Weather used to be the one sure-fire topic to use as a conversation ice-breaker.
Nowadays, though, it seems like complaining about wedding DJs is just as popular as grousing about the heat and humidity.
Take Joe Queenan, the humorist whose “Moving Targets” column in The Wall Street Journal is read by hundreds of thousands. His diatribe Saturday was a classic and served to remind our team here at Scratch Weddings of our mission to offer an alternative to the typical wedding DJ.
“You know the guy I’m talking about: the preening bozo in the Goodfellas threads, the blathering doofus who can’t stop interrupting everyone’s conversations, the clown who thinks people flew thousands of miles just to see…him. Some think that the most annoying people in our society are Snooki or the guy in the Ford commercials or LeBron, but no, I think it’s wedding DJ,” wrote Queenan.
“They play music that is too loud for anyone to have an intelligent conversation, and when the groom’s father angrily complains that they’re doing too much Justin Timberlake, they switch to Eminem,” he continued.
“They cue up the most repellently saccharine country-and-western ballads for the bride’s first dance with her father, or if not that, something hopelessly inappropriate like ‘Baby I Need Your Loving.’
“They mispronounce everyone’s name and forget to ask the guests to put their hands together—”at this particular moment in time”—and give it up for the groom’s parents, who flew all the way from England for the wedding. (Yes, this is a personal experience. The DJ assured me that he’d introduce the couple—close friends of mine—”later.” That was three years ago. Still waiting.)”
Recent research backs up Queenan’s argument that engaged couples and guests don’t want to hear “intrusive babbling” by a tactless DJ.
Entertainment Report 2011, published last month by Tuscon-based The Wedding Report, Inc., is a 30-page study of U.S. wedding entertainment services. Among the 1,200 responses to questions about services like entertainment were 10 times more opinions about DJs than live musicians or bands.
And while two respondents told the researchers they consciously screened out “cheesy” live musicians when making their reception entertainment booking decision, 16 couples used that same adjective in the verbatim comments concerning DJs.
Which DJ will they be booking?
- “Someone who is not overly cheesy. Someone who will respect our do-play and do-not-play
lists. Someone who is good at reading the crowd/crowd control.”
- “Someone who is poised, confident — but not cheesy. Not someone who makes the crowd do stupid dances or games.”
- “Not cheesy, actually DJs and doesn’t just play mp3s off an iPod, smooth transitions, samples
of sets online.”
- “We do not want the typical DJ. We do not want the chicken dance or any other cheesy
songs. We want someone who will keep the crowd energized and wanting to dance.”
We want to thank The Wall Street Journal’s Queenan and the CEO of The Wedding Report, Inc., Shane McMurray, who published the recent wedding entertainment research, for reminding couples of the pitfalls of hiring the wrong DJ for their reception.
Scratch Weddings was launched to offer a highly experienced, thoroughly screened and affordable alternative to big-mouthed DJs, ear-splitting volume, one-size-fits-all playlists and fog machines. It’s gratifying when the media and consumer research acknowledge that the market needs a service with these attributes.