Well, here we are-the LAST installment of “What Does a Wedding DJ Actually Do?” In my final installment, I will be talking about Coordination. Coordination or coordinator is not typically the word that is normally associated with DJ, but it is one of the most vital parts of what a good wedding DJ does.
Your wedding is going to have a TON of moving parts. The person doing the makeup, your, cake maker, the banquet captain (caterer), officiant, the venue’s representative, your DJ, your videographer, decorator, photographer, and more have or will all vie for a piece of your time either before or on the day of in order to fill the roles for which they’ve been hired. It is absolutely essential that they’re all on the same page so that by the time that YOU (the happy couple) arrive, there are no hiccups or issues with the flow of your big day.
I make it a point to send out the finalized timeline that has been approved by the bride and groom to all vendors who will be operating or having a part during the big day. For instance, I don’t usually send a timeline to the makeup artist as their part is USUALLY over and done before I start playing, but I definitely send one to the venue representative, photographer, videographer, and caterer as they need to be able to be in right place at the right time.
Communication is key. If I’m doing an interactive game, I make it a point to let the photographer and videographer know so they can get the right shots. I double-check with the catering staff to make sure the servers/buffet will be ready at the right time.
At a wedding a few weeks back, I asked the photographer at the beginning of the cocktail hour when she thought she would be done taking pictures and I was told 45 minutes which is just fine as a typical cocktail hour takes…well, an hour. I waited an hour and 15 minutes and went to check on their status as I had not seen the photographers return yet. They were nowhere to be found. I couldn’t find the photographers, bride, groom, or the wedding party anywhere. It was around this point that the mothers of the bride and groom asked me where their kids were. They wanted to know because the guests were hungry and beginning to get restless. At this point, it has been an hour and a half and there were no newlyweds in sight. The photographer had taken them off-site.
The mothers made the decision to start dinner without the bridal party. FINALLY, they all made it back and we did the grand introduction and got back on track.
Communication between vendors is important. Will the bride and groom be going out for sunset pictures or an early send off? Let the DJ know. Will the family be sharing a special dance. The DJ should let the photographers know. If the bride is delayed and dinner needs to be pushed back. The DJ should let the caterer know.
The DJ is the most accessible, visible, and vocal part of your wedding day. The DJ will be the one approached if the room is too hot or cold, If there’s a car with its lights on, if someone has lost a phone (this happened last weekend). You get the idea.
Even if you’ve hired a coordinator/planner, the DJ is still the default coordinator because nothing truly moves until the song is played or announcement made.
This is not to step on coordinators-as a matter of fact, with the right coordinator, they can take a LOT of the load off of the DJ because they can handle staging, communications between vendors, minor crises that arise etc.
I know you’re as sad as I am that this is the final part of the series, but if anyone would like, please feel free to send me a message with their email address and I will send over all 5 parts!
As always if you have questions or suggestions, feel free to message me!