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I can legitimately say that I remember the time before these two fellas were born. And they turned into two of the finest young men I know.

I’m talking about Tommy & Alex. And as fate would have it, I grew up watching Alex and Tommy grow up.

At the risk of some major name-dropping I’m just going to go for it: these are two of the Duncan boys. If you’re in Oakland or Livingston Counties (or even Grand Rapids) you know all about Duncan Disposal.

So, I’ve known THE Duncan family for years! I've spent my entire life getting to know this wonderful family. So when Alex and Tommy’s mom’s asked me to play their combined graduation party, I absolutely said yes!

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This family is a tight-knit group of people. And by tight-knit I mean two of the brothers are next door neighbors and one of the brothers is straight across the common area of the subdivision. Better than that, the matriarch and patriarch of the family make up all three of those brothers’ back yard! Of course, the other brother lives in Brighton and can set your back straight if you’re in need (insert shameless plug here for Duncan Chiropractic.)

Alright…I think you get the point of the family rundown now. So, the party took place in the backyard of the oldest brother (Tommy’s dad). 

It started out as a gorgeous June day. It quickly turned in to a very humid day when a massive thunderstorm cell ripped through the area. The good news is that it barely grazed the party but dumped enough rain on us that we were scrambling to move my equipment to a safe area.
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All was well and the party was a smash. When most of the guests had gone home, the party was still rocking down in the basement. Hey…when you hire Motor City HDJ I’m going to make sure you get the value of your investment. So I setup shop in the basement and we all enjoyed some wine while I kept the party going until 2 AM.

Congrats to Alex and Tommy! I’m excited to see where life’s journey takes you next. It’s been fun watching you grow up. Don’t forget us little people. :)

 
 
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Referrals make the world go ‘round.

And because of friends Christina and Chad, I was called upon to share Brandy and Nick’s big day with them. Here’s how the story goes:

So, Chad and his family lived kiddy-corner to my family for years. A decade or so later and Chad reaches out to me to play his wedding. They’ve got a friend Brandy who is also getting married and she’s been invited to Christina and Chad’s wedding. My performance there solidified everything in her mind and she booked me as soon as she could.

On a beautiful June day, Brandy and Nick had me play their reception at one of my favorites: The Dearborn Inn in Dearborn, MI.

This was a special wedding for a few reasons. The biggest thing is that we never actually did any planning face-to-face. Thanks to FaceTime and emails, we worked out all the details AND managed to piece together a special mashup for the daddy/daughter dance during the night.

We ate, we laughed, they danced, and the night was a success! Thanks to the power of the referral for making another Motor City HDJ event happen.

Here’s the music from the night:

BRIDAL PARTY INTRODUCTIONS
"On Top of the World" - Imagine Dragons

BRIDE & GROOM FIRST DANCE
"Heaven" - DJ Sammy & Yanou Feat. Do (Acoustic Mix)

DADDY/DAUGHTER DANCE
Custom made mashup

MOTHER/SON DANCE
"My Wish" - Rascal Flatts

LAST DANCE OF THE NIGHT
"Dirty Bit (The Time of My Life)" - Black Eyed Peas

 
 
Today’s wedding is why I love what I do.

When Michelle and Gary called on me to play their June wedding, I was more than thrilled to be a part of the big picture. These two have a special kind of bond and it truly shows…

They both LOVE the Detroit Lions.

Right away, that made them winners in my book.

Well, that’s not completely true. It was probably the fact that Gary and I have become good friends over the last 2 years and that I pushed him to consider hiring me for his wedding. And they did! Once they moved forward with me and Motor City HDJ it became clear to the 3 of us that this was a very natural decision.

In most cases, I meet with clients in a public, wi-fi hotspot public place. But because of our relationship, I was able to enjoy the planning process from the comfort of Michelle and Gary’s couch while we shared Coronas and talked about the wedding. It was such an awesomely different experience.

The event took place at Fountains Golf & Banquet in Clarkston, MI. And this was a “tricks-up-my-sleeve” type wedding. Oh, not from me. But from the groom and the father of the bride.

The first part of the reception didn’t really deviate much from the usual order of things. We did introductions, there were toasts, someone blessed the meal, we ate, and then we moved on to the special dances.

It was the mother/son dance where the first “trick” came in to play. From the very get-go, Gary told me that he wanted to do something special for his mom for their first dance. So, he did.

During my second consultation with them to finalize things before the wedding, I assisted in cleaning up the audio he recorded in a homemade spoken word song he wrote just for his mom. When it came time to play this at the reception, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. And yeah, I’ll admit I was a little choked up at a few moments, too. It was sweet, sincere, and sentimental. Such a fitting tribute for his wonderful mom.

The second trick was my personal favorite.

I mentioned that Michelle and Gary are HUGE Lions fans. Well, at one point in the night, the guests at the reception were paid a visit by Detroit Lions mascot Roary.
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He was awesome. He danced with guests, took pictures, signed autographs, and really added a unique touch to this wonderful night. I was even table to slip in for a quick pic.

Michelle and Gary, I will never forget your wedding. It was truly one of a kind and I don’t think I’ll ever have an experience quite like it again.

Thank you for thinking of me to share your night with you. I had a blast and I wish the two of you love and happiness forever.

 
 
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It’s definitely nice to have friends in high places. Okay, so they’re not THAT powerful, but they’re for sure the coolest repeat clients on the face of the planet.

Thanks to the home of the Family Deal, my good friend Kelley LaFontaine hired me and Motor City HDJ to entertain the guests of her son’s graduation party. Second graduation party in 2 weeks…that’s pretty cool!

