Weddings "Free DJ/Included in rental DJ"...

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djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,521
5,905
New Orleans, Louisiana
CAVEAT: APPLICABLE TO MOST BUT NOT ALL FREE/INCLUDED DJs:

Attended, as a guest, a wedding ceremony/reception Saturday evening and was again reminded and re-affirmed that, substantially more often than not, the subject DJs under deliver or worse because they have no personal skin in the game or, at best, fealty primarily/only to the venue purposes and not the celebrating families.

The witnessed/experienced performance ranged from pedestrian, at its best, to disappointing and obviously generic. The primary and most glaring disappointment was realized early in the reception.

After the First Dance (The only formal dance chosen) but before the open dancing, the Bride's mother was given the floor to make a toast. This toast was presented as a family tradition, heretofore delivered by the Bride's grandfather. His place in this family was apparently of importance and value and his recent passing did not dilute or negate that truth. Therefore, this woman, this selfless, brave mother delivered, with class and apparent fortitude, the most loving heartfelt words to the newlyweds and all in attendance. It was moving and, by any measure, loving, honest, and meaningful.

It was also a moment that a professional planner or entertainer would purposefully embrace to enhance the importance of the moment with, at the very least, a subtle segue from the deserved applause to subtle transitional music with a loving, family, or both theme. Dozens if not hundreds of songs come to mind. Had the alleged professional given even a minimal amount of consideration to this opportunity, there are dozens of simple other actions that could have been planned and or deployed to elevate this meaningful moment.

However, this mouse jockey, a/k/a included in package employee, wasted the opportunity and dropped The Hollies Long Cool Woman on the moment. The reaction from the majority was akin to the oft used internet acronym, WTF?

FYI, the first verses include the following lyrics:

Saturday night I was downtown
Working for the FBI
Sitting in a nest of bad men
Whiskey bottles piling high

Bootlegging boozer
on the west side
Full of people who are doing wrong
Just about to call up the D.A. man
When I heard this woman singing a song


Really, that the choice he made?

1603123931042.png

That missed opportunity was merely one in several that, when combined with the incessant and always doubled "Ladies & Gentlemen, May I have your attention please" preamble to each announcement and repeated references to the newlyweds as " the Bride & Groom" (as opposed to their names) served to confirm my prejudices in this subject matter, that being Free/Included DJs are worth every penny...likely worth even less.

Several positive notes: Venue was dated but attractive, well cared for , clean, and sufficient. Food service staff and bar tenders were attentive, professional and polite and the food was tasty and the drinks were light but not rising to require any complaints. Also, the mask tyrants were no where to be found.

Most importantly, the honorees seemed satisfied and there were no monumental errors or omissions...just too many missed opportunities and manifestations of minimal, almost lazy planning.
 
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Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
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Oct 25, 2006
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Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
Was the mom a tall woman and did she have on black dress?😄

It could have have been worse. He could have played Jimmy Buffet, why don't we get drunk and...
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
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Hendersonville, TN
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Venues are trending more towards all-inclusive. While the points you make are valid, I think there are very, very few clients who will give a 2nd thought towards it. The notion of consolidating vendors to a single source is something that brides are demanding, and all-inclusive is becoming a stronger selling point, at least for the majority of the clients. Yes, there will always be a segment who are wanting high-end presentations, but I feel that's a shrinking segment. If you don't believe me, why was the mediocre guy working while you were a guest?
 

djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,521
5,905
New Orleans, Louisiana
Was the mom a tall woman and did she have on black dress?😄
That was the obvious, pedestrian reaction but she was in a lovely blue ensemble (I'm glad he didn't go "Devil with the Blue dress on") and long and cool didn't appropriately capture the moment nor did the lyrical content, spirit or impetus of the DJ's selected song.

It could have have been worse.
"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the show?"

"All things considered, Mrs. Kennedy, isn't Dallas a great city?"

