How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost: Here’s How to Plan for Your Big Day

How Much Does a Wedding DJ Cost: Here’s How to Plan for Your Big Day

Considering how much a wedding DJ costs is an important part of any wedding planning process. If this is your first time working with a DJ, you might not know what an appropriate price point for a DJ is. You might also be confused about the different factors you should consider when hiring a wedding DJ. As you shop around, you’ll find wedding DJ prices ranging anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars, to a couple of thousand dollars. 

Today, we’ll take a close look at the different elements that impact the cost of a wedding DJ. Additionally, we’ll explore all the different factors you should consider in order to maximize your budget and experience.

Read on to learn more about everything you need to know when it comes to wedding DJ costs, hiring a DJ for your ceremony, and how to compare wedding DJ prices so that you get the most memorable experience possible. 

Wedding DJ Costs: What You Need To Know 

The average price of a wedding DJ hovers around a couple of hundred dollars. However, it does not take much for the cost to quickly trickle into thousands of dollars. As you shop around, there are some important questions to answer and factors to think about in order to make sure you’re booking the right DJ for your big day. 

What Is The Average Cost For Hiring A Wedding DJ?

On average, newlywed couples can expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 on a wedding DJ. Typically, however, the national average cost hovers above $1,200. 

For many, this is no small purchase. Considering that will set the tone and mood of your day, it’s understandable that you’ll want to take your time picking out a DJ that understands your style and music needs. 

As with any service, you get what you pay for. For this reason alone, you need to be prepared for the fact that you’ll likely be spending at least $1,000 on your wedding DJ. Anything less, and you can expect to compromise on quality. 

What Are the Services Offered by a Wedding DJ?

A good wedding DJ will offer more than just tunes playing on your big night. Wedding DJs are expected to offer a variety of services including those that you would expect out of an MC or master of ceremonies. Typically, a wedding DJ will offer services including but not limited to the following:

  • An introduction to the bridal party and groomsmen as they enter a wedding ceremony.
  • An introduction of special or guest speakers who want to make a toast at your wedding.
  • A skilled wedding DJ will seamlessly blend different tunes together and execute them intentionally throughout the night. For example, they’ll know how to read the cues of your wedding ceremony to provide music that fits the tone at that current time. 
  • Wedding DJs will provide their own speakers, audio system, and other electronic units needed for the evening.
  • Wedding DJs will typically offer lighting options including disco lighting, laser lighting, and other special effects you want to include in your wedding ceremony. Often, a wedding DJ will work with a lighting technician in more elaborate wedding ceremonies. 
  • Karaoke units for guests to use. 
  • Photobooth services. 

It’s important to know that with all the additional services a DJ may offer, it will likely impact the price. For example, if you opt for special effects or special lighting, you can expect the overall package price of your DJ’s wedding service to go up. 

How Do DJs Charge For a Wedding?

Different DJs offer their services in different ways. Typically, however, you’ll find that DJs will either offer their services on an hourly basis, on a package basis, or by the different add-on services they provide. 

More affordable wedding DJs will typically market their services on an hourly basis. For every hour they play, they may charge a fee ranging from $100 to$ 200. This pricing structure however is usually associated with more affordable DJs and amateurs who are still getting a feel for the field. 

Most DJs will offer their service through a package. Different tiered packages will offer different services and allow couples to choose a package that serves both their needs and their budget. This is one of the more common ways a wedding DJ will market their services and you will typically find this pricing with more skilled and professional DJs. 

In addition to package pricing, professional DJs may also offer additional services for an added cost alongside the package price. For example, if a DJ offers a photo booth service or a karaoke machine service, this will be tagged as a separate fee from the package price. 

Factors That Can Affect the Price Of a Wedding DJ

There are many factors that will impact the price of a wedding DJ. These factors stay pretty consistent no matter the DJ you opt for or where you choose to have your wedding. Typically, the factors that will drive the cost of your wedding DJ include but are not limited to the following: 

  • The size of the venue – More equipment is required for a larger venue
  • The type of venue – If a wedding is being held outdoors, a DJ may have to plan accordingly to bring extra electrical equipment for the event. 
  • The number of guests in attendance –  The more guests that the DJ needs to entertain, the more they will typically charge. 
  • The length of the event –  While many DJs won’t charge on an hourly basis, they will factor in the total length of the wedding ceremony. The longer the ceremony, the more you can expect a DJ’s services to cost. 
  • The day of the week –  Weekends will typically cost more than services that are needed during a weekday. This is a direct factor of supply and demand. DJs are more in demand on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and will typically charge more than other days of the week. 
  • Other special requests or services – If a couple asks for additional services or requests to be made by the DJ, these will factor into the price. For example, asking for a DJ to also serve as an MC or to provide special lighting effects will certainly drive the price point up.
Wedding DJ Pricing Factors

