How much a wedding DJ costs is a commonly asked question among engaged couples. The typical wedding DJ cost may vary based on the size and duration of your wedding, as well as the services you need.
Due to the fact that this varies from wedding to wedding and from one DJ to the next, there is no definitive figure. And that is why we are writing this blog — to give you a better understanding of what to expect when hiring a DJ for your next wedding.
How much does a wedding DJ cost?
According to some sources, the typical price for a wedding DJ in the US is between $700 and $1200. According to others, the national average cost of a wedding DJ is about $1,000.
However, to estimate the cost of your wedding DJ, you must understand that their fees vary according to their experience, reputation, the equipment they bring, the jobs they do, and the length of time they are needed.
And while the following advice is primarily for wedding DJs, it can be used when hiring a DJ for any type of event.
Experience has a significant role in how much a wedding DJ charges. This makes perfect sense because the more experienced a wedding DJ is, the more likely they will do their job right. They will be able to effectively deal with any unforeseen scenarios and surprises due to their industry experience.
Wedding DJs without a license or any training who are really just getting started will charge between $250 and $350. These DJs may be more affordable — but bear in mind that, as the adage goes, you usually get what you pay for.
For wedding DJs with more experience and who have been hired a few times but have not yet learned everything there is to learn, expect to pay between $450 and $1,000. You should expect a higher quality of service in this range since these DJs have likely worked on a few weddings and have picked up some valuable tricks of the trade.
Having said that, they still have a lot to learn, and you may run into an issue or misunderstanding down the line. Because most DJs in this range run it solo, if they have an emergency of their own, they may lack a solid plan B — or worse, you may lose your wedding DJ altogether!
Finally, the best wedding DJs will have the most experience and are the most popular among engaged couples. You can expect these DJs to be well-versed in the trade and capable of commanding a room with ease. These DJs are the cream of the crop, and you can expect to pay a premium for their expertise.
They can devote more than 20 hours a week to ensuring that your 4 or 5-hour wedding celebration runs smoothly. They have received extensive training and have a wealth of experience. These DJs will cost you anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000.
What will your DJ do at your wedding? Some engaged couples have a firm grasp on what their DJ should do and when — this is invaluable information for a professional DJ. It helps them figure out when to play specific songs, when they must be ready for emcee (MC) responsibilities, and when they must turn off the music to allow you to take over the mic. That said, some engaged couples are unsure of what their DJ’s role is during a wedding and thus have no idea what to expect.
A professional wedding DJ will generally know how to emcee, which means they will engage with your guests and help the crowd transition from one aspect of your wedding to the next. A large part of their job as an emcee is to ensure that your guests have a wonderful time — whether by encouraging them to hit the dance floor or helping you get the guests to the right places at the right moments.
It is worth mentioning that some wedding DJs will feel uncomfortable in their job as an emcee. They may be unable to perform these duties with the panache you need, or in some cases, they may refuse to perform them altogether.
Therefore, when speaking with a potential DJ for your wedding, be sure to inquire about the responsibilities they are comfortable handling and the services they may be unable to offer. Does your potential DJ have a preferred way of taking song requests? Do they wish to be involved in any way with the scheduling process, helping you transition from one aspect of the evening to the next? Getting this information in advance will help you pick the right DJ for your wedding — it will also give you a sense of their experience.
Length of Time
Another essential factor to consider when determining the cost of a DJ is the amount of time needed for your wedding. A DJ’s typical time commitment is between three and six hours. However, these hours (or “sets”) may need to be extended when you get your estimates if breaks are required between periods when the DJ is playing music or helping you keep everything on schedule.
For example, if you know your guests will be giving speeches in the middle of the reception, make sure to inform your wedding DJ before the big day about that. This allows them to work with you on a plan for what will happen and when, and provide you with an accurate quote for their time, so there are no surprises when you receive the final bill.
What else can affect the price of a wedding DJ?
Some additional factors might increase the cost of your wedding DJ, including equipment, specific requests, runovers, and your wedding date. Because these items are not usually on your radar (what with all of the other planning you are doing), we wanted to make sure we have them covered in this blog.
● Equipment: Though most reputed DJs own and bring their own equipment to a wedding, the venue may ask you to use their equipment, or the DJ may lack the equipment necessary to provide you with all of the services you need — think uplighting, dance-floor displays, and disco balls or a lav mic instead of a handheld mic. Perhaps you would want to use more speakers for those seated at the back of the venue. All of these “extras” can drive the prices up.
● Special requests: Do you need a bilingual wedding DJ? Or do you want your DJ to work with your emcee rather than perform those duties themselves? What about the songs you would like to have played at the reception — does the DJ own them? While DJs have a huge collection of popular songs and can easily work with you on many tasks, they sometimes possess a set of skills that are not easy to find elsewhere, thereby increasing their popularity and price. Or, they may not have all of the songs on your list and will need to buy them to use them. You cannot plan for things like this, but they will affect the cost of hiring a wedding DJ.
● Runovers: Many DJs charge an hourly fee or a flat rate for specific timeframes (say, four hours) and then increase their rates for each additional hour. This can most certainly result in price changes — and while it may not appear so now (with a perfectly planned wedding calendar), you never know how things will unfold on the big day. What if your darling nephew Jimmy wants to sing an impromptu song and then do a special dance routine for you and your new life partner? While that is certainly endearing and unforgettable, and no one would ever want to get him off center stage, things like this take away time from other items on the calendar, which can quickly add up.
● Wedding date: You may not have considered it, but the date of your wedding can influence the cost of hiring a DJ. Are you interested in tying the knot on the Fourth of July? Are you considering planning a stunning fall wedding? Popular or affinity dates will increase the price since DJs will be in more demand — and in some cases, the price will change if you do not book the date far enough in advance. So, if you are eyeing one of those “special” dates, make sure to book a DJ now to avoid missing out!
As you can see, there is a laundry list of items that you should consider and discuss with your wedding DJ. If you are interviewing some DJs, make sure to inquire about the items listed above to avoid getting a bill you were not expecting. It may seem like a lot with the rest of your wedding planning, but it will be worth it in the end.
Allow Us to Provide the DJ Entertainment
Looking for a wedding DJ in Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Rhode Island? Contact DJ Dave Entertainment Today!
With over 25 years of experience and a creative approach to wedding music, the team at DJ Dave Entertainment can help you create an unforgettable evening. We don’t just spin tracks at your wedding — we turn your wedding into a beautiful experience that everyone will cherish for life.
Call us at (978) 254-1155 or contact us online so that we can discuss your upcoming event.