Windy Day Wedding Ceremonies – To Hold or Not to Hold

This morning I saw a Facebook post from one of my favorite local wedding officiants who was thankful that the wind isn’t as bad today as it was yesterday.

She had to hold a handheld mic during the ceremony, while trying to hold and control all her papers for the ceremony service.

I placed a lighthearted, joking comment, but it really got me thinking.

See, what she needed yesterday wasn’t necessarily less wind, though that might have been awesome as well!

What would have really helped her experience was working with a DJ that provided better tools for the job, and who had the experience to use them.

As her post suggested, wedding officiants often do more with their hands than juggle papers.  Hand binding ceremonies, holding and handing out rings… These are just a couple.

Their hands shouldn’t have to do these things while juggling a microphone.

A stand isn’t a solution either, because that places a physical barrier and obstruction between her and the couple, who are standing fairly close together.  Stand make interaction more difficult and cumbersome.  And a Mic on a stand between the bride and groom in all your wedding photos…?  You get the idea!

A much better solution for this ceremony would be wireless clip on mics, called lavalier mics.  They are small, discrete, and hands free.

Also, the DJ should always use two of these mics during your ceremony.  One on the officiant, and one on the groom.

Two mics allows your guests to hear the couple as they read or repeat their vows.  Two mics also serves as built in backup if something were to happen to the officiant’s Mic.

Now, in all fairness, some might even say that the DJ in question CHOSE to use the handheld instead of a lav Mic because they are more resistant to ambient wind noise.

While this is true generally speaking, the difference is nothing that can’t be accounted for by using adequate windscreens, Mic placement, and eq on lav mics.

High quality lav mics can be more expensive to invest in, and do have a steeper learning curve to use effectively, but your wedding ceremony deserves that extra investment, and is worth the extra time.

To learn more about how I go above and beyond for my clients, and how I put my experience to use for you on your wedding day, please contact me!

What Will Your DJ Review Be Like?

You definitely do have a lot of choices for your Sacramento wedding DJ!

When hiring your DJ (or any of your vendors really), ask yourself this question.

What would you want your review to say after your big day?

What’s your answer?

After you’ve thought about it, look for vendors whos reviews say just that – and more!

Check out Evan & Haley Barth’s review from their 6-11-2016 wedding at Evan’s parents’ beautiful home in Winters, CA.

Sacramento Wedding DJ. Photo by, and courtesy of, Marta April photography.  http://www.martaaprilphotography.com/

Photo by, and courtesy of, Marta April photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winters, CA Wedding DJ Review

Big Band Cocktail & Dinner Party

I take great pride in specializing in Big Band music, and in having one of, if not THE (yeah, who are we kidding – I’m not modest) absolute best collection of Big Band music and Popular Vocal Standards from the 20s through the 50s in the Sacramento area.

This last weekend, I had a wonderful time playing a Big Band themed birthday party at the Delta King on the river, and I’d like to share some of the playlist from that event.  This party, and the venue, both lent themselves well to exploring all of these great musical traditions from an era gone by.

Unfortunately, not all of the selections I played are even available on YouTube, which just speaks to the size and depth of my collection, but I’ve listed those that are below so you can research them yourself, and have fun learning more about these artists and their music.

Also keep in mind that not all of these will be the exact versions present in my library, and in most all cases, the material I have sounds a lot better from a  fidelity standpoint.  We do have to remember, though, that recording technology was in its infancy when these musics were flourishing, and the overall fidelity, as well as the imperfections are just a part of the charm of these selections, and really help to transport you back in time!

Please enjoy these selections, and if you or someone you know are ever looking for a Big Band-themed wedding, or other event, please give me a call.  While you’re at it, call around and let the other folks know you’d love some classic Big Band at your event, and ask them for some examples of what they’d play.  You may (or may not) be surprised to hear them all mention Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and if you’re lucky maybe Benny Goodman or Duke Ellington for good measure.  But Big band is so much more, and has so much more to offer than just the Rat Pack & Michael Buble!

So when you’re ready, let me know!  I’d love to help you Jump, Jive & Wail your way through an awesome event and dance party!

Without further ado, let’s get started with our list!

