The Wedding DJ Stigma

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

It’s difficult to shed light on what we do as professional entertainers to even our closest friends and family members. Try as they might, they just don’t really understand.

When asked what I do for a living, I proudly announce that I am a Wedding Entertainment Director, a Wedding DJ and Wedding Master of Ceremonies…and my friends and family look at me like I’ve got two heads. They nod sympathetically, sincerely believing that I am engaging in an art form worse than “Jersey Shore”. You were a professional actress in New York, and now you’re a “DJ”, with the subtext being… “I’m so sorry that you can’t get legitimate work any more” OUCH!

Life on the “DJ” Stage!

Entertainers are drawn to life on the stage because of the personal validation and instant gratification of applause. As Wedding Entertainers, our “stage” is usually a ballroom of some sort, and the guests are the BEST audience any Master of Ceremonies could ever hope for, because they want their friends (the bride and groom) to have a great party!

Weddings are like a Live Television Broadcast

Lots of planning with only “one chance” to get it right! Weddings are entertainment events, which I would liken to Oprah and Billy Crystal meeting the Oscars® and the Tonys® with a little Saturday Night Live thrown in for good measure. There is a script. There is ritual. There is fun and there is romance. There are tears of joy. There is laughter, there is dancing and the evening is full of HAPPY surprises that create lasting memories. Finally, our two lead players are madly in love sharing the joy of their commitment! What’s not to love? This is theatre at its best! (and how lucky are we, the DJ and Master of Ceremonies, to be the narrator and the orchestra for this story?)

Exceeding Expectations

After spending as much as a year planning and working with my clients in preparation for the big day, the absolute joy of experiencing the final result is an indescribable high, just as powerful as a “proper curtain call”, if not more so. The personal satisfaction of seeing the combined efforts coming to fruition exactly as imagined is amazing. Hearing from family members and other guests that “this was the best wedding reception ever”, I’ve never seen anything like this before”, or even better yet, “YOU are the BEST DJ EVER”. It feels good!

Sad Reality

Television and Movies have condemned our profession since it began. We are made fun of, we are portrayed as bumbling idiots, and it is assumed that we are cheesy and that we can’t speak like normal people.


How can we erase 40 plus years of bad publicity so prevalent that even our families secretly believe the negative press, even though they know better? We can do our jobs extremely well and eventually we can change our small circle of influence.

At 18, I would have never guessed that I would be doing what I am today for a living. But it is the culmination of a very diverse entertainment career and is constantly in motion. No two couples are the same. No two weddings are the same. Everything is different every time and it keeps the creative juices flowing.

Maybe everyone is just jealous because our jobs are so much fun! Be proud! Be a DJ.


  • 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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