As a wedding photographer I've learned so much attending wedding after wedding, and one of the first lessons I learned was the value of a good DJ / MC / entertainment company. And if this is sounding a lot like my blog post on advice from a wedding planner that is because these are the two biggest vendors that will make or break your wedding day experience, and have a huge impact on the photography of your wedding day.
WHAT DOES AN ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY DO?
When I sat down with David and his son Matt (they own Power Sounds Event Entertainment) this was the big question for me - what does an "entertainment company" do at a wedding? The short list is:
- Make announcements and introductions.
- Make sure the timeline is being followed and everything is staying on track.
- Play appropriate music during the various parts of the event.
To be frank, there are a lot of wedding entertainment companies in San Antonio who do just what is listed above. The entertainment companies that really care about creating a successful wedding experience for their clients tend to go a little bit further, though. They are the vendors that I want all of my clients to have.
David has the same approach to weddings that I do. When we were talking about the wedding planning process and what makes for a good wedding, and what doesn't, his advice for couples planning a wedding was to "make sure you have the vendors and coordinator that are flexible and go with the flow - make it your day. If you need to take an extra 5 minutes before the ceremony, do it. No wedding is the same, do it your way and get the vendors that can do that."
I've attended hundreds of weddings and during the reception there really is one defining factor in how the evening goes - the quality and experience of the DJ.
Your ideal wedding entertainment will:
- Learn, and understand, what your vision of your wedding day is, and what the most important parts of the day are for you.
- Take the time to plan your wedding entertainment with you based on their experience and your vision for the day.
- Have the experience to be able to handle any changes that arise last minute.
- Be able to read the crowd, their music tastes and their excitement level, and then be able to take the crowd from dinner into an exciting, packed dance filled evening.
- Provide vendor referrals that will give you a great wedding day experience.
When you're hunting for your reception entertainment it all comes down to trust. You need to be able to trust that the company you're hiring has your best interests in mind, that they understand your vision for your wedding, and that they don't think your wedding reception is all about them and their mixing skills.
Look for good, professional communication, always check their reviews and see if other vendors are referring them.
WEDDING Entertainment TIPS FROM David
When I was talking to David and Matt I was really curious as to what advice they'd have for clients who are planning their weddings.
David says, "When you're comparing vendors make sure it's apples to apples. Focus on the value you're getting for the amount you'd be paying instead of just comparing prices." For example, two different companies may both quote you $1,000 but what are you getting for that $1,000 from each company? Chances are they aren't actually the same thing.
The company that is very professional, experienced is going to give you the peace of mind and wedding day experience that an inexperienced club DJ can't, and while they'll likely cost more, the value you gain is worth it. The money you "could save" hiring the inexperienced DJ could end up costing you a lot when they show up in jeans and a t-shirt, completely butcher the tricky-to-pronounce names when announcing your bridal party, don't think to make sure your photographer and videographer are ready before announcing the cake cutting, or garter or bouquet toss.
When it comes to wedding vendors, you get what you pay for. I've been at too many weddings with inexperienced DJs where I've had to spend more time focusing on many aspects a quality entertainment company manages (like keeping the reception timeline on track, making sure the bride and groom are actually in the room and ready for the cake cutting, or any reception event, etc.) and it really impacts the photography. I can't be looking around and watching for the cute moments between the mother of the bride and her siblings that she rarely sees. All the small moments that really make reception wedding photography amazing are sacrificed when your photographer has to step into the role that a good entertainment company takes responsibility for. When it comes to planning your reception, focus on the entertainment because it will make or break the event, and it has a huge impact on your wedding photography.
AND David & Matt's FAVORITE PARTs OF THE WEDDING DAY?
A lot of my friends are wedding vendors in different parts of the industry and we do spend a lot of time talking about our weddings and different vendors, just like any co-workers do. Yes weddings are our jobs, so it can be easy to lose sight of how big these events are for the couples when it's your day-to-day job, but I love finding focusing in on why each of my friend's does what they do. I had to ask David and Matt what their favorite parts of the wedding day are. David's favorite part of the wedding day is the first dance, where all the guests can see the couple's love for each other in the romance of the dance floor, and Matt loves mixing the music when the dance floor is packed and just feeding off the energy of the guests!
At the end of the day it all comes down to your happiness and being able to relax and enjoy the day you spent countless hours planning. Great wedding vendors take their countless experiences at hundreds of weddings, and do everything they can both in planning and educating you beforehand, and during your wedding, to make sure you have the smoothest and most enjoyable wedding day experience.
PS: I know what I'd love all my clients to know about when they're planning their wedding, but I am a horrible mind-reader, and if you have been looking for information on any aspect of the wedding industry to no avail please reach out and let me know! I'm always looking for suggestions for future blog posts! You can message me on social media, e-mail me, or reach me through my contact page!