You Make My Wedding Go 'Round: Wedding DJ Blog Series, Part II

A DJ is not just a DJ, as we discussed in depth in Part I of this series. So today, we're going to go over why it is so incredibly imperative to hire a professional wedding DJ by showing you how involved a DJ truly is in your planning! Again with the help of professional wedding DJ, Kurtis Cross, we will discuss all the work that a DJ puts in from booking up until your wedding day!

Before we get started, Kurtis has compiled a list of all of the hats a DJ plays, and here it is:

•DJ/Music Selector
•Event Director
•Master Of Ceremonies
•Problem Solver
•Sound Technician
•Vendor Liaison

You're probably already re-thinking your decision to make your fiance's friend your wedding DJ...and that is the point. But if you're still not convinced, keep on reading!

The Preparation

Because it's best straight from the horse's mouth, I've asked Kurtis to take me through the planning experience from the time a couple books his services up until the wedding day!

Wedding DJ Kurtis Cross // The Overwhelmed Bride Bridal Lifestyle + Wedding Blog
"Once a couple books with Weddings By Kurtis Cross, my team and I immediately go to work.  A partnership is formed with each couple so that we get to know them, their needs, and what they'd like to achieve with their day.  Do they want something that is traditional, simply elegant and professional?  Are they each getting married for the first time?  Is this a celebration with 400 guests or a more intimate celebration for 80 guests? Getting to know each couple is the first and most important part of making sure that their personal stamp is on the wedding day
I strongly encourage each couple to step away from the traditional to add something to their wedding day that is distinctly "them."  My thought is, when they look back 20, 30 or 40 years from now, it will bring a smile to their face to know that during their day, they did that one silly thing that was memorable and defined them and their love in that very moment. 

Following the booking, we take each step with our couple to design their dream wedding day.  With unlimited planning help from me and our staff, we stay in contact with each couple through e-mail, telephone, Skype and in-person meetings. Each couple gets a dedicated in-house planner who will work all details for their big day. This is their "go to" person for questions, answers, ideas and inspiration.
Along the way, we check-in with each couple, watching the calendar and requesting the important details at timely intervals.  For most couples, this is their first time planning such an event.  For this reason, it is a priority of ours to help each couple to stay on top of the important details.
We also publish a monthly electronic newsletter so that couples can keep up with trends in the wedding industry and get a feel for where they should be in the planning process.  In addition, we add helpful tips to our Facebook page, offering insight from industry experts, couples and vendors.  Each tip will not work for every couple, so the goal is to offer an array of helpful pieces so that each couple can pick up something or get the conversation going to inspire other ideas. 

All in all, the goal of your DJ and each vendor should be to HELP their couples.  It can be overwhelming to plan a wedding day and I believe that the DJ should add to the "calming" factor of wedding plans."

A sample of the time spent with a couple producing their wedding celebration is as follows:

In-Person Couple Consultation - 3 Hours
E-mail, Skype & Telephone Consultation - 3 hours   
Develop A Personalized Itinerary - 10 Hours
Music Research & Preparation - 4 Hours
Vendor Communication - 2 Hours
In-House Pre-Planning Meetings - 3 Hours
Travel, Set-Up & Breakdown - 4 Hours
Support Staff Time - 8 Hours
Event Performance - 5 Hours

In total, our team dedicates 40+ hours to each couple's details.  This preparation time is essential to the success of their big day.


Equipment Up-Keep

Wedding DJ Kurtis Cross // The Overwhelmed Bride Bridal Lifestyle + Wedding Blog

It's your wedding night and everything has gone perfectly. All of the toasts, the dances and the food is out of the way and it's time to get this party started. Everyone is on the dance floor having a blast and then the music STOPS.

..5 seconds...10 seconds...a minute later and still no music...

Unfortunately, you hired a friend who has no experience connecting to speakers. The equipment your venue provided is old and possibly even died for good. Now what?

There wouldn't be a "now what?" if you had hired a professional DJ who continually maintained and updated their equipment! So beyond the experience and the knowledge of weddings, equipment up-keep is a MUST.

"In an effort to maintain a great working equipment, we conduct semi-annual equipment inventory (February & August). During inventory, we literally test every piece of equipment, each cable, each piece of lighting, each laptop, each hard drive, etc.  We look for anything that is not working up to 100% and then correct any such matter.  We make sure our supplies are in full stock (cables, misc. items, microphone batteries and so forth) and we wipe down everything, tighten any loose screws and get in tip top shape! 
We add new titles to our 100,000+ song music library weekly.  On average, we add a few hundred songs per week in all categories.  This allows us to be on top of what's hot now and what our couples may want to hear.  All music is categorized in our database, allowing us to pull up requests "on-demand" at each wedding.  We believe in having multiple options to ensure that nothing will go wrong during a performance.
For each wedding celebration, we provide two of everything.  Back-up equipment is very important to the success of each wedding.  Not only is this important, but this equipment must be ready to take on the demands of professional use.  It's not good enough to have a piece of back-up equipment that is not every bit as professional as your first string equipment.  I've encountered other DJs who have an iPod as a back-up or a consumer grade sound system as their "back-up" plan.  In our opinion a back-up plan should be just as solid as plan A. We believe our couples deserve nothing less than our best."
Wedding DJ Kurtis Cross // The Overwhelmed Bride Bridal Lifestyle + Wedding Blog

If you still aren't sold then don't worry. We've got some more coming your way next week with Part III of the series. So stay tuned!

Wedding DJ Blog Series...Featuring Kurtis Cross, Professional Wedding DJ

Wedding DJ Blog Series - The Overwhelmed Bride // Bridal Lifestyle + Wedding Blog

Follow us over the next four weeks as we take a deeper look into the life of a professional wedding DJ, with the help of professional wedding DJ, Kurtis Cross. We will start with what you need to look for and avoid as a bride, as you begin your search for the perfect DJ, head through the planning process and what a DJ does to prepare for your wedding. Finally, we will end with the wedding day and all that he or she does on your big day in order to ensure your day is even more spectacular than imagined!