The elegant wedding first dance song

September 21, 2020

elegant wedding first dance songWe meet the most interesting people entertaining at weddings. Most couples select a popular song from today or yesteryear for their first wedding dance song. Every now and then, we meet a couple that thinks outside the box and selects a piece of classical music, which really makes for an elegant wedding first dance song.

Perfect for good dancers

Classical music is especially appropriate for couples who are good dancers. If you and your betrothed are into dancing, you’ll like the opulent potential of a choreographed dance to classical music.

Take Waltz No. 2 by the great Russian composer, Dmitri Shostakovich. This is a wonderful piece of music for weddings, perfect to showcase your elegant ballroom dancing form. Watch below:

Simply beautiful. For a Latin twist, you’ll dazzle your wedding guests if you can pull off a tango to the classic Brazilian song, For una Cabez by Alfredo Le Pera and Carlos Gardel. Here’s a scene from the movie “Easy Virtue” where Colin Firth tangos with the sultry Jessica Biel. Watch:

 

Do you want to make a splash with your first dance? Try a tango.

The Cinderella approach

For the ultimate in elegance and class, try the Cinderella approach. We refer to the uber romantic La Valse de L’amour by Patrick Doyle, better known as the ‘ball dance’ from the 2015 movie, “Cinderella.” You may not know Mr. Doyle, but you know his music. He scored the music for a slew of hit movies, including “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Thor,” and the upcoming “Death on the Nile.”

He wrote a lovely waltz for Cinderella. Can you picture yourself dancing to this music?

Relax, you don’t have to buy a wedding dress as expensive as Cinderella’s. Besides, you’ll know from the movie that her gown was made with magic. For your elegant wedding first dance song, the music provided by DJ Brian Anderson is all the magic you’ll require for an unforgettable event. We’ll bathe the dance floor in romantic lighting every bit as sumptuous as Cinderella’s.

You have so many enticing options for your first dance song. You tell us what you want, and we’ll play it.

Even more, with DJ Brian Anderson, you can actually plan your event online. Check out our availability and let’s start planning the magic!

[Looking for a great way to make your Alabama wedding reception even better? Add a photo booth!]

How to give a wedding toast if you’re shy

By tom quiner | September 14, 2020

How to give a wedding toast if you’re shyPublic speaking is America’s biggest phobia, according to a survey on American Fears conducted by Chapman University. So how do you give a wedding toast if you’re shy? After all, one out of four of your neighbors are terrified of getting up before a crowd and talking.

It’s not as hard as you think. Here are some quick tips:

  1. Don’t drink before talking. Keep your head clear for obvious reasons.
  2. Script your toast. You don’t want your head to go blank. Ultimately, the root cause of nervousness is your fear of embarrassing yourself in front of a large crowd. Your heartfelt, scripted remarks, removes your fear of spacing out and fumbling through the toast.
  3. Talk clearly and project your voice. Timid toasters often keep their heads down and mumble their words. Instead, hold your head high talk with confidence.
  4. Rehearse. Even though your toast is scripted, rehearse it at least twelve times. That’s correct: twelve times. You want to know it so well that you don’t need your notes. Nonetheless, you WILL use your notes, because that removes your chance of blanking out.
  5. Keep it short. Almost all toasts are too long. Few people are pros. So, wedding guests appreciate toasters who get to the point and wrap up within a couple of minutes.
  6. Start strong. Introduce yourself and your connection to the couple. You might say, “My name is Lori Smith, and I have the honor of toasting the most wonderful friend I’ve ever known.”
  7. You have two goals: make ‘em laugh and make ‘em cry. And do it quickly. In other words, humor and sentiment are key ingredients to making a great toast. Sentiment is easy, humor, though is hard. You can find a corny wedding joke online and use it to transition to the sentimental. For example:

“I just saw two nuclear technicians getting married. The bride was radiant and the groom was glowing.”

Corny? Yes, but it’ll get a nice chuckle. Then marry the quip to the sentiment:

“And you know, [bride’s name], you truly are radiant today. And as for my friend, [groom’s name], we don’t typically use the word “glowing” to describe a groom. But I’ve noticed something about him. Every time your name comes up, his eyes light up. Every time you walk into the room, his eyes light up. Yes, it’s safe to say you’re glowing today, [groom’s name].”

At this point, you’ll hear “awww” rise up from your captive audience.

Finally, run it by someone you trust to critique your toast. How to give a wedding toast if you’re shy? Follow these steps and you’ll feel so prepared, you shyness will quickly fade the day of the big event. You CAN do it. You WILL do it. Relax, and enjoy the experience!

