The DJ’s Perceived Responsibility
The DJ’s Perceived Responsibility
Your Colorado wedding DJ Entertainer, will be assumed to take on several roles beyond just music, whether they know it or not. The reality is, your wedding MC/DJ Entertainer is the visible spokesperson for your wedding, the host, and thereby, the person guests assume “responsible” for crafting the comprehensive entertainment experience for them from the moment they arrive, to your last dance. Because of this assumption, your wedding MC/DJ Entertainer is presumed to take on the task of fully organizing, creating, building, then maintaining a wedding’s full sequence of events beyond just playing music and making a few announcements. Then, seamlessly delivering them in a professional manner that keeps everyone engaged, entertained and informed. We acknowledge that responsibility. We gladly accept that responsibility… and the reason why we specifically created our “Wedding Entertainment Design™” process.
Your wedding MC/DJ Entertainer is the only wedding professional you’ll hire that is consistently there with the guests from the moment they arrive, until your very last dance. The only professional that will hear everything your guests hear, see what they see, experience what they experience from start to finish…whether on schedule, seamless and worry free, or not at all.
Your wedding MC/DJ Entertainer is the only visible wedding professional to guests, and thereby “perceived” to be the wedding MC/DJ’s responsibility to maintain the sequence of events in a positive and seamless, calm and composed manner – no matter what happens. It is our unique ability to anticipate and deal directly with any problems that may arise. This can often be done with ease and without disrupting the flow of the evening or disturbing the newlyweds, family or guests.
There will be things that impact every wedding’s best intended timelines – yet most of the time, we have a way of handling them without the couple or their families ever even knowing about it. It’s how we approach problems.
We strive to find creative, tasteful solutions. Often times, most other wedding vendors aren’t even aware of an issue because they are solely accustomed to just doing their one job; whether it be food, cake, flowers or photos, etc and do not understand how one seemingly innocuous hiccup can impact the overall mood of the guests, and ultimately, the whole wedding entertainment experience.
Every once in great while, we choose to take one for the team and defer attention from the situation, or another vendor, and accept wrongful blame for something we have absolutely no control over in the effort to maintain a fun, festive atmosphere for good of the wedding celebration so that the bride, or family, or another vendor isn’t needlessly stressed out.
Ok, so now you’re probably asking, like what?
Here’s a few from our actual weddings this year:
Problem: Delays for a Colorado mountain wedding with the ceremony starting late due to a forest fire that just began from a fallen tree landing on a power line just a half mile down the road. In reality, the venue’s staff was listening to police scanners to hear if evacuation was eminent or not. The consensus with between me and the venue was to delay the ceremony 30 to 40 minutes and wait before creating an emotional panic and obviously changing the joyful, celebratory mood into one of worry and fear. Imagine 120 guests frantically trying to evacuate the venue without knowing 100 percent it was necessary.
Solution: I intentionally “pretended” to have to last minute re-set the entire ceremony audio gear for better sound coverage, forcing me to take down and move what I already knew was perfectly optimized for great sound. I reset it all up again and re-did new mic checks, re-tested all the music and re-did all the live musician’s accompanying sound checks with the sole goal of taking an intentional 45 minutes. Believe me, internally, it was very, very stressful for me and difficult to try to create enough fictitious things to cover up the mask a delay that long, yet simultaneously try to keep guests entertained, and not anxious. The couple nor their families ever knew about the threat of a possible forest fire evacuation. As far as I know, they still don’t. I just let the delayed start and willingly let the “blame” fall on me for the late start pretending to have to re-set the ceremony audio. The way I saw it, this was the only immediate and viable solution to avoid creating a needless panic and risk irrevocably altering the mood of love and joy and happiness to immediate fear and panic without knowing it was absolutely necessary.
How this is handled clearly would have an impact on the overall mood and wedding entertainment experience for guests, the bride, groom and their families and at that very moment. I chose to handle it this way for the “good” of the wedding.
Problem: A heart attack by a bride’s grandparent, during the dinner portion of a reception. (Actually, we had two happen this past year.)
Solution: Using my knowledge, formal education and skill in improv comedy, and theory of team performance and audience attention management, I deflected (both times) the attention away from the seated grandparent who was having a stroke, and immediately shifted all the guests’ attention to the dance floor for a made up “on the fly” bride and groom focused event…as if it were pre-planned, scripted and rehearsed. As the couple walked to the dance floor, I immediately alerted the venue’s staff and caterer (who was oblivious what was going on), personally called 911 (and asked they roll in silent without sirens as to not panic guests). While the couple was on the dance floor, and “running” the reception as their wedding MC/DJ, I personally coordinated with emergency staff so that at the very moment they arrived, they were immediately able to remove the stroke victim(s) and get them the emergency care they needed; only because everyone’s attention was specifically directed away from the victim and entryway, and instead, specifically TO the dance floor on the newlyweds. I had to make the immediate choice to either create a needless panic and chance irrevocably altering the mood of love and joy, into panic and grief. I chose love and joy. (Note: this doesn’t mean that I didn’t care what was going on. I absolutely do. I just had to make an instant choice. In the end, when I called to follow up a few days later, both grand parents were okay.)
