A DJ with a Timeline is Not a Wedding Planner

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Daniel David

New Member
I stumbled across this blog article today and just wanted to get your feedback....


"Yesterday I heard that a bride who had been actively interviewing wedding planners had decided after talking to a DJ that she no longer needed a planner. The DJ assured her, that if she hired him, he would completely take charge and make sure her day went well. I have a huge problem with this line of thinking both generally and specifically.

Generally, there are a least 100 items, that as a wedding planner, I take care of between the rehearsal and the next day at the ceremony and reception. I know, because in 2003 my husband made me make a list in order to prove that I should raise my prices. My day starts at 9:00 am and I usually get home after 1:00 am. Most planners I know have the same schedules. Most DJ’s show up 2-3 hours before the reception starts to set up, leave and come back in time to start the music as per their contract. As soon as their 4-5 hours are done, they are packed up and out the door. If they are doing their job correctly, they do not leave their post to go wandering around the ballroom doing wedding planner, caterer, florist or photography tasks. If they have an effortless night, it’s because there was a planner who worked with the bride for months leading up to the wedding weekend to make it happen. If it looks like the planner is having an effortless night, then they are really good at what they do.

I understand that DJ’s have been out there doing receptions without planners for years, and I am sure at the end of the night there are happy brides and grooms. However, keep in mind that they are tired, they may have been drinking and at the end, everything about the day has a pretty glow. I actually had a bride who was furious with her DJ, who because he thought things needed to be speeded up, chopped 30 minutes out of the timeline by announcing the cake cutting. This caused the banquet staff to start to disassemble the buffet line and the wedding party hadn’t even eaten yet. I stopped it, but what was odd was at the end of the night when the DJ came up to her; he thanked her and she told him “You did a good job.” I looked at her and she said to me, “I would never recommend him and you shouldn’t either, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.”

The problem is a bride doesn’t get to do the wedding twice, once with a planner and once without and then choose. You can see floral samples, taste cakes and food, try out linens and napkin folds, but they choose a planner based on interviews, photos of past work and referrals. A DJ trying to sell himself and his services at the expense of cutting out another service vendor is unconscionable.

Specifically, my problem with this DJ is that he has never, ever, done this type of wedding that includes highly specialized events. Yet he is confident he can not only do his job, but that of a wedding planner as well.

I don’t know what they’re telling DJs in Vegas at those conventions, but a DJ with a timeline is not a wedding planner. Hone your skills to become the best you can be in your segment of the industry, but stay the hell out of mine."
 

hippydog

wuz here when it was Red.
Since their are wedding planners out their who tell brides they can save money by using an ipod,
I guess it goes both ways.
 

Gino The G-Force

New Member
Ok this is one planner with a bad experience with one DJ. Thats it. But, I kind of agree with her. Sure we are in charge of the flow of the reception. We don't plan the menu, make flower arrangements, are no where near the ceremony except for sound reinforcement. And there is so much more to it. We are NOT wedding planners, we are the entertainment.
 

MobileDJ

New Member
I can surely see where this article came from. A good wedding planner can be well worth their fee, spending months helping to select venue, flowers, decor, menu, invitations etc. etc. etc...

I'm sure many of these wedding planners have come across the bottom feeders of the DJ industry... However, I have worked with many bottom feeders of the planning industry as well.
 

Jason Cathcart

New Member
I'd agree that we're not wedding planners - however there are numerous points within that blog post that I disagree with...

Most DJ’s show up 2-3 hours before the reception starts to set up, leave and come back in time to start the music as per their contract. As soon as their 4-5 hours are done, they are packed up and out the door. If they are doing their job correctly, they do not leave their post to go wandering around the ballroom doing wedding planner, caterer, florist or photography tasks.

Nuh uh - too many times have I had to go finding photographers, caterers, and the wedding planners themselves for that line to be true. If I never leave my post I'm absolutely NOT doing MY job correctly. Coordination has to take place on many levels, and once the music starts people look to the DJ to make things happen - often solely because they're the ones with mic and the ability to make people take notice. I'm not saying we should be calling for the photographer over the mic, but we are relied upon to make sure everybody knows what is going on.

I can't say that 80% of the wedding planners I've worked with have any ability to co-ordinate vendors once the festivities start. Heck - I've rarely been contacted by the planners ahead of the wedding - but I do make sure that if I have info that there is a planner that I contact them.

