The top two wedding day traditions

April 6, 2020

wedding day traditionsThe Coronavirus lockdown won’t last forever. So while everything in our lives is changed today, one thing won’t change: people will keep getting married, and wedding day traditions will continue.

When large scale weddings resume, whether this year or next, two wedding day traditions will return to the forefront, according to a WeddingWire survey.

Flower girls go all the way back to ancient Rome

One is the use of flower girls and ring bearers, an element used by 60% of couples at their wedding ceremonies last year. The tradition extends all the way back to ancient Rome, as it symbolizes the bride’s transformation from a child to an adult. According to Reader’s Digest:

“This tradition originally began in Ancient Rome. During that time most marriages were arranged and the main purpose of the marriage was to have children to carry on the family name. Therefore, fertility was a concern for the newlyweds. Back then only youth would attend to the bride, so a young girl would walk down the aisle before the bride carrying wheat and herbs.”

Needless to say, flowers have replaced wheat and herbs since those days, a nice improvement don’t you think?

Brides used to be ‘bought’

The other top wedding day tradition is the couple-performed first dance, used by 91% of couples, according to 25,000 surveyed couples who married last year.

This tradition was born in an era when brides were actually ‘bought’ from their fathers. The first dance served as a sort of fertility ceremony. By the early 20th century, though, the tradition had changed. According to America’s top arbiter of etiquette, Emily Post, the newly married couple were supposed to wait until their wedding guests had begun dancing.

Today, it’s the other way around once again

In fact, it is the most highly-anticipated moment at a wedding reception. That’s why DJ Brian Anderson is popular with Alabama couples. Our equipment is tops. Our sound is amazing. Music volume is controlled to please and allow guests to converse, when they’re not packing the dance floor.

DJ Brian Anderson can provide exactly the music you’d like to hear for your wedding ceremony as the bride, bridesmaids and her flower girls process in. And we can provide exactly the song you want to hear for your first dance. These wedding day traditions will be a part of wedding celebrations when you’re ready to say ‘I do.’ Keep your wedding dreams alive. Check us out without obligation. Better yet, pick up the phone and give us a call: 256-638-3535!

Marriage is about to get better

By tom quiner | March 30, 2020

new era of marriageThe year of the Coronavirus crisis will usher in a new era of marriage. If you’ve been contemplating marriage, this is the time to act. If you’re already engaged and have plans disrupted by this national lockdown, don’t give up the ship. This disruption will make your pending marriage better, even if you have to reschedule it.

A new era of marriage

The Great Recession of 2008 was our last dramatic economic downturn. People lost jobs, net worth, and any sense of financial stability in their lives. The upheaval led husbands and wives to a deeper appreciation of the commitment of marriage.

Many, many couples in stressed marriages reassessed divorce considerations and stuck it out, to their longterm joy. Divorce rates began a decade long decline, dropping some twenty percent.

Get ready for a deeper downturn in divorce

Expect the same in our current upheaval. In fact, The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) projects the divorce is going to drop even faster in the wake of current events. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, W. Bradford Wilcox, a senior fellow of the IFS, explained:

W. Bradford Wilcox

W. Bradford Wilcox

“That’s because in times of trial and tribulation, most people—and most spouses—don’t become more self-centered, they become more other-centered, more cognizant of how much they need their family members to navigate difficult and dark times. In post-Covid-19 America, I’m confident that the family-first model of marriage will gain ground against the soul mate model.”

Beware the ‘soul-mate’ marriage model

Some marriages will suffer in this downturn, and he explains marriages most at risk embrace the ‘soul mate model’:

“The soul mate model—trumpeted in books like Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love,” not to mention countless songs and rom-coms—is the idea that marriage is primarily about an intense emotional and romantic connection between two people and should last only so long as that connection remains happy and fulfilling for both parties. This self-centered model gained in popularity for many Americans starting in the 1970s, the “Me Decade.”

But feelings are fickle

“But feelings are a fragile foundation for marriage. A recent YouGov survey indicates that married people in California who hold this view of marriage are about 60% more likely to think their marriage might end in divorce, compared with those who have a more family-first model of marriage, believing that “Marriage is about romance but also the kids, money, raising a family together.”

So as you plan your Alabama wedding celebration, ask yourself this: what gives your life meaning?

