The four most iconic wedding gowns of the past century

May 6, 2019

Let’s turn the clock back to the four most talked about weddings of the past one-hundred years. These weddings were notable for the celebrity and the elegance of each couple and the iconic wedding gowns worn by the brides.

Kate Middleton

iconic wedding gownsCatherine (Kate) Middleton married Prince William on April 29th, 2011 wearing a gown designed by Sarah Burton of the luxury fashion house, Alexander McQueen. The gown incorporates exquisite detail to combine tradition and modernity, and although an official price for the gown was never announced, some reports peg the cost at £250,000 ($400,000). The Duchess of Cambridge looks simply exquisite, doesn’t she!

Princess Diana

iconic wedding gowns

Before the late Princess of Wales achieved tabloid notoriety, she and Prince Charles tied the knot in 1981 in a fairy tale wedding. Her designers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, said the dress “had to be something that was going to go down in history.” What do you think? Did they succeed?

The ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown sported a 25 foot train and 153 yard tulle veil. Whew! The price tag? £151,000!

Princess Grace of Monoco

iconic wedding gownsGrace Kelly was an Academy Award winning actress who fell in love with Prince Rainier III of Monoco. Talk about a fairy tale romance! The two tied the knot in April of 1956 in an event attended by Hollywood royalty as well as international royalty.

Interestingly, Sara Middleton’s gown emulated the elegance created by Princess Grace’s Hollywood designer, Helen Rose. In all, this gown used 400 yards of fabric and cost $8,000 (about $68,000 in today’s dollars).

Thirty million people watched the wedding via emerging television technology. Like Princess Diana, Princess Grace tragically died in a car accident.

Jacqueline Kennedy

iconic wedding gownsThe Kennedy dynasty of the 20th century were American political royalty. And socialite Jacqueline Lee Bouvier conducted herself with aristocratic aplomb. Her marriage to Senator John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1953 appeared to be a match made in heaven.

Known for her fashion sense, Jackie went with a bouffant wedding gown that required 50 feet of ivory silk taffeta.

Now here’s what’s interesting about the story. Jackie’s wedding dress was destroyed just ten days before her wedding day when the studio it was in flooded. They called upon African-American designer, Ann Lowe, to “whip something together” at the last minute, and the result is the beautiful gown pictured above. The cost? Five-hundred dollars is all!

Which of these iconic wedding gowns do you like best?

For iconic wedding entertainment, your choice is very simple: DJ Brian Anderson. We know how to pack the dance floor. Your guests will remember that even more than your iconic wedding gown!

Toasting etiquette has evolved

By tom quiner | May 13, 2019

toasting etiquetteHow times have changed! We came across an old etiquette guide from the 19th century called Dunbar’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette. In that era, toasting etiquette didn’t allow women to make toasts.

Here’s an excerpt:

Before the ‘healths’ (toasts) are drunk, the wedding cake should be cut and handed round.

The order of the healths is as follows:

The oldest friend of the family proposes the health of the bride and bridegroom.

The bridegroom returns thanks for himself and wife, and proposes the health of the bridesmaids.

The “best man” returns thanks for the bridesmaids.

The same old friend, or another, proposes the health of the bride’s parents.

The father of the bride returns thanks, and proposes the health of the bridegroom’s parents.

The bridegroom’s father returns thanks.

Toasting etiquette has evolved. Today, it is inclusive. The maid of honor and the bride might each make a toast. Here’s the key: it’s your call. You decide who you want to make toasts. Inform them in advance of your invitation to make a wedding toast. Let them know how long their toast should run.

DJ Brian Anderson recommends that they keep it concise, perhaps a few minutes or so.

How do you give a good toast? We’ve written some informative blogposts on the subject. Here are a few for you to review:

The two essential wedding toast ingredients

Read this wedding toast script

How to avoid wedding toast disasters

All-male toasting is so yesterday! Modern toasting etiquette is so much better. But do you know what never goes out of style? A well-written, well-delivered toast. So we highly recommend you share our blogposts above with those you’ve chosen to make a toast at your wedding.

And when that time comes, our MC will introduce your toasters with professional flair!

The four most iconic wedding gowns of the past century

By tom quiner | May 6, 2019

Let’s turn the clock back to the four most talked about weddings of the past one-hundred years. These weddings were notable for the celebrity and the elegance of each couple and the iconic wedding gowns worn by the brides.

