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!
- What a Night for Tara and Bobby!
Talk about a perfect day! I woke up early the morning of Tara and Bobby’s wedding because my cell phone chirped on my bed stand. When I looked at it I had an Emergency Alert about a Tornado Warning. I remember going back to sleep thinking, well, I guess Tara and Bobby won’t be getting married outside! Boy was I wrong.
By noon the skies had cleared and it was a beautiful June day. Hot but not too hot and no humidity. It was just perfect. I arrived at The Water’s Edge in Bayville plenty early (I didn’t know how to predict traffic and it’s always better to be early than late) and got set up for the ceremony. The ceremony spot at The Water’s Edge is one of those locations in New Jersey that it’s hard to believe you’re still in the Garden State. It looks more like you’re on a Caribbean island to be honest. Tara and Bobby had asked for a “Beach Theme” so I played a nice gentle steel drum mix prior to their ceremony then picked up the tempo for cocktail hour with a mix of reggae and other summer vibes like Jimmy Buffet and The Beach Boys.
After high energy introductions and the formal dances it was time to party. With very few requests from Tara and Bobby I was free to get creative and have some fun. And their guests were eager to join in. There was never a time when the dance floor was empty (except dinner of course) and at the end of the night I even got a “one more song!” chant which I happily obliged. I recorded the first set after dinner and uploaded it to my SoundCloud page. (You can hear it by clicking here.) At one point in the recording you’ll hear me say “you asked for it Coretta.” I was referring to Coretta Doll who I was working with at the wedding. She was out on the dance floor during Danza Kudura and a circle had opened up and she jumped in the middle calling for a dance partner. The next thing I knew she had one and they were rocking out! It was an awesome moment.
I wish I was still recording a little while later because Bobby took the microphone to thank all their guests for coming and then (on the mic) he said, “and we have the best friggin’ DJ in the world!” I was smiling ear to ear.
When I left Tara and Bobby’s wedding I wrote on my Facebook page: “Some weddings are so much fun it doesn’t even feel like work.” and I truly meant that. Working with Tara and Bobby was an absolute pleasure and I couldn’t be happier for them that the tornado came through early enough that they could get married outdoors.
Congratulations Tara and Bobby
- Emily and Dom Get Married at Branches in West Long Branch
This past Friday I got to provide music and MCing for Emily and Dom. They got married at Branches in West Long Branch , out by the great garden area with the waterfall, then had a fantastic party inside. Branches is a great location (and not just because it’s minutes from my home!)
Emily and Dom had upgraded their package with us to include uplighting and a photo booth. Tom Monaco brought the uplighting so he wound up working with me all night. What a treat to work with such a veteran! The photo booth was a popular attraction all night too.
Coming out of cake cutting I recorded the final set of the night and uploaded it to my SoundCloud page. You can hear it by clicking right here.
Congratulations Emily and Dom!
- A Wild Wedding in Wildwood for Corey and Jackson
What a pleasure it was to work with Corey and Jackson! They’re an awesome couple who threw a very unique and fun celebration for their family and friends and because they got married at their location, I got to be involved in everything.
Corey and Jackson got married on the deck overlooking the ocean at the Wildwood Convention Center. It was a windy day but beautiful nonetheless and their ceremony really stood out for the awesome views as well as their friend Mike who officiated and did a great job.
After a cocktail hour on the deck (at which we provided a cool steel drum and reggae mix befitting the surroundings) we headed inside and the party started! And what a party it was. Corey and Jackson’s family and friends really celebrated and I was happy to be able to provide a great soundtrack for the night.
This was one of my first “beach themed” weddings of the season. We see this a lot working down at “the shore” and personally, I love it!
Congratulations Corey and Jackson!
- Megan and Scott Celebrate at the Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes, NJ
I had the honor of MCing and DJing for Megan and Scott at the Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes. There was a lot about this night that stood out for me but it all started with their first dance.
They wanted to start with Michael Buble’s “Everything” then break into “Bun Up the Dance” by Dillon Francis & Skrillex. I made a mix for them to practice with and when I say practice I mean it. I’ve rarely worked with a client that put that much preparation into their first dance. They had the choreography worked out perfectly and just watching them I could tell they had put a lot of hours of rehearsal in. And their guests appreciated it! Megan and Scott got a thunderous ovation when they were done.