Maybe I've worked with some rough around the edges planners - I dunno.
 

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
Firstly, the dj she references is definitely not me!

;)

I can understand her frustration, but after over thirty years in this biz, I can tell you that I've seen far more "planners" who couldn't run a reception than dj's who were clueless in coordinating event flow.

Not sure where this post came from, but I'm impressed that she knows we have a convention in Las Vegas!

Why don't you go back there and invite her to come out to Vegas next week, meet up with us, and we'll show her exactly what we do in out there in Vegas!!!

I don't have to advise brides on who to hire or not hire...I can usually point out at least a $Grand$ in savings just silly add-ons... cancel the chair covers and ice molds and I've just multiplied their entertainment budget by an order of magnitude!!!
 
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robertbenda

Active Member
In our area there are no wedding planners. However, I agree with her. I never suggest I'm a substitute, merely that I help (I would use the phrase 'reception coordinator'). I am not there for the ceremony and certainly didn't help plan an itinerary for 9am to 5pm like a good planner would.
 

Beachcitiesdjs

Account Closed
A DJ with a timeline and a rolodex IS a planner : )

I stumbled across this blog article today and just wanted to get your feedback....


"Yesterday I heard that a bride who had been actively interviewing wedding planners had decided after talking to a DJ that she no longer needed a planner. The DJ assured her, that if she hired him, he would completely take charge and make sure her day went well. I have a huge problem with this line of thinking both generally and specifically.

Generally, there are a least 100 items, that as a wedding planner, I take care of between the rehearsal and the next day at the ceremony and reception. I know, because in 2003 my husband made me make a list in order to prove that I should raise my prices. My day starts at 9:00 am and I usually get home after 1:00 am. Most planners I know have the same schedules. Most DJ’s show up 2-3 hours before the reception starts to set up, leave and come back in time to start the music as per their contract. As soon as their 4-5 hours are done, they are packed up and out the door. If they are doing their job correctly, they do not leave their post to go wandering around the ballroom doing wedding planner, caterer, florist or photography tasks. If they have an effortless night, it’s because there was a planner who worked with the bride for months leading up to the wedding weekend to make it happen. If it looks like the planner is having an effortless night, then they are really good at what they do.

I understand that DJ’s have been out there doing receptions without planners for years, and I am sure at the end of the night there are happy brides and grooms. However, keep in mind that they are tired, they may have been drinking and at the end, everything about the day has a pretty glow. I actually had a bride who was furious with her DJ, who because he thought things needed to be speeded up, chopped 30 minutes out of the timeline by announcing the cake cutting. This caused the banquet staff to start to disassemble the buffet line and the wedding party hadn’t even eaten yet. I stopped it, but what was odd was at the end of the night when the DJ came up to her; he thanked her and she told him “You did a good job.” I looked at her and she said to me, “I would never recommend him and you shouldn’t either, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.”

The problem is a bride doesn’t get to do the wedding twice, once with a planner and once without and then choose. You can see floral samples, taste cakes and food, try out linens and napkin folds, but they choose a planner based on interviews, photos of past work and referrals. A DJ trying to sell himself and his services at the expense of cutting out another service vendor is unconscionable.

Specifically, my problem with this DJ is that he has never, ever, done this type of wedding that includes highly specialized events. Yet he is confident he can not only do his job, but that of a wedding planner as well.

I don’t know what they’re telling DJs in Vegas at those conventions, but a DJ with a timeline is not a wedding planner. Hone your skills to become the best you can be in your segment of the industry, but stay the hell out of mine."


I can tell you with confidence, that after 20 years of being a wedding DJ, on both coasts, and in Europe, from Beverly Hills to the Hills of TN,
that I not only have recommended other vendors based on price and best match for the bride, but I have guided the events to keep them on time, shown up at the last minute to save the day when lesser DJs flaked, and even coordinated a few ceremonies in my career.

A good, skilled, professional DJ should be able to keep the timeline on time,
and yes we do the following.

1. If the bride hasn't eaten and seems faint, I will bring her food, and a drink.
2. I have picked brides up off the floor who did faint, and made sure they ate.

3. When a photographer and videographer almost came to blows, it was me, the DJ that grabbed them each by the collar, calmed them down and told them we need to work as a team.

