The Minks Go Phishing for Some Music

We are passionate fans of great music. We will travel great distances and endure some pretty interesting conditions for a good concert.


Wait in line for hours to ensure our caravan of friends can camp together in the middle of a field lacking in shade, water, and basic necessities? Yes, please. / Photo by Miss Mink

The genre of music we like has a lot of improvisation. A song is never played the same way twice. All the bands we follow allow fans to tape their concerts and trade recordings, so fans tend to remember the dates of particular versions of songs they like. We’re never eager for new studio albums to be released, but we usually buy them to support our favorite artists. We are more excited to see each concert’s set list develop each night there is a live show.


Befriend a guy carrying a bag of wine while listening to New Orleans funk on a mountaintop in West Virginia? Why not? / Photo by Mr. Mink

We love live music so much that when we first started talking about our wedding, we were positive that we’d have a live band playing the entire night.

Then, I started thinking about how we can cite specific versions of songs as our favorites. I started to think about how talented some of the bands we like are and thought they might not be in the repertoire of the average wedding band. Not to say there aren’t some great bands in our area, but I had my doubts about them doing justice to songs that hold memories for us.


Walk around the parking lots outside our favorite venue dressed as said venue? Hilarious! / Photo by Miss Mink

We decided that we needed a DJ. I scoured the reviews on Weddingbee and a few other sites, checked wedding blogs for Charlottesville weddings to see who local brides used at their weddings, and polled friends on Facebook and Twitter. (One local bogger friend suggested a little hometown band called the Dave Matthews Band, but I hear they’re taking a year off.) I emailed back and forth with a few folks and set up one meeting with Derek Tobler, the one I thought would be a top choice.

Going into the meeting, we just wanted to make sure Derek was OK with playing our music. We didn’t need him to like our music or be overly familiar with it. We just wanted him to be OK with playing some live versions of the songs that were really, really important to use. When he told us that he was in a band when he lived in California, we were pleased. He wasn’t just a fan of music, he was a musician. When he volunteered that he had seen our favorite band a few times in the ’90s and was happy to play live versions, we were overjoyed. We left that meeting smiling like someone had just handed us puppies and ice cream cones.

Now, we still wanted some live music at the wedding, and we decided that we’d hire musicians for our ceremony and cocktail hour. That piece is still being developed.

When I asked advice about bands vs. DJs online, I was surprised by how passionate some people are on the issue. Where do you stand? If you’re married, did you have a band or a DJ at your reception? Why?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
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  1. Member
    jacinda10 469 posts, Helper bee @ 8:41 am

    We’re having a band. We feel like its a better experience than a DJ for the feel of our wedding. We’re also having a black tie wedding and we want to give our guests a bit of an experience.

    I think DJs can be great, but we ultimately chose the band.

  2. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:43 am

    @jacinda10: I agree. For black tie, a band probably fits. :)

  3. hawk Member
    hawk 1117 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:28 am

    I absolutely love the idea of having a live band, but we went the DJ route since we have such diverse tastes in music. Glad you found someone that you connected with!

  4. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:34 am

    @Miss Hawk: I thought your DJ looked awesome in your post!

  5. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 9:49 am

    I had too many different must have music selections, that a band would not have been feasible for us, so in the end I was happy we decided on a DJ.

  6. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:04 am

    @Mrs. Pony: If we found a band that could play our music and play it well, I think we would have entertained the idea…but the DJ was the best option for our tastes. :)

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Jessica, Guest @ 11:31 am

    OMG, i could have wrote this post! I’m not married yet but in the stages of planning and music is a HUGE priority on our list! My fiance and I are actually trying to find a DJ who will allow us to control all of the music the entire night, providing the playlist or an iPod. We don’t listen to any top 40, rap, or anything like that and just don’t want it part of our day. I know some people would think our style is odd but we don’t :) We like 50’s rock and roll, classic rock and jam bands SO that is what we willl have!!

  8. Member
    doublepuglove 54 posts, Worker bee @ 11:57 am

    As a member of the phamily I say DON’T DO IT!!!! We had a live band and it MADE the wedding. Seriously. I was on the dance floor all night in my beautiful dress and purple Birks listening to all my favorite songs and I didn’t care a bit that they weren’t the live versions. I was just happy to be singing them at the top of my lungs with my husband, my family and all of my best friends!

  9. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:20 pm

    @Jessica: I’m with you on styles. Mr. Mink’s company Christmas party is usually when we get an update on what music is popular. Last year, some song came on very early into the event and the floor went from empty to full of people doing a line dance (some shuffle thing). It cracked us up.

    @doublepuglove: The decision is made. The only way someone is playing our first dance song in person is if Trey and Page show up.

  10. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:03 pm

    I’m all about the DJ. I do think bands are awesome, but FI and I are very picky about our music. A band just would not be able to provide us with the type of music we want at our weddings.

  11. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:08 pm

    @TinyTina: Same here. We obviously love live music…but I think we also have diverse tastes and high standards. As I wrote, we have great local wedding bands, but we worried they wouldn’t have done our favorite songs justice.

  12. parasol Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:16 pm

    Your solution is exactly what my friend did, and I think it’s a great balance! That way, you have awesome live music at the beginning, but then you can have classic renditions of your favorite dance songs when everyone is getting down on the dance floor. It’s perfect!

  13. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:21 pm

    @Mrs. Parasol: Oh, I can’t tell you have reassuring that is! We definitely wanted some live music!

  14. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:33 pm

    Franzia? Yes. Dave Matthews? Double yes.

  15. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:50 pm

    @Future Army Wife: Ba ha ha!

  16. Member
    MaggieL 494 posts, Helper bee @ 7:11 am

    We’re having a band- it’s a group of guys I went to highschool with and have been playing together for about 8 years. They play a huge variety of music. In addition to the band- we’ll have an ipod with playlists for when the band is taking a break. The lead singer of the band is a close friend- so he is just going to be the MC like a DJ would do…

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    LeandraM, Guest @ 3:31 pm

    Our first dance is probably going to be Loving Cup, the Phish version of course. I’m curious as to what songs you will be playing at your wedding!

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