Dave Ternier


Dave Ternier

Dave Ternier began his DJ career in 1997 as a self taught, part time, mobile DJ. Since 2011, Dave has gone full time as a single operator DJ/MC for his company, Special Request Weddings. He is a proud Canadian DJ, MC, member of the CPDJA and recipient of the international WED Guild® certification. Family life is kept busy alongside his beautiful wife Kathryn and their two daughters, Kiana and Marika. Dave is also the founding author of www.aDJthought.com, an industry blog focused exclusively on mobile wedding DJs.




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Planning For Success

July 15, 2017 by Dave Ternier
Great events seldom just “happen.” Study, planning and organization are all key components to creating exceptional parties. And weddings, even from the DJ and MC point of view, are no exception. Now is the time of year when I find myself fully immersed in first planning sessions for my weddings to come later this year. My wedding couples and I are in full swing, brainstorming, outlining, and putting together the pieces for the great weddings that each of them will be hosting this year. With the significant number of details that come with planning the average wedding today, it is imperative that I insert myself into the conversation of the wedding planning details many months in advance. I do that in a variety of ways such as communicating with all vendors involved in that wedding and doing venue si... [read more]
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I Only Work for Friends

July 11, 2017 by Dave Ternier
Working for friends can be the worst experience in the world. Deals are struck, favours are promised, and then one wants more out of the arrangement than was bargained for. Things end in an ugly fashion, with both parties unsure if the friendship survived. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Sure, it works out okay sometimes, but in many cases, lifelong friendships are put in jeopardy over an attempt between friends to do business together. (And don’t even get me started on working with family!) But what happens when you start out as strangers and then become friends throughout the business transaction? What might this look like? In a different twist to the first scenario I described, I would like to offer an alternate reality…a possibility that has become the ever... [read more]
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How Do You Say How Much?

July 4, 2017 by Dave Ternier
This is going to sound weird and it might surprise you, but I rarely vocalize my price to a wedding couple considering my services. Ever. Seriously, it’s true. Saying something like “If you want to hire me, the price for a wedding reception will be $x,xxx + tax and if you also want me for your wedding ceremony it’s an additional $xxx…” just isn’t my style. What I attempt instead, is to create a uniquely professional experience out of the actual moment in which I share my pricing (usually at the end of a consultation) and communicate that the booking process itself and the dollars required to hire my services are really no big deal. Generally speaking, a wedding couple I am meeting with to discuss my services doesn’t know my exact pricing. They might have an idea what it is (shared... [read more]
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I’m Sorry, What’s Your Name?

June 27, 2017 by Dave Ternier
Recently, on my side of the internet, the topic came up about wearing a name tag when working weddings or corporate events as the DJ/MC. I do not wear a name tag when working at events, but am fully aware of many DJs who do…and for some pretty solid reasons I might add. Those reasons haven’t caused me to fully shift my personal choice on the matter, but they’ve certainly provided me some additional food for thought. The purpose of writing about this topic today is to share some equally balanced and useful ideas from both points of view. Seldom is there a “golden rule” that applies to every DJ in the world in every situation, and this issue is n... [read more]
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Community Over Competition

June 20, 2017 by Dave Ternier
You know they type… they’ll always quote for $50 bucks less then the previous DJ the prospective client called. And they’ll add extra lights. And no charge the travel. And bring a photo booth. And a balloon arch. And include a…(wait for it) …chocolate fountain! The challenges of running a DJ business are, in many places of the country, sometimes like this. Places where the competition is relentlessly chasing the almighty bottom dollar. Everyone’s trying to out “Walmart” Walmart, so to speak. Seldom does anyone “win.” Thankfully, DJs around the world are changing that.  The once expected hostility between mobile DJs is melting away. People who used to compete with one another for “gigs” have found strength and business success by creating community instead... [read more]
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DJ Music Management using Dropbox

June 13, 2017 by Dave Ternier
Still using USB drives to update new music onto your DJ performance computers? Or maybe you are using a special program to sync multiple hard drives at once? Nothing compares to the ease of use that Dropbox gives mobile DJs to manage their music library across multiple computers. Imagine being able to add music to any one of your computers, without having to remember which computer you added that music to and which ones still require being synced. Dropbox takes care of all of that… and so much more! Ritchie Rich, owner/operator of Big And Rich DJ in Sudbury, Ontario, reached out to me recently, asking how I use Dropbox to manage my music library. I’d recently brought up the topic on a read more]
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No More Bad Wedding Toasts

June 13, 2017 by Dave Ternier
Ever witnessed a bad wedding speech? A toast to the bride that kind of flopped? A toast to the groom that quickly descended into jokes that should have stayed with “the boys”? A welcome to the family speech that just…wouldn’t…end? Any DJ that has spent any time at all working with weddings has witnessed a few of the above (if not all of them). For many people speaking at weddings, this is the first time they’ve had to write a speech or toast like this. Remember that surveys commonly show fear of public speaking, also known as “glossophobia,” sitting at the top of list of worst fears. It’s no wonder that weddings play host to so many bad speeches, but fear not (see what I did there?!), you can play a massive role in changing that.
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Ever asked their parents?

June 6, 2017 by Dave Ternier
We all know that testimonials help communicate the quality and value of the work we do to prospective clients. Most of us, I am sure, request detailed feedback from the brides & grooms we work with in order to collect some of those testimonials. I also ask them, a number of times, to suggest ways in which I could improve my service. That’s where a feedback survey REALLY starts to become valuable. But this post isn’t entirely about that… it’s about the parents.
Equal in importance to requesting feedback from the brides and grooms, in my humble opinion, is to also ask their parents for feedback. The very ... [read more]
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Final Wedding Prep Checklist

May 30, 2017 by Dave Ternier
Managing event preparation time ahead of weddings has always been a challenge for mobile DJs & MCs. Many of us have experienced the struggle of working late nights on the week of events, running our deadlines to the max, getting things done just-in-time. I won’t say I have the perfect solution for you, but I might have a tool that that could help. Managing WHAT has to be done, is half of the battle and was solved for me a few years ago through the creation of a simple checklist. What follows is a copy of my “Final Wedding Prep Checklist”. This list includes the items I generally start with when it comes to finalizing my prep for a wedding. This list is just a template file of course and is duplicated into every wedding event read more]
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Lessons From My Wedding Couples

May 23, 2017 by Dave Ternier
Last month, I wrote some words on Mark Ferrell’s GWYW Facebook page:

Just be their friend. Their inspiration. Their cheerleader. Their confidant. Be that person they can talk to about the animosity between her (the bride) and the best man’s common-law partner. Create a REALationship* with them. Be there. For them.
Forget your numbers.
Forget your stats.
Ignore your “conversion ratio.”
Just be REAL. AUTHENTIC. NO GAMES.
“My biggest, wildest dream is about to come true in two weeks and my brain is spinning as I’m trying to wrap my head around it. Thank ... [read more]