ADJA Responds to GMA’s Budget Wedding Segment

Here is a copy of a letter sent to Ms.Haines at Good Morning America.
Please repost & share as you seem best.

Dear Ms Haines,
I am writing to you today in the hopes that you may consider revisiting and revising a news segment that you did recently on GMA. By way of introduction, my name is Hugo Drax and I am the president of the American Disc Jockey Association. The ADJA represents over 5,000 professional DJs across the country. Our purpose is to provide education, tools, training etc. to our members to further their professional growth.

I have to say that I was disappointed with not only the sensationalism but also the lack of accuracy of your news segment and I am hoping to point out some facts that will assist you in understanding the wedding industry both for your viewers as well as for your own wedding.

I will limit this email to that of the entertainment at a bride’s wedding day since that is what we specialize in.

I am unsure where you received your $5,000 price as an industry/national average but your research isn’t even close to being accurate.  Looking at the March 2014 survey results from the Knot, one of the largest wedding resources in America, we can supply you with the actual figures.  The Knot surveyed over 31,000 brides nationally about their recent 2013 weddings.  A DJ’s typical price as a national average is $1038.  That is an extremely big difference from the $5,000 that you reported on GMA.  Similarly, the national average price of a wedding band was $3084. DJs make up 90% of the entertainment supplied at weddings today.

You discussed the idea of using your iPod.  That is a great idea, certainly a fabulous idea, if you want to be in total control of the music played.  What you failed to recognize was all of the other services provided to a bride by a DJ. Let’s start first with the equipment. What do you hook the iPod into so that the rest of the guests can hear what’s being played?  Without hiring a DJ, you now have the responsibility of renting a sound system for your wedding day. Does the average bride know what size of a sound system to rent? How will it get to the venue? How will it get back to the rental company? Who has the skill set to set it up and make sure it is sound checked accurately? Will there also be back up equipment rented in the case of any hardware failure? Who will be responsible for running it at the reception? A professional DJ always has back up equipment on site. How much will this all cost the bride?

Please keep in mind that all we have discussed thus far is the cost of the equipment rental. What about the music library? A professional DJ carries thousands of song titles to accommodate all of the various tastes a bride’s guests could have at a wedding. A typical iPod library would not have anywhere near the necessary amount of music to do even the most basic of wedding reception. Now you have to add in the cost of the music a bride would have to download, unless of course you are suggesting she illegally download it.

The DJ is not the music box, rather the DJ is required to artfully introduce all of the members of the bridal party, to carefully craft a grand entrance to be something meaningful, powerful and intensely personal.  To also work with a couple to craft their first dance, the cake cutting, the father-daughter dance,  as well as crafting many other traditional elements of the wedding reception into deep poignant memories.  Making each of these specific event activities or ceremonies at the reception into the something special that they really are.  When this happens, everybody enjoys the entirety of the reception, vs., they can’t wait till they can leave.  A truly professional DJ, such as those found in the American Disc Jockey Association, will allow your reception to be an event your friends and guests will never forget, instead of one they would like to.

 These are professionals that have taken the time to hone their craft, who take your wedding as seriously as their own.  That focus requires significant time and effort planning and rehearsing to see that your wedding is a fun and uniquely personal event.
This is what a professional wedding DJ does, they create memories. DJs create the moments.  A professional wedding DJ works closely with the photographer and videographer and the other event professionals to see that everything happens smoothly and seamlessly on behalf of the bride so that she can enjoy her wedding. Before a significant announcement is made, the photographer and videographer are already aware and are positioned appropriately to capture the very best images of this moment.

Considering all of the things that a DJ does in an effort to make a bride’s wedding day so memorable, it is our belief that a professional DJ should be able to command far more than the $1038 that is our current national average. Just like any industry we face our own challenges but when a national media  source like yours suggests even the idea of scrapping our services, you can understand why we feel the need to educate you.

It would be great if just once, the media would actually consult professionals in the wedding industry vs. resorting to sensational journalism for the sake of ratings.  Your other numbers utilized are similarly skewed to create sensationalist journalism vs. facts.  If you would ever care to discuss this my door is always open.  I can be reached at the American Disc Jockey Association , national offices at 888-723-5776 or at