Practical wedding logistics

May 24, 2021

wedding logisticsWeddings have timelines, which we’ve written about before. A timeline is a schedule. But wedding schedules involve even more. They involve logistics, which is all about coordination. Here are a few wedding logistics considerations to keep in mind.

Where will you get dressed? Does the ceremony location have a suitable space for bride, bridesmaids, groom, and groomsmen? All of the above? Some of the above? Or none of the above?

Will your reception take place at a different location than your ceremony? This affects your timeline and what to do with your guests until you arrive.

When and where will you take wedding photographs? Will you plan on ‘first look’ photography (before the ceremony) or more traditional post-ceremony portraiture?

Will you have a reception line? If yes, where? If not, how will you greet guests?

Does your venue impose noise or curfew restrictions? This affects your music as well as putting time pressure on your party to finish on time. By the same token, be sure you’ve got key vendors such as bands, djs, photographers, and videographers scheduled for as much time as your event runs.

How will you handle gifts if guests bring them to your ceremony? What about the reception? Where will you put them? Where do you want them taken after your event, and who will be responsible for transporting them?

Timelines and logistics can be daunting. DJ Brian Anderson makes it all much easier for you with online pre-planning tools exclusively for our clients. Learn more today without obligation. Let DJ Brian Anderson maximize your peace of mind on your wedding day.

Fly Me to the Moon

By Brian Anderson | March 8, 2021

Fly Me to the MoonFly Me to the Moon is a jazz standard couples still request for their first wedding dance. Written in 1954 by Bart Howard, the song was originally titled, “In Other Words.” But that didn’t last.

A hundred different singers covered the song over the next ten years, and the song titled eventually morphed into “Fly Me to the Moon.” In 1964, Frank Sinatra and his arranging team tweaked the song, changing the time signature from a 3/4 ballad into a 4/4 swingin’ big band masterpiece.

The song was so good, that NASA adopted the Sinatra version as the theme song for their moon mission. Years later, the song was inducted into the songwriter’s hall of fame.

The rollicking lyrics will totally energize your guests on your wedding day:

Fill my heart with song
Let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words: please, be true
In other words, in other words: I love you.

The song is so good, that you’ll love it performed uptempo … or … as a ballad, like Rick Hale and Breea Guttery do it.

Here’s another beautiful cover, performed by a brother/sister duo called The Macarons Project:

If you’re looking to dazzle your guests on the dance floor, you can’t do any better than dancing to Sinatra’s classic rendition. Picture it:

A jazz standard like Fly Me to the Moon is timeless. It was a hit when man flew to the moon. It will still be a hit when they walk on Mars.

DJ Brian Anderson will play the version you like best. And we’ll bathe the dance floor with decor lighting to create an evening of magic!


Pros and cons of marriage vs. cohabitation

By Brian Anderson | March 1, 2021

Pros and cons of marriage vs. cohabitationIs your relationship getting serious? Perhaps it’s time for you to consider the pros and cons of marriage vs. cohabitation.

It’s really pretty simple: the pro of cohabitation is less commitment while in marriage it’s more commitment. And commitment is the glue to long-lasting relationships. It defines true love, which is truly a choice.

Many young couples wax eloquent about being in love. It’s a beautiful feeling, but it IS a feeling at first. And feelings don’t last. True love is a decision to weather the storms of a relationship when feelings wane. Marriage honors and reinforces the commitment legally, spiritually, and emotionally.

Here’s what the science reveals:

If you want your relationship to last, you’ll get married. International relationship expert and mediator, Debra Macleod, explains in a piece published in the Huffington Post:

“When I do work with cohabiting couples, I have found that cohabiting men in particular tend to be far less motivated to work on the relationship than married men are. That’s a little tidbit that women should know.”

She cites research reported in Psychology Today on the subject:

“As a major shortcoming, live-together relationships lack durability. About half split up in less than five years. One reason is the lack [of] commitment. Without commitment, couples that live together feel more at risk. They can’t be as dependent on each other emotionally and socially as they would like, and they can’t afford to have their personal identities tied up in each other as do married couples. Because their relationships are tentative, it’s harder for partners to establish trust and intimacy, and that inhibits their ability to communicate openly. The net result is to make it more difficult for them to resolve conflicts.”

As we’ve written in previous blogposts, married couples are wealthier, healthier, and have happier families and children than their co-habitating counterparts.

So when considering the pros and cons of marriage vs. cohabitation, marriage has a major edge.

