Often the first question someone looking to hire a dj for their wedding or event is how much does a disc jockey cost? and…..are the more expensive DJ’s worth the extra money? It is often frustrating for people, when they are investigating DJ Prices and fees, to discover that most disc jockey’s websites don’t post fees and pricing. . We will do our best with this blog to answer these important questions. Before we get into it though please know that DJ prices can and do vary hugely from city to city, town to town, state to state, and disc jockey to disc jockey.
Types of DJ’s
1) Club DJ’s. typically Club Disc jockey’s are good at a very narrow genre of music appealing to a specific age group. The genre of music rarely changes and songs often play for over 5 minutes each. The club dj often just needs to bring his laptop/hard drive/records/headset….all other equipment is provided by the club. The Club dj does not have to follow a schedule or stop and start the music 5 or 6 times during the evening as wedding dj’s do (and then get guests dancing again after each stoppage). With the exception of a handful of disc jockey’s club/bar dj’s get paid a nominal fee for their services anywhere from $50(or under)to $250 for the night (5/6 hours).
2)Mobile DJ’s (New to the business vs Veteran dj’s)
One of the differences between a club and a mobile dj is the mobile dj comes to your venue and brings and sets up all of the equipment. So now the dj just doesn’t play music but is a roadie and a sound engineer. The dj doesn’t just have to know how to set the equipment up but has to know how to use the equipment so the microphones and music have the right levels so everything sounds perfect for 4 to 6 hours without disturbing the guests. The Mobile DJ also has to have the skill to initiate dancing sometimes 6 different times during the party (at most seated affairs guests are up and down for 1st course, dinner, dessert, toasts, etc)after each of these guests want to dance. The mobile dj also has to be extremely organized to make certain that all the names are pronounced correctly, the music is cued correctly which leads me to preparation. Preparation is everything…there is at least 2 to 3 hours of prep work involved with each wedding which consists of acquiring requested music the dj doesn’t have, writing up an itinerary for the party i.e. timing for introductions, names of wedding party, parent dances, cake etc..this isn’t even including the prep work for the ceremony.
There are two types of Mobile dj’s.
1. Newer/Part Time DJ’s
Newer DJ’s who have say less then 100 events under their belt typically (but not always) have inferior equipment (in short, bulky speakers that don’t look or sound good), no back up equipment, often are NOT detailed oriented and often get the pronunciations of the bride, groom and guests names wrong. Beginner dj’s often don’t read the crowd well…meaning they can play a style or two of music well but can’t seamlessly dj from one style to another..they tend to stick with the same songs from party to party. Newer dj’s sometimes also looked stressed and uneasy which at a celebration is not what you want. The fees newer dj’s or part time dj’s charge also varies from state to state but conservatively range from $250 or less to $1000 (and many will also throw in lighting, a/v equipment, tv’s and more….this is all to compensate for their lack of experience and confidence)
They’re really isn’t any substitute for experience. These disc jockeys have dj’d for every type of party/event/crowd possible…multiple times. They have also been around long enough to know the best possible equipment to use. They are prepared, organized, have dj’d at your venue many times before, know many of the other vendors in the industry, get back to you right away and read the dance floor naturally, organically and successfully. Experienced DJ’s charge (again depending on where you’re located)anywhere from $1500 to $5000 for a wedding reception. Some DJ’s (mostly with top PR firms working for them)charge much more than that.