Chad & Danielle - September 4, 2011

The Venue: Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco

Stonebriar Country Club is one of my favorite places to play in DFW. They have great food, a friendly staff, and a very nice facility. Chad & Danielle moved their reception to Stonebriar from a different venue only about month before their wedding date. The coordinators Susan & Reagan made the transition smooth and easy, and they have always been very professional and accommodating every time I’ve worked with them.

There are two main ballrooms in the clubhouse: The Claredon Room & The Myers Grand Ballroom. The Myers Grand can be seen in my 60 second commercial, and it’s large enough to hold about 250 people. Chad & Danielle’s reception was just small enough to fit in the Claredon Room. I think they had about 125 at the wedding.

The room has an antique look to it with lots of wood and earthy colors. They decided on using a reddish-gold uplighting color, which really complemented the room nicely. The awesome photographs are courtesy of Stacie Tatum Photography.

For sound, I included an extra speaker in the Formal Lounge (just outside the ballroom), so that guests could enjoy background music and cocktails in both areas.

Stonebriar Country Club - Dallas Wedding Uplighting LED Uplighting - Frisco Wedding DJ

The Toasts

This wedding was a great example of having well prepared toasts. You can read some tips and hear the actual toasts in an earlier blog post titled “Great Wedding Toasts: Tips & Examples.

The Music

Chad & Danielle knew their guests were coming to party, and they knew what kind of music would get everyone on the dance floor: classic rock! Their playlist below is what was actually played, where a ** indicates a request.

* from Chad & Danielle’s request list
** requested by one of their guests

Adele - To Make You Feel My Love [2008]
Foreigner - Waiting For A Girl Like You (single version) [1981]
Queen - You're My Best Friend [1976]
Beatles - Do You Want To Know A Secret (mono) [1964]
Zombies - Time Of The Season (stereo) [1969]
Elton John - Tiny Dancer [1972]
INXS - Never Tear Us Apart [1988]
Tears For Fears - Head Over Heels (single version) [1985]
America - You Can Do Magic [1980]
Steely Dan - Reeling In The Years [1973]
Alan Jackson - Love's Got A Hold On You [1992]
Journey - Lights [1978]
Foreigner - I Don't Want To Live Without You (single version) [1988]
Incubus - Drive [2001]
REO Speedwagon - Take It On The Run (single version) [1981]*
Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Radio Edit) [2011]*

Grand Entrance
Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling (introduction version) [2009]

First Dance
Stevie Nicks & Don Henley - Leather And Lace (single version) [1981]

Eagles - One Of These Nights (single version) [1975]*
Temptations - My Girl (mono single version) [1965]*
George Strait - Blue Clear Sky [1996]*
Roy Orbision - You Got It [1989]
Fleetwood Mac - Hold Me [1982]
Rolling Stones - Beast Of Burden (promo single version) [1978]*
Heart - These Dreams (single version) [1986]
Led Zeppelin - All My Love [1980]
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge [1992]
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street (promo single version) [1978]
Alan Jackson - Gone Country [1994]*
Van Morrison - Moondance [1970]
Drifters - Under The Boardwalk (mono single version) [1964]
Elton John - Your Song [1971]

Pink - Raise Your Glass [2010]*

Hootie & The Blowfish - Hold My Hand [1995]
Steely Dan - Hey Nineteen (single version) [1981]

Father/Daughter Dance
Rascal Flatts - My Wish (father/daughter edit) [2006]*

Open Dancing
Journey - Feeling That Way [1978]*
Journey - Anytime [1978]*
Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love (single version) [1986]*
Don Henley - All She Wants To Do Is Dance (single version) [1985]*
The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women [1969]
Knack - My Sharona (single version) [1979]*
Fixx - One Thing Leads To Another (single version) [1983]*
Rolling Stones - She's So Cold (promo single version) [1980]*
Gerry Rafferty - Right Down The Line (single version) [1978]*
Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody (mono) [1965]*

