By Alan Dodson – “Wedding Wizard”
Many people grew up watching Mighty Mouse morning cartoons and remember his catch phrase: “Here I come to save the day!” In the wedding business, professionals need to be prepared to deal with emergencies that inevitably arise. If well-prepared, the vendor team can save the day.
A good wedding planner will always have a stock of emergency wedding supplies, including items that the bride, groom, and family wouldn’t think to have on hand. However, as wedding entertainers, we cannot simply rely on others to be prepared. Many times, there is no professional wedding planner; it may be a family member or friend, or no one at all. Being prepared for wedding day emergencies means anticipating any potential problems with the wedding party, the venue, or even the vendors, and having the necessary supplies to prevent or fix these problems before they negatively impact the wedding day.
It’s my personal opinion that I have a responsibility to my wedding couple to do everything possible to make their day perfect. That obligation goes far beyond music and announcements for me. One of the best ways to eliminate problems is through communication with all of the other vendors and suppliers–not only at the event, but prior to the event! Call them and introduce yourself; let them know that you want to make sure everyone is on the same page to create an outstanding wedding for your mutual clients.
The photographer is a key contact as they typically spend more time with the client on their wedding day than any other vendor. They can be a great source of timing information, and they also have the opportunity to see impending problems. This step alone will make you stand out over 95% of all DJs!
Wedding Day Emergencies & Solutions: Real-Life Examples
- At one wedding in a remote location, with 175 guests, the power transformer feeding the facility failed. Everything went pitch black. The venue had backup generators, but the auto-switch generator failed so there was still only limited power. I had the training and tools with me to get the other generator running and ran extension cords to our photo booth and to the band at the other end of the building. With the generators fixed, the party continued.
- DJ Brian Sparhawk had a power failure in a similar situation, with no generators, but he had a converter in his truck to which he could connect his sound system. He was also able to shine his headlights in a way to light the room enough to continue the party.
- DJ Mark Robertson had a wedding where the AC failed, so he moved the sound system out to the parking lot and continued the party outside.
- Susan Leek tells a story of a reluctant groom that was having a panic attack on a hot day in a hot venue. She took the groom aside and assured him that he could get through the ceremony with a stern talking-to. She then had the preacher shorten the ceremony, and it all went well. Afterwards, the groom thanked her for helping.
Always Be Prepared and Show You Care
I’m not suggesting that you attempt repairs of equipment that you are not qualified to work on, nor to take on any responsibility that you don’t feel capable of handling; however, I do think you should do everything possible to save the day! It will make you a hero to your clients, and people will notice.
When you are ready, willing, and able to do whatever is necessary for your clients, you will be known as a DJ that cares. That will lead to more business and profits for you.
So, what kinds of items should you bring with you to avoid wedding mishaps and help save the day? I have assembled what I consider to be the Ultimate DJ Emergency Kit (free download), which provides a list of items that you should have with you at any wedding or event where you are playing. With this kit, you’ll be prepared to solve just about anything that comes up, from a cut finger, to hiding stains on a white dress with white chalk!
About Alan Dodson