- Ken Prentice, C.Tech
Brides Should Know These Numbers For Budgeting….But Read The Reviews On Your Vendors
Updated: Jul 5, 2020
Most couples go into the wedding not knowing what the costs really are. Online there’s an array of budget plans, but very rarely do they mention anything in terms of quality and what to expect within various price ranges. The real value comes from what something is or isn’t worth to a couple at their wedding. Your photographer, wedding coordinator, and DJ are going to spend the most time around couples. Your officiant, MC, bridal party, parents, DJ, and venue staff are all going to interact with your guests. The venue, décor, lighting, and music are going to directly contribute to the atmosphere. These are generally the key areas that dramatically influence a wedding either positively or negatively. Couples really have to decide what is important and what is not unless they have a boundless budget. That budget needs to be realistic based on real, not fictional numbers. The BBB says that number is $30,717 for southwestern Ontario, and Slice Canada says the number is somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 depending on the number of guests.
I’ve always preferred transparency so these numbers are easily verifiable with a quick search online. I understand that most marketing to brides is created on the basis of an emotional sale so someone might try to sell you on another number. I don’t like the idea of promoting fantasy or fiction instead I prefer giving people factual information that's useful . I know there’s always someone that will do your wedding cheaper, but in doing so you’re no longer attracting top talent when the differentiator is price. I’ve witnessed the cheap officiant that fumbles through the ceremony or says the wrong names. I’ve also seen the photographer that’s busy snacking during the entire cocktail hour rather than capturing memories. Even the venue that is so short staffed that it took over an hour to get food to all 100 guests and it was served cold. All of these services had something in common; the price was very attractive. There is some degree of regional factors that do somewhat impact price. However, the biggest factors are still quality and talent which is evident in the areas we typically work in such as, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Stratford. If you want proof read the reviews online. In some cases you can’t find any reviews and there’s a reason for this, they’ve turned that feature off on purpose to avoid them. Anyone who is remotely good at what they do will have positive reviews and is worth more than the person doing it for the lowest price.
There’s a correlation with most services and the price: the degree of professionalism and even the standards are not universally shared. That helps to explain why there’s a wide margin of difference with pricing. For instance the BBB also provides an average cost for a variety of wedding vendors for Ontario and for a DJ they mention a cost of $1442. Now Slice puts this cost at $1750 across Canada. The aforementioned pricing is fairly reflective of what you’ll typically find as an average. Within those groups you can find a DJ for; $500, $650, $895, $1450, $1995 even $2500 plus. I can honestly tell couples that you cannot rent the professional equipment we use for one day under $650, and we also have backups onsite too which would raise the rental cost to over $1000. If you’re looking to cut costs it will impact the quality of the service you’re looking at hiring. For any business the quickest way to cut costs is to hire cheap, only buy basic equipment and in some cases not have a legally registered business (no taxes, licensing or insurance). So I know they don’t have the same level of experience, training, equipment, backups, talent or ethical practices in the lower price ranges. They also introduce a level of risk that I personally would not take, but it’s a matter for couples to decide. That might not be what some couples want to hear or believe, but the reviews or lack of will tell the story.
Price is virtually useless as measure of worth or value for a service because alone it fails to indicate the level of service provided. A service is not something you can return if you’re unhappy or that you can redo. The value of a service often comes from the person preforming the service. The chances of a DJ paying any amount for professional training is less than 1 in 10. The chances of the DJ having newer equipment that’s above basic or beginner grade is less than 50%. The chance that the DJ has zero years of experience and has just starting doing weddings this year can be as high as half depending on the year. Those numbers are based on solely the legal DJ businesses. Those that are not legal would cause those numbers to take a sharp decline. The attrition rate for wedding DJs is extremely high which explains why potentially the DJ has 0 years of wedding experience. So if the price is low and there’s no reviews found on the DJ then they’re new, even if they claim to have years of experience. These days with social media everywhere a review mentioning the DJ would exist. If the company isn’t naming the DJ then depending on availability again you’re very likely getting someone that’s new to keep the price lower.
Budgeting for a wedding is a tough task for the majority of couples. If you start by looking at the numbers online they are all over the place. If you google questions related to weddings you will find answers, but then the question becomes is it actually right? We all know if you google any symptoms when you’re not feeling well the worst case scenario often appears, but if you further refine that search you might get better information. Still even with refinement you’re better off going to a medical expert, either or doctor or nurse instead of self-diagnosis. Unless you have the proper medical background and expertise seeking out a professional is your best option. If you’re vague with your wants for wedding and are only concerned with the price the only result you’re likely to get is a good price and not necessarily good service. High quality wedding vendors are not found well below market value. What you do find is often then not are vendors that are inexperienced, with beginner grade equipment, and sometimes unregistered and/or uninsured. Most brides tell us they want a celebration at their wedding and want people to have fun. If that’s what you want than it is worthwhile taking the time to get to know the vendors that will be there and bring real value on your wedding day. Hopefully after reading the reviews you’ll get a good indication of how someone with experience can really make your day great.
If you have a question feel free to email us firstname.lastname@example.org
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