Below are Mike’s most recent blog posts. Click on the title to be taken to the full post where you can comment and share with friends!

  • English Manor Wedding for Ashley & John

    We had the pleasure of providing DJ as photography services for Ashley and John at The English Manor.  Alex Cameron and Chris Catania spun the tunes and got everyone dancing.  Alex filed this report:

    This past Sunday, was a night of many firsts for myself. It was one of the first times in my career where I felt out of my comfort zone…and I LOVED IT. John and Ashley arrived at the fantastic English Manor with the “Cantina Band Music” from Star Wars and other movie related music for cocktail hour. As you could probably tell already, it was a movie themed wedding. Many of the songs throughout the night were from famous movies. Classics like Johnny Be Goode from “Back to the Future”, Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison from “Pretty Woman”, Twist and Shout from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and many more.   John and Ashley Foglia were old at heart, so a majority of the music was between the 1950s and 1980s. This was before my time so I had to buck up on my music history. The night started off better than I expected. The dance-floor was filled and their request list helped tremendously. After the cake cutting ceremony, I did another first. I had the pleasure of leading the “Shoe Game”. I had to put on my Richard Dawson cap for this one.  For those who don’t know what it is, the Shoe Game is when you seat the bride and groom back to back. The bride and groom have their shoe and the other’s shoe in each hand. I then asked them a series of questions to whom they think describes their tendencies. The fun part is that the bride and groom can’t see each other and can only interpret the answers through the audience. The questions that got the best responses from the audience were, “Who reads the most?(because they’re both librarians)”, “Who is more organized?”, “Who is the most stubborn?” Obviously, they both had different answers for those questions. The most notable question was the last one: “Who do you love more than anyone in the entire world?” The response was overwhelmingly positive which led to a round of applause and end to the wonderful Shoe Game. The rest of the night was a breeze. The newest mixer at Elite, Chris, and myself rocked out to some AC/DC, Van Halen and Meatloaf. Ashley and John were beyond thankful for a great evening.  As John was leaving, he gave a firm handshake and said, Tonight was perfect”. A wedding of firsts turned into another successful Elite wedding!  Once again, Congratulations to John and Ashley Carvagno. 

    Here are some shots from The Shoe Game:


    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_AshleyandJohn7 Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_AshleyandJohn8 Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_AshleyandJohn5 Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_AshleyandJohn6

    Carrie and Cindy from our sister studio Elite Digital Images took all the pictures.  We’ve included a few in this blog.  To see even more head to their complete album on Facebook.

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    Congratulations Ashley and John!


  • Corporate Party at The Palace for Ivoclar Vivadent

    This past weekend I had the pleasure of celebrating a successful year with Ivoclar Vivadent at The Palace in Somerset.  This is a great group of people who did a lot of dancing and celebrating and it was a fun night for all.  I want to thank my contact Laura who took a few minutes to offer me a review on WeddingWire.  That review follows along with a few pictures I took on my iPhone.

    Happy Holidays Ivoclar Vivadent!  Hope to see you next year!

    EliteEntertainment_WeddingWireReview_NJWedding_MikeWalter 2017 12-1-17ThePalace_HolidayParty ThePalace_HolidayParty ThePalace_HolidayParty ThePalace_HolidayParty



    pin - Elite Entertainment The Palace corporate event for Vivadent

  • English Manor Wedding for Marina and Jose

    We had the honor of celebrating with Marina and Jose at The English Manor.  Tom Monaco was their MC and DJ and along with Thomas Williams they made sure everyone had a great time!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor Marina and Jose7

    Besides Tom and Thomas, Marina and Jose had Elite Digital Images shooting their wedding. Lynn, Cyndi and Angelina got some incredible pictures.   The images you see in this blog are just a few of the awesome shots they got.  To see even more head to their photo album on Facebook.

    Love the emotion captured in this first look shot!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor Marina and JoseJose and Marina got a perfect fall day!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor Marina and Jose2

    Whenever Tom Monaco is the DJ you know it’s going to be a GREAT party!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor Marina and Jose4 Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor Marina and Jose5Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor Marina and Jose6

    Love the end of the night shot!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor Marina and Jose8



    pin - Elite Entertainment English Manor wedding for Marina and Jose

  • Salt Creek Grille Wedding for Juston and Andrea

    We had the honor of DJing and photographing  Juston and Andrea’s wedding at The Salt Creek Grille in Rumson.  Alex Cameron served as their MC and DJ and he tells us it was an awesome party!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_SaltCreekGrilleJuston&Andrea2

    Juston and Andrea also hired Elite Digital Images to shoot their pictures.  Cyndi got tons of great shots.  All the pictures in this blog are from her.  If you’d like to see even more head to their Facebook album.

