New Jersey’s Top Wedding Venues (2016 Edition)

Through the years, we have had the opportunity to provide wedding DJ entertainment in many of the finer banquet halls located throughout the state of New Jersey.  In this article, we share our top wedding venue selections.  This is our third consecutive year counting down the top 25 wedding venues in New Jersey!  While our company is based in the Princeton area in central New Jersey, we perform across the state, from Cape May to Bergen County. With our referral sources and advertising programs scattered across New Jersey, we tour the Garden State heavily (it’s a lot of fun!) and you never know where Ambient DJ Service will pop up on any given weekend.

New Jersey offers an incredible array of quality wedding reception venues that are as diverse as the state itself. From rustic farm weddings to summer celebrations in the heart of the Jersey Shore to luxurious banquet halls with the most decadent Viennese spreads to romantic wineries, the Garden State is a great place to celebrate a wedding! We recommend couples to find a venue that suits their personal style. Do keep in mind that outdoors celebrations in unique venues can produce the most memorable parties, but that New Jersey’s weather is unpredictable.  You are well-advised to select a venue that offers a quality indoor alternative should the weather prove uncooperative.

To further explore the lures of New Jersey weddings, check out Erik Kent from NJWedding.com’s blog article “10 Reasons to Get Married in New Jersey”by clicking here.

What Makes an Exceptional Venue?

Factors that impress us:

  1. Natural beauty and ambience (how does the venue look both inside and out?);
  2. Friendly and service-oriented staff (preferably with long-term staff retention);
  3. Delicious food (DJs are often provided an entree);
  4. Venues that strive to deliver a personalized wedding experience for the bride and groom, and are not ‘wedding factories.’ The fact that a venue has multiple rooms doesn’t make it a wedding factory; rather, wedding factory refers to a mechanical approach to service.
  5. Well-maintained facilities – are the lobby, bathroom and parking lot clean and well-maintained? If a facility doesn’t care about its appearance, will it care about the details of your once-in-a-lifetime celebration?  As DJs, we possess a behind the scenes perspective that factors into our opinion of venues.

A bonus factor is a venue whose staff treats the DJ as a valued member of the wedding “team” and not as some jerky DJ. As DJs, we feel that love from the staff, and channel the good vibes back to the wedding guests. Conversely, a difficult banquet manager can present a barrier to us entertaining guests to the best of our abilities.  For ideas on how DJs can work better with wedding venues and other event pros, see our blog on this topic by clicking here.

Tips to Engaged Couples in Selecting a Venue

  1. Research your venue on WeddingWire (www.weddingwire.com), the Knot (www.theknot.com) or Yelp (www.yelp.com). See what past clients had to say about their experience. WeddingWire, for example, rates vendors on the factors of 1) Quality of Service, 2) Responsiveness, 3) Professionalism, 4) Value, and 5) Flexibility. You can bet that a bride who spent tens of thousands of dollars on a reception venue will be eager to rave about a wonderful experience or rant about a venue that fell short.
  2. Take special note of venues that won a recent “Knot Best Of” award. The Knot Best Of Award is a respected industry award based on online ratings/reviews from real wedding couples. It is more difficult to win than the WeddingWire Couples Choice award.
  3. Don’t underestimate the factor of service; try to look beyond the decor of the room and the food. A poorly trained, lackadaisical or apathetic staff can dilute the guest experience, even at a beautiful venue.
  4. Ask your wedding planner, DJ company or other wedding vendors for recommendations.

The Top 25 List

Here’s our list, presented in countdown fashion. Drumroll, please…

New Jersey has a wealth of excellent wedding reception venues. Our selected venues are based purely on personal experience. Our list is by no means all-inclusive. Any business relationships that we have with a banquet hall and the ease of load-in were NOT considered in compiling the list.  From year to year, our selections change as we discover new venues.

As a cross-check to our ratings, we’ve listed in parentheses WeddingWire’s average aggregate star rating (maximum 5 stars) and number of WeddingWire reviews as of mid-January.

(25) S.W. Bowne Great Hall (at Drew University in Madison, NJ) – Modeled after Oxford’s Christ Church hall (which was also replicated for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts), Drew’s Great Hall boasts a dramatic stone staircase and magnificent wood-paneled hall with leaded-glass windows.  This unique and stunning venue left an incredible impression on us for Christopher and Annie’s 2015 wedding.  However, Great Hall is currently only available to Drew alumni and staff.  This policy may change in the future according to Drew University’s event coordinator, so interested couples are encouraged to inquire.  Website:  www.drew.edu/calendar/event-rentals/ (unrated on WeddingWire) (photo below courtesy of Ed Hafizov of Zorz Studios (click on the Zorz Studios link for more photos of Great Hall)

SW_Bowne_Great_Hall_Zorz_Drew_University

(24) Hotel Icona Diamond Beach (Diamond Beach) –  For lovers of beach weddings, this contemporary, upscale all-suite hotel overlooks the ocean and is located on one of New Jersey’s only private beaches.  The 3,000 square foot luxury tent “The Pavilion” is located on the beach and available from May through October.  The Lani Rooftop is found on the hotel’s 3rd floor and open year-round.  Friendly and attentive management and staff. Website: www.iconaresortdiamondbeach.com (4 reviews, 4.9 average rating)

(23) Minerals Hotel (Hamburg) –  The Minerals Hotel at Crystal Springs Resort offers a  rustic pavilion for wedding receptions with beautiful views of the golf course below and mountains of the Appalachian Valley in the background.  The 175 room Minerals Hotel offers an array of year-round amenities, including its Elements Spa.  Friendly staff.  Website: www.crystalgolfresort.com/stay/minerals-hotel/ (4 WeddingWire reviews, 4.9 average rating)

(22)Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 3.35.29 PM The Hotel Alcott (Cape May) – The Hotel Alcott is a restored Italianate-bracketed villa located a block away from the Atlantic Ocean in the charming town of Cape May, NJ. No need to settle for mass-produced banquet hall food – Hotel Alcott’s chef serves delicious entrees with artistic flair. The lobster bisque soup and filet mignon are must tries. Website: www.hotelalcott.com (20 reviews, 4.8 average rating)

(21) The Prallsville Mill (Stockton)– The Prallsville Mill is a historic grist mill located on the Delaware River in Stockton NJ. This unique and intimate venue is particularly well-suited for rustic Fall weddings. The dance party action occurs downstairs, where historic mill equipment and whirlpools add to the ambience. Website: www.brillmansrentalbarn.com (4 reviews, 3.5 average rating)

(20) Triumph Brewery (Princeton) – Located directly across the street from Princeton University in the bustling downtown area, Triumph Brewery is a unique space that can be reserved for your wedding. Imagine guests enjoying craft beers brewed onsite with huge metal beer tanks looming in the background. Triumph’s professional management team is very well-regarded. Website: www.triumphbrewing.com (5 reviews, 5.0 average rating)

(19) The Barn at Perona Farms (Andover) –  The newest addition to the Perona Farms estate (under family ownership since 1917) is its newly-renovated rustic barn.  The barn has been transformed into a modern facility and possesses a visual “wow factor” both inside and out.  The house uplighting is particularly striking.  Website:  www.peronafarms.com (146 reviews, 4.8 average rating)

sarahandmichael4

(18) The Sunset Ballroom at Jack Bakers (Pt. Pleasant) – Located on the Point Pleasant side of the Manasquan Inlet, the bride can arrive for an onsite ceremony by boat. The venue offers beautiful views, delicious food and a friendly staff. Pt. Pleasant offers many fun options for the “afterparty” and is also a family-friendly town for visiting guests. Website: www.thesunsetballroom.com (44 reviews, 4.8 average rating)

(17) The Shadowbrook (Shrewsbury) –  We love the Shadowbrook for its beautiful gardens, perfect to host an onsite wedding ceremony and cocktail hour.  Indoors, its wood-paneled Oak Room and adjacent Horseshoe Bar inevitably host lively dance parties.  In February 2015, Robert Zweben who had been the sole owner for 20-plus years retired and sold the mansion and its surrounding 18 acres of property to the current owners of the renowned Venetian in Garfield and Seasons in Washington Township.  Upgrades to the interior of the mansion are currently underway.  Be sure to ask about the Shadowbrook’s caviar/vodka bar option for cocktail hour!  Website:  www.shadowbrook.com (102 reviews, 4.9 average rating).

IMG_2544

(16) The Inn at Fernbrook Farms (Chesterfield) – The spacious grounds include beautiful seasonal gardens, a cottage and water tower. Tented wedding receptions are the norm here. Max Hansen, the recommended caterer, provides a delicious ensemble of gourmet food. The Inn at Fernbrook Farms is particularly well-suited for a rustic Fall wedding. Website: www.innatfernbrookfarms.com (14 reviews, 4.2 average rating)

(15) The Merion (Cinnaminson) – The Merion is a grand, majestic complex offering numerous magnificent European-designed ballrooms. The Empire Ballroom is a particular favorite of ours, sporting the perfect environment for a Great Gatsby/Roaring Twenties party. Many couples opt for the Skylight Ballroom (with its distinctive dome) on the third floor. The Merion’s Viennese-style cocktail hours and desserts are over the top and may leave you in a state of food intoxication. We also enjoy their special “Rose Parade” (at the beginning of a reception) and “Sparkler Entrance” (for the unveiling of the desserts). Website: www.themerion.com (192 reviews, 4.8 average rating)

(14) The Lake Valhalla Club (Montville) – The Lake Valhalla Club is a building of Tudor-style architecture, rich in character with a dark, classical interior.  The Lake Valhalla Club is the antidote to large, impersonal banquet halls.  Great food and service.  An onsite ceremony with the beautiful lake in the background is highly recommended. During warmer months, newly married couples can enjoy a boat ride on Lake Valhalla and capture some epic photos in the process. Website: www.lakevalhallaclub.com (62 reviews, 4.9 average rating)

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 3.39.39 PM

(13) The Conservatory at The Madison Hotel (Morristown) – The English-style Conservatory is the top attraction at this historic and well-appointed hotel. The glass Conservatory, with its hanging plants is beautiful for either a daytime reception or evening celebration dancing under the stars. Website: www.madisonhotelweddings.com (106 reviews, 4.8 average rating)

(12)Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 3.34.19 PM Reeds at Shelter Haven (Stone Harbor) –   A recent entrant to the Cape May area wedding scene, Reeds offers a modern, luxury boutique hotel featuring sparkling views of the bayside harbor from its Sweet Grass Ballroom.  The hotel is decorated in warm earth tones, richly inspired by nature and the sea.  Delicious food and friendly management and staff.  Website:  www.reedsatshelterhaven.com         (11 reviews, 4.7 average rating)

(11) The Liberty House Restaurant (Jersey City) – With a jaw-dropping view of the lower Manhattan skyline directly across the Hudson River and the most delicious Chilean Sea Bass ever, the Liberty House shines.  Website: www.libertyhouserestaurant.com (109 reviews, 4.8 average rating)

libertyhouse

(10) Laurita Winery (New Egypt) – New Jersey offers numerous vineyard options for weddings.  Laurita Winery, located in Central NJ in New Egypt (not so far from Six Flags Great Adventure) is our favorite for its upscale and trendy environment.  The picturesque grounds and venue are top notch.  Website:  www.lauritawinery.com (20 reviews, 4.8 average rating).

(9) Park Savoy Estate (Florham Park) – This recently renovated turn-of-the-century mansion features cozy fireplaces, an exquisite bridal suite and details only seen in the great mansions of Newport Rhode Island, and is enhanced with floor to ceiling windows.  Take a stroll through the beautiful onsite gardens.  Website www.theparksavoy.com (197 reviews, 5.0 average rating).  Also consider Park Savoy’s sister property, Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville (www.naninasinthepark.com)

(8) David’s Country Inn (Hackettstown) – Outstanding food and service in a venue oozing country charm, David’s Country Inn is a stand out venue in Warren County. For an onsite ceremony, the bride can dramatically process down a grand staircase. Regarding staff longevity, three staff members have been with David’s for more than 25 years! Also check out the antique coffee maker in the cocktail hour space. Website: www.davidscountryinn.com (77 reviews, 5.0 average rating)

(7) The Hamilton Manor (Hamilton NJ) – The Hamilton Manor is a modern venue in the Hamilton/Bordentown area that can host a wedding of up to 500 guests. Its Grand Ballroom features 20 foot high ceilings, antique chandeliers, a dramatic staircase for grand entrances and beautifully-restored mahogany floors. The Salzano Family runs a top-notch professional operation and continues to expand the property, most recently with a covered outdoor patio barn (for cocktail hours, pictured below) and outdoor ceremony area.  Many North Jersey couples are choosing the Hamilton Manor based in Central NJ for its North Jersey style amenities, but at a Central NJ price point. Website: www.thehamiltonmanor.com (105 reviews, 4.9 average rating)

Team_Ambient_DJ_Hamilton_Manor

(6) The Estate at Florentine Gardens (River Vale) – This newly renovated and expanded Georgian-style mansion features expansive gardens, a grand ballroom with views of the gardens (the gardens look striking in the evening with the trees lit up), world class cuisine (the Chateaubriand is incredible), and an attentive professional management team and staff.  An in-house A/V company offers an exciting array of lighting and video options. Website:  www.florentinegardens.com (336 reviews, 4.9 average rating)

(5) The Stone House at Stirling Ridge (Warren) – The architecture and design of the Stone House stand out, evoking a modern California lodge feel.  As per their website, “this space is designed with classic, clean lines, patterned wood and stone floors, a neutral color pallet and an appreciation for the scenic beauty that is part of this secluded location.” The food is exceptional, utilizing vegetables and herbs grown on a local communal farm. Choose from either the traditional ballroom or the artsy “Gallery” – each with its own ceremony and cocktail areas. Banquet manager Frank always offers a warm smile to DJs and guests! Website: www.stonehouseatstirlingridge.com (51 reviews, 4.8 average rating)

