Excerpt From ThePetalReport.com
Wedding Wednesday Spotlight – Stephen Darby
When it comes to wedding reception music, I am more of a band girl because I like the aspect of live music and interaction….BUT, if we are talking about Darby Events, then I am ALL for a DJ! Stephen Darby puts a very unique twist on the classic wedding DJ and it is incredible (you will see in some of his videos below). Now I don’t want to give too much away, but Stephen’s skills vary in many different spectrums. Find out how he got started and the hilarious requests he has gotten from client’s in his Wedding Wednesday Spotlight!
WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR COMPANY AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
- My company name is “Darby Events.” Since I was a little guy my friends and relatives have always just called me “Darby” and it still happens today in the industry. Its more or less become my first and last name so I felt it was appropriate to name my business, “Darby Events!”
- What I do is (hopefully) very unique in that I incorporate live piano instrumentation with my DJ sets. Wedding guests have never seen anything like it and its fun to watch how they respond and react to what I do. It’s taken a lot of work to fine tune my performance but its rewarding and been worth the effort. (It most certainly is unique and incredible to watch! If you are looking for a fun and different music experience for your wedding, Darby is the guy for you. -Cayleigh)
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A WEDDING DJ?
- I am a former classical pianist from the College of Charleston (GO COUGARS!!!) and started performing as a commercial DJ opening as the supporting act for nationally and internationally recognized artists. Music has always been in my blood and my training as a pianist has really helped with my transition in to DJing and performing. Now I channel all of this experience into high-energy weddings!
WHATS THE MOST UNIQUE THING YOU HAVE SEEN DONE AT A WEDDING?
- I DJ’d the wedding of professional fisherman and he arrived to his ceremony, on the water, in his tournament fishing boat.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF A WEDDING?
- My favorite aspect of weddings is the happy, up beat environment. This is one of the most important days in these couples and families lives and they are just so happy and excited to be celebrating the event itself. Its an amazing setting to be able to perform in and I gain a lot of momentum and satisfaction from seeing how happy my couples and their friends are on their special day.
WHAT TREND DO YOU HOPE LIVES ON FOREVER?
- That the “wedding of today” has no boundaries. There is no “right” way to plan and execute a wedding in 2016 and couples and planners are getting very creative to make each one different and special. The norms that people associate with what a wedding should be and what the event itself should contain, have dramatically shifted. A lot of things like the traditional garter removal, to bouquet tosses and so much more, are often deemed archaic and I really like that we finally live in a world where people can just be who they really are and have a wedding that they really want. (I couldn’t agree more. I love it that today it is encouraged to having something different from everyone else whereas beforehand, it may not have been.)
WHAT WEDDING SONG WOULD YOU BE OKAY IF IT WAS NEVER PLAYED AGAIN?
- YMCA by the Village People. It makes my ears bleed.
WHAT TREND DO YOU HOPE DIES TOMORROW?
- I’m not sure that this is exactly a trend, but I view it as a trend as it happens more and more every year. Simply put, guests using and abusing smart phones at weddings to take video and photos. The reason there are professional photographers and videographers at a wedding is because they are just that, professionals. When your ceremony photos have 17 cellphones in the air, not only does it look terrible in pictures and hinder the ability of the pros to perform a job, it shows that people can’t just enjoy what’s happening in the moment. For whatever reason they are taking this footage, I find it sad that people have to watch their friends and family say “I DO” through an iPhone screen. I promise it’s a much more HD picture when you use your own eyeballs, and can assure you that our photographers will provide you with media you will appreciate much more than what you shot with your smart phone. (Well said!)
IF YOU COULD DO ANY OTHER PROFESSION FOR A DAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
- Hands down, a pro golfer, hopefully the final day of the Masters.
IF YOU COULD GIVE ADVICE TO YOUR 21 YEAR OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
- SLOW. DOWN. I have spent the majority of my life working and performing, mostly on the weekends, and have missed a lot. When my friends were partying, at football games, and hanging out, I was practicing music and working. At times I regret not taking a moment to stop and enjoy life, friends and family, but know that I never would be where I am today without this type of work ethic. Its bittersweet.
WHAT IS THE MOST DRAMATIC OR OUTRAGEOUS SITUATION YOU HAVE FACED YET IN THIS INDUSTRY?
- This is a great question. I absolutely could write a book after what I have seen at almost 600 weddings, but its honestly a tie between 2 situations. The first being a wedding in Downtown Charleston where the father of the bride was not allowed on the property, but SOMEHOW snuck in, and came running down the aisle screaming his daughter’s/the bride’s name right in the middle of their ceremony. This was directly followed by her father being wrestled down by security and arrested by police – all in a matter of maybe 3 minutes. As this is all happening, the Ceremony continues and none of us missed a beat. The bride and her new hubby were pronounced husband and wife, I hit play for the processional song, and they both walked right past him while he was restrained, on the ground, in handcuffs. It was like a movie and the bride didn’t even bat an eye at was happening. I was very impressed with her and dumbfounded by what was happening.
- The second situation, we had a bride who had a little too much to drink before her wedding. She literally disappeared and when it came time for their first dance, no one could find her. One of her bridesmaids later discovered her asleep in the bridal suite. She had gotten sick, her dress was destroyed, and I literally just played music for her wedding guests until it was over as she was unable to participate in any part of the remainder of her wedding. Needless to say, it was very awkward!
WHAT IS THE LARGEST GUEST COUNT YOU HAVE WORKED WITH?
- 700-750 wedding guests.
WHAT KIND OF AWARDS HAVE YOU RECEIVED FOR YOUR WORK?
- I have been awarded 6 “Best Of” awards and a “Best Of Hall of Fame” award from the Knot.com
- I have 4 “Couples Choice” awards from Wedding Wire.Com
- I have won “Best DJ” awards twice from Borrowed and Blue.com
- I have been featured in 27 different weddings published in national publications including Vogue, Premier Bride, and Martha Stewart Weddings.
- I have had the opportunity to perform for numerous celebrities and politicians all over the nation and the world!
- Recently I was just featured and recognized by Billboard magazine in an article, being published this Fall, as one of the top 5 wedding DJs in the USA.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING SONG?
- Signed, Sealed Delivered by Stevie Wonder. It’s a timeless classic and Stevie Wonder was an incredible writer and pianist, probably one of my favorites. (One of my favorites! I just love that Stevie Wonder.)
WHERE IS THE COOLEST SPOT YOU HAVE DONE A WEDDING?
- It’s a tie – one being a private island in the Bahamas only accessible by helicopter or boat, or a wedding in LA for an amazing, very well-known actress with a guest list stacked full of actors ands actresses I have been watching on TV and in movies for years. By far the most star struck I have been to date.
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST REQUEST YOU HAVE GOTTEN?
- To DJ a nudist wedding on a boat in Cancun, Mexico. I politely declined. (LOLOLOL)
Isn’t his stuff incredible?! And that strange request….I was literally rolling on the ground laughing. Too funny! Thank you for sharing your experience and entertaining events with us, Stephen. Looking forward to our wedding together this coming September!