As anyone who has ever planned a wedding can attest, your DJ is vital to making your wedding reception a success—or a failure.
Since wedding DJ’s are typically hired, and it might seem natural that they’d want to promote their business in some way during the festivities.
But is it wrong if that promotion ends up disrupting a key moment for the bride and groom?
DJ and Redditor Zealousideal_Air6339 recently worked a wedding that ended up sparking some drama, so he turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if he was wrong for his actions.
“AITA to promote my business at a wedding?”
The original poster (OP) explained how he decided to promote his DJ business at the end of the reception.
“I (42M[ale]) am a DJ primary doing weddings and small events.”
“I’ve spent years learning about how to DJ and doing it as a serious hobby until making the plunge and finally starting my own business full time. I’ve been in operation about about a year and a half and it’s going as well as expected.”
“I was hired to do a wedding and was very shocked at the response I got after making a short announcement. The bride and groom picked a really significant dance they did alone together at the end of the wedding before all the guests and them left to do a sparkler exit.”
“After the song, there was a moment of silence so I told them who I was, the areas I served, told them a little about my equipment (since I’ve invested in the best stuff) and then mentioned I do all events.”
“Everyone did stop and listen, including the bride and groom, but it was a brief moment and they left to do the sparkler exit. All seemed fine.”
But apparently all was not fine.
“After it was over, the venue manager pulled me aside and told me it was inappropriate. She said that if I was allowed back at the venue, that couldn’t happen again.”
“Okay, I figured she was being over the top as event planners can be, and I let it go. Then a couple days later I get an email from the bride telling me she was mortified that I stole their big exit and wouldn’t be recommending me.”
Now the OP is worried his business might suffer.
“I feel this is a huge overreaction and certainly not worth all the drama. Part of being in any business is promoting, especially to people who have heard what I have to offer.”
“I’m worried she will leave a bad review for a silly reason that has nothing to do with the quality of music I produce. AITA?”
He later edited his post to add some more information.
“No, the sparklers weren’t lit. Honestly I thought I would be speaking over people as they shuffled out but they chose to stop and listen.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While they understood his need to promote his business, the OP didn’t get much sympathy from Reddit.
“YTA. The timing is what makes it *really* shitty.”—dbohat
“Exactly. As far as timing and form of promotion is concerned, you couldn’t have been any more tone deaf.”
“You could have had flyers at your booth, introduced yourself at the beginning (without a heavy sales pitch), there was no need to ‘run an ad’ as the couple moved to exit. YTA.”—crella-ann
“Not to mention.”
“He talked about his equipment in detail… as the bride and groom were waiting to exit.”
“I don’t use the word cringe a lot… but that is so f**king cringe.”
“OP is so YTA, and should work on his tact.”—Dirtydirtyf*g
“‘Part of being in any business is promoting'”
“Not at the cost of those who hired you. You did not promote yourself, you showed everyone that you are extremely irresponsible and lacking in proper etiquette.”
“Good luck getting hired by any of them lol.”—RonitSarangi
They let him know there are better ways to self-promote.
“YTA. Good promotion comes through word of mouth and social networking and there’s a dozen things you could have done that wouldn’t have involved ruining your clients special day.”
“Do your job well and the guests will remember you and ask the bride for your info. Now they’re just going to remember you as the jerk who self promoted instead of doing his job.”
“Learn from this experience and don’t do it again.”—what-time-is-purple
“This right here. After our friends weddings we contacted them for the names of vendors we liked.”
“The good work they did at the wedding was enough promotion, they didn’t make any cringy announcements during the wedding. OP, YTA.”—Nekokittychat
“I’ve been married and divorced, people still ask about my photographer / makeup person etc etc. Be excellent and people will advertise for you.”—MzFrazzle
“YTA. Using the wedding audience as a captive audience to prompt your business was tone deaf, tactless and bad business practice.”
“Have business cards/info cards available at your booth for those interested but otherwise let your skills do the talking.”
“If I was a guest at that wedding, I wouldn’t hire your services after hearing you turn the wedding exit into your radio ad.”—Obiterdicta
There was no shortage of suggestions from horrified Redditors.
“Yes definitely YTA.”
“Exits are as important as entrances in those big events, and it definitely is unprofessional to assume a lull in activity is your time for shameless promotion. You’re a professional getting paid, you need to act like it.”
“If I paid for a service like that and something similar happened, I’d definitely be annoyed. Here’s things you could have done instead:”
“•Ask the bride and groom if it would be okay for you to take a minute to introduce yourself to the crowd at a pre-established time aka: “hey I’m dj (your name) and hope you’re having fun tonight, check out my socials for more!” They may have been receptive to something of the sort.”
“•Have a stack of business cards handy by the dj booth.”
“•Have a tasteful, discreet placard with your info/socials listed sitting on the booth. You can even ask the event planner to make it for you or guide your aesthetic so it fits the theme.”
“I’ve worked plenty of weddings in my day as a mixologist. My friend had a bespoke cocktail company for private events and we did a ton of weddings both big and small.”
“We always had a pile of business cards by the tip jar and got plenty of business that way. We would’ve been mortified to see a DJ do something like that at an event we worked at, super unprofessional.”—kirakira26
Some hoped the bride would keep good on her promise to leave a bad review, if only to warn other people.
“I hope the bride leaves a review of the experience. I’d want to be warned if my DJ were going to interrupt my walk out for an ad.”
“So rude and unprofessional! YTA.”—astra_sasstra
“YTA – You literally turned their send off into an advertisement.”
“They only get one wedding, one chance to make it what they want, and you disrupted that in order to promote yourself. That was incredibly unprofessional, and I wouldn’t be recommending you either.”
“‘I’m worried she will leave a bad review for a silly reason that has nothing to do with the quality of music I produce.'”
“It may not have to do with the music you produce, but it does have to do with the experience you provide, which is a perfectly valid reason for leaving a review, and in this case, a negative one.”—Slurav
“I guess everyone thinks I’m the a-hole here and I won’t be doing this again, but frankly I don’t think I ‘ruined’ or ‘stole’ her exit, the hype over these things at weddings are ridiculous.”
“I won’t be refunding as I worked nearly 7 hours and hauled a lot of expensive equipment, and this one comment doesn’t negate all that hard work or my expertise.”
“I did apologize to the bride and offered her a discount on future services.”
While it’s doubtful that the bride (or anyone else at the wedding) will take him up on his offer, we certainly hope the OP has learned a valuable lesson—do your job well, or face the music.