Mike and Kylie Have a Very Special Wedding at The Jumping Brook Country Club

Mike and Kylie got married at The Jumping Brook Country Club on a beautiful (yet chilly) November day.  We were booked to do the ceremony music as well as to play for the reception which is something we are seeing more and more. Mike and Kylie Picture1

I loved working with this couple.  I don’t know what it was about them but something just clicked when we met and we got along great.  I was so thrilled to be their DJ and when the night was over and the whole thing was a huge success I was really very happy.

Another thing I loved about Mike and Kylie’s wedding was the team of professionals they had assembled for the day.  I always love working at The Jumping Brook.   Ron is such an awesome banquet manager and the maître d Meghan was very easy and flexible to work with.  Mike and Kylie had hired Susan from Something Blue Wedding Photography to shoot pictures throughout the day.  Susan and her second shooter KiaMarie are super cool and fun to work with.  Plus Susan’s husband Mark was manning the photo booth so it was a family affair! They also had Jennifer from Sands of Time Video Productions shooting video.  She must have a ton of footage because the camera was rolling all night long.  And helping to coordinate everything was Rachael from Glass Slipper Weddings and Events.

The pictures in this blog are just a handful of the great shots that Susan and Kia got.  For a better sampling check out the Facebook album they made for Mike and Kylie.  And while you’re there make sure you “Like” Something Blue Photography.

Mike and Kylie’s wedding ceremony was at The Jumping Brook and they had a good friend of theirs, Josh, officiate for them.  This is something I am seeing more and more.  It is so easy to become “ordained” online now so many couples are asking a friend to step in and fill this role.  It often makes the ceremony much more personal and it definitely did on Saturday night.  Josh is a teacher so he is no stranger to public speaking.  He was smooth and funny and the ceremony was great.  Plus Mike and Kylie had picked a very unique recessional song: The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Hard to Concentrate.”  I had never heard this song before but it was perfect, with lMike and Kylie Picture2yrics like: ”All I want is for you to be happy and take this moment to make you my family.”

Mike and Kylie had also selected a very cool first dance song: Dave Matthews “You and Me.”  When I first heard that song years ago I knew it would be a great wedding song.  The lyrics are perfect and there are just so many huge Dave Matthews fans.  Kylie told me she loves that song, in fact their cake topper was the title of the song (how perfect!)

Once the party got going I was in my glory.  The dance floor was packed all night.  Mike and Kylie had upgraded their package with us to include our intelligent lights and up-lighting.  These were great Mike and Kylie Picture3enhancements that made the room look awesome and added a ton of energy once the dancing got going.  They picked out a bunch of great songs and I was able to play every one of them, including their grand finale which was Garth Brook’s “Friends in Low Places.” 

My congratulations to this very special couple!

 

 

 

Mike and Kylie Picture4

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Music for Your Wedding Ceremony

ceremony5Your wedding ceremony has come to an end.  You’ve shared your vows, exchanged your rings and even kissed for the first time as husband and wife.  The next sound you hear will be your recessional song.  This is the last song of the ceremony and, in many ways, the first song of the celebration.  Especially if you are getting married at the same location of your reception, you and your guests will go immediately from the ceremony to your cocktail hour.  And so the recessional song is the hinge.  It will be the first song you hear as a married couple.  And it will be the beginning of your party.

At Elite Entertainment we play the music at over 200 wedding ceremonies every year.  Currently almost 40%  of our weddings include ceremony music.  And that number just keeps growing.  More and more brides and grooms are getting married outside of a traditional church or temple and so we get the opportunity to work even closer with our couples, crafting not only the reception music but the songs that will be played before and during the ceremony.  We enjoy this process.  The ceremony is the true beginning of your married life and so for many reasons it is the most important part of the wedding day.

The songs that are played before the ceremony are called “Prelude Music.”  Traditionally, we played classical music although nowadays many couples want a more modern approach.  We can play some New Age, contemporary instrumentals and/or some classical renditions of modern songs like those produced by “The Vitamin String Quartet.”  We emphasize to our clients not to stress over these selections.  We’ll provide a nice mix for you that will be volume appropriate and set a beautiful and romantic tone for the ceremony.  Plus, you won’t be there to hear any of it so there’s no point in playing your favorites.

