Updated: May 13, 2020
You’re starting to plan your wedding…
You’ve never done this and are shocked at the cost of goods and services involved! Are wedding professionals trying to take advantage of you? NO. It takes a lot to make your wedding day run smoothly. Just on the entertainment side of things…our DJs will put in upwards of 15 hours prior to wedding day preparing for your celebration so that it is unique…just like you. Your wedding is an intricate event – not just a party. There are introductions, toasts, specialty dances, etc etc etc. This is not a “show up and play for four hours” kind of thing. It’s an incredibly involved day and a good wedding DJ/Master of Ceremonies is definitely worth the price.
So, what should that price be?
Obviously no one has a completely unlimited budget and you’ll have to prioritize your budget based on what is the most important to you. But keep in mind that the DJ can make (or break) your reception. Their role is incredibly important and should not be minimized. They are in charge of implementing the timeline and being your spokesperson as well as playing the right mix of music and entertaining your guests all evening.
There’s a huge range of prices out there, but the bottom line DJs charge what they’re worth and the best can command quite a bit of money. I usually advise steering clear of the DJ who talks about how cheap he is – he clearly doesn’t value what he does and probably doesn’t have the experience and training to handle curve balls that may be thrown at him on wedding day. I’m not saying you have to get the most expensive DJ out there, but on a day where you spending a lot of time and money, you want to invest in a DJ who will carry you through the day.
I’ve seen DJs from $600 to $3000 for a wedding reception. That’s a HUGE range and quite overwhelming. But think about all that the DJ/Master of Ceremonies will be doing and budget an appropriate amount. When couples tell they’re shocked that a DJ can cost $2000, I will ask them how many people they’ve invited and what they’re paying per person for food and drink. If you intend to have 200 people, that’s $10 per person for entertainment, a Master of Ceremonies, and about 20 hours of that DJs time (probably much less per person then food/drink and maybe even flowers). So, keep in mind that there’s a value in the cost of a professional DJ.
Finally, as you’re shopping around, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Make sure you understand how many hours is included, how many sound systems (if more than one is needed), what the preparation process is (will they meet with you), will they create the timeline for you and handle all Master of Ceremony functions, and generally what you’re getting for your money. Then, when you’re comfortable you’re receiving what you need and want, make sure you’re comfortable with the individual (you’ll be relying on them on wedding day so you want to like them). If it all adds up, it’s worth the cost and you should lock in!