It had to be you

January 14, 2019

Nine decades have passed, and DJs are still playing “It Had to be You.” That’s because it is that good of a song. The Knot puts it at #21 in their list of best songs for a first dance. It’s such a good song that Michael Bublé and Barbra Streisand sang it as a duet a few years ago. Watch a few excerpts in the video above.

The song is the perfect blend of a great melody by Isham Jones and memorable lyrics by Gus Kahn, with a great hook like this:

It had to be you, it had to be you
I wandered around and finally found, that somebody who
Could make me be true
Could make me feel blue
And even be glad just to be sad, thinking of you …

The song is so timeless that the ageless Tony Bennett cut a duet with country super star, Carrie Underwood (above), and the song works despite the age gap.

A version sung by Frank Sinatra was used in the movie “When Harry Met Sally.” Watch the scene above. It totally works.

Aging rockers like Rod Stewart (above) can’t resist recording this gem.

Let me leave you with the complete version of Michael Bublé and Barbra Streisand’s interpretation (below).

Whatever version you prefer, we’ll have it cued up ready to roll for your first dance!

The Best is Yet to Come

By tom quiner | November 5, 2018

best is yet to comeYour wedding day is just the beginning.  The best is yet to come!  That last sentence just happens to be the name of a song written back in 1959 by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh.  The song is so good that The Knot lists it as the 39th best first dance song.

You know, 39th is awfully darn good when you consider the thousands of songs from which you have to choose.  The title alone makes it worthy of your consideration. When you factor in Ms. Leigh’s punchy lyrics and Mr. Coleman’s swinging tune, you’ve got the prescription for a memorable first dance.

The whole concept of the song is simply beautiful. 

Your marriage is the start of a lifetime of shared love and commitment, complete with ups and downs.

The ups are better because you’re sharing them with the person you love most in the world.  The downs are more tolerable because you’re not going through them alone.

Regular readers of this blog know that most of the popular classic first dance songs tend to be slow ballads.

“The Best is Yet to Come” swings and allows you more latitude to cut loose on the dance floor.

Here’s where things get fun:  who do you want to sing this great song?   

Sinatra made the song popular

best is yet to comeAlthough Tony Bennett was the first to sing it, it was Frank Sinatra who really popularized the tune.

In fact, it was the last song Sinatra ever sang in public back in 1995, and as you can see in the photo on the left, it was Sinatra’s epitaph on his tombstone.  Here’s Sinatra’s interpretation of the song with a swinging arrangement by Quincy Jones:

Michael Bublé comes through as he always does with a version that rivals Sinatra’s:

You know what, though?  You might want to consider the great new version Tony Bennett recorded with jazz chanteuse, Diana Krall.  This song works really well as a duet, especially for a first dance. What do you think?

Here’s what is great about using DJ Brian Anderson for wedding entertainment at your reception:  we can play any version of the song you like best.

Unlike a local band with a decent lead singer, we offer the best of the best.  Sinatra.  Bublé.  Bennett. And we back it up with dazzling decor lighting that transforms your venue into an imaginative expression of your good taste.

Get ready:  The best IS yet to come!

The risk of a public proposal

By tom quiner | October 29, 2018

public proposalA public proposal seems like such a cool idea. Just think of the romance of it all!  Your sweetheart will revel in all the attention as a mob of strangers applaud this beautiful moment. You’ll talk about it the rest of your lives.

On the other hand, you might want to consider the downside of such a grand gesture.

A public proposal goes wrong

Did you see the recent story in the news about a flight attendant with China Eastern Airlines?

It seems her longstanding boyfriend decided to propose 30 minutes after take-off, as you can see on the video below.

The passengers loved it and gave them a big round of applause. This public proposal was the culmination of a fairy tale romance, and the couple lived happily ever after, right? Not exactly.

The airline wasn’t happy with all of these romantic shenanigans. They sent the flight attendant a termination letter, explaining that the incident caused her to “neglect passenger safety.”

The airline came on strong, explaining that her …

“private romantic behavior caused turmoil among passengers” and was “extremely irresponsible for the safety of passengers.”

So much for romance!

Another public proposal goes wrong

There’s another risk of a public proposal:  she might say no.  Here’s an example that took place at an NBA game:

The young woman clearly wasn’t ready for marriage, at least with this gentleman.  She let the young man down as gently as possible, counting down the seconds until she could extricate herself from such an embarrassing spectacle.  And the poor guy was humiliated.  Just look at some of the basketball players trying to refrain from snickering.