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_SaltCreekGrilleJuston&Andrea423550084_1697844673559217_3395100237629842552_oElite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_SaltCreekGrilleJuston&Andrea5


    pin - Elite Entertainment Salt Creek Grille wedding for Juston and Andrea

  • English Manor Wedding for Leslie and Geza

    We had the honor of celebrating with Leslie and Geza at The English Manor.  Dan Fumosa was their MC and DJ and along with Brad they made sure everyone had a great time!

    Dan tells us: “We opened the dance floor with the Leslie’s grandparents wedding song to celebrate them being married for 65 years. The song was Tony Bennet – Because Of You.  Leslie was also a big 90’s fan, so I played some of the alt rock throughout the night along with a boy band set a little later.”

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_Leslie and Geza

    Besides Dan and Brad, Leslie and Geza had Elite Digital Images shooting their wedding. Lynn and Chris got some incredible pictures.   The images you see in this blog are just a few of the awesome shots they got.  To see even more head to their photo album on Facebook.

    Love the emotion captured in this shot!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_Leslie and Geza 4

    So many beautiful spots at The English Manor for great photographs!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_Leslie and Geza 5When Dan is the DJ you know it’s going to be a GREAT time!

    Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_Leslie and Geza 6Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_Leslie and Geza 7Elite Entertainment_ NJWedding_ EliteDigitalImages_EnglishManor_Leslie and Geza 2

    After the wedding Leslie left us this awesome WeddingWire review:

    EliteEntertainment_WeddingWireReview_NJWedding_Dan Fumosa (and Lynn and Chris) 2017 11-17-17





    pin - Elite Entertainment English Manor Wedding Leslie and Geza


  • English Manor Wedding for Kristina & Dan

    We had the privilege of providing DJ and photography services for Kristina and Dan at The English Manor.  Tom Monaco served as their MC and DJ and he tells us it was a memorable night:

    “It was a fun Sunday wedding.  Kristina loved to dance.    Dan and his best man like to hunt so the best man and maid of honor walked in holding a toy bow and arrow and shot a target as they walked in.  It was pretty funny.    They wanted a huge mix of music.  Country songs and a lot of great dance music.  Dan is a big Ted Nugent fan.    They picked out about 90 songs so every song I played was off their list.     This upcoming week is Dan’s parent’s 45th wedding anniversary so I did a special dedication to them and played there wedding song “If Ever I Would Leave You” by Robert Goulet. Also friends of the bride and groom 1 year anniversary was that day so we played “From The Ground Up” for them. “


    Kristina and Dan included one of our most popular upgrades in their package, a gobo which puts “your name in lights”


    Besides our DJ services Dan and Kristina also had Lynn and Chris from Elite Digital Images shoot their wedding.  The pictures in this blog are just a few of the awesome shots they took that day.  For even more, check out their album on our Facebook page.

    EliteEntertainment_NJWedding_EliteImages_EnglishManor5 EliteEntertainment_NJWedding_EliteImages_EnglishManor4Congratulations Kristina and Dan!


    pin - Elite Entertainment English Manor Wedding Kristina and Dan

  • Oyster Point Wedding for Danielle and Christopher

    I had the absolute pleasure MCing and DJing for Danielle and Christopher Saturday night at The Oyster Point in Red Bank.

    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit


    This is a couple that told me from the very beginning how much they wanted a PARTY!  They left a lot of the programming up to me, giving me just a few requests and a short list of “do not play” songs, and basically entrusted me with the success of their reception.  I am proud to say everything was awesome! The dance floor was literally packed all night and Danielle and Christopher could not have been happier.

