There's an allure and magic the Cirque du Soleil evokes. From the sequined costumes to the unexpected maneuvers to the acrobatic feats, they effortlessly leave their audiences in awe. While booking Cirque du Soleil for your wedding may not be a possibility, you are still able to draw from its lineage by considering Luminary Entertainment Company to wow your guests and leave them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience at your wedding.
DJ Josh got to chat with Luminary owner and performer, Lydia Faith. She shares about all of the different entertainment options they can provide (from aerialists to stilt walkers, fire dancers to mermaids), how her life experience set her up to start her own company, and some things that would be good to know as a guest watching one of their performances. They also talked about their favorite moments in a wedding, how they both had choreographed First Dances, and their least favorite Office character. DJ Josh also shared his philosophy on guest requests and how he tackles the Open Dance Set.
Make sure to click that subscribe button, so you don't miss an episode. And if you haven't left a review, DJ Josh would appreciate it! He might even read it on a future podcast! To reach DJ Josh, email him at [email protected].
The intro and outro for this Highlight Weddings & Events Podcast were both edited and produced by DropHouse Voiceover Production Studio and Tony Tee Neto, Voiceover Artist & Audio Producer. For more info on branding elements, editing, and post-production services, visit http://drophouse.com.
The song used for the intro and outro for this episode is Crush by https://audiohub.com License: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:00:00] This is season two episode 12 of make your wedding a highlight. My name is DJ Josh from Highlight Weddings and Events, my guess today is Lydia Faith, Luminary Entertainment Company.
Tony Tee Neto: [00:00:11] If you're getting ready to or already in the process of planning your wedding, you've come to the right place. DJ Josh owner of Highlight Weddings and Events interviews other local 30A wedding pros to offer insight about how to make your wedding a highlight.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:00:29] Well, hello everyone. Thanks for checking out the podcast. Again, my name is DJ Josh with Highlight Weddings and Events, and I have a super awesome guest with me today. Her name is Lydia Faith from Luminary Entertainment Company. How are you doing today, Lydia?
Lydia Faith: [00:00:44] Hey, I'm doing great. How are you?
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:00:45] I'm doing awesome. It is a Wednesday. No, it's Tuesday time slows down when you're in the wedding business, I guess
Lydia Faith: [00:00:53] Time ceases to have meaning when you're tired.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:00:56] Yeah, especially when you can have an event any day of the week, so it throws a wrench into your concept of time. So, how has your wedding season been so far?
Lydia Faith: [00:01:06] Shockingly busy. I'm super excited that people are able to still have their weddings especially ones that were delayed last year are getting to happen now. So it's nice that people are getting to have their big moment.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:01:18] Totally. I've talked to a fair amount of either wedding professionals or wedding company owners, and they have said something along the lines of, they're basically planning two years of weddings in 2021 because of the postponements and just people that are looking to get married this year.
Wedding season, both in the spring and the fall are going to be very busy, but like I've told many people, if I could do a wedding every day, I would be very tired, but I would be very fulfilled. love being a part of weddings. One, they're just fun to be a part of, but it's really special to be a part of a couples first day as a couple, starting their life together and just having all their, family and friends around them, celebrating how they've gotten to that point and what they are looking forward to in the future.
Lydia Faith: [00:02:08] Yeah. It's really nice to be part of their brand new start together. And they're deciding who they want to be as a couple and how they're going to move forward together. And it's super flattering when they want us to be a part of that.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:02:18] How did you get to where you are now in your career? What brought you on this trajectory?
Lydia Faith: [00:02:24] I have loved to dance since I was five years old and my mom put me in tap and ballet classes and I didn't tie my tap shoe on correctly. We were doing high kicks and my shoe flew across the room. And after that I was hooked.
I've done one weird style of dance or another my entire life. If I get a chance I'm going to do it. So spring dancing, Irish, step dancing, Contra dance. I had tried pole dance and was teaching at studio X, which was a women's pole dancing studio in North Carolina and the owner was like, "Hey, you should try this aerial dance thing. I bet you to really like it."
And so I took a couple of classes at Airborne Aerial Fitness, in North Carolina, and absolutely fell in love because it's so athletic. but adds a whole new element to being able to dance and express yourself. And it's so hard, but you can't even tell when someone does it right.
And then I moved from North Carolina down to the Emerald Coast because they said the beaches were beautiful and they were not wrong. And I was fortunate enough to get to train under this amazing aerialist, Leslie Vaughn who left to join Cirque de Solei. But, I got to continue my aerial training, which was really lucky. And then I wanted to perform, but there were no opportunities down here to perform aerial. So I started my own company. so you know, me and my girlfriends could get together and put on sequined outfits and get to dance.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:03:36] There's nothing wrong with getting together with your girlfriends to dress up. So that sounds like a good time.
What's Contra dance? That stuck out to me as something that I'd never heard of before.
Lydia Faith: [00:03:45] If you think of square dancing, it's done in squares where there are four couples and they each stand across from each other in a box formation. Contra dance is done in lines. Each person has a partner which can stand across from them or next to them. And they interact with the entire line. So you and your partner will progress down the line so that you interact with everyone.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:04:04] So it's kind of like what they did in like, France, like the Royal dances where it's, they're all in lines. Is that kind of what that is? Or is that something different?
Lydia Faith: [00:04:12] There is English country dancing, which is similar, but at a slower pace. Contra dance really focuses on momentum. And if you get a good partner, they'll really sling you around, but might, I'm not sure what you're referring to but it sounds like it could be similar.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:04:24] Okay. I don't know much about dance at all,
Lydia Faith: [00:04:27] You leave that to your wife?
