It's summer and that means a few things for us in the Austin and central Texas area. First, it means really hot weather, although this July has been rather rainy, which we'll happily take! :) Second, it means vacations and lots of time on the water. Finally, it also means one thing that you may not be thinking about: it's 4 months away from Thanksgiving, and 5 months away from the holidays festivities, parties, and fun!
Yes, five months seems long, but it goes by quickly! Get ahead and start planning for your company holiday party! As you may already know, there are simply not enough venues in the Austin area to keep up with the demand for parties and events! There is literally an 18 month waiting list for a Saturday event nearly anywhere in the Austin and central Texas area! Additionally, along with the perfect venue, you need great food, and of course, great entertainment! it's time to book your DJ/band, and/or photo booth for your company holiday party. So if you're on the planning committee, start getting your quotes, now!
We already have a few bookings for December weddings and holiday parties, but we have a few open DJs and photo booths left! Don't wait, or you won't be able to book a great DJ for your event! We look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully, working with you to ensure your holiday party is a blast!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths Team
If you're looking to hire a wedding DJ, in Austin, Central Texas, or anywhere, you want to know the average cost to hire a DJ for your wedding, quinceanera, party of event. Let's be honest, price does matter! The surprising thing is, hardly any DJ and photo booth companies are still not upfront about their prices. We wrote this very popular article, 2 years ago, and it still remains true. (This article has received over 15,000 views).
Don't believe me? Stop reading, here, and do a quick search in Google, Bing, or whichever search engine you prefer, and search: "Wedding DJ Austin, DJ for weddings, photo booth, or photography booth," or whatever terms you prefer, and look for pricing. You will be looking for a while, so come back when you're ready, we'll be here. :)
Why Can't They Tell You Their Prices?
So let's discuss this a little further. First of all, why are DJ and photo booth companies so afraid to be upfront about their pricing? Why can't they be upfront with their customers? It's not like they can avoid telling you the price. You're most certainly going to ask, and they're eventually going to have to tell you.
Well, to be honest, there's a lot of literature out there that tells DJ and photo booth companies that they must "sell their customers on their value, first, so that the price doesn't scare them away." Here's a shocker: Price may scare customers away, anyway, even after hearing the long sales pitch.
The bottom line is, price does matter to nearly every customer, except for the wealthy customers and the top 1% of course. So let's answer this price question.For us, we list our starting prices and cannot list prices for everything, since it really varies, depending on the customer's needs, location of the event, size of the venue, number of people attending, how many sound systems we need to bring, lighting needs, etc. We cannot speak for all companies, but I can certainly give you a range of pricing, based on our most current research.
Price Ranges For Wedding/Event DJs
First, you can start at the lower end. You can go on Craigslist and find hundreds (literally) of DJs advertising their services on there. You'll find a lot of brand new DJs, offering low prices, simply because they want to gain experience. Well, I don't think you want a new DJ to learn on the job, at your wedding or event. Learning means, possibly making mistakes, so no thanks. There are numerous DJs on there, using various marketing techniques, such as "Voted #1 in Austin, or Texas," or "super cheap DJ services" but you have to ask, based on which poll were you voted #1? "Super cheap" ummm... I don't know about you, but I always question the value of anything cheap. The truth is, you have to do your own research on the companies or individuals you want to hire.
Next, you can simply take the time to draft an email, and email each company, individually, by filling out their contact forms, but, beware, you'll be bombarded with emails, calls, and text messages, all wanting your business. So be prepared for that. We've gotten feedback from many of our clients about this. It's surprising how high-pressure many of these sales staff can be. I presume they either get a commission, or will be the actual DJ at your event, so they really want your business. So when you send your emails, remember, it's like going to a car dealership, so be prepared. (Almost nobody likes to go to a car dealership).
Lastly, you can also go on wedding professionals sites, such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, or Wedding.com, and you'll be able to email several DJ companies at once. This also gives you a chance to see pricing info, or at least a range, though still, many companies refuse to list their price on these sites, too, surprisingly. (Why are they hiding?)
The good thing about these sites is that they allow customers to leave reviews, so this will help you learn more about the DJ or photo booth company you're researching. This is probably your best bet. Companies that advertise on these sites, are companies that are the busiest, which means they have lots of experience. These sites are not cheap to advertise on (yes, we advertise on them, so we know how much it costs), so chances are, these companies will do their best to do a great job, since their reputation matters. It's a very competitive business, everywhere! There are hundreds, if not thousands of DJs in the Austin area, and more throughout the central Texas area.