Kate Middleton

iconic wedding gownsCatherine (Kate) Middleton married Prince William on April 29th, 2011 wearing a gown designed by Sarah Burton of the luxury fashion house, Alexander McQueen. The gown incorporates exquisite detail to combine tradition and modernity, and although an official price for the gown was never announced, some reports peg the cost at £250,000 ($400,000). The Duchess of Cambridge looks simply exquisite, doesn’t she!

Princess Diana

iconic wedding gowns

Before the late Princess of Wales achieved tabloid notoriety, she and Prince Charles tied the knot in 1981 in a fairy tale wedding. Her designers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, said the dress “had to be something that was going to go down in history.” What do you think? Did they succeed?

The ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown sported a 25 foot train and 153 yard tulle veil. Whew! The price tag? £151,000!

Princess Grace of Monoco

iconic wedding gownsGrace Kelly was an Academy Award winning actress who fell in love with Prince Rainier III of Monoco. Talk about a fairy tale romance! The two tied the knot in April of 1956 in an event attended by Hollywood royalty as well as international royalty.

Interestingly, Sara Middleton’s gown emulated the elegance created by Princess Grace’s Hollywood designer, Helen Rose. In all, this gown used 400 yards of fabric and cost $8,000 (about $68,000 in today’s dollars).

Thirty million people watched the wedding via emerging television technology. Like Princess Diana, Princess Grace tragically died in a car accident.

Jacqueline Kennedy

iconic wedding gownsThe Kennedy dynasty of the 20th century were American political royalty. And socialite Jacqueline Lee Bouvier conducted herself with aristocratic aplomb. Her marriage to Senator John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1953 appeared to be a match made in heaven.

Known for her fashion sense, Jackie went with a bouffant wedding gown that required 50 feet of ivory silk taffeta.

Now here’s what’s interesting about the story. Jackie’s wedding dress was destroyed just ten days before her wedding day when the studio it was in flooded. They called upon African-American designer, Ann Lowe, to “whip something together” at the last minute, and the result is the beautiful gown pictured above. The cost? Five-hundred dollars is all!

Which of these iconic wedding gowns do you like best?

For iconic wedding entertainment, your choice is very simple: DJ Brian Anderson. We know how to pack the dance floor. Your guests will remember that even more than your iconic wedding gown!

How sweet it is when you experience the perfect first dance song!

By tom quiner | April 29, 2019

perfect first dance songThe song doesn’t determine the perfect first dance song. The artist who performs the song ultimately determines this state of perfection. That’s why two out of three couples prefer a DJ to a band on their wedding day. A company like ours can play the version that best suits you.

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

Take Marvin Gaye’s classic song from 1964, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You,” which one critic described as a “radiant pop confection.” Listen to Gaye’s interpretation of the song:

The song reached number three on Billboard Magazine’s R & B charts in 1965. A decade later, James Taylor covered the song in his imitable soft rock style, which a Rolling Stone music critic, Bud Scoppa, characterized as “a relaxed rendition” of Gaye’s masterpiece. Here’s how Taylor covered it:

This is the version that came in #17 on The Knot’s list of “50 Classic First Dance Songs.”

The tempo falls comfortably between fast and slow, allowing you to easily dance to it about any way you’d like.

A soulful approach

The Temptations took a more soulful approach to the tune:

Perhaps you prefer a female vocalist. British singer, Katie Melua has an infectious, pop take on the song, complete with a robust brass section backing her:

Silky smooth, Michael Bublé, weighs in with his uptempo take on this classic, backed by a kick-butt big band:

You deserve the perfect first dance song, because it is the focal point of your wedding reception. DJ Brian Anderson can play whatever version of your song you want, and even more, we can customize the music for your entire reception to make your wedding celebration uniquely you.

How sweet it is!

Modernize the traditional receiving line

By Brian Anderson | April 22, 2019

traditional receiving lineIt takes about a half hour to move one-hundred of your wedding guests through a traditional receiving line. That’s assuming your line includes the couple and their parents only. Add in the rest of your wedding party and it’ll take forever!

Receiving lines matter.  It’s your opportunity to greet your guests and thank them for attending your wedding celebration.

If your guest list is large, you may want to modernize the traditional receiving line to open up more time for celebrating and less time standing around in line.

