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?