The ceremony officially begins with one or two processional songs.  Usually it’s two songs, one for the bridesmaids to walk down the aisle, and then the song for the bride’s entrance (some couples will just have us play the same song throughout, especially if they have a small bridal party).  Again, the processional songs used to be classical pieces, and they still can be.  Pachelbel’s Cannon and Wagner’s Here Comes the Bride are still common selections. (BTW we have tons of versions of “Here Comes the Bride”, everything from traditional church organ sounding to strings to a very cool steel drum version which is perfect for beach weddings.)  But more and more we are seeing brides who want to come down the aisle to something more modern.  For example, in recent years Train’s “Marry Me” (with that great opening line “Forever can never be long enough for me”) has been requested a lot.  We’ve also used some of the instrumental tracks from The Twilight movies (like “Bella’s Lullabye”)  This is a very special moment, obviously, so we encourage our couple’s to personalize it with a song that is meaningful to them.  And it doesn’t have to be a slow song although that moment is very elegant and serene so an up-tempo song might seem out of place.ceremony6

During the ceremony, we are sometimes asked to play a background song if there is a candle lighting ceremony or Hawaiian Sand Ceremony.  We recommend a light instrumental piece for this because the song is often on for less than a minute.  It’s just an elegant little filler.

Which brings us back to that recessional song.  Again, we encourage the couples we work with to give this selection some thought.  We hope you can personalize that moment with a song or an artist that is meaningful to you.  And unlike the processional, tempo is unimportant here.  In fact, we recommend something mid-tempo or even a faster beat.  If you are sticking with tradition and want to use a classical piece, Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” (another song we have plenty of versions of) or Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” are just two of the many great choices we can recommend.  But so many couples break tradition here and go with something more modern and fun.

We’ve played hundreds of different selections as recessional songs so making a list is hard and will never be all-inclusive but these are just a few of the great songs we can recommend:

Remember, designing the music for your wedding ceremony is something we enjoy doing at Elite Entertainment.  We like the collaborative effort of your ideas and our experience combining to make the perfect list.  That moment should be perfect.  So let’s work on it together.

The Other Side of Wedding Planning Part 2

10499607_10152312471523495_4089520617262206396_oSo it’s been just over a year since I’ve written about this, and I’ve learned one thing: as stressful as it may seem, wedding planning is fun. Aside from all the financial aspects and decision making, at the end of the day you’re ultimately planning the day that you get to marry your best friend..love of your life…partner in crime…you get the drift. Now I’m sure not everyone feels this way, but if there’s one aspect of planning I’m sure everyone can agree is fun is the music selections. Now this ranges everywhere from music for dancing to background music to intro music to the all important first dance.

I recently sat down with a couple who was telling me that they wanted to use John Legend’s “All Of Me” for their first dance but were unsure they were going to because the bride’s parents felt it was too slow or wasn’t good enough. Now I’m all for making sure your guests have a great time and will gladly listen to their input for when it comes to the party portion of the evening. But when it comes to your first dance, it’s exactly that: YOURS. No one else’s. If you find a song you like or that has meaning to you (by you I mean both bride & groom), it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks (sorry moms and dads). That 3-4 minutes in time is all about the married couple and is the culmination of their journey together. Plus it’s probably the only 3-4 minutes they’ll have to themselves all day so let them enjoy it as much as possible. On top of that, how in the blue h@!! is All Of Me not a good first dance?!?!

When it comes to picking your song for your grand introduction (you can read a little more about that in a recent blog Mike Walter wrote), one of the things my fiancé and I both wanted was for it to not only be fun and upbeat but also something timeless. By timeless I mean not looking back in 25 years and thinking “Man why did we walk out to that?!?!”. I also feel it’s important for it to make sense lyrically…somewhat. It doesn’t have to actually be perfect from that sense but just could make sense for the grand intro of a bride and groom. We discussed it quite a bit and came up with something that we feel meets all those requirements and are really happy with it. As Mike mentions in his blog, it needs a little editing to get the timing right but ultimately it’s going to make a great intro for us. I’m not going to post the song but if you’d like to give a listen, click here :)

Picking The Perfect Song For Your Grand Introduction

I met with a couple recently to discuss music for their wedding.  They asked me if they could be introduced to the George Harrison song “I’ve Got My Mind Set on You.”  My immediate answer was “of course!”  We pride ourselves on great customer service and so if one of my brides and grooms has a specific vision for that moment, I’ll make it work.

So then we listened to the song together.  It has all the elements of what I would consider a great song for a grand introduction.  It’s upbeat and the lyrics are happy and positive.  Plus, it’s one of those songs that everyone knows.  As soon as the drums start people recognize it and will sing along to the chorus.

IntroductionThen we listened further.  The main challenge was that the original version starts with a quick 4 bars (4 x 4 in terms of musical structure) and Harrison starts singing even before the end of that fourth bar.  In other words there is less than 6 seconds of drum beat before the vocal starts.  As an MC, I prefer a little more of a “musical bed” – usually something in the 15-20 second range.  But no worries, I was able to loop the beginning of the song, giving me extra drum beats to use as back ground music so I could introduce the bride and groom and then Harrison would sing (my looped version is here on my Soundcloud page)  The end result: The bride and groom got exactly what they wanted and their grand introduction was not only a huge hit but it was personalized just for them.