(4) The Nassau Inn (Princeton) – Our company is based in the Princeton area, and the Nassau Inn, located in Palmer Square, has always been a favorite of ours, capturing the history of this great town.  The Inn offers several classy, prestigious party rooms to choose from.  In an industry where rapid staff turnover and transient workers are the norm, it is refreshing to see many of the same waitstaff and banquet managers year after year at the Nassau Inn. Be sure to check out its recently renovated Prince William Ballroom.  Palmer Square, Princeton University and the iconic Princeton Record Exchange offer wonderful photo opportunities for wedding photos or an engagement photo shoot.  The wintery photo below is credited to our friend Kyo from Kyo Morishima Photography. Website: www.nassauinn.com (33 reviews, 4.9 average rating)

Winter-wedding-2_Nassau_Inn_Credit_Kyo_Morishima

(3) The Palace at Somerset Park (Somerset) – For those with champagne wishes and caviar dreams, the opulent Palace is the perfect venue. Located on a palatial estate, the Palace includes two magnificent ballrooms with separate entrances. The bridal suite, located upstairs, is a modern oasis of massive dimensions. Use the outdoor balcony for your own private fireworks show. Website: www.palacesomersetpark.com (196 reviews, 4.9 average rating)

Ferretti_Palace

(2) Clark’s Landing Yacht Club (Pt. Pleasant) – With a new luxurious ballroom with high ceilings and panoramic windows fronting the water, a top notch management team and sumptuous food (particularly for cocktail hour), Clarks Landing is a standout selection.  An added plus is that DJs plug their mixing board into an in-house sound system with speakers built into the ceiling above the dancefloor.  The result is that dancers enjoy louder music, while guests seated at tables are not blasted out of the room (a frequent complaint against DJs and bands at weddings).  Regarding management, we’ve witnessed the intense and detailed staff prep meeting. Clarks Landing is clearly committed to superior service and the results show.  Clarks also wishes past wedding couples happy anniversary on their Facebook page! Website: www.clarkslandingcaterers.com (215 reviews, 5.0 average rating)

(1) The Pleasantdale Chateau (West Orange) – Congratulations to the Pleasantdale Chateau for repeating this year as our top pick!  The Pleasantdale Chateau is the ideal venue for those couples seeking an elegant, custom fairytale wedding. With a long and storied history dating back to the 1800s, the original building was constructed in an English Georgian architectural style in the early 1900s by industrial leader Charles Walter Nichols. In 1994, the Knowles Family acquired the estate and commenced a series of restorations that gave deference to the Chateau’s history, but also made the property more accessible to the public. This venue has that “wow factor” that is hard to describe with words but is impossible to miss when attending an event here. Enjoy your cocktail hour in the distinctive “Music Room,” chat with friends in the library and stroll through luxurious parlors. A hidden gem of the Pleasantdale Chateau is Maitre d’ Santiago Sevilla who makes each and every guest (and wedding vendor) feel like a VIP. Thanks Santiago! Website: www.pleasantdale.com (41 reviews, 4.8 average rating)

IMG_0439

Comments are welcome. Please let us know what venues would be on your list of favorites!  For any banquet managers interested in providing us an introduction to your venue, please contact us at info@ambientdj.com or p 609.672.1270

For More Information

For an alternate and humorous venue selection methodology, check out the blog of “Dad Needs Help” who evaluated wedding venues based on their bathroom amenities. Read the article by clicking here

Already booked a venue and need musical ideas for your big day? Then click here to view Ambient DJs’ “Wedding Music Master Class 2016” that contains over 1,800 song ideas spanning ceremony music, First Dance songs, Parent Dance songs, Cake Cutting Songs, Bouquet Garter Songs, grand entrance songs, grand finale songs, 65 themed cocktail hour playlists and 10 songs NOT to play at a wedding.

Wedding_Music_Master_Class_2016_Sarah_Michael

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey specializing in wedding DJ entertainment. Ambient DJ is a 2016 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award as well as of the WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award.  As of mid-January, we had 160 WeddingWire reviews with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5.0 stars.

We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! We would be delighted to perform at your wedding in the New Jersey / Philadelphia / New York Tri-State area, or destination wedding. For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at www.ambientdj.com.

 

Advertisements

Top 100 Dance Floor Movers of 2015 by DJ Iron Mike

Michael Bacon, aka “DJ Iron Mike” is a talented and hard-working mobile DJ based in New Jersey.  Spinning for Ambient DJ Service since 2007, we’ve dubbed him “the hardest working DJ in New Jersey.”  Mike also serves as our Head of Musical Programming given his deep musical knowledge across numerous genres – old and new.
Iron_Mike_Yacht_Bio_Photo_2013
When asked to compile his top songs of 2015, Mike got ambitious and submitted the following list titled “Top 100 100 Dance Floor Movers of 2015.”  Mike deliberately omitted slow dances like “Thinking Out Loud” and “Earned It” – instead focusing on well… songs that actually make guests dance around and move!  Mike’s picks are listed in countdown fashion, and based on actual crowd reactions from some of his regular haunts like The Golden Rail Pub, Pure Lounge and Perle – plus, from his experiences on the wedding DJ circuit.  While a small amount of personal taste was applied, Mike states that his picks were mostly based on live experiences with these tracks.
Enough banter… behold DJ Iron Mike’s Top 100 Dance Floor Movers of 2015.  Drumroll please….!

The Top 100 Dance Floor Movers of 2015 (Listed in Countdown Fashion)

100. Bills – Lunchmoney Lewis
99. Love Myself – Haliee Steinfeld
98. Fun – Pitbull f/ Chris Brown
97. Downtown – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/ Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee & Grandmaster Caz
96. Blessings – Big Sean f/ Drake
95. Waiting for Love – Avicii
94. I Don’t Like It, I Love It – Flo-Rida f/ Robin Thicke & Verdine White
93. Ginza – J. Balvin
92. One More Time – Ariana Grande
91. Automatic – ZHU f/ Aluna DeGeorge
90. All Eyes On You – Meek Mill f/ Nicki Minaj
89. S.A.X. – Laidback Luke & Tujamo
88. Sun Goes Down – David Guetta & Showtek f/ Sonny Wilson
87. Save Dat Money – Lil’ Dicky f/ Fetty Wap & Rich Homie Quan
86. Where Ya At – Drake & Future
85. Dear Future Husband – Meghan Trainor
84. Tonight Belongs to U – Jeremih f/ Flo-Rida
83. El Perdon – Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias
82. We Are – Justin Bieber f/ Nas
81. Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne
80. Levels – Nick Jonas
79. Lay It All On Me – Rudimental f/ Ed Sheeran
78. Satisfied – Showtek f/ Vassy
77. Betta Have My Money – Rihanna
76. Antidote – Travis Scott
75. Body On Me (remix) – Rita Ora f/ Chris Brown & Fetty Wap
74. Jungle Bae – Skrillex & Diplo f/ Bunji Garlin
73. Sledgehammer – Fifth Harmony
72. Holding On – Disclosure f/ Gregory Porter
71. Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King
70. Nasty Freestyle – T-Wayne
69. Light it Up – Major Lazer f/ Nyla & ODG
68. Summerthing! – Afrojack f/ Mike Taylor
67. My Way – Fetty Wap
66. Five More Hours – Deorro f/ Chris Brown
65. Cool for the Summer – Demi Lovato
64. Right Hand – Drake
63. IDFWU – Big Sean f/ E-40
62. I Don’t Mind – Usher f/ Juicy J
61. Be Real – Kid Ink f/ Dej Loaf
60. House Every Weekend – David Zowie
59. Four Five Seconds (DJ Mustard remix) – Kanye West f/ Rihanna & Paul McCartney
58. House Party – Sam Hunt
57. Feelin’ Myself – Nicki Minaj f/ Beyonce
56. Cake by The Ocean – DNCE
55. Good For You – Selena Gomez f/ A$AP Rocky
54. Ayo – Chris Brown f/ Tyga
53. Cool – Alesso f/ Roy English
52. The Fix – Nelly f/ Jeremih
51. Intoxicated – Martin Solveig & GTA
50. Roses – Chainsmokers f/ Rozes
49. Hit The Quan – iHeartMemphis
48. You Know You Like It – DJ Snake f/ Aluna Degeorge
47. Commas – Future
46. Blind Heart – Cazette f/ Terri B.
45. Not Letting Go – Tinie Tempah f/ Jess Glynne
44. Want to Want Me – Jason Derulo
43. Talking Body – Tove Lo
42. Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
41. The Water Dance (remix) – Chris Porter f/ Pitbull
40. How Deep Is Your Love – Calvin Harris f/ Disciples
39. Classic (remix) – The Knocks f/ Powers & Fetty Wap
38. Locked Away – R. City f/ Adam Levine
37. Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooo) – Rich Homie Quan
36. Where Are You Now – Skrillex & Diplo f/ Justin Bieber
35. Jumpman – Drake & Future
34. Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
33. Again – Fetty Wap
32. GDFR – Flo-Rida f/ Sage The Gemini
31. Classic Man – Jidanna f/ Roman Gianarthur
30. Worth It – Fifth Harmony f/ Kid Ink
29. 7-11 – Beyonce
28. Hey Mama – David Guetta f/ Afrojack & Nicki Minaj
27. Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy
26. She Knows – Ne-Yo f/ Juicy J
25. Post to Be – Omarion f/ Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko
24. Jealous (remix) Nick Jonas f/ Tinashe
23. Tuesday – iLoveMakonnen f/ Drake
22. What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber
21. Honey I’m Good – Andy Grammer
20. The Hills – The Weeknd
19. Bad Blood – Taylor Swift f/ Kendrick Lamar
18. Omen – Disclosure f/ Sam Smith
17. Truffle Butter – Nicki Minaj f/ Drake & Lil’ Wayne
16. Habibi (I Need Your Love) – Shaggy f/ Mohombi, Faydee, Costi
15. Somebody – Natalie La Rose f/ Jeremih
14. Sugar  – Maroon Five
13. Hotline Bling – Drake
12. Style – Taylor Swift
11. Sorry – Justin Bieber
10. Watch Me – Silento
9. Cheerleader – OMI
8. Blank Space – Taylor Swift
7. Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
6. 679 – Fetty Wap f/ Remy Boyz
5. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
4. Time of Our Lives – Pitbull f/ Ne-Yo
3. Trap Queen – Fetty Wap
2. Lean On – Major Lazer f/ DJ Snake & Mo
1. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson f/ Bruno Mars

For More Information

To book DJ Iron Mike for your next wedding, teen dance party, family party or bar/club gig, connect with us online at www.ambientdj.com  Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central NJ specializing in wedding DJ entertainment , Sweet 16 DJ entertainment and corporate DJ entertainment.

To view DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 25 Dance Floor Hits of 2015, see https://ambientdj.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/the-top-25-songs-of-2015-by-dj-gregg-ambient/

To view Ambient DJs’ 2016 Wedding Music Master Class, click here

>

2016 Wedding Music Master Class

Congratulations on your engagement! Now it’s time to start planning. Building an appropriate musical playlist for a wedding can be a daunting task for many couples. Special songs such as parent dances can be particularly challenging.

Welcome to the Wedding Music Master Class, updated for 2016. This blog article is published by wedding entertainment specialist Ambient DJ Service. The Wedding Music Master Class is now in its fourth year of publication and contains over 1,800 hand-selected songs. We hope this blog will make planning your wedding a bit easier.

Who is Ambient DJ Service? Ambient DJ is a New Jersey-based mobile DJ company specializing in weddings. We are a 2016 winner of The Knot Best of Weddings and WeddingWire Couples Choice Award. Music is our business – and our passion!

20150419-Ambient-Photoshoot-7

Unfortunately, there are many inferior musical playlists circulating the internet that were not compiled by working wedding professionals. To that end, we are sharing this Master List of our best song ideas for a wedding: from ceremony music, to the reception portion with lists for Grand Entrance songs, First Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Dance, Cake Cutting, Bouquet and Garter songs and Grand Finale songs. We also share our Top 100 Songs for a 2016 Wedding, 78 Themed Cocktail Hour playlists, 10 Songs NOT to play at a wedding, 7 Musical Programming Tips for a Wedding, and more. The majority of the songs in this blog were used by our actual clients, while the rest were selected with great care with regards to lyrics, mood and danceability.

An important enhancement to this year’s Master Class is that each section of song selections are followed by links to our Spotify channel where you can listen to the music. We recommend using Spotify as a powerful online resource to help organize your wedding song ideas. Create a free Spotify account, start a playlist, and begin adding your song candidates to it.

If you find these lists and ideas useful, please share them with a friend by posting on Social Media. You can follow us on Facebook here or on Pinterest here. We are a New Jersey-based mobile DJ entertainment company with an expertise in weddings. If you are a New Jersey-based bride or groom, please keep us in mind for your special day!

For a wealth of additional planning tips, check out our book available on Amazon “The Bride’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Wedding DJ”. It is available as either a hard copy or ebook.

