A Confluence of Excitement


In two weeks, I’m going to be married, and the company that I work for, VRChat, is going to be deeply, deeply changing. In both cases, I’m confident that this is for the better, and in both cases, I’ve been working very hard to help orchestrate the details.

For NDA reasons, I can’t discuss the things that are happening to VRChat - let’s simply conclude that the winds of change are a-blowin’ and that we are likely to have a really big announcement in the next couple of weeks.

The wedding, now THAT I can discuss.

I’ve planned a few large events in my time. I worked with the Computing Science Student Society in University as the executive responsible for throwing events, and we threw LAN parties, movie nights, barbeques - lots of big things!

I have never, however, planned an event as large and complicated as a wedding. (With that in mind, I suddenly have a lot more respect for the difficulty involved in throwing even a single day’s worth of tech conference. Holy moley!)

I’ve had to coordinate decorators, staff, venues, caterers, a bartender, alcohol, licensing, insurance, I’ve had to pay countless vendors for so many different things, pick out photographers, fill my car to the absolute brim with a variety of Wedding-related tchotchkes, it’s been a lot.

On top of that, I am frequently called upon to have opinions on things that nobody has ever actually had opinions about, like “should the chairs have bows on them?”

Tiffany and I kinda quietly build on each other’s nerdiness. I opened with "let’s make it gently video game themed - like, just work in a few classy video game touches in an otherwise traditional wedding’ - months later, we have a Mario Kart booth, piranha plants, and Tiffany is throwing a plush red shell instead of a bouquet. It’s gonna be great.

Let’s have a brief talk about wedding playlists. Story time: I attended a wedding in '10 that accidentally included Christmas music in the playlist (hi Andy), and Allen and I had a serious chat about wedding playlists. He proceeded to spend the next year thinking more deeply about the problem then perhaps anybody else in history, and launched Wedding DJ ( http://www.steamclock.com/weddingdj/ )

That’s a cool solution, yes, but it was designed with non-expert users in mind, and I’ve instead spent the past 7 years quietly working on The Ultimate Wedding Playlist, collecting data about songs that are popular at weddings ( http://www.steamclock.com/blog/2016/05/wedding-songs-most-popular/ ) and then discarding that data and driving into walls.

Here’s some things about the final product:

  • It is 8.5 hours long, divided into “pre-dance” and “dance” segments
  • Normalized to a consistent volume throughout
  • Deeply, fundamentally geeky. (It contains, among other things, William Shatner singing Rocket Man)
  • As much as possible, it is accompanied with full video, which will be projected near the dance floor.
  • The dance portion is organized in strict chronological order by year, after dinner. After a great deal of struggling with how to mix old tunes with new tunes in a way that would get a good demographic mix on the dance floor, I instead decided to try to optimize micro-dances for individual sub-demographics. Enjoy the music of the 80’s? Well, we’ve got a big stretch of it for you. Do you instead get up on the floor for 90’s early-rap nostalgia and cheesy Backstreet Boys hits? THAT IS A DIFFERENT SEGMENT OF THE EVENING.
  • God, the 90’s were a real hole for dance music, huh?
  • Everything past about 10:30 is left in the hands of some very competent DJs who’ve made the mistake of pasting big chunks of their sets online.
  • When I play chunks of it around people they usually start dancing a little bit. It exhibits, as best as I can tell, high dance-floor pull.
  • doesn’t matter I’m gonna be over with the video games stomping people at Towerfall

Past that, I quietly sealed up the third chapter in a growing compendium of web knowledge that I’m working on: http://butts.work/