The best wedding toast ever?

July 6, 2020

YouTube bursts with self-proclaimed ‘best wedding toast ever’ videos. Few are. Most are bloated, meandering wrecks. One of our own favorites was but 65 seconds long. However, it would be pretty hard to top Lin-Manuel Miranda’s.

Mr. Miranda is the composer and star of the epic Broadway musicals, “Hamilton  and “In the Heights.” Yet on a recent talk show, he said that he may, in fact, be best known for his wedding toast. It has been viewed nearly 7 million times on YouTube!

best wedding toastYou can watch the fun unfold in the video above. His father-in-law sets the stage by inviting his talented son-in-law to join him in the spotlight where they break into song. What song? None other than the jubilant “To Life” from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The lyrics capture the essence of the human experience:

To life, to life, l’chaim.

L’chaim, l’chaim, to life.

Life has a way of confusing us,

Blessing and bruising us.

Drink, l’chaim, to life!

God would like us to be joyful,

Even when our hearts lie panting on the floor.

But how much more can we be joyful

When there’s really something to be joyful for?

To life, to life, l’chaim.

Let’s be honest, though. Most of us aren’t Broadway super stars. Most of us can’t perform a tightly choreographed song and dance. Good news: you don’t have to!

Have you read these previous blogposts?

A crisp three minute toast can be a work of art, too. How do you give a good one? Take a few minutes to read some of our previous blogposts on different approaches you can take:

What is the perfect length of a wedding toast?

Make ‘em cry and you’ve given a great wedding toast!

How to give a one minute wedding toast (and why you should!)

Best wedding jokes for the best man’s toast

Read this great wedding toast script. This is how it is done!

Simply remember that your wedding day is the most joyful day of your life. DJ Brian Anderson provides the custom entertainment options to meet and exceed your expectations while enhancing the joyousness.

The best wedding toast simply recognizes the beauty of love and the magic of the moment.

To life!

The champagne wedding toast is the second top food trend

By tom quiner | June 29, 2020

joint wedding toast

The Knot surveyed wedding couples and learned that having a champagne wedding toast was the second top food trend at weddings, followed by a dessert bar, and late night snacks. Only the timeless wedding cake topped it.

Legend has it that this tradition traces back to Shakespearian England days. Guests would dunk stale toast into wine to soften its acidity. Ultimately, the word ‘toast’ was transferred from a piece of bread to the person being toasted, who became the “toast of the town.”

Martha Stewart says you can save money on the Champagne wedding toast

Technically, champagne comes from only one place:  the Champagne region of France, as Martha Stewart Weddings explains:

“The crisp drink, whose name refers only to the varietal made in the Champagne region of France, was first produced in the 17th century with the same in-bottle fermentation process that’s used today. And because supply is so limited, it’s costly.”

To save money, Martha suggests less costly American sparkling wines, such as:

1. Ombra Prosecco. “With its fruity bouquet, this one is amazing in a Bellini,” says Marco Pasanella, owner of New York City wine shop Pasanella & Son. ($14, pasanellaandson.com)

2. Bisson Prosecco. “It’s on the expensive side for Prosecco, but it’s super elegant and bone dry, and the label just looks really cool,” Pasanella says. ($20, pasanellaandson.com)

3. Lamberti Prosecco. “Not only is this a good value, but its attractive light-golden color is nice to look at. It’s full of bright flavor,” says Krafchin. ($14, 67wine.com)

Here’s how to make the ‘champagne’ wedding toast even simpler

However, if you really want to make your celebration simple (and more affordable), you can do what celebrity event planner, Mindy Weiss suggests:

“I rarely have a champagne toast as part of the wedding day. Instead, we have a toast where the guests raise the glass of what they are already drinking. [The champagne itself] is never mentioned or missed. I love that there is the tradition of a toast, but I don’t think that it has to be with champagne. And opting out of passing champagne does save money in the budget.” 

Whether you’re toasting with Champagne, a sparkling wine, cabernet, or pinot, Weiss suggests that …

“All glasses should be filled before the toast begins.”

