How Do You Say How Much?

July 4, 2017 by Dave Ternier

This is going to sound weird and it might surprise you, but I rarely vocalize my price to a wedding couple considering my services. Ever. Seriously, it’s true.

Saying something like “If you want to hire me, the price for a wedding reception will be $x,xxx + tax and if you also want me for your wedding ceremony it’s an additional $xxx…” just isn’t my style. What I attempt instead, is to create a uniquely professional experience out of the actual moment in which I share my pricing (usually at the end of a consultation) and communicate that the booking process itself and the dollars required to hire my services are really no big deal.

Generally speaking, a wedding couple I am meeting with to discuss my services doesn’t know my exact pricing. They might have an idea what it is (shared with them by friends of theirs, or they’ve picked up on some of the subtle wording on my website that communicates that I am probably not inexpensive), but most of the time, I haven’t told them precisely. Whether they know my pricing or not, the following applies in 100% of the wedding consults I plan for. (although when meeting over video chat, obviously, the physicality’s are a little different)

Prior to a consultation, I have already asked for the location of the wedding and understand the travel involved. With this knowledge, I produce a special price sheet unique to the couple I’ll be meeting with. The price sheet displays the potential clients name and wedding date at the top, followed by all of my wedding services: DJ/MC for reception, ceremony sound and assisted ceremony direction, uplighting, dancing on a cloud, and custom monogram projection. At the bottom of the sheet is a line that describes the travel fee for going to their planned wedding location and if I require an overnight hotel room (travel over 100 kms/60 miles generally requires hotel, but exceptions are often made, due to location circumstances).

With the price sheet printed, a planning package custom prepared for that couple, and a copy of Peter Merry’s book, I then head out the door to meet the potential wedding clients.

If the consultation goes well and I have decided that I’m open to working with the couple, I will wrap up by asking them (prior to sharing my price sheet) if my services are something they would be interested in. Presuming that “yes” is the answer they give, I’ll turn the price sheet toward them.

Up to this point in the consult, the pricing sheet has been in semi-open view on the table. I will have begun the consult with it sitting inside the front cover (clear plastic) of the planning package. When I show them the contents of the planning package, I’ll take the pricing sheet out and set it open on the table, facing me. By the time I ask them about their interest in my services, I am fairly confident they’ve already seen my price at some point during the meeting (because I make no attempt to hide it).

Once the price sheet has been turned toward them, I nearly always say the following exact words, “All that I require for booking, is a $1250 booking fee and the balance is simply split into two payments between the two planning meetings.” (They’ve already been told that the two major planning meetings are generally 5 – 6 months prior to the wedding and 1 – 2 months prior to wedding.)

With that, I simply begin explaining each line item as written on the actual pricing sheets in the following photo. The pricing sheets shown here are from a series of consults I had over a 10 day span in early 2016. All but one of these couples booked my services.

how-do-you-say-how-much-1

And there you have it. That’s how I say “how much.” In the majority of circumstances, that is precisely how I share my pricing with potential wedding clients.

It almost seems like a silly thing to write a blog post about, but sometimes it’s the small, nitty gritty details, that make all the difference.

How, exactly, do you share your price?

Dave Ternier Dave Ternier (26 Posts)

Dave Ternier began his DJ career in 1997 as a self taught, part time, mobile DJ. Since 2011, Dave has gone full time as a single operator DJ/MC for his company, Special Request Weddings. He is a proud Canadian DJ, MC, member of the CPDJA and recipient of the international WED Guild® certification. Family life is kept busy alongside his beautiful wife Kathryn and their two daughters, Kiana and Marika. Dave is also the founding author of www.aDJthought.com, an industry blog focused exclusively on mobile wedding DJs.


Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business