Best First Dance Ever

I can’t believe how much traction this video is getting. If you don’t know what I am talking about click here.

The first dance mis-direction magic.

With the right tools, putting together the music is pretty simple, but doing it poorly will ruin it for everyone who comes after you. Get a good DJ who can mix the music.

Even Better –

Get a great DJ who knows your name when he introduces you. I swear this is the first thing I heard. “Ladies and Gentleman, our bride and groom and their very special first dance as husband and wife.”

This is the Master of Ceremonies equivalent of “And um, yeah well, um, you see, uhhhhhhh”.

I am guessing the DJ came from his day job. “Your order comes to $5.30, please pull to the first window.” It’s all words you say when you don’t know what to really say.

Maybe that is a little harsh, but seriously this bride and groom (whose are unknown at present, the search continues) have real names. Think about how much easier it would be if the DJ had bothered to learn their names and used them.

Just me, my love and my microphone.

Finally caught “My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding” on VH1. I was amazed.

Total bill $550,000

$17,000 for flowers.

Band and DJ. Monogram lighting. Ice Bar.

They started with an outdoor ceremony with 445 guests. The only microphone they had for the bride, the groom and the officiant was a corded microphone on a stand. Sure it is super reliable. But it is going to show up in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE of the ceremony.

Imagine for a moment… 50 years from now, showing pictures of your wedding day to the grandkids.

Just me, my love and my microphone.

The wedding planner should have caught it. The sound guy or DJ should have never let it happen. If you read it here, you heard it from me…

WARNING – It might have been the “standard ceremony package” the venue offered. There are several venues and DJs in town that offer something similar. If you don’t believe me, talk to a photographer or a videographer. This is one of the reasons I love attending and helping out with rehearsals. You can see the problems before the big day.

It should have been better. Take some time and think how the event is going to flow. Go to the location if you must. Talk to someone who has done it before.

The Best Wedding Reception Ever!

A friend of mine, Peter Merry, wrote a great new book on creating amazing wedding receptions. The book is called The Best Wedding Reception Ever!

It’s a great book. The first half is all about why you should pick a great entertainer. The second is chocked full of killer ideas that you might include in your own wedding.

“Talent” is a dirty word in the DJ business. The difference between magic and tragic is all in the hands of the person playing the music and talking on the microphone.

Joe & Lindsay got married!

Joe and Lindsay had a doozy of a wedding. The sheer level of musical talent in the room was awe inspiring. (I did a little quaking in my boots).

Joe, Lindsay and I created custom introductions for the wedding party. Joe picked out an intelligent, slightly eclectic mix of jazz both classical and modern. The dancing part was fun, informed and kicking.

The Downtown Marriott put on quite a show too! The Indiana Ballroom was aglow with architectural lighting matched to the wedding colors and dance floor was set like a diamond in the middle of the room.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Tim & Jennifer

When I initially met with Tim and Jennifer they gave me a heads up that Tim’s sister was helping out with the planning.

Fast forward to a month before the wedding…. It turns out that Tim’s sister is actually a movie producer and director. Most recently a documentary called “By the People” which got picked up by PBS. You can check it out here…

Malindi takes detail oriented to a whole new level. We got together like peas and carrots! The wedding and reception were held at the Hilton Indianapolis North.

The ceremony and reception was in the Crown room which has been updated very nicely under new ownership. The menu also got overhauled. very nice. The cocktail hour spilled out onto the patios. The Evening flowed.

There is only one Entertainment and we are all a part of it.

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with another entertainer.

Charles Rex of Chicago. He plays accordion and has for longer than I have been alive… Probably longer than my parents have been alive.

It was amazing to watch him work. He was an absolute pro. One minute he was getting ready to get setup. The next he was in his chair ready to work. It was like a magic act.

The real magic was the music. He covered the bases, playing to the room, Anniversary Dance, the Anniversary waltz, a polka. I was amazed.

We were playing at the Rathskellar. The party was a 50th anniversary. The wedding 50 years ago was at the Rathskellar.

I wonder aloud at how many locations will be here in 50 years. Will the place you select be in existence in 50 years? I heard a great interview from a bride and groom who had selected Tavern On The Green in NYC for that very reason.

I always recommend that grooms buy a copy of the first dance for similar reasons. How many times will music formats change in 20 or 50 years?

Indianapolis DJs

Dial Jon 317.328.0827

Disc Jockeys

Working with Professional DJs

Before your DJ plays the first song at your event, do you know what he (or she) has done to prepare for your event? The common misconception is that a DJ shows up, plays for 4-5 hours, then goes home. What most don’t realize is the experience the DJ has from previous events, as well as the time he will
dedicate to planning your event prior to playing the first song.