Nat King Cole – Straighten Up And Fly Right

Duke Ellington And His Orchestra – Take The ”A” Train

Kay Starr – If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)

Patti Page – Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Count Basie – Swingin’ the Blues

Frank Foster – Lust For Life

Andrews Sisters – Rum And Coca Cola

Johnny Mercer – Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive

Clyde McCoy – Sugar Blues

Ethel Merman – I Got Rhythm

Louis Prima – Jump, Jive, An’ Wail

The Six & Seven-Eighths String Band Of New Orleans – Clarinet Marmalade

Rosemary Clooney – Mambo Italiano

Bobby Darin – Beyond The Sea

Les Paul & Mary Ford – How High the Moon

Fats Waller – Alligator Crawl

Art Kassel & His Kassels In The Air Orch. – Bell-Bottom Trousers

Louis Armstrong and the Duke Ellington Orchestra – It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it Ain’t Got That Swing)

Betty Hutton – Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra – Hotter Than ‘Ell

Les Brown & His Band of Renown – Leap Frog

Billie & De De Pierce Ft. Emile Barnes – Lonesome Road

Benny Goodman – Somebody Stole My Gal

Benny Carter – Black Bottom

Edmond Hall – It Had To Be You

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – A Fine Romance

Johnny Hodges – Something To Pay Your Foot To

Charlie Barnet – Cherokee

Dizzy Gillespie – Autumn Leaves

Benny Goodman – Let’s Dance

Blue Barron – Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider (The Three Blue Notes voc.)

Frank Sinatra – The Best Is Yet To Come

Ella Fitzgerald – Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)

Errol Garner – Red Sails In The Sunset

Count Basie – Tickle Toe

Benny Goodman – Down South Camp Meeting

Charly Barnet – Skyliner

Billie Holiday – Lover Come Back to Me

Glenn Miller – Begin the Beguine

Barney Bigard – Sugar

Emile Barnes & Lawrence Tocca W Billie Pierce – Shake It & Break It

Count Basie – April In Paris

Benny Goodman – Body & Soul

Benny Carter – I’m In The Mood For Swing

Buck Clayton – Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

Nat King Cole – L.O.V.E.

 

Your Cookie Cutter Wedding?

Okay, I admit it.  I like cookies.

No… I LOVE cookies!

But… I’m not so crazy about cookie cutter weddings, and I don’t think you should have to sit through one, let alone be forced to have one!13000094_10154159753916600_9107219443902123839_n

With many DJ services though, the planning process, and indeed the wedding day itself, kinda looks and feels just like this picture.

How do we break the cycle? How do we make sure your wedding is not only customized, but PERSONALIZED?

What IS the difference? (Hint: Ask the other DJs. If they don’t know the difference, you certainly won’t SEE the difference on your wedding day!)

Call me, let’s chat! 916.223.4508

Get Hip With Sacramento Mobile Photo Booths!

Photo booths have been a staple of Northern California weddings for several years now.

They can be a great way to get wedding guests involved and interacting throughout your celebration. With many photo booth vendors also offering highly-customized photo templates, and photo-album options in conjunction with their services, they offer an added layer of sentimentality & value by providing both you and your guests with incredible keepsakes.

And let’s face it – when else are you going to get a photo of your grandma and your best man together, wrapped in a pink feather boa, wearing mustaches?

Fortunately for brides and grooms looking to spice up their wedding celebrations with something fun, hip, and different, several Northern California companies are taking the novelty of photo booths to a whole new level with the idea of the motorized, mobile photo booth.  Utilizing vintage vehicles & trailers, these options are the perfect compliment to a rustic, vintage, or kitschy wedding!

Check out these great new options, and be sure to tell them Justin from Sounds To Go sent you!

The Photo Bug

From Temple Photography and Photo Booth, we have a 1967 VW Beetle. Small enough and maneuverable enough to work it’s way into a prime spot at just about any outdoor (and some indoor!) events, this fun booth is super-groovy for sure. The front seats come out after arrival, making way for a fun, fully-immersive photo booth experience.

ThePhotoboothBug.com

The Photo Booth Bug, by Temple Photography & Photo Booth

The Photo Booth Bug, by Temple Photography & Photo Booth

The Booth Bus

Meet Georgia.  She’s a 1970 VW travel bus/camper who has racked up many awesome memories she call’s her own.  Now, after many years of “roughing it,” she’s ready to help you make your own memories at your special event!

TheBoothBus.com

The Booth Bus. Plenty of charm, ready to roll!

The Booth Bus. Plenty of charm, ready to roll!

Lucy

From OurDIYLove, we have Lucy, a 10′ 1961 Field & Stream trailer.

Totally hip, retro-vibe with awesome backdrops, and plenty of room for some rustic/vintage merriment and camaraderie.

Get the group shot!

OurDIYLove.com

Lucy brings vintage photo fun to you!

Lucy brings vintage photo fun to you!

The Bar at Your Wedding: One Last Call?

As a wedding DJ, I’ll occasionally be asked to give a Last Call for the bar.  Usually the request comes from a well-meaning staff member at a venue.  They ask me to do it because, well, it’s something they’re just “used to doing.”

