How to set your wedding entertainment budget

November 23, 2020

wedding entertainment budgetBudgeting is tricky. If you spend too much on one wedding service at the expense of another, your event will be out of balance. For example, if you provide a lavish meal, but no entertainment, everyone will be bored by the time they finish dessert. Your wedding entertainment budget needs careful consideration.

Wedding celebrations should be fun. That’s why anyone who has ever been to a wedding knows: entertainment makes the event.

You need to consider three variables when budgeting your wedding entertainment.


The best weddings are tailored to the style of the wedding couple, especially the music. Most couples have strong feelings on their favorite songs. Most prefer the sound of the original artist, which is why a wedding DJ like Brian Anderson is more popular than any local band. We can play the versions of your favorite songs you like best.

2. The look

A wedding DJ like Brian Anderson offers lighting design to create moods that mirror the style of the music being played. This palette of light electrifies your guests and makes a dance floor simply irresistible. Lighting is a fraction of a wedding entertainment budget, but so worth it. Plus photographers and videographers love the creative opportunity of capturing your memories in such a sumptuous lighting environment.

3. Guest experience

As the size of weddings declines due to longterm wedding trends and COVID, the desire to enhance the quality of the guest experience is on the rise. Keep this in mind as you set your wedding budget. That’s why photo booth is more popular than ever. It is easy to social distance while doubling the fun of your event.

The Knot says the typical wedding entertainment budget sets aside ten percent of the total budget to accommodate these 3 key ingredients of a successful wedding celebration.

DJ Brian Anderson offers each. Learn about each on this website. But first, check to be sure we available!

How to give a long-winded wedding toast

By tom quiner | November 16, 2020

long winded wedding toastHave you ever attended a wedding where the toast went on and on and on? Most of us have. It is painful to watch. So how do you give a long-winded wedding toast? You don’t.

long winded wedding toastThey’re hard to pull off. Believe me, you never want to flub a toast, because as Paul Dickson said in his book, “Rising to the Occasion”:

“Flubbing the toast is like serving stale champagne: it flattens the mood.”

Long-winded wedding toasts meander off track. Often, speakers lose track of where they are and where they are going. Ad-libs fall flat and often veer into cringe-worthy moments of utter embarrassment and humiliation.

You’re much better to keep it short, like this father of the bride did in his 115 second toast:

We encourage you to provide your event’s toasters with the following guidelines as provided by Toastmasters International.

  1. Keep it short and sweet.  It is important to get to the point and make people smile.  A few minutes is all you need.
  2. Be careful with humor.  Avoid the risque.  Under no circumstances should you embarrass the person being toasted.
  3. Practice.  At the very least, jot down a brief outline of what you want to say.  If you’re prone to nervousness, you might want to script your toast and time it.

Simple. The thing about long-winded wedding toasts is that they need to be impeccably crafted. They need months of practice and memorization to be totally professional.

When you keep it short and sweet, your ideas are easy to remember so you can deliver them with just a few notes. Sometimes, a good wedding toast can be simply built around a great quote, like this beauty from Homer’s Odyssey:

“There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.”

Follow Toastmaster’s advice. Keep you wedding toast short and sweet, and watch how it delights the wedding couple. A long-winded wedding toast won’t. It’s that simple.

Do you know what else is simple?  The wedding entertainment, when it is provided by DJ Brian Anderson. We know how to pack the dance floor and create and event defined by fun. Check out our availability today.

Spotify’s odd list of upbeat first dance songs

By tom quiner | November 9, 2020

upbeat first dance songs

Spotify features an interesting list of upbeat first dance songs compiled by Bridal Musings. The list features some lively first dance songs we’ve blogged on in the past. But it also includes a rather odd choice, odd because of the subject matter of the lyrics.

#1 on the list is Marvin Gaye’s timeless, “How Sweet It is (To Be Loved By You).” This song may have been written 56 years, but it’s so good, it’ll still be played at weddings another 56 years from now!

Good choice by Bridal Musings!

