So believe it or not, I have been pretty dead-on when it comes to budget estimations, but the one thing I honestly waaaayyy under estimated is the DJ cost. Firstly, I want to give out this tip to any planning brides: Make a list of the wedding “must haves” in order of what is important to you, and based on importance, that is how much you spend on it. For me, the list goes: venue, photographer, decor, food, music.
So since music was at the bottom of the list, it was the last price tag I looked at. So you can imagine my shock when I saw that I will most likely have to shell out around $1000 on a tune spinner! If I have to spend that kind of money, I want to do it right. Finding a DJ is like walking a very fine line, if you spend too little, you get the guy with the toupee handing out leis and making your guests do the chicken dance. Now in an ideal world where I have unlimited resources I would want a true DJ, one that still uses vinyl and literally spins the tunes for your wedding. I have seen those guys in person, and it’s pretty amazing how they mix music right on the spot!
Sadly, those DJs come with a hefty price tag, and while they are worth every penny, it just pennies I don’t have. Even if I did, there are none of those guys where I live. I’m still struggling with the price of a regular DJ! They do provide a good services for your wedding besides playing music:
1) Emcee-ing! DJs not only bring the tunes to the wedding, but they also move the reception along, directing your guests’ attention to your first dance, or the cutting of the cake.
2) They worry about everything, you just need to give them your play list, and have fun!
3) Most of them come with a set number of hours, so you can sometimes package the ceremony and the reception under the same price, if they are in the same place.
4) They keep the energy up (or down) depending on the feel of the moment.
But! There are other options to DJs, and should the cash not be readily available, I will be heavily weighing some of these options.
The most interesting and easy option is iPod+Speakers. I think most people have an iPod, but if you don’t that’s only around $150 out of your budget.
And we can all probably find a friend who will lend us their surround sound speakers for a night. That means, you have a ready-made, practically free, sound system for the whole night. Think how much fun it would be to sit around with your fiance and create a play list for your day! Especially my fiance who is like the music guru. His playlist is so extensive we could be playing songs for two nights. Not to mention you can really get your guests involved in the playlist process! When you send out your invitation you can include a song request line on your R.S.V.P. card! That way, when you make your play list, you can take into consideration what your guests want to hear, and you definitely ensure that people will get up and dance!
Here are the downsides (because there always have to be downsides to a cheaper option): Someone would have to monitor the iPod all night, and YOU might have to be your own Emcee. You might be able to pay a friend (possibly the friend who loaned you the equipment) to change songs for you and maybe even help emcee. This might be the best way to cut costs.
Now this next helpful tip many people might cringe at…don’t hate me because I think this might be fun…Karaoke. If you do end up running your own music, there might be lulls where people aren’t dancing or the party is slowing down. If you have a fun-loving family it might be cute to keep the party going with a little bit of Karaoke. And if you as a couple get into it, guaranteed your guests will give it a shot. The risks you are taking might outweigh the good. Karaoke can get campy, people can get annoyed at the one person who has had a little too much to drink and prefers to sing off-key, and it can really bore people who don’t find random singing funny or cute. This one is more of a “how well do you know your guests” option.
These are just a few ideas bouncing around in my head. To tell you the truth, the DJ option is the best IF you have the cash. Since I really need to cut costs, I’m going to look at cheaper options first before I consider a DJ. After all, I have a TON of time to figure this all out!