No money, mo’ problems: Let’s dance

Is this your wedding singer? No? Then you should probably have a deejay.

Music — 10%: ceremony musicians, cocktail-hour musicians, reception band/deejay or entertainment, sound/dance floor rental and misc.

Everyone is really so happy to see you get married. And, yeah, it’s nice to have dinner and cake. But really, your friends are there to get their party on. Probably you guys used to party every weekend, and a few days during the week. But now, everyone has kids and real jobs. The parties have been relegated to wedding receptions and the odd birthday or holiday. You love your friends, right? It’s up to you to make sure they get their freak on!

The entire time I was planning our wedding, when I’d freak out about paper lanterns or some bullshit, I’d remind myself of what our pastry chef told us on our first meeting with him, “Don’t let yourself get too stressed out about the little things. People aren’t going to remember what they had for dinner, or what your flowers looked like. They’re going to remember whether or not they had a good time.”

And that’s really true.

I’ve been to approximately 57639572638 weddings. I don’t remember the details of most of them. What I do remember is whether or not I danced the shit out of it. Was there a break dance fight? Did I do the Humpty Dance? These are the important questions, and the answer to both should be YES.

Luckily, it’s really easy to cut costs in this area without affecting whether or not your guests have a good time. I don’t recommend it, but you can cut out a deejay or band altogether. This rarely works out very well. Unfortunately, you sort of need someone to keep things moving. This is where a deejay comes in handy. If you have a friend you trust to man an iPod and a microphone, by all means, hand it over. You’ll have to make a mix, and that’ll be one more thing to do. But, if it’s worth it to you to cut this expense, better fire up that internet and get to downloading! When some friends of ours got married earlier this year, the groom deejayed their reception. It worked out fine, so it can be done. It just opens you up to a whole other list of things that could go wrong. If your venue doesn’t have a sound system, you’ll have to rent or borrow one. If your laptop takes a spill, you’re fucked. However, like I said, it can be done, and it’s a completely reasonable option. In my opinion, unless you’re experienced like our friend, the deejay groom, it’s best to leave these things to professionals.

Most deejays have a set price for so many hours, and then additional hourly rates after that. The set number of hours probably isn’t enough for you to have your ceremony and reception without going into extra hours. That’s kind of the point. You don’t really need anyone to narrate the ceremony, cocktail hour or dinner, so you can totally get away with using an iPod during this time. We couldn’t afford to pay our deejay to do the wedding and the reception, so we used a wiped iPod and a good friend to set up the music during the ceremony and cocktail hour. We could have used our iPod during dinner too, since our deejay just stood there most of the time, but once it came time for toasts and cake cutting, we needed him. We were able to get the most out of our time with him by cutting all the stupid shit we hate.

Garter toss? Not in my short dress.

Bouquet toss? Fuck you.

Introductions, toasts, cake cutting, first dance, dance with my dad, and BOOM! DANCE PARTY!! We had it clicking along as quickly as possible. Let’s face it, usually I’m outside having a smoke when cake cutting happens. Your guests aren’t really that interested in these things. Get them to the pay-off! Give everyone a chance to wipe that tear away from your daddy/daughter dance and kick it!

Unless you’re on the grass, you don’t really need to rent a dance floor. Those things can get EXPENSIVE! We were originally going to have to rent one, and even a smallish one was going to cost $700. $700! Just make sure the area is designated, and it won’t matter. String some ribbon around it, put up some cones, shit, I don’t care. Just make it known. Usually, dancing in the area you want to be the dance floor will get the point across.

Of course, the alternative to a deejay or an iPod is a wedding band. I’m sorry, I just can’t get on board with this. It reeks of like, a boring rich lady wedding, and that isn’t the vibe you want. Plus, you’re supposed to feed AND tip all members of a wedding band. If you have some friends that are musically inclined, and they want to do a couple of songs, that’s awesome. Use those friends during your ceremony too! But, an actual wedding band is probably a bad idea. They most likely won’t do justice to “Push It,” so it’s best to not even give them a chance to mess it up.

The bottom line here is that you want your guests to have the best time possible. You’re going to need drinks and dancing. Thoroughly cover these things, and you’ll have a wedding people will remember! Throw a gorgeous wedding AND an awesome party, and, well, that makes you me. Good luck with that! No, seriously, you can do it! I believe in you! Just make sure you heed my advice about “The Humpty Dance.” People really, really like that.

Next in my “No money, mo’ problems” series, you’re going to make love to the camera.