Does your wedding vendor have the Creativity, Experience and Reputation to make your ceremony and reception amazing and unforgettable?
This article is about helping engaged couples challenge (in a good way lol) a wedding vendor during the very important consultation. Let's take the wedding vendors out of their comfort zone and allow them the opportunity to show their professionalism and how they can make your wedding truly unique.
One of the biggest goals I have when sitting down with a bride and groom is to show the value of hiring a DJ. A professional DJ and a Master of Ceremonies can impact a wedding like no other service.
It's also important to show what sets the wedding vendor apart form the others out there. This could arguably be the toughest to find out, but DeeJay Absolute finds this equally as exciting as the wedding itself. This is also why he is so proud to call himself a professional, and it is why the consultation is so critical for both the couple and the wedding vendor.
I have spent years working on how to approach a consultation from both the couples and the vendors point of view. In today's world, Social Marketing has provided a platform for small businesses to pop up at a faster rate. Some are fantastic professionals, but others just want to take advantage of a very large, vulnerable industry. Some also use unethical practices to lure brides and grooms. It can cost couples more than just money... it costs them presious "moments".
It all starts at the consultation... Ask the right questions...
Over the years, I have seen many different lists of questions about what to ask wedding professionals. Some are good but most are just terrible. In my opinion, if you want to hire a professional that will make an impact on your wedding, just forget or throw out those questions. They will get answered naturally throughout the course of your consult.
If you Google the top ten questions to ask the wedding vendor I bet he or she has already googled the answers. Being there when the bride has her trusty binder and her long list of questions is tough. They are usually just scripted answers... Yes, I take requests, and yes I own my own equipment – blah... blah... blah...
The consultation is about building a relationship and seeing, if there is a good fit. Questions will get answered, ideas will get shared, and there will be laughter. In the end, if you look for three keys areas and have done your homework, you will know in your heart if the vendor is the perfect fit for your wedding. The three areas to look for in a wedding professional is... you guessed it: EXPERIENCE, REPUTATION AND CREATIVITY.
During the consultation the wedding vendor should be there early and prepared. The first few minutes should be introductions and just getting comfortable with each other. Its OK to talk about the weather and how the Canucks will never win the Stanley Cup, but your time is valuable, and the vendor should respect that and start the meeting promptly. The vendor should start by learning more about you and your vision.
RED FLAG TIPS #1
It looks like that the vendor has a demanding day job and only does weddings on the side.
The vendor starts off by talking about himself, how amazing he is, how bad others are compared to him.
The vendor declares how "cheap" he is – before finding out more about the engaged couple and their vision.
Does the vendor wants to jump straight to the price and deposit?
If yes, I would hold your purse and wallet really tight and make sure you locked your car... you are being robbed.
I also bet you bought this vendor the coffee and he was late. Just cut your losses, take the coffee, and run.
The first part of the consultation is for the couple to talk about themselves, tell the vendor how they met, what they liked about other weddings and more specifically expressed their vision for their very own "Big Day".
The vendor who is very interested in what the couple has to say, listens and asks lots of questions, takes down lots of notes, is off to a good start. Now its your turn...
• EXPERIENCE •
Ask the wedding vendor to speak about their experience in the wedding industry and how they got into this field of work. Sit back and let them do the talking. Look for passion and energy. True professionals love to talk about where they came from and their experience in the wedding world. You want someone that loves what they do and you will certainly get a first impression.
Great questions to ask a DJ
With your experience, how have you engaged guests during the Ceremony, Cocktail hour, Dinner?
What two vendors would you say you need to have the most communication with and why?
Can you provide an example when something unforeseen happened and you had to work with other vendors to resolve the issue.
Do you have any unique ways to get everyone to the dance floor?
Do you have video content to showcase your work?
Watch their body language because a professional will be proud, sit up, and be very excited to discuss these lines of questions. The unprofessional or inexperienced DJ will scramble over his words and be very uncomfortable. Most DJs will avoid the last part of the question.
Congratulations, you asked the right questions! Your coffee will still be hot so take a sip... we are far from done.
EPIC WEDDING TIP #1
Build your dream team from your consultations with professionals that have worked, and like working together.