He could have played Jimmy Buffet, why don't we get drunk and...
There were many bad choices and many great choices, yet he choose a bad one...cuz' he got no "meangingful" skin in the game.
 

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
28,175
45,938
Connecticut
That was the obvious, pedestrian reaction but she was in a lovely blue ensemble (I'm glad he didn't go "Devil with the Blue dress on") and long and cool didn't appropriately capture the moment nor did the lyrical content, spirit or impetus of the DJ's selected song.


"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the show?"

"All things considered, Mrs. Kennedy, isn't Dallas a great city?"


There were many bad choices and many great choices, yet he choose a bad one...cuz' he got no "meangingful" skin in the game.
Let's be a little fair .. he had some minor skin in the game with the venue at least. They don't need to use his services if he pisses off the clientele .. unless he owns Ryan Acres or something ...
 

djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,521
5,905
New Orleans, Louisiana
Venues are trending more towards all-inclusive.
Certainly true for the undifferentiated, typical venues and cookie cutter clientele.

I think there are very, very few clients who will give a 2nd thought towards it.
We might debate the "few" quantity but not the preponderance...keep em ignorant and eventually none will.

If you don't believe me, why was the mediocre guy working while you were a guest?
The implications in your statement are transparent. I was neither jealous nor disappointed to be a guest and this guy's performance never even rose to approach the level of mediocre.

To answer your question directly, I was a guest because my family was invited.

The "guy" was working and not me for several reasons.

1) This bride didn't value the level of service I provide. She was primarily a pure price shopper and "free" appeals to that clientele. (I'd be willing to discuss, verbally, the initial inquiry from this bride but not on a public forum and certainly not to the benefit of the ctafish in this pond.) This bride also opted for the included coordinator, also resulting in a predictable and ordinary result. NOt harm no foul but certainly nothing worthy of acclaim or accolades.
2) This venue doesn't allow outside disc jockeys to bring in their own system (the house system is sub par and insufficient for my minimal standards) and I wouldn't perform on their system.
3) The "guy" would have been working even if the client had a live band. He'd simply be a "guy" serving food or performing some other pedestrian task. That's what you get for free/included, an employee of the venue.

P.S. I have knowledge regarding this venue's pay scale and that "guy" was paid appx. $75-100 for 4 hours of mouse jockeying. Some might see that as sufficient, and if I were such an employee I might as well but, alas, I am not and I do not.
 

djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,521
5,905
New Orleans, Louisiana
Let's be a little fair .. he had some minor skin in the game with the venue at least.
So did the bartenders but the degree of their fealty doesn't likely impact the resulting events' importance or value. A well Scotch & water isn't going to impact the important moments/opportunities in the celebration...unless the bartender throws one at a guest.

And if the included DJ does the minimum, he likely has met the low bar of his purpose. His "skin" is primarily of the venue not the clientele.
 
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steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
28,175
45,938
Connecticut
So did the bartenders but the degree of their fealty doesn't likely impact the resulting events importance or value.

And if the included DJ, does the minimum, he's met the low bar of his purpose. His "skin" is primarily of teh venue not the cleintele.

A well Scotch & water isn't going to impact the important moments/opportunities in the celebration...unless the bartender throws one at a guest.
If no one complains, then the issues are mainly noise-level. Not every customer is your customer nor every venue your venue (excepting Mix of course).
 

djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,521
5,905
New Orleans, Louisiana
If no one complains, then the issues are mainly noise-level.
Lack of complaint is not the bar to which a wedding ceremony should be assessed.

If your threshold for such important ceremonies and milestones is merely "No F-ups", I acknowledge your confusion and disregard for my post.

Not every customer is your customer nor every venue your venue...
...supporting my postulate, that being, "Free/Included DJs are worth every penny...likely worth even less."
 

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
28,175
45,938
Connecticut
Lack of complaint is not the bar to which a wedding ceremony should be assessed.

