We asked Alan Chitlik, owner of Seattle-based Puget Sound DJ, how one’s ears can create a special moment for a couple.
I think listening skills can be a cornerstone of a super-personal wedding. I really want to ask my couples a lot of questions which will cause them to dig a little deeper into what they want the wedding to be. Couples almost all say they want it to be “fun.” Well, you gotta dive into what’s fun for them.
In general, I try to have an authentic conversation with my couples – not just fill out some check boxes on my planning form. So I might learn that they are dreading being the center of attention and therefore we shift things around to get some of the spotlight moments done earlier. Or you learn that a bride has strong affection for a step father, which can be a starting point to ways to incorporate him into the day.
So I might learn that they are dreading being the center of attention and therefore we shift things around to get some of the spotlight moments done earlier.
I like to ask if there’s a story behind the selection of their special songs. Sometimes you hear gold, maybe the father sang the song to the bride as a little girl while she played her toy guitar. If you share that story, you make that dance so much richer.
Sometimes, I will interview both members of a couple in advance and weave parts of the recording of the conversation into their first dance. It sure creates a moment where the couple and all their guests feel involved. But I also think it’s a nice experience for the couple to be interviewed and be able to articulate their love for their partner.
I love hearing about the older/younger sibling dynamic: were they rivals growing up? Did one want to follow in the footsteps of the other?
This is a spot where writing experience can help. You essentially have maybe two or three sentences to cover who they are and why they are important. So you need to present that with an efficient use of words.
I get asked if personalization is a difficult “sell” to couples. I say ask any couple, “Do you want McWedding or do you want a wedding that feels like YOU?” and you’ll get the same answer. So I find that my couples really love the idea that I’m going to weave information about them throughout the night. I think this is especially helpful to think about for couples with larger weddings because they aren’t going to get to talk to everybody. But they still want those guests to feel like their personalities came through over the night.
Alan Chitlik is the owner of Puget Sound DJ in Seattle. Stay tuned for a full profile on him and his company in the next print issue of DJ Times.
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