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What does a Chicago dj cost for a wedding?

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Every day our company gets inquiries about how much we charge for the services that we provide. Weddings happen to be the majority of the events that we do so we thought we would discuss the average cost for a Chicago wedding disc jockey.

According to The Knot, the national average of the 14,000 surveyed couples in 2018 was $1292.00. The survey doesn’t breakdown what was included in that price, it just shares what they spent.

According to Wedding Wire, the national average is just about $1,000.00. Their results are based on what the djs listed on Wedding Wire’s website said what their most popular package cost. It also didn’t clarify what is included in that price.

Pricing on djs is similar to the pricing of hot dogs. A Vienna Beef hot dog at Wrigley Field costs $5.75 and all you get is the packets of mustard or ketchup. They sell 17,000 per game. The Federal League ball yard later known as Wrigley Field was the first ball park in baseball to sell food in the park in 1912. They needed to sell food to help the profitability of the park when a team wasn’t drawing in enough fans. You pay $5.75 as a part of the experience of being at Wrigley. Costco sells their own privately made hot dogs with a soda for $1.50 and have not raised the prices since 1985. You also only get ketchup and mustard packets and you can add onions with their little onion grinder in the concession area. Their motivation is to draw in buyers that will buy their menu items that bring them a higher profit like chicken bakes and chili. They sell 100 million hot dogs per year. Portillo’s sells an all-beef hot dog for $3.66 and you can get it with everything and anything you want. Everything includes mustard, relish, chopped onions, sliced ripe tomatoes, kosher pickle, and sport peppers on a perfectly steamed poppy seed bun. Portillo’s sells millions of hot dogs each year. There is also no question that Portillo’s has the best actual hot dog experience of the three. The reason being is because it isn’t a offshoot of their business or a part time business. It is what they do.

“Why are you talking about hot dogs? I thought this article was about the cost of a wedding dj.” I am glad that you asked that.

These three businesses have very different goals for the sales of their hot dogs and most importantly the experience the consumer has. Because of that reason, they charge very different prices for what most people would think is a very similar item.

More than likely you have never hired a dj before and when you attend a wedding you usually either have a good time or you don’t. The dj you hire for your wedding plays a huge roll in your guest’s enjoyment of the reception as well as your own.

When you are hiring a dj, you really aren’t paying for their equipment, their music, or even their experience. They are bringing all of those things, but what you really are paying for is “Your Experience.” The experience that you want to have on your wedding day is the most important part of picking your dj. Having that amazing experience is going to be based on the dj’s talent and experience, however the price of the dj is typically based on the experience that they are dedicated to delivering for you as the client.

When you are looking at wedding vendors, full time wedding vendors will typically give you a much better product and/or service than a part time wedding vendor. There are of course exceptions. The reason behind this is simple, it’s their dedication to what they do. A part time commitment usually equals a part time product and/or service. A full time commitment from a wedding vendor means that this is how they make their living, pay their bills, and feed their families. Your experience from a full time wedding vendor will almost always be better than that of a part time vendor because your experience with them is far more important financially.


Along with the experience that they give you the day of your wedding, you are also investing in the experience leading up to your wedding day. There is no question that weddings are stressful. Is the dj that you are considering available to you during regular business hours to answer your phone call, respond to your email, or to meet with you in person based around your schedule as opposed to their schedule? The peace of mind that you receive from your dj leading up to your wedding day is well worth a little bit larger investment.

A part time dj in the Chicagoland area typically runs anywhere from $500 – $1,000 depending on the number of hours that you need them for, and the extras that you may want or need on your wedding day such as lights, a separate ceremony system, etc.

A full time dj in the Chicagoland area typically runs anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000 depending on the type of service that they offer, the number of hours that you need them for, and the extras that you may want or need on your wedding day such as lights, a separate ceremony system, etc.

The biggest difference they we have found between full time djs and part time djs is the level of service that they can give to you, the amount of education and training they have received, and the fact that full time djs tend to run an actual company with regular business hours, land line phones, staffing, insurance, an actual business license, back up staffing, etc.

There is no question that weddings are expensive but you definitely get what you pay for. Make sure that when you meet with your dj, that they actually walk you through every step of what they are going to do at your wedding, why they do it that way, and most importantly why it will make your wedding day amazing.