If your threshold for such important ceremonies and milestones is merely "No F-ups", I acknowledge your confusion and disregard for my post.


...supporting my postulate, that being, "Free/Included DJs are worth every penny...likely worth even less."
Again, worth it to who? It was apparently worth it to the B/G and worth it to the venue. It wouldn't have been worth it to you (nor likely myself).
 
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djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,521
5,905
New Orleans, Louisiana
Again, worth it to who? It was apparently worth it to the B/G and worth it to the venue. It wouldn't have been worth it to you (nor likely myself).
Don't presume to know.

Turns out it wasn't "worth" it to the bride's family, with whom we were seated, because and without any prompting from me (my wife's & daughter's preemptive glares aside), several voiced disappointment almost immediately and others after the fact. All expressing the belief that the speech/toast/tribute deserved better and with awareness that it could have been so with minimal consideration, talent, skill.

When I attend a wedding as a guest, I intentionally and purposefully resist making unprompted comments regarding my opinions of the performances or efforts of those hired. I certainly have and don't deny them but offer only If asked. I appreciate that volunteering such opinions without inquiry or request at the event serves no one's positive purposes. Unless I am hired, my unsolicited opinion provides no sanctuary or purpose and might actually result in quite the opposite.
I said nothing to the Bride's mom and voiced my opinion only when asked for it...and it was asked for.

However, all that aside, Steve, your retorts in this thread provide no counter to my postulate...not that a definitive/correct answer even exists, merely grist for the proverbial mill.
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Certainly true for the undifferentiated, typical venues and cookie cutter clientele.


We might debate the "few" quantity but not the preponderance...keep em ignorant and eventually none will.


The implications in your statement are transparent. I was neither jealous nor disappointed to be a guest

That's not what your post would indicate. Looks like a greenish hue showing thru.

1) This bride didn't value the level of service I provide. She was primarily a pure price shopper and "free" appeals to that clientele.

Did this bride consider your service? That's a pretty wide assumption on your part as to what she values or doesn't value. Also, her perception could likely be polar opposite from what your viewpoint was. She may have loved the DJ and be perfectly happy with him. In the end, the only thing that matters is "Who got the money?"

The "guy" would have been working even if the client had a live band. He'd simply be a "guy" serving food or performing some other pedestrian task. That's what you get for free/included, an employee of the venue

Again, an assumption on your part.

I think what was demonstrated here is a fundamental shift in the wedding industry and I think we all would be well-served to listen up. Just like there used to be "music specialist" DJs who only did music and refused to bring lights, provide photobooths, etc. there also are currently lots of DJs who think they're always going to have their phones ringing off the hook with calls from brides who are just dying to pay more and more and more for DJ services. This is partially what led me to my decision to change my business model and to build a venue. I think in years to come we're going to see more all-inclusive events, not less.
 
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djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,521
5,905
New Orleans, Louisiana
That's not what your post would indicate. Looks like a greenish hue showing thru.
Typically such accusations emanate from the actually guilty.

Basically in the same way that liars always think everyone is dishonest and thieves think everyone steals.

Given you failed to read or minimally comprehend what I typed in post # 56 and in subsequent posts, nothing else in your post #12 warrants response.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,985
7,917
However, this mouse jockey, a/k/a included in package employee, wasted the opportunity and dropped The Hollies Long Cool Woman on the moment. The reaction from the majority was akin to the oft used internet acronym, WTF?

I had to look the tune up. I know I've heard it before, but it's not even remotely on my radar as a wedding tune.

Was the transition from the toast into open dancing, and he opened the floor with the song? Or was it moving into dinner or other planned functions?
 

djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,521
5,905
New Orleans, Louisiana
I had to look the tune up. I know I've heard it before, but it's not even remotely on my radar as a wedding tune.

