How much does a wedding DJ cost? This is a question that I see and hear asked a hell of a lot, both online and in day to day life in the real world! Booking a DJ is one of the key tasks for any couple that are planning a wedding. Finding an individual who is able to match your exact requirements can be difficult enough, but knowing the amount you should be paying for professional wedding DJ is arguably the most difficult obstacle to overcome. For me, this is due to the fact that prices range so wildly. I’ve heard of quotes as low as £150, and as high as £2,000. So,what is a fair price for a wedding DJ?
While I can’t give a definitive answer to that question, I am able to provide advice as well as the benefit of my years of experience in the industry. Let’s start by breaking the cost down into an hourly rate. All DJ’s work differently, but I will base this around a typical booking for myself.
Prior to the Event
Liaising with client, music preparation, admin – 1 to 3 hours
Evening of the Event
Loading of equipment and travel – 1 hour
Unloading of Equipment and Setup – 1 to 2 hours
Playing Time – 5 to 6 hours
Take down, loading of equipment and travel home – 1 to 2 hours
That is a maximum of 14 hours work there. I’d say the norm for me is closer to 9 or 10. The average hourly wage in the UK is around £11.50. That would equate to £161 for the 14 hours, £115 for what an average gig looks like for me. Is a skilled DJ and his equipment worth more than the national average wage? Should the unsociable hours be taken into consideration? For me, the answer is yes to both of these questions.
What is a Fair Price for a Wedding DJ?
So what is a fair hourly rate? It’s difficult to pinpoint and exact amount, and it should differ from DJ to DJ based on skillset and experience. However, I feel that a range of £25-£35 is what I would consider fair. (Unless of course you’re looking to booking Calvin Harris or the like, then it might be a few shillings more!).
I’ve seen an invoice from a DJ for a friend’s wedding for £1,200. This included an additional £200 for some letters spelling out L O V E to be on display. I don’t think money was too much of a concern for them. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a similar position, and some small props completely unrelated to the music are of importance to you, then extras like this are worth paying more for. At the end of the day, the cost of a Wedding DJ will come down to budget, and personal preference. Whether the client is getting value for money is another matter.
A Higher Price Does not Guarantee a Better DJ
I’ve seen guys turn up to events with a tiny controller, ancient speakers and cables everywhere, but still put on a great show. I’ve also witnessed individuals with state of the art equipment and a polished look, who are charging a fortune, absolutely stink the place out. There are a lot of good DJs out there, as well as a number of bad ones. Paying over the odds doesn’t mean you are going to be getting a higher class of Wedding DJ.
My Advice When Booking a Wedding DJ
Set a Budget
Most couples have a budget for their wedding. Include a budget for your DJ. This will help narrow down the field, and also prevent you spending a colossal amount of money unnecessarily that could be put to better use. My recommendation would be £500 top end. You can find good DJs for less money, but paying more than this is not necessary to find someone who is capable of doing a good job. Ignore platinum and gold packages that include high definition sound, super-duper lasers and flashing hearts. These should all come as standard for one price, or be included as options at no extra cost. If the DJ has this equipment at his disposal and the client is already being charged a fair price, there should not be additional costs.
Word of Mouth
Arguably the best piece of advice I can give is to get a DJ recommendation from someone you trust. This is a surest way to find a capable Wedding DJ outside of having seen the DJ in action yourself. I don’t really spend any money on advertising other than a listing on Yell, which is more about presence than getting any actual leads. Word of mouth is how I have grown my client base, and it’s also most reliable method for couples trying to identify suitable musical entertainment for their big day.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
The majority of DJs will have an online presence. This will include reviews,testimonials and feedback from previous clients. I’d likely steer clear of anyone who is unable to provide these. Facebook is always a good barometer. You can see where the reviews have come from. It’s also worth visiting sites like Add To Event, where you can be confident that the reviews are nearly always genuine.
Past Event Pictures and Videos
Check out any prospective DJ’s past event galleries and videos to get a feel for the type of party vibe he or she will be able to create. Better yet, cross reference the dates with any reviews you can find. This may sound like overkill, but it ensures everything is above board, and will give you greater peace of mind. This is especially important where booking a Wedding DJ is concerned.
You obviously want to ask any Wedding DJ about costs, but don’t be afraid to probe further. Ask what’s included in the price, be clear about your musical like and dislikes, ask about experience, and where they have worked recently. A face to face meeting prior to a wedding is not an unreasonable request. I am always happy to meet with couples who don’t already know me. It’s more personal than doing everything via email, and also gives the client increased peace of mind.
Be Clear About What You Want
Although I advise giving your DJ the freedom to do their job, it’s also important to be clear about exactly what you want. This would be in terms of the music, the atmosphere and also DJ performance style. Some couples will enjoy a Wedding DJ who is constantly on the mic and interacting with the crowd, others will prefer a DJ who lets their mixing skills do the talking. I always appreciate as much information as possible in advance, and I will always be honest with any couples I don’t feel like I’d be a suitable match for. While this is a rare occurrence,it can happen. Any reputable DJ will do the same. I really hope this article has been helpful to anyone trying to find out how much does a wedding DJ cost. Still looking for pointers? Check out Top Five Things to Consider when Choosing your Wedding DJ for further help and information.