Any wedding veteran knows that the first dance tune is key to the bride and groom, but it’s the music that comes after that determines if a party will be a bust or a blast. I’ve been to weddings with big bands and DJs, and I’ve had a great time in both cases. If Matt and I weren’t working with a tight budget, I’d hire a big band without a thought. But our budget doesn’t have room for that.
Because we tend to like pop and rock and aren’t extremely picky about music, we thought a DJ would be an easy and cheap find. But I was a little disheartened when I went to a bridal show and talked to DJs who were charging much more than we expected.
Matt and I talked seriously about handling the music ourselves with an iPod and a friend to keep an eye on things. But when we told my mother about our plan, she pointed out some major flaws. Which unlucky friend would have to “work” our wedding? How would we ensure there was a good flow and rhythm to the party? Any backup plan? What the heck is an iPod?
My mother’s arguments made us think for a bit. How could we strike a balance in our wedding planning? We wanted to save money but not at the expense of giving our guests a good time.
Using weddingwire.com, I started researching less-expensive DJs in the area. I was relieved to find that there are more companies in our price range, but the challenge was finding a company that we were comfortable with. A few were cheaper if you let them assign a DJ to your event only a few weeks beforehand. I didn’t like the idea of that. We also wanted a DJ who we could trust to keep the party fun without requiring us to micromanage him.
I finally found a company that fit us well. Good Vibrations offers DJ services for less than $1,000 and allowed us to pick the guy, Vinny, who would be at the wedding. We were happy with his outgoing personality and his ready-for-anything attitude. He told us a story about how he once worked a wedding where all the power went out and he had to move beyond his backup plan. He pulled out his boombox and kept the party going.
– Do your homework. I relied on a bridal show to get a price range of DJs in the Washington area and thought it’d be impossible to find less-expensive services. It wasn’t until I started searching Web sites of local companies that I found better prices.
– Ask questions about DJs’ styles. Matt and I aren’t into club or techno music, so it wouldn’t have made sense to hire a DJ whose specialized in those genres.
– Check references. Even though these references will most likely be positive, it helps to get some more insight before you sign a contract.