In Part One of this article, I established that weddings are a personal, intimate occasion. Having networked or trained internationally with some of the best wedding entertainers in the world, I know it’s not uncommon for wedding industry service providers to struggle with running a business. The business side of being in business.
I have a lot of perspectives to share on this so broke my thoughts into two articles, this being the longer second part.
Choosing the right professional for your wedding
For most of us, our DJ careers started as a hobby first, which turned into a business out of legal necessity. The “business” is an essential casualty of being good enough to earn a living doing what we love, and what we’re good at.
The same probably rings true for most wedding industry service providers – photographers, videographers, florists, transport, makeup artists and more.
That said, many of us are too busy giving 110 percent to our brides and grooms to have the time to actively build a larger business.
If we had more staff to help, then we’d be at risk of losing that personal one-on-one service that makes all the difference in this industry.
If we had more staff, we’d have to:
- employ a sales manager to “sell gigs” (read footnote below) and answer emails or social inquiries instantly
- hire a marketing team to promote the brand on social media, particularly wedding discussion groups
- engage a commision a rep to approach venues and offer bribes to recommend our brand
- appoint a logistics manager to try to decipher notes and match all the personal touches with each “gig” (again – read the footnote below)
- be a bigger company, which in some cases completely changes the way the company does business
As small business operators in the wedding service industry, we could all expand, be bigger, have more staff.
However, as an industry, we’re restricted by what our brides actually know or understand. We are constantly challenged by would-be-clients searching for “affordable photographer/celebrant/DJ” or “reasonably priced florist/caterer/videographer” without having any idea of what that really means for them or their budget, or what the outcome will mean for their guests. They use advice from other brides who mean well but have all the experience of planning ONE wedding to call on, or they listen to well-intended advice from family and magazines. Read the full article about this vicious circle of best intentions and unqualified advice here.
It’s not fair to say “the bigger the company, the less personal they are” applies to all big businesses in the wedding service industry, but it’s not uncommon. The wedding service and hospitality are two different industries with a lot of crossovers and similarities to draw examples from.
The larger chain hotels have a conferencing and events sales manager. Their job is to show you the venue and explain what you can do and what they can’t do for you, and give you a price. Then you’ll generally be looked after by an event manager who will handle all your questions and changes and timeline and liaise with vendors and contractors. Often those event managers will spend only a short time at your wedding if they’re there at all, handing over responsibility to a duty manager for the majority of the day.
Yes, it works, and they all do a great job. Yes, they might respond to emails and calls and questions quicker than a busy small business, but is it personal? Do they understand the things that are most important about your wedding day? Are they trying to be the biggest, have the longest reach, and just be the favourite? Or do they just want to do whatever is best for you, whatever it takes?
Or is it “just business”?
Which would you rather have in your corner:
A talented, passionate industry professional dedicated to your wedding?
Or – a really good businessman?
Or am I overthinking this?
Footnote: Anyone in the industry that refers to your wedding as a “gig” may not appreciate it’s not a school ball, pub, or some random party, it’s a special celebration. Your wedding is not a “gig”.
Wedding MC | Event DJ | Nice Guy
Call: 0274 43868