The marriage rate in the U.S. began a steady decline in the early 1970s before leveling off around 2009 at much lower levels. Keep reading if you’re not married. Younger Americans have lost sight of the reality that marriage benefits are amazing. A lot of Millennials don’t realize the positive impact getting married can have on your finances, your longterm health, and your future children.
Financial marriage benefits
Forbes Magazine ran a nice piece on the financial benefits of marriage. Forbes contributor, Kate Ashford, spelled some amazing financial marriage benefits you need to be aware of, including:
• Married spouses qualify for an estate tax marital deduction. Not so for domestic partners.
• Married spouses qualify for the gift tax marital deduction. Not so for domestic partners.
• Ms. Ashford goes on to reveal other significant benefits for spouses when it comes to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Social Security benefits, and health insurance savings. If your spouse dies, you have more protection if you’re married than not.
Some of you reading this view these benefits as an abstraction, something you can deal with way down the road. Perhaps. But when that day comes, you may have wished you had gotten married.
Health benefits of marriage
If the financial marriage benefits are significant, the health benefits are even more significant. As we pointed out in an earlier blogpost [“Marriage is good for your health”], married people:
√ Live longer than single people.
√ Experience fewer strokes and heart attacks.
√ Have a lower risk of depression.
√ Have a lower risk for advanced cancer.
√ Survive longer when cancer does strike.
√ Are better able to survive major operations.
The health benefits for men are especially profound. Both unmarried women and men have much higher rates of depression than their married counterparts, but with men, the differential is glaring. Unmarried men are nine times as likely as married men to suffer from depression.
Marriage is so therapeutic to men, that a married man with heart disease will live an average of four years longer than a single man with a healthy heart.
And did you know that unmarried people spend twice as much time in hospitals as married people?
Okay, you’re going to be happier, richer, and healthier if you get married. Anything else. Actually, yes. I save the best for last.
Marriage benefits to your children are amazing
If you’re ever blessed with children, data shows that kids fare better in families where mom and dad are married. These children are more likely to enjoy longterm health and prosperity than their peers being raised by cohabiting parents. Even more, they are far more likely to avoid the social pathology that afflicts so many of our youth, such as addiction, dropping out of school, and crime.
What’s interesting is that studies from 13 other countries all had similar results: the marriage benefits for children are incalculable.
Marriage benefits begin with a wedding. If you’re planning your wedding, DJ Brian Anderson provides world class entertainment that will propel you into your new healthier and happier lifestyle with flair.
Learn more without obligation today.
Wedding photography is such a wonderful art form. But traditional photography has lost a little popularity over the years. The best photographers have compensated by developing better wedding posing techniques which result in far better planned shots than your parents had.
What to do with the hands?
The problem with so many awkward brides, grooms, and wedding parties is what to do with their hands. We’ve noticed that with the best posed shots, creative photographers have put the subjects’ hands to good use to create a more natural posed look.
With the groom, a simple technique is to simply have him grab his lapel.
For a fun couples shot, the bride can tug on the groom’s tie.
For a fun shot of the groomsmen, the bride can simply put her hands on her hips and let them gawk. Or the groomsmen can put their arms around the groom with their hands held high.
For drama, let the groom simply extend his open hand to his adoring bride.
There are some good photographers we’d be happy to refer you to who have developed artful wedding posing techniques. They know how to make your wedding portraits fun and memorable.
In a previous blogpost, we discussed the four most popular styles of wedding photography. The are: traditional, documentary, fine art, and edgy. Contemporary traditional photography has blurred the lines between these styles with fun wedding posing techniques that put the hands to good use.
When the photographs are finished, we’ll put everyone’s hands AND feet to good use by packing the dance floor. Check out Brian Anderson – Alabama DJ wedding entertainment at its finest.
First dance etiquette for weddings is timeless. We live in an era where some couples go to great lengths to choreograph high energy productions for their first dance. YouTube is full of them, like the one below:
Let’s face it, this approach isn’t for everyone. Here’s the good news: you DON’T need an exotic production. You can stick to the basics. Many, probably MOST, of the readers of this blog are breathing a big sigh of relief over that last sentence. After all, a lot of people are not impressed with their own dancing abilities, and they are pretty shy about having the entire spotlight on them.
You have nothing to worry about! We’ve posted a very nice video below which gives you a quick and easy tutorial on how to dance the good ol’ box step. Even if you’ve got two left feet, the box step is within your reach. Watch this, see what I mean:
First dance etiquette: the basics
Here is the timeless first dance etiquette DJ Brian Anderson uses for Alabama weddings:
√ We introduce you and your wedding party with flair.
