It is one of the eternal debates: Batman or Superman? Chocolate or Vanilla? Beatles or Stones?
Band or deejay?
Perhaps The Wedding Singer will help us decide.
The most obvious selling point of having live music at a wedding is party energy. It seems people are much more willing to ignore recorded tunes and chat politely at their tables than they would be to leave a dance floor empty in front of a group of musicians eager to entertain.
But one of the downsides of hiring a band is the high risk of an overwhelming cheese factor. The Wedding Singer presents the obvious solution to this problem: set your wedding in the recent past, where cheese can be chalked up to the zeitgeist and be embraced with nostalgic arms.
[I think I am going to set my wedding in the late 1990s: Cheap gasoline! Boy bands! Khaki pants!]
An advantage of a deejay is having a versatile playlist. If I were to hire a band, I’d really want there to be a dude and a chick singer, or at the very least have the lead singer be comfortable singing songs made famous by singers not of their gender.
Robbie Hart’s band in The Wedding Singer features the backup vocal stylings of pre-transition Alexis Arquette, who only sings Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” and in a running “joke,” horrifies all the audiences with her queerness! So… point to the DJ column, I guess? [Definite point against The Wedding Singer holding up to my fond memories of it.]
Finally, there’s the personality factor. Sure, bandleaders are generally more pleasant emcees than deejays, who mainly come in the radio-voiced clown variety or the sullen, headphone-wearing, shoe-gazing type. But inviting that personable singer into your wedding day is asking for a dramatic collapse of your engagement!
The Wedding Singer, like The Wedding Planner, reminds us that wedding professionals ought to consider leaving their field after their own weddings go south, because in the wake of their heartbreak they may start making less-than-professional choices. In the case of The Wedding Singer, Robbie only has one disastrous post-breakup wedding before he decides to book exclusively b’nei mitvah, which is terribly limiting because there are only four Jewish families in town (which I found less-than-plausible in a suburb of New York, but whatever). But despite semi-leaving the field, he still maintains his friendship with banquet hall waitress Drew Barrymore, becoming the scourge of the wedding romcom: a wedding saboteur!
Do you think really think a deejay could break up you and your fiancé?
I mean, seriously, that guy is not going to demonstrate the perfect altar smooch, nor will he be writing any sweet songs about growing old with anyone. He’s just going to spin his records and mind his own vinyls and at the end of the day you’ll save thousands of dollars.
So, it’s settled! We’ll hire a DJ. Hopefully we can still cheaply set up the AV equipment necessary to include a rapping granny in the reception, though.