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 5.0%
  • 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: 11 55.0%
  • No. This is Upper Cusp of the Middle Range nearing the High End

    Votes: 7 35.0%
  • That is rediculous. $1,200 to $1,600 is a high end Wedding DJ Price

    Votes: 1 5.0%

  • Total voters
    20

tunes4046

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 24, 2008
6,069
49
Fennimore Wi
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! :)
If you are good and leaving a lasting impression with your clients you should be very busy with referrals already, if your not booking 80-90% referrals something is missing from either your performance or the way you interact with your clients
 
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Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
3,919
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
My time on a typical wedding is in the 15 hour range.

0:30 of e-mails back and forth during planning process

0:30-1:00 for an initial phone consult

1:30 in drive time to and from the planning meeting

1:00-1:30 for my planning meeting

30 minutes to prepare a written timeline for the client

1:00-2:00 in preparing music, crates, special dances

1:30 in travel time to and from most gigs

2:00-2:30 of set up time at the event

5:00-6:00 long wedding (maybe longer if doing ceremony as well)
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,165
61
How many DJs on here are getting paid $1,200-1,600 to do a 5-6 hour wedding? How many are getting paid more than that and how many are getting paid less than that? Keep in mind I'm talking regularly and not just one time and that's it..

I certainly wouldn't complain if I could get a client to pay us that much or more. I also am not fully dependent on the DJ business to survive.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
34,346
Prospect, CT
I think it's a blue collar vs. white collar thing. Blue collar people tend to really value their dollar and have a hard time swallowing $1500 for someone 'just to push buttons'. White collar people push buttons for lots more money so it makes sense to them.

Just my .02 :)
I've seen some blue collar folks splurge for something they really wanted ...
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
34,346
Prospect, CT
True. I think they're the exception overall though. I'm a blue collar guy myself and couldn't see myself dropping 1k on a DJ... and I know the ins and outs of the industry.
There's this DJ and his many partners down in NJ ...
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,688
49
Sydney, Nova Scotia
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.
Fundamentally I agree with you Taso and my offer stemmed from an "industry Leader" telling me he could come here and book gigs left and right at $2000-$2500. He didn't accept my offer. He also only does 2 or 3 a year himself and preaches to others how we should be like him.

You are a different breed Taso you aren't anything like the GWYW guys and that's a very good thing. I hold no jealousy I actually admire what you do. In my opinion you are the best at what you do. It's also my opinion that you would be nowhere near as successful doing what you do here. Being the best and being able to get booked in a much smaller area are two very different things

I have zero concern for numbers in other markets never have. My goal is to be at the top or very near the top of my market. In the last 15 years there have been a few of us here that steadily raise our rates and service and the rest lag behind. No word of a lie 12 or so years ago when everybody was charging $250 for a 4 hour wedding I raised up to $325...I got busier. There were a couple of others that followed me so I kept going up and kept getting busier. I also created packages for ceremony and dinner music which no one was doing here. Sold like hotcakes dinner the norm now and 2/3 of non church ceremonies I will book also...Meanwhile there are still a ton of them here doing weddings for $250 and throwing in the dinner for free. The faces change each year the prices never do


My time on a typical wedding is in the 15 hour range.

0:30 of e-mails back and forth during planning process

0:30-1:00 for an initial phone consult

1:30 in drive time to and from the planning meeting

1:00-1:30 for my planning meeting

30 minutes to prepare a written timeline for the client

1:00-2:00 in preparing music, crates, special dances

1:30 in travel time to and from most gigs

2:00-2:30 of set up time at the event

5:00-6:00 long wedding (maybe longer if doing ceremony as well)
Dewpending on travel time it's 12-15 with me too
 
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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,791
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
My time on a typical wedding is in the 15 hour range.

0:30 of e-mails back and forth during planning process

0:30-1:00 for an initial phone consult

1:30 in drive time to and from the planning meeting

1:00-1:30 for my planning meeting

30 minutes to prepare a written timeline for the client

1:00-2:00 in preparing music, crates, special dances

1:30 in travel time to and from most gigs

2:00-2:30 of set up time at the event

5:00-6:00 long wedding (maybe longer if doing ceremony as well)
Thats 90% my dedicated amount of time for an event as well. The only time it's different is when a wedding or sweet 16 has design elements that make the planning meeting longer, and requires follow up emails and design time of about another 1-2hrs total. Oh and the 1-1.5hr breakdown time. So around 20hrs total dedicated to an event. With 10+hrs dedicated directly with client interaction, it's easy to create a strong and positive relationship with them.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
3,919
Thats 90% my dedicated amount of time for an event as well. The only time it's different is when a wedding or sweet 16 has design elements that make the planning meeting longer, and requires follow up emails and design time of about another 1-2hrs total. Oh and the 1-1.5hr breakdown time. So around 20hrs total dedicated to an event. With 10+hrs dedicated directly with client interaction, it's easy to create a strong and positive relationship with them.
I forgot breakdown time, but I'm normally out in 20-45 minutes depending on what I have set up.
 