Anniversary Dance
George Strait - Carried Away [1996]*

Jennifer Lopez Feat. Pitbull - On The Floor [2011]
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (Updated Radio Edit) [2011]*
Britney Spears - I Wanna Go [2011]*
Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World) [2010]*
KC & The Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes [1978]**
The Cars - Just What I Needed [1978]*
Bob Seger - Old Time Rock & Roll [1978]**
Isley Brothers - Shout (Parts 1 & 2) (stereo LP version) [1959]**
Dire Straits - Money For Nothing (Short Edit) [1985]*
Rick James - Super Freak (Part 1) [1981]**
69 Boyz - Tootsee Roll (Rap Version) [1994]**
Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun [1984]**
Michael Jackson - Rock With You (single version) [1980]**
Michael Jackson - Beat It [1983]**
Bee Gees - Night Fever [1978]*
Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy [1989]*
Rolling Stones - Miss You (single version) [1978]
Journey - Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' (single version - cold ending) [1979]*
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here [1975]*
Eddie Money - Take Me Home Tonight [1986]*
Outfield - Your Love (single version) [1986]*

Last Dance
Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin (stereo single version) [1972]*

Exit Music (rose petal send off)
Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way [1977]
ZZ Top - La Grange (mono single version) [1974]*

Great Wedding Toasts: Tips & Examples

Just like great weddings, great wedding speeches don’t happen by accident. They require plenty of planning and preparation. While it’s possible to “wing it” when it comes time for the toast, the speech is likely to be much better with some thought and preparation.

Ask In Advance (Brides & Grooms)
If you are a bride or a groom, be sure you ask your maid of honor, best man, or anyone else who will be speaking, well in advance. This seems like common sense, but I’ve deejayed several weddings where the people who were slated to give a toast only found out earlier that day. Instead, give them at least a week to prepare.

Use Humor Appropriately
You may have seen videos or even attended a wedding in person where a toast was uncomfortable and awkward because of inappropriate jokes. It’s okay to be funny, and personally, I always enjoy speeches that include humor; however, use good taste. Especially avoid talking about past relationships/ex’s, telling embarrassing stories, and using profanity.

Write It Down
There’s nothing wrong with writing out your speech or at least making notes on note cards. If you are the type of person who is generally nervous about giving a speech, you’ll be thankful to have some notes to help guide you through rather than trying to remember everything you want to say. Even if you decide not to use notes, writing it out ahead of time will help you craft a better speech.

Practice In Front Of Someone
Whenever I am about to present something for others to see or hear, I usually try to use my wife as the test audience. I’d much rather hear it from her in private if something isn’t quite ready to be presented than to have awkward moments in front of a large audience. If possible, try to find a friend or family member that you can rehearse in front of. Not only will they be able to let you know if the speech is worthy of giving, but it will help you get more comfortable with giving it in front of people.

Keep It Short
Most wedding toasts are about two minutes long, which in my opinion is a great length. If your plan is to “wing it,” it’s probably best to keep it even shorter and sweeter.

It’s Okay To Pause
I’ve heard a few speeches where the speaker was a little nervous and had lost his place. Rather than taking a moment to gather his thoughts, he decided to keep rambling. Doing so made the speech sound much more awkward than if he had simply taken 3 to 5 seconds to collect his thoughts, find his place, and then continue.

A Few Examples

Take a listen to three sample speeches on the Media page of my site. You will hear some fantastic toasts by the maid of honor, best man, and father of the bride.

Closing Remarks

Keep in mind that there is a good chance someone may capture wedding toasts and speeches for future listening or viewing. For example, I record the toasts for all of my clients as part of their DJ package and send them a copy on CD. That said, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by following some of the tips above, so you can be proud of your speech rather than embarrassed or regretful. Happy toasting!

Jason & Kim - November 11, 2011

If you’re looking for a unique idea to get your guests involved with the music selection process, here’s a tip from Jason & Kim: leave a blank on your RSVP cards for requesting a song. Quite a few of their guests took advantage of it, and I played as many of them as I could fit during the course of the evening.