Was the transition from the toast into open dancing, and he opened the floor with the song? Or was it moving into dinner or other planned functions?
It was a transition from a meaningful speech/toast, as described above, into what might have been open dancing but was wholly unclear as the song choice was suggestive and the transition included no announcement to that effect nor any pause or commensurate follow up to elevate the toast and the preceeding moment, as it so deserved.

As mentioned, there were more than enough choices that would have been better and should have been implemented to, at the very least, respect that Mom's contribution.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
8,025
5,300
The DJ role is typically held by the "youthful" and people who lack life experience. This is exacerbated when it's a multi-op because the youngest DJs are the lowest wage earners - making them ideal for these venue package deals. As one multi-op described it: "we use those arrangements as a training exercise." It's like taking a driver's test - but, there's no registry cop in the passenger seat.

Again, I blame the customer for not seeking qualified thoughtful advice while planning their event. The entertainer's ability to relate to the type and nature of the event in question is a primary concern that should be addressed at the time of purchase.

I'd bet today's lunch that the DJ in your example has no children or mature life experience and hence, no cause to be moved by, or recognize family sentiment even when it plays out right in front of him. This is something that could easily have been assessed in an interview, or perhaps even a phone call. The customer could also have specified how they wanted this presentation to be preceded or followed.

Young DJs tend to think every event is supposed to feel like a night club or Frat party, and this creates so many "fails" at family milestones. So obsessed with "rockin' the dance floor" DJs fail to recognize that dancing is something we do at a wedding event but, it is not the REASON we gather.

The upside is - this kind of thing makes those of us with TALENT stand out all that much more.
 
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camarofleet

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 26, 2018
134
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A new barn venue owner actually approached me as they were "integrating" a dj booth into their design so they can supply all the sound, equipment etc. with their packages. When asking to partner with us so someone could just "show up and run it" - after giving them my rate I never heard from them again guessing it was way more than expected. While I could have stuck a rookie in there - my name is on the line and I can't make guarantees to performance on equipment I have no idea what happens to on nights we are not there with the ipod people coming through.

A second barn venue (a little more established but just expanded) approached me looking to partner on a package. They had no desire to get into the equipment space etc. and wanted a professional to handle it and include it at a flat rate. It was a totally different conversation where I offered to take $200 off our typical most popular bundle they are welcome to mark back up. In exchange, we have a steady stream of leads and actually leave equipment on their premises locked up and away from amateurs who want a lower tier of their offerings.

With COVID, I've had the displeasure of seeing a resurgence of the ipod wedding people at these types of facilities. I've actually had three calls this month where people were urged by their photographer or planner to have a Dj "run their ipod/phone/spotify/whatever" so "they have a qualified emcee". Hats off to those vendors. That being said, 2/3 of those leads I never heard from again once they realized that does not make a huge difference in the price with us. I was happy to take a little bit off to generate some work and money leading up to the holidays for myself and my djs, but, If they want the experienced emcee - they are tying up one of my best guys who insist on using their own systems regardless of whose playlist were using. At the end of the day, the bulk of our price is in the emcee, the equipment and the planning and work that go into making the moments and helping generate the timeline. If they want a warm body at a cheap price I can supply them with one, but if they are looking for a seasoned emcee and any sort of consultation they're on the clock at the appropriate rate.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
13,414
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If no one complains, then the issues are mainly noise-level. Not every customer is your customer nor every venue your venue (excepting Mix of course).
Didn't you see me post more then once I'm selective today as to who I agree to do an event for.
 

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
28,175
45,938
Connecticut
Didn't you see me post more then once I'm selective today as to who I agree to do an event for.
We've also seen you post MORE events that you have taken that you probably shouldn't have ... I think that's more telling.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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I don't like the thing of using an installed system in a venue like this. You don't know if the system is professional grade gear or not. Also normally you don't know who is using the system. It could be somebody who doesn't know what they are doing and damage the system. You could be blamed for the damage. Unless it's a bar or club that has their own system, I would prefer to use our system, I know it's limitations and how to use it. Also what we use is not low grade cheap gear.