Unless you happen to make your living as a talent agent, your wedding band or DJ is probably the first entertainer you have ever hired. The good news is that by the time you finally say “I do” you will have dealt with so many different wedding vendors (florists, caterers, wedding planners, etc.) that you will be an expert negotiator. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when negotiating with your wedding band or DJ:
First and foremost – you should be asking for price quotes from multiple performers, not just one. Even if you have your heart set on a particular performer, hearing from others will give you a better idea of the going rate for entertainers in your area.
Understanding Your Quotes
Keep in mind that a number of factors go into determining a performer’s quote. A band with more members (and more gear) will naturally need to charge more. Same goes for a performer in great demand or who has to travel a long distance to your wedding. If you hear from enough performers these trends will become obvious. Most performers will also be happy to explain how they determined their quote, so don’t be afraid to ask.
If the wedding band of your dreams gives you a quote that is a bit out of reach for your budget, do not be afraid to negotiate. There is usually some way to bring the price down, though keep in mind it may mean a compromise on your part. For example you might not be able to afford the entire horn section, or the band may ask to shave a half hour off of their performance time. Usually an agreement can be found one way or the other. That being said – keep in mind the entertainment you choose for your wedding will set the tone for the entire event. In my humble opinion, you shouldn’t be afraid to spend a little extra to get what you want out of your wedding entertainment.