Example: A Martini ice sculpture, photo booth, flower wall, candy bar, although all amazing will have very little impact when compared to your venue.
Prioritize your budget, and your time, by finding the dream team that counts: the best venue, photographer, planner, DJ and or MC. Spend a good chunk of your budget towards these vendors as they will have the biggest impact on your wedding day.
• REPUTATION •
Prior to the consultation do some homework on the vendor. Check for testimonials, talk to venues, other vendors, and anyone that might know them.
RED FLAG TIP #2
Its a small world, and with the World Wide Web at your disposal, if you have trouble finding information on your vendor, I am willing to bet the government has no record of the person or the business either. You might want to call RSA or the cops and have them join you for the consultation.
With reputation, look for how well they like to work with others and how other vendors like to work with them. Their confidence will speak volumes.
It is proven over and over that if your core team know and work well with each other, they will go above and beyond to make your wedding even more amazing. Ask them for examples, or a recent time when they had to work with other vendors. Inexperienced vendors will struggle with this one.
A little known fact is that weddings do not always run perfectly, and as planned. It takes experienced professionals that are able to work with each other, be adaptable to changing conditions, and to be able to handle the unexpected.
EPIC WEDDING TIP #2
Make sure your venue and Master of Ceremonies is on your dream team. I would love to tell you that you must put your DJ on that list (and you probably should ha... ha... ha...) but I will tell you that your MC will have a greater impact on your day. You can get the best DJ in the world, but if you have a crappy MC you just potentially wasted a lot of money on not only the DJ but your entire reception. It's an uphill battle. Why? Because with no flow or proper timeline management, your guests will be frustrated and look for an early exit every time... or they will stay, take advantage of an open bar, and treat it like the many other weddings they attended. Thanks for the free night out. Either way – it was money wasted.
• CREATIVITY •
Is your wedding vendor creative?
Do they keep up with the latest trends?
What is the wedding vendor is made of?
Weddings are all unique and you want yours to be amazing and different from all the rest. Ask the wedding professional, based on the vision that was discussed earlier, what they will do to make your wedding truly different. It might be a new wedding trend in decor, or a twist to the timeline, it might be a clever icebreaker to start dinner, or a way to get everyone dancing. Give the wedding vendor the floor and let them spill their guts on all the latest, greatest, and coolest ideas that make them not only creative and a professional in their field, but passionate enough to want to be part of your wedding celebration.
RED FLAG TIP #3
The vendor isn't prepared with a contract and invoice, but still wants your money... or simply asks for cash. It's your call on this one, but I say you are rolling the dice. I think a single number bet on a roulette table has better odds for you.
RED FLAG TIP #4
The vendor does not have the proper insurance, WCB, liability, business licence, GST number. This "vendor" is not a legitimate business. They are a doing weddings as a hobby. A professional company has proper paper work that proves that they are a legitimate business.
The key word is "Prove It". It is so important to listen to the vendor and to take notes. Hold him accountable for everything they say:
They say they got insurance... prove it.
They say that they got video content... let's watch it together.
They say they are a preferred vendor at a local golf course... call the golf course and talk to them.
The point is hold that vendor accountable and make them work hard for your business. If they nail the consultation out of the park then not only will you want them to be part of the dream team, but they will as well.
The best advise I can give is to you is enjoy the entire process of planning your day and let the professionals that you hired take over on the day of your wedding.
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. Feel free to comment and share with all your engaged friends. I would love to hear from you.
As a local Vancouver Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies I now specialize in nothing but weddings. I would love the opportunity to meet you to discuss your vision and the unique services I could provide for your wedding.
EXPERIENCE • REPUTATION • CREATIVITY
"It's not what I do, it's how I do it,
that creates truly unique and personalized weddings."
Mark Vanderende / DeeJay Absolute
Owner / DJ / Master of Ceremonies / Director of Entertainment and Wedding Specialist
Cell: 778-882-1236 | EMAIL
Websites: DeeJay Absolute | Absolute Entertainment
"DJing is not just about choosing a few good tunes.
It is about generating shared moods,
its about understanding the feelings of a group of people and
through creativity of music and skill
directing them to a better place."