Bride wrecks her own reception (a rant)

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Bride wrecks her own reception (a rant)

Postby jbrown157 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:46 pm

I didn't see it coming... Nice venue, 250 guests. We had met with this couple twice and did our normal planning which included a discussion about how reception music should be programmed. The couple was fine with what I had told them. I asked them for a request list - they didn't provide one - "We trust you" they told me. And then....

It's finally wedding day. Setup goes perfectly. The guests arrive right on schedule and everything is perfect. The Bridal party arrives and the B&G promptly disappear for 20 minutes for more photos which I later learn was the Bride's idea - now we are 20 minutes late. No problem, we move onward - not the first time the B&G have been late. The B&G finally arrive to join the rest of the Bridal party who have been (impatiently) waiting in the hot sun. The Bride (who had been so laid back prior to this) begins barking instructions to the BP members and then to me. I bite my tongue. We proceed with the now late Grand Entrance which goes perfectly as does the cake cutting. toasts and blessing and into the meal. So far so good. Twenty minutes later the bride has finished eating and she wants the party to start - now!. I manage to convince her to wait at least until the dessert has been served. We execute the formal dances which go well and finally - the party begins...

I play a nice starting set (3 fast then 2 slow) and the dance floor is packed. Then it begins. The Brides sister (who was a Bridesmaid) approaches to inform me that the Bride says "No more slow ones". I pointed to the packed dance floor and asked "What about them?". She yelled. "We don't care about them". Nice.

I try to finesse my way through it and play some more uptempo tracks - classic oldies. The Brides other sister approaches to tell me that "The Bride wants The Cupid Shuffle - NEXT!" OK, not what I would have chosen, but I played it ind it was OK, then a couple more current top 40's then back to Oldies (which was what the vast majority of guests wanted to hear). The dance floor was packed once again. A few fast, a few slow and we are starting to get into a comfortable groove ... until... The Bride's sister returns to inform me that "The bride is tired of this old sh*t and is instructing me to play all rap and hip-hop - like a bar - from now on". Keep in mind that we are in the first hour of dancing and things were going quite well up to that point. And if you are wondering, yes, The bride did in fact send her sisters to relay that information to me.

I was not happy, but I did as she instructed. I was going to stand by my mantra that "The bride is always right - even if she's wrong". The dancers all left, except for the Bride, 3-4 bridesmaids and another couple of friends. This is pretty much how it went for the next three hours. The wonderful crowd of 250 shrank to around 100 within the hour and I don't blame them for leaving.

Even the Brides father complained about the music - I explained what I was told by his daughter. "This sucks" he said and I had to agree with him. He wanted to hear "Celebration" (and by now even this sounded good to me). He went to dance with his daughter and I picked that time to ask her if I could play Celebration, because her Dad really wanted to hear it (and I made sure that he heard me ask her). She said OK... but just that one than it's back to "My" music. The crowd continued to head for the exits while the Bride and her select friends hogged the dance floor and the entire party to themselves.

It was one of the most disappointing weddings I have ever done. What would have been one of the best weddings of the year turned into a mess and there wasn't much I could do about it. I'm sure that the guests who left thought it was the DJ's fault even though I mentioned "Bride's request" several times and explained what was happening to the ones who complained about their requests not being played.

This was a classic example of someone having no consideration for her guests despite having been coached (by me) beforehand). It was just downright rude behavior on her part. (I think that the Groom figured out what was happening and made himself scarce the rest of the night).

I can guarantee that my sales and planning presentations from now on will contain more about "Reception music programming" and "Being good party hosts" to all future potential Brides and Grooms. You can rest assured that this wedding will be cited as an example of what not to do. I can only blame myself for not emphasing it enough to them during the planning phase. I will do all I can to keep this from happening again.

....end of rant.
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Re: Bride wrecks her own reception (a rant)

Postby len » Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:12 pm

Yet another reason why I'm glad not to be in that segment of the business any longer. Similar Jekyll & Hyde clients happened to me as well. These are the types of clients who would enjoy the i-pod best.
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Postby dokai » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:02 pm

Sorry to hear you had such a disappointing reception! Just remember, it's the PARENTS job to teach children to be considerate of their guests. By the time they're getting married, they should have known better.

Don't be too hard on yourself - I doubt that they would have listened to you anyway. Self-centered people rarely listen.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:27 pm

This won't be the last time!

Even if you beef up your coaching, you won't be able to fix them all.

Brides turn into something else on their wedding day. (Ever seen the TV shows?) Perfectly normal friendly folks can show their worst... and it can be magnified with alcohol.
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Postby Toneman » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:47 am

Just wait... A few weeks down the road she will probably call you up and complain about the job you did DJing her reception.

Several years back I had a bride refuse to pay me in full for my service because she didn't hear me play any of the music that she had requested during our planning stage. In fact, I played all but two songs off her request list due to the time length of the event. Her own sister testifed for me in small claims court that I indeed did play her requests and why she never heard them played was because she was outside at the beer keg most of the night.

