Is Saving Money Really Worth It?
Being in the DJ industry for over 25 years and in the wedding industry for over 12 years I have seen my fair share of 'professionals'. Uncoordinated wedding planners, flaky makeup and hair dressers, and you guessed it.. flighty DJs. Even photographers/videographers can't escape the realm of shoddy workmanship and poor business ethics. In an industry where everyone is trying to outbid everyone else for your business it comes down to; what is quality worth to you?
4 weeks without being able to get ahold of your florist? Yikes! Who is this person? You don't have an address for them? How did this person earn your trust and business? Often times so called 'professionals' are actually hobbyists. They have a full time job doing something else and do this on the side. Their prices are attractive because they likely have no business expenses like rent, taxes, insurance, or anything else that legit businesses are required to pay for. You know the saying, 'if the deal is too good to be true..'
And here we have yet another one, this time a DJ. Same issue as before. Keep in mind a legitimate business needs to keep about 60-70% of the cost of services to pay for operating costs. This enables them to pay themselves or their employee at least 30%. So if you are paying your DJ $600 for services that means they are being paid $240. That's about $24/hr for a 'professional" service'. If the math doesn't make sense, neither should the deal.
I have no idea what it costs to do hair and makeup per person, but professional services range between $60-$100/hr. Check your receipts from your accountant, plumber, tow-truck driver, manicurist, or massage therapist. Even my lawn care provider makes $60/hr!! I get weddings can cost a lot all together but you wouldn't skimp on paying your accountant, or tattoo artist. Why? Because of the consequences.
I see a lot of people who write "affordable" or "reasonably priced" when posting for services. These terms mean nothing because what is affordable to one person, may not be to another. True professionals charge what they are worth, not what you are willing to pay, or what they think they can get away with. Industry professionals know what their time and expertise is worth, as well as what they need to charge in order to run their business. If you are getting quotes that are lower than the majority, that should be a red flag.
Reputable professionals never cancel or "back out" on a client. Why? Because they charge enough to be satisfied with the booking. When someone 'lowballs' an event and then someone comes along and offers that person more, guess what..
This happens in all areas of the wedding industry and it is really sad. Like it isn't stressful enough to plan and organize a wedding to begin with.
August 18th was so crazy I had DJ companies calling me not only to ask me to DJ for them, but to see if I had or knew DJs who could work. While I agree that we should all be helping one another out when we can, I am not a fan of the 'book it and then figure it out later' practice. It's one thing if something comes up or someone gets sick, but overbooking yourself when you are not capable of handling the volume is just not smart business as you run the risk of needing to cancel. This a rampant in the DJ and photography fields especially. I don't believe that a company you hired and trusted should outsource your event to another company, or (in most cases) send subpar talent/trainees. Just my personal opinion on the matter.
Ah friends! This is a great example of why friends are not the best idea. Sure they can do it on the cheap and sometimes even free, but they are still a friend. Let's face it if they were a good friend they would have been invited and you wouldn't want them working. Professionals are paid to work, we are not there to party with you. We are there to make sure we do our job to the best of our ability and remove as much stress from you as possible. Well, at least that's what I am there to do. Then again I am not your friend, you have hired me to do a job and to do it better than anyone else (not for $500 either.. that's like $20/hr!)
Not just one but two flaked?! Not only did this person get taken in once by a so called 'professional' it happened twice!! Don't be afraid to step up your judging criteria. Especially if you've already been burned once!
Backup plan people!! What is the backup plan? Even if they lie to your face about having a backup plan, at least hear it out! Does it make sense? What are the chances they would need to use it? You are never just paying for a service, you are paying for piece of mind!
It might surprise you to know that many people in the industry rent their equipment, gear, decor, etc. So what happens when you can't rent it from the rental places? You guessed it! Higher costs means they likely own their own stuff and now have to pay to maintain it, repair it, and store it. Guess how much it costs you to ask?
With 2 days until the big day, this 'professional' cancels on their client. Given that they want to spend $800 I have to guess it is the price they were originally charged. There is so much wrong here on both sides it's not even worth getting into detail over. I hope they found someone.
And another one bites the dust..
And another one down, and another one down...
Another one bites the dust!
Yeah I think you get it. Buyer beware there be 'professionals' in these waters!
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