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
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.
I agree. Usually the Totems/Moving Heads, or any lights are an add on option. However, DJs in this price range often attract clientelle who have more of a budget, and do want those lights to be used...at least from what I see with your clients and others.


I know a DJ who charges $2,000 to start, and does have a couple of totems and older large moving heads. I think he's around $2,600+ with the totems/moving heads. However, from what I understand, only like 1/5 of his clients pay him to bring them out. ...Could be the service area and type of clientelle ...D.C. area clients seem to be much more conservative when it comes to the big lighting productions...Also many of the venues here are limited with space for a DJ set up as well.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
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.
So if I post on facebook every day amazing pictures, stay positive 24/7, get away from using lead generation sites completely, quote $2,000+ to every inquiry, that comes my way I will automatically be seen as a higher end service, better DJ, and therefore higher calibur than most the other DJs?

There are plenty of clientelle with the money to spend here in Maryland/D.C.. The clients will gravitate to booking me because the perceived value is higher and I will be earning more money?

I don't think it's realistic. Many DJs are trying to target that price range or close to it, and I see many are slow doing so. ..I also see many advertising high prices, but what they actually book weddings at are not those prices...they just don't talk about the concessions they make to get agreements signed.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
33,151
Prospect, CT
So if I post on facebook every day amazing pictures, stay positive 24/7, get away from using lead generation sites completely, quote $2,000+ to every inquiry, that comes my way I will automatically be seen as a higher end service, better DJ, and therefore higher calibur than most the other DJs?

There are plenty of clientelle with the money to spend here in Maryland/D.C.. The clients will gravitate to booking me because the perceived value is higher and I will be earning more money?

I don't think it's realistic. Many DJs are trying to target that price range or close to it, and I see many are slow doing so. ..I also see many advertising high prices, but what they actually book weddings at are not those prices...they just don't talk about the concessions they make to get agreements signed.
Well, you actually have to be GOOD too ...
 

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
181
Los Angeles, CA
So if I post on facebook every day amazing pictures, stay positive 24/7, get away from using lead generation sites completely, quote $2,000+ to every inquiry, that comes my way I will automatically be seen as a higher end service, better DJ, and therefore higher calibur than most the other DJs?

There are plenty of clientelle with the money to spend here in Maryland/D.C.. The clients will gravitate to booking me because the perceived value is higher and I will be earning more money?

I don't think it's realistic. Many DJs are trying to target that price range or close to it, and I see many are slow doing so. ..I also see many advertising high prices, but what they actually book weddings at are not those prices...they just don't talk about the concessions they make to get agreements signed.
I would start by making a mix demonstrating how your mixing skills set you apart, or at least in line with other DJs of similar skillset and who charge $2000.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,487
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
So if I post on facebook every day amazing pictures, stay positive 24/7, get away from using lead generation sites completely, quote $2,000+ to every inquiry, that comes my way I will automatically be seen as a higher end service, better DJ, and therefore higher calibur than most the other DJs?

There are plenty of clientelle with the money to spend here in Maryland/D.C.. The clients will gravitate to booking me because the perceived value is higher and I will be earning more money?

I don't think it's realistic. Many DJs are trying to target that price range or close to it, and I see many are slow doing so. ..I also see many advertising high prices, but what they actually book weddings at are not those prices...they just don't talk about the concessions they make to get agreements signed.
Not overnight... but definitely can get there. There has to be a certain level of demand for something to be able to charge that. I did that and continue to do that... in 2012 I was a $1500 wedding dj with 2 heads... and now I'm a $2400 dj with 2 heads... and my avg wedding is over 3k. My sweet 16's went from $1200 with 2 heads to $2400 with 2 heads. My only form of advertising is exactly what you said, aside from word of mouth. Also, often times at my parties I hear "I see your pictures and videos all the time". However, consistancy is what helped did it, and having daily/weekly postings, and giving people a reason to follow me. I do think you're missing something very important that T3SES said... skill matters... and that's what leads to giving people a reason to follow you. No benefit on posting all day everyday if you have no one to share the content with. I know plenty that post often, but they don't have followers... and the reason is simply that they don't do anything to impress and create desire to want to know more. I did an event and woke up to 7 new instagram followers and 4 new fb friends... all from the event or related to the hosts. You have to keep improving that skill to grow your demand, and I know you have indicated you don't really mix much, and that your brother does none of that. You also mentioned detail orientation. I spend on avg 1.5-2hrs during my finalizations going over details, with numerous follow up conversations and emails. I also spend about 45min to an hr before booking any client to address any concerns, and to give them a run through of what the process will be like with me from start to finish (even if they've already said get me the contract). I want to be the vendor that they're most comfortable with and never wondering what comes next.
 
