Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who had to attend a wedding last weekend. Von went to one too (duuuude, like, synchronicity…), and it turns out her thoughts on wedding music are very close to the ones I was having last Saturday.
The music was really really bad after a very promising start. The happy couple’s first dance was a beautiful song from Rob Thomas that I’d never heard before. After that it was all “Celebration” and “We are family” and blah blah blah. Just plain BAD. I hate that.
Our wedding was one of those package deals: the venue where the reception was held took care of everything but the photographer. So when we went to the company they worked with for DJs, we had very specific ideas in mind. There were several tapes of their DJs, and I watched the first few in horror.
I understand that you want someone playing lively music, who will keep up the guests’ energy throughout the night, but there were several of these guys who went beyond that. When your DJ is out on the floor whooping it up with the guests, and breaking out a box of sombreros and feather boas, he’s stolen the show. Now, I’m not that big on being in the spotlight, but goddammit, it was my wedding, and I wasn’t about to take a backseat to some loud guy with a microphone and maracas.
The last tape was of a guy in his late 40s, just… playing music. He announced the bride and groom without yukking it up, he reined everyone in for the cake cutting without being a dick, and seemed pretty all-around unobtrusive. I’m not sure why he was at the bottom of the video pile – up until we popped his tape in, I was feeling more and more dejected, figuring we’d have to re-watch all of the previous DJs to see which one was the least obnoxious. Then there’s Eddie and I nearly leapt out of my seat going “OMG YES. THIS. THIS ONE. BOOK HIM NOW.”
When we met with him a week or two later, he had this big folder with all the songs in his repertoire. You could see the first few pages were lists of the ones that got played all the time. As soon as we got started, we declared that that shit was right out. No “Celebration.” No “We Are Family.” No “Old Time Rock and Roll,” no “December ’63,” and dear sweet zombie Jesus, NO CHICKEN DANCE.*
He lit up. Well, he lit up as much as a low-key, very laid back kind of DJ can. I’m guessing it had been a while since he’d been able to actually play different music at a wedding. Sometimes it feels like the DJ can just pop in a CD of typical wedding songs and then zone out for the next four hours. No way in hell was I going to have that.
Now, I have a feeling this post is going to be one of those foot-in-mouth moments, where one of you will be all “Gee, thanks, falconesse. All those songs you’re snobbing it up over were played at my wedding.” Let me state for the record: I’m not out to insult anyone. I will not love you any less if you rocked out to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” I just don’t like the idea that the guy I’m paying several hundred dollars to entertain the guests can put in a CD of Stuff We Play Every Frickin’ Night and then essentially go afk. Okay? Okay.
So, yes. The wedding Greg and I went to last weekend was much the same as the one Von attended, only with a live band.
I am also likely kind of bitter. I’m guessing this song came back into wedding popularity with There’s Something About Mary – I know I’ve heard it as the exit-music song at just about every wedding I’ve attended since the movie released. I have been unable to get “Build Me Up Buttercup” out of my head for the last FIVE GORRAM DAYS.
*We had to allow the Electric Slide, which broke me a little, but Greg digs it, so, y’know. Marriage and compromise and all that.