Raleigh Wedding DJ -10 Helpful Side By Side Comparisons
Raleigh Wedding DJ Price & Your Budget – What Are You Getting? 10 Helpful Budget DJ Comparisons with a Local Budget DJ Company (with their permission) Raleigh Wedding DJ Stylus Best Experience to Create a Dynamic Event Raleigh Wedding DJ Budget and Pricing Comparison TL;DR at the Bottom One of the hardest things you’ll do when doing your Raleigh Wedding Planning is choose a DJ/MC.
Part of that is because it’s rare that you get to ‘test’ out your DJ the same way you might audit a Raleigh Wedding Photographer, a Durham Wedding Caterer, or a North Carolina Wedding Venue – because you get to experience each of those directly BEFORE you sign an agreement. You can visit the Wedding Venue and fall in love immediately. You can view the wedding photographer’s portfolio and say “This is exactly what we want!”. You can taste the wedding caterer’s food and design the menu knowing what your guests are going to expect.
It’s not like that with wedding DJs in North Carolina or anywhere else. With the rare exception of seeing a DJ at a wedding in Raleigh or Durham and thinking ‘This is exactly what we’re looking for!’ you’re probably going to be putting your trust in someone that you haven’t seen perform the same way you can gauge other wedding vendors (the one notable exception to this is wedding planners/coordinators – you’re taking their word for it as well).
We were talking about this with the owner of another local Affordable Budget Raleigh DJ company the other day – specifically about price points and how most DJs have their starting price point roughly the same regardless of where they are in the country. Stylus’ price point and this other company’s price point weren’t all that far apart for a fairly straightforward Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, and Reception. Most DJs, whether they’re in Las Vegas, South Dakota, Hawaii, Miami or New York, tend to be around the $2500 mark. However, what you’re getting for that price point is very different.
We were talking about the difference in services between different price points and we realized that there wasn’t really a useful side-by-side wedding DJ price comparison so that a potential bride or groom could get a sense of what they were, or weren’t getting whenever they were booking their DJ so this DJ gave us the lowdown on how they keep their prices low and what couples are giving up to keep their budget down.
This is NOT a ‘look at those guys over there’ post. This isn’t meant to demean the other DJ company in any way – they are proud of how they’ve streamlined their service and costs and are able to provide a great experience to wedding couples who are on a tight budget and are working with clients who aren’t prioritizing their wedding entertainment. We actually recommend the Budget DJs all the time for clients who need their budget as low as possible but still need a reliable DJ who’ll do a good job.
This IS an informational and educational opportunity so that you can make the right decision for your event. Some couples need the lowest possible price point for their event and we are glad they exist to help serve that clientele.
They see themselves as the McDonalds of DJs. As the owner put it, “You know exactly what you’re going to get and it’s affordable.” What to Expect from Your Wedding DJ at Different Price Points
TOTAL PRICE POINT FOR A ‘BASIC’ WEDDING PACKAGE WITH CEREMONY, COCKTAIL HOUR, AND WEDDING RECEPTION
The total price difference is present, but it’s not as big as you might think:
STYLUS – $2500.
BUDGET DJ – $1700
WEDDING CEREMONY SYSTEM
This is an easy place to see the difference. You’ll see it in the number of speakers and the number of microphones. The cost difference in equipment alone is around $4000 between the two
STYLUS – 2 pro speakers, 3 professional microphone (1 over-ear mic for officiant, 1 lapel to pick up bride and groom, 1 handheld & mic stand for any readers/singers). $5000 total equipment cost
BUDGET DJ – 1 speaker, 1 handheld mic for officiant. $1000 total equipment cost.
RALEIGH WEDDING DJ PREP TIME
Preparation is important & is often a big difference in price point among DJs, although it is possible to pay more for a DJ without additional prep time included. In our experience, this is the biggest difference in how your event will turn out. I heard a photographer, Christobal Perez with Azul Photography (twice Pulitzer Prize nominated – check him out if you need a Raleigh wedding photographer) talking about this just yesterday while he was throwing appropriate shade on DJs who couldn’t be bothered to learn the names of the couple & their wedding party.
STYLUS – preparation is already included. On average we’re putting between 10 and 25 hours into an event BEFORE the event even starts. “We start our preparation pretty intensely from the first conversation or email. Most people wouldn’t believe the notes we take or the special details we incorporate into the reception.”
BUDGET DJ – “They’ll get about 1 hour max, usually just the ‘finals meeting’ which runs around 30 minutes. If we have to spend a lot of time with them we probably weren’t the right fit for them, they needed somebody like you. We get them sometimes, but we’ll charge for extra planning time.
AVERAGE SPEAKER COST
This is inside baseball but it’s a useful comparison. With speakers, you get what you pay for, and there’s a huge difference in sound quality & reliability. We don’t want speakers causing problems during a wedding.
