My Favorite First Dance Songs for Weddings

1 Des’ree  I’m Kissing You

2 Sade  By Your Side

3 Luther Vandross Here and Now

4 Christina Perri A Thousand Years

5 Eric Clapton Wonderful Tonight

6 John Legend All of Me

7 The Righteous Brothers  Unchained Melody

8 Ingrid Michaelson Can’t Help Falling in Love

9 Stevie Wonder  You are the Sunshine of My Life

10 Etta James  At Last

11 Journey  Faithfully

12 Stevie Wonder  I Just Called to Say I Love You

13 Lonestar  Amazed

14 Dooley Wilson It Had to Be You 

15 Nat King Cole Unforgettable

16 Louis Armstrong What  A Wonderful World

17  Jason Mraz I’m Yours

18 The Goo Goo Dolls Iris

19  Joe Crocker  You are So Beautiful

20 Savage Garden Truly Madly Deeply

21 Aerosmith  I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

22  Israel Kamakawiwo’ole  Over the Rainbow

23 K-Ci and JoJo  All My Life

24  Mazzy Star  Fade Into You

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Let Djs Be Djs and Stop Telling Them What to Play (Unless it is a Jam!)

They use an analogy that someone would not go into a restaurant and tell a chef how to make food. I believe djing a party is a wee bit different.  As djs we play for the people. The best requests are the ones that go with the genre that the dj is playing. For example, if the dj is playing Bell Biv Devoe and a guest suggests throwing in En Vogue.  That is applauded. Usually I put in on my prepare list and throw in as soon as I can. If it isn’t the right genre I can still put it on my prepare list and can throw it on when its appropriate.  If they ask for a song I already play, then I ask them if there is another song I can play for them or I give them suggestions they can choose from.

   When I play at an event, I use the playlist given by the client and I will include music suggested by the guests. I will happily play the suggestion. If every guest came with a suggestion, I would add it to my list. It can be a little much when the same guest keeps on asking for more and more songs and the event becomes more about that guest than the rest of the guests of the party. As a dj, I never ask another dj to play my song since I know its difficult to dj a party and maintain the dancing vibe.  Sometimes djs get in a zone and playing hit after hit and the floor is jamming.  Be aware the wrong request can kill the party and the concentration of the dj.

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October Playlist 2018

TRAVIS SCOTT SICKO MODE

BENNY BLANCO, HALSEY AND KHALID EASTSIDE

MAROON 5 AND CARDI B  GIRLS LIKE YOU

JUICE WRLD  LUCID DREAMS

POST MALONE  BETTER NOW

DRAKE  IN MY FEELINGS

EMINEM  KILLSHOT

CARDI B  I LIKE IT

6IX9INE FT NICKI MINAJ AND MURDA BEATZ FEFE

KANYE WEST AND LIL PUMP  I LOVE IT

TYGA FT OFFSET  TASTE

MARSHMELLO AND BASTILLE  HAPPIER

DRAKE  NONSTOP

ELLA MAI  TRIP

KHALID AND NORMANI  LOVE LIES

LIL WAYNE FT KENDRICK LAMAR  MONA LISA

BEBE REXHA I’M A MESS

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Playing to a Different Beat of a Drum

I always had my style and way of doing things. If it is my business, then I can run it any way I see fit. When you do a job a certain way and always get it done a certain way, then I may become difficult if one switch things up since you are used to do it a certain way. Sometimes it is good to step back and learn from the change.

During the September month, I had a Saturday off and decided to help out another Dj Company with a wedding. I met with the company and I was impressed with their structure and that they have been around over 20 years in the business. They have multiple djs under their wings and keep busy the whole year. This is what I learned and want to incorporate in my business.

Dress to impress. Weddings should be djed in suits or tuxedos. I enjoyed wearing suits but it would get super hot setting up heavy equipment. I understood one can wear a polo while setting up then put on the tie and jacket once everything is set up. Now in my business, I make it a standard to wear a suit and tie for weddings.

