The right vendors...
So, after all the talk about budget and how to spend your money in the smartest way possible one of the best ways to know which vendor to go with is through your gut. Do your due diligence of course by checking out previous work and client reviews but if they are the right vendor for you most likely, you're just going to know it. And, if you don't have doubt about it then that should also mean the cost works for you.
Part four of this series features Mathew Bittroff, owner and DJ with Mathew Bittroff DJ Services. Mat and I have worked together quite a few times now in the time that he has been back in Vancouver and I always hear great feedback from my clients.
Mainly DJ services! So that means a sound system, microphones, dance lighting and the best music. I also provide MC services.
How long have you been in business?
I have been a professional DJ for 8 years, but I relocated to Vancouver from Edmonton in 2015 where I worked for the top DJ company in Edmonton, Grindstone Productions.
How many weddings do you book each year?
Since I was new to the area, in my first couple years in BC I mainly subcontracted for some large companies while I grew my own business. It's been between 30-40 events in total per year and if I keep growing I hope to get to about 50 per year as my own company.
What do you love about working on weddings?
I love the atmosphere! It's pretty rare for people to be in a bad mood at a wedding. I also love the food! hehehe But seriously, after hundreds of events and doing this for many years I love being able step in and save the day with my suggestions, fixes, and general experience. And of course I love reading the room and getting everyone up on the dance floor with the perfect song choices.
What is either the average amount of hours or minimum amount of hours that you put into each wedding?
I'll try to break this down and explain what I'm doing. For the sake of this example let's say I'm only playing music for the typical 5pm-midnight reception and not for the ceremony: Pre-Booking - 1 hr Building a quote for a potential client that addresses their needs and fits their budget. Meeting with clients who would like to go over anything in person. Following up with potential-clients via email and answering questions and concerns. Booking - 30 min Drafting & signing a contract, creating an invoice, and answering new questions. Planning - 1.5 hr Pre-wedding consultations, following up with clients about music choices and getting them to fill out a planner. Coordinating with wedding planner, MC, or other parties involved with the flow of the wedding. Prep - 1.5 hr Going through planner from clients, downloading music, creating playlists for the different stages of the evening, renting anything extra the client has requested. Wedding set-up - 1.5 hrs Unloading equipment, setting up the sound system, lighting, doing a sound check and coordinating my DJ location with the venue manager or wedding planner. Music - 7 hrs The best part! Playing the best tunes and keeping people dancing! Take down - 1 hr Packing up all the gear and loading it back into my car. TOTAL HOURS: 14 hrs (not counting travel)
What factors go into/went into determining your prices?
The biggest factors that determine my price is the time of year, how many hours of music the client needs, and if I will need to rent any special equipment. (May-Oct seems to be the busiest time of year with August being peak wedding season)
Any extra comments on pricing for weddings?
During wedding season, since I am a one-man operation my prices need to stay at a certain level regardless of workload because I am still committing my company to that event for that day on my calendar. Sometimes this can make it difficult to price out weddings for clients that only need music for a couple hours in hopes of saving money.
Well, there you go. I really hope that this series has been beneficial and educational and overall has helped you in your planning. Where to spend your money is a big decision and when you are looking into this for the first time it can be overwhelming.
If you have any questions please comment or send me an email and I'd be happy to chat.