    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit


    I always say a great fringe benefit of what I do is when I get to work with other, cool, wedding professionals.  I knew before I got to the Oyster Point that one of those would be the maître d’ Christian.  He always runs the events at The Oyster Point and he is one of the nicest guys in the business.  It is always a pleasure working with Christian.  What I didn’t know was Danielle and Chris’ photographers and they turned out to be just as cool and fun to work with as Christian.  Allison and Michelle of Allison Pense Photography were so awesome!  All the images in this blog are from them and I thank Allison for providing them for me.  If you are looking for photography services you should definitely check out Allison Pense Photography.  I hope I have the chance to work with them again.  Allison was so cool I even let her tell me when I should play “Runaround Sue” (and btw she had me play it at the perfect spot – great job Allison!)  I love how these photographs truly capture the JOY of the night:

    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit


    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit


    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit


    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit


    Allison Pense Photography Credit
    Allison Pense Photography Credit


    Danielle and Chris were so happy with everything I woke up Sunday morning to a glowing email from them.  I sent them a link to WeddingWire and they copy and pasted what they’d sent in the email to a 5 star review!  Thanks so much Danielle and Chris.  It was truly my pleasure!


    EliteEntertainment_WeddingWireReview_NJWedding_MikeWalter 2017 11-11-17




    pin - Elite Entertainment Oyster Point Wedding for Danielle and Christopher

  • A Dozen Disco Songs That Aren’t “We Are Family” or “Celebration”

    The decade of the 70s gave the world the musical genre we call Disco.  And while it’s hard to think of a wedding without any classic dance songs from the 70s, many people want to run and hide when they hear some of the more “played out” tracks from that decade.  But fear not!  I’ve compiled a list of great songs from the era of platform shoes and polyester shirts that aren’t as overplayed “We Are Family” or “Celebration.”

    Got To Be Real“Got To Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn: There are many songs with an opening hook that just grab the listener and force them to their feet and onto the dance floor.  This late 70s disco hit is a prime example.  From those opening four notes (which are so great they have to be repeated) the song takes a breath before launching into an infectious and funky groove.  But the thing that separates “To Be Real” from so many other dance songs of the era is Cheryl Lynn’s impassioned singing.  And with lyrics like “You know that your love is my love.  My love is your love.  Our love is here to stay” the message is great for weddings!

    “Instant Replay” by Dan Hartman: Dan Hartman started his musical career in the rock world (he wrote and sang the Edgar Winter hit “Free Ride”) but when disco became all the rage he took a stab at the new dance craze.  And in doing so he gave the world this incredible, high-energy dance song.  From the countdown that starts the song to the piano keys that kick off the chorus, this song is just one big party!

    “Feels Like I’m In Love” Kelly Marie: Songwriters have forever tried to describe the emotion of falling in love but I don’t think anyone’s ever done it as effectively in a dance song as Kelly Marie.  From her opening line “My head is in a spin, my feet don’t touch the ground to her belting out the chorus, “Feels Like I’m In Love” celebrates the feeling of new love.  And it all makes for one infectious dance song.Keep it coming love

    “Keep It Coming” by KC and the Sunshine Band:  When most people think of great dance songs by Miami-based KC and the Sunshine Band they think of “Get Down Tonight” or “That’s the Way (I Like It)” (which tends to make those songs a little played out).  That’s why I’ve gone with their 1977 #2 hit “Keep It Coming.”  The song is built on a repetitive piano medley that is extremely catchy and it opens up with the chorus (which reminds me of something I heard Jon Bon Jovi say once about song writing: “don’t bore us, get to the chorus”).  Harry Wayne Casey  (the KC in KC and the Sunshine Band) has the perfect, high-falsetto voice for singing disco songs and it’s on full display here.

    “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” by Tavares: Tavares is one of the lesser known disco bands which I’ve never understood.  They may not have had as many hits as The Bee Gees or the aforementioned KC and the Sunshine Band but they certainly had their share.  But to me their greatest dance song is “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel.”  And it’s no surprise either, seeing how “Heaven” was co-written and produced by none other than disco legend Freddie Perren (the man with “Boogie Fever” by the Sylvers, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, and “Shake Your Groove Thing” by Peaches & Herb on his resume).

    “Got To Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye:  This disco classic was in the news recently when the Gaye family sued Robin Thicke over his hit song “Blurred Lines” (and won tons of money!) so most people are aware of it again.  It’s an incredibly fun track with lyrics that are hard to make out, except for the constant refrain of “keep on dancing.”  It doesn’t pack as much energy as some dance songs but it proves that an infectious groove is just as important to getting you moving as in-your-face energy.

    “Ladies Night” by Kool and the Gang: Kool and the Gang came late to the disco party (they spent most of the 70s grinding out funk classics like “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging”) but once they realized that picking up the tempo a bit would win them cross-over appeal they produced some classic disco tracks.  Everyone knows them for “Celebration” (or should I say blames them for “Celebration”) but “Ladies Night” is just as fun and danceable without being one of the most played out songs ever.

