Micromanaging Wedding Planners

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SemiRetired DJ

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Another reason why I got out in 2010 was because of micromanaging wedding planners. I get that it is the job of the planner to make sure the day goes well but some seem to forget that it is the bride and groom's day and not the planners.

Now, funny as it seems, I am taking on the role of the wedding planner. Fortunately I have a long list of lessons learned from 11 years ago. Hopefully I have learned them.
 

Ausumm

Gold Plated Productions
Oct 21, 2008
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Bethlehem PA
Another reason why I got out in 2010 was because of micromanaging wedding planners. I get that it is the job of the planner to make sure the day goes well but some seem to forget that it is the bride and groom's day and not the planners.

Now, funny as it seems, I am taking on the role of the wedding planner. Fortunately I have a long list of lessons learned from 11 years ago. Hopefully I have learned them.
I have only worked with a few over the years...
fortunately, they've all been pretty good to work with.

I think your experience with BAD planners,
is bound to make you one of the GOOD ones.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
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Dec 9, 2009
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To me, it seems the micromanaging variety are generally just trying to overcome their lack of importance by doing overkill on trying to control every aspect of the event. It's always best to just shrug and not get into a fight with them. The best ones always float around the edges and just take care of their responsibilities without getting in everyone else's way.
 

Cap Capello

Always @ Ur Service
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Dec 14, 2006
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It's all a game. The key for me was to try to get a better understanding of the differences between a pro and a wannabe and then to learn how to put that wannabe in a position to succeed without impacting my services.

Having gone back to school, I received my career diplomas in both a Wedding Event Planner and a Bridal Consultant. Once having that knowledge and paper in hand, I could confidently confront the best and the worst with equal confident ease. Only once did I receive a big pushback from a rookie planner with the backing of the bride, so I caved and went with her program. I did the best I could, trying to make a castle out of camel dung, or, paint a magnificent portrait with a wooden mallet. Disaster ensued.

From that came my first (and only) 3 start rating from the bride, lauding my DJ skills and slamming me for not playing nice with her clueless planner. Lesson learned. From that point forward the "are you having a third party planner" was added to my pre-contract interview, right along with "how hands on will you be with the dance music selection process".

You see, if the answer to either question is not in my favor to win-win-win, serious consideration is made to pass and move on. No longer needing to rely strictly on DJ income, I can afford the luxury now to pick and choose only events that fall within in my personal comfort zone.

It also improved my understanding better, the various stances pro-DJs take depending on relying fully on the income or having the financial freedom to be selective.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
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Wedding planners who are still on site during the reception are hired to micro-manage. It's why they're still on site. If that wasn't true, they wouldn't be on site because their work would already be done.

I don't see why disc-jockeys have so much trouble deferring to the direction of someone engaged by the bride to do that directing. These boards are filled with stories about DJs engaging in turf wars with planners, or trying to wedge themselves between planners and the bride. NOT COOL. Pure ego.

Our opinion of a given party planner (like our client) is irrelevant. If we agreed to provide our service then we have agreed to deliver as the client intends regardless of who they choose to oversee quality control. Don't get overly invested in the notion of being your own boss - you'e paycheck is still coming from someone else.
 
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Jeff Romard

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Wedding planners who are still on site during the reception are hired to micro-manage. It's why they're still on site. If that wasn't true, they wouldn't be on site because their work would already be done.

I don't see why disc-jockeys have so much trouble deferring to the direction of someone engaged by the bride to do that directing. These boards are filled with stories about DJs engaging in turf wars with planners, or trying wedge themselves between planners and the bride. NOT COOL. Pure ego.

Our opinion of a given party planner (like our client) is irrelevant. If we agreed to provide our service then we have agreed to deliver as the client intends regardless of who they choose to oversee quality control. Don't get overly invested in the notion of being your own boss - you'e paycheck is still coming from someone else.
I have no issue following the direction of a planner as long as that direction isn't in contrast to what the Bride and Groom told me to do. When that happens I explain the situation and take appropriate action from there
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
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I have no issue following the direction of a planner as long as that direction isn't in contrast to what the Bride and Groom told me to do. When that happens I explain the situation and take appropriate action from there
Explain it to who? The couple is not your "department head" it is not appropriate for a DJ to be seeking arbitration of their disputes in the middle of the event when the couple has put someone else expressly in charge.

Most of the weddings I do don't have an onsite planner, or I am the onsite planner so, I know that plans often need to change as the event unfolds. Have the decency to allow others the same professional judgment. I'm a big proponent of communicating with my customer, but if they have designated someone to be my contact point - then I am sure to respect that. The same goes for room captains (venue managers.) If something differs between their plan and my own it is the room captain who should approach the couple to resolve the mismatch - not the DJ. The rules of etiquette aren't changed simply because a given DJ is a control freak. The issue of how to communicate with the couple should already be resolved before we step on the property.

Two things:
If the change is something you don't like or want - TFB. Be a professional and make it work. Too often I read stories here about DJs who deliberately undermine planners they don't agree with. Hopefully that returns to them in the form of accurate reviews and lack of future business.

