Finding The Very Best Wedding Entertainment Director For Your Big Day
If your first reaction to the above headline is, “What the heck is a Wedding Entertainment Director?” I’m glad. You’re who I’m writing this for.
A Wedding Entertainment Director is someone certified to be one by The WED Guild, who oversees a rigorous process that usually takes quite a bit of time to complete. If the person you’re hiring is not a member of The WED Guild, they frankly have no business using the title Wedding Entertainment Director, which is copyrighted.
But that’s a semantic answer and you want a “real” answer. It’s a gross oversimplication to say a Wedding Entertainment Director is an emcee and DJ rolled into one.
It’s also a description Peter Merry, perhaps the most heralded and in-demand Wedding Entertainment Director in the world and the man who started the WED Guild, would probably object to.
But it will do for (only) starters, and worry not, Peter, I will do your profession justice with my typing fingers yet.
When Merry sat down with WeddingPros.TV, what followed was a torrent of brilliant and passionate advice and guidance that made clear his devotion to the wedding entertainment craft, teaching others the craft, and learning what he can still learn himself.
I made more notes, and learned more, in just the first of three parts of his interview series with WeddingPros.TV than I have from all of the other brilliant-in-their-own-right guests I have written about previously.
Merry’s main point is that Wedding Entertainment Directors foster and create magical moments. They don’t just press play on a mixing board, they don’t just read announcements, and they make every guest feel welcome and a part of things.
The bad news is, there’s only a few dozen certified Wedding Entertainment Directors in the country.
The good news is, it is possible to find a DJ/emcee who employs many of the same skills as a certified Wedding Entertainment Director, and you can find them if you know what you’re looking for.
Here’s what you should be looking for:
1 || Get A DJ/Emcee With Tapes of Their Work For You To Review.
It’s important, in a unique way, to see a DJ/emcee in action before hiring.
That’s because a potential DJ/emcee might seem great in person, but in action, uses an obnoxious, hammy style that turns off wedding guests. “They think it’s their job to put on this really over-the-top persona,” says Merry of DJ/emcees who use what he calls “a monster truck voice.” They don’t know any better, he says, because that’s what they think is expected of wedding DJ’s. It’s why you want to…
2 || Get A DJ/Emcee Who Has Made A Point Of Learning And Training.
“Most of them don’t have any formal training of any kind. Part of the reason I am where I am today is that I am constantly asking for training for myself.” He still goes to workshops, despite his supreme standing. Your DJ should, too.
3 || Get A DJ/Emcee That Knows To Use The Full Names Of The Guests
This is another hack that many fledgling DJs and emcees don’t realize. When introducing the people of the wedding, they MUST use the full names of each participant and explain their relationship to the bride and groom.
Why? Because it connects the guests to the wedding party, and the bride and groom themselves, in a very important way.
If the emcee just says, “Here comes Sheila…doesn’t she look great in that dress?” then some guests are going to feel alienated for not knowing who Sheila is.
Here they are, watching their friends get married, and the emcee accidentally makes the wedding party seems like an exclusive club where, sniff, if you don’t know who the maid of honor is, you don’t need to know.
4 || Get A DJ/Emcee That Makes Magic Happen For Everyone In Attendance
As a writer who writes about other people, I pride myself on polishing words and meaning even better, or at least more cogently, than the person whose message I’m trying to convey to the general public .
But largely, there is no improving on Peter Merry. That’s how wise and articulate he is about this stuff.
So for this last item, I’m simply going to turn the floor over to him:
“One of the biggest things I’ve seen overlooked is the role of the emcee and recognizing that more than just doing announcements, that’s the person who really pulls it all together for you, and keeps things moving smoothly and makes the guests feel involved in a fun way.”
“When as a professional DJ and emcee or Wedding Entertainment Director, you deliver something that raises that bar to a whole new place and makes everybody feel connected and creates fun and humor, all of the sudden they’re sitting up in their chair and going, ‘Wow, this is great!’ and that little change in their perception of the way they’re feeling informs the rest of the night.”
“People aren’t there to dance and party. They are there to celebrate the fact that two people they love just got married. So when you welcome people to the purpose and the reason they’re all there, they’re gonna be invested. That’s why they’re there.”
If you are interested in hiring Peter Merry for your wedding, Eric Herod Entertainment is proud to say that Peter is available through our company.
If you want more tips on how to make your wedding something the guests will talk about for years, sign up for your FREE copy of 3 Things You’re DJ won’t tell you about how to take your wedding from average to Legendary!
Then, make sure you come back here and…