DJ Contracts: 4 Big Mistakes To Avoid

The music can be one of the highlights of your wedding, or it can be a huge disaster, depending on your choice of DJ. We've got the four biggest mistakes people make with DJ contracts and how to avoid them so you aren't left hanging on your big day. The information provided here is for general information only and should not be used as legal advice.

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4 Big Mistakes People Make With DJ Contracts

  1. Not having a contract. The night of the event isn't the time to be arguing over the rate, so have a DJ contract that outlines the terms and locks in the price.
  2. Not having a backup plan. People can flake on you, so be prepared for the worst.
  3. Failure to go over the particulars. Discuss the playlist and expectations with the performer beforehand so there's no confusion.
  4. Paying in advance. Make sure the contract details how payment will be delivered and when, and if someone refuses to pay, find an attorney who can help you.

Average Wedding Cost By State

Rank by population State Typical Wedding Cost
1 California $32,770
2 Texas $25,327
3 Florida $21,842
4 New York $35,477
5 Pennsylvania $29,891
6 Illinois $26,700
7 Ohio $22,026
8 Georgia $22,589
9 North Carolina $20,950
10 Michigan $21,850

How Do I Stop My Wedding DJ From Sharing Unauthorized Photos?

Since smartphones allow everyone to take pictures at all times, popular DJs may try to use photo or video taken at your wedding to promote themselves. It can be a touchy subject, as photographers have lashed out at DJs who release unauthorized photos from their events. If you want your event to be private and avoid becoming part of a DJ's marketing material, make sure to include a provision in your DJ contract that expressly forbids it. And if you want a truly private event, consider drafting a confidentiality agreement.

The Highest-Paid DJs Of 2018

Rank DJ Name Estimated Earnings
1 Calvin Harris $48 million
2 The Chainsmokers $45.5 million
3 Tiesto $33 million
4 Steve Aoki $28 million
5 Marshmello $23 million
6 Zedd $22 million
7 Diplo $20 million
8 David Guetta $15 million
9 Kaskade $13.5 million
10 Martin Garrix $13 million

According to Billboard, these are the most-requested and most-played songs at weddings in America.

  1. Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
  2. Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
  3. Walk the Moon, "Shut Up and Dance"
  4. Justin Timberlake, "Can't Stop the Feeling!"
  5. Whitney Houston, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
  6. Earth, Wind & Fire, "September"
  7. Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris, "Yeah"
  8. Journey, "Don't Stop Believin'"
  9. Michael Jackson, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
  10. The Isley Brothers, “Shout – Part 1"

States With The Highest Marriage Rates

Rank State Marriages Per Thousand People
1 Nevada 28.4
2 Hawaii 15.6
3 Arkansas 9.9
4 Utah 9
5 Tennessee 8.6
6 Vermont 8.3
7 Florida 8.1
7 Idaho 8.1
9 Montana 7.8
10 Maine 7.6

Kim and Kanye's Wedding By The Numbers

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's lavish wedding cost anywhere from $2.8 million to $30 million based on various reports. Here's how they spent it:

Element Estimated Cost
Wedding venue $410,000
Rehearsal dinner at Parisian chateau $681,600
Fireworks display after rehearsal dinner $204,210
Balmain bachelorette party dress $16,000
Givenchy couture gown $500,000
Balmain heels $40,000
Valentino pre-wedding brunch gown $66,700
Cake $6,800
Flowers $136,000
Glam squad for guests $65,000
Bespoke Calacatta Vaticano marble table $478,000
Two private jets $148,000
Fleet of 45-50 cars $70,000
Florence hotel for guests $500,000
Florence hotel for family $1,800 per room per night
Andrea Bocelli $136,000 to $1.3 million
Catering $110,000
Lana Del Rey Free!
Rank Date Day of the Week
1 October 20 Saturday
2 August 18 Saturday
3 October 13 Saturday
4 September 29 Saturday
5 September 2 Sunday
6 September 8 Saturday
7 September 22 Saturday
8 October 6 Saturday
9 September 15 Saturday
10 October 27 Saturday

In Depth

Having a quality DJ is a must for any wedding or special event, but if the performer and venue aren't on the same page, it can result in heated altercations and possibly ruin the most important day of your life. Whether you're a DJ seeking work or looking to hire one for the first time, here are four big mistakes you'll want to watch out for.

