ARTS: Adrenaline Rush
Getting married is difficult enough without fretting over minutia; that’s the territory of Justin Lawrence’s company, Adrenaline Entertainment. Lawrence wanted to offer brides a complete wedding solution so his company offers DJs, videographers and photographers. But this isn’t new territory for Lawrence. He started out as a DJ for fraternity and sorority date parties in 2003 while attending UCO. At the time, he worked at a music store and was familiar with PA equipment, so one day he bought some speakers and used his radio personality skills, honed by a regimen of broadcasting classes, to break into the business. “It was a natural transition for me,” he explains.
There are 13,000 weddings in Oklahoma each year, and, at one point, Adrenaline Entertainment was doing about 450 events annually. “The more weddings I did, the more well-versed I became,” he remembers. “I’ve been to 1,500-plus weddings. I can say, ‘This works really well’ or ‘This doesn’t work so good.’”
With all of these weddings come plenty of war stories, says Lawrence. Once, a bride’s dress flew up over her head while she was dancing with her dad to “Butterfly Kisses.” Another time, a bride’s hair caught on fire when a sparkler, copious amounts of hair product, and a tipsy reveler combined (she was fine). Lawrence has seen numerous “M.O.B.’s” (mothers of the bride) ruin weddings because they ended up smothering their daughters while trying to live vicariously through them.
So with all that can go wrong, Lawrence urges couples to let professionals handle their special day, even in this era of “budget everything.” And it’s not just for peace of mind – almost everyone has a relative who is willing to document the event, but you never know what the quality will be until it’s too late to redo it. Your first dance with your spouse as a married couple is an elegant moment, and the sound of Cousin Ted eating bruschetta while holding the camcorder likely isn’t something you want to remember forever. Not to mention the fact that whoever is behind the camera doesn’t get to experience the wedding to the fullest. Also, if something goes wrong, it’s better to blame hired help than a family member. “I’ve seen relationships devastated,” he says, because someone ruined or missed something. “It’s important that you capture it from the beginning and capture it right.”
Lawrence married his wife, Erin, in 2008, and actually enlisted his Adrenaline Entertainment crew for his own wedding. They were nervous wrecks, working their boss’s wedding, but Lawrence says they did a fantastic job. “I’m the biggest bridezilla of them all,” he admits. “I had high expectations; I knew what I wanted.” He’d been working weddings for five years before he experienced his own, and Lawrence says that changed the game for him from then on. “You never understand how big a deal it is for the bride and groom until you get married yourself,” he relates.
While managing a stable of DJs, videographers and photographers, Lawrence also works full time as a worship leader at New Covenant United Methodist Church in Edmond. As a singer-songwriter, he tours student ministries, camps, retreats, discipleship weekends, and other events across the region, often travelling out of state and hitting about 50 tour dates per year. “I get to travel and play music a lot, which is fantastic,” he says.
Lawrence’s first album, Remind My Soul, was released in September and can be found at
www.justinlawrencemusic.com or on iTunes.
Even with his musical success and ministry, Lawrence hasn’t stopped handling wedding receptions. “It’s the best industry to work in the world. You are paid to go put on parties and make sure the parties are fun … we love doing it.”
To learn more about Adrenaline Entertainment, go to www.okcweddings.com.