How much does a wedding DJ cost?

Story Amour
Written by Story Amour · Posted in Music & Entertainment Last Updated March 18, 2023 · minute read
In This Article

    A wedding requires a lot of preparation – shopping for a gown, deciding the venue, choosing foods and drinks, inviting your guests, and more. However, not many suppliers will have as bigger impact on your guests happiness as your wedding DJ. So how much does a wedding DJ cost? Knowing the actual cost will help you find your perfect music entertainment.

    wedding guests dance to music by wedding dj

    How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost?

    Average Cost of a Wedding DJ

    The average cost of hiring a DJ for a wedding is $600 to $3,500. Some professionals can charge up to $10,000. To put it succinctly, a DJ will charge $150-$500 daily.

    In reality, the actual cost will depend on the location and level of expertise. Plus, the role of the DJ will determine how much you pay.

    What’s usually included in the package?

    A DJ wedding package can include:

    • 4-8 hours of unlimited entertainment
    • Reception planner
    • Backup equipment
    • Multi-colored dance lights
    • A dedicated team to assist with logistics

    If you want to make the occasion more entertaining, you can include karaoke, video displays, photo booths, lasers, disco balls, and a fog machine. Some wedding DJs will include services like emceeing and special effects.

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    Factors that can impact the price

    Location

    The venue will determine the actual cost of paying a DJ. In larger cities, a DJ with a track record will charge an average of $2,000 per event. For smaller cities, the cost can be lower but this will sorely depend on the services. If a DJ has to travel a long distance, that may call for an additional charges.

    Amateur vs. Professional DJ

    Maybe you want to spend as little money as possible when planning for the wedding. But again, you may want to work with a professional to wow your guests. Of course, if you have special guests, you don’t just want someone pressing on the soundtracks.

    Professional DJs will have state-art-of-art equipment for the best entertainment. Some will spend up to 30 hours preparing for the wedding. Of course, you need a personalized song list at your wedding.

    Since a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, the last thing you want is subpar musical entertainment and of course, equipment can play a big part in this.

    Services offered

    All DJ services are not the same – you need to discuss your expectations before you hire a professional. Other than playing the tracks, the DJ often acts as the evening’s MC. It’s important to understand exactly what your DJ offers.

    A professional DJ can read the crowd and keep the dance floor busy. Some will offer additional services like photo booths, lighting, and video displays.

    Venue size and setting

    A big wedding size means you need additional equipment like cables, microphones, speakers, and special effects. You should discuss the expectations beforehand if extra charges apply. The cost can go higher if more than one DJ is required. You may need more than just the basics.

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    Advice for booking your wedding DJ

    The music you play can make or break your wedding party. Most importantly, the DJ you choose will determine whether the guests hit the dance floor or sulk off into the evening quiet. If you want your wedding to go off with a bang, here is what you should look for when booking your wedding DJ.

    Book through a reputable agency

    It’s okay to book a random DJ on Instagram. This can save you a few bucks, but you risk ruining your entertainment. Any DJ with no systems, contract, or deposit takes you a step closer to miss rather than hit.

    First, you should sample a few DJs in your area and establish a vibe. Some will specialize in a specific music genre. To be on the safe side, you should create a list of what every DJ offers.

    The best approach is to book your DJ through an agency, signing a professional contract to ensure everyone is on the same page. Proper communication is critical – it lets the DJ know exactly what you expect and of course, the music you like most.

    Get an experienced DJ

    A DJ should play the music that moves the crowd. In addition, he should have the necessary equipment to ensure your day runs smoothly. A professional will make your day run smoothly without hitches.

    Don’t make your decision based on budget

    Now that you know the DJs who play your style of music, you should figure out the budget that works for you. Who falls within your range? But when it comes to a wedding, this is not an area where you want to cut corners. As long as the DJ offers top-notch service, you can adjust your budget.

    Make sure the quote the DJ offers includes everything you need. An agency will ensure there are no hidden costs, so you get value for money.

    Book early

    Now that you’ve decided to get in touch with an agency, the next course of action is to check the dates the DJ is available. For renowned professionals, you want to book as early as possible. Once the agency gives the green light, you should lock the DJ ASAP.

    Most agencies will have the DJ on their books, so you can get reliable information about their availability.

    You should ask what each professional offers and then narrow down your search. An agency will provide you with information in writing about the DJ you want. This is critical, especially if you don’t want a nasty surprise on your D-day.

    Meet the DJ beforehand

    By now, you must have checked the reviews and testimonials on their website. The next step is to meet them to evaluate how you vibe. Apart from that, this is a way of verifying that all the basics are covered.

    That’s not all. Meeting your DJ allows you to ask all questions you may have in mind to ensure your wedding day is a success. You want to confirm if they offer services like disco balls, photo booths, and smoke machines. Don’t forget to enquire about the special logistics you may need like power and setup.

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    How to Find a Wedding DJ?

    There are a few ways to find a DJ for your wedding. You can ask friends and family for recommendations, search online, or go to a local wedding fair. Once you have found a few potential DJs, check out their websites and read reviews from past clients. It’s also good to meet with the DJ in person to get a sense of their personality and style. And be sure to ask them about their experience, repertoire, and rates before you make your final decision.

    When it comes down to finding you perfect DJ, it really does depends on your preferences and what you’re looking for in terms of music for your wedding. The best way to make a decision is to sit down and consider your options and then decide what’s best for you and your wedding.

    Do I need to tip a wedding DJ?