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:04:28] Yes. I leave that to my wife. She is definitely more of the accomplished dancer. She was in Tops In Blue for a year. And she even took Fred Astaire classes for a period of time before we met. And fun fact, our first dance was choreographed. so it was, Quando, Quando, Quando by Michael Buble and Nelly Furtado. It was a Rumba. Yeah. Brave slash stupid in my case, because I'm not an accomplished dancer nor do I have great body, awareness.
Lydia Faith: [00:04:58] I mean, neither does my husband, but he crushed our first wedding dance.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:05:01] Nice! Was yours choreographed as well,
Lydia Faith: [00:05:03] yeah, that was, the one thing that was important to me was that we had a dance because I think that dancing together is something that's so intimate and romantic and cooperative and things like that. And so he focused less on the footwork and more on throwing me up in the air as high as possible because he knew that it would make me quietly panic.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:05:17] Gotcha. And just for couples that are listening to this, you don't have to have a choreographed dance. The cool thing about having your wedding is it is your wedding for both Lydia and my wife, Rhoda, having a choreographed dance was important, but doesn't mean you have to go to that extent for your first dance.
Lydia Faith: [00:05:36] Yeah. I second that all the way don't give yourself homework that isn't important to you.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:05:40] So speaking of a couple's wedding, what excites you about being a part of a couple's wedding event team?
Lydia Faith: [00:05:46] So this is kind of funny, but weddings, I feel like are the wild, wild West of events where anything can happen. It's a couples brand new start. And so there's a whole lot of romance and whimsy involved and it's a culmination of a lot of planning. so they're usually just set in beautiful areas. And so of course we love to perform in that and have gorgeous backgrounds and everybody's there to have a good time.
But they're tricky too, because there's so many moving parts and they're not always flawlessly coordinated. So for us, we have to think on our toes and adapt, which is why I call it the wild wild West, because I prepare as much as possible beforehand. I pack everything into my Cirque Mobile. And then as soon as I get there, I just expect the schedule to go entirely out the window.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:06:23] Being a wedding professional is definitely have the plans set, but being ready to adapt.
Lydia Faith: [00:06:29] What do they say? Have the plan, but don't be in love with the plan.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:06:32] Something like that. I usually will come with extra. Everything, for the equipment that I have just in case something isn't working. For instance, I always make sure I have two wireless microphones. One, because if I have one and there's one for toast then it's easier for me to make announcements and not have to walk out and hand the mic to somebody who's giving a toast.
But also there was a wedding a few months back where one of the microphones for whatever reason was not cooperating. So then I was able to just give them mine to use it for the toast. So you never want to have something be a limiting factor to where if it doesn't work, then you're like, "Oh, now what do I do?"
Lydia Faith: [00:07:10] Yeah. There's no room for error because everything is on such a tight timeline. And usually everything's happening in front of a bunch of eyes. So as soon as one mic doesn't work, it's super nice to just have a quick backup that you can immediately pivot to. We do the same thing where we just bring any kind of backup: backup costumes in case something happens or someone doesn't like what we're wearing or LED props if we're not able to do fire dancing just in case. I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:07:35] Absolutely. And I can imagine that there have been some venues where the venue was not aware that there was going to be fire dancing
Lydia Faith: [00:07:42] We really strive hard to make sure that that's not an issue. And so often I will speak directly to the venue for aerial or fire dancing gigs, just so that they're aware of all the elements and all of the safety things and precautions that we take to make sure that their venue stays in great condition and none of the guests will be endangered. But sometimes even just the weather doesn't cooperate. That's usually what we have to pivot for a lot.
But yeah, weddings are always really fun too. Cause then you get pulled into other random things. Once we helped to present the wedding cake because they couldn't find staff.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:08:10] Oh, cool.
Lydia Faith: [00:08:11] So me and my girl were just Vanna White-ing.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:08:13] No, but that's a really unique thing. I mean, I've never worked at a wedding where there were aerialists to begin with. But that's just a really impromptu, but a special moment that not only the couple, but the rest of their guests are going to be like, "Man, you remember that wedding where they had girls that were showing off the cake?" that's something that's going to be with everybody at the wedding for most of their lives.
Lydia Faith: [00:08:35] That's a lovely thing to say. I would like to think that they would find our performance more
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:08:40] memorable. Well, yeah. I'm sorry. But that's just a super unique thing that never happens. even if it was unplanned, I'm all about making the wedding a unique experience for everyone.
Lydia Faith: [00:08:53] Yeah. We're really good at that.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:08:55] Well then that brings me to my next question. How do you and luminary help make a couple's wedding a highlight?
Lydia Faith: [00:09:02] We offer one of a kind entertainment with unique services that guests and the wedding couple probably will never see at another wedding. Just like you had said, you've been to over 80 weddings and you never been to one with an aerialist in it, which is a darn shame. And I'm really sorry for you. But we have such a great opportunity to give you a standout memory of your evening and something all your guests are going to talk about and then pose for pictures with.
It's kind of a thing you can put in your wedding album later, too. Instead of just the lovely photos of the husband and wife looking at each other and you know, all the friends and family, but it's even cooler if you have someone hanging upside down in the background of that.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:09:36] Totally. What would be some good things for couples to know before reaching out to you?
Lydia Faith: [00:09:41] Although we perform aerial and fire dancing, we don't consider what we do risky because we're all about mitigating danger and taking small, acceptable risks.
So for every few minutes of performance that you see, we've had years of practice to achieve that. We work incredibly hard to make our entertainment like effortless and be safe. We have the blooper reels to prove it. And this is helpful for venues to know as well, because obviously nobody wants a random out of control fire at their wedding. Actually, there probably are a couple of people that would think that was a unique story, but that's not what we're going for. For aerialists as well, you know, we just want to be able to give you effortless entertainment that you don't have to worry about. You know that professionals are going to show up, be on time, have everything they need, have a couple of things that you didn't even think of that you can use.
I've been on hand when the bride is like, "Oh my God. I need a safety pin." And I was like, "Girl, what color?
