Wedding DJ – How Much Prep Time Do You Need? 40 Hours?

DJ Event Planner
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Here is an example of the kind of time I've been putting into each event
Yes 40 hours is a lot of time & I couldn’t believe it myself until I started taking a real hard look at what I was actually doing. It can get insane! Not every wedding has 40 hours of prep involved. Sometimes it’s a little less & I make every effort to streamline this stuff, but my clients are typically detail oriented. For the sake of illustrating what I’m talking about, here are some numbers:
Pre-client meeting: emails, phone conversations, texting sessions, etc = Total 2 hours
Pre client meeting prep = 2 hours
Initial client meeting: Drive time = 2 hours round trip average. Meeting = 1 ½ hour. Total = 3 ½ hours
Post meeting email, phone & texting sessions = 2 hours +
Site inspection – Drive time = 2 hours round trip average. Inspection time = 1 hour. Total = 3 hours
Post inspection Phone, email & texting session for timeline = 1 hour
Music list research for ceremony, cocktail, dinner & reception = 1 to 5+ hours. Average 2.5 hours
Preliminary ceremony, cocktail, reception timeline & Floor Plan rough draft = 2 hours
Final client meeting – Drive time = 2 hour average round trip. Meeting = 1 ½ hours = 3.5 hours total
Final ceremony, cocktail, reception timeline & Floor Plan = 2 hours
Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal – Drive Time 2 hours round trip average. Rehearsal 1.5 hours = 3.5 hours
We are now at 27 hours
Week-of prep, includes vender communication, music service & custom music organization backed up 3 times with custom edits, all equipment prep including reception & ceremony systems, specialty gear per set up logistics, wireless power prep & light programing (think uplighting), last-minute song, wedding party, specialty dance etc timeline changes, re-write of timelines for my personal use, clothing prep, assistant management when needed, vehicle fuel up/fluid check/ etc = up to 2 solid 10 hour days = 20 hours
Now, we’ve got 47 hours. If I can shave 7 hours off of that time, we’ve got 40 hours
Just for fun, let’s go a step further
Day of – Last minute anything with pack & load up = 2 hours. Drive time = 2 hours round trip. Extra “just in case” travel time = 1.5 hours. Load in / set up ceremony = 1 hour. Ceremony performance = 1 hour. Set up / flip / cocktail / dinner / reception = 1 hour (assistant doing most of this while you are doing ceremony). 2nd set up performance time = 5-7 hours(average 6 hours). Break down / load up = 1 hour. Unload = as quickly as possible. Total time = 15.5 hours +
Now, we have a total time invested, prep & performance of 62.5 hours! If you could shave 22.5 hours off of this, you still have a total of 40 hours invested in each event.