If you have never hired a disc jockey before, you will most likely find that prices for a DJ vary greatly. Modern Bride magazine did a national survey of brides AFTER the wedding. They found that the average budget for a wedding in the United States was approximately $19,500. The Modern Bride's survey went on to ask two very important questions, that compared the most important factor that contributed to the success of the reception with the costs associated in the budget for reception as a whole (see illustration below).
Most bridal consultants and publications that focus on budgeting suggest that you allocate 5-10% of your total wedding budget for the entertainment. This means that if you are spending $10,000 on your wedding, you should allow $500-$1000 for the reception entertainment. If you are spending $20,000, $1,000-$2000 is suggested for the reception entertainment. In the survey listed below, most brides allocated closer to 4% for entertainment, but freely admitted that the most important factor that contributed to the success of the reception was the entertainment.
So what conclusion should you draw from this information? If you look at the results of the survey, the amount of money allocated in the budget for the entertainment was a very small amount compared to the rest of the reception expenditures. When determining how much to budget for the reception entertainment, we think it is important to evaluate your priorities, and answer one important question: "Is it worth it to attempt to save $100, $200, or even $300 on the cost of entertainment, when clearly, this is the most important factor that contributes to the success of the reception"? Only you can answer this question.
When you begin to call entertainers to inquire about their services, it is important to note that, generally speaking, the more experienced Emcees will be a little more expensive. In our region of the country, the cost for entertainment varies by a significant margin. Unfortunately there isn’t a test or qualification to pass for one to call themselves a “Professional” Disc-Jockey. Some use home stereo or low grade equipment, download or pirate their music from the internet, print off a $20 business card and then claim to be able to entertain a crowd of hundreds. It’s such a shame, and it can become very confusing for the consumer to determine which entertainment company can best suit their needs. Make sure to do Due Diligence. Do they have their own website, do they provide references, have they been recommended, do they belong to any professional Associations like the American Disc Jockey Association, that ensure they adhere to professional standards?
It is up to you to evaluate your priorities, research the companies and options you have available and then make that important decision and select the entertainment company that will make your reception a success.