How Much Should A Wedding DJ Cost?

How Much Should A Wedding DJ Cost?

When you first hear what a wedding DJ costs you may be surprised. After all, its just music right?! Wrong. A Wedding DJ can make or break your wedding and the cost of the DJ directly represents the type of DJ you can expect.  Not sure what I mean?  Read on…

Imagine this. You call up a caterer to order thanksgiving dinner for your close family and friends but all you ask is, “How Much Is Thanksgiving Dinner?”

They tell you $200.

That sounds pretty expensive, I mean, it’s just a bird and some sides…every store on the street sells that right?  So, you call up another.

“How Much is Thanksgiving Dinner”

This time they tell you $50. $50! Well that sounds like a great deal!

So Thanksgiving comes and you go to pick up your $50 order to find out that they are pre-packaged, freezer aisle, microwavable thanksgiving meals! EKK! You can’t serve microwaveable Thanksgiving dinner to your family and friends! You wanted a once in a lifetime, gourmet, brag to your friends, homemade meal!

Oh the agony!

If you would have asked the right questions to the $200 caterer, instead of simply asking for pricing, you would have found out that the cook was the most renowned thanksgiving dinner chef in the country, often cooking Thanksgiving meals for Beyonce and Jay-Z themselves! All of the sudden $200 doesn’t sound very expensive, does it?

Now imagine this scenario with your wedding DJ. In your research of what a wedding DJ costs, you have probably come across DJs that range from $300 to $3,000. What’s with the price gap? Well, simply put, it’s a frozen vs gourmet dinner.

A lower price does not mean a better deal.

To help you best understand what your wedding DJ should cost,  here are the top 4 things you need to know before seeing the price tag.

1) Wedding DJ’s that Cost Less, Invest Less

Did you know that some DJ’s do not invest in the original, familiar versions of your favorite wedding songs? Me neither. That was until I went to a wedding where the song requests had to be played with knock-off versions. Yes, this is a true story and it was horrifying.

And wait, what is that? You want to actually hear the announcements, wedding vows, and music from anywhere in the room? Having a professional wedding DJ means having superior sound systems, technology, speakers and mixers to accommodate a room space and a guest count of any size. Budget DJ’s often can’t afford to invest in the highest quality gear, so they do not have the proper equipment for various size rooms and parties, compromising sound and experience.

2) Great Wedding DJ’s Do More Than Play Music

Wedding DJs have many responsibilities. Although very important, playing just the right song at just the right time is only one of those. Above all, your DJ is the ultimate customer service specialist.

Your DJ’s highly visible position makes him, by default, the evening’s “go to” guy. Besides keeping the dance floor packed, your DJ needs to be the wedding coordinator and organizer, Master of Ceremonies (MC), sound engineer, maitre’d, counselor and even personal assistant.

Trust me, you do not want to hire a budget DJ, club DJ or family friend that does not have a tremendous amount of wedding experience (and I am talking years and years of experience). You just don’t. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Read More: 7 Thing Great DJ’s Do Besides Play Music

3) Back-up Equipment and Back-up DJs are a MUST

Alright, another scenario. You are about an hour into the dance party at your wedding reception. Everyone from grandma to cousin Sally to all your girlfriends are out on the dance floor getting into the groove, then all of the sudden…BOOM! The music goes silent.

Budget DJ: My amp blew! I’m sorry but I don’t have a way to continue to play tonight. How about 50% off your next party?!

Professional Wedding DJ: My amp blew but this is no problem guys, I’ll just hook up the backup and we will be dancing again in 3 minutes.

Holy panic, right?

When you hire a professional wedding DJ company, like Mike Staff Productions, not only is back-up equipment standard, but a back-up DJ (loaded up and ready to go!) is standard practice. The back-up DJs at Mike Staff Productions are actually paid to be prepared and ready to go in the event of an emergency. This means gear loaded up, tuxedo pressed, and cell phone in hand just incase they are needed!

Do not risk having a DJ that does not have backup equipment on site and a back-up DJ ready for your event. Can you imagine spending all of that money just to have the night end at 10 pm because your budget DJ was not prepared? It’s just not worth the risk.

4) Good Club DJ, Bad Wedding DJ

I get it, you want your friends and family to have as much fun dancing and laughing as you do when you are clubbing on a Saturday night. That DJ you see at the corner bar is always so great at packing the dance floor, he HAS to play at your wedding.

Repeat after me. A club DJ is not a wedding DJ.

Why?

Read tips 1-3 above. They apply.

Beside what has already been stated, a club DJ’s experience rests in getting 20-30 year old ladies out on the dance floor. Your wedding will have many ages, genres and genders…your DJ needs to be able to read the crowd and play the right music at the right time, for a wide range of people Plus, club DJs simply don’t have the expertise to successfully coordinate all of the moving parts of your wedding reception, nor do they have the MC skills to navigate through all the important events in a classy, professional, stress-free way.

So now back to the main question at hand, how much should a Wedding DJ Cost?

Assuming you have learned a thing or two about how to avoid the frozen thanksgiving dinner scenario, you will find that professional wedding DJ companies that you can trust and that come highly recommended for their wedding DJ services are priced between $1,000-$1,500.

One company in particular, Mike Staff Productions, offers savings if you bundle other services, such as wedding photography or videography, with the DJ services. In fact, bundling can save you an additional $200-$500!

So next time you find yourself shopping solely on price, think about the value that goes beyond the price tag to save yourself from unnecessary wedding headaches!

Michigan and Chicago Wedding DJ

Mike Staff Relaxing

Mike Staff is the founder and CEO of Mike Staff Productions, one of the most highly acclaimed wedding services companies in the country, providing award-winning Wedding DJs, Wedding Photographers and Wedding Videography for over 20 years. Mike serves as a Nationwide Ambassador for The Knot.com, advising the wedding industry on best practices and insight into the challenges and opportunities.

Posted in Chicago Wedding DJ & Music, Michigan Wedding DJ & Music

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