And that’s the point of this blog.  Some couples have no real idea of what songs they want to use for their introductions.  And that’s fine.  We will help you select the right songs to enhance the moment.  Because that’s all that music is doing: adding energy and excitement to the introductions.  That’s why we recommend something upbeat (although if you want to walk into something mellower, you’ll probably hear us say the same thing: “of course!”)  As MCs we also want to use the beginning of the song as a musical bed and then try to time it so as we say the names of the bride and groom there’s a great lyric or musical transition which will raise the energy even higher.  Some songs fit perfectly that way (an old school classic example of this is 2 Unlimited’s song “Get Ready For This – where as an MC we just timed it out so we were saying the couple’s name at :16 where the vocal starts) and some, like the Harrison song, need to be tweaked or edited by us. Another example with a more modern song is the Tiesto remix of John Legend’s “All of Me.”   The energy in this remix is great AND the lyrics in the chorus are perfect.  However, the instrumentation in the beginning is too long and then the song (like most songs) starts with a verse.  But again, no worries.  I made a quick Introduction2edit and have used this song many times recently (there’s an example right here in this video clip.  Skip to :38 and you’ll hear this couple’s grand introduction.)

So again, whether you already have a specific song in mind or not, we at Elite can help you make this moment special.  If you’re looking for suggestions we have plenty to offer.  We’ll probably narrow things down by asking you what kind of music you love (rock, dance, oldies etc) and then we’ll play you some suggestions.  But, if you have a song that you’ve been dreaming about being introduced to, just let us know.  If it works without an edit, great.  But if we need to tweak it, we can do that too.  Our ultimate goal is to make your grand introduction an unforgettable moment.  It often sets the tone for a great party!

 

 

Jay & Suzanne’s Rockin’ Wedding

After over 26 years of MCing and  DJing weddings it’s pretty rare for me to say “I’ve never done this before.”  I had that chance at Jay and Suzanne’s wedding and it was a thrill!

When I met with Jay and Suzanne a month or so before their wedding they informed me that when I introduced them for the the first time as husband and wife they wanted to walk in to The KISS song “Detroit Rock City.”  Except I was going to be playing it – a band would!

Introductions with a Live Band!

Introductions with a Live Band!

That got me pretty pumped up.  Just months early I had MCed a fundraiser that my younger brother had organized.  There were a number of bands there and besides begging people for money (it was a fundraiser) my main role was to intro and outro the bands.  It was fun working with live musicians that day and I felt like Jay and Suzanne’s wedding would be the same opportunity.  It was.  Even more so.

When we got set up and sound checked at The DoubleTree in Tinton Falls, the band rehearsed with me so we had the timing of the song down perfectly.  When it came time to introduce Jay and Suzanne the combination of the band playing and my MCing was unique and energetic.  I loved it and I could tell everyone in the room, all of Jay and Suzanne’s closest family members and friends,  did too.

And as often happens, a great, high energy introduction set the stage for an amazing night.  Jay is a big 80s fan, and so I got to play some of his favorite “Power Ballads” like “When I Look into Her Eyes” by Firehouse and “Love Is On The Way” by Saigon Kick.

I also had a couple approach me that night and say, “you did our wedding 15 years ago!”

Mariann and Alan remembered me after 15 years!

Mariann and Alan remembered me after 15 years!

What a treat it was to catch up with Mariann and Alan and even get a picture with them.  Amazing that they remembered me after all these years!

As always, when the party was over, I am thrilled when a a couple compliments me, especially when they praise me on Wedding Wire.  Here’s is their review:

Mike-2014-9-19-14

 

Worked with Cindy from Elite Digital Images at this wedding.  They say if you find something you love to do you'll never "work" a day in your life.  I love DJing and I guess it shows

Worked with Cindy from Elite Digital Images at this wedding. They say if you find something you love to do you’ll never “work” a day in your life. I love DJing and I guess it shows

8 Reasons to Throw a Party for Your Staff

1172stewart081812Ok I realize the premise of this blog is pretty self-serving:  a DJ company explaining why it’s good to throw a staff party . . . that’s like a personal trainer explaining why it’s important to work out.  Yet, as we all know, it IS important to work out.  So just because the message is coming from someone who could possibly benefit from that message, doesn’t take away from the truth in that message.

So with that out of the way, here we go:  8 Reasons to Throw a Party for Your Staff!  Whether you’re thinking of a Holiday Party, End of the Year Celebration or a New Year Kickoff, we believe the benefits of hosting a party are well worth the cost and time to plan it.  We’ve seen it time and again with companies or groups whose annual events we’ve DJed for years (some for decades!)

1 – The Staff That Parties Together Stays Together.  You work side by side all year long and you’ve socialized a little outside of work too.  But nothing breaks down the barriers we put up at work like busting loose on the dance floor.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see which of your staff members can “cut a rug” and just the act of dancing and having a great time will bring them together like nothing else.

