Pricing out a wedding is a tough job! There are vendors to hire, rental fees to consider, food and drinks to choose, decor and clothing to buy...it seems to go on and on!
When you start planning, it can help to have a ballpark budget in mind for each of your different expense categories. To help you get an idea of what you may expect to spend on a DJ, we’ve put together some info on wedding DJ prices. Start here so you know what’s reasonable and what you should look for when you hire this ultra-important vendor!
Photo by Bradley Images
How much does a wedding DJ cost?
Final pricing will depend on a lot of factors. In larger cities with pricier markets, you can expect to spend more on your DJ. For a longer reception, you may also have to pay more than you would for a “standard” wedding length. And of course, there are add-ons like a photo booth or uplighting.
With all that being said, you can probably expect to spend between $1,500 and $3,000 on your wedding DJ for their standard package.
Some DJs may also offer smaller packages for a lower rate. For example, a minimony or micro wedding will probably be shorter and require less equipment, so this type of package may be more affordable. You can still bring the same level of professionalism that a great wedding DJ provides without breaking the bank.
Photo by Photography By Brea
What does that price include?
Contract terms will vary from DJ to DJ. Many DJs include the following in their standard package, but make sure to check the details before you sign!
- Planning sessions to help you make music choices and nail down the timeline
- Full setup before the ceremony begins
- High-end equipment including speakers, controllers, and microphones for great sound quality
- Ceremony music played to your specifications, like fading in and/or fading out, or playing a short portion of a song
- Cocktail hour and reception music for three to five hours
- Emcee services, including introducing the bride and groom and calling guest attention to events like the first dance and cake cutting
- A curated playlist that includes your “must play” songs and avoids your “do not play” songs.
- Efficient teardown of equipment at the end of the night
For extras like an afterparty or lighting, DJs will charge an additional fee.
Photo by Dani Leigh Photography
Pro tip: if you’re not sure what to ask a potential DJ when you’re comparing your options, start with these Top 10 Questions to Ask a Wedding DJ.
What about budget DJs?
You may be able to find a “budget” DJ for a suspiciously low rate. Ever heard the saying, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is?”
DJs that charge just a few hundred dollars don’t have the skills, the experience, or the equipment necessary to provide a good experience for you or your guests. They usually don’t have a backup DJ in case of an emergency, and they don’t have backup equipment if something gets broken. (At Maryland’s DJ, we always have both!)
And it’s not only about getting your dance floor moving. How would you feel if it was your grand entrance moment, and the DJ played wildly inappropriate music? That’s what happened to this poor bride, who had to stop her processional.
Or what about a DJ that’s so unorganized that they leave you and your new spouse standing awkwardly on the dance floor for over a minute while they look for your first dance music? One couple learned how it felt first hand. When the DJ couldn’t find the song, they started playing something else...only to start it over when they finally did find the right track. Warning: this wedding DJ fail is super cringey.
A DJ who doesn’t pay attention to detail can majorly mess up your all-important wedding milestones, from the ceremony to the first dance to the cake cutting. They can also ruin the vibe of your day, drinking on the job, looking unkempt, making inappropriate comments — there are dozens of ways a “cheap” DJ can wreck your wedding.
To make sure you’re talking to someone with experience, check their reviews on sites like The Knot and WeddingWire, plus Google and Facebook. Look at the quantity of reviews as well as the star rating. A dozen good reviews are nice, but a couple hundred are better!
A great DJ makes wedding planning easier!
We know that you have a lot on your plate during your wedding season. At Maryland’s DJ, we work hard to be a fun and easy vendor for you to work with. All of our couples get unlimited planning sessions with their wedding DJ, so they can ask all the questions and get expert advice on song choices and timeline.
To get your wedding date on our calendar, fill out our super quick online form and we’ll get back to you ASAP!
Header photo by Glenn Clevenger III of I Live Art
Friday, April 9, 2021