4. More often than not, the coordinator at most events (hired by the location) says to me: "Mark take over, we're through dinner and I'm outta here.

I have to echo the sentiment that while coordinators are advising ipods,
and expecting DJs to slash each others throats to book a gig, turnabout is fair play when the bride can save money and have me do all coordinators work.

Granted, we don't always need to attend rehearsals, just give us the song list and we'll make it flow.

I also don't know of any DJs in my caliber that would set up and leave their equipment for hours. I show up 1 hour ahead of time, start back ground music th second I'm set up, play until the end,and then I'm done. I've played music, held hands, made sure the schedule went on time, and kept all the players on the same team.

When I deal with pushy coordinators, who scream at vendors, I won't recommend them or work with them again. I deal with people on the happiest day of their life, in an elegant and professional manner, and expect the same from other vendors.

Anyone that would like to challenge this, I'll hand you the mic, see how you control a crowd and the playlist.

: )
 

Chris Michaels

Active Member
Do a google search for "angry wedding coordinator"

We thought we had issues in our industry.... WHEW!

Read some of the blogs from pissed off brides.
 

Tim English

Active Member
http://weddingsbymichele.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/a-dj-with-a-timeline-is-not-a-wedding-planner/

If you're going to cut and paste content from someone's blog, at least do them the courtesy of linking to the blog.

In my sales meetings, I make it very clear that I provide "planning assistance" and "coordination help." I don't call myself a wedding planner or coordinator. I give a detailed description of my scope of work. I even have some typical examples I use time and time again. Such as "I monitor the mood of the room from an entertainer's perspective, and sometime suggest schedule adjustments to keep people entertained." But I also tell them "I don't do things like check seating arrangements, but if a problem comes to my attention, even if it's a spilled drink, I will do my best to take care of it as a part of your team."
 

classactparty

New Member
...and a wedding planner is not a DJ with a timeline.

Let me tell you, you may be a great wedding planner, but if you are a really good wedding planner, you have all the contacts you need, including great DJs who can go with your plan, or perhaps do even better running the reception.

I've dealt with about 6 wedding planners in about the last 12 years. IMO, only two of those 6 were competent with a reception. Three of the other four actually deferred to me when I spoke to them over the phone a week ahead of time.

One planner, who I had to deal with TWICE, was an absolute idiot. She insisted on lining everyone up for intros herself, would not let me go over the names with everyone, changed the ORDER the bride had given me, and then wrote it in illegible chicken scratch. After I had started the intro music and opened the doors, I realized I was screwed unless I used my list to "guess" the names. I got the names in order correct, and only mispronounced one name, which wouldn't have happened otherwise.

The second time she showed up, the manager of this particular Country Club told me to please keep her away from her. Apparently, I wasn't the only person whp thought she was an idiot. Once again, she tried to pull the same stunt on intros. I pulled her aside and told her "Look, I know this bride paid you a lot of money to make sure everything goes perfect. The last time I tried to read your writing, I ended up mispronouncing a name. I REALLY need to connect with these people BEFORE I introduce them. I have the itinerary, and I promise I will follow it and keep you posted before each event. You've taken care of the most important part of the day- why don't you have a seat and relax? The bride and groom will probably need you to fix them a plate after their first dance."

I was shocked when she agreed. Everything went smoothly until I went to the manager to notify her of the upcoming toast.
Unfortunately, this "wedding planner" had been hassling her to start pouring way too early.

She seemed to disappear after the toast. I suspect the manager told her to leave or she would have her removed. I never saw this lady again.
 

robertbenda

Active Member
Anyone that would like to challenge this, I'll hand you the mic, see how you control a crowd and the playlist.: )

I think you misread the post. My gist was a wedding planner complaining of a DJ claiming they do the same job, almost like us complaining about iPod weddings.

And you even seem to confirm this notion. Yes, some (or most) of us do great work helping coordinate and/or taking care of a lot of little things, but at the reception. By and large, we don't take responsibility for vendor shopping, ceremony coordination, getting wedding party to locations like hair & makeup on time, etc. Things a good wedding planner should do. Many here have had run-ins with poor wedding planners, much like a good wedding planner has had run-ins with poor DJs. Sounds like this wedding planner had a run-in with a DJ who is over promising something they couldn't possibly deliver.
 

