We are more than just great music!

Planning a wedding can be a daunting experience with all of the details big and small you must address and picking the music for the ‘special’ dances at a reception seems to fall to the end of the planning cycle.  So we get a lot of requests from brides and grooms for suggestions for appropriate songs for their first dance together as a married couple.

One thing you may want to consider when selecting your 1st Dance Song is stay away from ‘trendy’ songs that don’t have any staying power.  When you celebrate your 25th Anniversary and you want to re-live that special moment of your 1st Dance, if you picked a ‘trendy song’ that was only on the radio for about a month during your wedding planning and you haven’t heard it since then, you may not even remember what it was since you haven’t heard it 25 years.  You may also want to check out the song a little closer so you don’t pick a song that has a less than romantic theme like Norah Jones’ ” I Don’t Know Why,” Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go” (do you remember how the movie ends?!) and Elvis’ “Suspicion Minds” are just a few that come to mind that we have played at one time or another as a 1st Dance Song.  Picking a classic is generally the best way to go when picking your 1st Dance Song.

To help out, here’s a list of some of the more popular 1st Dance songs.

From This Moment On/Shania Twain

Amazed/Lonestar

All My Life/KC & JoJo

Have I Told You Lately/Rod Stewart or Van Morrison

I Do (Cherish You)/98 Degrees or Mark Wills

Can’t Help Falling In Love/Elvis

You’re Still The One/Shania Twain

At Last/Etta James or Beyonce

Love My Life/Jim Brickman & Michael W Smith

Love Me Tender/Elvis

I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing/Aerosmith

It’s Your Love/Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

Wonderful Tonight/Eric Clapton

My Best Friend/Tim McGraw

What A Wonderful World/Louie Armstrong

Unforgettable/Nat & Natalie Cole

I Cross My Heart/George Strait

Making Memories Of Us/Keith Urban

To Make You Feel My Love/Garth Brooks

Bless The Broken Road/Rascal Flatts

Unchained Melody/Righteous Bros.

Because You Loved Me/Celine Dion

The Way You Look Tonite/Sinatra/Bennett/Buble’

It Had To Be You/Harry Connick Jr.

Everything I Do (I Do It For You)/Bryan Adams

Heaven (Candlelight version)/DJ Sammy

I’ll Be/Edwin McCain

Beautiful In My Eyes/Joshua Kadison

Marry Me/Train

I hope this helps.  If you need additional song suggestions for your 1st Dance or if you need some song suggestions for other reception events like the cake cutting, Grand Entrance, Bride/Father Dance.  Contact us at 480-967-7333 at your earliest convenience.

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As a busy DJ entertainment company (www.DesertMusicEntertainment.com), we perform at many venues during the year.  One of our favorites is Oakwood Country Club in Sun Lakes.  Robyn, the banquet and catering coordinator and her staff are wonderful to work with…very professional and friendly and the the ballroom is large (although if you don’t need a lot of room for your event, it can be divided up) beautiful and well kept.  Plus the air conditioning works great (an important issue for Arizona events!)  As for the outside vendors (which includes us), the ‘load in/load out’ couldn’t be better.  The food and bartending service are top notch.

If you are looking for a very nice venue for your wedding, party, banquet or whatever, you should consider Oakwood Country Club in Sun Lakes (south Chandler.)  You can reach Robyn at 480-895-7275.

Along with getting married usually comes a really nice vacation…your honeymoon!  Here are the top 10 affordable honeymoon destinations in the US.

10. Alaska- Cruise through the many inlets, cool weather, beautiful scenery and planned the right time of year, it can be affordable.

9. New York City-The Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, sightseeing doesn’t cost anything and many of the famous attractions are quite inexpensive (even by New York standards.)

8. Niagra Falls-has been a favorite honeymoon destination for decades.

7. Disney World in Florida-Mickey and Minnie’s crew has a certain allure for honeymooners (two 3 day passes are much less than say the airfare to the Caribbean.)

6. Las Vegas-Gambling, shows, great food, wonderful weather.  If you are a little lucky in the gambling area, you can actually MAKE money on your honeymoon.

5. San Diego-It’s Vegas without the gambling but with an ocean and Mexico nearby (and laying on the beach for several days doesn’t cost anything.)

