Monday, July 12, 2010

DJ Splurge Excitement

I've been a bit of a downer with my budget "woes" in the last few weeks. And while it's entirely understandable that I'm having momentary panic attacks (the "total" number on our budget spreadsheet is frankly terrifying) I keep reminding myself that we're choosing to spend this money. While there's no way a venue, dinner, and drinks are ever going to be inexpensive for 150 people, we could have stopped there with our bare-bones needs. However, we're also choosing make additional expenditures on splurges that matter. And, even though I pale a bit when thinking about the deposit checks we've been writing lately, I am honestly giddy about our chosen splurges. Like, five-year-old-on-a-five-day-sugar-high giddy.

You already know that our venue isn't much of a splurge. And I'm getting happier and happier with cheaper dress options by the day. But we really are putting extra money into our guests. We're renting shuttles so no one has to brave the twisty canyon roads after too much booze. And (eeee! here comes the sugar-rush joy!) we just signed the contract with the most superfabulousamazing DJ in the entire dang world. Like, I could not be more excited about the music we're having at our wedding.

Michael Antonia, aka the Human Jukebox, aka founding member of The Flashdance wedding artist collective is going to be DJing our wedding, and my glee is at the just-mainlined-twelve-pixie-sticks level. No joke.

When we started this process, I ruled our budget with an ironclad grip. No wedding cake - we can't afford it and we have tons of friends with baking skills. No florist - we can't afford it and we can grow our own succulents. No DJ - we can't afford it and Jason has the best music collection and party playlist skills of anyone I've ever met.

Yeah, that "no DJ" directive lasted about two seconds after we heard Michael DJ at the Kick Ass Cake Bash event.  Jason couldn't even join in the conversation because he kept getting distracted by the DJ set in the next room. After the event, Jason not-so gently reminded me that this is his wedding too and that, after the ceremony, music is his number one wedding priority. Music has always been Jason's primary passion. As in, Jason's a musician, used to work for a major record label, and still helps independent artists as a side gig. As in, once we heard Michael spin, trying to ipod our own wedding was a lost cause. And trying to hire one of those generic djs was an equally lost cause. Instead, we get someone who describes his background and business venture like so:

Flashdance is an idea that has been brewing for nearly a decade... Way back in the day Whitney [of Our Labor of Love Photography] and Michael [our genius DJ] dreamed of having their own company together...

We didn’t get into this business because we thought it would be an easy way to earn a buck, we did it because our weddings were the most amazing days of our lives, and so much fun, that we decided to trade in the grind of corporate events, music festivals, and nightclubs, to make love and happiness the biggest part of our lives.

The music that I play at any event is determined soley by the people in attendance. I can confidently cover the last 50 years of soul, jazz, funk, & rock. More recent stuff includes mainstream and underground 80's, 90's and current hip-hop, electronic, disco, house-party hits, and dance music of every variety.

I AM NOT going to tell corny jokes on the mic
I AM NOT going to play trance at your wedding!
I AM NOT going to play desperate, crappy disco to try to “Please everyone”
I AM NOT going to be an ego driven “artist” and only play what “I” want to hear
I AM NOT going to be a shitty wedding DJ!
I AM NOT going to play thug hip hop at your dinner (unless of course…)
I AM NOT going to play ipods/cds

I AM gonna play VINYL (remember that format?)
I AM going to play the perfect music for the mood of the people in attendance.
I AM going to be able to read the crowd and build the energy accordingly.
I AM going to seemlessly blend from dinner to dance party
I AM going to make you dance your ass off.
I AM going to make you laugh
I AM going to make you cry
I AM going to make your friends jealous.
I AM going to create lifelong memories… 


Especially when Michael makes wedding DJ sets like this!!!

And when he creates monthly playlists and curates guest mixes that keep me sane at work, like these!!!

So, we're splurging. Big time. And we couldn't be more excited about it, because it's right for us and all our love-to-party, music nerd and artist friends. We're investing in a party. And we're totally high on pixie-stick style joy about our DJ.


  1. he's a dj in the truest sense of the word.

    not in the "wedding dj" sense. the "just put on a song and wait for it to finish so you can put on another" sense.

    and i'm SUPREMELY jealous.

  2. I am so happy to hear you so happy!

  3. Oh so envious - we're iPod playlisting for that very reason. Honestly, I've encountered far too many "artists" throughout the wedding planning process - it's nice to hear about a true professional! x

  4. I put my foot down on a DJ early one because 1) I wanted to save money and 2) I was scared it would be that horror story DJ that wants to talk all night, play craptastic music, or turn the dance floor into a body grinding club scene. We were opting for the iPod until our fabulous photographer gently nudged us in the direction of some perfect companies. He had seen some of those weddings not work as well because there's no one to read the dance floor and choose the music based on the mood, so nobody danced and brides/grooms were playing with the iPod all night, trying to find the right songs. The one we went with has the same type of attitude as yours. The yelp reviews on them were ridiculously positive with people saying they played the perfect mix of indie/old rock/new stuff and even had crowds cheering for encores at the end of the night. We ultimately shelled out the large chunk of change because I know that if everything else goes wrong on the day, I'm confident it will still be a kick ass party.

