Today's post will be a departure from the various musical research posts that I've been putting together over the past several months for current and prospective brides and grooms. I needed to take this time to get some feelings and emotions out about how COVID has affected me as a professional wedding DJ. I remember back in August of 2020 when I was getting ready to perform at my first wedding since March 7, 2020, I was nervous. Of course, no matter if I do ONE wedding or a THOUSAND weddings, the nerves are always there because I take what I do even more seriously than other wedding DJs. But let's face it, after close to a 6 month layoff, I was spooked at the prospect of not being able to perform at a high level. Was my equipment in tip-top shape? Would I be able to speak on the mic with the same confidence and professionalism as I've always been managed to do? Would I be able to read the crowd as I've always been able to do over the years? From a psychological standpoint, these are all questions that start to get inside your head and cause you to doubt yourself. These thoughts can be almost like kryptonite, especially during the COVID-19 era.
The truth of the matter is being a professional wedding DJ is just like going to gym; the more you go, the stronger and more tone you get. However, if you take 5 or 6 months off from going to the gym and go back at it, the odds are very high you'll be sore for a few days (if not longer) after that first workout. The COVID-19 era in the wedding industry has taken every bit of strength and passion I have and caused me to focus even more on making sure I am still at my A game when I load in at a wedding venue for one of my clients.
Nerves As A Wedding DJ: They Are A Good Thing.
Back during the days and weeks leading up to that first wedding in the COVID-19 era of mine in late August 2020, my stomach was in knots and I was on edge. I remember firing up my wedding DJ equipment numerous times just to see that everything was in good working order. It would be greatly irresponsible for me to assume that everything was working as it was close to 6 months ago. What if there was a bad speaker cable in my bag that I forgot to replace? I am methodical and sometimes borderline maniacal when it comes to verifying everything is in excellent working order. I cannot stress this enough. You have contracted me to be your wedding DJ. Your wedding will become one of the most important and memorable days of your life. As a true professional, I will always look at your wedding day as a day I simply cannot miss. I've looked at every wedding like this and will continue to do so as long as I am working in the wedding industry. I just recently put together a very informative post for my blog about What To Do If Your Wedding DJ Fails To Show Up. <----Click HERE. It's pretty sad that I would need to put together a post like that, but it happens, and modern brides and grooms need to have at their disposal the best tools to finding the best wedding DJ for them on their most special day.
One of the text messages I received from a wedding planner that I was working with for that August wedding said it perfectly . "It's just like riding a bike.". And you know what? She could not have been more right. Once you've had the success that I have had as a wedding DJ, the confidence is always there and can easily be brought back into the forefront, and once you are all set up and the music is playing, the butterflies quickly go away.
COVID-19 Has Caused Uncertainty In The Wedding Industry.
In case you were wondering, I made it through that first wedding on that hot and humid late August evening without a hitch and received another 5 Star Review. How did I pull it off? It's supreme focus on preparing for your big day, and in some cases "overpreparing". It's my undying belief that I will never get a second chance to shine for you. Everything must be perfect for this one afternoon or evening. Perhaps it's my fear of failure that makes me prepare and overprepare, but I continue to bat a .1000 at this point in my career. I've isolated myself from social media (except Twitter) during this pandemic because I'm tired of everyone downplaying the pandemic like it's no big deal. I've also grown weary of all the amateur weekenders popping up on social media attempting to steal business away from me. One of the things I learned over the years is as an "owner-operated" DJ service, I may not book as many weddings as the other guy, but I am all about "quality" over "quantity", and the brides and grooms who have hired me over the years are savvy. They are savvy to the point where they have taken the time to zone in on my style as a wedding DJ, and have grown to like that before pulling out their credit card. I'll explain later in this post about a couple who I worked with recently that fits this description to a tee.
A few weeks after that late August wedding, I had another wedding that went flawlessly!. For more information about this wedding, CLICK HERE As we moved into the fall, I had weddings in October that came with them flawless performances. Let me preface these weddings with the fact that the nerves were still there, but not as much as they were leading up to the August 2020 wedding.
Depression Really Took Over At The End Of 2020.