Not all public proposals end badly.  Simply exercise caution as you plot out the details of your proposal.

By the same token, exercise caution as you plan your entertainment for your event.  Here’s why: Entertainment makes the event.  wedding couples often lament that they scrimped on this single, critical element of your wedding celebration.

With DJ Brian Anderson, you have no worries.  We know how to pack dance floors and help you realize all of your wedding dreams.  Unlike a public proposal, you have no downside when you go with DJ Brian Anderson.

Another lousy wedding toast

By tom quiner | October 22, 2018

lousy wedding toastDJ Brian Anderson has heard more wedding toasts than Elton John has eye glasses.  We’ve heard some good ones, and boy, we’ve heard some bad ones.  I heard another lousy wedding toast recently and found myself muttering,

“It doesn’t have to be this way.”

Wedding couples DESERVE a scintillating wedding toast.  They are ENTITLED to a heartfelt toast that simply sparkles.  That’s why we blog on the subject frequently.

The most recent lousy wedding toast came from a best man to the groom.  He was quite young and lacking in experience, and it showed.  He immediately told us he had written down his remarks so he wouldn’t forget them.

I thought, “excellent!”

But then he proceeded to prowl the wedding party’s platform blathering about nothing much as his hands fumbled through his pockets looking for his cheat sheet, which leads to wedding toast tip #1.

Wedding Toast Tip #1

Write out your remarks and KNOW where you put them.

After several minutes of discombobulated mutterings and misdirected quips, he turned his back to the gathered guests and fumbled through his suit coat, which he had earlier tossed on the floor behind him, giving us all an unwelcome view of his posterior.

Wedding Toast Tip #2

Don’t give your guests an unwelcome view of your posterior.

Once he found his elusive cheat sheet, he resumed stalking the wedding party platform with his crumpled cheat sheet clenched in his left hand and the microphone in his right hand.  And then something weird happened:  He. Never. Looked. At. It.

Wedding Toast Tip #3

If you have a cheat sheet, use it.

After all that fussing, he didn’t use his precious notes, but instead returned to lengthy ramblings on why he didn’t like the groom when he first met him in eighth grade.  As I gazed around the banquet hall, I could see eyes glazing over.

All faces sent the same message: Please, wrap this thing up, like fast!

Wedding Toast Tip #4

Read your audience.

It really helps to look out at the guests to be sure you’re connecting with them.  If our young toaster had done so, the blank visage adorning the face of each audience member would have been a useful motivation to him to bring his toast to a succinct, heartfelt conclusion, instead of continuing with the meandering mess into which it had devolved.

So how do you give a good toast?

Wedding Toast Tip #5

Make ‘em laugh and make ‘em cry.  And do it quickly.

The longer the toast, the more likely it’s going to crash and burn in wedding reception ignominy.  The shorter the toast, the more likely it’s going to be remembered, especially if the toast makes the audience laugh and cry.

Our young toaster would have been better served if he had said something like this:

Sample wedding toast

“Johnny may be my best friend today, but let me tell you, I didn’t like the guy at all when I first met him in 8th grade.

Now my reasons were not particularly good.  He’s better looking than I am. He’s smarter than I am.  And he’s got a better personality to boot.  Maybe that’s why he always dated the best looking girls in our class.

I was kind of jealous.

But then he fixed me up with this gorgeous redhead, and the rest was history!  How could I not love this guy?

You know what else I grew to love about this guy?  He saw something in me that I didn’t see.  He embraced me as a friend, and frankly, made me into a better person.

He’d give me the shirt off his back, and he has in a variety of ways.

Jenny Sue, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but you just married one heckuva human being.  And so did he.  You two deserve each other.  You are special, the perfect complement to a very special guy.

I can honestly say that I am delighted that I am no longer Johnny’s best friend.  That honor belongs to you, Mrs. Smith.  You make my best friend so very happy.

I’d like to invite all your guests to raise their glass in a toast to the very special friendship that has blossomed into a beautiful love affair … a toast to Johnny and Jenny Sue Smith!”

A minute-and-a-half.  You don’t have to be long-winded to make a beautiful wedding toast.