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:10:28] Nice.
Lydia Faith: [00:10:29] So, that's kind of our strategy for weddings is to just be effortless and unique and lovely, but not upstage anybody just fit in around the edges of the event to create this beautiful atmosphere on what is hopefully going to be the most magical day of your life.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:10:45] And that's a, similar philosophy for me. A lot of people have the stereotype of a DJ, always being on the mic, making the party about them. But I realize that it's not about me. I am acting as the facilitator of the events.
Lydia Faith: [00:11:01] Yes. You're the host, you set the mood. You're critical.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:11:04] I want to make sure that everyone is where they need to be for the next moment that's going to happen. But not just being like the center of attention where I make it completely about me. Even during the, dancing portion, I will interject on the mic just to bring the energy up if we're getting to the part of a song where it's going to be a high energy part to make the room explode even more. But outside of that, I prefer to pick the points where if I'm on the mic, it's going to have the most impact possible. Because it's the same thing. Like when you're cooking a little bit of spice is great, but once you use it too much, then you just have a diminishing return. It's either you're having chicken with your Curry, where it's just so overpowering that else really comes out of the dish. I'd much rather, play minor role and allow the couple and their guests to be the main actors in the reception.
Lydia Faith: [00:12:00] Yeah. And it's a delicate balance, but you know when you have a good DJ and they're just the tour guide to add little touches, to bring the energy up, bring it down, like they should tell you with the music before they tell you with their mouth what's going to happen next. And you know, when you have a good DJ. You definitely know when you have a bad DJ.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:12:16] Yes. Yes, you do.
Lydia Faith: [00:12:18] We've been to a lot of events. We've experienced both.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:12:21] Oh, that makes me sad.
Lydia Faith: [00:12:22] There's an online meme for performer bingo.
And one of them is, "Has a DJ ruined everything?"
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:12:28] Oh no.
Lydia Faith: [00:12:29] It's happened to all of us.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:12:31] Yeah. And that's the unfortunate thing about being in that position is everything comes out of the music that's being played in how you interact on the mic. and you don't get redos you just kind of have to whatever happens, happens.
One of the things I will do, the day of the wedding is I will either to myself or to my wife say who the couple is getting married. And I will do it multiple times and even while I'm setting up, I'll be like, " Molly and Lucas are getting married today." Or when I'm doing the sound check, I'll be like, "Oh, it's Molly Lucas's wedding." Just so that once I am referring to the couple or to their guests and saying whose wedding it is, I've already ingrained that in my brain. Especially if I have weddings in back to back days, I don't want to unintentionally reference a previous wedding. So that helps me get in the same mode.
Lydia Faith: [00:13:24] Yeah. I love all your strategies.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:13:26] Thanks. So, what are some fun facts about Luminary Entertainment Company?
Lydia Faith: [00:13:30] One fun thing that you may not know is that we actually want you to cheer for us during our performances.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:13:35] Okay.
Lydia Faith: [00:13:35] I think a lot of people are afraid that they're going to interrupt our focus and maybe we'll fall or burn ourselves or something like that. Uh, no. Please cheer. We want to know that you're having a great time and that you're enjoying a show. It's really disheartening to perform to a silent crowd.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:13:48] Yes, it is.
Lydia Faith: [00:13:49] Yeah. You know, and I mean, during trainings, we scream all sorts of things at each other.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:13:53] Actually the hardest event as a DJ is when there's nobody there. There's not that conversation of me playing a song and then getting a feel for whether or not the crowd or the guests are enjoying it.
Lydia Faith: [00:14:07] Yeah. There's no conversation. There's no balance or transition of energy. We have same issue. when we perform and there's the same three people and you're dancing around on stilts, but unfortunately there's only so much that you can do that they haven't seen before. And again, that's when bringing backup props comes in handy because then we can bring a new element to our performance.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:14:26] Another challenge is when it's more just the crowd or the guests aren't really engaged or got like different things that are going on. And I'm thinking more like the nightclub experience.
Lydia Faith: [00:14:37] Yeah. I'll tell you it is not just limited to nightclubs. We have performed at many an event where people were trying too hard to look cool. And so it looks like no one is watching us the whole night. And then as soon as we went to pack up and leave, everyone came over and wanted pictures and were like, "Oh my God. We've really enjoyed watching you." And we're like, "When?" Teenagers are the best though. We've done a couple of proms, and they don't know how to handle interactive entertainment. Or like a stilt walker being in their area. So everyone just pretends it's not there.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:15:06] Oh, uh, well, I mean, when you're at that point in your life, it's not cool to be expressive or not as cool, especially when you have all your peers around you. and you're also dealing with just figuring out who you are as being a teenager is the hardest part of life.
Lydia Faith: [00:15:23] I would not go back for anything. I am so excited to embarrass my little girl.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:15:28] Oh, Oh. I DJ'd Freeport high school's prom. And that was the first school dance I've ever done. And it was so cool because just kind of an embarrassing fun fact about me.
Lydia Faith: [00:15:40] Oh, those are the best kind.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:15:41] I never went to any of my high school dances because I was too afraid to ask a girl out. So I've never experienced that. And what really impressed me the most is that the students actually enjoyed slow dancing. I was expecting to have to really bring a lot of higher energy music and I got multiple requests for, "Hey, can we dance to, um, 'Got What I Got' by Jason Aldean?" Or "Can you put on a Chris Stapleton song? And I'm like, "Heck. Yeah!" it was just really a surprising, rewarding feeling for me because I'm like, they appreciate, being able to share that kind of moment with someone that they, love, or they have feelings for.
Lydia Faith: [00:16:22] Well, speaking as someone who did attend prom as a teenager and has attended prom as an adult entertainer, just last Saturday, my Ariel mermaid was performing and I heard a girl walk past and she was like, "I lost my date, my feet hurt and I'm hungry." And I was like, "Girl, that's prom. You're doing it right."
