Wedding Business Story, Dream Day DJ’s Featuring Jake Ritchie

Dream Day DJ's Featuring Jake Ritchie

I met Jake Ritchie about 4 years ago after following him online for a couple of years. I knew that he was an in demand DJ booking lots of weddings and  that he was very well respected by his colleagues. Not an easy task in an industry that is highly competitive.  Jake is an incredible wedding industry leader and business mentor. He takes time to support his colleagues and I have tremendous respect for that. Weddings are a family affair at the Ritchie house, his beautiful wife Vivian has years of experience managing wedding and corporate event catering & banquets. I thought this was important to mention because they are industry partners and I think that offers a stronger element of support, knowledge and teamwork specific to weddings. For a small business owners, when you have a great team at home it shows in dependable, reliable service. Jake is a preferred dj for many of the most high profile wedding industry venues, they know him and they trust him! Now you can get to know a little more about him by reading our interview below. You can find him on Facebook and on his site, www.dreamdaydjs.com, he also has a special offer in Wedding In A Box and all couples who book this DJ are entitled to a free Wedding In A Box.

When did you start your business: “Originally in 1995 as Magnificent “J” Productions. Then I changed it in 2005 to brand better in the wedding market (Dream Day Djs)”

How much experience did you have in your field when you started: Nothing but a few free high school parties & mixed tapes (1992) I used to make for a DJ on a party boat in Miami, Fl.”

What sets your business apart from other similar providers: Ability to do fusion weddings, bringing superb beat mixing skills to the dancing portion of the evening, organization, being full-time with this career, editing & customizing music, our from scratch built client login area where couples can login in, fill out info & save their work, and grab ideas. The last thing I’d say is reputation.”

What unexpected challenges have you faced in running your own business?: “Holding many positions as a single operator. DJ, MC, sales manager, office secretary, finance director, tax preparer, you name it.”

What is the most rewarding part of running your business?: The end of weddings seeing how happy each client is. I have the one job where people actually will remember for the rest of their lives what I helped them accomplish.”

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Dream Day DJ Featuring Jake Ritchie at The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

What are some of the things you love most about being your own boss? Time! Time! Time! Flexibility and the freedom to incorporate my ideas without bias or limitations.”

Could you share some client/wedding moments that stand out to you?: I once did an event where the guest of honor was into the artists Skrillex. So at the peak of the evenings dancing, I ducked under the booth, changed into a black outfit, long hair, and shades (so I looked like the artist) and popped back up with the fog machines going for the dramatic effect. I did a set of the artists music mocking his moves. It was a pretty cool moment and a grand surprise for her!”.

Please share how you manage home and work? “My wife & I work through the day while my daughter attends day care. In the evenings and any days off on the weekend are primarily reserved for family.”

Do you have one favorite quote or saying that you would like to share with other business owners?:  “Be yourself, because an original is worth more than a copy”

Shadow Creek Weddings & Events

Dream Day DJ Featuring Jake Ritchie at Shadow Creek Weddings & Events

Do you have any talents or hobbies you would like to share? “I love to cook gourmet meals. I also am an avid competition chili cook. I have been in many competitions where I have won 1st, 2nd, & 3rd places for chili and salsas (some through the International Chili Society sponsored events). I am also an affiliate with a lucrative precious metals company and I am obsessed with cryptocurrencies and their current markets. I am also a former private investigator receiving my credentials in 2002 from the Central Training Academy in Chantilly, Va…When I lived in Florida, I was an extra and ad model. I had the privilege of being on the sets of the movies Bad Boys, The Specialist, and a few Latin soap operas.”

Do you have a proud accomplishment you would like to share? It would have to be my greatest success which has been maintaining a successful business for 22 years (DJ/MC).”

Is there a colleague or someone in the wedding industry that helped you along the way or has supported your business? “My inspiration as a young DJ was DJ Lazaro Mendez (DJ Laz) of Florida. His phenomenal sets on the radio inspired me to become a DJ. I also must give credit to the leaders in our industry that I have had the privilege of knowing and attending their courses). How could I forget one of my best friends in the business too John Howard. He is a DJ/MC and the one person I trust with 100% confidence. A true leader who goes out of his way to help people – that kind of inspiration carries over and I use it as much as possible!”

Is there an app, tech program, devise that helps you in business and you might like to share? Flarcon & Virtual DJ. These are programs that control my music and lighting. It eliminates lighting controllers, and bringing along crates of CDs!”

Please share a time or occasion where something went wrong on the job and you were able to step up and save the day? “The groom forgot his white oxford tux shirt, so we switched. I wore his T-shirt through the ceremony and he wore my dress shirt. I’d say it saved his marriage and his pictures! Haha”

Please share something you would like to share with brides & grooms to help educate them about the value of your services. “Favorite Movie, Book, Vacation Spot, Star, Band, – I’d say shop for an MC the same way you would shop for a DJ. Too many couples “just hire a DJ” and don’t even think about the Master of Ceremonies obligations. I have a blog that I wrote on this:  http://dreamdaydjs.com/tips/youre-looking-for-a-dj-but-what-you-really-need-is-an-m-c/

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