A list of add-ons

Bob Kreider

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 12, 2016
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Kennewick WA
For the sake of discussion, lets assume you already have a great sound system with all the speakers and power needed, plus a nice dance floor lighting rig. In other words adding a sub wouldn't be considered an add on. Or adding a moving head not an add on extra charge. You have the dance floor well serviced with music, DJ and emcee. What are "extras" that you would be able to charge an additional rate for?

Here is my starting list...….please build on this.

Uplights…..…. this is an add on because it expands your lighting beyond the dance floor area
Monogram.....name/design for projected image....same as uplights, an additional item not normally/automatically included with your dance floor lighting
photo booth....a completely unrelated feature not related to or needed to offer an ample dance floor sound, lighting and DJ services
photography...another complete extended additional service not required to fulfill your DJ requirements
videography....ditto as photography
dancing on clouds.....this should fit the term as an add-on
Sparkler/Spark Machine..... same as dancing on clouds, not required to perform your DJ services
CO2 Cannon used for confetti or fog
projector and screen or monitor..... for showing a bride groom love story/growing up photo montage, this is an add-on for most. Some of you may always set up a projector for music video or to have live camera action and have these items automatically in your packages.


These are a few.....what could/would you include on this list that is considered an add-on and can be provided, but comes with an additional charge.
 

rickryan.com

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Dec 9, 2009
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I'll add a few:

Cake spotlight
Pin-spotting (candy table, gift, etc)
Italian string lighting

One thing I'll add, I could never sale photography as an add-on to DJ. Photo is generally higher priced and brides seem much more comfortable adding a DJ to photography service. Semantics, I know.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
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I've got uplights, totems, pinspots, and I offer gobo projections as well.

I get asked about photobooth and some of these others. But I really don't have any passion for that business, and I don't see how I'd add any value versus anyone else.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
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Prospect, CT
I've got uplights, totems, pinspots, and I offer gobo projections as well.

I get asked about photobooth and some of these others. But I really don't have any passion for that business, and I don't see how I'd add any value versus anyone else.
Though you could offer some of those services and provide it via another partner company. The value would really be in less contact and contract points for the client and less necks to choke.
 
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Albatross

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Though you could offer some of those services and provide it via another partner company. The value would really be in less contact and contract points for the client and less necks to choke.
Yeah... I've thought about that. But even if I was able to earn a small referral fee or something, it adds risk. All I need is one person to complain about a photobooth attendant I didn't hire and end up with a crappy review from it. If I book it all, I'm on the hook for the experience.

It's possible that I lose business for not being a one stop shop, but I think most clients respect when I tell them that I only provide services where I think I can make a real difference and add value versus the herd.
 

rickryan.com

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Yeah... I've thought about that. But even if I was able to earn a small referral fee or something, it adds risk.
I'd STRONGLY agree with that sentiment. The risk and headache you get from trying to manage crap for which you make $50-$100 is nowhere near worth it. I used to run several DJs and usually made $100-$200 bump off each. When I finally got around to adding up how much net profit I made versus the PITA involved it was an easy choice. Not to mention, those fears of getting bad reviews on yourself, due to some slight of a sub-contracted vendor is real.
 

Jeff Romard

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Sep 4, 2006
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I find it funny when I first came to the boards years ago I took a beating for charging extra for ceremony or dinner music and extra for a wireless mic. The same ones that beat me have everything from balloons to chocolate fountains now as upsells and feel it's perfectly normal..Present company is excluded


I'd STRONGLY agree with that sentiment. The risk and headache you get from trying to manage crap for which you make $50-$100 is nowhere near worth it. I used to run several DJs and usually made $100-$200 bump off each. When I finally got around to adding up how much net profit I made versus the PITA involved it was an easy choice. Not to mention, those fears of getting bad reviews on yourself, due to some slight of a sub-contracted vendor is real.
That's where I got to too it just wasn't worth the money anymore
 

wifedj

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Mar 20, 2008
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I am fortunate and cursed, double edged sword-ish, to live & perform in a city that has an ABUNDANCE of reliable professional production companies that are substantially better at providing ancillary event support.