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Tune Twisters

Active DJ
Apr 20, 2019
25
43
I am in a big city, west coast. Here you have to beat off the bottom feeders. 75% of the calls I get to do a wedding, I give them all my info, what packages I offer what price I charge.
For a seven hour wedding I go from $850 for basic up to $1400 for everything. Most people pick the $1000 to $ 1200 packages. They then tell me there are other guys offering the same package for $350 and would I match the price. Second problem there are 3 big dj company's here that do all wedding fairs, they pay extra to be the only dj company's at the wedding fairs.
they charge $2000 to $3500 per wedding. now here is the kicker, they book the wedding, then they put wedding out to sub contract to a smaller dj. They offer $250 to $350 per wedding.
That would be ok, if you were just the dj and they supplied all the gear. when you bid on the wedding they tell you what gear you have to have to sub contract for them. So all they are really is a contract flipper.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,791
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
I am in a big city, west coast. Here you have to beat off the bottom feeders. 75% of the calls I get to do a wedding, I give them all my info, what packages I offer what price I charge.
For a seven hour wedding I go from $850 for basic up to $1400 for everything. Most people pick the $1000 to $ 1200 packages. They then tell me there are other guys offering the same package for $350 and would I match the price. Second problem there are 3 big dj company's here that do all wedding fairs, they pay extra to be the only dj company's at the wedding fairs.
they charge $2000 to $3500 per wedding. now here is the kicker, they book the wedding, then they put wedding out to sub contract to a smaller dj. They offer $250 to $350 per wedding.
That would be ok, if you were just the dj and they supplied all the gear. when you bid on the wedding they tell you what gear you have to have to sub contract for them. So all they are really is a contract flipper.
I have the same issues being in NJ. While the numbers are different the concept is relatively the same. I'm one of a very few number of single op dj's that competes in the $2k+ starting price point with packages well into the $3-$5k price range. Multi ops here can spend $100k in advertising to fill the needs of their business, with many companies doing 400-600+ events a year. However, I only need 60 events to meet my minimum threshold to be satisfied, and 70 events to beat my goals... last year I did 74, this year I'm at 71 already. My business succeeds currently because of three effective areas that I focus on. One was word of mouth, and exceeding my clients and guests expectations at my actual events... I don't need to formally advertise, bc my clients and guests do it for me. My second area of success that allowed for my ease of standing out was the 300+ recap videos that I have of all of my events from past years. It does a better job selling than anyone can do at those silly wedding shows with their choreographed performances. Third thing that has attributed to the success was a strong social media platform, with around 8000 followers between the top platforms (instagram, facebook personal, and facebook business). This allows me to get my content and brand out to the perfect target market.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
267
33
Taso

I love your attitude and dedication to your business. Do you consider SCE competition or not so bc they are a multi op? Y’all seem to offer similar level of service.

They are in your area right?
 
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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,791
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
Taso

I love your attitude and dedication to your business. Do you consider SCE competition or not so bc they are a multi op? Y’all seem to offer similar level of service.

They are in your area right?
SCE is an AMAZING company, and perhaps one of the best multi ops ran in the country. In fact I hired one of their DJ's that I knew for my wedding this past summer (there was also a greek band and greek dj). In a sense Jason's dedication and hard work was my motivation early on and to this day in certain aspects. They are in my direct area, and while one would think I would be in competition with them, I really don't think we are. Maybe 1-2x a year do I ever have clients actually mention that they are in fact looking at them, and of those times, it's fairly well split in terms of which direction they go with... and really at that point it's all about comfort for the couple.

Truth be told, I find that if a couple is looking at them, they're not really looking at my services, and vice versa. It also depends on which dj you refer to. Just like I have my own clientele, Jason has his own clientele which never intersects with mine, and that's great in my opinion as we've done our job of finding our target markets/niche. So when SCE does come up, it's usually one of their other DJ's, and where as I have the advantage of direct communication from the start (as opposed to secretaries), and a personal hands on experience, they have their own advantages in terms of the size and brand recognition they have, further customization options (for example, I only have 2 or 3 photo booth experiences whereas they have around 6). For some of their dj's they end up cheaper, and for some I'm cheaper depending on the packages... so it's fairly split on paper... but in reality, competition is hardly there. I think another reason is because my markets that I service are more vast than the one's they target. I also gather my clients through word of mouth and youtube/instagram so they're specific to me... they gather clients through their own word of mouth circles, but also through LOTS of shows.. so again, clients specific to them. Their competition comes from other multi-ops that tend to imitate them A LOT.
 
