LIHUE — Kustom Sounds Kauai prides itself on always looking to make an event better.
And making memories, too.
“The father of a bride once came up to me and he wasn’t going to do a toast,” said Michael Dandurand, owner of Kustom Sounds Kauai. “I said, ‘You know sir, I really think you should. This is an important event.’ He got up on the mic and for the next 10 minutes, he had everybody in tears. He was that close to not doing it. He did it and the bride got to record it. It’s our job to see it and make it happen.”
If you’ve attended or been a part of a graduation, wedding or birthday on island, chances are you’ve heard the sounds that emanated from Dandurand and his crew, who are in their busy season.
In business since 1987, Dandurand said he’s worked at least 2,500 weddings.
“I don’t think I’ll see a wedding that will surprise me. Every one of them is special. Even if it’s the same room and I’ve been in there a hundred times, you go back and it’s always a different person,” he said. “I may have been there before and you may have played the same song before, but for the bride and the groom and the parents, it’s the first time for them.”
Zach Van Stratt, who has been a DJ at Kustom Sounds Kauai for three years, has enjoyed his time with the company.
“We have fun here, at the events. It’s the perfect situation. Every event, every position, every floor is different,” he said.
Van Stratt and the other DJs are proud of their preparation and professionalism.
“We’re at that point, as a team, that we’re mastering the wedding business. I feel really comfortable we can do any wedding and do an excellent job,” Dandurand said.
Though weddings are his specialty, Dandurand was also instrumental in creating the first club on the island.
“The best club we ever opened up was Kuhio Lounge. Opening night, 350 people,” he said. “They didn’t know what to do with so many people. When we reopened, we got the numbers up to almost 600 people.”
Clubs, however, come and go and it is weddings that have the staying power for his business.
“For a bride and groom to invite us into their lives, I think that’s a blessing and we should be really honored we are there for them,” Dandurand said. “The most important for us is remembering the name of the bride and groom because that’s the hard part because it’s a new couple every night.”
There’s rarely a location Kustom Sounds Kauai doesn’t know.
“Last thing we want is surprises at a wedding. We want to know where everything is, everything going to happen smoothly, so we can do our job,” Dandurand said. “Because we have this much experience, we can prevent problems from happening because we know what to expect ahead of time.”
It all comes back to those memories.
“Our job is really creating moments in these people’s lives that are coming and spending as much money as they possibly can to get here to this island that they chose to have a destination wedding,” he said. “For us to go through there and create a moment or memory that lasts with them forever. They’ll talk about it.”