Wedding DJ Horror Story – “Sure, I DJ For Weddings”
Submitted by Craig Fowler
Over the past decade, the DJ market has become saturated with low cost and low-quality disc jockeys. They could care less about the standard etiquette of DJing. It is often too easy to find these DJs. They pride themselves on having music libraries with over 100,000 songs, usually downloaded illegally, and charge much less than most. In today’s economy, it is often very tempting to buy service from one of these low-quality DJs, but there are many reasons why the lowest price might ruin your wedding.
In April of 2007, I was given the “honor” of cleaning up after one of these inexperienced DJs. The bride called me three days after her wedding reception and asked me if I would be able to meet with her about a special situation. I was quite reluctant to ask why she was calling me three days after her wedding reception. Thoughts were fluttering around my head, but the reality of the situation was something I was not expecting.
Working as a mobile DJ for many years, I had seen and worked a lot of obscure parties. I saw a lot of crazy things happen at parties. From party crashers to a drunken wife making out with her husband’s brother, I’ve witnessed a lot. As a mobile DJ, you see and remember things that you wouldn’t normally see or at least remember because drinking is strictly prohibited for all DJs. Like in any other profession, drinking on the job is ethically wrong for many reasons.
When I arrived at the bride and groom’s house around 2 PM, I was greeted by the groom who was pleasant but had an eerie look in his eye. I sensed that something was wrong. He asked me to wait in the living room while he went to call his wife downstairs. As I waited in the living room on the brand new furniture, I noticed her wedding dress draped over an air chair. I didn’t pay much mind to it at first, but on a second glance, I noticed that there was a very large stain on the chest of her dress. I figured maybe she had a bit too much to drink and tipped a glass, but it did seem a bit peculiar.
The bride came down the stairs and greeted me a few minutes later. She then began to ask me about my experience as a DJ, what type of events I have worked, what my music library consisted of, and similar questions. Most of her questions focused on aspects of a wedding reception. I showed her pictures and gave her a DVD containing video clips from weddings I had worked. She seemed very pleased with the array of information.
About 20 minutes into our conversation, I felt it was about time to ask some questions of my own about the event. When I asked who the reception was for, she told me it was for her and her husband. I had never been a situation where someone was having a second wedding reception. The reasoning for this second wedding reception was stunning.
The story of the first wedding reception was beyond horrific. The bride had hired the DJ after searching Google. She found the DJ listed on the right-hand side of the page under “sponsored listings”. She found the ad appealing and clicked it. His website was extremely professional, the pictures were stunning, and the videos showed a very professional disc jockey entertaining the crowd beautifully. She was blown away by the gleaming reviews. Above all, his price was almost too good to be true – almost 50% less than competitors in the area. After spending a total of 15 minutes on his website, she called the disc jockey and hired him. It seemed like the perfect deal, but she was in for a rude awakening.
The bride chose the DJ without interviewing him. The worst decision this bride made was not interviewing the disc jockey.
She began to give me the details of the reception. The DJ arrived 30 minutes before the guests were scheduled to arrive. He didn’t finish setting up until fifteen minutes after most of the guests arrived. During the event, he completely ignored the bride’s requests to change the style of music from hip hop to something a bit more conservative. The music was way too loud and by the first hour in, the bride had enough, but the DJ wasn’t finished.
He did what??
He did something beyond the scope of my imagination. The drinking started. He didn’t just sip on a Bud Light; he began drinking heavy liquor that he had packed for himself. After intoxicating himself, he left his post with his microphone and began talking to guests on the dance floor. Most of what he was saying was quite vulgar. By this point, many of the guests had left the event in utter disgust. The DJ walked over to the bride’s table and took a glass of beer from the table. He attempted to make a toast to the newlyweds but instead, spilled the beer on her beautiful dress. Devastated, the bride ran out of the reception hall. This all took place within the first 3 hours of the 5-hour reception. After the bride left, the groom immediately asked the DJ to turn off his system and leave the event.
This was, by far, the most appalling act of indecency that I had ever heard of. It turns out that the DJ who was present at the event was actually a fill in for the regular DJ who decided to take a vacation that week. The DJ at the event was not an actual DJ. He was simply a guy doing a favor, looking for a good party at the same time. WHAT?? We have actually postponed vacations to perform. There have been times that we have come home early. It is all about having the proper rest in order to perform.
This is an example of what can happen if a professional DJ isn’t hired for a wedding reception. It is very important to know who your DJ is and to verify his reputation before signing the contract. Please take the time to fully research your DJ. Make it a point to meet with them, see how they interact with you. Make sure they focus on asking about you and not talking about themselves. This is YOUR wedding, so make your first reception one to remember.