By now, you may have seen the NBC News investigative piece making the completely inaccurate statement that vendors use what they call the Wedding Markup to charge clients more money for a wedding than any other type of event. In the course of their investigation they contacted various vendors. Acting as though they were planning an event, one “client” stated they were planning a Wedding and requested pricing and the other “client” requested pricing for a Birthday Party. Well it is obvious to us, and we hope to you as well, that when planning a Wedding in comparison to a Birthday Party there are a lot more moving parts that have to be handled. The Birthday Party DJ has to remember one name while the Wedding DJ needs to not only know the bride and groom names but they also have to remember the parents and bridal party names and be sure to say them all correctly! Keep in mind your Wedding DJ is preparing 20-30 hours before the Wedding as opposed to 1-2 hours of preparation for the Birthday Party. Your Professionally Trained DJ is also responsible for being engaging with your guests while maintaining the energy level or by bringing it up to where it should be. At a Birthday Party the DJ can be more laid back and stand behind his table and press buttons for the evening.
The DJ company that was investigated later stated that “Weddings require much more attention to detail…and backup equipment is also taken. Birthday parties have less formalities and planning time is nearly a minimum.”
This idea was never elaborated on; the Reporter never asked the follow up question we all want to know, “WHY?” If anything further were to be said on what the DJ shared with NBC News it would negate the entire investigative piece! Your Wedding DJ is going to need to be specifically trained with Emcee skills they have been taught help to keep your guest involved during the different events of the evening while maintaining a level of interest and excitement into what they can look forward to happening next.
The news definitely makes you think, but you have to be sure that you understand how all aspects of the requested service you booked comes into play. During a wedding, photographers are snapping shots for 8-10 hours which can result in nearly 1200 images. In addition to a long day they also have to be sure to adjust the lighting in the various locations where the couple wants to take photos to ensure quality!
During a 3-4 hours Birthday Party you are generally just taking photos in one room. This is far easier on the photographer since they do not have to worry with adjusting lighting and only have to edit about 300 photos. This same idea goes for your videographer as well. More hours filming equates to more hours editing your final video that you will share with friends and family.
There is always the chance that the cost of your venue may be increased for your Wedding and not the Birthday Party you are planning. In most cases you will not provide a 4-course meal for your guests that includes surf n’ turf and your bar will have a limited selection of liquors, if any.
The overall planning process for any Wedding vendor requires more organizing and preparation not only with their service but also in contacting the planner, venue and photographer/videographer to ensure that everyone is on the same page before the clients’ Special Day! Be sure to do your research when planning your Big Day. While many bloggers and reporters may suggest that you go see a DJ at a Wedding or call vendors and compare pricing for a Wedding versus a Birthday Party, these people are not Industry Professionals. They basically have no clue on what knowledge to share with Prospective Clients during their quest for Wedding Vendors. Do not get left with unrealistic expectations on pricing and service details!