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.

 

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!

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?”

Get The Group Shot!

Wedding Guest Group Shot.  Photo by, and courtesy of, Emily Heizer Photography

Wedding Guest Group Shot. Photo by, and courtesy of, Emily Heizer Photography

 

A group shot with all of your wedding guests is a great keepsake, and can be one of the most memorable photographs your photographer captures on your wedding day.

The trick is…

When to do it.  Just like everything else at a wedding, there are tons of variables at play that go into determining the best time for your group shot.  Things like time of day, venue type and layout, and other factors all come into play.

The main consideration is that, if possible, you do it at a time when all of your guests are still present (i.e. don’t wait until later in the reception!) and they are all still in the same general area already so gathering everyone together isn’t like herding cats.  :)

There are a few times during the course of a typical wedding that lend themselves nicely to this shot.

Do it at the wrong time, or at some random time during the night, and just getting everyone together and setting up the shot can take a good half-an hour out of your already precious and limited dancing and visiting time.

Let’s do it right!

Since your DJ/MC is most likely the person you’re looking to to help you come up with a nice, smooth-flowing reception timeline, look to them to help determine (with your photographer!) the time and place that makes the most sense for this shot, and for any other shot (think Sunset Shots) that could potentially take time away from your celebration or grind it to a halt if not thoughtfully planned.

Experience, communication, and a team-player attitude are all essential to the success of your wedding day!

The Bouquet Toss – History, Song Suggestions & Alternatives

Jacob & Rebekah Macias, 9.2.12, Flower Farm, Loomis, CA. Photo by, and courtesy of, Chris Shepard Photography (www.shepard-photography.com)  Videography by Phillip Alan Films (phillipalanfilms.com)

Jacob & Rebekah Macias, 9.2.12, Flower Farm, Loomis, CA. Photo by, and courtesy of, Chris Shepard Photography (www.shepard-photography.com) Videography by Phillip Alan Films (phillipalanfilms.com) Custom Monogram option shown – Ask for details!

First, some history

Why do we do it, and where did it come from?  The tossing of the bridal bouquet is a custom with roots in England.  It was believed to be a way for the bride to pass along her good fortune to others.  Bridal guests would try to tear away pieces of the bride’s clothing and flowers in order to obtain this fortune.  In an attempt to get away from this tearing of her gown, the bride would toss her bouquet into the crowd.  As tradition has it, the single lady who catches the bouquet has received the bride’s fortune and will be next in line to marry.

To toss, or not to toss?

For many modern brides, this is the question.  No wedding tradition needs to be adhered to steadfastly, and you should never feel pressured to include anything you aren’t excited about in your wedding day.  If a certain tradition has significance for you, or you just like it because it’s FUN, then include it in your celebration!

The bouquet toss is one of the traditional elements that is familiar to most of us.

Many contemporary brides love this tradition, and it’s almost always a high-energy focal-point when it is included.  It’s becoming quite common though, for brides to either choose an alternative to the traditional bouquet toss, or to opt out of it altogether.

What else can we do?

Many things can be done instead of the traditional tossing of the bouquet.  Here are just a few fun ideas:

  • Presentation.  Present the bouquet to someone special.  Work with your MC to include a short message letting folks know who you’re presenting your bouquet to, and why.
    • Your mom, mother-in-law, grandmother
    • Recently engaged friend
    • Someone celebrating a recent or near birthday, anniversary, etc.
    • Longest married couple
    • Your sister(s).  Use multiple bouquets as-needed
    • Anyone, for any reason you like!
  • Alternatives.  Instead of tossing a bouquet, you can toss other fun items instead.
    • Teddy Toss.  If there are a good number of young children present, you can do a “Teddy Toss” instead. Have the children gather together in the usual formation, and toss a small-to-medium sized stuffed animal.  This is a huge crowd favorite, and is a great way to include children in the celebration.  Can be done in addition to the traditional bouquet toss as well!
    • Glow Sticks.  Toss a home-made “bouquet” of glow sticks to be passed out by whoever catches it.  Great way to get the party started on the dancefloor once the lights go down!

Song Suggestions

Want some fun song ideas for your bouquet toss?  Here are the Top 50 most popular choices from the last year!

