Jump to content



Photo

Worst Wedding Ever


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Partyprint

Partyprint

    Experienced Contributor

  • Community Leader
  • 242 posts

Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:28 PM

Friday night I got a call from an agency who I haven't worked for in a year or 2, they said they were really stuck for a DJ for a wedding on the Saturday so I agreed to do it. This was my first mistake, I don't like taking bookings without talking to the client and getting an understanding of what music they would like playing.
Anyway I turn up at the venue to find the performance area is a good 50 meters with steps up and down from where I can park! After a very tiring setup walking through clouds of second hand smoke most of it being the illegal kind a lady comes up to me and says "listen theres old people here today aswel so can you play some music aimed towards them" I'd only just setup and hadn't even played a first song yet and someone was having a go at me, well that made me a bit miffed straight away.
Anyway when I started I was playing some lady gaga, girls aloud etc for the young kids (toddlers) that were dancing and playing and the lady come over to me again and has another go! so I thought fine I'll play some older stuff, it was still early on at this point around 8.15. Few people got up dancing around 9 then they surved the buffet whilst I played some background music this was all fine. After the buffet I tried to get the party going but nothing was working, tried disco, tried motown, soul and nothing so tried a bit of Valerie, scissor sisters etc and a few people got up dancing but can you guess who came over? Yes "Listen I've told you there are old people here can you play some music to get them up dancing" So I then tried to tell her I've tried some older music and i'm not getting any reaction, maybe when I've played a bit of chart music I'll try again. Then she decides to tell me theres a singer on at half 11 and she's positive he'll get everyone up dancing.
I was at a complete loss then I'd tried almost everything and the only music people were staying up to was chart so I stuck with that. Oh and when I say people staying up to there where at most 8 people on the dancefloor. The singer turned up, looked at me and said tough crowd? I said very!

So the singer starts off with David Gray Babylon - a couple of people get up to dance, then some coldplay songs and more people get up, now are they all dancing because he's a live act or because they actually like dancing to these slow / mellow songs (or are they all stoned?)
Anyway the band finsih off with some irish songs and the dancefloors full at 12.55, the gigs until 1am so just got time for one more, the same lady mentioned before comes over again, "right can you play come on eileen so everyone stays up dancing for the last song" so I thought fine if this fails I can't be blamed!
Turns out I can, nearly everyone sat down besides about 5 people and the lady turned and give me the dirtiest look ever!

Then just to top it all off whilst I was packing down I heard someone talking to the band saying thank god you turned up nobody was dancing to the disco it was awful.

I done a wedding the week before last and the dancefloor was full all night and I came home on a high, this week its put me off doing weddings.

Huh sorry just needed to get that off me chest

#2 spinner

spinner

    DJU Veteran

  • Community Leader
  • 3,674 posts

Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE(Partyprint @ Aug 23 2010, 01:27 PM) View Post

This was my first mistake, I don't like taking bookings without talking to the client and getting an understanding of what music they would like playing.





Proves your initial judgement was correct.

Hardly your fault when a booking is made at the last minute and no information supplied.

What about the first dance. Were you told about that in advance?

#3 Partyprint

Partyprint

    Experienced Contributor

  • Community Leader
  • 242 posts

Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:14 PM

Nope I was told on the night, "its that one by Lionel an the other woman, you know the love one" Yes thankfully I do know that one.


#4 vokf

vokf

    DJU Veteran

  • Account Disabled
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,036 posts

Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE(Partyprint @ Aug 23 2010, 01:27 PM) View Post

Friday night I got a call from an agency who I haven't worked for in a year or 2, they said they were really stuck for a DJ for a wedding on the Saturday so I agreed to do it. This was my first mistake, I don't like taking bookings without talking to the client and getting an understanding of what music they would like playing.
Anyway I turn up at the venue to find the performance area is a good 50 meters with steps up and down from where I can park! After a very tiring setup walking through clouds of second hand smoke most of it being the illegal kind a lady comes up to me and says "listen theres old people here today aswel so can you play some music aimed towards them" I'd only just setup and hadn't even played a first song yet and someone was having a go at me, well that made me a bit miffed straight away.
Anyway when I started I was playing some lady gaga, girls aloud etc for the young kids (toddlers) that were dancing and playing and the lady come over to me again and has another go! so I thought fine I'll play some older stuff, it was still early on at this point around 8.15. Few people got up dancing around 9 then they surved the buffet whilst I played some background music this was all fine. After the buffet I tried to get the party going but nothing was working, tried disco, tried motown, soul and nothing so tried a bit of Valerie, scissor sisters etc and a few people got up dancing but can you guess who came over? Yes "Listen I've told you there are old people here can you play some music to get them up dancing" So I then tried to tell her I've tried some older music and i'm not getting any reaction, maybe when I've played a bit of chart music I'll try again. Then she decides to tell me theres a singer on at half 11 and she's positive he'll get everyone up dancing.
I was at a complete loss then I'd tried almost everything and the only music people were staying up to was chart so I stuck with that. Oh and when I say people staying up to there where at most 8 people on the dancefloor. The singer turned up, looked at me and said tough crowd? I said very!

