Choosing Unique Ceremony Music for Your Hudson Valley Wedding

Today, many couples are looking beyond “traditional” music selections for their ceremony processionals and recessionals.  As the owner of DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style, I don’t play the standard string quartet versions of “Canon in D” or “Here Comes the Bride” (Wagner’s Wedding March) quite as often anymore, but they still do get requests.
Hudson Valley Wedding Ceremony at Candlewood Inn Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Surprise Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Ceremony at Candlewood Inn Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Surprise Photography

More and more, it’s about customizing your ceremony processional to fit your unique style as a couple.  John Legend’s “All of Me” and Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” (either Part 1 or Part 2) have been very popular processionals recently, either with the vocals or as an instrumental.  Classics by Etta James (“At Last”), the Beach Boys (“God Only Knows”), and more, are popular as well.  Movie music is always a fun choice too–think Princess Bride, Father of the Bride, and Love, Actually.The same can be said for the ceremony recessional.  A string quartet version of Mendelsohn’s “Wedding March” still gets requests, but a lot of couples pick a song where they think that the lyrics or the music will set a tone on the way to their reception.  I recently played “This Will Be Our Year” by the 60’s group The Zombies for a couple and it was perfect fit.  Same with a recessional to Pit Bull’s “Give Me Everything.”  However, I do not think those two songs would have worked at the other couples’ weddings if I had swapped them!  The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” is always a fun choice as well.In both cases, many couples have also looked to instrumental artists such as Vitamin String Quartet, O’Neill Brothers, Brian Crane, and Guitar Tribute Players for non-traditional ceremony processionals and recessionals.

Several popular wedding planning websites offer some great ideas for ceremony music choices:

The Knot gives you the most traditional choices.

Pop Sugar has a few really unique choices.

Weddingideasmag shows you a little bit of both.

In the end, it’s all about sharing your unique style with your friends and family on your wedding day.

Congratulations,

Bri

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DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email:   briswatek@gmail.com
Phone:   845.235.0080
Online:   www.djbriswatek.com

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Planning Music and Events for Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding

When planning the music and events for your unique Hudson Valley wedding, what are the most common mistakes to avoid?  How can you make sure that all of your guests have a great time, all of your special moments are set to the music you love best, and that your dance floor is packed all night long?

Hudson Valley Wedding Ceremony at Candlewood Inn Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Surprise Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Ceremony at Candlewood Inn Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Surprise Photography

The first step is to hire a professional Hudson Valley DJ who specializes in weddings and will *listen* to your requests.  The second step is to work closely with your DJ service to create a plan that avoids common wedding music pitfalls.

The great folks over at The Knot recently published an article called “Wedding Music: The Top 10 Wedding Music Mishaps.”  Interviewing DJs around the country, Justine Lorelle Blanchard at TheKnot.Com came up with an excellent list, including tips such as insisting on meeting the actual DJ who will be performing MC services at your wedding in advance, varying your play list to include different types of music for *all* of your guests, avoiding requesting too many specific songs, and thinking about the overall flow of your wedding reception.

Read Blanchard’s interviews with top wedding planning experts about each of these topics.

As the owner of DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style, a DJ service specializing in weddings in the Hudson Valley of New York, I would offer up my own #11 to this great wedding planning list:

11.  As a couple, you will set the overall style of your event.

More than anything or anyone else, you two will set the tone for your guests on your wedding day.  Your friends and family have come to celebrate your marriage, and they will follow your lead throughout the event.  If you visit tables, your guests will stay at theirs, waiting for your arrival, hoping to get a few minutes to talk with you.  When you’re at the bar, outside the venue’s ballroom, or in another location, your guests will also migrate there, to be with you.  And when you’re on the dance floor, your guests will know that the party’s started!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding,
Bri

__________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email:   briswatek@gmail.com
Phone:   845.235.0080
Online:   www.djbriswatek.com

Natasha and Matthew’s Best Hudson Valley Wedding Ever! at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel

I was honored to be a part of Natasha and Matthew’s unique Hudson Valley wedding at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel earlier this year.  DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style provided event planning, Signature Gobo Lighting of their monogram on the dancefloor, wedding uplighting in pink and gold, a Photo Slide Show / Memory Montage during dinner, and kept the dance floor going all night long!

DJ Bri Swatek Spinning with Style Uplighting and Signature Gobo Light at a Hudson Valley Wedding at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel Courtesy of Surprise Photography

Check out Natasha’s interview with Best Hudson Valley Wedding Ever! about all the planning that went into this amazing night:

http://www.besthudsonvalleyweddingever.com/best-weddings/vintage-glam-at-the-poughkeepsie-grand-hotel

Special thanks to Melissa Surprise at Surprise Photography for the fantastic images from the wedding.

