Beats, Booze, and Beef

The title to this Blog is a little risky, but I also feel by the time you’re done reading this you will see things from my perspective. I have been in the wedding industry for more than 10 years now. I have personally DJ’d and MC’d at over 300 weddings in my career. That’s almost enough weddings under my belt to cover a wedding a day for a whole year.

Side note too: I’m not perfect when it comes to grammar and punctuation. If I was I would be an English teacher and not the owner of a DJ company.

With that said I’ve seen it all. Every year we manage to have 1 or 2 brides or families that throw me for a loop, but I can about guarantee I’ve seen nearly every type of wedding and situation you could imagine. I’m going to be so brutally honest with the readers on this blog that some might not like it, however please respect my opinion. I run the largest, most successful wedding DJ company in the Northwest and take a lot of pride in what I do. I tend to shy away from speaking too much of my mind at times for fear of offending someone and missing the chance to work with them. Well, in this case I’m gonna give you the best advice anyone can give when it comes to having the best wedding. Also, this is in NO WAY ever intended to downgrade anyone else’s business or profession. This is merely a DJ that has witnessed hundreds of weddings and is giving you the ultimate rundown on how to have the most successful wedding you could dream of.

I have seen brides and grooms spend immaculate amounts of money on the dumbest things: Chair covers, ice sculptures, fancy vegetable trays that cost a grand, 5-10k on flowers that will die in a week anyways, table centerpieces that nobody pays attention too, other decorations that add up to thousands, cakes that cost several grand, lighting that’s to fancy for their own good, photographers that cost 5k or more that only stay for 8 hours or less, fancy invites, save the dates, you name it….I’m out of breath! I think you get the point.

It’s sad to see this if you think about it. By the time my company gets hired the bride’s budget is down to $5 more then half the time. We get offered a bag of Doritos and a box of Red Vines for 8 hours of DJ Services. Some couples literally have the nerve to hit me up and say “Our budget is really really low so I was hoping you could work with us.” 9 times out of 10 the bride saying that has implemented 3-4 of the money sucking activities I mentioned above. All for the sake of looking cool or wanting that dream wedding I guess. I still can’t figure it out… But anyways, if you come to me and tell me you have a really low budget you damn well better be having sandwiches, bare tables, a cake from Wal-Mart, no lighting, and Uncle Jim as the photographer. If that’s the case then I will listen to you and work with your budget, but if you went all out on the above mentioned things then I will tell you to take a long walk off a short pier and call it a day. 😉

Here’s what I’m getting at as it’s time to get to the point. You want to have a memorable wedding? You want to have fun and have the best night of your life? You want everyone talking about your wedding for years to come? You want your wedding to stand out amongst your friends? You want to sit and reminisce about how much you laughed and how nobody wanted to leave your wedding because it was so cool and fun?

If you answered yes to any of those questions you damn well better have the main 3 things that matter at the end of the day! Good Booze…Good Food…and a Good DJ! These 3 things are all that matter when it’s all said and done. I know all my photographer friends are going to come scream at me. Trust me I love them and the good photographers(please ask) are so good at what they do they sell themselves without trying, but I’m telling you right now these 3 main things are a MUST! I think any photographer would tell you the same thing as well.

Nobody is leaving your wedding and saying “Geez Carl those table centerpieces were fantastic, I sure wish we could have stayed longer to stare at those.” Nobody! Let me elaborate on these 3 major factors to a successful wedding below:

BOOZE: When we say good booze we mean FREE booze. There’s nothing that gets people loosened up more to have a good time then a few drinks. You will see the most uptight, non dancing people in the world shaking legs by 11pm if the booze is plentiful and FREE. Notice I say FREE! You as the bride and groom should be making sure there are plenty of options for free drinks during the night. Guests shouldn’t have to spend half their retirement on YOUR wedding. Most guests and family members are traveling long distances, buying you gifts, getting hotels, and giving you money on the dollar dance. The least you could do for them is get them free drinks for the night. Even if it’s just a couple choices of free beer out of the keg that works better then nothing. I can promise you this: Having enough to drink and making it free for your guests is a huge step in having the night of your life. It is the number one thank you to all those people traveling and supporting you and plus people will stick around WAY longer. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard people complain about buying drinks over the years at somebody’s wedding! This is a fact, and if you are one of those people that doesn’t drink or your wedding is going to be a dry wedding then you can disregard this advice. Thanks!

BEEF: Beef is good food! Point, blank, simple. I used the word beef because it went with beats and booze. But there’s nothing that will make people happier then a top caterer. This is also an area where some people think they can get off on the cheap route by having parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and everyone else pitch in. While that’s not a bad idea because I understand some of us out there have families that are amazing cooks, it’s also not a good idea either. Here’s why: Having your family in charge of all the food and preparation of the food is a MAJOR STRESS! This is the one area that will stress the bride and groom out the most if it’s not taken care of by someone in the right mindset. Family members think the sound of doing the food is easy until the weeks before the wedding start rolling in and they realize they are preparing for 150 plus people on most occasions. It gets hectic and there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with being in charge of the food. Not to mention that the family and friends doing the food will not have too much fun and won’t be able to enjoy the wedding the same way everyone else will. ALSO more often then not if family and friends are in charge of the food then expect dinner to start later then you plan.

