Wedding Season (Again)
It’s that time of year when it rains a lot and people profess their undying love in the form of marriage. What does that mean for me? Allergies and the odd random call from strangers wanting me to DJ at their wedding. I strongly dislike both.
Am I above doing weddings? Not at all, but I only do weddings for strangers under one of two conditions: a) you were referred by someone I know or b) you saw me DJ out somewhere and decided you want me at your wedding. 99.9% of the time, anything that falls outside of the top two descriptions turns out to be a waste of my time.
Strangers contacting me and coercing me into giving them a sales pitch is not my cup of tea. I’m not going to tap dance and do jazz hands for the contents of your wallet. Weddings are a big deal and a personal thing. If you weren’t referred or haven’t experienced my work then we are just two assholes in a room talking about money. More importantly, as a buyer you are terrified because you aren’t 100% sure of the quality of what you are buying. As a referral, I have two reputations to honor: my own and the person that referred you. If you’ve already seen me DJ we can cut to the chase and start talking numbers.
The Anti-Sales Pitch
Just because a DJ rocked your world in a club doesn’t mean that he is an adequate candidate to employ for your wedding. It’s fair to ask a club DJ how much experience he has with doing weddings. On that note…
I learned to be a mobile DJ from one of the top mobile DJ companies in St. Louis, MO. While working with this company I learned to DJ/VJ at weddings, school functions, corporate events and private parties. During my employment at this company I became one of their top DJs (even winning DJ of the month=free Dave Chappelle tickets!). How many weddings have I done? I don’t even know…at least 100. How long have I been a DJ? Well over a decade.
What Some Club DJs Don’t Know About Weddings
Half of a wedding gig is being an MC. Sounds simple, but it isn’t. The DJ is also managing the first half of the reception via announcing the wedding party and bride and groom, speeches, prayer, dining style (sit and wait or bumrush the buffet), cake cutting, first dances and Na Na’s birthday.
Yeah, Prince’s P_$$y Control really tore the club up when you met the clients, but if you play that at their reception with a bunch of little kids and Na Na around, you should be dragged to the back of the reception hall, given a cigarette and promptly shot. Not professional and totally unacceptable. Play only clean tracks. Period.
The wedding DJ gig starts the moment you shake hands with the client. Meaning what? Meaning you have a sit down meeting with the client with pen and paper and make sure you pronounce everyone in the wedding party’s name correctly. You get general times for when things are supposed to happen like dinner and cake cutting. You find out if the clients are more about pleasing themselves or making sure the guest have a good time. You know…planning.
Why I Do Weddings At All
Doing wedding gigs for cool people is a pleasant experience. I have yet to have someone refer me to a Bridezilla. Referral gigs are like extending your social network. You’re introducing someone cool to someone else cool. If a couple sees me in a club and like what they heard they can get the best of both worlds without worrying about the night being too club or too square. I can take it from Motown to LMFAO in the course of the night and make sure everyone is happy.
Not long ago, a woman told me a horror story of how a low-rent commercial DJ ruined her friend’s wedding so much that it had the bride in tears. The woman said to me, “Who do cool people call when they need a wedding DJ?” I smiled and handed her my card and said, “They call me.”