Fast, rhythmic tunes energize a party

Although most couples lean towards slow, dreamy first dance songs, fast, rhythmic tunes energize a party. They’re a great way to get hearts racing and legs itching to join you on the dance floor.

#2 on the list is Hall & Oates’ very danceable “You Make My Dreams (Come True)”. The song features functional lyrics for your first dance:

“Me you me and you

I’ve been waiting for waiting for you girl

(ooh ooh ooh ooh) all my life.

You make my dreams come true,

(you you) whoa (you you),

Whoa whoa I’ve been waiting for waiting for waiting,

For waiting for waiting,

For waiting for waiting for,

(You make my dreams) ooh ooh ooh ooh

I’ve been waiting for you girl (you you you you)

(You make my dream you you you you)

Take a listen:

This is a song you’ll select because of its beat more than its sentiment. On the other hand, the #7 song of the list “Locked Out of Heaven” just doesn’t seem like a good fit. Granted, it’s by Bruno Mars who knows how to write catchy, danceable music, as you can hear below:

But do you really want words like these being sung at your wedding?

‘Cause your sex takes me to paradise,

Yeah your sex takes me to paradise.

And it shows, yeah, yeah, yeah,

‘Cause you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven

For too long, for too long.

Yeah you make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of Heaven

For too long, for too long.

The answer is no. Save the sex talk for the honeymoon.


The list includes a song called Lisztomania by Phoenix, #10 on the list. It features a strong backbeat which makes it very danceable:

But what in the heck are the lyrics saying? What does this have to do with you?

A Lisztomania,

Think less but see it grow,

Like a riot like a riot, oh.

Not easily offended,

Know how to let it go,

From the mess to the masses.

The best first dance songs seamlessly fuse great music with great words, and the message of these songs has something to do with your love story, like Marvin Gaye did it.

Listen to Natalie Cole’s smash hit, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love):

When you think of upbeat first dance songs, this fits the bill. AND … it offers great lyrics that talk about love, rather than sex:

Loving you

Is some kind of wonderful,

Because you’ve shown me

Just how much you care.

You’ve given me the thrill of a lifetime,

And made me believe you’ve got more thrills to spare.

Bridal Musings has done you a great service by compiling a truly interesting list of upbeat first dance songs. You’ve got new songs and old songs to check out on their list. We recommend that you really study the lyrics to come up with a song that totally works for you.

DJ Brian Anderson loves a great song. Why do you think I started this business! We can play just about any song you’d like for your first wedding dance, whatever it is. Playing it, though, is just the beginning! We’ll honor it by playing it on top equipment so it sounds so clear, it’ll sound live. And then we’ll  design the lighting to amplify the mood of the song.

Great music. Great lighting. Great DJ. These are the building blocks to a great Alabama wedding celebration. And DJ Brian Anderson has ‘em all!

How to plan a cheap wedding without scrimping on quality

By tom quiner | November 2, 2020

cheap weddingWeddings are expensive because they matter. They are your opportunity to witness your lifelong commitment to the love of your life. It is your community’s opportunity to come together in support and celebration of this commitment. So is a cheap wedding ever a good idea?

Yes, if you define cheap as affordable.

You should always live within your means. By the same token, you don’t want to shortchange your celebration either.

Let’s look at 10 quick ways to plan a ‘cheap wedding.’

  1. Reduce the size of your guest list. In this pandemic era, that’s easier than ever. A small guest list saves you on your catering bill and bar tab. Nationally, most couples spend between $1800 and $7000 on food and catering. A smaller guest list is your easiest path to affordability.
  2. Go with a buffet over a plated meal. Nationally, a plated meal goes for $40 per plate compared to $27 for a buffet.
  3. Use a wedding planner. They’ve cultivated relationships with top vendors and chefs and will match you with the one that best fits your budget.
  4. Select a DJ (like us) that specializes in weddings. You’ll save several thousand dollars over a band.
  5. Use balloons instead of fresh flowers.
  6. Go with tiny cupcakes over a 4-tiered wedding cake.
  7. Get married in the off season. Most people get married between April and October. You’ll like save some money getting married between November and March.
  8. Get married on any day other than Saturday. Same reason as above.
  9. Limit alcohol offerings to beer and wine.
  10. Rent your wedding gown or buy a used one.

