Is a $1,200 to $1,600 for a 5 to 6 hour Wedding DJ a Low End Budget DJ?

DO you consider a DJ who charges $1,200 to $1,500 to be a low end Wedding DJ?

  • Yes, DJs in this price range are working low end weddings, and are in the lower range of price.

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • VERY LOW END. All DJs priced below $1,600 are low end DJs working low end events

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No. This is a middle range price for a Wedding DJ

    Votes: 10 52.6%
  • No. This is Upper Cusp of the Middle Range nearing the High End

    Votes: 7 36.8%
  • That is rediculous. $1,200 to $1,600 is a high end Wedding DJ Price

    Votes: 1 5.3%

  • Total voters
    19

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
I have noticed some DJs here and on face book talk price numbers and consider prices north of $1000 to be low end, and say that if a DJ is only commanding a certain price, then they really are a Low End Budget DJ regardless location and market. I talked to a DJ a couple years ago who only books $2,000 to $2800 events, and he said that anything below $1,600 as far as he was concerned was a low end wedding, and he wouldn't do them. Now, this DJ only books like 5 or 6 weddings a year now from what I understand, but he won't book below $2,000. I hear His wife makes like 300K a year, so he doesn't have to take much work either...

Don't take location/market into account because many argue that high prices can be obtained in any market nation wide. Consider pricing for the entire country.

I talked to my brother, and he says that is absolutely absurd, and that $1,200 to $1,600 is great money to DJ a 5 to 6 hour wedding, and should be considered high end, or at least its the upper cusp of a Mid Range DJ price to do a wedding generally speaking. So what's right, and what's wrong?

...What is your take on it?
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
215
33
I would consider it low to medium depending on location, and I think location does matter.

I would never work a wedding for that price, so...
 
  • Like
Reactions: DJ Ricky B

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
I would consider it low to medium depending on location, and I think location does matter.

I would never work a wedding for that price, so...
So would you consider that price range truly LOW END, or clearly in the Middle Range of prices
 

Jas

DJ Extraordinaire
May 22, 2013
1,799
Doesn't sound low to me. Not many DJs around here getting more than that.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
33,150
Prospect, CT
The DJ I hired 1.5 years ago to do my daughter's wedding was just above that ($1800ish) including ceremony and cocktail hour and is considered one of the better DJs around here.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
215
33
So would you consider that price range truly LOW END, or clearly in the Middle Range of prices

Well you gave a range so $1200 is definitely on the lower side although there are plenty of bottom feeders charging 900.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
Well you gave a range so $1200 is definitely on the lower side although there are plenty of bottom feeders charging 900.
Now that is interesting! so $900 is a bottom feeder price? Is there a level below bottom feeder? Or are all DJs who only command $900 or less essentially bottom feeders?
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
33,150
Prospect, CT
Now that is interesting! so $900 is a bottom feeder price? Is there a level below bottom feeder? Or are all DJs who only command $900 or less essentially bottom feeders?
Did you switch accounts with Mix?
 

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
181
Los Angeles, CA
I was charging $900 over 10 years ago, probably closer to 15 just to get my name out, but only for a few gigs.

Someone that is only charging $900 is offering a different level of service than someone charging $1700-2000. Nothing more to it.
 

Cap Capello

Always @ Ur Service
Dec 14, 2006
3,106
75
Saratoga, NY
www.imadj.com
My prices are on my web site. Those prices reflect my material, labor, production, personal needs, insurances, income taxes, home/office, and retirement. That leaves about $1.50 pure greedy profit per show. Am I a bad person hoarding all that wealth?
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
I was charging $900 over 10 years ago, probably closer to 15 just to get my name out, but only for a few gigs.

Someone that is only charging $900 is offering a different level of service than someone charging $1700-2000. Nothing more to it.
Can it be proven though? Surely there is some sort of difference in service somewhere in the whole process.

I have heard many DJs tell me they meet with the clients, and have any time phone contact with their clients who charge below $900. Many of them have 5.0 reviews online just like $2,000 DJs.

So if you were charging $900 in 2008 for example, that is compareable to $1,060 in US dollars today. ...What is the differences in service you provide today at $1,700+ vs. 11 years ago to make up for the $640+ price mark up? Or are price mark ups that high more of a reflection of much higher business costs due to advertising/equipment etc. costing much more today?
 

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
181
Los Angeles, CA
Yes, it can be proven.

I would start by showing an example of a demo/mixtape, mix, or whatever you want to call it. My rate is mainly derived from my DJ skills and that one thing alone allows me to charge more than someone charging only $900, even if all other things were equal, which in opinion they are not :).

All the other stuff (top notch customer service, amazing equipment, years of wedding experience, attention to detail, etc.) all play a factor, but my skillset takes a priority in how I price myself.

There are not many differences from what I was doing 11 years ago, other than I'm now even a better DJ and understand the wedding business more. This allows me to charge more compared to what I used to charge, but as I mentioned $900 was only for 3 gigs or so. I was still charging $1500ish 10 years ago, so my prices have increased about $700 compared to where they were b/c I am better than I was 10 years ago. I am also about to raise my prices (it's been a while) as I think I am priced too low for the quality and level of service I offer, especially in my area.
 
Last edited:

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
3,813
This is market specific.... nationally (or internationally) it's much harder to pin down a specific range.

I also think there is a big difference in how you book the gig. If you're working through an agency or booking agent of some kind... even at a $1,500 booking you can expect to walk home with $1,000. That doesn't make it a low end booking, it just means there is an extra middleman getting fed before you do.

