With as big a day as a wedding day in your future, you will want to be prepared for just about anything that could happen while remaining cool as a cucumber.
No matter what role you play in the wedding- bride, groom, bridal party, parents of the bride or groom, or anyone else- you can prepare for the big day and share the wealth with all the key players!
A wedding day survival kit is gold for anyone participating in a wedding. There are always snafus waiting to happen, spills, splits, tears, and teeth UFOs bound to pop up on the big day. Be prepared by preparing a wedding day survival kit for everyone to have access to.
So what should be included in your survival kit?
For the guys:
For the gals:
For the group:
Many of us love a good piano bar session on a weekend out with friends (How is it that these talented musicians know so many songs and can play them all so epically!?)
While this scene makes us used to running up to the music man with some cash and our song request, can the same sort of action be taken at a wedding reception?
While every couple has a different idea in mind for how they want their wedding reception to go, they most likely chose their DJ because they trusted them to deliver the kind of music they wanted. This may not include input from the crowd.
Some couples work with their DJ on a perfectly timed out and tuned up playlist to cover every moment of the reception. They are going for a very specific feel and only their most favorite songs will do! Other couples are just looking to throw an amazing party and have their guests on their feet the entire time- whatever it takes to get them there.
Whichever type of couple you are encountering, rest assured that the DJ is already keenly aware. Bottom line, the DJ works for the happy couple- not necessarily their guests- and will always ensure that what they're playing is making the bride and groom most happy. If that means a meandering guest's song request gets the ol' "smile and nod" with no follow through, don't take it out on the DJ- he is simply doing what is best for the couple and their wishes.
A wedding is certainly no piano bar and not everyone wants to belt out Sweet Caroline and Livin' on a Prayer. While DJ's more often than not appreciate and enjoy interacting with wedding guests, be respectful of their time and space (ya know, all that fancy, expensive equipment they stand behind) if you decide to approach them with a request. If they can make it happen for the greater good of the wedding, it will happen.
Djs are constantly assessing the crowd and working on giving the party what it needs to stay on track with what the bride and groom most wants. The best thing you can do is be a good sport, dance to your favorite tunes, and follow the lead of your bride and groom. After all, everyone is there to help celebrate their perfect day.
If you still feel moved to make a request, do so thoughtfully, have something specific in mind, bring compliments before requests, and most of all- if/when you hear your request, be the first one up on the dance floor and bring all your friends.
At the end of the day, you can make the request- it's up to the DJ (based on bride and groom's wishes) whether or not we take it.
Tonight marks the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. What better excuse do you need to throw a party and watch it with your favorite people? There are tons of great recipes and decorating ideas for a slam-dunk Olympics party all over Pinterest, but our forte is much more harmonic. Read on to get the low-down on our favorite songs to add to your playlist for a perfect Olympics-viewing party!
1. Europe///The Final Countdown
It wouldn't be American to start a list like this with anything other than the Final Countdown.
2. White Stripes///Seven Nation Army
It's groovy, it's catchy, it's the perfect tune to cheer you on as you cheer on your country.
3. Bruce Springsteen///Born in the USA
Say it with us.... "USA! USA! USA!"
4. Black Eyed Peas/// I Gotta Feeling
We've got a feeling that team USA is the best. Plus, we never mind being pumped up by tried and true Black Eyed Peas
5. Kanye West/// Stronger
It's like sending a little pep talk to your favorite athletes.
6. Journey///Don't Stop Believin'
It would be pretty silly to create any playlist without including this classic, but in this instance, it really does fit the theme perfectly.
7. Survivor///Eye of the Tiger
Bum....bum-bum-bum...bum-bum-bum.... Olympics. Can you imagine if every event started with a few bars of this classic song!?
8. Meghan Trainor///Me Too
You have to get a little cocky when it comes to the Olympics. We can't win unless we believe we're the best! Thank you, Ms. Trainor, for reminding us how good confidence looks on us.
9. Justin Timberlake/// Can't Stop the Feeling
For when endorphins and energy are flying, things are looking good for the Red, White, and Blue, and you just can't help but move and sway.