The IFS asked adults across the country this question, and the number one response was family. As we’ve written before, data reveals married couples fare better financially than their unmarried friends, live healthier, longer lives, and have better outcomes if blessed with children. In other words, this new era of marriage will lead more couples to a deeper, more meaningful life.

A marriage renaissance awaits! Although we’re all hunkered down weathering the storm right now, DJ Brian Anderson loves to talk wedding plans. Nothing lifts spirits more than a wedding. Nothing makes dark times seem little bit brighter. Give us a call today without obligation: 256-638-3535.

What to do about wedding disruptions caused by the Coronavirus shutdown

By tom quiner | March 23, 2020

CoronavirusThe Coronavirus will pass. The lockdown will end. Life will go on. In the meantime, our lives have been upended more dramatically than by any event since World War II or 9/11.

Wedding celebrations have taken a hit. Many courthouses are closed across the country, so it’s hard to secure a marriage license. But even if you can, the expanding lockdown on our communities limit public gatherings to 25 people or less.

DJ Brian Anderson believes that wedding ceremonies are meant to be shared with our family, friends, and communities. They are THE pivotal milestones in our lives, singular events that separate man from beast. Wedding celebrations make us more fully alive.

In other words, they’re worth waiting for.

So as you and I are holed up in our homes waiting for community life to begin again, let’s keep the wedding dreams alive. Yes, securing venues and locking in dates is a challenge. But that simply means that when your day arrives, whether it is three, six, or nine months from now, it will be that much more special.

Like you, our business and our lives are on hold. But we’re still here for you. Do you want to talk about your wedding dreams? Simply pick up the phone and give us a call at 256-638-3535. The second this crisis is over, let the wedding celebrations begin again!

Don’t give up the dream, because it’s worth waiting for.

Stay healthy.

Here’s a wedding jazz standard for your first dance song

By tom quiner | March 16, 2020

One of the most delightful melodies ever written for theater is “All the things you are.” It is simply lovely musically and lyrically, which is why it has become something of a wedding jazz standard.

The music was written by Jerome Kern in 1939 for a little known musical (Very Warm for May), with lyrics added by Oscar Hammerstein II.

One critic described the lyrics as …

“enthralling romantic without crossing over into mawkishness, while Kern’s music is ingenious and boldly adventurous.”

What lyrics they are!

Just soak in these dreamy words, and think about dancing to them on your wedding day:

You are the promised kiss of springtime

That makes the lonely winter seem long,

You are the breathless hush of evening

That trembles on the brink of a lovely song.

You are the angel glow that lights a star

The dearest things I know are what you are.

Some day my happy arms will hold you,

And some day I’ll know that moment divine

When all the things you are, are mine.

Most of the songs this blog has written on aren’t considered wedding jazz standards. But “All the things you are” has been performed by a who’s who of jazz legends, including Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, and Dizzy Gillespie.

When it comes to weddings, though, you’ll want to consider a cover that includes vocals. The lyrics are just too good to pass up.

Carly Simon delivers a sultry rendition that is ideal to dance to:

Just listen to the beautiful chord progression that naturally propels this classic from one musical idea to the next. It sounds so easy, and yet it isn’t. That’s why this song is considered a classic.

Barbara Streisand performs it as a lush ballad:

The Jackson Five actually covered this song in their own imitable way:

Purists may not appreciate the disco-ish treatment Michael Jackson and team give the tune, but again, that’s what makes a great song great. Different artists can make it their own.

Listen to a diva sing it

For example, legendary opera diva, Renée Fleming, covered this song employing the exquisite vocal stylings she honed singing Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini in international opera houses.

Take a listen:

Go to YouTube where you’ll find countless, beautiful arrangements of this timeless wedding jazz standard.

And if you decide this song complements your love story, DJ Brian Anderson can play the version perfect for your first dance.

Alabama weddings are wonderful for so many reasons, which is why we absolutely love being a part of these celebrations. We especially like the way music unites your guests by offering an eclectic mix of your favorite music from today and yesterday.

We’ll make the music even better with awesome equipment that provides clear, controlled sound and festive decor lighting that can transform a plain space into a palace. The next step? Check us out without obligation.


Marriage is for everyone

By tom quiner | March 9, 2020

advantages of marriageThe advantages of marriage are amazing. The public hasn’t caught on, though, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal:

“Middle-class Americans are forsaking marriage amid financial insecurity, effectively making the institution more of a luxury good enjoyed by prosperous Americans.”

