Larry Williams has been a wedding DJ and officiant in the Gardnerville area for almost 30 years. He has two companies, the Reno Tahoe DJ Company and Wedding Day Vows, and is the only certified wedding entertainment director in the state. He is also the host of Lifting the Veil, a YouTube channel on which he offers wedding planning advice.
For 29 years now, you’ve made a career out of the wedding industry. What drew you to it originally?
I was a radio DJ on an FM radio station down here in the Gardenerville/Minden area, and it was very, you know—of course, I use my voice, I made a living with my voice. I was a master of ceremonies for many different events in and around the Reno Lake Tahoe area, and, of course, there’s radio remotes and all those things that, you know, a DJ or master of ceremonies gets involved in. And then, basically, some people would listen to my radio show and they’d want me to DJ their function, whether it’s a sock hop dance, some sort of an Elks Club dance or a wedding reception. And it just kind of grew from there—taking my show, if you will, out of the radio booth and bringing it to people. And then, along the way, it just kind of skyrocketed and took off … The biggest part of mobile DJ-ing in this area is wedding receptions. And that’s where I just immersed myself in learning everything there was to know about weddings, and it became a career. By 1997, seven years into it, I was leaving the radio position to pursue being an entertainment director and DJ, full time.
What’s the general premise of Lifting the Veil?
I network with a lot of wedding associations out here, and the main one that I’m closest to is Weddings of the West. They’re a wedding organization that was founded about 20 years ago here in the Minden/Gardenerville/Genoa area, and Genoa is a huge hotspot for weddings, by the way. And that organization has been around for awhile, and we as wedding vendors are always looking for ways to bring information to brides and grooms because, you know, as small business men and women, the thing you never want to do is really hard-sell anybody. We don’t want to be pushy and always talk about us, us, us—there’s some people who do that. Me, personally, I don’t like to. … We want to give information because if you’re a provider of information, people will respect that, and they won’t feel like they’re being sold to, and they’ll reach out, and they’ll ask questions, and then you’ll open up the door in communication, which is far better than trying to say, “Hey, I offer this, hire me!” … So we thought, let’s put together some people for a podcast. It originally started off as an audio podcast, but then we thought, “Well, if we’re getting audio from the camera, we might as well make it a video.” So, I take it to different locations, and I feature different things to think about, like, how best to handle your budget, you know, things like that and how best to navigate bridal fairs.
What were some episodes you particularly liked or thought were the most helpful?
I started off at the very beginning [with] the science behind selecting the wedding day. … That’s how I started it out. I put them in order of how a bride would plan a wedding. First thing you've got to do is pick a date. Second thing you’ve got to do is prioritize which vendors to get and then put together a budget. So these are the episodes one, two and three.