A few years back, we were performing at a very elegant and well planned wedding reception that included a fabulous, multi-course, sit-down meal. Being that it was a typical 10-hour day for us, we happily took our place at the vendor’s table with the friendly photogs awaiting the fare. Through the swinging doors came the soup, then the salad, then the main entrees of Prime Rib, baked Fresh Salmon and Chicken sumthin’, accompanied by fresh roasted summer vegetables. It was all six levels above yummy. But, we were there to work so after gobbling it all down like a hungry bear, it was back to the booth. On the way, a quick stop at the sweetheart table to thank the B&G for their kind hospitality (it’s nice to be invited to have a meal provided, but we never take it for granted). That’s when I noticed that the groom had ordered… not the Prime rib, or the Chicken, or the fish… He had in front of him one of the biggest and best equipped hamburgers I have ever seen (apparently, he like big buns) and the look on his face expressed his delight. It turned out that it was too big for him to finish. When I asked him later why he had ordered the burger, his answer was simple “She got decide on everything except what I wanted to eat… and I wanted a HUGE burger.”
All sorts of thoughts flashed through my brain as to how I could have a little fun with this (a little riffing followed “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” being the most obvious), but alas, the timing was off, and the opportunity vanished. But that’s not always the case. In fact, given the arsenal of tunes most DJs carry, you probably have something fitting for any unexpected surprise.
With that in mind, here are a few comments recently posted on the Pro MC/DJ Senior’s Tour facebook page regarding the “Groom’s Cake.” Skip Kelly of West Palm Beach, FL led it off with, “Does anyone do anything special when there’s a groom’s cake involved at a wedding? Do you mention it, have a special presentation, make a big deal about it, ignore it, or what?
Personally, I have never even heard of a Groom’s cake, but apparently it’s quite the norm in most part of the south, except in FL (according Susan Giles in Fort Payne, AL).
From what I gather from the various comments posted, when there is a Groom’s cake, it is often used as a way to honor the hobbies or sports interests. Jeffrey Evan Mufson of Tampa, FL mentioned, ” I had a groom that had his cake shaped like Fenway Park. Guess which song got played here? Sweet Caroline of course.”
But getting back to Skip’s Question,
Chuck Lehnard (Santa Rosa, CA) posted “As with everything else, I leave it up to the B&G to let me know what they do,,, but in the past I suggest that they give the groom a few special minutes of his own, and do a cake cutting and play a song of his choice,,, one of my favs was having a groom’s cake in the shape of Cartman from South Park, when he cut the cake I played “Come Sail Away” by Styx sung by Cartman,,, they loved it… I was booked for this wedding by another DJ so I didn’t know about the cake and just happen to have that song on my computer, it’s the spontaneous moments that rock!“
To which Stu Chisholm (Roseville, MI) added, “I pretty much do what Chuck does. My last wedding with one, the groom is a huge Pokemon fan and his bride presented him with one of the ball cakes. Naturally, I had to play the Pokemon theme and all his friends who know his nerdy fascination got a big kick out of it. Last year, we had a Portal cake, and they had me play “Still Alive” when it was time to cut it. Fun stuff! Lots of room for creativity!
So what can you take away from all this? Two things:
1. Never expect an event to be routine. In fact, do whatever you can to put your “brand” on the event. Look for those little opportunities to inject your style and personality into the event, beyond the norm.
2. Always remember that being a DJ/MC at event is about a whole lot more than just playing the musicâ€”Your job (especially for wedding receptions) is to create the “soundtrack” for the entire event, including the narration. While you may have a standard playlist you use for every event, be able to recognize when you need to change direction, whether it’s for a few minutes, or the rest of the event.