While the above referenced ABUNDANCE has created a degree of competition for my direct services, it has mostly allowed me to concentrate on and improve my services and attract and keep the clients that I enjoy working with.

Bak'ndaday, when I tried to compete with these established companies, my margins were abysmal and the impact on my people was detrimental.

I now and for a long time have sub-contracted or recommend and referred anything outside of my performance and personal gear.
 
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djtaso

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For the sake of discussion, lets assume you already have a great sound system with all the speakers and power needed, plus a nice dance floor lighting rig. In other words adding a sub wouldn't be considered an add on. Or adding a moving head not an add on extra charge. You have the dance floor well serviced with music, DJ and emcee. What are "extras" that you would be able to charge an additional rate for?

Here is my starting list...….please build on this.

Uplights…..…. this is an add on because it expands your lighting beyond the dance floor area
Monogram.....name/design for projected image....same as uplights, an additional item not normally/automatically included with your dance floor lighting
photo booth....a completely unrelated feature not related to or needed to offer an ample dance floor sound, lighting and DJ services
photography...another complete extended additional service not required to fulfill your DJ requirements
videography....ditto as photography
dancing on clouds.....this should fit the term as an add-on
Sparkler/Spark Machine..... same as dancing on clouds, not required to perform your DJ services
CO2 Cannon used for confetti or fog
projector and screen or monitor..... for showing a bride groom love story/growing up photo montage, this is an add-on for most. Some of you may always set up a projector for music video or to have live camera action and have these items automatically in your packages.


These are a few.....what could/would you include on this list that is considered an add-on and can be provided, but comes with an additional charge.
I have an extensive list. Keep in mind my base is sound only, so Moving Heads is an add on for me. Also some of my sections have subcategories marked my a/b/c/etc...

My list includes:

1. - Moving Heads (2, 4, or 6 head options)
2. - Uplighting

3. - Multimedia TV Production (includes montage display, photography, live cam, name on screens)
a. Introduction Montages (sweet 16 only)
b. Parent Dance Montages

4. - Photo Booth
a. 4x6 print upgrade
b. red carpet and stanchion add on
c. Scrapbook

5. - LED Dance Staging
6. - CO2 Gun Blasts
7. - COnfetti Blasts
8 - Dancing on Clouds
9. - Dancing in Snow
10. - Monogram
11. Step and Repeat Display
12. Sparkler Fountains (2 or 4 quantity)
13. Selfie Station
14. VIP Photography A La Carte (Sweet 16 only)
15. Ceremony Sound System
16. Cocktail Hour Sound System

Nothing is subcontracted.
 
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djcrazychris

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Jun 12, 2018
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i keep my add ons pretty simple... ceremony sound...lighting upgrades...led foam sticks..

i agree with the risk assessment of being the one stop shop and hiring out... my prime concern for my clients is the music and entertainment portion... i feel that by dividing my focus on too many extras could effect my overall performance and enjoyment of the job.

The demand seems to be lacking as well...ive actually inquired with a few wedding planners in the area...what they are seeing and being asked for/about...and there's simply not the budgets or desire for the things many dj's provide in bigger cities...

Im paid well for the services my clients desire of me... but when an add on needs to be the price of other djs in the area's entire asking price in order to be beneficial to me...i simply stick with what i do best.

cc
 
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djtaso

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i keep my add ons pretty simple... ceremony sound...lighting upgrades...led foam sticks..

i agree with the risk assessment of being the one stop shop and hiring out... my prime concern for my clients is the music and entertainment portion... i feel that by dividing my focus on too many extras could effect my overall performance and enjoyment of the job.

The demand seems to be lacking as well...ive actually inquired with a few wedding planners in the area...what they are seeing and being asked for/about...and there's simply not the budgets or desire for the things many dj's provide in bigger cities...

Im paid well for the services my clients desire of me... but when an add on needs to be the price of other djs in the area's entire asking price in order to be beneficial to me...i simply stick with what i do best.

cc
Market will dictate what add-ons are needed. In this area, to be in a top tier category, add-ons are expected. For example, sparklers are super popular... dj's that have not invested on it lose many events now due to not offering it. Subcontracting it out minimizes customizatio (such as doing it during specific parts of a song, utilizing it during cocktail hour for staged shots, etc)... you're often less knowledgable in the intricate details of a service, such as with photo booths and being able to customize printout templates on the spot together with your client, rather than choosing from a generic and limited group of options that your subcontractor provides you. You're also taking on more risk in my opinion by relying on others outside of your control. For example, many photo booths come 30-45 min before the event... mine arrives 3hrs in advance with me, and instead of couples arriving 1hr early during their cocktail hour and seeing either no photo booth or a guy rushing to set up, they see a finished product with me.

Of course if your market doesn't demand such a number of add-ons, or if your brand is not positioned to have this type of selection expected, then yes... providing it may not be beneficial. But if you want to be the high end, top tier guy, that means clients are coming to you to be amazed with your selection of options and to get them inspired, and they expect you to be able to deliver with a wide ranging selection of add-ons.

Also, don't think that because people don't ask for something, that means they don't want it. Weddings are a one time thing, and often they don't know what to want or desire. They rely on visuals and someone to showcase them ideas. No one had asked me for dancing in the snow... I bought it... showcased it at 1 event... and from there 5 events added it. Sparklers... did it at 2 events... 5 existing clients added it after they saw the photos... they never asked me for it prior... they just thought it looked really cool.
 

djcrazychris

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Market will dictate what add-ons are needed. In this area, to be in a top tier category, add-ons are expected. For example, sparklers are super popular... dj's that have not invested on it lose many events now due to not offering it. Subcontracting it out minimizes customizatio (such as doing it during specific parts of a song, utilizing it during cocktail hour for staged shots, etc)... you're often less knowledgable in the intricate details of a service, such as with photo booths and being able to customize printout templates on the spot together with your client, rather than choosing from a generic and limited group of options that your subcontractor provides you. You're also taking on more risk in my opinion by relying on others outside of your control. For example, many photo booths come 30-45 min before the event... mine arrives 3hrs in advance with me, and instead of couples arriving 1hr early during their cocktail hour and seeing either no photo booth or a guy rushing to set up, they see a finished product with me.

Of course if your market doesn't demand such a number of add-ons, or if your brand is not positioned to have this type of selection expected, then yes... providing it may not be beneficial. But if you want to be the high end, top tier guy, that means clients are coming to you to be amazed with your selection of options and to get them inspired, and they expect you to be able to deliver with a wide ranging selection of add-ons.

Also, don't think that because people don't ask for something, that means they don't want it. Weddings are a one time thing, and often they don't know what to want or desire. They rely on visuals and someone to showcase them ideas. No one had asked me for dancing in the snow... I bought it... showcased it at 1 event... and from there 5 events added it. Sparklers... did it at 2 events... 5 existing clients added it after they saw the photos... they never asked me for it prior... they just thought it looked really cool.
As always...sage advice...

As im sure you are aware... you are smack dab in the middle of the mobile dj mecca of the nation... excess is prioritized ... outdoing the last wedding you attended is a currency amongst your clientele...showy displays of ones wealth is foremost... and their budgets allow it.

