When planning your upcoming wedding, “How much?” seems like a simple question. You need a DJ for your wedding, to play your most important songs and MC your most important events. You want the best DJ for your wedding, to keep your dance floor packed all night long, with your friends and family celebrating to all your favorite songs.
Why, then, do you get so many different answers, and which one is the right one? “How much does a wedding DJ cost?”
Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at Highlands Country Club Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Kimberly Coccagnia
For most couples, hiring a wedding DJ is a new, once-in-a-lifetime experience. After recommendations from family, friends and other wedding vendors, online searches, posts in forums, visits to bridal shows, and reading reviews, most couples are left asking, “who are all of these DJs, who’s the right one for us, and why are all of their prices so different?”
The American Disc Jockey Association (which I, DJ Bri Swatek, am proud to be a member of) provides a few things to think about when hiring a DJ for your upcoming wedding. The Association notes that “Disc Jockey rates vary” across the country, “based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality” and that “the best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight.”
Wedding planning sites such as WeddingWire, The Knot, or The Wedding Report’s “Cost of a Wedding” note that “How much?” really depends on what you are looking for in your wedding DJ. According to the wedding industry-respected Costofwedding.com, “You should expect to pay, on average, 50% to 100%+ more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services.”
Simply put, full-time, professional wedding DJs set prices that are a reflection of the time, effort, quality, and service that they will provide for your once-in-a-lifetime wedding celebration.
Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Party at Highlands Country Club Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Kimberly Coccagnia
Once you’ve established the overall budget for your wedding, the next step to determining “How much?” is to find and then meet with and interview DJs in your area that provide the best possible answers to a few simple, to-the-point questions:
– Are you a full-time wedding professional?
– If we hire your company, who will the DJ at our wedding? Will it be you, or someone else?
– How many years of experience do you have DJing and MCing weddings?
– How many weddings do you DJ per year?
– How many weddings do you (or does your company) DJ in one day?
– Do you ever “subcontract” your work out to other wedding DJs?
– Are you registered as a legitimate business? (DBA, Inc., or LLC)
– Are you a member of a professional association?
– Are you insured for liability?
– Do you use professional equipment and would you provide backup equipment at my wedding?
– What’s *your* backup plan?
– What happens if I cancel the wedding or need to change the date of the wedding?
– When will you arrive on my wedding day?
– Will you be suitably dressed for our wedding?
– Will you be willing listen to me, and follow my plans for my wedding?
Once you’re satisfied with the DJ’s answers, you might also want to consider getting to know your potential wedding DJ / MC a bit better. After all, this is the person who will introduce you, your family, and closest friends at your wedding, play your first dance, and keep your party going all night long!
– Why did you decide to become a wedding vendor?
– What do you enjoy most about being a wedding DJ?
– Have you ever DJed a wedding like ours?
– What suggestions do you have for our wedding?
When it finally comes to talking numbers, with your overall wedding budget in mind, never be afraid to ask any of the following questions of a truly professional wedding DJ:
– What are your pricing packages, options, and services offered?
– What specifically is in included in your pricing, and what is “extra,” an “add-on,” or a “fee?”
– How much is your deposit, how do payments work, and what methods of payment do you accept?
– Do you provide a written contract?
– Can I have references and contact information from previous customers?
– Can I have references and contact information from other wedding professionals?
With the amount of time and money you’re putting into your once-in-a-lifetime celebration on your wedding day, you deserve to know exactly who your wedding DJ is and what their answers are to any and all of these questions. Anything less than a feeling of complete confidence in your wedding DJ is not worth the price, no matter “How much.”
(For a complete price quote of my DJ services for your upcoming Hudson Valley wedding, please contact me at http://www.DJBriSwatek.com.)
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York