When you’re planning for your wedding, it seems like every single expense adds on an extra thousand dollars. In fact, in 2021, the average Pittsburgh wedding costs $27,243—and that includes venue, food, drinks, dress, and entertainment like live music or a DJ.
And when you’re facing nearly $30,000 in expenses, you’d be excused for trying to save a few dollars here and there.
And although it’s tempting to skimp on your DJ, we wouldn’t recommend it. Your DJ has an enormous impact on the pacing and overall experience of your wedding reception. From the cocktail hour to the final goodbyes, your DJ sets the mood for the entire night.
Since this one person can dramatically impact how people remember your wedding, you probably shouldn’t settle for the cheapest option available.
For help, skip to the section most useful to you:
Part 1: The Average Cost of A Wedding DJ
The Average Cost of A Wedding DJ: In the US and Pittsburgh
Before we talk about the risks of inexpensive DJs and the benefits of more experienced wedding DJs, let’s talk about pricing!
The average cost of a wedding DJ varies from location to location. Here’s how the price breaks down by geographic region:
- Average Cost of A Professional Wedding DJ in the US: $1,000 (between $780 and $1,495) (Source: WeddingWire)
- Average Cost of A Professional Wedding DJ in Pittsburgh: $1,400-$1,500
And that price isn’t just for the music or a playlist. It’s also covering:
- The cost of insurance
- The cost of the DJ’s gear, music pools, and transportation
- Performance time (when the DJ is actually playing music and is on the microphone during your reception)
- Unloading and setup time before the reception, which can often take an hour or two before the reception
- Prep time, which may require research, playlist setup, and meeting with you and your fiancé
- Exclusivity time. No one else has your DJ for their wedding that day, which means you get all of their attention, experience, and resources for having a perfect wedding.
With that said, you’re paying for much more than a DJ, which means price isn’t everything. Read on to learn how a DJ’s pricing could influence additional factors.
The Trouble With Inexpensive Wedding DJs: 3 Reasons to Be Wary
The average cost of a professional wedding DJ in Pittsburgh might be about $1,400, but you could very well find someone to do it for a thousand —or even less (we’ve even done that ourselves in the early days of Moxie Events).
But we’ve heard countless horror stories from brides who ultimately decided to work with us because they had a terrible experience with budget-friendly DJs.
The biggest complaints we’ve heard:
- “The DJ just canceled on us and left us looking for another.”
- “The DJ stopped responding to us.”
- “The DJ double-booked themselves for the day of the wedding.”
Of course, this isn’t going to be the case with every DJ who charges a few hundred dollars. But it’s still a risk.
It’s like they say: You get what you pay for!
So before you approach a DJ you find, consider whether they’re going to be the best fit for your wedding day.
Potential Benefits of A More Expensive Wedding DJ
Just as there are potential drawbacks to working with an inexpensive DJ, there are benefits to working with someone who meets or exceeds the average pricing range.
Some benefits you’ll likely see:
- The DJ cares more about planning. A dedicated DJ should care about your wedding’s structure, your timeline, and the special moments for your big day.
- The DJ is investing their time. As we mentioned earlier, your DJ should go beyond the timeframe of your reception. They’ll take an hour or two to set up ahead of time, they’ll spend an hour or two getting music picked out, and they’ll even meet with you to ask about any special requests.
- The DJ is more likely to give you a perfect night. A DJ who’s invested in your wedding is going to care about the little (but important) things, like name pronunciations, special lighting, and other features you request.
- The DJ likely has more experience. There’s no substitute for experience. And a wedding DJ who has performed at dozens or hundreds of weddings has the experience necessary to tackle any surprises that come up. And as much as you’ll try to prevent them on your wedding day, surprises will pop up.
This is just a small example of the benefits you could see when pricing out wedding DJs. There’s plenty more to consider, as we’ll discuss next.
Beyond the Price: 4 Important Factors to Consider In A Wedding DJ
When picking a DJ, consider these questions:
1. How Much Risk Can You Tolerate?
In the last section, we mentioned numerous horror stories about cheap DJs who have ruined wedding days by being unprofessional or simply failing to show up.
If you’re shopping around for a DJ, ask yourself: How important is it that my wedding has a good DJ?
If you can’t stomach unprofessionalism, tardiness, or simply bad performances, you should likely splurge for a more expensive DJ.
2. How Involved Do You Want Your DJ to Be?
When you pay for a more expensive DJ, you’ll generally have access to bigger and better services.
For example, a more expensive DJ is more likely to offer:
- Time to meet with you and your groom
- Time to customize your playlist
- Advice on song choices
- Additional products and services, like uplighting and photo booths
In addition, your DJ is simply more likely to be there, especially if they’re part of a larger company. At a more expensive price point, they’re more likely to be DJing full-time.
And if they’re part of a larger company, someone else can fill in for them in the event of an emergency!
Bottom line: With a more expensive DJ, you’re likely getting much more than a few hours of work. You’re getting a meeting, hours of prep time, and a great experience!
3. How much experience do you want your DJ to have?
As a rule, more experienced DJs charge more, and there are good reasons for this. Advantages of a more experienced wedding DJ:
- They’ve had more opportunities to polish and refine their act. They’re not just a DJ—they’re an experience!
- They’ve already made their mistakes. An experienced DJ has already gone through their growing pains and optimized their processes.
- They’ve experienced more weddings, so they’ve seen a variety of great ideas and can offer advice for all aspects of your reception.
4. How serious do you want your DJ to be about their work?
At Moxie Events, we’re incredibly serious about our work. For many of our DJs, DJing is their full-time job—so the expectations we have for each other are sky-high.
As professionals, any mistake—whether it’s mispronouncing a name or slipping the wrong song into the playlist—is inexcusable.
You should expect the same level of dedication and professionalism from any wedding DJ you decide to work with!
Pick A Great Pittsburgh Wedding DJ
At Moxie Events, our PowerBomb Entertainment division has a robust lineup of wedding DJ packages with experienced DJs with backgrounds in entertainment, radio, and nightclubs.
Our DJs include:
- DJ AdamBomb – DJ AdamBomb is the high-energy owner of Moxie Events and PowerBomb Entertainment. He’s DJed hundreds of weddings!
- DJ Khris – DJ Khris is an entire experience, and he’s well known for mixing in trademark special effects on your favorite songs—enhancing their sound to become even better than before!
- DJ Corey – DJ Corey has years and years of radio and entertainment experience, and that background shines through in his performances. He’s even DJed for Troy Polamalu of the Steelers!
- DJ Bob – Bob is a former radio DJ and has experience performing in bars, clubs, parties, and weddings. And thanks to his background in theater, he can turn every wedding into a special event!
- DJ Chase – DJ Chase has been DJing for 15 years, honing his skills in energetic night clubs and fun weddings.
- DJ Arnel – DJ Arnel is a trivia master, having hosted trivia for 20 years! DJ Arnel is an expert wedding DJ and was once the DJ for Radiotopia.
Plus, we can provide you with a variety of awesome extra features, including:
- Sparkler fountains
- Custom songs
- Monogrammed banners
- Photo booths
We offer complete customization, so contact us today to get started!