So here's the bottom line: The prices can really vary in the Austin and Central Texas area. They can be as cheap as $200 for your entire wedding, quinceanera, or event, and higher, up to $4000 or more, for your event! The key is to find out what's included with your service.
The picture, above, is from the most recent research for wedding costs in downtown Austin, Texas. It lists the average price that most couples pay as between $568 - $946. It also lists the price you'll pay for well experienced professionals, as $1514 or more. We actually are well experienced professionals and charge a less than this, for our average wedding! Wow, what a great deal! :)
However, this does not give details about how many hours, or what's included with the service. If you are not having a wedding in the Austin area, you can easily find out how much the average cost is in your area, by simply visiting the cost of wedding website. Just put in your zip code and you'll see all the information for your area!
The second picture, is a little more accurate, as it takes into account the number of guests at your wedding; however, again, it does not state the number of hours or what is included for this price. Not all DJ companies will charge based on the number of guests you have, but it does make a difference. DJ companies need to know the number of people and the size of the venue, in order to know what equipment is right for the best sound at your venue. There's a big difference between a wedding for 50 people, versus 300 people, in terms of what DJs will need to bring. Again, keep in mind, the above numbers are the "average" and you'll find some companies that charge more, and others that charge less.
Questions to Ask Your Wedding/Event DJ
Lastly, remember, you're interviewing them, so feel free to ask "Why should we hire you, versus the others?" Hint: Their answer should not be based on all their great equipment. Most people don't know the difference between DJ equipment brands, so this is irrelevant.
Questions to Ask Your Photo Booth Company
Overall, remember, you are in control of how much you spend for your event, not the DJ or photo booth company. Find out what the value is, for your money. What does the $4000 company do differently, than the $200 company, or the $1000 company? Do your research and pick the company that best suits your needs! Good luck, and as always, email us for questions. We're always happy to help everyone, whether they're a customer or not! :)
Be sure to check out our previous article on how much wedding DJs cost 2017/2018.
-Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Last year, we wrote a blog discussing the average cost to hire a DJ for your wedding, quinceanera, party of event in the Austin or central Texas area. That blog has been read over 10,000 times! This year, we thought we'd update it, to reflect new prices for 2017 and 2018 events in our Austin and central Texas area. So here's the new info and changes for wedding and event DJ costs.
First of all, price still matters! If you're searching for an item on Amazon, how frustrating would it be if none of the prices were listed for your product? Would you take the time to email every seller for more information, or would you just buy from a seller that has prices listed? Yes, it's slightly different, but even Amazon does have services that you can purchase and yes, their prices are listed. Surprisingly, this still has not changed for the DJ & photo booth services business! Very few DJ and photo booth companies at least list a starting price or price range. Do a search for "Wedding DJ Austin, DJ for weddings, Quinceanera DJ, Austin photo booth," or whatever terms you prefer, and look for pricing. It's not easy to find.
This year, the price ranges are similar to last year, with the lower priced DJs listed on Craigslist. You'll find hundreds of DJs advertising their services on there. You'll still mostly find a lot of brand new DJs, offering low prices, simply because they want to gain experience. If price is your main concern and you only want to spend a few hundred dollars or less, this is your best bet. Just know that you're not likely to find many professional DJs or DJ companies on Craigslist. You'll get a great price, but at the risk of possibly having a bad experience at your wedding or event. We get calls all the time, about DJs who took a deposit and vanished, and we hate to hear this!
So if Cragslist doesn't work for you, you can simply search for a DJ on Google or whatever search engine you use. Take the time to draft an email, and copy/paste your email to each company, individually, by filling out their contact forms, but, be aware, you'll be bombarded with emails, calls, and text messages, all wanting your business. Ironically, we experienced this first-hand, when we got married, last October! We didn't want to hire our own staff, since we wanted them to enjoy our wedding.
