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Tips on Finding Entertainment

The dance floor is buzzing. The music is incredible. The crowd is celebrating the night away. This is the image many couples envision when they think about their wedding night. To ensure your night is a celebration to remember, you will need to hire the best music and entertainment.

It’s crucial to hire a professional DJ that will be able to compile a great list of songs for your day. This is not an area to pinch your budget. Keeping the dance floor packed is truly a talent, and you will want someone who has a lot of experience doing so.

How to decide between a DJ or live music: 

1. What type of tone would you like to set for the evening?
A. Relaxed, classic vibe with some energy
B. Contemporary, classic, exciting with a lot of energy 

2. How much variety in music is important to you?
A. A little—very specific range of songs
B. A lot! A wide range of genres and eras 

3. What is your budget?
A. Very flexible
B. Very limited 

4. How much space does your venue have for entertainment?
A. Large space
B. Very limited 

5. Do you want music to dance to or more of an interactive music portion?
A. Interactive—love the concert vibe
B. Music to dance to—Electric and Cha-Cha Slide, Macarena, the works! 

Mostly A’s
Think about having live music at your reception. Pros for live music are that you get the classic feel and excitement of having a live performance. If you are looking for a specific type of music, live music is a great option. 

Mostly B’s
Consider having a DJ at your wedding. DJ’s are typically less expensive and have more variety in the music they can offer. They have tons of dancing songs as well as background music for dinner. They can be as flexible in their playlists as you want. You can also make a “must-play” and “do not play” list for a DJ. 

Your music will be responsible for roughly 5-10% of the budget. This will include: the band/DJ, their equipment rentals, any lighting that is a part of the package, mileage and tip.

Questions to ask when selecting your musicians or DJ: 

  • Are you available for my specific date? 
  • Can you play specific songs or learn them? 
  • What is your specialty? Can and will you play a variety? 
  • How many weddings have you done? 
  • Can you provide me with three to four references? 
  • How long have you been in the industry? How long have you played together? 
  • What sets you apart from your competition? 
  • How far in advance do I need to book your service? 
  • What is the deposit? 
  • Do you have extra fees if you work past your designated time? 
  • Do you provide any extra services? Lights, microphones, amps, speakers, etc. 
  • Outdoor ceremony/reception: do you need any specific electrical equipment for outdoors? 
  • How much space will you require? 
  • Live music: Can we see and hear you perform? 
  • Are you willing to be our announcer/emcee for the evening? 
  • Will you accept special requests during the reception?

If they are hired through an agency, tipping is a great gesture. Some contracts have tipping included, so be sure to reference your invoice for services to see if this is built-in. This can be done at the end of the night when they have completed their services. You can also give these tips to your wedding planner to disperse for you.
DJ: 15-20% depending on how involved and timely your DJ has been.
Band members: $30-50 each, depending on how long their set has been.
Photo Booth staff: 10%

Check out the best entertainment vendors in Minnesota

Minnesota Wedding Guide is honored to work so closely with some of the best entertainment vendors in the state of Minnesota. We have now made the hunt for the perfect vendors easier for you! Get your FREE copy of our Minnesota Wedding Guide to search over hundreds of vendors or view entertainment vendors here on our website!


With love,
Minnesota Wedding Guide

Main blog image by Brianna Lane Photography

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