How much should your wedding DJ cost?
Hi guys and welcome to my first blog article for the new site.
I thought I'd deal with the elephant in the room as it's the most common question I see come up in magazines, blogs, forums etc... and, to me, it's for three reasons:
- Most people have never booked a wedding DJ so have no clue what to expect to pay for a good experienced one
- Magazines and certainly blogs tend to have a very black and white "PAY THIS MUCH FOR YOUR DJ." or "BUDGETTING - DJ: £x" approach and it can leave couples confused when they start getting more expensive quotes
- There's a long held assumption that as soon as you mention the W word the price doubles (unfortunately this is actually still true in some cases) and all DJs are the same anyway so why would you pay double for that DJ when this one does the same job?
OK that's as negative as I'm going to get and I'm not going to go out on a limb and say a DJ should cost £X or you should expect to pay £Y because everyone's budgets and priorities for their wedding are completely different. With that being said, if having a fun filled night with great music at your wedding is high up on the priority list then this article will hopefully give you a clearer picture of what's out there and why you might expect to pay more for a quality wedding DJ than you'd first thought.
I make no bones about the fact I'm at the more expensive end of the market. My experience, attention to detail, level of service provided and commitment to my brides and grooms to give them the perfect entertainment is second to none and this is reflected in my prices. To give an indication: My Simply Evening wedding package prices at the time of print comes in generally between £400 and £500 depending on venue, day, time of the year, size of set up required etc... My full day packages with Enhancements run well into four figures and I have a range of packages in between.
To some that's an extravagance they can't even fathom paying for:
All that money for a guy who stands around pressing buttons!!! and that's totally understandable.
What I do from a technical stand point isn't rocket science and almost literally is button pressing (there is the odd knob twiddle and fader shoving, but mostly button pushing) and in fact I could show your gran how to "DJ" in under 15 minutes. However:
Does gran have years of experience performing and working with clients and their guests to give them a great night full of fun memories and brilliant tunes?
Can she turn round a flat crowd, pull out a long forgotten classic tune and ram the dance floor?
Has she performed at hundreds of weddings and got the experience to put you at ease that everything will run like clockwork right from before you've even booked?
Probably not. Bless her, gran is most likely going to do a wedding playlist by numbers and give it the old Abba and Status Quo megamix "because that's what everyone dances to" right?
It's really easy to look at us or guys in bands and think "they're having a laugh charging that much for a few hours work" but that doesn't take into account the years and decades honing our skills to get to the point where we can create a great atmosphere where everyone wants to get up to dance and enjoy themselves.
That is one of the reasons why you pay a premium for an experienced wedding DJ like myself and my colleagues at this end of the industry: Our experience
Our experience not to cut corners to save a few quid or to make life easier. Our experience not to have slip ups or make rookie mistakes. Our experience to make sure we don't need to do a Now That's What I Call a Wedding-esque set full of Abba and Status Quo (nb: if you've a major Abba or Quo fan I'm happy to play that too but you get what I mean)
Factor in the tangible stuff like:
- Tax which skelps about 20% off of any fees right off the bat
- Overheads to run a legitimate business - office space, web hosting, online client apps, electrical safety testing, insurance, police checks etc...
- The amount invested in training courses, seminars and literature to be the best and most innovative in the industry and stand out from the million other DJs out there
- Making sure we have top quality reliable modern gear
- The fact we'll generally spend anything between 20 and 40 hours of work (and sometimes a lot more) on a wedding gig
Take all of that into account and when you factor in the fee compared to per hour worked, I earn a lot more doing kids parties than weddings (but that my friends is a whole other article)
The music is the one part of your wedding absolutely everyone else experiences and if you think about less than perfect weddings you've been to or heard about - the two biggest gripes tend to be the price of drink and the fact the music was rubbish - and even at that, most people won't care about the price of drink after a couple...
So, to wrap it up, again I'm not going to say you should pay £x amount for your wedding DJ and I'm certainly not going to order you not to book a DJ at the lower end of the market. What I do hope you've got from this article is a little bit of insight into why myself and colleagues in the more expensive price brackets charge what we charge and will have a bit more understanding of why you might have quotes ranging from £100 through to over one thousand when you start making booking inquiries.
Any thoughts, comments or parts of this you'd like me to explore further just get in touch and let me know.
(c) Jim Moore - 2016