Music at your Rochester Reception banner image

Rochester Wedding Vendors

Music at your Rochester Reception

The music you choose will set the mood for your Rochester area reception.
Select your band or disc jockey carefully, since they can either make or break your reception.

Tips on Selecting the Music

  • Keep in mind the number and age range of your guests. The music should not only please you, but should also be enjoyable for your guests.
  • Have your music in keeping with your wedding style. If you are having a very formal wedding, a heavy metal band may not be appropriate.
  • Karaoke is also available through some DJ services and bands, but you may not have many people getting up to sing. It may also tend to take attention away from the bridal party, with more attention paid to the singer. But it can also provide a memorable reception, especially if you have a lot of people who will have fun with it.
  • You may want to have background music provided during the dinner as well as dance music after. You should consider having a different style of music played during dinner. The volume shouldn’t interfere with dinner time conversations.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the DJ or band to play slower or softer music if that seems to be the mood of your reception. If everyone is engrossed in good con versations the music shouldn’t interfere with them.

When to Shop

The best bands and DJs can book up one year in advance or more, so you would be well advised to start shopping for the music as soon as your reception site and ceremony site have been set.


The next factor to consider is cost. This will depend on the time of day, the location, and the number of hours you want music. The playing time is generally four to six hours and the fees from $300 to $1000. If your wedding is during the winter or on an “off night” you may be able to get a bargain. Just keep in mind, generally, you get what you pay for. When it comes to entertaining all your guests the “best deal” is not the lowest price, it is the best you can afford. DJs are usually less expensive than live bands.
Once you have found what the basic price range is, you should also take into consideration overtime charges or any additional charges for special effects (such as a mirror ball or dance floor lighting). Once you have found several DJs or bands that are available on your wedding date, and are within your budget, then you can listen to them to compare, and choose the one you like the best.


To determine if you like the band or DJ, you should ask when you can see them play at a party or a wedding. Be sure you are auditioning the particular DJ you will be having at your wedding, not another DJ in the same company. Listening to one DJ in an organization, then having another, can be totally different. You will probably go to the site of the party or reception, stand in the back of the room, and check the music.
If a live audition is not possible, request a video. However, remember that the sound of the video is no better than the system you play it on. Also, a video may be edited to only show the very best aspects of a band or DJ. A live audition will give a much better feeling for the quality.

What to Pay Attention to

  • You should check the quality of the sound system, if they look professional, and if their music or personality will suit the style of your wedding.
  • Keep in mind the acoustics of your reception site. If it is a small room, a very high-energy band or DJ with a very loud system will probably not work out well. On the other hand, if you are in a very large space, a low-key band may not be the best choice.
  • Look at how the crowd is reacting. The band or DJ needs to be very flexible and adapt to each group and times throughout the reception. The guests should look like they are really having a great time because of the DJ’s or band’s efforts.

Types of Equipment

If you are hiring DJs, you may want to consider the following factors:

  • Is there a large variety of music available for requests?
  • What types of music are in their library?
  • Can they accommodate all age groups?
  • What type of medium is used: compact discs, tapes, or records?
  • If records, can they guarantee that they are in good condition?
  • If you want a song they don’t doesn’t have, can they get it? If not, can you provide them with one? Does it have to be a record? CD?



Make sure either the DJ or someone in the band will act as a Master of Ceremonies. There will be different announcements, such as introducing the couple and their attendants and different dances or events. You may want the emcee to announce birthdays or anniversaries as well.
The person who will emcee should make your guests feel comfortable and help the reception to run smoothly.


Find out how long the DJ or band has been in business. If a DJ organization, find out if there are different DJs that work for this business, and how much experience each of these may have.
Choose someone who has worked at weddings for some time. Ask what will happen if the DJ is unable to make it to your wedding, and who will fill in for them. Also, make sure the equipment used by the DJ is in good condition and won’t break down. Ask about backup equipment.
If you are choosing a band, find out how long the band has been playing together, and whether they have played at many weddings. Ask who will be the lead singer, and whether they expect all members of the band to be the same at the time of your wedding as at the audition. Ask who will replace the singer or any members in case of sickness.


Find out how much deposit is due, and when the balance is due. Ask how the balance must be paid. Most DJs and bands do not accept credit cards. Also determine if partial hours are charged as full hours. Be sure to include all of these details in the contract.

Contracts - What to Include

  • Date and time of your wedding.
  • Location of the reception.
  • Directions to the reception (and map), if necessary.
  • The number of musicians or DJs.
  • If a band, what instruments will be played.
  • The name of the DJ or lead singer desired.
  • If a band, the name of the band leader preferred.
  • The number of hours they will perform.
  • Exact times you expect them to perform.
  • A list of special requests or dances.
  • All costs itemized (including overtime charges).
  • All deposits paid, and when the balance is due. Make sure the contract spells out even the smallest detail, so that nothing is left to chance.

Additional Uses:

  • Picking up guests from the airport.
  • To drive the bride’s parents home after the reception.
  • For bachelor or bachelorette parties, especially if you are planning on drinking heavily.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • If you are having an outdoor reception, make sure not only to provide enough outlets, but also a protected spot for the band or DJ and their equipment.
  • If the site of your reception is not easily accessible (such as up three flights of stairs), let the band or DJ know so that they can plan on how to get their equipment to the site.
  • DON’T forget to include the DJ or band members in your dinner count.



Future Upcoming
Rochester Bridal Shows

Rochester Wedding Expo, TBD 2024

Click here for your free tickets


Rochester Bridal Expo, February 2, 2025

Click here for your free tickets


Rochester Bridal Fair, TBD 2025

Click here for your free tickets

Presented by, Rochester's wedding planning site

Rochester's wedding planning site!


Dunveavy and Rochester Irish Dancers video


Free Magazines



Disc Jockey and Emcee

father daughter dance

bridal dance

bands at your wedding reception

bridesmaids dancing

first dance as husband and wife

bride and groom dancing