Would you DJ a wedding for $550 in 2021?

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Would you do a $550/4 hour wedding reception in 2021?

  • Absolutely! It's fair pay in my opinion!

    Votes: 6 33.3%
  • I would only do this on a weekday.

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • I would only do it if it's under 10 miles or 15 minutes from my house

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Nope. There is just no situation where I would do a wedding for $550 today

    Votes: 6 33.3%
  • No, I have never even booked a wedding that low before!

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • No, but I would for $595 to $650 if it is logistically favorable for me to do it.

    Votes: 1 5.6%

  • Total voters
    18

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
3,236
1,923
59
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Fine line there...YOU are the pro wiht the knowledge and experience to know what works and what won't work.

I offer suggestions, some take it some don't. IN the end it's their day/event.

Setting expections is important - "nobody danced at the birthday party"...yeah, I don't realy expect much dancing at grad parties or birthday parties. Line dances are about it. I try to bring this up so they don't think it's my fault nobody danced.

What I do is what my friend does too. If I'm going to be the DJ doing the event and I don't feel comfortable with doing the event I won't do the event. I don't do what some on here think I do. I don't tell any client that has booked us what to do. I do make suggestions when I feel it's right to do so. My reason is I want the event to turn out well for the client and us. I don't want people blaming us for something that is not going well that is not our fault.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
7,726
5,064
a painter charge $X per hour - he couldn't care less if he's painting one wall or a 10k sf mansion, painting white or blue or polka dots.

If you play for 4 hours, does it matter if it's for 30 or 300? A wedding or a graduation party?

Yes, for 300 you may bring more equipment and a wedding will have more announcements, and a script or agenda for the events, but otherwise....does it REALLY matter or make a difference?

If you bring and setup more gear, more lighting, then yes, charge more.

The person hiring you will pay more for the bigger venue, for more meals - you arent' involved in that in anyway though.

People are WILLING to pay more for weddings than simple grad parties, etc.
This is just incredibly naive. Painters have different skill sets - and some won't go near a ladder or scaffold so, no there is no uniform $X per hour for painters.

I charge for my skills not my gear. The cost of a given mix console never changes. What people ask me to do at their event changes quite a bit, and often requires production skills well outside of your current thinking. There are plenty of people who take your painter approach to DJing and show up with their favorite bucket and brush with no cares. People are willing to pay more TO GET MORE talent, and that has very little to do with whether it's a wedding or graduation party
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
3,236
1,923
59
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
If I want my house painted I have some idea of expectations. I don't expect spilled paint on the floor, paint on the window glass, etc.
But I don't need DaVinci to paint my room and if I did I'd expect to pay more, but I"m not paying Bob's Painting Co the same price as DaVinci to paint my house and touch up a few dings in the walls.

So...what are peoples expectations of DJs? Does it vary by market or price point?

This is just incredibly naive. Painters have different skill sets - and some won't go near a ladder or scaffold so, no there is no uniform $X per hour for painters.

I charge for my skills not my gear. The cost of a given mix console never changes. What people ask me to do at their event changes quite a bit, and often requires production skills well outside of your current thinking. There are plenty of people who take your painter approach to DJing and show up with their favorite bucket and brush with no cares. People are willing to pay more TO GET MORE talent, and that has very little to do with whether it's a wedding or graduation party
 
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Handinon

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 1, 2014
1,954
3,282
74
I think a lot of the disagreement in this thread comes from the differing views on the importance of MC'ing vs DJ'ing for Weddings.
My own personal opinion is that good sound and good music are paramount, and can be supplemented by antics behind the mic, but not vice versa.
You shouldn't have to cajole people onto the dance floor, just as you shouldn't have to throw out inflatable objects to play air guitar with.
You can, but you shouldn't have to.
 
Last edited:

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
607
456
Los Angeles, CA
^^^Well Said!! And I use a similar line when speaking to potential clients trying to gauge my style. I make it very clear from the start that my music choice, timing, and mixing are what will get people to dance, not me on the mic.

If they want an interactive DJ who is more of a MC first, I say I am not your guy.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,812
1,527
63
This is just incredibly naive. Painters have different skill sets - and some won't go near a ladder or scaffold so, no there is no uniform $X per hour for painters.

