Hire a DJ with Lights or Hire a Separate Lighting Company?

Dove Canyon, Sullivan WeddingA few years ago, I worked for a DJ company that absolutely insisted that the clients NOT have any type of lighting at their wedding.  We were told not to sell them, and if a client asked for them, we were told that we should strongly discourage the client from using them at their event.  After all, he didn’t own any lights, but more to the point…he didn’t like having to set them up and tear them down at the end of the event, and paying someone else to do so was out of the question.  As time went by and he started noticing that he was losing clients to other companies that actually DID offer lights, he eventually caved, and the last time I checked he was slowing beginning stock lights, as he was beginning to understand, in certain settings, how much of an effect they have.   (There are definitely venues that don’t need lights to look spectacular, but they are not so plentiful.)

I started my company with one key principle in mind: “The client ALWAYS gets exactly what they want!”  This meant that, if the client wanted lighting for their event, I would provide it because that is what it takes to make the client happy!  What I began to realize as soon as I started renting them out is that, quite honestly, they are great money-maker.  Once I initially purchased the lights, I could rent out the same lights time and time again, eventually making them 100% profit once the labor was subtracted!  To my wedding and event clients, this means that I can add lighting to a package at a great discount without cutting into my profit!  What this also means is that all of the companies that are strictly in the business of renting lighting make a TON of money off of lighting alone, which brings me to the point of today’s blog.

When planning a wedding, a bride and groom, along with their coordinator, will decide how they want the room to look for their reception.  This may include flowers, table cloths, napkins, slip covers for chairs, as well as lighting.  The amount of flowers, tablecloths, chairs, napkins, and the like will be determined by the amount of guests attending.  Most likely, the same company that provided the bouquets for the wedding will also be providing the centerpieces and decorative flowers for the reception hall because using different companies for each simply does not make financial sense given that one company would charge you less overall if you used them for all of the flowers. The same goes with the linen company.  If you were to rent tablecloths from one company and napkins from another, you would pay more in total.

In the same light, hiring a separate lighting company from the DJ will have the same result.  You will find yourself paying much more overall because each company is looking to make a minimum amount of profit from each event which they are contracted to service.  When I am working with a client, I always provide the opportuity to add lighting to their event.  It is never required, nor is there a minimum by which they must abide.  In addition, because I am already profiting from the “DJ/Emcee” aspect of the event, discounting their entire package after all of the lights are added is something I do automatically depending on how many lights they add to their overall package.

There are a number of commercials on television that advertising “bundling” the services they already provide, whether or not it is something for which their client has a need, in hopes that they will make money off of unused services.  As I do not necessarily agree with all of these commercials, there is certainly something to be said for acquiring a number of similar services from one company in an effor to save money.  That being said, STEER CLEAR OF COMPANIES THAT OFFER TOO WIDE OF A VARIETY OF SERVICES!  This could mean that they do not have a specialty and therefore, though they may be less expensive overall, the quality of each individual product is likely inferior!  Instead, talk to vendors and ask, for example, your DJ to recommend a good photographer, or the photographer to recommend a good coordinator.  This way, you’ll save time trying to vet good vendors, while still getting the quality you deserve for your the most important day of your life!

***Geoff Maddox has been a professional wedding and event emcee and DJ for over 15 years.  He has appeared on TV and has been interviewed by various news outlets about his books and how he helps couples avoid vendor scams and advises them on ways to have their dream wedding without breaking the bank. For more information, please visit http://gmedj.com or call (949) 342-5079!

About GME DJ and Event Entertainment

I have been a DJ for about 10 years. Though my main business is weddings, I've DJed everything from corporate parties, to clubs, to sweet 16s, bar and bat mitzvahs, and more! I began singing when I was really young which jump-started my love of music! Not only does this give me a unique perspective, but it also allows me to more accurately assist clients with their music selection! My main philosophy is that a wedding or other event should be a reflection of the bride and groom or the person whom the event is for, and because of that, at the end of the night, they should feel like it was "The best party they've ever attended!", and I go out of my way to ensure that experience!
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