I get a giddy when it's time to play a wedding in The City. It bears repeating: when your company is called MOTOR CITY HDJ that means you relish every opportunity to play in Detroit. It's a city rich in history that will eventually go back to "the way it was" when things were safer, business was booming, and people flocked there. So, when Jessica and Nick told me their party would be at historic Cliff Bell's, I couldn't stop grinning.
You've probably passed it a dozen times and didn't realize the hidden gem behind its doors. It was an old jazz club at one point in history and it still serves that purpose from time to time. Now, people host private events and you can still hop in after a game to grab a drink and take in the history. Such a thrill to play here!
Once I got done with my "oos" and "aahhs" it was time to get to business. Both the ceremony and the reception took place at the venue. The ceremony was short and sweet so that we could get right to the party. Dinner was served buffet style and the food was absolutely amazing.
The highlight of the event for me was the conversation I had with Cliff Bell's banquet manager. During the course of casual conversation she mentioned how well the event went and that she wanted to make Motor City HDJ the PREFERRED DJ for Cliff Bell's! That's pretty exciting. They could recommend anyone and they choose to plug me. That's pretty cool stuff!
I'd tell you more about the night but I'd rather you see for yourself. Jessica and Nick: thanks for having me along for this amazing night. It was truly magical to celebrate your big with you in the heart of a city we all love so much. I wish you two the very best in everything!
Here are the special songs from the night:
BRIDAL PARTY INTROS
"Somebody Loves You" - Betty Who
BRIDE/GROOM FIRST DANCE
"Let's Stay Together" - Al Green
"In My Life" - The Beatles
"My Wish" - Rascal Flatts
Here we go...the first double header of the month. They're actually all double headers in May and I couldn't be more thrilled about that!
And what a way to wrap up the second of two weddings for the weekend than by spending time with this awesome couple, Sarah and Justin! They came to me by way of a couple different weddings I played where they were guests. And as it happens, a previous groom I worked with was in attendance at this one! This is what the business is all about.
The reception took place at Mac Ray Harbor in Harrison Township
...right on the breath-taking Lake St. Clair. It was my first time at this venue and I have to say I was impressed with the event space. The venue is close to Selfridge Air Force Base, and depending on the direction you enter from, you get a chance to see part of the base. It's pretty cool.
It was a beautiful day to have a wedding and as an added bonus I was fortunate to work with my pal Jesse Speelman of Jesse Speelman Photography
again. It makes things easier when I can work with someone I've worked with in the past. There's a certain synergy that happens that makes coordination a lot easier for all of us involved. When I work with Jesse, we have that. It's great.
This was a great group of people to party with. Italians always throw a great party, especially when you can get them all to the dance floor to dance to "Che La Luna Mezzo Mare."
That was a blast to watch, too. The bride and groom couldn't be more pleasant to work with and their guests were fun and down to earth.
Congrats to my new friends, The Yaks!
Here's the special music from the event:BRIDAL PARTY INTROS
"Yakety Yak" - The CoastersBRIDE/GROOM FIRST DANCE
"Thinking Out Loud" - Ed SheeranDADDY/DAUGHTER DANCE
"I Loved Her First" - HeartlandMOTHER/SON DANCE
"A Mother's Song" - T. CarterBOUQUET TOSS
"Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae JepsenGARTER TOSS
"Standing on a Corner" - Dean Martin
I love playing a wedding for my friends and family of North Ridge Church. It will always have that vibe of friendship and even though I'm doing what I love, working at it, I know that I'm surrounded by some of my biggest fans and supporters. So, with that out of the way, this was another one of those amazing experiences for me.
Jaylee and Kevin came to me back when she was working for my dad in Plymouth. And thanks to Facebook, we got things started on the right track. The Facebook messages started flowing and the next thing you know, we're booking a wedding.
It started as just playing the reception, but when they asked me to provide sound for the ceremony in the park...in Plymouth...which is gorgeous...I said YES!