2 – Give Them Something to Talk About.  The workday after a staff party is always a riot, as everyone recaps the event and gets a great laugh out of reliving an awesome night.  This is the best kind of bonding any HR manager can hope for.

3 – Nothing Says “The Company Is Strong” Like a Celebration.  If you want to instill a sense of confidence in your staff, a feeling that they are working for a great company and the future looks bright, you can do it with quarterly reports or sales meetings, OR you can host a party.  The first way might show them the facts; the second way proves it to them.

4 – Acknowledge Your Leaders Publicly.  If you’ve got awards to give out or milestones to recognize – the very best way to do that is at a staff party.  It’s one thing to win “Sales Person of the Year” and be notified in the boss’ office.  It’s another to be handed the award at a party with your name announced and great music playing while you walk up to accept your plaque.  If you want to make your leaders feel great, give out their awards at a staff party!

5 – A Photo Booth Captures Great Memories.  Photo Booths are all the rage these days.  With good reason.  They are fun, interactive and capture pictures that will last forever.  If you’re throwing a staff party, and the budget allows for it, include a Photo Booth.   Everyone will get  their own strip of photos and at the end of the night YOU’LL get the digital copies of all those pictures.

6 – It Doesn’t Have to Be Over the Top.  We DJ at all types of staff parties.  Some are formal galas with a seated dinner and open bar while other others are less formal with a buffet and cash bar.  They all leave great impressions with the employees and can be fun and motivational.  So whatever the budget, a party is still a party!

7 – Call It Whatever You Want.  Years ago a staff party in December was called a “Christmas Party.”  When the PC police moved in we saw an evolution of that term to “Holiday Party.”  We’ve also seen variations on that like, “Winter Gala” or “Year End Celebration” or (in January) “Kick Off Party.”  We say, whatever you want to call it, a party is still a party.EFKNIDCJLK4OYC2CC51Q0BKMYJ5UNK3DSTSNXTVE3XYBETNP

8 – There’s No Better Way to Say Thank You.  Your staff works hard all year.  They go above and beyond and now you want to thank them.  Sure a bonus is nice, but it doesn’t do anything to bring the team together.  A staff party does.  A staff party is the perfect way to say Thanks AND have a bonding moment.

So there you have it.  And if I’ve convinced you, I hope you’ll consider an Elite Entertainer to help you throw that great party.  All of our DJs have great music, can MC and lead the party and will make sure everyone has a great time.  We’ve got years of experience and scores of companies that use us every year because they know they’ll get a great celebration.  Plus if you want any add-ons like a photo booth, cool lighting or plasma screens to show a year end re-cap video, we’ve got them all.  Just give us a call or drop us an email for pricing and available.

Marshall’s Picks October 2014

Top 10 Radio Hits for October:

1.            Jeremih feat. YG                                              -              Don’t Tell Em

2.            Nicki Minaj                                                          -              Anaconda

3.            Bobby Shmurda                                                -              Hot Boy

4.            Drake                                                                    -              0 To 100

5.            Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora                              -              Black Widow

6.            Rae Sremmurd                                                  -              No Flex Zone

7.            Meghan Trainor                                                -              All About That Bass

8.            Enrique Iglesias feat. Sean Paul                 -              Bailando

9.            T.I. feat. Iggy Azalea                                       -              No Mediocre

10.          Taylor Swift                                                        -              Shake It Off

 

 

 

One of the best Movie Soundtracks of 2014 so far……

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

 

1.            Hooked on a Feeling                                       -              Blue Swede

2.            Go All the Way                                                  -              Raspberries

3.            Spirit in the Sky                                                 -              Norman Greenbaum

4.            Moonage Daydream                                      -              David Bowie

5.            Fooled Around and Fell in Love                  -              Elvin Bishop

6.            I’m Not in Love                                                  -              10cc

7.            I Want You Back                                                -              The Jackson 5

8.            Come and Get Your Love                              -              Redbone

9.            Cherry Bomb                                                     -              The Runaways

10.          Escape (The Piña Colada Song)                   -              Rupert Holmes

11.          O-o-h Child                                                         -              Five Stairsteps

12.          Ain’t No Mountain High Enough                -              Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

 

Nick & Nicky – 9-13-14 – Crystal Ballroom – Elite DJ Dominic Sestito

I make a joke during our bridal shows about men not understanding how or why brides plan so far ahead in advance. Well Nicky is a perfect example of that, she booked our services 17 months in advance. I can only guess she booked the Crystal Ballroom 2 years in advance, and the reason why… She got exactly what she wanted on her wedding day, and her Facebook post the next day proves it.

