How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost?
£300 to £500 in most cases. You weren't expecting an answer that quickly, were you? Well I know that no one likes to read through long articles to find the answer they are looking for, but I encourage you to read on for some helpful advice...
How much does a pint of milk cost? A loaf of bread? A bar of chocolate? Ask anyone and most will respond with similar prices.
However, this can't be said for many products and services, such as building work, flights, hotels, cars, TV's and much more. The main reason for this? Variation of service offering. In simple terms, many services offer a different level of quality, experience and expertise amongst their counterparts. Likewise with Wedding DJ's. However, a good start would be to use the below criteria to help decide if a Wedding DJ is worth the money.
1) Can they mix? Ask to see previous mixes they've done.
2) How many years have they DJ'd? More experience in any profession is always a bonus.
3) Have they DJ'd in clubs? This doesn't necessarily make them a better Wedding DJ, but it does show their ability to DJ to bigger crowds, usually are mic confident, and usually can mix (because clubs don't usually have DJ's that can't).
4) Is there photos of the DJ's rig, as well as footage of previous gigs?
5) Have they DJ'd at the venue you are getting married at? This shouldn't be a 'make or break' criteria, but treat it as more of a bonus.
6) Make lots of enquiries. Find out how much they charge, the equipment they are bringing, how long they will be DJ'in for. Check their reviews on their Facebook page, on Google. Ask friends for recommendations. Even subtle things like how quickly they respond, how they respond, can help.
7) Do they have public liability insurance? Is their equipment portable appliance tested? Will they provide a contract that clearly outlines terms and conditions of the service? This shows they take more precautions in health and safety, and are clear with their customers the service they are getting. One of the most important things a couple look for when hiring suppliers, is reliability, that feeling that they are in good hands, that they will arrive nice and early, and take the stress out of the day.
Now, going back to the £300 to £500 price range I said at the start. I would say most Wedding DJ's sit within this price range (South-West England). This would usually be for a 5 hour DJ set, including a full lighting and sound rig. The next bracket (£500 plus) will usually be for a producer/DJ who makes music and has a bigger following.
Admittedly you could probably get a Wedding DJ for £150 at a push (please don't expect much for this price). At the highest? Well, if you want Calvin Harris expect to pay £250,000 for a 2-hour set. There will be a difference of course. That age-old saying: you get what you pay for. Yes, that is true in the Wedding DJ market, but there are anomalies for sure (i.e. some that under-price themselves, and some that over-price themselves). Some Wedding DJ's offer an all-day service, providing master of ceremonies and background music in the day, as well as DJ'in the evening.
I'm going to be honest with you, the "Mobile DJ" market is saturated. There's one on every corner of every street, and they're all battling to DJ at your event. There's a big difference in quality and the services which the offer. Some DJ's specialise with certain genres, and some specialise in a particular service (take Igloo Disco, for example). This is why price plays such a big part in this industry. Some DJ's will follow the "race to the bottom" strategy (i.e. they will undercut to try and secure the booking, especially if they're looking at it as just a way of making a bit of extra money for the weekend). Just bear this in mind when you are making enquiries and looking at prices. I tend to find the "better" DJ's will remain solid with their prices. They will hardly budge on price. It's not them thinking they're above everyone, it's simply them knowing their worth. It's also a case of demand for their service. If they're getting a lot of bookings, they don't need to come down on price. It's quite an obvious point, but food for thought nonetheless.
Hidden Fees & Hidden Terms
1) If you are booking a DJ, carefully read their terms and conditions/contract before booking. It's not exactly what you want to be doing when you've got a wedding to prepare for, but if you take the time to read the contract carefully, at least you know where you stand if anything goes wrong. Most DJ's require a deposit or non-refundable booking fee upon booking. Percentage can vary from around 15-30%. The remaining amount is usually paid closer to the date of the Wedding. Most of the time the deposit is non-refundable. You can view my terms here.
2) Ask the DJ when they will be arriving. Sometimes, DJ's will set up in the morning (or the day before), if the evening party is in a completely separate room. Otherwise, a well prepared DJ will allow at least 60-120 minutes to set up prior to the event start time. You may also want the party to go on past the agreed finishing time. Make sure you know the DJ's additional hourly rate prior to the event. The rate varies, but £50-£100 per additional hour seems likely. Partying past the agreed finishing time is at the discretion of the venue management and the DJ (venues have an array of strict licensing rules they must abide by).
If you're unsure about anything, simply ask the DJ that you're booking, the questions you need to know! If they've got nothing to hide they'll be happy to speak with you about any concerns you have.
Feel free to take a look at the Wedding Package that I offer.
Here's a video of me DJ'in at Lakota Club in Bristol, at the start of this year. Currently, students love anything Disco/Funk/Soul related. Who would've thought that in the year 2021 we'd see such genres at the forefront of the club scene!
I hope this article has been of help. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.
DJ James Stephens (Owner & Sole DJ of Feel The Funk Disco)