The average cost of hiring a DJ in my city for a wedding ranges from $900 to $1,500, if not more. My husband and I cut that cost out by not having a DJ at our wedding.
What did we do instead for music? We asked our venue if they had a speaker and microphone we could use. Sure enough they did and it would be complimentary! We had music playing in the background at our wedding. It turned out well because our guests were able to talk at the table without shouting at each other. Normally when there are DJ's at a wedding, the music is so loud no one could hear each other or have a nice conversation. My guests were very pleased, complimented how they loved our wedding and that it was very personal and intimate.
Optional - As far as the microphone, you could have a host (family member, sibling, friend) introduce the wedding party or anything you would like to say however we ended up not using the speaker, but had it on hand encase we changed our minds.
If your venue does have a speaker and microphone you could use:
- I highly recommend testing their speaker equipment out with your equipment prior to your wedding date so you can get familiar with the set up and what you'll need. Don't forget to ask if wi-fi is included or not. Wi-fi was not included for us, so we had to plan otherwise, or you can use your wi-fi on your phone but since I do not have unlimited data, I had to plan a different route (which I explain in tip #2).
- For music playlist - you can customize your own playlist of songs on Spotify or Pandora. If you do not want to customize your own playlist, you can search up wedding songs and there will be playlists others created that you can listen to and see if you like any of those to use. Also, you may want to consider paying a monthly fee to Spotify or Pandora because as a free member, free accounts play commercial ads so that would not be as professional. Since not having to pay for a DJ - paying $9.99 a month, would probably be a good investment to have non-commercial ads during the wedding and canceling afterwards but luckily my sister is actually already subscribed to Spotify, so she was able to help set up my playlist. Then, I was able to download the playlist directly to my phone and have the songs saved that way I won't need wi-fi or use data when I plug my phone to the speaker. *You could ask any family/friend if they are subscribed to Spotify or Pandora to help set up your playlist and avoid the monthly subscription fee.
If your venue does NOT have a speaker and microphone you could use (complimentary):
- You could always ask if they have a speaker and microphone you could rent. See if the rates are reasonably or not. (If it's too much, may be better to purchase a speaker).
- Ask a family member, friend if they have a party speaker you could borrow.
- Our last option if our venue did not have a speaker to provide and we couldn't find one to borrow, we would purchase a speaker -- a party speaker and or karaoke machine around $80 to $150 (more or less depending on your research and preferred machine). In the end, the speaker would be yours to keep. A gift that would be used to entertain guests and for your family to use and less than cost of DJ.
Ultimately the speaker should be accommodating to your venue room size. There are tiny bluetooth speakers for less than $20, and those will not work. If you end up buying a speaker, should ask to trial the speaker out in the room at your venue to see if the speaker would be accommodating.