PLAYING SAME-SEX WEDDINGS
Orlando, Fla.-based jock J.R. Silva is adamant about the fact his company will play for whatever type of wedding reception for which SILVA Entertainment will be booked, no matter the gender makeup.
“These alternative events have the same storytelling—they just have a different makeup of people,” says Silva. “Basically the clients invite their loved ones, close friends and family who don’t judge, and it’s a joyful celebration. That’s all there is to it.
“I find that the audience has to trust that the DJ is not there to pass judgment, and to just roll out a fantastic party. No religion specifically pays my bills at the end of the month, so I stay open-minded and versatile.”
This past Election Day, three states—Maine, Maryland, and Washington—became the first to legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote. So, as of 2013, nine states—Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington—plus the District of Columbia and two Native American tribes have legalized same-sex marriage. In addition, Rhode Island recognizes same-sex unions performed in other jurisdictions, while California recognizes them on a conditional basis.
A look at the Maryland example alone should open some eyes for all wedding vendors, not just those DJs who run entertainment services. In 2012, a study by the Williams Institute—a think tank at UCLA’s School of Law “dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy”—predicted that, over a three-year period, weddings by resident Maryland couples will generate between $40 million and $64 million for the state economy. (The analysis didn’t include out-of-state couples traveling to Maryland for the purpose of getting married.)
With these possibly lucrative developments in the air, we asked mobile DJs around the country how the evolving social opinions regarding non-traditional marriages is impacting their event calendars, and how those changes are impacting how they operate their events.
The only challenge Silva says he’s found is how to adapt how he scripts his announcements.
“For example, saying, ‘Let’s have the gentlemen escort the ladies to the dancefloor’ doesn’t fly in this arena,” he says. “It’…