PARTY DJ AUSTIN
Wedding & Event Planning Tips
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On any given weekend, all year, you'll find us providing a DJ and/or photo booth for a wedding or event in Austin or Central Texas. It still surprises us at how many weddings and events are happening every weekend in the Austin area! Today, however, we want to discuss Mariachis. This blog is NOT to deter your from hiring Mariachis, by any means; however, we want to be honest about our experiences with Mariachis at weddings, quinceaneras and events in the Austin area, and we want to give you some advice. Here are some things to consider, before hiring Mariachis (and any vendor) for your event.
1. Do Your Research - Research all the Mariachis in your area and get 3-5 quotes. The interesting thing about getting quotes for services, is that you'll get a wide range of quotes, some very affordable, and others very expensive. Compare not just the prices, but what you get for your money. Mariachis typically charge by the hour and are usually hired for 1-2 hours. We've seen prices range, but usually around $300 - $500, for one hour.
2. Read Reviews - This is very important. Always read the reviews about any vendor you will hire. Know that reviews are important, because these represent actual client experiences. Reviews are the new version of "word-of-mouth" advertising.
3. Fliter the Reviews - If you're looking at the reviews across the internet, see what the trend is. For me, personally, I choose companies with 4 stars or better. It's great to have all 5 stars, but in reality, it's hard to please every single customer, every time, so having less than 5 stars is okay, as long as it's not the majority of the reviews that show less than happy clients. Look at the complaints though. As they say, where there's smoke, there's fire. If mutilple customers complain about the same thing and the vendor has not responded about how they fixed (or will fix) the issues, it's most likely true, so be careful.
4. Get a Contract - Always get a contract! Make sure the contract has exactly what you're paying for, the date of your event, the cost, etc. Read the fine print, cancellation notices, etc. Find out what happens if they don't show up. If they don't show, do you get your deposit back? You should be able to! If not, RUN and don't hire this vendor!
5. Don't Pay the Entire Balance - I know this seems strange, but it's best to only pay a deposit, at least initially. Why? Well, as I stated above, if the Mariachis don't show up, you've lost all of your money, so be careful! Unfortunately, we've done many events where the client did not stay in touch with their Mariachis (and even DJs) and the Mariachis did not even show up, yet they already were paid in full!
6. Stay in Touch - If they are not contacting you as your date approaches, contact them! Contact them one month before, and as often as you need to, until your date. Definitely contact them the week of your event, to check in, too! Go over your needs and what time you expect them to arrive and any other important details. We've done numerous events where communication was an issue and the correct times were not explained. This led to the Mariachis showing up at a different time (rather than the time they were expected).
Overall, know that these tips are not only for Mariachis, but for any vendor. If you're having a wedding or event in the Austin or Central Texas area, or anywhere, all of the above tips apply! We get calls, every week, from angry clients who had their DJ or photo booth service stop returning their calls/emails, etc. Our first question is always "do you have a contract?" Most of the time, the answer is "no." Don't let this happen to you!
We have worked with nearly every Mariachi group in the Austin and Central Texas area. Many of them have done a great job and some, unfortunately, were late or did not show up. We will not bash any business, but we can recommend one Mariachi group, based on our experience with them. We personally hired Mariachi Los Toros, for our own wedding and they were great! They communicated with us, often, showed up right on time, and did a great job! They even learned a song that we requested for our first dance, which was "We Belong Together" by Ritchie Valens! Again, as we stated above, this post is not written to deter you from hiring Mariachis, but to bring awareness and help you in the process of hiring your vendors.
- Austin's Best DJs Team