My Top 10 Questions To Ask Vendors At Bridal Shows

Last week I posted My Top 10 Tips For Brides At Bridal Shows and I encouraged brides to ask good questions. So as promised here are My Top 10 questions to ask vendors at Bridal Shows.

10. Who’s your biggest competition? This question is good for a few reasons. You might hear some negative things about other vendors and that should send up red flags about the vendor saying them. A good business can stand on its own merits and doesn’t need to trash the other guy. You might hear confidence. You might even hear who they think might be better than them.

9. Have you worked at my locations? If they have not are they willing to do a sight visit with you before the big day? It’s usually a good idea for wedding planners, photographers and videographers to know the lay of the land and to scout out the location first. It’s also an indication as to how much experience they might have. DJs should know the venue and the layout of the reception in order to help you plan an event with a good focal point for your events and good quality sound for all the guests.

8. Are you available on my date? I know this is a “duh” question but it has to be your first question. Last year at a bridal show the photographer next to me talked to a bride for about 20 minutes about her wedding. She was ready to book him and then, you guessed it, he was already booked for her date. Save yourself some time and make sure they are available before you go any further.

7. Tell me about three creative things you have done recently at weddings? This question applies best to Wedding Planners, Photographers, Videographers and especially Disc Jockeys. You want someone who is going to work with you and have an open mind. You don’t want cookie cutter.

6. What professional training have you had? Many photographers, videographers and DJs wind up in their line of business out of pure circumstance. Maybe a hobby develops into a career or they get a nice shiny camera for Christmas. At the bridal show the professionals and the hobbiest look the same. They all paid for a booth and that is all you need to get in the door. Some claim to do exactly what others do. The fact is unless they’ve had the training they may not know what the other guys are doing or why it is even important. Like I said in my last post, would you hire an attorney who just started hanging out in court and thought it looked easy?

5. What was the name of your last couple you worked for and how did they meet? Ok, now you think I’m crazy right? Let me explain. If you really take an interest in your clients you should know these things. If they don’t know these things then chances are they show up and collect a check. It’s the biggest day of your life! Choose a vendor who cares about you. This is a great question to catch a vendor off guard and see what they are really all about. My last couple met at transfer orientation at UC. Thier first date was to Mio’s Pizza and he proposed in Mt. Adams overlooking downtown Cincinnati.

4. What’s your backup plan? If they are sick on your wedding day what will they do? If they have equipment failure do they have back-up? There are no do overs in the wedding world. You either get that picture of the grooms reaction when he sees the bride or you do not. You either have a DJ at the reception on time or you do not. Make sure they have a plan B.

3. Do you offer any type of guarantee?  They may or may not but it sure is great to hear how confident they are in their product and their reaction to this question should tell a lot. Just because they don’t offer a guarantee doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire them. This is just a good reaction question.

2. What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you on a wedding day and how did you handle it? It may take them a minute to think about this one but it’s a good question. It’s good because it shows their experience. It also might reveal a problem they created or could have avoided. Nobody is perfect but this is a good one to shed some light on many things about their business.

1. Will you be the person I’m working with and if not can I meet with them before booking and  for planning? Some vendors just hate me for giving you this question but the fact is, it needs to be asked. In the wedding industry there are vendors who will book your event and have no idea who is going to do your event and in many cases they have to hire or subcontract someone to do the event after they have booked you. That is scary, it is impersonal and it’s a big risk to go with someone who does this. Make sure you know exactly who is doing your event and you’ll get to meet them before hiring and for planning.

These questions are way better than “How much do you charge?” and “How long have you been in business?” If you go into a bridal show prepared you’ll get some great insight into who you might be hiring. Once again we will not be at many bridal shows this year. If you have questions for Brandon Lindsey or for Hey! Mr. DJ Entertainment give me a call.

Wow! What A Wedding Reception

The video below is from Josh and Tiffany’s wedding reception. Josh and Tiff came to us on a referral from Sean Richey from Moments To Motion Videography. We did Sean’s wedding a few years back. Sean and his wife arrived at their reception in a helicopter! So, when Josh asked “Who’s the best DJ in Cincinnati?” Sean said “That’s easy Hey! Mr. DJ”. Josh and Tiff had already heard about us from Receptions at Eastgate and decided to call. In the first phone call I could tell how, romantic, creative and excited Josh was to give Tiffany her dream reception. Together we did just that!

Well here it is! Enjoy. (All video was shot by me. I am not in any of it. For professional video check on Sean’s site.)

Please call and let me help you with your DREAM Reception!

Your Wedding Soundtrack

It has been awhile since I last posted. September and October have been so busy for us. We’ve sold out every weekend. It has been a thrill to be part of so many amazing receptions lately.

One thing doing all these wedding receptions has reinforced for me is that every wedding soundtrack should be different and unique to that couple. Sure there are wedding standards that most people like but as I listen to my clients I find they all have tastes of thier own.

Let’s look at 4 wedding receptions That I performed for from September 19th – October 1st.

Friday September 19th I did a wedding at Receptions in Fairfield for Christy and Chris [You can see there Thank You card in my previous blog post]. Their wedding soundtrack was a “Rat Pack Style Dinner” followed by party classics for dancing and then mixed with some newer top 40 later. The dance floor was packed!

The next night Saturday September 20th I performed at The Briarwood in Hebron KY for Katie and Joe’s wedding reception. After playing a few songs it didn’t take long to figure out that Katie, Joe and thier guests loved to sing along. The entire night turned into one awesome sing-a-long. I had fun trying to keep the momentum going. Here is a video from that night (the song was the grooms favorite).

Saturday September 27th I was in Covington at the Plantation Club on Twin Oaks Golf Course for Katie and Aaron’s wedding reception. After several guests requests I jumped right into Katie’s request list which featured lots of country like Johnny Cash, Some 80’s hits, and even a few of today’s top hits including her must play “I Kissed A Girl” (First time I’ve played that at a wedding]. Again we had a great dance floor. For me it was a shame to see the night end as we had so many more great songs left we could have played. In fact I played over our time limit and the venue turned the lights on as a signal to stop 🙂

Then October 4th I was at The Pheonix in Cincinnati for Leah and Chris’s reception. Their wedding soundtrack was the most unique and all inclusive collections of songs I have ever played for a reception. Leah was an 80’s rocker at heart and Chris had been to over 100 Grateful dead concerts. Dinner was everything from Frank Sinatra to Jerry Garcia. We had their dance floor packed all night with requests from Ratt (really we did) to Allman Brothers (I swear we did) to Baby Got Back. We even had wedding crashers from the wedding next door come to party with us. I bet I played 10 songs that night that I had never before played at a wedding reception. What a party it was!

Most of my blog posts are about being creative, with lights, with formalities, with ideas to create a little magic for the you and you’re guests. Let us not forget being creative with the music.

Looking back over these events I realize how important it is for a wedding entertainer to know music, be willing to play it and to have the foresite and lack of ego to ask their clients “What do you want?”. Otherwise all weddings have the same soundtrack. What fun would that be?