Problem: Falling or leaning wedding cakes (3 this year)
Solution: Honestly, how could a wedding MC/DJ Entertainer have any recompense in fixing this one? Well, it depends on how it’s handled and how quickly we create a viable solution because we understand HOW the manner in which this incident is handled impacts the overall celebration, the mood of both the bride and groom, their families, stress, the overall reception mood, total reception flow, and guest’s entertainment experience because we are the visible “host” guests connect with. Yes, we have to be calm, collect and creative.
(To set the stage, remember, cake designers just drop off the cake, then leave. This one was just delivered, set up where per the layout the caterer and venue designed the room. It was a hot summer day near the west facing window. Okay, by now, you know where this is going. The cake gal had no idea her cake is about to fall, it was fine when she set it up two hours earlier. She left. The Colorado wedding caterer was in the kitchen solely focused on food and was oblivious to what was about to happen.) As I noticed the “leaning cake of Pisa” began to lean more moments before guests were scheduled to arrive, I immediately I alerted the catering staff about what was about to happen to the wedding cake.
What did I do? Well, I’ve seen many “propped up” cakes that just look worse than what was falling. So, I suggested to the super stressed out caterer the need to instead immediately pre-slice and plate the cake right now, put it in the refrigerator making sure to salvage just enough to clean up and re-create a small 10″ round cake for the couple to make the ceremonial cut. Amazing what creativity, understanding the emotion and entertainment flow can do, then add in some shiny, new white frosting and flowers and viola!
I then suggested the caterer moved the small 10″ round cake to tall cabaret style table to deflect attention away from what was once a larger table, to now a small intimate table to an east interior wall near the dance floor. In the end, did the couple know? Sure, but only at the time of the cake cut. Did guests ever find out? Nope. They thought that’s how the cake was intimately designed, and in fact, praised the caterer for getting the cake cut and served so fast. Did the caterer get all the kudos from the bride and her mom, yes. Did I say a single word. No. It’s not about us. In the end, do I care about getting the praise? Nope. Not at all. All I care about is that their wedding was awesome, smooth flowing, and everyone had a great time!
The way I saw it, there were two very clear choices: either bombard the bride and parents as soon as they walked in with the problem (which is what the caterer wanted to do), or find an immediate and creative solution based understanding what how this is single incident is handled will (and can) alter a whole mood of the celebration and everyone’s experience. I chose to present a solution to avoid needless stress on the bride and family and avoid aimless finger pointing and blame about why the room was laid the way it was, the cake set up in the sun, etc. choosing to maintain the mood of a wonderful celebration of love and joy.
Problem: Colorado wedding photographers who “steal” the couple for the all too often “we’ll only be gone 10 minutes” sunset shots (or Rocky Mountain National Park wedding shots, or Colorado lake wedding shots, or wherever) only to actually be gone for a minimum of 40+ minutes (as is typical). One wedding, the couple was gone over two hours and twenty minutes!
(Believe it or not, the Colorado “sunset” wedding photo safari literally “ruins” the celebration for guests who came to see, talk and celebrate with the newlyweds, only to see they aren’t there. They will leave. I see this happen at one or two weddings per month!)
Solution: Respectfully, on this one, I need to respectfully point out that guests will ALWAYS do whatever the newlyweds do! If the newlyweds are excited, calm, happy, engaged in the fun, and yes present, then so too will their guests be. If the newlyweds leave, or more importantly, guests perceive that the newlyweds left because they’ve been gone a long time, guests will leave; no matter your wedding MC/DJ Entertainer says or does. Guests came to celebrate with the newlyweds! I believe, it is unfortunate for photographers, videographers to make decisions without fully understanding first hand how one little decision impacts an entire wedding, the energy created in a room, and the experience of all the guests. Couples who allow a photographer to woo them into believing that the elusive sunset shot will only be “10 minutes” needs to be aware that while they are chasing the sunset for a few photos, guests are waiting….and waiting, and waiting, then leaving.
Remember, your wedding MC/DJ Entertainer is the only wedding professional you’ll hire that is consistently there with guests from the moment they arrive, until your very last dance. The only wedding professional that will hear everything your guests hear, see what they see, experience what they experience from start to finish. Caterers don’t. They’re in the kitchen. The on-site coordinator is often running around, or in their office.
So when the “guests of honor” (aka the newlyweds) are gone, and guests nothing to do except sit and talk to strangers, they continually come up and ask the wedding MC/DJ Entertainer (the host) what’s coming next, ask where the bride and groom are, ask when can they eat, ask what’s going on, etc. In the end, truthfully, if a couple is gone more than about 10 to 15 minutes, so that by 20 minutes of waiting, guests will get bored, and likely leave.
