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Communication: DJ's

We recently videotaped at one of my favorite event facilities. The staff is dedicated to their jobs and enjoys being a part of the bride’s big day. They’ve been in the special events field for some time and are prepared to handle the unexpected. However, as any vendor will tell you “things” (even small ones) will occur. In this situation it was the DJ. The couple wanted a DJ for their outside wedding ceremony and afterwards for the reception. The DJ arrived early and began to set up his equipment. Since the weather didn’t look good, as any wedding vendor would do, you prepare just in case it rains. He had some expectations about the facilities services which apparently clashed with the facility’s wedding coordinator. The DJ assumed the facility would have a tent setup for him and his equipment during the ceremony. He was going to play music during the ceremony and wanted to protect his equipment just in case it began to rain. He approached the coordinator but instead of asking if he could borrow a tent, he asked her why his tent wasn’t setup. His approach was not well received. She replied that it wasn’t in their contract to provide him with a tent. He seemed fine with her answer and returned to his equipment. The ceremony goes as planned, no rain.

Fast forward to the reception. The wedding coordinator did as she was trained to do. She gathered the bride and groom, their parents and the wedding party and prepped them for their announcement into the reception area. The DJ was to gather the list of names so that he could announce them as they entered the reception. The problem began when the DJ looked to the coordinator expecting her to hand him a list of names to read. He didn’t seem rude to me but my opinion didn’t matter. She was clearly offended telling him it was his job to get their names and line them up accordingly. Now I don’t know the protocol for name gathering but it was the first time I’d witnessed such confusion. As wedding video producers and photographers, we like to get all expectations written down. We have written checklists that have evolved over the years with the intent to prevent miscommunication between us and the vendors.

Had the DJ’s intentions been discussed with the coordinator on any other day than the wedding day, I don’t believe she would have been so upset. Tensions are high even for the vendors. Don’t think it’s just the wedding party (and parents) that have the jitters. Naturally vendors want things to run smoothly without any surprises. But for an occurrence that could have been discussed in preparations was un-necessary.

The reception went as planned. Though he scrambled to get their names, he did so announcing them in the correct order and most important, pronouncing their names correctly. I was witness to another reception where the DJ butchered most of the wedding party’s last names. When it’s done wrong you can see the expressions on their faces so it’s best to do it right the first time.

Overall the bride and groom had a wonderful day. They never saw the disagreements between the coordinator and the DJ which is a sign of true professionals. But to avoid this mishap in the future, couples should be thorough with their vendors. You don’t want to chance it.


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