2023 Wedding DJ Equipment Checklist: 10 Must-Have Items

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Wedding DJ Equipment Setup

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Welcome to the ultimate Wedding DJ Equipment Checklist! If you’re looking to start your own wedding DJ business but don’t know where to begin, you’ve come to the right place.

We understand that there are countless equipment options out there, which can be overwhelming and expensive. That’s why we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 essential items that you need to get started. By following this checklist, you’ll have everything you need to become the perfect wedding DJ, without breaking the bank. So let’s dive into the Wedding DJ Equipment Checklist and get you on your way to success!

1. Turntables, CDJs or DJ Controller

When it comes to choosing the right equipment for your wedding DJ setup, you have three main options: DJ controllers, CDJs, or turntables. Each option has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to consider your needs and preferences before making a decision.

DJ Controller

A DJ controller is a popular choice for many wedding DJs because it offers a compact and portable solution that is easy to set up and use. DJ controllers typically feature a mixer, jog wheels, and a range of buttons and knobs that allow you to control your music and effects. They also often come with built-in audio interfaces, which means you can connect them directly to your computer or laptop.

Some popular DJ controllers for weddings include the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3, the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX, and the Denon DJ MC7000.

Read: 6 Best DJ Controllers For Beginners 2023

Best DJ Controllers For Beginners

CDJs

CDJs are another popular option for wedding DJs, especially those who prefer a more traditional setup. CDJs are essentially digital turntables that allow you to play CDs or USB drives that contain your music. They offer a tactile and responsive feel that many DJs love, and they often come with a range of advanced features such as looping, hot cues, and effects.

Some popular CDJs for weddings include the Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2, the Denon DJ SC5000 Prime, and the Numark NDX500.

CDJ Setup

Turntables

Turntables offer a classic and timeless feel that many wedding DJs love. They use vinyl records to play your music, which gives you a unique and warm sound that can’t be replicated by digital equipment. However, turntables require a bit more skill and experience to use effectively, and they can be more expensive and less portable than other options.

I would suggest only using direct-drive turntables, as they are a more professional option, and are easier to work with, particularly if you plan to do any scratching.

Some popular turntables for weddings include the Technics SL-1200MK7, the Pioneer DJ PLX-1000, and the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB.

One popular alternative would be Time-Code vinyls. This needs just two special records that have a code on them, rather than music, that is ‘read’ by a DJ Software on a computer or laptop. 

Ultimately, the choice between a DJ controller, CDJs, or turntables will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Consider factors such as your budget, portability, and the type of music you’ll be playing when making your decision.

Read: 5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying DJ Turntables

Vinyl Turntable

2. Laptop

When it comes to DJing at a wedding, a laptop is an essential piece of equipment. It’s where you store and play your music, and it’s also where you control your DJ software. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a laptop for your wedding DJ setup.

Windows or Mac?

The first decision you need to make is whether to go with a Windows or Mac laptop. Both operating systems have their pros and cons.

Windows

Windows laptops tend to be less expensive than Macs, and there are many more options to choose from. They are also more versatile, as they can run a wider range of software. However, Windows laptops are more prone to viruses and malware, so you’ll need to be careful about what you download and install.

Mac

Mac laptops are more expensive than their Windows counterparts, but they are known for their reliability and ease of use. They are also less prone to viruses and malware, which can be a big advantage. However, if you’re used to using Windows, the Mac interface may take some getting used to.

Read: 5 Best Laptops for DJing

Other Considerations

Once you’ve decided on a Windows or Mac laptop, there are a few other things to consider:

  • Processor: Look for a laptop with a fast processor, as this will help ensure that your DJ software runs smoothly.
  • RAM: Make sure your laptop has enough RAM to handle your DJ software and any other programs you might be running.
  • Storage: You’ll need plenty of storage space for your music library. Consider an external hard drive if you need more space.
  • Screen Size: A larger screen can be helpful when you’re navigating your DJ software, but it also means a larger, heavier laptop to carry around.
  • Battery Life: Look for a laptop with a long battery life, as you don’t want to run out of juice in the middle of a wedding reception.

Notice that I haven’t included a desktop PC – they are far from practical.

