Wedding DJ Derek Zerr wants to get people on the dance floor and keep them there. This mission has helped create memorable experiences for brides, grooms, and wedding guests over the past few years.
These experiences have been recognized by The Knot, a popular wedding planning platform, as Zerr’s business, DnA Music Entertainment, was recognized by The Knot Best of Weddings for two consecutive years. Award winners will be selected based on reviews from users of The Knot.
Zerr, who also works full-time at Town and Country Insurance in Story City and is a volunteer firefighter for the community, believes he has found a real niche for his DJ business.
Since 2002, Zerr has entertained over 500 weddings, company parties, anniversaries, city festivals and other events.
“We always had one main goal in mind, to get everyone on the dance floor and keep them there,” said Zerr.
As the music and entertainment industries keep changing, Zerr stays fresh and knowledgeable with educational programs, he said. One such opportunity is the Mobile Beat Las Vegas DJ conference, which brings together entertainers from around the world to share new trends and ideas for the upcoming wedding year, Zerr said.
“Our goal this year, despite the pandemic, was to ensure that our brides and grooms had a night they would remember and that their guests would talk about for years,” he said.
Zerr started the year with 42 weddings booked. Due to cancellations and postponed events, it ended up at around 25. There were no weddings from March to June. In July they started again. Zerr and his father, who works with him, wear masks at the events, but are otherwise not responsible for the COVID-19 logs at the events.
“It was an interesting year, but luckily our health was good and no one at our events got sick,” he said.
Zerr has been the go-to person for music since his youth and helps people have a great time.
“I was the young kid who always made mixtapes out of radio hits,” says Zerr, a 2003 graduate of Roland-Story High School. “Whenever there was a meeting, I was asked to bring the music.”
Zerr heard so often from his friends that he should become a DJ that in 2002 he decided to set up his own business – as a DJ and entertainer. His first paid appearance was at a birthday party in his hometown of Story City. For a couple of years he put on small events like birthdays and college forms.
In 2008, Zerr booked his first wedding gig and word of mouth allowed his business to grow year after year.
“I love weddings,” said Zerr. “I love weddings because the people there are happy, are in a good mood and celebrate for the couple. It’s a really good environment.
“I try to do everything I can to get people onto the dance floor.”
Zerr has a knack for reading the crowd. Since 2012 he has been working with his father Kelly Zerr, who moderates the wedding celebrations and is also a maestro for getting people going.
When Derek Zerr begins to see the guests looking a little tired on the floor, he tries to change it and get another group of guests to dance.
“Or we make an announcement and do a certain line dance,” said Zerr. “For example: ‘Everyone goes to the dance floor. It’s time for the Cha Cha slide. ‘
“Reading the crowd and really knowing what to do next is key. If I can get them out there, I can keep them out. “
Zerr said it was an honor to be such an important part of one of the most important days for so many couples and families.
“Our goal is always to make the night for the bride and groom easy for them,” said Zerr. “Weddings can be a bit confusing and we try to take that away from the bride and groom and family.”