While it may be convenient for the venue and bar staff, doing a Last Call over the mic can have unintended effects on your celebration.  Unless one is well-versed or experienced in designing, nurturing, and maintaining the flow and continuity of the entertainment portion of special events like weddings, we might not necessarily anticipate what those adverse effects might be.

That’s why it’s so important you work with an experienced team of vendors to help you stage the best reception possible, and to help you get the most out of it right until the very end!

If you’d like to let your guests know when the bar will be closing, consider a nice, simple sign like the one below as an alternative to having your DJ announce the last call over the microphone.

Photo by & courtesy of, Brian Harris Entertainment in Dayton, OH http://www.brianharrisentertainment.com/

This has approach has several benefits.

  1. Heads-Up.  It’s let your guests know ahead of time, and early on when the bar will be closing so they can plan accordingly.
  2. Keep your dancefloor FULL! If we think about it, 30 minutes or so prior to closing is when last call usually occurs. But, that’s also when your party is (should be!) at it’s absolute PEAK on the dancefloor. Asking a DJ to make that announcement is really asking them to kill the dancefloor!  Not literally what you’re asking of course, but that is most often an unintended consequence.  Remember as well that those who are the most active on the floor until the very end are usually the ones who are already drinking the most!
  3. Maintains momentum.  Making an announcement for a Last Call will send a large number of folks to the bar at once, causing a line. As a result, it’ll take longer to get everyone refocused, and re-engaged for the last few precious (and memorable, if you’re doing it right) moments of the party.
  4. Safety.  Above all, encouraging or enabling “one last binge” right before closing means that those who probably should have stopped drinking earlier on will be going back for more.  This could result in them, and perhaps others, being put at risk if they get behind the wheel.

From my experience, the best way to close the bar is either with a subtle sign like the one above, or with what’s called a “soft close” where no announcement is made at all, and the bartender just shuts things down naturally and quietly while everyone is working it out on the floor – getting ready to give YOU the ULTIMATE send off!

Isn’t that what the last few moments of the night should be about, after all?

___________________

Inspired by the musings of one of my favorite merry-making cohorts, and your best choice for Wedding DJ & MC Entertainment in Dayton, OH and beyond, Brian Harris Entertainment – Thanks, Brian!

 

Sounds To Go voted in Top 3 Wedding DJs by Readers of STYLE Magazine!

That’s right!

Readers of the Roseville / Granite Bay / Rocklin edition of STYLE magazine voted One of the best sacramento Wedding DJs!Sounds To Go in the Top 3 for Wedding DJs!

I actually tied for 3rd place, alongside some very good friends of mine.

So, if you’re looking for one of the best Sacramento Wedding DJs around, you can rest assured that with Sounds To Go, you’ll be in good hands!

Click here for the OCTOBER 2015 Digital Edition to view the results!

If that link doesn’t work, access the editions here.

We have musicians for our ceremony. Do we still need a DJ?

It’s very common for couples to tell me they are considering hiring live musicians for part or all of their wedding ceremony music, or have a friend or relative that might be performing.

I LOVE IT when I hear this!  While I as a DJ can play literally anything you could possibly dream of for every part of your ceremony, there’s no denying that live performance adds that special something.  And if you can have a friend or relative perform?  Well, that just pushes it over the top!

So if you’re having, or considering live musicians for your ceremony, do you still need a DJ to be present, providing coverage as well?

The short, and obvious answer (obvious because, well, I’m the DJ… DUH!) is:  YES!

For the longer answer, and to learn why, read on!

Music is only one aspect of your wedding ceremony.  Your officiant’s service, and more importantly, your vows to each other, are SO important, and should be heard and experience by all who are present.

Once you get past a couple rows, it becomes exponentially more difficult to hear what is being said at the alter.  This is compounded once we take nerves into the equation.  Generally speaking, people tend to speak softer than they otherwise would when finding themselves in the emotions of the moment.

Your DJ should be providing sound support with multiple microphones for you or your fiance, and your officiant.  This coverage will ensure that everyone, all the way to the back and off to the sides can hear everything clearly.  This is more crucial when your ceremony is outside, and is subject to background noise, be it wind, nearby or passing traffic or other sounds, etc.

In addition to vocal support, what about additional sound support for your musicians?  If you’re hiring a professional musician, duo, or ensemble who is used to performing for weddings, chances are they have their own sound support, but even they might benefit from being plugged into and amplified partially by the DJs high quality sound system, designed for covering larger audiences in larger areas.