When it comes to wedding entertainment, DJ Brian Anderson is the professional you’ve been hearing about. Want a packed dance floor? DJ Brian Anderson CAN do it. DJ Brian Anderson WILL do it. And you can relax and simply enjoy your big day! Check us out and see if we’re available.

The history of wedding vows

By tom quiner | September 7, 2020

The history of wedding vows for English speaking countries have origins in medieval times. You’ve most likely heard this vintage vow from the Anglican church:

“I [bride/groom] take you, [bride/groom] to be by [wife/husband], to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, and this is my solemn vow.”

Modern couples like to write their own vows as their personal statement and public commitment to the permanence of the union.

Even the most non-religious of couples include some of the same elements in their custom vows, elements such as:

  • Long term commitment;
  • Willingness to overlook imperfections in their spouse;
  • Sincerity in weathering the tough times together

The vows above were pretty much the vows used by Prince William and Kate Middleton when they got married in 2011 at Westminster Abbey, as you can see in the video above.

Following the vows, the Archbishop blessed the ring and Prince William concluded the vows by saying:

“With this ring I thee wed; with my body I thee honour; and all my worldly goods with thee I share: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

The Knot shared some of their favorite contemporary vows in a recent piece. The excerpt below gives you a feel for how today’s couples are writing their own vows:

“I vow to trust and value your opinions.

I vow to travel beside you through all of life’s adventures.

I vow to always keep fighting for us, because I know we can overcome any uphill battles we might face.

And lastly, I vow that I will choose you every day, a million times over, not because I have to, but because I want to.”

You can see how these vows touch on all the elements listed above, but in  the vernacular of today.

The history of wedding vows shows that evolving language and customs may affect the way we express them. Yet, the same principles of commitment and acceptance remain the foundation of these vows, no matter how expressed.

The same idea applies to the entertainment at your Alabama wedding reception. Musical tastes may vary by era and by couple, but with the same objective: fun. DJ Brian Anderson knows how to pack your dance floor, playing the customized music that defines your good taste. Now that’s a vow!

Eloping is a mistake

By tom quiner | August 31, 2020

eloping is a mistakeSome couples want to avoid family dramas. Some want to save money. And some seek a more intimate experience. Yes, there may be circumstances when eloping makes sense. But for most couples, eloping is a mistake.

Weddings are meant to be shared. It’s a public presentation of your marriage vow before your community before entering into your marriage contract.

Your public marriage is so much better than eloping. Yes, it’s a celebration with the best people in your life, something you miss when you exclude your community. Even more, your public commitment reinforces the solemnity of the occasion and actually strengthens it.

Wedding study

Psychology Today reported on a study that reveals that the more people you invite to your wedding, the less chance you ever have to get divorced. Even more, couples who have larger weddings experience higher marital quality, as the report states:

“Those who reported having more guests at their wedding also reported, on average, higher levels of marital quality—even when we controlled for factors such as educationreligiosity, race, and income.”

A word of warning: although a larger guest list bodes well for your marital future, an expensive wedding doesn’t, according to the study. You have to find the sweet spot in your budget to accommodate your most precious family and friends at your affair, without busting the bank. In other words, wedding debt is bad for newlyweds.

So how do you ensure a memorable, but fun celebration? DJ entertainment is a key component. DJ Brian Anderson is the affordable alternative to expensive bands. And entertainment makes the event for Alabama weddings. We’ll pack the dance floor and create so much fun, that you’ll thank your lucky stars that you didn’t elope. Since eloping is a mistake for most couples, take a quick minute to check on our availability for the celebration of the ages: your wedding.

How could one singer create so many beautiful wedding songs?

By tom quiner | August 24, 2020

Nat King Cole wedding songsNat King Cole wedding songs are one-of-a-kind. No one else has that rare blend of a pitch-perfect baritone voice that soothes the soul with impeccable phrasing. We touched upon his greatness in last week’s blogpost, “The King of the Wedding Song.”

When I Fall in Love

Nat requires a second blogpost to further explore the richness of his library of timeless wedding songs. You can’t get much better than his version of “When I Fall in Love.” The lyrics are perfect for your first dance song:

“When I give my heart it will be completely

Or I’ll never give my heart

And the moment I can feel that you feel that way too

Is when I fall in love with you.”

Nat sings it like he means it. This is a song that warms hearts and provides hope for a restless world. Take a listen:

The More I See You

Here’s another one of the great Nat King Cole weddings songs: “The More I See You.” Written in 1945 by the over-achieving song writing team of Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, this song has been covered by an eclectic array of singers, beginning with Nat King Cole.