I made the trek out to their beautiful home in Clarkston and shared an afternoon of fun, food, and great music with them.

It’s always a pleasure playing for friends. Thanks for having me out, Barron and Kelley!

 
 
Man oh man! THIS IS IT!

The pinnacle of 2014 for Motor City HDJ!

It finally happened. Because of some great friends who happen to have graduating seniors, I was called upon to play for an entertain at my alma mater: South Lyon High School.

And I have to admit that it was very surreal walking the halls again…getting those vibes again…seeing those faces again. What an amazing feeling to be back at the place where I learned how to learn and how to entertain people.
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Wow.

I also learned something tonight. I learned that I am definitely not used to staying up until 6 AM for no good reason. But that’s okay. These kids worked hard and they deserved a heck of a party, so that’s what we gave them!

Tom and I both played this event to make things easier for coordination and to provide relief during this 6 hour solid stint.

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The theme for the event was Hollywood. As students entered the party at 10 PM, I was down the hall introducing these kids as if they were celebrities. It was a pretty cool concept and it really made these youngsters feel like a million bucks.

And yeah…it definitely made me realize how old I am.

We set up the dance space in the Commons area which is where the students eat lunch. There were many activities going on throughout the gym, lecture hall, and other stations spread out.

The highlight of my night, though, was seeing the WSLH Channel 2 sign still taped to the studio window from when we put it there back in 1998. 16 years later and it’s still there!

It was an absolutely amazing time and I’m grateful to Donna, Marcie, and the SLHS 2014 SANE staff for letting me and Motor City HDJ be a part of this very special night. Thanks for the memories!

 
 
People that know me can testify to the fact that I absolutely pour my heart and soul in to every event that I do. But sometimes an event comes along that is truly more special than the rest.

This will be the most meaningful event all year. Simply because my friends Abby and Mike now share an anniversary with my wife and me! HOW EXCITING! Don’t worry…we will still celebrate our big day together. :)

I had the pleasure of playing for Abby’s sister Olivia last year when she and Ryan got married at Weller’s in Saline. This time it was Abby and Mike’s turn.
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The event took place at the Meeting House Grand Ballroom in Plymouth, MI. I’m normally very complimentary of most venues where I get to play, but I was not at all impressed with the way this staff operated. I wrote a Yelp review which you can read here.

Alright…with that out of the way, let’s talk about Abby and Mike!

From an aesthetic standpoint, this was one of the most elegant weddings I’ve played for in a long time. The room has very high ceilings and a Victorian feeling to it. The floor is an original hardwood that squeaks.

As an added bonus, this event was great because of the relationship my family has with the bride’s family from years of attending North Ridge Church together. It makes things easier when you get to play for friends.

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Not only was I able to play for friends, I was also able to spend some time with them!

The night was an absolute blast and I’m thankful for a bride and groom like Abby and Mike who give me creative control over the entertainment. They did get me a short playlist to work off of, but most of this night was just me and my raw skill to keep their guests dancing all night…which they did.

Here’s how the special stuff went:

BRIDAL PARTY INTRODUCTION
"Marry You" - Bruno Mars

BRIDE & GROOM FIRST DANCE
"We Found Each Other in the Dark" - City and Colour

DADDY/DAUGHTER DANCE
"Earth Angel" - The Vogues

MOTHER/SON DANCE
"These Are the Words I Would Say" - Sidewalk Profits

BRIDAL PARTY DANCE
"In My Life" - The Beatles

BOUQUET TOSS
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" - Beyonce

GARTER TOSS
"Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams

LAST SONG OF THE NIGHT
"Iron & Wine" - Flightless Bird American Mouth

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me and Motor City HDJ be a part of this very special day. You are two of the sweetest people I know and I’m excited to see you start a family together. And thank you for letting me share an anniversary with you two! :)

 
 
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It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend and the fun comes to a close in a new location with more great people.

Meredith and Josh had me along for their beautiful (and hot) summer wedding at the historic Grosse Pointe War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. This venue is easily one of the most picturesque I’ve ever seen. Just be careful about making a call on your cell phone. The War Memorial sits on the literal edge of Lake St. Clair which puts you very close to Canada (those roaming and international charges are a beast.)

This was another double-duty event for me and Motor City HDJ. I was called upon to do sound for the ceremony which was downstairs on the steps of the memorial facing the water. Yeah…it doesn’t get much better than that. I was just lucky to be in the shade.

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We moved inside and upstairs for the rest of the party.

The reception venue is inside the mansion and two of the walls allow a breathtaking view of the lake. Rough to have to look at that all night. ;)

I had the pleasure of working with a new photographer friend again Jesse Speelman. I first met him when I played Jess and Steve’s wedding at Stoney Creek.

He’s a wonderful guy to work with and certainly knows what he’s doing.

Here’s how the music went:

BRIDAL PARTY INTRODUCTION
"Gonna Fly Now" - Theme from Rocky

BRIDE/GROOM FIRST DANCE
"A Thousand Years" - Christina Perri (sung live by the bride’s friend)
"This Guy’s in Love With You" - Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

DADDY/DAUGHTER DANCE
"My Wish" - Rascal Flatts

MOTHER/SON DANCE
"Over the Rainbow" - Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

BOUQUET TOSS
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" - Beyonce

What a great crowd! What a great way to wrap up a wonderful jam-packed event weekend!

You are two of the most beautiful people I’ve met. You’ve got beautiful families and I hope that your love for each other continues to grow over the years. Thanks for having me aboard for the big day!