Hiring a Formidable Wedding DJ:
The Ultimate Guide


Looking for a professional wedding DJ while working on plans for your wedding or special event?

You’re probably looking for someone that can not only play music but someone that can actually help coordinate the day of your wedding while entertaining.

Below you’ll find questions to ask the DJ professionals you interview, important details you should be aware of while negotiating, and what the average cost for qualified wedding DJs in the Outer Banks and Wilmington

Helping You Make an Informed Decision

Key Traits and Behaviors to Look for in an Awesome Wedding DJ

You should expect to get a call back or an Email back within 24 hours. The only exception may be weekends when most DJ’s are performing.
In some fashion, you the client, need to be assured that the DJ you hire not only has a sizable collection, but has a variety of music, especially for wedding receptions, where many different styles of music and guests will be in the same room together.
Will the DJ try to meet with you soon, or is he/she just trying to book the date sight unseen? Is their material neat and professional looking, and is their presentation organized and informative?
There is NOTHING worse in the world than having to do business with someone you do not like. Choosing the person who “feels” right is the most important factor in picking the right entertainer for your party or reception.
The DJ you choose should be very open about what he/she can do for you and should volunteer information and show you that knowledge base.
A professional DJ is ALWAYS willing to discuss your event at any time before the event starts, and should display the flexibility to accommodate changes and help you solve problems.
If the DJ does not have pictures of his or her gear, you should ask to set up a time to see the equipment or see pictures of the DJ’s set up. The DJ should be able to tell you what he/she uses and characterize the equipment as professional grade.
Ask the DJ you interview if he/she will be the actual person performing, or will someone else perform the event. You need to know this UP FRONT before you sign a contract. At Coastal DJ & Video, the DJ that you meet with in the initial consultation will be your DJ.

It seems that the DJ is often the last service chosen, after much of the budget is spent on a venue, food and clothing. This often leads brides and party planners to shop for the cheapest price possible because of a lack of resources. This often backfires when holding out for the lowest price. However, if you have adhered to the guiding principles noted here, you will know to avoid services that have a rock bottom price because they will not be able to display the level of quality and attention to detail that EVERY couple deserves!


11 Questions You Must Ask

  • Are you available for my date?
  • How much do you charge?
  • Do you charge for travel, set-up or break-down?
  • What time will you arrive for set up?
  • Do you have any packages/deals?
  • Do you guys let the guests make requests?
  • Can we provide a music list of what we want played?
  • Do you provide lighting or is it included in the price?
  • What do we need to do to reserve our date with you?
  • Do you have back-up plans or other DJ’s that are on stand-by?
  • Are there any additional costs or fees to your services?

Your DJ will help guide you through all the steps in creating an account through our on-line reception planner that will allow you to construct an order of events, pop in a timeline, list and help with first dance choices, help with instructions for toasts, music choices for all parts of the night including cocktail hour, dinner, and open dance time. Making sure they have all the songs you request for your reception.

Qualified Wedding DJ Rates

What's the Average Cost of a Wedding DJ?

Some wedding services provide a fixed-rate fee. You will know up front what you are spending on your dress, cake and catering, for example. However, these fixed services have parameters that don’t change during the event. Once she delivers your cake, the decorator’s job is done. Your caterer determines food costs based upon a pre-determined list of RSVPs. However, the cost for wedding DJ services depends on the length of your event and what you expect from your DJ. An experienced wedding DJ charges by the hour.

Because your reception could extend beyond the projected schedule, an hourly rate ensures that you get professional service from the start to the end of your wedding at a fair price. In Wilmington and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a qualified DJ charges between $150 and $250 per hour on average.

Professional Wedding DJs
Average Hourly Rates for Outer Banks and Wilmington, NC

$200 - 250


Make sure your pro DJ is able AND willing to take requests throughout the night. As long as you and your DJ have agreed, prior to the reception, that it’s okay to play guest requests, your guests will certainly appreciate it. People remember a friendly and flexible DJ that has all their favorite songs

Choosing a Kick-Ass Wedding Playlist

Do I Have to Pick All My Wedding Reception Songs?

