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,
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?
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
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."
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!