If you decide marriage is right for you, remember the pros and cons of selecting DJ Brian Anderson when selecting entertainment for your Alabama wedding celebration:

Pros: Beautiful music, polished MCs, controlled sound, packed dance floors, gorgeous lighting, photo booth, affordable, personable.

Cons: None.

Life is simple! Check us out without obligation today.


Bad song lyrics for your wedding day

By Brian Anderson | February 22, 2021
Bad song lyrics for your wedding day

Sting sings bad song lyrics for your wedding day

Great songs have two components: great music and great lyrics. Which is more important on your wedding day? A writer with National Public Radio wrote a piece that put it this way:

“When judging a song based on first impressions, my primary concern is that 1) the music is done right; and 2) the words, whether in content or presentation, aren’t done wrong.”

That gets to the heart of determining bad song lyrics for your wedding day.

You don’t want them done wrong.

Of course, you don’t want the words sung poorly. That’s why two out three couples prefer a DJ over a band. You know what you’re getting with a DJ because we play the version of the song you like best. The vocal expression of the lyrics is exactly what you want. And you don’t have to worry about whether a local band has the talent to sing your favorite song well.

“Every Breath I Take”

Just as importantly: the words can’t be wrong. They have to convey the right message, because your wedding day is a big deal. For example, Sting’s monster hit, “Every breath I take,” is very danceable, but the words are all wrong for a wedding:

Every breath you take,
And every move you make,
Every step you take, I’ll be watching you.
Every single day and every word you say
Every game you play,
Every night you stay, I’ll be watching you.

Why are these bad song lyrics for your wedding day? They’re about a stalker. You don’t want these creepy words sung at your reception.

Robin Thicke has a danceable tune called, “Blurred Lines,” but the lyrics border on the obscene. Don’t expose grandma to such unsettling words on what is supposed to be a day of celebration.

“I Will Survive”

Gloria Gaynor had a Platinum record with her 1978 hit, “I will survive.” It’s been played endlessly at weddings ever since. And yet it features bad song lyrics for your wedding day, like these:

At first, I was afraid, I was petrified,
Kept thinking, I could never live without you by my side,
But then I spent so many nights thinking, how you did me wrong,
And I grew strong and I learned how to get along.

This is a break up song, not a wedding song. Yes, it’s got an incredibly danceable disco rhythm, but so do a lot of other songs with better messaging for your wedding celebration.

“Tears in Heaven”

Eric Clapton’s biggest selling single was “Tears in Heaven.” It would be a nice song to which to slow dance, except the song is about the death of his four year old son. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

It’s a lovely song, but it has bad song lyrics for your wedding day.

The beauty of DJ Brian Anderson is we can play the favorite version of your favorite songs. To maximize the intensity of your wedding celebration, we encourage you to be diligent in screening the lyrics in the songs you request. Don’t worry, we will, too. That’s one more reason to check us out without obligation as you plan your big day.


Brian Anderson Returns to Radio

By Brian Anderson | February 18, 2021

By Marla Jones, Managing Editor •

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — Southern Torch is pleased to welcome Brian Anderson, also known as “DJ Brian” to radio listeners across North Alabama, to our team as the new Broadcast Operations Manager for the Southern Torch radio stations 98-3 Wild Country and 101-7 The Torch.

Anderson brings a wealth of experience to the role of Broadcast Operations Manager at 98-3 WKEA and 101-7 WMXN.

He began his career at the age of 16 in Scottsboro, working on an AM station that specialized in country music. Since then, Anderson has been in and out of the radio industry, serving the media markets of Huntsville, Anniston, Gadsden, and all of Northeast Alabama.

“I want to keep the listeners on both stations entertained with quality programming as well as informed with the latest news and weather information,” said Anderson.

Anderson is a lifelong native of Northeast Alabama, growing up in Scottsboro and graduating from Scottsboro High School in 1987. He studied Radio and Television Broadcasting and Marketing at Jacksonville State University.

“Brian is a familiar voice and personality for many listeners in our service area and he will play a big role in our radio programming going forward as we transition our broadcasting operations into our brand new studios in downtown Fort Payne. Brian’s return to radio is an excellent addition to our team and will be a delight to our audience,” stated Nick Jones, President of Southern Torch.

Anderson is married to his wife Sandra and the pair have two daughters and three grandchildren. They live in Rainsville, where he is a member of the Masonic Lodge. He serves on the Elected Divan at Cahaba Shrine Temple in Huntsville as Assistant Rabban.

Anderson stated he was honored and thrilled at the opportunity to continue his passion for radio at Southern Torch.

