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Thread: What should I do?

  1. #1
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    What should I do?

    So my really good friend asked me on Wednesday if I could DJ his cousin's wedding THIS SATURDAY. His cousin is in the army and he's going off to Afghanistan soon. He lives in Texas and he's coming back to PA to get married next to my friend's pond, which didn't seem very formal. It was understood that this would be a laid back reception. I was told I wouldn't even have to do any announcements, just play music.

    Since I'm in college, I could really use a few bucks and I couldn't say no. After all, it is my good friend and I didn't think they'd find anyone in time.

    Well, I met with the bride and groom today (the groom's the cousin) minutes before the rehearsal in my friend's back yard. We talked for no more than 10 minutes. During this meeting, I found out that the bride had made up a list of songs for the special dances and a list of the wedding party that they wanted announced. Turns out they forgot to bring it to the "meeting." I told them both that things like this should have been done months ahead of time and I can't really guarantee things like songs and "good" announcements overnight. The bride said she would email me the list tonight and I kind of let it slide. Another thing is that I talked to the GROOM through my friend for the past two days.

    I take this stuff seriously, just like everyone else. At this point I feel like I dug myself into a deep, deep hole. I thought I could pull it off when I thought it was just going to be music.

    I really don't know what to do at this point. I have 17 hours until the reception. I FINALLY got the groom's number and asked about the list. He told me she was going to send it tonight. It's 12:27AM.

    Because of these people being so unorganized I'm going to make an ass of myself. It's not that I'm unconfident, I'm just unprepared. I can't really bail on them this late in the game, since I'm helping out a friend.

    I did explain to my friend how much of a mess this is BTW.

    Does anyone have any idea what I can do to make this go a little better? I know I'm pretty much screwed and TRUST ME... I'll never do something on the fly like this again. Anything helps. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Maybe take a copy of your contract that clearly has such stipulations written out so if they complain about it not being perfect you can take it out and show them.

  3. #3
    Hope they have the internet at there house. Maybe bring a Wifi router just in case they don't have one. How is your music collection?

    Look at this : http://djintelligence.com/charts/DJI...uested2011.pdf and this: http://www.djintelligence.com/news/a...icle=115122041
    Last edited by Unknown DJ; 06-09-2012 at 03:47 AM.
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  4. #4
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    You have an unprepared bride, an unprepared deejay (through no fault of his own), and a groom about to be deployed to a dangerous place.
    Sounds like you have a deejay's worst nightmare.
    When you look at that list of conditions, which one has the highest priority for your clients?
    The best thing you can do is put a big smile on your face, and congratulate the happy couple as soon as you see them.
    You're there to show the couple and their guests the best time you know how. That's something you know how to do. Make sure your confidence in that one thing is very obvious. You know how to show people a good time. That's why you're there.
    If they don't get the e-mail to you in time for you to get all the information you need for their "special" stuff, then you don't get it.
    Keep the big smile on your face and let them know that it's unfortunate. One of those whimsical "if only we had more time" type lines is always good to drop in there. "I'm sure we can work around it". Then work around it.

    If you don't get the names, find out if one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen knows everyone in the wedding party, and if they're willing to announce the party. You just have to introduce that person. Show them how to use the mic, blow some confidence up their ass, and set them loose to bring the house down.

    I had a wedding like yours once. I got the bridal party to introduce each other. I got each bridesmaid to find out one really interesting thing about their respective groomsman, and vice-versa. I had each groomsman introduce their respective bridesmaid, each bridesmaid introduce their respective groomsman, then the best man and maid of honor to introduce each other and the bride & groom. There was a big variety of personalities, and the introductions turned out to be really entertaining from the shy ones and hilarious from the outgoing ones. Like your case, the b&g were not well prepared, it was last minute, and we just made it up as we went along. It was one of the best parties I have ever been to. It was stressful as hell for me, at first, but the crowd ended up being a really easy-going group, and they were up for anything.

    You're going to do all the stuff you already know how to do. All the stuff you've done before. The big part for you, is to keep that smile on your face, exude confidence, and let everyone know you're there to show them a good time. But you already knew all that.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dixieland DJ's Avatar
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    Contract... always get a contract signed before you accept any gig.