So the singer starts off with David Gray Babylon - a couple of people get up to dance, then some coldplay songs and more people get up, now are they all dancing because he's a live act or because they actually like dancing to these slow / mellow songs (or are they all stoned?)
Anyway the band finsih off with some irish songs and the dancefloors full at 12.55, the gigs until 1am so just got time for one more, the same lady mentioned before comes over again, "right can you play come on eileen so everyone stays up dancing for the last song" so I thought fine if this fails I can't be blamed!
Turns out I can, nearly everyone sat down besides about 5 people and the lady turned and give me the dirtiest look ever!

Then just to top it all off whilst I was packing down I heard someone talking to the band saying thank god you turned up nobody was dancing to the disco it was awful.

I done a wedding the week before last and the dancefloor was full all night and I came home on a high, this week its put me off doing weddings.

Huh sorry just needed to get that off me chest



Sounds a tricky one. If I'm asked for "older"/"younger" music, I normally ask them for a few specific tracks..
Do they want 80s', 70's, 60's or even 50's!?? To some, older music could mean 90s!

I've have this before.. and if they can't offer any suggestions.... then its really down to you to make a judgement.
What older music did you play? Valerie/Scissor Sisters are still fairly recent(ish)- perhaps they wanted 60's, Rock n Roll? If you're playing background (gaga/girls aloud for kids), could you not go for a meet n great - work out who the guests are, chat to a few?
Could you have explained the situation to the lady - explained you want to provide a great night and you'll play 10mins of background whilst you get a feel for what the older guest like?

I'm not sure how you handled the introduction to "the lady", but I'm normally able to spot the "challenging" ones fairly quickly, and do make extra effort to shake hands and smile. They would not have been lugging the gear around and sweating after a set-up, they will have been wondering what you're going to play.

I think we all get the guests that know better- some will certainly know the guests better than us, but deciding to use them to guide the night is probably not a good idea.
When I've worked with a band, its worth getting their set-list, and working in some complimenting songs - and also providing a smooth hand-over (which works well both ways!).

I had a wedding very similar to this (no band) a few months ago. I could easily get a full floor from playing club/dance stuff, but kept to the standards for most of the night. I start a 20min set of club tunes and one of the ladies outside came ranting over telling me to play "disco".
Long story short- I ended up dropping the fader, made announcement that I've been told to play Disco, and cracked on with the requested Disco tunes.
I was livid- and when she came over again, I insisted she say "please" rather than just grunt "Elvis" at me - was funny seeing her do a double-take as I said "not until you say please".





#5 Robster

Robster

    Forum Legend

  • Community Leader
  • 1,463 posts

Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:48 PM

QUOTE(Partyprint @ Aug 23 2010, 01:27 PM) View Post

right can you play come on eileen so everyone stays up dancing for the last song" so I thought fine if this fails I can't be blamed!
Turns out I can, nearly everyone sat down besides about 5 people and the lady turned and give me the dirtiest look ever!


Did you not get the lovely ladies name?

i by no means know it all and without being in your shoes its difficult to say what i would have actually done

sounds a very hard gig ..I have a few techniques on how i personally deal with these types.

I tend to say "This request was from XXXXX as she said you will all dance to XXXX."..ball in her court , i would have done this much earlier in the evening too not for the last song which has to be a planned song .

did you not approach the bride or groom or best man or matron of honour and ask what they wanted during the buffet?

when you were setting up and were asked before you even played a song i would have said .."or thank you suggestions are brilliant (been very friendly and got her name ) you know what these people want I'll just get you a pen and paper to write down some songs.."

depending on the situation I have found by having a twinkle in my eye and being a little cheeky i can often crack the odd iceberg. I may have said are you that eager to do the Charleston ? and gauged her reaction They often say not that old! and you break the frosty ice and then they supply info like they want to jive etc

when the suggestions don't work as often as they don't in those situations , you will often get someone else popping up saying don't listen to her can you play xxxx
but by announcing it was a request it lets them know you are open to and accepting requests and are more willing to provide request when they are not the first to do so

when people ask for old music they in my experience mean late 50's and 60's they were not genres you listed as ones you tried.

