How Much Does It Cost To Hire A DJ For A Wedding?
Well, there really is no easy way to answer that, other than to say it can range anywhere from $500 to $2500 depending on what your expectation are of them, and how experienced they are.
In this article we try to break down some of the barriers or objections to the prices that DJs charge for their services, and hopefully we can show you that you’re not “just hiring a guy to stand in the corner and play records” but, you’re really getting so much more than that.
Choosing the right DJ and Master of Ceremonies (MC) for your wedding reception can be a tough decision but the result can have a big impact on the night. Detailed below are some of the reasons why hiring a professional DJ/MC is a wise investment and explain some of the reasons behind the cost.
A DJ/MC will usually travel to your home to meet with you and your fiancé to discuss music tastes, how the reception will flow through the meals, speeches including the introduction of each speaker, which songs to play and when, cake cutting, first dance, garter/bouquet toss and farewell song. Through consultation with the couple, songs for all these important moments of the reception will be decided upon.
This includes time to travel to the meetings with the couple, the two hours required to set up before the reception, the duration of the reception (six hours) and one and a half hours to pack up at the end of the reception. This means that on your wedding day, your DJ will likely be onsite for between 9-10 hours!
Obviously for a DJ, the biggest cost is the equipment which includes lighting, speakers, console, cables, microphones both cordless and corded, and smoke machines. Then there are the spares which need to be on hand in the unlikely event of an equipment malfunction. In all, a DJ would have equipment worth around $10,000.
Having a varied music library, which is also kept current, is vitally important to a DJ and maintaining a music library costs approximately $1,500 per annum.
Whilst a fee is not charged for this, a good DJ will liaise with the photographer to ensure that the lighting being used during important parts of the night such as arrival of the bridal party, first dance, speeches etc, will not ruin the photos being taken. Your DJ will also engage with the reception venue coordinator to determine the timing of meals in relation to the key events that will happen during the night such as cake cutting.
Reading the audience:
A common request from couples is for guests to name a song guaranteed to get them on the dance floor. Whilst this can be a fun way to make guests feel included it can be problematic and a professional DJ will have developed ways of ensuring that death metal or KPop for example is not played all night long. The DJ will have acquired the ability to read the mood of the crowd and mix up the music to keep the party going, so whilst not all of the requests will be played on the night, you can rest assured that a good DJ will keep the dance floor full.
Of course, there are a few cheaper options that a couple can choose, for example, downloading all of your music onto an iPod, yes, options like this can save you money, but these usually present more problems than solutions. Often, you’ll be relying on a family member to get the selection and timing of music right on one of the most important days of your lives. Wouldn’t you rather leave that in the hands of a professional?
Something else to consider is the Master of Ceremonies (MC) role. Whilst it sounds great to “save money” by getting a family member to fill this role, you may very well have to contend with bad timing, bad language, that family member drinking too much before their duties are over, or god-forbid, they don’t show up at all. A professional wedding DJ/MC does hundreds of weddings a year and it is their livelihood, so you can be sure that they will use their experience and knowledge to get it right for YOUR wedding.
Choosing the right DJ/MC is important to ensure your wedding reception is a truly memorable occasion.
Special thanks must go to Brandon Chowdhurie from Off The Wall Promotions for his insight and input in writing this article. Brandon has been in the entertainment industry since 1985 and has seen trends come and go, but always manages to stay ahead of the game. He also acts as a booking agent for live musicians, so why not give him a call today to find out what he can offer.