You are about to become the ‘toast of the town.’ DJ Brian Anderson wishes you congratulations on your upcoming Alabama wedding celebration!

Don’t mistreat single friends at your wedding

By tom quiner | June 22, 2020

don't mistreat your single friendsRita and Ruby didn’t know each other. The only thing they had in common was their common friend, Ramona, who invited them to attend her wedding. Ramona made a tactical error and seated them together at the ‘singles table.’ Bad move, according to Brides Magazine: don’t mistreat single friends at on your wedding day.

Brides Magazine encourages sensitive couples to create a seating chart  that seats people according to shared interests rather than marital status. It’s a common mistake, but a mistake indeed, to throw all single people together at one table, says Brides.

Besides, Rita is 65 and Ruby is 25. They don’t have much in common.

Rita enjoys Sinatra music while Ruby is a Lady Gaga fan.

Rita’s hearing isn’t as sharp as it used to be while Ruby’s is perfect. So when the music kicked in, Rita couldn’t hear any of the conversations at her table over the music. She really felt isolated and couldn’t wait to leave. This is another common mistake made by most couples planning their wedding, according to Brides: “you forget about the volume of the music.”

You need controlled, clear sound

This is where DJ Brian Anderson comes in. Our equipment is just plain better. Here’s the key: the sound is crystal clear, but the volume is controlled so people can still talk. You’ve probably been to weddings before where a DJ or a friend of the groom sets up equipment and blasts out muddy sounding music. Ouch!

It doesn’t have to be that way, and it won’t be that way with us. The Rita’s of the world can actually enjoy the music without having their conversations being drowned out.

And with us, we can customize the entertainment so there’s something for everybody. For example, if Rita likes Sinatra and Ruby likes Lady Gaga, we can split the difference with a song like this!

Photo booth makes your event even better

To sweeten the fun even more, we offer photo booth which gets everybody out of their seats. When they’re not dancing, they’re in the photo booth. What a great way to involve your single guests in the fun by connecting them with people with whom they have shared interests. Watch them end up in the photo booth getting their pic taken together to remember a fabulously fun event.

Listen to Brides Magazine: don’t mistreat your single guests, and don’t forget about the volume of your music.

With DJ Brian Anderson, you’ll enjoy controlled, beautiful sound, professional MCing, and photo booth. Learn more without obligation today!

“I don’t want to miss a thing”

By Brian Anderson | June 15, 2020

I don't want to miss a thingAs we wrote last week, Brides Magazine published interesting poll results of favorite wedding first dance songs by generation. A couple of these first dance songs crossed over two generations. One of them was “I don’t want to miss a thing,” which made the top three for both Millennials and Generation X.

The song has an interesting history. You may know it as a huge hit song by Aerosmith, but did you know it was actually written by Diane Warren for the movie, “Armageddon”? Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler sang the lead vocals while his daughter, Liv Tyler (above), was one of the stars of the movie.

Here’s the official music video featuring clips from the movie:

The song features great lyrics for your first dance song:

Don’t want to close my eyes

I don’t want to fall asleep

‘Cause I’d miss you, babe

And I don’t want to miss a thing

‘Cause even when I dream of you

The sweetest dream will never do

I’d still miss you, babe

And I don’t want to miss a thing.

DJ Brian Anderson can play a number of creative versions of this great song. For example, Boyce Avenue and Jennel Garcia collaborated on this tender cover:

On the other hand, perhaps you’d prefer a swinging cover featuring a brass band sung by Sara Anne Niemietz:

Pretty awesome, don’t you think!

Ultimately, this is why DJ Brian Anderson is such an attractive preference for discriminating Alabama couples planning their wedding celebration. These couples want a customized experience and an entertainment company with the flexibility to give them exactly what they want.

Yes, that’s what you get with us. We’ll customize the music, beginning with your first dance song, and play it on cutting edge equipment with clear, controlled sound.

You’ll love how we’ll customize the lighting to create the ambience that defines your style.

And you’ll love our creative entertainment options, like Photo Booth, which take your affair to the next level.

The great song, “I don’t want to miss a thing,” truly defines the way you’re going to feel at your wedding celebration when we provide the entertainment. You’ll experience non-stop fun and impeccable timing from the first minute to the last. You really won’t want to miss a thing!