Be sure to forward this blog to your best man and maid of honor.  And as you plan your wedding celebration, remember entertainment makes the event.  Be sure to check out all of our wedding entertainment services: DJlightingphoto booth. You’re going to fall in love with them!

Don’t overspend on your wedding in the wrong places

By tom quiner | October 15, 2018

average wedding budgetThe average wedding budget is $33,391. Obviously, it varies dramatically depending on where you live. San Francisco and New York City will be a lot higher than an Alabama wedding. Regardless of where you live, you can experience a great wedding for less if you heed the advice of brides who lamented that they overspent on their weddings in the wrong places.

This is really helpful advice. It comes from Zola who surveyed 750 couples after their wedding celebration had come and gone.

The bills had all come due, and they had a chance to reflect on their decisions. They had some regrets.

Specifically, these couples blew past the average wedding budget in key areas:

  • 22% overspent on flowers & decor
  • 20% overspent on hair & makeup
  • 19% overspent on catering
  • 19% overspent on day-of-wedding attire
  • 17% overspent on invitations.

DJ Brian Anderson believes EACH of these areas are important. But you can learn from couples like you who realized when all was said and done, they didn’t need to spend as much as they did on these areas.

By contrast, the same couples wished they had spent more on these areas:

  • 25% wished they had spent more on videography
  • 22% wished they had spent more on photography
  • 20% wished they had spent more on a wedding planner
  • 12% wished they had spent more on flowers & decor
  • 10% wish they spent more on entertainment

A few reactions on finding the sweet spot for the average wedding budget: flowers and decor made both lists. Keep your emotions in check when planning your decor. Purchase only the quantity of flowers you really need. By the same token, if you’re not particularly artsy, don’t overly scrimp, because the tasteful use of flowers can make your event so beautiful.

The last bullet is really important, because entertainment makes the event. When dance floors are packed all night long, like DJ Brian Anderson will do, the fun is so contagious that couples wish they had more photography and videography on hand to capture it.

This is what matters after your event has come and gone: couples want to relive the fun created by a great DJ.

And they wished they had a little more wedding planning. We offer planning tools that can help on that score as well. There’s no need to have wedding regrets when you select DJ Brian Anderson.


Untraditional first dance songs

By tom quiner | October 8, 2018

I love a good song. Why do you think I started DJ Brian Anderson? A good song makes people happy, or moves them in some sort of profound way. That’s why we’ve written a number of blogposts on favorite songs for a first dance. In today’s post, let’s take a look at some lesser-known, untraditional first dance songs.

Untraditional first dance songs

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes recorded a song called “Man of Fire” with these lyrics: 

I’m a man on fire

Walking down your street

With one guitar

And two dancing feet

Only one desire

That’s left in me

I want the whole damn world

To come and dance with me.

This is a folk-rock song that warms up a crowd and gets them itching to hit the dance floor:

Ben Folds wrote a tender love song you may not know called “The Luckiest.” It’s a lovely song defined by Folds’ strong piano playing and wistful vocals.

The a cappella octet, VOCES8, gave “The Luckiest” the a cappella treatment. Wow! These British vocal stylists take Folds’ lyrics to a new level with a sumptuous arrangement by Jim Clements. Check it out, this is really worth a listen:

The a cappella treatment isn’t for everyone.

But then again, that’s what defines untraditional first dance songs. They’re not for everyone. But it might be right for you.

Folds’ doesn’t get hung up on a rhyme scheme in his lyrics:

I don’t get many things right the first time,

In fact, I am told that a lot

Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles,

And falls brought me here

And where was I before the day

That I first saw your lovely face,

Now I see it every day

And I know

That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

But the message of a flawed man finding love is timelessly appealing.

Looking for a more uptempo untraditional first dance song? Johnny Stimson wrote a real catchy tune called “A Million Years” with fun lyrics like these:

My, my I’m singing to the open sky

Oh my dear I’m hoping you can hear

And all my life your the only one I’m thinking of

And I will love you for, a million years

Yes, there are timeless classic songs that will always be favorites for the first dance at weddings. But sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box and consider some untraditional first dance songs. 

DJ Brian Anderson has a library of thousands (and thousands!) of the best songs ever written. Want your wedding reception to rock? Check us out!

Traditional weddings lose favor with modern couples

By tom quiner | October 1, 2018

Tradition is the glue that holds our world together. Right? Wrong … at least according to modern couples who increasingly distance themselves from the customs that so defined traditional weddings.