Lastly, you can always search wedding sites, such as The Knot, or Wedding Wire, and you'll be able to email several companies at once. This also gives you a chance to see pricing info, or at least a price range, though still, many companies don't list their prices on these sites, too, surprisingly. These sites allow customers to leave reviews, so this will help you learn more about the DJ or photo booth company (and any wedding/event vendor service) you're researching. You'll definitely find professional companies on these sites, since it's not cheap to advertise with them (yes, we advertise on them, so we know how much it costs). Most of the DJ and photo booth companies will do their best to do a great job at your wedding or event, since their reputation matters and you can easily leave a review! It's still a very competitive business and there are even more DJs listed now, in the Austin and Central Texas area, than last year!
So the bottom line is: Prices can vary in the Austin and Central Texas area. They can be as cheap as $150 for your entire wedding, quinceanera, or event, and as much as $4000 or more, for your event! We've done our research and these are current 2017/2018 rates. The key is to determine what's included with your services for your price.
Questions to Ask Your Wedding or Event DJ
We took the time to create our frequently asked questions section, on our website. These are the most frequently asked questions and our answers. Feel free to use these questions to ask any DJ you may consider hiring. Just copy and paste them (and erase our answers, of course) or print them out and take them to your meeting. Here is the link:
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions to Ask Photo Booth Companies
What type of equipment do you use?
What type of printer do you use? (This is important, since your printout quality will be determine by the printer used. It should be a sub-dye printer).
What's included in the price?
Is setup or breakdown free?
Are printouts free?
Am I limited to a certain amount of printouts?
Do you have a contract?
Are props included?
Will there be a photo booth attendant?
Can we get an enclosed photo booth or open-air (backdrop type)?
Will we get all of our pictures from that night on a flash or via email?
How many pictures will guests receive?
Are copies of pictures allowed?
Overall, remember, you are always in control of how much you spend for your event! Find out what the value is, for your money. What does the $4000 company do differently, than the $150 company, or the $1000 company? Do your research and pick the DJ and/or photo booth company that best suits your needs! Good luck, and as always, email us for questions. We're always happy to help everyone, whether you're our customer or not! :)
-Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths Team
Whether you're having a wedding or event in Austin or central Texas, or anywhere, you have already found out how expensive it can be. If you've done your research, than you've already noticed that the costs to hire a DJ, photo booth, live band, or any entertainment, can really vary. You may have seen some DJs on Craigslist, for as little as $150, and then you may have even received a quote for up to $4000! Yes, you read that right, $4K for a 4 hour DJ and they're in no way any type of celebrity DJ!
We've done our research and we know that this is the range of pricing in our Austin market. One question you may keep asking yourself is why? Why do DJs cost so much? So here is an inside look at the DJ business and why we charge the rates that we do. Though we cannot speak for all DJs and DJ companies, we will speak for our company and from our experience. So here's the breakdown.
Anyone can buy DJ equipment, now. It's now more affordable than ever, and with YouTube and the internet, there are plenty of resources discussing "how to DJ." However, merely having the equipment and watching how-to videos will not ensure anyone can be a great DJ. Experience, skill, customer service and professionalism are all a must for anyone who works with us. In fact, our least experienced DJ has 10 years experience! We want to ensure that we provide exceptional service and therefore, we only hire exceptional staff who meet our high expectations!
The type of equipment a DJ has can truly vary and the cost for that equipment varies, as well. DJs need: microphones, lighting, speakers, cables, turntables or controllers, a laptop, protective cases, speaker and lighting stands, etc. Depending on the type of equipment a DJ chooses, the cost can vary from as little as $1000, up to $20,000 or more! Additionally, photo booth setups can cost $2000 - $10,000 each and we have 3 setups. It's expensive!
Any DJ who is serious about his/her craft, knows that you have to have great equipment that not only looks and sounds great, but performs great and is reliable. Entry level equipment will give you an entry level sound and experience. So overall, a DJ has to invest in great equipment, which is a factor in their prices.
One thing every DJ has in common is music. DJs must have an extensive music library to have the right music for every occasion. There are literally millions of songs out there. DJs have to have hours and hours of a variety of music. The music isn't free, of course. Whether a DJ uses a record pool or buys songs individually, the music cost can really add up to thousands of dollars!
Additionally, a DJ has to store the music and have backup files, as well. This means a large hard drive on a laptop, as well as additional external drives, cloud subscriptions, flash drives, etc. Without music, a DJ will not be in business, period!
Time & Preparation
One thing that we all wish we had more of, is time. It takes a lot of time to prepare for just one wedding or event. From the initial email to the week of the wedding or event, we must ensure that we have every song you want and that we have every detail covered. We spend an average of 25-30 hours per week, providing customer service, communicating with our clients, preparing for the weekend events, updating music (new songs come out weekly), meeting with clients, etc. This does NOT include providing DJ and photo booth services on any weeknight, or on weekends!