Now let’s get into the music!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Wedding Ceremony Music – Classical Selections (Prelude or Processional unless otherwise noted)

  1. Canon in D – Pachelbel
  2. Sleepers Awake – Johann Sebastian Bach
  3. Sarabande – Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. Air on a G String – Johann Sebastian Bach
  5. Nimrod (from Enigma Variations) – Edward Elgar
  6. Romantic Pieces, Op. 75 (Allegro Moderato) – Antonin Dvorak
  7. I Was Glad – Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (used by Prince William & Princess Kate)
  8. Spring (from The Four Seasons) – Antonio Vivaldi
  9. Bridal Chorus (“Here Comes the Bride”) – Richard Wagner (* do not use for Jewish couples)
  10. Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark’s March) – Jeremiah Clarke
  11. Trumpet Tune – Henry Purcell
  12. Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy
  13. Gymnopedies No. 1 – Erik Satie
  14. Highland Cathedral – Phil Coulter (Celtic selection)
  15. Alla Hornpipe – G.F. Handel (recessional)
  16. Wedding March – Felix Mendelssohn (recessional) (* do not use for Jewish couples)
  17. Scotland the Brave – Boston Pops Orchestra (recessional, Celtic)

Wedding Ceremony Music – Modern Selections (Prelude or Processional unless otherwise noted)

  1. La Califfa – Sung by Sarah Brightman
  2. Paint the Sky with Stars – Enya
  3. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
  4. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  5. 1, 2, 3, 4 – Cover Version of Plain White Tees performed by Vitamin String Quartet
  6. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  7. Halo – Beyonce
  8. A Thousand Years (piano instrumental) – The Piano Guys
  9. Bittersweet Symphony (instrumental only) – The Verve
  10. Bless the Broken Road (piano instrumental) – performed by The O’Neill Brothers
  11. Songbird (cover) – Eva Cassidy
  12. Bellissimo – Ilya
  13. Fairytale – Enya
  14. Angels – Robin Thicke
  15. Ribbon in the Sky – Stevie Wonder
  16. This Ring – T. Carter Music
  17. Holocene – Cover Version of Bon Iver performed by Vitamin String Quartet
  18. The Prayer (instrumental) – The O’Neill Brothers (candlelighting or sand ceremony)
  19. Here We Stand – T. Carter Music (candlelighting or sand ceremony)
  20. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – “Iz” (candelighting or sand ceremony)
  21. All You Need is Love – Beatles (recessional)
  22. The Dog Days are Over – Florence and the Machine (recessional)
  23. Everlasting Love (This Will Be) – Natalie Cole
  24. Cheerleader – OMI (recessional)
  25. You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne (recessional)

To listen to these wedding ceremony song ideas on Spotify, click here.

Helpful Hints – Looking for a blend of classical and modern? Check out the strings arrangements of classic rock, modern rock, Indie rock and dance music performed by the Vitamin String Quartet (www.vitaminstringquartet.com). For special songs that were custom-written for weddings, visit T. Carter Music or Wedding Music Central. To read Ambient DJ’s interview with Wedding Music Central, click here. To read Ambient DJ’s interview with T. Carter Music, click here.

sarahandmichael1

Grand Entrance Songs for Wedding Reception

  1. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson w/ Bruno Mars (pop/funk)
  2. Sugar – Maroon 5 (pop)
  3. Theme Song from Star Wars (soundtracks)
  4. Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) – Silento (hip hop)
  5. Cheerleader – OMI (reggae/tropical)
  6. Turn Down for What – DJ Snake w/ Lil’ Jon (trap music)
  7. It Takes Scoop (Mashup) – Fatman Scoop (hip hop)
  8. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon (dance)
  9. Boneless – Steve Aoki (EDM)
  10. Top Gun Anthem – Harold Faltermeyer (soundtracks)
  11. Chank – John Scofield (funky jazz)
  12. Booty Swing – Parov Stelar (electro-swing)
  13. Happy – Pharrell Williams (pop)
  14. Best Day of My Life – American Authors (pop)
  15. Forever – Chris Brown (pop)
  16. Marry You – Bruno Mars (pop)
  17. United State of Pop 2015 (50 Shades of Pop) – DJ Earworm (mash-up)
  18. How Deep is Your Love – Calvin Harris & the Disciples (electronic)
  19. Time of Our Lives – Pitbull f/ Ne-Yo (dance)
  20. Tremor – Dmitri Vegas, Martin Garrix and Like Mike (EDM)
  21. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO (dance)
  22. Pump It Up – Danzel (dance)
  23. Bailando (Gregor Salto Remix) – Enrique Iglesias f/ Sean Paul (Latin/Trap)
  24. Now That We Found Love – Heavy D. and the Boyz (90s/dance)
  25. Paper Planes – M.I.A. (alternative)
  26. You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates (80s)
  27. I Blame You – Ledisi (R&B)
  28. When Love Takes Over – David Guetta f/Kelly Rowland (dance)
  29. Thunderstruck – AC/DC (rock)
  30. I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness (modern rock)
  31. The Final Countdown – Europe (80s glam rock)
  32. Let’s Get Married (Remix f/ Reverend Run) – Jagged Edge (R&B)
  33. Beautiful Day – U2 (rock)
  34. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts (country)
  35. Theme Song from Pirates of the Caribbean (soundtracks)
  36. Theme Song form the Avengers (soundtracks)
  37. Sirius – Alan Parsons Project (i.e. Chicago Bulls theme song)
  38. Heavy Action – Johnny Pearson (i.e. Monday Night football theme song)
  39. Viva La Vida – Coldplay (modern rock)
  40. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns and Roses (rock)
  41. I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas (dance)
  42. Pursuit of Happiness (clean version) – Steve Aoki (EDM)
  43. We Will Rock You – Queen (rock)
  44. Bring Em’ Out – T.I. (hip hop)
  45. Levels – Avicii (EDM)
  46. Give Me Everything Tonight – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo and Nayer (dance)

To listen to these wedding grand entrance song ideas on Spotify, click here.

First Dance Songs – Modern or Alternative Selections

  1. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (pop)
  2. I Will Be There – Odessa (indie)
  3. Last Night on Earth – Green Day (rock)
  4. Between The Raindrops – Lifehouse f/ Natasha Bedingfield
  5. Grow Old With Me – The Postal Service (indie)
  6. Hey Pretty Girl – Kip Moore (country)
  7. Whatever It Is – Zac Brown Band (country)
  8. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding (pop)
  9. Like I’m Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor w/ John Legend (pop)
  10. All of Me – John Legend (R&B)
  11. Earned It – The Weeknd (R&B/Soundtrack)
  12. I Choose You – Sara Bareilles (pop)
  13. Cinema (Cover Version) – Jason Evigan (acoustic rock)
  14. Then – Brad Paisley (country)
  15. You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne (folk rock)
  16. Wanted – Hunter Hayes (country)
  17. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri (pop)
  18. Best Friend – Jason Mraz (pop)
  19. Just a Kiss – Lady Antebellum (country)
  20. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton (country)
  21. Me and You – Kenny Chesney (country)
  22. Smile – Uncle Kracker (pop)
  23. Cheerleader – OMI (Reggae/Tropical)
  24. Fade Into You – Mazzy Star (alternative rock)
  25. Such Great Heights – Iron & Wine (alternative)
  26. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes (alternative)
  27. The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice (folk rock)
  28. I Only Have Eyes for You – Jamie Cullum (cover)
  29. Marry Me – Train (pop)
  30. Count on Me – Bruno Mars (pop)
  31. True Companion – Marc Cohn (folk rock)
  32. I Don’t Dance – Lee Brice (country)
  33. Head Over Heels – Rascal Flatts (country)
  34. Love Never Fails – Brandon Heath (acoustic)
  35. Of Crows and Crowns – Dustin Kensrue (Christian)
  36. You and Me – Lifehouse (modern rock)
  37. Tangled Up in You – Staind (rock)
  38. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (pop rock)
  39. Better Together – Jack Johnson (folk rock)
  40. I’ll Be – Edwin McCain (pop rock)
  41. Low Light – Pearl Jam (rock)
  42. Two Luv Birds – Robin Thicke (R&B)
  43. By Your Side – Sade (R&B)
  44. No One – Alicia Keys (R&B)
  45. Stay With You – John Legend (R&B)
  46. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones (adult contemporary)
  47. The Way You Look Tonight – Michael Buble
  48. Fallen – Lauren Wood (from Pretty Woman sountrack)
  49. Lovesong – The Cure, or 311 (80s/New Wave)
  50. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson (indie folk)
  51. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) – The Talking Heads (for stripped down acoustic version, check out Shawn Colvin’s rendition) (80s/New Wave)
  52. All Mine – Portishead (electronic downtempo)
  53. Angels – The XX (electronic downtempo)
  54. Holocene – Bon Iver (indie rock)
  55. The Luckiest – Ben Folds (pop rock)
  56. My Favourite Book – Stars (indie pop)
  57. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (acoustic rock)
  58. I Could Not Ask for More – Edwin McCain (pop rock)
  59. When the Stars Go Blue – Ryan Adams (indie)
  60. I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie (indie)
  61. History in the Making – Darius Rucker (country)

To listen to these modern first dance song ideas on Spotify, click here.

First Dance Songs – Traditional and Timeless Selections

  1. When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge (soul)
  2. My One and Only Love – John Coltrane w/ Johnny Hartman (jazz/vocalist)
  3. Little Trip to Heaven – Tom Waits (jazz/vocalist)
  4. You Make Me Feel Brand New – The Stylistics (soul)
  5. The Closer I Get to You – Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (soul)
  6. These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding (soul)
  7. It Had To Be You – Harry Connick, Jr. (jazz/big band)
  8. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (big band) or Tony Bennett (ballad)
  9. Crazy Love – Van Morrison (acoustic rock)
  10. My Baby Just Cares for Me – Nina Simone (soul)
  11. I Will – The Beatles (pop rock)
  12. Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts (country)
  13. Amazed – Lonestar (country)
  14. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton (rock)
  15. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders (rock)
  16. Love of a Lifetime – Firehouse (rock)
  17. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis (oldies)
  18. Faithfully – Journey (rock)
  19. Heaven – Bryan Adams (80s)
  20. I Will Be Here – Steven Curtis Chapman (Christian)
  21. Don’t Want To Miss a Thing – Aerosmith (rock)
  22. I Want to Know What Love is – Foreigner (rock)
  23. Is This Love – Bob Marley (reggae)
  24. Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix (classic rock)
  25. At Last – Etta James (soul)
  26. Always and Forever – Heatwave (R&B)
  27. All My Life – K.C. and Jojo (R&B)
  28. Through the Fire – Chaka Khan (R&B)
  29. Here and Now – Luther Vandross (R&B)
  30. One in a Million You – Larry Graham (R&B)
  31. Ribbon in the Sky – Stevie Wonder (R&B)
  32. From This Moment – Shania Twain w/Bryan White (country)
  33. It’s Your Love – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (country)
  34. I Cross My Heart – George Strait (country)
  35. I Swear – John Michael Montgomery (country)
  36. Best of My Love – The Eagles (soft rock)
  37. How Deep is Your Love – The Bee Gees (disco/soft rock)
  38. Crazy for You – Madonna (80s)
  39. Lost in Love – Air Supply (soft rock)
  40. Into the Mystic – Van Morrison (soft rock)
  41. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers (oldies)
  42. We Have All the Time in the World – Louis Armstrong (jazz/vocalist)
  43. Follow You, Follow Me – Genesis (pop)

To listen to these classic first dance song ideas on Spotify, click here.

First Dance Songs -Used by Celebrities

  1. Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux – “Chandelier” – Sia (live performance)
  2. Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt – “It Had to Be You” – Frank Sinatra
  3. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia deRossi – “Ribbon in the Sky” – Stevie Wonder
  4. Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odum – “Angel” – Anita Baker
  5. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto – “On the Ocean” – K’Jon
  6. John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette – “Forever in My Life” – Prince
  7. John F. Kennedy and Jackie O. – “I Married an Angel” – performed by The Meyer Davis Orchestra at the Waldorf Astoria, NYC
  8. Prince William and Princess Kate – “Your Song” by Elton John, performed live by Ellie Goulding
  9. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama – “You and I” – Stevie Wonder
  10. Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz – “First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes
  11. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Tosh – “Make You Feel My Love” – Bob Dylan
  12. Shannen Doherty and Kurt Iswarienko – “My Baby Just Cares for Me” – Nina Simone
  13. Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman – “No One’s Gonna Love You” – Band of Horses
  14. Fergie and Josh Duhamel – “Sweethearts Together” – The Rolling Stones
  15. Ivanka Trump and Jason Kushner – “This Years’ Love” – David Gray
  16. Michael Buble and Luisano Lopilato – “Everybody Loves Somebody” – Dean Martin
  17. LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian – “When It Don’t Come Easy” – Patti Griffin
  18. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban – “At Last” – Etta James
  19. Shania Twain and Frederic Thiebauld – “I’m Your Man” – Michael Buble
  20. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton – “No Doubt About It” – Neal McCoy
  21. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes – “Songbird” – Fleetwood Mac
  22. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards – “Open Arms” – Journey
  23. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan – “Last Night on Earth” – Green Day
  24. Katherine Heigl & Josh Kelley – “Heavenly Day” – Patti Griffin
  25. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott – “Amazed” – Lonestar
  26. Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher – “Love Never Fails” – Brandon Heath
  27. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin – “Why Shouldn’t I? – Cole Porter

Father-Daughter Dance

  1. Father & Daughter – Paul Simon (folk rock)
  2. Daddy Dance With Me – Krystal Keith (country) (for alternate version, try Krystal’s duet with Christopher Keith)
  3. I Loved Her First – Heartland (country)
  4. Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman (vocalist)
  5. Upside Down – Jack Johnson (folk rock)
  6. Walk With You – Edwin McCain (acoustic rock)
  7. My Little Girl – Tim McGraw (country)
  8. Stealing Cinderella – Chuck Wicks (country)
  9. Mom – Garth Brooks (country)
  10. Ready, Set, Don’t Go – Billy Ray Cyrus (country)
  11. Just Fishin’ – Trace Atkins (country)
  12. Daddy’s Angel – T. Carter (Wedding/Country)
  13. Dad, You’re My Hero – Teresa James (Wedding)
  14. Daddy’s Little Girl – Michael Buble or Al Martino (vocalists)
  15. I Believe in Happy Endings – Neil Diamond (vocalists)
  16. Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion (vocalists)
  17. Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle (Christian)
  18. Daughters – John Mayer (pop)
  19. Daughter – Loudon Wainwright III (folk)
  20. My Little Girl – Steve Kirwan (wedding)
  21. Gracie – Ben Folds (singer/songwriter)
  22. Time in a Bottle – Jim Croce (singer/songwriter)
  23. If It Wasn’t For Your Love – Heather Headley
  24. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – “Iz” (Acoustic/Hawaiian)
  25. Look to the Rainbow – Astrud Gilberto (Brazilian/International)
  26. Tu Guardian – Juanes (Latin)
  27. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban (classical)
  28. Unforgettable – Natalie Cole w/Nat King Cole (wedding classic)
  29. Daddy – Beyonce (R&B)
  30. Ballerina Girl – Lionel Ritchie (80s ballad)
  31. Isn’t She Lovely -Stevie Wonder (soul) (note: we recommend editing out the intro section with crying baby)
  32. My Girl – The Temptations (Motown/Soul)
  33. Wildflowers – Tom Petty (acoustic rock)

To listen to these Father-Daughter song ideas on Spotify, click here.