10. Katy Perry///Rise
Katy said she wrote this song because of the mood of our country and world right now and wanted to release it now especially for the Olympic games. People are calling it the 2016 Olympics theme song. It's a powerful one!
You can consider yourself a traditional bride and throw some traditions out the window.
Which ones are on the table to be, well, left off the table? Read on and choose for yourself- after all, it's your day! Make it all of what you want and none of what you don't.
A few wedding traditions that no longer apply...
1. All dressed in white
Your wedding day is the time to feel your best- whether your best feels like elegance, femininity, comfort, class, trendy, or anything in between. If that means that you don your favorite color, go for it! Some brides have been dreaming of their bridal white walk down the aisle since they were a child, and we love that! Some gals however, have different ideas and we love that too. So whether you want to wear a favorite color, or pants, or a skirt, or just have a bright pop of color on that white canvas- we say, "rock it." You'll be sure to glow the whole night through.
2. Dun Dun Da-Dun (The Bridal March)
Brides have been walking down the aisle to the traditional bridal march for decades and the tune is full of nostalgia and familiarity. It doesn't have to be the soundtrack to your wedding though! You are free to choose a song that means something to you personally, no matter the tempo. We have some great ideas from a previous blog post here.
3. Your bridal party should match your gender.
Um, what? This is 2016- your bridal party should be whomever your favorite, most supportive people are! We feel so strongly about this, and it hits so personally with us, that we wrote a whole blog series on the topic. Bridesmen, groomsladies, best dog of honor- whomever you choose to stand next to you on your wedding day is up to you.
4. Your dad should give you away
With today's modern family not fitting any kind of mold, sometimes having a father walk you down the aisle isn't practical. Maybe it's practical but not personal to you. If you want the escort to mean something special, pick someone that helped mold you into who you are today- or pick more than one person! Another option- strut down that aisle on your own because you are independent and fierce.
Your wedding day should be uniquely you- surrounded by your favorite people, colors, and traditions, both new and old. Make it your own and it's sure to be the best. day. ever.
Every year, new songs are released that have us moving and grooving, wondering how we ever got along before that song was in our life. The next year, the same thing happens again and last year's tunes become well, so last year.
For all of you planning a big shindig this season of sun, fun, and freedom- especially a wedding- you'll want to be sure the season's favorites are on your playlist.
1. Cake by the Ocean///DNCE
It's peppy, it gets you moving, and it gets stuck in your head. What more could you want out of a summer staple? Oh, perhaps lyrics about cake. by the ocean.
2. Work from Home/// Fifth Harmony
You know those songs that just allow you to shut your brain off and dance? This is one of them. Dance away, my summer friends.
3. Hymn for the Summer/// Coldplay
As long as Coldplay continues to make music, we will continue to be obsessed with it. Despite their unmistakable sound, every song still manages to be fresh and new- especially this hymn for the summer.
4. Can't Stop the Feeling///Justin Timberlake
If this song doesn't put a smile on your face, we don't know what will. "I've got this feeling inside my bones. It goes electric wavy when I turn it on." There have never been more true lyrics!
5. Ride///Twenty One Pilots
Switching it up a little bit on the list, this song is the most interesting mix of fast-delivered lyrics, peppy beats at times that almost feel like reggae, all with an undertone of alternative. How is that possible? Listen to find out.
6. Wasted Time///Keith Urban
What would a summer song list be without a pop of country? Keith does it best with this summer anthem that references great songs of old, staple activities of our favorite time of year, and a whole lot of love.
7. No Money///Galantis
Beat beat beat. Get up and groove, summer party people! This song will show you the way.
We are excited to announce the newest, and by far smallest, member of the AnyDayDJ family.
Welcome to the world, Beckett Daniel Coates!
Mom, dad, and siblings are doing well and feeling so proud of the newest Coates.
We guess this means the beat we're jiving to today is a lullaby!
Photo cred: Natalie Zepp Photography
With Memorial Day weekend here, wedding season is upon us! Surely you have quite a few bright Save the Dates on your refrigerator or have seen the countdowns on social media to your friends summer fairy tale wedding.
Every season brings on a few new trends and creative flairs to the wedding scene. This summer, you can expect to see a few key trends come into play. We're expecting, bright, bold, and fun festivities for all the I Dos of the season!
