By Alan Dodson, “Wedding Wizard”
As the DJ or DJ and MC at a wedding reception, the task falls on your shoulders to ensure that important information is properly communicated to all necessary parties.
- Who you should speak to.
- What you should speak to them about.
- When you should speak to them.
- Methods by which you will speak to them.
- Unique aspects of the venue.
- Tools you will need to accomplish your goals.
Obviously, the wedding couple and the bridal party need to be briefed on what to expect on wedding day. It is also very important to speak with the the facility or catering contact person (ahead of time and on the day of the event), and the photographer and videographer as they can help you with timing and movements of the couple.
The couple, bridal party and coordinator/planner need to know how the event will flow, where they need to be, when they need to be there and where you will line them up for grand entrance and what they need to do after entry into the reception hall. Advise the coordinator what you expect from her/him.
The best time to talk to the key people about wedding day is at rehearsal. It is very beneficial to attend rehearsal even if not providing any ceremony services. Generally everyone is there and it is a much less stressful environment than wedding day. It also affords you an opportunity to meet these people in person and establish relationships that will help you on wedding day.
You should talk to all key vendors during the wedding week such as, coordinator, venue, caterer, photographer, videographer, transportation company, etc. Make final calls to ensure everyone is on the same page for timing and locations.
Phone calls, text messages, email social media and in person contact are all ways to communicate prior to wedding day. Try to do as much in person on wedding day as many people do not answer their phones or check messages that day.
The Unique Aspects
Know exactly how the venue is set up, make pre-event site visits so you know meet the staff and find out how the venue staff can assist (or stay out of the way). You need to know if there is a staging area or room for the bridal party as they arrive from the ceremony location. You also need to know how to get them from that location to the main entry of the reception.
Have your assistant, wedding coordinator/planner or facility contact person help you release the wedding party for the Grand Entrance. You must be able to communicate with this person on a real time basis.
Two way radios are excellent and can provide instant communications with multiple people. An iPhone/Android AP called “HeyTell” simulates the push to talk aspects of two way radios and is free. This can be very helpful for quick, instant changes in timing or the cueing of grand entrance or other key events during the event.
CAUTION: At many events you’ll come across situations that will test you and push you to the limits of your diplomatic skills. Fight the urge to react unkindly. Keep in mind that the best event vendors have strong, take charge personalities that may clash with each other. You all have a common client and a common goal to make this wedding day amazing and unique. Never lose sight of that!