I was introduced to Elena and Alex by my good friend Kristi whose wedding I DJed a few years ago. Kristi is one of the most demanding clients I’ve ever worked with but also one of the most fun. Her passion for music and attention to detail may exceed my own and lead to the creation of a Britney Spears vs. Cannon in D mashup for her bridal march that I had to re-do like 4 times until it was just right! Anyway, I was confident anyone whom Kristi sent my way would be into cool music and also fun and easy to work with. This was most definitely the case with Elena and Alex. They did not want anything to do with traditional wedding music and instead were after a vibe that represented their particular tastes but was appropriate for the occasion and would set right mood for their guests.
For the pre-ceremony music we went indie. A hint of love and romance is always in order for this part of the day but Alex didn’t want anything too “sappy”. So, we had to go for more of a dreamy vibe with songs from Ariel Pink, Fleet Foxes, Beach House and Washed Out. I am particularly fond of this little list and thought it set the mood perfectly.
The dinner music was to be soulful and upbeat. Something that would foreshadow the dancing to come but not actually eat into the dance requests. The ever present at weddings vocal jazz standards and corny love songs weren’t going to cut it. Since we were planning to end the dance party with 1960s soul music, it seemed like a good place to start the dinner list. Only we needed to give it a more hip, modern edge. So in addition to Aretha, Stevie, Sam Cooke etc. I selected tracks by newer soul singers like Curtis Harding and Leon Bridges and we even went into some pop & RnB territory with Drake ft. Majid Jordan, Miguel and JT & Jay -Z.
The first dance was one of the most special moments I’ve witnessed at a wedding. Alex and Elena’s friends hired Tacoma’s own Stephanie Anne Johnson (of the Voice) to sing Sea Of Love. WoW. There were no dry eyes in the house.
For the dance party, we tried something a little new to me. Elena and Alex thought it would be cool to travel back in time through music. Starting with songs from the 2010s and move backwards by decade. I was initially a little skeptical as it is much more common for a DJ to start with some old classics and move forward into newer, more bass heavy jams as the party progresses. But our happy couple thought that since it was an afternoon wedding ending at around 6:30pm, leaving guests on the light and lovely vintage soul tip would be a nice thing to do. When they showed me their request list, I knew it would be possible to pull it off. They had the perfect taste to make it happen. All solid hold dance tunes with very little falling in the overplayed cliché category. And so we did it! We went from Cardi B to the Bee Gees, from Migos to Motown. The dance floor kept growing steadily through out the party. A few of the initially hesitant older generation were going full on by the time we reached the 80s and in the end it was not just a wedding dance party success but a stylistic achievement, a concept nailed and bride and groom’s vision brought to life by their DJ. I couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity :)