How much should you pay to rent each item for a wedding?

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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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I saw an ad for a wedding in Atlantic City next year on Saturday September 17th. They are looking for a DJ to provide indoor cold spark fountains, dancing on the clouds and a photo booth for their wedding. Their budget for all 3 is $800 and they are willing to pay $1,700 to do their wedding. Just curious how many cold spark fountains would any of you use, where to rent them and what should it cost to rent them. Also what should it cost to rent a photo booth and dancing on the clouds. Please don't beat me up that I'm thinking of sending an email about doing this wedding. Just wanted to get prices on what it should cost to rent such stuff and how many sparks would be good enough. I know at least 2 would be needed.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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www.djtaso.com
I saw an ad for a wedding in Atlantic City next year on Saturday September 17th. They are looking for a DJ to provide indoor cold spark fountains, dancing on the clouds and a photo booth for their wedding. Their budget for all 3 is $800 and they are willing to pay $1,700 to do their wedding. Just curious how many cold spark fountains would any of you use, where to rent them and what should it cost to rent them. Also what should it cost to rent a photo booth and dancing on the clouds. Please don't beat me up that I'm thinking of sending an email about doing this wedding. Just wanted to get prices on what it should cost to rent such stuff and how many sparks would be good enough. I know at least 2 would be needed.
2 cold sparks rent for about $400, dancing on clouds is typically $400-$500 and a quality photobooth is typically $600-$800 with an attendant. So it looks like the DJ portion is free, but you’re used to that :)
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
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The customer is in dream land, and thinking they can find someone with experience willing to book their wedding for everything.

I know they can find deals on the DJ and photo booth portion. The Cold Sparks and Dancing on the clouds are going to be much more difficult to get a "deal" on.

They can for sure find a $600 or less DJ if they look hard enough. Photo booth is $600 to $700, can probably find a DJ photo booth combo package for $1300 or less.

For $500 to cover both cold sparks, and dancing on the clouds is simply not going to happen.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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My guess is they are looking for a DJ who has these things already and wanted to do their wedding for $1,700. We don't have any of those things and I looked Ebay for cold spark fountains and the crystals to use for the machines is over $200 for a starting price.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
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There's no inherent value in any of it. They are all novelties, and novelty is a cheap commodity.
DJs who charge hundreds of dollars for these toys are not getting paid for the specific item, the rates reflect the DJs reliability and suitability with respect to the desired outcome.

What would you pay to get a cold spark machine to use at a pot-luck dinner held at an un-decorated VFW hall? Probably not much because it adds nothing to the experience. Candles on the birthday cake would have far more impact and significance.

What would you pay for that same machine for use with an elaborate set decor for the grand entrance of the Quinceanara? Much more - because it's about the cumulative impact of ALL the elements not just this one glittery toy. What people are really paying for is someone who knows how to make it fit in, and tie it all together.
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
6,975
5,269
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There's no inherent value in any of it. They are all novelties, and novelty is a cheap commodity.
DJs who charge hundreds of dollars for these toys are not getting paid for the specific item, the rates reflect the DJs reliability and suitability with respect to the desired outcome.

What would you pay to get a cold spark machine to use at a pot-luck dinner held at an un-decorated VFW hall? Probably not much because it adds nothing to the experience. Candles on the birthday cake would have far more impact and significance.

What would you pay for that same machine for use with an elaborate set decor for the grand entrance of the Quinceanara? Much more - because it's about the cumulative impact of ALL the elements not just this one glittery toy. What people are really paying for is someone who knows how to make it fit in, and tie it all together.

This is all correct. The real question is what service provider is out there, and willing to travel to Atlantic City, NJ to do it all for $1,700?

I do not believe a service provider that has access to all of these novelties and services can get it together, and provide it all for $1,700. The ones that can make this all happen will want more money to do it. The person with this stringent budget will soon realize they aren't getting all of this for $1,700 and will either not book all of these services, or be forced to shell out more money to have it all.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
7,875
5,189
I do not believe a service provider that has access to all of these novelties and services can get it together, and provide it all for $1,700. The ones that can make this all happen will want more money to do it.
Equipment I already own is a sunk cost. It has no impact on which gigs I accept or those that I decline.

The perceived limit of what a customer is willing to pay us (real or imagined) should not compel us to absorb the cost of rented items or consumables. We don't think much of gaff tape and batteries - until we do a gig that uses 4 rolls and 2 dozen 9V.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,290
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Thanks everybody who posted their ideas on here. Now for those who would agree to do this wedding, what would be your price quote and why? Just asking. Please no sly comments.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
7,875
5,189
I would probably pass on this gig, or refer them to someone else for the fog and sparks.
I make good money for having good skills and ability. The time wasted on these novelties could be devoted to another booking.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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I would probably pass on this gig, or refer them to someone else for the fog and sparks.
I make good money for having good skills and ability. The time wasted on these novelties could be devoted to another booking.
Time wasted? Sparklers take 10 min to set up, and dancing on clouds is the simplest thing to do. Photo booth takes 15 min to setup and 3-5 min to create a template. All for a profit of over $1000 for those 3 items after factoring labor and material costs
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
7,875
5,189
Time wasted? Sparklers take 10 min to set up, and dancing on clouds is the simplest thing to do. Photo booth takes 15 min to setup and 3-5 min to create a template. All for a profit of over $1000 for those 3 items after factoring labor and material costs
Yes. Time wasted.
There are better ways to make $1,000.

If the event business is not a career path, then have at it. Otherwise, what skills have you advanced by plugging in the spark boxes and dumping dry ice in water? What will be the future value of those skills? Fifteen years from now do you want to still be setting up spark boxes and pea soupers?

Account for the years - not the minutes. Doing something for FREE is worth more if you walk away from it with a valued skill you didn't already have. There will always be someone who can plug in a spark box.
 
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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,186
8,458
35
NJ
www.djtaso.com
Yes. Time wasted.
There are better ways to make $1,000.

If the event business is not a career path, then have at it. Otherwise, what skills have you advanced by plugging in the spark boxes and dumping dry ice in water? What will be the future value of those skills? Fifteen years from now do you want to still be setting up spark boxes and pea soupers?

Account for the years - not the minutes. Doing something for FREE is worth more if you walk away from it with a valued skill you didn't already have. There will always be someone who can plug in a spark box.
The skill is using technology to create incredible moments in real time that are cherished forever through amazing photos and videos. There is also a skill in the timing of the sparks, how often, how long… and for the clouds you could dump 10ths of ice all at once like most… or buy 40lbs and do 4 10lb drops throughout the first dance to have multiple bursts of nice thick clouds that make the effect look full and impressive for the whole song, and not just good for 15 seconds and then looks barely there for the rest of the song like most djs do.