERYTHING at your wedding so you want to ensure that they are actually good at it! Here’s the beat on what to to look for when hiring your destination wedding DJ.

How much does a wedding DJ cost?

For a wedding party to be remembered by your guests, it is imperative to find a wedding DJ who can create an extra special atmosphere and as we say in 2020, “have your party be lit!”

A club DJ or your cousin’s friend boyfriend who owns some equipment and plays at family get togethers ain’t it! You need an expert who is devoted to your guest experience and focuses on just that seamlessly!

Depending on many factors including your wedding’s location, the type of package you’re looking for, and your chosen DJ’s experience and level of expertise, the average cost is roughly $300-$3000.

Should I bring my own DJ?

This is entirely up to you, but my recommendation is no and here’s why. If you have a DJ who you LOVE and is from another country, that’ll require you to pay for both travel and accommodation in addition to paying his DJ fees AND rent equipment for him to play on is too heavy of a tag! That money can hire one of the top DJ’s locally and have money left over for you to splurge on another element in the wedding.

However, if money is not an issue, then sure. Be sure to get his equipment list and setup requirements and pass it on to your planner if you have one. If you don’t have a planner then you’ll definitely need to either hire a local DJ to provide the equipment or get them from a local production company.  

What services do wedding DJs offer?

Your wedding DJ plays recorded music throughout your wedding, from ceremony to reception. Should you opt for live entertainment like a steel band or live band for cocktail hour, then the DJ would not play here of course. Some wedding DJ’s may also serve as the emcee for the event. This mean that he or she will make announcements at appropriate times, introduce those who are giving toasts, and basically “run the show.”

What is included in a wedding DJ’s price?

If you’re taken aback by a wedding DJ prices, remember there’s a lot more to a wedding DJ’s role in your wedding day than simply showing up to your reception and playing music. There is a time investment that is pretty hard to quantify; s(he) will be on location anywhere from 2-3 hours pre ceremony to setup and ensure the audio quality is superb. They are also there up to 2-3 post party to break down because hey, there is legit no party without them!

Prior to the wedding day they will also spend however long it takes to create your playlist based on your consultation with them. This also means they may have to purchase music that you will want to hear in that playlist.

Included in their rate also is their equipment which is always state of the art. This means that they are expensive to purchase and maintain. Items like subwoofers, powered boxes, mixer, controller and cordless mics are needed for separate setups for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. The reception, however, will see equipment like moving heads and a state-of-the-art DJ booth that will seal the deal for the ultimate party experience.

Professional wedding DJ’s are also self-sufficient wherein they provide all of their setup; they show up to move into their assigned space and connect to power.

When should I book my wedding DJ?

Wedding DJs are among the first vendors a couple books. We recommend hiring your music pro at least 9-12 months prior to your wedding. You also should meet with your wedding DJ at least twice before your wedding date, probably two to six weeks beforehand, to discuss your playlist, your timeline, and any other important details. This of course does not include the initial consultation.

Do wedding DJs also provide lighting?

Yes absolutely! Wedding DJs offer lighting services as well as music, with the starting price for uplighting averaging around $25 – $35 per light. They will also provide special effects like monogramed lighting, dancing on the clouds and cold sparks that shoot up like fireworks! These special effects can cost anywhere between $450-$1000.

What equipment do wedding DJs provide?

Your wedding DJ can provide a variety of equipment, depending on your needs. A typical sound system for a wedding DJ includes a DJ deck or controller, speakers, microphones, and headphones. As mentioned, some DJs can provide lighting as well as video screen and projection equipment in case you want to show a video during your reception or live stream your wedding for family back home who weren’t able to travel.

How can you save money on wedding music?

You can save money on your music bill by first hiring a DJ rather than a band; DJ’s cost less than a live band or steel band. A weekday wedding can also help as some high in demand DJ’s charge more for premium weekends. You can also shop around to get different quotes as a DJ’s rate has a lot to do with his/her style and experience. Cutting the reception can also help if you’re not planning a big party.

What questions should I ask a wedding DJ before hiring?

A big part of finding the right DJ for your wedding is personality—you want to find a professional who you actually like and trust! Here are some questions to ask your prospective DJ’s before dancing to sign that contract!

  1. How would you describe your style?
  2. Where can listen to your mix-tapes?
  3. What is included in your fee?
  4. Are there specific genres of music that you specialize in?
  5. How will you work with us to create a wedding playlist?
  6. What are your favorite first dance songs?
  7. Have you worked at my venue before?
  8. What type of equipment do you use?
  9. How many breaks do you require?
  10. Have you provided lighting at my venue before?
  11. What types of lighting can you provide?
  12. Can I see photos of your past work?
  13. How much will lighting cost?

Have questions or thinking about getting married in Jamaica? Click this link and fill out the contact form, we’d love to connect with you!

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About The Owner

Our Owner and Senior Event Planner, Franciene Foster, is a certified wedding consultant with a decade of experience in the business.