STYLUS – $1700-$2500 per speaker. Average Reception System Cost $8500-$10,000 (including DJ Rig, Cables, & Lighting if Included)
BUDGET DJ – $300-$600 per speaker – Average Reception System Cost – $2600 – $4000 (DJ controller was the biggest variable)
RALEIGH WEDDING DJ’S YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Another big difference is who your DJ options might be. With Stylus, we only bring in the best of the best. They have to have the fire in their set that makes for a great party – and that’s something you can only learn from experience. Stylus expects the best from ourselves so we can deliver the best wedding dj experience in the Triangle to you. The Raleigh Budget DJ company usually hired college students (everyone has to start somewhere!) and relative beginners – that’s part of how they’re able to keep their costs down.
STYLUS – 6-15 years Experience (Jason started when he was 16, we’re not even including his experience). Meet our DJs to learn more.
BUDGET DJ – 1-3 years. One staff member with 4+ years and another more experienced DJ on the website.
A lot of people are offering wedding DJ services but they’re streaming their music. We’ve heard horror stories of wedding ending early because there was no wifi signal (which is what can happen when a bunch of guests enter a reception hall). While streaming does offer access to lots of music, what we’re looking at here is how many songs the DJ will have ‘on hand’ regardless of the Wi-Fi signal and what kind of party they’re going to be able to throw for that group. Fewer songs means fewer opportunities to find that ‘Perfect Song’ for the party.
However – staying on top of the music is both time consuming and expensive. Avoiding that expense helps them keep the costs down.
STYLUS – On average around 200-400k songs (two full terrabytes). Some of our DJs carry 4 tB of music (700-800k songs). Yes, it may seem like it’s overkill, but there are a lot of ways to play a song and all the different remixes and edits help us customize the party to fit the couple & the group. We get about 400 new songs a week.
BUDGET DJ – 600-1200 songs. According to the owner: “We only need the most requested songs. We can throw a great party with just the top 200 songs.”
MC/ MICROPHONE STYLE
This difference has a lot to do with experience but it’s also a big part of how we’re training our teams to do events. We believe that a DJ should direct attention, not take it. That means calling attention, appropriately, to what the couple wants to emphasize. There are a lot of special details at a wedding, and even basics like the first dance and the wedding party introductions can vary wildly depending on which DJ you chose.
STYLUS – Reserved or Engaging depending on the couple’s preference – always appropriate, with a level of detail and modulation that sets the narrative tone for how the couple wants their guests to perceive the event.
BUDGET DJ – “We keep it simple, just some basic Announcements as needed, sometimes the DJ might ask the coordinator to make the announcements if the DJ isn’t comfortable on the mic yet.
CUSTOMIZATION & PERSONALIZATION – PLANNING FORMS
This is where your wedding starts taking shape.
STYLUS – Easy to navigate online planning form, available 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world, with complete music customization, detailed descriptions and suggestions for couples who need help.
BUDGET DJ – 1 page PDF with basic details. “Our couples want basic, and we just get their basic details.”
CUSTOMIZATION & PERSONALIZATION – MUSIC LISTS & REQUESTS
This is where your wedding truly becomes YOURS.
STYLUS – While the most common playlist size is around 20-50 songs, couples can add a hundred song requests or do-not-plays to their list, some couples have even more. We narrow down their favorites and use the rest to guide us through their event based on what they told us would work best for them. We’re happy to take requests at the event. We have a massive collection of music and can handle just about anything your guests can throw at us if it’s appropriate for your event (and you’ve told us you’re OK with requests).
BUDGET DJ – “Couples get their 5 or 10 key specialty songs and we allow up to 15 song requests. We charge the client more if they have a bigger list. We charge extra for large lists becuse it takes hours to get all of that in place. We take requests if we can.”
CHOOSING YOUR RALEIGH WEDDING DJ
Do You Get to Choose Your DJ?
STYLUS – Yes, we work with clients to match them with a DJ but it’s only a suggestion based on our insights, couples have the final say over who they work with.
BUDGET DJ – Not usually. “We’ll send who’s available for their date. If a couple wants to pick their DJ that’s extra. This is one of ways we’re able to keep the costs so low too. If a couple wants a specific DJ, there’s a premium on that. We try to match them with someone who’s going to be a good fit for them. We want to make sure they have a great time.”
RALEIGH WEDDING DJ TL;DR OVERVIEW
Clients who want to keep their costs down are usually sacrificing prep time, equipment cost, DJ Experience, personalization, music availability, and MC elements. If these things aren’t as important as the price difference, you’re going to be well served by the Budget DJ Team.
If you are looking for your Wedding DJ to elevate your experience with things at are important to you, it’s probably best that you look at setting a higher budget for your entertainment.