Yesterday, some friends and I headed about an hour east, a bit past Gary, Indiana (not Louisiana, Paris, France, New York, or Rome … or even Allentown), to attend the wedding of our friends Tina and Ben. For mid-October, the weather couldn’t have been better, and they made a beautiful and happy couple:
Flowers were gorgeous, food was good, drinks were flowing, and a good time was had by the large and diverse crowd. Tina and Ben’s happy occasion gave me the opportunity, however, to reacquaint myself with the rock-snob side of my personality.
Being a wedding DJ is tough … I get it. You have to balance the following: keeping the dance floor crowded; pleasing the couple and the wedding party; keeping things appropriate for the kids and elderly; throwing in some new tunes; using but not abusing some standards; slowing things down when needed.
No one can ever succeed 100%; in every wedding crowd there are those who squeal when hearing a nasal Fred Schenieder kick off “Love Shack” or who will fully commit to dancing to the entire Grease Megamix (a composition that haunts me in my dreams). (How is this song only 4:50? I thought sure it topped seven minutes, with ease). And in every wedding crowd there are those who long for just a bit of ingenuity (ingenuity that can backfire if the dance floor clears).
Nope, I don’t envy the role of the wedding DJ (even though I frequently claim I could do better).
Last night’s DJ tried to engage the crowd – a soul train, more than one line-dance number, and a forced partnering wherein wedding guests from either side of the room “busted their best moves” (the DJs own words) through the artificial bridge of other would-be dancers. You know the drill. Sort of hoe-down style, but paced to Usher’s “Yeah!”
I – of course – got paired with a very animated 14-year old who bootie-shook and pelvic-thrusted and heaved her way through the crowd, while I awkwardly pantomimed “Take that … rewind it back” four times in a row (thank you, Ludacris). Yes, it’s on videotape somewhere. I’m sure the 14-year-old’s kid will enjoy watching it someday … in two or three years.
But all in all, he did a fine job. A little “Footloose,” a little Gaga, Miley, and Katy, and some bizarre acoustical renderings of classic-rock favorites at the dinner hour (including the weirdest – and worst – “Free Fallin'” you can imagine).
Whenever I’m enjoying watching (or criticizing) a wedding DJ at his or her craft, however, I’m reminded of my own experience. When I was the bride and lost utter control of the DJ I’d supposedly hired to protect me from such travesties as “The Cha Cha Slide.” But this is a story for another day (tomorrow, I hope) because this post is already 500-plus words long and I don’t want y’all getting greedy.
Random low-quality dance Floor Shot: (A), not sure why Justin hopped in the picture of “[Our Company] Ladies.” (B), not sure why I’m the only one not possessed by the spirit of the Total Eclipse of the Heart video. Further evidence, I suppose, that I’m lacking a soul. Note the emo kids in the background unimpressed by the lack of Sum 41 songs, and the barefoot dancer in the right-hand side of the picture.
Cheers, all. Until tomorrow …