By Alex Nepa of Mint DJ Events: Mint Website
This could have easily been written about our team at JLK Events, since Alex already did it I see no reason to reinvent the wheel.
As I’m finishing our day of wedding planners for my DJ team this coming weekend I answered a call from someone looking for a DJ in three weeks for their wedding. The caller was shocked that A. We’re not available. And B. We were so expensive.
It got me to thinking. There are a fair amount of couples that don’t understand what goes into making a wedding successful from a DJ point of view, and it goes way beyond just playing some music. I don’t blame the couples at all. There are so many hacks in this line of work that the bar is set so insanely low.
So allow me this one time to be “that guy” that posts a giant blog post.
Here’s what an average wedding looks like for the Mint team.
1. Pre-booking interview, 1-2 hours. During this interview, we chat, get to know each other, get to know your likes and dislikes, things you’ve seen at weddings and loved and or hated. We also talk about whether the client would like any enhancements such as lighting design or sound and mics for their ceremony.
2. Follow up & contract prep. 30 mins to 1 hour.
3. Checking in and following up. We routinely check in with our clients leading up to the wedding. We check out their online planning tools to see if they have questions. 2 hours.
4. Final planning meeting. About 3 weeks before a wedding we meet with our clients and go over all the details including music and timelines. In some cases this is a final brainstorm session in putting these pieces together in a way that will flow perfectly. 1-2 hours.
5. Music editing & prep. 2 hours or more. We organize, obtain and edit the key music for our events. We never walk in with a pre-set playlist, but we do make sure to have all of the “must play” music ready to go.
6. Scheduling systems & loading gear. 30 mins to 1 hour. This is the brutal, grueling part of the event. Double checking the systems that are going out, prepping backup and lugging very heavy equipment in and out of vehicles.
7. Travel to venue. Sometimes it’s 10 minutes, sometimes it’s 3 hours (or even more)
8. Setup. 1 – 3 hours. Depending on the packages and extras clients request setup can take a while. We have equipment managers and assistants that are paid to assist with setup and logistics which is an added cost to us.
9. Performance. This is what the client and guests see. The flawless show. The packed dance floors. The fun. The magic. 4 – 7 hours.
10. Tear down, re-load vehicles, unload vehicles, put gear back in storage. 2 hours.
EDIT: I didn’t even mention actual non-time related business costs such as payroll, equipment, insurance (if you hire a DJ that doesn’t have insurance you’re insane), advertising, vehicles, taxes and a music library that’s probably worth $15,000 alone.
So you’re looking at 17 – 30+ hours per wedding. Hopefully this post is seen as educational and not preachy. Like I said, I don’t blame couples for not understanding because they’re not seeing the behind the scenes work OR in other cases they’re aligned with hacks.