1   Beyonce   Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
2   Lauper, Cyndi   Girls Just Want To Have Fun
3   Guetta, David Feat. Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj   Where Them Girls At
4   Weather Girls   It’s Raining Men
5   Benatar, Pat   Hit Me With Your Best Shot
6   Twain, Shania   Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
7   Little Big Town   Little White Church
8   Ludacris Feat. Mystikal   Move B***H
9   Spice Girls   Wannabe
10   Beyonce   Run The World (Girls)
11   Furtado, Nelly   Maneater
12   Buble, Michael   Haven’t Met You Yet
13   Kool & The Gang   Ladies Night
14   No Doubt   Just A Girl
15   Blondie   One Way Or Another
16   Kelis   Milkshake
17   Jepsen, Carly Rae   Call Me Maybe
18   Beastie Boys   Girls
19   Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink, Christina   Lady Marmalade
20   Jackson, Michael   P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
21   Queen   Another One Bites The Dust
22   Orbison, Roy   Oh, Pretty Woman
23   Rihanna   Only Girl (In The World)
24   Bryan, Luke   Country Girl (Shake It For Me)
25   Mcbride, Martina   This One’s For The Girls
26   Survivor   Eye Of The Tiger
27   Beastie Boys   Hey Ladies
28   Stefani, Gwen   Hollaback Girl
29   Destiny’s Child   Independent Women Part 1
30   West, Kanye Feat. Jamie Foxx   Gold Digger
31   Fergie   Clumsy
32   Hilson, Keri   Pretty Girl Rock
33   Valentine, Brooke Feat. Big Boi & Lil’ Jon   Girlfight
34   Jones, Tom   She’s A Lady
35   Motley Crue   Girls, Girls, Girls
36   Springfield, Dusty   Wishin’ And Hopin’
37   Hendrix, Jimi   Foxey Lady
38   Mars, Bruno   Marry You
39   Ross, Diana & The Supremes   You Can’t Hurry Love
40   Benatar, Pat   Love Is A Battlefield
41   Keys, Alicia   Girl On Fire
42   Perry, Katy   California Gurls
43   702   Where My Girls At?
44   Beyonce   Diva
45   Beyonce   Love On Top
46   Fergie Feat. Ludacris   Glamorous
47   Gomez, Selena   Come & Get It
48   Def Leppard   Pour Some Sugar On Me
49   Dixie Cups   Chapel Of Love
50   Kravitz, Lenny   American Woman

 

Fun Wedding Pro Tip – Be a Part of the Action!

Understandably, you’ll want to spend time mingling, talking, and catching up with your guests in addition to dancing.

Keep in mind though that guests, and your wedding party, will tend to congregate around you during your reception.  That’s not a bad thing.  After all, it IS about YOU!

Just remember though…  If the groom spends all night at the cigar bar (or just the BAR bar), where will all the guys be?  And, wherever the bride goes, an entourage is sure to follow!

Staying in the action during your reception will keep the majority of your guests involved too! Of course that doesn’t mean you have to dance all night, but staying in the general area of the dance-floor will help make sure no one (especially you) misses all those great highlights and special moments on the floor!

1511577_10152866810781600_5262495690422035458_n

10407750_10152866810776600_3817280744736076030_n

 

Receptions: How long is too long?

Wedding receptions should go out with a BANG, not a fizzle!

Here’s a great article that talks about the potential pitfalls of an overly-long reception.

Aside from the reasons mentioned, there are other reasons a reception shouldn’t go too long.

Every couple wants their wedding to be memorable, but we have to be sure the celebration is memorable for all the right reasons.

A professional DJ/MC will work with you to plan a timeline and an event flow that has a very distinct beginning, middle, and END that is memorable and powerful for as many of your guests as possible.  A powerful, high-energy ending can’t be had if many or most of your guests have already decided to pack it in for the night.

Think about it… Do you want your guests to leave tired and sweaty on a high note, wanting more after a high energy ending, or do you want folks to trickle out over time, letting everything end with a fizzle?

When you think about it that way, partying “all through the night” at your reception might not sound as appealing as it once did.

Most local venues sell packages that go until 11pm or 12am.  Because we’re making such a huge investment in the venue itself, there’s a huge temptation to use it all and try to keep the party going until the very last minute “because we paid for it.”  But planning to end a bit earlier – an hour for example – can make all the difference in the world.

It’ll let your friends and family who have to help you clean up get done a bit sooner, and hey… It’ll give you a few minutes to change, breathe, and regroup before you have to head out to that AWESOME AFTER PARTY you’ve got scheduled!

How much is “long enough?”

Four hours is the optimal length for a wedding reception that includes a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing.  This also allows enough time for the traditional wedding elements like special dances, tosses, etc.

What can make it longer?

There are things that can make having a longer reception nice, ideal, or even necessary.

Certain ethnic and religious celebrations typically have longer wedding ceremonies and receptions that are structured differently, and that have different elements.

Other things that can make having 5 or even 6 hours necessary might include having a larger guest list – say 200 or more people – that will need to go through buffet service for dinner, and/or dinners that include more than one or two courses.  More time will be needed for these situations, and others as well.