So, what’s the solution? It depends. Here’s two recent weddings this happened.
One recent wedding, after normal wedding ceremony photos and after dinner (and the champagne literally poured and we’re ready for the toast and cake), the Colorado wedding photographer suggested to the couple sunset shots as the sun was nearing to set with the promise to be gone only 10 minutes. So, I made an announcement on the microphone to let guests know the newlywed would be gone for 10 minutes to do the toast and cake even though I made every effort to inform the couple and their parents about being gone more than 10 minutes will have a clear and negative impact on their reception. Guests would leave. After 20 minutes of being gone and guests getting restless, I tried to come up with a couple of fun, bride and groom focused activities setting it up as if guest were on the set of the “newlywed game” with guests trying to answer secret questions about the bride and groom before they returned (all of which I had to come up with on the fly.) I planned for that to take 5 to 10 minutes giving the photographer the benefit of the doubt figuring they should be back soon. Here’s what actually happened: the newlyweds left to take the sunset shot with 110 guests there. They returned 42 minutes later, yes, 42 minutes later, with only 19 guests (just their closest family) remaining because guests had already been sitting for 2.5 hours for the cocktail hour cocktail hour while they took ceremony photos, then a 90 minute dinner (which took forever). The couple abruptly left with the champagne poured, but no newlyweds to toast. Was it really fair for the couple (and photographer) to ask guests to add 42 more minutes of waiting before doing the toast, cake and in order to get to the fun and dancing? Just remember, guests will always follow what the newlyweds do. The newlyweds are the party! If guests perceive (key word) the bride and groom left, then guests will leave.
At another wedding, the ceremony was at 6pm, and that went perfectly. The couple was introduced into the reception at 7:00pm, did their first dance, then the photographer took the couple from 7:05pm to 9:25pm for “a few” romantic shots at a golf course. After 30 minutes of waiting, guests were getting restless and several guests began to repeatedly ask me as the MC/DJ Entertainer (their “host”) when they could eat. Looking for a quick solution, I spoke with the catering staff and suggested they move some of the finger type foods from the buffet menu since they had a themed wedding featuring only heavy hor’ dourves and pass some of the hors d’oeurves on shiny silver trays to appease hungry guests.
After 30 minutes of the newlyweds being gone (now 7:35pm) personally fielding dozens of inquiries from guests as to when they would be allowed to eat “real” food. So, I humbly spoke with the parents of the bride and recommended that the buffet open and allow their 200 guests to get some more sustainable food. (Remember, by now, its 7:35pm). In the end, the couple ultimately returned two hours and twenty minutes later with their photographer, at 9:25pm, yes, 9:25 pm, and were shocked only to find 70 percent of their guests left. Again, guests will always follow whatever the newlyweds do.
In the end, it’s hard to host a wedding party when the guests of honor aren’t even there.
Problem: A special military groomsmen cannot attend due to a last minute deployment for a Colorado destination wedding.
Solution: We did a super quick, life size face shot, put it on an oversized paint stick and had the mis-matched bridesmaid “escort” the missing groomsmen in. The best part, I was able to do our “Signature Audio Tribute™” for a surprise toast. I had him dial our 800# with a special assigned code I set up. I carefully edited then produced a surprise toast for the couple, overlaying his toast to a patriotic song. The couple had no idea until it played. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
It’s how we can creatively come up with a solution to positively impact the overall mood and entertainment experience for guests. That’s what we strive to do.
Then, believe it or not, every once in a while there are just some things we just can’t control, like: once in a century flooding, last minute family arguments with parents who now refuse to attend, and a major bridal gown “wardrobe malfunction” with one bride literally splitting her dress from her shoulder to her knee while dancing. Duct tape can solve most problems, but not this one.
Our success comes from an understanding of our role, the Amore’ Wedding Entertainment Design Process™ and a thorough understanding of why an Amore’ MC/DJ Entertainment wedding MC is radically different from what you have seen or heard before. We approach our weddings with truly a comprehensive eye on how every situation, every factor, and every seemingly innocuous event can impact the emotions, the flow, the stress, the energy, the mood, and ultimately, the entertainment experience for guests. We don’t just focus on music and make a few announcements. We do more. Lots more!
Yes, there is a large “cast” of Colorado wedding professionals for your day, and each are important, but the question truly is, how will they put it all together to create a comprehensive entertainment experience for you and your guests. Do they understand how to put it all together, all of it, from the guest’s perspective? Can the florist, caterer, photographer, officiant, or venue? No. We work with them to create a seamless wedding celebration just for you and your guests!
The question is, does every other DJ really understand their unspoken responsibility cast upon them? Do they accept it? Do they plan for it? Do they have a process to implement it? I don’t know about anyone else, but Amore’ DJ Entertainment does.
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