I encountered him again. *That* kind of DJ that makes you wonder how he gets hired. A lovely wedding followed by a pleasant reception at a historic mansion was somewhat marred overly forceful and inappropriate DJ at the reception.
The music as one entered the reception venue was pleasant enough. Holiday music of all genres playing in the background set the atmosphere for a holiday wedding. The Christmas music continued through dinner although the MOG visibly flinched when the Chipmunks started singing but otherwise nothing notably obnoxious.
The travesty began with the garter removal. The garter toss is reminiscent of a tradition during the Middle Ages when drunk male guests would try to follow the newlyweds into the nuptial bedroom and the harried groom would remove pieces of his bride’s undergarments (garters were used to hold up stockings) and throw them at the unruly men to distract them long enough to close and bolt the door. So there you have it….modern garter tossing is rooted in stripping the wife of her private garments to appease the voyeurism of a bunch of crass, vulgar men. Why this arcane, cliched tradition continues escapes me. It’s so overdone and over the past 30 years I’ve witnessed it become increasingly vulgar. It used to be that the groom removed the garter which got tossed to a flock of single guys and the winner then happily hung it like a mini trophy on his car rear view mirror. The bride threw her bouquet to the single ladies and that was it. About 18 years ago I started noticing that DJs were adding a new twist to the game.
The bride threw her bouquet to a waiting and possibly unsuspecting group of young women and the catcher was told to sit aside for a few minutes. The groom then removed the bride’s garter while the DJ played “The Stripper” music. You know that cannot bode well for what is to follow. It’s like horror violin music hinting to movie viewers that something evil is about to happen. The young, single men were corralled into a group and the garter tossed. It was caught, however, by a 10 year old boy who was informed by the DJ that he had to surrender it to another man 18 years of age or older. *That* really clued the guests in that what was to happen next was most likely inappropriate for young audiences.
The boy handed the garter to a young man and the DJ proceeded to orchestrate the “game” wherein the garter catcher places the garter on the bouquet catcher’s leg. This was accompanied by very loud, forceful commentary that for every inch above the bouquet catcher’s knee he placed the garter was equal to 10 years of good luck in marriage for the newlyweds. Guests were encouraged to cheer the garter guy to go higher and higher while the DJ played the song, “Let’s Get It On”, which certainly has sexual connotations. I turned my back in protest, I noticed a few older adults turning away, even noticed the father of a pre-schooler covering his daughter’s eyes at the worst of it. I cannot begin to tell you how this degraded the atmosphere immediately from being a classy reception to a tawdry bar scene and the DJ was the ringleader, the conductor, the instigator.
DJs have a schtick or routine that they follow for receptions. You, as the person hiring them, need to go over every detail of what he/she intends to do during your reception and veto various “games” in his/her routine. This particular DJ was also not responsive to music requests and played mostly club dance music which kept the 20-somethings dancing but completely alienated one third of the guests who were older and would have preferred Motown, Swing and other music. This wedding was out of town for me but when I attend a wedding locally with a DJ like that, at the end of the evening I take a business card to make sure I never, ever recommend him to any of my brides.