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Understanding pricing for weddings and other special events Part 2

First Dance set to music
Courtesy of Anne Lord Photograpy

There is a popular belief that the second an events industry vendor hears the word “wedding”, they immediately mark up their prices. While it is true that services for weddings may run a higher price tag than similar services in the same category for other types of events, the elaborate perfectionism that most engaged couples require dramatically increases the labor required to meet their demands.

Consider the role of the DJ. DJ packages are typically priced per hour of event time and all of the time spent preparing the program, commuting to the location, setting up and tearing down equipment is all included at no extra charge. For proms, class reunions, and some simple holiday parties, the bulk of the work occurs on-site at the event.

However, often couples in the DC market today would like their DJ to also serve as the emcee for their event. This requires not only the usual selection of dance music as might be required at other types of events, but also a selection of special songs that may not already be in the DJ s collection. Traditional moments such as the First Dance, Father & Daughter Dance, Mother & Son Dance are often accompanied by hand-picked and occasionally obscure music selections. Additionally, as emcee, the DJ is asked to perform introductions of the bridal party, announce highlights such as the blessing, the toast, the cake cutting, and assist all participants in acting out their parts by feeding them cues such as lining them up in a certain order, directing them to stand in a certain location, where to find bubbles, sparklers, glow sticks for formal arrivals and departures, and for all guests to know when to rise, be seated, dance, or pay attention to some attraction that is about to begin.

Some wedding professionals will take it a step further and assist speakers in delivering speeches with sound effects and music, coordinate lighting effects time to music to punctuate certain moments, preparing personalized introductions for the family, bride, groom and bridal party, and delight the happy couple by choreographing special moments throughout the program.

Please note that all of these tiny details take hours of advance planning to design, rehearse and pull off without a hitch when the moment arrives and this time is work time that should be compensated. From a pricing perspective, a no-frills music player would obviously command a lower price while a full personalized entertainment package offers features that are worth more and come at a higher price. The choice, however, is up to you which you prefer for your wedding day.

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