The full playlist is posted below, including their “Top 11 Most Requested Songs.” (I chose to go with 11 songs because of the 11-11-11 date.) Since Jason & Kim had taken the time to tally up the requests, I decided to open the dancing with their guests’ top song choices.

The Venue: Paradise Cove in Southlake

Paradise Cove is kind of a “hidden” place on the south side of Grapevine Lake in Southlake. In fact, Google Maps didn’t quite get me all the way there. If you’re trying to find it, you need to go past the map marker at the corner of El Camino Ct. & Midway Dr. Just stay on Midway until you see it. On my first trip to visit the venue, I turned around too soon.

They have a neat spot for ceremonies that overlooks the lake, and the staff was very organized and friendly. Tina helped to make sure everything was in place and running smoothly, and Steve is one of the friendliest bartenders you’ll meet!

The Coincidental #11

When I first met with Jason & Kim about their 11-11-11 wedding, they told me about some strange coincidences with the number 11. Not only was it Kim’s favorite number, but it kept popping up throughout the wedding planning process. They booked the venue on 1/11, found “the dress” on 2/11, booked the photographers on 3/11 (the fantastic Sara & Rocky Photography), and booked the officiant and photobooth on 4/11.

As they were telling me about this, I took a quick glance at my calendar to see what the date was. May 14th. Well, even though I didn’t meet with them on the 11th, it still worked out :)

Later on, I found out that there were 11 girls that went out with Kim on her bachelorette party, which was on 9/11. The date I found this out was at our final consultation meeting on 10/11. Strange! It makes me wonder how often these things happen and perhaps we just don’t pay attention to them.

The Music

The following is a list of songs that were actually played at the wedding. I ended up playing mostly requests, as you can tell from the ** next to each song.

* from Jason & Kim’s request list
** requested by one of their guests

Cocktail Hour

You don’t need the DJ to play cocktail music when you’ve hired the incredibly talented harpist Cindy Horstman. I had the pleasure of listening to Cindy play at two different weddings in the past two weeks, and she’s one of the best harpists you’ll find anywhere.

First Dance
Ben Harper - Forever [1994]*

IZ - Over The Rainbow (father-daughter edit) [2004]*

Melissa DuVall - A Mother's Prayer (mother-son edit) [2009]*

Dinner Selections
Elton John - Your Song [1971]**
UB40 - Can't Help Falling In Love (single version) [1993]*
Dusty Springfield - The Look Of Love (soundtrack version) [1967]**
Shania Twain - From This Moment On (The IV Mix) [1998]**
Natalie Cole - This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) [1975]**
Coldplay Viva La Vida (Radio Edit) [2008]**
Caedmon's Call - Table for Two [2000]**
Carpenters - We've Only Just Begun [1970]**
Adele - Lovesong [2011]**
UB40 - Here I Am (Come And Take Me) (Radio Edit) [1991]**
Tim McGraw with Faith Hill - It's Your Love [1997]**
Nat King Cole - Unforgettable [1951]**
Sanctus Real - Lead Me [2010]**
Beatles - Love Me Do (mono) [1964]**
All-4-One - I Can Love You Like That [1995]
UB40 - Red Red Wine (short single version) [1984]

Cake Cutting
Cake - Love You Madly [2002]*

Anniversary Dance
Moonlight & Roses (This was the bride’s grandparents’ wedding song.)

The Top 11 Most Requested Songs (from the RSVP cards)
11. Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (mono) [1965]**
10. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama (promo single version) [1974]**
9. Sublime - What I Got (Kahne Radio Edit) [1996]**
8. Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise [1995]**
7. V.I.C. - Wobble (Clean Version) [2008]**
6. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean [1983]**
5. Flo Rida f/T-Pain - Low (New Radio Mix) [2008]**
4. All-4-One - I Swear (Radio Mix) [1994]**
3. Etta James - At Last [1961]**
2. Sir Mix-A-Lot - Baby Got Back [1992]**
1. B-52’s - Love Shack (single version) [1989]**