Self-centered people have no regard to the others that are around.

PS....The sister that testifed, I did her wedding the next year because she liked the service that I had provided.
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Re: Bride wrecks her own reception (a rant)

Postby jbrown157 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:20 am

Thanks for your thoughtful replies guys...

Phil, you're right about parents being the ones to teach core values (like being considerate of others) but I take the responsibility for teaching them about being hosts of a party, in this case the reception. In most cases, they have no experience in this role and have no idea what kind of negative effect their actions can cause. Even the parents have probably never hosted a party of this magnatude before. I do (and did in this case) make the effort to tell them, but possibly, I didn't go far enough because of their demeanor displayed during the planning stage. I had a false sense of security. As I said, I just didn't see it coming this time. From now on, I'll not assume that this won't happen and I'll spend more time on this topic. If I get a bad vibe from prospects at sales meetings, I'll probably pass on these weddings.

CJ - Yes, you are right - we can never be 100% certain that this kind of thing won't happen. There is the pressure of being the Bride and the negative peer pressure from friends (Bridesmaids in this instance) that think they are the only people present who should matter. Alcohol does indeed make it more pronounced.

Toneman - I also understand what you are saying and I suspect that the bride is probably less than 100% satisfied about how her reception went. She certainly isn't likely to blame herself. Afterwards, I did speak with the groom and three out of four parents who were actually very pleased with the reception and understood what happened with the music (and they are the ones who paid the bills). Afterall, the first half (which should have been the most difficult) was nearly letter perfect. The Groom's parents (very nice people) were actually present for the planning meeting and heard everything I told the B&G, so they know the entire story. The Groom's dad came back around no less than four times as we were striking out to thank me and shake my hand so I'm not too concerned about negative feedback but I'm probably going to continue to feel badly about how all this went down for a couple of weeks. I think I feel worse about this than anyone (except for the guests who left unhappy).

Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing that the bride and her entourage also cheesed off the photographer and venue staff as well for various reasons.

I may be overreacting, but I take this stuff personally!
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Postby Dave Miller » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:14 pm

Toneman wrote:PS....The sister that testifed, I did her wedding the next year because she liked the service that I had provided.
LOL. Nice.



jbrown157 wrote:Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing that the bride and her entourage also cheesed off the photographer and venue staff as well for various reasons.
Well, not that you needed it, but that should confirm that you did nothing wrong.

Don't beat yourself up over this.
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Postby djmc » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:49 am

Toneman wrote:Just wait... A few weeks down the road she will probably call you up and complain about the job you did DJing her reception.

Several years back I had a bride refuse to pay me in full for my service because she didn't hear me play any of the music that she had requested during our planning stage. In fact, I played all but two songs off her request list due to the time length of the event. Her own sister testifed for me in small claims court that I indeed did play her requests and why she never heard them played was because she was outside at the beer keg most of the night.

Self-centered people have no regard to the others that are around.

PS....The sister that testifed, I did her wedding the next year because she liked the service that I had provided.


That's a wonderful conclusion to what *could* have been an ugly story!

Just curious: did the bride who sued you go to her sister's wedding? (I'm guessing that she didn't......too embarrassing!)
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Re: Bride wrecks her own reception (a rant)

Postby djmc » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:53 am

jbrown157 wrote:The Groom's dad came back around no less than four times as we were striking out to thank me and shake my hand so I'm not too concerned about negative feedback but I'm probably going to continue to feel badly about how all this went down for a couple of weeks. I think I feel worse about this than anyone (except for the guests who left unhappy).



well--- there you go, the folks that PAID you are satisfied.

I predict DIVORCE in a couple of years, and you'll see some repeat business (from the Groom's family).
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Re: Bride wrecks her own reception (a rant)

Postby DJ Alan Dodson » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:47 am

I had a similar experience not long ago. Pretty much the same deal, good response from the crowd, lots of dancing, then the groom informed me "nothng but club music after this song". They wanted to run off all the older crowd (I am 58). It worked, only about 20 people remained (all in their 20's), but B&G were happy and I got a good tip at the end.

Not the way I would have programmed the music, but it worked out. I did get some negative comments from some of the older folks as they left, but they did understand it was the B&G not me.

Worst moment of the night was when the grooms mom bumped into the wedding cake and knocked all but one layer off onto the ground! (before the cake cutting)
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Postby Toneman » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:00 am

djmc wrote:Just curious: did the bride who sued you go to her sister's wedding? (I'm guessing that she didn't......too embarrassing!)


Come to think about it, I believe the sister was there. She sure didn't make herself notice. Maybe she was to buzy around the keg. :drinking:
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Postby djmc » Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:52 pm

I recently encountered another Bridezilla (on Yelp) who wanted to "control everything" including the dance music playlist.

It was really cool because the crowd of Yelpers (generally) agreed with me that she was going to ruin her party.

I'm glad I've already got her date booked.....(Mr T voice) "I pity the fool who is hired to be this bride's DJ!"
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