What’s the usual?

My clients average 5.5 hours of wedding day coverage for their wedding ceremony and reception.

This includes half-an-hour for Prelude music before the ceremony, half-an-hour for the ceremony itself, and 4 to 4.5 hours for the reception. This is the perfect length for a nicely-paced, smooth-flowing wedding celebration full of awesome memories!

Father Daughter Dance Suggestions

A bride’s dance with her father is most often one of the most emotional highlights of any wedding reception.  It is symbolic of so much, and finding the right song to represent your relationship and express those sentiments can be a challenge.

Fortunately, there are many songs that work wonderfully for these dances.  Some of the most common and popular are listed below, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.  See if any of them speak to you, and your relationship with the FIRST man in your life.

For a special bonus, scroll down to see the NEWEST great song that is PERFECT for this dance!

Father-Daughter Dance Suggestions

I Loved Her First – Heartland
My Little Girl – Tim McGraw
My Girl – Temptations
Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
My Wish – Rascall Flatts
Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman
The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
Unforgettable – Natalie Cole With Nat King Cole
Father And Daughter – Paul Simon
In My Life – Beatles
Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
Because You Loved Me (Theme From Up Close And Personal) – Celine Dion
It Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker
Stealing Cinderella – Chuck Wicks
Over The Rainbow – Iz
Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
Daughters – John Mayer
Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross
I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack
Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) – Billy Joel
Daddy’s Little Girl – Al Martino
Walk With You – Edwin Mccain
Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
The Way You Look Tonight (From Father Of The Bride) – Steve Tyrell
Daughter – Loudon Wainwright Iii
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
There You’ll Be – Faith Hill
I’ll Always Be Your Baby – Natalie Grant
You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – James Taylor
You Are So Beautiful – Joe Cocker
He Didn’t Have To Be – Brad Paisley
Through The Years – Kenny Rogers
Forever Young – Rod Stewart
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Stevie Wonder
Then They Do – Trace Adkins
In My Daughter’s Eyes – Martina Mcbride
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
You’ve Got A Friend – James Taylor
Daddy’s Hands – Holly Dunn
Kind & Generous – Natalie Merchant
Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
Into The Mystic – Van Morrison
Hero – Mariah Carey
The Best Day – Taylor Swift
Tough Little Boys – Gary Allan
Find Your Wings – Mark Harris

Who else can I dance with?

It’s not at all uncommon, because of a loss in the family, or simply because of family dynamics for example, for a bride to share a special spotlight dance with someone other than, or in addition to, her father.

Brothers, grandfathers, and stepfathers – all play very powerful roles in our lives, and all are wonderful candidates for relationships that can be acknowledged and celebrated with a spotlight dance.  Many of the suggestions above will fit these types of relationships as well.

Just remember that there’s no limit to the number of important folks you can spotlight during your wedding day celebration, and the ways to include and spotlight them are endless as well.

If you’d like more ideas or suggestions, please let me know.

I’d love to help!

The Newest!

The songs above are all tried & true classics, but every now and then, a new song comes along that is perfect for sharing with your father.

Released in 2013, “Daddy Dance With Me” by Krystal Keith is JUST NOW starting to make it’s way into the wedding arena.  If you’re looking for a beautiful track with a nice sentiment that will keep everyone on their toes and isn’t the same-ol’-same-ol’, this might be right up your alley!  I ALWAYS get folks asking me who this is whenever I play it!

Playing “Common” Songs at Your Wedding – A Lesson From Landscaping

Every once in a while, a couple getting married might will communicate that they don’t want any “common” or “typical” “wedding songs” to be played at their wedding.

There are a few reasons a couple might say this, and for the most part, these reasons are understandable.

One of the most common reasons is that they’ve experienced first-hand, maybe even many times, an over-reliance on certain songs by less-experienced (or simply LAZY) DJs who play the same tired, predictable fare at every wedding they do.  These DJs don’t take the time or effort to learn about the preferences and tastes of their clients, and they don’t take the time, or simply don’t have the skill needed, to “read” the dance floor and program music creatively.

The result can be a rather lackluster and somewhat impersonal experience for the couple and their guests.  It can also lead to more folks in the room rolling their eyes at each new song than there are people dancing to them!

The second most common reason is that couples want to be sure they infuse their celebration with their own unique personalities.  Of course, on their big day, they want to hear certain artists and songs they know, like, and even love.  Of COURSE this should be a goal for EVERY wedding!

Sometimes, though, as they try to avoid what they see as “cliches,” or as they try to make their wedding “unique,” they inadvertently swing too far from one extreme to another.

Quite often, this results in reduced potential for enjoyment by many guests, and can be detrimental to the experience of everyone.

