The Wedding Planner — The D.J. Is Key to a Great Wedding

wedding, wedding planner, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors, D.J., Disc Jockey, Sound Junction, Gary Liebowitz
The Happy Couple                                               Courtesy of Laura Grace Photography

 

The D.J. is key to a great wedding — no doubt! But how do you find that great D.J.? After I unsuccessfully contacted the D.J.’s on the Preferred Vendors List, I did what most people do; I asked  my friends and family for recommendations. However, with the wedding date, that was fruitless, especially for the D.J. — they were either out of business or unavailable at that time.

The Search
wedding, wedding planner, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors, D.J., Disc Jockey, Sound Junction, Gary Liebowitz
The D.J. Is Key to a Great Wedding

One unavailable D.J. suggested that I check Thumbtack . Although I had never heard of it, I wasted no time, after all, the wedding was fast approaching and I knew an iPhone playing music would not be very helpful. According to their profile, “Thumbtack is an online service that matches customers with local professionals.” With my date and required professional entered, I received messages from a number of local D.J.’s with a wide range of pricing and experience.

wedding, wedding planner, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors, D.J., Disc Jockey, Sound Junction, Gary Liebowitz
Gary Liebowitz with Sound Junction

I like to listen to my “gut,” and out of the list, only one stood out to me above the rest — he was experienced and I liked his work. He was from Monument and the wedding was in Estes Park, more than 2 hours away. I sent him a message and asked if Estes Park was too far and received an immediate response — definitely not, he handled the entire Front Range and did not charge for travel.

The Right D.J.
wedding, wedding planner, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors, D.J., Disc Jockey, Sound Junction, Gary Liebowitz
Dancing to the Music                                             Courtesy of Laura Grace Photography

My “gut” does not disappoint and neither did Gary Liebowitz from Sound Junction, LLC. He was absolutely phenomenal! Although I had the opportunity to provide him with a selection of songs, I was so frazzled and clueless that I  only gave him 3 songs for 3 dances: the bride and groom’s, father/daughter, and mother/son. With an age range of attendees from 20 to 85, I asked that he handle everything and he did. I can’t recommend him highly enough!

wedding, wedding planner, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors, D.J., Disc Jockey, Sound Junction, Gary Liebowitz
The Dance Train                                                  Courtesy of Laura Grace Photography

Gary:

  • Called prior to the wedding to offer help and assurances,
  • Arrived early,
  • Called when he arrived and started set up,
  • Handled my request to take care of all the music with a smile,
  • Acted professionally,
  • Dressed professionally,
  • Had a positive and upbeat attitude,
  • Was an outstanding MC,
  • Kept the party moving and lively,
  • Had reasonable rates and offered a military discount (he is retired Air Force), and
  • Went the extra mile above and beyond.
wedding, wedding planner, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors, D.J., Disc Jockey, Sound Junction, Gary Liebowitz
The Wedding Train                                                  Courtesy of Laura Grace Photography
Contact
wedding, wedding planner, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors, D.J., Disc Jockey, Sound Junction, Gary Liebowitz
Gary Liebowitz with Sound Junction

If you are interested in an exceptional, professional D.J. who is more than willing to go the extra mile with reasonable rates, I recommend Gary Liebowitz with Sound Junction:

Phone: 719-351-8301
Email: gary@soundjunctiondj.com
Website: www.soundjunctiondj.com

Two months after the wedding, a number of people shared their nightmare experiences with the wrong D.J. Needless to say, I am very thankful my story is not one of them. I had the best!

What are your experiences?

Wedding Planners & Vendor Lists – OH MY!

wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors
Pink Roses

Wedding planners and vendors lists create a fertile ground for weeds and more weeds… . What about that garden of beautiful flowers? The last article looked at whether the date made a difference, and the answer was a resounding YES. I felt good about securing the church and the Music Room at the Stanley, and thought the rest would be smooth sailing — NOT. Because of the date, the church and reception locations were available, but because of the date, the rest would not be as smooth.

Wedding Planners & Vendor Lists

Unbeknownst to me, most places have their own wedding planners and vendor lists that work with the bride or her wedding planner (in this case, moi). Easy peasy, right? Ahhhh, not necessarily so. Being a wedding planner for a church or popular reception location is not an easy job (I’m sure some of you either have personal experience with a bridezilla or seen popular bridezilla movies). As such, the wedding planner you start with may not be the wedding planner you end up with and lots can happen in the interim.

For the Church
wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors
Wedding Planners & Vendor Lists — The Church

In our case, the wedding planner for the church left half way through the planning. Fortunately, what we agreed to I had memorialized in writing, but there were a number of things she needed approval for and thought she could get because of her experience, and then she was gone… . I was left with a delightful person who knew absolutely nothing about weddings and all those other items that the experienced planner was sure she could get (like lighting up the white lights on the Christmas tree in the church), was not available.

For the Reception
wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library, military discount, veterans, savings, cost savings, Our Lady of the Mountains, Estes Park, Colorado, preferred vendor lists, vendors
Wedding Planners & Vendor Lists

For the Stanley, I was quite happy with the wedding planner assigned to me, but then a few months before the wedding she contacted me to let me know that she was taking a new job in Hawaii as an event planner. My thoughts … here I go again. Fortunately, they assigned me another great wedding planner, but there were still gaps that needed to be filled since she not only jumped in toward the end with me, but she was assigned at least half of the former planner’s weddings.

Then There’s that Preferred Vendor List:
  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • D.J.’s
  • Bakers
  • Florists
  • Salons
  • Piano Players
  • Etc.

Go through it carefully, as I did, since it may or may not be updated. On the list I received, most were in business, but some were not. What I realized was that if you use the word “wedding” in any request for quotes for a wedding, you received a quote that was significantly higher than what you would otherwise receive. More on that in the next article … .

What have you found with Preferred Vendor Lists?