Michigan Wedding DJ Prices - What is the average cost to hire a Wedding DJ in the Metro Detroit Area of Southeast Michigan?
More than a decade ago, I made the decision not to spend a lot of money on advertising so that I could keep costs low for clients. I've been fortunate to encounter hundreds of engaged women on the nightclub circuit. Their referrals have kept my company going strong year after year. Some of my earliest wedding clients still invite me to their backyard parties and visit me at home. I enjoy watching their careers blossom and seeing their children grow.
Do the high priced DJ companies deliver more than the low priced companies? Is there any good reason to spend top dollar?
The truth is that there are many decent wedding DJs on the Detroit circuit and many nightclub specialists posing as experienced wedding emcees. I've created a list of questions to help brides separate the dabblers from the professionals. Before hiring any local disc jockey to preside over the night of your life, be sure to do your homework!
1.) Do you carry a backup system? Even brand new computers can freeze or crash when running sophisticated DJ software. A “proper” wedding setup should include a backup computer that’s plugged into a power strip and ready to go in case of emergency. For summertime events that take place outdoors, a backup amplifier is particularly important. Amplifiers are notorious for overheating in direct sunlight, even brand new state-of-the-art models. I keep a complete backup system in my vehicle at all times. I also take the time to set up two computers at each show.
2.) How diverse is your music catalog and how deep is your knowledge of the classics? Dance club specialists who spend most of their time working the nightclub circuit may not carry a full library that includes country, classic rock, traditional jazz, Motown and soul. If your host is too young or inexperienced to identify songs that please diverse audiences, he may not be the best choice for a wedding, class reunion or corporate function. I'm old enough to know the deep classics and young enough to appreciate what's playing on 95.5 at this moment. I can easily move between events as diverse as teen dance parties and1950s car shows.
3.) Are you humble and accommodating? We’ve all encountered nightclub disc jockeys who refuse to take requests outside of their preferred genre (usually hip hop). If you want a mix of the best dance songs from multiple generations, you have a right to ask for it. This isn’t a random nightclub gig. It’s the night of your life! Your wedding DJ should respect your musical preferences and the preferences of your family and friends.
4.) How Many Weddings Do You Host Per Year? Your wedding is not the appropriate place for a karaoke host our techno mix master to test his sea legs. Charisma and finesse are qualities that can only develop with experience. It’s the disc jockey’s job to arrange the flow of activity and keep the show moving along at an organized pace. Each individual segment of a wedding should be preceded by a well executed announcement that is delivered with style and flair. I host about 40 weddings each year, most of them occurring between April and November. As a former nightclub specialist who moved into the wedding arena many years ago, I can tell you that presiding over a wedding reception is nothing like hosting a hip hop dance party or karaoke show. Planning sessions are particularly important, as the host must write a detailed script, deal with other vendors and make strategic announcements to organize the flow of activity. Deep knowledge of the classics is a MUST, as wedding audiences are usually packed with aunts, uncles, grandparents and family friends.
5.) How much do you charge and why?The “standard” rate for wedding DJ services is about $600 to $800 in the Downriver area and $800 to $1,200 in Oakland County. Lighting is often billed separately. Uplighting companies may charge $300 just to deliver a specialized set of par can lights with double yoke support systems to stand on the ground. If you’re considering an expensive company that charges between $800 and $1200 for a DJ and lighting package, ask WHY their rates are so high. Chances are, their equipment is no more advanced than mine, and their lighting packages are no more dazzling or complicated. SEE SAMPLES OF MY LIGHT SHOW.
6.) Are there any hidden fees? Many companies impose a fee of $100 an hour when parties run beyond the standard five-hour time window. I've also heard of disc jockeys who charge extra to introduce the bridal party and perform other speaking functions. I consider public speaking to be a part of my job. Consultations and music planning sessions are always free, and I don’t charge extra for karaoke services. I do impose a $50 travel fee for events located more than an hour from my home.
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