The ceremony was officiated by a great friend of Motor City HDJ, the wonderful Kevin Winningham. He always does an amazing job at keeping the nuptials centered on the One thing that matters most and I always love watching him work. If you're reading this post, are getting married, and need someone genuine to see you off as husband and wife, I can put you in touch with Kevin. He's amazing.
After the ceremony, there was a good amount of time to transition to the reception venue: the Livonia Elks Club
. I was very impressed with the event space. I set up the night before so there wasn't a ton of rushing around on wedding day. After the rehearsal on Thursday, I was joined by the wedding party and parents and we turned the Elks Club in to an absolutely gorgeous event space.
It was great to see all of my North Ridge family there that night. The icing on the cake? They let me use fog. It always makes a DJ happy when he can see his lights as they fill the room. :) Oh...I can't forget about the disco ball at the venue. I mean, c'mon...it's a disco ball.
Thank you, Jaylee and Kevin, for inviting me and Motor City HDJ along to share your special day with you. I'm honored that you asked me and I'm thrilled that I got to watch you start your journey together as husband and wife.
Here's the special music playlist:BRIDAL PARTY INTROS
"I'm a Believer" - SmashmouthBRIDE/GROOM FIRST DANCE
"All About Us (feat. Owl City)" - He Is WeDADDY/DAUGHTER DANCE
"Cinderella" - Steven Curtis ChapmanMOTHER/SON DANCE
"My Wish" - Rascal FlattsBRIDAL PARTY DANCE
"Smile" - Uncle KrackerBOUQUET TOSS
"Where Dem Girls At" - David GuettaGARTER TOSS
"You Sexy Thing" - Hot Chocolate
After a few weeks off, I headed back to Cobblestone Farm and Museum in Ann Arbor to play for Holly & John and their families and friends. Holly came to me by way of the company my stepmom Ginny used to work for.
It was an unseasonably gorgeous day for an April in Michigan. The weather was absolutely perfect for these two. It's the kind of day you hope for when it comes time for a wedding.
And to make this day even better for me (and to showcase the power of the referral) I was able to spend some time with a future bride and groom at this event. Pretty cool when it works out like this! That's really why I love what I do.
This was my second time DJing from the loft on the second level of this venue. It provides a great vantage point for the dance floor and lets the bride and groom utilize every square foot of their event space.
The crowd was on point all night long! They didn't stop dancing once. At one point we went outside to light Chinese lanterns and once we came back in, it's like the party never stopped. Such a great group!
Check out the special music we used for this event:
BRIDAL PARTY INTRODUCTIONS
"Marry You" - Bruno Mars
BRIDE & GROOM FIRST DANCE
"Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran
"Butterfly Kisses" - Bob Carlisle
"The Perfect Fan" - Backstreet Boys
BRIDAL PARTY DANCE
"You've Got a Friend in Me" - Randy Newman
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" - Beyonce
"Leave Your Hat On" - Joe Cocker
LAST SONG OF THE NIGHT
"Better Man" - James Morrison
One month later, to the day, I am back at one of my favorite spots to play: Waldenwoods Resort & Conference Center in Hartland, MI
For this event, I have to thank my good pals Darcie & Steve for hooking me up with this event. I played their wedding (get this) AT WALDENWOODS a few years ago. How ironic! Well, our groom for the event happens to be related to Darcie, so that made things a little easier here. The best part of this though? We had 6 weeks to get this thing together.
Bride Melanie came to me on Facebook to let me know what she needed. She was very organized from the start which helped us in this short period of time.
I was involved in both the ceremony and reception planning. Normally, the Waldenwoods space is setup for a reception. This was unique because the ceremony was on one side of the room and the reception area was setup on the other. Good use of the space!
The exchange of vows was short and sweet. It was a smaller crowd altogether for this event which made for an intimate setting.
Once dinner was over, the bride and groom shared a dance and we were off to the dancing.
I'm used to events going until midnight, so it was nice that this event ended at 10 PM. And just because the crowd was smaller didn't meant we didn't have fun. If there were rug out there, it would have gotten cut up quickly!
Congratulations again, Melanie and Tony! Thank you for letting me share in your special day!