Now here is the thing i now never take last min weddings with no idea of what they want and without first meeting the bride and groom face to face , i learned the hard way.

Rob Star Entertainments
Facebook page
landline 0161 265 3421
Mobile: 0777 99 777 26


#6 DJMickeyk

DJMickeyk

    Experienced Contributor

  • Community Leader
  • 294 posts

Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:51 PM

QUOTE(Partyprint @ Aug 23 2010, 01:27 PM) View Post

Friday night I got a call from an agency who I haven't worked for in a year or 2, they said they were really stuck for a DJ for a wedding on the Saturday so I agreed to do it. This was my first mistake, I don't like taking bookings without talking to the client and getting an understanding of what music they would like playing.


Why do people (clients) use agencies when they know they will probably have no direct dealings with the DJ who will be playing at their function. Most clients I deal with at least want a chat over the phone about music etc, I can't figure why somebody would be happy to book an agency disco with no idea who will turn up to DJ. I know there are some agencies who operate a very professional service, but this clearly wasn't one of them.

@OP we had a similar thread not long ago, I've had a few experiences like that as well, one in particular sticks in the mind where nobody danced hardly all night and I got some very abusive and insulting comments from some of the guests and the father of the bride in particular, like you I had tried every genre and trick in the book, including asking for requests but just couldn't get the floor moving. However 99% of my gigs go very well so I wouldn't take it to heart, although it is an experience I would not like to endure again.
www.tipperarypartydj.com

#7 Partyprint

Partyprint

    Experienced Contributor

  • Community Leader
  • 242 posts

Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:36 AM

QUOTE(vokf @ Aug 23 2010, 02:15 PM) View Post

could you not go for a meet n great - work out who the guests are, chat to a few?


I've never done this before, maybe I should?
I'm just not sure if I was in the guests shoes maybe sitting with family and friends that i may not have seen for a while and the DJ comes over and starts asking us questions I don't know if I'd be happy or not.

#8 vokf

vokf

    DJU Veteran

  • Account Disabled
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,036 posts

Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE(Partyprint @ Aug 24 2010, 09:36 AM) View Post

I've never done this before, maybe I should?
I'm just not sure if I was in the guests shoes maybe sitting with family and friends that i may not have seen for a while and the DJ comes over and starts asking us questions I don't know if I'd be happy or not.


Sometimes its works well - you only need to introduce yourself, smile and handshake and suggest you're happy to take requests. Some will be happy to chat, others won't - you don't interrupt anyone chatting.

This does change things from the DJ being a guy in the corner, to someone they've met - you'll be a bit more approachable.

I'm not saying this would 100% work, and the pressures of time/people who really don't care can mean its not practical.

After my bad wedding, for these "last minute bookings" I will try to get a 5 min chat with the B&G before I start (or even set-up), just to get introductions over, get a feel for what they want.
If its not possible, then we can only do our best.

Jason

#9 Robster

Robster

    Forum Legend

  • Community Leader
  • 1,463 posts

Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:02 AM

QUOTE(Partyprint @ Aug 24 2010, 09:36 AM) View Post


I've never done this before, maybe I should?
I'm just not sure if I was in the guests shoes maybe sitting with family and friends that i may not have seen for a while and the DJ comes over and starts asking us questions I don't know if I'd be happy or not.


I tend to wait to the buffet for a meet and greet (catches them off balance with a chicken drummer or volovant in there cake hole but one way or the other ..what ever opportune time that fits in my limited experience it is well worth it.

I used to think the same way as you.. a bit like in restaurants where waiters pester BUT realised i am a DJ not a jukebox they pay me to be interactive or they would have just had a ipod and a P.A system so to paraphrase ..if the Customer wont come to the DJ the DJ must come to the customer. There is a reason why waiters pester.. its so customers can't moan after that the service was rubbish , or to find out any problems before they become worse and to get them the stuff they want. A pen and pad really helps when taking requests as this is a mental trigger to the customer that you want some specific information from them ie a song name and title not just a genre.

