Cheese Wiz or Cheese Fromage?

by Alan Dodson

Over the past few weeks I have been talking with a number of mobile DJs is the United States and the United Kingdom about what is considered “Cheesy” at a wedding.

The main thing I learned is that every person I talked with had a different definition and interpretation of what cheesy means. One word that came up a lot in conversation was “relevance.” From the cocktail hour music to to the last dance, everything we do must be relevant to the couple, their family, and their wishes.

Types of Cheese

DJ Matt Cohen in Sacramento, CA, has a page on his website with a list of songs that he considers cheesy. It say’s that he won’t play any of them unless they are specifically requested by a client.

At many weddings in the Northeastern U.S., the Chicken Dance and Y.M.C.A. are staples that are not only expected, but required, along with a couple of special Polka’s. In the U.K., some songs that are considered cheesy in the U.S. are almost always played and are considered to be great fun.

Some people would consider the use of party props at a wedding or elegant function to rank high on the cheese scale. There’s a You Tube video that’s been circulating around featuring a DJ that clears the dance floor at a wedding so that he can show off his dancing moves.

I wonder if this “Showstopper” was the DJ’s idea, or whether he was a friend of the bride and groom and THEY wanted him to entertain the crowd by dancing. If that was the case, was what he did still cheesy?

Are You Classy or a Clown?

A question that has to be decided by every mobile entertainer is whether you want to be classy or a clown. In my opinion, wedding entertainers in particular have an obligation to their clients to create a fun, classy and memorable reception party that is tailored specifically to the bride and groom.

Personally, I am a very interactive DJ. I offer games and audience interactive segments to all of my clients. Many of them did not even know such things were available, and some have seen suggestions I make done badly at another couple’s wedding and would not even consider it for their own.

My Cheese Rant

I personally consider huge light shows, signs and banners, inflatable guitars, or forcing people to the dance floor at weddings to be cheesy. Untrained voices and talking too much or at the wrong time on the mic? Cheesy!

Peter Merry is known for his amazing expanded introductions, and Mark Ferrell for his “Love Stories.” I consider both of those things cheesy if they are done poorly; however, the way Peter and Mark do their respective specialties, they are amazingly relevant and appropriate. I’m sure there are many DJs who would disagree with part or all of my opinion on what’s cheesy and what isn’t.

The bottom line is, no matter what the song, shtick, game, dance or party-extra, if it’s not discussed in advance with a client and enthusiastically agreed to by them, then it’s cheesy.

So, take time to ask the bride and groom, “What do you consider cheesy?” You might be surprised at the answers you get, so make sure you have a clear understanding of what they want. Then, deliver it with professionalism and style!

What’s your favorite and least favorite kind of “Cheese?”

Alan Dodson – Wedding Wizard

Alan Dodson is the Entertainment Director of An Unforgettable Event (ThoseWeddingPeople.com), and has been entertaining at and producing events since the early 1970’s. He has also worked as a voice talent on radio and television, nationwide. Alan specializes in weddings, and is a co-producer of the Tri Cities Bridal Show (tricitiesbridalshow.com) as well as producer of bi-monthly workshops for grooms (aPerfectGroom.com). He has written numerous articles for business and trade magazines, and has been a speaker on implementing social media into wedding DJ businesses. Alan is a founding officer of the E. TN Chapter of the ADJA (adja.org/chapters/etenn), where he now serves as President. He maintains an informational wedding blog on his website (TopDiscJockey.com). Alan can be reached by email at alan@topdiscjockey.com.

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