The playlist was extensive and ranged from “We Are Family” to “Hypnotize” to “Rather Be“. We had everyone up and partyin’ from start to finish, and that was the important part for this bride and groom. They really wanted their guest up dancing and enjoying affair. We even had Nicky behind the board rapping to “Ice Ice Baby“, the video of that is soon to follow!
 
I love working with clients that appreciate the services their professionals provide, it so gratifying and the reason I love my job. Nick and Nicky were in great hands with Elite handling DJ, Video, and Photo booth. They actually attended one of our Private Showcase’s to choose their package and professionals. The great images provided by Jessica Morrisy Photography and of course the great job done by the staff at the Crystal Ballroom.

The Elite Triple Threat – DJ, Photo, & Video

Kristina and Christopher chose one of our favorite places to be as the location for their ceremony and reception. Lucky for them the Crystal Point also offers beautiful places for photos as well!  They had a full Elite team on hand that day with Nicole and I taking care of the photography, Chris on video, Tom and Thomas handling the DJ end and John took care of the plasmas.  The only casualty of the day was my fisheye lens that took a dive off of the dock while we were taking photos (yes, I see the irony there).  All in all it was a super fun day that ended with some awesome sparkler photos! Congratulations, Kristina and Christopher!!!

Marshall’s Pick’s for September 2014

Top 15 Current Hits for September 2014:

1.      Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX            -       Fancy
2.      Jeremih feat. YG                        -       Don’t Tell Em
3.      Tinashe feat. Schoolboy Q               -       2 On
4.      Disclosure feat. Sam Smith              -       Latch
5.      Wiz Khalifa                             -       We Dem Boyz
6.      Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea -        Problem
7.      Nico & Vinz                             -       Am I Wrong
8.      Magic!                                  -       Rude
9.      Rae Sremmurd                            -       No Flex Zone
10.     Lil Wayne feat. Drake                   -       Believe Me

2014 MTV Music Awards Nominees (Held August 24th):

Video of the Year:
1.      Beyonce feat. Jay Z                     -       Drunk In Love
2.      Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX            -       Fancy
3.      Miley Cyrus                             -       Wrecking Ball
4.      Pharrell Williams                       -       Happy
5.      Sia                                     -       Chandelier

Best Male Video
1.      Eminem (featuring Rihanna)              -       The Monster
2.      John Legend                             -       All of Me
3.      Ed Sheeran (feat. Pharrell Williams)    -       Sing
4.      Sam Smith                               -       Stay with Me
5.      Pharrell Williams                       -       Happy

Best Female Video
1.      Iggy Azalea (featuring Charli XCX)      -       Fancy
2.      Beyoncé                                 -       Partition
3.      Ariana Grande (featuring Iggy Azalea)   -       Problem
4.      Lorde                                   -       Royals
5.      Katy Perry (featuring Juicy J)          -       Dark Horse

Kristina & Chris had an Elite Wedding by Lynn Monaco

 

Kristina and Christopher chose one of our favorite places to be as the location for their ceremony and reception. Lucky for them the Crystal Point also offers beautiful places for photos as well!  They had a full Elite team on hand that day with Nicole and I taking care of the photography, Chris on video, Tom and Thomas handling the DJ end and John took care of the plasmas.  The only casualty of the day was my fisheye lens that took a dive off of the dock while we were taking photos (yes, I see the irony there).  All in all it was a super fun day that ended with some awesome sparkler photos! Congratulations, Kristina and Christopher!!!

 

See the Facebook Album Here!

Marshall’s Picks August 2014

Top 15 Current Hits for August 2014:

1.      Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – Fancy
2.      Calvin Harris  -   Summer
3.      Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne  - Loyal
4.      Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea – Problem
5.      Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg – Wiggle
6.      Disclosure feat. Sam Smith – Latch
7.      Tinashe feat. Schoolboy Q – 2 On
8.      Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong
9.      Wiz Khalifa – We Dem Boyz
10.     Drake – 0 To 100
11.     Usher – Good Kisser
12.     Magic! – Rude
13.     Jeremiah feat. YG – Don’t Tell Em
14.     Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown  - Main Chick
15.     Lil Jon feat. Tyga – Bend Ova

Top 10 Most Requested Wedding Songs over the last year:

1.      Journey   –   Don’t Stop Believin’
2.      Cupid  - Cupid Shuffle
3.      Black Eyed Peas  -  I Gotta Feeling
4.      Bon Jovi  -  Livin’ On A Prayer
5.      AC/DC  - You Shook Me All Night Long
6.      Lmfao – Sexy And I Know It
7.      Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
8.      DJ Casper –  Cha Cha Slide
9.      V.I.C. – Wobble
10.     B-52′s – Love Shack

Save the date! Now what? Part 2

Congrats, you have your date and venue.  Now where do you go from here?  That is entirely up to you and your future spouse.  Below are some of my wedding planning experiences.

