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Wedding DJ Cost Guide

Wedding DJ Cost Guide- How much should I pay my DJ?

72% of all couples said that they should have spent more time choosing their Reception entertainment and made it a higher priority.   

Almost 100% said it would have been worth it to spend more of their budget on the Reception entertainment. During Wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is attire, followed by the Reception site and Caterer.

Within 1 week after their Wedding, 78% of couples admit they should have made choosing entertainment a much higher priority.

When asked, 81% of guests say one of the things that stand out most at a Wedding is the Entertainment! 

65% of all couples that chose a Band said if they could do it over, they would have Chosen aDisk Jockey, or at least integrated the two together.

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

Most asked questions by engaged couples:

How much does a wedding DJ cost?
What are the average wedding DJ prices?
Why is the cost of a wedding DJ in Los Angeles higher?
How much should I spend on my DJ?

These are fair questions, but usually posed because the couple has never hired a DJ before and doesn’t know what else to ask as a qualifying question. 

Better questions would be:

What are my top 3 priorities with my reception?
How do I want my guests to feel when leaving the party?
What do I hope my guests are talking about the next day in regards to my wedding?
How much am I willing to invest to ensure my wedding is flawless?

If I am spending more money on flowers and décor than on my DJ, how much do I really care about my guest’s experience when it comes to having a party?

Most important:  WHAT AM I PAYING FOR?
Commitment of time-  Most clients think the further out they book, the more money they should save on vendors but the opposite is true.  If you are asking a DJ to hold a date 10-14 months in advance and pass on any other opportunities that present themselves on that day…there is a premium for that commitment!

To many times we get last minute calls from clients that had their DJ cancel last minute. 
Once we find out what they budgeted, it’s clear that the DJ booked a better paying gig and bailed on them.  This is highly unprofessional but does happen often, especially with newer/cheaper DJs that are just trying to fill up their calendar.


Other Items to Note

Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, service, coordination, equipment needed, distance traveled, date and length of event, music knowledge, emcee ability, mixing ability and overall personality.

Keep In Mind that even though it appears you are only paying for a 4-6 hour package, in reality it’s closer to a 10-12 hour day for the DJ:

  • Testing equipment
  • Loading the truck
  • Travel to the venue
  • Loading in & setup
  • Sound check
  • Breakdown
  • Unloading
A full-service disc jockey 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 the event.
So, how much does a wedding DJ in Los Angeles cost?
Rates for an experienced Wedding DJ vary greatly, ranging from $900 to $3,000.00 with an average of $1,500.00 for a 4-hour booking.  

Reception Pricing

  1. Brand New DJs– $400 – $900  (Just starting out)
  2. Average DJs– $900 – $1400  (Working but not full time)
  3. Wedding Specialist DJs– $1400 – $2000  (Pro-level, full time DJs)
  4. Experts and Masters of Their Craft– $2000 – $3000+  (Owners and leaders in the industry) 

Think of it like flying…you can take Soutwest, Jet Blue, United or Virgin.
They will all (hopefully) get you there, but your experience will be radically different with each .

Consider This When Shopping for a DJ/MC

Why pricing is the first question:
Often times people book the DJ based purely on price because they don’t know what to ask/look for or realize just how much impact the DJ has on the total success of their wedding reception.
Hiring a DJ in an INVESTMENT into the success of your wedding!
Investing in an experienced DJ/MC  is an insurance policy against bad memories of a disappointing occasion. Unfortunately, the DJ is often the last service chosen, after much of the budget is spent on a venue, flowers, food and decor.
This “backwards planning” often forces wedding couples and wedding planners to shop for the cheapest possible option.
Do weddings guests usually rave about the flowers, food, or the party?
Many people will pay far more for a cake, flowers, or a veggie platter than they will for the most crucial ingredient of a party – the music. The entertainer you select will be taking on the responsibility of over 50% of the success of your party from start to finish and often receives less than 5% of the total budget, (based on $25,000.00 Event 5% would equal $1250.00), yet if the DJ is a poor performer or a no-show you may have just wasted your entire investment as people will leave early if the party isn’t any good.
Many of the popular wedding blogs mislead clients into a budget that isn’t’ realistic for their vision.  This is why hiring a wedding coordinator can be so important.  A wedding planner will help you map out what aspects are most important to you, and help you budget accordingly.
You may have heard the phrase “entertainment can make or break the night” or “You get what you pay for.” We couldn’t agree more and ask you to consider how important entertainment selection is to the overall success of your event and the impact it will have on your guests.
Examples of services  you get when booking a professional DJ/MC over a beginner:
  • Master of Ceremonies
  • Sound & Light troubleshooting ability
  • Ability to read the crowd and program  the perfect vibe
  • Ability to follow a timeline and work with event planner
  • Ability to work well with other vendors at your event
  • Seamless mix of music at all times (no dead air or choppy mixes)
  • Professional-grade equipment (with backup gear)
  • Fully insured with written contract etc….

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