As you search for the best DJ for your Charleston wedding that will go the distance in being the best fit for you as a couple, it's going to be blatantly obvious that you are going to run into a rather wide range in prices. Now I bet I know what you are saying. "Here comes Mike again with another long-winded post about Charleston Wedding DJ prices." Well, my answer to you would be "sort of". I'm always doing wedding DJ market research (95% of which is outside the Charleston area), and when I see something that can spin the importance of finding the best wedding DJ another way, I'm happy to share that information with my prospective clients. Engagement season has passed here in Charleston, but I still get pinged on throughout the year for bookings and oftentimes I get the question on why my prices are higher than other DJ companies here in Charleston. The answer to that question is not simple, but to get us started, I will tell you that I like to think I give my clients "extra service and attention". That extra service and attention begins with the fact I am an "owner-operated" DJ service, which means you'll work with me from the time you submit a contact form on my website through the contract process, as well as music planning until the last song is played at your wedding reception.
For me, it's always been my aim to give my brides and grooms more of an "experience", rather than be like a lot of other DJs who just see your wedding as a "gig" and just set up and play music. Your wedding day down here in Charleston is supposed to be the best day of your life, but you need to know that the quality wedding DJs (those who provide that extra level of service) are few and far between. The true professional wedding DJs here in Charleston will stop at nothing to do what it takes to find you and give you the best experience possible. In an earlier post, I spoke about the importance of making sure you find the best wedding DJ for you as a couple, and then pull out your checkbook or credit card. When you let "price" become an afterthought, your chances of hiring the wrong DJ drastically decrease.
Digital Marketing & SEO
If you are a millenial couple, you'll probably laugh at what I am going to tell you next. Finding the best Charleston Wedding vendors is no longer like it was 20 years ago when you used this big fat and bulky book called the Yellow Pages. I can see your "deer in the headlights" look right now as you ask, "What are the Yellow Pages?" :) Now, in 2019 everything is digital and pretty much revolves around one word: "Google". I remember doing my first website over 8 years ago and back then it was easy, you could have something simple and be up and running in a short amount of time. To do it right today you need to have a website professionally designed and updated by a true web design professional. Nearly 3 years ago, I put down my web designer hat and hired one of the top designers in Charleston and have not looked back. Not only is my site safe and secure and up to date with all the latest patches, but my designer is also an SEO consultant who I keep on retainer on a monthly basis to watch Google's ever-changing algorithm to make sure my website stays near the top of the search results. While this is a "cost of doing business", it's a necessary cost today for online businesses so that we can find my clients. Digital marketing and SEO is not something the amateur wedding DJs are likely to invest in. This investment in digital marketing and SEO is one of my best business investments to date. Simply put, I want to find YOU easily. I want you to find me before my competition does. I want to make sure I am one of the Charleston Wedding DJs you meet with before your make a buying decision. Since you are reading this, my investment is working nicely.
Music Subscription Services
Music is constantly evolving and each and every professional wedding DJ must have his or her ear to the radio to know what it's hot and what's not. The only way to do this is to pay for a monthly subscription to a music service. ITunes does not constitute a "professional music subscription service", as it designed for personal use. For many years, I used a service called Primecuts, which is a subsidiary of TM Studios (owned by Westwood One). When you work with a music subscription service that is for professional wedding DJs, you are able to get the latest and greatest breaking and trending new music from multiple genres, all in an uncompressed WAV format which are the best sounding digital files. I also am able to get the latest music in a clean format without the worry of explicit lyrics. Obtaining licensed and legal music to play at your Charleston wedding is important and separate the quality wedding DJs from the amateurs. Buliding and maintaining a music database and catalog takes time and resources, but it's important that it is part of the DJ business process so that new music can included in the soundtrack to your wedding day should you want to hear it. Earlier this year, after over 8 years, my music supplier, Primecuts decided to end it's music subscription service, so I moved over to a new service called Promo Only.
Professional Grade Equipment
The upfront expenses of purchasing a professional wedding DJ rig can run upwards of $20,000 or more. Professional speakers, subwoofers, mixers, and CDJ players are all a part of my rig. Then, I've made the additional investment into my stereo - sound wedding ceremony system. Regardless if the ceremony is on the same site, additional gear is required when a couple hires me to do their ceremony music. The amateur wedding DJ on the other hand probably has spared expense on their gear and will come to your wedding with a cheap controller, a few cheap plastic speakers, an unstable laptop and no wireless microphones. Being an audiophile from Day 1, I was determined to outdo my competition when it comes to the sound. I will always bring a subwoofer to every single wedding I perform at for the completeness of the sound that it provides. The benefit of owning professional grade equipment is having gear you can trust and gear that is very reliable. Due to the fact that no piece of electronic equipment is perfect and can last forever, backup equipment is also carried to your event to ensure a seamless performance should there be any equipment malfunction. So, when you put it all together, the prices you pay to hire me to be the DJ at your Charleston wedding will be higher to help pay for these costs. I will make sure that my sound is top of the line at my weddings and events.
Professional Grade Website / Blog
This goes along with my first point up above when I spoke of Digital Marketing & SEO. Back in the early part of 2016, I saw my lead traffic dwindle and did not know why. Google's constantly changing algorithm and all the hundreds of factors that they use to judge a website and give a site the highest rank is not for the faint of heart. Let's face it. I'm a DJ and need to DJ weddings and meet clients, not tinker with a website. If you are a plumber, you need to be out fixing plumbing issues, not working on a website. Since I wanted to attract clients looking for a Charleston Wedding DJ, I employed a designer to build me my website. It's probably been the best business decision I've made thus far (in addition to keeping my company an owner-operated). Building an attractive website which generates leads and traffic is an expense, but if you are reading this blog, it's working. There are hundreds of DJs and other vendors vying for your business, but in order to be on Page 1 and have me find you and meet you, it takes a professionally designed website. In addition to the website, I've managed to build and maintain one of the most highly ranked wedding DJ blogs on the internet. It's been my goal to keep that blog stocked full with music and DJ tips, real weddings, and anything else you might need to help you find the best wedding DJ for your big day. It takes a lot of time and resources for you to find me, but I am very passionate about my work as a DJ and I want to find you and work with you, and you are worth the extra investment.
Completely Customized Music Experience
What if I provided a level of service that exceeded my competition by at least 15-20%? How would that extra 15-20% look? I've spoken with other DJs in the past in passing and the topic of a cocktail hour comes up or what they do for a dinner music playlist. I ask what they do and some of them give a very generic answer like some beautiful jazz instrumental combination or some other very bland sounding list of music. First and foremost, when I begin working with my couples to begin designing the soundtrack for their big day, I keep it simple and let them know it's their day, so the music should be about them. I want a couple to come up to me after their wedding and thank me for playing "their music". Maybe something like "Hey Mike, I really appreciated that 90s Alternative cocktail hour you put together for us or "I really appreciated you playing our favorite artists Bon Iver and Lord Huron during dinner." During your wedding day, I want every song you hear to make you smile. I want every song to create a lasting memory for you and your guests. Having a bride and groom completely customize their wedding playlists makes for more work behind the scenes for me. For a recent wedding, I spent close to 8 hours (before their wedding) gathering and editing a couple's very customized playlist for their cocktail hour and dinner. This extra time I give my clients is very worth it because it ensures that they will have that customized music experience that they dreamed about for their wedding day. It's this extra effort that I give my clients that is another reason why I may be priced higher than other Charleston Wedding DJs. Don't be swayed by the amount of hours of coverage you are paying for with your wedding coverage because the best wedding DJs are putting in far more hours long before your wedding day so that they can design your wedding playlists and make sure they have all the music you desire.
The points that I brought up in this post make up a lot of the reasoning why my prices are higher than other DJs. The justification of my pricing is derived from the points mentioned in this post, combined with the reputation I've developed and the reviews I've been given over the years. But at the end of the day, you need to be comfortable with your DJ. You need to be more comfortable with how your DJ's personality meshes with you than how much your DJ costs. If you were to talk to most brides and grooms after their wedding, they would say that the music and entertainment was the most important. As a matter of fact, I did a post months ago outlining some polls done by some of the leading wedding websites stating that 72% of brides were not happy with their DJ. Don't be one of these brides. You are hopefully only going to be walking down the aisle one time and have that one incredible night of dancing at your reception. Do it the right the first time and hire a quality wedding DJ. Thank you for making to the end of this blog post. As I mentioned up above, I put in a lot of effort with this blog by providing compelling content about my passions as a wedding DJ. The fact that you made it all the way to the end of this post shows your interest and I appreciate that greatly. If you are planning a wedding in Charleston and are in the opening stages of selecting your wedding DJ, I'd love to speak with you. Click HERE to tell me a little bit about your big day, and let's set up a time to discuss how I can help you make the soundtrack for your wedding day the best ever.