“Fiddler on the Roof” extolled the virtues of tradition

The virtues of tradition are gloriously proclaimed in the classic song, “Tradition,” (above) which opens the Broadway musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.”  Watch the character, Tevye, make the case for tradition, including arranged marriages (below)! Needless to say, Millennials aren’t buying any of it.

traditional weddings

A unique, fun wedding experience matters more than tradition.

The Knot studied these changing wedding traditions, and you’ll find them pretty interesting. For example, nine out of ten couples have jettisoned traditional seating arrangements at wedding ceremonies. They don’t care about a “bride’s side” or a “groom’s side”. Ushers are allowed to seat guests in a more balanced, comfortable way.

At the reception itself, many couples are moving away from a bouquet or garter toss.

It’s no surprise that couples are more likely to be co-habitating than ever before. In 2010, 44% of couples lived together at the time they got married. By 2018, the number was up to 54%.

Couples back away from identifying as brides or grooms

In fact, the Knot says these couples view themselves more as a ‘couple’ than a ‘bride’ or ‘groom.’ As a result, for 26% of couples, mixed gender wedding parties replace traditional wedding showers.

What modern couples want to create, The Knot learned, is a unique wedding experience that is fun. That’s why DJ Brian Anderson may be the perfect fit for your upcoming wedding. We’ll customize entertainment options to your personality to create a unique wedding experience that is ridiculously fun!

We can blend DJ talent, music, lighting, and photo booth in unique ways to honor … or bend … traditional weddings! It’s your call. Your wedding day is all about YOU and DJ Brian Anderson knows how to help you create new traditions.

Check us out without obligation.

A fun wedding reception is now more important than an elegant reception

By tom quiner | September 24, 2018

fun wedding receptionEngaged? Answer these four questions to see what really matters to you when planning your wedding reception. Do you prefer a fun wedding reception to a romantic one?

Or do you prefer a fun wedding reception to an elegant reception?

Do you prefer a fun wedding reception to a down-to-earth reception?

Or do you prefer a fun wedding reception to a classic reception?

Wedding trends

The Knot tracks these kind of trends. Their latest wedding study revealed a shift in the type of wedding reception couples want on their big day. Here are the top 5 descriptors in order:

    1. Romantic (27%)
    2. Fun (25%)
    3. Elegant (22%)
    4. Down-to-earth (22%)
    5. Classic (20%)

As recently as 2015, only 19% of couples wanted a “fun” reception, so you can see that a fun wedding reception is really gaining traction.

But here’s the question: are you forced to sacrifice ‘romance’ or ‘elegance’ to have a fun wedding reception? No, not if you choose DJ Brian Anderson to provide customized DJ entertainment at your affair.

Several variables influence the mood, including the music, the lighting, and the level of interaction a DJ has with your guests. There’s no law that says it’s all or none.

In other words, part of your reception can be romantic and elegant. And as the party of heats up, we can let our hair down and ratchet up the interaction and fun.

Create a unique guest experience

Even more, we offer add-ons like photo booth to create a unique guest experience. In fact, 40% of wedding couples go with extra guest entertainment, like photo booth, compared to just eleven percent in 2009.

Your wedding reception doesn’t have to be all romance OR all fun OR all elegance.  It can be ALL of the above!  And with DJ Brian Anderson, you’ll enjoy customized entertainment tailored to your dreams and the guest experience you desire.

As far as DJ Brian Anderson is concerned, every wedding reception should be a fun wedding reception. With us, it will be!

Fabulous cover songs that blew away the original

By tom quiner | September 17, 2018

fabulous cover songLast week’s blogpost talked about a bad cover song that ruined the first dance for a bride. Sometimes, though, a great artist builds on the legacy of the original version of a song and surpasses it with a fabulous cover song of his or her own.

As a wedding DJ, DJ Brian Anderson gets requests all the time for songs that aren’t performed by the original artist. We can play any version you want.

You know how subjective this can all be. Some brides and grooms, or their parents, simply love the original artist, and nothing can touch that version. 


But then they hear a younger artists breathe new life into a masterpiece, leaving them awestruck that maybe, just maybe, that’s a little better than Sinatra or Elton John performed it.

A few fabulous cover songs

Speaking of Elton John, let’s look at a few fabulous cover songs that surpassed the original. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was one of Sir Elton’s greatest hits, both artistically and commercially. It’s a tough song to sing because of its broad range, so not many artists cover it.

