How much should I budget for entertainment?

If you have never hired a disc jockey before, you will most likely find that prices for a DJ vary greatly.  In 1999, Modern Bride did a national survey of brides AFTER the wedding.  They found that the average budget for a wedding in the United States was approximately $19,500.  The Modern Bride's survey went on to ask two very important questions, that compared the most important factor that contributed to the success of the reception with the costs associated in the budget for reception as a whole (see illustration).

Most bridal consultants and publications that focus on budgeting suggest that you allocate 10-15% of your total wedding budget for the entertainment.  This means that if you are spending $10,000 on your wedding, you should allow $500-$2000 for the reception entertainment.  If you are spending $20,000, $2,000-$3000 is suggested for the reception entertainment.  In the survey listed below, most brides allocated closer to 4% for entertainment, but freely admitted that the most important factor that contributed to the success of the reception was the entertainment.

So what conclusion should you draw from this information?  If you look at the results of the survey, the amount of money allocated in the budget for the entertainment was a very small amount compared to the rest of the reception expenditures. When determining how much to budget for the reception entertainment, we think it is important to evaluate your priorities, and answer one important question: "Is it worth it to attempt to save $100, $200, or even $500 on the cost of entertainment, when clearly, this is the most important factor that contributes to the success of the reception"? Only you can answer this question.

When you begin to call entertainers to inquire about their services, it is important to note that, generally speaking, the more experienced Emcees will be a little more expensive.  In our region of the country, the cost for entertainment  varies by a significant margin.  It can become confusing for the consumer to determine which entertainment company can best suit their needs.   It is up to you to  evaluate your priorities, research the options you have available and select the entertainment company that will make  your reception a success.



Interesting wedding statistics: AFTER THE VOWS

72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.

Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.

During wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer - reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities. Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!

When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.

65% of all couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding, said, if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a disc jockey.

*These statistics were published in St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine in 2003. Sources include: Simmons, 2001; USA Today, 2002; National Bridal Service, 2001; The Knot, 2002; Brides Magazine, 2001.




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