Favorite first dance songs by generation

By tom quiner | June 8, 2020

Favorite first dance songs by generationBrides Magazine put an interesting list together of favorite first dance songs by generation. What is interesting about the list is that one song, “Unchained Melody,” was a favorite with two generations. Another, “At Last,” made the top three with two different generations.

Here are the lists:

Millennials

  • “All of Me,” by John Legend
  • “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” by Aerosmith
  • “Amazed,” by Lonestar

Generation X

  • “Unchained Melody,” by The Righteous Brothers
  • “At Last,” by Etta James
  • “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” by Aerosmith

Baby Boomers

  • “Unchained Melody,” by The Righteous Brothers
  • “The Way You Look Tonight,” by Frank Sinatra
  • “At Last,” by Etta James

This blog has looked at a number of these songs in the past, but not “Unchained Melody.” This monster hit has been recorded over 1500 times by some of the greatest singers of all time.

Alex North wrote the music back in 1955 for a little-know movie called “Unchained,” and Hy Zaret added the lyrics. The Righteous Brother’s 1965 cover of the song became the ‘jukebox standard’ for this song. Their version gained new life when it was featured in the 1990 hit movie, “Ghost:”

Freddie Mercury unleashed his own dramatic cover of the song:

For a more classical take on the song, listen to British Got Talent star, Jonathan Antoine sing it:

One of the last songs Elvis Presley ever sang in public was Unchained Melody, which took place in Rapid City, SD, on June 21st, 1977.

As you plan your wedding, DJ Brian Anderson knows how to unchain the fun and create a wedding celebration for the ages. We can play your favorite first dance song, no matter the generation. Check us out right now without obligation.

Classical music songs for your first dance

By tom quiner | June 1, 2020

Classical music songs for your first danceAre you open to a wide range of music? If yes, you might want to consider a classical music song for your first dance at your Alabama wedding celebration.

Many couples use a classical music composition for their wedding ceremony, as we have blogged on in the past. But practically none consider the power of classical music for their first dance at the wedding reception. If you’re the type of couple that likes to think outside the box, you may want to consider one of the classics that follow.

The difference between popular and classical music

First, let’s take a quick look at the differences between popular and classical music. One difference in favor of popular music is the sophistication of the rhythms of the songs. Drums play a bigger role. Bass and snare drums overlay hi-hat cymbals to create foot-tapping, danceable music.

Even more, popular songs are written to be sung, offering lyrics meaningful to your love story. Unless you’re considering an opera aria, most classical songs you consider are instrumental only. And popular songs are short in contrast to longer form classical music.

Classical music unleashes the full potential of an orchestra

Classical music compensates with more sophisticated melodies and harmonic structures. Most popular songs use four chords. A song like Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me” uses six. On the other hand, Bach used dozens of chords in ingenious combinations. And of course, classical music offers the full firepower of a symphony orchestra to create a more emotive musical experience for your first dance.

For example, I’m sure you’re familiar with “Tales from the Vienna Woods” by the waltz king himself, Johann Strauss, you just don’t know it. It was composed in 1868. Watch this very fun performance of this timeless waltz:

If you cut to the 4:13 mark, the main melody, the one you know, kicks in. DJ Brian Anderson can cue the music to any point in the song you’d like if you want a shorter dance.

If you’d like a quick tutorial on how to dance to a waltz, here’s one that shows how easy it is:

On the other hand, if you’re a couple that really knows your way around the dance floor, perhaps you’ll want to consider the 1925 tango, “Joulousie ‘Tango Tzigane’,” composed by the Danish composer Jacob Glade:

This piece demonstrates how classical music can seethe with passion!

Relax. If the tango is a little too daunting for you, let us return to the waltz. One of the most famous is The Blue Danube Waltz, composed in  1866 by Johann Strauss II:

If you don’t like the long intro, we can cut right to the chase at about the 1:54 mark where the gorgeous main theme begins. Imagine a dance floor packed with your guests dancing the waltz! It’s not for everyone, but is it right for you?

