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

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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: 2 7.7%
  • 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: 14 53.8%
  • No. This is Upper Cusp of the Middle Range nearing the High End

    Votes: 7 26.9%
  • That is rediculous. $1,200 to $1,600 is a high end Wedding DJ Price

    Votes: 3 11.5%

  • Total voters
    26

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
26,939
43,086
Connecticut
Both are very nice. I personally adore Marcello for what he has done. I knew him back in the day when he was starting out and coming to conventions and listing to my seminars. He still makes time for me when I go to a convention to sit, have a piece of pie and catch up.

Jason is a rock star. I was wow'd by him the first year they had him as the "house DJ" at Mobile Best, amazing stuff and a very cool look and vibe.

It does bum me out at how many people say they can't answer the "price question" because there are too many variables in pricing. That's crap to me.

Everybody has a base price where they start at, or would be willing to work for. Sure the bottom line is hours, needs and so on. But how hard is it to give a base price for a 5 or 6 hour event?

I am not a high end DJ by any means. Could I be? Sure, but I just don't want to work that hard. Randy Bartlett and I have had this discussion over the years. He would ask me, "don't you want to make $2500 at a wedding", and I say "sure, but I just don't want to work that hard. I'd rather be on the golf course or spending time with my wife."

Do I own a home or have a new car every couple of years? No. Am I on a first name basis with all the employees at Taco Bell? Yes! Do I tell others to run their business like I run mine? Hell no! I hope that most are way more successful than me. Am I a happy camper with a happy life? 99% of the time, yes.

My base price? I quote $1200 for a 4 hour wedding, $200 p/h overtime. Me and my sound system. Uplights, ceremony system, Gig Bar extra. Average wedding price is $1600.00

Have a nice day :)
Charge more and you can have a rainbow of shoe colors and jackets for every holiday ...
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
6,838
4,174
The numbers mean nothing to me.

If I can be in and out of an event in less than 10 hours total investment, no meaningful expenses, then I'm good with $1200. If it's small and local I'd even be good with $900. ($900 is what it would cost to replace myself with an equivalent or better DJ should I suddenly become unable to perform.) I've done weddings and other events that are literally within walking distance of my home, no meetings, no ceremony, no lighting or other crap - just a great DJ for reception formalities and dancing. This is usually someone who has been referred to me and has a very straight forward agenda with no pretense. (I charge a hefty premium for pretentiousness.)

It's "high end" because it's exactly what that customer wants - perfectly delivered and executed.

Too many people equate "high end" with being exceptionally elegant in a downtown hotel, but that's simply expensive - not specifically "high end." The cost of working in the city is always higher - that doesn't automatically translate into anything being "high end."


To me "high end" is a contract that excludes all failure. It's about the scope of the work and the requirements necessary to accomplish the desired results. There is no room for error - at all. There are also 5 hour parties that include an additional 3 days for setup and strike. Even if the entertainment is "just a DJ" you don't get that gig by having anything less than "high end" capabilities. Whatever it is the DJ does - it damn well better meet the standard of everything that led up to that moment.

I don't find "high end" to be a useful term in a talent industry. There's no shortage of premium priced cheesy performers who since being voted off the island at AGT and AI are now working the event industry. The value is always in the eye of the buyer. Expense and satisfaction are not mutually inclusive. The true 'high end' is a measure of ability not merely perception.
 
Last edited:

djrox

Sir Wyzazz
ODJT Supporter
Aug 12, 2006
7,368
4,517
New Orleans, Louisiana
DO you consider a DJ who charges $1,200 to $1,500 to be a low end Wedding DJ?
No.

But I do consider such polls to be irrelevant and valueless.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
10,586
1,418
62
First it's about what clients will consistently pay you to be the DJ at their wedding. You can get paid $1,200 once. That doesn't mean you're a DJ who gets paid $1,200. You just got paid that much once. It's all about where you're at with your business and what you have to offer. That's besides your skills as a DJ. For those who consistently get paid at least $1,200, what do you offer to brides? Bottom line you can say $1,200-$1,600 is a low budget for a DJ to do a wedding for 5-6 hours. If nobody is willing to pay you at least that much then it doesn't matter. It's about you and what you consistently get paid.