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:16:40] So other than that prom, what are some other memorable and unique moments that you have been able to be a part of?
Lydia Faith: [00:16:47] It's not the most showy story. We do a lot of shows where we're sequins and fire and all kinds of lighting and light up costumes and things like that. But one of my favorite performances was one of the first acts that I had a new entertainer doing, and she was performing at a couple's wedding. She got to pick a song that was really personal to her and also was loved by the wedding couple. So it was just really special in that way as well. Her husband actually came as our assistant that evening.
She got to perform this gorgeous aerial dance on the silks, and we had these white silks flying around and she's spinning in the air and her husband's watching. And I could just tell that she was dancing from her heart for her husband and for everyone there. And they've been together for I think 20 years now.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:17:33] Wow.
Lydia Faith: [00:17:33] Just seeing that love bond so clear even when one person is, 25 feet away and dancing and the look on his face while he's filming her, I'm actually tearing up right now, just talking about it. But it was such a beautiful and special moment. And I find it really fun to remember that sometimes it's the dances with heart, the performances that are a little bit quieter, just like you were saying with the students that are a little bit slower, that aren't as showy, but give you time to really appreciate what's in front of you that are the most memorable to me.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:18:03] That makes me think of before grand entrance happens, I always go out to make sure that the bridal party's in the right order. And then once I have them all lined up, I ask the couple how they're doing. and. sometimes, either the bride or the groom or both, they're like, "Oh, well, we really don't want to be in front of everybody that long, so just keep it short." But, I always tell them, I will err on the side of playing the whole song. If you feel like you've had your moment and you're ready to move on, just give me a wink or a nod and I can fade out and then move on to the next moment that's going to happen. Usually it's the Father-Daughter dance.
Lydia Faith: [00:18:38] How lovely that you put that control into their hands.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:18:42] Why is because what I've found, is specifically for the First Dance, this is the first time in the entire wedding where they've gotten the opportunity to be alone together and I'm actually getting goosebumps right now, just describing it because, the wedding for the bride specifically, you're up at like six o'clock in the morning, getting hair and makeup done, pictures, et cetera, et cetera. The groom's off getting dressed, getting pictures as well. You're hustling around. The first time you see each other will either be the first look or when the bride walks down the aisle. And then you've got pictures after that. You're running here and there.
So the first dance, everything goes away other than the person you're dancing with and the song that's playing and time has a weird way of slowing down or speeding up. When you're out on the dance floor, that song that you think is like, "Oh, man. This is going to be so long. The guests are going to be so bored." It's over before you even realize it. And I never want to rob the couple or the father and daughter when they're dancing or the mother and the son, when they're out on the dance floor, of a moment that they weren't expecting to have.
Lydia Faith: [00:19:54] You got to make space for the magic to happen.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:19:57] So, yeah, I always, tell them, "Let me know when you feel like you've had the moment, because that's just something that you will never forget. And I don't want to fade out and then make an announcement and then have them turn at me like, " Hey, What's going on?" kind of thing, I want it to be about them
Lydia Faith: [00:20:13] And how jarring, if you've really fallen into that moment and giving yourself away and then to have it kind of stripped away really abruptly, it would be like being woken up with a cold bucket of water.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:20:21] Right. I also appreciate when things are simpler as well. There's something beautiful about stripping back where less is really more. And then I realize it's kind of a cliche, but I've noticed with wedding cakes, for example. Sometimes they'll put like flowers in them, but there's not as much elaborate or ornate decoration to them any more or that's, kind of been like the trend or a transition. And just decor in general it's kind of been more not as flashy or showy. A little pop here and there that will act more like an accent if you will.
Lydia Faith: [00:20:53] Yeah. I've been to a lot of weddings at the Barn at Water Oaks Farm. And what I love about them is that everything is beautiful in the background, but it's so cozy. It's like farmhouse, shabby, chic. And, makes it more intimate and not so elegant that you're afraid to touch things or that you don't feel like you belong.
And that's something that I've noticed previously at weddings where they, tried so hard and everything is gorgeous, but you're just like, "Do they know that, I have a rubber band holding my shoes together?" I wanted to point out when you talked about the couple getting their first moment together of the day during their first dance. That's something that my wedding photographer cautioned me on.
And she was like, "Hey, so don't talk during your first dance. Cause then I'll just get pictures of you talking and making weird faces," which I thought was really cute.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:21:38] One of my favorite moments to witness is actually the father daughter dance. because usually it's, he's either telling her a joke to give a little more levity to the situation or he's telling her how beautiful and proud he is. That moment where she's listening to him. It just. And being that I'm usually either right next to the dance floor or very close to it. I just get to see it all. the great thing about me being a wedding DJ is that I get to be a part of those moments, but it's also a reminder of the fact that I am married to an awesome wife.
Lydia Faith: [00:22:10] Isn't that great? And then you get to go home and be like, I have the best spouse in the world. Like those guys were great. I'm so happy for both of them, but I love mine.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:22:18] And, there was a, bride walked down to a song that I'd never heard of before on Saturday. It's by Ben Rector and Ingrid Michaelson called It Would Be You. I'd never heard it before until she gave it to me the week prior and I listened to it and I was like, so I surprise my wife with a slow dance later to it. It was, it was really cool. Yeah. So it's just being able to, have that be a reminder that I'm fortunate to have found my forever person in my wife.
Lydia Faith: [00:22:47] gosh, that's such a lucky thing good for you for continuing to appreciate it because sometimes it's easy to lose track of.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:22:53] My wife and I were talking and that's something that I brought up about, as you're in a relationship, the way that you deepen the love and keep it going is you are intentional about doing the little things that you're letting them know that you love them. it's like practicing gratitude. And when you practice gratitude, the person you're being grateful toward feels better, but it also makes you feel better too.
