Making you dance until your feet bleed since 2005


All About Pricing: What You Need To Know Before Booking Your Wedding DJ

The T&J team talks you through what you need to know about pricing expectations before booking your wedding DJ. We help you see the value in what you’re paying for!

by Mary Nisi

We’ll get right to the nitty gritty: some folks think booking their wedding DJ is one of the last vendors to book; a last minute task - but that’s the thing, your DJ is one of the most important vendors within the wedding ecosystem.

A recent survey in The Knot showed that, only a week after their reception, 78% of couples say they wish they had made entertainment their top priority - and nearly 100% said they wish they had devoted a little more of their full budget to entertainment. Chew on these stats - they’ll be important throughout our chat!

For this post, we’re going to do some serious leveling with you, dear reader. We’re going to talk about money. We're going to talk about cost vs. value - and what you gain when you allocate budget to a high-quality, experienced wedding DJ company.

Great Quote Expectations

Proper research is essential when looking for your wedding DJ. Not dissertation levels, to be sure, but some in depth time on that trusty tablet or computer is key.

Create a shortlist and fire off a few quote requests to get an idea of what a reasonable range is and then set your budget and keep things realistic.

It’s only too common for us and our contemporaries to respond to such queries with a fair quote - only to have the would-be customer say that their budget is much less or ask us to price match with a lower-cost wedding DJ - which we don’t do.

Frankly, it's a disappointment on all sides. The customer gets excited about finding a super-fun DJ to slay the house down on their wedding night only to realize that they’ve allocated most of their budget elsewhere, and we’re disappointed that we can’t rip up the dance floor with our ingenious and intuitive DJ skills.

Point is, we’re worth it. We’re going to ask the questions, we’re going to get to know you and your tastes, we’re going to have experience with most venues in Chicago, and we’re going to literally be your fantasy DJ.

The Toast & Jam pricing creed:

We’re very up front about our pricing, we’ve cut out a lot of the mystery. If you want to see some numbers and dollar signs, check out this article on what’s included in our packages.

All of our clients are treated with the same level of courtesy, respect, and expertise. We want everyone to get the same amazing deal and amazing service; our DJs are going to give 100% regardless of price - it’s why we hired them! So, we don’t want to pay them less than their worth.

We also don’t do things a la carte. Some companies or solo operations will charge separately for equipment for cocktails, ceremony, and reception - we don’t. We don’t want the DJs to have to think about upselling and ways to make more money when they’re doing what they love for clients they respect.

Of course, there’s always exceptions. Our basic equipment package covers ceremony, cocktail, and reception. Our prices may change if things go above and beyond, but our clients pay for our expertise in knowing this ahead of time - we’ve been to most wedding venues in Chicago, so we’ll be able to leverage that knowledge and solve potential issues before they happen.

It’s worth noting that if we’ve never been to a venue, we ask a ton of clarifying questions about the layout. We’ll look at drawings if available, give the venue a call ourselves, and sometimes we’ll do a site visit for more complex locations.

This is all how we make things go off without a hitch. This, dear reader, is how we show our value!

The importance of capacity and time

This is the plus side of hiring an established wedding DJ company versus a solo operation - usually a club DJ or the like.

Club DJs have their place, but a solid wedding DJ company has backup plans for illness, injury, or other hiccups. A company will have the capacity and the time to figure out the logistics of the wedding venue and to ensure that the playlist is completely up your alley.

At Toast & Jam, we run the show. We coordinate. We do tasteful announcements and updates that move the night along. We make it about YOU instead of us and our ego.

The wedding DJ budget rule of thumb

Keeping those statistics above in mind, take note that your wedding DJ cost will usually be around 5-10% of your total wedding budget. Weddings in Chicago tend to run about $50,000 - so you should plan to allocate about $3000-$6000 on your wedding entertainment.

Don’t want to spend $50,000 on the whole shindig? That’s cool too - but $3000 is the rough price point to anticipate if you want to have an amazing wedding DJ that can help you get specific on your music tastes - but also keep the party rolling for your guests too.

Bigger and clubbier isn’t always better

It’s easy to get caught up in the Instagram and Pinterest of it all.

There’s pressure, sometimes, to be different from everyone else. To have a wedding and subsequent dance party that rivals the biggest club in town - but having everything big, bad, and bougie doesn’t mean memorable.

What’s memorable is those little magic moments: a parent giving a speech or your college friends crowd surfing to “Mr Brightside.” Those require planning and a good mic. A cheap DJ or a club DJ may not guarantee that they’ll facilitate any of that the way an established DJ company will.

Connect with the Toast & Jam team today!

We’re Toast & Jam, the most poppin’ wedding DJs in Chicago, and we want to turn your wedding into a super-cool, super fun dance rager! We know music, and we love to turn it up.

Sound cool? Cool. Fill out our short little contact form here so we can get a sense of your needs, wants, and desires - and we’ll go from there!

Bonus: We exist on social media! Here’s our Facebook, and here’s our Instagram. Happy scrolling.

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