1. Hometown Love
While destination weddings have been on the forefront of wedding trends for quite some time, we now may see things coming a little bit closer to home- not only in location, but in sentiment, as well. Favors of local hot spots, menus from the hometown favorite, or even some family recipes or traditions will be used a lot this year. We love the idea of sprinkling in your favorite things to your wedding to put that ultra personal touch on the day.
2. TWO signature cocktails
Signature cocktails are nothing new at weddings, but now couples are opting to pursue their individual tastes in drinks. By having his and her signature drinks, couples are able to showcase very different drinks for their guests. There is no rule that the drinks have to pair well- this only applies to the couple getting married.
3. Music Mix-Up
Where budget allows, some couples are choosing to have both a band and a DJ. This certainly gives a different feel to each section of the day and allows you to slice up the night however you choose. Couples are also mixing up their playlists and choosing music from many different decades, genres, and even countries. Music is a way to appeal to your varied crowd and also your unique heritage. Choose to have songs played that mean something to you or even just hit on a bit of nostalgia.
4. HIGHlight video
It's doubtful that wedding video will ever go out of style but these days, two trends are on the rise: highlight videos and drone shots. Couples tend to want a quick turn-around time more than having the entire day on video so they are opting for a shorter highlight video that just showcases the best moments of the day. Couples are now also all about those epic drone shots.. we can't blame them! They always end up looking amazing.
5. Unconventional times and locations
Long gone are the days of Saturday evening weddings that start at the local church and end at the local event hall. Today, couples are choosing brunch weddings, weekday weddings, luncheons, and more. They are choosing too have them take place at home, their favorite restaurant, a park, a barn, a beach rental, or anywhere else they can find to wow their guests and be able to relax and share their special day. In the end, it doesn't matter as much where you say "I do," only who you say you to.
Ramsey’s insight into all things weddings from the perspective of a Bridesman of Honor concludes today! Find out how it all came to a glorious close in the final blog of the Becoming a Bridesman series. If you haven’t read the previous blogs in the series, click here to start at the beginning.
The bridal party all had plans to have breakfast on wedding day morning; however, those plans had been made before they all spent most of the previous evening at Casino Beach Bar after the rehearsal dinner. Ramsey was to meet the rest of Sara’s bridal party for breakfast at 6 a.m. at the Maragaritaville Hotel on Pensacola Beach.
“That did not happen for me,” says Ramsey. “Sleep, that’s what happened for me. I didn’t make it to breakfast.”
The girls seemed to have recuperated just fine from the night before and were up and doing “all that girly stuff” while Ramsey decided it was better for him to sit out on breakfast.
“They had on those bridesmaids thingies… what do you call them? Robes, right? So I would have had to sit out of the room and wait anyway. Perryn and Leia were calling me over and over again because they did want me out there. That was really nice- even though I still needed my sleep!”
Ramsey recognized what a long day the wedding day can be from the other side of things- not DJing or being a laidback groomsmen. He sees now that girls go through a lot on wedding day to ensure it’s all perfect.
“It’s a long day with the getting up, getting dressed, pictures, emotions…. Emotions, more pictures, eating, drinking.”
Ramsey got to Margaritaville just in time for bridal party pictures. Sara had asked Ramsey’s twins, 15-year-old Ramsey and Savannah, to be a part of the wedding day by passing out programs, so she wanted Ramsey’s family at Margaritaville that morning for pictures, as well. The kids, who lovingly call her “Aunt Sara,” were excited to be a part of such a momentous day.
Sara was already dressed when Ramsey arrived. As soon as he walked in, the bridal party was coming out of the elevator. Good timing.
“Sara looked so happy. She was already in her dress and all smiles, which lasted all day. She was the perfect bride. We laughed, we hugged, everyone was excited. Such a perfect start to a great day.”
Aislinn Kate captured the festivites. After photos, the bridal party jumped in a car and headed to First United Methodist Church in downtown Pensacola. There, Ramsey said they did a lot of sitting.
“I didn’t realize there was so much sitting before the wedding. I used this time to catch up with the bridesmaids since I didn’t have breakfast with them. Sara was calm and chillin. I didn’t expect that down time but it was nice.”