Best Laptops For DJing

Specifications: I would opt for a Solid State Drive (SSD) of 512 GB or more, or a similar-sized Hard Disk Drive (HDD); 8GB RAM; a decent processor and graphics card running on a suitable screen size – 13-inch or more. 

According to the Serato website, their minimum system requirements are:

Recommended specifications – “For a typical DJ setup using default Serato settings”:

FormatMacWindows
Year2017 or later
ProcessorIntel core i5 or Apple M1/M2 or higher6th generation Intel core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 3000 series or higher – AVX required
Memory8GB or higher8GB or higher
Storage15GB or more of spare local disk space (SSD)15GB or more of spare local disk space (SSD)
Video MemoryDynamic/shared 512MB (dedicated 1GB or higher for Serato Video)
Operating SystemmacOS:
13 Ventura
12 Monterey
11 Big Sur
Windows:
11
10

High performance specifications – “For demanding tasks like low latency scratching, live streaming, mixing with three or more decks, or using Serato Video”:

FormatMacWindows
Year2018 or later
ProcessorIntel core i9 or Apple M1/M2 or higher8th generation Intel core i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 5000 series or higher – AVX required
Memory16GB or higher16GB or higher
Storage15GB or more of spare local disk space (SSD)15GB or more of spare local disk space (SSD)
Video Memory4GB or 14-core GPU or higherDedicated 2GB or higher
Operating SystemmacOS:
13 Ventura
12 Monterey
11 Big Sur 
Windows:
11
10

Overall, a laptop is a crucial piece of equipment for any wedding DJ. Choose one that fits your budget and meets your needs for reliability, speed, and storage.

A full Wedding DJ Equipment setup can range in price considerably, from $500 to more than $15,000. The good news is that you can start on a budget and upgrade items as you can afford to.

3. Speakers

Speakers are an essential part of any wedding DJ setup. They are responsible for projecting the sound to the audience and creating an immersive experience. When selecting speakers for your wedding DJ setup, there are a few things to consider.

Power and Wattage

The power and wattage of your speakers are important factors to consider. You want to ensure that your speakers are powerful enough to fill the venue with sound. The wattage of your speakers will determine how loud they can get. Keep in mind that larger venues will require more powerful speakers.

Size and Portability

The size and portability of your speakers are also important factors to consider. You want to ensure that your speakers are easy to transport and set up. Additionally, the size of your speakers will determine how much space they will take up in the venue.

Speaker Options

There are several types of speakers available for wedding DJs. Some popular options include:

  • Passive Speakers: These speakers require an external amplifier to function.
  • Active Speakers: These speakers have a built-in amplifier, making them easier to set up and use.
  • Line Array Speakers: These speakers are designed for larger venues and provide a more uniform sound throughout the venue.
  • Subwoofers: These speakers are designed to produce low-frequency sounds and are a great addition to any DJ setup.

When selecting speakers for your wedding DJ setup, it’s important to consider your specific needs and the needs of the venue. Take the time to research and test out different options to find the best fit for your setup.

Read: How to Choose DJ Speakers

DJ Speakers

4. Headphones

When it comes to DJing, headphones are an essential piece of equipment that can make or break your performance. You need headphones that are comfortable, durable, and deliver high-quality sound, so you can accurately monitor your mix and make adjustments on the fly. Here are some things to consider when choosing headphones for your wedding DJ setup:

1. Comfort: You’ll be wearing your headphones for hours at a time, so comfort is key. Look for headphones with soft ear cushions that won’t hurt your ears or cause discomfort over time. Over-ear headphones tend to be more comfortable than on-ear headphones, but it’s a matter of personal preference.

2. Durability: You want headphones that can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. Look for headphones with a durable build quality, such as metal or high-quality plastic construction. You’ll also want to make sure the cable is detachable, so you can easily replace it if it gets damaged.

3. Sound Quality: You need headphones that deliver accurate, clear sound so you can hear your mix with precision. Look for headphones with a wide frequency range and good bass response. Closed-back headphones are ideal for DJing, as they provide good noise isolation and prevent sound leakage.

4. Brand and Price: There are many headphone brands on the market, and prices can vary widely. Look for reputable brands with a good track record for quality and reliability. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on headphones, but investing in a good pair can make a big difference in your performance.