How to write a father-of-the-bride toast

By Brian Anderson | February 15, 2021

The father-of-the-bride toast has become a big deal. It rivals the best man’s toast in importance, and has the emotional potential to steal the show. It depends on what you say, and how you say it.

In the video tutorial above, professional speech writer, Lawrence Bernstein, spells out the elements involved in writing a father-of-the-bride toast.

How to write a father-of-the-bride toast

• Nothing beats preparation. Start early so you have plenty of time to polish your toast, both in terms of writing and the delivery.

• Don’t feel you have to make your toast long. Mr. Bernstein says that five minutes is better than twenty minutes. Our experience is that three minutes is better than five minutes, as the Dad below demonstrates in his touching, but brief, toast. Brevity is the key.

• Writing the father-of-the-bride toast and delivering it go hand-in-hand. You’re probably best to have it scripted, as you can see in the toast that follows. And yet know it inside out so you can express it naturally. The Dad below refers to his script without simply reading through it. He delivers it naturally and tenderly. Well done, Dad!

• Balance your speech with the things you must say with the things you might want to say. For example, you should welcome your guests, acknowledge your wife, welcome the new family, say something about the new son-in-law, and talk about the bride, your daughter.

• Think through your style. Should it be emotional or a stand-up routine? Mr. Bernstein suggests something in the middle. We recommend plenty of emotion, with a little levity thrown in. It’s harder to be funny than feeling.

• Along those lines, don’t bore your guests by recounting your daughter’s resume. Rather, talk about values, emotions, and hobbies. Is there a funny anecdote from your daughter’s childhood that is relevant to her relationship with you? That’s the kind of stuff that hits pay dirt.

The dad in the video below did it right. His toast is tight. His delivery is emotive, yet controlled. He hits all the right emotional notes to unite his guests in honoring his daughter and her new husband.

You can do it, too.

[DJ Brian Anderson is an experienced wedding DJ & Master of Ceremonies. He’ll announce each toast with impeccable timing & professionalism. His state of the art sound equipment projects father-of-the-bride toasts with crystal clarity for all your guests to hear. Check on his availability today without obligation.]


Best The Weeknd love songs for weddings

By Brian Anderson | February 8, 2021

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, aka ‘The Weeknd,’ performed the Halftime Show at yesterday’s Super Bowl. The Canadian Singer/Songwriter dazzled with the usual theatrics expected of a Super Bowl halftime. The question is, are The Weeknd love songs a good fit for your wedding first dance?

Super Bowl performance

First, let’s take a look at a recap of his Super Bowl performance:

We ran across a Reddit thread that discussed which songs by The Weeknd would actually work for a wedding:

“Okay this might be one of the weirder posts on here but I recently got engaged and have been starting to plan my wedding. I want to do a choreographed first dance with my husband to be, and I want a song that’s not super boring/everyone’s first dance song. I’m also a huge fan and think it could be cool to have my first dance to one of Abel’s songs. My Fiancé and I both really like Die For You but is that too morbid? I feel like most his other songs are too dark/not happy about being love haha.Has anyone else had their first dance to a song by him/ have any ideas?”

“Die for You”

Let’s take a listen to “Die for You”:

In marriage, it’s true that we die to ourselves as two become one, however The Weeknd’s lyrics on this song are a little over the top when he says:

I would die for you, I would lie for you
Keep it real with you,
I would kill for you, my baby
I’m just sayin’, yeah.

Are you sure you want homicide mentioned in your first dance song? Just askin’!

“As You Are”

Someone on the thread recommended “As You Are”:

You may be a little uncomfortable, though, with a few aspects of the lyrics, beginning with:

It’s just you and I,
Ooh, yeah
Just a phase in our little lie, year
We can sex all night
Ooh, woah
I see the want to in your eyes.

Some of your guests may be a little sensitive to such in-your-face bedroom talk. Worse, your relationship isn’t a lie, so you may not want a song that implies that it is.

“Blinding Lights”

Let’s face it, The Weeknd’s songs tend to be on the dark side. And perhaps this blog over analyzes the lyrics. So as you consider The Weeknd’s love songs for your wedding first dance, perhaps you can’t do better than his monster hit, “Blinding Lights”:

The lyrics tell a story of a young man who gets in trouble in Vegas. Although the saying goes,

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,”

… The Weeknd admits to temptation and trouble. He tells his love that although he is “blinded by the lights,” he “can’t sleep until I feel your touch.”

Now when it comes to your wedding reception, no need to be blinded by the lights. DJ Brian Anderson offers lighting design that transforms your reception space from boring into beautiful. Our decor lighting is one of the best values around for couples on a budget. And of course, we offer dance-floor-packing DJ entertainment along with irresistible photo booths.

