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Is this too much to pay for a DJ?

$300 At Tropicana LV
Give enough Veggies for 100 people!

This is what we asked a number of Brides on one of the most popular wedding sites on the net.

    We have Joe DJ a single operator that has a classy package for you. He will offer you complete consulting for an entire week mulling over how you two met and taking notes on any and all your preferences. The end product would be a customized show where during dinner he narrates "your" story over music which leads into your first dance and the rest of the evening of dancing. His system is of a professional quality, he wears a tux, he is an excellent speaker/MC, offers no interactively, no lights, no props, no dancers, face painters, etc. It is just him, his music and his sound system. He charges $2000 plus for a regular 4 hour show.

    What do you feel he is worth?

The Poll
In the poll 50% thought he was worth and would pay only $600 or less for his services, 23% would pay $800 and only 26% thought his type of service would be worth $1000 or more with only 7 people thinking he would be worth the money or more.

Out of the many comments only a few were positive towards paying a DJ this type of money and only one was from a Bride that lived in New York, an area known for paying high prices on most everything, the rest were DJs trying to explain how hard is was to be a DJ and how DJs deserve this type of money.

  • Michelle from Ontario Canada wrote," I honestly think that price is outrageous! We are paying $400 Can. (so about $260 US) for our DJ. He's a professional radio DJ, and been in the business 20 years."

  • Amber from Pittsburgh states," Even though it sounds like he is putting a lot of time into this I think $2000 is really expensive for a dj."

  • Chris a DJ from Chicago chimed in with," If the service you mentioned is $2000 and they do 30 events, that's $60,000. Uncle Sam takes about 1/3 in taxes, leaving the dj $40,000 to work with. Figure at least $10,000 in operating costs and $30,000 net income." And was rebutted by Maisy," Well I would have to disagree with this. If I could make 30,000 dollars and only work weekends I would be a DJ too... I think if he is supporting a family he should get a day job or do something during the week. I think the average DJ's that go for 400-800 dollars is fair, but 2000 dollars."

  • Suzanne put it bluntly," $2000?!?!?! Aaaaaaacckkk!! DJs are going to price themselves right out of the market, just as some photographers already have. I can't comprehend spending $2000 on a dj! Here, the norm is $300-$600 for four hours of the area's best djs."

  • Yet another DJ insisted on add fuel," The reason people feel $2000 is an insane amount to pay for a DJ is because their are so many amateurs in the industry who are willing to work a reception for $500 as long as they can bring in low end equipment a give marginal customer service. Unfortunately the true professionals get tired of competing with these prices and decide to charge just a little more than the lower end of the market. Also as unfortunate is the fact that there are not many true professionals in the mobile DJ industry."

To many time DJs are telling bride lately that they are responsible for X percent of the success of the reception without thinking about those very successful receptions that have no entertainment. What is sitting in the success seat then? Are some DJs getting too full of themselves that they think that without them the successful reception does not exist? What about the guests? They are at all receptions, could they not be the real reason a reception is a success? It does not matter how great a DJ is or how much he charged, if the guests do not want to have a good time the reception can and will suck.

As one Bride put it, "I have heard this one too many times from one too many DJs. So, you think you're 95% of the reception? Get real! Having attended many weddings with everything from live 9-piece rock dance bands, to swing bands, to jazz trios, to expensive DJs to "hobbyist" DJs, to CD's on the couple's own sound system, I can tell you that perception is highly inflated! No band or DJ I've ever seen (or any music source for that matter) has ever been 95 percent of any reception I've ever seen.

We are investing in providing our guests with an excellent gourmet meal, with gracious treatment from beginning to end, and with an open and welcoming attitude. That has been the "95%" of every great reception I've ever attended."

In Closing
What does this poll say to the DJ industry that thinks it controls the price DJs charge? If there is no one willing to pay your price you wont be in business for long.I leave you with real Bride's thoughts,

"How DARE we, the customer, ask WHY a DJ would cost 2 or 3x the average? How DARE we be cheap and ask the price up front??!!

I have found that the best vendors have no qualms telling me prices right up front. They are willing and ready to tell me what a value they are. (Value= what exactly I get for the price.)

Thank God for vendors like Nightwolf and Steve Miller! You don't see them making excuses or messing around with guilt trips, or comparing themselves to food prices, or your dress costs!

I'm sick of being told "this is the one thing you want to splurge on" by EVERY vendor! My dear vendors, I have a BUDGET!!!! MY wedding WILL NOT COST $20k no matter what the bridal mags say!! I am not being cheap by asking around, or sticking to a budget, and I won't be made to feel guilty or cheap on my "special day".

I also don't buy that it takes a wedding DJ DAYS to put a 4 hour gig together. When I was a radio DJ in school, it took me an hour to think about the music I'd play. I wasn't a pro, so you figure a person who does 50+ weddings a year has this down pat. They probably have a set of CD's they usually play, and then customize it, right? They should be able to set up and plan an event with little fuss while still taking care. That's why they are pros, they know what to do and the best way to do it!

As far as speaking to the bride, I have better things to do than spend 2-3 hours talking to my DJ about HIS/HER job! I only have a 1 hour interveiw with my officant to write the dang wedding ceremony!!!

With that rant over, I am happy to pay a pro a reasonable wage and happy to tip you. *Pro* DJ's and enertainment groups in my *metro* area seem to go for $400-$800 for about 4 hours.

For $2K I better get to keep the damn speakers!









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