Lydia Faith: [00:23:19] Right. Well, it's being intentional about your awareness too. So the more you focus on seeing gratitude, the more you find to be grateful for.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:23:26] Oh, yeah. and the cool thing about doing things that help to build the relationship is they're not usually very large. They don't have to be an extravagant meal or whatever. It's as simple as I will go up to my wife while she's in the kitchen and hug her from behind and tell her I love her, or just writing a quick note or doing a random slow dance at six o'clock on a Monday night, just because.
Lydia Faith: [00:23:51] Yeah, and I love that romantic comedies. There's usually like a huge, grand gesture and it seems wonderful, but also like a whole lot of effort. And for me, the things that that really speak to me are I know that my husband brings me coffee in bed every weekend. Like every day it's really delightful because I'm not a morning person. I'm realizing that might be self-defense. And then we keep our wedding song on rotation, on our Spotify playlist. And every time we hear it, we drop everything and we dance together.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:24:17] that's cool. Cause it's a surprise I love surprises. Not so much getting them because I'm kind of hard to surprise, but I just liked doing maybe not extravagant surprises, but things that people don't necessarily expect, but it's like, " I was thinking of you."
Lydia Faith: [00:24:34] and that's so touching both to do and to receive. I've only pulled off one fabulous surprise for my husband. Cause he like you, is hard to surprise. And also doesn't really like being surprised. Um, but he was turning 40 and I planned an entire beer Olympics party for him
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:24:49] What? That's awesome.
Lydia Faith: [00:24:51] All of his friends over at our house and got another friend to be like, "Hey, I'm suddenly in town for the weekend. We should go grab beers at lunch." So I got him out of the house. And then as soon as he got home and opened the door, everyone was really loud. And so he was like, "Oh no."
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:25:07] To me, it always impresses me when someone is able to pull off a surprise when there's a whole bunch of people that are involved because the more people that are involved, the easier it is that it's going to slip up and the surprise get ruined.
Lydia Faith: [00:25:20] I feel like all of his friends were really committed both to participating in beer Olympics and to putting one over on their buddy. So there were no leaks.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:25:30] Nice. It was his 40th birthday, so that's a pretty important milestone in somebody's life.
Lydia Faith: [00:25:35] Yeah. But then for a while you didn't trust me. So we volunteer for the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, and unbeknownst to us they decided to present us with the volunteer of the year award. And were trying to make sure that we would be at their party thinking about the checks so that they could present it to us in person. And I happened to be late, but he was there. He had to go on stage by himself and he's very much a not onstage person. And so I got there late, didn't know anything, and he's like, "How could you?" And I was like, "What?" And then it was even funnier.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:26:16] All right. we're gonna take a slight detour to a somewhat more depressing topic. But since COVID-19 has been a part of our lives for over a year now, I just like to ask my guests what their experience of it was. So would you mind sharing both how COVID-19 as it impacted you professionally as well as personally?
Lydia Faith: [00:26:37] I would love to, we were actually really, really fortunate in our experience with COVID. I know it's crushed a lot of people. for us it had sort of the opposite effect, where it gave us a little bit more space personally. I genuinely enjoyed having my husband home, working with me during the day. He enjoyed getting to spend more time with our crazy toddler. I enjoyed that he had her, so I got to work. So as a family, it brought us closer together and helped us be more cooperative. I genuinely enjoyed listening to his zoom calls because he is entirely unaware of how much he swears while on Zoom.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:27:12] That's funny.
Lydia Faith: [00:27:13] The content of his speech is professional and has a lot of information, but there are some very superfluous words thrown in there. And I found each and every one of them just wonderful. And I'm just like quietly cracking up in the corner. and then professionally, we were also very fortunate because a lot of our acts are naturally socially distanced.
When we're performing aerial, obviously, we're 25 feet in the air. And stilt walking, we're also above the crowd. Fire dancing: we, for safety reasons, can't have people close to us. So we were still able to perform more than I would have expected through COVID. And we have, uh, company member who has a sewing company, it's, the yoga mama shop and she made us these custom sequined masks that are fabulous and the mentor costumes. And so that's really cute.
They recommended that people come together with a pod, and that you try to limit your contact with people outside the pod. So our whole performance company got to come together as a pod. And, you know, it helps that we're all good friends as well, so we get to see each other and hang out, and then we're on a million different group chats together where we send cat memes and plan photo shoots and training days and things like that. So I didn't have the experience of loneliness that a lot of other people did, but I did get to experience the pause in the constant work and the nine to five things like that. It was a very strange year, but when you compare how bad it could have been for us, I just can't feel anything but blessed.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:28:38] Being that I am the lone DJ for my company, but even when I was with a different event company, as a DJ, DJing is very solitary. You're not usually with anybody else from your company, unless the company provides like photo booth or an additional service, but even if you're in the same space, you're not really interacting. really the, the closest interaction for the DJ is if there's a coordinator or like the banquet captain, just to make sure everything's going well.
Outside of event context, you're not really interacting with really much anybody, professionally. and I am a functional extrovert, but I definitely it's interesting because when I was in high school, one of the reasons why I didn't go to my prom is because I was a super introvert. I was very much about going to school and learning, and not as much the social aspect. so I was just kind of a shy, quiet guy. I have definitely grown into somebody who is more social and outgoing, but I still need that alone time to recharge my batteries.
But this was probably by July or August. I was like, " Hey, when are we going to do a networking event? Cause uh, I need to like. Talk weddings to people. This is really weird." but the cool thing about me having this podcast is it's been able to act like a networking vehicle for me. I have never met you or never worked an event with your company. I just happened to find you on Instagram.
