My inspiration always comes from working with my clients. I don't read wedding blogs (except for HuffPost Weddings, of course) and seldom read magazines. I hear stories from my clients and get inspired. As we explore the options for their wedding, my imagination runs wild. As we walk through the wedding venue, I see oodles of potential.
It's more fun to create than imitate, and frankly, I'm getting tired of some of the wedding trends. I think it's time for something new. Since I plan mostly gay weddings, I love playing in a field with no rules or expectations about what should happen at a wedding. So let's get rid of the mason jars, say goodbye to cupcakes and kick the photobooth to the curb.
Sometimes I have clients who say something completely brilliant, from way out of left field, and I get to hit the ground running on solving this problem, addressing this amazing need. That just happened with a pair of my grooms. They didn't want a band because they think it's hard to find a great one. They felt that DJs can fall a little flat. So they asked me to find them a VJ.
Yes, VJ. Video Jockey. Think MTV before "Jersey Shore." Think Adam Curry and Downtown Julie Brown. A VJ.
I instantly loved it! Of course it's very complicated, but as a planner, I love a fun challenge! My first thoughts are: "Brilliant! But I don't even know how this works. Does the VJ pre-program all the videos in advance, leaving no room for mixing, spontaneity and "reading the crowd"? Is a VJ an egoist who wants all the attention? Can a VJ get all those songs? Really?"
I'm still figuring this stuff out and I don't yet have all the answers, but there are a few things I know for sure:
1) There are almost no VJs, anywhere, who spin weddings. I asked around on Twitter and heard about someone in L.A. I googled and googled some more, contacted a few booking agents in New York City who were as confused as I was, before I found one agent with one VJ (who is awesome and gay for my gay grooms).
2) Apparently VJs can, in fact, mix on the fly. I have absolutely no idea how they mix video files, just as a DJ mixes song files. I don't know the software. I have truly no idea how this works, but it's very impressive! One VJ did a demo for my clients (see video at the bottom of this post), where he literally took requests from my grooms and played them for us live. Then the grooms asked about an "SNL" skit and somehow the VJ downloaded that file and mixed that in as well.
3) This is not inexpensive since there are a lot of audio/visual needs -- screens and so forth.
4) As much as I love a great DJ (more so than a band, personally), a VJ can make the party pop in a way that a DJ can't. The VJ captivates the guests with video, adding in another level of nostalgia and bringing them back, in my clients' case, mostly to the '80s.
Videos tell stories. We tell our clients' stories when we plan those fabulous, historic weddings. What a perfect pair. This VJ wedding isn't till September, but I'll report back about how much fun we all have toasting our grooms and their fabulous, unique wedding.