Here's another event by way of referral. And this is the best type of referral because it came straight from me playing at a different event.
If you've read this blog any, you may remember me talking about my friends Taryn & Kevin
(click the link if you want to catch up on the story real quick.) They helped start my September weddings last year. Taryn's friend Jenn happened to be the matron of honor in the wedding. We weren't even halfway through with Taryn and Kevin's event when Jenn said, "YOU HAVE TO PLAY FOR US!" This huge grin hit me and soon, we were talking details of their upcoming event...which was today.
Jenn and Mike never got a party. They decided to get married and got busy with life. So, they had a party and I got to come along for the fun.
The party was at 1 Under Craft Beer & Eats in Livonia, MI
. Good thing, too. 10 minute ride from the house? Yes, please. If you're from around here you've probably been to 1 Under's bar downstairs. Well, they have an absolutely gorgeous event space upstairs, too. It's been renovated recently and it's stunning. The staff is great, the food is awesome, and the service is wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone looking to throw a party in this area.
I got to sit down with Jenn & Mike a couple times to talk about plans for this party. It wasn't until the second time that I learned of a special daddy/daughter dance mix we would be doing.
I enjoyed this event because it wasn't a typical wedding. Don't misunderstand: I LOVE WEDDINGS. But sometimes it's a nice change of pace to get an event that doesn't involve a lot of details and stress. This was cool breeze compared to some events I've done in the past.
After a short and sweet renewal ceremony, the party was on. And it was a great party! I was bummed that the night had to end.
Jenn and Mike: I'm so thrilled that you got your party and I'm even more thrilled that you graciously invited me along for the fun. I wish your family the best for the future!
Now on to the special music:BRIDE/GROOM DANCE
"I Only Have Eyes For You" - The FlamingosDADDY/DAUGHTER DANCESpecial mix you can listen to here.MOTHER/SON DANCE
"Loves Me Like a Rock" - Paul SimonBRIDAL PARTY/SPOUSES DANCE
"With a Little Help From My Friends" - Joe Cocker
It's rare that I get to weddings on significant calendar days of the year. At this point in my career I think New Year's Eve is really it.
So I was absolutely delighted when my pal Ben asked me to play a Valentine's Day wedding for he and his lovely bride Amy.
And it was another North Ridge family wedding. I don't think you can understand how excited I get to play events from my North Ridge family. It's an honor, a privilege, and a load of fun!
Amy & Ben chose to have their reception at the Great Lakes Culinary Center in Southfield, MI
. I apologize in advance to any other event venue that may be reading this, but GLCC has THE BEST meal of any venue I've ever played. You would expect that from a place that trains people how to cook. It was absolute torture to have to get there early to set up the gear. Imagine, 2 hours of being subjected to the smell of garlic and a sundry spices...and not being able to eat it! I digress. :)
I was among friends today. The spirit of love was in the air and it was comforting to know that my second event of the year would be spent with people that I've grown to love over the years.
I even made new friends. I had the pleasure of working alongside the husband/wife team of Heather & Kevin Autry of Ignited Photography
. These two were an absolute blast and I can't wait to meet up with them again.
The event was simple, elegant, and perfect (to say the least.) As a bonus, I was able to get in a few moments of dancing my own face off with my pals Drew, Jordan, and Monica in the mix. Crazy kids.
Here are the special songs Amy and Ben danced to:BRIDAL PARTY INTRODUCTIONS
"This is Love" - For King & CountryBRIDE & GROOM FIRST DANCE
"Thinking Out Loud" - Ed SheeranDADDY/DAUGHTER DANCE
"Once in Love With Amy" - Frank SinatraMOTHER/SON DANCE
"Mr. Blue Sky" - ELO
The first wedding of 2015 was an absolute beauty! And thanks to a referral from my sister-in-law, I was able to share in the joy with Morgan, Patrick, and their guests.
