The entertainment industry's clientele are filled with price shoppers, budget keepers and money savers. Yes this statement is sort of an opinion and sort of a fact. I don't mean to make a "straight to the point assumption," but day in and day out we know and work with many people looking for that entertainment bargain. Especially in the mobile DJ world.
We've become very inflated with people claiming to be experts in the business because they took a 6 month course on wedding planning or purchased some equipment on the internet. We've gone from 15-20 event companies in the area to 300-500 so-called experts. Let's say you're looking for a DJ for your wedding. You can call DJ Erik G (made up name for this article) and he will Deejay your wedding for you. But he's only been doing it for about 2 years, does he know the ins and outs of music for your guests and how to smoothly keep the pace and your dance floor full? Crystal Entertainment will charge you $850 for a 4 hour reception and DJ Erik G said he will do it for $200. The DJ at Crystal entertainment has 15 years experience and performs at weddings full time. You decide to go with DJ Erik G and are saving a lot of money!
The day of your event he shows up on time and ready to start but when it comes time to introduce the bridal party he messes up some names of your bridesmaids and groomsman, his microphone cuts out a couple times and the music is really loud. Well, you consider yourself pretty easy going and just keep going. The first dance is fine but wait........He forgot the Bride and father dance. That might put a damper on the reception because you had a specific song request for that. DJ Erik G doesn't have a wedding timeline to fill out, you just told him what you wanted and emailed him the list prior to the day of the reception and hoped he got it all. You'll just have to pick a different song. Later on during dinner the music is not exactly what you would like for your guests and some of it you've never even heard of. Moving on to the dancing he does a fairly good job on mixing the music but you gave him a list of about 10-15 of your favorite songs and he played maybe 3 or 4. Well, you really wanted to hear several more of these. In the very middle of the toast to the bride and groom the microphone cuts out. The best man is talking and then you can't hear him anymore. Pretty much everybody in the room noticed that one.
Overall you'll say DJ Erik G is a 5.5 out of 10. You remember dancing the night away but you most likely won't forget the best mans interrupted speech and the fact that the father and bride song was not played. You might forget about those things 5-10 years later but at this point it's not exactly what you wanted. I'm not saying that a wedding DJ needs to be $1200 but definitely at least middle of the road or above $500. The mobile DJs that charge a little higher like to put more investment into their equipment so it sounds good and works good. We also have a full library of music that we invest in as well. Many side-liner DJs use youtube as a music source and aren't familiar with the overall flow of an event.
To wrap this up for now, keep in mind that cheap is something you will remember and I can tell you it's probably not for the best. You want someone with experience and knowledge who is familiar with the songs that work for a reception, the timing and smoothness of music and announcements. This goes for an entertainment professional. Wedding planners who have a reputation of not showing up on time, not answering calls and calling back, or any other vendor is just terribly organized can pose a question about how things will end up. Choose wisely and ask questions.