Tell us a little bit about your business.
DJ Jess is an intuitive and energetic vibe curator and performer who specializes in unique and creative weddings. Her connection-based wedding services are exceptional and have been recognized as the best by Pittsburgh Magazine.
DJ Jess has years of event and wedding experience, supplemented by an undergraduate degree in event coordination and marketing. She has DJ’d from Las Vegas to Pittsburgh, Atlantic City to Milwaukee, and interned at an event planning company in New York City. She is also a national conference speaker and writes for various online platforms. Her signature client experience and process includes a bit of magic and a heavy dose of connection to ensure that your wedding is a fresh concept and intentionally represents your unique love story.
What makes your work unique?
No two weddings are the same. Because my business is boutique-style, I spend an integral amount of time getting to know my couples, their musical tastes, and their wedding day vision. The clients I work with are not just clients; they are part of my DJ Jess family. The relationships frequently last longer than the service time.
I am constantly evolving and setting new goals for myself through professional development and nationwide performances. I pour my heart and soul into everything I do, and I truly believe it shows when I’m working at a wedding. Plus, I have this crazy intuition when it comes to people. I’m able to pick up on things and tap into what works best.
What is your ideal client like?
My ideal client lives either in Pittsburgh or has relocated to a bigger city, like New York or D.C. They enjoy nature, coffee shops, supporting local and small businesses, going to concerts, traveling, and spending their weekends looking for new adventures. They may be an entrepreneur, in a creative field, or simply enjoy working with people. Music is a large part of their wedding day, and they want to have a say in what’s played, mixed with letting me have creative ability.
They also believe in magic.
My ideal client also wants their wedding day to be unique; instead of following typical traditions, they have ideas about special moments and creative twists they want to collaborate on and pursue.
How do you get to know a couple’s taste in music?
We talk about it during our first discovery call because I want to be sure our music styles vibe. I have an assortment of discovery activities included in the client experience that help peel back the musical layers of my couples. I won’t share exactly what they are, because they are exclusive to my clients, but I will say that it does involve choosing what artists you would see at a music festival.
During the final wedding meeting, we explore my discovery and expand as needed. I check out their Spotify and Apple Music lists to pick up on clues to their musical styles. I use an app called Vibo to plan and collect information also.
How do you motivate guests to get on the dance floor?
During cocktail hour, I’ll take some risks with song selection and watch what people do. This is when I gain their trust and feel out their vibe. During dancing, I choose the right songs at the right time and tap into the crowd’s energy to provide what they need. My mixing skills allow me to elevate the experience and set the scene flawlessly for guests to enjoy the best parts of their favorite songs and remind them of tracks they forgot about. I also make sure to frequently go dancing myself so that I can constantly stay connected to the result I’m striving for as a DJ, which is as many people on the dance floor as possible.
How would you describe your emcee style?
Authentic without the cheese. I talk like I’m talking all of the time, but a bit slower and with a few bigger words. If you are yourself and do not MC like you’re talking “at” someone, but rather “with” them, the experience is much greater. I will keep your guests informed about what’s going on, I interact in a way that supplements the moment, and I know when to shush up and let the moment speak for itself. I also work in pieces of my “Mindful MCing” strategy that encourages guests to be present so the day feels and lasts longer.