Most DJs will start out in their bedroom, and then progress into paid gigs, with weddings being one of the more popular avenues for not just monetizing your skills, but also honing your craft. The great thing about being a wedding DJ is that you will never be out of work, people are always getting married so the demand is all year around.
Whether you are an established wedding DJ, or want to get into DJ’ing at wedding receptions and start your own wedding DJ business, this guide should help you. I believe it’s one of the most comprehensive checklists on the Internet today regarding the equipment that you will need to DJ at a wedding.
I will start off by giving you a wedding DJ equipment checklist which you can copy and paste, then print off to use as your reference point before any wedding gig. If you continue to scroll on past the wedding DJ equipment checklist you also read more in depth about each item in the list, with my recommendations for some of the best gear on the market.
I appreciate that you might want to do things on a budget, which if you are just starting out isn’t a bad shout. But if you do want to make a decent career or good money on the side from DJ’ing at weddings I would always recommend investing in the best gear possible.
First up though, here’s the equipment checklist. You might want to remove certain aspects from it, depending on the type of set-up you want to do – given the fact that many wedding DJs work digitally rather than on a vinyl set-up you will find items in here which might not apply to how you want to run things.
The wedding DJ equipment list is in no particular order, and depending on what set-up you choose to DJ with will mean some of these items won’t be needed. Further down this page you can read more about what type of set-up you should choose.
Wedding DJ Equipment Checklist
- Adjustable height table
- Amp and speakers or power PA speakers
- CD players x 2
- Comfortable headphones
- Connecting cables
- Extension cables and cords
- External hard disc for back-ups
- Folding cart iPod or MP3 player
- Laptop (if you are are running a DJ app)
- Microphone x 2 (always take a spare)
- Midi controllers
- Spare connecting cables
- Vinyl turntables x 2
Oh of course, please don’t forget the music! We’ve all heard of nightmare gigs where the DJ has forgotten their CD wallet, records, USB stick, or hard disc. Don’t be the that DJ!
All of the items above are available to purchase on the Amazon website. I always shop for wedding DJ equipment on this website, as I find that most of the time it has the best value and cheapest prices. If you have an Amazon Prime account you can also get it all shipped to you really quickly.
What Set-Up & Equipment Will You Want to DJ With?
If you are just starting out as a wedding DJ, and don’t know what equipment you should buy, then there are certain things that you should consider. Currently there are 4 distinct set-ups that a wedding DJ will be running. Those are;
- CDJs (CD Players)
- Vinyl Turntables
- Computer Only
- Midi Controllers
Of course, it could be a mixture of all of the above.
Let’s go into those into a little more detail, on what each wedding DJ set-up and equipment selection would involve.
CDJs (CD Players)
CD players for wedding DJs are not the same as consumer CD players. You will need two CDJs which sit on the table-top, or rack-mounted dual CD players. They typically come with jog wheels and pitch controllers and some will work in a very similar style to vinyl turntables.
As well as the CD players, you will also need a mixer letting you mix between the two players. Popular products are manufactured by brands such as Pioneer and Denon.
Vinyl decks are the classic DJ set-up, but as with most DJ’ing are now becoming less and less popular. I probably don’t need to go into too much detail on this one, as most people will be familiar with it, but it’s similar to the CDJ set-up described above.
With that in mind, you will need a mixer in the middle of the set-up, and then two vinyl turntables with pitch controllers. Technics and Vestax tend to be the industry standard here.
I won’t lie, I am not personally keen on DJs who purely use a computer in their gig. It doesn’t really stay true to the ethos of DJ’ing, but for some people it’s how they like to things, and can mean that they are able to select from a massive range of music and tracks.
With computer-only DJ’ing at weddings you will need to use software such as Traktor, VirtualDJ, or Ableton. Whilst this dramatically cuts down the amount of equipment you will need, it isn’t the easiest in my opinion to gig with, as you will need to really be able to master a vast selection of keyboard short-cuts in order to pull it off properly.
DJ midi controllers will let you mix music with software, but instead of using the computer keyboard, you can control everything via knobs, encoders, jog wheels, backlit buttons, faders, touch strips and more – it gives you a much more hands-on feel, and I would say more control and flexibility than simply DJ’ing from a computer.
Most midi controllers will have a control for 2 virtual decks, with a mixer set to the middle. Example products you can use, which I will go into more detail further on would be Numark NS7, Pioneer DDJ-S1, and Vestax VCI-300.
