There has been a disturbance in the wedding blogosphere.
A couple days ago, my friend Jessica, who runs The Budget Savvy Bride, posted what should have been an innocent wedding budget tip:
Jessica is certainly not the first wedding blogger to suggest playing music off an iPod (or similar device) at your wedding reception if you are looking for ways to reduce your overall wedding expenses. In fact, Jessica did this for her own wedding and you can read about it here. Christen who works at The Broke Ass Bride did the same, and I was a guest at a Disneyland wedding last year that also did the same. So, you know … this isn’t an INSANE suggestion.
But tell that to a group of “professional” event DJs who descended on her Facebook page, spewing vile and hatred the likes of which I have never witnessed in three and a half years of blogging. Yeah, I totally get it – this suggestion is a threat to your profession, so you don’t agree. I get why you would get riled up about it. This is where you lose me:
In case you can’t see the above image, New York DJ Sam Vecchio stated his opinion, followed by a few hashtags including #killyaself.
Let me break this down a little more. This PROFESSIONAL wedding DJ with over 20 years of industry experience suggested to this wedding blogger, who he has never met, that she should kill herself, because she dared to suggest a couple getting married on a tight budget doesn’t need to hire a DJ for their wedding reception.
Believe it or not, Jessica is a real human being with real human emotions and feelings, and it’s tough to “shake it off” when someone suggests your life is meaningless and you should be DEAD when all you’re trying to do is help some couples save some money on their wedding day. She did not sign up for this kind of abuse and belittling. (The comment, along with my own response comments ripping this guy a new one, have now been deleted.)
But, this post isn’t about Jessica. It’s about the vendors. My mind is COMPLETELY BLOWN that any professional wedding vendor thinks this kind of behavior is by any means acceptable. This isn’t a thread on Reddit or GOMI or YouTube where someone can hide behind a user name. These vendors are using their PERSONAL profiles to write hateful things on a PUBLIC Facebook page. This is fear-mongering to the highest degree, and I hate when wedding vendors try to guilt clients into hiring them (and to be completely fair to the DJ industry, I have seen this across all realms of the wedding world). The Broke-Ass Bride wrote a great post about fear-mongering and wedding shaming.
Because this is all public, I would like to address a few of the choice pearls of wisdom left by these wedding “pros” on the Facebook post:
Seth Michael Miller, owner of MixMaster Entertainment Services in Williamsport, PA: “I’m not trying to insult anyone by any means but the fact is you should be promoting the fact that a DJ is very important.”
Mr. Miller is not TRYING to insult anyone by saying your opinion is wrong, but your opinion is wrong. And you should be promoting only the things Mr. Miller believes, obviously.
Jim Ollison, owner of Jim Ollison’s Sounds Good Pro Sound in Missouri: “Poor advice unless the desired outcome just isn’t important. Most however, consider their wedding celebration to be important.”
I’m confused as to what “desired outcome” means. As far as I know, if the couple ends up married, that fulfills the “desired outcome” of a wedding. The inference that a wedding celebration is only important if it includes a DJ is, well, insulting to the couple getting married, the only actual SUPER IMPORTANT part of any wedding.
Jonathan Ditmer, from Premier Event Specialists and School of Pop: “I say just get a better job (one that pays more than min wage) then you can spend those hours it takes to create a playlist, instead working to pay for your dj, who will do a better job reading the crowd and taking requests.”
I just can’t with this. Is this guy for real? We should all just get higher paying jobs, as if that’s in any way practical or realistic? I honestly can’t tell if this guy is joking or thinks this is a serious solution for budget brides. (Careful Disneyland couples, this guy is in Orange County.)
Jack Kelly, an Ohio DJ: “I would like to thank you for being cheap (there’s nothing “budget-savvy” about your decision) on your own wedding. Because of couples like you, people see what happens when you decide to cheap on on one of the elements that makes or breaks a wedding. I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve booked because of weddings just like yours! I would love to know where you registered. Was it Dollar Tree? Walmart? I didn’t think so.”
Did you know that music is one of the elements that makes or breaks a wedding? I always thought it was about the union of the couple, and that the couple can celebrate that union in any way they choose. Also, if Dollar Tree had a wedding registry I would be all over that. I bought all of our battery tealight candles for our wedding there. They have GOOD stuff.
John Carucci, a radio DJ in Syracuse, NY: “Your guests will remember only two things about your reception the quality of their meal and your entertainment!”
