Wedding fun, and how to have lots of it!

Wedding fun; that is the ultimate goal of any wedding, to have a lot of fun!

In a blog post a few weeks ago I mentioned that I had applied to join the WED Guild and would explain in a later blog process about what exactly is the WED Guild.

WED Guild

The acronym stands for Wedding Entertainment Directors Guild and it is a move by a group of extremely talented DJs in the USA to establish a rigorous set of standards that all members have to attain to be accepted into the Guild.

An unfortunate truth is that the term “DJ” can equally apply to an experienced creative professional entertainer wowing guests every week with both their talent and recorded music, as to a guy that uses a couple of iPods linked together with a drive full of illegally downloaded music at a half empty bar. So in an effort to distinguish the wide gulf between the two aforementioned “DJs”, this Guild was established in May 2007.

Wedding Entertainment Directors provide entertainment and Master of Ceremonies services that have been verified to meet and surpass a measurable, professional calibre. Every member has to provide the following 7 services as standard for their weddings:
Comprehensive Personalisation
Creative Involvement
Event Direction
Talented Spokesperson
Music Programming
Appropriate Presentation
Quality Amplification

A brief description on each of the 7 services:

Comprehensive Personalisation:

This involves helping to plan the Ceremony and/or Reception agenda, such as the timeline, list of participants involved or that might need to be introduced, musical preferences for background and requests for dancing. The help given with the agenda is from an entertainment perspective, integrating the ideas from the bride and groom to ensure that the schedule is both unique but also thoroughly entertaining for all of the guests.

Creative Involvement:

At too many weddings there is very little actual involvement from guests, which can lead to boredom as opposed to a fun day in some cases. Suggestions that can work are things such as Centrepiece give-aways  singalong activities, buffet release ideas and creative methods for really personalising the wedding party’s Grand Entrance etc.  Having guest involvement can increase the fun and laughter for everyone and really breaks the ice between the two families, which also means they often will dance more and stay longer.

Event Direction:

Keeping the agenda on track whilst keeping guests entertained, in a way that a lot of behind the scenes work is never seen by the guests. Also reading the crowd to ensure they are not getting bored.

It also involves a lot of coordination with other vendors such as the cater, photographer, registrar etc. not just on the day but in the days and weeks leading up to the wedding day.

Talented Spokesperson:

Public speaking skills plus any other entertainment training used to clearly communicate with the audience that captures their attention, keeps them informed and encourages them to have an enjoyable time.

Music Programming:

The art and science of choosing the right song to play at the right moment. The science of having an extensive music knowledge and music collection to match, expertise in being able to use professional audio equipment and understanding the beats per minute in a given song can build or decrease the energy.
The art is knowing the most appropriate method to mix/blend each track into the next one to maintain/increase the amount of dancers on the dance floor, in reading the crowd to know when to change the genre/era in order to find the balance of keeping people happy and not boring some by staying in one genre/era for too long. Also to create a mix of background music

Appropriate Presentation:

Being dressed in an appropriate manner suited to the celebration. So if the dress code is formal then a Tuxedo may be the best fit, while for a more relaxed dress code that may not be the most suitable attire for the entertainer to wear.

Quality Amplification:

Providing professional grade PA equipment so that everyone can clearly hear the music and all important announcements, as well as cordless microphones being available for the speeches.

A much more detailed description of what is involved can be found on the WED Guild site.

Currently there are 25 members of the Guild. With most being based in the USA & Canada and 1 in Australia. Myself and 4 other close friends from the UK have all applied and are undergoing this application. Generally it is a lengthy process and typically takes a minimum of 9 months to get through. As part of the application I have been assigned a mentor to help me through it, and my mentor is a current member of the Guild and is the hugely respected Jim Cerone, who recently was in the UK as the keynote speaker at the inaugural Pro Mobile Conference, and his presentation received a 5 minute standing ovation, and I am truly grateful and honoured that Jim has agreed to mentor me through this application.

I’ll update this blog over the next few months as I complete the various actions required to submit my application. For those interested in exactly what I have to submit, this can be seen here.

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