Isley Brothers - Shout (Parts 1 & 2) [1959]**
Bob Kames - The Chicken Dance [1981]*
(This is one of those songs that only gets played when the bride & groom specifically ask for it.)
Mase - Feel So Good (Radio Mix) [1997]*
INXS - Need You Tonight [1988]**
Marcia Griffiths - Electric Boogie [1990]**
Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby (Radio Mix) [1990]**
Madonna - Borderline (single version) [1984]**
Cupid - Cupid Shuffle (extended) [2007]**
Britney Spears - Toxic [2004]
69 Boyz - Tootsee Roll (Rap Version) [1994]*
LMFAO - Sexy And I Know It [2011]
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (Updated Radio Edit) [2011]

Bouquet Toss
Troggs - Wild Thing (mono) [1966]**

Garter Removal / Toss
Sublime - What I Got (garter version) [1996]*
Guns N' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle [1988]*

George Strait - I Cross My Heart [1992]**
Soulja Boy Tell'em - Crank Dat (Vocal) [2007]**
California Swag District - Teach Me How To Dougie [2010]**
Warren G & Nate Dogg - Regulate (Radio Version) [1994]*
Snoop Doggy Dogg Gin And Juice (Radio Version) [1994]*
Skee-Lo - I Wish (Radio Edit) [1995]**
'N Sync - Bye Bye Bye (Radio Edit) [2000]**
Billy Squier - The Stroke [1981]**
Billy Idol - White Wedding (single version) [1983]**
Knack - My Sharona (single version) [1979]
Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine (357 Edit-Remix) [1988]*
Steve Earle - Copperhead Road [1988]*
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight (single version) [1978]**
Three 6 Mafia f/Young Buck, Eightball & MJG - Stay Fly (Clean) [2005]*
Salt-N-Pepa - Push It (Remix) [1987]**
Run-DMC - It’s Tricky [1987]
Romantics - What I Like About You [1980]**
Rihanna - Rude Boy [2010]**
Britney Spears - 3 [2009]**
Maroon 5 Feat. Christina Aguilera - Moves Like Jagger [2011]
Enur f/Natasja - Calabria 2007 (Radio Edit) [2008]
George Strait - Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind [1984]**
Destiny's Child - Bootylicious (Radio Edit) [2001]**
DJ Kool - Let Me Clear My Throat (Klassic Kool Original Version) [1997]
House Of Pain - Jump Around (Clean Master Mix) [1992]**
Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz f/Ying Yang Twins - Get Low (Radio) [2003]
Pretenders - Message Of Love [1981]**
Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (LP version) [1979]
Bob Carlisle - Butterfly Kisses (short edit) [1997]**
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home (Radio Edit) [2010]*
Andrew Gold - Thank You For Being A Friend (single version) [1978]*

Jason & Meredith - September 3, 2011

The Venue: Heard Craig Hall in McKinney

McKinney has some great, historical spots for weddings, and this was the first time I had played at Heard Craig Hall. One of my favorite features is the large white pillars around the room, which looked incredible with uplighting. Austin wedding photographer Geoff Duncan did an outstanding job with the photos!

mckinney-wedding-dj-uplighting dallas-wedding-dj-uplighting

Jason & Meredith had originally planned on having their reception outdoors at Chestnut Square, which is also a really neat spot; however, their guest count had gotten larger than they anticipated, and the weather was forecasted to be pretty warm. They still had the ceremony in the chapel at Chestnut Square, but then everyone headed to Heard Craig for the party!

Another unique feature of the hall is the large stage, which is what they usually use for the dance floor. In one of our early meetings, Meredith had reservations about whether people would want to walk up the steps and onto the stage for dancing, and admittedly, I did, too. Thankfully her friends and family were not shy at all, and they had no problem making their way onto the large stage, which is where I set up the speakers and dance floor lighting, as well as a few uplights along the back curtains. The rest of the DJ equipment was set up on the main floor next to the stage.