According to the article, finances are the reason:

“More couples are deciding to live together instead of marrying, and strained finances are a top reason many cite. A survey last year by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that among those who live with a partner and wish to get married, more than half said they or their partner weren’t financially ready.”

And yet young Americans DO want to get married, says the Journal:

“Marriage remains a goal for most young Americans. Every year since 1976, University of Michigan researchers have asked high-school seniors across the U.S. whether they expect to marry: Three-quarters of them said yes in 2017, a share virtually unchanged since the first survey, according to an analysis by Bowling Green State University of the survey data.”

Skewed thinking

According to Word Finance, their thinking is skewed if they let finances hold them back:

“Compared to being single, married people almost doubled their wealth, increasing it over 93 percent.”

If money is your only consideration, marriage is downright lucrative! They point out these differences between married couples and those that co-habitate or are single:

  1. Married couples save more. They jointly invest and buy homes together, which allows them to accumulate wealth faster. They do this because there is higher commitment in marriage than cohabitation, while couples who live together tend to keep finances separate.
  2. Married couples reduce expenses, especially compared to singles. Heating or insuring a home isn’t much different for two persons verses one.
  3. Married couples divide labor, which increases efficiency and effectiveness. The difference is especially profound when compared to single parents.

According to World Finance,

“By the time they reach their 50s, married couples generally have about three times the assets their single peers do.”

More advantages of marriage

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.

Granted, weddings themselves are an investment. The average cost of a wedding here in Alabama is about $137 per guest. And yet we live to celebrate, and what is worth celebrating more than marriage? Besides, according to the experts, you’ll recoup your investment many times over!

And as you plan your wedding celebration, remember that entertainment makes the event. That’s why DJ Brian Anderson is your best investment on the biggest day of your life.

Learn more today without obligation. Or save time, pick up the phone and call us now: 256-638-3535.

Don’t make this mistake at your wedding!

By tom quiner | March 1, 2020

wedding mistakeWedding planning can be stressful, because it requires you to make over one-thousand decisions on a deadline. With so many choices along the way, it’s easy to make a wedding mistake here or there. Brides Magazine pointed out the most common in a recent article:


The path to “I do” is littered with missteps.

They point out a common mistake that relates to the entertainment:

“You forget about the volume of the music.”

This is never a problem when you go with DJ Brian Anderson. We worry about the volume and control it so you can simply enjoy your celebration without worry.

The article says:

“Make selections that appeal to everyone, and conduct a sound check before the guests arrive in the room. If those who opt not to dance can’t carry on a conversation, then the music is too loud.”

Here’s where equipment and sensitivity matter. DJ Brian Anderson brings the most refined equipment on the market so we can bathe your hall with clear, pure and controlled sound.

We understand that wedding entertainment isn’t all about performance, it’s about participation, too. When music is controlled, guests can still converse when they take a break from the dance floor. This is so important. After all, weddings bring families and friends together who may not have seen each other in years. They want to catch up.

Sometimes bands don’t understand this. They think the event is all about them and they blast music to every corner of your hall, drowning out any opportunity for conversation.

With DJ Brian Anderson, we also can saturate every corner of your hall with beautiful music, but in a clear, controlled way. Dance floors rock! But guests can talk. We strike the perfect balance that matters to Alabama couples.

This is one wedding mistake you can cross off your list of worries! Here’s another: our client wedding planning tools make the planning process easy so you can simply relax and enjoy the journey.

For more information about our professional wedding entertainment services, call 256-638-3535.

A crash wedding diet can be dangerous to your health

By tom quiner | February 24, 2020

crash wedding diet

Samantha Clowe went on a crash diet to prepare for her wedding day. She shed 52 pounds in eleven weeks, before dying from heart failure. Think twice before going on a crash diet for your wedding day. You face health risks if you try to lose too much too fast.

Bridal publications make it hard on you. You’ll see screaming headlines like:

Bridal hunger games

How to lose weight in 30 days for a wedding

Brides reveal their best weight-loss secrets

Every bride wants to look her best

That’s natural.

Cornell University studied the issue a dozen years ago. They learned that 7 out of 10 brides wanted to drop in excess of 20 pounds before walking down the aisle, compared to 53% for non engaged women in the same age range.

