The True Cost of a Budget DJ
If you're like me, every time you put in or take out your contacts or fumble with your glasses you might think about getting LASIK and how nice it would be to not ever have to deal with either again.
Surely, by now we've all heard the commercials... "$199 per eye," "$299 per eye," "Use this coupon." Gasp! The first thing that comes to mind when I hear these is "Who would want to get the cheapest deal on eye surgery? That's your vision!!" As much as I cheap out on some things, for me, my vision isn't worth the risk of a "great deal." You're wedding day shouldn't be worth the risk either.
Let's be honest, everyone planning a wedding is on a budget. It might be $2000, it might be $100,000. Either way you have a budget. When deciding on YOUR budget for YOUR wedding you need to decide what aspects of your wedding are most important to you. Every vendor on your team is important, but I believe that your Photographer and your DJ/MC are the most important vendors on your team. These two vendors should not be chosen solely on price.
For the photographer, either they capture the special moments or they don't. More than any other vendor, there is no do-over for the photographer. If having these memories is important to you, this is not the place to get that "great deal."
As for your DJ, chances are they'll be running the show. From the moment you walk down the aisle until the moment you leave your reception, your DJ is keeping things moving, making announcements, making sure Dad is in the room for the Father-Daughter Dance, getting the girls on the floor for the bouquet toss, making sure dinner is ready before inviting everyone to the buffet, and on and on. The true professional will meet with you at least once or twice either in-person or by phone to go over the details of your day from putting together your timeline and making sure you have the best room layout down to your last dance. And that's not even mentioning the dance time.
You can find a DJ at any price from $200 to $5000. In many cases price is an indication of quality and level of service. That $200 DJ you booked? He just booked a gig for $300 on your wedding day. So, he's not going to make it. The $400 guy? He didn't bring any backup equipment and his laptop died. Ouch. No more music. You told your DJ that the venue has a sound system, but it doesn't work and your DJ arrived without speakers. Now what? These are things that really do happen.
The inexpensive DJ's often just don't have the experience and equipment to make sure they can handle anything you throw at them. I urge you not to let your final decision for a DJ or Photographer to be price. Meet with them. In Person. Get a feel for their personality and their vibe. Ask questions about their style.
The most important day of your life is on the line. A "great deal" isn't always a great deal.