Ultimate Guide To DJ Pricing in Hampton Roads

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Congratulations!  You are engaged!

It is time to take the first steps in making plans for your big day.  There are so many details that go into planning a wedding.  While it may feel overwhelming, the intention of this guide is to shed some light on the cost of a DJ in Virginia Beach and the surrounding cities.  It’s my hope that you  feel more confident when choosing the direction you will take for your wedding entertainment.

husband and wife walking holding hands

Why  should you take advice from me? 

Before we dive in, let me introduce myself. My name is Nikki and my husband & I own 196Events. We have helped amazing couples all across the 757 and surrounding cities celebrate their big day. We absolutely love our couples and we are passionate about providing exceptional entertainment for one of the most momentous occasions of their lives.

I’m not here to “sell” you on our business but I do believe your marriage should have a perfect beginning whether you go with us or another company. With that said, as a wedding professional I feel it is my responsibility to serve couples by helping you make the difficult decisions that will ultimately impact the success of your wedding.

bride dancing in circle of wedding guests


There is a common misconception that every DJ is the same. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but we will get into that shortly. There are wedding DJ’s in every price range. Traditionally, wedding DJ’s in the Virginia Beach area fall into one of three categories.

  1. Wedding Specialist DJs — $1000 and up
  2. Average DJs — $700—$999
  3. Bargain DJs — Under $700

Wedding Specialist DJ – $1000 and up

Bride and Groom on the dance floor

First, let me admit that I am naturally biased since 196 Events falls into this category. 😊 The primary reason wedding specialist DJs cost more is simple: EXPERIENCE. These entertainers have seen it all and know how to customize a wedding experience that is perfect for you and your guests.

With countless weddings under our belt, we can fit any mood from mellow and romantic to eclectic and energetic. We are steps above the rest when it comes to professionalism, performance, and personalization. From start to finish, wedding specialist DJs offer only the best. When you hire a DJ from this category you can expect the best equipment, seasoned voiceover and mixing skills, and extensive music knowledge. They will have an impeccable setup, clean and elegant with NO WIRES SHOWING!!! (sorry, it’s a pet peeve of mine).

Wedding specialist DJs will be at least a two person team. The MC will be able to move around the room, work the crowd and interact with your guests. There will be multiple planning meetings between you and your DJ to go over every detail and coordinate the flow of your reception. You can expect the DJ to help you create and manage your timeline. They will also coordinate with the other vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page.

A premium experience comes with a premium price, and your loved ones will thank you for it. These DJs maintain musical expertise and remain current on wedding trends through attending industry events. A superior DJ can create unique mixes that will enhance your event and keep the energy right where you want it until the very last song.

Wedding specialist DJs likely provide additional services including online planning tools, electronic contracts, multiple payment options, photo booths and lighting. They should also have a business liability insurance policy in the unfortunate circumstance that an accident occurs.

Average DJs – $700—$999

DJ Turntables |cost of a DJ in Virginia Beach

At this level you should receive increased experience and reliability. DJs that fit into this category should be able to offer more in the way of communication, performance, and versatility. However, these DJs are still often in the apprenticeship phase of their career.

The “average” DJ, is likely still working on their craft and probably gaining practice at a range of non-wedding parties. From bar mitzvahs and corporate events to reunions and homecoming, these DJs may take their job seriously, but they lack the seasoned experience of a wedding specialist DJ. Choosing a DJ from this category will likely offer a slightly elevated experience when compared to the Bargain DJ, but you and your guests aren’t likely to enjoy above-average entertainment.

If your wedding requires only punctuality and background noise, the average DJ might be an okay choice for you. For a more memorable experience your wedding will be better served by a wedding specialist DJ.

Bargain DJs – Under $700

196 Events | Virginia Beach Wedding DJ | Affordable DJ | cost of dj Virginia Beach

For most bargain DJs is that this is likely not their passion, profession, or day job. Typically, a bargain DJ is either new to the industry or does this on the side as a hobby. This means you’ll likely have to sacrifice quality communication. Usually these entertainers will have less availability for phone calls and meetings.

You will be taking a few risks when hiring within this category, including potentially awkward moments on the dance floor due to stage fright, lack of mic experience, or unfamiliarity with formal environments; keep this in mind if you’re considering hiring your favorite club DJ. Ask yourself if that is the type of atmosphere you want to create for the guests at your wedding.

If you need ANYTHING other than someone to play music at your reception bargain Djs may not be your best option. Most are not equipped to provide multiple setups or additional services such as lighting, photography or a photo booth. Furthermore, if you need cocktail music, ceremony music or a microphone for your officiant you may want to consider hiring a more experienced DJ.

A budget package will likely offer a cliché experience, lacking in personality or customization. These DJs may go as far as creating a copy paste playlist, only tweaking it for each couple’s first dance.

If a professional and personalized entertainment experience is the least of your wedding worries, this category of DJ could work for you.

Why test fate, hoping your DJ will show up when needed and provide a quality experience for your special day? Instead, put your money into a sure thing and enjoy priceless memories.  If you receive a quote from a DJ offering all the bells and whistles for less than $700…BEWARE.  Be sure to verify they can really deliver on what they offer. Determine whether or not they are subcontracting the work. Also, speak to past clients and even vendors they have worked with to confirm.


I hope this document gives you clarity on cost of a DJ in Virginia Beach and surrounding area. 196 Events may not offer the lowest price, but we do provide the greatest value! So if you are looking for the perfect wedding DJ to craft an unforgettable wedding entertainment experience, we’ve got you covered.

If I have left anything unanswered, or you are interested in scheduling an appointment, call/text me at (757) 287-4985 or email me.

red phone | cost of dj Virginia Beach





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