"How much is a DJ for a Quinceanera? How much do DJs cost per hour? How much does it cost for a DJ, for 6 hours," and lastly, "Quinceanera DJs near me," are the most searched questions and terms related to Quinceanera and event DJs. Hundreds of teens and their parents or siblings, call us, email us, Facebook us, and chat with us on our website, and ask these exact questions. The first question, how much is a DJ for a Quinceanera, is actually the number one question we get asked, when it comes to Quinceaneras! The answer, however, isn't a simple one. The cost for a DJ can vary, depending on a few things. Here are the top 5 things that affect the price of a Quinceanera, wedding, or event DJ.
1. No Set Price
First, there's no set price that DJs charge for their time or services. Some DJs and DJ companies charge by the hour (we do) and others charge by the event. Usually, the DJs that charge by the event, cost more, since they'll basically take the hourly rate they want to get paid, and multiply it times the average number of hours they'll work for most weddings or events (most weddings are 5-6 hours).
Prices can vary from as little as $200 for the entire event (usually brand new DJs), up to $4500. Most clients are willing to spend about 8-10% of their total Quinceanera budget, for the DJ and/or entertainment. So do the math and see if the DJ, band or other entertainment you're hiring is about this much. You're certainly not limited to the 10% rule, but it's what we see most often.
2. Costs Vary by Region
Another factor that can affect price is the region or market you're in. A Quince in a small, rural town, will be much cheaper than a Quince in Manhattan. Businesses know the costs of weddings and events in their market, and set their prices accordingly. In bigger markets, like ours in Austin, Texas, price is greatly affected by competition. The average price for a DJ in the Austin area is about $1200. There are certainly DJs for as cheap as $200, and DJs that cost as much as $4000! The price varies, depending on what is included with the DJ packages.
3. New DJs Versus Experienced, Professional DJs
This is where you will truly see a difference in pricing. A new DJ, who is just starting out, operates under the "I just want to get my name out there" business model. If budget is your number one concern, you'll want to book a newer DJ, to save big! The only issue with doing this, is that the DJ has much less experience, and therefore, your experience may be different.
Most new DJs won't have all the equipment they'll need for their events, since they're just starting out. Sure, they can always rent some equipment, but renting equipment isn't always a guaranteed good experience. We've actually rented equipment that did not work well, unfortunately. This is one drawback.
Another drawback is lack of experience. Experience and failure are truly the best teachers. Experience truly matters when unexpected situations arise. You don’t want that DJ to learn what to do next time, at YOUR event.
You always have to expect the unexpected and be prepared for it. Things that have happened to us are: the timeline is completely off track, people are not arriving on time, a song isn't playing, the band didn't show up, the bride's dress is accidentally torn, a bride/groom is stung by a bee, unexpected torrential rain happens, power outages, a member of the court got into an accident, a medical emergency happens, a tornado warning is sent to everyone on their phones, etc. When all this happened, we were prepared and able to change things, as needed and go with the flow. Most guests never knew a thing in most cases! You won't get this with newer DJs. Quinceaneras and weddings are a once in a lifetime event, so paying for peace of mind and being stress-free on your big day, is truly priceless!
4. Other Factors That Affect Pricing
Number of Hours - For us, the average weddings and Quinceaneras are 5-6 hours long; however, a 6 hour event means a 9 hour day, not including drive time (2 hour set up, 1 hour breakdown). Some companies and DJs charge set up and breakdown fees, which we find strange, since they absolutely have to set up and breakdown, in order to perform the job. Surprisingly, DJs will charge this fee and clients pay it. We include set up and breakdown at no charge. Be sure to ask about this, when hiring your DJ.
Location – The location of your event may also affect the price. Some DJs will travel within a certain number of miles at no charge. Others will include a travel fee, regardless of where the event is. For us, we service the great Austin-metro area and do not include a travel charge. For events that are outside this area, we do add a travel charge, which varies, depending on the distance we must travel.
Indoors/Outdoors - Additionally, if your event is indoors only, or indoors and outdoors, this will also affect pricing. Weather can take a toll on your guests and vendors. Not only the vendors, but our equipment, too! We’ve done weddings, quinceaneras and events in 20 degree weather, in areas with little heating (think barn type places). We’ve also done all outdoor events in August, with 105 degree temperatures. These extreme temperatures can truly affect the equipment’s performance, so be aware that this may affect pricing, too.
Season - Along with the weather, of course, is the season. You'll find that winter events are usually cheaper than other seasons, since not as many people have weddings and events in winter. Even mid-summer events can sometimes be cheap to have, depending on where you're located. Here in central Texas, we're less busy in late July and August, due to the extreme heat!
