A Wedding DJ Identity Crisis – Who am I – What am I???

August 25, 2009

So Jack, tell me, what do you do? I reply, “I am a DJ”. What does the other person think when they hear that response. Do they have a vision of a kid with 100 tattoos wearing his hat backwards spinning vinyl on his turntables? No, that’s not me…

Do they envision a guy sitting in a dark, smoke filled room talking on the radio at 3:00 AM?  That’s not me either.

Am I the guy working karaoke at the local corner bar? Nope, that isn’t me either. So, who am I… What am I?

“I am a Wedding DJ”, I explain…

Oh, You’re like that Saturday Night Live Wedding DJ who plays “Sister Christian” as the priest is giving the Blessing and “Who Let the Dogs Out” for the Bride & Groom’s First Dance (He didn’t have the Norah Jones song)…  Well, that may indeed be the environment where I work, but that’s definetely NOT what I do!

Now that I think about it… the term “DJ” really isn’t a good term to describe my job at all!

So what exactly is it that I do? Good question… glad that I asked… Let’s look at one “typical” wedding and see what it is that I actually do…

It begins with a phone call or email followed by a face to face meeting. The Bride & Groom-to-be and I meet for the first time where we get to know one another and determine whether I am the correct “DJ” for them and if they are the right clients for me… I guess that I am a Salesman or maybe Consultant.

The couple likes and trusts me and books me for their wedding and we begin the reception planning process. I am now a Planner. I provide ideas and give advise. I am an Advisor too.

I gather information of all kinds about the clients, their families and Wedding party. I am a Researcher.

I begin to write scripts for various parts of the reception. I am a Writer.

I begin to put all of the various elements together of what will be the Wedding reception. I am a Producer and a Programmer.

Wedding day is finally here and I arrive at the venue and set up my gear, which may include sound, lighting and video equipment. I am a Technician. I give instructions to my assistant as to what I need him or her to do. I am a Supervisor.

I meet the Banquet manager, the venue staff, the photographer, the videographer, the cake people, etc. and share our timeline – getting everyone together on the same page. I am a Director. I am a Coach, a Referee and sometimes even a Mediator.

I greet the guests as they arrive, serve as the spokesman for the Bride and groom and run the event. I am a Host and Master of Ceremonies.

I deal with any problems as they develop throughout the course of the night – preventing most of them before they ever happen. I am a Troubleshooter and a Problem solver.

Finally dinner is finished, the formal dances are history and the open dancing begins. I become the party doctor, reading the crowd, taking requests, keeping the dance floor full and making sure everyone is having a great time – I am a Motivator and Hey… now I’m a DJ! More importantly, I am an Entertainer. I talk to some people who have had too much to drink. I am a Counsellor and sometimes Security officer and Mind reader (“Do you have that song that goes do da dooo do do”?)

The night ends. It was a huge success. Guests are buzzing about the great time they had. I just got a big hug from a happy new Bride. Mission accomplished! Now it’s time to pack up and go home. I’m exhausted, but I need to load all this heavy equipment back into the dark night air and into my van or trailer. Now I am a Laborer.

What am I? Who am I? Now I’m more confused then ever!

I’m not sure what I am… but I love my job!

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