You should explore a couple of smart alternative approaches we’re seeing more of. One idea is ridiculously simple. Instead of processing out of the church or venue at the conclusion of your ceremony, the couple dismisses guests row-by-row.

This affords you the opportunity to connect with everyone in a rather efficient manner. Guests don’t want to linger, since they know you have rows of other guests chomping at the bit to greet you. And, guests can sit and relax until you get to their row, which is especially nice for older guests.

If parents want to be in the receiving line, this idea won’t work. On the other hand, parents can make it a point to make the rounds during the cocktail hour or before dinner to connect with friends and family they would have greeted in the receiving line.

This leads to another contemporary alternative to the traditional receiving line. Some couples forgo the receiving line completely and make it a point to systematically ‘work the crowd’ during the cocktail hour, or immediately before dinner, which works especially well if you’re going with a buffet line.

These approaches can open up more time to celebrate, and wedding celebrations really come alive when the entertainment is customized to your tastes. Guess what? That’s what we do! Check us out without obligation.

Pitfalls of an outdoor wedding

By Brian Anderson | April 15, 2019

outdoor weddingWho doesn’t love an outdoor wedding? There was the one that took place overlooking the Tennessee River at Lake Guntersville State Park. The look of the wedding was magical. The view is stunningly beautiful!  Its one of my most favorite venues to entertain at and I perform many events there!

And then there was the one on the beach in Gulf Shores. The magnificence of the setting was breathtaking! Yes, who doesn’t love an outdoor wedding?

Perhaps the guests! The beautiful wedding ceremony on Lake Guntersville was 95 degrees. There was no shade. The humidity was high enough to wilt a blushing bride’s coiffure faster than you can say “I do!”

Who doesn’t love an outdoor wedding?

Perhaps the bridesmaids! A lovely bridesmaid in her very high heels just couldn’t navigate the sand at the beach wedding and took a nasty spill. But, boy that Gulf of Mexico was beautiful!

Then, there was this time in beautiful downtown Valley Head, Alabama at the Historic Winston Place at a 4:00 pm ceremony that the “4:05” Southern Railways Locomotive came rushing through with horn blasting!

Okay, perhaps I’m being overly hard on outdoor weddings. But I’m a DJ and I’ve seen all of the pros and cons of outdoor weddings on full display over the years. I DO enjoy entertaining outdoor weddings and celebrations!

Outdoor weddings can be spectacular

I do admit that some settings are breathtaking, and when everything goes perfectly, they are truly memorable affairs.

There’s a common weak link, though, when it comes to outdoor weddings: the sound. Guests can’t hear your spoken vows very well. If you have a nice string quartet, for example, the beauty of their music can be overwhelmed by the sounds of nature, whether it’s wind, waves, or whatever.

DJ Brian Anderson can easily shore up your sound with cutting edge equipment that makes your Alabama wedding ceremony easily heard by all guests. We’ll capture your ceremony music on sensitive mics that block out Mother Nature’s background sounds so you only hear the purity of the music.

Or if your budget is tight, we can provide any ceremony music you’d ever want to hear, played on the high end equipment that enhances any outdoor wedding ceremony.

And when the ceremony is done, we offer the dance floor packing entertainment services that transforms an ordinary wedding reception into a celebration for the ages.

Yes, outdoor weddings present challenges as well as opportunity. Whatever you decide is right for your wedding celebration, DJ Brian Anderson can make sure the sound is one less worry you have to deal with.

How to look fantastic in wedding photographs

By Brian Anderson | April 8, 2019

great wedding photographsEvery woman wants great wedding photographs. So what is it exactly that makes wedding photographs great? Let’s face it, it begins with you. If you think that you look great in your photos, chances are you’re going to love your wedding photographs all the more.

This doesn’t discount the ability of your wedding photographer, because good photographers know how to bring out the best in you. But there are some practical things you can work on to make your photographer’s job easier and to look fantastic in your wedding photographs.