Nat’s version is arranged by Gordon Jenkins, with an arrangement shaped by the string section. Take a listen:

Mack Gordon’s lyrics are perfect for your first dance song:

“The more I see you

The more I want you.

Somehow this feeling

Just grows and grows.

With every sigh I become more mad about you,

More lost without you,

And so it goes.

Can you imagine

How much I’ll love you

The more I see you

As years go by?

I know the only one for me can only be you.”

For the record, this song was a big hit in 1966 by a singer named Chris Montez, utilizing a bouncier arrangement. Which do you like best?

Let There Be Love

Speaking of bouncy, Nat recorded this bouncy love song in 1962 with the great jazz pianist, George Shearing, accompanying. The song is called “Let There Be Love” by Ian Grant and Lionel Rand. You’ll love the light, breezy lyrics:

“Let there be you,

Let there be me.

Let there be oysters

Under the sea.

Let there be wind,

An occasional rain.

Chile con carne,

Sparkling champagne

Let there be birds

To sing in the trees,

Someone to bless me

Whenever I sneeze.

Let there be cuckoos,

A lark and a dove,

But first of all, please

Let there be love.”

Not everyone likes songs written six decades ago, but practically everyone loves the way Nat King Cole sang them.

Embraceable You

Let’s wrap up our exploration of Nat King Cole wedding songs with one from the great American songbook, “Embraceable You.” This one is written by the legendary songwriting duo, George and Ira Gershwin. Take a minute to savor Ira’s inventive lyrics:

“Embrace me,

My sweet embraceable you.

Embrace me,

You irreplaceable you.

Just one look at you, my heart grew tipsy in me.

You and you alone bring out the gypsy in me.

I love all

The many charms about you,

Above all,

I want my arms about you.

Don’t be a naughty baby,

Come to papa, come to papa, do!

My sweet embraceable you.”

Modern lyricists are not as attentive to rhyming structures as the songwriters from his era. Here, Nat sings this timeless classic backed by his jazz trio:

Sorry to say, we’ve just scratched the surface of Nat King Cole songs requested at weddings. He left behind a rich legacy of beautiful music that modern couples love to this day.

DJ Brian Anderson will play these songs on professional equipment that honors the quality of the music and your occasion. Music is clear and lovely; volume controlled.

What could possible make the mood any better? Lighting. We offer decor lighting and creative lighting design to create the perfect mood for your affair. And just in case you and your guests really want to have a lot of fun, we offer photo booth. You’ll love our package pricing that accommodates wedding budgets of this unique era. All of this can be yours. Don’t wait, check us out without obligation.

The King of the wedding song

By tom quiner | August 17, 2020

the King of the wedding songDJ Brian Anderson marvels at the eclectic musical tastes of Millennials and Gen Xers. At weddings, we get requests for first dance songs recorded last year to songs recorded last century. There is little doubt as to whom the King of the wedding song is:

Nat “King” Cole

Whether you know his name, you know his voice, even though he was born a century ago. His version of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire)” is legendary. Take a listen:

Unforgettable wedding songs

Perhaps his most beloved first dance song is the timeless “Unforgettable,” written by Irving Gordon and recorded in 1951. The lyrics define romance:

Unforgettable

That’s what you are

Unforgettable

Tho’ near or far

Like a song of love that clings to me

How the thought of you does things to me

Never before

Has someone been more…

Unforgettable

In every way

And forever more

That’s how you’ll stay.

 

Four decades later, long after his death, the song gained a new audience when a record producer came up with a clever idea. Cole’s daughter, Natalie, had grown up and become a rising singing star, occasionally covering “Unforgettable” at concerts in homage to her dad. A producer took her version and mixed it with Nat’s to create a duet for the ages:

“Stardust”

“Unforgettable” is but one of Cole’s romantic gems. Another is “Stardust.” Listen to how music critic, Terry Teachout, describes Nat King Cole’s treatment of this song, which was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish:

“Perhaps the most beautiful of all his ballad recordings is the version of “Stardust” that he taped in 1956 and sang on his TV show a year later. It opens with an out-of-tempo reading of the verse that Cole sings with tiptoe delicacy, after which he slips almost imperceptibly into a very slow tempo for the chorus. Each phrase is laid out like diamonds on black velvet, each note is sung with dead-center intonation and each syllable comes through with deep-etched clarity. No one, not even Sinatra, has ever sung “Stardust,” or any other song, better than that.”

