If you have been to a production-quality wedding in Merida, you know that it is a blow-out event, and in many cases, it seems that no expense is spared; the sheer volume of guests, tables and accoutrements making the “large” wedding North of the Border (NOB) of 80 people or so seem like a children’s party in comparison.
Besides the catered meal (in Merida, Rigel is your best option), the photography, the flowers, and the ‘hall’ which in the Yucatan is much more than that: a former plantation or hacienda could be the venue or perhaps one of the social clubs like the Campestre or Libanés which are also popular for those who don’t feel like driving out into the countryside in the dark.
The music, which is the topic of today’s article is also a make or break part of any wedding event and you can choose from a DJ or a live band, of which there are many, some better than others. At the time of this writing, Grupo Crack (honest, that’s their name) is among the latter group with vocalists that not only have great range and sing in tune, but also featuring an almost limitless range of musical genres from the ever-popular tropical cumbias to reggaeton and even – gasp – classic rock and disco numbers.
Before the band or DJ swing into action, however, dinner is usually served and during that time, which is ideally suited to conversation and getting to know or reacquainting yourself with the folks around your table, the music ideally should be at a volume conducive to the aforementioned activity.
Options for this musical interlude include:
- recorded music played at a moderate volume thus permitting one to converse without screaming across the table, with the ensuing potential for projectile food particle dispersion;
- a juggler (kidding – this is not an option at a wedding)
- a string quartet or similar acoustic and unamplified musical option, again allowing not only the all-important table conversation (you will leave your iPhone with these people after all when you hit the dance floor), but also enabling you to actually digest in a manner becoming civilized human beings, the food you are partaking of;
- a saxophone player. Unfortunately the saxophone player, who plays with himself and his previously recorded background tracks, is the worst of any option, as I can attest to personally, having just suffered through an hour of over-amplified alto sax wailing that reminded me of Monty Pythons cheese shop sketch (“shut that bloody bouzouki player up!”), or perhaps an afternoon at the local goose farm, where gaggles of geese incessantly honk while you are trying to have a meal.
It was, in fact, a rather unpleasant musical sax intervention during dinner at an otherwise delightful wedding that prompted this article. Fellow guests and I (and Better Half) could not believe that the screeching, out of tune and random notes being played at eardrum-piercing volume along with pre-recorded backing tracks ranging from Metallica (really) to Celine Dion (naturally) was intended to make the guests dining experience more pleasant. The effect of this musical masturbation, a term I invented for musicians who play and receive enjoyment themselves at the expense of their audience, is mind numbing and heart palpitation inducing. You will want to get up at some point and stuff a floral centerpiece into his instrument or simply shoot him.
If you are planning a wedding and have the usual large production in mind, please think of your guests and do not, I repeat, do NOT include a sax player for your dinner interlude music. Your guests will love you and thank you for it.