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The Difference Between Professional and Amateur DJs

Sep 1

Are you planning a wedding and wondering what is the difference between all of the DJs out there? We've got the answers to your questions. We've put together a comprehensive guide to wedding djs, their prices, and the major differences, so you can get a general idea of what works . We'll also include how to keep wedding costs down. 

Average Wedding DJ Prices

Quality wedding djs can cost as much as $5000. However you can hire a wedding dj for as little as $300, or sometimes even less. There is a difference between the quality of service you'll receive from a $300 DJ vs a $5000 DJ, of course. The average cost of wedding djs in the US is about $1200-$1500. There are some DJs who charge less, and many who charge more. Prices depend on your market, the competition, supply and demand, and many other factors.

Professional DJs vs Amateur DJs

Music is what makes a wedding great. Music can help your guests unwind at the cocktail hour, and it helps move the party along during the reception. Music keeps the energy level up while the party winds down. Making sure you have the right music mix for your reception, though, is only part of the job of a professional DJ. 
Professional DJs and amateur DJs may both perform at weddings and other events, but the key difference is that a professional DJ is a professional. What does that mean, exactly? In the world of weddings and events, it means someone who has experience and can read a crowd. It means someone who can keep things moving smoothly and knows how to read the dance floor. It means someone who can play the songs you want to hear and the songs your guests will actually dance to. It means someone who will keep the party going.
As anyone who has ever tried to DJ knows, it takes a lot of skill to keep a party moving smoothly, and to read the crowd in order to determine what songs to play next. anyone can play a playlist. If you create a playlist of 100 songs, a skilled DJ can take those songs and create a fun party. If your DJ simply plays your exact playlist in the exact order you gave him/her, without mixing the songs, that's an amateur DJ. 

Sound Equipment and Lighting

Having the right equipment, too, is key to making sure your music sounds good no matter where you are in the room. Professional DJ equipment is expensive. Most DJs spend $10 - $15,000 on professional DJ euqipment. They spend this much because they take their craft seriously. Sure, there is budget equipment out there, but it just doesn't sound the same or look the same. Pro DJs know that everything must look and sound amazing at your event, so they don't cut corners and buy cheap equipment. 
Amateur DJs usually don't invest a lof of money into their equipment or lighting. You can easily tell this by simply listening to the difference in sound, or simply looking at the asthetics of their set up. It's night and day when compared to a pro DJ. 

MC Skills

Additionally, MC skills are very important. A pro DJ can help guide the evening along without a hitch. They'll know when to speak, and when not to speak. They'll adjust their MC style according to the event. It takes a lot of practice and skill to become a great MC. Amateurs simply won't sound as polished, period. 
For weddings and high end events, this can really make or break your event. A polished speaker will know what to say, when to say it, and how to keep things moving smoothly. More importantly, a skilled, pro DJ/MC can improvise on the fly, if things are delayed or there are issues. No one will ever know, except the DJ and coordinator. This is important! 
Amateur DJs may not know how to handle these situations and make mistakes, or cause more issues. A great MC is a must for any event that matters! 
Overall, these are some of the key differences among DJs, Don't make the mistake of simply comparing prices when hiring a DJ. There are so many more differences to consider. Be sure to check reviews on various sites, and ask your DJ questions that are important to you. 
We'd like to thank Jason Alexander of Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths for giving us some of these great details. Jason is the founder and owner of the company. Austin's Best DJs is one of the top wedding and event DJ/photo booth companies in the central Texas area. They also travel and take bookings anywhere in the world, too! Contact them if you need a great DJ! If you're in the Austin area, there office info is below!