Before I get into the main focus of this post, let me explain a little further where we are today. Back in May, when VERY vague safety guidelines were handed down, I looked at August as a month where things might be becoming safer for the wedding industry. As one of the top wedding DJs in the Charleston wedding market, I made it a priority for my existing clients to be there for them as we navigate through this very trying and difficult time. You can find out my thoughts on this on this published post back in March when Charleston was shut down. You can also rest easy in knowing that I am wedding DJ sanitized for your wedding pleasure. Find out more by clicking the preceding link. Now, August looks to be a challenging month for the event industry. I'll be packing a mask, some hand sanitizer, and will probably print out some cards to place on tables to get guests to text any requests they may have for me to promote social distancing. Now, let's get down to business.
How Much Time Do Some Of The Best Wedding DJs Put Into Your Wedding Day?
No, this is not another post about wedding DJ prices. For me personally, I've always tried to carve out a niche as a great wedding DJ by providing world-class service to my clients. How does a wedding DJ provide world-class service at each and every wedding? For me its easy, I treat each and every client with the same amount of respect and treat them as though they are most important. There's something you saw in me out of all the other wedding DJs you saw online. Whether it was something that you read on this blog, or perhaps it was one of the many reviews you read about me. Ladies and gentleman, there is a lot that goes into making sure you have the best day of your life.
Meetings. Meetings. And More Meetings.
Yes, Wedding DJs have meetings. For me personally, I must meet my clients before their wedding day, and it's so hard to believe that all wedding DJs do not do this. It's only the right way to conduct business. Maybe you just found me online and filled out the contact form and want to set up a call? Perhaps you flew into the Holy City and are interviewing your wedding vendors. Maybe you are an Apple addict and want to do a Facetime with me from your loft apartment in lower Manhattan? All of this can be arranged so that we can get to know each other, and even though it takes time, it's time spent together earning your trust and making you feel even more comfortable about the decision you've made to hire me. From the time that you book your wedding til the weeks leading up to your wedding, there might be upwards of 3 hours dedicated to meetings.
If you've hired a professional wedding planner / coordinator, they might refer to this as a venue walkthrough. If I am working with a wedding planner, they will most likely send a floor plan out to all the vendors who have been hired for your day. For the DJ though, there are often time that it's worth the extra to go over to a wedding venue to meet the coordinator / manager there to see where the electrical hook-up is. Will there be any need for additional speakers? Where is the cocktail hour going to be held? Will we need additional sound outside? Ever since I've been DJing weddings, I've gotten the greatest peace of mind from going down to a venue to scope it out so I have a headstart (in my head) how I will be set up on your wedding day. Then, I'll report to you that I am all set and my peace of mind becomes a greater peace of mind for the couple. For the purpose of an average site survey, we'll budget an hour for this, but sometimes more time may be required, especially if the wedding is located out of the area. Check out this archived post for a Wedding Venue Spotlight For Wachesaw Plantation where I drove hundreds of miles just for a site survey. Taking time out of my schedule to do this long distance site survey provided a peace of mind for me and my client. I am not a big fan of surprises when I get to a venue on a client's wedding day.
Creating A Script Of Announcements.
One of the pluses to hiring a former radio announcer is that you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be prepared and know exactly what I am going to be saying when I make announcements on your wedding day. When you are working in radio and have to crack the mic to talk to your audience, you need to be prepared. You cannot just turn the microphone and start studdering about what you are talking about. You'll sound like you do not know what you are doing. You have to sound confident and above all like you know what you are talking about. As I transitioned from radio over to weddings, I felt this aspect of my show needed to follow me to all the wedding venues around town too. During one of our meetings, we'll discuss all the announcements, and should you need your bridal party announced into your reception, we'll go over the proper pronunciation so that you or your guests are not embarrassed. You won't have to worry about hiring an inexperienced, unpolished wedding DJ when it comes to speaking on the microphone. For the purpose of putting together this script, I'll budget another 2 hours.
Preparation Of Your Wedding Music.
The best wedding DJs don't ever just show up to your wedding and begin to play music. Ever since I've been a wedding DJ, I've made it a point to be structured and organized when it comes to putting together all the music for a couple's wedding. You've got the potential of needing many different types of music. You might hire me to do your ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and for when everyone begins to cut a rug. While some brides may choose music I've already placed into my catalog, others have hired me because they wanted a completely customized cocktail hour and dinner playlist. The requests by my clients to put together a very custom playlist for different parts of their wedding take quite a bit of time. While I have legal access to all of the new music that is being released, some brides and grooms may want a sound at their wedding that is not like a lot of the weddings that they have been to before. This is one of the most popular reasons why brides and grooms hire me to be their wedding DJ. For the purpose of music preparation, there might be a need of at least 12 hours (bare minimum) to put together and organize the music for your wedding day. This includes backups and other methods of fault tolerance so that there are multiple copies of your music on site. This task could approach 16-20 hours if I need to hunt down a lot of music I don't have in my database.
Setup And Breakdown On Your Wedding Day.
Ah yes, after all of that preparation of your wedding music and creating all the scripts and announcements, there comes your wedding day. I was just talking with one of my wedding coordinators the other day and she asked me when I would be arriving to the wedding venue (we've got a wedding coming up), and I told her I would be there at least 2 hours prior. It could be more if I have to set up for your wedding ceremony. No matter how many weddings you've done, the nerves creep up on you the day of and I get in these moods where I want to get there and get all set up. Once this happens, those nerves ease just a little bit, but then they come back as we edge closer to the beginning of your wedding reception. I would put 3 hours of set up time at the wedding venue, plus travel time to the wedding venue, so maybe 3.5 hours before? Then comes the breakdown. Usually it takes me an hour after your wedding reception ends to break everything down and pack up, but then there is travel time back home, so we'll say 2 hours for breakdown.
The Actual DJing At Your Wedding.
This is all the "work" you've hired me for since you booked me. Obviously the amount of time for the DJing will be dependent on how coverage you've paid for. The normal, optimal length for a wedding reception is 4 hours (this includes the dinner portion). When you add in cocktail hour and the ceremony, there would be another 2 hours of music. So, we'll just say on average there could be 6 hours of actual time spent playing music.
CONCLUSION: Upwards Of A Whole Day Is Spent On Preparing For Your Wedding
When you add up all the hours mentioned throughout this post, you are looking at upwards of 25 -30 hours for the top wedding DJs to prepare and execute their performance at your wedding day. And as I write this post and try to wrap it up, that 25-30 hours did not include a lot of the back and forth emails between brides, grooms, wedding planners, and other wedding vendors, as well as text and other quick phone calls. So you see there is ALOT going on behind the scenes before a wedidng DJ even pulls up the wedding venue. I've spoke about wedding DJ prices but this post was designed to shed some light on just how much you are getting for your hard-earned dollar. The top wedding DJs will possess an above average attention to detail. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. And Prepare Some More. Operating as a wedding DJ in this manner with this amount of preparation has netted me an impeccable reputation.
Ready To Speak To Mike Bills About Being Your Wedding DJ?
I hope you enjoyed this post about what all goes into how I prepare for your wedding day. The fact you've made it all the way to the end is a hopeful sign that something about me has peaked your interest. The fact that I have peaked your interest about needing a wedding DJ is something I take very seriously. I've gone to great lengths to separate myself from a lot of the wanna-be DJs out there. I'd love to talk to you about your wedding. Feel free to click on the link up above to be taken over to my contact form so that you can input some details of your big day. I am available on Skype or Zoom and we can also set up a phone call too. I look forward to hearing from you!