Ignoring the poor grammar, Mr. Carucci would like you to know that your guests will ONLY remember their meal and entertainment at your reception. That’s it! Nothing else, including the memories your guests will have of spending time with you on your special wedding day, matters. If your guests only care about food and dancing, then they are cruddy guests.
Tom Russo, a DJ in Atlanta, GA: “You think a year after your wedding people will remember the passed hors d’oeuvres? The flowers? The centerpieces? The meal? Even your dress? HELL no. But will they remember if the party sucks? You bet!”
Again with the assumption that the only thing your guests care about is the “party.” There are several different types of parties, and you don’t need music, or trays of appetizers, or flowers, or centerpieces, to have a good party.
Fox Feltman, a DJ in North Carolina: “You may think this is a cool money saving idea, and YOU may even like putting together your own playlist. But your guests, very few will like the music taste you like, and most will leave (probably early) thinking for the rest of their lives how horrible this wedding reception was.”
The lesson I’ve gleamed from this is, your friends think you have sh*tty taste in music and will spend the REST OF THEIR LIVES regretting attending your wedding. Seems reasonable.
Chris Keenan, from Futurescapes Entertainment in Willow Grove, PA: “Here’s a tip. Skip the flowers, the chair covers, the cheese and veggie plate, the top shelf liquor (not all liquor though), the limo, and the ice sculpture. Serve them chicken instead of filet and white wine instead of champagne… But don’t skip the captain of the party… Or your guests will be talking behind your back!”
More fear-mongering, telling you your guests will hate you if you don’t have a DJ/MC, and god forbid you don’t have liquor at your wedding!! Brides, I’m here to assure that your TRUE friends and loved ones don’t care what happens at your reception, as long as you are happy. If someone’s going to be talking behind your back because you played your dance music off an iPod, they are not worthy of being a part of your fabulous life. Also, if you’re on a tight budget, feel free to skip everything on this list and also skip the DJ. You don’t need any of the things listed above, including alcohol, to have a successful wedding celebration.
Angela Belella Kershner, owner of AK Productions in Maryland: “Ridiculous advice. Did you take your own photos, too? Bake and decorate your own cake? Sharing tips for the “budget savvy” bride should start with educating the couple on what areas NOT to skimp on, which would clearly include quality entertainment WITH a master of ceremonies. That’s not saying they have to go out and pick the priciest service, but to suggest that the couple “do their own music or have a friend do it” is the absolute worst advice ever.”
The ABSOLUTE WORST ADVICE EVER. Clearly. I don’t know about that. I’m of the opinion that the absolute worst advice ever is telling a bride and groom that they NEED to include a certain aspect of the wedding industry at their event, instead of giving them several options and letting them decide on their own what’s best for them. Also I just went to a wedding where the bride did bake her own cake and it was fabulous.
Anna-Jeannine Kemper Herman, of DJ AJ9 in Akron, Ohio: “… consider (the negative feedback) from their point of view. You totally ‘started it.’ You are completely discounting the work of an entire industry.”
Never, anywhere, did the author completely discount the work of all DJs everywhere. Suggesting skipping a DJ or band at your wedding is merely one of SEVERAL budget-friendly wedding tips this author has shared.
The thing that makes me the sad about the last couple comments is that these are fellow female business owners, and I hate when women try to tear each other down. Anyway, there are several additional nasty comments on the Facebook post which you can read here. There’s so many, I just don’t have time to copy and paste them all.
But, to be fair, I’ll share a solitary voice of reason. Rob Thorp, a DJ with T-N-T Entertainment in North Carolina and former president of the American Disc Jockey Association, wrote this: “Not everyone has a large budget for their wedding … To all the DJs in this thread, not everyone can afford our services and those people are not our clients. Wish them the best and move along.” Rob, if I could full mouth sloppy kiss you right now, I totally would. (If you are an NC bride, PLEASE look up Rob’s company!)
I also want to give a mention to bride Kimberly Michele Miller, who shared this: “The replies to this post have convinced me to not hire a DJ for my wedding, not because I want to save money, but because I know my iPod won’t give me this kind of attitude on a day that is about a union between two people who are in love, not about what music was playing when we cut the cake.” Preach, Kimberly. And wedding vendors, take note. Brides and grooms will not stand for your fear-mongering and entitled attitudes.
Bottom line: Brides and grooms, know who you are hiring. Don’t let a vendor shame you into signing a contract with them. Vendors, don’t be jerks. Anyone you come across is a potential client or referrer. And the internet is forever.
iPod image source: Brit + Co