What Do Wedding DJs Actually Do? | Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths

What do wedding DJs do?
Why Your Wedding DJ is Important!

What do wedding DJs do? This is a very popular question that not everyone is clear about. When it comes to wedding and event DJs, there are a variety of things that a wedding or event DJ can do. Every DJ company is different, though, so be sure to ask your company for their answer to what do wedding DJs do.

Some DJs will simply be a “club DJ,” who happens to just be at your wedding for the night. These DJs’ selling point is that he/she is the DJ at this or that club, he/she is a resident DJ at this popular bar, etc.

If you’re going for a club vibe, then this may be the DJ to go with. Just know that he/she may not be as familiar with weddings, so it may be best to hire these DJs for just the reception.

Other DJs may show up and be very familiar with weddings and know exactly what to do, with or without a coordinator present. Our team is the latter. We’re going to discuss what your wedding DJ can/should do, as well as answer a few frequently asked questions.

By the way, we’re answering this from our experience and perspective. This may not apply to all wedding DJs. So let’s answer the question, what do wedding DJs do, now.

What Do Wedding DJs Do?

If you’re planning your wedding, then you may be debating about whether to hire a DJ or a band for your wedding. Both have their pros and cons. We’re going to discuss what wedding DJs can (or should) do for your big day.

If you want to read more about the pros and cons of hiring a band or DJ, check out our article “Hire a Band or a Wedding DJ.” So let’s get back to the topic, what do wedding DJs do? Here are some things your DJ can do, at your wedding.

  • Play Music for the Ceremony
    • Your DJ can bring a PA system and microphone for the ceremony.  Most of the time, a lapel microphone is best. This will usually be cheaper than hiring live musicians to perform for the ceremony. It won’t be the same as having a live violinist or string quartet, of course, but you’ll still hear the songs you want!
  • Play Music for the Cocktail Hour
    • The DJ can also provide music for the cocktail hour time. This is usually when the couple takes photos after the ceremony. Usually, the couple will take photos with the wedding party and immediate family members.
    • DJs can play background music while your guests are waiting for dinner. Be sure to let your DJ know if the cocktail hour will be in a different area from the ceremony and reception area. They’ll have to bring another sound system for this.
  • Help Coordinate
    • Some DJs and DJ companies will be better at this than others. Many DJ companies who do a lot of weddings have professional DJs who have a lot of experience with how weddings are done. This will help you since your DJ will be familiar with what your needs are, and how to help the coordinator if needed.
    • If you don’t have a wedding coordinator, then you definitely want to hire a professional wedding DJ company that can help guide you through the evening.
    • Be sure to designate someone as the point of contact and who will help ensure things go smoothly. (Even if you didn’t hire an official coordinator). We highly recommend hiring a wedding planner and/or coordinator, though. However, we’ve done many weddings without a coordinator, and they all went well.
  • Be the MC
    • You’ll need a Master of Ceremonies/Host (MC) for the evening. This person will help keep things on track and help guests know what’s happening throughout the evening.
    • Your DJ should also MC, but be sure to ask. Some DJs will not MC, surprisingly. Some companies will send a separate MC, that you must pay for. Other companies will not offer it at all.
  • Enhance the Decor
    • DJs often do more than just play music. Many wedding DJ companies offer lots of additional options that will enhance the look of your wedding venue. DJs can provide uplighting, a custom lighted monogram (your name or initials, shining on the dance floor or wall), large lighted marquee letters/numbers, a projector and screen for a slideshow, and more.
    • All of these things can really help enhance the theme and decor, giving your wedding the unique look you desire. Talk to your DJ about all of their options.
  • Additional Options
    • Additionally, many DJ companies offer other entertainment options, such as photo booth rentals, lawn games, and giant game rentals, in addition to the above-mentioned options. Not every DJ company will offer this, so be sure to do your research.

Overall, these are just some of the things that wedding DJs do. There are many more, of course. What your DJ company can do will definitely depend on the DJ you hire.

Let’s discuss a few other frequently asked questions that go along with the what do wedding DJs do topic.

Are Wedding/Event DJs Really Necessary?

This is a very popular question. The short answer is, no, a DJ or even a band is not necessary. You knew that already, though. 🙂 Whether you choose to hire a DJ, a band, or neither, is up to you. You’ll need to decide what your vision is.

Do you want your guests dancing all night to their favorite songs? Perhaps you just want your guests to sit back, enjoy a great dinner, and converse with each other.

I know it’s ironic that we’re telling you that a wedding DJ or band is not necessary, but our goal is to be helpful, not make sales. 🙂 Every wedding is different. Choosing to hire entertainment, or make your own playlist to DJ your own wedding, is up to you! 🙂

If you’re looking for affordable options, check out our affordable wedding DJs article. If you  REALLY want an affordable option, we even wrote a blog about how “DJing your own wedding,” check it out.

Can My Wedding DJ Play Any Song?

This last question is a question that is asked a lot online, as well as by our clients. Every DJ has his/her own catalog of music. There are literally millions of songs, so it’s not possible for someone to have every song possible.

New music comes out every day, as well. However, your DJ should be able to have the songs you want to be played, as long as you give him/her advanced notice. We usually ask clients to return our music documents about 3-4 weeks in advance. This way, we have plenty of time to gather all the music we need.

Usually, if the song(s) is available commercially, such as on iTunes, or Amazon, we should be able to get the song. For some more local artists that may not have a lot of their songs available online, be sure to let the DJ know where he/she can find the songs.

If nothing else, you can always send the MP3 to your DJ, too. So usually, your DJ should be able to play any song, with advanced notice. With a request at the event, the DJ may or may not have the song. Pulling the song up on YouTube may or may not be an option, as well.

More Frequently Asked Questions

There are many more questions we are often asked, but we don’t want to write a really long blog. 🙂 Visit our Frequently Asked Wedding DJ Questions page, for more great questions and our answers! You can even copy/paste these questions for your wedding, even if you’re not booking us. Just be sure to delete our answers. 🙂

We hope this article has been helpful and has answered the popular question, what do wedding DJs do. As always, be sure to comment or ask us questions. We’re always happy to help!

-Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths

Jason Alexander Rubio

Jason has a Master's of Education (MEd), and a Master's of Public Affairs (MPAff). and has been in the DJ field for over 2 decades as a DJ, nightclub owner, radio show DJ/host, bar/club DJ, concert & festival organizer/promoter, and is the co-founder and owner of Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths, Radio DJ Drops, Rent Letters Now, and Quince Expos.Jason is also a certified wedding/event planner and has written articles/been featured in The NY Times, Brides, Style Me Pretty, Bustle, Disc Jockey News, DJ Times, DJNTV, The DJ Insider, Mobile Beat, My Wedding Songs, Fox Business News, NBC, ABC, Telemundo, and Wedding Planner Magazine.Jason also published his book "Succeeding in the Wedding Business," in January of 2023. He currently writes all of the wedding/event planning tips and blogs to help everyone plan their event, successfully!

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