What a Wedding DJ Really Does | Wedding DJ Cost
Updated: Apr 7
A five hour wedding is equal to 24 hours of a DJs time.
Being a wedding DJ can be quite demanding, especially if the client is a fastidious client. Moreover, some clients may consider wedding DJ fees rather than the quality of work that a DJ can provide. A statement heard by DJs' more often than anything else is, "...but I only need a wedding DJ for 5 hours".
Engaged clients are warmly welcomed by a quality disc jockey. Heck, it's the clients wedding and the most important day of their lives. Why wouldn't they want everything exactly how they want it? A little known fact among many people however, is that a quality wedding DJ can spend as much as 24 hours or more, working for the clients. Do the clients realize this? In most cases, they do not. A client’s main concerns are securing and sifting through many wedding venues, photographers, videographers, caterers, invitations, DJs, and so much more. That is why we at Boss Hill Entertainment have created an informative, detailed approach to let potential clients fully understand the work that is involved in making their wedding day a lasting memory.
Initial contact – In this phase, a client does an initial search for wedding DJ prices. Most clients search the internet for “best wedding DJs”, “DJs near me”, or “wedding DJs near me”, etc. The client usually finds a link that may provide an unlimited number of DJs that the client must investigate to see if needs will be met. This can be a pain staking process and also very costly, for both client and DJ. One method of locating a DJ, for instance, is by using the website called Thumbtack. If the client decides to contact a DJ on Thumbtack, that DJ is automatically charged a "lead fee" that can range between $25-$85. Also, you may not even choose that DJ to perform for your wedding and therefore the DJ has already paid a lead fee, with no lead. That’s about a half hour to 45 minutes of work out of the DJ's own pocket. However, that is the price a DJ must pay in order to even get a potential contract. Good DJs are happy to pay for this type of potential client “lead” services.
After the client begins communication with a potential DJ, the DJ will take time going back and forth with the client answering questions either by telephone, via text, or email. Sometimes questions go so in depth and may have nothing to do with the wedding. A good DJ will answer all questions with a positive attitude, regardless of the questions. From our experience at Boss Hill Entertainment, a protentional client usually knows if they will use our service within a half hour to 1 hour of communication.
When a client agrees to utilize a DJ's service, an organized DJ will create a customized formal message, letter, or email confirming the discussion in detail, what to do next, as well as creating a customized contract, all of which can take maybe a half hour to 45 minutes.
Emails, Messages, and Changes - Once the DJ has been chosen and the wedding date has been locked in with the client, that’s when the communication really starts. The DJ should have already provided a wedding questionnaire to the client. From the time the client receives the wedding questionnaire until the start of the wedding event, there are phone calls, texts, emails, questions, and changes that may occur, even during the event. The whole reason for this is to nail down exactly what the client wants and what the client should expect during the ceremony and reception.
Here is another useful decision making morsel of information for you. Accumulating information from the wedding questionnaire and through communication with the client assists Boss Hill Entertainment in creating a timeline for the clients and their vendors so that everything runs as smooth as possible during the event. This particular portion of the job is something that sets Boss Hill Entertainment apart from other wedding DJs in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties. This can save you hundreds of dollars. This job is more of a wedding coordinator's echelon. Boss Hill Entertainment works closely with the client and vendors to create a timeline of events so that the client does not have to purchase a wedding coordinator, if that’s what the client chooses. Let’s face it, most couples seeking to get married want the best wedding day, but may only have a limited budget. Most moms and dads also cringe at the thought of how much money they may have to spend for their child's wedding as well. There is nothing wrong with saving a little money in one area so that you can invest in another area. This part of the job can take 1 to 3 hours.
Preparation of Music and Announcements – Without the client seeing exactly what the DJ is doing from the time a contract has been signed until the actual wedding day, the DJ must prepare a basic unfinished timeline, announcements, music, and anything else required by the client. To do this, a completed wedding questionnaire is needed. There may also be additional phone calls, texts, creation of a music list for at least 5 hours, as well as mixing songs to go along with a skit or dance. The possibilities are endless in this phase. Another item that sets Boss Hill Entertainment apart from other DJs in Pittsburgh PA and surrounding counties is that they also mix music, cut, shorten, lengthen songs, etc. A good wedding DJ will have everything prepared prior to the big day. This takes time, several hours or more depending on the day's special events.