If the requested changes are something that lie outside our skill set, we are not equipped, or otherwise are unable to deliver the changes - then be honest and SAY SO. Allow the planner to work a solution within those limitations rather than misdirect and deflect the situation into an ego protecting dispute. Pretending the real issue is the change itself, when in truth we are simply not able to make that change - is just as dishonest and unprofessional as deliberately planning to fail.
 
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Jeff Romard

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Sep 4, 2006
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Explain it to who? The couple is not your "department head" it is not appropriate for a DJ to be seeking arbitration of their disputes in the middle of the event when the couple has put someone else expressly in charge.

Most of the weddings I do don't have an onsite planner, or I am the onsite planner so, I know that plans often need to change as the event unfolds. Have the decency to allow others the same professional judgment. I'm a big proponent of communicating with my customer, but if they have designated someone to be my contact point - then I am sure to respect that. The same goes for room captains (venue managers.) If something differs between their plan and my own it is the room captain who should approach the couple to resolve the mismatch - not the DJ. The rules of etiquette aren't changed simply because a given DJ is a control freak. The issue of how to communicate with the couple should already be resolved before we step on the property.

Two things:
If the change is something you don't like or want - TFB. Be a professional and make it work. Too often I read stories here about DJs who deliberately undermine planners they don't agree with. Hopefully that returns to them in the form of accurate reviews and lack of future business.

If the requested changes are something that lie outside our skill set, we are not equipped, or otherwise are unable to deliver the changes - then be honest and SAY SO. Allow the planner to work a solution within those limitations rather than misdirect and deflect the situation into an ego protecting dispute. Pretending the real issue is the change itself, when in truth we are simply not able to make that change - is just as dishonest and unprofessional as deliberately planning to fail.
Sure that's all great but take this one in to consideration... The Bride and Groom have chosen At Last by Etta James for their first dance. The planner asks you what the first dance is and you tell her she says no no they want Me Heart Will Go On from Celine Dion. My Heart Will Go On is a hard do not play...Do you succumb to the planner or do you check with the bride and groom? I have had that exact situation. Does questioning something this important make me a control freak with an over inflated ego?
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
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Oct 25, 2006
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It's never really been a big issue for me. I've had no big problems working with wedding planners. I do recall one planner insisted she has had everyone lined up and I needed to do the grand entrance right this second. I said no problem, let me just verify everyone is in order and the triple check the pronunciations. She insisted that she put everything in the planners and there was nothing to check.

I said sorry, that's the way it has to be. Sure enough, she had a few couples wrong, no one in order, and a few names i would have mispronounced.

She huffed and puffed while I took the 5 minutes to do it right, but wasn't a problem after that
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
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Sure that's all great but take this one in to consideration... The Bride and Groom have chosen At Last by Etta James for their first dance. The planner asks you what the first dance is and you tell her she says no no they want Me Heart Will Go On from Celine Dion. My Heart Will Go On is a hard do not play...Do you succumb to the planner or do you check with the bride and groom? I have had that exact situation. Does questioning something this important make me a control freak with an over inflated ego?
Already covered that scenario.
Try to read before replying. :)
 

djrox

Sir Wyzazz
Aug 12, 2006
8,266
5,581
New Orleans, Louisiana
One person's "micro managing" in the next person's "expected client service."

Know your role.
 
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Jeff Romard

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Sep 4, 2006
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I hired a professional wedding director/coordinator and we offer our services as a package deal. Best business decision I’ve ever made.
Welcome back Greg always nice to hear from you
 
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Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
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I hired a professional wedding director/coordinator and we offer our services as a package deal. Best business decision I’ve ever made.
One of my main sources of leads is wedding planners. Partnering could be an option, but hiring that service into my suite directly would probably shut my business down. I've also found that DJs are often hired after some other core services like planners in the case where there is one.

Where does the majority of your work come from that allows you to offer that bundle? Are you advertising planning first to plug in earlier in the cycle?
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
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Dec 9, 2009
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Sure that's all great but take this one in to consideration... The Bride and Groom have chosen At Last by Etta James for their first dance. The planner asks you what the first dance is and you tell her she says no no they want Me Heart Will Go On from Celine Dion. My Heart Will Go On is a hard do not play...Do you succumb to the planner or do you check with the bride and groom? I have had that exact situation. Does questioning something this important make me a control freak with an over inflated ego?
It wasn't First dance but been there about having a planner who gave me instructions contrary to what the B&G gave. In that case I looked her straight in the eye and said "With all respect, your instructions are contrary to what the bride expressly gave me. I am going to do what my client said, end of story."
 
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Jeff Romard

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Sep 4, 2006
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Already covered that scenario.
Try to read before replying. :)
Yes not well but covered....Why in the world would you send someone not involved to resolve a problem between two vendors. You are asking for miscommunication.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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Sure that's all great but take this one in to consideration... The Bride and Groom have chosen At Last by Etta James for their first dance. The planner asks you what the first dance is and you tell her she says no no they want Me Heart Will Go On from Celine Dion. My Heart Will Go On is a hard do not play...Do you succumb to the planner or do you check with the bride and groom? I have had that exact situation. Does questioning something this important make me a control freak with an over inflated ego?
Check with the one that's paying you. Lol.