With that said hire a professional caterer that has a proven track record. Pick the style of foods you like and go from there… Do a buffet line if you don’t mind. Trust me! That way people can pick and eat what they want and as much as they want. Plated dinners work well in some cases but most of the time they take longer, are limited in their choices, and not everyone gets enough to eat. Let people eat and get stuffed with a trusted caterer who can take care of everything. You will love spending the extra money on it and be thankful you did. They will be on time, prepare everything to be ready on time, have all the silverware and plates you need, clean up afterwards, and they will make sure you have nothing to worry about. This is a huge stress off your back and it will make your day go wayyyyyy better with a lot less stress on your families.

BEATS: Ahhhhhh! Saving the best for last 😉 There’s no bias in this section of the blog at all so please read every word carefully. Seriously though! In my opinion the most important vendor you can hire is your DJ/MC. I can guarantee it. I have seen bands at weddings, Ipods, and whatever other idea people come up with to try and save money on a DJ. The simple fact is your wedding day will be incredible if you have a DJ that is ready, on time, good with announcements, can coordinate, and keep people dancing. Every other vendor could be horrible on your wedding day, but I can guarantee an experienced DJ can and will save the day. DJs keep the party going, take requests, make announcements, get people on the dance floor, and keep things organized. 70 percent of the time in Montana we do weddings without wedding coordinators so we serve and fill that role with as much perfection as possible.

If you’re sitting there reading this thinking I’m being biased because I run my own DJ company then think of it like this so I can better paint the picture for you: Photographer is incredible and on time. Food is delicious. There’s enough to drink for everyone. Decorations and table settings are beautiful. Flowers are immaculate. Vendor owners are ready and on point. Parents aren’t stressed. The wedding party is helping and dressed on time. Pictures are going great and nothing could be better at this point. Put this image in your head please. Ceremony is looking amazing and things are well on their way to being the best day ever. Now enters your DJ. Let’s say your DJ is late. He’s dressed wrong. He messes up your ceremony music. He makes quiet and timid announcements. He doesn’t help with the toast. His microphones cut out and don’t work. You’re ready to do the main dances of the evening but your DJ can’t be found because he’s not paying attention to the flow of the night. He starts the main dances finally without talking to the photographer to make sure they are ready. He doesn’t get anyone dancing. He doesn’t take requests. He’s playing the wrong music at the right times and the right music at the wrong times and nobody is dancing now. Guess what? You are so livid at this point you’ve forgotten all about the great things that all the other vendors brought to the table. All you and your guests can focus on at this point is how bad the DJ is and that nobody is dancing or having fun.

Now go back and picture it the opposite way: Photographer isn’t that great. Food isn’t good and not served on time. There’s a decent amount of drinks for people. Decorations are purchased from the Dollar Store. You got your flowers from Albertsons. Cake tipped over and is a mess on the floor. Bridal party isn’t helping out and Mom and Dad are being to demanding and stressed out. Things aren’t going well at this point. Now enters your DJ. Let’s say your DJ is perfect! He’s on time with an incredible attitude. He plays the music for your ceremony timed perfectly. He has 2 wireless mics that are crisp sounding and ready. He makes all the necessary announcements with confidence. He keeps everyone organized and on time. He communicates well with the photographer and other vendors. He helps get the toast ready when the time is right. But most importantly he plays the right music at the right time and assures that everyone is dancing and having fun. I can’t stress to you how important this is. The DJ is in my opinion the most vital part of your wedding day.

The Knot Magazine did a study 5 years ago that stated more then 76% of all brides when interviewed after their wedding WISH they would have spent more time selecting the right DJ and making it a way bigger priority. The DJ/MC is the lifeblood to your event and I can guarantee they will make or break your day. I have saved many weddings in my day from disaster just because I know what I’m doing and I’m confident doing it.

I hope many of you reading this consider what I’m saying. I’m going to have several more of these blogs coming out over the next few months. Our goal at RMF Entertainment is to provide all of you out there getting married with the best advice/opinions on the market. Please contact us for more information at or call us at 406-531-2321. I look forward to working with as many of you as possible!

Ryan Bradshaw
Owner, RMF Entertainment

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Showing 3 comments
  • Mary
    Reply

    I think this is so valuable and helpful. I agree with most of this and I can honestly say that people do need to take the hiring of these 3 vendors a lot more serious!

  • Mark Johnson
    Reply

    Very well said. I do know exactly how you feel, especially when brides and grooms start shopping for a Dj and they go with the lowest priced Dj expecting the best results. You know exactly what I mean when I say, risking everything you put into wedding planning and the price you pay for everything and then skimp on the most important expense just to save a few buck.. Might as well throw it all away if you get a Dj that has no experience. Brides and grooms really don’t realize that some of these Djs went to a wedding,, Bought a few pieces of equipment, and started booking people at a low price just to fill there calender. While the bride and groom think they are getting this great deal, and most of the times they don’t even realize the steps that a true professional Dj would do because they have never been in that position. I have seen DJ completely boom the whole show but the bride and groom are happy, Not realizing the memories they have missed out on… the old saying ignorance is bliss… This is a very well written, you hit it right on the head…

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