Besides my DJing services Megan and Scott had upgraded to include our intelligent light package. That combined with the uplighting in the Indian Trail Club made for a great visual presentation all night long.
I’m not I’d ever been to the Indian Trail Club but I must say it’s a beautiful place. Sitting right on a lake (Franklin Lake I assume) it has great views and is a very nice room. Megan and Scott hosted a great reception for their family and friends and I was honored just to be a part of it.
Congratulations Megan and Scott!
- Angeline and Mike Celebrate Their Wedding at Doolan’s Shore Club
This past weekend I had the honor of DJing for Mike and Angeline at Doolan’s Shore Club in Spring Lake. When we met they gave me plenty of requests and then pointed out that there were just two slow songs on that list. And those were the only two slow songs they wanted. As a DJ who loves rocking a party I was up for the challenge and I’m happy to report it was a great celebration and the dance floor was packed all night.
One of the most unique things about Mike and Angeline’s wedding was their first dance. They had a friend named Gene sing their special song. That’s unique enough but the song choice was even cooler: “Shut Up and Dance.” I have to admit I’ve been playing that song since 2014 when it came out but I never really listened to the lyrics. Slowed down and played acoustical (which Gene did superbly) the song made for a great first dance. Lyrics like”we were bound to get together” and “this woman is my destiny” really stood out. Someone (maybe Gene) should release a slow version of the song.
The way the timeline worked out, after the formalities upfront (first dance, parents dance and toasts) I had about a half hour to dance Mike and Angeline’s guests before the buffet was opening. I played one of those two slow songs (Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love”) then got everyone moving and shaking. I recorded that opening dance set and you can hear it here. Keep in mind every one of these songs were requests from Mike and Angeline. I was pretty proud of how I covered a number of different genres in this opening, had a packed dance floor with lots of singing along, and really established that it was going to be a great night. Those are my usual goals with an opening dance set and I’m happy to say: Mission Accomplished!
Tricia and Bob from Expressive Image were the professional photographers for Mike and Angeline. Expressive has been a main stay at the Jersey Shore for as long as I can remember. They have great photographers who not only take beautiful pictures but also are very easy to work with. They were very generous to allow me to use some of their pictures in this blog. To see even more of the great shots they got at Mike and Angeline’s wedding, click here for the album of shots they uploaded to their Facebook page.
Congratulations Mike and Angeline! Thanks for letting me be a part of your awesome day!
- Dana and Robert Throw an Unforgettable Celebration to Start Their Married Life
It was truly an honor for me to be the MC and DJ for Dana and Robert this past weekend. They got married at The Nassau Inn in Princeton and then after a great cocktail hour it was time to party! And what a celebration it was.
There are a few things that stand out for me about this wedding. First, The Nassau Inn has this beautiful courtyard for their outdoor ceremonies and since Dana and Robert had a perfect June night their ceremony was outside. The courtyard is perfect for ceremonies, especially since it’s surrounded by trees so shade is abundant, but it opens out to the street. I thought it was really awesome that when Dana and her dad started walking down the aisle to begin the ceremony, there were a bunch of pedestrians across the street watching and taking pictures. I took a shot of that with my iPhone because I thought it was so unique.
Another thing that stands out for me was Dana and Robert’s first dance. They’d obviously practiced and did a ballroom dance (I believe it was a fox trot) to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” The song itself is one of my all-time favorites and whenever any couple puts some effort into their first dance I am impressed. I took some quick shots of this with my iPhone, not doing it any just I’m sure, but here’s a collage of them dancing.
And then finally, Dana and Robert’s wedding stands out for me because two of my dear friends, Harold and Mary, were guests. The two of them danced all night long and that was awesome to see. They are getting married themselves next year and just watching them have so much fun on the dance floor was awesome and it gets me even more excited than I already was about their own wedding.
Before Dana left for her honeymoon she was very nice to offer me this review on The Knot.
Congratulations Dana and Robert!!!
