Three Questions to Ask Before You Book a Wedding DJ
by David Dickman
10 Minute Read
Congratulations! You're either engaged and looking for a Wedding DJ or you're helping someone with booking a Wedding DJ. I've been DJing for 13 years now and each year I've learned something new that I share with my clients. These three questions are a consolidation of what I know to have helped my clients, family and friends that are getting married .
These questions cut through the bullshit sales pitches and require some serious thought to answer.
That's me! This is one of our engagement photos. I learned more about DJing weddings from my own wedding than I did from any other wedding. I learned what it's like to be on your side of the vendor/client table. For that I changed the way I did business completely. More on that on my website.
First thing, if you're asking a DJ, "how much you charge?" you're asking a good question, BUT it can't be your only question. There are a lot of shitty DJ's out there and this is the most common question, so you'll have to ask some questions that better challenge them and sniff out the hack DJs.
The first question is for you to answer. Not gonna lie, it sucks, but it's crucial. Wherever you're at in the planning process, if you don't get this knocked out, you're gonna have to eventually. Rip the bandaid off...
Budget. My advice is to get it done poorly. Don't care if it's wrong or a wild guess. Put numbers on paper and use the internet or some friends for a guide. Once you get things on paper, you'll get in a flow of things and get it done, poorly. You can always go back and adjust. So start, and see what you come up with. I promise you'll come back to it multiple times and adjust, I know we did.
Wedding Date. Do you want an outside wedding reception? Then June and September (in Idaho) are best. Do you want a winter wedding so you can save some dollars on the budget? February and March are fantastic for the budget as it's not peak season for vendors. Do you have limitations by family members that you want to be in your wedding?
Venue. There are some terms on your venue contract that photographers, DJs and other vendors will need to know in order to better provide a quote. When you book a venue, ask them for the following, at minimum:
Time you can enter the venue and start decorating/getting ready
When the music needs to stop
When you need need to have the venue restored (no people, no decorations).
Where do you have the caterer and DJ typically set up
What vendors do you typically work with and why
What is a pain point for your clients at this venue (ask them where people have struggled).
(Note: Before you book a DJ, you'll want to hire a photographer. Most bundle engagement photos with wedding packages, and you'll want to take advantage of that.)
Wedding DJs, charge you by the hour and by equipment they "upsell" or upgrade you to.
Standard DJ Pricing= $X for X number of hours + $X per hour after
(ie: $600 for 2 hours + $200 per hour after) + (Other equipment extra)
Boise Mobile DJ Pricing = We charge by the event, not by the hour, starting at $1195.
So when you ask "how" they charge instead of "what" they charge you're changing they way DJs have to answer. If you really want to ask a tough question, ask "why do you charge they way you do?". This question doesn't bother me a bit, because I know the answer.
At Boise Mobile DJ I charge by a flat rate for an event, not by the hour, because at 11pm at my wedding when the DJ's time was done, the DJ asked for more money to keep the party going. We charge a flat rate because we LOVE PARTIES. We're already there and set up, we LIVE for that kind of fun, so what's another hour?
Charging by the hour is like to holding a wedding dance floor hostage for more money.
DJing is our passion. We know that in order to have an amazingly fun wedding a great deal of planning is required. So we share with your our knowledge wedding production and planning with you. All Boise Mobile DJ packages come with timeline review and day-of coordination. We help you draft a timeline, go over every element, more importantly, each transition, in fine detail. We plan hard and party with you even harder. Thats how we price our services, by charging a fixed price per event and helping you plan every element/transition of your wedding and ensuring it's executed to your expectations.
Around 8 years ago, an Army Chaplain told me something that would change my life and the way I DJ'd weddings,
"Unmet expectations equals unmet needs."
Seems simple right? You have a wedding, you have your expectations, so you should hire a DJ that will meet those expectations and tell you how they are going to meet them. After I implemented what I call the "Four Words Exercise - what Boise Mobile DJ uses to meet our clients expectations - I've gone from liking weddings to LOVING WEDDINGS. Seriously, I LOVE what I do and I only hire DJs that also LOVE weddings. For example, DJ Freddy works nightclubs often. It's super fun work, but he'll book a wedding over a nightclub every single day of the week. Here is the "Four Words" exercise:
Describe your perfect wedding using only 4 words.
The beauty of this exercise is that it allows me to ensure that we're the best fit for your wedding. If we feel we aren't the best fit for your wedding, we'll tell you. It would be selfish of us to do your wedding if we weren't the best fit. We aren't popular with those that are highly religious. We are VERY popular with those with weddings with lots of alcohol and a family that loves partying. We love what we do, because we work with people we know we can meet their expectations.
1. What is my budget, date and venue?
2. how do you price your services?
3. how will you meet my expectations?
Knowing your expectations is nothing, if you can't meet them. Does this sound like a fun wedding to go to? Ceremony at 3pm, ends at 4pm and you don't eat till 6:30pm because the Bride and Groom are doing pictures. That's not fun for anyone.
A FUN WEDDING HAS TO BE FUN FOR THE GUESTS AND THE NEWLYWEDS.
So we work with you on your timeline, we go over every detail and transition with you so everything goes as smoothly as possible, according to your 4-words. We create a Google Sheet (similar to Excel) that you can share view/edit rights with other vendors and family to keep everyone on the same page; because they will constantly ask you when something starts. Google Sheets is viewable on your smart phone, tablet or computer. I can't tell you how much stress this saves people. Read our Google reviews and this is part of the reason of our success. It's the reason most people book us. DJ Freddy and I are both business majors with a love for event logistics. We just happen to be very good DJs as well.
WE LOVE WORKING WITH PEOPLE THAT WANT FUN WEDDINGS!
If your 4-Words similar to the following, I want you to click "CHECK AVAILABILITY" below to see if we're available for your wedding: FUN, PARTY, DANCING, STRESS-FREE, FAMILY, TOGETHERNESS, DRUNK, CRAZY, LOVE, GOOD FLOW, SMOOTH and PARTY OF MY LIFE!
We're truly interested in what you have planned, because we love weddings and love the work we do. Let's check availability first and start helping you out.