Great question, but a really important one, for this is the main event of most people's lives. I met with a new client a few days ago, they asked that very question. They asked because their photographer had told them it was 'he' because it is the photographer who sets the schedule and the agenda for the big day. My client has a wedding planner, who presumably thought that they were in control. When I think of a wedding planner I think of someone who corrals all of the various parties into a unified group to make the event run smoothly.
The DJ should be part of this process of making everything run smoothly. Are we just button pushers brought in to play the music so the folks can dance? I cannot speak for all DJ 's but I can speak for Nice Guys DJ. We take a professional stance, we prefer to meet with the people at the center of the wedding, the Bride and Groom to build a rapport with them, establish their likes and dislikes, the style of the event and talk about the wedding party and guests.
So back to the question, just who is in charge? The old adage: 'Too many cooks spoil the broth' comes to mind. Somebody has to be in control.
Please, allow me to use a recent example and walk you through how my evening went last night, and along the way I will try and shine some light on this serious question. Bear in mind, if you will, that every wedding is a little different, some wedding planners have been working with happy couple for as long as a year, whereas, some wedding day coordinators are only there for the actual wedding day. Sometimes the day only coordinator is a family friend, and some are supplied by the venue.
Last night we attended a wedding and the venue provided the day coordinator.
When I first arrived at the venue, the day coordinator met me at the door and showed me where to set up my DJ equipment and the photo booth.
At last night's wedding, the venues coordinator quickly established that she was in charge. I was delighted to see her, because it is always helpful when someone quickly shows you where to set up. I have stumbled around venues for an hour or so in the past trying to make sure I was in the right place at the right time. A top flight coordinator will be on top of this and will anticipate your arrival and direct you accordingly. Shortly after we met the coordinator introduced me to a man who was in charge of catering, now we have two people in charge. At this point we were all handshakes and smiles. The line of control is clear, we all have a job to do and are focused on doing our respective job. Please, remember, this blog is about searching for who is in charge?
Fast forward a couple of hours, the DJ is set up and ready, the photo booth is set up also. Guests begin to arrive from the wedding ceremony at the Church across the street, we are good to go. I start playing vocal jazz as the guests enter the room and begin to mingle. The wedding planner seems to be more focused on the way things look than the way things sound. The wedding planner did suggest that we should wait until all the guests were present before we start the photo booth, so as not to create a line of people waiting running outside the door especially because it was cold out.
The photographers arrived, introduced themselves, and you can tell that up to now they have definitely been in charge so far. They have told people how, and where to stand, and
generally what to do. They ask me, 'where are the introductions to be made?' This is very interesting because and they are saying we need to know who is in charge? Just what is going on?
So as with the caterer, and the wedding planner, we have a laugh and keep things friendly and say 'I don't know, let's make it up as we go.' But, in reality, I am coming up with a plan right about now, and I say, 'this is what we are going to do.' I asked the photographer, 'which way would look best for the pictures?' The photographers point out a doorway, they say it is awesome, that is the doorway they are going to be introduced in. I asked, 'If you bring the bride and groom around to that door I will meet you outside of the door, because I want to talk to them before they are introduced.
When I come back out the entire wedding party is there. I introduced myself as the DJ, give hi fives all round, and tell everyone that they look amazing. I explained, 'alright we need to get lined up for the introduction. Partner up with whoever you walk back down the aisle with, in any order that you like, as long as the Bride and Groom and maids of honor are last.' If the wedding planner has a plan she is not saying, she is just glad that someone with a fun, and loud, voice is getting everyone in line. The photographer walked around the corner with the Bride and Groom and gasped out loud saying, 'we have never seen a wedding party so well organized.' Well it did help that they weren't drinking, but .. .I should like to think that was because I had a game plan and it was working. ,
The Bride and Groom, wedding party, and family have been looking for direction from the photographer until now. Previously the photographers have been their guiding light. It is not that people are dumb, it is just that people need someone to give them a lead, after all weddings are social events, people want to make up time with folks they haven't seen in years. It is necessary to help people who need to be in the right place at the right moment.
I advise my Df's that our # l goal is to build rapport with the wedding party early. This way, when you play the first dance song, people know you are cool, fun, and in charge of the party. The way that we build rapport with the wedding party early is by making the introductions truly amazing. The guests then feel as though they are on top of the world, hundreds of people are yelling for them and everything goes super smooth. The introductions then are of major importance and set the tone for the whole event.
Throughout the rest of the evening I made announcements for the toasts, cutting the cake, bouquet toss, garter and exit.
So, who is in charge of the wedding? In truth there are a number of people who step up during the wedding and take control. So long as someone is coordinating the events the wedding should go smoothly. If the official coordinator is slow in coming forward, then so long as someone, DJ, photographer etc. is able then all should go well.
One thing is for sure, the Bride and Groom want a smooth wedding for their memories and for their loved ones. It is our job to make sure that it is memorable for all the right reasons, cool music, careful control and everyone will have a ball.
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