- John & Kourtni Celebrate With Their Family and Friends at Addison Park
This past weekend we had the honor of providing DJ and lighting services, as well as photography for John and Kourtni at their amazing wedding at Addison Park. Lynn and Nicole from Elite Digital Images captured some beautiful images. The pictures in this blog are just a small sampling.
Craig and Andre provided the music and lighting and Craig offered us these highlights: “There was some question about whether the ceremony would take place outdoors because 15 minutes before the guest arrived it was rainy and cloudy. But then it ended up being a beautiful day and John and Kourtni were able to get married outdoors.
John and Kourtni had planned a choreographed dance for their first dance (A Thousand Years – Christina Perri ) and even though John sprained his knee and ankle a week before at the bachelor party, he still powered through and did the choreograph first dance. Everyone loved it!
Also their son Ryker was the life of the party and was dancing the whole night.
Congratulations John and Kourtni!
- Mel and Denise’s Wedding Is a True Family Affair
Nowadays, it’s fairly common for me to DJ a wedding where the bride and / or groom are already parents. Sometimes they’ve had a child (or children) from a previous marriage and sometimes the couple has just had children before they got married.
What makes Mel and Denise‘s wedding stand out for me (among other things) is that not only are they both parents but they are both grandparents as well. And their wedding was not just a celebration of two people coming together but a joining of two families into one. It was an honor to be a part of.
Mel and I have known each other in passing for many years now. He is a musician and karaoke performer who frequents the DJ Expo annually and has seen me do my seminars and host the DJ of the Year competition on numerous occasions. With those experiences he wanted me to MC and DJ his special day so even though it was a Sunday (which I normally block off for myself) I was happy to oblige.
Mel and Denise had some very specific requests, namely a different song for each member of their family to walk down the aisle to at the beginning of their ceremony and a medley of each of their kid’s wedding songs. Other than that, they had one instruction for me: help our family and friends celebrate! And that’s what I did. Even though it was early on a Sunday we had some terrific dance sets and everyone had a blast.
As you might imagine Mel also contributed his talents to the day. Their first dance was to a song that Mel had written and recorded and he sang a song during the reception. I always love when a couple puts their own unique stamp on their day and Mel certainly did that!
I wish all the best to this awesome couple. Mazel Tov Mel and Denise!
- Terra and Paula Celebrate Their Marriage at The Breakers in Spring Lake
It was a blast! From the very beginning the guests were on the dance floor and that was only the doors open mix. Now…for the bridal party. These guys had so much energy it was hard for me to stand still just to line them up. There wasn’t a time during the whole process of the day where they weren’t singing or dancing around. Terra and Paula however, had even more energy and just kept repeating, “No slow songs, we came to have a dance party!!” So after a very high energy intro into the room, the newlyweds took their first steps together to a beautiful song by Ella Henderson entitled “Yours”, which was immediately followed by a dance set starting with Clean Bandits “Real Love.” At this moment the dance floor erupted as Terra and Paula and all their friends and family danced the night away!
This is a night I will remember for always as Terra and Paula could not stop hugging me at the end. What a great party and an even greater couple!!
- Elite Rocks Another Bridal Show at The Channel Club
After Tom Monaco did a great job demonstrating bridal party introductions Jay Thomson sang a beautiful version of the George Straight classic “Cross My Heart.” The couple that we had selected as our “bride and groom” for the show even got up to dance while Jay sang. It was a nice touch. After that we got everyone up and involved with everything from The Twist to a Conga Line and a huge finale of Bon Jovi’s “Livin On a Prayer.”
Bridal Shows are a great way for us to meet brides and grooms who are in the planning stages of their weddings. We have done live showcases for over 20 years now and we will continue to do them because there is no better way for bride and grooms to experience the fun and enthusiasm that all of our MCs bring to every event. If you are planning a wedding (or any event really) and considering Elite, we encourage you to check our schedule and come see us at a future show.
