Here are a few of my favorite stories from my (mis)adventures:
I once DJ’d a wedding reception where the the bride’s sister gave a toast to the bride and groom. She was trying to express how supportive and patient her sister’s new husband is. She used the example of the one day she showed up at their home and the cat was sick…with vomit and diarrhea all over the house. Here’s to our happy couple!
I once performed on sail boat for a destination wedding off of Martha’s Vineyard. Once we were out sailing, the wind and waves became a little more than the bride and groom anticipated. While on the ship’s bow, a wave broke over the boat and soaked the bride and groom. Later I was seated on my amplifier when the boat took a sudden dip to the side, nearly dumping me into the Atlantic. Luckily, a guest caught my shirt as I was nearly launched overboard.
I once played a sorority reunion party where one of the ladies (about 20 years my senior) had way too much to drink. She became infatuated with me to an uncomfortable extent (which is saying a lot for a pro musician!). Eventually, she had to be distracted so I could sneak out a back entrance to leave. I could see her looking for me through the venue’s windows when I was driving away.
I once played a destination wedding on a picturesque island off the coast of Maine. Nearly 100 guests were ferried to the private island where most were planning to camp for the night after the festivities. In keeping with the theme, the bride and groom hired a catering company to provide a clambake for the guests. Apparently, the 2 caterers had never put on a clambake. If you’re not familiar with a clambake, it involves burying campfire embers, wet seaweed, and seafood/potatoes/corn, allowing the food to steam for a few hours under the beach. The problem is that there is no way to check whether or not the food is fully cooked- it’s all intuition and experience. And, once you uncover the food, there is no way to put it back so it can continue to cook. The caterers misjudged the cooking time and served up half-cooked seafood. Since, we were on an island, there was no convenient way to get more food out to the island promptly. Everyone ended up with a meal consisting of alcohol and whoopie pies!
I once played a wedding anniversary where the husband (with a history of a stroke) suddenly fainted. Someone yelled, “Stop the music!” The whole party came crashing to a halt, he was laid out on the floor under a guest’s coat, and the paramedics came running in. Everyone was crying and expecting the worst. Eventually, the guy came to and was alright, even joking with the paramedics and refusing further medical attention. But everyone’s nerves were shot, and the party disbanded pretty quickly.
I once DJ’d a wedding reception where the bride’s sister was jealous. Very jealous. She attempted to make the evening about herself at every opportunity. Her speech to the bride was about herself. When it was time for the bouquet toss, she ran out on the floor YELLING “I’m single!” repeatedly. She walked right over to the bride and tried to take the bouquet (the bride shoved her across the dance floor). She was so blitzed that the bartenders cut her off before the dance floor even opened. Once the dancing commenced she somehow tripped from across the room and fueled all the way across the dance floor, crashed into the DJ table, nearly knocked a speaker on top of herself, and ending up face flat on the floor.
I once played a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour on the Rhode Island coast on a bright summer day. There were lavish flower arrangements in 4 foot tall glass vases. It was perfect…until moments before the ceremony, when the wind started picking up. All of the flower vases blew over and smashed- glass and flowers EVERYWHERE! The women were crying, the guys were laughing, the florist was having a meltdown. The outdoor cocktail hour should have been been moved inside (they had the space…why…WHY?). The wind became more ferocious. The cocktail table flower arrangements all smashed on the patio. The table cloths blew out to the beach. Some of the tables flipped over. The top of one table ripped off, flew into the air, and almost nailed a hotdog vendor down the street. The bartender couldn’t make a mixed drink without the assistance of another caterer to hold the cup. It was perhaps the most ridiculous, completely avoidable disaster I’ve ever seen.
I once played a party that began with a guest landing a helicopter on the front lawn and ended with an ambulance. The two were unrelated; however, I offer this as a tale that a really fun party can be brought to a crashing halt by a single guest who misjudges their alcohol intake. A bloody face, a crying/moaning mess, being too inebriated to function, and an ambulance ride are no one’s idea of a great Saturday night!