I recently saw a bumper sticker on the back of a construction vehicle that said “Excellence has to be planned in advance”. I like that. As a full-time, professional wedding DJ & MC, I often hear from people in other professions about how great it must be to have my weeks off and just work one or two days on the weekends. But that is not how things work if you want to be the best at what you do – especially for weddings.
The way I look at things regarding wedding clients is that it is my job to help my brides & grooms get what they want on their wedding day. To me, I see it as a one-time chance during a 4-6 hour window to help create an atmosphere, a mood, and to facilitate several once-in-a-lifetime moments – all according to the vision that my happy couples have in their minds. It would be foolish and presumptuous of me to think that I already know what a bride may want at her wedding. After all, she may have been dreaming about this day since she was a little girl!
The only way I can know what she may want is by getting to know her. And the best way I know to do that is through a series of phones calls, face-to-face meetings (usually at a Starbucks – yum!), listening to music together, picking out lighting colors, emailing, texting and finally putting things in writing in my reception and ceremony planning guides. My brides & grooms can rest assured that on their “day-of” I know what they want and will not forget it because they have seen the written documentation.
This planning may take two, three or four times as long as the actual event, but it is usually spread out over several months. I can meet my clients during the regular business day. But because of my clients’ schedules, I will usually meet people after they get off work at a place that is convenient for them. Since I work all over Dallas & Fort Worth, I may find myself driving for an hour or more one-way just to have a 40 minute meeting. But that is what it takes to make sure that my brides & grooms are taken care of. Brides and grooms are usually super-busy with planning their wedding and often times they are in the midst of wrapping up a college degree or moving (or both!) – should I make them come to me and meet me when it is convenient to me? Do I limit how much time I give to my brides? Happily I say – NO!
It is true that some couples take more time than others, but people want to know that I can be there for them to answer questions and bounce ideas off of. This is what separates the true professionals from the part-time hobby DJs. The irony is that the difference in price is not much more than if you found a “wedding factory” anonymous DJ through a big nationwide company. Plus the value I bring to the table far outweighs that difference. Since I have been a part of hundreds of wedding receptions over a long period of time, I am able to help brides, grooms, and their parents figure out how to get what they envision. Sometimes that means that I provide things that will save them hundreds of dollars elsewhere and eliminate overcharges by other vendors for unessesary expenses. You just will never get that level of service and personal touch from a part-timer or a big company.
I am not writing this to simply toot-my-own-horn, but because I think it is important to help distinguish what constitutes excellence in a crazy profession such as mine. Anybody can buy a sound system and play pre-recorded music, but in my world as a Professional Wedding DJ and Master Of Ceremony, the actual execution of the ceremony and wedding reception starts from the first phone call months in advance and does not end until the the truck is packed at the end of your wedding night. :^)