4. Hawaii-Sand, surf, beautiful scenery and as with San Diego, laying on the beach doesn’t cost anything unless you consider the cost of Pina Coladas as an expense instead of a necessity.

3. Cape Cod-In the summertime, not a prettier place to be and surprisingly affordable

2. Puerto Rico-No passport needed as Puerto Rico is a US commonwealth and it has many of the same amenities as Hawaii and San Diego (see laying on the beach.)

And the Number 1 affordable honeymoon destination in the US is:

1. Charleston, South Carolina-great weather, historic, plenty of shopping, wonderful food and AFFORDABLE.

Want to keep ‘the fun’ in your wedding?  Listed below are 10 ways in which you can use to keep things fun and lively at your reception.

1. Make introductions at the rehearsal.

A wedding brings together two families and two sets of friends.  The last thing a bride and groom want is for a big group of people who don’t know each other very well (or at all) to attempt awkward small talk while waiting for the bride and groom to make their way into the reception.  A good way to solve this problem is to invite family and friends to the rehearsal dinner to break the ice BEFORE the big day.  The second time they see each other will be like old home week for them.

2. Stick to your schedule

No one expects things to run with military precision but you don’t want to force your guests to idle around while you take your after ceremony pictures.  This is where the cocktail hour comes in handy.  Set up a lounge or shady courtyard for your guests to mingle and equip the area with snacks, drinks, plenty of of places to sit  and even some background music to set the mood  and keep the party atmosphere alive.

3. Don’t let your guests go hungry during the cocktail hour

Two words, hors d’oeuvres.  Even if you plan on having a full meal at the reception, it’s a good idea to have a few snacks available for your guests to munch on during the cocktail hour.  You don’t want them to get too hungry (read: cranky) or too drunk while waiting for you to finish up your pictures.

4. Plan an exit strategy

If you really want guests to be able to enjoy themselves at your reception, arrange for transportation to get them safely home afterward.  Some couples choose to hold their reception in a hotel banquet hall and block off rooms for the guests (this will also help keep your guests around to the end of the reception) while others hire a shuttle service to run throughout the night.  This consideration gives your guests the freedom to relax (read: drink) without worrying about getting home safely when the party is over.

5. Consider your venue

Of course, your budget will be a deciding factor in determining where you hold your reception but selecting an interesting reception site can go a long way toward keeping your guests entertained.  Many museums rent out their exhibit areas for things such as weddings and zoos often have banquet areas with full view of the animals.  Even in an otherwise bland reception space you can ‘dress up’ the decor with things such as accent lighting or a photo booth or a custom image projection.

6. Work you seating chart

There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being the one couple at a table where you don’t know anyone and everyone else went to high school together–particularly if you can see friends having a good time five tables away.  A well thought out seating arrangement is an easy (and cheap) way to make sure your guests spend time with people they like and have similar interests.  You may be even able to set them up with someone new!

7. Put a time limit on toasts

Yes. it’s fun to hear ‘stories’ about you from your friends and family but unless your friends and family are professional comedians, an overly long toast can go from sentimental to painful very quickly.  Limit the amount of toasts to a few key members (Best Man, Maid of Honor, Mom or Dad.)

8. Bring in the …….clowns?

Remember the scary clown/magician from your eighth birthday party?  Today’s speciality performers are nothing like that.  The options for wedding (cocktail & dinner) entertainment span from an interactive DJ to balloon animal artists to belly dancers to singing waiters–these people are PROS at making sure weddings aren’t boring.

9. Think beyond wedding cake

Wedding cakes are still a staple but consider expanding the selection for those with a sweet tooth–we’re talking about a full dessert bar with everything from whoopie pies, truffles, cupcakes, candies and a chocolate fondue fountain.  The dessert bar can double as your wedding favor by setting up plastic bags or boxes for your guests to take a snack for the ride home.

10. Relax—seriously

Planning a wedding can be stressful but when the day arrives, everyone will have more fun if you can overlook any little mishaps (and there’s always SOMETHING that doesn’t go quite according to the plan) and let loose.  Think about it, do YOU have fun at parties where the host is constantly on edge?  To avoid sabotaging your good mood, assign any last minute details to a bridesmaid, relative or your wedding planner—and designate a friend who, if they observe you getting stressed, will ply you with a cocktail or TWO.

