Hiring a DJ is much different than anything else you may be used to purchasing on a regular basis. If you can compare it to anything, perhaps it is like buying a good cup of coffee or a car. These are a couple items that you don't want to buy over the phone when you are looking for the best fit.
DJs are like brands of coffee. They all have different styles or flavors, and they don't all fit each individual's taste. Similarly, with cars, if we only shopped for cars by price alone, we all would be driving Geo Metros-- but thankfully, that's not the case.
You have to find the right car [or DJ] that matches your style and fits within a budget. You should, however determine your budget according to what is important to you and not just on a dollar figure.
Some people pride themselves on driving high end luxury cars, some want cheap. Many want a combination of everything- luxury, reliability, and quality at a fair price.
For example, many brides we meet with recognize the importance of a talented and highly qualified DJ/MC, and realize it is the number one factor that will determine the success and fun of their reception. These couples wisely allocate more of their budget to their DJ and less on the appetizer platter.
Think of it this way- when you attend a wedding reception, what is it that most people talk about? Is it the $8 chair wraps? The extra large centerpieces?
Most likely they are going to remember the atmosphere paired with fun they had socializing and dancing. Whether or not they attribute any of their memories directly to the DJ, it is the DJ who sets the mood of the evening from the background music at guest arrival until the last song of the dance. Hiring the right DJ for the reception is crucial.
So, how much should you budget for your entertainment? If you read many of the forums on this subject, you will see that it varies from around 6% to 15% of your overall budget. So for a $20k wedding, you could budget around $1,200 to $3,000.
If you have a larger wedding, you may even consider having live music (which can run well over $6,000). Having these ranges in mind will allow you to choose from basic DJ services to more personalized higher end services on the upper range.
If you are used to buying things for your reception on a 'per person' scale, this would be around $6 to $15 per guest (based on approx. 200 guests). Often this is less than the appetizers or the chair wraps for the most important item for your reception- the entertainment!
We encourage you to consider your DJ entertainment as the higher priority, as it is the factor that determines a large of the success of your wedding reception.
Beware of suspiciously cheap DJs, as they wouldn't be so cheap if they took pride in their work, and put in the many hours of planning and detail work that is involved in proper reception planning.
If you would like to meet the most experienced, fun, and versatile DJ professionals in the Twin Cities area, call our office at 651.437.3344 and we can arrange a no-obligation consultation.