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How Much are Black Tie's DJ Rates?

Throughout my life at every job I've ever worked at, the number one question people ask is "How much does "X" cost?" That includes a stint at a country club, a fast food restaurant I worked when I was in high school, an international rental agency, and a copier company. Those were all product-based companies accompanied with a customer service aspect.

However, to discuss pricing in the wedding industry is difficult to compare the product-based companies to a company like Black Tie that is offering almost 100% service. Our overhead is low and the equipment is already purchased, so it really comes down to how much a company thinks they are worth as well as does the quality of the customer service validate how much the clientele are willing to spend.

Some other DJ companies make it very simple. They offer a flat rate for all their DJs to appease the question of how much do you cost. Simple, right? Actually, Black Tie tried this method out a few years ago and it was not a success like we hoped.

The reason why it failed can be summed up in a few key points:

1. Our DJs felt disrespected, overwhelmed, and all around uneasy

If there is one thing you must know about Black Tie, it is that we love our DJs and we want them to be successful more than anything else. We want them to truly enjoy what they do and who they do it for. That is why our employee's concerns are our number one reason for not offering flat rates.

Imagine for a moment that you are paid the exact same amount as someone that has just started at your office despite him or her being right out of school. You might feel as if all the hard work you put into your craft didn't create any new financial reward and ultimately your motivation to work harder was removed.

Now imagine that you are the new hire that is making as much as the most seasoned employee in your position. Why stay at a company that has no future financial advancement? Additionally, are you expected to produce the same quality of work as everyone else? This can be overwhelming to anyone, but it is especially difficult when you throw the element of public speaking into the mix,

2. Our clients felt all the DJs were the same price so they must provide the same service

The central focus of our company is to take care of our employees by providing them with the best training and powerful tools to make an exceptional event. We hold our talented professionals to a very high standard and we expect them to deliver a superior service to our clients. We also expect them to be themselves during their time with us.

Asking DJs to be exactly like one another fights the uniqueness in us all and ultimately leads to a company full of the same person. Just as you are different from everyone else around you, our DJs are encouraged to be themselves. This means some DJs are focused on the mixing of the music more than their delivery on the microphone while some are the opposite. Make no mistake here. All of our DJs are great at their job. They are just different in how they perform.

Each section of our careers that we focus on requires constant work on improving and we reward the effort and skill each DJ possesses. Black Tie believes that the primary thing that separates us from the rest of the industry is our talented pool of employees.

3. One price didn't reflect our hard work

Our DJs put WAY more time into training than any other DJ company I've see. They put in late nights after their day jobs end and they spend it by driving through DC area traffic to get to a 2-hour training session in order to work on their public speaking, performance style, new wedding trends, etc. Black Tie, though, rewards our staff for this hard work more than any other DJ company I've seen. Black Tie never wants to be the status quo and reinvestment in our team is where we separate ourselves from everyone else.

We want to price ourselves as fairly for both our clients, our employees, and ourselves. We are not a company based out of a basement in a house and we invest in our talent every day for the betterment of our employees and clients alike.


Despite our desire to keep our pricing private both online and during our initial conversations, we also desire to be transparent and to help our clients become knowledgable consumers. For this reason, we like to provide a few thoughts to those who ask about our price:

1. Don't worry, you can afford us

Black Tie is the largest DJ entertainment company within Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. We perform at over 800 events every year, more than any other company that we know about. This is an indicator that if your total wedding budget is more than $20,000, then our prices are more than likely within your budget.

Additionally, we offer pricing starting in the $800 price range with applicable discounts such as military service. Furthermore, we offer price match discounts for dates that we don't anticipate on selling out like Thursdays and out-of-wedding season dates.

2. Compare us to the competition

We are listed among the highest rated companies throughout the territory that we service on all major online review sites such as Wedding Wire, The Knot, and more. To see our reviews and how we are worth what you will spend, click here.

3. Plan your budget based off of real numbers

Wedding Wire and The Knot recommend 8% of your total wedding budget be set aside for entertainment which means that a $20,000 budget should put $1,600 to the side for a DJ. Weddings range in budget from person to person as well as from area to area. So, check out this online resource tool from Cost of Wedding to find out how much the average wedding in your area spends broken down by vendor costs. You can see that info here.

To make a long answer short, our prices fluctuate based on the day of the week, the time of the year, the services provided, the talent selected, and the equipment needed. We will review our prices and services to not only make sure you are within your budget, but that you are getting the quality of service you hope for on your big day.

Contact a Black Tie representative now if you would like to get a customized quote during a personalized presentation.


Derek Entrekin is a seasoned DJ with over 15 years in the wedding industry and 500 events under his belt. He focuses on bringing a transparent view to the industry for engaged couples.

Derek is also the Director of Marketing for Black Tie Entertainment and spends a significant amount of time working with clients and wedding vendors.

To see more posts by Derek, you can click on his name on the right side under the post tags.

To reach Derek by email, click here.

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