Initial meeting with couple, including travel – To finalize everything that will happen on the big day, the client should meet with the DJ and discuss the client needs, including what to expect for the sequence of events during the ceremony and/or reception. For us at Boss Hill Entertainment, we try to meet with clients no less than 1 month prior to the event, in person. If distance is an issue or scheduling, we may also facetime or have a phone call. Regardless, meeting to finalize the evening is a good practice and places everyone on the same page. We at Boss Hill Entertainment usually travel to meet the clients at a designated address of the client's choosing. Most of our meetings range from 25-50 miles from our home base, usually requiring about 45 minutes to travel. Arriving at the destination to meet with clients, our main goals are to finalize a timeline, offer any suggestions on music choices, along with most importantly getting to know our clients. This ensures that we will seamlessly move through music selection that will make all move and groove throughout the event! A good DJ will have everything already prepared for this meeting, including questions. This section usually takes from 2-4 hours.
Rehearsal, Final Meeting, Including Travel – Although a good wedding DJ will not need to attend a rehearsal, a client may sometimes feels anxious about the whole process of a wedding ceremony and/or reception and would like the DJ to attend. Let’s face it, most clients getting married may have never been married or never had a wedding. The client wants to get all the wedding jitters out of the way and have a smooth event! Of course, travel time to get to the rehearsal now comes in to play. If the wedding DJ excels at communication, the clients will most likely not need the DJs to attend the rehearsal. If needed, this phase may require 2-4 hours of a DJs time.
Load-up, Travel, Cabling, and Sound Check – In this phase the DJ loads up their equipment, travels to the event, then unloads their equipment at the event site. The DJ is already 1-3 hours into the event. Once the equipment is at the location for the DJ to perform their music service, the DJ must set up their table, lighting, speakers, cabling, sound checks, etc. This normally takes about 1-2 hours prior to beginning the ceremony and/or reception. After the equipment is setup and everything checks out, We at Boss Hill Entertainment usually meet up with the bridal party to coach the sequence of events one more time.
The Wedding Ceremony and Reception – This is the section that the clients are mostly concerned with as far as the time seen performing and the amount being paid to the disc jockey. Wedding ceremonies usually last a half hour to 1 hour. Receptions usually last about 4 hours, sometimes longer depending how much fun the guests are having. We at Boss Hill Entertainment perform wedding ceremonies that are included in our fees, as long as the ceremony is at the same location as the reception because we base everything off of 5 hours play time. From the ceremony to the cocktail hour, and from announcements to the reception, a total of 5 hours or more is performed and is the only time/price a client actually considers when choosing a wedding DJ.
Pack-up, Load-up, Travel Home – After all is said and done and it’s the end of the evening, the DJ must repack all of their equipment, load their vehicle, and travel home. This can take 45 minutes to 1 hour just for packing the equipment. Of course, traveling from the location to home is usually 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
So, there you have it, an inside look at how much time a wedding DJ actually works for the client and what should be considered on an average DJ cost for weddings. It’s much more in depth than originally thought. Wouldn’t you say? It’s not about just playing music for a client. A good DJ actually cares about their clients and will do everything possible to ensure the client has the best, most memorable wedding ceremony and reception. For us at Boss Hill Entertainment, when we perform a wedding, it reminds us of our wedding, as our DJ killed it! A good wedding DJ accepts this type of lifestyle and maintains an organized work ethic in order to obtain happy clients, which is the ultimate goal. However, it should be fully understood at how much a DJ actually works in addition to the client’s wedding ceremony and/or reception. We at Boss Hill Entertainment hope that you may have found this information useful as you venture into a search for a wedding disc jockey. Feel free to comment and share this article.
DJ Rony Gee and DJ “T”
Boss Hill Entertainment