Wedding Imagineering

January 7, 2014 by Alan Dodson

ImagineeringConstantly, I find myself finding new and better ways to create amazing and unique weddings. I, for a long time, have considered myself far more than a music driven DJ or Wedding DJ/MC or even using a currently popular term Wedding Entertainer, I am a planner, designer, choreographer, director, guide, musicologist, acoustical engineer, storyteller, motivator and Master of Ceremony. But more and more I am discovering that I am an Imagineer. Most people would instantly cry “Disney Foul”, but the word far precedes Walt Disney and his wonderful team back to Alcoa Aluminum’s first use in 1942. It is a morphed word combining Imagination (Forming new images and sensations that are not perceived through sight, hearing, or other senses) and Engineering (The application of practical knowledge to build something). Albert Einstein once wrote, “The most beautiful experience we have is imagination, it is the basic emotion which rocks the cradle of art, science and life.” The weddings I help create, are based on emotion!

I approach each wedding as a singularly unique opportunity to build on the love story of two unique individuals, but many more factors are put into play. Time of year, venue, location, inside or outside, theme, purpose, and personal preferences all play a key part in the planning, execution and outcome of the event that I prepare. Emotions must be invoked and evoked in every part of the planning and execution process, this, in turn, creates and imbeds memories that will last a lifetime, and a fun, unique party to be enjoyed by the guests.

Taking tradition and the timeless ritual of marriage, melding that into a vision for the bride and groom that matches their desires and dreams is always my ultimate goal. Anyone can use a cliché phrase and claim to help couples create “memories” or a “great reception” or “fun”, but in order to truly plan and coordinate an event, that is as unique as the couple themselves, takes a great deal of time, effort , careful planning and execution. The difference between “cliché” and “timeless” is deeply founded in how you work with your clients, primarily in the early planning stages. Often challenges, to the perfection desired, are presented by venues and other vendors that do not share the same enthusiasm and desire that is vested in people like my wife and I.

Recently, I was introduced to a potential entertainment client by my wife Sally (The Wedding Boss) who was contracted as her wedding planner and coordinator. We met at a beautiful turn of the century venue locally that I had not had not visited before. The venue has a representative that arranges weddings and other events at this facility and has seen, and participated in, hundreds of weddings and special events. As we walked the grounds and looked at the area where the ceremony and reception were going to occur, it became very clear to me that “we do it this way” was a common occurrence. I could also see, by the body language of the client that “same old, same old” was not what she was seeking for her special day.

I began to make a suggestions about the relocation of the reception tent, showing the advantages of doing so, moving the food service to a far more accessible point, and realigning the ceremony focal point to take advantage of beautiful landscaping and a mountain view that would be captured by the photographer. I suggested, and demonstrated how the bridal party should enter, pause and proceed for maximum emphasis. I recommended utilization of a mill stone table as the place to do the guestbook and gift table as the guests arrived and later convert it to the cake table. To bring these ideas clearly into the brides mind, I asked her to visualize the recommendations that I made and I could see the happy emotions being transmitted by her facial expressions and by the sparkle in her eyes. We went on to continue this process inside the facility as we completed the tour, and more suggestions and ideas were presented. At the end of this 90 minute consultation, an entirely different arrangement of all of the key components of the wedding day were finalized. The bride was bubbling with excitement and anticipation. I had set the tone and script for what will be one of the most important and memorable days of her life and she was thrilled.

Engineer, imagine, and love your clients. The results can be amazing!

Until next time, Alan

Alan Dodson conducts specialized workshops covering sales, marketing, social media and Master of Ceremonies and does one on one consulting with his company Top Gun Systems.  His goal is helping event professionals excel in their local markets.  He has been a sales specialist, mobile DJ, entertainer and event professional for over 30 years.  He owns a 29 year running bridal show and Mr. Picture Booth Manufacturing in Bristol, Tennessee and is the Entertainment Director for Concierge Weddings & Events.

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Alan Dodson Alan Dodson (16 Posts)

Alan Dodson is a 43+ year veteran of the wedding and special event industry. He is a recognized authority on sales, marketing and social media for wedding and event professionals. Alan is an accomplished speaker, presenter and author. He is a featured writer for several international magazines & blogs and regularly speaks at International Event Industry Conferences. Alan has extensive training in electronics engineering and writes reviews of new and updated equipment for the DJ industry. His company, Top Gun Systems (www.topgunsystems.com) represents, and establishes dealers for, the audio brands of Feur Germany, Voyz USA, LD Systems as well as Ultrasone Headphones, ProX Cases & Trussing, Xstatic Lighting, Uno Laser and Earthquake Audio. He also offers sales, public speaking, Master of Ceremony and social media training in workshops and individual consulting. As a DJ/MC/Entertainer Alan specializes in weddings and is known as “The Wedding Wizard”. Alan can be reached by email at alan@djalandodson.com and on social media at: Twitter.com/alanbdodson, Facebook.com/alanbdodson, Linkedin.com/in/alandodson


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