What is the norm amongst your demographic...and culture is a rare phenomenon as you proceed into the american farmland... many times... excess is deemed crass and unchristian. Little girls dream of rustic barns... with wild flowers from the fields of their youth... quiet elegance surrounded by close friends... followed by a fun dance party to celebrate. it's beautiful in its simplicity... and though i find your events and venues gorgeous to look at.... (especially from the secret big city dj inside me)... for many...they are viewed as pretentious ...gaudy...and borderline ridiculous to the vast majority of the "real world".... im always showing my wife your videos....saying... WOW...look at how beautiful... and much to my dismay ...she responds with... "eeeeew... no thanks"... lol... and she's from NY...

i mean absolutely no disrespect by the way...im a fan... it's just a large hill to climb when the local venues arent fancy... Daddy is a coal miner not a stock broker... and most of all.... the bride doesnt see it in her dreams.

i want it all though...lol

cc
 

Bob Kreider

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 12, 2016
124
222
Kennewick WA
I have an extensive list. Keep in mind my base is sound only, so Moving Heads is an add on for me. Also some of my sections have subcategories marked my a/b/c/etc...

My list includes:

1. - Moving Heads (2, 4, or 6 head options)
2. - Uplighting

3. - Multimedia TV Production (includes montage display, photography, live cam, name on screens)
a. Introduction Montages (sweet 16 only)
b. Parent Dance Montages

4. - Photo Booth
a. 4x6 print upgrade
b. red carpet and stanchion add on
c. Scrapbook

5. - LED Dance Staging
6. - CO2 Gun Blasts
7. - COnfetti Blasts
8 - Dancing on Clouds
9. - Dancing in Snow
10. - Monogram
11. Step and Repeat Display
12. Sparkler Fountains (2 or 4 quantity)
13. Selfie Station
14. VIP Photography A La Carte (Sweet 16 only)
15. Ceremony Sound System
16. Cocktail Hour Sound System

Nothing is subcontracted.
Awesome list, of these, I thnk there may be some interet in the sparkler fountain to service my community. Taso, can you advise on what would be the recommended type/brand/model and features, plus where to buy a sparkler fountain?

Bob
 

djtaso

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As always...sage advice...

As im sure you are aware... you are smack dab in the middle of the mobile dj mecca of the nation... excess is prioritized ... outdoing the last wedding you attended is a currency amongst your clientele...showy displays of ones wealth is foremost... and their budgets allow it.

What is the norm amongst your demographic...and culture is a rare phenomenon as you proceed into the american farmland... many times... excess is deemed crass and unchristian. Little girls dream of rustic barns... with wild flowers from the fields of their youth... quiet elegance surrounded by close friends... followed by a fun dance party to celebrate. it's beautiful in its simplicity... and though i find your events and venues gorgeous to look at.... (especially from the secret big city dj inside me)... for many...they are viewed as pretentious ...gaudy...and borderline ridiculous to the vast majority of the "real world".... im always showing my wife your videos....saying... WOW...look at how beautiful... and much to my dismay ...she responds with... "eeeeew... no thanks"... lol... and she's from NY...

i mean absolutely no disrespect by the way...im a fan... it's just a large hill to climb when the local venues arent fancy... Daddy is a coal miner not a stock broker... and most of all.... the bride doesnt see it in her dreams.

i want it all though...lol

cc
No offense taken by anything, and I agreed, that market does dictate much of this, especially in terms of affordability and just how much they can spend period, as well as trends... if they see more of something, then it becomes normal... if you don't you think it's weird or over the top in a negative way. And I have traveled throughout the country and seen A LOT, especially in the way that you mentioned, where some want simple elegance and less flashiness. Tomorrow I'll be in Maryland and they don't want the atmosphere to be too clubby, but they want the uplighting... just not the color changing. No big deal... I still get paid for the service the same either way. And some love photo booths, some don't, some love sparklers, some prefer dancing on the clouds... and some just are on a budget. I simply was saying it's important to take notice of the trends and make sure you're on top of them if your brand represents a service that provides the latest and most popular. Many other dj's I network with in my area get clients who think I am too flashy with the over the top events I do... however their avg wedding is $2000 mine is $3500... SO we have different clientele.

