My son and now daughter in law were married in her home town of Ames, Iowa. They had a fantastic destination wedding, but sadly some So-Cal family and friends could not make the trip. We decided to throw a backyard summer LA party to celebrate their marriage.
I’ve always had a crazy itch to dj, yes dj. I know it’s sounds a little weird for a fifty-five and change gal wanting to don the giant headphones and spin the vinyl, but I guess it’s years of complaining about what music the dj’s were playing and how much better my dance set could be. So I did some research, aided by my 23 year-old daughter’s friend who rallied such great support I just couldn’t fail. We decided on a very basic all in one kit, added speakers and of course the giant white earphones and I was set! I spent weeks creating the nights music. First there would be the “Welcome” music. This set would be auto played while guests arrived, mingled and had appetizers followed by dinner from a terrific burger truck which pulled right up to the house. OMG such a great idea and when you factor in all the costs of cooking or catering yourself, it’s a bargain. After dinner? dancing of course, dj’d by me (more on how that went later) The “Dessert and Cigar” music set followed on auto-play so I could rejoin the guests and bask in my glory. Three sets is a lot of music, but itunes makes it very easy to plan the length of each set.
I had the best time picking the music, such a great ride down memory lane, a rear view mirror told through music. The Welcome set started with Sinatra, Dean, Joni, Diana Krall, Sade and as the Welcome moved into Dinner – the vibe changed to Amy Winehouse, Bruce, Rolling Stones. By the way, the best all time duo ever? Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse and their killer version of “Body and Soul” is so amazing. Moving on to the dance set… I was really hyped. I had practiced and practiced every night for weeks at my dining room table. I would play the mix in the car and just listen to the nuances of the starts and endings. It was HARD!!!! Like rubbing your tummy and patting your head and looking cool while doing it! But, finally it clicked somewhat and I was able to transition in and out of songs seamlessly… kinda. The dance set took the longest to assemble. I had my favorites from my era, but I didn’t think this crowd would enjoy it as much, so I stuck with more current choices. I had a blast! I think I danced more than anyone, and for sure I would do it again. I think everyone enjoyed it including my kids or maybe they might like to indulge me – just a tad. Moving on to the Dessert/Cigar mix, oh such a great set. Al Green, Clapton, Stones, Van Morrison, Bruno Mars, JZ, Elvis. I made a mix tape cd as a party favor in honor of the young marrieds and handed them out as the guests left. Great party, great music & food. Mazel Tov Aaron & Chelsea!!! Hit me up for the list!