Planning a weekend wedding? We’ll play music by The Weeknd and all of your favorite artists!

You need a wedding audio expert at your wedding

By Brian Anderson | February 1, 2021

wedding audio expertSound can make or break your entire wedding day. It’s not a sexy topic. But if people can’t hear your wedding vows or the best man’s toast, your event is diminished. That’s why you need a wedding audio expert.

We can recommend one: us

That’s right, DJ Brian Anderson is more than the go-to wedding entertainment company in Alabama. We know how to provide clear, controlled sound, whether it’s dance-floor packing music or your dad’s toast.

Our audio expertise begins with an insider’s knowledge of the acoustical challenges of the major wedding venues in the area. For example, some venues have low ceilings, which present some vexing audio challenges.

Beware a ‘sound loop’

As a DJ or band pumps out music from their speakers, it bounces off the ceiling and down onto your guests, who compensate by talking louder. The result is a ‘sound loop.’ It can quickly spiral out of control as the room becomes increasingly loud.

By contrast, other venues with high ceilings, expansive halls, and cushy furnishings soak up sound and make it difficult to find the ‘sweet spot’ if you don’t have a wedding audio expert managing the set up.

Some venues with hard wall surfaces of glass, brick and stones cause sound to bounce off and reverberate. This creates a distorting echo effect. Wedding vows, toasts, and announcements sound like mush to your guests, especially older ones whose hearing acuity is diminished.

Outdoor events present unique audio challenges

Outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions are particularly challenging, setting aside issues involved with the elements. Outdoor noises will compete with your vows, and even music during the reception. Sometimes, electricity isn’t conveniently located, necessitating the use of long cables to power up amps, speakers, and mics.

The good news, all of these challenges aren’t deal killers IF you have a wedding audio expert on your team, someone like DJ Brian Anderson.

We are wedding audio experts

We are more than the most experienced wedding DJs around, we have the know-how and cutting edge equipment to maximize the sound quality of your special day. DJ Brian Anderson can advise you of the audio strengths and weaknesses of venues you’re considering so you can make an informed decision. Simply give us a call at 256-638-3535 for our input.

So here’s the bottom line: DJ Brian Anderson is the practical choice for your wedding celebration. We provide the audio expertise that can make or break our event. But we’re also the glamorous choice, because we know how to pack dance floors and show your guests the time of their lives! Check on our availability today. Let’s start a conversation.


Why a Professional DJ is Crucial for Your 2021 Wedding

By Brian Anderson | January 29, 2021

Your wedding is getting closer, and you still haven’t figured out all the vendors you want to hire? If there is one thing you should not be confused about, you need a professional DJ for your 2021 wedding reception, and here’s why!


  • You Need A DJ You Can Trust

Your DJ is the most crucial vendor in your wedding. He needs to be someone reliable and trustworthy. Your choice of entertainment is the number one most important element of your big day!  Do you really want to risk the success of your wedding day by hiring the cheapest one?  A DJ with little to no experience has “just enough” experience to ruin your wedding. You can never redo your wedding!

A professional DJ is someone who knows what his job entails and how to deliver those services.

Because your wedding’s success largely depends on your guests’ satisfaction, you will need a DJ who is experienced and that can read the crowd and know what to play and when to play it to keep a packed dance floor and please all your guests of all ages from the senior adults to the younger generation!


  • Your Wedding is a Party; It Should Look Like It

What’s the point of having a wedding reception if your guests aren’t grooving on the dance floor. A professional DJ is a right person to make sure that happens. We will make it a party with the right mix of music and dazzling lighting to bathe your dance floor! Ask us about our up-lighting; our decor lighting transforms a room from ‘drab to fab’!

You can rest assured that we will make your wedding celebration as much of a party as a wedding can be. Its the most important celebration of your life and we know it! We will exceed your expectations!


  • Professional DJs Come With Professional Experience – Don’t Let a Friend Do It with Home Stereo Equipment or a Spotify Playlist

So much is at stake when you decide that a wedding DJ is too expensive and you want to DIY, don’t try to do it yourself with a Spotify or Pandora auto piloted playlist of songs that aren’t likely to get any one on the dance floor unless its a line dance they know. A novice DJ with home stereo equipment and a laptop connected to the internet playing from YouTube isn’t going to be anything but chaotic.  Imagine the interruptions from the commercials! A professional DJ has professional quality equipment to seamlessly mix a non stop transition of every song beat to beat! Most importantly, we own all our music and never rely on Wi-Fi at any event! We feature the greatest hits of all time from classic oldies of the big band era, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s to todays hottest hits in all varieties! We know how to pack a dance floor!