    Now, while I understand that you just got this gig Wednesday & its short notice, you still should have gotten that contract signed before taking the gig. Unless they just decided Wednesday to get married, they should have had all this done. As for announcements, whatever they are, if your no better at announcements that I am, your stuck. I need time to prepare for announcements. Like some one else pointed out, I would check with the bride, groom, matron of honor or best man & see if someone else can make announcements. Even another friend or relative maybe be more comfortable & take the honors of making them. However, this is one thing I usually go over with the clients at contract signing. I don't do long announcements... basic announcements, yes. If they need announcements made, its best if they find someone else to handle that.

    Music, when they give you the music, let them know you may not have everything they want because you didn't get the list in time to prepare. Go to wedj.com, discjockeys.com or one of the other sites that provide wedding music lists & get a couple of songs for each special dance they are having & ..... if you don't have their song of choice, just throw one of these in & move along. Again, they should have been more prepared but personally, again, I wouldn't have taken the gig until I was able to discuss this with the clients, gone over this stuff & gotten a contract signed. If no one wanted to give me the clients numbers (prior to 17 hrs before the event), I wouldn't have taken the gig. As a whole, this doesn't revolve totally around the clients. My point is, before I take any gig, I have to be as comfortable as the clients are. If I am not comfortable with the situation, I will politely decline the gig.
    When I initially talk with the client, I am interviewing them, just as they are interviewing me.

    I do wish you the best with this & hope it turns out ok. The best advice I can give you is just be as prepared as you can & cover yourself the best you can. gain, go to a couple of site & get some specialty music to have on hand just in case.... things like this. Just try to get ahead of the game.

    Best wishes & good luck...
    1) How should I know... Ask the client!
    2) If you put it where I can see it, I'm gonna look at it. If you don't want me to see it, keep it covered up.
    3) Contract, Contract, Contract!

  6. #6
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    @ Unknown DJ: My library is great. But nobody has everything. There's always a chance that I don't have that ONE song they want for their first dance or whatever. I have the top 200 list organized in a list that I can pick from quickly, as well as a few other lists including first dance songs, garter, etc.

    @Evil Steve: I might try something like that for the announcements. I can wing it, but I like to have everything ready before hand. I STILL haven't gotten a list yet... +Rep

    @Dixieland DJ: Like I said, if I would have known it would turn out this way, I would have declined. It sounded much easier in the beginning but I'm trying my best to explain the situation to the B&G. I'm good at what I do, even given the fact that I only have six years of experience. I think I'm gonna do what I do every other gig and not worry too much about it. I love to help out a friend, but sometimes I'm going to have to say no. +Rep

    Thanks for the help everyone. It really makes me feel a little better knowing that there may be some ways to make this gig better.

  7. #7
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    I had a bride call me monday for a gig saturday... I wanted to meet with them ASAP to get this done, we met wednesday and I had a contract signed, I figured out what they wanted, the day of the reception they kept changing their mind and did not know what they want. I even sent them a list to review on thursday so they could check it and let me know, they never got back so i figured it was good, worst night ever, it went well, but they were all over the place, they only had like 20 people at the venue, it was a weird wedding reception. I will never take a gig again on such short notice, too stressful and there was not enough time, I think I will need at least 3 weeks notice for weddings, parties I can do on the fly, weddings = not as good.

  8. #8
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    As it turned out, the wedding actually went pretty well. I made sure to let the bride know that she had to notify me when she wanted to do certain things and it wasn't too bad. It was a small wedding (<100). Towards the end, people really got into dancing, which was completely unexpected. I opened up the dance floor and it took hours before people had enough liquid courage in them to get out there.

    It was the most stressful job I've done, by far. I'm not sure I'll do it again but I did what everyone told me. I tried to be nice, confident, and outgoing. It all worked out. Thanks again DJF. Made my night so much better.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dixieland DJ's Avatar
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    So glad to hear you got thru it ok. You came thru & you provided the service that hopefully they enjoyed. You did good

    Best wishes in the future & hopefully you have gained some experience from these misfortunes.
    1) How should I know... Ask the client!
    2) If you put it where I can see it, I'm gonna look at it. If you don't want me to see it, keep it covered up.
    3) Contract, Contract, Contract!

  10. #10
    Member bumpyjonas's Avatar
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    Congrats, weddings can sometimes be nerve wrecking for DJ's, but with increased experience and when you have a longer preparation period things go a lot smoother.
    " Mr. Nichols Just A Guy Who Plays Music"

    Listen To Good Tunes..Play Good Tunes..Spin The Tunes They Wanna Hear

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