Simple Guide to Pricing Your Wedding Entertainment (DJ Specific)

Simple Guide to Pricing Your Wedding this is pt5

What about DJs (or a Combination or DJs and a band)?

I like the trend that’s happening now to combine both a DJ and live band together for your wedding. This really is the BEST of both worlds… When the band breaks the DJ fires off some songs that might be out of the music specialty of the band but are perfect for some of your guests.  Any songs that are tricky to pull off live are perfect for the DJ to play and then before you know it the band is back on and the dance floor is energized again with LIVE music.   We personally offer a full DJ service to complement my live band offerings and a lot of other live bands are also following suit.  Ask if you can play your own music on an iPod during breaks or if the band has their own “house DJ” that comes as an add-on.

If we’re talking straight DJ cost / features, here’s a few rough guidelines:

cousin-darrell-djdel

DJ Price Category  #1 – FREE*

This is where you talk you friend or relative into running the iPod for the night, thus “saving yourself” the expense of hiring a professional.

  • Inclusiveness of Fee – *Nothing is included, so you have to go rent a sound system and buy all the necessary cords and connectors, microphone and music and iPod (if you don’t already have one).  It’ll end up costing you at least $300+ AND a ton of time and work.  NO, you can’t use your home stereo to do your wedding.
  • Dress and Behaviour – Your friend or relative is a also a guest at your wedding, so he’s going to enjoy himself just like any other guest, possibly at the expense of the music. He’ll probably dress like any other guest.
  • Standard of Musicianship / Entertainment – Won’t know how to address a crowd or make announcements or have any idea of how to keep the party “flowing”. Also expect awkward dance-floor emptying pauses and loud clicks / pops as your friend tries to cue up the next song.
  • Adaptability, Flexibility & Experience – An overall lower number of live performances mean less experience in all eventualities and with that comes less knowledge as to how to deal with inevitable changes in event schedules and unforeseen circumstances.
  • Reliability & Customer Service – Your friend will probably forget the one cord you need.
  • Professionalism – N/A
  • The Xfactor – N/A

My Personal recommendation about this category of DJ: I would avoid putting a friend “free-jay” in charge of the biggest party you’ll ever throw. Your friend or relative will do the best they can, but without much experience it will make your guests feel like you cheaped out, which you did.

55668446deletemeDJ Price Category  #2 – $0 – $700

Bargain DJ! Probably found on craigslist or Kijiji.

  • Inclusiveness of Fee – They will most likely promise you a lot upfront and then the features will probably be a little “under-welming”. The “amazing laser show” looks like a cheap disco, the “state-of-the-art sound system” is weak and / or hurts everyone’s ears.
  • Dress and Behaviour – I think it’s possible you’ll get anywhere from hobo to well-dressed.  Behaviour-wise you’ll  get anywhere from timid and respectful to drunk and belligerent.
  • Standard of Musicianship / Entertainment – Should probably be able to take requests and play some of the cliche top 40 songs, but won’t have the ability to respond to what the crowd is really into and keep the dance floor packed all night.
  • Adaptability, Flexibility & Experience – An overall lower number of live performances mean less experience in all eventualities and with that comes less knowledge as to how to deal with inevitable changes in event schedules and unforeseen circumstances.
  • Reliability & Customer Service – Don’t expect to be able to reach this DJ or get e-mails or phone calls returned.  There is also a good chance you’ll have a no-show or a late-show at your wedding at this price range.
  • Professionalism – Maybe a contract? Probably a contract, but no guarantee, and even if there is a guarantee good luck finding the guy after the wedding. Don’t expect this person to be able to use a microphone well or entertain the crowd.  Equipment is probably unreliable because he’s not earning enough to properly maintain it.
  • The Xfactor – N/A

My Personal recommendation about this category of DJ: At this price, you’re almost better off going with the friend “free-jay”, at least you know he’ll show up. Do NOT go with the cheapest choice. If your budget is too small, then cut something else, don’t cheap out on wedding entertainment.

VPA_logo_glare1-300x300-deletemeDJ Price Category  #3 – $800 – $1500

  • Inclusiveness of Fee – You should expect a good sound system, some microphones for speeches, lights for the dance floor and maybe some fun stuff like a Fog Mist machine or other funs stuff.
  • Dress and Behaviour – they should be well dressed and behave professionally at this price point.
  • Standard of Musicianship / Entertainment – Should probably be able to take requests and play a large amount of music and respond to the needs of the people on the dance floor. Might not be able to work the crowd as well as a live musician, but they should be pretty decent speaking to the crowd.
  • Adaptability, Flexibility & Experience – If the guy is a pro, he’s probably able to deal with anything.
  • Reliability & Customer Service – You should hear back promptly from your DJ
  • Professionalism – Definitely expect a contract and to put down a deposit to hold the DJ if he’s good.  Equipment is probably reliable because he’s earning enough to properly maintain it and has a budget for this.
  • The Xfactor – Ask the DJ about what he’ll do if no-one dances, he should have some strategies, do you agree with them?

My Personal recommendation about this category of DJ: I think this is a fair amount to pay for a Wedding DJ but still ask for references and testimonials and proof of what this DJ is claiming.

scam-artist deletemeDJ Price Category #4 – $1600 and UP

My Personal recommendation about this category of DJ: Personally I think this is WAY too much to spend on a wedding DJ! If he’s doing other things like uplighting and “extras” and your bill ends up higher and in this range, that’s okay.  If he’s actually MCing and engaging the crowd then he can justify a higher price.  But $2000+ for just the basic DJ when really his job is just select good songs and press play?  That can be done by a reasonably priced Dj in the $1200-$1500 range in my experience. Or better yet if you have a larger budget get a LIVE Band  AND a DJ to get the best of BOTH worlds.

What Band / DJ Will Make Sure the Dance Floor is Full?

header4Everyone’s fear is that you have this elaborate wedding, pay all this money, gather your friends and family together and… it’s a boring snooze-fest an nobody dances…

Don’t let this happen to you! Hiring professionals that can adapt and entertain a crowd will go a long way. I’ve actually created a Free Report ( Downloadable PDF) Free Wedding Entertainment Report Graphic that talks about the challenges of filling a dance-floor and how to avoid being embarrassed on the biggest night of your life!  This Free Report talks about the “8 Critical Mistakes Most Couples Make” and you can download it right now to your phone or computer to read whenever you have a few spare minutes.

How else can I help?

  This guide is in a never-ending state of review and upgrade and YOUR FEEDBACK is very much appreciated.  Please comment on this post or contact me if there is anything that seems unclear or if you’re interested in learning more about my wedding entertainment company. Free Wedding Consultation My company offers a Free 90 Minute Wedding Entertainment consultation where we’ll go through your perfect wedding entertainment vision and give you a plan to make your wedding entertainment unforgettable.

  My genuine desire is that you’ll book the absolute BEST band and / or DJ for YOUR wedding and that it truly will be “the best day ever”.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post!

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