If the person you choose isn’t a professional entertainer, your wedding celebration most likely will be one where your guests will be looking at their watches and leaving the first chance they can.

Professional DJs know the right song to play for different moods and moments. A pre programmed playlist cannot.

When it comes to cutting the cake, the first dance, the father-daughter dance, etc., your DJ will know exactly what to do and what to play! We will professionally MC every element of your celebration!

These are talents gained from quality taste in music and working with people and at large events like weddings. That is something your friend with the YouTube laptop cannot deliver. We’ve been in wedding entertainment a long time! We guarantee quality!


  • The Right Equipment

A Professional DJ has all the necessary equipment available and some on standby in case something goes wrong.

So get a professional DJ you can trust and know you will be in good hands! Get to know DJ Brian Anderson!

Contact Brian Anderson Entertainment to make inquiries on all the quality DJ and entertainment services we offer.  Call 256-638-3535.

Secular hymns for secular weddings

By Brian Anderson | January 25, 2021

There is a unique type of song in a genre all its own, called secular hymns, that might work in wedding ceremonies for non-religious couples.

There’s a demand for these songs, because Generation Z and Millennials are more secular than their parents. They are less likely to affiliate with an established religion and attend worship services. Interestingly, though, most believe in God and pray, and a relatively small percentage are flat out atheists.

Only one song available for atheists

For the atheists, there is but one single song available, which the great Steve Martin wrote with tongue in cheek, titled “Atheiests Don’t Have No Hymns”:

Here’s an excerpt of the lyrics.

“Christians have their hymns and pages (hymns and pages)

Hava Nagila’s for the Jews. (for the jews)

Baptists have the rock of ages (rock of ages)

Atheists just sing the blues

Catholics, dress up for mass,

And listen to Gregorian chants.

Atheists, they take a pass,

Watch football in their underpants.”

Most secular couples prefer songs a little more serious for their wedding ceremonies, so that’s where a secular hymn comes in.

What is a secular hymn?

So what exactly is a secular hymn? A communication professor at Brigham Young University, Steve Thomsen, said these songs meet six criteria:

  1. They present themes that focus on redemption and deliverance.
  2. They have broad multi-generational appeal.
  3. They contain spiritual overtones.
  4. They use metaphorical language which refers to up or down and light and dark.
  5. Their meaning transcends initial purpose.
  6. They become backdrops for important life events (like weddings).

The top of the list

At the top of the list is Leonard Cohen’s 1984 hit song, “Hallelujah.” Interestingly, the song wasn’t an immediate hit. It took a cover of the song in 1991 by John Cale to bring it into prominence:

Tied with “Hallelujah” is the iconic, “What a Wonderful World:”

As hard as it is to top these two secular hymns, there are some other popular ones, such as John Lennon’s “Imagine:”

Think carefully about this one, though, as it seems to celebrate an idea with which most of your guests won’t relate:

“Imagine there’s no heaven.”

It’s your call, because it’s your wedding ceremony.

“Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I Can See Clearly Now,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Million Reasons,” and “Hey Jude” are popular secular hymns you probably know.

John Lennon didn’t like Paul McCartney’s secular hymn

Interestingly, Lennon’s writing partner, Paul McCartney, wrote his own immensely popular secular hymn, “Let it Be,” to the chagrin of John Lennon. First, take a listen to the song before we get to Lennon’s dissent:

Although Lennon shares songwriting credit, this song was all Paul McCartney’s work. John Lennon was anti-religious, as you may have gleaned listening to him sing “Imagine” above. He didn’t think “Let it Be” was right for the Beatles:

“That’s Paul. What can you say? Nothing to do with the Beatles. It could’ve been Wings. I don’t know what he’s thinking when he writes ‘Let It Be. I think it was inspired by [Simon & Garfunkel’s] ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters (sic).‘ That’s my feeling, although I have nothing to go on. I know he wanted to write a Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”

[For the record, “Let it Be” was written before “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.]

So what’s your story?

Atheist? Agnostic? Simply secular? Or are you religious?

For the secular, you have some darn good secular hymns you might want to tap into for your wedding celebration. For the religious, the list is as boundless as heaven itself. Here is one of the best:

DJ Brian Anderson can play your favorite secular and religious songs for your ceremony and reception on equipment so superior that you’ll believe it’s being performed live. We will honor your celebration with the music and entertainment that elevates it to monumental heights. Don’t scrimp on your dreams. Take one easy step right now, without obligation: check us out to see if we’re available for your date.