The day of an event is also time-consuming. For a 5 hour event, we arrive two hours before the event to setup, and stay 1 hour after the event, to breakdown. This is an 8 hour day (not including the time we spend loading and unloading our vehicle and driving to/from the event) for events where we provide a DJ only. If we have a DJ and photo booth event, special lighting, etc., it takes additional time to setup and breakdown! On any given weekend, we may have up to 8 events in one day. This means we also must check-in with our staff the day before and the day of the event, to ensure everyone is prepared and everything is covered! So all in all, we easily work 50 or more hours, weekly. This may not be the case for all DJ companies, but it is for us. Therefore, we have to factor our time into how much we charge for our services.
Marketing & Advertising
As you have already noticed, there are literally hundreds of DJ companies in the Austin and central Texas area. There are hundreds more solo DJs, as well. This means one thing: competition. DJing today, isn't like the days when many of our DJs started, in the 1990s. At that time, there were literally a handful of DJs and technology was vastly different. There was not many competitors, since there were not many DJs available. Today, with laptops and DJ software, it's much easier. I remember the days of carrying 10-15 heavy record crates to every event, every weekend! I don't miss those days! :)
So again, there is much more competition and therefore, DJs have to advertise, maintain a website and social media accounts, etc. Advertising easily costs hundreds of dollars per month. Also, if a DJ has liability insurance and a commercial space, the lease and bills must also be paid. All of these things are factored into pricing, as well.
Overall, this is just a snapshot of the costs and details involved with professional DJ services. There are many other factors to consider, but these are the main factors that determine pricing. We hope you found this helpful. Now, you have a better idea of why DJs cost so much!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
This Veteran's Day weekend, we had a great time providing DJ and photo booth services for weddings and events in and around Austin and Central Texas! We had a great time and more importantly, our clients had an amazing time!
For our first event, we provided a DJ for Menchaca Elementary school. This was the very first dance that they ever had and we were honored that they chose us to provide their music and entertainment! It was a "family dance" and so lots of parents and relatives came to have a great time with the students! Everyone had a great time and danced from start to finish! They had such a great time they immediately hired us for their Spring Carnival, right after the dance! Here's a video, below, of the dance.
Saturday morning, we provided a DJ for the UT Army ROTC tailgate, at the UT campus! This was a great event and hundreds of people stopped by! It was great to see the Army parachute team fly into the stadium, the jets and all the fireworks, too! What a great Veteran's Day celebration!
Saturday afternoon, we provided a DJ for a Lord of the Rings themed wedding, at Abel's on the Lake! Wow, they definitely tied in the theme. The tables were named after characters, the bride's dress was similar to the dress worn in the movie, the cake was topped with Lord of the Rings characters, too! Of course the couple was introduced to the Lord of the Rings "Concerning Hobbits" song, too! It was a great time!
Saturday night, we provided a DJ and photo booth for a fun wedding, at the Hummingbird House! We LOVED their cake of the UT stadium. It was very detailed and even had the scoreboard of USC vs, UT! By far, one of the best cakes we've seen in a while. Here's a picture of that great cake, below!
All the guests had a great time and our DJ, Jaime, took a great picture of the last song of the night, below.
Overall, it was a great weekend and we're always happy to be a part of so many weddings and events, every weekend! Thank you, Austin & Central Texas!
- Austin's Best DJs Team
If you're reading this, you are most likely planning your wedding and you've discovered how time-consuming it can really be! We often tell our clients that wedding planning is like taking a part time job. There are so many details and so many things to learn. You never think about all the details that go into planning a wedding, until you plan yours! Well, relax, we're here to help!
One detail that is very important, is the first dance song. We provide DJ and photo booth services for over 200 Austin and Central Texas weddings, per year, and to be honest, we rarely see the same first dance song! There are thousands of songs to choose from, which is both a good and bad thing. With thousands of songs to choose from, how do you determine which song is the right song for you as a couple? We often tell our couples to think about the lyrics that truly define their love or them as a couple. It's a tough decision, but a lot of thought should go into it, of course. So if you're having trouble, we have a great list of 80 songs to pick from! Hopefully, you'll find the right song, or at least narrow it down to a few. Here's the link, from our friends at Junebug weddings:
Best of luck in your search for the perfect song!
