Don't Undervalue the Entertainment
A big part of being a contemporary wedding DJ is keeping aware of the things that are going on not only locally, but nationally and even internationally. Now you may never have heard of him, but in the US Jason Jani (of SCE) has outrightly said that true wedding entertainers are a dying breed for two reasons.
So first up who is Jason Jani. Well he is the person who entertains the entertainers. He runs SCE Event Group, a large DJ company with a roster of top DJs. He does stuff like the super bowl entertainers afterparty, alongside the likes of Diplo and Cardi B. As a wedding DJ he is well sought after and people routinely change their wedding dates to book him.
So for me he knows a little bit about the market and is one of the people I follow on social media to see what's hot and new. So let's look at his 2 reasons why he feels entertainers are undervalued:
Percentage of the Wedding Budget
Both in the UK and US people are not only assigning less money to the entertainment part of the budget but are also watering it down with non-essentials. Let's take a look at some average prices.
£27,161 is current UK average wedding cost with £4,354 immediately going to the venue.
Cake - £300, Cars, £500, Photographer £1,450, Dress £1,385, Flowers £600, external catering £4,000. Other stuff like hair, make up, shoes etc will wipe another grand and say £300 for your stationary.
That is some big figures out of your budget to start with and the average also says the entertainment budget is a mere 2.57% of the total budget coming in at around £700. Without a doubt the longest part of the wedding is the wedding reception and we risk the success of it by assigning less than 3% of the budget on the entertainer! Does that sound right?
And when I said entertainer I was wrong. This budget is now getting stretched to Love Letters, White LED Dance Floors, Photo Booths, Magicians, Caracturists, Balloon and Table Dressings.
Your DJ can often be working for LESS than you are paying for your chair covers. This is a highly trained professional vs some white lycra. The truth is the efforts of the DJ are in no way considered if your also happy to spend more money on a Dance Floor that twinkles and some Carnival letters that more than often get in the way.
Time are hard at present and people are spending less. At the same time more and more people are putting on headphones and heading out to DJ parties. There is this impression going about that all we do is sit with a laptop making playlists all night. Wrong!
Worse still because they are cheap and met a basic expectation they get more work and eventually think whoa - let's become a wedding DJ as they get paid more. Well firstly, getting paid more is not strictly true, we get paid for the extra time and effort planning a wedding party takes but who we kidding, do we really think these DJs are gonna plan stuff?
I made sure I cut my teeth on smaller event and built up to weddings. I got advice and training and worked for others before I took the plunge. I take weddings very seriously indeed and everything must be done exactly right to maintain a great reputation.
The bottom line is, once you start to look or worse still ask around, your gonna get a lot of names back. I'll bet over 60% are generic party DJs and unless your early the top 10% will be booked already. Luckily I have a few blog posts giving you tips on picking a DJ.
So to wrap it up our top Package is currently £300 - that is to provide a solid 5 hrs of entertainment for you and your guests, to travel, to set up and take down, to deal with people full of drink and to pay for all of the equipment and music we bring along - and people still want to find someone cheaper!