It was a blustery day out here at Waldenwoods Banquet & Conference center in Hartland, MI
. But it was warm inside thanks to Ann and her amazing team (cliche, but true.) I enjoy this site for its rustic nature. I recommend it to everyone that's looking for a local but destination wedding. It's kind of like the Motor City Casino tag of "a million miles from home right down the street." Truly. This site is gorgeous and would give Thomas Kinkaide a run for his money.
Morgan and Patrick requested uplighting for their event so I made it happen. They opted for a light pink color around the room. They went with the Complete Room package. It was a nice touch for this space (photos below).
Both the ceremony and reception took place in the same site to start the year. I provided sound for the ceremony and though it kept me on my toes from a technical standpoint, it was filled with a certain emotion that's hard to describe. It was such a sweet moment.
Once the ceremony was over, it was time to party. Dinner was served. Cocktails were consumed. Rug was cut. It was such a great time.
As an added bonus, some of the special music during the reception was provided by a good friend of the Morgan and Patrick's. This talented fella brought his acoustic guitar out and came pretty close to bringing the whole house down. It was fantastic. I highly recommend this scenario to anyone that has a guitar-playing friend. Use him or her for your special dances!
Here it is...the special music:BRIDAL PARTY INTRODUCTIONS
"Thunderstruck" - AC/DCBRIDE & GROOM FIRST DANCE
"Give It All We Got" - George Strait (played by Eric Taylor)DADDY/DAUGHTER DANCE
"I Loved Her First" - HeartlandMOTHER/SON DANCE
"Simple Man" - Lynyrd Skynyrd (played by Eric Taylor)
Morgan & Patrick: yours is the kind of event I need every year to get the season started. I had a blast celebrating with you and your guests.
It's rare to play a wedding in the middle of a week but this year I was blessed with the rare opportunity to play a New Year's Eve wedding.
Talk about emotion overload! It's a day of new beginnings all at once. A newly married couple and a new year to ring in. Such excitement!
Natasa and Brian were the easiest couple I have worked with since the beginning of this whole thing. They gave me one thing that some people have a hard time with: trust. From our first consultation, they expressed their needs for the day and I explained how I would execute those ideas. From there, it was the three of us working together with them putting their complete faith and trust in my ability as a DJ that's done this before.
The event was at a new venue to me, but they've been around for a while: Lakeland Banquet & Event Centre in St. Clair Shores
. This is such a gorgeous venue. I can't wait to play there again!
All in all, it was a very simple night AND it was the second (and final) event of the year to feature the uplighting package we offer.
There was no bridal party, no parent dances, no bouquet or garter toss. This was as formal and elegant as weddings come. This was more about the elegance than the tradition. I appreciate that.
Starting at 11:00 PM I fired up the projector and we watched ABC's coverage of the Times Square New Year's celebrations. At the stroke of midnight, we counted it down and had a balloon drop. It was magnificent.
Congratulations, you two!
AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Well, I got a little break from the rush of late summer/early fall weddings to now. With the addition of a baby to our family, it's been nice to spend time with them in the midst of love being in the air.
And I'm glad I came back to this one.
I've known Emily for a few years now by way of my brother and sister-in-law. It was a natural fit for me to play this event. Even if we hadn't met before an initial consultation, this group of people is the epitome of a Motor City HDJ crowd. They were hot all night and I enjoyed sharing in the fun!
The event was at the Embassy Suites Detroit in Livonia
. Our good friends from MammothBooth
were also on hand to capture the excitement. All in all, this was an event fill with friends and a ton of fun.
To Emily & Steve: a HUGE thank you for having me along for Day One of your lives together. It was a thrill to play for you and I can't wait to see what life has in store for you.
Continue to live in happiness. You both deserve each other and share a love for life and a joy that everyone can see. Thank you for being you!
BRIDAL PARTY INTRODUCTIONS:
"Kickstart My Heart" - Motley Crue
"Bring 'Em Out' - T.I.
BRIDE/GROOM FIRST DANCE
"Unchained Melody" - Righteous Brothers
"My Girls" - The Temptations
"Forever Young" - Rod Stewart
"Bittersweet Symphony" - The Verve