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Interview with Peter Merry - Author of The Best Wedding Reception Ever!

Want to have the best wedding reception...ever?

Who doesn't?  On the surface, it seems pretty obvious.  Yet, sadly, and due to no fault of their own, many couples simply aren't educated enough about their upcoming wedding to know how to achieve this goal.  It's not their fault.  Quite frankly, most entertainers are in need of a good lesson as well.

That's precisely the goal of Peter Merry; DJ, author, & speaker.  He wants to educate you...and me...on how we can achieve that task together. 

What a great idea, right?

Peter is passionate about what he does.  If you get a chance to hear him in person, he's an enthusiastic guy bent on improving the industry one entertainer at a time.  His book was officially released  back in October 12th, 2010, and can be found at several locations including Barnes & Noble or online.  Get it, and I guarantee you'll pick up an idea that will enhance your reception.

With all these positive things to say, it's hard to believe that Peter is a somewhat controversial person in the DJ/Wedding Entertainment industry.  The standards that he sets have occasionally been looked at as over-the-top and his statements as opinionated.  It's a shame that the industry I love is often more focused on personal egos than working together for a common ground.  

I'm the first to admit that I don't see eye to eye with Peter on every point in his book.  But tell Peter that, and his reply would probably be "Great!  I don't expect you to."

After all, as entertainers, if we all did the same thing, then we'd really be missing the point of his book.  Peter provides a great framework for raising the bar, but that doesn't mean that we don't all have our own "brand" or appeal that works for us, and more importantly, works for our happy couples.

For me it's all about providing the best service that I am personally capable of and I applaud him for helping to educate both couples and entertainers on what is possible for their special day.  Again, I encourage anyone getting married, along with entertainers who care about improving their skills and broadening their horizons, to pick up a copy of his new book.  Now...on to the good stuff...

Read the interview:

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M: Congratulations on the success of your book, Peter.  What are couples going to find inside that will help them plan a terrific reception?

P: Engaged couples will find a fresh perspective on planning their wedding reception that has not been explored until now. “The Best Wedding Reception…Ever!” is the very first book to cover the subject of planning a creatively fun and entertaining reception celebration. They will learn some key things to look for when hiring their team of vendors. They will learn how to craft a smooth-flowing schedule of events. And they will be given 230 creative ideas for adding their own personal kind of fun to the various parts of their reception. In addition to all of that, they can read 22 real couple profile pages that feature each couple’s reception agenda and music selections.   

M: Many people have a bad opinion of DJs.  What are you doing to change their perception? 

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P: In my book, I don’t try to change people’s opinions of DJs. Instead, I have opted to give them a broader understanding of what should be expected from a professional wedding entertainment service (whether that be a band or a DJ or both) while giving them questions to ask and things to look for that will equip them to find the best qualified entertainment services for their needs. The bad opinion held of DJs has been largely caused by DJs themselves. Most see their job as a sideline venture instead of a career. Most have not sought out any serious performance oriented training. And most have a low view of the role they play in creating a truly and memorable event. This low view of their role and responsibility leads to low pricing and a low quality of service which has then created the overall negative perception that is held by the public about wedding DJs. 

M: That is so true.  But brides are on a budget these days.  Is entertainment really that important?

P: Only if you want your guests to have fun. Seriously…if a simple cocktail hour event with no festivities is all that is desired, then use an iPod. But if a smooth-flowing reception filled with the traditional festivities and that are completely enjoyable is what the bride and groom desire…then it is imperative that they find an entertainment vendor and a qualified master of ceremonies to help them make that happen. I had a wedding a few years ago where $4,000 worth of floral decoration never arrived. The bride and groom had a fantastic time with their friends and family and nobody complained that there were no flowers. If I had been the vendor who had failed to show up, their reception would have turned our much differently…even though it would have been better decorated. Examine what would happen if certain services were removed from the reception plan and it quickly will become apparent which services need to be given a high priority in the planning process.

M: I've already voiced my support for what you're doing.  And you have motivated many entertainers to step it up.  But I know there have been a few in the DJ community that don't agree with your style, or what you put into your couples receptions.  What is your reply?

P: They are more than welcome to keep giving each of their couples the same exact performance at each and every wedding. They may have 20 years of experience…but if they keep doing the same exact thing at each wedding, how have they made it special for each bride and groom they are servicing? We live in a Starbucks world. Those that still want to keep delivering only “cream and sugar” when today’s bride and groom are used to having 80,000 drink options at Starbucks will soon be left behind as the demand will follow the opportunity to create something truly personalized for each and every couple.

M: Great info, Peter. I'm thrilled that you were able to take the time to share some insight with us.   

To visit Peter Merry on the web, click here.  To direct any questions to me, call 816-200-1492 or use the contact form on my site!

Michael Lauren Weddings is an award winning Kansas City based DJ services specializing in Midwest and destination weddings.  Contact us today at michael@michaellaurenweddings.com  or 816-200-1492.