Best DJ Headphones

Some popular headphone options for wedding DJs include the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10, Sennheiser HD 25, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Ultimately, the best headphones for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget. Take the time to research and try out different options before making a purchase, so you can find the headphones that work best for you.

I always carry a spare, cheaper pair of headphones… just in case!

5. Lighting

When it comes to wedding DJ equipment, lighting is an essential component that can make or break the ambiance of the event. Proper lighting can set the mood and create an atmosphere that your guests will remember for years to come. Here are some things to consider when it comes to lighting for your wedding DJ setup:

  • Uplighting – This is a popular lighting technique that involves placing lights on the floor and pointing them up towards the walls or ceiling. Uplighting can create a beautiful, warm glow that can enhance the overall ambiance of the room.
  • Dance Floor Lighting – It is important to have lighting focused on the dance floor to create an energetic atmosphere. You can use lights that move and change colors to add to the excitement of the dance floor.
  • Spotlighting – Spotlighting is a technique that involves focusing a light on a specific area or person. It can be used to highlight the bride and groom during their first dance or speeches.
  • Gobo Lighting – Gobo lighting involves projecting a pattern or design onto a wall or dance floor. This can add a unique touch to the wedding and create a stunning visual effect.

There is so much to choose from when it comes to DJ lighting for weddings, and much of what we buy is unnecessary. As long as you have lighting that covers the dance floor area, flashes or moves around, you don’t need to spend that much. 

You can find packages suitable for DJ setups or buy what you want individually. There are also ready-made lighting bars that come all connected on a tripod.

5. Stands

When it comes to setting up your wedding DJ equipment, stands are a crucial component that you cannot afford to overlook. Stands provide a stable and secure platform for your equipment, ensuring that it stays in place and doesn’t get knocked over during the event. Here are some essential stands that you should consider including in your wedding DJ equipment checklist:

1. Speaker Stands

Speaker stands are a must-have for any wedding DJ. They provide a secure and stable platform for your speakers, ensuring that they are at the right height and angle for optimal sound projection. Look for stands that are adjustable in height, so you can position your speakers at the perfect level for the venue.

2. Lighting Stands

Lighting stands are another key component of your wedding DJ equipment checklist. They provide a stable and secure platform for your lighting fixtures, ensuring that they are positioned at the right angle and height for maximum effect. Look for stands that are adjustable in height and have a sturdy base to prevent them from toppling over.

3. Laptop Stand

A laptop stand is an essential accessory for any wedding DJ who uses a laptop to play music. It elevates your laptop to the right height, making it easier to see and access while you’re DJing. Look for a stand that is adjustable in height and angle, so you can find the perfect position for your laptop.

4. Microphone Stand

If you plan on using a microphone during the wedding, then a microphone stand is a must-have. It provides a secure and stable platform for your microphone, ensuring that it stays in place while you’re speaking or singing. Look for a stand that is adjustable in height and angle, so you can position the microphone at the right level for your needs.

5. Tabletop Stand

A tabletop stand is a versatile accessory that can be used to hold a variety of equipment, including mixers, controllers, and other small devices. Look for a stand that is sturdy and stable, with a non-slip surface to prevent your equipment from sliding around.

In conclusion, including stands in your wedding DJ equipment checklist is essential for ensuring that your equipment stays secure and stable throughout the event. Whether you’re using speakers, lighting fixtures, a laptop, a microphone, or other equipment, stands provide a secure and stable platform for your gear.

Tripod stands are perfect for speakers and lights. You will need to make sure the speaker stands are compatible with the speakers – usually a 35mm pole. Just don’t buy anything too cheap as they will not last.

6. Microphone(s)

As a wedding DJ, you’ll need microphones to make announcements, introduce the wedding party, and for any speeches or toasts. Here are a few things to consider when choosing microphones for your wedding DJ equipment checklist:

  • Wireless or Wired: Wireless microphones are more convenient since they allow you to move around freely, but they can also be more expensive. Wired microphones are more affordable, but they require cables and can be less flexible.
  • Handheld or Lapel: Handheld microphones are great for speeches and toasts since they allow the speaker to hold the microphone close to their mouth. Lapel microphones are better for situations where the speaker needs to move around or when you don’t want the microphone to be too visible.
  • Number of Microphones: You’ll need at least one microphone for speeches and toasts, but you may also want to have a second microphone for the DJ to make announcements or for the wedding party to use during their entrance.

