It was just another day at the Black Tie office this past June when I received a phone call from a frantic groom named Anthony. One of his long time friends, let’s call him Jay was going to be the DJ at their wedding in less than a week and Jay called to let the couple know he couldn’t make it. Now, I’m not sure why Jay could not be at the wedding and that’s not really the point. The fact that here was a bride and groom without one of the most parts of their wedding day was now gone with only a few days until the big day.
I know how crazy this moment can seem because I see it every year. In fact, many of my industry partners see this every year, as well. Everyone knows that things happen, but how can you protect yourself and your partner from letting an unfortunate moment define your wedding day? Here are some ways you can put yourself in a position for the best possible wedding day.
1. Up the contract creek without a paddle: Avoid any professional who does not have a thorough contract protecting you as well as him.
2. The cheap or free DJ/MC 'friend' who makes a mess of your wedding: Avoid hiring friends and family, PERIOD. Competent, appropriate DJ/MCing is a complicated art crucial to the success of your reception... hire a professional.
3. Cell phones interrupting your ceremony: Be sure your MC or Officiant politely asks guests to mute phones before the ceremony.
4. Guests not being able to hear your vows: Avoid a ceremony your guests can't hear by hiring a pro to provide sound.
5. The rainy, muddy, cold, or hot ceremony: Avoid a weather disaster by having a "Plan B" for your ceremony.
6. Miscommunication of your desires: Avoid "vendor disconnect" by making sure all key professionals communicate in advance.
7. Late for your own party: Avoid arriving late for your reception by discussing post-ceremony pictures and necessary time with your photographer. Also, provide wedding party with details for the introductions at the rehearsal dinner.
8. The Embasrrassing DJ Show: Avoid hiring a DJ who thinks your reception is all about his or her "show" - it's your celebration.
9. The Drunk, Embarrassing DJ: Avoid a DJ who says he parties along with your guests ... a no drinking policy should be in place for professionals who have a job to do.
10. Don't kill a Dance Party with 20 minutes of group photos: Avoid interrupting the flow of the party by planning group photographs for cocktail and dinner hour.
11. The long and embarrassing speech: Avoid long, stream of consciousness speeches and toasts by making sure speakers know your desires and plan to keep it brief. 5 minutes is usually a good max time for a speech.
12. Choppy flow of events: Avoid a hap-hazardous timeline by spreading the traditional elements of your reception throughout the celebrations. A good MC will know how to do this well and can advise you.
13. Unprepared, awkward moments: Avoid these by hiring an MC who will ensure things are staged and ready before an announcement is made.
14. Alienation of your guests: Avoid a song list that does not give EVERYONE a chance to dance.
15. Egomaniacs: Avoid a DJ who talks about his awesome sound system, how many songs he has, or how he controls crowds with his personality. This day is about you and a professional DJ should make sure YOU shine.
16. Guests too drunk to be, well, good guests: Avoid "over-served" guests by keeping the length of your reception (and open bar) to a resonable length of time.
17. Ugly, sloppy sound equipment junking up your pictures: Avoid unsightly DJ set-ups by hiring people who invest in sleek, modern, professional set-ups. Remember, however, this should not be something he talks about beyond informing you his equipment is professional grade.
18. No DJ at your wedding: Avoid life's "what ifs" from happening to your DJ and to you by going with a reputable company that has back-up DJs and equipment. Things happen and being prepared ensures your big day stays focused on your big day!
This list could easily have turned into '365 Ways...', but we thought we'd keep it simple.
Oh, just in case you were wonder, Anthony’s wedding went off without a hitch despite the rush we had to put on the planning process. It took a lot more effort than normal and there were no discounts available for this couple, but the end result was an amazing wedding. Score one more for the DJs at Black Tie.