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How Much Does A Wedding DJ Cost?

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The most important guideline in planning a wedding is to ensure your friends and family have a great time. You want them to have a lot of fun and spend the whole event smiling plus leaving them with nothing but memories of a great wedding. You have options. You can have a wedding band, a wedding singer, or a wedding DJ as one of the most pleasing features of your wedding for everyone. DJ’s can be the lower cost of the 3 options in most cases at all levels.

You also do not want to go into your marriage in debt, so the biggest issue is how to strike a balance between quality of vendors that will leave your guests satisfied with fun and exaggerated vendors who don’t give their best at what they do. So let’s discuss it in detail and before we start, let me make it crystal clear that the prices we will quote are in US dollars. Here is how you determine how much a wedding DJ costs.

It can be difficult to determine exactly how much it will cost to hire a DJ due to the various factors that affect the cost. The first of these is the accessibility of the cost of any particular DJ. Many DJs do not put what they charge on their website or in other forms of advertising. You will usually have to contact DJ companies directly and request a quote.

Expect to pay between $500 and $1500 for your DJ on your wedding day. We did manage to find a DJ company advertising a wedding package for $375, but the hours were limited and it did not include many of the features you should be looking for when choosing your vendor. Contrary to the $375 wedding package was a $1500 package from another vendor that certainly did cover everything you would need for a successful evening.

The only problem with the $1500 package was that I could not differentiate between their $1500 package and an $800 package from other vendors. For the price difference, we would expect either more features or a well-known name. For example, many people opt to pay more and acquire a Ferrari rather than a Hyundai, but it’s because they know the prestige that comes with owning a Ferrari and the reputation of the famous Italian sports cars. So before you leap to the conclusion that more expensive must be better or going for a cheaper option is a good idea, question what you would get from the company that justifies the price, high or low.

Factors That Affect How Much A DJ Will Cost

More important than saving the last dime is ensuring that your music is right for your wedding and that things run smoothly between you and your DJ. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to compromise one for the other, but you shouldn’t expect to get a world-famous DJ with a top of the line sound and light system for the lowest price. With that in mind, consider the following points:

Song Selection Shouldn’t Add to the Cost

Does the DJ Company you’re considering boast about a music collection of 25,000, 50,000 or even 100,000 songs? Ignore it. He or she will only play a few hundred on the night of your wedding, so having a B-Sides collection is not going to factor. Instead, look for a list of their most commonly played songs. If it seems like their most played songs are the type of music you’d be looking for, that’s all you’ll need. Besides, this is the day and age of iTunes, so your DJ should be able to get whatever music you want if you let him/her know your preferences before the wedding day.

Lights Shouldn’t Add To The Cost

Many DJ companies offer you the chance to upgrade your wedding package to include fancy dancing lights. It’s a personal decision, but give careful consideration to what the effect of the lights will be on the ambiance of your wedding. You’ve likely spent hours agonizing over colors and decor, now think of what flashing red, blue, green and yellow lights will do to that decor.

Great Sound Equipment Should Factor Into The Cost

A newer, high-quality sound system is important. Modern producers, specifically in hip hop and dance music (and have you looked at the dominance of these genres on the Billboard charts recently?!) push the sonic envelopes with their recordings. Songs are overall louder and the bass hits much deeper than it ever has before. Your DJ will need a sound setup that can handle it. Here is what to look for in a sound system:

  • brand names like JBL, Pioneer
  • system Wattages of 2,000 to 6,000 Watts
  • the word “digital”
  • subwoofer(s) included in the package
  • no gear older than 5 years
  • any more than two speakers and two subwoofers for a wedding of 250 people or fewer is overkill

You may need to inquire with your DJ to find out a lot of the information above, but it is important.

1-on-1 Meetings with Your DJ Should Factor Into The Cost

This, above all, should be the major consideration in whether a DJ company is worthy of your business. As you know, I enjoy car metaphors, so here’s another one; Meeting your DJ is like test-driving a car. It’s true that you won’t get to know every last nuance of it, but you can get a good feel for what you’ll be getting for spending your hard-earned money. When you meet your DJ, he/she may blow your mind and put you at ease knowing that you’ve made the right choice of DJs. It’s also possible that you and your DJ could have very different expectations for the evening (yours is the only one that counts!) and you can decide to find a different company before committing.

How Long Will The DJ’s Set Be?

On average, you’ll need about 7 hours of music for your reception. This will cover dinner and cocktail music from 5:00 through dancing music till midnight. Most DJ companies will allow you to add time if needed, but they should only be charging you between $50 and $75 for each extra hour.

Ceremony Music Will Factor into the Cost

Music for your ceremony is not typically included in a wedding DJ company’s “basic” package. If you’ve opted for a DJ to cover your music versus say a string quartet, you can figure on adding $100 to $200 to the total.

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