I've talked about where I'm priced before - but my goal is to be a little above average for this market. I'm not the most expensive, and I'm not trying to be.

But the part missing from this, and it got brought up in the other pricing thread going on... how the actual product rates compared to the market. Set up, equipment, aesthetic, performance all matter. But also the intangible softer skills. What is it like to work with you? Are you adding value in a thorough consultation before the wedding? Are you offering guidance and counsel in a way that improves their event? Are you reducing stress on the couple so they have a more comfortable day? All of this matters.

Getting more requires refining the process at every level.
 
Last edited:

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
11,970
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I was charging $900 over 10 years ago, probably closer to 15 just to get my name out, but only for a few gigs.

Someone that is only charging $900 is offering a different level of service than someone charging $1700-2000. Nothing more to it.
Anybody making blind, generalized statements about rates is an idiot who can only see things from their perspective. Nothing more to it.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
Anybody making blind, generalized statements about rates is an idiot who can only see things from their perspective. Nothing more to it.
My brother, when he books weddings directly is rarely above $900 to $1,000. He's been a DJ since 1992. The only times he is booking above $1,000 is when he has to go to downtown D.C. to do a wedding he knows will be a pita logistically, or if the wedding is real long...like more than 6 hours with 3 sound system set ups. Now if I go to book him for a 6 hour ceremony and reception, and he wants $900 to do it, then I'm charging $1,250 or more. I can't remember the last time he told me he needed $1,000 to do a wedding I was trying to book him on. It's been probably nearly 3 years .

He meets with his clients within reason. He will drive up to 25 miles from his house to meet with a client if they want a in person meeting. ...He doesn't use nice large light shows, and he doesn't want anything to do with big light show set up. ...He doesn't use a sub unless it's a big wedding. He keeps his set up fairly minimum. He enjoys making people dance, and is a solid MC. He's detail oriented, and arrives early to weddings. He doesn't have the highest level equipment, but his equipment works well for weddings. His light show is 2 to 3 sound active light effects. Nothing fancy. He gets up lights from me if he sells them. He uses the same wedding planning form I do which is very detailed and helpful to our clients, and makes planning easy on them.

I guess having big sound, subs, club intelligent light show/moving heads/totems, and willing to drive far for meetings are the differences in product or service between much higher priced DJs...then again, I see many higher priced DJs not really offering moving heads/totems, and many look at meetings the same he does...they will drive a short distance within reason, but many won't drive far to a clients house for a meeting either. Most DJs I know handle everyting over the phone, and through email or online planning portals these days.

Could it be that some DJs, or even perhaps HALF the DJs out there in the $1,000 and below range just prefer to offer their clients a strong value, and feel what they are charging is enough money to do the work? :scratchhead:
 

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
181
Los Angeles, CA
Ross-- really good points. I might steal that last paragraph when speaking with potential clients.

There is nothing wrong with DJs charing 900-1200, but again there is a different service being offered, and it has nothing to do with big light shows and equipment. The ones charging more money are generally better DJs and can show mixes and examples of their work, both in audio and video format.

I for one, don't include movers and totems and charge $2000 with my DJ skills taking priority on how I set my rates. I feel that I provide a full service and high-end wedding experience with customer satisfaction being a top priority. My dedication to the craft and art of DJing, mixing skills, and my upscale approach wedding sound are just a few ways I try to separate myself from the average DJ company.
 
Last edited:

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,485
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
My brother, when he books weddings directly is rarely above $900 to $1,000. He's been a DJ since 1992. The only times he is booking above $1,000 is when he has to go to downtown D.C. to do a wedding he knows will be a pita logistically, or if the wedding is real long...like more than 6 hours with 3 sound system set ups. Now if I go to book him for a 6 hour ceremony and reception, and he wants $900 to do it, then I'm charging $1,250 or more. I can't remember the last time he told me he needed $1,000 to do a wedding I was trying to book him on. It's been probably nearly 3 years .

He meets with his clients within reason. He will drive up to 25 miles from his house to meet with a client if they want a in person meeting. ...He doesn't use nice large light shows, and he doesn't want anything to do with big light show set up. ...He doesn't use a sub unless it's a big wedding. He keeps his set up fairly minimum. He enjoys making people dance, and is a solid MC. He's detail oriented, and arrives early to weddings. He doesn't have the highest level equipment, but his equipment works well for weddings. His light show is 2 to 3 sound active light effects. Nothing fancy. He gets up lights from me if he sells them. He uses the same wedding planning form I do which is very detailed and helpful to our clients, and makes planning easy on them.

I guess having big sound, subs, club intelligent light show/moving heads/totems, and willing to drive far for meetings are the differences in product or service between much higher priced DJs...then again, I see many higher priced DJs not really offering moving heads/totems, and many look at meetings the same he does...they will drive a short distance within reason, but many won't drive far to a clients house for a meeting either. Most DJs I know handle everyting over the phone, and through email or online planning portals these days.

Could it be that some DJs, or even perhaps HALF the DJs out there in the $1,000 and below range just prefer to offer their clients a strong value, and feel what they are charging is enough money to do the work? :scratchhead:
But starting price has nothing to do with heads totems TVs and all the extras (unless u inside it for free). My starting price is 2000 for 2 tops and 2 subs.... no cocktail no ceremony systems.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TES3S

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,485
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
ricky - You do this often... but you tend to be the type of person that focuses on what “many” are doing. Keep doing that, and you’ll charge what many charge, have the same problems that many have, and will be seen in the eyes of many that you’re the same as many of the other DJs, with no real difference.

Start focusing on what the few do and that’s when you’ll be able to charge more, offer more, differentiate more, and succeed more.