  5. That is how insanely giddy we feel about our venue. I mean, it just makes us soooo happy. Yes, we could have gone with the space that was $2000 or $3000 cheaper, but when I think about getting married at Irvine, I want to run around squealing. Yay for making the right choices!

  6. Lovely! I am jealous.

    I like our DJ well enough but he's totally a generic wedding DJ, because we are just not good at dance playlists (cocktail music we've got covered), and he totally will be playing MP3s and CDs because we want a bunch of songs he doesn't have, so we're providing them.

  7. If you're gonna go the DJ route, he's totally the DJ to get. And I love that this makes you so happy--because there's enough serious number-crunching, you need at least a few things that just make you grin and jump up and down.

    (also, we ended up spending way more on flowers, BBQ, and the venue than budgeted... but because these were all local small-business (or non-profit) people and I genuinely LIKED them and believed in what they were trying to do... it made me feel good to support them. These people weren't trying to scam us, just trying to make a living doing what they love, and I can only applaud that).

  8. Ooh, this sounds like so much fun. I think it's fine to allow yourself a splurge where it is important to you.

    We splurged on the vacation aspect of our wedding so that we could really enjoy everyone's company.

  9. Good prioritizing lady. You guys are doing what's important for you. Your music is going to rock!

  10. That's so awesome. I love that list of I AM NOT and I AM's. So great! Sounds like you scored on this and I am all about blowing the budget a bit to splurge on priority items. It is afterall a once in a lifetime event and celebration! Good for you!

  11. Woo! Wedding decisions that make you feel like you have a sugar high are the BEST. And I'm especially glad you got such a great DJ given Jason's love of music.

  12. I am so happy for you!!! I have been following the FlashDance for awhile and Michael seems to be the best DJ EVER!!!

  13. I can 100 percent vouch that your dance floor will be crowded all night and that your guests will be amazed and properly entertained. At my daughter's wedding, I was asked many times who was 'the best dj we have ever heard'. Honestly, I have a friend who walks with a cane, and seeing her on the dance floor repeatedly said to me more than anything else that Michael Antonia has a gift. Yes, his playlists are amazing, and the music is varied... but, most importantly, he can and does read the crowd. Whatever type of music your guests respond to, Michael will feed off of and expand. A true artist.

  14. Lucky you! I am an indie kid and none of the DJs have the music I listen to.

  15. That is so awesome - we didn't have the budget for a DJ especially Michael but I did get to hire him to put together a dance mix for us that served as the music for our reception - as you can see from the pictures (posted Saturday on HiFi Weddings) our guests loved it! And I loved working with him to put our mix together. So envious of you!

  16. oooh kickass! that is going to be one hell of a party. OLOL photographed our wedding and I went back and forth with Michael a little bit but since we're in ATL and he's in LA, it didn't ultimately work out. this is SO AWESOME for y'all!

  17. Hooray! I am so excited for you! If I could make that "hooray" be as big as your entire computer screen, I would. That's how excited I am for you.

    ... and, well, a wee bit jealous. But he's such a kickass DJ that I'm mostly just 179% happy that you'll have the time of your life out there on the dancefloor, Sunday afternoon be damned.

  18. Such, such jealousy. I will listen to a mix on your day and dance my little heart out!

  19. I'M SO JEALOUS!!!!!!!!! Congrats, you guys! I know you've been waiting til you got the venue all squared away, so yay for finally getting to book!

  20. WOW! I noticed the Flash Dance logo on your page the second it loaded up and was all, "WAIT..." I am SO jealous, SO jealous. It's gonna be a kick-ass day!

    I really think having an incomparable DJ like that is going be something you'll remember and everyone will remember...I was recently at a wedding with a DJ who's conversational and timing vibes reminded me of Craig Robinson's stand-up (Darryl from the Office)

    It's gonna be amaaaazing. Say it out loud, it'll feel good.

  21. This is perhaps an inappropriate comment, but I recently realized how hilarious a word "splurge" is. Especially to "splurge on" something.

    Man. I have some growing up to do.

  22. @LisaAnn - thank you for the feedback! Fingers crossed my mother (and other folks with canes) all feel the same way!

    @Bridalhood - I saw your photos already (love love love love) and just checked out the HiFi feature. For a long time, we were thinking about a DJ/DIY combination, and I love how you did it. You got to draw on Michael's amazing expertise while staying in budget. I LOVE it (and that playlist).

    @kathleen - oooooh. OLOL is another amazing and worthwhile splurge. And I just checked out your breathtaking photos. Wow. Chills.

    @Bret - my humor can wallow in the teenage boy realm, but you just got me there.

  23. That's awesome! Really excited for you; it's going to be a great party! :)

  24. hold on....

    ok, i'm back. i was just raising the roof for you :)

  25. HAH! i was going to suggest michael to you guys but you smarties already knew! this mean i want to feature your wedding now more than ever before!!!

  26. they are the one dj that will be so worth it. it will be amazing!

  27. so jealous - being in boston getting him out here was not an option for us but oh how i wish it was!!!

  28. I love that Jason reminded us all that the groom-to-be wants to get involved in some of the planning. My groom surprised me by telling me he wants a real wedding cake. I was sold on mini bundt cakes for our wedding but it looks like there will be a real cake added to the budget...


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