When it comes to choosing specific microphones, here are a few popular options:

  • Shure SM58: This is a classic handheld microphone that is great for speeches and vocals. It’s durable and affordable, making it a popular choice for DJs.
  • Sennheiser EW 100 G4: This is a wireless lapel microphone that is great for speeches and presentations. It’s easy to use and has good sound quality.
  • Audio-Technica AT4053b: This is a high-quality handheld microphone that is great for vocals. It’s a bit more expensive than some other options, but it has excellent sound quality and is built to last.

I always have at least two microphones; a wireless one and a wired one. My primary microphone is wireless and can be used anywhere in the room which is really handy. A wired one is great for a backup.

Overall, choosing the right microphones for your wedding DJ equipment checklist will depend on your specific needs and budget. Consider the type of events you’ll be DJing and how many microphones you’ll need before making a purchase.

8. DJ Booth or Table

When it comes to DJ equipment for weddings, the DJ booth or table is a crucial component. This is where you will set up your DJ gear and control the music for the reception. Here are some things to consider when selecting and setting up your DJ booth or table:

  • Size: Make sure your booth or table is large enough to accommodate all of your equipment, including your laptop, mixer, turntables or CDJs, and any other gear you may be using. You should also have enough space to move around comfortably and access all of your equipment without feeling cramped.
  • Height: The height of your booth or table is important for ergonomics and comfort. You don’t want to be hunched over your equipment for hours on end, so make sure your booth or table is at a comfortable height for you to stand and work.
  • Stability: Your booth or table should be stable and sturdy enough to support all of your equipment without wobbling or shaking. This is especially important if you are using turntables or other equipment that is sensitive to vibrations.
  • Appearance: Your booth or table should look professional and fit in with the overall aesthetic of the wedding reception. Consider using a tablecloth or other decorative elements to make your booth or table look more attractive.
  • Lighting: Make sure your booth or table is well-lit so that you can see your equipment and any controls or buttons clearly. You may also want to consider adding some mood lighting to create a more festive atmosphere.

Overall, your DJ booth or table is an essential part of your wedding DJ setup. Take the time to select a suitable booth or table and set it up properly to ensure a smooth and successful wedding reception.

Don’t underestimate a sturdy table when DJing. You cannot guarantee every wedding venue will have a suitable table so it is worth buying one. 

9. Cables

When it comes to DJ equipment, cables are an essential component. Without the right cables, your equipment won’t be able to function properly, and you won’t be able to provide the best possible experience for your clients. Here are some of the cables you should have on hand:

  • Power Cables: Make sure you have enough power cables to connect all of your equipment to the power source. It’s a good idea to have a few extra cables on hand in case one gets lost or damaged.
  • Speaker Cables: You’ll need speaker cables to connect your speakers to your mixer or amplifier. Make sure you have enough cables to reach the speakers you’ll be using.
  • RCA Cables: Some DJ equipment uses RCA connections, so it’s a good idea to have a few RCA cables on hand in case you need them.
  • Lighting Cables: If you’ll be using lighting equipment, you’ll need cables to connect your lights to your controller or mixer.
  • Extension Reel and Multi-Sockets: You’ll need an extension reel and a few multi-sockets to plug in all of your equipment. Make sure you have enough sockets to accommodate everything you’ll be using.

It’s important to make sure that all of your cables are in good condition and are working properly. Check your cables regularly for any signs of wear and tear, and replace them if necessary. Keeping your cables organized and properly labeled can also help you avoid confusion and save time when setting up your equipment.