This is what will be playing while you’re eating, drinking and socializing with your guests. Choose some of your favorite wedding reception songs and genres in a mix of ballads and dance tunes. Rock, pop, country, R&B and even rap, hip-hop and reggae make fun mixes. Your DJ can take your favorites and come up with an entire playlist to match your personalities and wedding theme.

Along with all of the wedding songs you do want, it’s a good idea to define songs you definitely don’t want. Suggestive lyrics, vulgar language and relationship topics such as devastating break-ups and extramarital shenanigans could drop a few jaws. We know your friends are all hip and current, but we wouldn’t want to send Great Aunt Martha into cardiac arrest on your wedding day.

Keep It Simple

Picking music for a four to five hour time frame can be a truly stressful task. It doesn’t have to be. Break it down into small and easily accomplishable tasks. For example, just concentrate on choosing the first dance song and allow your DJ to make recommendations based on your music taste. You're a hiring an experienced wedding DJ, s/he is certainly able to recommend songs for each portion of the reception based on your personality - that's why it's important to either meet in person, or schedule planning meetings over the phone before the wedding.

An Online Planner Comes In Handy

Qualified DJs will have an online tool where you can browse, store, and organize your entire event. More importantly, your DJ can log in and collaborate, making suggestions or changes that you can then approve later, from pretty much any device, at any time.

Beyond the Wedding Reception Playlist, Also Consider:

  • Processional – Classical selections include “Canon in D” by Pachelbel or Handel’s “Water Music Suite.” For contemporary options try the Vitamin String Quartet, or the Piano Guys.
  • Recessional – Time-honored tradition calls for Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” or Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Contemporary selections include "Best Day of My Life: by American Authors or "Marry You" by Bruno Mars.
  • First dance – Popular choices include “Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran or "Die a Happy Man" by Thomas Rhett.
  • Father/Daughter - “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle and “I Loved Her First" by Heartland are sweet songs to consider.
  • Mother/Son – Rascal Flatts "My Wish" or Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” are popular choices.
  • Cake Cutting – “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE, “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies or "How Sweet it is" by James Taylor have all been chosen for cake cutting ceremonies.
  • Bouquet Toss – display your sweet or sassy side with songs like “Girls Just Wanna have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper or “Single Ladies: by Beyonce.

As you’ve paid a deposit and have questions along the way for your wedding, you should always be able to call or have questions answered at any given time. You need to be sure that when you call you’re not spending extra money to make changes or get the necessary help from your DJ company.


Should You Tip Your Wedding DJ?

If your DJ was supportive, professional, and attentive, the question is no longer should you tip the DJ at a wedding, but rather how much.

Was the DJ a great Master of Ceremonies? Did he or she announce important events, like the entrance of the bride and groom to the reception, toasts, and special dances such as the newlyweds’ first dance and their dances with their parents? Was the DJ able to get the guests excited to watch the cake cutting and to vie for their chance to catch the bride’s bouquet or garter?

Did the DJ Rock Your Wedding Reception?

Speaking of excitement, were your guests sitting down or were they dancing all night? A great wedding DJ chooses a mix of songs that will get your guests on the dance floor and having the time of their lives. He or she should also work with you if you have certain genres, artists, or songs that are “must-haves” for your wedding and if there are some you do not want to hear under any circumstances, even if a guest requests them.

Expectations & Appreciation

At the end of the event, you and your new spouse definitely should tip the DJ at your wedding if he or she lived up to your expectations. Generally, the range for wedding DJ tips is 10-20% of the billed amount.

Final Considerations

You’ll want to make sure that when you call and talk to your DJ/MC that you’re comfortable with the way he/she sounds over the phone and that they have a pleasant speaking voice and attitude. When you’re at your wedding and the DJ is making all the announcements over a large or small PA system they should sound excited and full or energy to you and all of your guests.

You need to have full confidence in your DJ/entertainer and know that what you’re paying for is what you’re going to get on the most important day of your life!

Attitude, Voice, Personality, Showmanship are all things that give the quality in your assigned DJ

We Hope You Found This Guide Helpful

Our team is here to answer any questions you may have. You can call us at 252-573-0161 or contact us right away