This guy does weddings for a super low price! He even brings surround sound and decorations! I bet you he bid lower than several quality DJ’s and got the job because he had the lowest price.
Ok, ok, in all serious now that we’ve had a laugh. Your wedding, quinceanera or other formal event is right around the corner. You’ve found your dress, your tuxedo, you’ve picked the perfect bridesmaids dresses and you have your venue booked. The pieces that make up the puzzle of your perfect day are coming together.
So how did you go about choosing your DJ? Did you interview them? Did you ask for references? Do they specialize in weddings, or backyard barbecues? What kind of equipment do they use? Is the gear in their pictures really theirs? Surprisingly most potential customers don’t ask those questions. The first thing consumers ask is “how much do you charge” but most of the time when price shopping you are comparing apples to steak. No worries, I can help educate you so that you don’t end up paying someone to make your day a disaster.
Many folks seeking DJ services will Google or Bing search “Tucson wedding DJ” or “Tucson quinceanera DJ” or some just search for “mobile DJ in Tucson” and get a few phone numbers and email addresses. Nothing is wrong with that so far. The couples then send out a text or email saying something like “how much would you charge for a 4 hour wedding on (insert event date here)” then lo and behold here come the replies.
First warning flag that the “DJ” that just replied with a quote, regardless of the price, has a good chance of ruining your event is that they didn’t ask any questions about your event. A professional knows that there is far more than just how many hours of music you want that goes into giving you a fair price. Did they ask if your event is indoors or out, what is the location, do you need ceremony services separate from reception, how many guests, what services are you seeking etc.
I keep using 4 hours as an example because it is a pretty common time frame for wedding or quinceanera receptions. And let’s be realistic, for 4 hours of work, $200 or $250 is a pretty good wage. I mean, after all $50 a hour is a pretty fair price to pay to ensure that your day goes just how you want it and to be sure that there are no unpleasant surprises that could have been easily avoided right? What if I told you that I charge much less than $50 an hour for my services, but a $250 wedding is unrealistic? Keep reading.
Now let’s think about something else. If your event is 4, 5, or 6 hours long, do you think that your event will go well if you only get that many hours of your DJ’s time? Who’s going to plan out your reception timeline, make sure that all of the songs are available for your first dance, introductions, cake cutting, or that your names will be pronounced correctly and that the timing will all be just right? That sort of thing takes practice ahead of time so that the day of your event it looks organized and you are happy with the outcome.
When you hire me for a reception I spend many hours consulting back and forth with you to make sure everything will go just how you want it. I create and organize play lists for your special songs, program music for dance time, and rehearse announcements and song transitions etc. I visit the event site and survey the layout and electrical system, introduce myself to the maintenance staff, find out where the breaker panels are etc. I also spend time programming light shows if lighting is in your budget. We haven’t even talked about travel time, set up and take down. I take good care of my equipment before during and after each event so that everything functions and looks as great at your event as it did the last. This all doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of time and hard work from my crew and I. We easily spend a MINIMUM of 15 to 20 hours ahead of time, and a combined 10 – 20 hours on the day of to make your 4 hour reception flow like it should. So now applying what we agreed on previously, at $50 bucks an hour that 4 hour reception comes out to between $1,250 and $2,000. I am not saying that I don’t do weddings cheaper than that, but what I am saying is that no 2 events are exactly alike, and I put nothing less than my best effort into each and every one so the question “hey DJ, how much do you charge” is not valid without knowing some specifics.
You could of course pay the lowest bidder and keep your fingers crossed like this bride did. Take a look at the her face towards the end of the video. Do you think the DJ’s actions were acceptable since she hired one of the lowest bidders for her wedding, or does Aldo Gucci’s quote from over 150 years ago hold true here?