Here’s another famous tango

Be honest, I bet you can’t get that tango out of your mind. Well, here’s a very famous tango from the classical music songbook that provides the foundation for confident dancers to cut loose. This song is titled, L’amour est un oiseau rebelle,” from Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera, “Carmen”:

If you’d like to dance  to this aria using a sensuous tango leg wrap, here’s how to do it:

Let’s conclude with one of the most romantic classical melodies you’ve ever heard, Sergio Rachmaninov’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini 18. Whew! What a boring title for such a lovely piece of music. The piece premiered in 1934 and has been used in movies and televisions shows ever since. What a perfect song to dance to for your first dance. Take a listen:

Let’s face it, classic musical isn’t for everyone…

But if you want it, DJ Brian Anderson can provide it, played on state-of-the-art equipment that would have dazzled Rachmaninov himself! Wait ’til you see how we can light the dance floor and your venue! Our decor lighting will complement the music and the mood to create wedding magic.

Make your wedding celebration a classic. Check on available dates and affordable package pricing today. Or save time and pick up the phone and call without obligation: 256-638-3535. We love questions!

10 ways to make your wedding toast a disaster

By tom quiner | May 25, 2020

It is so easy to blow a wedding toast. We hear a lot of mediocre toasts every month and a lot of really bad ones. Occasionally, we hear a gem. If you’d prefer to deliver a wedding toast disaster, here are 10 tips:

1. Make it long

Most toasts are way too long. Ten minutes are a disaster. Three to five minutes are better only if your toast is impeccably crafted and delivered. One to two minutes is better.

2. Talk about the happy couple’s former boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses

Okay, bad idea. If I have to explain why, you should be fired as a toaster. Watch a funny example from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” above for a demonstration.

3. Talk dirty

Lace your toast with sexual references and profanity. On the other hand, you might want to remember that grannie, pastor Bob and Aunt Lydia may be listening.

4. Get drunk

Everyone loves to hear a rambling toast delivered with lots of slobber and slurred speech. Not.

5. Embarrass the happy couple

Not! Not only does this pain the bride or groom, but the guests as well. Build up the stars of the day, not tear them down.

6. Tell old stories no one cares about

Talk about a prescription for boredom! The best stories are those that occurred after the couple met. If you tell an old story about either spouse, make it an example of his his/her great character as a person. For example:

[Opening]: 

“I am truly honored to toast the marriage of [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name].

I’ve never been one to pay any attention to people who claim that they can predict the future.  But guess what, I’m going to predict the future:  I see a happy, fulfilling married life stretching out before you two, and I could not be happier.

Looking out at this great group of your family and friends who’ve come to witness this watershed event, I can see that they agree with me.

The truth is, I don’t need a crystal ball to know that good things await you in your married life, because I know [Groom’s Name].

[Provide personal anecdote]: 

We met when we were in college.  We had nothing in common.  I’m short, he’s tall.  I’m a Packer’s fan; he’s a Cowboys fan.  I’m really good looking.  And he’s … well, he’s even better looking!

But we both had this thing for rock climbing.  I tell you what, if you want to get to know someone, go rock climbing with him.

I don’t know how many times we went out.  It’s a lot.  One time stood out.  We were walking on a precipice some twenty feet above a lake.  We heard some splashing in the water below.  Suddenly, some kid started screaming like I’ve never heard screaming before in my life.  His dog was in the water … and apparently drowning.

Now I thought that God had hard-wired the dog paddle into every dog ever born.  But this one must have been a mutant, because it was going down for the last count.

Before I could even fully process the situation, [Groom’s Name] made a mighty leap into the lake below.  I’ve got to admit, I couldn’t have done it.  But he did.  Within seconds, he had the scared pup in his arms and back onto dry land in minutes.

You should’ve seen that kid’s face.  I’ll never forget it.  I’ll never forget what you did that day.

[Bring bride into the toast]: 

Now, imagine what a guy like that would do for a friend.  Even more, imagine what a man like that would do for the woman he loves.

I can attest to the fact, [Bride’s Name], that [Groom’s Name] loves you more than anything … or anyone he’s ever loved in his life.