Mother-Son Dance

  1. Never Alone – Jim Brickman f/ Lady Antebellum w/ Hillary Scott
  2. Mama – Lunchmoney Lewis (upbeat pop, fun song!)
  3. All to You – DJ Keo (country)
  4. My Wish – Rascal Flatts (country)
  5. Stand By Me – Ben E. King (soul)
  6. A Mother’s Song- T. Carter Music (wedding/country)
  7. On This Day – Christian Barnes (wedding)
  8. Mom – Garth Brooks (country)
  9. Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney (country)
  10. I’ll Always Love My Mama – The Intruders (R&B/Soul)
  11. There You’ll Be – Faith Hill (country)
  12. Singing a Song for My Mother – Bohannon (R&B/Soul)
  13. A Song for Mama – Boyz II Men (R&B/Soul)
  14. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban (classical)
  15. I Wish You Love – Luke Higgins
  16. Close to You – The Carpenters (soft rock)
  17. Child of Mine – Carole King (folk)
  18. Song for My Son – Mikki Viereck (wedding)
  19. It Happens in a Heartbeat – Teresa James (wedding)
  20. The Man You’ve Become – Molly Pasutti (wedding)
  21. You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman w/Lyle Lovett (Disney)
  22. The Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler (vocalist)
  23. I Hope You Dance – LeAnn Womack (country)
  24. Through the Years – Kenny Rogers (country)
  25. The Circle Game – Joni Mitchell (folk)
  26. You’ll Be in My Heart – Phil Collins (pop)
  27. Happy Everafter In Your Eyes – Ben Harper (singer/songwriter)
  28. Forever Young – Alphaville (80s)
  29. Simple Man – Lynrd Skynrd (southern rock)
  30. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong (classic)
  31. High Tide or Low Tide – Bob Marley (reggae)
  32. Baby Mine – Bette Midler (vocalist)
  33. The Perfect Fan – Backstreet Boys (Boy Band)
  34. Can’t Smile WIthout You – Barry Manilow (vocalist)

To listen to these Mother-Son song ideas on Spotify, click here.

Cake Cutting Songs

  1. Sugar, Sugar – The Archies (oldies)
  2. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups (oldies)
  3. Sugar – Maroon 5 (pop)
  4. Everlasting Love (This Must Be) – Natalie Cole (R&B/soul)
  5. L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole (R&B/soul)
  6. Theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Ennio Morricone (soundtracks)
  7. Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar (80s)
  8. I Want Candy – The Bow Wow Wow (80s)
  9. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard (80s rock)
  10. Lips Like Sugar – Echo & the Bunnymen (80s/New Wave)
  11. Cuts Like a Knife – Bryan Adams (rock)
  12. Silly Love Songs – Paul McCartney & Wings (pop)
  13. I Got You Babe – Sonny & Cher (60s)
  14. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) – Marvin Gaye or James Taylor (R&B/soft rock)
  15. For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder (R&B)
  16. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops (Motown)
  17. When I’m 64 – The Beatles (pop)
  18. Love is Strange – Mickey & Sylvia (oldies)
  19. Cut the Cake – Average White Band (disco)
  20. Candy – Cameo (funk)
  21. Wanna Grow Old with You – Adam Sandler (soundtrack)
  22. Super Mario Brothers Theme Song (soundtrack)
  23. Eat It – ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (song parody)
  24. Candy Man – Christina Aguilera (pop)
  25. Marry You – Bruno Mars (pop)
  26. Lucky – Jason Mraz f/ Colbie Caillat (pop)
  27. I Do – Colbie Caillat (pop)
  28. Safe and Sound – Capital Cities (modern)
  29. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (pop) (note: the new “When I’m 64”?)
  30. Firecracker – Josh Turner (country)
  31. Honey Bee – Blake Shelton (country)
  32. Say Hey, I Love You – Michael Franti (dance)
  33. My Favourite Book – Stars (alternative)
  34. No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses (alternative)
  35. Rain or Shine – Matthew Perryman Jones (rock)
  36. Love and Marriage – Frank Sinatra (vocalist)
  37. It Had to Be You – Harry Connick, Jr. (big band/vocalist)
  38. Everything – Michael Buble (vocalist)
  39. Ice Cream – Sara McLachlan (vocalist)
  40. Candy – Mandy Moore (pop)
  41. Gymnopedies No. 1 – Erik Satie (classical/soundtrack)
  42. The Sweetest Love – Robin Thicke (R&B)
  43. By Your Side – Sade (R&B)
  44. The Power of Love/Love Power – Luther Vandross (R&B)
  45. Love Light in Flight – Stevie Wonder (R&B)
  46. P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care) – John Legend (R&B)
  47. Birthday Cake – Rihanna (R&B) (note: loop chorus only… other lyrics may be inappropriate!)
  48. Dearest (cover) – The Black Keys (rock)
  49. Spin Spin Sugar (Armand Van Helden Remix) – Sneaker Pimps (electronic)
  50. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen (rock)
  51. You’re My Best Friend – Queen (rock)
  52. Dessert – Dawin (R&B/modern)

To listen to these Cake Cutting song ideas on Spotify, click here.

Bouquet & Garter Ceremony

  1. Single Ladies – Beyonce (Bouquet Toss)
  2. Dear Future Husband – Meghan Trainor (Bouquet Toss)
  3. Country Girl, Shake It – Luke Bryan (Bouquet Toss)
  4. Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Buble (Bouquet Toss)
  5. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (Bouquet Toss)
  6. Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison (Bouquet Toss)
  7. Girls, Girls, Girls – Motley Crue (Bouquet Toss)
  8. Where Them Girls At – Flo Rida, David Guetta and Nicki Minaj (Bouquet Toss)
  9. Holding Out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler (Bouquet Toss)
  10. American Woman – Lenny Kravitz (Bouquet Toss)
  11. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups (Bouquet Toss)
  12. Theme from Mission Impossible (Garter Removal)
  13. Don’t You Feel My Leg – Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Garter Removal)
  14. Bad Things (from First Blood) – Jace Everett (Garter Removal)
  15. Legs – ZZ Top (Garter Removal)
  16. The Stripper – Traditional (Garter Removal)
  17. Pink Panther Theme Song (Garter Removal)
  18. Foxey Lady – Jimi Hendrix (Garter Removal)
  19. You Can Leave Your Hat On – Joe Cocker (Garter Removal)
  20. Theme from the movie Jaws (Garter Removal)
  21. Hot Legs – Rod Stewart (Garter Removal)
  22. The Man – Aloe Blacc (Garter Removal)
  23. Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins (Garter Removal)
  24. Peter Gunn – The Blues Brothers (Garter Toss)
  25. Theme from Rocky – Rocky Orchestra (Garter Toss)
  26. Oh Yeah (Yello) – from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Garter Toss)
  27. The Harlem Shake – Baauer (Garter Toss)
  28. Bad Boys – Inner Circle (Garter Toss)
  29. Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top (Garter Toss)
  30. The Boys of Summer (cover) – The Ataris (Garter Toss)
  31. Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood (Garter Toss)
  32. Big Pimpin’ – Jay-Z (Garter Toss)
  33. Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf (Garter Toss)
  34. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen (Grand Finale)
  35. Keep Your Hands to Yourself – The Georgia Satellites (Grand Finale)
  36. Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye (Grand Finale)
  37. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate (Grand Finale)
  38. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred (Grand Finale)
  39. Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth f/ Meghan Trainor (Grand Finale)
  40. Sensual Seduction – Snoop Dogg (Grand Finale)
  41. Bump n’ Grind – R. Kelly (Grand Finale)
  42. I Wanna Sex You Up – Color Me Badd (Grand Finale)
  43. The Distance – Cake (Grand Finale)
  44. Pony – Ginuwine (Grand Finale)
  45. Hot in Herre – Nelly (Grand Finale)
  46. Cherry Pie – Warrant (Grand Finale)
  47. Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO (Grand Finale)
  48. Wild Thing – Tone Loc (Grand Finale)
  49. Whoomp! (There It is Is) – Tag Team (Grand Finale)
  50. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart (Grand Finale)

To listen to these Bouquet and Garter song ideas on Spotify, click here.

sarahandmichael4

Grand Finale (Final Song of Reception)

  1. Save the Last Dance for Me – Michael Buble (contemporary)
  2. (I’ve Had the) Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (soundtracks)
  3. Time (the Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas (modern dance)
  4. One More Time – Daft Punk (electronic dance)
  5. Piano Man – Billy Joel (singer/songwriter)
  6. New York, New York – Frank Sinatra (crooners)
  7. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon (dance)
  8. Glad You Came – The Wanted (pop dance)
  9. Let’s Get Married (Remix) – Jagged Edge with Reverend Run from Run-D.M.C. (R&B)
  10. Times of Your Life (Good Riddance) – Green Day (punk rock)
  11. Take Me Home Tonight – Eddie Money (80s rock)
  12. Your Love – The Outfield (80s rock)
  13. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) – Talking Heads (80s/New Wave)
  14. Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight – The Spaniels (oldies)
  15. Shower the People (live version) – James Taylor (folk rock)
  16. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton (soft rock)
  17. At Last – Etta James (soul)
  18. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa f/ Charlie Puth (pop / hip hop)
  19. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z f/ Alicia Keys (hip hop / R&B)
  20. Amazed – Lonestar (country)
  21. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks (country)
  22. Closing Time – Semisonic (rock)
  23. Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry (rock)
  24. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (alternative rock)
  25. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root (alternative rock)
  26. Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen (rock)
  27. Don’t Stop Believing- Journey (rock)
  28. Last Dance – Donna Summer… for a modern day twist, try the 2013 Masters at Work Remix which gives the original a smooth house treatment (disco/house)
  29. Please Don’t Go – KWS (freestyle)
  30. Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull f/ TJR (modern dance)
  31. Feel This Moment – Pitbull f/ Christina Aguilera (modern dance)
  32. Tremor – Dmitri Vegas, Martin Garrix and Like Mike (EDM)
  33. Sandstorm – Darude (EDM)

To listen to these Grand Finale song ideas on Spotify, click here.