The wedding DJ activity that I had in the late summer and through the fall months came to a screeching halt in December 2020. Back in December of 2020, cases were exploding in South Carolina, which made it even more difficult to focus on "weddings" per-se. Even though that wedding also went flawlessly, I was feeling like the passion was continuing to be taken away from me by this pandemic. Christmas felt like we were on lockdown, and as we began 2021, you could tell by the smallish number of inquiries that the pandemic was going to most likely affect the spring wedding season. Most of the wedding vendors I spoke with were having an average spring because of a lot of the rescheduled weddings from 2020.
Staying In Shape As A Wedding DJ In The Spring Of 2021.
I'll be putting together a post for them in the coming weeks, but Keeland & AJ have been on my radar since before COVID was even a thought. I will go deeper into detail of their story in the coming days and weeks, but I met them back in August when they came into town for a visit, and I knew they were going to be an awesome couple. As the winter turned into spring, I began to think about their wedding and our emails began to get more frequent. This is normally how I work with my clients as the days and weeks countdown to their big day. When you know how much your clients are looking forward to their day, the pressure to perform at a high level starts to build. Back in early April, I had some extra time on my hands so I made an appointment to drive down to their venue to get reacquainted with it. Even though I've been to a particular wedding venue before, it had been a while and the mere act of driving out got me feeling like I was in wedding mode with about 42 days to go. As the days counted down to May, I began to pull all of their music, and 2 weeks out I completely connected my rig to test and make sure it was operating in the most optimum condition. The mere act of setting all my gear up, doing a mic check and making sure all their music was properly balanced and sounding good was a huge psychological boost. At this point, I was 2 weeks away from ending this long layoff.
Finally, the week of their wedding gets here. As each day of theweek passes, the nerves seem to continue to build inside my stomach. All I can think of is getting out there and getting set up. I never cut it close when arriving at my weddings. I arrived to this wedding close to an hour before I was supposed to be there, and setting up was complete at the original time I was slated to be there. While the preparation that I undergo for each one of my weddings is well above the normal, getting to a wedding super early provides an extra insurance policy should something freaky happen. It's about peace of mind for me, the wedding vendors, and most importantly my brides and grooms.
On wedding days, the level of nerves I feel generally decrease in phases. They are at an all-time high upon loading the gear into my SUV, and while in transit to the wedding venue but begin to decrease once my gear is unloaded and set up and the music playlists I put together are put through a rigorous sound check. I've spoke to other wedding DJs before and they'll have you believe that their stress levels are not that high. They'll let you think they don't need to get there and can cut it really close in arriving and getting set up. I have never operated in this manner and won't ever. A bride and groom's wedding day is my day.
Ready To Talk To DJ Mike Bills And Hire Him As Your Wedding DJ?
I'm not going to go into any greater detail about my mindset when a wedding day arrives. All I can say is there is a tremendously high amount of preparation that goes into each and every client's wedding day. Each client's wedding day is going to be different. Sometimes a trip out to a wedding venue is warranted, but a detailed analysis of all the musical parts is written and documented and practiced / rehearsed to perfection and additional failsafes are put into place.
After COVID-19, these long layoffs will be a thing of the past. People will begin to feel more comfortable about putting together a wedding. As COVID-19 began to wreak havoc on the industry, no one really knew how things would play out, but we cannot stay in hibernation for forever. We are social creatures who love to party and dance and those days are coming back. At the time of this post, I've seen an uptick in inquiries for the fall, and going into 2022. Back in March, I put together what I thought could be a scenario as more and more vaccinations get in arms. For more information on my thoughts and my Advice To Modern Brides and Grooms About When To Have Their Wedding After COVID <---Click HERE.
No matter when you schedule your wedding, I am a wedding DJ who will continue to go to the most outrageous limits to make sure the clients who hire me get the best musical experience possible with music, preparation, equipment and more. You are only planning on getting married once. While you need to interview or speak with multiple wedding DJs, you need to judge how they act to you, either on the phone or in person. Do they seem like they just are too laid back? Do they not appear or sound like they would go out of their way on your wedding DJ to make sure you have the time of your life? If you answered "No" to any of those questions, we need to speak. You'll want to click the link up above to be taken over to my contact form so that you can fill out some of the details for your big day. We'll then set up a time to talk and you'll be well on your way to hiring one of the most passionate wedding DJs for your big day. I look forward to speaking with you about your big day. For more information about why you should hire me to be your wedding DJ, check out some of the links down below.