Wedding Mistakes I've Experienced this Summer
DJ'ing a perfect wedding has always eluded me, and I often wonder if perfection is possible. The role of a DJ in a wedding is crucial, as it involves managing about 100-150 songs, announcements, and transitions across a non-stop 6-hour production, starting from the pre-ceremony to the last dance or grand exit. Despite my best efforts, there's room for improvement.
There were two significant mistakes I encountered this season
Mistake 1: Spacing Between Honor Seating and Wedding Party Procession
At an early season wedding this summer, I faced an issue that drives me insane. The lack of spacing between the seating of honored guests and the wedding party's entrance. Ideally, I begin the ceremony by conveying a message to the guests, setting the tone for an "unplugged" ceremony and other necessary details. After that, I play a song for the family procession while the wedding party prepares to enter.
The problem occurred when the wedding party started walking down the aisle before the parents took their seats. Why? The planner (who will remain nameless) must have told wedding party to follow the family. I've DJ'd hundreds of wedding. When I share with the planner I have one song for the family, and another for the wedding party, it means they are two separate groups each with their own song. Send the wedding party after the parents/honored guests are seated. Simple 99% of the time. This lack of space made it challenging to create an auditory separation between two special parts of the wedding ceremony. I had to switch songs to accommodate the wedding party's entrance too quickly, and although no one explicitly pointed out the issue, it subconsciously affected the overall feel of the ceremony. (at least for me) I'm focused on the music, and the space between the songs. A smooth five seconds of silence between ceremony songs builds anticipation and helps set an elegant, classy atmosphere.
Why will this never happen again? I will make sure any planner I am working with understands the wedding party doesn't begin their procession until I give a silent cue.
Mistake 2: No Song for the Ceremony Recessional
Another significant mishap was when a guitarist was scheduled to play all of the ceremony music. Everything during the ceremony went smoothly, and the vibes were great until the couple was announced as Mr. and Mrs. XXXXXXXX, followed by cheers, and then the cheering subsided into silence as there was no music for the recessional. This created an unexpectedly somber moment, where guests should have been celebrating and moving on to the party phase, but simply walked to the cocktail area in a near muted cadence. This was a weird experience for me that proved just how important music is for setting the vibe.
So, what happened? Although the couple and the guitarist had assured me that the guitarist would handle the processional and recessional songs, I realized that the musician friend is more of a friend than a professional musician. I’m not sure of he had an unexpected technical issue or weren’t sure when to play the recessional song. I never asked.
Why will this never happen again? I'll have the same song the live musician is suppose to play ready to go so we can avoid a silent recessional, no matter what the situation.
In conclusion, while I strive for perfection in each wedding I DJ, sometimes unexpected errors occur. However, I am committed to understanding why these mistakes happened and working closely with planners and other team members to deliver a flawless experience. Trusting your DJ's expertise and guidance regarding music and transitions will ultimately help create a perfect wedding experience for you and your guests. Thank you for taking the time to read about my experiences and reflections.
Shout out to Andrew and Melanie, my two of my favorite photographers for grabbing my "look of determination" in the photo.