Tell us a little bit about your business.
Hi! I’m DJ Thomas P. Walter. Thanks for visiting my little corner of Burgh Brides. I’ve been a wedding DJ in Pittsburgh since 2012, and decided to make it my full-time job in 2014. Since then, I’ve had the honor to be part of hundreds of weddings and have met some seriously awesome people along the way.
The dance party is, of course, my favorite part of weddings because it allows me to showcase the DJ skills and musical knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years. I consider myself to be a student of the DJ culture, and am on a lifelong quest to learn about new equipment and techniques. I treat ceremonies and announcements with just the right amount of sophistication, but am eager to turn the dance floor into a sweaty rager.
DJing is the product of my continuing love for music complimented by college studies of broadcast journalism and information technology. I’m thankful every day that I get to use my passions to bring joy to people of all ages and make a living while doing it.
In my experience, the DJ/emcee is the keystone that ties everything together at a wedding. It is so important to me to work as a team with all of the other vendors to make sure the event runs smoothly.
What makes your work unique?
I’m not some big company that uses a bunch of salesy rhetoric. For my business, in addition to DJing, I am the receptionist, planner, web and graphic designer, social media manager, etc etc…you get the point. I’m a firm believer in transparency as well, especially with pricing and offering work samples on my website.
I treat every wedding like the Super Bowl; each event is not just another day at the office. I advocate for my couples and treat everyone as though they were my family and close friends. I love to do research about music and cultural traditions when new opportunities arise.
Technology plays a big part of my DJ setup, which includes my own WiFi network to allow me to control lights and audio through an iPad. I also use turntables to seamlessly blend each track into the next. All planning information is housed in an online planning system that can easily be accessed anytime using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
I’m available throughout the planning process to meet as many times as my couples would like. They can see my calendar and easily set up in-person, video, or phone meetings at any time using an online portal.
What is your ideal client like?
I love couples that understand the value of hiring top quality vendors for their wedding. They trust me to execute the plan we created together and know that I am always acting with their best interests in mind. I appreciate couples that add their own personal flair to the standard wedding traditions. I identify most with people who have a love for travel, good food, good drinks, going to concerts, and a love for animals.
How do you get to know a couple’s taste in music?
Aside from directly asking what music they listen to in our initial consultation, I have a specific line of questions that I go through in our final meeting. It’s my goal to not only find out the couple’s music preferences, but also ask what music their families and friends like. I also ask if there are any family traditions or inside jokes to be aware of. My online planning system allows couples to enter a list of must-play songs, play-if-possible songs, and do-not-play songs. The do-not-play list is equally as important as the must-play list.
How do you motivate guests to get on the dance floor?
This all starts during the planning phase when I delve into what music will motivate the couple and guests to dance. I like to chat with the guests and wedding party to gain an even better understanding of everyone’s musical taste. I’m not the type of DJ that gets out on the dance floor and teaches the Cupid Shuffle or pulls guests out of their seats — instead, I speak to the crowd with the music. I’ve had the honor of entertaining many different types of crowds in my time as a DJ. That experience, coupled with my extensive knowledge of music and technical skills on the turntables, allows me to read the room and create constant mix of the right music. Dead air is my worst enemy.
How would you describe your emcee style?
My voice is highly adaptive to the vibe of the event. Emotional intelligence is a big part of being a wedding DJ. This translates through my style and reading the crowd on the dance floor. If someone gives a heartfelt speech at a wedding, it may not be appropriate to ask for a round of applause with a sports announcer voice. I pride myself on knowing what to say, when to say it, what to play, and when to play it. I try not to be overly talkative on the mic while still keeping the guests informed of the various events throughout the reception.