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Do You Need a DJ at a Wedding?

Music plays a huge role in making your wedding fun and memorable. In 2022, the vast majority (72%) of couples chose to hire a DJ for their wedding. Wedding DJs keep guests entertained with a variety of genres and artists, so whether your guests enjoy club, country, or Christian music, everyone will have something to dance to.

The cost of hiring a DJ can vary greatly—from under $500 to more than $2,500 and up. Keep your budget in mind when considering a DJ for your wedding.

Not only does a DJ elevate your celebration, but they can also be more budget-friendly than live bands. Professional live wedding bands in the Greater Boston area average between $9,000-$13,000. Your choice between a live band or a DJ will depend on your personal preferences and your budget.

A DJ performs at a wedding reception to a large crowd.

Professional DJ services also offer more options for personalizing the music selection to align with your theme or preferences. They can work with you to take song requests and make changes on the spot if your guests aren’t feeling the vibe.

Wedding-planning companies like The Knot can help you plan and choose the right wedding DJ. The Knot features reviews from couples to ensure you choose a DJ who will provide quality entertainment that fits your needs.

Once you’ve made your decision, make sure to sign a contract that clearly outlines all services and pricing. This ensures that both parties agree on terms and avoids surprise costs.

Read on to learn why many couples find wedding DJs essential for their special day.

Key Takeaways

  • A DJ constantly crafts the perfect mood for your wedding by playing a well-curated mix of songs, ensuring everyone’s enjoyment from start to finish.

  • Wedding DJs manage critical moments like first dances and cake cutting, making smooth transitions, and keeping events on schedule.

  • Professional DJs bring their own high-quality gear, including speakers, mixers, microphones, and lighting for seamless entertainment.

  • Reviews are essential when choosing a DJ; check out The Knot to see what couples have to say and see how we earned our 5.0-star rating.

  • Deciding between DIY and hiring a professional DJ involves balancing cost against expertise; pros often ensure a better atmosphere through curated playlists.

The Role of a DJ at a Wedding

Having a DJ at your wedding ensures that everyone will enjoy themselves, from the first song to the last. They help set the mood during cocktail hour and keep a lively dance party going all night.

Your DJ also manages key parts of your celebration. They can make announcements, introduce speakers, and help coordinate events like cake cutting or bouquet throwing. With expert skills in timing and flow, wedding DJs are essential for smooth transitions throughout your big day.

Enhancing the Atmosphere with Music

Even the perfect wedding can become boring without a soundtrack to keep things lively. A DJ can help create the perfect vibe, whether you want all the attention on you during your first dance or you want all of your guests to party on the dance floor.

Standalone DJ

A standalone DJ can elevate your wedding’s atmosphere with an expertly crafted playlist. They come equipped to play music that fits every moment, from the ceremony to the last dance. Erika Van Pelt of Joseph & Erika has received high praise from happy couples, earning us a 5.0-star rating for our unique live music and DJ duo services.

Not only was Erika a Top 10 Finalist on Season 11 of American Idol, but she has also performed on The Tonight Show and shared the stage with Grammy award-winning artists, such as Steven Tyler and Chaka Khan.

With over 20 years of professional experience, it’s no wonder Erika’s DJ sets are smash hits.

Live Acoustic Artist

Live acoustic music adds a soft and intimate touch to your wedding. Gentle guitar and soulful love songs filling the space add a peaceful and romantic flair to your most special moments.

We pride ourselves on our blend of live acoustic performances with DJ entertainment. With over 20 years of experience each, we know how to ensure high-quality sound and smooth transitions between sets. 

The combo of live music and DJ sets will keep acoustic music lovers and dance enthusiasts happy throughout your big day. Our live acoustic sing-alongs will round out your night in a unique and special way, uniting you and your guests in song. With Joseph & Erika, you’re always promised an unforgettable musical experience.

A bride and groom celebrate at their wedding.
Photo by Emily Delamater

Keeping the Dance Floor Alive

A good DJ keeps the dance floor packed. They know how to read a crowd and pick the perfect song at just the right moment. The best DJs earn their top ratings by excelling in creating nonstop dancing moments.

They smoothly mix tracks that cater to all age groups present. With their experience, they ensure no dull moments at your wedding. Hiring a DJ guarantees energy stays high throughout the night, giving everyone memories of dancing joyfully.

Make sure you choose a DJ that suits your needs and will keep everyone engaged throughout your celebration.