Contact me today to talk about the pros and cons of using a DJ for your ceremony.  Of course I’m going to tell you “yes, you NEED your DJ there too!” but after reading this, you’ll understand why!  :)

Courtney & Jeff had Courtney’s two brothers play guitar next to the altar during her ceremony, and it was WONDERFUL!  Looking down from the back of the aisle in this photo tough, do you think you’d be able to hear everything they’re saying down front?

Wedding ceremony with musicians and DJ

Photo by, and courtesy of, Eric Asistin Photography. www.ericasistinphoto.com

 

Subwoofers. To Woof, or Not to Woof?

Hint:  It’s never REALLY a question!

One of the biggest misconceptions among DJs is that you “only need” subwoofers for larger crowds or bigger rooms.

That’s just not true. At all.Sacramento Wedding DJ.  Sounds To Go DJ Service.

Music is recorded on a spectrum of frequencies. From high to low. Everyone knows this.

Every speaker cabinet has both an upper, and lower limit to the frequencies they can reproduce. The “tops,” or speakers DJs use are no different.

Without subwoofers, specifically designed to reproduce the lower frequencies in the program material, the resulting sound is weak, thin, and hollow. Of course, modern day speaker cabinets sound great, and many do a respectable job of reproducing a limited amount of low end, but they can still only go so far.

DJs who try to run modern dance music without the benefit of dedicated subwoofers are often the ones you hear so many complaints about when it comes to sound. Because their sound lacks low end extension, and has no real body, they’re forced to crank the volume a lot higher than they should have to to fill the area they are in. The result is simply LOOUUUUDD, shrieky, distorted, and still WEAK sound. In addition to sounding terrible, and causing ear fatigue for everyone around them, they’re also placing a ton of unneeded strain on their speakers and amps. When the sound starts to get distorted, they even run the risk of damaging or blowing their speakers and amps!

Having the low-end extension offered by dedicated subwoofer enclosures becomes especially critical at events outdoors, which an ever-increasing number of wedding receptions here in Northern California generally are.  The sound disperses way faster in these outdoor settings, and higher levels are generally required to cover the same amount of people in the same amount of space because of this rapid dispersion.

These outdoor receptions and events are often attended by sound restrictions or ordinances because the location is in either a residential area, an uneven, mountainous setting where sound will echo, or is out in the middle of a large, flat area, where the sound simply travels farther.  In these cases, the initial gut instinct says that having “more bass” would be undesirable.  Here again though, the truth of the matter is counter-intuitive.  We have to remember what we said before.  Providing warmer, fuller sound, concentrated right when and where you need it means you don’t have to turn up your sound system AS A WHOLE as loud as you otherwise would!

The result?  Less echo, less sound travel, fewer grumpy neighbors, no 10:55 PM visits from local law enforcement, and so on.

Ask your potential DJs how many subs they typically bring to events. If they say “none,” that their tops “don’t need them,” or that your event or room “isn’t big enough to need them,” keep looking.

Having subwoofers at your small to medium event ISN’T “overkill,” and doesn’t mean it’s going to be “too loud” or have “too much bass.”  On the contrary, it simply means warmer, fuller sound at more reasonable volume levels all night.  If your event has music, even for background, there is a TON of benefit to having a nice, full sounding sound spectrum, and no downside whatsoever.

And yes… It also means the ability to THUMP when the time is right!

For your truly professional DJ service provider, the question is never “do we need subs?” but is rather “how many do we need?”

Davis CA Wedding – Brian & Carly’s Ranch Style Wedding

Sacramento Davis CA Wedding DJ.  Photo by, and courtesy of, Kay Kroshus Photography. www.kaykroshus.com

Photo by & courtesy of, Kay Kroshus Photography

So much fun to be had at Brian & Carly’s wedding reception at Putah Creek Stables in Davis, CA!

Their ceremony was held at a local church, the same one Carly’s parents were married in over 30 years ago!  Though I didn’t work with them on their ceremony at the church, I knew they’d have a wonderful service, because I have worked with their officiant Rev. Jeri Murphy many times before.  I knew she’d send them off, and over to me at the reception in high style!

As guests arrived, we enjoyed a lot of classic rock, soul/R&B, and just the right mix of contemporary music for their cocktail hour, which carried over into dinner time as well.

Not so much for traditions for their own sake, Brian & Carly opted out of some of the more traditional wedding elements in favor of a more laid-back, party-type vibe that saw us dancing full-tilt and non-stop for almost 4 hours!

We knew going into the wedding that they really enjoyed older musics, and they really wanted a lot of throwback to 90’s through early 2000’s, and we had such an awesome time taking a stroll through all those fav’s while still mixing it up with just the right amount of contemporary hits and classic floor fillers.

If you’d enjoy more of a throwback vibe for your wedding or special event, we should DEFINITELY talk!