Confession: is this “confession” gimmick getting old? No? Yes?

One of the biggest challenges in planning a wedding from a long distance is getting a feel for who might be reliable vendors.  With the plethora of options available to a girl in a major metropolitan area, how on earth does one go about narrowing down the options?

A Google search for “wedding djs philadelphia” gives you over 1.8 million results in…0.28 seconds.  If only if going through all of them to determine a good one took as little time.

That’s when it really helps to work with an established reception site–a good one will give you a list of vendors that they tend to work with the most.  We’ve snagged our photographer, “limo” and DJ from that list, and the excited claims of “Oh!  I’ve worked with (X vendor) at X weddings at the Mendenhall–X is/are great!” are probably the nicest reassurances we’ve gotten during this whole process.  Even so, the most confident call I made on choosing a vendor came from talking with our DJ (Tom Barrett)–I was sold when he said that they had done “at least a dozen weddings at the Mendenhall…when the actual DJ was a no-show.”

Holy moly.  Talk about dedication.

So the dependability sold me, but what made me genuinely excited to hire his group was the fact that we could riff on music for a good twenty minutes–he established his bone fides from his past as a DJ on WWDB in Philly…back when it was a jazz station, he could easily talk about Ella Fitzgerald and Beck without missing a beat, and mentioned that they update their 250k+ library with at least 500 new CDs every month.  Between the reluctant groom and I we have a sizable music collection between CDs and MP3s, but 250,000?  Not so much.

And if that wasn’t enough, we chatted about the pros and cons of creating a very set playlist for the night–yes, we would have ultimate control over what was played when (and we may do this during the cocktail hour and dinner hour), but the reason to hire a professional, especially when it’s time to get down, is that they know how to get people out of their seats by playing the right songs at the right times.  Since our mix is going to be all over the place, covering Motown to indie to French electronica to jazz, I became convinced that we could give whoever was our ultimate DJ a list of “songs we’d like to hear” along with certain tracks to be played at certain times (introductions, cake cutting, and the bouquet/garter toss if we decide to go down that particular road) and the DO NOT PLAY UNDER CONSEQUENCE OF DEATH list, and let the professional do his/her job.

Now…what to play?  I haven’t been slacking on that task!  😉

What were the magic words that sold you on your vendors?  Did they live up to their promises?

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