Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Here Comes The Bride

"Here Comes The Bride", aka "The Bridal Chorus", aka "The Bridal March".

I have often had mixed feelings about this choice for the Bride's walk down the aisle. It comes from having to play the pompous, grandiose, stuffy versions that were available in years past. They sound ancient and decrepit and many of them are! I used to say that in all my years of searching, I'd yet to hear a "good" version of it!

Another problem is the cadence of The Bridal Chorus. It is NOT conducive to a slow, measured walk. It was, after all, written for a play in which a wedding takes place- not for an actual wedding!

It may be "traditional" but so what? There are so many other songs that can be played that not only allow you to put your personal touch on the ceremony but also give your guests a unique experience as well.

Perspective Change

I was swayed recently when a client brought something to my attention. Jonathan Cain, the keyboardist from Journey, released a solo album that actually includes a really good version of "The Bridal March"! Cain embellishes and adds to the original, slowing the tempo and using ethereal keyboards to update the song. The drawback is that the album was released a few years ago and is currently out of print.

You can get a preowned copy from but it is a bit pricey. Apparently, these are somewhat of a collector's item.

Check it out here:

Another version that I like, although not quite as much, is The O'Neill Brothers "Bridal Chorus (Here Comes The Bride)".

Sample it here: O'Neill Brothers "Bridal Chorus (Here Comes The Bride)"

This one is available as a download for only 99 cents!

Speaking of The O'Neill Bros., is offering this entire album of their wedding music as a FREE promotional download!

The O'Neill Brothers Wedding Music Sampler

Click here: O'Neill Brothers Wedding Music Sampler

Features popular ceremony songs like "Canon in D", "Ave Maria", "Ode To Joy" and more.

May be available for a limited time.

And remember if you decide to use a more progressive choice of music, as many current Brides do, there are tons of options available! Here are a few musical ideas to get you started (click here): Wedding Ceremony Music

Happy Hunting!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Alternative Wedding

Helen and Zack wanted something different for their wedding at a Temecula winery. They discarded traditional ideas about music and went with their intuition. Their eclectic playlist included alternative stalwarts like Joy Division, The Smiths, Talking Heads and The Cure. And that was just for the ceremony prelude!

This slideshow is from Helen and Zack's Temecula wedding- Sept. 09.

The Bride walked down the aisle to "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens and the couple made their triumphant reception entrance to "You Really Got Me" by iconic garage rockers The Kinks. The first dance, another unusual choice, was Bob Marley's "All Day All Night".

Throughout the reception songs from the likes of The Ramones, David Bowie, Queen, Devo, The Replacements, Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello and The B-52s created an atmosphere quite unlike most formal gatherings. This refreshing change of pace was appreciated by the guests who kept the dance floor filled until the final note.

Although I do plenty of events where Top 40 and "hit" music is requested, I cherish the opportunity to play alternative wedding DJ. Whether it's The Beatles or The Buzzcocks, good rock and roll comes from the soul and can't be rated by any chart.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

2009 Highlights

So far, 2009 has been a busy year!

I've traveled to San Diego, Temecula, LA, various parts of the OC and places in between. All in the name of providing great sound and lighting to incredible events!

Here is a slideshow of some 2009, DJ Craig highlights:

They don't call it "Mobile DJ" for nothing. Looking forward to the rest of 2009 and beyond!

The Wedding DJ

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wedding Uplighting Slideshow

Here is a video of wedding uplighting that I recently uploaded to Youtube. These are various fixtures and colors.

Great lighting can create a striking look for your reception!

More wedding up lighting pics here: Wedding Uplighting

-The Wedding DJ

Friday, June 12, 2009

MOLAA For Erin and Khaled

Erin and Khaled chose Long Beach's Museum Of Latin American Art (MOLAA) for their May nuptials. Their wedding sets a great example of the power of creative sound and lighting.

It turns out that The expansive MOLAA courtyard, filled with unique sculptures and plants, is a great place for a ceremony!

Can you spot the speakers?

We found the perfect spot where they would both sound good and be unobtrusive.

Before... and after!

For this beautiful square wedding cake, we lit it from 2 angles to make it stand out.