Last edited:

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
Well, you actually have to be GOOD too ...
I know! I haven't learned a thing after 400+ weddings. I still rely on YMCA and Cotton Eye Joe to get people on the dance floor, and play songs one after the other with dead air in between them. Thank god my clients don't expect much, and leave me 5.0 reviews! :)
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
33,151
Prospect, CT
I know! I haven't learned a thing after 400+ weddings. I still rely on YMCA and Cotton Eye Joe to get people on the dance floor, and play songs one after the other with dead air in between them. Thank god my clients don't expect much, and leave me 5.0 reviews! :)
You're Good, but are you Taso Good?

36686
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
215
33
Really Ricky?

Having hundreds of five star reviews is great just like Mcdonalds has lots of good reviews.

There are great reviews for every class/level/tier.

Moving up in price is only warranted if you offer more quality than the lower end DJs.

There is a reason a $5 burger is not comparable to a $10 burger from a nice restaurant.

Seriously, go make a mix and you overnight can raise your rates!!!
 
Last edited:

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,487
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
Reviews are just verification that you are what you say you're worth. If I get consistent 5 starts on 3-5k packages... then that verifies that my 3-5k prices are justified. If you charge $900 and get 5 star reviews... then you're a proven $900 dj. I don't think reviews hold much more value than that. Will a client that gives a 5 star review for T3SES give a 5 star review for a $900 dj... chances are probably not.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,138
60
I don't feel the question is a fair one. There are different levels of DJs. Then too it's about perception. What some think is a good DJ others would say they are not good at all.

Another thing is we don't know what the circumstances a DJ is faced with. What one DJ would be happy to do a wedding for, another would quickly turn that wedding down for the price the client wanted to pay. It's all about what works best for each individual DJ.

It's easy to say a DJ should charge no less than a certain amount to do a wedding. That would be great as a whole for the industry. However how would that affect each DJ who does weddings? Not every DJ is the same and shouldn't be. There are those who are just getting started and still need to work on their craft to become a polished professional. I'm not just talking about the job itself they do but it's about their presentation as well. How they dress and their attitude while at work. Some people at an event can make it difficult to maintain a professional attitude.

Another thing I think that's important as well is the gear that the DJ is using. Even though a client or guest may compliment the DJ on the job they did, they also without knowing it are complimenting them on the gear they are using. Bad gear will sound bad. That's where a DJ that knows their stuff will stay away from certain gear because it will make them look and sound bad.

Not saying that good or great gear will make a DJ good or great. It's a good start.

Now to be fair there are full time DJs that must make a certain on each event they do or they can't survive. They won't be able to pay their bills. Which in turn they won't be able to maintain their livelihood.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,697
57
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Service is only a small part of it.

Some brides have Money, some dont, some firmly believe if you spend more you get more.

most i think stay "in proportion" to the overall budget. I lived this with photography, as my price went up the size of the wedding and venue prices went up. I saw this with many photog friends. Brides spending $3500 on their photog were not at the vfw, but we're at the $150 plate venues. And vice versa.

in my county per plate prices are under $50..you can do it for 25 a plate at some venues. I did an awards banquet for my club..under $20 a plate. And that includes the room and gratuity.

it's a hard sell to get 1800 when the entire meal, ca ke and open bar included for 100 people is $4500.

just booked a wedding at a casino..older couple, second wedding, she said she spent $119 on her dress...$2100 to me gets them dj and photo..they're insisting i use the venue soundsystem...hmmm..told them no discount for that.I

I know djs that tell me they get $1800 and up...they work in the city not here.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,365
48
Sydney, Nova Scotia
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.
These threads drive me out of my mind. I've been in this business a long time I've watched many come and go in my market and from these boards there is no standard whatsoever as far as pricing goes market to market.

I DEFY anyone here or anywhere else to come to my market and try to sell someone a $1500-$2000 wedding DJ on a 4 or even 6 hour package it's not happening. I don't care how well you mix or cover up wires or how many lights and bells and whistles and BS you bring. You may luck out and sell one or two a year. There have been guys that tried it and they are no longer in the business.

As far as level of service are you referring to time put in to planning? That's another long running scam from the GWYW folks. If it takes you 40 hours to plan a 4 hour event you are doing something fiercely wrong
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,868
36
These threads drive me out of my mind. I've been in this business a long time I've watched many come and go in my market and from these boards there is no standard whatsoever as far as pricing goes market to market.

I DEFY anyone here or anywhere else to come to my market and try to sell someone a $1500-$2000 wedding DJ on a 4 or even 6 hour package it's not happening. I don't care how well you mix or cover up wires or how many lights and bells and whistles and BS you bring. You may luck out and sell one or two a year. There have been guys that tried it and they are no longer in the business.