100 Songs for a 2016 Wedding (Mixed Genres)

  1. Quando, Quando, Quando – Michael Buble with Nelly Furtado (cocktail hour/dinner)
  2. Our Day Will Come – Amy Winehouse (cocktail/dinner)
  3. The Girl from Ipanema – Bebel Gilberto & Kenny G. (cocktail/dinner)
  4. Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin (oldies)
  5. Runaround Sue – Dion (oldies)
  6. Twist & Shout – The Beatles (oldies/rock)
  7. Shout (Parts 1 and 2) – The Isley Brothers (oldies)
  8. Mony, Mony – Tommy James & the Shondells
  9. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups (oldies)
  10. Marry You – Bruno Mars (pop)
  11. In the Mood – Glen Miller Band (big band)
  12. That’s Amore – Dean Martin (oldies)
  13. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (party classic)
  14. My Girl – The Temptations (Motown)
  15. Respect – Aretha Franklin (Motown)
  16. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye (Motown)
  17. What You Won’t Do for Love – Bobby Caldwell (R&B)
  18. Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & the Pips (Soul)
  19. My Baby Just Cares for Me – Nina Simone (Soul)
  20. For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder (Motown)
  21. I Blame You – Ledisi (R&B)
  22. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show or Darius Rucker (country)
  23. House Party – Sam Hunt (country)
  24. Honey, I’m Good – Andy Grammar (pop)
  25. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson f/ Bruno Mars (pop/funk)
  26. Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd (R&B)
  27. Lean On – Major Lazer w/ DJ Snake & Mo (pop)
  28. How Deep Is Your Love – Calvin Harris (dance)
  29. Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne (dance)
  30. G.D.F.R. – Flo Rida & friends (dance)
  31. Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) – OMI (reggae/tropical)
  32. She’s Royal – Tarrus Riley (reggae)
  33. Could You Be Loved – Bob Marley (reggae)
  34. Vivir Mi Vida – Marc Anthony (salsa)
  35. Let’s Get Loud – Jennifer Lopez (Latin dance)
  36. Danza Kuduro – Don Omar (Latin dance)
  37. El Mismo Sol – Alvaro Soler f/ Jennifer Lopez (Latin dance)
  38. Cha Cha Slide – DJ Casper (line dance)
  39. Cupid Shuffle – Cupid (line dance)
  40. Watch Me (Whip / Nae Nae) – Silento (hip hop line dance)
  41. Hotline Bling – Drake (R&B)
  42. El Taxi – Pitbull, Sensato & Friends (Latin)
  43. Love Light in Flight – Stevie Wonder (R&B/Soul)
  44. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (R&B/Soul)
  45. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (modern ballad)
  46. Always and Forever – Heatwave (R&B/Soul)
  47. Send Me on My Way – Rusted Root (alternative)
  48. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (alternative)
  49. Yeah! – Usher with Lil’ Jon (party starter)
  50. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z with Alicia Keys (hip hop)
  51. Got To Be Real – Cheryl Lynn (disco)
  52. Show Me Love – Robin S. (90s dance)
  53. That’s the Way I Like It – K.C. & the Sunshine Band (disco)
  54. Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry (disco)
  55. Hot Stuff – Donna Summer (disco)
  56. Got to Give It Up (part 1) – Marvin Gaye (funk)
  57. Kiss – Prince (funk)
  58. Super Freak – Rick James (funk)
  59. Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer (90s dance)
  60. I Want it That Way – The Backstreet Boys (boy bands)
  61. Push It – Salt n’ Pepa (80s)
  62. Take on Me – a-Ha (80s)
  63. Need You Tonight – INXS (80s)
  64. P.Y.T. – Michael Jackson (80s)
  65. Red, Red, Wine – UB40 (reggae)
  66. I Can’t Wait – Nu-Shooz (freestyle/party starter)
  67. Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake (pop/party starter)
  68. Happy – Pharrell Williams (pop/party starter)
  69. It Takes Two – DJ Rob Base and EZ Rock (90s)
  70. Jump Around – House of Pain (90s)
  71. Hip Hop Hooray – Naughty by Nature (90s hip hop)
  72. Good Vibrations – Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch (90s)
  73. Poison – Bel Biv Devoe (90s)
  74. La Rebelion – Joe Arroyo (salsa)
  75. Spring Love – Stevie B. (freestyle)
  76. In Da Club (clean) – 50 Cent (hip hop)
  77. Nuthin’ But a G Thang (clean) – Dr. Dre f/ Snoop Dogg (hip hop)
  78. Wild Thing – Tone Loc (rap)
  79. Wanna Be Startin’ Something – Michael Jackson (party starter)
  80. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston (80s)
  81. Country Girl, Shake it for Me – Luke Bryan (country)
  82. Cruise (remix) – Florida Georgia Line f/ Nelly (country)
  83. Merengue Electronico – Omega (Latin/Merengue)
  84. Unforgettable – Natalie Cole w/ Nat King Cole (wedding ballad)
  85. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers (ballad)
  86. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (ballad)
  87. I’ll Always Love You – Taylor Dayne (ballad)
  88. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC (rock)
  89. Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi (rock)
  90. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey (rock)
  91. Ride Wit Me – Nelly (90s)
  92. Wake Me Up – Avicii (dance/EDM)
  93. Save the World Tonight – Swedish House Mafia (dance/EDM)
  94. Bailando – Enrique Iglesias w/ Sean Paul an Gente de Zona (Latin)
  95. I Need Your Love – Shaggy & Friends (reggae/tropical)
  96. Echa Pa’lla (Manos Pa’rriba) – Pitbull (Latin dance)
  97. Turn Down for What – DJ Snake f/ Lil’ Jon (trap music)
  98. Can’t Stop the Feeling! – Justin Timberlake (pop)
  99. Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson w/ Justin Timberlake (R&B)
  100. Let’s Dance – David Bowie (80s)

To listen to these Top 100 wedding song ideas for 2016 on Spotify, click here.

The Ambient DJ Service Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Menu

threeolivesbubble

The list below features the name/theme of the Cocktail Hour Mix, the selected accompanying cocktail, and the DJ who created the playlist in parentheses. Access the individual blog entries/playlists by clicking on the links.

  1. Alternative Rock Cocktail Hour, Craft Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  2. The Quintessentially Mixed Cocktail Hour, Long Island Iced Tea (DJ AQ). Click here.
  3. Good Vibes Cocktail Hour, Pina Colada (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  4. Head to Shoulder Dip Cocktail Hour, Hairy Navel (DJ Gary G). Click here.
  5. Retro Soul Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Havana Coconut Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  6. Smooth Sail Cocktail Hour, Malibu Bay Breeze (DJ Mike K). Click here.
  7. Back to the Eighties Cocktail Hour, Midori Sour (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  8. Beach Themed Cocktail Hour, Red Stripe Beer (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  9. Classic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tanqueray & Tonic (DJ Garrett B.). Click here.
  10. International Excursions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sangria (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  11. Country Wedding Cocktail Hour, Manhattan (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  12. Crooners Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jack Daniels on the Rocks with a Splash of Water (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  13. Chanteuse Wedding Cocktail Hour, The White Lady (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  14. TV Theme Songs Wedding Cocktail Hour, Coca-Cola with a side of Popcorn (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  15. Christmas Wedding Cocktail Hour, Eggnog (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  16. Boardwalk Empire / Great Gatsby Wedding Cocktail Hour, Rum Punch for a Crowd (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  17. Classic R&B Wedding Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Blue Ocean (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  18. James Bond Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vespa Martini that is shaken not stirred! (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  19. Valentines Wedding Cocktail Hour, Godiva Chocolate Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  20. Miami Vice Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cuba Libre (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  21. The “Super Happy Hour” Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Bob Marley (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  22. The Brazilian Wedding Cocktail Hour, Caipirinha (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  23. The New Jersey Homegrown Wedding Cocktail Hour, Boat Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  24. The French Connection Wedding Cocktail Hour, 2010 Chateau Canon-la-Gaffeliere St. Emilion (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  25. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sloe Gin Fizz (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  26. The Super Funky Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Funky Cold Medina (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  27. The Acid Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Gimlet (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  28. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Miller High Life (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  29. The New York State of Mind Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bronx Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  30. The Disney Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vibrant Orange Juice Frosty (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  31. The Summer Pop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jameson & Ginger Ale (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  32. The Colorful Wedding Cocktail Hour, Shot of Goldschlager (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  33. The Inspiring Women of Music Wedding Cocktail Hour, Brandy Alexander (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  34. The Psychedelic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Death in the Afternoon (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  35. The Surf’s Up Wedding Cocktail Hour, Italian Surfer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  36. The 90s Grunge Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Whiskey Sour (Guest bloggers Pash & David). Click here.
  37. The “Nice and Easy” Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Martini (DJ Greg Nice). Click here.
  38. The All Beatles Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bass Ale (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  39. The Savannah Southern Charm Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Mojito (Guest Blogger Cindy Brown). Click here.
  40. The All Covers Version Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 1) , Tecate Beer (Team Ambient ). Click here.
  41. The Giants of Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , The Jazz Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient ). Click here.
  42. The Smooth Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Kahlua & Cream (DJ Gregg Ambient ). Click here.
  43. The Vintage Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Old-Fashioned (Guest Blogger DJ Ali Gruber ). Click here.
  44. The Acquired Taste Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Fernet Branca (Guest Blogger DJ Toad). Click here.
  45. The Jamaican Love Song Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Hummingbird (DJ Jazz). Click here.
  46. The Motown Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Last Word (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
  47. The All-Broadway Wedding Cocktail Hour, Fuzz Greyhound (Guest Bloggers Kris Longwell and Wesley Loon) . Click here.
  48. The Fifty Shades of Grey Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose (1999) (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  49. The Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cristal Champagne (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  50. The Tropical Trade Winds Wedding Cocktail Hour, Barbados Rum Punch (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  51. The Reggae Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Red Stripe Beer/ Dirty Banana Cocktail (DJ Sully) . Click here.
  52. The Mellow Country Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Cherry Coke & Cola (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  53. The Space Travelers Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Astronaut (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  54. The Freestyle Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Dark and Stormy (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  55. The African Safari Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Castle Lager Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  56. The Sunset Sessions Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Mojito (Guest Blogger, DJ Troy Michael via Hawaii) . Click here.
  57. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist – Volume 2 , Scotch on the Rocks (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  58. The Bar Life Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Margarita (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  59. The New Orleans Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Hurricane (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  60. The Classy Covers Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Southern Revival (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
  61. The Blues Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Blonde Manhattan (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  62. The 80s 90s Something Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Bottle of Zima (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  63. The “Lush” Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Botanist Cocktail (DJ Cloak Dagger) . Click here.
  64. The Boy Bands Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist (Volume One) , Bubble Martini (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  65. The New Years Eve Style Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  66. The Valentines Day Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 2), Frangelico on the Rocks (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  67. The New Age Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 1), Maple Breakfast Stout (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  68. The 420 High Times Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Summer Shandy beer (Joint DJ Collaboration).  Click here.
  69. The Bossa Chill Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Caipirinha (DJ Dre Ovalle).  Click here.
  70. The Fourth of July Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Bottle of Budweiser (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  71. The Vineyard Vibes Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Bottle of 2012 St. Eden Vineyards Chardonnay (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  72. The 60s Gold Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Zombie (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  73. The 1990s R&B Wedding Cocktail Hour, Espresso Martini (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  74. The “Cool, Relax” Wedding Cocktail Hour, Basilico (DJ Statle). Click here.
  75. The A List B-Side Wedding Cocktail Hour, Black Russian (guest blogger Darrell Gartrell). Click here.
  76. The Stone Cold Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Laid Back (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  77. The Bar Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bloody Mary (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  78. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour, Singapore Sling (DJ Iron Mike).  Click here.
  79. The Far East Wedding Cocktail Hour, Suntory Whiskey on the rocks (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  80. The Doo-Wop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tom Collins (DJ Iron Mike).  Click here.

25 Key Songs for a California / West Coast Wedding

The following list was curated by our friend and respected industry colleague Dan Rosenbach. Dan is a NJ transplant who operates “Love in the Mix” located in the San Francisco Bay Area. As per Dan, “the following playlist is a collection of songs you might typically hear at the most modern San Francisco venue or a rustic vineyard setting in Napa. From country to hip hop, a summary of Bay Area flavors.”

Love in the Mix is the Bay Area’s freshest DJ and lighting design team. Featured in DJ Times Magazine and TLC’s Four Weddings, the company provides beautiful sights and sounds to create unforgettable weddings and corporate events. To learn more about Dan’s awesome DJ service, visit www.loveinthemix.com.

  1. California Love – 2Pac Shakur
  2. California Gurls – Katy Perry f/ Snoop Dogg
  3. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  4. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
  5. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
  6. I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Tony Bennett
  7. Shakedown Street – The Grateful Dead
  8. (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  9. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  10. Regulate – Warren G.
  11. This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
  12. The Sound of San Francisco – Global Deejays
  13. California Soul – Marlena Shaw
  14. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie
  15. We Built This City – Starship
  16. Save Me, San Francisco – Train
  17. Bernie Lean – ATM
  18. Happy Ending – Sugarland
  19. My Wish – Rascal Flatts
  20. Blow the Whistle (clean) – Too $hort
  21. Playaz Club (clean) – Rappin’ 4-Tay
  22. Players Holiday – T.W.D.Y. f/ Too $hort
  23. Sprinkle Me – E-40 & Suga-T
  24. Game Recognize Game – JT the Bigga Figga & Mac Mall
  25. Get Stupid (Remix) – Mac Dre

25 Key Latin Tracks for a Wedding

The following list was compiled by our friend and respected industry colleague Raul Chiriboga, owner/operator of Ultrafonk Entertainment based in Union NJ. A native of Ecuador and an expert in Latin music, Raul has been generous in sharing musical programming tips with fellow DJs through the years. Rule #1 is that one size does not fit all. Therefore, Raul’s selections below feature an assortment of Latin dance styles designed to appeal to a variety of cultures – including Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Valienato, Cumbia and Reggaeton.

Raul’s team includes the talented Portuguese specialist DJ Frankie Gravato. To learn more about the Ultrafonk team and their sensational wedding productions, visit www.ultrafonk.com.

  1. Tu Sonrisa – Elvis Crespo (Merengue)
  2. El costo de la Vida – Juan Luis Guerra (Merengue)
  3. Caballito de Palo – Joseph Fonseca (Merengue)
  4. El Tiburon – Proyecto Uno (Merengue House)
  5. Dos Locos – Monchy y Alexandra (Bachata)
  6. Propuesta Indecente – Romeo Santos (Bachata)
  7. 24 Horas – Frank Reyes (Bachata)
  8. La Gota Fria – Carlos Vives (Vallenato)
  9. La Vida es un Carnaval – Celia Cruz (Salsa)
  10. Esta Vida – Jorge Celedon (Valienato)
  11. El Ciclon – Sonora Dinamita (Cumbia)
  12. Cumbia pa’ Oriente – Lisandro Meza (Cumbia)
  13. Pollera Colorada – Charlie Zaa (Cumbia)
  14. Micaela – Sonora Carruseles (Salsa)
  15. Yay boy – Africando (Salsa)
  16. Talento de TV – Willie Colon (Salsa)
  17. Brujeria – El Gran Combo (Salsa)
  18. La Rebelion – Joe Arroyo (Salsa)
  19. Vivir mi Vida – Marc Anthony (Salsa)
  20. Mi Reina – La Makina (Merengue)
  21. Rescate Tipico #1 – Los Toros Band (Merengue Tipico)
  22. Yo te lo Dije – J Balvin (Reggaeton)
  23. 6 am – J Balvin feat Farruko (Reggaeton)
  24. La Pregunta – J Alvarez (Reggaeton)
  25. Que Viva la Vida – Wisin (Latin Fusion)

25 Key Country Tracks for a Wedding

This list is dedicated to our blog readers located in the South – we know there are many of you! A collection of classic and contemporary country tunes, ballads and line dances – this playlist will delight country music lovers from across the region.

