What have Weddings become?
It’s been a long time since I’ve graced the pages of a blog. In fact, it’s been over 18 months since I’ve written anything pertaining to the wedding industry at all. When I do put my thoughts down on these blogs, my thoughts can tend to be all over the place, but I do feel I provide content that is helpful to anyone planning their wedding. Before I go any further let me also give you my “grammar sucks” disclaimer right now. I am not an English major, nor do I claim to be one so if my writing isn’t up to your standards I apologize. 😉
I started doing weddings back in 2003-2004. It’s been a long run for me. RMF Entertainment was started in 2007 as a professional wedding service to brides looking for a reliable DJ service. Our goal was to create a fun service that you could count on every single time to show up and make sure the music is fun, announcements are properly made, and to ensure the wedding is organized in an easy, smooth flowing manner.
It’s safe to say I accomplished all those goals mentioned above. But something has happened on my road to 15 years in this industry. Weddings have went from fun celebrations to uptight functions at times that require the smallest details for people to actually enjoy themselves. Stress is killing weddings and people are becoming increasingly difficult to please as they get on Pinterest and see these crazy ideas they think they can implement, yet they don’t have the budget to do it. (More on this below).
Before I get into this, I must say that we love what we do at RMF Entertainment. We have adjusted with the times as much as any wedding vendor has. Below I’ve outlined my observations and ways to conduct a wedding that maximizes fun and relaxation for the brides and grooms, while cutting back on stress and worry. My company has helped plan more than 2,000 weddings in the last 9 years alone, and I’ve personally been a DJ at more than 400 weddings in my career dating back to 2003 when it all started. It’s safe to say my sample size is big enough to form an opinion. I also understand I’m a male in a female dominated industry so keep that in mind while reading this.
This is as honest as it gets coming from a DJ that has seen it all.
- Scrap timelines. Don’t like em at all. All they do is stress the bride out, families out, wedding planners out, me out, and so on. Weddings are NEVER on time… In fact it’s ridiculous to even try to be on time with a timeline. Timelines cause panic and they are rarely followed once the night gets going. All you need is an order of events and a good DJ/Wedding Planner in charge of that order. An experienced wedding DJ will take that order of events and move everyone through the night in a timely fashion without always looking at the clock.
- Shit happens and nothing is perfect. This plays off timelines a little bit. But if you are going into your wedding day with the expectation that everything is going to be a fairytale then you are setting yourself up for failure right from the start. Nothing is absolutely perfect, especially in Montana if you are getting married outside. I’ve seen the best wedding planners have 250 seats set for dinner with all the fancy center pieces and chair covers. $15,000 worth of flowers and arrangements and then BAM! The wind gusts hit 20-25mph and blows everything over. It then takes an extra 25-35 minutes to reset the tables and now what? The timeline is off. It’s time for pictures and 2 groomsmen are nowhere to be seen. During the toasts the DJs mic for some odd reason cuts out a second (Not that our mics would ever do that). Dinner is delayed 15 minutes for extra prep… I could go on for another page worth of examples. The point is when things start happening, because something most likely will, have a good attitude about it and laugh. Take a step back and relax and realize that everything is going to be just fine despite these type of setbacks. Eventually everyone helping that day will get it right, even if your timeline is off a little bit…
- Have a good backup plan if your wedding is outside. I can’t believe how many people to this day still try and trust the weather in Montana. It blows my mind. It’s almost like people don’t wanna believe that their wedding could be ruined by inclement weather. My advice if you are going to do a Montana outside wedding is to have a really good tent with sidewalls. If you’re doing it in the spring or fall have heaters if you’re going to go late into the evening. But definitely have a tent. I can’t tell you how many times people try to have an outside wedding at a family ranch/property/house and have most of the tables and dance floor set up in shade or under the sky. In Montana it just isn’t a good idea…
- Never leave your guests for extended periods of time. This one always gets me. People are there to see you, the bride and groom, and nobody else. Nothing kills the flow of a wedding more than when the bride and groom pull a “disappearing act”. Whether it’s pictures that take too long or family wanting you to sneak away, it’s never a good idea. I don’t think I need to elaborate much more on this. My advice is to stay engaged at the wedding reception that you spent a lot of money on. It goes fast and is over in an instant so it’s better to stick around and enjoy yourselves.