Mistake #1: not having a contract. We know it seems like they're not doing much up there, but big-name headlining DJs can pull in a lot of money. Superstars like David Guetta, Skrillex, and Tiesto make six figures for a single performance, while Calvin Harris sometimes makes more than half a million dollars for one night. Even DJ Pauly D has been estimated to be worth $20 million.

You don't need someone that big for your wedding, but a lot can happen between now and your big day. If that kid you hired ends up being the next Samantha Ronson, her rate could skyrocket by the time the wedding happens. Having a contract will ensure that the price is set in stone and that they can't back out if more lucrative opportunities come up.

Having a contract will ensure that the price is set in stone and that they can't back out if more lucrative opportunities come up.

And there are a lot of other variables to consider. Will there be a sound system provided? Lights? If it's an outdoor wedding, who supplies the power source? These and many more things need to be discussed and put in writing so there's no confusion. For more information, be sure to read our full guide to DJ contracts. Check it out right beneath this video.

Mistake #2: not having a backup plan. A DJ can be shady just like any other salesman. They may wait until the last minute when you've got no other options, then pull a bait and switch, like the DJ who sent a replacement in his place, and it turned out the guy had no idea what to do, constantly asking the bride for help despite not even knowing her name.

Then there was the Canadian DJ service that closed its doors suddenly, leaving couples scrambling. Whether it's knowing the numbers for other companies or simply making an iPod playlist, you need to know what to do if your DJ bails on you.

Then there was the Canadian DJ service that closed its doors suddenly, leaving couples scrambling.

And same goes if you're acting as the DJ for someone's event. Rose McGowan was sued by a DJ after she canceled at the last minute, opting to have a band instead. You don't want your time to be wasted, so there needs to be a provision in the contract that you get paid even if they cancel on you.

There are obviously things that are out of your control like the weather, so make sure you have proper language in the deal that complies to the laws of your state. Check out our full guide to DJ contracts right on this page. You can find it beneath this video.

Mistake #3: failure to go over the particulars. Even if all they do is press buttons, some DJs consider themselves to be artists, and might not like your suggesting that they bust out "YMCA" and the chicken dance. And if you're expecting a full MC who can read prepared remarks and interact with guests, they need to know that too. You don't want to find out on the day that your DJ isn't going to listen to your requests.

You don't want to find out on the day that your DJ isn't going to listen to your requests.

And can your DJ partake in the wedding buffet? What about drinks? Nobody wants a sloppy drunk DJ, but if you didn't tell him not to join in the party, you can't be too surprised when it happens. We aren't lawyers, and this isn't legal advice, but if there's a disaster that can occur, it's best to plan ahead for it.

Mistake #4: paying in advance. Scams happen in the DJ business just like any other. If they've already got your money, they have a lot less incentive to show up. Couples have had to sue to recover the funds they lost after DJs took their money and bailed on them.

If you're a DJ, you might be worried that the person who hired you will later claim that you didn't do a good enough job, and will stiff you or shortchange you, counting on the fact that you need the money badly enough that you won't fight them over a fraction of it. But you do have legal options, especially if you have a solid agreement in place.

But you do have legal options, especially if you have a solid agreement in place.

Before you let out your rage at a lousy performer, find an attorney who can help you with the legal process. If you're a DJ looking to get paid for a job you did or a scorned newlywed seeking a refund, a good attorney can provide the guidance you need. Be sure to check out our full guide to DJ contracts for more information. You can find it right beneath this video.

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