Dear DJ AJ9: Why Can’t Wedding Planners and “DJs” Get Along?

In just the past 24 hours, I have heard from three different sources that “DJs” and “Wedding Planners” can’t get along. None of these people know each other, and they live hundreds of miles apart. It makes me sad, every time I hear it, but I guess it must be true in the majority that these groups have some trouble. I sure wish that wasn’t the case. How can we combat this clash of egos?

Q: Why can’t Wedding Planners and “DJs” get along?

A: They CAN.

I have so many friends in this industry who happen to be wedding planners. I always look forward to working with them, because they make entertainment more efficient by lifting weights of worry off of my clients’ metaphorical shoulders. Without those coordination-related worries, they are able to enjoy themselves better, however they may choose to celebrate. Some of those worry-able problems are problems that do affect my ability to do my job, but that I cannot fix, alone, because they are plainly outside my area of expertise.  Let me be perfectly clear: hiring a wedding planner is a fantastic idea, one that will vastly improve your wedding day experience.

As a Master of Ceremonies, I am contracted to provide certain services for clients. One of those services is undoubtedly to act as an expert consultant regarding entertainment, but — ultimately — regardless of counsel or recommendations, clients should hold the “final say.” If that “final say” is “do whatever this wedding planner says,” then that is exactly what I will do. It’s not my party, and they know their own wedding better than me. Period.

I could just stop the article, here, but I’ll give you a few more thoughts on record regarding this subject.  Please find the advice that applies to your group, below:

Brides and grooms: if your DJ can’t get along with your Event Planner (or vice versa, or some other vendor), then that person is not really on YOUR TEAM. It’s a group effort, people! We have an important job to do, and we can’t do it, alone. Egos just get in the way!  Every person in every industry occasionally works with folks who aren’t their favorite.  HOW they work with those people is what distinguishes a true professional.

Planners: We’ve all dealt with challenging personality types, in our line of work, and I know that “DJs” have a bad reputation, as a whole.  All I ask is — please — approach each event project with an open mind to one another and communicate, communicate, communicate!  Just give each entertainer a chance to prove the stereotypes wrong.  If they reinforce the stereotype, instead — fair game.

Entertainers: Last, but not least, your advice is the longest, because I am one of you.

I urge you to really DIG DEEP and consider your planning partners’ point of view.

Come ON, now — you KNOW VERY WELL what they’re up against, on a weekly basis in terms of lack of planning, direction, and talent from “DJs.” It warrants a certain scrutiny of the person filling this role, doesn’t it? These stereotypes have been well-earned by an overwhelming majority of practitioners of our profession, so don’t expect to be treated like the unique-snowflake-expert that you are, until you’ve earned the trust that warrants such treatment. This trusting relationship begins far in advance of the event day through consistent and considerate communication — planner or no planner — you should be keeping your brides and grooms “dialed in,” too, if you want the respect that comes along with being a team-playing problem-solver.

Too busy to plan ahead? Not part of your “process?” Ok, fine.  Stop whining about wedding planners, though, and take what you earned, fair and square. Show up unprepared, as usual, and expect to get schooled by the person who knows what’s going on. Don’t blame him or her for anticipating that you were going to be exactly as unprepared as you absolutely are.

Maybe they might miss out on some opportunities to use their entertainer to his or her “fullest capacity?” You’re right; that may be true. But it just isn’t your call. Some value metered control over spontaneity, and that is a totally valid motivation. Don’t be difficult; get on board; channel the JOY — it’s a ***party,*** after all!

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