If your budget is modest, plan a cheap wedding. When you select DJ Brian Anderson as your DJ, your guests will be oblivious to the size of your budget because they’ll be overwhelmed by the fun. We’ve got it all. Great music. Lighting. Photo booth. Check our availability today. Call us, we love to talk! 256-638-3535.

Pros and Cons of a tented wedding

By tom quiner | October 26, 2020

tented weddingA pandemic requires creative thinking when planning weddings. We know that people need human contact, and that weddings are the best way to fulfill that need. That’s why tented weddings will be more popular in 2021. Let’s examine the pro and cons.

PRO: Outdoor events are safer. Multiple studies confirm that it is much more difficult to contract COVID-19 at outdoor events than indoor ones by a factor of 20, according to one study.

PRO: Creativity. Tented weddings offer you complete creative control of the look of your event. Unlike indoor venues with a pre-set style and built-in elements you can’t change, tented weddings provide a blank slate. DJ Brian Anderson can work with you to design lighting to complement your flowers, linens, and rented seating to create an amazing, customized look.


CON: You’ve got more decisions to make (see above). Decisions-making causes stress. You’d be wise to use a wedding planner to lighten the load.

CON: Sound is worse outdoors. The easy solution: go with a DJ company experienced with outdoor events offering state-of-the art sound reinforcement. In other words, someone like us.


PRO: Sheer beauty. A tented wedding is magical. Your guests will melt when they set their eyes on such a festive setting. On average, most people don’t experience exquisitely decorated outdoor events all that often. They’ll revel in the mood it creates.

CON: The weather. Your guests can also ‘melt’ if the weather is a scorcher. Or if a storm comes up with driving rains. In other words, a tented wedding injects an element of uncertainty since you can’t control the weather. You’ll need a back-up venue just in case.

CON: Expense. Tents aren’t cheap, and you need to rent everything, including a generator and electrician to hook up everything.

All of the cons mentioned above may be well worth it, in terms of enhanced health security and decorating freedom. Let’s face it, everything comes with trade-offs. But when it comes to the entertainment, there are none with DJ Brian Anderson. Whether your event is indoors or out, we offer the experience, expertise and cutting edge technology to ensure your guests have the time of their lives!

Popular dates are starting to fill in for 2021. Don’t wait. Check on our availability today.

How to buy an ugly wedding dress

By tom quiner | October 19, 2020

What an odd idea! Why would anyone want to buy an ugly wedding dress for their Alabama wedding celebration? Obviously, they wouldn’t, and yet many brides do. Why? Because they are misled into following the lead of their favorite celebrities.

Some brides let a celebrity’s status sway them more than their sense of style. Take Jessica Biel’s pink dress worn in 2012 when she tied the knot with Justin Timberlake. Is a dress the color of cotton candy really what you want?

ugly wedding dress

Jessica Biel

By the same token, do you really want to emulate the gown worn by English actress, Liberty Ross? Isn’t black the color you wear for funerals?

ugly wedding dress

Liberty Ross

An actress from another era, Elizabeth Taylor, wore a hooded green concoction at her 1959 wedding to Eddie Fisher. Ouch. In Liz’s defense, it was her fourth marriage, but that is one ugly wedding dress!

ugly wedding dress

Liz Taylor

So far, the celebrities above have under-achieved by wearing pink, black, and green gowns respectively. Can it get any worse? How about purple, complements of burlesque dancer, Dita Von Teese? Do you really want your guests to think you had your gown made from your grandmother’s curtains?

ugly wedding dress

Dita Von Teese

So, do celebrities ever come up with an iconic gown? Yes. The Knot considers Grace Kelly’s 1956 wedding to Monaco’s Prince Raineir III one of the most iconic gowns, along with Kate Middleton’s dress from her wedding to Prince William in 2011. Kate’s gown cost something like $400,000, perhaps a little rich for you.

iconic wedding gowns

Grace Kelly

history of wedding vows

Kate Middleton

Don’t worry. You can find contemporary designs which pay homage to iconic gowns without breaking the bank. By the same token, you can experience dance-floor packing wedding entertainment without breaking the bank. How? DJ entertainment by a company that specializes in weddings, in other words, DJ Brian Anderson. Learn more without obligation today.