 What you don’t know about a professional DJs preperation may surprise you. A professional DJ usually has experience with your type of event because he has performed at several of these events in the past. You are gaining his experience (and mistakes) that allow your event to be better than the previous one. In most cases, these subtle differences impact the overall success of your event.

Preparing for your event may include meetings. These meetings allow your entertainer to better understand the vision you have for the outcome of your event. During these meetings your entertainer should ask many questions about you and your guests. The more your entertainer knows about you and your guests, the better chances he has for creating a successful party as you have pictured it.

Organizing your music may sound like a simple task. You probably figure most DJs use the same music at each event. However, each client has specific desires for the atmosphere they want to establish with music. Your DJ may need to reorganize his library, add additional selections, or even find music you have requested which is not in his library. The success of your party involves providing the right mix of music you and your guests will enjoy.

You most likely will never see the work involved in setting up the DJs sound system. Maintenance of a professional sound system is often minimal. It is the quality of professional equipment which will deliver sound quality you can enjoy at your event. A professional DJ will most likely show up 1-3 hours prior to the start of your event. Setting up, testing the equipment, and performing sound checks make for the start of a great party. When you walk in to your venue, you will notice the decor is all in place and your DJ entertainer is setup, dressed for your event.

 Your DJ provides much more than just the music at your event. Because he met with you, he understands your vision. He has designed the formalities as you requested. He will perform as Master of Ceremonies, making announcements, working with your other vendors, and keeping the sequence of events flowing. While all this appears polished, it is due to the time invested prior to playing the first song. A major portion of the success of your event rests in the hands of your chosen DJ entertainer.

To most professional DJs, your event is similar to the Oscars. You are the stars of the evening and they will help you plan, coordinate, organize, entertain, and program music. Because of your DJs experience at similar, previous events, meetings, music research, and other training, your event will most likely occur as you have already imagined it to be.

When researching your entertainment choice, evaluate the importance of your DJ. Your investment in your entertainment will contribute more to the overall success of your event than you realize (until afterwards). A professional DJ will care about the success of your event and will invest a great deal of time into creating the atmosphere you have imagined. While you may think your DJ “just plays music”, it is his experience, talent, and expertise that will deliver the reception of which you have always dreamed.

Make your event a fantastic success, find the “right” DJ for your once-in-a-lifetime celebration, instead of the one you may have found at the best price!

-Brian Graham

My friend Brian Graham wrote that article a couple of years ago. It has been posted all over the internet. Stolen, Copied without attribution, repurposed. Brian deserves better.

Indianapolis DJs

Toasting Wedding Toasts

Apparently, I am still on the “do unto others” soap box. You may not be planning a “crashed” wedding, but you have probably selected a best man and maid of honor. The same should apply for best man and maid of honor during toasts.

So here is the pledge and promise. Yes, I will coach the best man and maid of honor. I have stacks of material on toasts (and roasts). Fun, Personal, Appropriate. (don’t forget World Class)

If we can save one wedding from the “last time the groom gets the upper hand” bit, it will be a cause worth fighting.

There was a movie back in 2005 called. The Wedding Crashers.


Wedding Crashers…

I have mixed feelings about “Wedding Crashers” the TV show on NBC. Pushing the envelope and challenging social norms candid camera style can be pretty entertaining.

Last week, they crossed MY line. They had a buxom, attractive “crasher” flirting with a 29 year old socially inept, single guy. I don’t think the bride and groom were being very good hosts allowing that to go down.

In improv, the first rule is make everyone else on stage look good. Humiliating a friend, a guest, anyone, especially publicly is bad form. The same rule should be obvious at a wedding including the DJ, the bride and groom, and the guests.

Think about the last time you got call out in a meeting or in the office anywhere. Not very pleasant.

Youtube your wedding!

I have always been a student of pop culture. This has to be my favorite new trend. It’s the ultimate personalization.

One of my friends just posted this video of a customized Father/Daughter Dance.
It has already been featured on Myspace.

Lest you think this is a one off. There are a ton to consider.

Will this become the “chicken dance” of the future? I don’t think so. So long as you make it great. and most important make it personal. I read a story the other day about a groomsman getting cut from the production because he missed two rehearsals for another “Youtube” moment.
If you want a moment like this at your wedding, please call me ahead of time. Music and choreography need to start E-A-R-L-Y. Remixing can take minutes or days, but it can be done ahead of time all the time.

If you want personal, but less choreography I have a ton of ideas that you can make your own.