I know there have been a lot of discussions about DJs. Here's my opinion:
I know that hiring a DJ for your wedding can be expensive. It depends a lot on your area, but I've seen both lower priced, and higher priced DJs in a lot of different areas. So, maybe it depends on their experience level. I know here in CA, DJs are a big thing, so there are a lot of companies to choose from (some big, some small), and a wide range of pricing options. Having said that, I truly believe the old saying that "you get what you pay for."
I've been to weddings with and without DJs. I've seen live bands, string quartets, and even a harpist. Then there are the weddings where they decide (for whatever reason) not to hire a DJ or any sort of band, and use a playlist instead. What I have found (mostly) is that the weddings without a DJ are not as fun as the ones with a DJ.
The last DJ-less wedding I attended was just last year. They were using a playlist and some borrowed speakers. They had someone to oversee it, in case anything went wrong, the music would be tended to. Unfortunately, the person the couple "hired" to oversee the music didn't really know what he was doing. There were large gaps of time where there was no music at all. The poor kid would get the music going, only to have it shut off after only one song. There was nobody to make announcements, and it left the reception feeling very unorganized. A lot of guests were milling around the banquet room not sure where to go, where to find drinks, food, and should we dance? Went to the bar to be told they weren't serving drinks. It turns out that all the food was BBQ being served outside--they had tables inside and outside to sit and eat. Drinks out there too. But nobody announced the food was outside, so when you enter the space, you had to go all the way to the back, around the corner past the bar, and exit a door to the outside patio.
My point is that much of the confusion could have been avoided if there had been a DJ. One of the perks I like best about an experienced DJ is the fact that he/she can also act as MC for your event. Ours will make all of the announcements, from the start of cocktail hour, all the way to the end of the night where he will announce the last dance of the evening. He will keep us on track for the special dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. It's not always about the music, even though that is what the DJ is for. They can also help keep an event with a lot of moving parts (wedding) on track, and give all of your guests a great evening!!
So tell me your thoughts about hiring a DJ. Worth every penny? Or a total waste of money? I've seen both sides, and I'm going with the DJ--best money I've ever spent!!