Fourteen percent of brides-to-be actually bought a wedding gown one or more sizes smaller than their existing dress size. Future brides are faced with a dizzying array of diet plans in the market place, including:

√ Noom

√ Nutrisystem

√ South Beach Diet

√ Medifast

√ Diettogo

√ BistroMD

According to the Cornell study, though, drinking water was the overwhelming weight-loss technique they used. Eighty percent used it, followed by aerobic exercise and simply eating less.

Beware “yo-yo” diets

Nutritionist, Linda Bacon, Ph.D, and author of “Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight,” warns these engaged women to be careful:

“They go on fasts, yo-yo diets, detox programs, and ‘cleanses’ without realizing that there are serious consequences to weight loss and nutrient restriction. Yo-yo dieting can also damage your blood vessels. All that shrinking and growing causes micro tears that create a setup for atherosclerosis and other types of heart disease.”

Cardiologist Isadore Rosenfeld, MD, author of “Doctor of the Heart: A Life in Medicine, warns against crash wedding diets of less than 1200 calories a day, and against detox plans like the Master Cleanse. He warns:

“A crash diet once won’t hurt your heart. But crash dieting repeatedly increases the risk of heart attacks. “The key to losing weight is a combination of diet and exercise. One alone will not do it.”

Start early so you have time to achieve a healthy weight level without resorting to an unhealthy crash wedding diet.

By the same token, start planning for your wedding entertainment early, because popular wedding dates book early for DJ Brian Anderson. We know how to pack a dance floor. Beware: you may dance off another five pounds before the night is done!

The Beatles’ last love song is all about real love

By tom quiner | February 17, 2020

real loveWhat is real love? Well, for one it is the name of the last love song recorded by The Beatles years after the band broke up. For another, one of history’s great philosophers, Thomas Aquinas, said real love means to will the good of the other for the sake of the other, which is a variation of the Great Commandment of the bible:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The Huffington Post wrote a good piece on the subject called “16 Characteristics of True Love.” It’s worth a read. Here are a few of the characteristics mentioned in this article which builds on the this thing called ‘real love:’

1. Love means saying goodbye to expectations.

5. Love has no room for jealousy.

6. Love is the absence of fear.

8. Love is an action, not just a feeling.

10. Love means putting other people’s needs equal to — or before — your own.

16. Love has empathy.

If you’re engaged or involved in a serious relationship, you’ll find the article revealing. Check out all 16 characteristics and talk about them with the love of your life.

A songwriter by the name of John Lennon wrote lyrics on the subject that goes like this:

All my little plans and schemes

Lost like some forgotten dreams

Seems that all I really was doing

Was waiting for you.

Just like little girls and boys

Playing with their little toys

Seems like all we really were doing

Was waiting for love.

Lennon wrote the song “Real Love” a decade after the Beatles disbanded, and just a short time before his untimely death in 1981. The surviving members of the Beatles reunited in 1996 to record the song using Lennon’s demo of the song as the starting point.

Lennon recorded the song at his home using a basic cassette tape recorder. They took it to Paul McCartney’s studio to clean it up and remove background hums and hisses before layering in the rest of vocal and instrumental tracks.

The finished song was the Beatles last hit, reaching #11 in the US and #4 in Great Britain in 1996.

Take a listen:

This is a good song with a great message for your first dance song at your wedding. Plus it’s got a great history behind it.

As is the case with a good song, other artists love to cover it in their own unique style. A striking example is Regina Spektor’s interpretation of the song. Ms. Spektor is a Russian-born American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Take a listen:

Australian singer songwriter, Chris Murphy, covers it using guitar accompaniment:

The subject of love is endlessly fascinating to song writers. Paul McCartney muses about it in a song recorded in 1976:

You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs.

As the listener contemplates his meditation, McCartney hits us with the answer:

I look around me and I see it isn’t so.

Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs.

And what’s wrong with that?

I’d like to know

‘Cause here I go again

I love you, I love you

I love you, I love you.

Take a listen to his hit, “Silly Love Songs:”

Here’s the thing. Love isn’t silly. It’s everything. The Beatles knew it. All of the great songwriters know it. YOU know it.

That’s why year after year, decade after decade, century after century, lovers keep singing about love.

