To DJ The Wedding of a Friend
As a seventeen-year veteran of the entertainment industry most people assume that every event is routine and without anxiety or anticipation…boy, are they wrong! Every event comes with a certain level of expectation; from the clients, naturally, but especially for myself. Growing up as a multi-sport athlete it is little surprise that I’m very competitive. I’m not competitive in the sense that I want to “show-up” my co-workers or another entertainment company, but rather to ensure that the next party is equal to or greater than the last. The wedding of Dotty and Bob Carr on April 16, 2011 presented a challenge that was brand-new… even to a veteran.
The difference between this wedding and all of the others I have had the honor of “rocking” as a DJ, is that Bob is a friend and colleague of mine– we work as Instructional Assistants at a local technical high school. As an added bonus the Bride and Groom invited several friends we also work with, doubling the pressure. Most prospective clients – any guest at an event, or anyone reading this article – base their decision on only a few factors; they experienced another wedding of Cutting Edge Entertainment, or were referred to us by a friend or family member. When the client is a friend or family member, it is paramount that perception equals reality; they attend the event with a certain level of expectation. Like an athlete preparing for the pressure of the “home crowd” the best approach is the same one you’ve used for every game before.
Bob and Dotty were married at the Washington Crossing Inn before 120 members of their family and closest friends. Unlike many weddings that include all three phases – ceremony, cocktail and reception – everything on this night took place in the same room; allowing for a certain intimacy throughout the evening. The ceremony began with Bob and Dotty walking the aisle together to the classic sound of “Canon in D” by Pachebel. The emotion in the room was hard to resist as our Bride and Groom shared their vows aloud, so that each guest could share in the love. Keeping with the non-traditional theme of the night our newly married couple was able to simply turn to each other, share their first kiss and seamlessly transition into cocktail hour.
Cocktails included a wide variety of classic rock music, including timeless track from The Moody Blues and The Beatles. Soon…the fun would officially begin. Bob and Dotty entered the room to one of the most appropriate “Introduction” songs, “Flashdance…What a Feeling” by Irene Cara. The rising mood of the song’s opening could only be trumped by the thunderous applause that accompanied their entrance into the room. Not wasting any time – this is family that came to dance – we rolled directly into their first dance to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”. The bridal party, which consisted solely of Bob and Dotty’s children, joined their parents on the floor for a portion of the song.
After speeches by new step-siblings Keith and Alyssa, it was time to eat dinner and get the wedding reception rolling. An eclectic crowd leads to an eclectic song list; and this party allowed me to enter the vault of “all-time” crowd pleasing songs. A blend of Wilson Pickett (“Land of 1,000 Dances”), James Brown (“I Got You”, [I Feel Good]) and more Beatles (“Twist and Shout”) kept smiles on their faces and kept their feet moving. The next few dance sets ranged from late 1970’s disco and funk to all of today’s current hits.
My favorite part of every event, the dance marathon, started with a particular song by “Afroman” that created a buzz I’ve never experienced before. Guests who were hesitant to dance earlier were crowding the floor and sharing every beat. The crowd began to grow as we transitioned into a high-energy set comprised of Usher, Taio Cruz and the Black Eyed Peas – of course – to end the night. Surrounded by all of their guests in giant dance floor “bear hug”, Bob and Dotty rocked ‘til the very end.
Thank you to the exceptional staff at the Washington Crossing Inn for all of your assistance in creating the perfect atmosphere. (As a side note, dinner was EXCELLENT!)
Bob and Dotty, congratulations on your wedding and best of luck on your journey. Thank you for helping me to keep my promise in making your night a priceless one.
Pressure? What pressure?
Images courtesy of Steve Martin (no, not THAT Steve Martin)