I also learned to do a walk though with the venue if I never played there before so I can be at ease on the day of the event since I know where the set up is going to be and know where all the outlets are going to be.

Last but not least, I was able to use a dj cart during the wedding event. Before I would carry all my equipment by hand and make 4 to 5 trips . With this dj cart, I can make two trips and it made a huge difference and felt way more efficient.

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The Power of the Thank You

When I am not compiling new playlists or looking up the latest music gear I am working at a public high school.  During the summer, I have the option of working or taking the summer off but I always opt to do summer school. I have the opportunity to run my own summer school program.

 

  On Sundays, a church rents out the school facilities and the church conducts their own services there.  One patron parked her car there and left with a friend to grab a bite to eat but once she came back the gates were locked and her car was stuck inside the school. The lady called me early Monday to make sure some one could open the gate and after talking to the custodian I assured her that her car could leave campus.

 

  Once she arrived on campus she called me again and I notified the custodian to open the gate for her. I then left to take care of school business. After I returned to the office, I noticed a missed phone call from the lady and I assumed it was her telling me the gates were closed and she is waiting for assistance. Quickly I called her back ready to apologize for the wait but before I did that I can tell she was driving on the phone. All she wanted to do was to call me to thank me for helping her get her car off campus. I was astounded since it is a rarity that someone goes out of their way to thank someone after they got what they wanted. I told her I appreciated her phone call and I shared it with the custodian. A little gratitude goes a long way.

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Ways to Find your Wedding Vendors

Ways to Find your Wedding Vendors

One way to find vendors is to ask someone who recently got married and ask for their input. The newly married person can give their recommendations and who to stay away from. 

 

Also once you secured your wedding vendor then you can ask them if there are people they worked with that would be a benefit to the wedding.  People in the industry know other folks in the industry and have seen and heard of their work. 

Also the venue may have their own preferred vendors to help you get ideas of who to select. Usually the preferred vendor has been there a few times and knows how the venue does their business. 

 

Another way would be to go under yelp and see who has good reviews. It is quite humorous how people trust stranger’s recommendations. Yelp uses an algorithm rank the top performers. I would trust someone with more reviews than someone less that 15. 

 

A way to find vendors would be to search under Google. Google will rank based on how often the vendor is searched. If the business is registered as a business then they will have Google reviews. 

 

Another way would to go to a bridal show. To actually set up a display at a bridal show as a vendor is very pricey. Vendors who invest in a booth are serious about their business to invest so much. Beware of the folks who hide behind the table. The best vendors are in front of the table and make them easy to approach. Be aware of those vendors that seem too pushy. Ideally, you would want to select someone you chose as opposed to someone who bullies you to buy his or her service.

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Ways to Save Money on the Wedding (so you have enough for your dj):

 

A way to save some dollars is to get married on a Friday or Sunday. If a Sunday is selected, then make sure a holiday Monday follows it to ensure your guest will stay longer.

 

If there is an option to have the ceremony and reception at the same location that can save time of commuting and places often give discounts since the couple are having both events at the same place. 

 

 

Having a buffet at the reception instead of a sit-down dinner will save money for the couple. Even if that is too much of a cost then appetizers can be served instead of a whole buffet. Brunch and lunch can be served instead of dinner to save on money.

 

 

Having liquor at the reception can be a high cost. It is more economic to have beer and wine at the reception and it can be done for a few hours or done the whole night unless the couple decides to do a paid bar.

 

Sometimes weddings are just for a small group of folks and it can be held at a restaurant. There is no need to pay for a rental space but only for the food and drink. Some restaurants have private rooms that may be reserved at no cost or a small fee.

 

 

An Officiate can help you with your budget or go over it. In California, officiants range from 250 to 500 dollars for the ceremony. And that does not even cover if they need extra audio for the ceremony if the venue does not provide it. In certain states, friends and family can be ordained and perform the ceremony. Please check if your state allows this.

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