And that’s where DJ Brian Anderson comes in. We collect these songs. We’ve got the love song perfect for your first wedding dance, whether it’s Lennon’s “Real Love,” or whatever song defines your unique love story.

Let’s collaborate on your upcoming celebration of the real love that has overtaken your life. Your Alabama wedding is a big deal. We’d be honored to be a part of it. Check us out without obligation today.

Avoid wedding debt

By tom quiner | February 10, 2020

avoid wedding debtPay for your Alabama wedding with cash and avoid wedding debt. That’s the message from Taylor Moore, finance and insurance writer for

She points out that fighting over money is the number one cause of stress in marriages, so starting your wedding off in debt due to overspending on your wedding isn’t a good idea.

She provides three steps to avoid wedding debt:

  1. Determine how much you need to SAVE to pull off an affordable wedding.
  2. Then start saving out of your regular income. You’ll be so much happier if you do. Factor in how much financial support your family can provide.
  3. Stick to your budget and get creative along the way.

So regarding step three, she encourages couples to honestly assess what they actually need to spend on their wedding. The Wedding Wire may say that an average couple spends $38,700 on their wedding. But that includes pricey locales like San Francisco, New York City, and Boca Raton.

As we’ve written before, it’s less in more ‘normal’ places like Alabama, Ohio, and North Carolina. Besides, weddings are scalable. You can cut back on guest lists and quantities to bring your budget down to your level.

Ms. Moore suggests that couples make cuts in their current spending to save for the wedding celebration. Do you have a pricey gym membership? Maybe you should forgo it for the next 18 months to save towards your wedding.

As you develop your budget, consider these budget guidelines according to Wedding Wire:

Percentage of Total Budget

  • Venue/catering/cake/rentals 50%
  • Photography/videography 12%
  • Wedding attire/hair/beauty 9%
  • Flowers/lighting/decor 8%
  • Reception music 7%
  • Wedding planner 3%
  • Invitations/stationery 3%
  • Officiant/ceremony music 2%
  • Transportation 2%
  • Wedding rings 2%
  • Favors/gifts 2%

Our experience shows that couples are happier when reception entertainment is closer to 10%, because they usually like to include a photo booth. Plus, a DJ entertainment company like DJ Brian Anderson provides decor lighting, which typically saves you money over lighting billed to you by your venue.

Ultimately, couples are happiest when they avoid wedding debt. You don’t ever need to overspend to create a memorable wedding day as long as your guests are having fun. That’s why you should call DJ Brian Anderson at 256-638-3535 . We can create wedding fun for Alabama couples on any budget.

Married men live longer, healthier lives

By tom quiner | February 3, 2020

men's healthDJ Brian Anderson writes about a wide range of wedding-related subjects on this blog, with a special focus on details surrounding your reception and ceremony. We ran across an interesting article on men’s health by the Harvard Medical School (HMS) we thought you’d find interesting, because it’s about the health benefits of marriage.

Marriage seems to have a profound, positive benefit on men’s health. HMS wrote about a huge study on 127,545 American adults.

Married men are healthier than bachelors and divorced and widowed men. These same men also live longer.

And the longer a man stays married, the longer his survival edge over this same group.

Better men’s health begins with stronger hearts for married men, who have a 46% lower death rate than unmarried men.

Interestingly, marriage doesn’t seem to decrease the incidence of cancer, but it definitively enhances outcomes. The University of Miami tracked 143,063 men with cancer. Over a span of 17 years, married men outlived their non-married, divorced, and widowed counterparts substantially, as you can see below:

Cancer survival rates for:

  • Married men:  69 months
  • Separated/widowed men: 38 months
  • Never married men: 49 months

Marriage even helps men’s mental health, reducing the incidence of depression and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

In other words, married love makes our bodies and minds work better. In fact, love simply makes everything better. Even more, song writers tell us, love makes the world go round. (As DJs who specialize in providing dance-floor-packing wedding entertainment, we always feel a need to slip a song into the conversation! Hope you don’t mind!)

As you ponder the therapeutic benefits of marriage, check out the therapeutic benefits of having DJ Brian Anderson provide entertainment on your wedding day. We specialize in fun, and fun makes weddings go round!

We’ll leave you with the late, great Deon Jackson’s hit song from 1966, “Love Makes the World Go Round.”