After a while of “lounging” before the ceremony, a funny thing happened. Ramsey saw that Leia, the lady of honor, was writing notes.
“I saw that Leia was taking notes for her reception speech, and at first I was thinking I do this all time, I can wing it. But then, I got nervous because this is my sister, Sara. I realized I should write some notes down so I don’t stand up there and lose my thoughts and give a stupid speech.”
After that, everyone gathered in the vestibule to prepare for the ceremony, everyone hugging and sharing a sweet moment with the bride, before walking down the aisle. When they got to the altar, Ramsey said there was one part they did not go over at the rehearsal.
“Sara handed her flowers to Leia, and then Leia handed her flowers to me- I was not ready for that! She tried to hand them to me, and I’m thinking, get those things away from me! I’m not holding those! But Leia had to hold Sara’s so I got stuck holding flowers for the whole ceremony.”
Ramsey was prepared for an emotional ceremony, and he felt so proud to stand up there to support his best friend.
When the couple said, “I do” Ramsey finally was able to hand the flowers back to Leia. When the bridal party began to walk out, Ramsey was partnered with Damien’s cousin.
“I already knew that everyone was going to be wondering what we would do. We just walked up to each other, high-fived, and walked out with our arms around each other. It was a good time.”
When the bridal party arrived at Pensacola Country Club, Ramsey said it looked like a movie, unlike any wedding he had ever seen. The bridal party was able to enjoy cocktail hour before Ramsey had the honor of announcing the new husband and wife.
“I gave the best announcement I probably ever have. I was nervous but so excited.”
After dinner and desert, it was time for speeches. Ramsey said he wasn’t emotional until it was his turn and then…
“It just hit me. It was like a kick to the stomach and all of a sudden I was crying. I wanted to give a proper, honest toast to Sara and Damien. I don’t cry- unless it’s a Disney movie- but thinking about everything that the wedding day meant and stood for, I just couldn’t keep it in.”
After the speeches, the dancing commenced. With a wedding party full of wedding professionals, Sara had it planned out perfectly so that everyone could just enjoy the reception without feeling like they had to step in and work.
When the night was over, the bridal party had high hopes of continuing the party.
“Back at the hotel, we talked for a little bit, started to hang out and then we all passed out, while we were talking. We were just so tired after such a good, but long, day.”
After all of the excitement, events, and previously unknown world of the bridal party, Ramsey said he would do it all over again.
“It was a huge honor and I loved every second of it. I’m so glad that Sara and Damien found each other and I was able to be a part of their wedding.”
Ramsey says he hopes the bridesman trend will gain some traction. “In 2016, all of those preconceived notions should be out the window. It’s time to be there for your friends and enjoy the ride, no matter how that may look.”
Ramsey had some advice for any other men who may be asked to be in their best girl friend’s wedding party, “Don’t be too macho and attend all the events. As for the bridal lunch-in and showers… just remember to eat before you go.”
With that expert advice, Ramsey has dropped the mic.
Welcome to part 4 of the Becoming a Bridesman blog series! If you haven't already, check out parts one, two, and three.
Sara and Damien's big day inched closer and closer with each celebratory day surrounded by friends and family in beautiful Pensacola, Florida. After they partied, showered Sara, and lunched, the only thing left to do was rehearse!
When the bridal party arrived to the beautiful First United Methodist Church in Downtown Pensacola, Ramsey noticed how different it was to be on the bride's side of the sanctuary.
The groomsmen also used this as an opportunity to get some laughs with one of Damien's groomsmen who is a little shy. They decided to tell him that Ramsey was gay.
"Look, I'm a happily married man with children but I love everybody and can pull out a 'haaaay girl' when the situation calls for it!" said Ramsey, who took the challenge in stride with a smack on the bum of the shy groomsmen.
"We were lined up to walk out together, so I grabbed his hand, interlocking fingers, and watched his face turn beet red."
With laughter and teasing aside, Ramsey settled into rehearsal on the left side of the sanctuary, watching his best friend , Sara, be completely in her element in a way he had never before witnessed.