I charge for my skills not my gear. The cost of a given mix console never changes. What people ask me to do at their event changes quite a bit, and often requires production skills well outside of your current thinking. There are plenty of people who take your painter approach to DJing and show up with their favorite bucket and brush with no cares. People are willing to pay more TO GET MORE talent, and that has very little to do with whether it's a wedding or graduation party
I disagree with you. First what do you mean by people will pay more for talent? There are those who are very talented. That doesn't mean anybody will pay more for that DJ. I've said this before. No matter what it is everybody has a limit to what they spend on anything. Just because you have talent doesn't mean somebody will pay you more then someone else. One DJ just may be just starting out and doesn't have good gear or much talent at that time. It also depends on 2 factors.
How well do you sell yourself and who you target your business to?
 
Last edited:

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
7,726
5,064
I think a lot of the disagreement in this thread comes from the differing views on the importance of MC'ing vs DJ'ing for Weddings.
My own personal opinion is that good sound and good music are paramount, and can be supplemented by antics behind the mic, but not vice versa.
You shouldn't have to cajole people onto the dance floor, just as you shouldn't have to throw out inflatable objects to play air guitar with.
You can, but you shouldn't have to.
I think the disagreement lies in the limits of one's own abilities, Most DJ's are unwilling to admit their own limitations, thus they equate emcees with inflatable guitars and cheap novelties when in fact - the most expensive, most requested, and highest grossing mobile DJ entertainment available is all built around this entertainment model.

Entertainment always costs more than a DJ, and there are no quantity of mashups or up lighting that can equalize the difference.



 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
7,726
5,064
If I want my house painted I have some idea of expectations. I don't expect spilled paint on the floor, paint on the window glass, etc.
But I don't need DaVinci to paint my room and if I did I'd expect to pay more, but I"m not paying Bob's Painting Co the same price as DaVinci to paint my house and touch up a few dings in the walls.

So...what are peoples expectations of DJs? Does it vary by market or price point?
For most people, weddings, births, anniversaries, coming of age, and countless other emotional milestones in their life and family are a BIG DEAL, not a "touch up." There is a "DaVinci" inside everyone wanting to express itself. If your sales approach is to elevate the DJ by downplaying the event that's got to somehow be coming across to people.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,812
1,527
63
Bob what you miss is there are different levels and kind of DJs out here today. What one DJ can do another may not be able to do or at least for the time being. We all can't be the same or how would a client know who to choose. Remember also some have been doing this for over 20 years. I wouldn't expect someone who has been doing this for 2 years to be on the same level of someone who has been doing this for over 20 years. Also talent means nothing if you can't get potential clients to book you or enough potential clients to book you for the price you want them to pay.

Steve Arrington nailed it. Nobody can be you but you. Be the best you and let things happen. Now I'm not saying you shouldn't always keep trying to improve. The question is when will you be satisfied with what you do?
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
3,236
1,923
59
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Do offer them as an option? LIke glow sticks or YMCA props? I've seen DJs do that.

Perhaps that's your way of being unique?


I think a lot of the disagreement in this thread comes from the differing views on the importance of MC'ing vs DJ'ing for Weddings.
My own personal opinion is that good sound and good music are paramount, and can be supplemented by antics behind the mic, but not vice versa.
You shouldn't have to cajole people onto the dance floor, just as you shouldn't have to throw out inflatable objects to play air guitar with.
You can, but you shouldn't have to.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
7,726
5,064
Not to you, but you're not the customer.
To them al DJs play the same music, do the same thing.
If you don't believe me go stand on a corner and do a survey.
I think you should stop standing on corners and get with a better crowd.
Your notions of pubic interest and perception are seriously limited.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
3,236
1,923
59
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Basic marketing research 101 - you can guess what the market wants or knows, or you can ask.

I went to an even hosted by a venu with past brides, currrent/future brides and their parents as a panel for vendors to ask questions of. Any question.

Things were asked about how you found and chose a vendor, budget, etc.

A) NOBODY said they asked for referrals from friends.None.
B) links on the knot/wedding wire sites were trusted (as they've been vetted they ALL agreed) while google ads are NOT trustworthy. Not true, but it is THEIR PERCEPTION.

