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How Much Does A Wedding DJ Cost

The price of a wedding DJ varies greatly from place to place, but the average wedding DJ cost in the United States is $2,000. 

Some DJs charge an hourly rate while others charge a bundled rate for all aspects of their wedding service. There are other additional costs that should also be understood before booking a wedding DJ. 

Here we provide information about how much does a wedding DJ cost, the questions to ask a wedding DJ, and ways you can keep the cost down.

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DJ plays music at wedding party. Colorful light rays.

Average cost

The average cost of a wedding DJ will vary depending on where you are. In general, though, expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000 in the United States for a basic wedding DJ package. 

When considering the cost of hiring a wedding DJ you should also be thinking about your own wedding budget. Typically hiring wedding entertainment like a wedding DJ or live band is about 5% of the wedding budget. 

Working backward from your budget to find out how much you can spend first, is usually a better first step than searching for prices first.  

By having a draft budgeted amount set aside for a great wedding DJ, you can reference that value when calling potential wedding DJs. It is highly advised to use this value and ask the wedding DJ if they can provide a wedding DJ service package that is within your budget.

While hiring a live wedding band for the reception can be twice as expensive as a wedding DJ, another option to consider is also hiring a string quartet for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour.

Empty hall during wedding celebration with dj mixer.

Additional costs

While most DJs have a base fee, some also have additional fees that they may also charge or can provide as optional package extras for your wedding date.

Emcee services

Many Wedding DJs also offer wedding MC services as additional services.

This can double the wedding DJ price range but is something to consider if you do not have someone in your wedding party who is going to be the MC on the big day.

Ceremony services

Most experienced wedding DJs are hired to play your favorite songs so that you and your guests have a good time on the dance floor at the wedding reception. However, the optional wedding DJ services usually include sound services at the wedding ceremony.

This usually covers additional equipment that the venue might not have, playing the wedding music at the right times and making sure the sound levels are good.

The average price of a DJ proving these services is usually bundled into an inclusive package option.

Having a good DJ with years of experience providing this service can really help make sure that your wedding ceremony goes smoothly.

Equipment

Most wedding DJs will have all their own equipment, but they may also have equipment such as a dry ice fog machine, bubble machine, and disco lights that they could bring and set up.

If you have the budget for it, it may be worth asking for prices for this. Having a fog machine used during the first dance can be a special touch on the big day as long as you ask your wedding venue that they can be used.

If the DJ companies also offer wedding MC and/or ceremony services, then they may also be able to help provide microphones and a sound system for the wedding reception.

Travel

Travel costs are a consideration when hiring a professional wedding DJ. If your wedding venue is out of town, then it is likely that you will have to pay for the DJ’s travel expenses based on the distance or travel time.

Some wedding DJs will include these additional charges as part of their service fee but for others, it will be a separate charge.

These types of questions to ask wedding DJs are important to ask so that you don’t get any surprises on your bill after booking them. 

Food

An additional cost of a DJ that can be forgotten is if the wedding DJ will be needing food on the big day. It is important to know as you will need to factor that cost into your budget and advise the wedding caterer.

Some wedding DJs may bring their own food especially if you advise that your wedding has a plated meal service and not a wedding buffet.

Having a wedding buffet can normally keep the catering cost down and help provide an easy option to supply vendor meals.

Postponement

If your wedding is postponed, the DJ may charge a fee as part of their contract. The fee can be the initial deposit that in their policies is non-refundable for cases such as postponed.

Others may charge a postponement fee as a percentage of their base fee and this usually falls around 20-30%. 

Covid-19 has been a large cause for a lot of postponement fees having to be paid to wedding vendors and so finding wedding DJs with lower postponement fees should be considered in your decision to book one. 

Cancellation

Like postponement fees, wedding DJ cancellation fees usually follow similar policies. 

However, a cancellation fee is usually set as a higher percentage of the base fee than a postponement fee and can usually be around 50%. 

When looking for a wedding DJ, knowing their cancellation and postpone policy is important as it can add on a lot of extra cost to your budget without realizing it. 

Wedding money jar on table.

Questions to ask

There are a lot of questions to ask the wedding DJ before booking them but here is a list of questions to ask specifically about their operational costs:

  • How far in advance do I need to book your services?
  • What are your fees?
  • What do these fees include?
  • Do you have any packages?
  • Do you charge overtime?
  • Are travel expenses included in your fee or is that an extra charge?
  • Do you require a deposit?
  • Are there any other additional fees I should be aware of?
  • Do you require a meal?
  • When is a deposit due?
  • When will we receive a written contract?
  • What does your contract contain?
  • Do you have a set payment plan?
  • When is the final payment due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • What is your refund policy?
  • What is your postponement policy?
  • Do you have liability insurance?

Check out this full list of questions to ask a wedding DJ that covers questions around logistics, the live music, and other important questions to ask before booking one.

Wedding couple dancing together with family and friends dancing as well.

Final thoughts

Professional wedding DJs are usually a great wedding vendor to book for your special day. 

While the average DJ cost is around $2,000, there are other important fees and optional extras to ask about that may increase the overall cost. 

From optional extras such as providing wedding mc services and special equipment, to additional costs like travel fees and postponement policies.

It is important as part of your wedding planning to know the potential wedding cost before booking a wedding DJ. That way you will pick a great DJ for your wedding day and your wedding budget. 

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