It’s Spotlight day, where we introduce you to Chuck Johnson of Classic Disc Jockeys and share the stories behind their company.
When people ask “what do you do?” how do you answer?
I help couples realize their dream reception by telling their story through music and unique entertainment ideas.
When and how did you get into the wedding industry?
I started working for a DJ company in Baltimore and then auditioned for Disney Weddings in the late 1990s when I moved to Florida. After I became a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding DJ, I expanded doing weddings to all of Central Florida.
How did your work evolve to get you to where you are today?
Early in my career, many couples said to me they felt receptions were very similar. One of my favorite phrases is: “Same is lame.”
I developed my Wedding Reception Blueprint from that (15 years on the making). It has over 20 unique ideas that couples can apply their personalities to, in addition to their great ideas, to make their reception one-of-a-kind.
What is your favorite thing about what you do? What’s your WHY?
My favorite part of what I do is when I get a giant hug at the end of the night. When I hear the words, “Thank you SO much. You made our best day even better!” Knowing you have an impact on people’s emotions is a big payoff.
Tell us about your most memorable event so far and why it was.
I got to DJ Bruce Hall’s wedding. Who’s Bruce Hall? He’s in REO Speedwagon. For their First Dance, I was given an unreleased single he wrote for his new wife… pretty amazing.
What’s the best part of your job?
Seeing people on the happiest days of their lives. I try to stay positive throughout life and this helps! I don’t know how funeral directors do their job in such circumstances. I have a lot of respect for them. But I could not do that at all.
What fun fact would people be surprised to learn about you?
I love roller coasters. So much that if I travel and have a choice to go to the local amusement park, OR see the most popular historical/cultural attraction, I’d probably choose the former.
What is the best compliment you’ve received from your clients?
It was a same-sex couple before gay weddings were legal. They cried at the end of the night, thanking me for making their more reluctant relatives feel relaxed and have a good time. Love is love, right?
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
I am a single-operator DJ, so you know who your DJ is. I don’t employ or contract out any other DJs and you won’t worry about who will show up to DJ a wedding.
What is the most unique service/product you offer?
I really like the Virtual Fireworks. They’re REAL fireworks for sure, but video projected onto an expansive wall during the Last Dance of the night. So, you can have fireworks, even when you can’t.
What types of events do you specialize in?
Weddings are 96% of what I do.
What makes your business stand out from others in your category?
I am a single-operator DJ… I don’t contract out other DJs under my name, or send someone to your wedding who you don’t know.
Tell us about your favorite type of engaged couple.
A couple that wants unique and memorable touches; not just a “jukebox” (haha). A couple who is really into making their reception about their personalities and not just doing what Pinterest tells them to do.
Why do couples hire you?
My website is extensive and has great entertainment advice even if they don’t hire me; I like to think its because they trust me.
What does your most popular package include?
Ceremony & cocktail music, full MC/DJ for reception, and lighting.
Tell us briefly about some of your package options. What is the price range for these packages?
Packages for basic DJ services start at $795. The most popular options are $995- $1095. Upgrades available are photo booth, uplighting, monogram projection, and virtual fireworks. These range from $200- $400, but I can put a package customized for each couple and budget.
Why do you think your business is successful?
Couples that DO understand that a DJ is key to a reception; guests may not remember the chicken or pasta they ate… but they WILL remember how much fun they had. I’m lucky that those couples seek me out and want the type of entertainment I can offer them.
Classic Disc Jockeys shares some helpful information for engaged couples…..
What is your best piece of advice for brides or grooms?
No matter who you hire in any category, hire someone who speaks to you. Hire someone who can help you realize your vision. DON’T hire a company that thinks their best feature is how cheap they are for you to hire.
This is right in my wheelhouse: everything a couple does to personalize their day. If the bouquet or garter toss does not fit your personality, dump it. The old rules do not apply; be bold in what you want.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about your vendor category?
That DJs just play music. Your MC/DJ/Host is responsible for the overall entertainment atmosphere… find that specific person who can handle that!
Name three unique venues that you enjoy working at and why.
1. Dubsdread Catering Venues (Dubsdread, Highland Manor, etc)- The team is AMAZING and puts the couple’s experience first.
