After six months, a year, or even two years of planning, we’ve successfully made it to Wedding Week! All of the planning and preparation is completed, and now it’s time for all of the final details to be confirmed. Stay with us as Kurtis Cross, Professional Wedding DJ, takes us through the wedding week of a DJ and through “game day.”
Let's first preface this part of the series by taking a quick look at what we've already covered. The past couple of weeks, The Overwhelmed Bride has looked at the role of a professional DJ and more specifically, how my team and I approach different angles of producing a fabulous wedding celebration. In those entries, we've discussed several points and matters which are equally important during the wedding planning process. If you haven't done so just yet, you should take a moment to read our previous entries.
In getting to "game day" I truly believe that prior proper planning prevents poor results. In keeping with this theme, my team and I prepare, as much as we can, in advance for each wedding celebration. With many hours of planning in our rear view mirror, we've taken the time to get to know each couple, their likes and dislikes and, of course, the vision they share for their dream wedding day. Our main goal on their wedding day is to execute their wedding day as one fine masterpiece. It is with this in mind that my team and I approach each couple and each wedding day as if it is the only wedding in the world that matters. In fact, to us, it truly is. There are no "do-overs" and we have just one opportunity to make each moment, on this day, count. Let's fast forward...
On the Monday of each wedding week, we confirm the final details of the wedding day with the couple, the designated venue contact person and, if needed, any other venue staff who may be critical to the wedding day. The evening prior to a wedding, it is important to me to have a low impact day ending with a great night's sleep. I conduct a normal business day. However, part of me is getting into performance mode. Tomorrow is a big day...
Six Hours Prior To Show Time
In the hours prior to the wedding celebration, Paula Panasiewicz (our in-house wedding expert) and I review the timeline/itinerary. By this time, Paula has loaded the day's timeline into an iPad, sent it to me via e-mail and has print copies available for me and for venue personnel to have on-hand. We have a "dress rehearsal" for the wedding, whereby my script, all of my cues, song selections and special instructions are executed in an abbreviated format. All name pronunciations are rehearsed, and cues are confirmed. The day's music program is identically arranged in both laptops via our music program "Virtual DJ." Our Road Crew then picks up the laptop system I'll be working with that day (consisting of two Macbook Pro laptops, two external hard drives, connecting cables and so forth). They are required to be neatly dressed and professional as they are the first impression that the event venue will have of The Kurtis Cross Team. Once they arrive to the event location, the Road Crew will check in with me... and the countdown continues.
Four Hours Prior To Show Time
Appearance plays a part in our professionalism. Therefore, I prep for today's celebration by shining my shoes, picking out the suit or tuxedo (client's choice) that I will wear. Where possible, I'll match my tie and pocket square to the dominant color that the couple has chosen for the wedding. Very few things speak to a wedding vendor's attitude and readiness better than a professional appearance. A pressed suit, laundered shirt, crisp tie, sparkling cufflinks and let's not forget the shiny shoes, are all a part of my professional appearance. From our team, a Reception Coordinator always accompanies me and this person is also expected to have a similar, professional appearance. Now, it's time for a meal!
Two Hours Prior To Showtime
By this time, I am en route to the performance location. Typically the Reception Coordinator and I will ride together and during that time, we discuss the wedding and what role they will play in building the perfect wedding and/or reception. Each of our Reception Coordinators understands the importance of each couple's day and will work tirelessly to fill the role of support person to the couple and to my performance. The mood is professional yet lighthearted. For me, the anticipation builds as we are now inside of two hours until show time.
One Hour Prior To Show Time
We arrive to the event venue. The Road Crew briefs us and I then introduce myself to the venue personnel. Key people to meet are the front desk staff, the maintenance staff, banquet captain and on-site wedding coordinator. Once I've met the key venue staff, I check in on the couple... first the bride. Our early arrival to the venue is something that each couple appreciates, knowing that our part in their day is underway without a hitch. With 45 minutes to go, we conduct a sound check with our Road Crew. Both laptops are tested, the wireless mic scans for an open frequency, and I conduct a mic check. I scroll through the iPad and then match our timeline to what the banquet captain has. More often than not, our timelines match. If for any reason they do not, we work together to sharpen up any inconsistencies, in the best interest of our couple. With 30 minutes to go, I am now in the ballroom, waiting for our first guests to arrive. I begin the music program with time to spare as I would like music to welcome even our earliest guests. It's time to kick-off this celebration!
Am I nervous? Slightly. After all these years, I find that my nervousness serves as a reminder to me, that each wedding celebration is unique and deserving of our best effort. This evening, we will deliver exactly that. Beginning with organizing the bridal party for their grand entrance and ending with the couple's final dance, it's game time.
To see where we go from here and what guides us, click here, for a sample of an itinerary used at a recent wedding celebration!
There's nothing like the day of a couple's wedding. For me, each "game day" is equally thrilling and exciting. At the same time, I am the slightest bit nervous, on each wedding day. Forget the number of years I've been in business (28 to be exact!). This is a couple's WEDDING DAY! All must be perfect... this must be their dream day and I am responsible for completing their day with a huge celebration. A celebration that they will remember for the rest of their lives. And just for good measure, a couple hundred of their friends and family will be in attendance as well. With each vendor playing an important role in the success of a couple's wedding day, some vendors are more on "display" than others. As a professional wedding DJ, each announcement I make and every song selection I choose is public. I do not look at this as pressure, but rather an opportunity to make this celebration distinctly different than last week's wedding. I must take the personality of the couple, their ages, each interaction I've had with them and their wishes into my "game plan."
Wedding DJ Blog Series...featuring Kurtis Cross, Professional Wedding DJ
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!