Choosing Wedding Professionals: 6 Avoidable Mistakes | Pt. 1

Choosing The Perfect Wedding Professional

Choosing wedding professionals who are talented and passionate will make all the difference to the success of your wedding reception…and your sanity as a Bride & Groom. There is nothing that improves your chances more of celebrating your happiness with an unforgettably fun wedding reception than choosing wedding professionals who adhere to a creative process that adds value and strength to your wedding team.

Sometimes, however, the best intentions can still go awry, especially if you get really excited about a wedding pro and choose them for the wrong reasons.

Here are the first three of six avoidable mistakes that couples make when their enthusiasm for a wedding professional causes a less than rational, rushed and ultimately bad contracting decision. Solutions are included that will help you with selecting just the right individual for you regardless of their field with additional insights specifically related to wedding DJs.

1. Becoming overly enthused about a past accomplishment

Sometimes a wedding professional will have a past accomplishment that is truly extraordinary. It’s more impressive than anything you’ve ever heard of or seen before and vastly overshadows the accomplishments of any other wedding professional you’ve met with in their field. Wow! We Want You!

• Don’t: Hire the wedding professional based on one grand accomplishment alone.
• Don’t: Assume they will repeat that achievement for you.
• Do: Make sure they are proficient in all areas of their field.
• Do: Make sure to ask them to show you evidence of a broad range of creativity. Don’t assume that one prior, brilliant success automatically translates to the success of your wedding reception.

Make sure you appreciate them for more than just one reason. Be enthused about everything they can do for you and for the personal contribution they can make to your wedding reception team. Don’t just hope that they will duplicate the magic.

When interviewing wedding DJs, ask to see unedited video footage of them at work and at more than just one wedding reception. Make certain that video not only includes guests dancing, but also demonstrates the DJ’s speaking skills. Their ability to provide dazzling up lighting or a boomin’ sound system or even to play music does not mean they exceed at being imaginative, a skilled Master of Ceremonies or keeping your wedding reception flowing seamlessly.

2. Being overly impressed with awards

There are a ton of wedding professionals who are extremely talented and professional. Not all of them are award “winners.” Those who are, however, will be first to acknowledge that awards alone are not proof of success. They are only confirmation that the person is capable of getting them. Some award programs require verification of skill. You may be surprised to learn, most do not.

• Don’t: Say “Wow, look at all those awards–you must (by definition) be better than all the other wedding professionals who don’t have all those impressive awards.”
• Do: Get them to talk about examples of things they’ve done in the past and the kind of things they will be able to do that will help YOU achieve your idea of the ideal wedding reception.
• Do: Get them to give examples of unique ideas they personally developed and that contributed to the fun, excitement, memories and ultimately to the success of past client’s receptions.

A true wedding professional, regardless of their field of expertise, understands that being the best is a journey, not a destination and they will invest countless hours and time into bettering themselves at their craft. Most will attend industry related conferences, seminars and workshops. They constantly strive to become a standard bearer of excellence which allows them to provide Brides and Grooms with the ultimate service and/or product. Ask about the wedding professional’s educational background.

When interviewing wedding DJs, ask them to share their greatest wedding reception challenge(s) and how they overcame it. It would also be appropriate to ask them to share their greatest wedding reception success story(s) and how they personally contributed to that success. Those wedding DJs who take pride in what they do and who think of their industry as a profession rather than a hobby, will be happy to share their experiences. These questions are also great indicators as to skill level and education.

3. Allowing experience to overshadow innovation.

Some wedding professionals believe that experience trumps innovative thought. The world of weddings, however, is constantly evolving and wedding receptions have become more personal and reflective of a Bride & Groom’s style.

• Don’t: Contract a wedding professional simply because they tout years of experience in their field. I’m not suggesting that experience doesn’t matter. It does. But, be cautious of individuals who believe the advantage of “this is the way we always do it” outweighs their ability to provide you with fresh and exciting ways to enjoy your special day.
• Do: Pay attention to the willingness of a wedding professional to ask about your wants, needs and expectations before talking about what they can do for you. There’s no way they can help you bring your dream wedding reception to life if they aren’t first eager to learn what that dream is…regardless of how experienced they may be. If they aren’t willing to listen early on, they are not likely to be listening any closer after the contract has been signed.

When interviewing wedding DJs, ask them to share a novel idea or two that they came up with and that produced a special, memorable moment at a wedding reception. Remember, if assuring your family and friends will be entertained is important to you, you’re not just looking for a DJ who can play music and make a few announcements. You’re searching for a creative partner with the expertise, innovative spirit and yes…experience…to make it happen.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article. In the meantime, what do you think? What avoidable mistakes would you advise Brides & Grooms to watch out for as they search for wedding professionals to join their team? Post your thoughts in the comments.

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