Just last week I took a call from a bride-to-be who wanted to discuss her wedding plans for next August.
Like most, she was on a tighter budget than she originally expected and was struggling to prioritise where best to spend her money for maximum effect on the day. Gone were the expensive cars, the videographer and the jazz trio, and changes to the wedding breakfast menu had also been made to bring costs down slightly. We then discussed my fee, at which she expressed her surprise that it was more expensive than she had budgeted. I explained that our experience, equipment, know how and reputation in the wedding reception field was much admired and that our first class service was still very good value for money. She went on to say that she had another act in mind…..a local lad she’d seen in her dad’s social club…and he had quoted her £150. Being morbidly curious at this point, I pressed her on what kind of set-up the guy had and what music he was playing. “Oh,” she said, “I couldn’t hear much over the crowd as his speakers were not loud enough, but my dad says he’s good.” I was quite shocked that she was considering this DJ, even so I then asked about his lighting rig. “I think he had some traffic lights on the stage. There wasn’t much to be honest, he was using two iPods and a DJ deck thing” (mixer I presume…or hope).
Normally this would be the end of our discussion and I’d hang up knowing that, with price being the only factor, I couldn’t possibly match the other guy’s low quote. But I asked one more question…and it opened a whole new door! “If you don’t mind me asking, how much are you paying for your wedding cake?” She was clearly chuffed to inform me that they had ordered a four-tier, stacked-box design cake in pink and white, with silver ’embellishments’. “It’s a real bargain! It should’ve been £695 but we’re getting it for £550.”
I paused for a moment, and then asked her a really simple question. “On your wedding day, if both the cake and the DJ were very poor quality, which do you think the guests would be most disappointed with?” I then reiterated that our service was first class (and also costing less than the cake) and that maybe her priorities should be revised somewhat. Silence followed. Then a quiet sigh. She quickly thanked me for my advice and promised to call back after she’d discussed it with her fiance…….
At least they’ll all have a nice piece of cake to remember the day by.