Music Budget Advice

For most couples, this is their first time planning a wedding. It can be a challenge putting together a budget when you’re not sure what services will bring the most value to your celebration. If you are on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of your music experience, then here are some considerations.

For some weddings, dinner and conversation might be the focus. You could hire live musicians–such as a pianist for ceremonies, cocktails and dinner. And if you have extensive music knowledge you could even rent your own sound system and use a laptop or ipod playlists. Although, it can be quite challenging to get a dance party started and keeping it going without experience. A professional DJ also helps maintain a smooth flow for the evening and the best DJs are experts at subtly pacing the energy levels of the night with carefully curated music.

Some venues rent sound systems–although you never know how it will sound–I’ve heard some crackly systems with mics that feedback or have inconsistent levels. The rental fees may range from about 4-600. Add in some uplights, plus DJ lights and the cost could be more. Depending on the complexity of the system, there might be an additional fee for a setup engineer who would also need to monitor levels throughout the night and troubleshoot any technical issues. If you try to set it up yourself, without professional audio experience, there is a chance you could get to the wedding and the system doesn’t work. Stressful!

If you do want a dance party, then hiring an experienced DJ will yield the best results. However, hiring an inexpensive part-time DJ might end your reception early–or worse, as this DJ in Tampa relates:

Over the years, I have heard all sorts of horror stories about clients choosing the wrong entertainment.

A few being: DJ’s not showing up on time, not showing up at all, double booking themselves, not getting the DJ they thought they hired, their DJ & lighting set up are an unsightly mess, old lousy distorted/crackling sound system equipment, no back up equipment when there was a malfunction, cheap dance lighting or no dance lighting…poor microphone skills, not able to properly sequence the event, getting drunk at the event, hitting on guests, non-edited music, poor music library/selection, not able to “read” the crowd and pick good music, dressed inappropriately, hard to get a hold of, not very professional, didn’t deliver as promised, etc…  ~from Marry Me

Thus, when price-shopping DJs and comparing features, look for signs of what you don’t want, in addition to what you do.

Budgeting for music is one area that couples don’t often prioritize but probably should:

Is your veggie platter more important than your wedding entertainment? Let’s say you have 100 guests and the veggie platter costs $7.50 per person. That is $750…Are your guests going to remember the veggie platter or your entertainment? When you are spending thousands of dollars on a once-in-a-lifetime event, doesn’t it make sense to budget a few more dollars and go that extra mile researching–to hire a true professional wedding entertainer that will ensure a fun and memorable event your family and friends will remember for years to come? Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Good entertainment is not cheap and cheap entertainment is rarely good! ~Marry Me


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