5. Optional Entertainment Upgrades Increase Overall Price
Last, but certainly not least, is the optional upgrades. Always ask your DJ what’s included with the price. If you need music in different rooms or even indoors and outdoors, the DJ may need a separate sound system and a microphone for announcements This is not included in a regular DJ set up. If you’ll have live musicians and need extra microphones, that will be an additional charge. Need your DJ to set up super early? That may be an additional charge, as well.
If you want to add more entertainment options, such as a photo booth, Karaoke, lawn games, or other forms of entertainment, this will cost more. More entertainment options are always great, since not everyone likes to dance, or is able to dance. Additionally, lighting is another factor to consider. Dance floor lighting may or may not be included in the DJ’s package. Uplighting is another great option to add, since it can truly transform the venue’s look and bring your theme colors together. A custom monogram (a light showing your name or initials, and usually the date) is always a nice touch to add, too! Talk to your DJ to see what optional upgrades they offer. Adding these options are a great way to make your event unique and personal.
Overall, these are the main factors that affect pricing. This article reflects the current pricing for 2018 Quinceaneras, weddings and events. There may be variances in different regions, but overall, this is a good guide. As always, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions!
Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths
Two years, 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 20,000 times! This year, we thought we'd update it, to reflect new prices for 2018 and 2019 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 or Thumbtack. 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 or Thumbtack doesn't work for you, you can simply search for a DJ on Google or whatever search engine you use. Don't get me wrong, we've used both Thumbtack and Craigslist, successfully, to purchase things, but you have to understand that the people who get the job likely are the lowest bidders. If a DJ knows he/she is bidding low, just to get the job, how much effort will he/she really put into your wedding? Don't take the risk and just hire the professionals!
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, and it was crazy! We didn't want to hire our own staff, since we wanted them to enjoy our wedding. We still got calls and emails after our wedding date, surprisingly!
Lastly, you can always search wedding sites, such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, or Wedding.com, 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 really 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
If you're reading this, you're most likely planning your wedding, quinceanera, party or event, and most likely in the Austin or Central Texas area. As you already know, having a wedding or event is expensive! So, here's a few tips to save you some time and money!
Make a Playlist
Playlists are easy to make on iTunes, Windows Media Player, Spotify, or whichever player you use. Create a list of the songs you want to hear during your event and label it for whichever moment you'll play it, such as: Cocktail Hour, Prelude, Dinner, etc. Be sure to create the list for a little longer than your planned time, to allow for wiggle room. For example, if you plan for an hour cocktail hour, make this list for an hour and 15 minutes, just in case it takes a little longer than you anticipated, to take pictures. Do this for any time of the night, since most often, your evening will not go exactly as planned. Always allow a 15 minute window. Sometimes people may eat slower, speeches may last longer, more people may arrive than you planned for, which causes dinner to last longer, etc.
How to Use it
Making a playlist is the easy part. Now, you'll need a way for it to be heard. If you want to save money, find someone to bring a small PA setup, or rent one. We often refer our clients to Rock N Roll Rentals, located in Austin, TX. Here's a link to their wedding PA systems: http://rocknrollrentals.com/t-WeddingEventPackages.aspx
We've been a customer with Rock n Roll Rentals for over a decade. They have great products and the staff will show you how to hook up everything, if you ask!
Once you have a portable speaker or PA, you'll need to get the correct wires to hook up your laptop, or even phone, to your powered speaker.You can ask the Rock n Roll team for the correct wires, or you can easily order a 3.5 mm to RCA cable, 3.5 mm to 1/4" cable, or 3.5 mm to XLR cable. Here's a link to some of the wires we use, on Amazon:
3.5 mm to RCA
3.5 mm to XLR
The smaller, 3.5 mm headphone plug will connect to your phone or laptop, and the other end (RCA, 1/4 " or XLR) will connect to the speaker input. Once it's hooked up, simply power on the speaker, adjust the volume, and you're good to go! Keep in mind, prelude, cocktail hour, or dinner music doesn't need to be super loud, so you won't need to rent a huge, super loud speaker. Any 200 watt (or more) speaker should work, depending on the size of the area where you'll need music.
How You Save
When you use your own playlist for prelude, cocktail hour, or dinner (or all 3), you eliminate the need for a DJ/band to play the music for you! Ironically, I'm telling you how to spend less on hiring a DJ. :) We're very open and honest with our clients and we want to give you great advice that is useful, too. Even if it means we may make less at your event. If you use your own playlist for these moments, you'll only need to hire the DJ for the dance portion of your event. So if your event is 5 ours, and 2.5 hours is for ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, then you'll only need the DJ for 2.5 hours, versus 5 hours!
We hope you find this useful. Feel free to email us and we're always happy to help, even if you're not our customer! :)
- 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!