2. Mission Inn– Such a unique “Hotel” venue… a hacienda or a marina are NOT your typical hotel ballrooms!
3. Paradise Cove– where else can you have a beach wedding in Orlando? Absolutely no hassle of driving an hour to the beach!
What some of their previous couples had to say….
“DJ Chuck was the perfect choice for our wedding!!! He was incredibly thorough leading up to our wedding in all of his communication with us and really took the time to get to know what we wanted for our reception. He listened to all of our requests and took them to heart, guiding us along the way to ensure that our night played out exactly as we wanted. He comes with tons of experience and knows how to structure receptions so that they have the perfect flow, down to the minute.
Our dance floor was packed all evening, and everyone had an amazing time! Chuck is welcoming, organized, experienced, and fun! He made our wedding reception everything we dreamed it would be, and we are extremely grateful for him!!!” – Jennifer Q., Estate on The Halifax
“In trying to save money where we could, our original plan was to play a Spotify playlist and have a friend or two MC for us during our ceremony. However, less than a month before the wedding we got cold feet on that plan and rushed to find a DJ to take care those duties at hopefully an affordable price point. Enter DJ Chuck.
From the get-go, Chuck and his services were exactly what we were looking for. As a couple planning their own wedding, we had run into unresponsive vendors (the worst) and always looked for someone who could answer our 1,001 questions in a timely manner in order for us to plan accordingly. Chuck was not only responsive, he was extremely fast in getting back to us and answered all of our questions and more, so we knew we had to have him at our wedding. It was the best decision ever to go with Chuck. Some additional highlights of his services included the following:
– Chuck gave us a survey to fill out so he could get to know our music tastes and our personalities as a couple. From that short set of information alone, he was able to create the musical background to our reception that totally fit our wishes and needs. We liked every single song that was played.
– It is very different attending a wedding versus being the couple getting married and it was so helpful to have Chuck give a few pointers throughout the evening. Everything from suggestions on how to kick off the reception to directing the photographers/videographers for our cake cutting portion, Chuck was on top of everything and really seemed to “narrate the evening”.
– Professional – Chuck’s wedding expertise is so apparent from the way his organized set up to the way he transitioned us through every point in the evening. He is a true professional in the field and our entire evening would have been lacking without him there.
– Flexible – Even though Chuck had sent a draft schedule of events by song for the evening, he was able to accommodate two special requests from our friends. The Maid of Honor rapped to “the Fresh Prince of Bel Air” for her speech and our friends pulled together a flash mob for us. Both were surprises to us and Chuck accommodated both requests with ease.
– In the process of searching for a DJ, we learned that the DJ is vastly important during the reception as the point person for both the catering and photo/video perspective. He is the one who helps keep the timing on track and is key to making sure the evening flows well. Chuck certainly made sure our evening progressed well
– We won’t give it away but Chuck had a special surprise for us at the end of the evening and it really was such a lovely way to wrap up a beautiful day.
The best indicator of success was the feedback from our friends who can’t stop raving about Chuck and how “the music and dancing was great”! At one point during the evening, there were so many people on the dance floor that the ground shook whenever they collectively jumped up and down! We even had a friend whose husband normally doesn’t dance at weddings but he did at our wedding because it was so much fun.” – Lydia T., Citrus Club
“DJ Chuck is rated number one for a reason!! If I could give him a higher rating here I would. DJ Chuck is different than most (in a great way!) — his talent and experience really shines throughout the night and he REALLY pays attention to detail. Example: During the cake cutting, he guided the moment and said “hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it!!” to remind us, and make sure, we held the “cake kiss” long enough that anyone that wanted that picture had time! He also put together a surprise for us (which I won’t spoil for the next couple!) that really brought an extra special touch and memory of the event. Even more, DJ Chuck really knew how to read the room and kept the party going!
We had a smaller wedding (~ 45 people) but even with the small crowd and the challenges that can bring, he had a full dance floor the majority of the night! If guests weren’t dancing (because they were eating) they were singing from their seats! I got so many compliments regarding the DJ, the music selections and the flow of the night. Everyone had such a great time! I had one guest in particular (who does wedding photography on the side) say to me “I’ve been to a lot of weddings recently and your DJ is seriously the best I’ve ever seen!” HIRE THIS DJ!! He is amazing!! Start to finish!” – Jaclyn S, Royal Crest Room
Watch some wedding videos….
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