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Luxury Weddings

DJ Price Question

alm&mdmalm&mdm member
100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
edited October 2013 in Luxury Weddings
Hi ladies, I've ventured to my local board for help a few times now and never get any response so Im sticking with you. 

I know we're all in different geographic areas, but what price ranges are/were your dj service? I feel like the dj I like came in really low. But maybe Im just having sticker shock after the venue, caterer, photographer, gown etc. 

He has AMAZING reviews so Im not worried about it. I guess it just shocked me it was so low.
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Re: DJ Price Question

  • Ours was about $2k for ceremony and reception in NYC
  • In the Beltway VA/MD/DC area, we are paying $1800 for ceremony and reception (8 hours total). Light package would have been $2500, but our venue comes with all that.
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    Back in 2004, mine was around the same ballpark as pps in the MD/DC area. However, it was just for the reception. I had a string trio for my ceremony and cocktail hour.

     







  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You are in Chicago, right? Have you looked into Toast and Jam? They are awesome! And I think they are around $1500
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  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    We are having live music, but I've seen them in my area (Ohio) for anywhere from $1,000 - $3,000.
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  • Our DJ is $1800, for the cocktail hour and the reception. string trio for the ceremony. We're also getting uplighting for free (my FBIL is a caterer, and he recommended this guy so we got a nice discount). without the discount it would've been around $2600 or $2700. (I'm in the Boston/Newport, RI area)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • The ones I've seen run $800-$1500 for one DJ (Vegas area), but I'll admit we haven't looked around much so that's only based on a few.
  • alm&mdmalm&mdm member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2013
    Thanks for the insight! 

     @KatWag Thanks for the Chicago rec. I've never heard of Toast and Jam but I'll def give them a call and see if they're available.
  • CrazyCatLady3CrazyCatLady3 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2013
    I am in NYC and our one DJ for the reception for 3.5 hours is $1500.  No uplighting or anything but that wouldn't work with our venue.  We have a classical guitarist to play at the ceremony and cocktail hour for $450.  I am using Scratch Weddings--they are providing the DJ and live guitarist (who is amazing, btw).  I think they operate in most major cities, and they have been great to deal with so far.
  • @crazycatlady3 We are using Scratch too! LOVE them
  • kitty8403kitty8403 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited October 2013
    I just got back from a local wedding fair (western MT). Most of the DJs were in the $600 range, give or take, with various packages.
    One of FI's close friends has his own party DJ company, so I think we'll be booking him; I'm not sure what his standard rate is.

    ETA: rates from one of the brochures we picked up--
    Hourly: $95/hr with $50 setup
    Ceremony add-on: $50
    5-hr post-dinner reception: $450
    8-hr reception, inc. dinner & ceremony: $650 start-finish

    Hope that helps! Sounds like this varies a lot!
  • CrazyCatLady3CrazyCatLady3 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2013
    STUCK IN BOX

    Sort of on a tangent...do a lot of people have 8 hour weddings, or is that taking into account gaps?  I feel like mine is so short in comparison.  We are having ceremony 7-7:30, cocktail hour 7:30-8:30, and reception 8:30 to midnight.  Does that seem short?  We have the option to extend it later but not sure if people would stay...  We were also considering moving to a nearby rooftop hotel bar with the guests our age afterwards as an informal after party.

  • @crazycatlady3 I think it depends on your crowd? I've been to several where the party starts the night before, after the rehearsal, break for sleep/brunch/makeup/hair/photos/ceremony, then the reception kicks off late afternoon & goes through the evening till at least 10-12. The shortest traditional weddings seem to be religious ones, ESP if the couple waited or their denomination disallows drinking or dancing. Those can be as brief as 90 minutes to 2 hours.
    I had a cousin who scheduled her wedding about your proposed time frame. It seemed to go over well enough from what I heard. My only caution is that for a lot of people, 7 is mealtime. Might be cutting it close.
  • CrazyCatLady3CrazyCatLady3 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2013
    Our ceremony is only 30 minutes, with cocktail hr immediately following.  We are having a taco and margarita bar, possibly a noodles and sushi cart, plus 8 types of passed apps at the cocktail hour.  Then dinner immediately following, so I think we're okay about mealtime.
  • Yup, sounds like you've got it plenty covered!
  • We're in southern Arizona and prices here are lower than in other parts of the country - I only researched one DJ who came highly recommended by the venue and on wedding wire, (after meeting him in person confirmed that he's awesome) and he charges $1,500 for the wedding - whether you want him for the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, or any combination of the three. That includes travel, set up, etc. Even though things are pretty affordable here, like the OP, I was surprised that he wasn't more. 
  • Wow.  I'm jealous of you ladies!  I'm in Chicago and we're doing a live band (which I know is more expensive than a DJ) and it's $22,500!
  • Scratch is exactly the kind of DJ I've been searching for and the company is a bit more professional feeling than the local guy I was talking to. Thanks to the ladies who posted about them!