  1. Crazy – Patsy Cline
  2. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
  3. Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis
  4. Don’t Rock the Jukebox – Alan Jackson
  5. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
  6. Family Tradition – Hank Williams
  7. Same Ole Me – George Jones
  8. For the Good Times – Ray Price
  9. I Swear – John Michael Montgomery
  10. I Cross My Heart – George Strait
  11. Boot Scootin’ Boogie – Brooks & Dunn (line dance)
  12. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus (line dance)
  13. Copperhead Road – Steve Earle (line dance)
  14. Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  15. Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy – Big & Rich
  16. Just a Kiss – Lady Antebellum
  17. Wanted – Hunter Hayes
  18. House Party – Sam Hunt
  19. Amazed – Lonestar
  20. From This Moment On – Shania Twain w/ Bryan White
  21. Me and You – Kenny Chesney
  22. Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not – Thompson Square
  23. This is How We Roll – Florida Georgia Line f/ Luke Bryan
  24. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  25. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts

10 Songs Not to Play at a Wedding

  1. Hello – Adele. Despite being an emotionally powerful song, this hit single off Adele’s new album is a break-up song. Substitute with her cover version of the Cure’s “Lovesong” or Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
  2. Stay With Me – Sam Smith. In this song, the emotionally tortured protagonist is a master of “one night stands” and proclaims “this ain’t love it’s clear to see, but darling, stay with me” and “deep down I know this never works, but you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt.” Hardly appropriate wedding fare!
  3. You’ll Never Find a Love Like Mine – Lou Rawls. This song oozes sex appeal with Rawl’s baritone voice over a vintage piano and strings disco arrangement. However, the premise of the song is that Rawl’s former partner will never find a love as good as his post their breakup. As a substitute, try George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby.”
  4. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor. This song is about a woman’s turmoil and strength after a breakup. As a disco alternative at a similar tempo, try Cheryl Lynn’s uplifting “Got To Be Real.”
  5. Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones. This infectious rock n’ roll jam regrettably contains lyrics that one music critic describes as “gross, sexist and stunningly offensive to black women” – trust us, the lyrics are that bad. If you love the Stones, try “Start Me Up” or another hit song from their extensive catalog.
  6. Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf. It could be a personal pet peeve of mine, but I really do not like this song. It is a time hog at over ten minutes long. One of the song’s final lyrics, “praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you” is hardly romantic. If you crave a rock and roll sing-a-long, try Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” or Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.” But if you really enjoy the theatrical aspects of this song, I say go ahead, bend the rules and have some fun!
  7. What’s Going On? – Marvin Gaye. If you enjoy hearing about war, picket lines and police brutality, then play this song at your wedding. Otherwise, try soulful crooner Gaye’s “Aint’ No Mountain High Enough” or super-funky “Got to Give it Up” which your DJ can then skillfully mix into Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”
  8. The Macarena – Los del Rio. Line dances at a wedding can be great ice breakers. However, this cheesy line dance has grown even more fungus with age. Modernize your wedding with a newer line dance such as the “Cupid Shuffle.”
  9. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin is my favorite rock band of all time. Yet this anthem is hard to dance to with its long, uncomfortable breakdowns. If you must play Zeppelin at your wedding, try “All of My Love” or “Thank You.” For a beach wedding, try their hidden gem “Down by the Seaside.”
  10. Strokin’ – Clarence Carter. This graphic song is cringeworthy at a seedy karaoke night, let alone at a wedding. Avoid at all costs, and stick with Rick James’ “Super Freak” or “Give it to Me.”

To preview these selected “no play” songs on Spotify, click here.

For additional thoughts on musical lyrics at wedding receptions, check out our article on that topic here.

Tips for Musical Programming at a Wedding

After engaging the services of a wedding DJ for your special day, a key task in the planning process is picking music for your wedding reception. Some couples are very “hands on” with the playlist, while others give a general direction to their DJ, trusting his or her expertise.

Assuming a four hour reception and 15 songs per hour, you would have a playlist of 60 songs. How many songs should you pick in advance? Our recommendation would be to prepare a list of up to 20 “must play” songs, plus another 20 “play If possible” tracks. That leaves an additional 20 tracks for your DJ to select. However, the DJ will pick these additional songs within your genre parameters. For example, if you love 90s dance music but dislike country music, the DJ would keep the mix within these guidelines.

In picking specific songs for your wedding reception, listed below are seven tips:

  1. Select a variety of musical styles. Your wedding reception will feature a wide range of guest ages, most likely from teenagers to older adults. You would be wise to select songs that cater to the various age brackets, so all guests feel like they are a part of your special day.
  2. Start your dance sets with recognizable oldies. For the initial dance set after your first appetizer course, begin with oldies genres such as 60s Rock, Motown, or Disco, to gain the trust of older guests. By doing so, they are more likely to go with the flow for your modern dance selections later in the night!
  3. Use non-danceable selections for cocktail hour or dinner music. If you enjoy non-danceable genres such as indie rock, use these selections for the atmospheric cocktail hour or dinner music. For open dancing after dinner, this eclectic fare will likely fail and result in a thin or empty dance floor.
  4. For open dancing, gravitate towards mainstream selections. After dinner, the DJ needs to quickly mobilize your diverse group of guests and create a packed dance floor. It is sound advice to use songs that are recognized by most guests! For example, young adults will recognize a classic party jam like “Shout” from the movies, while adult guests will have heard today’s super-hits by the likes of Pitbull, Rihanna or Jennifer Lopez on the radio.
  5. Consider using line dances as icebreakers. Yes, there has been a trend in recent years towards “non-tacky” DJ entertainment with minimal or no line dancing. You know, the usual suspects like the Electric Slide and Cupid Shuffle. That said, for the right crowd, line dances can quickly pack a dance floor with guests of all ages. The DJ can then guide this packed dance floor to the music that you really want to hear.
  6. Include several ballad sets. Wedding receptions are celebrations that should feature a combination of romance and fun. We recommend two or three ballad sets of two songs each. Incorporating slow dancing makes sense because; first, this allows your shy and older guests to join the action. Second, ballads are a welcome relief from extended sets of high tempo dancing. We recommend programming ballads in pairs because typically a couple will not get to the dance floor until the middle of the first song.
  7. Have a detailed discussion about music with your wedding DJ. Professional wedding DJs are highly experienced with musical programming and can provide suggestions that will enhance the quality of your event. Show the DJ your playlist and ask for their candid feedback. Have a detailed discussion with the DJ about your guest demographics that may provide clues on what music will work. Discuss your policy on fielding guest requests, line dances, and your expectations for the dance floor action. If you envision a mellower party, don’t be afraid to let the DJ know that a frenetic dance floor is not your goal.

If you found these playlists and tips helpful, please check out our book available on Amazon “The Bride’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Wedding DJ”. Thank you for your support!

Brides_Guide_Perfect_Wedding_DJ_New_Cover_blog

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey that specializes in wedding DJ entertainment. Ambient DJ is a 2016 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award as well as of the WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award. We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! We would be delighted to perform at your wedding in the New Jersey / Philadelphia / New York Tri-State area, or destination wedding. For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at www.ambientdj.com.

Ambient_DJ_Senior_Wedding_Team

Ambient_Logo_JPEG

A Year of Writing and Music

Since 2013, I have been an avid blogger writing for the Ambient DJ Service blog.  More recently, I’ve been a columnist for Stacy Zemon’s ProMobileDJ.com website and the Digital DJ Blog.  Each August, I cover the seminars at the DJ Times International DJ Expo in Atlantic City and write a lengthy review of the seminars that is later published in DJ Times Magazine over multiple issues.

While I enjoy the written word, my favorite mode of artistic expression is music and recording dance mixes.  These projects take longer to create.

This blog lists some of my best articles and mixes of the year. The educational articles will be particularly helpful to a beginner or intermediate level DJ seeking to grow their business.

For 2016, if you have an article that you’d like to see me write or a mix concept that you’d like recorded, please reach out anytime by email to gregg@ambientdj.com

WRITING:

A) The Ambient DJ Blog (Highlights)

The Wedding Music Master Class 2015

New Jersey’s Top Wedding Venues (2015 Edition)

The Seven Deadly Sins of Karaoke

Wedding Trends, Statistics and Marketing Tips from The Knot

64 Themed Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlists

How to Recruit DJ Staff – An Ambient DJ Case Study

B) ProMobileDJ.com

What DJs Can Learn from Car Salespeople

Making a Continuing Education Commitment

10 Lessons that DJs can learn from Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue

7 Tips for a Successful DJ Website

How DJs Can Use The Profit First Financial Management System

How DJs Can Work Together to Share Venue Information

How to Sell Your DJ Business (to a new owner)

How to Book More Same Sex Weddings – An Interview with Jodi Duston

How Mobile DJs Can Use Spotify

Dress for Success

Should DJs Maintain a Full Time Office Space?

How to Create a DJ Business Forecast

How to DJ Kids Parties – a Primer

Growing a DJ Business with Advertising

C) DigitalDJ Blog

5 New Years Resolutions for DJs

5 Tips to Start a Successful Mobile DJ Service

The 10 Best Social Media Marketing Practices for DJs

The Wedding DJ Opportunity – Part 1 (How to DJ a Wedding)

The Wedding DJ Opportunity – Part 2 (How to DJ a Wedding)

D) Reviews of DJ Times DJ Expo Seminars

Reviews of the 2015 Educational Seminars

MUSIC MIXES

A) Soundcloud

B) Mixcloud

 

DJ Times DJ Expo Seminar Reviews – 2015

During the latter months of 2015, my reviews of the educational seminars at the DJ Times International DJ Expo held during August 2015 were published in the magazine.  For those DJs who missed the write-ups, for convenience I’ve compiled all of the reviews into a single blog.

******************************************************

DJs eager to learn flock to the seminar halls of the DJ Times DJ Expo each August to broaden their knowledge with actionable ideas.  2015 offered a high quality selection of educational topics spanning performance techniques, sales/marketing tips and specialty business lines.

All-Star Emcee Secrets Revealed.  This seminar in its fifth annual installment has become one of the most popular seminars of the Expo. Chaired by Steve Moody, the panelists vary from year to year, and this year’s panel included Mike Wieder (Ultimate Sounds DJs), Mike Walter (Elite Entertainment), Fox Feltman (BTA Entertainment) and Shani Barnett (Mobile Music Interactive Entertainment).

Steve Moody discussed techniques that wedding DJs can use to stack the deck in their favor to create immensely satisfied clients who view their DJ as a friend. At consultations, for a personal touch Moody stands at the door to greet couples and addresses them by name.  This process is repeated upon their leaving his office.  He puts couples at ease by stating that the purpose of the consultation is to talk about their vision and not to force them to sign anything.  After booking a couple, clients receive monthly emails with wedding planning tips and other important information.  These emails are automated, but provide the feel of attentive, personalized concierge service.  At the final consultation and again the day of the wedding, Moody tells couples, “I want your wedding to be the best night of your life.  If there’s anything that you want or need, please tell me.”  The day of a wedding, Steve also sends his couples a text message mentioning how much he’s looking forward to celebrate with them.

Mike Wieder discussed the importance of creating moments and making memories for his wedding couples.  To do so, Wieder is a proponent of shaking up traditional wedding reception traditions and thinking outside of the box.  For example, couples can share their first dance surrounded by guests on the dance floor holding candles (six inch flickering LED candles are recommended for safety purposes).  For the anniversary dance which typically eliminates couples as the years married increment increases, in Wieder’s version, couples are added based on years of marriage with the final result being a packed dance floor.  The longest married couple as discovered from the anniversary dance can then cut a second slice of cake after the bride and groom in the cake cutting ceremony.  Wieder advises emcees that “fear is not an option, fun is.”

Mike Walter focused on the grand finale of a wedding reception and the importance of “ending with a Wow!”  For those who are familiar with Mike’s teachings, he places great emphasis on having strong openings and endings at wedding receptions in order to be memorable.  For a grand finale, he said that a high-energy closer is always best. The DJ/Emcee should pick that final song based on the flow of the evening.  Ideally the final song will include a break or bridge section where the emcee can work the microphone and do things like shout-out the bride & groom, provide well-wishes for their honeymoon or stage group photo shots.  Walter also recommends that DJs have one more encore song ready to go.  It can even be a short one or two minute edit of popular songs like “What I Like About You,” “Twist and Shout,” “I Wanna Be Sedated” or “Jump Around.”

Fox Feltman has built a solid market share in his North Carolina market by specializing in high-energy, interactive weddings where couples are meant to feel like royalty.  At consultations, he has brides complete a father-daughter questionnaire.  When the father is walking out for the Father-Daughter dance, Fox will sprinkle in personal information gained from that questionnaire to make the moment memorable.  For buffet style weddings, Feltman has tables appoint a “runner” and then compete for the right to be the next table to go to the buffet by answering questions or playing name that tune.  A bouquet-garter ceremony can be livened up by blindfolding the garter-catching male, and replacing the bouquet-catching female with a substitute like the father of the bride or Grandma.  At a grand finale, Feltman orchestrates a “Circle of Love” where the wedding couple goes around to share a handshake, hug or kiss with each guest.  After making the rounds, the emcee implodes the circle by going into the song “Shout.”

Shani Barnett spoke about the importance of commanding a crowd.  At the beginning of a performance, emcees must smile, create a “warm feel” and make eye contact with guests.  Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, emcees must stay positive reminding themselves that “I can be the best” and life is not so bad being paid to party.

Same Sex Weddings: a Primer.  After receiving a warm reception at last year’s DJ Expo speaking on a business panel, this year Jodi Duston from DJ Jodi Entertainment of Portsmouth, New Hampshire delivered a full-length seminar offering tips on how DJs can book more same sex weddings. Jodi operates a thriving DJ business that specializes in same sex weddings and other events catering to the LGBT (“Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transsexual”) community.  A lesbian herself, Jodi’s wedding DJ business initially focused on straight couples.  It was only later, after forging relationships in the community and learning musical programming for LGBT couples that Jodi would develop her same sex wedding specialty.

