A wedding DJ costs anywhere from $300-$1,200. The average cost range is $500-$600. Ultimately, wedding DJ prices depend on the length of the event, size of the venue and access to additional DJ services and equipment.
Wedding DJ cost:
|National average cost||$550|
|Average cost range||$500-$600|
|Low-end cost range||$300-$455|
|High-end cost range||$650-$1,200|
Hiring a wedding DJ is an easy way to reduce your pre-wedding to-do list and increase your wedding day fun. Professional DJs know how to make a ceremony run smoothly and get guests of all ages out on the dance floor at the reception. The wedding DJ often serves as the event’s MC as well, announcing entrances and cueing activities.
Keep reading to learn how much you should budget for a wedding DJ, what factors influence the cost and how to get price estimates from wedding DJs near you.
What's in this cost guide?
- Wedding DJ prices
- DJ vs. wedding band costs
- How much to tip wedding DJ
- Wedding DJ cost factors
- How to hire a wedding DJ
- How to save money on a wedding DJ
- What are the benefits of a wedding DJ?
- Find a wedding DJ near you
Wedding DJs may quote a total cost for a wedding, or they may offer a price breakdown per service. Here’s how Afino Entertainment in Fort Lee, New Jersey, breaks down their prices:
- Mobile DJ booth: $250 (includes table, turntables, mixer, music, speakers, illuminated facade, wireless microphone, lighting and backup equipment)
- DJ booth upgrade: $250 (larger speakers and two subwoofers)
- Wedding DJ services during ceremony: $125 per hour
- Wedding DJ services during remote ceremony: $175 per hour
- Wedding DJ services during cocktail hour: $125 per hour
- Wedding DJ services during reception: $125 per hour per hour
The average wedding band costs $1,358, on average, to play at a reception. For a ceremony, a band will cost approximately $535.
However, these costs depend on many factors, which can drive wedding band prices up and down. Some of those factors include
- Your wedding date
- The length of your reception or ceremony
- The number of musicians you need
- The genre of music you desire
- Much more
The length of the DJ set, access to sound equipment, size and setting of the venue and add-on wedding DJ services will all impact the cost of a wedding DJ.
In general, the longer the wedding and reception, the higher the overall cost. For all-day weddings or receptions that go late into the night, more than one DJ may be required to maintain a constant presence. More people on the job will likely increase the cost of services.
Large weddings may mean a higher DJ bill if additional speakers, microphones or upgraded sound equipment are required to properly serve the crowd. Costs may increase if the wedding DJ is required to set up outdoors because additional equipment such as power cords and other items may be needed. Afino Entertainment has a set rate of $50 for any outdoor event to cover tent rental and setup fees.
Many DJ companies offer add-on lighting and special effects for use during the wedding ceremony or reception. If your DJ needs to use additional DJ software, create complex special effects, or have access to specialized DJ equipment, it's likely to increase the price.
Here’s Afino Entertainment's pricing for common add-on options:
- Two CO2 cannons (for shooting fog, confetti, etc. into the air): $600
- Black lights: $40 per light
- Custom image projection: $250
- Fog machine: $200 Costs may also be affected if the couple requests music or sound effects that the DJ has to download or seek out beyond his or her existing music library.
Whether they're driving from New York to Boston or just 30 minutes across town, travel time to and from the wedding can become a part of the overall cost. Some wedding DJs, such as Be Entertained Events, factor in travel-related costs to the total tab and do not charge an additional fee.
A popular DJ often commands a higher fee than a DJ who is just starting out or who is not as well-known.
How to hire a wedding DJ
First, make sure your venue allows you to hire outside vendors like wedding DJs. Use these tips to find, choose and hire the best wedding DJ.
How to find wedding DJs
You can use Thumbtack to quickly start finding local wedding DJs. You can narrow your search by entering in details about your wedding, including the date, the music genre you prefer and your budget.
What to ask wedding DJs
Ask the following questions to find the right DJ for your wedding.
- What services do they offer? If you want special equipment, complex special effects, music festival-style lighting, or certain music production elements, make sure that they offer those services.
- What styles of music would you like them to play? From slinky dinner jacket jazz to New York hip hop to Canadian pop (hey, it’s your big day), no genre is too obscure. Just make sure they're a part of your DJ's library or that they're willing to include a few of your music files. Share a playlist or mp3 files of the songs you absolutely need to hear at the reception or when you jump on the dance floor.
- Do they provide all of their own DJ equipment? Typically DJs provide the pa system, channel mixer, direct-drive turntables, CDJ and DJ headphones. It never hurts to double-check if they need any additional items before the big day.
- How much do you charge? Always ask the DJs you're considering how much they will charge for your wedding. Ask them to provide a price breakdown so you understand exactly how the costs are determined.
How to choose a wedding DJ
Pick a wedding DJ who meets the following requirements:
- They offer fair prices that fit within your budget.
- They have a high rating on Thumbtack.
- They have mostly positive customer reviews.
- They have a friendly personality.
- They're professional and communicative.
- They're familiar with the music genre(s) you want them to play at your wedding.
How to save money on wedding DJ costs
If you're on a tight budget, there are some ways you can save money on a wedding DJ. For example:
Have a shorter DJ set
Purchasing limited DJ services can be a way to lower costs if the DJ is only needed for certain parts of the day or if the venue already has a DJ system. You can also hire a DJ for a few hours to soundtrack the dance party part of the reception and create preset playlists with your own music files for the cocktail hour and dinner, or have a talented friend do a live performance of a few favorite songs as a wedding gift.
Skip the add-ons
Be selective with your special effects and additional services. If a fog machine or certain lighting effects are important to you, go for it! But if you don’t need them, skip the add-ons and stick to a standard wedding DJ package.
Choose a new DJ
Working with someone who is a newer addition to the DJ community can also reduce your price. If you're comfortable working with a DJ with slightly less experience, there are many excellent professionals who can provide you with the wedding soundtrack you seek at a fraction of the cost.
What are the benefits of hiring a wedding DJ?
A DJ can help you create the right tone for your wedding and reception. If you want a rocking dance party or a classy soundtrack to pair with your dinner, a professional DJ knows exactly what to play and can work with you to showcase the genres you like.
They know the latest news in the music world and how to combine new songs with classic favorites. And when it comes to a music library, they have the world at their fingertips, so you don't have to worry about tracking down too many songs.
Hiring a professional removes the hassle of renting sound equipment. It can also provide you with an MC who can smoothly move your guests from toasts to cake cutting to the dance floor. While they pop on their DJ headphones and hit their cue points, you can just relax, dance and be fully present on your wedding day. Use Thumbtack to start comparing wedding DJs in your area today.