√ Bride and groom enjoy their first dance together as husband and wife.
√ Next, the father and bride dance and the mother and son dance.
At this point, etiquette becomes more flexible depending on your tastes and the length of your reception. We’ll review your options in the planning process to be sure all additional special dances and announcements are perfectly timed and MCed.
In the meantime, if you’re a little shy about your first dance, spend a some time with the video above practicing a very user-friendly dance step. And then be sure to check out an earlier blogpost, “Top Ten Classic Songs for your First Dance.”
This blog has written on the subject of the wedding toast on more than one occasion. The subject is important, because a memorable wedding toast is pure magic. At the same time, a toast by your best man or maid of honor can go astray with all sorts of negative consequences.
There is never an excuse for a poor toast as long as your toasters are armed with some basic information, which I am about to reveal.
There is an almost magical secret to giving a memorable wedding toast, and that is the “turning point.” The turning point is the secret sauce, that moment when the toaster reveals what makes the bride or groom so special, and what makes the bride and groom such a great couple.
It is the pay dirt for which everyone awaits.
The video above provides helpful tips on how to write an effective toast. It breaks down the toast into five steps:
- Introduction. Who is the toaster, and what is his/her connection to the bride and groom?
- Great story. Everyone loves stories. Everyone! What are movies and television shows, except stories? Stories are so powerful that Jesus used them as the basis for His teachings. What is your story that involves either the bride or groom, or both?
- Turning point. Here you reveal the secret, that very essence of what makes the toastee tick, and why that bodes well for their marriage. This is that “feel good moment” that makes a good toast soar.
Let’s look at an actual toast I found on YouTube. Whoever posted it labels it as the ‘greatest best man speech ever.’ That it is not. The ‘story’ part of the toast floundered, and the toaster talks more about himself than the groom. However, he redeems himself with a fine ‘turning point.’ Tune in at around the 2:40 mark in the video below to see what I mean:
The toast below is heartfelt. The toaster provides a wonderful story beginning around the 1:40 mark. But he skips the conclusion and the toast itself. And the ‘turning point’ precedes the story:
No criticism intended towards either toaster, each of whom had some good elements in their toast. We can all learn from them in order to write and deliver a memorable wedding toast when our time comes.
Check out an earlier blogpost that offers a memorable wedding toast script. Do you see the ‘turning point’? It is the paragraph immediately following the line, “bring bride into the toast.”
Writing and delivering a memorable wedding toast isn’t rocket science. It takes more heart than science, along with the tips above. Good luck!
[When should toasts be made? DJ Brian Anderson is also a professional MC. We know when to cue up toasts and control the entire tempo of your celebration. You have no worries, other than to celebrate! Our online planning tools are awesome!]
Wedding toasts can be such a wonderful part of your wedding reception. And they can be a disaster in the hands of an unprepared toaster. Here are some really excellent … and PRACTICAL … wedding toast delivery tips presented in the video below.
Tip #1: KNOW your toast. Know it well enough so you don’t need it scripted. It’s okay to have a few bullet points on a note card. But if you’re able to tell a nice, warm story about the bride or groom, you’ll find it really easy to remember and convey your toast.
Tip #2: Make EYE CONTACT. A simple technique to get started is to stand up straight and tall, smile like you’ve never smiled before, and cast your gaze across the room. What expectation you’ll create! You’ll have the audience in the palm of your hand before you even begin talking.
As your toast unfolds, cast your gaze around the room, working every corner of the hall. Are you shy? Are you scared to death at making eye contact? No problem. Before you begin your toast, identify a few people you’re close to in different areas of the venue, and you can focus your gaze on them.
What can be really helpful to you is to make a point to introduce yourself to as many people as you can at the reception before the toasting begins. That way, there are fewer strangers in the hall! And let me tell you, if you look at someone and smile, it is really, really hard for them to do anything other than smile back. Toasting is so rewarding when it begins and ends with a smile.
Tip #3: Be CONCISE. The video suggests a toast can be up to ten minutes. This blogger suggests 3 to 5 minutes is MUCH better. You need to be a master toaster to pull off a ten minute toast. Whatever the length, rehearse. Let me say it again: rehearse and rehearse your toast. You owe it to the bride and groom. Do NOT let it run on too long. Bring it to a nice, clear conclusion with the line:
“Will you raise your glass and join me in toasting this great couple, Mr. and Mrs. [couple’s name].”