Rob Star Entertainments
Facebook page
landline 0161 265 3421
Mobile: 0777 99 777 26


#10 1878blues

1878blues

    New Member

  • Facebook Member
  • Pip
  • 16 posts

Posted 30 October 2010 - 11:16 AM

Pen and Pad, I agree is a must when taking down requests. Once they give you 5 requests, they go on a roll and want to dictate your entire set haha
Twenty First Century Jukebox

101 services

DIGITAL HEART - VINYL SOUL

#11 Robster

Robster

    Forum Legend

  • Community Leader
  • 1,463 posts

Posted 30 October 2010 - 12:50 PM

QUOTE(1878blues @ Oct 30 2010, 12:15 PM) View Post
Pen and Pad, I agree is a must when they go on a roll and want to dictate your entire set haha


ha ha very true! but as at least then you have someone to blame if the music is rubbish biggrin.gif

Rob Star Entertainments
Facebook page
landline 0161 265 3421
Mobile: 0777 99 777 26


#12 Steve_Mitchell

Steve_Mitchell

    5 Times

  • Community Leader
  • 3,301 posts

Posted 01 November 2010 - 07:54 PM

IMO, anyone who books a dj through an agency in the first instance for their wedding can't be serious. Don't worry about it, it wasnt your fault, you tried your best.
Steve

5 European cups and 18 leagues, that`s what we call history.


#13 EssexDiscoDJ

EssexDiscoDJ

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 17 July 2013 - 09:28 AM

I've never done any agency gigs but I would find it hard to do a wedding when I'd had no communication with the clients beforehand. Certainly only finding out the first dance when you show up (knowing the hassle I've had getting some of the more obscure ones).

There are some nights where, regardless of what you do, the guests just don't want to dance. This is NOT the end of the world but when you have someone repeatedly telling you that you're doing a bad job it can bring you down.

Never mind...treat it as a one off, the next gig will be better and maybe try the meet-and-greet, I've always found it works really well as it helps dispel and "them and us" scenario.

Just my opinion.

#14 qcdiscodynamic

qcdiscodynamic

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 20 posts

Posted 17 September 2014 - 01:23 AM

Following on from the above, my advice would be if you can afford to say no, then say no to any wedding party where you will not have direct contact with the end user. It's a recipe for disaster. If it's through an agency, may the Lord have mercy on you. In my experience, the attention to detail you can expect from an average agency is dire and wholly inappropriate for providing a decent service for what is arguably one of the most important events. 

 

Some of my experiences and those of friends of mine:

 

1) Agency tells DJ that the function they want covered is in a particular room, which is an absolute mare to have a gig in anyway, within a large venue that feels like it has a mile hike from the lift to the actual room. Plus there is no on-site parking allocated so you often have to park in a multistory that's a good 5 minute walk  away. DJ sets everything up early in the day as a consequence. DJ then arrives back in the evening to discover the agency goofed up and that the DJ was actually meant to be covering at a completely different venue across the other side of the city!

 

I kid you not, this happened. Thankfully not to me because I'd have probably resorted to maiming the person at the agency responsible.

 

2) Agency promises to obtain salient details such as name of bride and groom and first dance for you. You even try ringing venue to explain you're keen to ensure the event runs smoothly and that this information is of the utmost importance to have. The venue takes your details and advises they'll get someone to call you. They don't. You then have to deal with a hysterical bride on the day who can't believe you haven't got 'Dear Prudence' by The Beatles with you that night because that's their first dance. Why would they need to bring a copy of this "obvious" choice for a first dance? 

 

A lot of us will have variations on that theme. Now, I should note that the above happened to me in 2000, so back in what would possibly be regarded as the last days of the equivalent Neogene period for mobile DJs where mp3s were yet to take off in any meaningful way. I'm a big fan of The Beatles, had the White Album at the time but this was an album I'd have never considered taking with me as I left home to go to an average wedding party.

 

3) Agency tells DJ the function is a 21st birthday party and they want lots of garage music (showing my age!) The reality is it's a wedding and the couple could give Henry VIII a run for his money because they're both getting married for the 4th time. Oh, and they have a combined age of around 110 and specifically wanted Trini Lopez 'If I Had a Hammer' played at some point.

 

4) Agency has for once, it appears, actually spoken to the bride and not just some oik at a venue. However, agency  has not acted in the best way by telling the bride it will definitely be a particular tribute act that she saw a few months ago because they actually send someone else. In addition, the bride informs the DJ that she's paid the princely sum of £1,000+ for tribute and disco (DJ is getting just over one tenth of the total) and she specifically asked the agency to tell the DJ to NOT play a track that was incredibly common to be played at the time because it happened to be played at her brother's funeral a mere few months before the wedding. The track being 'Angels' by Robbie Williams. Did anyone actually pass this on? NOOOOOOO! 

 

What happened there was another guest, who'd also been at the funeral, and felt it might be a nice touch to get that song they'd had played for departed relation on at some point. However, they had just come up to ask DJ 'can you play 'Angels?' without explaining its significance. 






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users