Editorial Category: 
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Vendor Spotlight: Brian Graham

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  • Level of Business

    Well Established

  • How long have you been in business and in the wedding industry?

    I started my Mobile DJ service in 1985.

  • What brought you into the wedding industry?

    I started getting calls to DJ weddings the first year I started. When I moved to Knoxville in 1988, another DJ company was looking for assistance with wedding bookings, so I started working through them. Things just kinda grew since then.

  • What is a lesson you've learned since being in the wedding industry?

    There is a LOT of work involved in marketing my business, meeting with couples, preparing for a wedding, then delivering excellent results. Anyone who says "A wedding is easy" is not doing weddings right! This is a one-time, live performance.

  • What is your favorite part about the wedding industry?

    Working with couples who are planning one of the biggest events in their lives, and realizing how many smiles and memories will linger after their wedding day.

  • What is your favorite part about a wedding in general?

    The Love! There is a LOT of work that goes into creating a fun wedding celebration, but I mostly enjoy seeing my couples smile, celebrating with their friends and family, and hearing about how their wedding day was exactly as they wanted it to be, or better. There is a lot of humility, recognizing that this couple could have chosen anyone else to celebrate their day with them, and still they chose me to give them a day full of fun, laughter, sentimental moments, and memories.

  • What makes you/your business different?

    I don't want to be "just another vendor" on a couple's wedding day. I prefer to get to know my clients, as best possible, such that I can match their expectations and desires in a more personal manner. Many of my couples become friends and share their lives with me.

    Thanks to Facebook, I get to see couples who now have growing families. My best compliment was a couple celebrating their 15th Anniversary and contemplating a vow renewal, who said "We'll only do this if we can get Brian to DJ the party again. Our reception was such a blast".

  • Tell us about one of your favorite couples, weddings, or projects!

    In 2010, I worked with a bride who was in tears during our planning, because her 98 year old grandfather would be unable to attend. This couple had met on the Appalachian Trail, traveled from Georgia to Maine together, then planned their wedding in this area with the group of 8 which they all traveled the trail together. When it came time for the toasts, the bride was unaware that her Grandfather was going to be a part of her wedding. I had gotten him to record a toast, and was able to play it before their cake cutting. I made sure the photographer and videographer were aware of this, and they captured excellent pictures and footage of her reaction. This bride recently contacted me and asked me to travel to Florida to help celebrate her parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. Their 'Love Story' continues to have new chapters, and I'm so glad I get to be a part of their lives, outside of being the DJ on their wedding day.

  • Are you seeing any trends in what couples are wanting for their wedding day when they meet with you?

    I see a variety of extremes. Some couples have said "Just do whatever to make it fun", often not even having specific requests for their formal ceremonies. On the other end, I've worked with couples who are very detailed about what they want, wanting a full production from selecting every song, to personalizations, to major decor design with dance floor lighting, uplighting, monograms, and special effects. It seems that today's couples have so many options to choose from, that many want to choose as little as possible, to just enjoy the day, to wanting to create the emotional impact by selecting very specific songs and decor.

  • What do you wish every couple knew before they walked in your doors for a consult?

    I can't create a successful wedding based on someone thinking they are just paying for "music for 4 hours". I want my couple's weddings to be the most memorable day of their lives! I put a lot of time and effort into so much more than just picking out songs. I carefully craft and rehearse what I plan on saying, as a Master of Ceremonies, in order to create the best outcome of a successful celebration as the couple desires. In some cases, I feel like I care more about the outcome and success of the celebration than some couples. My average prep time for a wedding may range from 15-25 hours.  This is BEFORE I even load up, travel, setup, perform, and return home. Some weddings may involve 40+ hours of invested time, from the first meeting to the end of their wedding day, to insure success.

  • What piece of advice do you have for couples planning their wedding?

    Choose your entertainment wisely, if it is important for you to have a memorable celebration. Anyone can "show up & play music", but someone who can create an unforgettably memorable day will offer a lot more, with planning, unique ideas, and personal touches.

    Meet your DJ, and don't just settle for a best price. Find a DJ who offers great VALUE, things beyond just 'the music'. Sometimes a best price can cost you the entire day, because guests are not having fun and decide to depart early!

  • Do you have any specials or packages you would like us to highlight? If so, what are they.

    I don't presently have any specials or packages. I offer my clients options, and if they choose a variety of services, I will put a package price together, based on their needs/desires.

  • What can couples expect when they meet and book with you?

    Complete dedication to the success of their celebration!  We are going to get to know each other. Not only do I want to know my couples, I want them to know me. I want them to be 100% comfortable with me and confident I can deliver exactly what they want (or even better).

  • Is there anything else you would like us to share or highlight? Let us know!

    I wish more couples could see what I go through to create a fun celebration. I wish they could spend a 'wedding week' with me, to see everything I do to get ready. I make sure I have all the right music. I make sure that I have the order of events in such a way that it makes the celebration flow well. I do my best to script what I'm going to say, to keep guests engaged and involved. I invest a lot of time into making sure this wedding is unique and personal to this couple. While there are things that may occur at other weddings, there are personal, emotional moments that embed a memory into everyone about this one wedding. It may be a memory that, a year or two later, everyone recalls the grandparent who was dancing to one of the current dance songs, but now they have left our presence. It may be the emotional, memorable toast that the Maid of Honor presented. It may even just be that one small moment that they recall years later when a certain song comes on that they recall a memory from their wedding day.

    One of my clients said it best, and it is what I think about EVERY time I'm preparing for a wedding.  He said "You know, I was just looking around this room, thinking about how important every one of you are in both our lives. I realize this is the only time in our lives this group of friends and family will be together to help us celebrate such a joyful occasion, and I thank you for being here."

    I only have ONE opportunity to give each of my clients my best and the best day of their lives. I will work hard to give them emotional moments, memories, such that they have specific memories of their friends and family smiling, laughing, crying, singing and dancing the night away. I don't want this, their wedding day, to be "just another 'gig' on my calendar". It is far too important to be me and them!

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