Ken Prentice, C.Tech
Is It A Wedding Deal Or A Concern
I understand that couples want to get a good deal. Without realizing it sometimes couples end up searching for a unicorn because someone has convinced them they’re real. We’ve all seen it before, someone or some company that tells you they have the best product, at the best price, with the best service. If they were selling a car and made these claims, most people would know better, worst case scenario, one look would tell them it’s not true. However, with a service, it’s a little harder to tell, but the reality is still the same. I see these types of claims being made all the time to couples, and unfortunately all that’s being offered is the lowest price because they can’t afford the best in any other area. There’s such a despairing discrepancy in pricing that many couples don’t actually know what a good, fair, or realistic price is. This can result in people believing the lowest price is the best price. At the lowest prices, what can and often does happen is that the DJ, hairdresser, makeup artist, wedding officiant, decorator, etc. cancels or disappears. So the search to find a replacement begins again, often with added stress and urgency, with the loss of any previous deposits that were made.
The other day I saw an example of this, one of many posted in various wedding groups this year. I’m paraphrasing it, but it read: “Looking for DJ recommendations in the Kitchener Waterloo area, ours just cancelled on us and I need to find a replacement. I need the DJ to be cheap.” This post invites the same experience you would think they would want to avoid. Two things will probably happen; the cheapest options will be found, inviting the same risks and quality as before. The better options know that they don’t have to be the cheapest and basically ignore this type of post. Higher quality is never lowest price and the lowest price isn’t the most reliable because they are very different things.
In my experience, cheap just doesn’t work out well. When I purchase equipment, I like to evaluate my options. Don’t get me wrong, price is always a component of it. However, I’m very aware that buying wrong means buying twice. I know there’s some fairly lofty claims made by low-cost solutions that upon further investigation are consistently proven to be misleading or untrue. For example, there’s a ton of 1000 watt powered speakers marketed towards DJs. Now, some of the speakers are as low as $250 while others are well over $1000. Making a decision based upon price would lead you to choose the cheapest option, but they don’t actually perform well, a side effect of this being issues such as poor sound quality, running hot and shutting down.
I’ve noticed a parallel between buying the low-cost equipment options and DJ businesses in the wedding industry. Over time one of two things generally happens with DJ services that offer the lowest price. The most common outcome is that they go out of business. This might take a year or two, but with rising costs, functionally these businesses just can’t survive and eventually shut down without notice. The second option is far less common, but occasionally the DJ services reaches the conclusion that they need to raise their prices. In and around the KW in last 5 years we’ve seen over 40 DJ services come then go, and the majority were low cost. Since Covid those numbers have increased noticeably.
I like a good deal, but I prefer getting good value. Back in November, a couple got a very clear understanding of what the difference between a good deal and good value was. Less than 4 hours before their wedding, the DJ called to cancel, and in a panic their wedding planner contacted us. The DJ service was about 1/3 of the price I would charge, which to me was a red flag, but to the couple it was a deal. That deal quickly turned into their biggest regret, everything they had been planning for over 2 years was suddenly in crisis. Even at 3 times the price, I knew that we offered far more value just by being reliable which is sad, but also true. I’ve never been opposed to paying for quality, because I understand and value reliability. That’s also the reason why I buy the speakers that are more expensive, because they outperform any of the low cost options. Keep in mind that in some cases, you’re not actually getting anything of value regardless of the great price.