“Peter is a legend before his time in a field so easily scrutinized yet so often un-respected.
We brought him our faint and unformed ideas and in return he designed a masterpiece,
for which we are profoundly grateful and utterly speechless. We love you, Peter!!!!!”
~Andrew & Megan Hall, married at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, CA
WE ALL DO “THE SAME THINGS”
As you are sorting through your options for wedding entertainment, it’s important to note that all wedding entertainers pretty much do “the same things” for our couples. We all play music. (Bands play their music live and DJs play and mix recorded music.) We all make announcements. We all introduce the Bride & Groom into the Reception. We all play music and do our best to get your guests up on the dance floor. But how we do those things and the results we are able to create for our couples can vary DRAMATICALLY from one entertainment service to another. The key is finding someone who will exceed your expectations instead of getting stuck with a DJ who will only under-deliver.
“WHO WANTS IT?”
I was a guest at a wedding (a rare and unusual occurrence for me) a few years back where I was familiar with the groom’s family, but didn’t really know the bride’s family at all. The DJ they had hired introduced the wedding party members in their grand entrance by first name only and was growling out their names like the monster truck show voice over guy who’s known for yelling “SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!” in those obnoxious commercials. Luckily, I already knew that the groom’s father was also his Best Man, because the DJ only introduced he and the Maid of Honor by saying “MAKE SOME NOISE FOR JOHN & SALLY!” Then, following the Best Man’s formal toast, the DJ collected the mic and walked out to center of the dance floor where he then asked a simple question as he said, “WHO WANTS IT?” He then nonchalantly held the microphone out at arm’s length waiting for whoever was supposed to toast next to come up and collect it from him. This is were it got really awkward. Two older gentlemen stood up on the bride’s family’s side of the ballroom and walked up to dance floor at the same time. Apparently, the bride had a father and a step-father who were both slated to give a toast. But only knowing the groom’s side of the room, I was unsure about which one was which and I had no clue what their names were. It was painfully evident to all in attendance that this DJ was either uninformed or just didn’t care to take the time to help the guests connect the dots on who the wedding party members were, much less give proper introductions to those who would be making formal toasts.
THE PROOF IS IN THE VIDEO
The only way to make sure you don’t get stuck with an uncaring and uninformed DJ/MC at your wedding is to demand to see video footage of them in action. Don’t get distracted by fun footage of people dancing. Insist on seeing UNCUT FOOTAGE of a complete grand entrance, or a segment of special dances, or the introductions of the formal toasts. Scrutinize this footage as if you were auditioning an actor for a vital role (because the truth is…you are) and ask some very important questions. Are they using full names and pronouncing them correctly? Are they using a fake “DJ voice” instead of talking like a normal human being? Are they rambling and hard to follow, or are they concise and clear? Are they using repetitive phrases that will prompt your friends at table 12 to start a drinking game every time the MC says “Ladies and Gentlemen…” or “Big round of applause…”? Do they talk down to the guests, or do they come across as friendly, engaging, and charming? This person will be your spokesperson on your wedding day. Choose wisely.
Have you ever been to a reception where things just seemed to drag on forever and no one knew what was happening next or why things were not moving along more smoothly? One of the most common complaints I have heard from my couples about weddings they’ve attended recently is the lack of direction in keeping a SMOOTH-FLOWING pace for the traditional events while also making sure the guests are kept properly informed. When we meet, I’d be happy to show you the “behind the scenes” secrets I use to maintain a smooth-flowing reception agenda that encourages involvement from the guests and keeps them consistently updated about what’s happening next.
Imagine your reception has ended and, as your guests are leaving, you are magically able to overhear the private comments couples are sharing with each other about your celebration as they are driving home. What are some of the remarks you are hoping they’ll be saying? Make a list of the key DESCRIPTIVE words that come to mind and you will be left with a clear desciption of the results you want your friends and family to experience at your wedding reception.
“WORKING WITH” VS. “WORKING FOR”
In my 20+ years of entertaining at wedding receptions, I have found that the best results are achieved when I “team up” with a couple who is looking for a COLLABORATIVE relationship in their planning process. When a DJ/MC just “takes orders” from their clients without offering helpful advice for improving the effectiveness of their ideas, then that DJ can simply fall back on the disclaimer of “that’s what they wanted me to do”…if the idea flops. My friend, Randy Bartlett, defines this as the important difference between “working with” our couples vs. “working for” our couples. Some of the best and most creative moments I have experienced at wedding receptions came from listening to my couples’ ideas and then, in turn, developing those ideas into memorable moments that were placed into the best spot in the agenda, delivering maximum results.
I promise to deliver dramatically different results for your celebration. I promise to share as much uncut video footage as you require to be CERTAIN that I am more than qualified to exceed your expectations. I promise to help you plan an agenda for your celebration that will be smooth-flowing and entertaining. I promise to listen to your vision and WORK WITH YOU to turn it into reality. I promise to keep your guests consistently informed about the festivities that are about to occur. I promise to introduce your friends and family on the microphone in a highly polished and informative way. I promise to do everything I can to give you and your friends and family “The Best Wedding Reception…Ever!”