It's about are you happy with where you're at ad what you consistently get paid. If you're not happy with where you're at you have the right to make changes to what you're doing so you can be happy. I remember years ago another DJ told a DJ that was charging $900 to provide video at events that their price was too low for providing video. True story and it was on Sid's forum. Now of course the other DJ was able to get paid more then $900 to provide video at events for their clients. Good for them. Now if that other DJ was happy with getting paid what they charged at that time, great for them. We all can't be the same and we shouldn't be. There's good and bad DJs everywhere. The DJ that consistently gets paid to do a wedding getting paid at least $1.200 must be doing something right. Now you can disagree and say that's not good enough for you. That's you. It's about if that other DJ is happy with the price they charge? Simple question, are you happy where you're at and the price you charge?
 

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
26,939
43,086
Connecticut
First it's about what clients will consistently pay you to be the DJ at their wedding. You can get paid $1,200 once. That doesn't mean you're a DJ who gets paid $1,200. You just got paid that much once. It's all about where you're at with your business and what you have to offer. That's besides your skills as a DJ. For those who consistently get paid at least $1,200, what do you offer to brides? Bottom line you can say $1,200-$1,600 is a low budget for a DJ to do a wedding for 5-6 hours. If nobody is willing to pay you at least that much then it doesn't matter. It's about you and what you consistently get paid.

It's about are you happy with where you're at ad what you consistently get paid. If you're not happy with where you're at you have the right to make changes to what you're doing so you can be happy. I remember years ago another DJ told a DJ that was charging $900 to provide video at events that their price was too low for providing video. True story and it was on Sid's forum. Now of course the other DJ was able to get paid more then $900 to provide video at events for their clients. Good for them. Now if that other DJ was happy with getting paid what they charged at that time, great for them. We all can't be the same and we shouldn't be. There's good and bad DJs everywhere. The DJ that consistently gets paid to do a wedding getting paid at least $1.200 must be doing something right. Now you can disagree and say that's not good enough for you. That's you. It's about if that other DJ is happy with the price they charge? Simple question, are you happy where you're at and the price you charge?
If you get paid $1200 to do a wedding, that would actually BE the definition of a DJ who gets $1200 .. :)
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,362
5,826
For those who consistently get paid at least $1,200, what do you offer to brides?
You ask some version of this question over and over again. I'm not entirely sure why.

I offer a simple thing for my pricing:

1) Me and my 19 years of experience learning how to be a better DJ will show up and perform at your event
2) I will bring the equipment necessary to look good and sound good doing it
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
10,586
1,418
62
I ask that question because it's about you and what you do, what you offer and what you charge. Someone else can say you're not doig things right or not charging enough for your service you provide. How many of those DJs have actually seen you at work doing a wedding? Probably none. So they have no right to judge you unless they have seen you doing a wedding in person. Another thing is not every DJ does weddings. Ask Steve. What about the DJ who is a gig whore. The DJ who takes a gig just because a client has money to pay and is not qualified to do the gig. It makes them look bad and others saying that all DJs are the same and why pay a DJ that much to do an event. Sad but true statement and that's why I'm careful about the events I agree todo for a client. I have no problem with telling a potential client I'm not the right DJ for their event. I'd rather save my face and reputation then risk it doing an event I'm not completely comfortable with.

Bottom line is we have these discussions on price and we never solve a thing.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
3,040
1,801
58
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Much depends on your market, and what do you do for 1200?

is that ceremony at location 1, receptoin at 2, uplighting and dance lighting...or just the reception with no lighting?

I can buy a kia or chevy or ford with 99% of the same options as a bmw or mercedes or rolls royce - and they'll do almost everything the high end cars do (get me to work, the store, etc). What does the extra $70k to 300k get you? Special treatment at the dealer, admiration of your friends, and ? You don't necessarilly get a better car for all that extra money.

Your market has a lot to do with your pricing, as well as how busy you are. If you're turning away work then you can charge more - so it may just be your marketing is better than the 'low end' DJ.

Locally most venues in my county charge under $50/plate. Half hour up the road near the airport the hotels charge closer to 90, give or take 10. And you go into the city 125, 150 a plate isn't uncommon, and sometimes you pay $5k or more just to rent the venue on top of the catering.

A DJ that plays a 35,000 reception probably isn't that much different than one that plays at a $2500 reception here, but he's gonna be paid a lot more - a $1200 DJ is what, 3% of that 35k budget, where a $500 DJ is 20% of 2500 reception.

Who's the more appreciated DJ - the one that commands 3% of the budget, or the one that gets 20%?
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
10,586
1,418
62

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
26,939
43,086
Connecticut
Beautiful backdrop for a casual wedding!
Started off nice, but got quite cold later since it was the 1st week of October.
 

Ausumm

No Matter Where You Go... There You Are!
Oct 21, 2008
11,276
12,842
56
Bethlehem PA
Most weddings around here are about HALF of that...
so for me, that is a High End price.
 
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