Managing the Flow of Events

A DJ can help manage the flow of events on your big day. They cue up important songs for moments like the first dance, cake cutting, or bouquet toss. This keeps everything running smoothly and ensures no special moments are missed.

They also coordinate with other vendors to make sure everyone is on the same page. Whether they’re announcing speeches or coordinating performances with mealtime, a professional wedding musician makes sure your event runs seamlessly.

Personalizing the Music Selection

Your wedding music should be highly personalized and share your love story. Consider what makes up both of your music tastes. Do you like country, hip-hop, or jazz? Would you prefer Christian songs during the ceremony?

Consider the atmosphere you want. Your music can (and should) vary for each part of your celebration. Be sure to share your favorite artists with the DJ for an extra-special experience, and let your DJ know what’s on your “do not play” list. We’re sure to avoid songs, artists, and genres you’re not a fan of for both the live acoustic set and the DJ portion of your wedding celebration.

No matter what gets you dancing, A DJ can blend all of your musical preferences into one expertly crafted playlist, just for you. Joseph & Erika’s acoustic sing-along session ends your day with feelings of togetherness and joy as we lead you and your guests through songs that reflect your love story.

Equipment and Setup

A professional DJ brings their own high-quality gear. This includes speakers, mixers, microphones, and lighting. No need to worry about sound quality or technical glitches on your big day.

Hire a DJ who provides all the necessary equipment as part of their service. Pricing for these services can range from under $500 to $2,500 or more. Make sure they handle both setup and breakdown efficiently so you can focus on enjoying your wedding celebration without stress.

A photo of a DJ controller taken with a fish-eye lens.

Supplementary Considerations

You can’t choose just any DJ for your wedding day. Your DJ should match your needs, budget, and schedule. Following these tips for choosing the right DJ can save you time and stress.

Tips for Choosing the Right DJ

Check reviews and ratings of DJ services. Don’t just look at the star ratings; take the time to fully read reviews to gain an understanding of how each DJ has measured up to their clients’ expectations.

Be sure to consider your budget when choosing a DJ. A high rating doesn’t guarantee a perfect match. Compare your options to find one with stellar feedback without compromising your needs or price range.

Questions to Ask Potential DJs

Ask about equipment and setup. Make sure the DJ not only has reliable gear, but also has a backup plan in case something goes wrong. Does the DJ need any specific space or power requirements? Check if they bring their own lighting and sound systems.

You’ll want to find out how flexible they are with song lists. Be sure to have a chat about music genres and personalization options—can the DJ play your favorite songs or accommodate special requests? If you book Joseph & Erika, keep our live acoustic sing-along moments in mind when discussing your wedding playlist.

The Importance of a Contract

Don’t put your budget at risk! Always ensure all terms and prices are clearly outlined in a contract. This protects you from unexpected costs or changes on your big day. For example, the average cost for a live band increased by $400 from 2022 to 2023––without a written agreement, you could be held responsible for a payment you weren’t prepared for.

A well-drafted contract leaves no room for confusion. With music genres, key moments for special songs, and acoustic sing-along options clearly outlined in writing, you can rest assured that your DJ fully understands your preferences and expectations.

A contract protects both parties, so don’t hesitate to ask for one!

DIY vs. Professional DJ: Pros and Cons

A DIY setup and a professional DJ both have their pros and cons. A DIY approach can save money, with costs mainly attributable to equipment rental or playlists, which could be cheaper than 2023’s $1,700 average wedding DJ cost.

However, managing music yourself can be stressful. Technical issues may arise, and ensuring smooth transitions between songs takes skill.

Hiring a professional DJ offers several advantages, such as their knack for maintaining a high-energy dance floor and ability to handle technical difficulties with ease. With their experience and expertise, they can adapt to guest preferences in real time without awkward delays.

Although more costly upfront compared to DIY options, professionals often provide a better overall atmosphere through curated playlists, matching your tastes perfectly.


A DJ can make a big difference at your wedding. They set the mood, keep the party alive, and manage the flow of events. With a professional DJ, you get personalized music selection and high-quality equipment that ensures everything runs smoothly.


1. Why should you consider hiring a DJ for your wedding?

In short, hiring a DJ will take a weight off your shoulders. They’ll ensure the music flows smoothly, the crowd stays happy, and your event goes just the way you planned it.

2. What are some trends in wedding music?

3. How can acoustic sing-alongs complement a DJ at a wedding?

4. How do I choose between live music and a DJ for my wedding?

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