The other part that I was trying to relay is that in a sense, as business owners, we do need to take certain calculated risks to help us stand out from the rest. For example... many events in the area where you're all from already do sparkler send-offs... so why not enhance that with sparklers during the first dance. And also presentation is everything... gauging how the couple is is how I determine what to show them. For example... if they're a high energy modern couple, I'd show them photos and videos of people dancing and sparklers going off in addition to the sparklers during the first dance. If they aren't... I'd just show them beautiful photos of dips and kisses staged with the sparklers in the background, showcasing them in a much more elegant way. Same with dancing on the clouds... or dancing in the snow if you do wintertime weddings. Those are subtle, elegant, and photo worthy moments that you helped create. Each one of those is an extra $500.

And I think a lot of the negativity viewed from my videos isn't the dj side of things... with exception of the club lighting perhaps... but more so from the over the top venues and decor and the way people are dressed. When I was in Florida last month, the venue was literally in a gym. However, they dressed it up with drapery all around, as well as nice linens and centerpieces, and the people were dressed formally. Changes the perception. I did a wedding in Maryland in a barn last year with my lighting, and it didn't look flashy at all.. why cuz it was a barn lol.
 

djtaso

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Awesome list, of these, I thnk there may be some interet in the sparkler fountain to service my community. Taso, can you advise on what would be the recommended type/brand/model and features, plus where to buy a sparkler fountain?

Bob
I use the sparkular versions. However, I'd advise calling some local venues and seeing if they have any requirements for the effect. For example, in NJ, 90% of the venues are pretty lenient with the effect, but 10% want only Sparkular as they have gone through field testing and have liability insurance associated with each unit if they are faulty. The other one's from china... not so much... especially with quality control being an issue with some of them. In other states like the new england area, or downtown baltimore, they allow them with a permit PLUS an onsite fire marshal and sometimes a licensed pyrotechnic shooter... easily adding an extra $1000 to whatever you charge for the service alone.

I personally started with the Pro X units for a month just to get some photos and be comfortable with the effect, and to see the interest. The investment was only $2300 for 2 units as opposed to nearly $5500 for 2 from Sparkular. However, once I saw interest sky rocket form just two photos, I wasted no time and bought the sparkular units within a month. ProX you can buy from Idjnow... sparkular you have to buy direct from them. There is also a test you have to pass to be approved to purchase them.
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
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No offense taken by anything, and I agreed, that market does dictate much of this, especially in terms of affordability and just how much they can spend period, as well as trends... if they see more of something, then it becomes normal... if you don't you think it's weird or over the top in a negative way. And I have traveled throughout the country and seen A LOT, especially in the way that you mentioned, where some want simple elegance and less flashiness. Tomorrow I'll be in Maryland and they don't want the atmosphere to be too clubby, but they want the uplighting... just not the color changing. No big deal... I still get paid for the service the same either way. And some love photo booths, some don't, some love sparklers, some prefer dancing on the clouds... and some just are on a budget. I simply was saying it's important to take notice of the trends and make sure you're on top of them if your brand represents a service that provides the latest and most popular. Many other dj's I network with in my area get clients who think I am too flashy with the over the top events I do... however their avg wedding is $2000 mine is $3500... SO we have different clientele.

The other part that I was trying to relay is that in a sense, as business owners, we do need to take certain calculated risks to help us stand out from the rest. For example... many events in the area where you're all from already do sparkler send-offs... so why not enhance that with sparklers during the first dance. And also presentation is everything... gauging how the couple is is how I determine what to show them. For example... if they're a high energy modern couple, I'd show them photos and videos of people dancing and sparklers going off in addition to the sparklers during the first dance. If they aren't... I'd just show them beautiful photos of dips and kisses staged with the sparklers in the background, showcasing them in a much more elegant way. Same with dancing on the clouds... or dancing in the snow if you do wintertime weddings. Those are subtle, elegant, and photo worthy moments that you helped create. Each one of those is an extra $500.