Wedding registry advice

By tom quiner | October 12, 2020

wedding registry adviceWedding registries are a marvelous invention, a win-win for couples and their guests. Couples need things setting up a household. Guests want to provide meaningful gifts without duplication. Here is some practical wedding registry advice to optimize your experience.

  • Set up your registry immediately upon becoming engaged. You may have friends and family who want to buy you an engagement gift. The registry helps them find a meaningful gift.
  • Work together as a team. Some grooms don’t like shopping, and yet they’ll have key insights on what their future household needs. Teamwork produces balanced gift-giving. One day you’ll appreciate the right power tool as much as another piece of fine china.
  • Register in 2 to 3 locations. Provide your guests options. They’ll appreciate it, but too many locations makes it harder for them to track.
  • Register for pieces in a broad price range. Don’t only go for the expensive stuff and price some guests out of the market. They’ll appreciate it.
  • Think outside the box. Yes, good china and fine crystal are wonderful registry asks. So are power tools and honeymoons!
  • Refresh your registry from time-to-time. You may think of something new to add to your list a few months after getting engaged. Check back periodically.
  • Be sure to put registry details on your wedding website (but not your wedding invitation!).
  • Over-register the items you need. Take your guest list and double it. That way, your guests have plenty of items at different price ranges from which to browse. If you register too few gift items, they may run out of good options.
  • Think longterm. Your family and lifestyle may grow. Today’s quantities may not be enough tomorrow.

Final wedding registry advice

Finally, write thank-you notes as gifts come in. You’ll lighten the load and avoid a huge project when you return from your honeymoon. Looking for another way to lighten your load? Call DJ Brian Anderson for dance-floor-packing entertainment. Our online client planning tools take the stress out of planning your Alabama wedding. Check on our availability today without obligation.

Watch your guests rip open your wedding invitation first!

By tom quiner | October 5, 2020

wedding stampsPeople love getting personal mail. You can make your wedding invitation stand out through creative use of wedding stamps.

Ponder this: the average person receives 121 business emails per day, compared to but one-and-a-half pieces of actual printed mail.


In other words, you’ll receive more email today than you’ll receive in your physical mailbox over the next two to three months.

That’s why mail is special. In the course of the year, people love receiving personal letters, thank-you notes, and invitations more than practically anything else (with the possible exception of checks!).

The wedding invitation industry has done a fabulous job at developing creative invitation options for modern couples. Even more, thanks to the the U.S. Postal Service, you can make your invitation stand out as the most irresistible piece of mail of the year with a properly themed wedding stamp.

Before we look at some awesome stamps, let’s remember some quick guidelines. Your invitation must meet some basic requirements if you want to use a Forever stamp:

  • 1 ounce maximum weight.
  • 6 1/8 by 11 1/2” maximum size.
  • 1/4” maximum thickness.

Keep in mind, too, that square envelopes will cost you an extra 15¢ per letter in addition to the postage required for the weight and dimensions of your envelope.

Before purchasing postage, be sure to take a sample invitation to your local post office and have them confirm exact postage rates.

Here’s where it gets fun. If you’ve established a theme for your wedding, look for a stamp that plays off your theme. You can find currently available designs online, so you don’t even have to go to the Post Office and stand in line! Many designs are seasonal and may not be available for long, so plan accordingly.

Are you going to have a lovely outdoor garden ceremony? Pick a garden stamp!


How about a country club with a golf course in the background? Perhaps an Arnold Palmer stamp is the ticket!


