The Cost of Hiring a Wedding DJ: A Chat with DJ Sister Rock
The Cost of Hiring a Wedding DJ
Here at Bride Club ME, we love to talk about “pretty” – we get immersed in lots of real wedding inspiration and swoon over the latest wedding gown trends, but we also get down to the nitty gritty and tackle subjects such as logistics, vendor costs and the inevitable difficulties faced when planning a wedding, whether it’s being held here in the UAE or somewhere else.
Today, we get up close and personal with DJ Sister Rock, a BCME vendor and DJ to celebrities, royalty and loved-up couples. We discuss budget, why DJs charge what they do and what couples should ask their DJ before booking.
What can a couple expect to pay for a wedding DJ in the UAE? Is there an industry standard or does it vary widely from DJ to DJ?
Hiring a professional DJ for a private event (such as a wedding) with equipment in the UAE generally costs between AED4,000-6,000.
Are DJs who charge more worth more?
Ask the DJ about their experience. If someone has more experience, it’s normally worth paying extra for.
Let’s talk payment. Should couples expect to pay upfront, put down a deposit or pay on the day?
A couple should expect to make a deposit payment when booking their DJ. A good DJ will need that because they will get other enquiries during the wedding season and won’t want to turn other work down. If the DJ is well-known and has lots of testimonials, it’s pretty safe to pay the balance a few weeks before the wedding. That way, the bride and groom don’t have to think about payments on the day. I personally take a 50 per cent deposit for bookings. I do have expenses and these have to be covered. I am happy with the rest as cash on the day, but some DJs prefer payment before the event. DJs usually prefer cash to cheques.
Do all wedding DJs offer MC services too?
No, but most DJs will happily make a few announcements during the evening. If the wedding needs a professional MC throughout the day, that’s a separate service that needs to be paid and budgeted for.
Should couples sign a contract with their DJ?
That’s between the couple and the DJ – however, it’s beneficial to both parties to do this for many reasons. A DJ could cancel your booking unless you have a contract and have paid a deposit. The DJ has rights too – I was once sexually harassed at a wedding and this is not acceptable! It’s in everyone’s best interest to have everything in writing.
As a DJ, if you cannot cater to a couple’s musical needs/tastes, do you have a network of trusted DJs you can recommend?
Yes, I do and generally most DJs do too. I personally cater to clients who want Western music. I don’t specialise in, for example, African, Russian, Indian or Arabic music and I would always turn those gigs down, but am happy to introduce the client to other DJs I know. I normally make it clear to the client how well I know that DJ. It really is up to the client to check the DJ’s testimonials out, go and see them at a gig and do their own due diligence.
What other services should DJs offer (eg, lighting, HD video screens)?
Some DJs have their own equipment; others prefer to turn up and play. Find a DJ that fits your needs and event requirements.
If a couple really wants to hire you but can’t afford your rates, are there ways you can be flexible in terms of what you offer?
I can’t drop my rates as during the wedding season DJs are in demand and I’d miss out on a future enquiry and my full rates. This goes for most DJs I know. When setting your wedding budget, I’d recommend allocating AED4,000-6,000 for your DJ so you don’t waste time negotiating with someone who can’t reduce their rates.
What three questions should a couple ask a potential DJ before hiring them?
♡ Have they DJ’d at a wedding before?
♡ What musical genres can they cater for?
♡ What do their rates include?
Thanks Ananda! Ladies, DJ Sister Rock is a vetted BCME vendor, under the wedding DJ category, specialising in Western weddings. If you are interested in hiring her for your own wedding, check out her profile here.
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