    Chaka-khan-im-every-woman-warner-bros-us-vinyl“I’m Every Woman” Chaka Kahn: Any DJ will tell you that goal #1 at most parties is getting the women to the dance floor.  And a great way to accomplish that is to play a “Female Anthem” dance song.  It’s one of the reasons Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” is such a staple.  Chaka Kahn’s 1978 Top 40 hit is the same.  It’s a song of female empowerment (“Anything you want done, baby, I’ll do it naturally”) and if Kahn sounds perfectly in her element singing it, it’s because this was her first stab at making it in the music industry without Rufus, her longtime collaborator. 15 years after the original, Whitney Houston’s version was an even bigger hit but for the purposes of this article, I’ll suggest the original, in all its disco glory.

    “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” The Jacksons: When the Jackson 5 left the Motown record label they discovered they couldn’t even use their original name anymore.  So their releases for Epic are all under the  name The Jackson.  This song, released in 1978 at the very height of disco’s popularity, was their most successful single for Epic and it stands up today as a disco classic which, like all good disco songs, is about nothing more than dancing!

    “You Are The First, My Last, My Everything” Barry White: In the history of music there are some voices that just stand out among all the others.  Barry White certainly had one of those.  I could have included any number of his disco hits but in my humble opinion “You Are The First, My Last, My Everything” is his greatest contribution to the world of dance music.  This was an early disco song (peaking at #2 in 1975) and White is rightfully considered one of the pioneers of the genre.  And as I’ve said with a few of the other songs on this list, for a wedding, the lyrics are just perfect!

    “Love Train” by The O’Jays: One of the criticisms about disco music is that so much of it had no deeper message or meaning than just shaking your bootie.  That is certainly something that cannot be said of The O’Jay’s #1 hit, “Love Train.” Sure it’s got a great beat and an infectious rhythm and on the surface it just seems to be encouraging a conga line but a closer listen to the lyrics reveals a larger, communal message.  The song wants us all to come together and put aside our differences.  It’s a timeless message of peace and unity that is as relevant today as it was in 1972 when it was released.

    “Best of My Love” by The Emotions: I’ve avoided as many “cliche” disco songs on this list as possible which is why, besides the two songs in the title, I didn’t list The Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing”, Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” or “September” by Earth Wind and Fire.  But if The Emotions biggest hit, “Best of My Love” sounds like it could fit in with any of those uber-successful songs it’s because it did sit at #1 for five weeks in 1977 and it was written and produced by Maurice White and Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire.  This is a great dance song that, appropriately for weddings, celebrates the joy of loving someone unconditionally and giving them the best of your love.

    pin - a dozen disco songs(1)

  • Jacque’s Wedding for Nicole and Ryan

    It was truly our honor to provide entertainment and photography for Nicole and Ryan this weekend at Jacques in Middletown.   Dominic served as their  MC and DJ and he tells us it was a great night:  “There were 3 other couples there that I DJed their wedding which always makes it special.  It was a fun party, the guys and girls wore vans sneakers.   I made a 90’s alt/punk rock cocktail mix for them that I uploaded to mixcloud.”EliteEntertainment_NJWedding_EliteImages_Jacques

    Besides Dominic Nicole and Ryan hired Elite Digital Images to shoot their wedding.  The images in this blog are just a few of the great shots Carrie and Jay got that night.  To see even more head to their album on our Facebook page.



    Congratulations Nicole and Ryan!





    Elite Entertainment pin - Jacque's Wedding for Nicole and Ryan

  • Doolan’s Wedding for Amanda and Kevin

    I had an awesome time Friday night DJing at Doolan’s for Amanda and Kevin.  I got to work with a very talented musician named Ty from the band The Icarus Account.  Amanda and Kevin are big fans and they hired Ty to play their ceremony, cocktail hour and some of the music during the reception, including their first dance which was an awesome original song called “All My Love.”  I got a shot from my cell phone of Ty playing while Amanda and Kevin danced.

    When Ty wasn’t playing I had them up dancing all night.  It was a great crowd and they really came to party!