1. Eat dessert first.

Want a big bash, but don’t have the cash? Do a cocktails-and-dessert reception instead of springing for din-din.

2. Off-peak is on the money.

With the exception of the holidays, dates from mid June to mid September in Arizona are less coveted (because of the heat)—so less pricey—than other times. Set on March-May or October-December vows? Book ‘em on an off-night, like Friday or Sunday.

3. Know who your friends are.

Nipping the guest list can shrink costs big-time. To avoid offending non-invitees, pepper wedding convos with words like small and intimate.

4. Say okay to day.

Throw your party before 5 p.m: Brunches and lunches mean a lower tab for the location, meal, and bar.

5. Find a furnished space.

Reduce rental costs by picking a site that’s already outfitted with tables, linens and chairs.

6. Negotiate nicely.

It’s your wedding but their business, so be polite. If your vendors won’t budge on their rates, see if you can strike a deal by eliminating extra services or booking them for their minimum time period.

7. Streamline the bar.

Spare yourself some major moolah by nixing a full bar and serving only wine, beer and soft drinks. Want a hit of hard liquor? Have the bartender concoct one de-lish mixed drink, and offer it as your signature cocktail.

8. Bare your budget.

Be clear about what you can spend when you meet with vendors. It saves time and will spare you from browsing fancier options that may tempt you to spend above your means.

9. Skip a dish.

Cut down on the number of courses you serve. (No one’s going to miss that frisée-endive salad, trust us.) Bonus: Everyone will get way more time on the dance floor!

10. Shave off a tier.

Little-known fact: Wedding cake slices are often left untouched. Ask your caterer to cut thin portions, which will allow you to reduce the size of your order by 10 to 15 percent. Another option: Order a small display cake to cut, and have the caterer serve guests from a sheet cake in the back

These are just SOME of the ways that can save you money on your wedding.  Want some more?  We have 40 more ways to save big on your once-in-a-lifetime wedding.  Contact us now to find out about those additional 40 ways!

Desert Music Entertainment DJs and Videography was awarded the 2012 Brides Choice Awards by WeddingWire.com.  This award is given to the top 5% of wedding vendors who demonstrate great customer service.  You can check out our reviews on WedingWire.com by clicking on the following link:

http://weddingwire.com/biz/desert-music-entertainment-gilbert/1b2e074e16e96ea1.html

Here are some items that you should have ‘on board’ with you on your wedding day, just in case of emergencies! (List provided by MSN Living.)

Folding hairbrush with mirror: For quick makeup, teeth and hair checks, this tiny compact can be a lifesaver.

Hand lotion: Cracked knuckles and ashy elbows don’t stand a chance against L’Occitane’s shea butter mini hand cream.

Mending kit (including safety pins): A zippered pouch with sewing essentials can rescue a torn veil, your groom’s loose buttons and myriad other clothing malfunctions.

Double-sided garment tape: Hide bra straps, execute a last-minute hem and keep fabric (and body parts) in place with the varied sizes and shapes of double-sided tape in the Lacebugz wedding adhesive pack.

Shoeshine wipes: For a last-minute buff, the Synovia Instant Shine Sponge gives gleam to any color and style of shoe. Also consider getting disposable shoeshine wipes to take care of those muddy heels.

Stain remover: Someone, somewhere will spill something, and whoever has the Tide to Go instant stain remover will be the hero.

Deodorant wipes: You may never hug as many people as you do on this day, so smell fresh without fear of white residue. La Fresh has deodorant wipes, though its standard wipes (pictured) may also come in handy.

Breath freshener: You may never kiss as many people as you do on this day.

Facial tissues: Catch tears before they bring down your mascara.

Lint remover: A quick pass of Scotch’s mini lint roller over a bridesmaid dress or groomsman suit will pick up any stray hairs and flecks.

Other items to include:
•Earring backs
•Hair spray
•Emery board
•Pain reliever
•Adhesive bandages/blister bandages
•Clear nail polish
•Nail polish remover
•Lip balm
•Dental floss/toothpicks
•Static remover
•Clear hair elastics
•Drinking straws