It's been cool to be able to hear other wedding professionals or wedding company owners stories. And this is really a networking style that I would prefer. Anyway. I don't really like being in a room with 50 or 75 people and just going surface to different people and talking briefly and doing small talk. This is much more rewarding because we have time to have a deeper conversation and get to really learn more
Lydia Faith: [00:30:34] right. It's more meaningful. Yeah. I love that. Well, and then also, I think it's funny that as you said, we hadn't met before, but as soon as we started talking, we immediately found like three people that we all know.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:30:42] Right. Well, that's partly because this area is very small, and the wedding, professional community is even smaller. so I'm sure we've worked many events with the same wedding pros. And actually, I was, going through Instagram stories today and I had forgotten that Brittany Sigler, from Destin mobile makeup box, was on an event with me on Sunday.
The weird thing is we never cross paths because she's always with the bride and her bridal party before the event. And then she just leaves after that part's done. So it's, one of those things where I was like, "Oh yeah! We were on the same events together," but I've never actually seen her in person at an event because there's no reason for us to really run into each other.
Lydia Faith: [00:31:24] Yeah, that's really funny. Last Saturday we had four different events the same evening. And so we were all sending pictures to each other of that. And a couple of the girls were trying to eat after their performance so that they weren't bloated and nobody threw up while they were upside down. And so I was sending them pictures of the cupcakes I was eating and they sent back a picture of them with Shauna. And they're like, you have cupcakes, we have a better photographer.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:31:50] Uh, well, cupcakes, photos. I would go with cupcakes personally, but that's just me.
Lydia Faith: [00:31:56] You know, I would too, but I really love Shauna the eclairs though. Those were amazing, but you know.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:32:03] Oh, man. Cupcakes song really good right now.
Lydia Faith: [00:32:04] The things we do. So do you get the same experience? Cause I'm, like you, a functional extrovert and I do enjoy my time with people, but I also very much enjoy being at home and quiet time. And my friend lasts, she calls me like, a hot girl, old person, because she'll text me to hang out at like nine o'clock at night. And I'm like, "Sorry, I'm in bed, knitting a blanket for my daughter." But when I go to parties, guests all the time we're like, "Oh, you must have such a fun job. You're here getting to party with everybody. Like, sir, "I am very sober right now."
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:32:37] Oh, it is a very interesting dynamic as a DJ being party, I guess, starter, if you will or making it happen. But, one of the things about DJing is if I'm in the middle of a dance set, I'm already like five or six songs ahead of where I'm going to go. And now if, a request comes in, I obviously can pivot and figure out how I can work that in with what I've got going on.
But yeah, you're not as much in the moment because you're figuring out where you're trying to go or what makes sense as far as making sure that either you're building the energy up or transitioning to a different, Sean or, or bringing the energy down. Like, for instance was it Sunday? Yeah, it was Sunday.
It was a five-hour event. which aren't very common for weddings. Usually they're four hours. So with that extra hour, as the DJ, that's an extra hour of open dancing, which means I have to pace the guests a little bit more. Obviously I'm not going to be playing high energy songs the entire night because the guests will just get worn out.
Lydia Faith: [00:33:37] Yeah. That's a workout.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:33:38] And this crowd was a little bit older. So I played, the ignition remixed by R Kelly.
Lydia Faith: [00:33:45] Yes.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:33:45] It wasn't a request by the couple, but the reason why I played that song is because I was going to slow dances right after it. It's about figuring out the songs that you're going to play that are going to get you to different parts. And the reason why I incorporated slow dances, because that's an easy way. One, there were a fair amount of older people that were sitting in their seats. And I knew that they would come out and slow dance.
Lydia Faith: [00:34:10] They were waiting for it.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:34:11] Yeah. So I, wanted to make sure that I catered to everybody's tastes and it wasn't just playing club music the entire night. And the other reason is because it's a period where you're slowing the tempo down. You're letting people kind of recharge their energy and breathe a little bit before we ramped back up to Footloose. Which is not a super higher energy, but it's definitely a more upbeat song that you can dance to.
Lydia Faith: [00:34:35] Yeah. It's upbeat, but a slower tempo. I could see that. Yeah. What is the worst requested song?
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:34:41] The worst requests you can make to me as a DJ is when it is obviously way out of left field. makes no sense it doesn't match what either I've been doing or there's no real natural progression to it. Like when somebody comes up and requests Free Bird. In my head it's like, "Why?"
Lydia Faith: [00:35:00] They just think they're being funny.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:35:03] Unless it is special to the couple. But usually it's just some guy trying to see if he'll get me to play it. For me, when I'm deciding on music, it's what are the guests going enjoy? So it's the, I don't have a favorite song per se.
Lydia Faith: [00:35:19] I assume it's crowd dependent.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:35:20] Yes. It's all about what is going to get the kind of reaction I want from the guests. There are some general songs that go over well, but yeah, it's crowd dependent.
depending on where they're from. because obviously, a couple and they're guests, from the Midwest, they're not always going to have the same tastes as somebody or a group that's from Texas. So it's really about getting a feel for what they like and even knowing other songs that they may not have thought of, that there'll be like, "Oh man, I haven't heard this song in a while!"
Lydia Faith: [00:35:49] Yeah. I do the same thing when I'm trying to pick performance songs. I want to balance. songs that people have heard of that they will enjoy. Cause people enjoy the familiar, but then also something fun that they wouldn't have heard before, but they can really get into. So I love French toast by Floyd wonder.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:36:04] Wow. I don't think I know that song. I may recognize it.
Lydia Faith: [00:36:08] That's what the last DJ I told it to said.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:36:10] Do you touch base with the DJ to see what the songs that they've already picked for there different formality songs?