When he spoke that line in the vows about loving you even in ‘sickness and in health, in good times and in bad,’ well he meant it.

And since I’ve gotten to know you and discover what an incredibly wonderful person you are too, [Bride’s Name], I know you meant those vows every bit as much as [Groom’s Name].  You are a beautiful person on the outside, but even more importantly, on the inside.

Some people would say that it’s destiny that brought you together.  Well, I would suggest God had something to do with it.  Yes, I maintain that the creator of the universe surely pulled some strings to bring you two together, because you are so right for each other.

[Close by telling the audience specifically what they’re supposed to do]:

On this day of celebration, I ask each of you to raise your glass and join me in paying tribute to Mr. and Mrs. [Couple’s Last Name].”

7. Talk about yourself alot

Even more, practice one-upmanship. The video example below from the movie “Bridesmaids” demonstrates the (hysterical) flaw in this approach:

8. Overreact to your own material

Guffaw at inside jokes. Start blubbering uncontrollably. Actually, no one appreciates it. Rehearse your toast in advance so you are in full control.

9. Target the bride and groom alone

Ignore the guests. This is a great way to lose your audience. However, if you want to win over your audience, INCLUDE the guests in your toast.

10. Forget to make a toast

Don’t raise your glass at the end. Don’t ask guests to do the same. Just walk away when you’re done rambling. On the other hand, you can bring your toast to a natural close with these words:

“Ladies and gentlemen, together let us raise our glasses to honor this extraordinary couple!”

Looking for great wedding entertainment and a polished, professional MC who manages the flow of your Alabama wedding celebration with impeccable timing? Check us out!

Billboard’s top love songs

By tom quiner | May 18, 2020

Billboard Magazine compiled a list of the top 50 love songs of the past seven decades. Let’s face it, love songs never grow old. Billboard’s top love songs are a great guide for couples brainstorming on first dance songs.

Here’s how Billboard devised their ranking system:

“The ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.”

“How Deep is Your Love?”

Two of their highest rated love songs were written a few years apart. Number four on their list was a huge hit from the iconic movie from the seventies, “Saturday Night Fever.” The movie was packed with hits, with “How Deep is Your Love?” being the biggest. It topped the Billboard charts for three weeks. Here it is sung by the writers of the song, The Bee Gees:

Dig those do’s and duds!

The lyrics are all about expressing the depth of love, which makes it perfect for a first dance at a wedding:

“How deep is your love, how deep is your love

How deep is your love?

I really mean to learn

‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools

Breaking us down when they all should let us be

We belong to you and me.”

Michael Bublé and Kelly Rowland sang a delightful cover of this monster hit song:

Which do you like best?

You pick, we’ll play it!

“Endless Love”

The number one love song on Billboard’s top fifty love songs was “Endless Love” from the 1981 movie by the same name. This Lionel Richie song topped the charts for nine weeks.

According to Billboard:

“Producer Jon Peters and director Franco Zeffirelli asked Lionel Richie to compose an instrumental along the lines of the theme from “Love Story” for their movie starring Brooke Shields. When Zeffirelli changed his mind and asked Richie if he would add lyrics, the Motown star agreed to write some. Then Zeffirelli made one more request – to add a female singer, someone like Diana Ross.”

The result was a love song that is the #1 choice by many couples for their first wedding dance. Take a listen to the original hit song with Lionel Richie and Diana Ross:

And while the former song extolled the depth of love, this one acclaims love’s eternity with lyrics like these:

“And, yes

You’ll be the only one

‘Cause no one can deny

This love I have inside

And I’ll give it all to you

My love, my love, my love

My endless love.”

If you’re a fan of Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey, here’s their cover version of “Endless Love:”

The beauty of dj entertainment provided by DJ Brian Anderson for Alabama couples is we’ll play the version of Billboard’s top love songs of your choice. In other words, we’ll customize the entertainment to your tastes, your style, and even your era.

Whether you want a love song from yesterday or yesteryear, that’s what you’ll get with us.

