Check out my featured interview on Stephanie and Jeff Padovani’s website, Best Hudson Valley Wedding Ever:
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“DJ Bri On the Fly: How To Make Your Wedding Unique”
Jeff and I met Bri Swatek of Spinning With Style quite a few years back at a Knot mixer for wedding professionals held at the incomparable Round Hill House in Washingtonville, NY. We were immediately impressed by his eagerness to learn and his friendliness to us (his DJ competitors!) It wasn’t long before we were personal and professional friends.
So as I attempt to bring together the best wedding planning tips and advice for Hudson Valley couples, I know we HAVE to talk to Bri. He simply rocks when it comes to incorporating a couple’s personal style into their entertainment.
Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek Spinning with Style Sarah Immel Photography
Jeff and I held a conversation with Bri via Skype. Through magic of web cams, we hold a conversation, Bri in his baseball cap and jersey. (Do I need to tell you that I am in my sweats? Too late.)
Bri reveals some of his story…
When Bri and his wife Brenda got married, they found a place within their budget. Their wedding could have easily become lost in the “wedding factory” environment: “Bri and Brenda in Ballroom C.”
Bri learned from his own experience that it’s vitally important to choose your color, theme and music to reflect your personality so that your wedding really stands out.
Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek First Dance Links at Union Vale Cheryl Bolton-Reuter Photography
Ideas For Making It Personal
First, Bri urges you to take the pressure off. “You don’t have to have an elaborate ‘theme’ to make your wedding unique,” he explains. “It’s more about personalizing the day so that it reflects you.”
Think about what you have in common and what you like about each other. Do you have a favorite sports team? Different ethnic heritages? TV shows or movies you love?
One of Bri’s couples had a travel themed wedding. Each table was named after a destination they had visited together: the Paris table, the London table.
Another couple hosted a Yankees vs. Mets wedding to highlight their team rivalry. Half the wedding cake was decorated with the Yankees insignia and the other half was Mets!
Still another couple held a Hawaiian luau wedding at the Grandview. Bri found a string quartet’s Polynesia tropical version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the ceremony and put together a cocktail hour play list of traditional Hawaiian music and steel guitar instrumentals. They even chose Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii” for their first dance song.
“Okay, Bri.” I smirk. “It’s not too difficult to make a wedding unique when the couple knows what they want…but what if I don’t have a clue?”
I challenge Bri with a “hypothetical” scenario… Newlyweds first dance.
“Jeff and I are getting married. I want be introduced to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme and he wants White Snake’s ‘Still of the Night.’ What do you do?”
Bri doesn’t even hesitate. “Your wedding is a blend of your personalities, your family and your friends. Maybe you could make an even exchange, a compromise that you are both comfortable with.”
He’s better than my therapist; my hypothetical feathers are already beginning to unruffle.
He clears his throat and smiles. “Maybe you could agree on an introduction song…and you could use ‘Still of the Night’ for your first dance.”
Jeff grins at me in triumph.
“In all seriousness,” Bri continues as we stop chuckling, “A lot of couples don’t know what they want at first. But I ask some questions and their interests emerge, the things they like and don’t like. I feel a responsibility to get to know them to help them find it.”
Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Bedinotti Photo
Some frequently asked questions:
Do I HAVE to walk down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride” or “Canon in D?”
“NO,” Bri answers. “You do not have to do anything. Every aspect of your wedding can be unique. You don’t have to have house music and lights for a grand entrance. You don’t have to play ‘Love Shack’ at 9pm. We want to make your friends and family to smile and laugh and say, ‘Yes, this is so you!’”
If you’re really stuck coming up with ideas for your themed wedding, here are Bri’s tips:
• Have conversations with other brides and grooms. Not only your family and friends, but in forums on The Knot or Wedding Bee. If you ask them for ideas about how to host a Yankee themed wedding, you’ll get 100 responses filled with ideas you would have never thought up.
• Ask around on Facebook and Twitter.
• Talk to wedding pros and experts. They’ve seen a lot and will probably be happy to share their experiences.
“And remember,” Bri concludes. “You don’t have to do anything. Your songs should reflect you. One of my brides danced with her dad to ‘It Takes Two’ and it was amazing. It’s fun for me too, that unique moment I get to be a part of.”
“So I CAN have Buffy at our pretend wedding!” I announce to Jeff.
He pats my shoulder. “Whatever you want, honey.”
Bri smiles. Mission accomplished.
Bri Swatek is the owner of Spinning With Style Hudson Valley DJ service and he can be contacted at http://www.djbriswatek.com.
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Thanks Steph and Jeff for capturing all the fun we had talking about wedding planning and turning it into a great article for Hudson Valley brides and grooms!
DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York