Deposits are usually a amount of money put towards the total cost of goods or services. Deposits can be refundable in some cases. A typical deposit is 20% to 50% of the total cost. DJs and other vendors insist of a deposit (in most cases non-refundable) to save the date or guarantee the date for you. The money is usually used for ordering and preparation of the event. Your deposit ensures the vendor that they can count on you for that date, and turn down other potential clients for that date.
Retainers and booking fees work the same as deposits, except these fees are not refundable. We ask for a booking fee to guarantee your date. We get calls quite often from brides who are very upset saying “my DJ just cancelled on me”. This just breaks our heart! That should NEVER happen to anyone! That’s why we offer contracts with a small financial retainer to GUARANTEE your date!)