I recently received the strangest phone call from a distressed and flustered bride-to-be. Her first question to me was, “Will you play the music I want played?” To me this was a no-brainer, because naturally we play whatever music a bride requests. She went on to tell me that after speaking to her DJ (who she already had booked for her wedding in June), he was telling her that he had a ‘set format’ and that he knew better than she what music to play because he has been doing weddings for years.
I was literally speechless.
Within thirty minutes, I had calmed her down, explaining to her that we would not only listen to not only her music requests, but help her to format a timeline for her wedding, including all of the formalities that she wanted to be included – and excluded – in her wedding reception. She went on to tell me that she had told this DJ that she had booked that she did not want to do a garter and bouquet ceremony, because there weren’t really going to be any single people in attendance and that she just felt it wasn’t necessary. She was told by this Wedding DJ that a garter and bouquet ceremony was something he always did, and if she didn’t do it, it would be weird.
The only thing that was weird to me was this Wedding DJ. I have never heard of someone being so completely unprofessional. I instinctively thought that perhaps the music requests she had made were somehow inappropriate, because I simply couldn’t understand why he would outright refuse her requests. I was pleasantly surprised to find that her requests were unique, but nothing out of the ordinary. She and her fiancee were big Jazz fans, and wanted a lot of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald during their cocktail and dinner, and wanted some of the more ‘upbeat’ Jazz (Swing) interspersed into the dancing time. Apparently her DJ told her he would ‘look bad’ playing such old music, and was concerned more with looking hip and new, insisting she should opt for more current R&B for her cocktail, and he would only play popular music heard on the radio today for the dance sets. Quite simply – in my humble opinion – this guy had no business being in the service business whatsoever.
Any professional Wedding DJ (or other wedding vendor for that matter) would never dictate such things to a bride.
All I kept thinking of was analogy after analogy. Going to the mall to buy sneakers and having the sales guy tell me that he wasn’t going to help me try on the white low-tops I wanted because he would never wear them, or the guy at the McDonalds drive-thru telling me he refused to serve me a burger without cheese. As a consumer, I want what I want. Certainly if there is a less expensive sneaker, or one which the salesperson feels will hold up better over time, I don’t mind him suggesting it… I’d probably appreciate the tip. But to tell me that what I wanted was not going to be delivered because the service person didn’t like it, or just didn’t want to? I don’t think so.
I booked her within 45 minutes of talking, waived the $100.00 deposit she had paid to the other Wedding DJ and she thanked me for understanding. I told her there was no need to thank me and it was my pleasure and my job to make her happy. Since I knew her requests included Jazz, I phoned a DJ on my staff who has a deep love and appreciation for Jazz, knowing it would be a great fit and promptly emailed her all the necessary paperwork.
Making brides happy is easy. They spend years dreaming of that magical day, and all I have to do is deliver a dream.
Now here’s the part where you probably expect me to go on and on about how Cutting Edge Entertainment is the right choice because we listen to our customers, but I won’t. What I will say is that no matter what DJ you book with (and there are lots of good ones out there), or photographer, or videographer, caterer, or other event professional, the same rule applies. YOU are the bride, this is YOUR day. If you want chicken but the caterer only does steak, find a caterer that does chicken.
My advice is to meet with your vendors and be sure that they understand that this isn’t about them, but about you.