One night recently as I was about to leave the office I received a phone call from a maid of honor asking if I was available for a wedding. The wedding was in 10 days. She explained to me the bride was very upset as her DJ had just called to tell her he would not be doing her wedding.
Small aside, I am getting more and more of these calls. I have a couple of theories as to why, most of them revolve around people hiring “cheap” DJ’s and those DJ’s get a higher paying job and simply leave the other out to fend for themselves. When you hire a DJ, make sure he/she has a reputation he/she is willing to protect. Short of me, and my staff, all dying on the same day, I cannot envision a situation where we would cancel, much less at the last minute.
I am hesitent in taking a wedding with this short of notice. I put a lot of work into weddings. With there only being ten days, I knew it would be hard to devote the time I needed. Coupled with the fact I was about to leave town for a national DJ conference that would limit even further my planning, I was about to say no. However, by design, I did not have another wedding that day. I asked a couple of questions and decided even if I was only to do half as good as normal, it would still be better than her not having anyone. I agreed to be a part of the wedding.
I was excited to learn one of the true professional photographers was to be a part of the wedding. Meghan from Soli Photography is a class act and I am always excited to know I will be working with her. I know the photographer works closely with the bride long before the wedding so I contacted Meghan for some information. As expected, she was a great help in filing in some of the details Kay did not have time to share with me.
Guest starting arriving at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club as scheduled. Per Kay’s wishes, we opened the buffet service and bar so everyone could eat while we waited for the new couple to arrive. About an hour later, as scheduled, the limousine arrived with the bridal party.
After dinner we had some dancing, mostly for the older guests. Then, the big surprise of the evening. Kay had hired the singer of one of Buckley’s favorite bands to play a couple of songs. When wee brought him from the back; to say Buckley was surprised would be a vast understatement. Everyone else was also surprised, and excited. He played a couple of songs while most of the bridal party danced away. After he sang, he was kind enough to stay around for a bit so some of the guests could have their picture taken with him.
After he sang, the best man was ready to give his toast. Kay and Buckley took their seats on the dance floor while he tried his best to express how he felt. He finally said he could not, but maybe Neil Diamond could. That was my cue to play a CD he provided to me earlier in the evening. The best man, groomsman, and all of the bridesmaids had been practicing a dance routine to a medley of songs including Sweet Caroline, Sweet Home Alabama and Baby Got Back. I predict this toast will become a YouTube sensation in the near future!
After this Kay and Buckley had their first dance as husband and wife. They danced to Crazy Girl by Eli Young Band. It is a newer song with perfect lyrics for a first dance. Afterwards, Kay wanted all of the fathers and daughters present to share in a dance, I Loved Her First by Heartland.
We danced some more, we cut the cake, we even caught a tree on fire during the sparkler exit! It was a great time, I am glad I was able to be a part of it.
I think every event can be a learning experience. If you are reading this, I hope you see the importance of hiring true professionals for your wedding. While I had a great time, Kay told me how great of time she had, guests came up to tell me how much fun they had, I know, had I had more time to plan and prepare, this reception could have been so much better. It irritates me more than most anyone can imagine to find out someone in my profession would treat a client like her previous DJ did. There is a reason some DJ’s only do wedding receptions part time, while I do them for a living. Many of those DJ’s have nothing to lose if something better comes along. I have a 20 year reputation to protect.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.