All of your questions answered about booking DJ's, regardless of the service. Discover when is a good time to do it, best practices and what to look out for.
When should I book my DJ?
Booking a DJ for your wedding should occur only when you are absolutely certain what DJ or DJ service you want. Never be pressured into booking a companies "last opening" or "last chance for the discount" under any circumstance unless in an extreme emergency. Don't be afraid to book in advance as soon as you know what DJ service you want to choose.
Typically, most of the larger DJ companies, who have multiple DJs (5 or more) will almost always have openings about 6-8 months out for most of their prime dates. Primes dates are considered Saturday nights in May, June, September & October. Smaller DJ services with 2-4 DJs and independent DJs may book sooner depending on their standing in the business, so there's more likely a chance that they may fill their dates sooner.
There are some occasions where larger services may be booked solid a full year in advance. This can happen on very big wedding dates, such as the first Saturday in October for example, but even then, it's pretty rare. Some of the local independent DJs, that have an excellent standing in the business, can book as far as 18 months out.
What is the average DJ deposit amount and balance payment requirement?
This really varies from being as little as $75 to as much as 50% of the contract total. Typically, the larger company's will have lower deposit requirements (from $100-$200) while the smaller and independent DJs may have higher. It is also common that the Djs deposit amount is non-refundable however, there are circumstances where many services will refund the deposit. These situations are usually for military deployment or very unfortunate circumstances such as death. As far as the balance payment, again this really varies. Some services want final payment a month, 2 weeks or week in advance of the date and others will accept it the night of the event.
Should I consider paying the balance far in advance or making DJ payments?
This is OK as long as you fully understand the companies policy on refunding payments above and beyond the deposit amount. What happens in the case of the unforeseen? Let's say you paid an extra $200 in advance but one month before your wedding a tornado blows your reception facility to shreds. Now you possibly have to change the date but your DJ is not available for your new date, do you get your $200 back? If the DJ is available, will they transfer your deposit to the new date? There are all kinds of scenarios but asking about this would be wise on your part especially if you plan to pay more than the deposit amount in advance.
You should make sure the company is in good standing and reliable to their word before booking. We always advise checking the BBB to make sure as they are excellent with reporting on fraudulent services and shady payment policies.
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