OK, my last post before the end of the long winter break and going out again next Wednesday for the first wedding of the year.
I perform at more weddings than any other type of event every year. I’m good at it, I know the rules of how things work and I know what brides want….or that’s what I thought.
Here’s a look behind the scenes of a wedding DJ….the parts you don’t see…..
Behind the scene’s, we’re conditioned as DJs to believe that your wedding reception (quite rightly) is the most important party you’ll ever hold. We’re “trained” that we’re one of the most important parts of the day and that we should do everything in our power to create the WOW factor. Big sound, big lighting, LOVE letters, dance floors, confetti and good old fashioned customer service.
We’re “trained” that you want the proper formalities done in the correct way, whilst all the time being a bit stuffy and formal. Things such as grand entrances should be done in a certain way, the first dance and cake cutting should be properly announced….it’s all a bit regimented from my side of the booth and brides are beginning to thing the same.
It wasn’t always that way….and expectations are changing rapidly!
I’ve been entertaining at weddings for a very long time now (in fact since 1988). Trends come and go (believe me….it’s something I see all the time….when did you last see a chocolate fountain?). LOVE letters which used to hire for £300+ are now less than £100 and photo-booths can’t earn enough to pay for the attendants let alone the cost of the ink and paper and repaying the initial £4k+ of the initial investment into the equipment.
The past couple of years, and in particular the past six months have seen a massive change in what brides want for their wedding reception though….
The trend for big, expensive weddings started around 20 years ago (around when I got married). Money was in easy supply at cheap rates back then, brides wanted to “better” their peers on every aspect of their wedding even if it meant paying for it for years to come! It’s where hotel and stately home weddings started, and brides wanted more than a bloke with loud music and flashing lights in the corner of the function room for their wedding reception. In short, every wedding had to be better than the last!
This introduced the “specialist” wedding DJ.
Previously DJs such as my good self had turned up to a village hall or similar an hour before the party was due to start, often with no idea of the bride and groom’s names let alone knowing what the first dance was, and entertained the guests. It was as simple as that and believe it or not, needed a lot of skill going in “blind” and not knowing any of the preferences for the evening….they weren’t as important then so long as people were dancing!
The “specialist” DJ underwent training from the likes of Derek Pengelly and Mark Ferrel on how weddings could be improved for a better and more memorable experience. Things like the Mr & Mrs game, the Love Story and various other trinkets were introduced. And heaven help the DJ that dared to play the “party classic” (better known as cheese to some). The bar was raised. And for a while…it’s what all brides wanted.
I was part of that movement and believe me, the stress involved in providing that type of experience was second to none!
As the title of this post indicates…times are changing.
In the past couple of years I’ve noticed a big change in what brides want on their big day. DIY is now huge when it comes to wedding receptions, and the belts are tightening when it comes to costs.
We’re also now entering an era of brides who don’t remember the “cheesy” weddings and family functions of the 80s.They actually WANT the floor-fillers to be played (so long as they don’t involve Agadoo, Superman and other notoriously horrid action dances).
It’s now becoming rare for brides to want things like formal announcements, Masters of Ceremonies, events during the day done in a formal and exact way, and for traditions to be followed.
First dances are no longer a 4 minute formality of painful wobbling on the dance floor alone. The cutting of the cake doesn’t involve a huge introduction including the history of why we actually have a cake in the first place.
In short, we’re going back to the “old days” of weddings where relations help with the venue decoration and catering….and the evening reception should just be a party where guests are on the dance floor enjoying themselves without the formalities and expectations of the past 20 years.
From where I stand at wedding receptions….this is very refreshing!
What I’ve definitely noticed is that brides want FUN instead of formal!
- Gone are the days of meeting with the DJ before the reception.
- Gone are the days of massive must play and do not play playlists.
- Gone are the days of the DJ working in a three piece suit and a bow-tie (phew!)
Because of this, I’ve decided to launch a completely new wedding website for a completely different kind of service.
Although I’m still happy to offer the formal wedding day service for those who want it, I now also offer a fun wedding service, where the rules of recent years are well and truly broken! In fact….YOU make the rules!
The website (www.funweddingdj.co.uk) will be live in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to offer something a lot less formal and stuffy from the wedding expectations of the past 20 years and hopefully will help to shape the wedding reception for the next 20 years 🙂
Don’t get me wrong….this venture IS NOT a trip down memory lane to the DJ that arrived in jeans and a t-shirt and rolled out the same playlist to every wedding in a cheesy fashion….I don’t work that way and never did! But….it’s going to be a lot more refreshing and put YOU in control!