On the candy table we used a small flood light . It must have worked because the candy disappeared quickly!

For the reception room we lit the walls with amber LED uplighting to create a unique atmosphere.

During dancing the guests enjoyed our digital Yamaha sound system and hot music mixes.

Here's to another great beginning!

-The Wedding DJ

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Royal Wedding With "The Queen"

For Lenora and Michael's May reception, they chose the Queen Mary's elegant Veranda room. The Veranda features polished wood throughout, lavish tapestries and a wonderful view of the Long Beach shoreline.

The Newlyweds made their Grand entrance to AC/DC's "You Shook Me" and then segued right into "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison. The sunken dance floor was highlighted by our mirror ball as the couple wowed their guests with choreographed dance steps.

After the toasts and dinner service, the dancing kicked off again with the traditional Father/Daughter dance to "I Hope You Dance"- Lee Ann Womack. Then all guests were invited to join in.

Music highlights included Sinatra, Rascal Flatts and an old school electric slide (by request).

We used a 2 speaker Yamaha digital sound system and a 16 inch mirror ball highlighted by 2 LED pin spots.

Here's to another great beginning!

The Wedding DJ

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Party On The Hill!

Amanda and David went all out for their April wedding at Orange Hill Restaurant.

For the ceremony, their guests enjoyed a hilltop view of Orange County. Their reception in the adjacent room featured special up lighting in their chosen colors.

Instead of a traditional guest book, these newlyweds had their partygoers sign two giant bottles of champagne!

When it came time for the party, a mix of old and new music had the guests moving and shaking!

Artists ranged from The Beatles to Blink 182 to Flo Rida to rave fave Benny Benassi.

For the ceremony we used a two speaker Renkus digital system with wireless lapel mic. For dancing, a two speaker Yamaha digital system, 9 led up lights, 2 pinspots and 2 intelligent dance floor lights.

Here's to another great beginning!

DJ Craig

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Carrie And Mike's Dana Point Devotional

Carrie and Mike LOVE music. THis was reflected in some fantastic song choices for their wedding.

"Something" by The Beatles started off the processional. For Carrie's walk down the aisle, "Into The Mystic" by Van Morrison was an inspired choice. "Gimme Some Lovin'" by The Spencer Davis Group provided an instantly recognizable, energetic anthem for the newlyweds to exit the ceremony.

After the toasts, meal and cake cutting, Mike surprised everyone by grabbing the mic and singing an impromptu version of Eric Clapton's "I've Got A Rock N' Roll Heart" and devoting it to Carrie.

The first dance was "You Got It" by Roy Orbison followed by "Sunrise Sunset" for Carrie and her father Bill.

For open dancing, the guests enjoyed a variety of music from Sinatra to The Rolling Stones to the traditional "Havah Nagila". Rock and Oldies proved quite popular but after a while, artists like Justin Timberlake and Flo Rida were added to the mix to the delight of the crowd.

Ken and his staff at The Chart House took extra special care of Carrie, Mike and the guests- they always do!

For the ceremony we used a Sure wireless mic and an outside satellite speaker. Inside we used a two speaker digital Yamaha system and and extra speaker for the dining room.

Here to another great beginning!

DJ Craig

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ceremony Music Ideas

Many people have trouble picking ceremony music because they don't have a lot of experience doing it. Here are 10 suggested songs you can sample and listen to below to get your imagination flowing.

In the past, clients have chosen everything from Faith Hill to Vivaldi for their processional music. As always, personal preference/ what sounds good to you, is key.

The player below contains music you can actually listen to. It works just like an iPod, click on a song to hear it.

(May work best with Safari or Mozilla browsers)

1. "Por Amor"- Andrea Bocelli. You may recognize Andrea Bocelli from his duet with Celine Dion on "The Prayer". On "Por Amor", Bocelli's operatic voice may give you goose bumps. Although it is sung in Italian, the emotion expressed is universal!

2. "Cavatina" is a classical, beautiful, acoustic guitar piece that has been a traditional favorite for generations.

3. "Whisper of a Thrill" was the captivating theme song from the award winning soundtrack of "Meet Joe Black".

