Wedding DJ Pricing Orange County – The What and Why of Wedding DJ Pricing
Just about every day I receive a call or communication from either a bride or groom who is in the process of planning a wedding and looking for a wedding DJ to entertain their guests. Many simply ask “How much for a four-hour wedding?” Earlier in my career as a wedding DJ, I used to be able to blurt out a number right away but can’t anymore. At least, not without first asking for additional information. This post is going to go into depth into wedding DJ pricing … why wedding DJs charge what they do and give you insight into what you should pay for your wedding DJ.
Let’s be completely honest here … there is no “Wedding DJ Industry”. There is no “DJ Industry” either. The DJ industry as a whole is mostly populated with people who are “Professionals” in other industries. The last number I heard was that over 80% of the people representing themselves as professional DJs, are people who make their living doing something else … they’re mortgage brokers, real estate agents, construction workers, fry cooks and so on. Why is this? Because there is nothing stopping anyone from deciding to take their music collection, a device and a set of speakers and marketing themselves as a Professional DJ / Wedding DJ. The professional DJs that everyone knows of like Calvin Harris, DJ Khaled, Mike Posner, Avici and so on are members of the music and recording industry … you wouldn’t exactly put them in the “Wedding DJ Industry”, would you?
One of the biggest misconceptions that people (including DJs) have is that if you are a great club or party DJ (house party, birthday party etc), that you would be a great Wedding DJ as well. This couldn’t be further from the truth I learned this firsthand during my years working all of these types of events. Unlike clubs and house parties, a wedding requires more than just showing up and playing the music that the DJ is most familiar with. It involves set itineraries of formalities that need to happen, working with other wedding professionals (photographers, videographers, wedding planners, etc.) as a team to ensure everything that needs to be done is done and communicated how and when with other members of the team. It also involves understanding that the guests consist of people of many different ethnicities, age groups and people with different tastes in music. Without knowledge of how to prepare appropriately for this, they will fail and ruin your wedding.
When you are looking into wedding DJ pricing, if you take the approach of asking each and every DJ company you contact, “how much for a ___ hour wedding?”, you will get different answers from every company. The reason why is that there are different kinds of DJ companies that market to the wedding clients. Here are the different kinds of companies.
- The Weekender – This company consists of a single DJ or two that perform weddings on the weekend as a side job. They typically do not have any formal training in performing weddings. They look at your wedding as showing up and playing music for the length of your wedding. If your wedding isn’t great, they are okay as they still have their “Other Job” to make their living.
- The DJ Stable – This company normally features a stable of DJs that contracts your wedding out to one of many weekend DJs that they “resell” to you. This company will sell you on the service and work through the planning with you then hand everything over to one of their contracted DJs to execute your wedding. The quality of your DJ services will rely heavily on the price you are willing to pay as some of the DJs they contact with are less skilled and less experienced than others. Most of the time, the DJs they contract with can also be purchased through other companies like this as well or if you can find them, directly from the DJ at a significantly lower price. If your wedding is not up to your standards they are not worried as they have a bunch of other DJs out at the same time bringing money in for them.
- The Boutique Wedding DJ Company – This company usually features 1-5 DJs that work exclusively for them. This company focuses more on delivering a higher quality service as they do not have a large amount of DJs working at the same time to bring the money in for the company or “real jobs” to make their living. Instead, each and every wedding they do is vital to the success of the company. So every DJ that works for a boutique wedding DJ company is trained and tested thoroughly to ensure they are going to do a great job for you at your wedding. These companies are where you are going to find the higher quality DJs that understand that they will make or break your wedding and will prepare properly to ensure they make your wedding a success so they can make a living and grow their business.
According to WeddingWire, the average amount spent on wedding DJs in 2016 was $1,200. How much should you expect to spend is a question that I cannot answer for you. What I can tell you is that the success of your wedding weighs heavily on the shoulders of the person you hire. If you want to ensure your wedding is representative of who you are and that your guests have an amazing time then a DJ that will ensure that will cost more. Here are the things that should be considered when evaluating pricing for your wedding DJ.
- Preparation – When your DJ shows up for the wedding, they should have spent a considerable amount of time preparing for the success of your wedding. Typically, if done right, a 4 hour wedding should take around 20 hours to prepare for properly. This includes everything from going over the timeline to ensure they understand the flow of your wedding (so it doesn’t get boring or feel awkward) to ensuring they have all of the correct versions of the songs you require.
- Training – Handling the emceeing of your wedding takes training. Sure anyone can pick up a mic and make an announcement like the announcer at Anaheim Stadium “Ladies and Gentlemen…”. A professional emcee engages the crowd, talks to them and connects with them. When an emcee builds this connection the guest feel more involved in the wedding and have a better time.
- Experience – In all of the years I have been working weddings things never go exactly as planned. When something happens, it’s the experienced wedding DJs that know how to adjust so it isn’t a big deal. Having a great deal of experience and knowing how to adjust is vital in delivering an amazing wedding experience.
When you are calling around asking for and getting pricing from the vendors you select to contact. There are some questions you should ask yourself when evaluating what you are going to spend. Here are some important questions to ask:
- How important is the success of my wedding to me? Do I care whether my guests are dancing and having a good time or not? If it’s important to you, then budget / spend accordingly.
- Do I trust this person to deliver on what they promised? It is imperative to make sure you trust the person you are talking with to deliver the results they are promising. If you haven’t talked with them before asking for pricing, make sure you do before you decide.
- Is this something I can do myself? In all reality, if you are just looking for background music and simple announcements or you just don’t want to pay for a professional to handle it for you, then you should really consider using and iPod/iPad or laptop and doing it yourself. You’ll find you will be much happier with the service you will get if you do.
I hope you have found this information helpful in deciding what you want to spend for your wedding DJ. This information is based on my experience working as a wedding DJ for over 30 years. If you have any additional questions that I can help you with or if you are hosting a wedding in Southern California and would like to look at my company, you can visit our website at www.BestWeddingDJEver.com
When you’re looking for a Wedding Disc Jockey in Orange County for your wedding reception Music Man Event Professionals is always the easy choice. We are experienced, professional, and know how to entertain you, your family and guests on your special day.
If you want to have an AMAZING wedding reception we’ll get everyone dancing and having a GREAT time – we guarantee it! For pricing and availability call Mark at (949) 940-8998 or use this convenient online inquiry form and he’ll follow-up with you promptly!