Don’t Forget to Dance


Tips on choosing the right DJ for your wedding reception in Rochester MN. 

By Alan Reed and Photography by Midwest Lifeshots

From the time you say, “I will,” to the time you say, “I do,” you’ll do a lot of planning and make a lot of decisions. As with many wedding vendors, good DJ’s can book up early, so calling when you’re early in the planning process will save you some worries later. 

About the DJ 

There are two parts to your wedding day. First is the ceremony itself, which could be at a church, or a farm, or a bluff. Good wedding DJ’s will have a PA system to fit the environment. 

The second part is the reception, where the celebration of your new lives will begin. People may travel a great distance to be at your wedding, and a good DJ knows it’s their job to make the party fun for everyone. Vast knowledge of all genres of music is a must, as the crowd may include everyone from kids to grandparents, to friends and coworkers. No two receptions are the same, and a good DJ will “read the room” to deliver the right mix of music, and the right amount of emcee-ing/audience interaction. 

In the Rochester area, wedding DJs range anywhere from $600 to $2,000 and more. If you’re deciding between a band and a DJ, keep in mind that bands often average a 15-minute break each hour for a four-hour gig, while most good wedding DJs play music for 6-8 hours straight. 

How Do You Find The Right DJ? 

There are a lot of wedding DJ’s in southern Minnesota. How do you know who’s good? More importantly, how do you find the one that’s right for your event? One of the best ways is to call the area wedding venues and ask the banquet/catering managers. They see them all, and know who is good and who’s not so good. They’re a great resource, and most are happy to share their insights. 

When you interview potential DJs for your wedding, here are a few questions you should ask: 

  1. How long have you been in business? 
  2. How many wedding receptions have you done? 
  3. Can you provide references from couples who have had a similarly sized wedding? 
  4. Do you have a wireless microphone to use for toasts? 
  5. Will you be there early to set up before the guests arrive? 
  6. Do you charge extra for lights, mileage and more? 
  7. Can we make requests? 
  8. Will the total price be stated on the contract? (Some DJs will quote a low price upfront, then charge extra for lights, dinner music, wireless mic, etc.) There should be no surprises when you get the bill. 
  9. Will we meet in person to discuss contract details? 

The right DJ can be the frosting on the cake for your big day. 

Alan Reed has been in the mobile DJ business for 35+ years and is the owner/operator of Total Music DJ Systems in Kasson. Learn more at