And I think a lot of the negativity viewed from my videos isn't the dj side of things... with exception of the club lighting perhaps... but more so from the over the top venues and decor and the way people are dressed. When I was in Florida last month, the venue was literally in a gym. However, they dressed it up with drapery all around, as well as nice linens and centerpieces, and the people were dressed formally. Changes the perception. I did a wedding in Maryland in a barn last year with my lighting, and it didn't look flashy at all.. why cuz it was a barn lol.
yeah... i am fully envious of the fact that you guys have so many upscale dedicated venues... most of the "high end" places around here are things like renovated train stations (my personal wedding venue)... one really cool mall from the 1930s called The Kamayo Arcade... and obviously a few hotel ballrooms... we dont really have any places built from the ground up to solely be an attractive venue... it leads to a lot of improvising with decor which probably has led to brides not envisioning Taso style weddings...because they honestly couldnt get it if they wanted to...atleast locally... which would mean a destination wedding to dc...baltimore...ny....etc

The lack of fancy venues also veers the wedding budgets toward decor meant to hide or enhance old venues that are cool...but need sprucing to be attractive...

Whisper and i were actually planning our wedding at a vineyard/barn in ny.... but i hated the thought of all my friends and family traveling 9 hours for one evening of fun... i took a 3 grand hit on our cancelation (lost the deposit)... but im sure i saved thousands in the end by choosing a local venue.

I do believe the sparkler fountains would be the first add on id have the most interest in....and i like your angle of comparing it to sparkler send offs...

My big problem with dancing on the clouds is that dry ice is not readily available anywhere ive found locally... so that might lead to some headaches..

Its funny...even our big wedding rental places do not offer these options... kinda speaks to the lack of interest/budget as well...

cc
 
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djtaso

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Just an experience I had... I am in Baltimore for a wedding at the four seasons... and the planner saw my lighting... 2 heads and uplighting... and she was mind blown saying how she’s never seen anything like it. I replied by saying that I hear it’s not that much in demand down here... to which she said “if they saw it could look like this I think they’d all want it”... “most djs have 12 or 16 lights and have no color control, just the same 8 colors”... we were doing a custom shade of ivory through our computer which she loved. She also loved how we controlled the moving heads... she was nervous our lights would be moving all night randomly.
There’s demand... just gotta show it properly
 

DJ Ricky B

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Just an experience I had... I am in Baltimore for a wedding at the four seasons... and the planner saw my lighting... 2 heads and uplighting... and she was mind blown saying how she’s never seen anything like it. I replied by saying that I hear it’s not that much in demand down here... to which she said “if they saw it could look like this I think they’d all want it”... “most djs have 12 or 16 lights and have no color control, just the same 8 colors”... we were doing a custom shade of ivory through our computer which she loved. She also loved how we controlled the moving heads... she was nervous our lights would be moving all night randomly.
There’s demand... just gotta show it properly
Never performed there, BUT I attended a NACE annual networking event there once a few years ago. There was a DJ doing the event. He had a basic set up with older EV speakers, lol

Is this a greek wedding?
 

djtaso

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Never performed there, BUT I attended a NACE annual networking event there once a few years ago. There was a DJ doing the event. He had a basic set up with older EV speakers, lol

Is this a greek wedding?
Ricky and Ross... I am at dinner and was talking to the planner... and asked them what’s the avg dj price down here. She said $2750-$3000... sound only for cocktail, reception, and ceremony... no lighting. Was very shocked to hear that
 
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DJ Ricky B

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Ricky and Ross... I am at dinner and was talking to the planner... and asked them what’s the avg dj price down here. She said $2750-$3000... sound only for cocktail, reception, and ceremony... no lighting. Was very shocked to hear that

That is certainly NOT the average. However, if she is use to dealing with only a handful of companies that cater to high end clients then that is near it.

I can list a few companies who as far as I know a few years ago were charging $2,400 to $2,650 all inclusive of sound.