    After the wedding Kevin was nice enough to offer me this very nice WeddingWire review

    EliteEntertainment_WeddingWireReview_NJWedding_MikeWalter 2017 11-3-17



    Elite Entertainmet pin - Doolan's Wedding for Amanda and Kevin

  • A Dozen “Oldies” That Aren’t Played Out

    As you think about the playlist for your wedding hopefully you are considering all of your guests.  Which means you’ll want your DJ or band to play a few “oldies” to satisfy the more “seasoned” members of your family.  But we’ve all heard “The Twist” and “Runaround Sue” so many times some of us want to cover our ears whenever they come on.  Fear not! I’ve got some not-so-played-out* older songs that are sure to get everyone up on the dance floor at your wedding.

    chuck-berry-you-never-can-tell-chess-3“You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry:  Sure Pulp Fiction re-introduced Berry’s 1964 Top Twenty hit to a new generation but “You Never Can Tell” has always been an under-appreciated party song.  Berry released it just at the end of  The Twist craze of the early 60s and it stands up today as one of the better songs to twist to, while avoiding the cliche of “The Twist” by Chubby Checker.

    “Morse Code of Love” by The Capris:  Despite the fact that this song wasn’t released till the early 80s it has the feel of a classic Doo-Wop hit of the early 60s.  That’s because The Capris are a classic Doo Wop group from the 50s and 60s who re-formed in the early 80s and put out this fantastic swing song.  If you’ve got guests who want to jitterbug but are sick of “Rock Around the Clock” then “Morse Code of Love” is your answer.

    “Kansas City” by Wilbert Harrison:  An often-overlooked late 50s classic, “Kansas City” has the right time signature for a swing song but it’s a little bit slower than songs like “Rock Around the Clock” which makes it easier for much older dancers to keep up with.

    “More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase: I’ve never really understood why this song isn’t a wedding staple.  It’s upbeat (clocking in at a rapid 144 beats per minute) and the lyrics are perfect for a wedding (” I love you more today than yesterday. But not as much as tomorrow.”) And to top it off, most people recognize the song and will enthusiastically sing along.  Replace “Brown Eyed Girl” in any playlist with this one and you’ll be happy you did.

    i saw her standing there sheet music

    “I Saw Her Standing There” by The Beatles: When most people think of a party song by The Beatles they tend to go with “Twist and Shout” (which is ironic because it’s one of the few Beatles’ songs the band didn’t write) but I think “I Saw Her Standing There” is actually a better choice.  It packs way more energy and is just as sing-along-able as “Twist and Shout.”  Plus I love hearing McCartney count the song in.  You can tell how excited he was by how he (mis)pronounced the number “four.”  Classic stuff!

    “Rockin Robin” by Bobby Day or Michael Jackson: Personally I prefer the original version by Bobby Day because I think it packs slightly more energy than Jackson’s but they are both great examples of under-appreciated jitterbug songs.

    “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens or Los Lobos:  Both versions have a terrific mix of rock and roll with a Latin flavor.  The original is, of course, the classic from the much-too-short life and career of Ritchie Valens.  The remake (from the 1987 movie about Valens’ life called La Bamba) punches up the beat a bit more which, for me, makes the song a little more danceable.  Whichever one you play though you can’t go wrong.

    “Having A Party” by Sam Cooke – 3 decades before Rod Stewart covered this song for his MTV Unplugged special, Sam Cooke had a Top Twenty hit with this party classic.  Maybe I’m just biased because Cooke mentions my profession when he sings, “So listen, Mr. DJ, keep those records playing” but I do love this song.  And what it lacks in high energy it more than makes up for in fun-swing and recognizable lyrics.  What’s better than a party song about having a party?

    “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison: I love how this song starts off with four loud drum beats before kicking into the melody.  And how the chorus is perfect to sing along with (even though there’s no one in the world who can match Orbison’s voice).  And how it builds and builds and builds before ending on that last, transcendent “Oh, oh, pretty woman.”  So many of Orbison’s songs are tearful and gut-wrenching but this one is just upbeat and happy and celebrates the timeless simplicity of a pretty woman walking down the street.  It’s a perfect party song for any age group.

    SLY_AND_THE_FAMILY_STONE-DANCE_TO_THE_MUSIC-front“Dance To The Music” by Sly and The Family Stone: Another song that just explodes out of the box as soon as it starts, this Top Ten from Sly and The Family Stone from 1968 has great party lyrics, encouraging the listener to “dance to the music,”  and an all-time classic breakdown where everything falls away but the steady drum beat before various instruments get re-introduced back into the song.  It is virtually impossible not to dance to “Dance To The Music.”

