Wedding shows are a great way to meet tons of vendors, providing you’re not easily overwhelmed by the abundance of information. Sometimes you’ll find lots of promising vendors and an easy way to compare vendors, while small shows offer a laidback atmosphere that can be more conducive to conversations. As DJs this is a great opportunity to meet lots of newly engaged couples and catch up with some old friends. At the shows we in Kitchener, Waterloo and Stratford Ontario we know many of the vendors. For smaller shows, most of the vendors are hand selected meaning they are creditable and established which to a certain degree protects brides from those that would take advantage of uninformed brides. The nature of the shows we typically do are slightly smaller and allow us the chance to chat with couples, future brides, their friends and family.
Last winter we did a small boutique bridal show in Stratford. The show itself was run by the venue manager, who’s one of those people that’s great at what she does and extremely easy to work with. It was at this show we met a bride and her future mother-in-law that had differing opinions on the importance of entertainment at the wedding. While the bride was leaning towards not having a DJ, she still wanted to discuss the particulars of the reception. We understand in certain situations a DJ is just not an option perhaps a budget or other priorities. However, taking the DYI approach does require tremendous amounts of effort, time, and a fair amount of risk. I would recommend to anyone considering this approach that they at least speak with a few professionals. Ask a photographer, venue manager that’s not trying to sell you this service, just their opinion on the subject. iPod and Spotify are the reason some venues now require that you use a DJ or band. Largely due to the negative guest experience associated with iPod/Spotify weddings that venues want to distance themselves from. As DJs with a lots of experience doing weddings a big part of what we do at these shows is offer advice and insight.
The future bride in this case was not that different from our normal client. She was looking for the best value without compromising the experience at her wedding. She was educated, smart and witty which made for a great conversation. Entertainment was the last major item on her list for her June wedding and everything else had costed more than she was expecting so the planned budget made the chances of finding a DJ slim. We talked about what is typically involved with planning for a DJ which is up to 30 hours of prep work (meetings, outlines/timelines, testing equipment, organizing music into creates). Then you have to consider the actual day of the wedding so with transportation, set up/tear down that generally that means another 10-12 hours. This investment in time is all designed to provide couples with a stress free experience! We want their day to be perfect so, we ended that conversation with the bride wanting to think more about the new information we had given her, which is understandable.
After talking with us the bride began speaking with friends about their experience at weddings without a DJ. Before our conversation she was considering the cost and not the looking at the experience for guests past the “I do’s” and dinner. The opinion was shared by most of her friends from shock to “you need to have a DJ”. Her friends had experiences with iPod and Spotify weddings and they went from “nobody danced” to “we went home early”. Why does this happen? Well, there’s a few reasons mainly, because a playlist doesn’t read a crowd. Music used right is a tool that sets the atmosphere for the night. A great song at the wrong time will likely flop. As a professional DJ service we bring roughly 20,000 songs and if a song is not working we change it up. More importantly we spend countless hours preparing for events and that extra work that goes unnoticed, but that’s what makes everything work so well.
We were contacted by the future bride a little more than a week afterwards confirming her interest in our service. Now a booking is always nice, but what’s most important is that the couple and their guests have a great experience. Giving the couple value in return for a service is what ultimately matters. After all, paying any amount large or small and being disappointed at the outcome of their wedding day is not what a couple wants. Paying for a beautiful venue to host your celebration, but having all your guests leave early is less than an ideal situation. So does investing in entertainment make sense? In most cases it definitely does providing there’s real value. Most couples and their guests are looking for an experience that includes, food, drinks, music and décor. This can be accomplished when you choose a wedding professional that listens to your wants and works with you towards them. Our goal has always been to provide couples and their guest with a positive experience and lasting memories. Personally, I think our Stratford bride summarized this brilliantly in an email.