As far as level of service are you referring to time put in to planning? That's another long running scam from the GWYW folks. If it takes you 40 hours to plan a 4 hour event you are doing something fiercely wrong
And I agree with that!

However, we also have the other side of the coin where another DJ will chime in and say "Well, that is because no one in your market is doing things differently to raise the bar, and give your audience a higher level performance through mixing, and high end lighting. There are people there who will pay more than what DJs are getting in your market. There just needs to be someone who raises the bar by being better and showing people what a high end DJ can do"

....
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,365
48
Sydney, Nova Scotia
And I agree with that!

However, we also have the other side of the coin where another DJ will chime in and say "Well, that is because no one in your market is doing things differently to raise the bar, and give your audience a higher level performance through mixing, and high end lighting. There are people there who will pay more than what DJs are getting in your market. There just needs to be someone who raises the bar by being better and showing people what a high end DJ can do"

....
And I'll reply back with it's been tried and they no longer are in business...

I've made the offer many times to fly someone here and pay their apartment for 6 months if they really feel it can be done. If they are right and they can they will likely have my business in 6 months and a couple of others in town....haven't had anyone accept yet

I'll just keep raising my bar and really pay no attention to those who believe they know my market better then I do
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
33,151
Prospect, CT
Raising the bar requires 2 things .. an potential available audience (or one willing to go there) .. and your ability to "take" them there.

Your ability is in your control. The audience is not.

You have to have one in a reasonable circle away .. or you have to build one. Big cities (NYC, DC, LA, Chicago, et al) have enough of a potential audience within a reasonable distance that you "could" build a client base at a boutique level.

Where I live, it would be more difficult, unless your radius of travel went out 120 miles .. then you bring in NYC and Boston. When you are in East Podunk, the potential client base is further minimized and you either travel waaayy out (like Val does), or you work a less affluent base, as the number of potential boutique clients is too small to maintain a business.

That's just reality. So if you want to, YOU could probably do it assuming you were willing to actively market to the DC/Baltimore/maybe even Philly areas. It would take a lot of work.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,138
60
I say the question should have been what's your lowest price you would do a wedding for? That to me sounds much better than trying to pencil someone into a price point someone else feels each DJ should be at.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,487
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
And I'll reply back with it's been tried and they no longer are in business...

I've made the offer many times to fly someone here and pay their apartment for 6 months if they really feel it can be done. If they are right and they can they will likely have my business in 6 months and a couple of others in town....haven't had anyone accept yet

I'll just keep raising my bar and really pay no attention to those who believe they know my market better then I do
It doesn't take 6 months... it takes years to change the perspective of a certain group, with not just one person trying to change the trend, but multiple. Putting the price tag aside, you can't say that people don't like nice things. Everyone dreams of weddings where they can have the best. It simply comes down to finding value in it as well as the cost.

I believe that myself with the greek culture is a perfect example of what you are describing. The greek community in NJ PA and NY wouldn't spend more than 750 on a sweet 16 dj and no more than 1200 for a dj for sound only. This was around 2009 when I joined another company, and they told me to never expect a package of more than $1000 for a sweet 16 (glow sticks were their major add on really). It took time to get people to desire more. It took me bringing stuff to events for free, taking photos and sharing them on social media for people to know something better existed and to create desire for something different. My luxury was that at the time it wasn't my full time job and I could let this growth happen naturally. Every other greek dj is currently averaging no more than $2000 TOTAL at their weddings and most are closer to $1000... yet my avg for greek weddings is $3200. What has happened though is that now the demand for such levels of service has grown, that it has opened the door for others to enter this level of the market. And yes... while others offer what I do... and at discounted pricing... none of them are marketing effectively. It is why I have been able to travel to 14 different states over the years... they all tell me they can't find anyone that can supply the atmosphere they desire. I've posted weddings in barns in maryland, weddings in florida, events in Nashville... areas where one normally wouldn't expect an investment of $5k+ on a dj... but it is happening. People do have this desire... the scale of it though depends on the local djs and what they're collectively doing to change the trends. One alone will not change things overnight.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,138
60
I feel the focus shouldn't be about what other DJs are charging but keeping the focus on what you're doing and what you charge.

On these forums many DJs have different opinions on what a DJ should charge to do a wedding ot other types of events. What another DJ feels you should be charging may or may not work for you.

I know some won't believe this but one DJ put down another DJ because they felt the price they were charging for video was too low. They felt they should be charging more. Let's say $300-500 more. They could do that and instead of getting more business, cost them business. Different strokes for different folks. What ever makes you happy.