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Tune Twisters

Active DJ
Apr 20, 2019
25
43
I have the same issues being in NJ. While the numbers are different the concept is relatively the same. I'm one of a very few number of single op dj's that competes in the $2k+ starting price point with packages well into the $3-$5k price range. Multi ops here can spend $100k in advertising to fill the needs of their business, with many companies doing 400-600+ events a year. However, I only need 60 events to meet my minimum threshold to be satisfied, and 70 events to beat my goals... last year I did 74, this year I'm at 71 already. My business succeeds currently because of three effective areas that I focus on. One was word of mouth, and exceeding my clients and guests expectations at my actual events... I don't need to formally advertise, bc my clients and guests do it for me. My second area of success that allowed for my ease of standing out was the 300+ recap videos that I have of all of my events from past years. It does a better job selling than anyone can do at those silly wedding shows with their choreographed performances. Third thing that has attributed to the success was a strong social media platform, with around 8000 followers between the top platforms (instagram, facebook personal, and facebook business). This allows me to get my content and brand out to the perfect target market.
I see what you are saying.
Here we have 3 levels of DJ's, bottom feeders (under $500) that take 60% of weddings, The Mid boys ($1000 to $2500) that take 30% of weddings, And the BIG Boys ($5000+) that do the top 10%. I am in the low end of the mid boys, I d not mind where I am at. I do a good job, I get a lot of work by word of mouth. Some of the other DJ's I talk with are in the same boat. all our prices are pretty close. And some guys pay around $30,000 a year in advertising, but the get three times the work I do. To me if I stepped up and paid more for advertising I would be about the middle of the mid size, single op guys. I have been told one off the big multi op DJ company's (25-30 DJ's) pays $200,000 a year in advertising.
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,930
37
I see what you are saying.
Here we have 3 levels of DJ's, bottom feeders (under $500) that take 60% of weddings, The Mid boys ($1000 to $2500) that take 30% of weddings, And the BIG Boys ($5000+) that do the top 10%. I am in the low end of the mid boys, I d not mind where I am at. I do a good job, I get a lot of work by word of mouth. Some of the other DJ's I talk with are in the same boat. all our prices are pretty close. And some guys pay around $30,000 a year in advertising, but the get three times the work I do. To me if I stepped up and paid more for advertising I would be about the middle of the mid size, single op guys. I have been told one off the big multi op DJ company's (25-30 DJ's) pays $200,000 a year in advertising.
$30,000 a year in advertising is STEEP for a DJ Business. That is real steep. Even if they were doing multiple bridal shows at $995+ a pop, and paying 8K for a spot light wedding wire ad, and putting a few thousand into face book ads...that is still a lot of freaking advertising dollars.

I spent close to 5K last year in advertising, I that was too much for the ROI I ended up with.
 

Tune Twisters

Active DJ
Apr 20, 2019
25
43
$30,000 a year in advertising is STEEP for a DJ Business. That is real steep. Even if they were doing multiple bridal shows at $995+ a pop, and paying 8K for a spot light wedding wire ad, and putting a few thousand into face book ads...that is still a lot of freaking advertising dollars.

I spent close to 5K last year in advertising, I that was too much for the ROI I ended up with.
Here, at our smaller wedding fairs just to get your name on the vender wall is around $700. You standing at a cocktail table is more like $1500. A booth goes for $2500.
And you have to bring a $100 to $500 door prize.

The three large wedding fairs are $8000 to $10,000 a booth.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,930
37
Here, at our smaller wedding fairs just to get your name on the vender wall is around $700. You standing at a cocktail table is more like $1500. A booth goes for $2500.
And you have to bring a $100 to $500 door prize.

The three large wedding fairs are $8000 to $10,000 a booth.
That is rediculous. Must be a bunch of gullilble wedding vendors with money to blow out there. Are wedding vendors that desperate for business they will shell out crazy amounts of money and throw it at these bridal shows out there? ...For half of that $8,000 bridal show booth price, I could have a retail store front for a month, and work leads from a retail stand . What city market are you in?

I consider bridal shows above $995 to pretty much be a rip off for the vendors, and the ones that are $495 to $995 are a big if on if they are worth the time and expense.