Are you getting married in a majestic Catholic cathedral? Perhaps “Madonna and Child” by Bachiacca fits your theme.

wedding stamp

Take some time and explore the creative designs commissioned by the U.S. Post Service to make your printed wedding invitation so much better than email.

Want to make your invitation even better? Use multiple wedding stamps! A website called Etsy offers custom styling sets with an unbelievable assortment of cool designs, both vintage and contemporary:

Seriously: when your invitation shows up in the mail looking like this, it’ll be opened before you can say, “I do”

And after you say, “I do,” you’ll be ready to party. That’s where we come in. DJ Brian Anderson knows how to pack a dance floor. Check us out. See if we’re available. Better yet, give us a call, because we love questions: 256-638-3535. When you get to know us, you’ll quickly give us your stamp of approval!

The worst song in history

By tom quiner | September 28, 2020

Music is subjective. What you like, your sister or brother or even fiancé may not like. That’s why DJ Brian Anderson offers such a shocking array of the best wedding reception music around. We have music for everyone, regardless of age or musical tastes. It’s kind of fun, though, to take a look at the worst song in history.

Could It Be Magic?

You can get into a fun argument over what is the worst song in history. In a 2004 poll sponsored by Diesel, a cover version of Barry Manilow’s hit 1975 song, “Could It Be Magic?” was the ‘winner.’ The group covering the song is called Take That, and they recorded this version in 1992:

“Thank God that ‘Could It Be Magic?’ has finally been recognized as the worst song in the world. It is the kind of track that makes you wake up screaming,” exclaimed their Digital Director, Anthony Thornton.

Some folks might want to include Manilow’s schmaltzy original version in the mix. His performance pretentiously begins with Frédéric Chopin‘s Prelude in C, a piece performed at funerals, and segues into a love song with mushy lyrics like these:

“Spirits move me, every time I’m near you

Whirling like a cyclone in my mind

You’re my life line, angel of my lifetime

Answer to all answers I can find.”

Take a listen:

What in the world was he thinking injecting Chopin into such overwrought silliness?

MacArthur Park

Any competition for worst song in history has to include Jimmy Webb’s 1968 masterpiece in ludicrousness, “MacArthur Park.” Miami Herald humorist Dave Barry polled his readers on their worst song, and they resoundingly trashed Webb’s efforts in silliness.

Just listen to the way that the great English actor, Richard Harris, delivers a hyper-dramatic presentation of these corny lyrics:

MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark

All the sweet, green icing flowing down

Someone left the cake out in the rain

I don’t think that I can take it

‘Cause it took so long to bake it

And I’ll never have that recipe again

Oh, no.

This is so bad that it’s good. It’s hard not to listen!

Achy Breaky Heart

Billy Ray Cyrus debut single, “Achy Breaky Heart,” made a number of lists for worst song in history. The Independent on Saturday put it #1, and so did the Sydney Morning Herald reader poll. Sadly, it slipped to #2 on the Blender’s 50 Worst Songs Ever.

What do you think?

As is often the case with bad songs, it’s the lyrics that drag it down:

But don’t tell my heart

My achy breaky heart

I just don’t think he’d understand

And if you tell my heart

My achy breaky heart

He might blow up and kill this man.

Just the Way You Are

Sometimes, though, a much criticized song can be rehabilitated with a fresh take on it. “Just the Way You Are” was Billy Joel’s first top ten single. Apparently, Billy wasn’t a big fan of the song and almost cut it from the album, “The Stranger.” This doting love song was a big hit, though it was a little too slick for its own good.

Frank Sinatra gave it the big band treatment with great effect:

Jazz crooner, José James gave it the R & B treatment, which certainly reduces the mushiness of the song:

As we said at the outset, music is subjective. Each of these ‘worst song in history’ were still popular, many of them huge hits.

As you plan your Alabama wedding celebration, remember that DJ Brian Anderson will play only the BEST music in history, because it’s the music you love. You’ll love our client online planning tools to make everything so easy. Start planning your dream today. Don’t forget, we love questions! Call today with yours: 256-638-3535.

The elegant wedding first dance song

By tom quiner | 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!]