by Betsy Fischer, M.Ed.
This resistance on the part of the bride is an obstacle that many female entertainers must overcome when trying to book a wedding reception.
Of course, every bride is different and has different needs, but the common theme behind this resistance seems to be the idea that DJ Entertainment is a male-dominated industry, (sound familiar?!) and that a woman just can’t do a man’s job as well…
So, what does it take for a female entertainer to land a wedding gig? This very topic was recently addressed on the Female Entertainers Meetup group on Facebook.
The majority of business owners agreed that an understanding of the bride’s concerns is the first step, followed by addressing those concerns and making the bride feel comfortable with a female entertainer.
So What’s the Problem?
Charlene Mortillo, owner of Popular Party DJs in Flemington, NJ has run up against bridal resistance on many occasions. In Mortillo’s experience, “many brides feel that women just don’t know what they’re doing and can’t handle what men can do.”
She addresses those concerns by explaining that she, too, was once a bride, and can identify more closely with what brides are experiencing.
Who better to handle the job than a female? Mortillo explains to her prospects that she’s “more in tune with what a bride needs, because I’ve been there before myself. I can walk a bride through the wedding process and can make recommendations on how her special day can be better.”
Resistance to a female entertainer doesn’t only come from the bride. The groom may have difficulty wrapping his head around the idea of a female leading his wedding reception as well.
I personally have run into this situation, and although the wedding couple was quite pleased with my presentation at our meeting, the groom insisted that he wanted the ever-popular, two-man tuxedo team he’d seen at so many weddings in the past.
Perhaps if I’d have had the experience of my sister DJ Liz Daley, wedding specialist and owner of Liz Daley Events in Williamsburg, VA, I could have landed that job!
Liz has the ability to connect with her wedding couples and assures them of her sensitivity to their needs. She discusses her experience, attention to detail, and the care that she puts into her clients’ special day. She is well-versed in what sets her apart from her male counterparts.
Not all wedding couples can be convinced to hire a female entertainer for their special day, however. Linda Caplan, owner of American Sounds Entertainment in Wilmington, Delaware has run into this problem a few times.
In her opinion, when a couple only wants “the look of a man in a tuxedo and the sound of a man’s voice on the microphone,” it’s just not worth trying to convince them otherwise.
Caplan has been able to keep the wedding job within her company, simply by providing the couple with a male MC. In some cases, she does the spinning along with her male counterpart, so she is still able to work the gig, and keep the job within her own company. Even when the couple insists on two men, Linda is able to provide those male entertainers and still make money on that reception.
Landing a wedding gig certainly isn’t a challenge for ALL female entertainers. Single ops and experienced MCs are often sought out by their clientele.
However, the problem does exist for many female entertainers, and how we address the challenge will often determine whether or not we land the gig. Hopefully, we can allay the fears of the bridal couple, or if after a long discussion the couple still can’t be convinced, we can provide them with a male entertainer from within our own company.
Either way, it’s a win-win situation, and most importantly, the wedding couple will have the entertainer of their choice to make their special day everything that they want it to be.
PHOTO ABOVE: Networking meeting at Mobile Beat 2011, through which FEM was born!
Betsy Fischer, M.Ed. – Girls with Gigs
Betsy Fischer, M.Ed. is a DJ, Event Planner, Dance and Zumba Instructor, Choreographer and Entrepreneur. She is the 2010 winner of the “Best New Dance” and runner up “Entertainer of the Year” at the “DJ of the Year” competition held at the International DJ Expo. She is also the proud owner/operator of Betsy Fischer’s Groove Lounge, a dance and party venue located in southern NJ. Her mobile DJ business, Party Dancing with Betsy Fischer, LLC, entertains at a variety of events throughout NJ and PA. Betsy is a member of NJDJN and NAME. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and is a NJ State Certified Elementary Teacher and a Teacher of the Handicapped. Betsy received her Master’s Degree from Temple University, where her studies focused on including handicapped children in the performing arts. Betsy’s website is GrooveLounge.net and you can email her at Betsy@GrooveLounge.net.