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
Tip #4: Be CONVERSATIONAL. The conversational approach is intimate and compelling, IF you have properly rehearsed your toast. The worst thing you can do is to have a few too many drinks and let your ‘conversational’ toast drag on and on. (Actually, worse than that is to embarrass the bride and group. But you know better than to do that!) Limit your alcohol. Rehearse. Make eye contact. You’re going to be great!
When it comes to your reception, DJ Brian Anderson provides that impeccable timing that only professional MCs bring to the table. We know how to time the toasts, the cake cutting, and all the key moments of your reception. Get ready for the best day of your life!
Everyone knows that men and women communicate differently. At long last, new technology boosts wedding communication between the genders, setting the stage for a lifetime of marital bliss!
Men tend to view communication as having a purpose, while women view it as an outlet for feelings.
Women want to talk more often and use more words than men.
Men’s listening skills tend to be literally oriented, which can create challenges for women who view conversation as more of a process which does not necessarily seek solutions.
In light of these differences, it was only a matter of time until science developed vital technology that narrows the communication gap between the genders.
Get ready for better wedding communication!
You have to see it to believe it. The video below reveals the medical breakthrough, Hearitol. Watch and listen!
And in case your relationship needs a little more help than Hearitol offers, perhaps you are a candidate for another new technological marvel, the Manslater! The video below provides the details, as well as ordering information:
This blog is always on the cusp of the latest and greatest in everything, including a good laugh.
When it comes to planning your wedding, you’ll find communication is as easy as saying “I do” when you select DJ Brian Anderson to handle your wedding entertainment. We offer easy to use planning tools to make the planning process easy for you.
Vivaldi’s Spring is a very popular wedding processional song. (See our earlier blogpost, “Top classical songs for walking down the aisle.”)
You can listen to it in the video below…
…complete with the violin sheet music. There’s a problem. While you’ll love the happy main theme, it veers off into sections of music that just aren’t conducive to a wedding procession.
Another problem: not every bride and groom can afford a string quartet, the desired combination of instruments for this gem, composed by Antonio Vivaldi in 1725. On the other hand, most weddings feature at least one or two instrumentalists, with piano as the lead instrument.
To simplify your options, we’ve asked a musical arranger to create a playable arrangement for our readers. It features just two instruments, piano and cello. This arrangement only uses those lovely, happy melodies brides prefer. That’s what makes Vivaldi’s Spring such a popular wedding processional song.
You have permission to print this music off and pass it on to your musicians:
Of course, you have another enticing option for your ceremony music: us! DJ Brian Anderson not only provides world class entertainment for Alabama wedding receptions, we can provide any type of music for your wedding ceremony, too.
So if you’d like to hear Vivaldi’s Spring with a full orchestra, no problem! DJ Brian Anderson is the affordable option for brides who don’t want to scrimp on the quality of the music for their wedding ceremony.
What are the favorite first dance songs?
We’ve made an interesting observation of these songs. The older and the better they are, the more artists who cover the song. This presents wonderful opportunities for you. The more great artists who have covered a song, the more likely you’ll hear a version just right for you.
Let’s check out songs #11 and #19 on The Knot’s list:
#11 Crazy Love
Van Morrison wrote and recorded Crazy Love in 1970. Here it is:
What a smooth, timeless love ballad! On the other hand, maybe you’d like it a little more bluesy. No problem. Listen to Morrison’s duet with the legendary Ray Charles, backed up with Charles on piano and Hammond organ.
Then again, maybe you prefer a real mellow interpretation of the song. Who better than Michael Bublé? Check it out:
This is a well-crafted song that holds up to a wide range of vocal interpretations, and the same goes for this next song from The Knot.
#19 In My Life
Five years before Morrison wrote “Crazy Love,” John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote “In My Life.” This song is so good that Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it 23rd on their list of the 500 all-time greatest songs ever written. Impressive.
Here is this wistful love song as performed by The Beatles:
Can’t get any better than that, right? Well, that depends on your unique musical tastes. For example, Sara Niemietz offers this delightful, romantic rendition that might make it on to your favorite first dance songs list. Take a listen and enjoy:
Your first dance song should be a few minutes of pure heaven. All eyes are on you. The love of your life looks you in the eyes and gently sways to the music with you. Time stands still.
Your first dance song defines the moment.
DJ Brian Anderson offers a simple benefit for you as you build your own list of potential favorite first dance songs: we can play whatever you want, by any artist.