Meanwhile here are some shots I took with my iPhone last night just to get a sense of how things looked. Enjoy
- Pattijo and Ray Take Their Guests Around the World I had the pleasure of DJing for Pattijo and Ray out at the Northampton Country Club in Richboro, Pennsylvania this past weekend. Pattijo and Ray are avid travels and their wedding theme was Around The World. They brought the theme to their guests with many signs reminding everyone about the joys of travel as well as seating their guests at tables named after some of the exotic places they’ve visited.
Pattijo had given me a ton of requests and dedications and I was able to get to everything. In the meantime I also did my best to get their guests up and dancing. I recorded their first dance set, a quick, high energy, ten minute set and uploaded it to my SoundCloud page (you can find it here). It’s just a great example that even if I have just ten minutes between courses, I still want to get everyone up and create some energy. I squeezed 5 songs into this set and was able to introduce everyone to the dance floor so that when I opened things up after dinner it was that much easier.I wish Pattijo and Ray all the luck in the world and hope they keep traveling the globe!
- Evelyn and Sean’s Marriage Takes Off I had the honor of DJing Evelyn and Sean’s wedding ceremony and reception this past Friday at one of my favorite places of all time, The English Manor. The ceremony was scheduled to take place outdoors in the English Manor’s beautiful gardens but right before the ceremony began the clouds came over and a few raindrops fell. Evelyn’s grandfather, who is also a deacon, was the officiant and he told me he put in an extra word with the Man upstairs and sure enough, the rain stopped and Evelyn and Sean were able to get married outside.After a great cocktail hour we did the grand introductions and Evelyn and Sean danced to their wedding song, “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.Sean is a flight instructor with hopes to be a pilot someday so much of their wedding was themed for flying. It was a unique touch for this awesome couple.I had the pleasure of working with Emil Bartsche from Contemporary Image. Emil and I have worked weddings together for over 25 years and he is a true professional as well as an all around great guy. It’s always fun to work with Emil. We even took a picture together before the ceremony. Emil and I have probably worked 100 weddings together through the years and I’m pretty sure this was the first time we took a picture together.I wish Evelyn and Sean all the luck in the world and hope their marriage soars above the clouds!
- My Predictions for the Song of The Summer of 2017
Even though summer doesn’t officially start till just after midnight on June 21st we all know Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of the summer season and so, once again, I will take this time to boldly make my predictions for The Song of the Summer of 2017. No doubt, all of these tunes will be cranked up all summer long (and many of them should be packing my dance floors too). And even though sometimes there is no clear winner for Song of the Summer, these are the songs that (in my opinion) have the best chances to be #1 from now through Labor Day:
Something by Kendrick Lamar. Lamar is as hot right now as Drake was last year and everything coming off his new album, Damn, is blowing up the charts. “Humble” has already hit #1 and started its decent as has “DNA” so while we’ll be hearing both of those a lot this summer they probably won’t be the biggest song over the next few months. Maybe it’ll be “Loyalty” (with Rihanna) or something else Lamar releases in the next few weeks but if I had to bet on the Song of the Summer of 2017 I’d take Kendrick Lamar against the field.
“Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee. It’s not a very bold prediction to pick the #1 song as the summer begins but this one is hot and has staying power and with the star power of Bieber on vocals, we’ll be hearing a lot of “Despacito” this summer.
“Malibu” by Miley Cyrus. Cyrus’ newest release is already racing up the charts. It’s not exactly a dance floor banger but it has a slow and steady build to it and Cyrus’ beautiful voice and lyrics about the beach and ocean make it a no-brainer to get plenty of air play this summer.
“Galway Girl” by Ed Sheeran. Sheeran’s already had two hits off his 3rd album, Divide, (technically the title is the division sign but I can’t find that on my keyboard so I just wrote it out) and “Galway Girl” is his newest single so you know it’ll be getting plenty of radio play. I love the mix of Sheeran’s singing/rapping and the traditional Irish instrumentation.
“Attention” Charlie Puth. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part because I love the vibe of this song and hope to be hearing it a lot this summer but I think Puth’s newest release has a great chance to climb the charts and be a big song this summer. It’s sexy and sultry and perfect for a hot summer night.
