The Value of Having a “Back-Up” Plan: Part 1

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

What exactly is a “back-up” plan? The easy answer:
“ What we plan to do if something goes wrong with the first plan.”

The Obvious

The ceremony or reception is outside.

This is a no-brainer. There should be a “rain plan”…which is a “back-up” plan. We tell our clients this all the time, because we know that sometimes it rains on weekends, regardless of the prayers and wishes of thousands of brides. Get a tent! The first reason for a tent is so her family and friends will be protected from the elements. Our reason, the DJs reason, is far more selfish. Electronics and rain DO NOT MIX well together.

We also know that a lot more can go wrong other than rain, and it’s out job to help ourselves and our clients be prepared with contingency plans.

Gear Breaks

We live in a technologically driven world and Gear and Gadgets will break.

It’s not a matter of “if” something will die, it’s a matter of “when.” If you mix on a computer, do you have a 2nd one with all the same music ready to go? Do you use an external hard drive for music? Do you have a redundant drive with all the same music? Do you burn back-up CDs with the important songs for each wedding? Do you also put the important songs for each wedding on your ipod and phone…just in case? If you’re using an ipod for the ceremony, do you have a 2nd one with all the same music? Do you print multiple copies of your script, your love story and agenda? Do you keep a copy on your phone and your ipad? Once I forgot to print my love story. I retrieved it from Dropbox ! Do you have back up cables, amps, speakers, batteries, tape, etc.? It would really suck to have no music because of a stupid $10.00 cable.

Humans are Stupid

We can plan all we want, but humans that are not within “wrangling” distance will do some of the stupidest things.

Just this past weekend, I had bridal party members decide to grab some pizza before heading to the reception site. The ceremony was at 3:00 about 20 minutes away, the photographer had almost 3-hours to take pictures following the ceremony in the historic area, which was about 10 minutes away. The cocktail party began at 6:30pm. It didn’t dawn on me that bridal party members would be late. There was plenty of time. Evidently not. My Grand Entrance was delayed by almost 30 minutes because the bridal party members were starving. This was ultimately my fault. Why? Even though I was not assisting this particular bride with her ceremony, I should have advised her to tell her bridal party that they needed to be present for the cocktail hour so we could start the Grand Entrance on time. Additionally, you should make sure that the reception venue has cocktail hour food and beverages ready for the bridal party in their holding area. It would be bad form for the bride and groom to pass out during their first dance because they were dehydrated and hungry.

In Part 2…Back Up for “You”




  • 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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