Paper money rose by Paper Affection
When you first start researching your wedding vendors, you might feel somewhat knocked over by how much their packages cost. “You’re showing up with equipment you already have, working our five hour wedding, and charging this much?” is what many couples think when they get that higher-than-expected price total. Some couples get so overwhelmed by the cost of a wedding MC that they think an iPad in the corner might not be a bad idea. I talked to Ron Ruth, Master Wedding Entertainer to find out why top-notch deejay and entertainer fees are higher than we all expect. After all, there are no flowers to order, right? No food to order and prep? So even with a professional entertainer already owning his top-of-the-line sound systems, the prices started to make a lot more sense.
Here is Ron’s services breakdown that will help you understand why excellent pros charge what they charge:
Wedding Reception and Ceremony Services Breakdown
(Estimated Time Allotted For Planning, Performance and Related Services)
First Appointment: 2 Hours
Our first face to face planning session.
We begin planning your reception events in detail, while offering a variety of ideas and suggestions for creating a truly unique and memorable wedding ceremony and reception. We also revisit your relationship in great detail, recording your narrative for use in your personal Love Story.
Second Appointment: 1.5 to 2.5 Hours
Our second face to face planning session.
We plan your ceremony events (if applicable) and we work on completing your plans for the reception while exploring creative activities that will make your guests feel more involved and entertained.
Third Appointment: 1 Hour
Our third face to face planning session and site inspection.
We meet at the facility, wrap up any final details for your ceremony and any final details for your reception, go over your music requests for your formalities, and your Grand Entrance and do a walk through of the reception itself.
Music Research: 0.5 to 1 Hour
Finding your special requests for the ceremony, reception events and open dancing.
Time includes researching any unique requests through various sources. Necessary music will be purchased at no additional cost to you.
Creating Ceremony & Reception Itineraries: 2.5 Hours
Create custom-made ceremony (if contracted for ceremony) and reception itineraries for your final approval.
Time includes faxing, mailing or emailing your final agenda to your other vendors in advance of your event.
Creating the Scripted Grand Entrance 4 to 8 Hours. and/or Scripted Love Story 10 to 20 hours each
Create, write, produce drops for your custom-made Grand Entrance script and Love Story.
Script(s) Rehearsal: . 8 Hours
Rehearse your name pronunciations, custom-made Grand Entrance and Love Story scripts plus timing of all music cues.
Creating Back-up: 1 to 1.5 Hours
Save back-up to additional laptop and/or MP3 player for the ceremony & all music required for the special reception events.
Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal: 1 to 1.5 Hours
Directing the entire Wedding Ceremony rehearsal from start to finish [if contracted for wedding] or simply meeting with the Wedding Party in advance of your rehearsal to review the itinerary for the reception.
Set-Up at the Ceremony and/or Reception Location(s): 3 Hours (Minimum)
Setting up all necessary audio equipment, testing of equipment and changing to formal attire.
Time includes setting up main sound system in the reception area and secondary PA system in the ceremony area (if contracted for the wedding) well before guests begin to arrive. A cordless, lavaliere microphone provided for Minister & Groom for the ceremony (if applicable for the Ceremony).
Performance at the Ceremony and/or Reception: 6 to 7 Hours..
Performance of pre-recorded music, complete event direction services and Master of Ceremonies duties.
Time includes all music required for the entire Ceremony and Reception, full event Coordination, behind the scenes Direction of the many important details that need to be double-checked in order to ensure that the Ceremony and Reception flow smoothly. Time also includes a professional Master of Ceremonies who will make all of the necessary announcements with the style and grace that will further enhance your event.
Performer’s Assistant/DJ: 6 to 7 Hours
The Performer’s Assistant/DJ allows your Wedding Entertainment Director/Master of Ceremonies the flexibility to perform the many tasks and responsibilities listed above without restriction.
Pre-Loading, Driving, Unloading, Set-Up and Tear Down of Equipment: 4 to 6 Hours
Total service hours provided for Reception and/or Wedding Ceremony: 45 to 60 Hours
45 to 60 hours is a lot more than you expected, right? Now, that higher price makes a lot more sense when you do the math and see that the per-hour price is understandable. Perhaps still on the high side, but considering that your entertainer is so key to the success of your wedding’s energy, dance fun, and those special moments like your first dance and cake cutting, interactions with guests, and guarding you against drunk guests who want to take the microphone and make a scene, that generous amount per hour is worth it.
So when you talk to your entertainer prospects, ask to see their breakdown of services. You might find an element that you can negotiate down a bit, perhaps creating an easier-to-prep-for entrance into the room that takes less time for your pro to work on in advance. But even if you can’t change a fee element, you’ll lose that ‘hey, this is a ripoff!’ feeling and feel better about the investment you’re making in your big day.
Ms Gingham says: Knowledge is power people! Ask to see the breakdown of your vendor’s costs so that you know what you’re paying for!
About Sharon: Sharon Naylor is the author of over 35 wedding books, including her newest: “The Bride’s Guide to Freebies” and “Bridesmaid on a Budget.” Her two books for the mothers of the bride and groom are bestsellers, and she has appeared on such top shows as Good Morning America, ABC News, Lifetime, Inside Edition and more – sharing tips and insider secrets to help you plan your dream wedding on a budget, personalized to your love story. Visit her site Sharon Naylor for more on her books, free worksheets and appearances. She lives in Morristown, NJ with her husband Joe and is at work on her next two wedding books.