The Music

Musically, Jason & Meredith asked me to mix in some of their favorite indie pop & rock, along with some mainstream favorites and classics. Below is their wedding playlist, which includes several requests from their guests, too. Please note that this is what was actually played at their wedding.

* from Jason & Meredith’s request list
** requested by one of their guests

Cocktail Hour
Norah Jones - Come Away With Me [2002]
Dave Matthews Band - You And Me (Radio Edit) [2010]
Weepies - Somebody Loved [2003]
Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing [2008]
David Gray - This Years Love (Strings Remix) [2001]
Goo Goo Dolls - Iris (Edit) [1998]
John Mayer - 3x5 [2003]
Ingrid Michaelson - The Way I Am [2007]
Coldplay - Clocks (Edit) [2003]
Lifehouse - You And Me [2005]
Norah Jones - Don't Know Why [2002]
Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat - Lucky [2009]
Feist - Mushaboom [2009]*
Beatles - All You Need Is Love (mono single version) [1967]
Fisher - L-O-V-E [2002]
Coldplay - Til Kingdom Come [2005]
Cat Power - Sea of Love [2000]*

Grand Entrance
Barry Louis Polisar - All I Want Is You (from “Juno”) [1977]*

Mae - The Ocean [2005]*
Amy Winehouse - Someone to Watch Over [2008]*
Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark [2005]*
Ella Fitzgerald - Blue Skies [1958]*
Passion Pit - Sleepyhead [2010]*
Goo Goo Dolls - Black Balloon (Radio Remix) [1999]*
Black Keys - You’re the One [2006]*
Billie Holiday - Blue Moon [1950]*
Imogen Heap - Can’t Take It In [2006]*
Feist - 1234 (Radio Version) [2007]
Spill Canvas - Valiant [2002]*
Copeland - Priceless [2003]*
Ella Fitzgerald - Tea For Two [1963]*
Mae - Somewhere [2008]*
Iron & Wine - Such Great Heights [2003]*
David Gray - Babylon (Radio Mix) [2000]

First Dance
Beatles - In My Life (first dance edit) [1966]*

Norah Jones - Seven Years (father-daughter edit) [2002]*

Open Dancing Begins
Etta James - At Last [1961]**
Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World [1968]
Mr C The Slide Man - Cha Cha Slide (Radio Edit) [2000]**
Temptations - Ain't Too Proud To Beg (mono) [1966]
Beatles - Twist And Shout (mono) [1964]
Michael Jackson - Thriller (promo single version) [1984]**
Bob Kames - The Chicken Dance [1981]*
(I don’t normally play this song, but there was a special story behind it for Meredith and her parents.)
Frankie Yankovic & His Yanks - Beer Barrel Polka**
George Strait - Amarillo By Morning [1983]
Why Don't We Just Dance - Josh Turner [2009]

Just for Fun
Texas Tech - Fight Raiders, Fight (groom’s school)
The University of Texas Longhorn Band - The Eyes of Texas (bride’s school)
(There were two groom’s cakes: one with the Texas Tech logo and one with the UT logo.)

Cake Cutting
James Taylor - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) [1975]*
Average White Band - Cut The Cake (single version) [1975]**

George Strait - I Cross My Heart [1992]
Cupid - Cupid Shuffle (extended) [2007]**
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl [1967]**
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (Updated Radio Edit) [2011]
Flo Rida - Low (New Radio Mix) [2008]

Bouquet Toss
Dixie Cups - Chapel Of Love (mono) [1964]*

Garter Toss
Flo Rida - Right Round (Single Version) [2009]*

Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight (single version) [1978]
Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (promo single version) [1979]
Tone Loc - Wild Thing [1989]
Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling (Radio Edit) [2009]**
Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline [1969]**
Randy Travis - Forever And Ever, Amen [1987]
Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman (mono single version) [1964]
KC & The Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes [1978]**
Run-DMC - It’s Tricky [1987]
Taio Cruz - Dynamite [2010]
Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole - Unforgettable [1991]**

Exit Music
Imogen Heap - Goodnight and Go [2005]*