Sara Bareilles took on the challenge and simply made the song her own. Her re-harmonized piano chords are haunting, and her vocal stylings simply soar, releasing all the emotion packed into Bernie Taupin’s lyrics. Even Elton John was blown away by her interpretation of his soft rock ballad! This is a simply fabulous cover song of a masterpiece:

And speaking of Sinatra, one of his all-time biggest hits was Cole Porter’s “I’ve got you under my skin.” With a virtuosic arrangement by Nelson Riddle coupled with the ‘Chairman of the Board’s’ impeccable vocal phrasings, no one could touch Sinatra’s version. That is, until Diana Krall came along.

Ms. Krall knew that no one could make that song swing better than Ol’ Blue Eyes, so she performs it the exact opposite: nice and slow. Experience a fabulous cover song performed by an artist at the top of her game:

One of the all-time greats

Some songs are so good that they just beg to be sung by scores of different vocal artists. One such song is the beautiful, “I Will Always Love You,” written by Dolly Parton. This song is so good, that Dolly’s vocal version hit #1 on Billboard’s list of Hot Country Songs not once, but twice! Could anyone possibly top Dolly? Yes. Whitney Houston recorded one of the most electrifying songs ever with her take on this classic. She sang it in the 1992 movie, “The Bodyguard.” It’s so good, it is one of the best-selling singles. EVER.

Here is a fabulous cover song for the ages:

Wedding receptions rely on the art of the song to express what you’re feeling on your wedding day. Joy. Love. Peace. Hope. Each bride, each groom is unique. What songs define you and love story?

Music connects us. DJ Brian Anderson will play the version YOU want. Do you have a fabulous cover song you want us to play for your first dance? Don’t worry, we probably already have it … or we’ll get it.

The timelessness of your first dance is defined by this song. Let’s start planning the music for your celebration of a lifetime!

The day Julie’s wedding reception was ruined

By tom quiner | September 10, 2018

Never had a bride anticipated her first dance more than Julie (I changed the name to protect the innocent). She and her fiancée, Wally, had diligently, even feverishly, worked on their dance technique to pull off the perfect first dance. And then it all fell apart, leaving them victims of a bad cover song.

Their band had never heard of the song Julie requested for her first dance. They said “not to worry” because they were good musicians with a ‘good ear’ for music. They said they’d have it whipped together by Julie’s wedding day, “no problem.”

Sadly, they were mistaken. For starters, the tempo was all wrong. The version Julie and Wally loved was a slow ballad. The band raced through it hoping no one would notice a few missed notes along the way. 

The instrumentation was all wrong. The version Julie and Wally knew and loved featured a keyboard and full orchestra. The band had lead, rhythm, and bass guitars and a drummer. They didn’t have a chance at doing justice to the song with Julie’s high set of expectations.

To top it all off, the version Julie listened to all the time featured a female vocalist with a legendary voice. The local band only had a male vocalist with a pretty decent voice, but again, nothing could meet Julie’s expectations except the actual version of the song itself. A bad cover song was simply a disaster.

Don’t be the victim of a bad cover song!

This situation reminds me of a whole lot of very funny Saturday Night Live skits over the years with cast members relishing in performing a very bad cover song.

Here’s an example featuring Bill Murray from years ago:

Now if you were a fan of the classic song, “Up, Up, and Away” popularized by the Fifth Dimension, you’ll be more partial to their version:

Dig those threads!

Bill Murray totally butchers another golden oldie, “Raindrops keep falling on my head,” and he does it with such relish! For those of you who prefer the original from the classic movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” you’ll be more partial to this version:

DJ Brian Anderson knows a lot of bands in the area, and there are some good ones. But let’s face it, each band is limited by instrumentation and personnel. On the other hand, with a professional DJ company like ours, you’re going to hear the exact version of the song you know and love. Your first dance will meet and exceed your dreams with us, whether the song is from today or yesteryear.

We not only have the versions of your favorite songs you prefer, we play it on the best equipment with clear, beautiful sound. And we bathe the dance floor with professional lighting effects to enhance the moment even more.

Don’t be a victim of a bad cover song like Julie to whom I referred above. Let DJ Brian Anderson play your music your way. This is your day. You deserve exactly what you want!