Take a listen:

One of the all-time great jazz pianists

Although Nat King Cole’s baritone voice was made to sing ballads, his music could swing, too. In fact, many younger fans of Nat Cole know him for his pure voice and don’t realize he was one of the greatest jazz piano players of all time. In fact, he began to sing reluctantly, only to add variety to his jazz trio, which consisted of a double bass, electric guitar, and himself on keyboard. Grounded in jazz, he could cut loose with the best of them, including Frank Sinatra. Cole liked to joke, “Do you want to know the difference between Frank and me? The band swings Frank. I swing the band.”

Here’s one of Nat King Cole’s big hits, “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” You’ll hear him cut loose on the piano at the 2:41 mark. It’s worth a listen:

Nat King Cole recorded far too many songs worthy of your first dance to discuss in a single blogpost. Let us leave you with one more, “L-O-V-E,” released just a half a year before Cole died in 1965 at the age of forty-five. The music was written by Bert Kaempfert with a great set of lyrics by Milt Gabler. If you and your betrothed would like to show off your dance moves, this is a great song for you. Watch the couple below showcase the dance potential of “L-O-V-E.”

You’ve got to admit, Nat King Cole is the king of the wedding song.

DJ Brian Anderson can play the Nat King Cole song of your choice on the best equipment around, featuring clear, controlled sound. And we can play any of your favorite contemporary songs, the music that defines who you two are as a couple.

To make your first dance even better, we offer lighting design using our creative decor lighting to create the perfect effect for your big moment. If Nat King Cole were here, we’re sure he’d approve!

Top country love songs for weddings

By tom quiner | August 10, 2020

Top Country love songs for weddingsConsumer data shows that country music is the third most popular music genre. Just about half of all music listeners say they listen to country music. Only rock and pop are more popular. Perhaps that’s why these top country love songs for weddings keep getting requested as first dance songs.

“I will always love you”

Without doubt, the most wildly successful top country song requested for weddings is Dolly Parton’s iconic “I will always love you.”

Ms. Parton topped the chart with this song on two occasions, and Whitney Houston on another.

The lyrics are bittersweet in the verses:

If I should stay, I would only be in your way

So I’ll go, but I know

I’ll think of you every step of the way

But the refrain unleashes the fierce hold that love has on our souls”

And I will always love you

I will always love you

I will always love you

I will always love you

I will always love you

I, I will always love you.

Here is Dolly singing it on tv back in 1974:

Dig that wig!

By contrast, here is how Whitney sang it without the country vibe:

“Ring of Fire”

Billboard ranks Parton’s gem as the top country love song of all time, followed by Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”

June Carter and Merle Kilgore actually wrote the song, and it describes the feeling June Carter felt as she fell in love with her future husband, Johnny Cash. The refrain captures the passion of love:

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire

I went down, down, down

And the flames went higher,

And it burns, burns, burns,

The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

Cash’s unique arrangement, complete with mariachi band, makes “Ring of Fire” irresistibly danceable:

“I Swear”

Billboard puts John Michael Montgomery’s “I Swear” at number three on the list of top Country love songs:

The lyrics are pitch-perfect for your first dance song:

“And I swear by the moon and the stars in the sky (I’ll be there)

I swear (and I swear) like the shadow that’s by your side

I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

For better or worse, till death do us part

I’ll love you with every beat of my heart

And I swear

I swear.”

The country genre has a legacy of soul-searing love songs. DJ Brian Anderson can play the song and version you like best for the dance that defines your Alabama wedding celebration.  Even more, we can bathe the dance floor with beautiful decor lighting to heighten the romance and make a great song even better.

Don’t forget to feed your wedding vendors!

By tom quiner | August 3, 2020

feed your wedding vendorsSeating was going to be tight at Nick and Theresa’s wedding reception. The venue was just big enough to accommodate their guest list. As guests began to flood in to the hall, the couple realized they had forgotten a fundamental courtesy: you’re supposed to feed your wedding vendors!

What made it worse is that their band took it upon themselves to ask the caterer for meals. They grabbed a guest table right in the middle of the venue. When Theresa and Nick entered, all they could see was the band gobbling down the beef tenderloin and parsley potatoes like death row inmates devouring their last meal. Oh and they saw guests standing in the wings looking for a place to seat, as their table had been absconded by the band.

Whew!

Your wedding vendors work hard. And yes, you need to feed your wedding vendors, so plan for it. Bride Magazine says this is the 13th most common mistakes planning a wedding.

Typically you should feed the vendors who will be on their feet throughout the event, such as your photographer, videographer, DJ, band, wedding planner, photo booth attendants, bartenders, and assistants to any of the above.

Ask your caterer if they provide discounts for feeding these vendors to hold down your expense. Many do.

Earmark a table for vendors

By the same token, plan on a table or two earmarked for vendors if your venue has space. If not, set them up in a side room, although vendors, such as photographers and videographers, prefer to keep the wedding couple in view so they don’t miss key photo ops.

