When Hiring Professional Wedding Vendors, Keep your Budget in Check and Avoid insulting the small business.
I recently got a new neighbor on my street who owns a small business in the event industry. He and I talk from time to time, and sometimes we vent. The most recent venting was a result of a conversation about clients who call upon us to provide our services for their event and ask us for deep discounts. Now, my neighbor rents a specific item to weddings and events, while we provide a personal, human Service by DJing and MCing Weddings and Events…two different services entirely, but we have a lot in common. Most importantly, we are both small businesses, trying to make ends meet, turn a profit, grow our business, create jobs, provide for our family, and maintain balance in a troubled economy. His overhead involves owning and maintaining very expensive items which are necessary to many events and paying labor to deliver and set up and run those items, While our business has overhead for owning and maintaining sound and lighting equipment and also for paying top dollar to our talented roster of DJ/MC’s who provide excellent service and extraordinary experiences for clients and their guests.
So why am I writing this article? Recently I’ve been asked to lower our prices by many prospective clients shopping our service, and many of them came to us because they’ve heard or read great things about us, they want the same amazing experience for their wedding or event as the past client who told them about us. When we aren’t able meet some of the deep discounts they ask for, they go hire a low tier DJ, or they tell us they found a friend who’ll DJ for them at a low cost. I often wonder why they didn’t ask their friend in the first place rather than take hours of their time and ours with phone/email/consultation meetings. It’s likely they weren’t 100% confident in their friend, but they got sticker shock and decided that it was better to save several hundred dollars than to be assured their event would be beyond anyone’s expectations, and completely stress free.
We’ve tested our rates against other services we believe are on par with our talent and customer service experience, and we believe we’re priced at or below market levels. So why do many clients ask us to lower our prices? We believe it’s because they have their priorities confused.
It’s hard for me to stomach lowering my price as much as $300-500.00 while watching a client spend $40-50,000.00 on a Wedding, throwing caution to the wind and buying every little trinket and extra service they can think of, and not being willing to spend a fair amount on one of the Most Important aspects of the party, the Entertainment. I can’t tell clients enough about the importance of hiring a Professional Wedding DJ/MC, one who will keep the party moving along at a nice pace, who can help enhance the mood and the fun of the event when needed, who can read a crowd with his eyes and ears closed, who can present himself professionally and personably in such a way that the Bride and Groom and ALL of their guests feel 100% comfortable and confident in the DJ from start to finish. The pro uses Professional Gear, provides backups of backups, and helps his clients plan all of the special music requests and timeline details, with or without a wedding planner, and this Pro will execute perfectly every time. This is the DJ/MC you need, to assure that your event is flawless and smashing. Can a pro make mistakes? Of course, no one is perfect. But by the end of the event, you’ll never remember the mistakes, because the pro will recover and rock your party, where a less experienced DJ/MC may freeze or fail to recover from even the slightest mistake, like a minor equipment failure or mispronouncing someone’s name. We’ve yet to have a wedding that didn’t end well, all of our DJs make certain that the success of your event (and this includes a packed dance floor) is their number one priority at all times.
Instead of asking a small business like ours to cut our fees significantly, perhaps clients should approach the large ticket items, such as food or rentals or venue/facility and ask them to find $300.00 to help them afford a top level DJ/MC. My neighbor and I feel the loss of $300.00 far more than a multi-million dollar venue or a huge catering company. I appreciate all of my fellow Event Industry Vendors and Colleagues, and I know none of them want to cut their fees…but I also know that our fees are more than reasonable for the extraordinary service we provide.
Your guests would be thrilled to celebrate with you anywhere, they would be delighted if your wedding was in your backyard just as much as at an exclusive country club. They will gladly eat at a table with generic linens. They will eat chicken and tri-tip instead of filet of beef. They will be happy if you have lovely centerpieces just as much as the extravagant multitude of exotic flowers and trees with gigantic crystal vases. What they will not forgive is a BAD DJ or a lackluster MC who doesn’t bring any life to the party or provide any direction on the flow of the event. This is what clients get when they skimp on the DJ Budget. Even the most simple weddings need a competent professional Wedding DJ/MC, and the fees for this service can range $1200-2000.00 or more depending on how much equipment or upgrades will be needed, how many hours of service the DJ provides, if it’s peak season, etc…
The small businesses like ours feel the crunch of the economy more than you think, and for us to provide top level service we try to limit the total number of weddings each DJ performs so he can give all of himself to a client for their special day…this comes at a small premium. For many of us, myself included, this is our Full time Job, and there are only so many weekend dates in a year. We want our clients to know that they can save those few hundred dollars elsewhere and afford to pay our talented DJs the fees they deserve, the reasonable fee we charge for our services. We hope you’ll consider this when shopping our service or others like us, rather than asking for a reduction in our rates, to consider asking your larger vendors to lower their fees slightly. Or to cut out a few of the extras that no one will notice or miss. We appreciate your business and we look forward to the opportunity to bring magic, joy and top level service to your event. Click here for more on Hiring a DJ. Or Here for Los Angeles Wedding DJ Pricing.