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A Day with Jane Dayus-Hinch

It's all coming together. Jane has sent me her itinerary, cell phone number and some exciting news! “A Day with Jane” on September 19th will be only the second time in the world that Jane’s Big Wedding Planner Board is available for sale. If you’ve seen the show, you know what it is!

It has been featured in every episode of Wedding SOS and you'll be able to buy one of your very own! Planning -- it’s what makes a wedding day perfect and that's what makes this upcoming show one of the most exciting events I have ever produced, outside of a wedding day of course!

First we have Kelly Burke from Blissful Bridal Boutique providing a look at the new lines, including some surprises. She'll be using models from Claire's School of Dancing to show off the latest in bridal fashion. Real women in real women sizes -- awesome! The ladies will be raising money for their dance competitions and I couldn't be happier to help.

The Canadian Cancer Society will be on hand to offer their "In Memory Of" service in place of wedding favours to raise money for cancer cure and care. Executive Director Cathy Burns has always inspired me with her tireless efforts on behalf of cancer survivors, victims and their families and they have become such a natural fit. This summer alone, the lives of two of the brides I worked with were affected by cancer. Just a few months before her wedding day, one bride, Krystal Lance, lost the beloved grandmother who gave her a home and who brought Krystal and her new husband together. A keepsake was sewn inside Krystal's dress so her grandmother would be with her on that special day. With a cure for cancer, perhaps this wouldn't have had to happen. You'll get to meet Krystal too! She'll be volunteering that day!

Cambrian College is going to bring out their white glove service to make sure every bride present at “A Day With Jane” will be treated like she should. Unforgettable Weddings will be decorating and you know that means a 'wow’ moment or two. That and white glove service from the excellent Cambrian staff? Are you kidding me? As a special bonus Cambrian College will be showing off a brand new secular chapel in Sudbury called the E-Dome. This is such a cool idea. Guests can't make it to the ceremony because they live elsewhere on the planet? The E-Dome is set up to broadcast via the internet live to your guest's computer -- anywhere with an internet connection! Guests who are infirm, who can't get time off from work, or who live on the other side of the planet can say they attended your wedding. Experience the E-Dome first hand at “A Day with Jane”.

Jennifer R. Maxwell’s seminar will open the show. She's an actress, wedding planner and good friend of mine who is featured on the upcoming reality TV show “Unveiled". You will love her as much as I do and come away with information that will change the way you look at your wedding day.

And finally, Jane Dayus-Hinch will be taking the stage to show you some of her favourite clips and outtakes from the hit TV show Wedding SOS. Her best wedding? Her worst wedding? Best advice? You'll learn it all and get an opportunity to meet her in person afterwards at her own booth. Perhaps you will want to buy a retail copy of her wedding planner board. Sudbury is only the second place in the world to get access to this amazing resource that has been seen in millions of homes every week on Wedding SOS.

She will also be bringing a bottle or two of her own brand of champagne. Watch as the tiny bubbles stir up tiny flecks of 24 carat gold. Be the first in North America to literally drink the bling!

There will be two seatings, at 10AM and 3PM. Get there early to get a seat. We'll be providing breaks because there will be over 25 booths of the cream of Sudbury's crop of wedding professionals and vendors. These people are passionate about what they do and that means fewer headaches for you on a day when you don't want any distractions.

Here is my goal: I want you, the bride, to come away with all the information you want and perhaps some that you never even considered. As the consumer, you can and should expect more value and cutting edge ideas so your day doesn't feel like two trophies short of a bowling banquet, or like every other wedding you have ever attended. When you hire a vendor, you will know the difference between cheap and quality. It's usually one or the other so an informed bride will know to spend the budget on those things that matter to her. It can't be all about the decorations, the party or even the dress. It's the importance of everything and we'll get you started September 19th at Cambrian College.



Those That Get It

Yesterday I did a site visit to a small local golf course that specializes in garden party weddings complete with tent, garden and all the open air feel one expects from the description.  But what struck me was the owner’s attention to the needs of the bride.  She acted as wedding coordinator, banquet captain, ensures the groom is ready to go for an on-site wedding and is the same person the bride signed the contract with.  When I saw her passion and attention it literally brought tears to my eyes.

Perhaps my emotions had been primed because earlier I met with the manager of a hotel near where I live.  She is simply one of the nicest people. Sincere, funny and a real drive for customer service.  We started talking about the upcoming visit by Jane Dayus-Hinch from Wedding S.O.S. September 19th and she was getting excited because weddings matter!  That same weekend she is hosting a wedding for one of her employees and couldn’t wait to be pull off an amazing evening.  That’s taking personal service to another level.