Vendors- You may want to book vendors within a certain time frame.  The wedding business is planned months, sometimes years in advanced.  If you really like a certain vendor’s services, you will want to make sure that your date is available. Take it or leave it tip- Go to bridal shows.  They will most likely have free food, deals, and raffles.  Did I mention free food?!  Bridal shows will allow you to see multiple types of vendors all in one night, which helps if your schedule is busy.

Make it your day- My wife and I went by a philosophy of what we thought made a good celebration.  Good food, good music/entertainment.  That’s it.  Why? We felt that’s what most people talk about when describing a friend or family member’s wedding reception.  People remember what stands out the most to them throughout the night, and if alcohol is involved, it may not be much.  We were a little crafty but it wasn’t our priority.  Again plan your vision of your wedding and have it your own way.

And when the day comes…

Enjoy it- People will and have probably told you by now that the day goes by so fast.  They aren’t lying, before you know it, it’s time to say goodnight and it’s all over.  All that planning, budgeting and scheduling and booking vendors, crafting decorations finally has come to an end.  It may seem over the top at times, but it is all worth celebrating a new chapter in your lives together.

Take it or Leave it tip- Grab your spouse at some point of the night and pull them to the side and take it all in; one place where both sides of your family and friends have gathered to celebrate your marriage, it’s quite a sight.  Good luck to you and may you have an incredible day of celebration towards everlasting love and happiness.

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We’re engaged! Now what?

283080_627624987988_1776831528_nI proposed to my wife in September of 2012.  It was one of the best days of my life.  After all of the congratulations received, there comes a point where the planning for this joyous occasion must begin.  Below are some of my experiences throughout this incredible journey:

  • Take your time- Unless you are in a rush to get married, enjoy your new title as a fiancé.  It’s your day (and of course your future spouses). In the beginning, middle, or final stages of planning, take time to have fun and enjoy one another.  I bet you have been asked multiple times about when or where it will be.  How should you know? You just put the ring on her finger and finished posting about it via social media.  Then again, chances are you may have an idea of a date or month or day in mind.  Start planning when you are both ready.

Take it or leave it tip- Stay involved.  I found discussing our wedding turned out to be very beneficial.  I’ll admit I wasn’t fond of picking out flowers or figuring out invitation fonts, but I was there for it and it was a decision we made together.

 

  • Organization- My wife is the most organized person I know.  She had a binder that held our budget info, our contributions towards deposits or fees from vendors, a calendar of when things were due, and when things needed to be scheduled by.  I’ll admit I gave her a hard time about it and joked how silly it was, but it was extremely helpful and for that I am grateful she did it because it made the process smoother. Take it or leave it tip- Plan comfortably; it helps build communication with your future spouse.

 

  • Budget. Figure out what your financial situation will be.  What you can and cannot afford (Thank you, binder!).  Do you want it or do you need it? Take it or leave it tip: I went out and bought a change counting jar.   Together, just over a year we saved around $500 based just off loose change.  We saved it for the final week.  You will find tedious things are needed, such as paying the limo’s overtime, if necessary, pre-party lunch with your groomsmen or bridesmaids.  It’s some extra cash lying around for a “just in case” moment.

 

  • Venue.  This is a big decision.  Where and when will your big celebration be?  This was a big weight off our shoulders.  You plan the spot and then everything else will mostly build around it.

Take it or leave it tip #1- Make an estimated head count of how many guests may attend.  Some venues can only carry so many people, so it may help with some decisions.

Take it or leave it tip #2- For venue AND vendor appointments, write down questions you may have.  Along with that binder, my wife also carried around a black marble notebook filled with all kinds of questions.  Did I think it was over the top? At the moment yes, I gave her heat for having it, but again, it was extremely helpful to answer any questions we were bound to forget but remember after the appointment

Take it or leave it tip #3- At this point have an idea of what day of the week, month, and year in which you want to be married in.  Can’t decide? Have your fiancé write three potential months and you do the same, and then reveal them to each other.  You’ll find yourself asking each other why those months were chosen, perhaps picking the same month or season at least.

 

Plan at your own speed, and have fun.  After all, you’re planning for one of the biggest celebrations of your life.