This matters. No offense to the local bands around (and there are some fine ones), not all of them can sing as well as Michael Bublé or as distinctively as a Van Morrison or a Ray Charles or The Beatles. No offense, but they simply may not be as good of musicians as these legendary bands were.
With us, you get exactly what you want: the perfect song played at the perfect moment by the perfect artist.
What’s on your list of favorite first dance songs? Check out our music database. If we don’t have it, we’ll get it!
Cake and punch wedding receptions are a thing of the past. Today’s brides and grooms want their reception to pack a punch. Wedding guest entertainment is the name of the game.
The Knot conducts an annual survey on the trends in the wedding industry. Their most recent survey revealed that 41% of couples include wedding guest entertainment (beyond music) as part of their wedding reception festivities, up from 11% as recently as 2009.
Photo booth creates an irresistible ‘cycle of fun’
What is the #1 form of guest entertainment at wedding receptions? Photo booth.
Photo booth keeps growing in popularity because it offers the perfect complement to DJ entertainment. Back in the days of the cake and punch receptions, guests chatted with their fellow guests, sipped their punch, ate their cake, checked their watches and bided their time until they could leave.
In this exciting era of wedding guest entertainment, photo booth and DJ entertainment create celebrations where no one wants to leave. Our DJ/MC gets your guests out onto the dance floor for one song after another. When they get tired, they take a break and head over to the photo booth, opening up dance floor space for your guests at the photo booth.
We call this the “cycle of fun.”
DJ Brian Anderson offers the dynamic DJ entertainment and state-of-the art photo booths to create a cycle of fun that will thrill your guests. This is wedding guest entertainment at its finest!
Join the evolution!
First dance songs are usually love songs.
Love is the most powerful force on earth. It is the very lifeblood of a marriage, which is why a love song is such a good choice for your first dance.
As a professional wedding DJ, I really appreciate the craftsmanship of good love songs. There are many that are used by brides and grooms throughout the country all the time. The best are timeless, because they integrate a powerful lyric with a lovey melody.
Let’s use as an example a song you know whose melody was written way back in 1784 by a French guy named Jean-Paul-Egide Martini. The name of Monsieur Martini’s song was “Plaisir d’amour” (or in English, “The Pleasure of Love.”)
Listen to the embellished melody as performed by The Piano Guy’s Jon Schmidt:
Powerful lyrics define great first dance songs.
Some 177 years later, three American songwriters stumbled upon this tune and penned their own lyrics in a song they titled, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The writers, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David, penned a particularly strong lyric with an opening line that touches upon the sacrificial nature of authentic love:
“Wise men say only fools rush in,
But I can’t help falling in love with you.”
One can’t help but think of the first responders at Ground Zero who rushed in to the burning Twin Towers. That’s what defines true love, sacrifice, and this song touches upon this potent force of nature.
The lyric concludes with astonishing impact in its simplicity:
“Take my hand, take my whole life, too,
For I can’t help falling in love with you,
For I can’t help falling in love with you.”
This line defines marriage, as two people give their lives to the other, just as it demonstrates the impact of a timeless love song: great lyric and great melody.
Listen to various artists make this song their own.
As a DJ, I marvel at the way top vocal artists make a love song their own. For example, listen to what the great Andrea Bocelli does with this song:
For a completely different take, here is how a group called ‘twenty one pilots’ performs the song, complete with ukulele as the main instrumental accompaniment!
The English group, UB40, gives it an irresistible reggae beat:
If you think you’ve heard it all, you haven’t. Listen to what Haley Reinhart of America Idol fame does with the song. Is this first dance material or what!
Can it get any better than this? Well, 8 million people say yes! More than that many have listened to Michael Bublé’s silky smooth rendition on YouTube:
Am I missing anyone? Oh, there was this guy named Elvis who popularized the song in 1961. Some 22 million people have listened to his classic version on YouTube. Here’s what the fuss is all about:
There are a lot of other good first dance songs, and in fact, we wrote another blogpost on the subject called, “Top Ten Classic Songs for Your First Dance.” Check it out!
Why does DJ Brian Anderson love entertaining at weddings like yours? Because we can play the music you want to hear sung by the artists you want to hear. We offer a mammoth song list so you can select the versions of your favorite songs you love most.
Even more, we can MC your event with the grace and timing honed by years of experience, so you can simply be “in the moment” on your wedding day and revel in the beauty of falling in love.