I need your advice for a ceremony/reception DJ and a tight budget?

April 11th, 2010

I loved the DJ so much that I already paid the booking fee. My fiance and I will be having both our wedding ceremony and our reception in the same place. It is only one room, so there will be no transfering of guests or anything like that. The tables and chairs will have to already be set up.

The problem is that since we are having both in the same place, we would love the DJ to do both the ceremony and the reception. But the problem comes in where we would leave to take pictures (my fiance wants to leave to take pictures with the photographer even though I don’t see why since it will be a winter wedding…he says it would be awkward taking pics with the guests there)

The DJ is good for 5 hours…after that it is $75 dollars per hour!! We wanted to start the ceremony at 3 and go on until 1 AM, but that will be almost $1000 dollars for the DJ! So we thought about having another musician for the ceremony, but the problem lies in having the DJ setup during the ceremony!!

I’m so confused, I don’t know what to do. I don’t think we want to take pictures before the wedding.

What would you do? I’m so confused.

Thanks!!
Casper great advice..maybe I will start wedding later idk? To the other person I don’t have connections.
nova, good answer…but I need help…what should we do about photographer? Thanks
I need the DJ for the ceremony for the music, and the microphones as we will be saying our own vows.

9 Responses to “I need your advice for a ceremony/reception DJ and a tight budget?”

  1. casper4 says:

    That is ENTIRELY too long for a wedding. People are going to be wiped out around 9 p.m. You shouldn’t be leaving your guests for several hours while you go take photos.

    Hire the DJ for as long as you can afford (ask if you can get a discount if you also book him for the ceremony), and then use an iPod or something for the later party music. Get the special dances, toasts and cake cutting out of the way early, so that people are not stuck there until 1 a.m. People will want to leave WAY before 1 a.m., if they’ve been there since 3 p.m. or earlier.

  2. Forlorn Hope says:

    find a friend who’ll do it for free!!! 😀

  3. nova_queen_28 says:

    That is a CRAZY LONG wedding!
    My wedding ceremony was at 3pm and the reception ran from 4 – 9pm. We paid the DJ for the 5 hours of the reception only.

    I honestly don’t know why you would need the DJ for the ceremony portion of the wedding so you could easily cut that out. But even if your wedding ceremony were a full hour, 4pm to 1am is a VERY long time to have a DJ and expect your guests to stick around.

    If you really must go until 1am, I’d move your wedding back to 5pm at the earliest and have the DJ from 6pm to 1am.

  4. fizzy stuff says:

    First of all, if you want to keep dancing until 1am, the wedding should be much later. Five hours max is the total time your ceremony and reception should be, no matter when you have it. Right now you are planning for 10 hours, and it doesnt matter how great your party is, people will get tired and go home.

    Second, you mention you are on a budget. How does the food factor into your budget? Because to keep the party going, youll need food and drink — the more the merrier.

    My suggestion to you: Go with a formula that works for everyone. Ceremony at 6, pictures for 15-20 minutes max, dinner at 7, dancing and cake and everything else until 11pm.

  5. Mida says:

    I agree that you are planning a way too long event. People are going to leave long before it’s over.

    I think 5 hours is plenty of time that the DJ is giving you – have the first hour for the ceremony (even that’s a little long) and then the rest of the time is the DJ. And how long are you planning on leaving for photos? I wouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to 40 minutes to leave. You can’t just leave the guests hanging like that.

  6. Renee says:

    I don’t know how a wedding can be 10 hours long. My thought is the ceremony would be about 30 minutes. Then leave for one hour to take photos. Then come back around 4:30 and end the reception around 8 or 9. Unless your ceremony will be long for religion purposes, a 10 hour ceremony/reception is unlikely IMO.

    I’ve been to a wedding when the DJ was setting up during cocktail hour. It didn’t bother me, and he wasn’t noisy or “in the way” of us mingling with each other. That wedding had everything in the same room also

  7. prettyinpink says:

    I agree with all previous posts that this is too long for guests, especially those guests that may not know very many people. There are a few options either, you could have the DJs 1st hour for the ceremony and then the next 4 for the reception. After this point have an ipod with play lists for the rest of the evening. Or you could ask the DJ if they could set up their equipment in the morning or sometime before the ceremony and then not use the services until later. I personally would suggest having a different music selection during your wedding ceremony other than the DJ. If you plan on taking pictures after the wedding you could have a slideshow playing of you and your significant other starting out with pictures of the two of you growing up and ending with pictures of you together, if a projector is available. Also you could have pictures or albums or something lined up for the guests to look at while they are waiting. A cocktail hour is a nice idea if you are waiting for the meal. these items can be less expensive and then people wont need as much to eat for the large meal. It is all up to you but you definately still have options.

  8. Messykatt says:

    I agree about this being way too long. When a wedding starts at 3 PM, people often assume it’ll be over by 7 or 8. The good news for you is that if you’ve got the room this whole time, why not start the ceremony at 5 or 6? I agree with your fiance that you wouldn’t want guests observing the picture taking, but I do not agree with him if he means you’d actually leave the venue. The picture session shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or so and could be outside somewhere or in a different room. And you’d just plan for hor’s douvres to be served.

    If you started at 6 and went for 5 hours, this is already 11 PM. You’d probably only need him for another hour or so at max.

  9. I love my love says:

    if your wedding is at 3pm, no one will still be there past 10. so don’t worry about paying the DJ until 1am. you can shut it down well before midnight and only a few straggler guests will still be around, trust me. I go to tons of weddings.

    your fiance is right, you need to leave the room and have photos done somewhere else. I went to a wedding 2 mos ago where the plan was for the photos to be taken after the ceremony outdoors. well the weather was SO crappy, the bride and groom had to do all their formal wedding party photos in the reception hall during the cocktail hour with 170 guests in the background! that’s not going to look good. so if there’s another area in the venue where you can go privately with the wedding party for pictures, then you can have a short cocktail ‘hour’ or 30 mins for the guests and then come back and the DJ can officially introduce you around 4pm when you enter the reception for dinner.

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