How Much Should You Pay for Your DJ?

Wedding Entertainment Statistics


Reception Hall & Catering = 37%
Wedding Ring = 23%
Bridal Attire & Gown = 16%
Photo/Video = 9%
Entertainment = 5%


Entertainment = 38%
Gown = 18%
Flowers = 16%
Reception Hall & Catering = 8%

 As your gown and your food are important, so is the selection of music and entertainment as it can determine the success of your event.  We guarantee your guests will stay after the meal to party; Your Photographer and Videographer will have something to shoot and your guests will stay long enough to really remember your gown!

Statistics show that DJs carry 75 to 80% of the responsibilities at the average wedding reception.  Many couples attribute 80 to 90% of the success of their reception to their DJ. Yet only 5% (or less) of the total budget is spent on entertainment in many cases.

DJ/Entertainment rates vary based upon talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability, and personality.

A full-service DJ/Entertainment company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for "4 hours".  Consultations, music purchasing & editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion.

Rates for the DJ/Entertainment industry vary greatly, ranging from $350.00 to over $5,000.00 with an average of $1,200.00 for a 4 hour booking.  The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding.  As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight.

After the Vows…

    • 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
    • Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
    • During wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer - reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities. Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!
    • When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
    • 65% of all couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding, said, if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a disc jockey.
  • Assuming a $10,000 food/drink minimum you’ll spend a minimum of $1500 on gratuity at 15%

* These statistics were published in St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine in 2003. Sources include: Simmons, 2001; USA Today, 2002; National Bridal Service, 2001; The Knot, 2002; Brides Magazine, 2001.

Questions you should ask a DJ, before you hire one. (We answer these questions to the best of our ability to keep you informed).

The Basics

1.       Do you have my date open?  (We’ll inform you right away of our availability.)


2.       Have you done events at my reception or event location before? (We have played almost all major venue locations in the capital district, plus many others including outside events.)


3.       How long have you been in business? (We have been in business since 1997.)


4.       How many weddings / events have you done & how many do you average in a weekend? (Thousands since 1997 & about 2 per weekend.)


5.       What sets you apart from your competition? (Attention to detail & organization.  Modifying music, program & timeline to make your wedding as unique as you are. Being adaptable & having a backup plan as situations change on the fly.)


6.       Are there any other services that you provide, such as lighting design? (We have many services & options available.  Such as Uplighting, Separate Ceremony & Cocktail Hour setup, Customizable Monogram Gobo Lighting, Slideshow Presentation equipment & Photo Booth Service.)


7.       How far in advance do I need to secure your services? (We are booking almost a year in advance, but contact us for availability.)


8.       Can you provide me with 3–4 recent brides that I can contact for references? (Absolutely, many of our clients & Brides are more than happy to tell you how much fun we made their event.)

Pricing and Other Business Details

1.       What is your pricing & does this include setup and breakdown? (There is NEVER a charge for setup or takedown.  My prices range from $600.-$1,800. & mostly depends on the number of guests.  The equipment needed for 50 people is not the same for 500 people.)


2.       How much is the deposit & when is it due & when is the final payment due? (Most of our DJ Services are a $100. non-refundable deposit, with the balance due by the day of the event.) 


3.       If the event lasts longer than scheduled, what are the overtime charges? (We are never in a hurry to leave & would love to continue the party.  Prices are: $100/hr. for Bronze, $100/hr. for Silver, $150/hr. for Gold, $200/hr. for Platinum & $200/hr. for Diamond Packages.)


4.       When can I expect to receive my contract from you?  (Usually within a week from agreeing to needs & packages for event.)


5.       Are there any additional fees that could accrue that I am not considering, like travel expenses or charges for special musical requests? (Travel fees only incur over 50 miles from the Capital Building in Albany, NY.  There are no addition charges for most music.  Exceptions include a multitude of requested songs that are so unique they would unlikely be useful for other events.)

 6.       What is your refund policy if for some reason I need to cancel or alter my date? (Deposits are non-refundable to hold the date of your event.  If we can accommodate a date change, no monies are forfeited.)


7.       Do you carry liability insurance? (YES!  Proof can be provided upon request.)

The Music

1.       Do you have a video or video link to a prior wedding where you performed? (We have short videos available for viewing on our website. Sound may be altered due to copyright laws.)


2.       Can you assist me in choosing the music for my processional, recessional, father-daughter dance, etc.? (Absolutely, we have a huge music library with MANY song suggestions ready to help you to pick that perfect song.)


3.       How extensive is your music library or song list, what genres can you cover & can I give you a specific list of songs I want played or don't want played? (We have over 110,000 songs in our library that we bring to every event that covers all genres.  We will work with you on the songs you want played & would never play something you don’t want played.)


4.       Are we guaranteed to have the performer(s) of our choice at our event? (Your contract will include the DJ of your choice.  Of course, illness or other circumstances beyond our control may preclude their being able to perform at your event.)


5.       If the DJ scheduled for my event is unable to perform for some reason, do you have a backup replacement ready to go. (We do have backup DJs as well as being a member of the American DJ Association from which an emergency replacement can be obtained.)


6.       Can you provide wireless mics for the ceremony? (Yes we have wireless mics available as part of the ceremony setup.)


7.       Does any of your equipment require special electrical outlets that I need to inform my wedding site about? (No. A normal 110v outlet on a dedicated 10amp breaker is sufficient.  Most venues are set up like this.)


8.       Do you bring backup equipment? (YES! Our philosophy is “The Show MUST Go On”, No Excuses.)


9.       What kind of space do you require for the DJ? (Minimum size is 6ft from the wall & 8Ft long, no table is required.)


10.   How much time will you need for setup, sound check and breakdown on the day of the event? (Depends on package purchased, 1hr. for most setups, up to 2hrs. for Platinum or Diamond Packages.)


11.   Do you take breaks & will music be provided during the breaks? (We break only to eat, while dinner music is playing.)


12.   How many people will you staff for my event? (Normally one, possibly two for large setups.)