 

To be continued…

 

A BIG Celebration

There’s no doubt that a wedding celebration is one of the most joyous occasions in two peoples lives, but there’s also little doubt that with the celebration comes some busy days and nights. My hat goes off to Jessica Perlman for planning her wedding with now husband, Steve Breese who recently celebrated their reception at Doolan’s Shore Club. Jessica manages a restaurant and was logging upwards of 60 hours a week! Somehow in her busy schedule she, Steve and I met to discuss the planning of their wedding. From soup to nuts, we customized every last bit of their wedding day! We worked closely together on planning the songs for their ceremony, introductions, cake cutting, throwing the bouquet and even a “Through the Years” dance to find that relatives of theirs were married for 63 wonderful years! While working with Rob Haberman who not only acted as my assistant, but also videographer, capturing all of these special moments, he and I made an observation that proved untrue. More often than not when you see someone who is upwards of 6 feet 5 inches tall, you’d be hard pressed to guess that they aren’t as big on dancing as they are on a growth chart. I could not have been more wrong. Along with a groomsmen from the Bridal party, these two men were on the dance floor non stop! They had some serious moves and even inspired the photographers at the Reception to put down their camera’s for a moment to frolic, slide, and even bust out the worm on the dance floor! Steve and Jessica were so generous with their compliments even after this big celebration was over! Congratulations to Jessica and Steve Breese! Enjoy your honeymoon in Aruba! Shalom!

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Marshall’s Five W’s

Cheer Dream CaresWho:

                Cheer Dream Scoliosis Foundation

What:

                Fundraiser

Where:

                VFW – Veterans of Foreign Wars – Sayreville

When:

                Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why:

                Why I loved DJing this Event……

I was very impressed by Lucia, Emilie, Clarissa, and the Board of Cheer Dream.  They really are putting smiles on the faces of kids who have Scoliosis and helping the parents as well.  They go to hospitals and visit and give care packages to children who have the medical condition as well as support parents and families.  This particular fundraiser gave a $1000 Scholarship to dance school where one of the students has Scoliosis, as well as a $500 Scholarship to a student also with Scoliosis in a different school.  The Old Bridge School of Dance, the winners of the 2013 Scholarship performed various numbers for the guests, which was a lot of fun to watch.  The videos and pictures and families who were there really showed how important and helpful their foundation is.  I was pleased and touched to be a part of it, and look forward to working with them again.

Some information on the foundation can be found here:

http://cheerdream.org/Home_Page.html

Marshall’s Picks June 2014

Top 10 Current Hits for June 2014:

1.            Turn Down For What                      -                              Lil Jon & DJ Snake

2.            Talk Dirty                                             –                              Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz

3.            Show Me                                             –                              Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown

4.            Fancy                                                    –                              Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX

5.            Na Na                                                    –                              Trey Songz

6              Loyal                                                      -                              Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne

7.            Happy                                                   -                              Pharrell Williams

8.            Dark Horse                                          –                              Katy Perry feat. Juicy J

9.            Partition                                               -                              Beyonce

10.          Summer                                               -                              Calvin Harris

 

 

Top 10 Most Requested Wedding Songs over the last year:

1.            Journey                                                -                              Don’t Stop Believin’

2.            Cupid                                                    -                              Cupid Shuffle

3.            Black Eyed Peas                                -                              I Gotta Feeling

4.            Bon Jovi                                               -                              Livin’ On A Prayer

5.            AC/DC                                                   -                              You Shook Me All Night Long

6.            Lmfao                                                   -                              Sexy And I Know It

7.            Van Morrison                                    -                              Brown Eyed Girl

8.            DJ Casper                                            -                              Cha Cha Slide

9.            V.I.C.                                                     -                              Wobble

10.          B-52′s                                                    -                              Love Shack

 

 

Winners  - Billboard Music Awards 2014:

1.            Top Artist                                            –                              Justin Timberlake

2.            Top New Artist                                 –                              Lorde

3.            Top Male Artist                                 -                              Justin Timberlake

4.            Top Female Artist                            -                              Katy Perry

5.            Top Duo/Group                                -                              Imagine Dragons

6.            Top Touring Artist                            -                              Bon Jovi

7.            Top R&B Artist                                   -                              Justin Timberlake

8.            Top Rap Artist                                    -                              Eminem

9.            Top Country Artist                           -                              Luke Bryan

10.          Top Rock Artist                                  -                              Imagine Dragons

11.          Top Latin Artist                                  -                              Marc Anthony

12.          Top Dance/Electronic Artist         -                              Daft Punk

13.          Top Christian Artist                          -                              Chris Tomlin

 

What Will the Summer Anthem of 2014 Be?

