The Value of an Ensemble Cast

By Elisabeth Scott Daley, WED®, ABC™, “A Passion for Performance”

One of my favorite categories in the SAG Awards® is “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.” I think of it as the “Best Ensemble Cast” award.

As a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), I am honored to have the privilege of voting for the SAG-AFTRA awards, which will air live on TBS and TNT on January 27, 2013. I must admit that I really enjoy the perk of seeing nominated movies before the general public and for free.

There are many fine actors who have earned Oscars®, and other awards as solo performers. We, as wedding entertainment professionals, must also have the skills to excel as solo performers.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

After watching a particularly brilliant cast in the movie, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” I realized that weddings, by their very nature are ensemble productions, and each wedding professional involved is vital to its success.

Let’s look at the cast of “Marigold”: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup and Penelope Wilton. Each is amazing in their own right, but what makes this cast an amazing ensemble, is that each of the actors knew when to be “silent but present,” and they also knew when to “take the screen.”

For example, I’m quite sure that Judi Dench didn’t tell Maggie Smith how to do a line reading. Each cast member interacted with the others without ever stealing focus or dominating the other actors. It was their teamwork that created such an extraordinary film.

The director of “Marigold,” John Madden, should also be recognized because he had the vision to put this ensemble together, and then he trusted his fellow professionals to bring that vision to fruition.

A Wedding Ensemble

All of the above is what should ideally happen with a wedding. The bride, who is the Producer, is tasked with putting together a great group of professionals. She then needs to trust her own judgment, and let them do their job.

I believe that we DJs need to consciously choose to work collaboratively with the other wedding professionals in order to achieve the best results for our brides. Naturally we would never give food preparation and service advice to a caterer, or tell a photographer how to set up shots, but we can certainly be mindful about what we say on the microphone, ensuring that we never abuse the power of amplification by saying something that could make the other wedding professionals look bad. We should in fact (if it’s well deserved), acknowledge our fellow “cast” members and make them look great!

Ultimately, the bride and groom are the stars and we are part of the supporting cast. Therefore, we must always make sure that the spotlight shines on them.

The results, just like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” will be amazing!


  • Liz Daley, WED®, AWP™ - A Passion for Performance

    Liz Daley is a seasoned veteran of stage and screen and is the owner of Liz Daley Events, a boutique entertainment company in Virginia opened in 2004 that delivers dramatically different results. She got her first radio job at 16, but her passion for live entertainment moved her across the country performing from New York to Nashville as well as the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas! She works with brides and grooms to create Classic, Fun and Memorable wedding receptions. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Boston Conservatory of Music, she is a certified Wedding Entertainment Director® and the National President of the Wedding Entertainment Directors Guild® and an Accredited Wedding Planner™ with the Association of Bridal Consultants. She is currently co-hosting educational performance workshops for Wedding DJs and Masters of Ceremonies with Peter Merry, “The Fun Wedding Experts”.

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