- Never do the bride auction. This is the absolute worst trend I’ve ever seen. The dollar dance is cliché enough but at least it’s got tradition behind it. But the Bride Auction is a HORRID idea. Not only does it basically beg all your guest for their money, but it takes 30-40 good minutes of your night away (Keep in mind #4). For those that don’t know it’s when the Best Man or groomsmen “steal” the bride from the wedding reception and then the DJ has to perform like an auctioneer to get the guests of the wedding to “buy” her back to the reception. It can become really awkward as the groomsmen usually want $500-$700 combined just to return the bride to the wedding. Your guests have spent time and money traveling to your wedding in most cases as well as buying you a wedding gift. The last thing they wanna do is be stuck in a bride auction they can’t get out of.
- Have shade or a tent for outside weddings. It’s amazing how many people ignore this for not only their guests but for the vendors as well. We even have a huge clause in our contract that we must have a tent and/or cover for outside weddings or we will not set up. Yet still, somehow when the wedding rolls around everyone over looks this and we end up having to beg for it. For the DJ it’s imperative to have shade or cover. This goes for rain or sun! Obviously the equipment can’t be in rain, but it can’t be in 100 degree heat either with the sun beating down on it for hours and hours. It will shut down. I’ve seen it. Every time we ask for it during planning people act like they didn’t even think about it. And for your guests do you really think they should be sitting in 90-100 degree heat with no shade? I’ve seen people pass out before. I would suggest shade or tents for your guests and things will go a lot smoother. 🙂
- DO NOT have DO NOT Playlists. These are always interesting to get. People these days will turn in all these popular songs to NOT PLAY cause Heaven forbid they have songs play at their wedding that their friend Suzy had too. Let’s face it, the popular songs are popular for a reason: They get people on the dance floor! Would you rather have people dancing or standing around staring at each other while we play a boring selection of alternative music that “isn’t popular yet”? 9 out of 10 times we end up playing your “Do Not Playlist” because all of your guests end up requesting the songs you put on it. They in turn will bother you, the bride and groom, all night with questions of why can’t those songs be played. You’ll eventually give in… trust me 🙂 My advice: Only put songs down that bring up bad feelings or bad memories. We’ll stay away from those, but if you are putting songs down just because you don’t like them keep in mind your guests probably will like the songs and you have to cater to them too.
- Location and Logistics. This has become something else these days. We have been doing weddings lately where the ceremony is in Billings, the cocktail hour in Missoula, dinner in Kalispell, and the reception/dancing in Butte. Okay maybe not that bad, but you get the point. We don’t have go-go gadget magic gear that just sets up in 4 locations, and moving the gear if we have to do so takes time. Brides these days are demanding all these different location set ups, but don’t want to spend more money on it because they’ve blasted their budgets on everything else. We’re the ones that take the hit, and in the end we’re just supposed to “handle it” because that’s what “DJs do” so we’re told. Aside from the fact that packing and moving gear takes time, I’m wondering in general what happened to just having your wedding in one place/venue? Having the ceremony and reception in 2 different places is common so don’t get me wrong, but the issue nowadays is that the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and then dancing/reception are all being held in different places. I personally don’t think it works. It’s even weird to move your guests around that much and you’ll end up losing 20% of your guest list because they get tired of moving from place to place.
- Keep the bar and DJ in the same room. I’ve talked about this before, but to this day it remains important. If you want to maximize your fun and dance party you are going to want to keep the booze and music in the same place. It’s easy that way for people to grab a drink and then hit the dance floor. It’s also important because with this set up you will most likely hear 90% of the songs that are being played. A lot of times people will accuse us of not playing their request or must play song, but most likely we did and that said person was out of the room grabbing a drink. It’s easier for us to coordinate the night too because most everyone is in the same area.
- Your wedding will go fast. Make sure have fun and realize that your wedding will happen so fast that you often will sit there at the end of the night asking yourself what just happened. Make sure you talk to as many people as you can. Dance to your favorite songs, and have a drink with your parents. Forget about little things that may have gone wrong and just enjoy the moments as much as you can.
- Pinterest and Weddings. This is a subject that could be talked about for hours. Women are getting on Pinterest and it’s creating insane expectations as they see these fancy photos and layouts of weddings that are damn near impossible to achieve at times. Brides always want the best, which is understandable, but you have to make sure you have the budget for it. I really can’t say it any better than industry leader Cortney Dryden. This is an article she posted for WeddingWire and she makes some good points that I agree with 100%. Read here: http://cortinsession.com/pinterest-ruined-weddings/.
Please keep in mind that these are merely my observations and opinions. If you don’t agree with me on some of this that is okay. We are hired to be a part of more than 250 weddings every year. We accommodate everyone and adjust accordingly to the needs of all brides and grooms. I merely wanted to give some insight on things that I think cuts back on stress for everyone while allowing you, the bride, to enjoy your day with family and friends.
If you would like to discuss things with us please call us at 406-531-2321 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and we hope to be working with you in the near future!