Let’s Take a Closer Look at Wedding DJ Equipment Options
By now you should have decided the type of approach, or a mix of, that you want to take with which you are going to gigging with, let’s go into each aspect individually. As promised I will provide both budget and more expensive options.
CDJs and CD Players for Wedding DJs
You can spend a lot of money here, or go budget. In terms of the equipment you need to be a wedding DJ, this is probably going to be the best investment that you ever make. Here are my budget and more expensive suggestions.
Well, how much do you want to spend? Are you going to be making a long and successful career out of being a wedding DJ?
If so then the Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 Professional Multi Player isn’t a bad shout – but you are going to need to of these bad boys, plus buy a separate mixer.
Prices at the point I wrote this guide and checklist are around $2,000 dollars per CDJ, but prices do tend to fluctuate on Amazon – check the latest Amazon deals.
If you are on a budget, then I have no hesitation in recommending the Gemini CD-700 series. They are dead cheap, work very well, and suit most DJ styles, with exception perhaps to hip-hop DJs as the platter response won’t really suit their style.
But for wedding DJs, these are brilliant. Again, you will need to purchase a separate mixer, but I will go on to those in a moment. View the latest Amazon prices on Gemini.
Quick Mention on DJ Systems
Before we move on to talking about DJ mixers for wedding DJs which I will do later down the page, it’s worth mentioning that this point that you don’t need to buy separate CDJ decks and mixers. It’s my preferred set-up as a traditionalist, but alternatively, you could look at buying a fully-integrated DJ system.
DJ systems come with an in-built mixer, meaning you won’t need to buy separate pieces of kit. The Pioneeer Pro DJ XDJ-RX DJ System is probably my favorite of the current ones on the market.
They probably suit the life of a wedding DJ quite well, as it means you don’t have to carry as much around and can just set them up on your table with no additional cabling and you’re ready to go – so they can save you time setting up too.
Vinyl Turntables for Wedding DJs
Every single wedding that I have been, without fail, has featured a DJ playing cheesy classics. A lot of this music might not be available digitally, and if you have been DJ’ing for many years, chances are you will have a large collection of tracks on vinyl which you haven’t yet ripped to digital, or have in CD format.
And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love seeing a wedding DJ playing on the old ones and twos with a classic vinyl turntable set-up?
If you want to DJ on vinyl as a wedding DJ, then here are two recommendations, and like before, a budget and more expensive option.
You really can’t get any better than the classic Technics 1210s. These are the standard, and have been for years. Forget anything new coming to the market, if you invest in a set of 1210s then you should need look no further.
They are the iconic DJ deck, and make up part of any wedding DJ equipment and set-up. As before you can buy them online, with some great deals to be had on Amazon.
Over the last few years some new brands have entered the market offering more budget vinyl turntables, with some stunning designs and products to be had.
Some of my more favourites brands include names such as Numark, Reloop, Audio Technica, Stanton, and Gemini. Depending on how much you want to spend, depends on how serious you want to make it as a wedding DJ. Take a look at the available options on Amazon.
Computer Only DJ Set-Up or Midi Controllers
DJ’ing at a wedding just using a computer is a entirely different skill, and due to the software you will need to master and type of laptop you will need to use, I will be putting together a different post about this in the future, as it’s such a large topic to go into detail on.
Similarly, I will go into a different blog post about midi controllers and how those can be used by wedding DJs.
Best DJ Mixer for a Wedding DJ?
I am often asked, what is the best mixer for a wedding DJ. I will be doing a long-form post on this at some point on The DJ Den website, but for now here is my recommendation for both a budget and expensive option.
Professional DJs swear by the Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2. It is a nightclub standard mixer, uses in DJ booths around the world. If you’re planning on also DJ’ing in nightclubs and at music events then it could be one of the best investments you’ve ever made.
The mixer tends to be the one piece of DJ equipment at a wedding that will get a drink knocked over it by an over-zealous wedding guest. So it might be worth going cheap for your mixer option, which would mean me recommending the Behringer NOX404 – it offers high end features (view prices).
Being a wedding DJ can be a hugely rewarding hobby or job. You get to really make a difference to people’s lives, providing them with a night that they will hopefully never forget.
The type of equipment that you use depends on so many factors. These include budget, long-term plans, and how often you plan to perform.
In truth, it’s possible to get by on the cheapest wedding DJ equipment, with a no frills approach. I will leave it up to you what you decide to go with, but would love to hear your feedback in the future about how your gigs have been going!
There is also a lot of planning involved. Read my guide to what every DJ needs to know before a wedding.