Hudson Valley Wedding at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel First Dance Music and Signature Gobo Light by DJ Bri Swatek Image Courtesy of Surprise Photography

Congratulations!

Bri

________________________________________________________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your Professional Disc Jockey and MC Service
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email:   briswatek@aol.com
Phone:   845.235.0080
Online:   www.djbriswatek.com

Making the Most of Wedding Shows and Expos in the Hudson Valley

Whether you are recently engaged and just starting your wedding planning, or you have set a date and are looking for professional vendors to make your Hudson Valley wedding truly unique, a high quality wedding show can be an important–and fun–part of the wedding planning process.

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Surprise Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Surprise Photography

As the owner of Spinning with Style, your professional wedding DJ service in the Hudson Valley, I, DJ Bri Swatek, have participated in a number of wedding expos over the years.  I would offer the following tips to brides and grooms planning to spend a few hours taking it all in at their next local wedding show:

Bring Your Wedding Team!

Wedding shows can be very overwhelming, as you will meet a variety of vendors offering many different services in different ways.  Bring along friends and / or family members who you know will enjoy the experience with you and be helpful to you throughout the show.

Take Notes.

Assign one of your Wedding Team members to take notes for you, especially if you are already keeping a wedding journal or notebook of some kind.  Spend your time as a bride or groom talking with vendors directly, and ask your family and friends to write down responses that you found interesting, so that you can review these notes later when visiting vendors’ websites or setting up meetings.

Hudson Valley Wedding Cake Cutting at the Links at Union Vale Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Owl's Eye Studios

Hudson Valley Wedding Cake Cutting at the Links at Union Vale Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Owl’s Eye Studios

Protect Your Privacy.

Most wedding shows will ask you to register in order to win a prize.  In addition, many of the vendors at the wedding expo will also ask you to register at their booths for their individual prizes.  Decide in advance what phone number, address, and / or email address you want to provide, as vendors will be contacting you after the show to discuss your wedding plans further.  Many brides and grooms set up a unique email address just for their wedding planning process, to keep emails with vendors separate from their work-related or personal messages.

Stickers Save Time.

Bring two types of stickers to wedding shows.  First, prepare labels in advance so that you do not have to fill out vendors’ cards for further information and / or prize giveaways.  Be sure to provide information on these labels that directs vendors as to how you want to be contacted.  If you prefer a certain email address or phone number be used, make sure to include it.  Second, bring along a fun or silly sticker (such as a gold star or smiley face) to note which vendors you felt you connected with when discussing your wedding.  After visiting with a vendor that you particularly liked, ask one of your Wedding Team members to place a sticker on the vendor’s brochure, business card, or other provided information.  This note to yourself about your first impressions will be invaluable in the weeks to come when you are deciding which vendors from the show you want to speak with further.

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Grandview Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Grandview Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Ask Questions.

Most wedding vendors are prepared at a wedding expo to answer your questions about pricing, packages or options, and the availability of their services for your wedding date.  However, one of the most important questions you can ask a vendor at a wedding show is “who will I be working with on my wedding day?”  If the sales representative at the booth is not the actual wedding professional you would be working with, find out how and when you would be able to meet that person prior to your wedding day.  As always, insist on the best for yourself—hire and work with full-time wedding professionals who will provide personal attention to you throughout the wedding process.

Buyer Beware.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  If a price is too low, find out what is (or isn’t) included.  Don’t feel rushed into making a decision simply due to a special offer or prize.  Don’t be afraid to ask if the vendor is a full-time wedding professional.  Don’t be afraid to ask for references from a vendor’s previous customers.

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Vivian Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Vivian Photography

Enjoy the Show!

Most wedding expos provide food samples and a fashion show.  Make sure to see and experience what you want that day, and make sure to have fun!

In the Hudson Valley, the many venues offer excellent wedding shows throughout the year.  Check out the following venues’ websites on a regular basis to get the latest on their upcoming wedding expos:

Anthony’s Pier 9

The Garrison and Highlands Country Club

The Grandview

The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel

The Links at Union Vale

West Hills Country Club

In addition, “DJ Bri’s Blog:  Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding,” features links to highly recommended Hudson Valley wedding venues, caterers, photographers, videographers, florists, transportation, and more.  All of the vendors recommended on my blog are professionals that I have worked with closely over the years, who I know will provide the very best in service for your wedding day.

Congratulations,

Bri

__________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email:   briswatek@gmail.com
Phone:  845.235.0080
Online:   www.djbriswatek.com