What you are paying for when you hire a DJ

So many people think DJs are over paid.  They think the only work involved is the pushing of buttons and playing music for four hours.  That, my friends, is the easy part of the job.  There is so much more that goes into every Wedding or party.  So, what are you actually paying for when you hire a DJ?

First - The Basics
1. Professional Grade Equipment 
The Basics would be - Laptops - Speaker System - Controller/ Mixer -Lighting - Microphones - Stands - Cables -and a backup system if needed.


2.  Music
A vast library of music is needed if you want everyone from your Great Aunt down to your little cousins to have a good time.  Most DJs have well over 10,000 songs with them. And no - the music is not "free" - we buy every song.  Even at $1.29  a download - it adds up.

Now for the things you may not realize that is in the "package"  

3. MC for your event
Who is it that introduces you at your Grand Entrance?, Announces the cake cutting?,the first dance?  - Yep - your DJ.  The DJ is often the one keeping the evening flowing smoothly.

4.  Keeping the guests happy
If people don't have a good time at your party, the DJ is the one that often gets blamed.  No one ever says - the wedding wasn't fun because the flowers sucked.  The DJ needs to have the ability to 'read the crowd' , and know what song is going to get people dancing. 

Now for the things you don't think about at all:

5. Consulting with the Client: 
whether it is email, phone, or face to face meeting, the time spent discussing what you want your wedding or party to be like, what music you want, don't want etc.

6.  Preparing
Hours are spent taking your list of songs and arranging them in a playlist.  Then count in searching for and buying that 'special song' we may have already 15 versions of, but not the version you really want.  Then judging from your selections, adding in more songs that will fit in and allow for enough music to fill the entire evening.  In addition to preparing a separate set for Cocktail or Dinner.

Now add in:

7. Before and after - the day of your party:
 Loading up all the equipment, travel time, unloading, set up time, breakdown time, drive home, unloading.

8. Knowing the Music:
 Knowing "Rollin' on the River" is really "Proud Mary" ,  "Time Of Your Life" may mean Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) by Green Day or (I've Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (Dirty Dancing) or "The Time (The Dirty Bit)" by Black Eyed Peas.  Not to mention the ones that are requested by people actually trying to hum a few bars of the song.

Granted some DJ services charge an outrageous fee,  others charge next to nothing.  It is up to you to find out just what you will be getting for your money.

Your choice of DJ is one of your most important things for a successful wedding or party.  
Be sure to find the one that will help you make your event exactly the way you envision it to be.

 Written by: 
Susan Giles - DJ/Customer Relations - 2 Wolves DJ Service - Fort Payne, AL