     @crazycatlady3 I think you're fine on the time. We are doing a similar schedule except we're doing cocktail hour and then the ceremony. The ceremony has to be more enjoyable with a glass of champagne in your system lol 
    6:30-730 cocktails, 730-8 ceremony and then the reception is 8-1. My fiancé really wants to do an after party but I think he underestimates how tired we will be that day.
  • alm&mdm said:
    Scratch is exactly the kind of DJ I've been searching for and the company is a bit more professional feeling than the local guy I was talking to. Thanks to the ladies who posted about them!

     @crazycatlady3 I think you're fine on the time. We are doing a similar schedule except we're doing cocktail hour and then the ceremony. The ceremony has to be more enjoyable with a glass of champagne in your system lol 
    6:30-730 cocktails, 730-8 ceremony and then the reception is 8-1. My fiancé really wants to do an after party but I think he underestimates how tired we will be that day.
    Yeah I actually found Scratch on TK from a post on the NYC board!  They are getting a lot of word of mouth business.
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    lschwar2 said:
    Wow.  I'm jealous of you ladies!  I'm in Chicago and we're doing a live band (which I know is more expensive than a DJ) and it's $22,500!

    I personally don't like live bands. I like to hear the original versions of songs, not covers. However, if you want a band, and a good one at that, it's certainly pricey. I think preferring a DJ is one of the few times in my life where my personal preferences have actually saved me money!

     







    CrazyCatLady3
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    lschwar2 said:
    Wow.  I'm jealous of you ladies!  I'm in Chicago and we're doing a live band (which I know is more expensive than a DJ) and it's $22,500!

    @lschwar2 I would love to know what band. I am also in Chicago. And our 10 piece band that played during cocktail hour and the reception was barely 5k. Maggie Speaks, the most expensive wedding band I have ever heard of in Chi, was under 15k.
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  • I'm in Charlotte, NC and i'm paying fr a string quartet for ceremony and cocktail hour ($1100) and then a DJ for the 3 hour reception ($750).  This was definitely the cheapest DJ we found, but her reviews were awesome, and dance music wasn't a priority for us (the strings were a priority for me). 

     

    I'm with you, @Jells2dot0, i prefer a DJ to a live band at a reception...and that is definitely the only time my personal preference has been cheaper than the alternative! I do also prefer food stations/buffet to seated dinner, but seeing as we went with the priciest boutique caterer in town, it's still PLENTY expensive. :-)

  • I love a great DJ. I def think it creates a more party oriented feel. I've never been to a wedding with a live band but Id imagine its a different feel. I appreciate all the responses!

    I made the assumption my local board would be more helpful since its Chicago but it's kind of quiet over there.
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    alm&mdm said:
    I love a great DJ. I def think it creates a more party oriented feel. I've never been to a wedding with a live band but Id imagine its a different feel. I appreciate all the responses!

    I made the assumption my local board would be more helpful since its Chicago but it's kind of quiet over there.
    @alm&;mdm did you call toast and jam? I have been to 3-4 weddings where they were the DJ. One turned into such a dnace party, people were literally dancing on tables... at Cafe Brauer. It was so fun.
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  • @KatWAG We're using the Ken Arlen Orchestra.  They're 15 piece (+ 2 sound engineers).  They're very good- (one of the singers is on The Voice right now!), but I would have been completely content with a smaller/more reasonably-priced band.  My groomzilla, however, said he wouldn't get married without them!
  • @katwag I did the web inquiry yesterday. I figure I'll get a call early next week. My fiance is only in Chicago some weekends so I've been pushing to get the photographer booked on his next trip and then settle on a dj.
  • We had a DJ and he was about $2,000 (I think - DH was in charge of this contract). 

    My sister got married in New Orleans and had a live, 10 piece brass jazz/blues band. It was fabulous! (No idea how much it cost.) I tend to be with @Jells2dot0 for the most part....generally, I think live bands can be a little distracting and loud.
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  • I just got quoted for $1,400 for the dj I am booking.  Which where I am located is very high but he is the highest rated anywhere near me...
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm in the Chicago area and have been shopping around the last few weeks.  Basically they are all between $1400 -2600

  • The first one I talked to was only $900 and while he was based in the suburbs...it just seemed really low for Chicagoland. He does have amazing reviews though. I'm waiting to hear from Toast and Jam and got a quote from Scratch so we'll see how it all works out.
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