Your wedding vendors work hard. You’ll find they are more creative and energetic when well-nourished, so don’t forget to feed your wedding vendors! DJ Brian Anderson brings energy and sophistication to your Alabama wedding. Learn more today without obligation: 256-638-3535.

Timeless love songs CREATE love

By tom quiner | July 27, 2020

Couples planning their wedding celebration spend a fair amount of time determining their first dance song. For some couples, it’s obvious. That special song was a part of their journey from the start of their relationship. For others, the song they select for their first dance becomes “their song.” So let’s look at the art of timeless love songs.

Ted Gioia is a music historian and author of “Love Songs: The Hidden History,” who says that:

“People are wrong to view these songs as mere entertainment or escapism. The purpose of a successful love song is to create love. The first love songs were part of fertility rites and they aimed at changing the world, not just describing it. When the Beatles sang ‘All You Need Is Love’ (below) or John Coltrane performed A Love Supreme, they wanted to transform the world in which they lived. And on a personal level, many of us would not be here today if our parents hadn’t heard a love song at the right time and place. Those love songs aren’t just life-changing, they are life-creating.”

Words and music must work together

Timeless love songs certainly need a good melody and great lyrics. Even more, the words and music have to work together as a unit to connect with the listener on a deep, emotional level. That emotional level may even be painful, as Grammy award-winner, Gillian Welch explains:

“A very important ingredient in a love song is pain. Because even when love is good and true, there’s part of it that’s painful.”

Take the last song written by legendary American composer, George Gershwin, “Our Love is Here to Stay,” as sung below by Tony Bennet and Diana Krall:

Gershwin died unexpectedly at the age of thirty-eight. His writing partner, Ira, added the text after his brother’s death with poignant lyrics that catapults the song into the status of a timeless love song still sung eight decades later:

“In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble,

They’re only made of clay.

But … our love is here to stay.”

Longing is a common theme

You can see that longing is a common theme in a love song, and that longing can be a source of pain, as Taylor Swift conveys in her hit song, “You Belong With Me:”

“If you could see that I’m the one who understands you,

Been here all along, so why can’t you see,

You belong with me,

You belong with me.”

Timeless love songs are really simple

So what makes a love song great? Another Grammy-winning songwriter, Diane Warren, says it’s simple:

”What makes a love song great is what makes any song great — you have to feel it. The best love songs are something that someone hears and it instantly becomes theirs. Listeners might have their own unique experience of why a certain song means something to them, but if it’s meaningful enough it becomes a part of their own personal soundtrack. In a way, a love song is a canvas that you paint yourself onto, and when a truly great love song comes along, everybody feels they can paint themselves onto it. It becomes a part of everybody’s inner life.”

Timeless love songs transcend the artist

Take Gershwin’s “Our Love is Here to Stay” mentioned above. It has been covered by hundreds of artists. The beauty of using a professional wedding DJ like DJ Brian Anderson is I can play the version you like best. Maybe you’d prefer the way Harry Connick Jr. sings it:

And to make these timeless love songs even better, we’ll bathe your venue in breathtaking decor lighting to create the perfect mood at the right time.

As the historian above put it, timeless love songs create love. Once you exchange your vows, your celebration builds to a climax with your first dance as a couple. Let DJ Brian Anderson play your favorite love song. Check out our availability today.

Don’t make this wedding spending mistake

By tom quiner | July 20, 2020

wedding spending mistakeTalk to couples after their weddings and they’ll tell you that they often made wedding spending mistakes. Zola conducted a survey of these couples and found they overspent in five common areas: flowers/decor; hair/make-up; catering; wedding day attire; and invitations.

That doesn’t mean these five areas aren’t important. They are important. DJ Brian Anderson makes no judgement on these critical services. However, recently married couples do, according to Zola.

By the same token, in the same survey some couples wished that they had spent more on videography, photography, wedding planning, flowers/decor; and entertainment.

You’ll note that flowers/decor showed up on both lists. You can see the challenge of finding the right budgetary balance between critical services.

In this Covid-19 era, the simplest solution is to simply moderate the size of the guest list, which automatically saves budget on catering and invitations, freeing up budget for entertainment.

Couples realize that entertainment makes the event in hindsight. And yet they often book it after having already committed too much of their budget to these other services, a major wedding spending mistake.

Learn from these recently married couples and don’t scrimp on key entertainment services, such as the DJ, photo booth, and decor lighting.

Are you working on your wedding budget? Get the budget numbers you need for these key entertainment services from DJ Brian Anderson today.