In this day and age of modern technology such as emails, Skype, FaceTime and the like; do you really need to meet up with your wedding DJ before your big day?
After all, the DJ only presses buttons, don’t they?
Actually…..it’s a bit more complicated than that and believe it or not, the pre-wedding meeting serves many purposes from both your side and my side of the booth.
It’s also a very personal service which many DJs just don’t think about offering these days. It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare for a meeting such as this and to gain the maximum information to get the job right on the day. In my book, it’s more than worth it to be able to provide the newlyweds with exactly what they want on their big day.
It’s an old fashioned thing called customer service, and it’s something I strongly believe in.
It can take place several weeks before the big day, or I’m quite happy to meet up before you book if you’d prefer.
Your wedding DJ could be with you for the entire day (yes, longer than the photographer and longer than many of the guests), or if only providing the evening entertainment, for around a third of your day. It’s fairly important that both you and your DJ have an understanding of what you’d like to happen, when and how.
So….what happens at the pre-wedding meeting?
I can only speak from my personal experience in meeting couples before their big day. This sort of service didn’t happen when I got married 18 years ago.
We’ll normally meet up somewhere neutral like a coffee shop, a pub or the venue itself. I’m also more than happy to travel to see you at home….wherever’s convenient and comfortable for you.
The meeting is held as a general getting to know each other chat (and that’s about the best way I can describe it). It’s not formal, it’s not a question and answer session, and there’s no right and wrong answers or things to say. It’s an informal chat about the plans you’ve got for the entertainment on your big day.
What it isn’t is an interview or a sales pitch.
However, a lot of useful information is gathered at the same time!
As an example, I met with a lovely couple earlier this evening. A nice pub by the river, a cold beverage each and a lot of enthusiasm from them about their wedding (it’s a couple of days earlier and “different”), the reception venue, the wedding breakfast and everything to do with the day.
They’d actually made my job a lot easier by using my online planning tools to complete a lot of the information they wanted to tell me, but they also wanted to meet up just to go over things. After all, it’s important everything is understood and that can sometimes be difficult when talking electronically.
Several things came to light during the meeting, possibly one of the biggest being that the background music for the wedding breakfast along with the requirements for microphones for the speeches would be in a different room to the disco equipment.
Not something they’d considered and being a new venue to me not something I was aware of, but happily I have an easy solution to that one and that’s one less surprise for both of us on the day itself.
it also transpired that they didn’t want things too “cheesy”. That said, the short list of must play songs they’d provided did have more than a hint of the delicatessen counter in the local supermarket to it.
This always provokes a conversation about what a couple’s definition of “cheese” actually is (for believe it or not dear reader….it can take many forms just as the real life blocks of curdled milk do in the aforementioned supermarket).
To some, the “classics” they’d listed would be out of bounds for the DJ and regarded as cheese. Having the conversation though revealed that they’d been to a wedding the week before where the DJ had played the Hokey Cokey (as have I on many occasions but only when asked to do so by the bride and groom I might add!).
So, the level of “cheesiness” was defined and the line drawn in the sand as to what they’d rather not hear – no problem :).
What wasn’t clear from the songs they’d selected was the type of music they’d like for the majority of the evening. A quick amble down the route of favourite bands and songs soon sorted that one out (and I’m looking forward to this one from my side of the booth being a big Queen and Status Quo fan personally :). ).
There were also several dedications on the playlist which I now have an understanding of why they’re there and I can “spotlight” those accordingly on the night and make the guests to whom they’re dedicated feel more a part of the evening rather than just hitting the play button.
This of course is all discussed in an earlier post on what makes the perfect wedding playlist.
And then onto lighting. This is a venue I’ve never worked in before and on describing the interior we were able to come up with something which is going to look nice on the day and suitable to the surroundings.
They didn’t realise for instance that the lighting can be configured to do different things for the first dance compared to the rest of the evening (there’s another post coming up on that one).They also didn’t realise that I was able to set the lighting up to compliment their wedding colour scheme.
And then came the conversation on how to end the night. There are several ways of ending a party, but the one I find works the best with a wedding is known as the circle of love.
It’s one of those phenomenons which only happens at weddings. It’s something which happens at 99% of the weddings I entertain at, and it’s all down to the way the last 10-15 minutes of the entertainment are stage managed. This particular one is going to work a treat 🙂
I’ll obviously report back in a few weeks time with the gig log of the day’s entertainment so you can see how all of the above actually worked out for the bride and groom concerned.
How long did all of this last? As long as it took to drink a pint of Diet Coke….around an hour.
What was gained?
From my side, an awful lot about what they’d like done on the day, a lot of ideas on how I can exceed their expectations (and I will), and I got to know the couple I’m working for a lot better than had I just turned up on the day.
From their side? Hopefully they’ve now got a good idea of how I’m going to make their wedding reception awesome for them by doing things they didn’t realise I could do.
After all, the DJ only presses buttons, don’t they? 😉