4. Vangelis is the master of the epic soundscape. On "Hymne" he uses synthesizers to create a wave of sweeping emotion.

5. "Storybook Love" from the soundtrack of "The Princess Bride" has a classic feel and the perfect cadence for a walk down the aisle.

6. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World"- Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. "Brother Iz" sings with understated emotion on this popular favorite.

7. George Winston's take on classical anthem, "Ode To Joy", is a delight. No stuffy pretense here, just great solo piano!

8. "No Holly for Miss Quinn"- Enya. Enya's music is both ethereal and spiritual- perfect for a ceremony processional.

9. "Stairway To Heaven" by London Philharmonic Orchestra is not everyone's cup of tea but it demonstrates the power of classical reinterpretation. A full orchestra playing a unique arrangement of a popular song can add a new dimension.

10. "Wonderful Tonight"- Amber Rose Guitar Duo. This guitar instrumental of Eric Clapton's classic love song will have you humming along.

Happy Listening,

DJ Craig

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever For Christina & Craig

Feb. 28, 2009

Christine and Craig weren't satisfied with planning just another reception. They turned their wedding day at Strawberry Farms in Irvine into an event to remember!

They made their Grand Entrance to the dramatic strains of Eminem's "Lose Yourself", then launched right into the First Dance- "Better Together" by Jack Johnson.

After several toasts and a wonderful meal, dancing began again with the traditional Father/Daughter Dance. "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman rang out as Christine and her father, Fred, took the floor.

Then a surprise performance took the stage when the Bride, Groom and several bridesmaids performed a dance and lip sync to Abba's "Dancing Queen".

Open dancing began as the energized guests packed the floor. Highlights included 80s flashback "867-5309/Jenny", "In The Ayer" by Flo Rida and "It Takes Two" by Rob Base.

We finally closed the evening out with Christine and Craig's requested last song, "Anyone Else But You" by The Moldy Peaches.

Special thanks to Heather and her staff at Strawberry Farms for helping the reception to unfold without a hitch!

Our set up included a two speaker Yamaha digital sound system, two sound active, intelligent dance floor lights and a classic mirror ball.

Here's to another great beginning!

DJ Craig

Monday, February 9, 2009

Joy And Randy's New Year's Nuptials

Joy and Randy chose the new year to start their new life together.

Their January '09 nuptials took place near the water in Lake Forest. The Bride chose "Easy For Me To Say" by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman for her walk down the aisle. After a tearful ceremony, the reception started with the jubilant newlyweds making making their entrance to "Everything" by Michael Buble.

"Everlasting Love" was played as a specially choreographed "family dance" entertained the guests. After more partying and dancing, Joy and Randy departed from their afternoon reception by boat. Guests blew bubbles as the honeymooners walked though and boarded their vessel of love.

We used a two speaker Yamaha sound system, dance floor scanners and several pin spots to highlight the wedding cake and wedding banner.

Bon Voyage!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Two Dads

A bride-to-be recently asked what how best to handle the father/daughter dance when there is both a step-dad and a biological father.

This can be a sticky situation. Here is my answer:

In the past, I've had brides in this situation decide to pick an appropriate song and dance with each Dad for half of it.

You could also prearrange for one or both of them to take turns "automatically" cutting in with you once your first dance is over, as part of open dancing time. This is kind of stealthy, placing a bit less attention on all involved but it may not work for everyone.

Another alternative is to start the dancing with Dad #1, after a minute change the song and have your first dance with the groom. Then dance with Dad #2 for a minute or so.

Each of these ideas has its upside and advantages. Hope one of them works for you!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Holiday Celebration

Dec. 28, 2008

Between Christmas and New Year's Day, Susie and Luis celebrated their nuptials on the water at the Lake Forest Sun and Sail Club.

Ceremony highlights included the Bride walking down the aisle to Beyonce's "Ave Maria". The newly wedded couple's exit song was Barry White's "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe".

At the reception the guests enjoyed a diverse mix of music. They especially liked "The Cha Cha Slide". The Righteous Brothers classic, "Unchained Melody", was the First Dance.

For the ceremony, we provided an auxiliary sound system including a wireless lapel mic for the clergy. The reception system was a 2 speaker Yamaha digital.

Here's to another great beginning!

DJ Craig