"I've seen Sara in wedding-planner mode so many times, and that was definitely the mode she was in that night only, it was a bit different She was in love, in wedding planner mode, and she knew the next day would finally be her turn. It was pretty awesome to watch."
Ramsey said she was all business, which was fine by him.... he knew that once rehearsing was out of the way, they would be heading to Jackson's Steakhouse for dinner.
"Sara and Damien were great hosts, Sara's mom gave a beautiful speech- I don't think there was anyone not misty-eyed at that point."
Ramsey also took a moment to alleviate some tension in the room with the shy groomsmen.
"I just went up to him with my wife, Melissa and introduced her and shook her hand. He sighed and we all laughed."
Ramsey and Melissa met more of the families and felt the love surrounding them. Even if that sounds cliche, Ramsey swears it's not. He also could be feeling his love for the food that was coming out- steak, seafood, deserts. Definitely the man food he had been missing out at other bridal party functions.
After the rehearsal dinner, the group of family and friends headed to the beach to have signature drinks at Casino Beach Bar. The wedding day was right around the corner and everyone felt the excitement and anticipation.
"It was most fun to watch Sara. She was truly having the time of her life and I felt honored to witness that every step of the way."
The next morning would bring a dream-come-true day when the bridal planner extraordinarre hosts her very own black-tie affair.
Stay tuned for the entire day from the viewpoint of Ramsey, the Bridesman of Honor!
Welcome to part 3 of the Becoming a Bridesman blog series! If you haven't already, check out parts one and two.
Once Ramsey got his feet wet with the ways of a bridal party through the bachelorette party and bridal shower, next item on the agenda was, as Ramsey calls it, the bridesmaids lunch-in.
"I was expected to be fed again, but I was mistaken, again. I mean, why call it a lunch-in if there aren't going to be burgers and wings?"
The bridesmaids LUNCHEON was held at the beautiful Lee House in downtown Pensacola and was a way for Sara, the bride and wedding planner extraordinaire, to give back and say "thank you" to her bridal party.
Ramsey was just hoping to be thanked with some red meat and anything fried.
"Sara came up to me and say, 'you're hungry aren't you' and I said, 'yeah.' She told me to get full on champagne."
Ramsey said the ongoing bridal party group text message told him what to wear, pink, but he didn't have anything that fit the bill so he went with the closest thing he could find: red. When he arrived at the Lee House, he again felt like he was being let in on a secret that has been long kept from all male kind.
The table was laid out for each guest and Sara had a custom wooden name for everyone made in England.
"When I first sat down, I thought it was a cookie," said Ramsey. "It was made out of wood so I couldn't eat it, but it was still very cool and very thoughtful. That's just who Sara is- thoughtful and in the details."
"With everything wedding related, I was constantly trying to figure out what I was supposed to wear and what I was, and was not, allowed to eat. Guys eat lunch. I don't think girls do."
After the beautiful hores d'oeovres, Ramsey noticed a table full of gifts, all in floral, "frilly" gift bags. He stood back and watched the other bridesmaids open their gift, again noting Sara's thoughtfulness and personalization towards her friends. Ramsey wasn't expecting a gift, he learned earlier not to expect anything from these events but to just take them as they came, but prepared his mind for the moment when he opened a frilly bag that was to have his name on it.
"Little did I know, underneath the table was a duffle bag with my name on it. I was shocked! It had a few of my favorite things in it: Johnny Walker Black, Sharpies because Sara used to throw them at my head when we shared an office, a hangover kit. Sara really got me and knew that I was a bridesMAN. The gift blew my mind."
"Throughout this season of Sara's wedding festivities, I knew that I was a man in a girl's world. I was okay with that, I was excited for it. I mean, I got to hang out with some of favorite ladies and celebrate my best friend and her journey to love and happiness. I never expected any special treatment but Sara always found ways to add a touch of masculinity in there for me and that made it so special," said Ramsey.
With the bridesmaid luncheon complete, the events are coming to a close but the main attraction is just around the corner.
Get ready for part 4 of the Becoming a Bridesman blog series when we discuss all things rehearsal dinner and when Ramsey really freaked out one of the groomsmen.
The Blog & Podcast
Every month we sit down and discuss topics important to our company, namely DJing and the wedding industry.