What are the top questions you get asked ? Price, Availability, right? I get the avail part, but nobody really asks 'what is special about you'?

If you go shopping for say, a mattress or silver ware, things you shop for rarely, what do YOU ask about? What makes this brand better than that one that is cheaper?

If they all cost the same you may ask a different question, some folks ask for the 'best', but not many buy $3500 mattresses or eat off pure silver flatware.

People bring to vendor shopping the same 'techniques' that work for them for shopping in the rest of their life.

Last wedding I commented to the bride how good the food was, she said she never tasted their food before, their price and availabality was all she asked about.

Typical? Can't say, but it is what many people do.

For photography I get more of the "can I do this...can you do that..." BEFORE the price question, but there is ALWAYS the price question.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,812
1,527
63
Fine line there...YOU are the pro wiht the knowledge and experience to know what works and what won't work.

I offer suggestions, some take it some don't. IN the end it's their day/event.

Setting expections is important - "nobody danced at the birthday party"...yeah, I don't realy expect much dancing at grad parties or birthday parties. Line dances are about it. I try to bring this up so they don't think it's my fault nobody danced.
Let me ask please. Why do you expect that there won't be a lot of dancing at Grad and birthday parties?
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
3,904
7,829
34
NJ
www.djtaso.com
Basic marketing research 101 - you can guess what the market wants or knows, or you can ask.

I went to an even hosted by a venu with past brides, currrent/future brides and their parents as a panel for vendors to ask questions of. Any question.

Things were asked about how you found and chose a vendor, budget, etc.

A) NOBODY said they asked for referrals from friends.None.
B) links on the knot/wedding wire sites were trusted (as they've been vetted they ALL agreed) while google ads are NOT trustworthy. Not true, but it is THEIR PERCEPTION.

What are the top questions you get asked ? Price, Availability, right? I get the avail part, but nobody really asks 'what is special about you'?

If you go shopping for say, a mattress or silver ware, things you shop for rarely, what do YOU ask about? What makes this brand better than that one that is cheaper?

If they all cost the same you may ask a different question, some folks ask for the 'best', but not many buy $3500 mattresses or eat off pure silver flatware.

People bring to vendor shopping the same 'techniques' that work for them for shopping in the rest of their life.

Last wedding I commented to the bride how good the food was, she said she never tasted their food before, their price and availabality was all she asked about.

Typical? Can't say, but it is what many people do.

For photography I get more of the "can I do this...can you do that..." BEFORE the price question, but there is ALWAYS the price question.
This makes sense. Key word you keep using is “typical”. If you’re seeking typical clients you’re gonna typically be asked about price and availability and maybe one or two differentiating areas. If you’re seeking typical clients, then they’ll typically find you through weddingwire google or the knot. This is all accurate info.

I don’t believe I get typical clients. 90% of them don’t find me by searching for me. Almost all are either guests at my events or direct referrals from clients. For those that search for me they found me on YouTube, not google or weddingwire, as they were seeking someone that stood out to them and the videos help that. My consultations never involve price discussions or discounts or why am I so expensive... they’re all about how do I get the results I get, what’s the booking process like, and what’s the planning process.

Ive said this before... you sell like you shop. Subconsciously we often are creating a brand that attracts the type of shopper that we are. If we instinctly go on price then our research level is minimal, we go to Amazon find the lowest priced option and call it a day. That requires heavy advertising and marketing dollars, and a business based on quantity.
 
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Dessicant

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 4, 2016
165
172
31
$1,000 minimum. And I’m a rank amateur. Equipment is expensive. Programming light shows is time consuming. Loading and unloading is a pain in the neck. And $1,000 just simply isn’t that much money anymore.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
3,236
1,923
59
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Expensive compared to what?
It can be expensive, but coming from the photo world where I'd carry $30k in gear to a weddding DJ stuff is cheap.
Unless you customize for each event, you got fast, slow, sound active and few varations on that. Done once, done forever.
Be efficient on the load/unload - for 90% of my events ONE trip with the flat dolly does it. From arriving to show is 45 min give or take, and last song till drive away is 30 min.

$1,000 minimum. And I’m a rank amateur. Equipment is expensive. Programming light shows is time consuming. Loading and unloading is a pain in the neck. And $1,000 just simply isn’t that much money anymore.