Wedding DJs tend to get asked a lot of questions besides, “Do you have 24 Karat? Can you play it?” That would be a yes to both. But we receive a ton of questions as engaged couples are shopping for a Wedding DJ in Lancaster PA. As most wedding vendors do, we get the same questions wedding season after wedding season. We’ve seen that from the blogs out there. and from Google, that engaged couples don’t seem to be finding the answers to them. In this blog we’re going to answer the most often asked questions of Wedding DJs as engaged couples plan their weddings.
DJs can cost anywhere from $25 to $3,200 in the Lancaster PA area. There are several factors which influence this. It’s the same as asking, “How much does car cost?” Well $45,000 for a brand new Lexus. or $800 for a 1995 Saturn. It just depends what you’re in the market for. We’ll try to explain what you should expect at certain levels.
$25 – $400 DJs
This is typically a bar DJ or an Ipod. He probably won’t have insurance for the wedding venue, which means if you or your crowd gets injured by him or his equipment, YOU the bride, pays out of pocket for that injury. No elaborate DJ lights. He probably doesn’t have his own equipment. Very little training in announcing the Bridal Party, organizing dances, or crowd motivation. But cheap.
$401 – $700 DJs
This is most often a DJ who works for what is called in the industry a “multi-op.” A Multi-Op is a DJ who owns a large company. You will meet with the owner, but unless you pay through the nose, you’ll never see him except for payments and paperwork returns. The owner will not be your DJ at this price. This is like buying meat by pointing at it with your eyes closed. You might point at Filet Mignon, you might point at Scrapple. It’s a crap shoot. He will have his own equipment, but not much experience. Probably only one or two reviews. Most likely will never instill confidence in you. You’ll be fearful about him doing a good job the entire Wedding day.
$701 – $995 DJs
This is a DJ you can trust your big day to. Simple DJ lights. A clean set-up with no exposed wiring. Usually adequate insurance for the venue. This wedding DJ has at least 7 to 10 years experience, and a back-up DJ if things go awry. There should be many reviews of his work and they should be verifiable by phone number and not just email. He will probably return your calls and emails the same day. He’ll be a good MC and create a relaxing fun atmosphere at the wedding reception with a large array of music from which to choose. You’ll have a reliable, clearly written contract and a Wedding Reception Music Guide, including a clear itinerary for the day. He’ll also have a separate ceremony system and wireless mics for toasts. This is the fee range for Rockin Out DJ Service.
$1,000 and up DJs
At this level you should expect and receive everything at the lower 700 – level, plus extras like Wedding GOBO Monograms, elaborate lighting and photo booths and even video booths. Plus at this level these DJs can create slide shows featuring you and your fiance’s relationship. You should receive a finished slide show and this DJ should be the owner, if it’s a Multi-Op. We can also accommodate these services at Rockin Out DJ Service
If you’re having an outdoor wedding ceremony and an indoor reception, you may not have thought about how to get music to, not only the ceremony, but also the cocktail hour area, as well as the reception area.
It’s difficult for some DJs to handle this. Not Rockin Out DJ Service. It’s easy for us to provide music to those areas.
First you would need a small sized PA system to handle a ceremony. Plus wireless handheld microphones for the ceremony officiant, bride and groom and any readers in the ceremony.
You’ll also need to be able to hear the ceremony system in the cocktail area, or book a second system exclusively for the cocktail hour area. You will also need to book a 3rd system for the wedding reception. Make sure you receive quotes for 3 systems, or book us, and all of that will be included in one low price. Most DJs do not include 3 systems in their basic rates.
There are different ways to choose your wedding music. In my 15 plus years of Wedding DJing it is difficult for even myself to come up with the perfect song on the spot. I can’t imagine having to be a bride and do this.
While there are several great wedding music resources out there in the wedding industry, I’ve found that the easiest way is to simply “listen harder.” By this I mean that this songs you hear most; in your car, at work, in a lazy time at home are probably those you’ll gravitate to most often. This will be the bulk of your Open Dancing. But don’t focus on that for now, focus on just throwing every song in one big pile, like your clothes. By the way, you’ll be married soon, so please start to pick up your shit.
Take everything you hear on a normal daily basis and throw it in a big pile, and call it “Wedding Music.” These can be any songs at all: your prelude music, open dancing songs, your intro, the bridal party intro. Just don’t categorize it yet. Then, about 4 months out from your wedding day, begin to categorize them. Have fun by texting songs you hear that you like to your beloved. Make a Google Drive Document and add them so you can collaborate and share, or start making Spotify playlists.
Sit down with your beloved and start with the category that’s easiest to tackle. Most of the time that is open dancing. Make it fun, and enjoyable and start with all the songs that’ll get you up and moving. Then what you have left will probably be slower songs, the less party kind. At least 3 of the open dancing songs you can use for Intro’s. You’ll need one for your parents. Usually something like, “Uptown Funk,” because it’s just funny and your parents never embarrass anymore. You’ll need one for the Bridal Party, and one for you and your groom. Make yours and your grooms the best of the bunch and most energetic. Or, if energy isn’t your thing and you’d like it understated, you can be introduced to your First Dance song and start your first dance right away.
The rest of the music that’s left will now be slower ballads and these you can put into the wedding ceremony or the Prelude. The prelude is the 10 or so songs the DJ plays while wedding guests are arriving and being seated. We usually prefer these be instrumentals, and we can get any song you can think of, as an instrumental. There’s even an instrumental version of Wrecking Ball good God, and we own about 22 versions of A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. So there are options.
