It's all in the planning and the details. Your wedding isn't a club night; it is a personalized reflection of you and your fiance- and that takes time. I can't speak for all DJs, but I know for a fact that I can spend 20-60 hours on a wedding before I even show up that day. Other types of parties require much less detail-oriented planning. Sure, a wedding can be a club night if you want it to be, but if that's all you really want, then just head out to Vegas and tell your friends to meet you at the Borgata!
But if you want someone to take the time to get to know you and your fiance, to understand your wants, needs, and expectations, then yes, it will cost more. There are plenty of people out there who consider DJing their side job or something they do for fun, and because of that, they offer to perform for little to nothing. But for those of us who make a living off of DJing, we care so much more about the final outcome of the wedding day and we want your wedding to be everything you've dreamed of and more! So sure, paying only $400 for a DJ is great, but think about how many events that person needs to perform in order to even break the poverty line. For example, with 52 weeks in a year, and with most weddings on a Saturday, we have technically 52 Saturdays to perform: 52x400= $20,800. Then consider the what the likelihood is that a DJ books all 52 Saturdays- or any 52 events. It's not very high. If that DJ books 100 events, he or she might make $40,000, but how does that person manage to meet with clients, get to know them, bring his or her kids to school, pick them up, work out, make doctor appointments, handle day-to-day errands, and perform every weekend away from home to (barely) put food on the table?
When you want to celebrate a special occasion you don't go to McDonald's; you take that special someone to an upscale restaurant like Morton's Steakhouse. You can get beef at both places, but is it the same? Absolutely not. I'm not saying you have to buy the most expensive steak or the oldest bottle of wine, but you probably want the atmosphere to be a little nicer than what you get at the golden arches. Do you want McDonald's on the most important night of your life, or to do you want Morton's? Would you buy a formal dress at Walmart or Nordstrom? Do you want K-mart jewelry or that special blue box from Tiffany's? When it comes to one of the most important days of your life, make sure your DJ is going the extra mile for you. Make sure you're getting the best experience money can pay for.