Before I go any further, I’d like to share a true story from quite a few years back when I worked in landscape contracting & design.  Trust me… it’ll all make sense.  :)

We did a landscape design for a couple that was pretty well off, and had a pretty impressive budget for their landscape design & installation.  As it came time in their design process to select plants, they decided they wanted to replace “a few” of the choices made by our designer in favor of some “different” selections.  They even said “I don’t want my yard to look like every other yard, and I don’t want to see those same plants that I see at every house, and on every street corner.”

We didn’t have a problem with that, and in fact we encouraged them to make some alternative selections.  When it was all said and done though, they made more than a couple or even a few selections, and replaced almost half of the original list with hard-to-find, special-order, and somewhat exotic plants.  They did TONS of research on these plants, and spent a pretty penny to get all of them.  We made suggestions along the way when we thought there might be issues with certain plants, but in the end, the final decisions were theirs.

Within about a month or so of finishing the installation, their expensive, hard-to-find, and special order plants started dying on them.  They just couldn’t take the heat and conditions in this area at that time of the year.  We replaced several of them in accordance with our warranty policy, but as more and more plants started to die, even the ones we brought in as replacements, we finally had to draw the line and let them know we wouldn’t be replacing any more plants for them free of charge.

The clients weren’t happy about this, but after we explained our reasons, they understood, and we made some replacements with some of the more common plants the designer originally included in the design.

What did we have to explain to them?

We basically said that yes… you DO tend to see a lot of common plants used in landscaping in any given area (not just ours).  Those plants are used for a reason.  They are used because they are hardy, attractive, and flourish in the conditions we live in.  Sure, we can try to get more exotic, and in some cases, we can pick alternatives that will do just fine.  But at the end of the day, we’re still going to be left with some plants that everyone is used to seeing and planting.  And that’s OKAY, because those plants WORK.

The same goes for many, many songs!  There are a lot of songs that work very well for older guests and family that tend to be at weddings.  Then, there are tons of songs that work exceptionally well across all generations young AND old alike at family-oriented events.

Not everyone is a natural-born dancer, and not everyone is necessarily comfortable dancing.  A great many people, young and old, will only dance to what they KNOW and recognize.  If our goal is to provide an atmosphere that is as conducive to as many people dancing as possible, and if we want to make the environment inviting and welcoming for them, we need to take these bits of “dance floor psychology” into consideration.

This isn’t to say, however, that we should focus on playing only, or even mostly, “those songs.”  BUT… if our goal is to provide for the enjoyment of as many guests as possible, and if we want to make the environment as inviting as we can so everyone can participate in the festivities, then our primary goal should be to strike and maintain a balance.

That balance we should strive for is the balance between the “cliche” and the “cool.”  Between the “predictable” (instead think “recognizable”) and the “unique.”

If you’re working with a professional DJ provider, they will excel at helping you find and maintain that exact balance!  Their experience and ability to read a crowd will find a natural balance with your tastes and goals, while helping everyone have the best time possible!

We just need to be mindful of the lesson learned in our plant story.  We shouldn’t be so determined to get away from one extreme, that we swing too far to the other.  We also shouldn’t lose sight of WHY certain recognizable songs are in fact common, and why they are so successful and widely used to begin with.

While we want to personalize our wedding day, putting our own unique stamp on it in every way, we also need to remember that while our wedding day is “about” us, our reception is FOR our guests.  It’s a way for us to thank everyone for being a part of our special day!

Realizing this, our shared, common goal should be striking a balance that ensures ALL of our guests feel as welcome, and included as possible.

GIVE me your “Must Play” songs.  I give you a form for them!  Give me your “DO-NOT-PLAY” songs.  I give you a form for that too!

Together, and working with these lists and parameters YOU choose, we’ll work to make sure your wedding day is as enjoyable for you and all your guests as it can possibly be.

It’s okay to “just say no” to certain songs.  It IS your day.  Just don’t be too quick to axe everything before the party even starts.

Songs are the tools your DJ uses to achieve their results. While we want to be sure that we put our own stamp on our event, and while we should set some parameters based on our tastes, we need to be sure we aren’t taking too many tools out of our DJ’s toolbox.  When we do, we run the risk of artificially limiting the enjoyment of our guests because they can’t hear some songs they enjoy, and would like to dance to.

Besides… When it comes right down to it, you’d be surprised what songs you might find YOURSELF having a GREAT TIME dancing to!  It’s really easy to write a song off as “cheesy” on a piece of paper.  But it’s WAAAAAAYYY harder to resist the energy of that same song drawing you to the dance floor when everyone else in the room is GOING CRAZY for it!  Trust me…  I see it all the time.

After all, this is what I do.  :)