Duston’s tips include:  (1) place images of same sex couples on your website.  Related, get reviews from same sex couples; (2) create separate paperwork for same sex couples.  Spend an afternoon revising your wedding planning forms creating one set for lesbian couples and one for gay male couples; (3) get educated on the different traditions and announcements at a same sex wedding, particularly for the ceremony, wedding party introductions, and Parent Dances.  For example, consider a lesbian wedding.  Do both brides get walked down the aisle by their fathers?  If both brides are wearing a dress, this may be the case.  In other cases when one bride is “butch,” she may dress in a suit and tie and take more the role of a traditional groom and will be waiting at the wedding altar with the officiant.  DJs should be armed with lots of information and options for their same sex couples; (4) Be where they are.  Of course, you want to be online where same sex couples are researching wedding vendors – sites like the Rainbow Wedding Network and gayweddings.com.  DJs should also research local community events.  In particular, DJs can purchase a table at “pride festivals” – large gatherings for the LGBT community that are less formal and lots of fun; (5) volunteer for causes important to the LGBT community such as AIDS walks or youth programs.  The community is quick to support those who support them; and (6) when performing at straight weddings, conduct yourself in a manner that will place gay couples in the crowd at ease.

The Keys: Become a Great Performer.  Mike Walter of Elite Entertainment stated emphatically that DJs have to stop being afraid of stealing the spotlight, and instead focus on creating great moments.  Amazing party outcomes in turn fuel referrals.  Walter then shared this thought-provoking quote, “advertising is the price a business pays for being boring.” 

At weddings, Walter recommends that DJs look to pack the dance floor early.  For example, immediately after the salad course is a great time to open up the dance floor.  Emcees should open the dance floor with complete confidence and not be afraid to fail.  Guests can be enticed by making a statement such as “there is plenty of time before dinner is served.”  Even if an emcee fails in that initial attempt to build a dance floor, they’ve still won points with guests who realize this is not going to be a dull wedding.

To maximize interactivity and fun, emcees should ask guests to to things that they already want to do (for example, joining a group sing-a-long).  Emcees should also never ask a guest to do something that they themselves wouldn’t do.  For line dancing and group dances, emcees must know these routines at a high level in order to command the crowd.  Emcees should compliment those guests who follow prompts like “put your hands in the air” in order to enjoy continued compliance.

The Art of Latin Events.  Jack Bermeo of LJ Productions, joined by Latin percussionist Crystal Vargas and two talented dancers, delivered an information-packed and exciting multi-media seminar.  The Latin market is large and growing.  For example, Hispanics account for 29% of the New Jersey population and 17% of the U.S. population.  Moreover, Latinos love to throw lavish parties.  Bermeo’s premise is that all DJs with proper research and music knowledge can enjoy a piece of the Latin market.

Different cultures equal different music.  For example, Dominicans typically favor bachata, merengue tipico and classic merengue.  Puerto Ricans on the other hand gravitate towards salsa, reggaeton and trio music.  Colombians and Ecuadorians prefer cumbia, valienatos and salsa, while Mexicans enjoy rancheros and Spanish rock.   Elvis Crespo’s “Suavemente” is viewed by Latinos as cheesy and overplayed similar to the way that “We Are Family” is viewed by Americans.

To successfully cross over into the Latin market, DJs must ask the right questions, be confident and show families that they care.   If successful in doing so, premium fees are possible.  An $800 quinceanera (typical market average) could easily be upgraded to as much as $8,000 after gaining a family’s trust and offering appropriate upgrades.

Some hype phrases that any DJ can incorporate into a Latin party include “mee hentay” (My people), “Agan buya” (Make some noise), “Un applauso por favor” (a round of applause please) and “Manos Pa’Arriba” (Hands up).

Increasing your Revenue with Honeymoons & Weddingmoons.  Mark Brenneisen from Total Entertainment in upstate New York discussed an exciting and fun option for DJs to earn extra income.  Through the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), a professional association comprised of event planners and offering vendor memberships for DJs, members can become certified Sandals specialists and offer vacation/honeymoon packages to wedding couples, family and friends.  Sandals is a portfolio of all-inclusive resorts focused in the Caribbean and offering brands:  1) Sandals – adults only, 2) Beaches – for families, and 3) the Grand Pineapple luxury brand.

Annual membership dues to the ABC for vendor memberships are $225.  In addition to the ability to offer vacation packages through the ABC’s travel agent number, DJs enjoy two other important benefits.  First, the opportunity to benefit from educational content at ABC’s monthly meetings. Second, DJs can meet and network with the ABC’s core of event planners.  Over time, these relationships should result in referrals.

When successful in selling a vacation package, DJs earn a commission (typically about $500) and in the process qualify themselves for additional perks.  Brenneisen says that for those DJs performing at over 30 weddings a year, selling vacation packages via the ABC is a no-brainer.  In the past  year, Brenneisen has sold 13 vacations himself with minimal effort. DJs can take a passive approach to selling vacations; for example, placing a Sandals badge on their website.  Or DJs can actively cross-sell honeymoon packages to their clientele. 

Party Games with Jake.  Darryl “Jake” Jacobsen of Affair 2 Remember Entertainment hosted his eighth consecutive games/dance seminar to a packed room of DJs and party motivators eager to learn.  A fast-moving carousel of presentations from new and repeat presenters followed. 

Two games were particularly noteworthy this year:

Mike Alevras from HVE Associates in Hopewell Junction New York presented a hit game called “Sit Down If….”   The premise is simple but very fun.  Party guests stand up, and then the emcee proceeds to ask a series of questions – many of which are humorous.  If the answer is “yes” guests take their seat.  Questions continue until a winner is determined.  For example, the emcee might instruct, “sit down if you still have an active AOL account” or “sit down if you ate a hot dog today.”  This game is a great ice breaker for any type of party, and should work particularly well at corporate events.

Jack Bermeo from LJ Productions demonstrated a dazzling game using RFID bracelets.  These technologically advanced bracelets contain LEDs and were controlled by Bermeo on an iPad to turn different colors and flash/strobe.  In the “Snap Attack” game, the lights are turned off and bracelet wearing guests are given commands by the emcee that create an interactive human light show.  These specific RFID bracelets are called Xylobands and have been used in live shows by the band Coldplay.

The Myths and Methods of Beatmixing.  In an annual DJ Expo tradition, veteran DJ Frank Garcia of New York City’s Mainline Lighting and Sound demonstrated three mixing techniques: 1) fade and cue, 2) the break mix, and 3) the beat mix.  While technology and the “sync” key has made it easy to beatmix, Garcia recommends that DJs learn through the old-fashioned method; that is by ear.  He also cautioned that musical programming always trumps technical mixing ability. 

Interspersed in the technical instruction, Frank delivered life lessons.  For example, while we as DJs tend to play the same records, how you play your records is extremely important.   Garcia recommends taking chances at parties in order to stand out in a sea of thousands of other DJs.  While not every chance will produce results, Frank says “that with failure comes success.”  Dropping “a capellas” is one way for DJs to gain distinction.  Finally, once clients trust you as a DJ, you will command pricing power.

Right on the Money – Spinning Country.  Alan Kohn from Premier Entertainment in Connecticut has been spinning country music at bars and private events for two decades.  The popularity of country music is not limited to the southern United States.  DJs can tap into this niche market by spinning at country clubs, working on cruises, or throwing their own parties at hotels.  Line dancing, an integral part of the country party scene, can be learned by utilizing free online sites like www.copperhead.co.uk and kickit.to that offer step sheets and free instructional videos.  In Kohn’s case, he utilizes staff dancers to lead line dances at events, usually recruiting guests from parties based on their skills and charisma.  For those DJs who need country line dance specialists for parties, there is a large community of country line dance enthusiasts who can be pulled in on a freelance basis.  Kohn also recommends that DJs take dance lessons to increase their skill in this important performance attribute.

Even DJs who do not plan to specialize in country parties, can add interactive elements to regular parties by teaching a line dance like Wagon Wheel, Cotton Eye Joe, the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, Country Girl Shake It, and Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy).  Alan’s Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/djalankohn showcases 70 country line dances.

Legal Issues for DJs.  Entertainment lawyer and former DJ, Coe Ramsey, provided a wealth of tips to help DJs navigate a complex legal world.  First, in order to shield personal assets, DJs should adopt a corporate structure and take great care to separate business and personal accounts.  Interestingly, informal partnerships among DJs can sometimes be construed as legal partnerships, imposing certain legal obligations on the partners.  When setting up non-compete agreements to prevent departing DJs from taking clients, the terms of the non-compete must be reasonable in terms of duration and geographic scope.  If not, the non-compete will be difficult to enforce. 

The definition of “employee” versus “subcontractor” varies based on state laws; however, in general if a company controls an individual, they are considered an employee.  A huge benefit for DJs using legal contracts is the increase in professional image.  Contracts should contain a provision citing your home state/municipality as the applicable jurisdiction of law.  Finally, with the increased popularity of music streaming services like Spotify, DJs must check the licenses carefully to determine if music may be streamed for commercial purposes.  In the case of Spotify, the answer is ‘no’. 

The willful violation of copyright law is a “big no no” – for example, the owner of a multi-op who purchases a single subscription for a music service and then distributes copies to multiple DJs. Those willfully breaking copyright law can be fined $150,000.  DJs frustrated by Soundcloud’s removal of online mixes should consider setting up a radio station podcast.

Write Your Own Success Story.  Adam Weitz from A-Sharp Productions doled out wisdom based on a career spanning over 20 years.  First, Weitz reminded DJs that the business is a service industry, and that we should have a genuine attitude to serve that comes from the heart.  Of course, the business that you will gain from this shift in mentality is huge.  While it’s important to work hard on your business, DJs need to work even harder on creating a life plan and finding a work-life balance.  When making mistakes, be honest with clients and show vulnerability.  You will generally be forgiven.  Lastly, to manage his time more efficiently, Weitz has his DJs call a “706 Line” where they leave a message recapping the good, bad and ugly from a gig.  This prevents Adam from having to take late night phone calls.

Growing Your Business Through Vertical Integration.  Keith “K.C.” KoKoruz from Chicago provided details about an alternative growth model for DJs.  K.C. was frank in saying that “the days of going out with two speakers to make a living are over.”  K.C. himself has been expanding by starting new businesses and acquiring existing businesses.  All of his businesses are related to the wedding and events industry with his business portfolio including a bridal show producer, a flower shop, a health & beauty division and a DJ/events production operation.

K.C. introduced a change in perspective by asking if DJs would be delighted to have a 20% market share of the their local wedding DJ business.  Of course we would, but this is unrealistic for most markets.  However, by introducing related businesses such as photography, videography, lighting/decor and event planning, a vertically integrated DJ company could easily gain 20%+ of a bride’s total budget for her wedding day.  Acquiring existing businesses, particularly distressed ones, can be done inexpensively.

By vertically integrating, DJs can quickly ramp up their sales to six or even seven figures.  A common concern voiced by attendees was how to manage multiple businesses.  In K.C.’s case, he utilizes professional managers to run each business on a day-to-day basis, and also has a dedicated sales force.  This frees up his time to focus on strategic development and high level sales and marketing.  K.C. recommends that DJs surround themselves with good people, and that managers “delegate or else suffocate.”

Just as McDonalds who originally did not sell french fries came to ask “do you want some fries with that?”, we too as DJs should ask our clients “do you want some (fill in the blank) with that?”

Conclusion

K.C. KoKoruz reminded DJs that “just 5% of professionals in any given industry willingly participate in continuing education.”  A round of congratulations are therefore in order to seminar attendees who took the time to elevate themselves and the DJ industry.

Thank you DJ Times for a great 2015 Expo, and see you in 2016!

 

The Top 25 Songs of 2015 – by DJ Gregg Ambient

It’s time for a countdown of the top songs of the year gone by, presented by me, DJ Gregg Ambient.

Some quick thoughts on 2015. I thought that 2015 was a good year for music – not the best, not the worst – but certainly interesting. There were a couple of breakthrough artists. Two who come to mind are The Weeknd and Fetty Wap. I am particularly fond of the Weeknd – with his distinctive four quadrant hairstyle, falsetto voice and sexy, spaced out R&B soundscapes. Fetty Wap, a hip hop artist hailing from Paterson New Jersey achieved massive success in 2015 with his unique vocal delivery that mixed rapping and singing about scenes from the inner city.

EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and Hip Hop have both seen better days. EDM has become so mass-produced that you hear it at your local pharmacy like elevator music. EDM’s novelty has worn off, and much of it sounds the same. Regarding hip hop, the music is too slow in my opinion and sounds more like drug music than party music. Some of the most interesting music of 2015 fused musical genres – for example, Ne-Yo collaborating with Pitbull pairing R&B and Latin-influenced dance music. Major Lazer, an American electronic act, created fascinating music in 2015 fusing international styles like reggae, EDM and moombahton.

With that introduction, prepare yourselves for the Top 25 songs of 2015, presented below in countdown fashion. Also, don’t forget to check out the free, downloadable New Year’s Eve party dance mix towards the bottom of this blog containing many of these top tracks. There is also a YouTube video companion video that provides the stories behind the music.

DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 25 Songs of 2015

(25) 50 Shades of Grey Combo Pack– Earned It- The Weeknd (R&B), and Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding (pop)

(24) House Party – Sam Hunt (country)

(23) Honey, I’m Good – Andy Grammar (pop)

(22) Emergency – Icona Pop (dance)

(21) Hello – Adele (pop ballad)

(20) 50 Shades of Pop (Mashup) – DJ Earworm

(19) Ocean Drive – Duke Dumont (dance)

(18) Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy (modern rock)

(17) See You Again – Wiz Khalifa f/ Charlie Puth (hip hop / pop)

(16) Tremor – Dmitri Vegas, Martin Garrix, Like Mike (EDM)

(15) Nocturnal – Disclosure f/ The Weeknd (electronic)

(14) Sugar – Maroon 5 (pop)

(13) How Deep is Your Love – Calvin Harris (dance)

(12) Time of Our Lives – Pitbull f/ Ne-Yo (dance)

(11) Justin Bieber Combo Pack – a) Sorry, b) What Do You Mean, c) Where Are U Now

(10) Hotline Bling – Drake (R&B)

(9) I Need Your Love – Shaggy and Friends (reggae)

(8) Lean On – Major Lazer f/ DJ Snake and MO (pop/dance)

(7) Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (pop ballad)

(6) Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd (R&B)

(5) Trap Queen – Fetty Wap (hip hop)

(4) Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) – Silento (urban line dance)

(3) Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) – OMI (reggae/dance)

(2) Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson f/ Bruno Mars (pop/funk)

(1) Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon (pop/dance)

Check out this free, downloadable dance party mix from DJ Gregg Ambient at the following link:

The video companion for the Top 25 countdown:

To listen to all of the songs in their entirety, enjoy a playlist on Spotify at:

The New Years Eve Style Wedding Cocktail Hour

While New Years Eve is nearly a week gone by, this fun party atmosphere can be re-created any night of the year. New Years Eve is a time to reflect upon the year past – with all of its memories good and bad. It’s a time to get sentimental. It’s also a time to look forward with hope for the coming year.

The tracks on this playlist compiled by our DJ Gregg Ambient reflect the sentimental, festive and often flamboyant nature of a New Years Eve celebration. Representative selections include tracks from the late 70s and early 80s (Herb Alpert, Chuck Mangione, George Benson), dramatic sax players (Kenny G, Gato Barbieri) and a slew of upbeat disco and R&B artists (Whitney Houston, DeBarge, George McCrae, Cerrone) and many more. The later section of the set introduces more danceable selections in anticipation of the dance party to follow.

For New Years Eve, you’d better be uncorking a bottle of fine champagne! As a signature drink, we’ve selected a tasty bottle of Moet & Chandon. Cheers to you!

Listen to The New Years Eve Style cocktail hour on our Spotify channel by clicking here. For a 2016 New Years Eve dance mix by DJ Gregg Ambient that includes a cocktail style opening followed by a vigorous best of 2015 dance set, see the link to the Mixcloud set immediately below the track listing.


The New Years Eve Wedding Cocktail Hour

  1. Rise – Herb Alpert
  2. Feels So Good – Chuck Mangione
  3. Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile) – Gato Barbieri
  4. Brazil – Kenny G.
  5. I.G.Y. – Donald Fagen
  6. Kiss on My List – Hall & Oates
  7. Love’s Theme – The Love Unlimited Orchestra
  8. Tangerine – The Salsoul Orchestra
  9. Love in C Minor – Cerrone
  10. All Night Long – Mary Jane Girls
  11. Rock Your Baby – George McCrae
  12. More, More, More – Andrea True Connection
  13. Give Me The Night – George Benson
  14. Let’s Go Dancing’ (Ooh La, La, La) – Kool & The Gang
  15. Rhythm of The Night – DeBarge
  16. Everybody – Madonna
  17. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
  18. Dancing on the Ceiling – Lionel Richie
  19. Nightlife – Jody Watley
  20. Strike It Up – Black Box

Listen to DJ Gregg Ambient’s 2016 New Years Eve Dance Party mix on Mixcloud by clicking here.

Listen to The New Years Eve Style cocktail hour on our Spotify channel by clicking here.

Recap of Previous Cocktail Hour Playlists

Here are our prior submissions:

  1. Alternative Rock Cocktail Hour, Craft Beer (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  2. The Quintessentially Mixed Cocktail Hour, Long Island Iced Tea (DJ AQ). Click here.
  3. Good Vibes Cocktail Hour, Pina Colada (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  4. Head to Shoulder Dip Cocktail Hour, Hairy Navel (DJ Gary G). Click here.
  5. Retro Soul Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Havana Coconut Martini (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  6. Smooth Sail Cocktail Hour, Malibu Bay Breeze (DJ Mike K). Click here.
  7. Back to the Eighties Cocktail Hour, Midori Sour (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  8. Beach Themed Cocktail Hour, Red Stripe Beer (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  9. Classic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tanqueray & Tonic (DJ Garrett B.). Click here.
  10. International Excursions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sangria (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  11. Country Wedding Cocktail Hour, Manhattan (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  12. Crooner Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jack Daniels on the Rocks w/Splash of Water (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  13. Chanteuse Wedding Cocktail Hour, White Lady (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  14. TV Theme Songs Wedding Cocktail Hour, Coca-Cola with a side of Popcorn (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  15. Christmas Wedding Cocktail Hour, Eggnog (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  16. Boardwalk Empire / Great Gatsby Wedding Cocktail Hour, Rum Punch for a Crowd (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  17. Classic R&B Wedding Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Blue Ocean (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  18. James Bond Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vesper Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  19. Valentines Wedding Cocktail Hour, Godiva Chocolate Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  20. Miami Vice Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cuba Libre (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  21. The “Super Happy Hour” Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Bob Marley (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  22. The Brazilian Wedding Cocktail Hour, Caipirinha (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  23. The New Jersey Homegrown Wedding Cocktail Hour, Boat Beer (Microbrew) (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  24. The French Connection Wedding Cocktail Hour, 2010 Canon-la-Gaffeliere (Bordeaux) (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  25. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sloe Gin Fizz (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  26. The Super Funky Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Funky Cold Medina (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  27. The Acid Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Gimlet (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  28. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Miller High Life (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  29. The New York State of Mind Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bronx Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  30. The Disney Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vibrant Orange Juice Frosty (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  31. The Summer Pop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jameson & Ginger Ale (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  32. The Colorful Wedding Cocktail Hour, Shot of Goldschlager (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  33. The Inspiring Ladies of Music Wedding Cocktail Hour, Brandy Alexander (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  34. The Psychedelic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Death in the Afternoon (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  35. The Surf’s Up Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Italian Surfer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  36. The 90s Grunge Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Whiskey Sour (Guest Bloggers Pash & David). Click here.
  37. The Nice and Easy Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Martini (DJ Greg Nice). Click here.
  38. The All Beatles Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bass Ale (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  39. The Savannah Southern Charm Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Mojito (Guest blogger Cindy Brown). Click here.
  40. The All Cover Versions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tecate Beer (Team Ambient) . Click here.
  41. The Giants of Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jazz Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  42. The Smooth Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Kahlua & Cream (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  43. The Vintage Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Old-Fashioned (Guest Blogger DJ Ali Gruber) . Click here.
  44. The Acquired Taste Wedding Cocktail Hour, Fernet Branca (Guest Blogger DJ Toad) . Click here.
  45. The Jamaican Love Song Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Hummingbird (DJ Jazz) . Click here.
  46. The Motown Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Last Word (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
  47. The Broadway Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Fuzzy Greyhound (Guest bloggers Kris & Wesley) . Click here.
  48. The 50 Shades of Grey Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bottle of 1999 Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose . Click here.
  49. The Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bottle of Cristal Champagne (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  50. The Tropical Tradewinds Wedding Cocktail Hour, Barbados Rum Punch (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  51. The Reggae Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Banana (DJ Sully) . Click here.
  52. The Mellow Country Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Southern Comfort Cherry & Cola (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  53. The Space Travelers Wedding Cocktail Hour, Astronaut (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  54. The African Safari Wedding Cocktail Hour, Castle Lager Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  55. The Sunset Sessions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Mojito (Guest Blogger DJ Troy Michael) . Click here.
  56. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 2), Scotch on the Rocks (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  57. The Bar Life Wedding Cocktail Hour , Margarita (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  58. The New Orleans Wedding Cocktail Hour , Hurricane (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  59. The Catchy Covers Wedding Cocktail Hour , Southern Revival (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  60. The Blues Wedding Cocktail Hour , Blonde Manhattan (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  61. The 80s 90s Something Wedding Cocktail Hour, Zima (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  62. The Lush Boutique Hotel Wedding Cocktail Hour , Botanist Cocktail (DJ Cloak Dagger) . Click here.
  63. The Boy Bands Wedding Cocktail Hour , Bubble Martini (DJ Iron Mike . Click here.

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey that specializes in wedding DJ entertainment. Ambient DJ is a 2016 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award as well as of the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award. We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at www.ambientdj.com.

Five New Years Resolutions for DJs

With the new year, it’s a great time to take stock of where you are as a DJ, and to set out goals for 2016.  Take a moment to bask in some of your finest achievements of the past year and imagine new successes for the coming year.  As DJs, we have an innate desire to improve in our craft.  Few of us are content to rest on our laurels.  Those DJs who stagnate eventually become obsolete in this highly competitive field.

Listed below are five of my top suggested New Years resolutions for DJs.  For each resolution, I’ve also selected a song to encapsulate the theme.

1. Resolve to Learn a New Skill – The more skills that you possess as a DJ / Emcee, the more marketable you are. Are there certain types of parties that you don’t perform at because you aren’t qualified?  Do you know how to DJ / Emcee weddings, Sweet 16s, quinceaneras, Bar Mitzvahs, interactive kids parties and karaoke parties? Are you comfortable with international music and ethnic parties?  Can you mix music videos or program intelligent lights?  How are your dance skills?  Can you mix and scratch on the turntables?  Do you know how to create beats and produce music?

    There are various ways to learn a new skill.  For example, ask an established DJ to “shadow” them to an event to see how they run a party.  Read books and check out free video tutorials on YouTube.  Join your local DJ association.  Learn a technical skill at a DJ academy.  Take an online course to learn a new skill.

SONG – “Rocky’s Theme Song” – Bill Conte Orchestra

2. Resolve to Harness the Power of Your Mind –  The human brain and its sub-conscious is incredibly powerful.  As humans get worn down by the vagaries of life, we protect ourselves with limiting assumptions such as “I can’t” or “I’ll never.”  If sub-consciously you believe these limits to be true, then they become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Replace the word “can’t” with the word “can” and let these ideas marinate in your self-conscious.  If you believe it, then you can achieve it!

Listed below are sample limiting assumptions that condemn us to failure.  Again, replace the word “can’t” with “can” and your subconscious will help you to achieve that which you previously felt was unattainable:

SAMPLE LIMITING BELIEFS

  • I’m too old to DJ Sweet 16s;
  • I’m a terrible dancer;
  • I don’t have the business skills to own a DJ company;
  • I’ll never get on the Preferred Vendors list at a particular banquet hall;
  • I’m a bad writer and can’t blog;
  • I look terrible on camera and can’t create video blogs;
  • I’m not Jewish and can’t DJ a Bar Mitzvah;
  • I’m more of a DJ than an Emcee, and don’t feel comfortable on the microphone;
  • I don’t have the money to expand my DJ company;
  • I’ll never earn a full-time living being a DJ;
  • I’m not a naturally charismatic person;
  • I can’t afford to take a family vacation this year.

SONG – “I Believe I Can Fly” – R. Kelly

3. Resolve to Write Down Your Goals.  Most DJs don’t write down their goals or prepare financial forecasts.  Instead, they rely on a belief that referrals and repeat business will keep their phones ringing.  As for profits, DJs have faith that by staying busy, money will be abundant.  This philosophy is akin to a professional sports team who says “we want to play hard and win some games in 2016.”  No, a professional sports team would say, “we strive to win our division in 2016 and here’s the specific action steps on how we’re going to do it.”

To step up your level of achievement, it is important to write down specific, measurable goals.  For example, in 2016 “I want to perform at 100 weddings and earn $100,000 in profits from my DJ business.”  Or “I want to become the resident DJ at a premier Las Vegas club by June 30, 2016.”  Or, “I want to become New Jersey’s top Christian DJ service in 2016 as measured by sales.”  With a specific, measurable goal in your sights, an invisible hand will guide you towards achievements.  Setting out goals, your business will go farther than simply having some touchy-feely ambitions to do well.

For a detailed presentation about “Financial Forecasting for DJs” (including a free sample financial template), check out my instructional video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/VpNSzzFLrK4

SONG – “Takin’ Care of Business” – Bachman-Turner Overdrive

4. Resolve to Stay in Contact With Your Past Clients and Referral Sources.  In most businesses – the DJ business included – 80% of business comes from 20% of your customers.  Your past clients and networking partners already know and love you.  Enlist them as cheerleaders to easily gain referrals and repeat business.  If you are not keeping in close contact with them, realize that the door is open for a new and hungrier DJ to start building a business relationship with your client.  Marketing to existing clients is easy and inexpensive. 

Techniques to keep in contact with former clients include phone calls, postcards, small gifts (gift cards, mix CDs), special offers, email greetings and client appreciation events.

In the famous Godfather movie, Michael Corleone said “Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.”   As DJs, modify this advice to “Keep your friends close and your clients even closer.”

SONG – “Speak Softly, Love” (Theme from The Godfather)

5. Resolve to Back Up Your Music, Business Files and Contact List.   How many times in the past year did one of your friends ask you to re-send your contact information because they lost their phone or their computer got wiped out by a virus?  Don’t be unprepared and lose years of media critical to your DJ endeavors.  Back up your music, business contacts and important business files on multiple hard drives.  In case of fire or flood, keep one set of these drives at an alternate location. Take advantage of the inexpensive (or free options) to back up your data on the internet “Cloud” (e.g., DropBox, GoogleDrive, Amazon, Carbonite).  Don’t be penny wise but pound foolish by ignoring the need to back up your business critical data!

A DJ’s music collection is particularly important to protect.  Music is personal to a DJ and takes many years to amass.  How tragic it would be to lose it all!

SONG – “Back That Thang Up” – Juvenile