Today’s featured Pittsburgh wedding vendor is DJ Eric Schiemer of Schiemer Entertainment. First order of business: Eric’s last name rhymes with dreamer. Not shiner. I’m embarrassed that I had this wrong for a very, very long time.
Let’s hear from Eric!
How long have you lived in the Pittsburgh area?
I’ve been here my whole life. I was born and raised in Beaver County, and moved to Moon Township when I got married. There’s something special about Western Pennsylvania that you just can’t find anywhere else.
How did you get started as a DJ?
When I was 13 my best friend and I tried to start a radio station from my bedroom by collecting every record and tape we could get our hands on. When that didn’t work out, I continued to DJ for anyone that would listen. Finally when I was 15 I played my first “professional” gig. I couldn’t even drive myself to the venue, but was hooked immediately.
Would your teenage self be surprised to hear you’re a wedding DJ?
I’m sure he’d be blown away how DJing grew from being a fun hobby to the full-fledged business it is today.
How has your approach to being a DJ changed since your first year?
The biggest change for me has been learning to put my focus on what matters most to my clients. My style used to be very formulaic. I’d play the same songs at every wedding, with a few selections from the bride and groom. It started to feel mundane to me. That was when I decided to change thing up, and let couples take complete control over their music. My clients have access to my song collection, and are able to customize their itinerary and entertainment to fit their own personalities and styles. I listen to their preferences and priorities so I can help make their wedding day exactly how they wish. I love that every wedding I play is unique.
Do you DJ anywhere besides weddings, events, parties, etc?
I’m happy to say that I am a wedding DJ only. I love the chance to work with couples and to be part of these once-in-a-lifetime celebrations!
What’s the most common misconception people have about the role of a wedding DJ?
Many people think that DJ’s “just play music,” and are surprised about the level of detailed planning I’m involved with throughout the wedding day. Unless a couple has hired a high quality wedding planner, it’s my responsibility not only to keep the reception moving smoothly, but to be sure everyone is ready for a dance or event before I make an announcement. I make sure that parents, photographers, and caterers are ready before I notify guests that something is about to happen.
What kinds of challenges do venue setups create for you (high ceilings, strangely shaped rooms) and how do you tackle these challenges?
Pittsburgh has some of the most beautiful and historic wedding venues, some of which can prove to be acoustically challenging without the proper equipment. I use the newest professional sound system by Bose, which not only sounds amazing in these spaces, it doesn’t require a lot of extra space. I also bring wireless speakers which can be placed discreetly anywhere for truly challenging locations.
Your goal as DJ is to create a great experience for brides, grooms and guests in the here and now, while the photographer’s focus is what will make great photos. Many people may not realize that DJs can have a significant impact on how well the photographer can do their job! How do you approach working with photographers (or videographers)?
It’s my job to coordinate throughout the wedding with ALL the vendors involved. I want to make sure we’re on the same page so there are no surprises or disappointments for the bride & groom on their wedding day. During the reception, I make sure everyone is ready and focused before starting the introductions, dances or any other event.
What does your setup look like?
I put a lot of focus on maintaining a clean, elegant setup which doesn’t look out of place at the reception. My equipment is meticulously maintained and any clutter is removed for the venue long before guests arrive.
Do you offer additional services (photography, video, uplighting)?
The two additional services I offer are ceremony music/microphones and uplighting. The uplighting has been amazingly popular. I use wireless fixtures which can change colors throughout the evening. This really offers a lot of flexibility for couples to get creative with the lighting. As for photo/video, I offer to take some candid images which I post on my website blog, but there is no charge for that since I’m not a professional.
There’s no song I wouldn’t play if a Bride & Groom requested it.
Favorite “last song”?
Frank Sinatra “The Last Dance”
First dance song when you got married?
Eric Clapton “Wonderful Tonight”
First concert you attended?
The Monkees 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert
Papa J’s in Carnegie
Christina Montemurro Photography specializes in photographing Pittsburgh weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. Using a photojournalistic approach, Christina provides extraordinary attention to detail and customer service. Christina loves to work with happy couples who want to look their best in their wedding photos, but still look like themselves, not models in a styled shoot for a wedding magazine.
Contact Christina now to check availability for your engagement session, wedding, bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah. Christina has been rated among top Pittsburgh wedding photographers. You can read reviews by Christina’s past brides and grooms here and here. Some of Christina’s favorite venues include the Carnegie Museum, Heinz History Center, Edgewood Club, Edgewood Country Club, Hotel Monaco, Omni William Penn Hotel, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square, PNC Park and Twelve Oaks Mansion.
Christina is also available to shoot weddings in Bucks County, including Doylestown, Chalfont, New Hope, Yardley, Newtown, Warminster, Warrington, Bedminster and Pipersville.