DJ Evan Reitmeyer was a DJ long before he even knew it – somehow he always ended up picking the music at friends’ parties. When a career in IT opened up the opportunity to try his hand as a professional DJ, he took a chance and found a profession he truly loves. Evan has been one of the Baltimore and DC area’s top-requested wedding DJs for over 15 years, and we asked him to share his thoughts on being a DJ – here’s what he said!
What is your relationship with music? What does it mean to you?
“Oh, man… Music is a such a huge part of my life, it’s hard to even put it into words. I grew up in church choirs and was a singer all through high school and college, and after college I got a job working at a big DJ agency in the area. After one of their DJs bailed on a gig, I got the chance to fill in and absolutely fell in love with being a DJ. Music is the soundtrack we live our lives to – a song can transport you through space and time the same way as the smell of your grandma’s pie – which makes music something truly magical.”
What do you enjoy about being a wedding DJ?
“When I was just starting out as a DJ, I did all types of events – graduation parties, school dances, company picnics, and a few years doing bars and nightclubs – and there’s nothing else like weddings as a DJ. At most events, the DJ is a sideshow at best, and is normally completely forgettable and nobody really cares what they do. That’s definitely NOT the case for weddings. At weddings, the DJ can literally make (or ruin) the entire reception, and everyone cares what they do – especially the couple getting married. It’s the only work I’ve found as a DJ that’s intellectually challenging, creatively rewarding, and something that’s meaningful and important to people’s lives.”
What’s your favorite kind of couple/crowd to work with?
“I’m a fan of variety, so I like playing for pretty much anybody. I’d say my favorite couples are the ones who just want to make sure their wedding is a great dance party, regardless of whether they pick a lot of music or leave the choices up to me. When I show up to play, I always want a packed dance floor and for everyone to leave drunk and sweaty – if my clients are on the same page then it makes things so natural and easy because everyone wants the same thing!”
What’s the best one or two pieces of advice you give to couples?
“Pay no attention to tradition! There’s no “right way” to do a wedding, only what’s right for you as a couple. Everyone you know will have an opinion (and will probably share it with you) on every aspect of your wedding, from the food to the music. Trust your own instincts and make it your own, forget about everyone else.
The other piece of advice I have is simple: Put together a great team. The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is worry about anything or spend time making decisions and answering questions. Hire a great team of wedding professionals that you can trust and let them figure it out. I can tell you after almost 1,500 weddings that almost no weddings go exactly according to plan – there’s almost always adjustments that need to be made during the event. Good, experienced wedding pros know what to do and how to solve problems on the fly – if you hire good people then you’ll save yourself a lot of stress on your big day!”
What are some fun or interesting things about you that couples might want to know?
“I’m a serial entrepreneur and my passion is creating and building businesses, which I happily do all day every day alongside the love of my life, Laura Cannon of Ceremony Officiants. I lost almost 100lbs in 2012 after becoming a vegetarian, and I love spicy food – especially Indian and Thai. I love spending time with my kids Colin (11), Alex (8) and Satori (4) which normally consists of epic LEGO building sessions and lots of playgrounds. Other than that you can find me reading something deep or geeking out on the latest SEO techniques, or on a hike if it’s warm outside – I don’t do the cold!”