10. Backup System

Plan for every situation: if any piece of equipment failed or broke down, could you still play the gig? Once you’re all set up, look at every item you have and decide if you need a backup – if you do, find a budget alternative that will see you through a night. You can always get the main equipment repaired or replaced before the next gig.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the worst-case scenario:

  • Bring backup equipment: Always bring backup equipment for your essential gear. This includes extra cables, microphones, laptops, and speakers. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and having a backup can save you from a lot of stress and headaches.
  • Test your backup gear: Before the wedding, make sure to test your backup gear to ensure it works correctly. You don’t want to find out there’s an issue with your backup equipment when you need it the most.
  • Have a backup playlist: In case your primary music source fails, it’s essential to have a backup playlist ready to go. You can create a backup playlist on a separate device or have a physical backup like a CD or USB drive.
  • Communicate with the venue: It’s a good idea to communicate with the venue ahead of time about their backup plans in case of a power outage or other technical issues. Knowing what resources are available to you can help you prepare for the worst-case scenario.
  • Be prepared for emergencies: Have a first aid kit and emergency contact information on hand in case of an emergency. It’s always better to be prepared and have a plan in place.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your backup plan is solid and that you’re prepared for any technical issues that may arise. Remember, it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared when it comes to backup equipment.

It’s handy to keep an iPad or tablet with a good playlist on; backup your full music library to an external hard drive; have a spare cable for every essential one.

Read Next: Can You DJ From Your Phone?

A Few Extras

There are a few other items to add to your kit that can come in handy;

  • Gaffer Tape – to tape down cables on the floor
  • Velcro Straps – for securing cables to the tripods
  • Cart – for wheeling your equipment from your vehicle to the venue
  • Tool Kit – just in case
  • Torch/Table Lamp
  • Notepad & Pen – for making notes and taking requests
  • Equipment Cases and Covers

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, when it comes to DJ equipment for a wedding in 2023, there are certain items that you must have to ensure a successful event. The right equipment will help you deliver a memorable experience that your clients and guests will cherish for years to come.

To recap, your wedding DJ equipment checklist for 2023 should include the following items:

  • DJ Controller or Turntables
  • Laptop with DJ Software
  • Speakers
  • Lighting
  • Tripod Stands
  • Microphones
  • Headphones
  • Cables and Adapters
  • Backup Power Supply
  • DJ Table or Stand

Investing in high-quality equipment and accessories will help you deliver a professional performance that meets the expectations of your clients. While some venues may provide some equipment, it’s always better to have your own gear to ensure that you have everything you need.

Remember, the right equipment is just one part of being a successful wedding DJ. You also need to have excellent communication skills, a professional attitude, and the ability to read the crowd and adapt to their needs. With the right equipment and skills, you can create an unforgettable experience for your clients and their guests.

So, make sure you have everything you need on your wedding DJ equipment checklist and get ready to rock the dance floor in 2023!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What equipment do I need to DJ a wedding?

Wedding DJ Equipment List;

  1. Turntables, CDJs, DJ Controller
  2. Laptop
  3. Speakers
  4. Lighting
  5. Tripod Stands
  6. Microphones
  7. Headphones
  8. Table or Deck Stand
  9. Sockets and Cables
  10. Backup system

Do DJs bring their own equipment?

A Mobile DJ is a type of DJ that is self-sufficient – they supply all their own equipment: Playout system, Speakers, Lights, Music, etc.

A Club DJ will normally only supply their own music playlist on either a laptop or memory stick/hard drive. They use the club’s playout system, which is connected to speakers. The club will have its own lighting system too.

How long do DJs play at weddings?

How long a DJ plays at a wedding varies but is usually decided by the Bride and Groom. The DJ could play music for the ceremony, welcome drinks, wedding breakfast (meal) and evening reception. Some DJs will only play music for the evening reception, which is around 5 hours, not including the setup and pack-down times.

Do you really need a DJ at your wedding?

Choosing not to have a DJ at your wedding can save money, however, it can be hard work getting it right if you do want music.

A DJ will have a large selection of music. They will usually create a bespoke playlist based on the couple’s requirements, make sure all the equipment is tested and working, and play the right music at the right time, often taking requests too.

A popular alternative is to hire a band or other live music.

Can you DJ with just a laptop?

It is possible to DJ using just a laptop. There is a range of DJ software that can be used with or without additional equipment. You will still need a way to plug your laptop into your DJ speakers, and if you want to play two or more tracks at the same time you will need an additional soundcard. 

You can have some control using shortcuts on the laptop’s keyboard, which are defined by the software itself. 

Using a DJ Controller, Turntables or CDJs gives you more control and flexibility to mix your music.

Read Next:

Wedding DJ Equipment Checklist

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