Super model Tyra Banks offers some good tips:

  • Extend your neck (see above). Don’t be a “no-neck monster.” No one likes the “double chin” look.
  • Smile with your eyes.
  • Focus your gaze, even if you’re not staring directly into the camera. In other words avoid the aimless gaze which creates blandness. You want intensity!
  • Don’t slouch. Stand erect. Stiffen your spine!
  • Be yourself (as long as you’re not slouching!)
  • Practice your smile. With practice, you know the type of smile that flatters you most. Some prefer an open mouth, toothy smile. Others, a closed mouth smile.
  • Get your teeth whitened. The reason some don’t like open mouth smiles is their teeth. Whitening helps and gives you confidence.
  • Self-conscious? Work on poses where you’re looking away from the camera. If you do, remember the tip above: to focus your eyes on something in your view.
  • Slightly hold your chin up. According to Ms. Banks, it elongates the neck, de-emphasizes large foreheads, and simply flatters you.
  • Bend your knee. It accentuates your femininity, as you can see demonstrated by super model Alessandra Ambrosio (below):

great wedding photographs

  • Emphasize a shoulder. Simply turn your body to the side, but then turn your shoulders toward the camera. This approach narrows your hips in the photo.

These are simple tips that consistently produce great wedding photographs.

Here’s a tip that will produce great wedding entertainment: go with DJ Brian Anderson. Just as a good photographer knows how to bring out the best in his subject, we know how to bring out the most fun in a party. Check us out without obligation. Or give us a call if you’d like some quick pricing info: 256-638-3535.

The customized first dance song

By Brian Anderson | April 1, 2019

customized first dance songYou know the old saying: you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole. The problem presents itself all the time when it comes to wedding music. Sometimes couples hire a band, and the band just can’t provide the customized first dance song they so desperately want.

But DJ Brian Anderson can.

“Just the Way You Are”

Take Billy Joel’s iconic song from 1977, “Just the Way You Are.” It was Billy’s first gold single.

The song is so awesome that The Knot puts it at #24 on their hit list of the top songs for a first dance.

The genius of the song is its lyrics. Here’s an excerpt:

Don’t go changing to try and please me

You never let me down before.

Don’t imagine you’re too familiar,

And I don’t see you anymore.

I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble,

We never could have come this far

I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times

I’ll take you just the way you are.

Perfect.

Great lyrics, great melody

Couple it with a haunting melody and you have the makings of a classic. Wedding couples love this song for a first dance, but they don’t necessarily prefer Billy’s version, because it has been covered by the best performing artists around, like Harry Connick Jr:

Diana Krall released a sultry version that begs to be danced to, nice and slow:

Looking for a more soulful rendition? How about Barry White!

There are some good local bands. We know most of them and would be happy to refer you to the best. But a band may not have “Just the Way You Are” in their repertoire.

It may not be their style. With DJ Brian Anderson, you’ll get get a customized first dance song exactly the way you like it, performed by the artist of your choice.

Looking for a more swinging version of Joel’s hit song? How about this masterful reinterpretation of the song by the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra?

With DJ Brian Anderson, you CAN afford a big band. You CAN have have a Diana Krall or a Harry Connick Jr. singing on your first dance. You CAN bring Sinatra back to life to make your first dance magical.

No matter how good a band, you can’t get a customized first dance song. With us, anything is possible, including the version of the song that started it all:

The next step? Check us out without obligation.

Best wedding jokes for the best man’s toast

By Brian Anderson | March 25, 2019

wedding jokesThe wedding toast is an art form. Most best men at weddings aren’t experienced at the art form, which is why we blog on the subject so often. Wedding jokes make a nice ice breaker if you are ever assigned the honor of raising a glass in a wedding toast.

The best jokes are clean-cut. You don’t have to be off-color to get a laugh and unite wedding guests in celebration. In fact, grossness or mean-spirited humor can really backfire.

So be funny, not profane.

Your fearless blogger mined the wedding humor floating around the internet to present you with some very funny ways to begin your wedding toast. Here are some pretty good ones from a website called Ranker:

A little girl at a wedding asked, “Mommy, why do brides always wear white?” The mom replied, “Because they’re happy, dear.” Halfway through the wedding the girl whispered, “Mommy, if brides wear white because they’re happy, then why do men wear black?”

***

“Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?” And the father replied, “I don’t know, son, I’m still paying for it.”

***

A woman was telling her friend, “It was I who made my husband a millionaire.” “And what was he before you married him?” asked the friend. The woman replied, “A multi-millionaire.”

***

If your wife laughs at your joke, it means you either have a good joke, or a good wife.

I found a few good wedding jokes at i News:

“I’ve been asked by many how I’m going to cope with my best friend being married and spending all of his time loved up at home. I’m thrilled! I’ll finally be able to talk to women without him cramping my style.”