The song left in this pile after choosing prelude music are those you’ll most likely pick from for all the formal dances. These songs will be good for Father/Daughter, Mother/Groom and Longest Married Couple dances. The best of what is in this pile you can use for the wedding ceremony itself.
And a note about the ceremony, if you don’t listen to classical music in your everyday life, do NOT put it in your wedding ceremony. The axiom is true, “The wedding ceremony is for you, the reception is for your guests.” So if you have an eclectic taste in music, let it shine in your ceremony.
If you need more help, call us, or check out our Wedding Ceremony Music suggestions on Rockin Out DJ Service YouTube Channel.
Most wedding DJs in Lancaster PA charge per hour. This is fine for a really small event and if it’s not longer than 4 hours.
In Lancaster, PA in 2016 80% of weddings lasted 6 hours or more. Purchasing your DJ services for a wedding of this many hours by the hour doesn’t make much sense. The $300 “buy-in” price may look awesome at first, but until you add in lights, mics, ceremony systems, and cocktail hour music that’s in a separate location of the ceremony OR the reception, and now you’re up to $1,300. But you started at $300.
If your wedding is longer than 6 hours, and includes a ceremony and cocktail hour, PLUS lights, then booking s DJ that has a “per-event” price makes more sense.
Typically you’ll have mics and lights and separate systems added into a ‘per-event” price.
This has two benefits for you the bride:
You won’t get “nickel-and-dimed” per light, per mic, or per hour. Everything you need for a logistically successful wedding will be included in your DJ fee.
The “out-the-door” price you’ll know up front, unlike all your other wedding vendors who probably are charging you per item and per hour.
Also this way if something changes with the wedding venue, and your hours for your event get expanded, or worse, if they become reduced, you won’t end up with having to pay a DJ overtime. A per-event price will also get you lights, slide shows, and monogram lighting, which you’d end up paying extra for with a per-hour DJ.
If you’re looking for a great DJ, at a fair “per-event” fee, then click and check to see if we’re available to DJ your Lancaster PA Wedding
Yes dance floor lights AND up lighting!!
You may or may not go to a church. If you do go, this test will be easy.
Test To See If You Need Lights At Your Wedding
Click on the link to this popular wedding dance song. Pause it.
Pull up another search window. This time make it a Google Image search window. Click on this picture.
Go back to the first window and start the song.
Now imagine you, the groom and everyone you’ve ever known, dancing in that facility, as is, to that song, with no lights.
Feels weird and sucks doesn’t it.
Now you know why lighting is important at your wedding.
At minimum it’s probably best to have about 4 lights for open dancing and about 5 up lights.
Tips To Remember With Up Lights
Up lights shine up. Up a wall, up to the ceiling.
You can’t up light a glass wall.
You can’t up light a tent unless you pay for extra poles around the circumference of the tent to hold them on. Typically there are not enough outlets around the circumference of a tent, so you’ll also need to rent a generator if you’re looking to up light it.
Too many up lights and your photographer will hate you to have to spend 8 extra hours to removing the purple from everyone’s skin tone in your wedding photos.
More than 10 is too many up lights. 8 for most rooms of 120 guests is about enough up lights.
With our lighting package, we include 8 up lights for your wedding venue. It’s $200. We can do more, at $40 a light but refer to #5 above.
This video on our YouTube Channel is what our typical up lighting looks like in a moderate sized room. This would also equate to a large sized tent.
For more information on all our up lighting options, you can see Rockin Out DJ Service wedding video here, or visit this page for our wedding DJ lighting options and availability
There’s a few things we DJ needs in order to make your wedding reception a huge success.
Answer emails and correspondence promptly. It makes is hard for us to plan your wedding musically if we have to wait until we introduce your bridal party to get names and pronunciations.
We’d reaaaallllly love it if you’d submit at the minimum your 20-30 favorite songs of all time. I know we should be and for the most part, we are adept at reading the crowd. But if the bride isn’t happy, no one is happy. With all the different popular song genres and even Sirius/XM Music channels, it’s really hard to read your mind from just, “Oh play whatever.” Is Talyor Swift on your “Whatever List?” How about 5 Finger Death Punch? Too much leeway.
We’d love to not have you sit the older crowd next to the speakers. It’s a drag having to be told to turn it down when we’re on “1.” Can’t go lower than that.
We’d also love to know where we’re setting up and have it near an outlet. We’d love to know it before we arrive.
We’d love a clearly defined table and no floral arrangements to be used for later on it.
We’d love it if you tell your photographer that after dinner, once the formal dances commence that you stay in the room, so that if we call upon you to dance, we don’t have to wait around for you to show up to your own event. Which brings me to #7…..
As LeeAnn Womack clearly stated, “I hope you dance.” Please dance. The rest of the crowd gets their cues from you, and if you’re not out there at least 40% of the time, your guests are going to think you’re unhappy and leave. Enthusiasm is contagious on a dance floor.
I feel sheepish about this, but a little tip would be nice. I know you budgeted a ton for this. Probably your biggest purchase to date was this event. But if the DJ went to extra effort, took your calls at odd hours, never left you hang for an answer, downloaded all your favorite music AT the event, coordinated everything, the least you could do is about a $100 gratuity on a $1,000 effort. If not that, then a referral to someone who is really in need of a DJ would be awesome.
In return, I promise to give you the music of a lifetime, at a fair price that you’ll remember for years to come