Even more, we’ll enrich yours’ and your guests’ entertainment experience with elegant decor lighting and the wildly entertaining photo booth. Need pricing and availability info? Check us out. And we always love phone calls: 256-638-3535. Let’s talk.

Mixed weddings require customization

By tom quiner | May 11, 2020

mixed weddingsMarriages are more mixed than ever. The Knot tells us that 51% of couples marry someone with a different background, whether of a different race, religion, ethnicity, or geographic area.

The Pew Research Center studies marriage trends. They learned that in 2015 forty percent of marriages were between interfaith couples compared to just nineteen percent in 1960.

By the same token, research by Pew showed that 15.1% of all new marriages in the U.S. were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity as of 2010.

Get creative!

Creative customization opportunities abound when weddings are mixed. It’s not surprising that the word ‘customize’ is an American creation. The word was born in the 1920s as immigrants from around the world poured into the U.S., creating a melting pot of new customs.

So wedding customization is nothing more than building on tradition and creatively blending customs to the individual specifications of the couple.

Top cultural ceremony traditions according to The Knot

  1. Religious reading
  2. Ceremony held in  a religious institution
  3. Lighting of a unity candle
  4. Sand pouring ceremony
  5. Breaking the glass

As The Knot points out, DJs and wedding planners are key players in helping you create a totally unique, customized celebration to honor your cultural traditions. In fact, 38% of couples incorporate cultural, ethnic, and religious elements into their ceremony.

However, couples still overwhelmingly honor good old standby traditions. For example, nine out of ten couples use a first dance ceremony. Eighty-two percent go with a cake-cutting ceremony at their receptions.

Customized music is often an important element in mixed weddings

DJ Brian Anderson plays a key role in customization plans for mixed weddings. We offer customized music to honor your ethnic customs for both your ceremony and reception. If we don’t have a unique piece of music, we’ll get it. Even more, we’ll MC your event to announce key elements of your customized celebration at just the right time. We’ll control the flow of your event like a maestro conducting a symphony.

We can even incorporate beautiful decor lighting and photo booth to build on your creative vision.

Whether yours’ is a mixed wedding or not, DJ Brian Anderson offers flexible planning, creative thinking, and customization to create a celebration that is uniquely you.

The Coronavirus impact on future weddings

By tom quiner | May 4, 2020
coronavirus impact

Photo booth is the best way to enrich your wedding guests’ experience

The Knot’s 2019 Real Weddings Study revealed a trend that will accelerate due to the coronavirus impact: the size of weddings is declining.

In 2007 the average size of a wedding was 153 guests. That number dropped to 131 by 2019. Until a vaccine is approved, older wedding guests may shy away from attending large gatherings, such as wedding celebrations, even after lockdowns end and businesses reopen.

The coronavirus fatality rate is minimal for those under 45 years of age, but more significant in older populations over the age of 70, especially among those with pre-existing conditions.

However, the FDA is fast-tracking new medications to treat the coronavirus. The first, Remdesivir, reduces recovery time by four days. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases:

“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”

So that’s some good news.

What that means for your wedding plans

As you plan your guest list, you may only want to invite those older guests who are nearest and dearest to you. Grandparents. Beloved aunts and uncles. Etc.

On the other hand, you may shed older guests from your list that you don’t personally know, such as your dad’s boss or the mother of your mom’s best friend from college.

You get the idea.

The coronavirus impact may be entirely different on a different wedding trend. The Knot’s study identified a desire among couples planning their wedding to provide their guests with an ‘enriching experience’. That was the most important consideration for 72 percent of surveyed couples.

Nearly half, 47%, invested in enhanced entertainment options, a nine percent increase over 2018, to enrich their celebration.

That trend will likely accelerate in 2021 as couples plan smaller weddings, opening up budgets for great options like decor lighting and photo booth to enrich the experience for their guests.

Alabama couples are often pressured by family to invite guests they don’t know, but their parents do. The coronavirus provides you a good excuse to moderate the size of your guest list at the same time you increase the entertainment impact.

DJ Brian Anderson offers everything you need for an enriching experience for your guests: DJ entertainment, photo booth, and decor lighting. Questions? We’re a phone call away: 256-638-3535, and we love your questions!