With summer arriving we at Elite begin to ask ourselves the question that every DJ should be asking this time of year: What song will be the Summer Anthem of 2014? To be sure, every summer has one. The song that will stamp itself in our collective memory and become the sound that reminds everyone, for ever and always of that one particular summer.
summerLast year, despite a brave fight by Daft Punk with “Get Lucky” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” won the day (feel free to click on that link, it’s the PG version of the video).  vTen years from now when you hear that song you’ll harken back (hopefully with good memories) to the summer of 2013. The same goes for Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO which will always bring us back to the summer of 2011. And if you wanna go back even further, we’re sure you’ll recall the great Summer Anthem from 2002, Nelly’s “Hot in Herre“.  Or how about Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot which had us all singing “My anaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hun” in the summer of 1992.
So here are the early contenders for the Summer Anthem of 2014. Let us know in the comment section of this blog what your prediction is.
  • “Sing” by Ed Sheeran. It’s upbeat and has a fun video to go along with it. Plus it’s written and produced by Pharrell who’s got the Midas Touch lately.
  • “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea. It’s been a few years since a hip-hop song won the title of Summer Anthem but if any song can do it, it’s this “girl power” rap song.
  • “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith. This one will be high up the charts all summer and we’ll certainly be playing it when we slow things down at most events but ballads rarely  take the title of Summer Anthem.
  • “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. This one peaked too early. While it definitely has legs and will be a popular dance floor filler all year, it’s hard for a song that was number one all winter to be consisted for Summer Anthem.
  • “Beachin” by Jake Owen.  Normally we wouldn’t even consider a mellow country song, but wow, this one has all the right elements: a Jimmy Buffet vibe, an ode to coronas and margaritas and a “Don’t Worry Be Happy” reference.
  • “Summer” by Calvin Harris. Could a song with the word “Summer” in the title be the next Summer Anthem?  After years of writing and producing for other arists, Haris wrote produced and sang on this track (like he did with his previous hit, “Feels So Close”)  This one is catchy enough to be a dancefloor mainstay all summer.
  • “Problem” by Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea. Like an answer to Jay Z’s “99 Problems” 10 years later this dance song features a rap by Australian hip-hopper Iggy Azalea, meaning Azalea could be like Pharrell last summer, featured on two of the top summer’s hits.
  • “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic. Like almost everything OneRepublic releases this pop song has a solid beat and catchy enough lyrics to stay in the Top 40 for a while. Is it strong enough to be Summer Anthem material?  Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
  • “Come Get It Bae” by Pharrell Williams featuring Miley Cyrus. What a perfect follow up to “Happy!”  Pharrell offers a stripped down song with a hand clap beat and a chicken scratch guitar. As we’ve said, this guy has the Midas Touch so we wouldn’t bet against him.
  • “Birthday” by Katy Perry. Katy Perry is no stranger to Summer Anthems. She’s given us “I Kissed a Girl” in 2008 and “California Girl” in 2010 and who doesn’t love a song that name checks birthdays (we all have one after all).
  • “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. This song has that throwback dance floor vibe all over it and if last summer taught us anything, that’s a pretty good formula for success.
  • “Wiggle” by Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg.  Any song that honors women’s derrières, features a rap by Snoop Dogg and has whistling in it is alright by us.
Whichever of these songs rules the airwaves and rocks the dance floors this summer, one thing’s for sure: There are some great new songs out this year.  So make your selection in the comments section and then check back in September to see if your prediction was good.  What Will the Summer Anthem of 2014 Be?

May 2014 Playlist by Marshall Moore

Top 10 Current Hits for May 2014:

1.      Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown       –               Show Me
2.      Lil Jon & DJ Snake              -               Turn Down For What
3.      Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz     –               Talk Dirty
4.      Beyonce feat. Jay Z             –               Drunk In Love
5.      Katy Perry feat. Juicy J                -               Dark Horse
6       Pharrell Williams               –               Happy
7.      Martin Garrix                   –               Animals
8.      Beyonce                 –               Partition
9.      Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne     –               Loyal
10.     Trey Songz                      -               Na Na

Top 10 Most Requested Wedding Songs over the last year:

1.      Don’t Stop Believin’            -               Journey
2.      Cupid Shuffle                   –               Cupid
3.      I Gotta Feeling                 –               Black Eyed Peas
4.      Livin’ On A Prayer              -               Bon Jovi
5.      You Shook Me All Night Long     –               AC/DC
6.      Sexy And I Know It              -               Lmfao
7.      Brown Eyed Girl         –               Van Morrison
8.      Cha Cha Slide                   –               DJ Casper
9.      Love Shack                      -               B-52’s
10.     Gangnam Style                   –               Psy

Melinda & Ish – Crystal Point – 4/19/14

I had the opportunity to work with a great couple this past Saturday! They were so in love and so into there wedding, well maybe the groom was a little more involved for once. Melinda and I actually started calling him Groomzilla, but that was far from the truth. Ish just wanted to have a great time with his friend and family on his wedding day. And let me tell you we had a ton of fun! We played everything from Frank to Marc Anthony to Pitbull to John Legend. Ish and Melinda choreographed their first dance and I made an edit of that for them, plus they utilized our plasma screens and lighting. We had Intelligent Lighting to spotlight dances and the other important moments, plus add some color and energy to the room. They had two HD screens for multi-media visuals and a pre-made montage which I produced and included below. Michael from Contemporary Image captured the day and I have included some of his images below as well.

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