What was similar with both women was that they ‘get it’.  Weddings ARE important.  We are creating a day in which a bride and groom isn’t distracted by the little things from the celebration of their relationship.   From simple décor lighting to the style of wedding cake everything should be designed to take her breath away and draw her deeper into the celebration of that love between two people.  It is our job as wedding professionals to take her to a place where the only response is “Wow”.



It Just Looks Bad

Drinking.  The DJ industry isn't the only vendor at the show so it's not the only one that has had to answer this question.  Is drinking at someone else's wedding ever appropriate?  While having lunch today with a Humanist Wedding Officiant she mentioned that she occasionally had a glass of wine during the reception or meal.  Being French Canadian we agreed that this could be seen as appropriate as long as due moderation was in force.  But I related a story that helped change her mind.

Earlier this year I worked one of my favorite hotels with a great staff, great guests and an amazing couple.  We rocked that party hard and gave it a signature ending.  In my mind I was happy for this couple that they got a day they didn't think was possible but also thought it would garner me a few referrals which are the life blood of my industry.  Every event is potentially an audition for another one.  It could be Monday morning or years later that you receive the call but since they have already seen you the sales process really just becomes a matter of availability.  Or so I thought.

It was after the lights were on and the music had faded that the groom came up and offered me a beer which I had been denying all night because I don't drink when I work.  I accepted and we sat down to go over the day with a beverage whose origins are older than Christianity.  Just one.  No chug-a-lug, wild toasts or bongs were involved.  But the Manager of the Day (MOD) for the hotel saw me.  He also noticed my son Chris had come to help me tear down, as is often the case.  That night I had decided to let Chris do most of the tear down and to spend time with the couple and once finished my beer I thanked everyone and helped finish the load out.  But the damage was done.  The manager assumed that Chris showed up because I had too much to drink and was unable to drive.  The truth of the matter is that my knees were killing me and Chris was doing me a huge favor by doing most of the heavy lifting. 

That was months ago.  How many events did I lose because that manager assumed I was drunk because I had one beer?  He's seen other DJs guilty of my imagined transgression and it stuck with him.  When I brought up the fact of DJs not being allowed to drink while they are working he proceeded to remind me of my hypocrisy.    And that was just the manager.  What about the few guests that were left?  What were they thinking?

The moral is that dinking should be verboten if you are being paid to work.  I learned that alcohol should only be consumed away from your place of work to distinguish one's self from all the unprofessionals that think getting corked on someone else's dime at the most important party of someone else's life is an acceptable practice.  Even if it is only one...

For those that think getting mildly buzzed is okay I have this to say:  Being a DJ is more important than being a brain surgeon.  If the brain surgeon screws up because he was tanked nobody is going to remember a thing.  If the DJ gets loaded then everyone remembers.  What do I want the bride to remember about her day?  Certainly not wondering if I was loaded.  And if the bride thinks it’s okay for me to drink then it’s my own fault for letting her think I was that unprofessional in the first place.




A Raison d'être.

It’s always good to have a reason.  A raison d’être.  It took me years to discover mine.  Weddings.   A two year broadcasting diploma, 15 years as a broadcaster and five years of computer science didn’t compare to the joy I felt in giving a couple a day they never thought possible.  There is something about two people committing their lives to each other that is both profound and unlike anything else we do in our lives.  Weddings are a solemnization of that commitment and the reception is the celebration.  It is for that reason that I love performing ceremonies and acting as wedding director/entertainer at receptions.

I started out twenty years ago also enamoured with the toys.  The louder the better!  Back in the day it was all about hauling enough records, huge speakers and laying wires out everywhere.  You were lucky to get lights because most of us couldn’t fit them in our cars as we traipsed from party to party.  DJ lighting (otherwise known as spin and pukes) was great at bringing that disco bar feeling to a wedding…if you wanted that sort of thing.  Records, reel to reels, cassettes, DAT, CDs and now MP3s.    It mirrored the changes that were going on in my real job as a radio broadcaster.  The toys were changing but the reason for weddings stayed the same.


About 1995, I discovered Mobile DJ conventions and a whole industry that had passed by Sudbury, and most of Canada for that matter.  Discovering thousands of men and women that thought their job was more than cool toys and a cheap bar tab wasn’t really a revelation for me but gave me a whole new avenue in which to learn new ways to enjoy a job I already loved.  We shared horror stories in the hallways and learned new ways to handle train wrecks we saw unfolding as we sat behind our booths.  It was the beginning of a journey that saw me accepting more responsibility for the success of the party and ultimately the day.

Since then, I have travelled thousands of miles to take seminars and courses to be more proficient in my chosen craft, attended classes at the Wedding Planner’s Institute of Canada (WPIC) to receive my Wedding Planner Certification, and taken two years to become a Humanist Wedding Officiant - all because the wedding day matters.  And it’s simply the best job I have ever had. 



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