How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost?
We cannot tell you how many times we are asked “What is the cost for a 4-hour reception?” or “ Are you available on this date and how much?” Direct answers given to these questions provide misinformation that leads you in the wrong direction. The average price for a 4-hour wedding can vary depending on state and type of market you live in, the amount of equipment needed and the level of quality you desire. I am sure you have heard the horror stories about the tacky DJ that only plays certain types of music.
We know that the budget is a concern when planning a wedding. Here is a breakdown of the pay for each level of DJ:
Inexperienced or hobbyist DJ
$200- $300 per gig = Typically a DJ who is just starting out or a hobbyist. No microphone skills. Will not have a plan and will forget your name at least once. Sets will be sloppy and the song choices will be limited. They will play what they know. Straight up, if your budget is limited to the first group, you are probably better off going DIY. Rent decent equipment and have a friend DJ your wedding with an iPod. This way you won’t risk having someone play inappropriate music or make inappropriate announcements.
Slightly experienced DJ
$400- $600 per gig = A little better, one to three years experience but most likely still a part-time DJ. Limited microphone skills. May have a plan and might at least write your name down. This level DJ is more prone to making mistakes because they don’t have the time to properly prepare for your wedding. They most likely have a full-time job so they cannot focus as well on the success of your wedding! You might find a gem in this group, but you run the risk of having a DJ who just shoots from the hip. They could also be very cheesy and think that the chicken dance and Y.M.C.A. are standard play. They will still play what they know. Hopefully, not a club DJ or music will be loud….very.. loud.
$800- $1000 per gig = Three to five years experience, might be part of a multi-op company and receiving some training from a professional. Knows hit songs from every decade and can put a good set together. Should have a decent plan of the basics. Good microphone skills and might even be learning how to MC events. Will offer ceremony services as well. May have a photo booth and a few reception enhancements.
Well trained DJs may also offer basic packages in this range for intimate weddings with no wedding party or for those getting married for the second time. Not a whole lot of planning is needed.
$1000- $2500 per gig = Experienced DJ with excellent microphone skills, well-prepared, trained, full-time Master of Ceremonies. A well-detailed plan that has been reviewed by the couple to eliminate misunderstandings. Has all of the proper equipment. Offers ceremony services, provides lapel microphones and can patch into the videographer. Makes personalized introductions and uses emotion to create memories. Always learning and trying to improve their skills, vast knowledge of music and knows how to put sets together. Knows how to build a dance floor and keep it full. Interacts well with the guests and is never overbearing or cheesy. Also offers photo booths and many different reception enhancers to create the ‘WOW’ factor.