Posts Tagged ‘DJ/MC’

DJ #Fail

 

Unfortunately, I find myself revisiting topic of hiring professionals. In what is indisputably the craziest wedding DJ disaster (aka DJ #Fail) I have ever experienced, I must tell you about “DJ C”.

(Names and places are not important, the point of the post is: this really happened!)

“DJ C” started out with a fair amount of promise. I learned that he was hired by the Father of the Bride on a recommendation. On the wedding day, “DJ C” arrived on time, nicely dressed, with decent equipment. So far, so good.

Unbeknownst to us, the dj/mc started drinking before the guests even entered the dinner reception. He must have gotten a beer (or two) from the cash bar at the cocktail reception. By the time we were ready to introduce the wedding party into the reception, we began to sense that the “DJ C” was a little ‘off’. Only a short while later the bartender came to us and mentioned that the dj/mc had already purchased four drinks. We had no choice – “DJ C” was cut-off immediately – and we were only an hour or so into the reception! Drunk DJ

*I must stop momentarily to point out that I do not condone vendors drinking, nor do the establishments I work with. However, when we are dealing with a vendor we have never met before, we are typically not aware of their relationship with the client (friend, co-worker, etc.) – so we keep a watchful eye on them.

“DJ C” continued to act oddly, and in my opinion obnoxiously; the music was a bit too loud and I was incredibly annoyed that he kept repeating his own name (“I’m DJ C…!“), but we focused on managing the flow of the reception and keeping everything on track. We made it through parent dances and cake cutting, then said our farewells for the evening. All the formalities were complete, and the guests were dancing up a storm – exit the coordinators.

The next day:

Apparently, a few wedding guests* were buying and slipping the DJ/mc drinks and he got more intoxicated. Mother of the Bride told us how “DJ C” with microphone in hand, announced a special message to the groom: “Congratulations on marrying a nice piece of ass!” Further… three wedding guests* were actually friends of the DJ (aka crashers) – they flew under the radar due to open seating, and everyone just assumed they were invited by the other family. Last but not least, he kept trying to end the reception early.

So… to recap: DJ/mc came by way of a recommendation (not from a preferred vendor list offered by venue or coordinators), drank continuously during his shift (a no-no), brought his posse (who does that?), acted unprofessionally and made inappropriate comments, and tried to shortchange his clients by ending their evening early.

How much for a DJ?

This story gives me an opportunity to share a very informative article with you:

In the article “How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?“, author Stacy Tamaki shares timeless tips on selecting a quality DJ/mc.
She also lists a number of mis-steps, including  a few I have witnessed over the years,  such as:  incorrectly pronouncing the bride or groom’s name during the introductions, dressing or acting inappropriately, hitting on guests, drinking on the job, using inappropriate language or using inappropriate humor.

Continue reading weditorial for universal tips on hiring qualified professionals and planning a sensational, emotional and unforgettable wedding!

Whose Your DJ? [Thoughts on Weddings and DJ Entertainment]

ipod-djThis weekend, I had the pleasure of working with a cute young couple who had a very tight wedding budget. I was confronted with a few challenges while coordinating their wedding, not the least of which was the fact that the friend who officiated their wedding was also playing the role of DJ/MC. And while I must commend the bride and groom for their efforts in organizing a complete playlist of music for the evening, here are some of the glitches we encountered:
– There was no prelude music for the ceremony
– There was no exit music for the recessional
– The first dance song ended up on the wrong iPod (and we had to track it down)
– The music selections for dinner were a bit unorthodox
– The pre-programmed music selections did not leave any room for ‘playing to the crowd’
…and so on…

Fortunately they had me to help keep things running smoothly, and overall things went very well; the couple had “their day, their way” and they seemed oblivious to glitches.

When I’m wearing my “Day-of” coordinator hat, I must be careful to provide support, not criticism. As a Planner, I would strongly advise against this type of scenario and take appropriate steps to illuminate and eliminate potential glitches. However, when circumstances dictate that I play the hand I’m dealt, that’s precisely what I do. And let’s face it: if the couple could have afforded a wedding planner, they likely could have afforded a professional DJ as well.

Ironically, I returned home to find an email from a colleague who provides exceptional DJ services. Obviously, fresh off a gig and needing to vent – here is his email to me (but it reads more like a plea to Brides & Grooms):
AFFA Wedding-Junction 88
“Elisa – I wonder why brides don’t trust their DJ to play the right music? I have had way too many brides completely program their wedding music to the point that they have had to hear certain songs in a certain order and at certain times.”

“Most good DJ’s have the ability to read the crowd and know what to play when to play it. I understand that you may not want to hear a certain song or songs, but to totally program the entire function, just defeats the purpose of having a DJ. You might as well just bring your iPod. Oh that’s right, you would have to rent the speakers and no one would be able to talk on the mic and introduce you in…”

“If you trust your DJ to do that, then trust him/her to play the right music.
Most of us do this for a living. I personally do 75+ weddings a year, so I may have seen a wedding or two in my life. We don’t want you to be unhappy so we are going to do the best possible job we can. We are going to do a good job, trust us!”

I contemplated the situation he described and couldn’t help wonder why this is so… Where does it stem from? And then a thought occurred to me:

Picture the wedding I described – glitches and all – and then try to estimate how many of the 100 guests in attendance understood the entertainment arrangements. It’s quite possible that a few people (maybe more) were unaware that the DJ was not a hired professional. It’s also possible that an engaged couple or two were present, in which case they were likely wondering what to expect from their wedding DJ… Would they feel the need to dictate the entire evening to ensure their satisfaction? Hmmmm…. yes, I’d say that’s plausible.

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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