-Austin's Best DJs Team
Austin and Central Texas weddings keep all of our DJs busy, all year! However, we also stay very busy doing Quinceaneras, Sweet 16s, parties, and events, too! We've found that Quinceaneras and Sweet 16s are very similar to weddings. Planning these events requires just as much time and attention to detail as weddings. As you may have found out, Austin and Central Texas is a very popular place to have a wedding, quinceanera, party or event. Many of our clients are from other cities and states, and plan to have their wedding, or event in Austin. We know Austin is fabulous, so we can't blame them! :) So our advice is to start planning, early! This often means up to 1 year before your event. So let's get to the details.
1. Determine Your Date
First and foremost, determine the date of your event. If you're having a quinceanera or sweet 16, this will most-likely be on a date, very close to the actual birthday; however, we've seen many people plan to have their event on a different date that works best for their family and friends. The picture above, was from a Quinceanera we did on June 11. The family chose to have the event in June, so that people could travel and attend the party, kids were off from school, etc. So remember, having a flexible date can be an option!
2. Book a Venue
Right after you have your date planned, you should book your venue as soon as possible. Most people want to have a Saturday event, and therefore, many venues get booked up to a year or more, in advance, for Saturday events. If having your event on a different night is an option, consider this to have more venue options and even save a little money, since many venues will offer a better rate for a non-Saturday event!
3. Find a Caterer/Food
I'm sure you're surprised that we haven't said to book your DJ, yet, but we give our honest advice, and don't simply try to pitch our business. :) So now that you have your place, the next thing is to find a catering company or restaurant that will serve your food. We recommend this, early on, simply because the same rule that applies with venues, applies with catering and food. You'll need to find time to actually sample the food, so schedule a future date where you can take a weekend to try the different options. Even attending a Quinceanera or Sweet 16 expo is a good idea, since there are many caterers there, and you can sample their food on site.
4. Find Your Dress
Quinceanera and Sweet 16 dresses are not everyday clothing, so these dresses are limited to very exclusive clothing retailers. With so many people in Austin and Central Texas, your options are limited, so it's best to find these retailers and check out their options. A good time-saver is to go online, to see if they have their clothing online. This will save you some time!
5. Book Your DJ
Okay, so here we are, finally on the list! Booking a DJ for your event is very crucial to the success of your event. Quinceaneras often require a DJ who is versatile and can play a variety of genres of music. The DJ should also be familiar with all the ceremonial traditions of the Quinceanera, such as the changing of the shoes, jewelry/crown presentation, the last doll, court waltz, surprise dance, etc. All of these traditions are a very important part of this special day, so be sure to hire a DJ that has lots of experience with Quinceaneras. Ask your DJ company what options they have, as well. You may want uplighting, a custom monogram, a photo booth, a projector to show a slideshow, etc. Any professional DJ will have these options. If they do not, find a DJ/company who does.
6. Book Mariachis
Many people book Mariachis for the dinner portion of their Quinceanera or Sweet 16. This is optional, but always nice. Having live entertainment is a nice touch. We recommend booking your Mariachis early, since there are not a whole lot of options, so they get booked up pretty early!
7. Book a Photographer
Quinces and Sweet 16s are a milestone moment in a young woman's life, so capturing these memories is very important! Be sure to meet with a few photographers and view their portfolios, to be sure their work is great! Memories are priceless, so be sure to get great pictures and video, if you prefer, of the entire event!
Last, but not least, is the decor. This is the fun part! Think of the theme you'd like, first. Finding a theme helps you identify what decor to look for. A new trend with quinces that we've been doing, lately, is a Paris theme. Who doesn't love Paris? :) We traveled their in late 2015, and it was absolutely amazing! Capturing the greatness of Paris is tough, but there are many decorations that you can find, that will do just this! Start on Pinterest for ideas!
We hope that these 8 tips have helped you start planning your event. This is not an all-inclusive list by any means, but a great place to start. We offer a very detailed Quinceanera planning document that helps you plan out the entire reception, from dinner, to the ceremonial moments, to the last dance! Be sure your DJ has a timeline of events, to help guide the night, if a day-of-coordinator is not available. As always, feel free to email us, if you have any questions, and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs Team
Austin's Best DJs
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!