***

“Just a couple of rules before we begin. If you have a mobile phone – leave it switched on, entertain yourselves. And if anyone texts you any good jokes, send them my way.”

***

“[Groom’s name] asked me to be his best man a year ago — although I never actually received a formal invitation to the wedding.  Let’s hope I haven’t eaten someone else’s meal by mistake — but more likely, he was saving himself the cost of a stamp.”

***

“A best man is similar to a dead body at a funeral.  You’re expected to be there, but if you say too  much, people start freaking out.”

Here are some funny wedding jokes from Readers Digest

Even though there was a blizzard raging outside, I made it the half-mile to the bakery, where I asked the owner for six rolls.

“Your wife must like rolls,” he said.

“How do you know these are for my wife?” I asked.

“Because your mother wouldn’t send you out in weather like this.”

***

And here’s one more nugget from Readers Digest:

A man tells his doctor that he’s incapable of doing all the things around the house that he used to do. When the examination is over, he says, “Okay, Doctor. In plain English—what’s wrong with me?”

“Well, in plain English,” says the doctor, “you’re just lazy.”

The man nods. “Now give me the medical term so I can tell my wife.”

If you’re charged with the honor of making a toast at an upcoming wedding, you can’t go wrong with a little good-natured humor.  We hope one of these jokes fits the bill.

When it comes to your wedding reception planning, selecting a quality DJ for your upcoming wedding celebration isn’t a joke, go with the company that gives you the best entertainment with crowd pleasing variety dance music and packed dance floors: DJ Brian Anderson, the wedding entertainment specialist. Make sure you leave enough in your budget for decor lighting and photo booth! Contact us today at 256-638-3535!

Ten stupid wedding planning mistakes

By Brian Anderson | March 18, 2019

stupid wedding planning mistakesTrue story: A guy was getting married out of state. His fiancé told him he had one responsibility: to get the marriage license. Get ready for stupid wedding planning mistakes #1.

1. Not knowing marriage license requirements

This guy knew that the state in which he was getting married had a 5 day waiting period before a marriage license would be issued. He went in on Monday with his bride-to-be, but forgot to pick up the license on Friday. Stupid!

Every state has different requirements. Be sure to know yours. Some states require you to get married within a certain number of days of receiving your license. For example, it is 30 days in Alabama, but 60 in Pennsylvania.

2. Blowing your budget on the gown and catering

Some of the first things a bride does is to shop for her gown and line up a caterer. These two items can get pricey. Don’t overspend, or you may not have enough money left for photography and entertainment.

3. Not budgeting

By the same token, you MUST have an overall budget set BEFORE you spend a dime on your wedding. A budget helps you avoid mistake #2 mentioned above.

4. Jumping the gun on mailing save-the-date cards

Wait until at least until eight to ten months out. Be sure your guest list is set first. After all, someone you think you want to invite when your wedding is a year out may not “make the cut” when you get down to the nitty-gritty.

5. Waiting too long to order your wedding dress

Custom-made dresses take time, lots of it. Order early. Even off-the-rack gowns that require alterations take time.  Play it safe.  Have your gown ordered at least six months out.

6. Not hiring a professional videographer

Wedding surveys of couples after their wedding day has come and gone reveal how important memories are to these couples. They regret not having their wedding ceremony and reception video taped by a pro.

7. Scrimping on entertainment

Same thing as above. Entertainment costs but ten percent of a typical wedding, but provides ninety percent of the fun. Couples regret underspending on the entertainment and not adding in decor lighting and photo booths.

8. Insufficient postage

Many wedding invitations are square.  Square envelopes require an extra fifteen cents per invitation to mail (70¢ total). Why?  Because they need to be hand-sorted by the Post Office.  Don’t make a common, stupid mistake and put insufficient postage on your wedding invitations.

9. Over-inviting

Let’s say your venue holds 250 people.  Don’t invite a ton more people knowing that a certain percentage can’t make it.  What happens if they do show up?  You’ll turn people away at the door. Just ask the fire marshal in case you have any doubts.

10. Getting stressed planning your wedding

Stress is a common malady for those of you planning your wedding right now.  Stress is caused by having to make well-over a thousand decisions on a deadline.  You can reduce and even eliminate stress by starting early and utilizing either a wedding planner or online wedding planning tools, like DJ Brian Anderson offers our clients.

We’re all human.  We all make stupid mistakes.  This blog will make you a little smarter as you plan the biggest day of your life.