    “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett or Andrew Strong: There are a lot of versions of this classic rocker and while many consider Pickett’s to be the quintessential recording I have to admit (at the risk of committing rock and roll heresy) I have a slight preference to Strong’s version from the great 1991 movie The Commitments.  But whichever one you choose, you can’t go wrong with this song and its catchy chorus of “riiiiiiide Sally ride.”

    “Do You Love Me” by The Contours: This was one of the earliest hits for Motown and helped establish them as a record label to watch (they would, of course, go on to dominate the 1960s).  The song also enjoyed a bit of a revival 25 years after its initial release when it was featured prominently in Dirty Dancing.  Savvy DJs know to skip past the spoken intro and beware of the false ending.  But in between, there’s nothing but sheer party madness in “Do You Love Me” which name checks various dances like The Mashed Potato and The Twist and poses the intriguing question “do you like it like this?”


    *I define a song as “played out” if it appears on either the DJ Event Planner Top 200 Requested List or  Mobile Beat’s 200 List.




  • Mike’s Response to a Blog About Hiring Entertainment

    I saw a blog recently with the title “DJ or Band? How to Decide What Music to Have at Your Reception” so I eagerly clicked on it and began to read away.  The author of the blog, Jamie Birdwell-Branson, does a nice job of going through the pros and cons of hiring a DJ versus a band and while I could quibble over her statement “If having someone enthusiastically encourage Blog2your guests to do the Electric Slide or the Cupid Shuffle isn’t your thing, you may not want to hire a DJ” (if it’s not your thing, it’s as easy as telling your DJ “no line dances please”), what I really want to focus on is the final point Birdwell-Branson makes in her blog.

    After highlighting some of the pros and cons of hiring a DJ or a band, Birdwell-Branson finishes her piece with a paragraph titled “Not Sure Which to Choose? Consider Making your Own Music.” She states that making your own playlist “is one of the only ways to ensure that every song you want to be played will be played (and none of the ones you don’t).”

    What Birdwell-Branson seems to be missing is that most DJs (and certainly everyone on the Elite staff) work very closely with their couples and will craft a playlist so that they hear only the songs they want to hear (and none of the ones they don’t).  And the advantage for the couple is you get to tap into the DJ’s experience while doing this.  For most couples we work with, it’s not just about hearing their favorite songs.  It’s also about ensuring everyone in the room feels included and hears something they like.  That’s where a DJ’s expertise can come in.  We can offer suggestions and help you put together a playlist that is all-inclusive (if that’s something you care about).

    Then Birdwell-Branson makes her most inaccurate statement.  She writes, “The only drawback to DIYing your music is that you won’t have someone on the microphone guiding your guests through the reception.”iPod


    That’s just not the case.  There are plenty of other drawbacks.  Here are a few:

    Timing.  Do you know exactly to the minute when dinner will be served at your reception? And when everyone will be done eating?  My guess would be “no” because no one could know that in advance.  Thus, how can you build a playlist that slows the music down for dinner and then picks it back up after everyone is done eating.  The best answer is multiple playlists, but then you get into, who’s job is it to switch playlists?  That same “friend or family member who is comfortable on the microphone and with technology” that Birdwell-Branson suggestions can make some announcements is now going to be manning that iPod throughout the reception.  That’s not something most wedding guests want to do all night.

    Mixing.  One of the many advantages to hiring a professional DJ is our ability to smoothly mix songs.  This is a nice feature when the music is slow and light for cocktail hour or dinner.  It’s an essential feature during dancing.   A lot of dancers tend to sit when a song ends.  That’s why, during a dance set, DJs don’t let songs end.  We mix them by matching beats and keeping the energy consistent on the dance floor.  Some DJs’ talents vary when it comes to this skill (which is why couples should ask to hear some mixes by a DJ before they hire them) but even a mediocre DJ is going to be way better than an iPod when it comes to blending songs together.Jason Estes Mixing

    Volume.  This goes back to the “friend or family member” who is manning the iPod.  They better be there all night.  Because not only should the volume vary throughout a reception (softer during dinner, louder during dancing) but it needs to be tweaked for each and every song.  Some songs are just recorded louder than others.  So volume is not something you can just “set and forget.”  It needs to be monitored and adjusted all night long.  This is another thing that a professional DJ does second nature.  But when you remove us from the equation, you now have to worry about it all night long.

