We get this question a lot. Ultimately it depends on if you need the DJ for just your reception or for both your ceremony and reception. Typically for a reception it’s about 5 hours but some will only do 4 hours to shave costs. If adding a ceremony then an average amount of time is 6 hours for both your ceremony and reception however we also have seen 5 hours for both to help shave costs.
For a typical reception the DJ provides the following services…
1. Background music during cocktail hours
3. Background music the greeting line (if any)
4. Provides microphone for blessing (if any)
5. Excuses guests to buffet or asks them to take their seats if a plated meal
6. Background music for dinner
7. Slide show (if you have one)
9. Cake Cutting
10. Bride/Groom first dance
11. Father/Daughter Dance
12. Mother/Son dance
13. Wedding party dance (if any)
14. Open dancing for all guests for about 30 minutes
15. Money Dance (if needed)
16. Anniversary dance (if wanted)
17. Bouquet/Garter Toss
18. Reverse Garter (if requested)
19. More dancing for everyone
20. Last dance
21. Send-Off (if you have one)
If you include the ceremony then this is what’s typical of the DJ:
1. Prelude music 30 minutes to start of ceremony as guests are arriving and being seated waiting for the ceremony to start.
2. Processional song for the wedding party
3. Processional song for the bride
4. Possible music in middle of ceremony for unity sand or other similar event
5. Recessional music for bride, groom and wedding party after being introduced as husband and wife.
As you can see there are a lot of different things to consider. Wedding ceremonies usually only need one hour for everything from the prelude music all the way to the recessional song at the end. Receptions typically require 2 hours of background music for cocktails and dinner and then 3 hours of dancing and everything in between.