Chicago Wedding DJs Guide

 Hire the Right DJ for Your Chicago Wedding

Chicago is the city of all that jazz, blues, and like its namesake band, groovy love songs. It’s also the Home of House, according to DJ’s in the know, influencing almost every big-time party in the country. As such, you should be able to find just the right guy for your wedding music, as well as someone who’s not afraid to shake things up a bit. Like all vendors, however, there are steps to take in order to secure the one who likes it hot and romantic.

You want to book your Chicago wedding DJ about eight months prior to your wedding, and after you’ve booked the site.  Before interviewing, decide if you only want a DJ, or if you’ll be having a band as well. (If you’re having a local band, the DJ can perform in between breaks, and serve as the master of ceremonies.) The main difference between a band and a DJ is originality: A band interprets music while a DJ plays the original versions of the songs you love. DJ’s are usually less-expensive than a band.

Chicago D.J.s don’t necessarily require a lot of space, but you’ll need to make sure your reception site has a dance floor. Check with the site (and your DJ) to see if they have a back-up generator, in case of a blow-out. If the DJ you want isn’t familiar with your reception hall, take him on a guided tour so he knows exactly where the equipment will go. This way you won’t have any last-minute surprises.

A good Chicago disc jockey should have at least fifty weddings under his belt (bar mitzvahs and club dates don’t count). Ask to see referrals from at least three previous customers. Make sure the guy you’re interviewing will be the guy who shows up on your big day; popular DJ’s in Illinois often have newer talents show up. Don’t take his word for it; all details need to be in a signed contract.  Additionally, the contract needs to state hourly rate/day rate, amount owed if he plays overtime, and liability due to accidents. Find out if he has insurance, or if you or the site will be held responsible for damaged equipment. Also find out (and have it stated in the contract) who covers him should he fall ill and not be able to show up on the day of your wedding

DJ’s differ in their approach to weddings. If you want a fun, party-type MC who makes jokes between songs, let him know that, and ask friends and relatives for recommendations. The same goes if you want an MC who blends into the wedding and doesn’t introduce dances or the toasts.  Try to get a DVD of a performance, or attend a party he’s covering. 

When you want to start interviewing Chicago DJs, visit the Chicago Local Vendor section for a great list of top Southwestern Illinois wedding disc jockeys and entertainers.

A good DJ is going to cost you at least $1,000. If your budget doesn’t allow it, then it’s time to talk to him about using someone with less experience (you then need to interview that person directly).

Discuss the music you want played, and make sure he has everything you need. Remember, this is your wedding day, so go over all your song must-hears, as well as songs you don’t want played – even if guests request them.

Like all vendors, you should provide your DJ with a meal. Remember, he’s an important “guest” on your big day, so make him feel right at home. Then let the love music play.

-David Toussaint
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