The “Real Cost” of a Wedding DJ
If you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, you know that the cost of essentials like decorations, catering, and entertainment varies by place and vendor. Of course, you don’t want to break the bank but you don’t want to have a “below average” wedding either by choosing the cheapest options.
The most important “big ticket” areas on which to focus your budget are the venue space, the alcohol and food catering, and the DJ. There are a ton of DJs in the Adams/York County area, so how do you choose? And how much do they cost?
The average cost of a wedding DJ in our area is $1,300. Realistically, you could see professional DJs charging anywhere between $800-$4,500 depending on the type of setup you wish to have for your guests (add-ons, lighting, photo booths, etc). We want to share with you the real cost of a wedding DJ because we don’t want you to blow your budget. Keep reading to find out what to expect from DJs at varying price points.
What Does a Wedding DJ Cost?
Time, money, and resources are what set apart a budget-friendly DJ from a full-time professional DJ. Professional DJs spend more time and put more money into their sets and equipment while more cost-friendly DJs may just use DJing on the side as an extra source of income. Here’s what various prices likely indicate when it comes to the expertise of the DJ:
Cost-Friendly DJ: Under $1000
There’s nothing wrong with checking the cheapest-priced DJs for certain events, but it might not be the right option for your wedding. Let’s face it, wedding receptions are mostly centered around the music and couples count on the DJ to act as an emcee to keep the ball rolling.
This price might make sense if you have a friend who is a DJ and she’s giving you her services at a discounted price as a wedding gift. Often wedding DJs in this price range are testing the waters and they might not have as much experience with weddings. Don’t forget that most venues require a business license and insurance, so be sure to see all documentation of this from a DJ.
Middle Ground DJ: $1,100- $1,500
The average cost of a wedding DJ in the U.S. is just between the prices above. In this bracket, DJs have slightly more experience, but more than likely are still DJing part-time. Since they probably have another full-time job, they might not have as much time to prepare for your wedding as someone who DJs full-time.
Keep in mind that all DJs have to start somewhere. You could find a stellar DJ in this category who is working on getting her name out there. Keep researching reviews and ask questions before signing any contracts.
“This is my career” DJ: $1,500- $4,500
There is a reason couples pay this much. From the hours the DJs put into preparing for a wedding to the wide range of services they offer, this is truly the full package. DJs in this price range are professionals, experienced, and committed to making sure the day meets your expectations.
This DJ will spend hours upon hours putting together music selections with your recommendations, answer questions thoroughly, and absolutely kill it as your emcee. They likely have all the venue’s favored and required qualifications, licenses, and insurance.
The prices above are only a fraction of what you could end up paying if you are looking for additional things such as special lighting and photo booths. Be sure to compare DJ services and reviews to their prices before deciding if they fit your budget. We don’t recommend settling for the so-so DJ because you wanted the laser light show.
The costs above are only guidelines. Depending on where you live, prices differ. There are amateur DJs that overcharge and quality hidden gems who undercharge. It is important to do your research, interview DJs, and ask questions to figure out if one is your perfect match!
The “Real Cost” Isn’t in Dollars
The real cost of a quality DJ isn’t the number on the check you hand over once the contract is signed. A quality DJ costs what they are worth, but it’s what they are doing on the backend that separates an average DJ from a great one. There’s a lot of time, resources, and commitment that go into the preparation of professional DJs.
Undeniably, a professional DJ will take 10-30 hours to prepare for a single wedding, whereas a hobbyist may only spend about 5 hours. She will take the time to get to know you and your soon-to-be spouse, to get a feel for who you are as individuals, and to learn about your music tastes. This interview process makes it much easier for a DJ to create a schedule and stay on track (every professional will do this).
DJs do much more than just throw together a mix of songs on a playlist. Experienced DJs know what equipment is the very best and set aside time to learn how to master it, as well as learn new techniques to mix music so there aren’t any awkward pauses between songs.
When you hire someone who DJs as a side gig, you are sharing time with the other priorities in his life. When something comes up with his full-time job while preparing for your big day, or worse ON your big day, which do you think he’ll choose – your wedding that’s a side gig or the day job that pays the majority of his bills? It’s a no-brainer to pay a bit more for a DJ that commits her time and energy to be present on your wedding day.
The Value vs The Price
We understand how important it is to set and stick to your wedding budget. It’s great to save a buck where you can, but when it comes to a DJ, don’t settle for less. After all, you are throwing the most important party of your life!
The cost of a DJ is only a piece of the puzzle. What is included in that number and what will the DJ provide for your special day? The “real cost” isn’t the numerical value, but the best value for your dollar.
HD Entertainment hosts a team of extremely talented professionals who are fun and love to bring special moments to life. There is no event too big or too small. Let us make your day magical. If you have any questions about our processes or booking information, call, email, or contact us today!