My rates are pretty straightforward and can be easily estimated without having to e-mail/fill-out a form for a price quote.
I've always found the vast majority of receptions/events last in the 3 to 4 hour range, so I price accordingly. For receptions/events exceeding 4 hours, I have a flat per-hour rate for additional time (which can be broken into half-hour increments). Customers enjoy a 10% Discount off the total cost for any event January 1st through March 31st, as well as select non-Saturday dates April through December.
|Date||3 Hours||4 Hours||Add'l Hours|
|January 1 – March 31, 2018 **||$585.00||$720.00||$112.50/hr|
|April 1 – December 31, 2018||$650.00||$800.00||$125.00/hr|
|January 1 – March 31, 2019**||$585.00||$720.00||$112.50/hr|
|April 1 – December 31, 2019||$650.00||$800.00||$125.00/hr|
Rates are current as of February 24, 2018 and are subject to change without notice.
** Reflects 10% Discount provided for "off-season" events and extended to select non-Saturday dates April through December.
Charges begin at the time guests are scheduled to arrive at the reception venue -- or immediately after the ceremony when guests transition to the cocktail/reception area, in instances where the ceremony and reception are held at the same venue -- and continue through cocktails, dinner, and dancing.
When my services are required for both the ceremony and reception, and both are held in the same room using my primary sound system, regular reception/event rates start at the beginning of the ceremony and continue through cocktails, dinner, and dancing.
Charges end when I shut-down the music at the conclusion of the event. I don't voluntarily take "breaks" (bands take breaks, DJ's don't… at least they shouldn't!). I'm happy to break from playing music during an event if requested (for example, when I play for the ceremony and an instrumentalist plays afterwards during the cocktail period) but please expect to pay me for that time, as I'm usually coordinating other activities "behind the scenes" to keep the event well-organized and proceeding on-schedule. Bottom line... once I'm "on-the-clock", I'm on-the-clock.
Reception/event rates above include one setup and tear-down of my primary sound system… you do NOT pay extra for my setup/tear-down time. However, additional charges apply if your needs require more than one setup and tear-down, or setup/tear-down of my secondary sound system (this most often occurs when I play for both the ceremony and reception and the ceremony is in a different room or separate location from the reception... see below).
Wedding Ceremony Charges
Additional charges for me to provide music and/or microphone support for your ceremony on my secondary sound system are as follows:
|Ceremony in same room as reception
(no additional equipment setup/tear-down
required as primary sound system is used)
|No additional charge -
reception/event rates begin at start of ceremony
|Ceremony at same site as reception but in a
different room or location on the premises
|Ceremony at a different site than the reception
(requires travel between the two sites)
|$125.00 plus travel charge
on a per quote basis
Above ceremony charges include setup/tear-down of my portable, 150-watt Peavey Escort secondary sound system, wireless "headset" microphone for your officiant, additional mic on-stand for any readers and/or singers (also serves as backup for the headset mic), 15 minutes of preludial music, processional music, any music required during the ceremony itself, recessional music, and closing announcement to dismiss guests (if requested). My attendance at any rehearsal prior to the event day is NOT included in the ceremony charge. If you'd like me to attend your rehearsal, I'm happy to do so assuming I have no schedule conflicts. Please expect to pay me for my time though. (I determine that amount on an individual basis. Let me know your requirements and we'll go from there.)
My eight (8) Chauvet EZpar 64 RGBA Uplights are available for your event at a cost of $160.00 ($20.00 per light). I provide the Uplighting Package at no charge as part of my 10% Discount Promotion for events taking place between January 1st and March 31st, and select "non-Saturday" dates April through December. The eight uplights are sufficient to cover a small room or a specific area in a larger venue.
Reception rates include travel to/from events in my "local" area, defined as Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, West Virginia. Nominal charges to cover travel time and vehicle expenses are incurred for round-trip travel to/from the following areas:
|Berkeley Springs, WV / Hancock, MD||$30.00|
|Southern Morgan Co., WV (includes Cacapon State Park)||$35.00|
|Washington, DC / Baltimore Region & Other Locations||Per Quote Basis|
Hotel accommodations must be provided for events beyond 60 miles (one way) of Martinsburg, WV that end at 10:00pm or later. Lodging should be on-site at the venue (if available) or as close to the event location as possible.
Other Rate Info
-- Although not directly "related" to rates, I ask that you include me (and my wife Stacie if she is assisting) in the meal count for your event. Stacie thinks it's "tacky" of me to make that request -- and it probably is -- but hey, I'm a guy, so I'm ruled by my stomach:-)
-- All rates include applicable taxes.
Booking/Reserving Your Date
The first step in securing me for your event is to determine my tentative availability by checking my Events Calendar. If your date appears available, please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (304)579-8745 with basic event details (date, location, tentative start/end times, approximate number of guests, etc.).
We'll definitely need to talk -- either in-person or via phone -- early in the process. I stress to couples to NEVER book a DJ/Master of Ceremonies without first actually talking with that person. Voice, personality, enthusiasm, and sense of planning/organization are all critical to the success of any wedding DJ/MC, and way too important to be left to chance on your Big Day!
Once we confirm that I'm available for your date and time, discuss details, and decide everything is a "go", I record your event information in my calendar. At that point, we proceed to the written confirmation stage…
For over 30 years, my clients and I have lived without an "eight page attorney-approved contract." For each event, I mail clients a one page Confirmation Letter confirming location and times and detailing all charges. The client keeps the original with my signature and then signs, dates and returns the enclosed copy to me as their confirmation of the details and costs. We then meet in-person (by phone if logistics prevents an in-person meeting) approximately two to three weeks prior to the event to review the sequence of events, music selection, announcements, room setup, etc.
Hope you're sitting down for this one… I generally do NOT ask for a deposit or pre-payment of any kind. My long-standing policy has been to do my job, do it right and THEN get paid for it.
Occasionally with a special situation, I will ask for a deposit or pre-payment, but unless otherwise specified, plan to pay me IN FULL at the CONCLUSION of the event. Payment must be made by check or cash (sorry, no credit cards).
While the way I handle contracts and deposits may seem out of the ordinary and can give prospective clients a moment of pause, please have faith and confidence in how I operate. My reputation — generated by years of referrals from satisfied clients and event professionals — is the cornerstone of my business. And a solid reputation in this business is built largely by showing-up on schedule, doing everything you say you'll do, and giving 100% effort to make the event a great success.
A Final Word About Price...
If you compare my rates vs. those of many other DJ/MC's found online or in the phone book, you'll often find my prices higher. It's an old cliche, but always remember that you get what you pay for. And the entertainment/coordination of your event is NOT the place to cut corners.
Studies in the wedding/event industry consistently show that long after your event is over, guests remember two things -- the entertainment and the food. Don't skimp on either.
Remember this very important point... A "cheap" DJ/MC is a lousy investment at ANY price, especially if he/she/they cause your event to be "memorable" for all the wrong reasons!