“I’m The One” by DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne. This song debuted at #1 on the pop charts, the first hip hop song to do that since “Not Afraid” by Eminem in 2010. It’s got plenty of guest-artist star power and a great hook and will definitely be a favorite this summer.
“Thunder” Imagine Dragons. If they’d released “Believer” closer to the summer I think that song would have had a great chance to be a big summer hit with its sing-along chorus but it’s already peaked so I doubt it. “Thunder” is almost as catchy and could make a strong climb up the charts as the weather heats up.
“That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars. Everything Mars touches these days turns to gold and that’s certainly the case with his newest hit. The only thing working against Mars is “That’s What I Like” has already peaked (it was #1 in early May) and though it’s still hanging at #2 its decent on the charts is inevitable. By the way, Mars has already announced that his next single will by “Versace on the Floor” which has a definite throwback, R&B ballad vibe to it and could potentially be a big wedding song as long as couples don’t mind the obvious sexual innuendos in the lyrics.
“Slide” by Calvin Harris featuring Frank Ocean & Migos. Once the beat kicks in I love this song. Calvin Harris is still a big enough name that this song will get plenty of radio play and I expect to hear some great remixes that make it even more danceable.
“Mask Off” by Future. Future’s original release of this song has already peaked on the charts but a remix which features Kendrick Lamar has just been dropped and I think that will only help this hip hop meets trap track to get more and more play.
“Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez. This song just got released and I think it could be big. Gomez offers a smoldering delivery over an infectious sample of The Talking Heads classic “Psycho Killer.”
“There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” by Shawn Mendes. We’re going through a phase in music where everything seems to be around the 100 BPM range so it’s nice to hear a dance song at 120 BPMs. I think this could be a big summer track
“Swish Swish” by Katy Perry featuring Nicki Minaj. I don’t really hear the hook in this song but it wouldn’t be the first time a song blew up that left me shaking my head. Plus, Katy Perry is in full promotional mode with a new album coming out next month so who knows? This song could surprise me.
- Jess and Steve Celebrate Their Marriage at Clarks Landing
Anytime I pull up outside Clarks Landing in Point Pleasant I know it’s going to be a special night. There’s something about this great location that seems to attract some of the best couples in all of New Jersey to hold their wedding receptions there. You can feel it in the air, as one of my favorite songs goes, and that was certainly the case at Jess and Steve‘s wedding last Friday night.
Jess and Steve are a very cool and fun loving couple and this translated into an awesome night. After their high energy introductions they enjoyed a beautiful first dance to Dan + Shay’s “From The Ground Up.” A few more spotlight dances followed then toasts and then it was time to party. One of the many things I absolutely LOVE about working at Clarks is that Don and everyone there care as much about the celebration as they do their food. Don gave me the green light right away to get people up and that’s all the incentive I ever need. We got the party started and the dance floor was pretty much full the rest of the night.
Jess and Steve had hired MPW Media Group to capture photos and video of their day. They brought out a whole crew of videographers and photographers and were nice enough to share some of their great images with me to use in this blog. Thanks guys! I can’t wait to see their video recap of the day!
- Adam and Linda Had Some Much to Celebrate They Needed Two Receptions
I had the pleasure of DJing for Adam and Linda this past weekend. They’d gotten married back in April and Tony Tee from SCE had been their DJ. When they started planning the second phase of their reception, Tony was unavailable and so he referred them over to us (thanks Tony!). It was a fun day with a very unique first dance.
Adam and Linda’s first dance was “The Book of Love.” It’s a song originally done by a band called The Magnetic Fields. Most people know Peter Gabriel’s version of the song but Adam and Linda danced to a version done by Mike Doughty. But half was through the song, right after the lyric “you can sing me anything” I lowered the volume and Adam asked Linda, “can I really sing you anything?” When she said yes, Adam and his friend Mike then played the song with Adam singing. Linda and all of her guests looked on lovingly and I have to say, Adam really nailed it. It was one of the more unique first dances I’ve ever seen in all my years of DJing.
The photos in this blog were taken from my iPhone. Don’t want anyone to get the idea that these are professionally shot.
Congratulations Adam and Linda!
Adam was nice enough to offer me this WeddingWire Review after the wedding: