planning the wedding budget

Getting it right now makes everything else easier 🙂

“No price is a good price if you are not satisfied with the results”

What to ask before “what are your rates”?

The following is general guidance on Maine DJ rates and pricing. There will be outliers, but if you’ve just gotten engaged, and you are trying to set your budget, read this page first, then go forward with confidence, knowing you’ve been armed with the information to make a great choice for your wedding entertainment! We’ll start with the basics…

 Is my Maine DJ available?

DJ’s in Maine and New England are in high demand so this should be your first question. You can check our availability calendar to the right.

Does my DJ have references/testimonials?
References and testimonials are the DJ’s resume. Think of your search for a DJ in Maine or anywhere else as if you were hiring an employee with a resume.

Disclaimer  ***Items not discussed/included in this discussion: Extras, Lighting, Monograms, Follow Spots, Dancing on a Cloud, Video Screens, Slideshows, Love Story Presentations, Unplugged Ceremonies and other options that can literally triple the price of your entertainment

What your Maine DJ service will need to know to give you an accurate quote There are many factors that go into pricing for a wedding reception, a school dance, a corporate function, etc.
Here are a few of the things we will need to know…

  • Date
  • Event type
  • Ceremony Time & Location (for wedding requests only, and yes, we need to know this whether our services are required for this or not)
  • Reception/Event Start Time & Location
      *Locations need to be as specific as possible as there may be special   considerations for your location. Some locations are simple, requiring just a single setup, perhaps with a speaker set outside for cocktails. Some locations are more complex: ceremony by the apple tree, cocktail hour on deck, dinner downstairs, dancing upstairs. We need to know these things, each different location where music is required will require a separate system. What you want done in that space will determine how complex that system will need to be.
  • Approximate duration – With the popularity of ceremonies on site and more rustic outdoor settings, 6 hours hours has become most common, 5 hours without ceremonies. In places where cocktail hour is adjacent to, or in the same room as dinner and dancing, 4 hours if you have under 100 guests, the ceremony and reception are in the same location, and the DJ will be needed for the ceremony.

But we’re just looking for ballpark pricing…

While we can’t give you a ballpark price across the spectrum, or even pretend to speak for all DJ’s in Maine, or even New England. Rates for DJ services can vary from $500-$2500 or more dependent upon needs. Remember, you really do get what you pay for.

By asking the ballpark pricing question, you really are asking whether or not we fit in your budget. As a guideline, your entertainment budget for a formal event should be between 3-10 percent of the total cost of the event. My wedding 3 years ago At The Portland Company Complex here in Portland Maine (100 guests) cost about $15,000, our DJ was $1,200 – 5 hours, not including ceremony, everything in one space.

That being said…

Our rates begin at $995.00 for services to include up to 4 hours of performance time in the greater Portland area. The average wedding in Maine is 6 hours and includes ceremony, cocktail hour. Very generally, our rates for weddings end up around $200 – $250 per hour when wrapped into a personalize package. This will vary based on travel,  and equipment requirements for the venue and for the services you require.

$$$ Saver: Lower rates are almost always available, even during peak season (May through October) on Sunday through Friday weddings and events. This is simple supply and demand. Saturdays are the hottest days of the week for all events.

Pricing and Rates for informal events with minimal or no planning will very generally be $150/hr on peak season Saturdays,  $125 Sunday through Friday and non-peak Saturdays

$$$ Saver: November through April are slower than May through October. These are commonly referred to as off-peak dates. If you are really cost conscious, these months can also offer you an opportunity for savings.

References Are Most Important…..

When you get the list of references look for the most recent ones. You will want to ask those references these questions

  • Ask them details about their event – date, location, husband/wife’s name etc.

  • Why did you hire this DJ?

  • Did the DJ do everything you asked/ expected?

  • Did the DJ do anything you didn’t want or expect?

  • How were your music choices/ requests handled?

  • How was the sound?

  • Were the announcements clear?

  • Was the DJ’s area neat? Did it blend in with the setting?

  • If you could do it over, is there anything you would change?

  • What was one thing your DJ did that went above and beyond your expectations?

My final bit of advice on rates and pricing: Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish…

You are spending thousands of dollars on this event. At 3% – 10% of your total event budget, your Maine DJ is one of the smallest portions of your total wedding budget. If you are choosing between 2 DJ’s and the price difference between the DJ you love, and the one who fits your budget is $200, or even $300, and you have 100 guests, that’s $2-3 per guest. That’s right, your peace of mind is $2-3 per guest, go with the one you feel most comfortable with, no other budget overage will give you as big a return on your investment as the DJ who has just what you are looking for in terms of personality, presentation, and of course, music selection.

Thank you for visiting our Maine DJ Pricing page! If you need help finding other wedding or event professionals, check out our Resources Page. Our favorite Photographers can be found here!

Please contact me, Mike Mahoney at M&M Entertainment at any time at 207.450.4960, or – I look forward to hearing from you!