When it comes to DJs, especially DJs for weddings, that old expression "You get what you pay for" is 100% true! Many wedding couples in most cases have no idea on how much to spend on a DJ for their wedding which is completely understandable. Some people may think $500 to $600 for a 6 hour wedding reception sounds reasonable to them. Some may think $1500 to $2000 is what they should expect to pay. In any case, unless you're a DJ or working in the wedding industry, wedding couples have to take an educated guess on how much they should have to pay for a DJ to perform at their wedding reception.
The truth is, wedding DJs come in all different calibers, from your weekend hobbyist DJ who does it for fun on the side for some extra spending cash, to the amateur "bedroom" DJ who is just DJing weddings for friends so they can gain experience and maybe someday become a professional, to the full time professional DJs like myself that do this for a living and are highly experienced with DJing weddings inside and out.
So you may be asking yourself, what kind of DJ do I need or can I afford? Well, this is where the whole "You get what you pay for" expression comes into play. DJing a wedding is very different than say DJing a corporate function, a high school dance, nightclub or every day party. DJing a wedding involves a lot more finesse, pre-planning, coordinating and overall more care and time. With the help of technology, any person these days can go buy a laptop, download some music on the web, buy some speakers at their local electronics store and then call themselves a DJ. The biggest difference between a professional DJ and an amateur DJ who has only been in the industry for a few years can be summed up in one word...EXPERIENCE!
Novice and intermediate DJs that have only been in this business for a few years (when I say few, I mean anywhere from 2-5 years) may not have the experience and know the proper etiquette to DJ a wedding quite yet, unless they happen to be DJing weddings on a consistant basis every month since they first started. Even if a novice DJ has all the equipment they need to perform at a wedding, they are lacking in one important element that only time can buy...experience. When we DJ weddings we are constantly working with different factors that make our job a challenge. Those include working with different venues, different crowd sizes, different demographics, different musical tastes, different logisitics for equipment set ups, and the list goes on and on.
Only through years and years of hands on experience can a DJ learn what works and what doesn't work when it come to DJing weddings. Your wedding day is going to be your most memorable milestone in your life, probably next to having your first child, should you choose to become a parent someday. So as most brides will want, they want that picture perfect wedding. You've inspected the venue where you plan to have your reception. You've tasted the food from the catering company, you've seen the flower arrangements from your florist, you've tasted the wedding cakes that your bakery offers, you've seen some of the photos of your photographer from past weddings they have done.
What about your DJ? How do you know what to look for when hiring a DJ? Sure you can probably check out some Youtube videos online but is that enough information to know that you have hired the right person for your most important day? Like any business, not all DJs are alike and I will tell you this. There is a HUGE difference between a $600 wedding DJ and a $1500 wedding DJ and in the end it comes down to what you want for your wedding and what you're willing to pay. On the same token, you will want to ask yourself, am I willing to take a gamble and see what I can get for a $600 DJ even though I'd prefer to have a $1200 or $1500 DJ? Most wedding couples I run into are willing to pay the extra cost so that they can get something that is hard to put a price on...a peace of mind. Knowing they are hiring someone they can trust that will get the job done and done right without any worries is something that is hard to put a price on.
So when you start shopping around for a DJ for your wedding reception remember that the old expression "You get what you pay for" is absolutely 100% true in the DJ industry. Your DJ is the one that will run the show for you pretty much throughout the night, even if you have a wedding coordinator working for you. So although yes, your food and cake should taste good and look presentable, remember that your DJ is going to be serving you for the entire night from beginning to end just like your photographer will. Whether you choose to hire a professional or amateur is up to you but remember your wedding is a once in a lifetime event so take the right steps to make sure your special day is fun, exciting and most of memorable for not only you but all of your guests.