Lydia Faith: [00:36:16] No, but I provide my music to them ahead of time. So hopefully they won't play the same song, two songs before me.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:36:22] The reason why I asked that question is not so that they don't play your song, but so you can get an idea of what the overall vibe of the night is
Lydia Faith: [00:36:30] For weddings, I don't know if that would work because we would have to start rehearsals so early that I don't imagine a DJ would have set their playlist
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:36:37] How early?
Lydia Faith: [00:36:38] We try to do it months in advance. It's like as early as we find out, we start rehearsing.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:36:42] Got you. Okay. yeah. I usually don't have an actual, no kidding music conversation until about two months out. And then even then there's the open dancing is usually one of the latter ones. Cause that's an easier part of the wedding to plan.
Lydia Faith: [00:36:55] Right. It's more flexible for them. I will say, one of the proms that I did, I was doing a fire set in the DJ asked what I wanted to dance too. And I was like, Idon't know. Just something the kids will like, because I don't know what teenagers listen to now. And that was the first time I ever heard Old Town Road.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:37:09] Oh really?
Lydia Faith: [00:37:10] Yeah. That's how old I am.
The kids went nuts so clearly it was something they enjoyed. He did me a solid. Alright. Cause I would never pick that and they absolutely loved it.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:37:21] Well, it's always good when the DJ helps you out with whatever you've got going on.
All right. Well Lydia, thanks for sharing about Luminary Entertainment Company and your role as a wedding professional. Would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself personally?
Lydia Faith: [00:37:38] Sure. What would you like to know?
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:37:39] What did you want to be when you grew up?
Lydia Faith: [00:37:41] I wanted to be an actress, a singer or a dancer.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:37:44] You have succeeded in accomplishing your childhood dream.
Lydia Faith: [00:37:49] Yeah. Apparently circus professional just wasn't even on my radar.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:37:53] Well, I mean, dancer it fits, right?
Lydia Faith: [00:37:56] Yeah, absolutely. And honestly, I have an entire closet dedicated to costumes, so childhood me is very happy.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:38:03] Very cool. Okay. what would you consider your happy place?
Lydia Faith: [00:38:06] In bed with a cup of tea, my husband watching the office next to me, and my dog trying very hard to get between me and my husband with my daughter sleeping.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:38:17] Who's your favorite office character?
Lydia Faith: [00:38:19] I never really thought about a favorite because when I watch a show, I really enjoy how they interact together, so them as a cooperative is lovely. But I will say one of standout character moments for me is when Kevin goes to the party that Angela's husband throws, where he throws both Angela and Oscar under the bus and he's leaving. And he was like, "The food was delicious. You're a terrible person. These people love you. And you're taking advantage of it. Again, the crepes were amazing."
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:38:49] My favorite Kevin moment is actually when he tries to limit the amount of words he says.
Lydia Faith: [00:38:56] Sea world.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:38:57] "Why waste time with lot words when few words do trick or when few do trick?" Something like that.
Lydia Faith: [00:39:02] Yeah.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:39:03] My least favorite character is Season 1 Michael Scott.
Lydia Faith: [00:39:07] Yes. I couldn't watch the show for so long. My husband loved it and I was like, "He's disgusting. I have worked for Michael Scott before. I do not need to watch it in my free time.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:39:15] It boggles my mind, how he's able to be employed there for so long. He does enough to be endearing, but you're just waiting for him to have another Michael Scott moment where it's like, "Really, dude?"
Lydia Faith: [00:39:28] Oh yeah. You know, what's going to happen. So there is a podcast called The Office Ladies that I'm listening to now, and they're doing a rewatch of it. And apparently it was pretty calculated where they would try to bring some humanity to Michael so that people would like, and so they decided that he was going to be good at business and things like that.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:39:44] Ah, yeah.
Lydia Faith: [00:39:44] And also, Kevin has his own podcast as well about the office.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:39:48] How did you and your husband meet?
Lydia Faith: [00:39:50] Um, I thought about this earlier when you were describing how you and your wife got together, but essentially it was that he did not hit on me.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:39:58] Oh, okay.
Lydia Faith: [00:40:00] But the long story is that we had a mutual friend and, we went out for new years together. I drank too much champagne and was not feeling well. And my husband offered to take me home. I was staying at a friend's house. He just crashed in the guest room, and then left the next morning without saying anything. We didn't know at the time, but apparently our friends all got together and were like, "Hey, we should get those two together. So let's all go out to dinner as a group thing and make sure they stay together." And so new year's day, we actually moved in January 2nd. We had dinner together and everyone was still so hung over. No one ate.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:40:37] Nice.
Lydia Faith: [00:40:37] Being my future husband kept chatting and, he was actually going to deploy right after that. And so it was like, "Oh, I'm not going to start anything." And he was patient and he didn't pressure anything. He was just like, "You know, you've got to do what's right for you And That's how he got me
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:40:50] Aw. He was a gentleman. That's awesome.
Lydia Faith: [00:40:53] He was. Yeah. Score one for the nice guy. He's awesome.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:40:56] Another fun fact about me, my wife actually put me in the friend zone before we started dating. She was like, I'm not even interested in dating. And I basically was just patient because, I knew she was special.
Lydia Faith: [00:41:08] That's lovely.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:41:09] Now we've been married for, it will be eight years in December. So
Lydia Faith: [00:41:12] congratulations. Did you have love is patient love is kind and your wedding?
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:41:16] I don't even remember. We actually did our own vows. That verse might have made it in there, but I honestly don't remember. And we didn't have video, so we don't even have a recording of our vows, which sad face.
Lydia Faith: [00:41:28] We wrote our own vows, but they were a surprise to each other, but we gave them to maid of honor and she made it so that they flowed together.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:41:36] Ah,
Lydia Faith: [00:41:36] nice!
We brought down the house. Every single person cried.ItI started with a minister and then the entire bridal and groomsmen, like everybody was crying. So that was a good memory, but also the mutual friend that we had that was how we ended up together was our best man. And he showed up on the wedding day, four hours late with dick's drawn on his face.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:41:59] Oh man. Yeah.
