Something I am asked semi-regularly years is, “Do you travel?” Because weddings are what I do, and traveling is something I personally like to do as often as I can anyway, I do not have a problem going to another city, state, or even country to DJ an event. Because there are varying levels of logistics to this depending on how far away the wedding is, I seem to be the exception, not the rule!
In nearly 12 years of being a wedding DJ, I have worked at my fair share of “Destination Weddings”, where the destination is Southern California! When planning one of these, it is important to find vendors you can trust, despite living, in some cases, 3,000 miles away! This can be daunting, and sometimes a little scary given that you are trusting them to help you organize and plan specific elements for the most important day of your life from afar!
First, it wouldn’t hurt to begin by looking online! Any decent vendor will have a website of some kind with photos giving you examples of their work. Given that you are so far away, it would probably be a good idea to hire a coordinator in the area, and if you do, he or she can help you take care of some of the initial legwork. Similar to hiring a vendor in your own town, however, you should definitely “meet” a vendor prior to signing a contract!
If traveling to your “Destination” to meet your potential vendors is not convenient, one of the easist ways to do this is to utilize Skype. (The program can be found at Skype.com) It is easy, free, and a vendor with experience working “Destination Weddings” will already have an account set up. All you have to do is exchange Skype names and you’ll be able to “meet” face-to-face via video conference and get a feel for the chemistry you have with your potential vendor. It is not as good as an in-person meeting, but it still allows you the opportunity to get a feel for the vendor’s personality as well as a better understanding of how easy they will be to work with.
Signing a contract and taking care of payment can all be done via fax or email. New smart phone technology can allow your vendor to accept and deposit emailed copies of checks, provided both sides are scanned and sent, and in addition to paying for items won on eBay, PayPal can be used to pay nearly anyone for nearly anything, should your vendor prefer.
It can seem like an insurmountable task, but if you are looking to get married in Southern California, don’t fret, because with a couple additional steps, booking your out-of-town wedding or event will be far easier than it may initially seem, so come on out! There are plenty of us that are more than happy to help you do it right!
***Geoff Maddox has been a professional wedding and event emcee and DJ for over 15 years. He has appeared on TV and has been interviewed by various news outlets about his books and how he helps couples avoid vendor scams and advises them on ways to have their dream wedding without breaking the bank. For more information or for booking inquiries, please visit http://gmedj.com!