Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Disc Jockey Wars

When planning a rock and roll themed wedding it’s safe to say that music plays a pretty integral role. In fact, we had chosen our entire playlist – ceremony processionals, recessionals, first dance, last dance and everything in between – before we chose a venue, picked a date, thought about who our attendants would be, considered color schemes, or anything else wedding related. These choices, such as the parents walking out to Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns & Roses and our cocktail hour music consisting exclusively of Richard Cheese hits, were the easy part. The hard part is picking the right person to spin these tunes for us.

After quickly deciding that, while a band would be pretty rockin’, they perhaps wouldn’t be able to provide the breadth and depth of music we’d require, we moved on to shopping for a DJ. But, here’s the thing – we have absolutely no idea how one goes about determining that one DJ is better than another. I mean, except for perhaps attending numerous weddings in the area and judging their abilities to keep the crowds on their feet, or engaging them in a cage fight to the death to determine the victor … but that’s perhaps overdoing it a bit.

The other problem I have is the extreme cheesiness that surrounds most DJs. The one (frighteningly horrible) time we attended a bridal show all of the DJs present were dressed like – how shall I put it? – tools … yeah, “tool-ish” and “tool-y” are the words I think best describe it. Wearing shades indoors and bopping their heads in sync to bad techo beats, they looked far too serious about setting a sad little club-esque type atmosphere to actually have fun. On the other hand, we’ve all been to too many weddings where every other song is the YMCA, Chicken Dance or Macarena, giant props are pulled out left and right, and the DJ fancies himself a dance instructor or takes it upon himself to embarrass as many people as possible. Not exactly my idea of a good time.

So we started asking our other vendors for recommendations, the main criteria being “must not be cheesy” and “must play EXACTLY what we want” (and, though this almost goes without saying, they must strictly enforce our absolute “no country music – not even that lame stuff people try to pass off as mainstream by calling it ‘crossover’” rule). And this is where things started getting nasty. Soon we had begun conversations with two different DJ choices and, while we liked them both very much, one of them just made things a little too difficult for us. When I wrote to politely let the runner-up know that we had decided to go in another direction, this dejected DJ did not take the news well ... and angrily demanded to know who we chose instead. I didn’t respond. And now I know we made the absolute right decision – no one wants to boogie to angry tunes and a cantankerous DJ does not offer up a party atmosphere.

So now we’ve got MJ the DJ and we’ve got a good feeling about him. But he better not let us down. He promised us a night of rock and roll fun, though considering his ridiculously peppy and over the top attitude during our meeting in his office I do think we might have to search him on his way into the reception to ensure he’s not hiding a pair of oversized sunglasses, funny colored wigs, clown shoes or other wacky props in with his equipment. He’d better rock it or else there’s going to be another type of Disc Jockey War on his hands.

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