Sir Charles

New Member
I decided to post a reply. You can follow the link DJmofo provided if you would like to read it. I also provided her a link to this thread in case she wanted to join this discussion
 

DJBusyB

Active Member
I believe Wedding Planners can very much benefit a busy couple. I have worked with some great Wedding Planners and some who I despise.

- After contacting my client to schedule our planning meeting, she forwarded my email on to the planner and said "My planner is taking care of the details". When I responded, telling her I just needed to go over what she wanted for her entertainment that evening, and copying the planner with my response, I received a Call from the planner. She told me, point blank "You're ruining this wedding. Your job is to just play music. You do your job and I'll do mine!"

- I've worked with planners who said "let me know I can help", then told me at the end of the night "I've never had a DJ keep things flowing like you did. Most just play music and rely on me to tell them everything they need to do".

- I asked one planner, after we worked together on a few weddings, why she didn't tell her clients about me and they found me on their own? She said "You charge too much and are cutting into my income". Do they really refer the 'best' vendors for their clients, or only those who will not cut into their potential pay?

There are good and bad to both sides. I just wish more would learn how to find the people they know and trust. I'd love to find a planner or 2 I could confidently refer.

Brian
 

hippydog

wuz here when it was Red.
There are good and bad to both sides. I just wish more would learn how to find the people they know and trust. I'd love to find a planner or 2 I could confidently refer.
Me too!
Theirs been many times I would love to send a potential client to a wedding planner, but then I start thinking "will she stab in the back"? or "will she actually make things better?"
 

Bob Dietrich

Active Member
"I don’t know what they’re telling DJs in Vegas at those conventions, but a DJ with a timeline is not a wedding planner. Hone your skills to become the best you can be in your segment of the industry, but stay the hell out of mine."

I don't know what they're telling these so-called wedding planners, but a wedding planner is simply that, the reception I'll take care of thank you. Hone your skills to become the best you can be in YOUR segment of the industry, but stay the hell out of mine!

It would seem it's a two way street now doesn't it? Sure seems to be the time of year people really are venting...Sheesh!
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
A few things first off.

1. Before we copy content from someone elses website/blog, we must first ascertain IF the user ALLOWS content to be copied. This was apparently not reviewed by either the original poster OR the poster who pasted the link to the blog.

As a general rule we do not keep possibly copyrighted material in view like this.

However, there do not appear to be any copyright warnings on the blog, so it can stand for now. IF the original poster who has been invited to come here objects to the material being here, WE MUST TAKE IT DOWN according to her wishes...no questions asked.

Capiche?

If she joins the discussion here, as a guest, she should be accorded every courtesy, and be respected as well as a guest...in our house.

And for every story we have about less than adequate planners we would liek to tell, I'll betcha she has a lot more about members of our industry....so lets watch the movement to throw HER under the bus. It's her blog, she has the right to say whatever she wants to take responsibility for,,,,and so should we all.

And, let's show her the positive aspects of what we LEARNED in VEGAS!
 

Tim English

Active Member
Linking to public material is ALWAYS ok, and legal. That's why search engines can legally aggregate links for you on the fly, based on search terms. Cutting and pasting is NOT ok. If you quote an entire article, the person who wrote it is entitled to the web traffic.

I've been in touch with Michele and she has read this thread. For what it's worth, I think she would want everyone to know that she does value the good DJs she works with, and would never, ever tell a bride to use an iPod. I got the feeling that she was really upset by this specific DJ and was venting.
 
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Tim English

Active Member
To be clear, a text link is always legal. You are only breaking the law if the copyrighted material is displayed in place of the link. For example, on a site where they don't allow you to upload an image, but you can enter a link to an image and the site will actually display the image instead of the link, that is illegal. You just can't cause the the copyrighted material to be displayed in an unauthorized place, but you can link all you want. If people could sue for linking, the internet would be broken.
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
Tim, we exercise a greater degree of caution, and we will continue to govern the site according to the way Mr Burger prefers it, but thank you for your permission.

I did get an Email from Michele, and she should soon be able to post in the thread, and she did confirm with me personally that she had no problems with it, so it's all good from her perspective, which is the perspective we consider most important when material from other sites is posted on PRODJ without first understanding IF that person wishes it to be here.
 
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