Lydia Faith: [00:42:02] So, I mean, you can edit that out if it's a little bit too risque for your podcast, but I just think it's funny how you can plan as much as you would like for your wedding day, but something's going to happen. And invariably, that's going to be the funny story later.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:42:13] I'm not editing that out at all. That's that's amazing. that actually reminds me of, there was a wedding that I was a part of. I think it was last month. The best man never showed up for the rehearsal dinner, and the bride was not happy about it at all. understandably so, because he's kind of an important part of the bridal party. And I, I never found out why, but it was just like, Ooh. but
Lydia Faith: [00:42:35] Ooh, the mystery.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:42:36] He was early for the wedding, so I'm pretty sure he made up for his, transgression with her.
Lydia Faith: [00:42:43] I mean, of the two, he made it to the important one.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:42:45] Right. Absolutely. And he did not have dicks drawn on his face, so there's that as well.
Lydia Faith: [00:42:51] Yeah. My brother took one look at the Best Man and was like, "Oh, acetone will get that right off." So you've been in this position clearly,
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:42:59] If you could be anywhere in the world right now, other than here, where would you be and why?
Lydia Faith: [00:43:05] I mean, do I have to. I'm in this lovely position where I really love where I am both physically and with my friends and my family. I've never had such a rich and diverse home life.
And I am so very grateful for that.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:43:18] Okay.
Lydia Faith: [00:43:19] I know. I'm sorry. I didn't answer your question cuz I just can't imagine wanting to be somewhere else right now.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:43:24] That's fine. I would be in Switzerland snowboarding.
Lydia Faith: [00:43:27] Ooh, that's a good one.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:43:28] Just because I actually haven't been snowboarding since I left Washington state when I was in the air force and that's like, geez, 13 years ago, but yeah, snowboarding is so great. And it's even better when you're snowboarding in powder, because it feels like you're on a pillow or floating on a cloud.
Lydia Faith: [00:43:44] I have snowboarded once. It was not that experience for me at all. I choose to fly now in different ways.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:43:51] Yeah. It definitely takes time. For me, it was much easier than skiing. I tried skiing for like half a day and I was like, "Yeah, no. That's too many edges." Snowboarding is just one edge and it's much simpler.
Lydia Faith: [00:44:03] Made more sense for you.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:44:04] Yeah. So last question to wrap up the podcast. Would you like to leave anything with the listeners before we go?
Lydia Faith: [00:44:11] Sure. I have a funny story talk about, but essentially the thing that I'm leaving you with is that all of us performers are just people. And I know that we can look intimidating. I have a solid RBF and I'm sorry about that. But backstage, I promise you we are goofballs, we're giggling around and being silly. and that we also have a great time while we're getting together to rehearse and practice. So my funny story from that is I was practicing duo trapeze with a partner and I swung up and hit my face on the trapeze bar and split my eyebrow open.
So my partner didn't notice and she just continued basing mean. And so I'm upside down holding a straddle and I just feel blood running up my face.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:44:53] Ah, no.
Lydia Faith: [00:44:55] So thank goodness we caught it on video because I share that every single year on Facebook. I think it's hilarious. And I actually just got my eyebrows tattooed at Manning Five-O salon. And she was like, "Why is there a gap in your brow? And I was like, "Oh my God. That was like two years ago. You're right. That's never grown back." So training incidents are rare, but that has been one of the funnier ones to happen to me. Okay.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:45:18] And I can relate to what you're talking about with RBF, in the, uh, DJ community, they call it Serato face. Cuz Serato is one of the programs that DJs will use. basically, it's when you're either looking for a song, getting ready to go to the next song, that kind of thing. It's the serious DJ face. Just because I'm focused on what I'm doing , that doesn't mean I'm not enjoying myself as well.
Lydia Faith: [00:45:41] Right? Yeah. like you said, you were thinking five steps ahead. And so your brain is constantly going. For me, that's when performance is so great because it forces me to live in the moment. I have to be very present in what I'm doing. So, yeah, sorry for the face. I promise. I'm nice.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:45:55] if they listened to the podcast, obviously they would know you're nice.
Lydia Faith: [00:45:59] Thank you.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:46:00] Let's imagine that a couple is listening to the podcast and they want to get more information about how Luminary Entertainment Company can be a part of their day. What's the best way for them to get ahold of you, reach out, find out more information.
Lydia Faith: [00:46:12] So you can check out our website at luminaryec.com and that's for Luminary entertainment company. There are lots of pictures and videos of our different types of services. And there's also a questionnaire that you can fill out. You don't need to know a bunch of circus terms for me to give you good entertainment. All you have to do is describe what you were picturing in your head. Sort of vaguely like, "Hey, you know, I went there to be a big pop of fun, right? As guests enter. And then I want them to have something to look at during the cocktail hour." You can be as vague as you need to be in. I will give you the specifics. I will fill in that vocabulary for you to give you what you need.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:46:46] All right, Lydia. Well, thanks for stopping by on the podcast. How was it?
Lydia Faith: [00:46:51] I had a blast.
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:46:52] Well, I did too. It was great getting to know you and sharing your story and Luminary Entertainment Company's story.
Lydia Faith: [00:46:58] It was a pleasure sharing it with you and hearing some of your fun tips and practices about being a DJ,
DJ Josh Woeckener: [00:47:04] always, always and as always here's to the couples that are planning their weddings and here's to making those weddings a highlight.
Tony Tee Neto: [00:47:12] Thanks for stopping by and checking out the podcast. If you like what you've heard, please subscribe and leave a review. It'll help other couples just like you find it for more resources, including our helpful blog check, highlightweddingsandevents.com (Highlightweddingandevents.com) and make your wedding a highlight.