    Load In and Load Out.  One of the not-so-glamorous parts of our jobs is schlepping gear in and out of our facilities.  So forget the fact that you’ll have to rent professional grade sound equipment for your reception – that nice bluetooth speaker you have for your back porch just won’t be loud enough to get a large room full of your family and friends dancing.  Now somebody has to pick it up, load it in, set it up and then after the reception break it down, load it out and return it the next day.  That’s an awful lot to ask from this “friend or family member,” who, by the way, better have some audio experience if that sound system needs any kind of trouble-shooting.

    All of this is not to say “don’t DIY your own music.”  I was actually a guest once at an “iPod wedding” and my wife and I had a wonderful time.  But just know what you’re getting in to.  While Birdwell-Branson makes a good point that “making your own music” is a viable option to hiring a DJ or a band, she misses out on some of the drawbacks associated with that decision.  I hope this blog has made that clearer.


  • The Ramada in Toms River Wedding for Lauren & Dominick

    The other day I got a Facebook notice that someone had tagged Elite Entertainment in a post.  When I went to it it was a photo album that Lauren had uploaded featuring tons of GREAT pictures that her photographer Nicole from Nicole Klym Photography had taken.  I was blown away by the images so I reached out to Nicole and asked if I could use a few in a blog.  With her gracious permission I present to you just a handful of the awesome pictures she captured at Lauren and Dominick’s wedding (to see them all, click here for the gallery she’s placed on her website.)

    Nicole Klym Photography Credit
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit


    The ceremony and reception were held at Versailles Ballroom at The Ramada in Toms River and our very own Dominic Sestito was the MC and DJ.

    Nicole Klym Photography Credit
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit

    Dominic tells us it was a great celebration and one of the memorable moments was when Lauren and her father (who was decked out in a great sequined jacket) did a choreographed dance for their Father Daughter dance.

    Nicole Klym Photography Credit
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit


    It was a great celebration and the photos really show it!

    Nicole Klym Photography Credit
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit3
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit2
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit


    After the wedding they left us this great review

    EliteEntertainment_WeddingWireReview_NJWedding_DominicSestito 2017 8-12-17Congratulations Lauren and Dominick!

    Nicole Klym Photography Credit
    Nicole Klym Photography Credit
  • The Watermark in Asbury Park Wedding for Debbie & Mike

    We had the honor of DJing and also photographing Debbie and Mike’s wedding at The Watermark in Asbury Park.


    Mike used to work with Elite “back in the day” and he chose Phil Walsh to DJ and MC because they had gone through training together.  Also Chris Monaco was the best man.  Here he is delivering the toast:



    Mike and Debbie got a beautiful day which allowed for lots of great pictures (by Lynn of Elite Digital Images)


    EliteEntertainment__NJWedding_TheWaterMark_EliteDigitalImages3 EliteEntertainment__NJWedding_TheWaterMark_EliteDigitalImages5

    Congratulations Debbie and Mike!

  • The Manor in West Orange Wedding for Nicole and Brian

    We love it when a couple really gets into their theme and we’ve rarely seen it done better than at Nicole and Brian‘s Roaring Twenties Themed Wedding which took place at The Manor in West Orange.


    From the most intricate details like their invitations, Nicole and Brian pulled off a wedding that could have taken place almost a century ago.  Except for the fact that their DJ (Dan Fumosa) was playing music from a computer instead of spinning 78s.



    Dan says one of the memorable moments was during the ceremony itself. To go along with the prohibition part of the theme, Nicole pulled out a small flask of liquor to take a shot just before she said “I do.” Brian did the same although it looks like he got more to drink:


    For cocktail hour Dan played songs by Postmodern Jukebox, to have modern music but still capture the 1920’s vibe.


    Besides Dan as the DJ, Nicole and Brian also hired Lynn and Chris from our sister company Elite Digital Images.  We’re sharing just a few of the amazing images they both got that night.  If you’d like to see even more, click here to go to the album they uploaded on Facebook.

    EliteEntertainment__NJWedding_TheManor_EliteDigitalImages3EliteEntertainment__NJWedding_TheManor_EliteDigitalImages4EliteEntertainment__NJWedding_TheManor_EliteDigitalImages2Congratulations Nicole and Brian!


Click here to access the archive of Mike's older blog posts.


december 2017

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january 2018

14jan1:00 pmOcean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch

february 2018

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march 2018

6mar6:45 pmThe Sunset Ballroom at the Lobster Shanty in Pt Pleasant

april 2018

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