    Obviously, one big aspect of how much a wedding DJ costs is whether or not you have to tip them. If the DJ met your expectations, you decide to tip them at the end of the event. A tip of 10-20% of the total cost is always appreciated.

    What about a wedding band instead?

    You’ll notice at most weddings that there are two primary choices for providing the music: a band or a wedding DJ. The music sets the tone for your special day and can mean the difference between getting everyone up on the dancefloor or one that lacks any real vibrancy. Wedding bands and DJs will pump up the energy and keep everyone entertained, but there are some key differences you should consider when making your decision.

    We know that choosing between a band and a DJ can be tricky, so below we’ve broken down the pros and cons of each option to help you make the best decision for your wedding day.

    Wedding DJ vs Band

    Cost

    One of the most obvious differences is the price. On average, bands cost more to hire than DJs. This is because there are typically more members in a band, and each member needs to be paid. In addition, bands usually require more equipment than DJs, which can add to the cost.

    Level of interaction

    Nothing beats a live band when it comes to getting the party started. Bands are typically more interactive than DJs and can get guests up and dancing. Though there are great DJs out there that are super interactive, it’s more difficult to get an entire room up and dancing when the music is coming from one person. A good band or DJ can read the crowd and play the music that will get everyone moving.

    Flexibility

    When it comes to song requests, bands are usually less flexible than DJs. This is because bands typically have a set list that they stick to, whereas DJs can take requests and play whatever guests want to hear. If you want specific songs to be played at your wedding, a DJ might be a better option.

    Range of music

    Wedding bands typically stick to one genre of music, whereas DJs can play a wide range of genres and songs. This means that DJs can please a wider range of guests, and they’re more likely to have the songs that you want to hear. However, the theme of your wedding should be taken into account when making your decision. For a country-themed wedding, a country band would be a great choice. A DJ is probably the better option if you want a more eclectic mix of music.

    Venue space

    Bands usually require more space than DJs, as they typically have more members and equipment. At your initial quote appointment, be sure to ask the band or DJ how much space they will need so that you can make sure your venue can accommodate them. The number of guests you will have at your wedding will also influence how much space is needed.

    Bands usually take longer to set up than DJs, so keep that in mind when making your decision. A DJ might be the better option if you’re having a shorter wedding or are pressed for time.

    Wedding DJs Pros and Cons

    Pros

    Other than the cost, DJs typically have more pros than bands. DJs are more flexible when it comes to song requests, and they can play a wider range of genres to please a wider range of guests. A DJ can keep the party going all night long with no breaks in between sets, whereas a band will need to take breaks. A DJ can also play music during breaks if needed.

    Like a band, a DJ can help create an atmosphere at your wedding. But unlike a band, a DJ can please everyone with their music selections. A DJ can play the music that gets people up and dancing and mellow music for those who just want to sit back and relax.

    Cons

    The biggest con of hiring a DJ is that you depend on technology. If there’s a power outage or some other technical issue, your DJ won’t be able to play music. Also, if your DJ’s equipment fails, you may be left with dead air during your reception.

    Another downside of having a DJ is that you won’t get live music. If you and your fiancé(e) are music lovers, you may prefer the sound of live instruments to recorded music.

    Wedding Bands Pros and Cons

    Pros

    Live music always has a special appeal-there’s just something about hearing music played live that can’t be beaten. It brings extra magic and energy to your wedding reception. Wedding bands can help create a fun and festive atmosphere at your reception. They can get everyone out on the dance floor, even guests who normally don’t love to dance.

    Wedding bands are also incredibly versatile and are usually reserved for special occasions like weddings. You can find a band that plays any type of music, from country to rock to pop.

    Cons

    Wedding bands can be expensive and typically require a large deposit upfront. They also usually require a contract, so you’ll be responsible for paying the band even if your wedding is cancelled or rescheduled.

    Another downside of hiring a wedding band is that they typically take breaks during their sets. So if you want music playing all night long, a band may not be the best option.

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    Is a Wedding DJ Worth it?

    It depends on your wedding and what you’re looking for in terms of music. A band is probably the way to go if you want live music. But if you’re working with a tight budget or want more control over the music played at your reception, then a DJ might be a better option. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your wedding.

    As mentioned before, it is best to evaluate what you are looking for to decide if a wedding DJ or band is right for your wedding. If you prefer a diversity of music and do not mind recorded music, then a DJ may be the best option for you.

    Final Thoughts

    Deciding on a DJ is a process, and you will want to be sure of a few things before you sign a contract. You want to make sure that they meet your expectations and deliver an amazing experience for you and your guests. Here are a few things to keep in mind when hiring a DJ:

    • Your budget for the DJ
    • The style of music you want to be played
    • How long do you want the DJ to entertain
    • The logistics of the venue and how it will work with the DJ set-up
    • If you want any special effects or extras
    • If you want any special requests played
    • Flexibility- you want a DJ who is willing to work with you and make changes if needed
    • The DJ’s personality and if they will be a good fit for your wedding. Before hiring, ask about their:
    • Experience
    • Repertoire
    • References
    • Rates
    • Requirements

    All of these factors are important to consider when hiring a wedding DJ. You want to be sure that you are getting what you expect and that the DJ is a good fit for your wedding.

    Conclusion

    Hiring a DJ is an excellent opportunity to add a personal touch to your wedding. After all, you want to throw a party your loved ones will never forget. The best wedding DJ will provide hours of endless entertainment and leave your guests wanting more. Only hire a professional, well-trained DJ to create a memorable experience. It’s a good feeling to know the job was well done and you’ve created memories for your guests.