Why a Professional DJ Is Worth the Investment

Hiring a professional DJ for your wedding will literally set the tone and mood for the entire evening. A quality and skilled DJ will have total control over the music that plays and the atmosphere they set. For this reason alone, hiring a DJ is an absolute necessity for many couples. While it might be a bit expensive for some, many couples will tell you that hiring a skilled DJ for their wedding is well worth the investment. After all, a good DJ will have a direct impact on how much your guests enjoy their evening. 

The Do’s and Don’Ts of Booking Your Wedding DJ

As with any big ticket purchase, there are some Do’s and Don’t you should keep. Popular tips include the following: 

  • Don’t go with an amateur – You get what you pay for, especially when you hire an amateur DJ. Working with a local college student, or part-time DJ is a great way to get an affordable wedding DJ, but you’ll certainly notice the difference as far as quality and experience goes. 
  • Do your research – Just because a wedding DJ is expensive does not mean they are a good DJ to hire. Always do your research, ask previous couples who used the DJ, and be thorough in comparing the services one DJ is offering over another. 
  • Don’t Work with someone you don’t get along with – It might sound silly, but if you are not feeling the vibes you are getting from your wedding DJ, this might be a clue that this is someone you don’t want to work with. Skilled wedding DJs should not only enjoy their work, but they should enjoy connecting with the couple they are working with. While it’s not a total deal breaker, it’s important that you can actually get along with the wedding DJ you hire. 
  • Do give them a playlist – No matter how good your wedding DJ is, you can always do more to help them be the best at your wedding. The easiest way to do this is by offering a detailed wedding playlist to your DJ. This gives off the type of music you want and the vibe you are going for. 
  • Do give your DJ a timeline of your wedding – A wedding DJ does more than just provide sound for your big day. They provide the overall atmosphere. Make this easy on your DJ by providing them a rough timeline of what they can expect during the events of your ceremony. This will help your DJ plan accordingly so that they can play the right tunes. 
The Do’s and Don’Ts of Booking Your Wedding DJ

How to Reduce the Cost of Hiring a Wedding DJ

Although hiring a wedding DJ can get expensive, there are always ways to reduce costs. You might be surprised just how affordable hiring a quality wedding DJ can be. Trying out these tips to reduce the cost of hiring a wedding DJ: 

  • Work with a separate lighting expert –  Sometimes hiring a separate lighting and special effects expert can help you reduce the cost of the overall experience 
  • Use referrals – Using referrals from friends and local businesses can be a great way to snag extra deals and discounts. 
  • Avoid the Extras – Avoiding extra special effects, personalized announcements, and overall services can be an easy way to cut down on costs. 
  • Avoid the Weekend – If at all possible, booking your wedding on a Sunda, Wednesday, or Thursday can be a great way to snag a great deal. 
  • Hire a band – For some weddings, hiring a band as the main entertainment can be a much more affordable and a way more memorable experience. 
  • Ask about an associate – If a DJ or band that you want to work with is out of your price point or unavailable, ask about an associate. Associates of DJs and bands typically offer the same type of quality and a slightly discounted rate. 

Wedding DJ Costs: FAQ

If you still have questions about the cost of a wedding DJ, you are not alone. Read on to learn about the most common questions and concerns couples have. 

Should I hire a wedding band or a DJ?

Choosing between a wedding band or a DJ largely depends on the type of wedding you are having. For more intimate weddings, a band can be a great choice. For larger wedding ceremonies where sound is crucial, and DJ might be a better way to go. 

Does a wedding DJ provide their own equipment?

Professional wedding DJs should always provide their own equipment. Equipment including sound systems, speakers, lighting effects, and other sound appliances should always be included in the price of a DJ package. 

Do you have to tip your wedding DJ?

Tips are optional for wedding DJs, and they don’t necessarily have to come from the bride and groom themselves. It’s customary for many professional DJs to offer their own tip jar as they perform. In some cases, a DJ contract will include a tip clause. It’s there that you can decide if and how much you want to tip. 

Final Thoughts 

How much a wedding DJ costs largely depends on your ceremony, the type of wedding you want to have, and the number of guests who are in attendance. We hope our guide has helped shed light on different aspects of wedding DJ costs in order to better help you with your planning. 

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