Wedding at Mercury Hall, With Austin's Best DJs - Austin, TX
Last Thursday, we had a blast providing a DJ for a great wedding at Mercury Hall, in Austin, TX. We provided a PA setup for two live musicians, who sang the ceremony processional song, and the first dance, song, too! The vocalist was also a bridesmaid. They did an amazing job, as you can hear in the video above, for the first dance.
We played a great mix of 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, Country, Texas Country & top 40, to keep the guests dancing, all night! They had so much fun! We even forgot it was a Thursday night! :) Congrats, again, to Kaley & Alisdair!
Quinceanera at Flamingo Club, With Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths!
Saturday, we provided a photo booth for a fun quinceanera, at the Flamingo Club, in Austin, TX. The birthday girl, Jennisa, had a great time celebrating the big 15, with all of her friends and family! Thanks to the staff at the Flamingo, for being so helpful and allowing us to set up pretty early! Happy birthday, again, Jennisa!
Overall, we had a great time last week, and we look forward to doing it, again, this weekend!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
7/26/2018 0 Comments
Every weekend, all year long, we have the pleasure of providing DJs, photo booths, games, and entertainment for weddings around the Austin and central Texas area. Our goal is to carry out the vision of each couple we work with. Our couples will pick the music for the evening. Some couples will be very specific and pick songs for every minute of the evening; other couples will simply give us their key moment songs and general genre requests, and let our pros select the music. Whichever route they choose, we will execute their vision!
When it comes to weddings, guests tend to remember the food, the music, and the key moments of the evening. They'll remember the music for the ceremony, such as the bridal procession and couple recession song. They'll also remember the other key moments, such as the wedding party entrance, the first dance, bouquet and garter toss, and the exit. Of course they'll also remember dancing and having a great time at your wedding! For all of the key moments, (and dancing all night) the DJ or band facilitates these by acting as the MC and playing the selected songs for each moment. So if you didn't already know, music and your DJ/MC are a very important part of you and your guests' overall experience at your wedding.
Simply put, your guests will remember having a great time at your wedding! Whether it's with playing lawn or giant games during the cocktail hour, or taking pictures at the photo booth, or simply dancing until they're feet can't take it anymore, they'll look back at your wedding and remember the key moments and the fun they had! Although every wedding we do is customized to each couple's unique taste in music, we've noticed a trend, over the year, when it comes to the key moment songs. Here are the the most requested key moment songs based on our research. We gathered the top 5 songs that are requested for each wedding key moment, throughout the US.
Top 5 First Dance Songs:
1. "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran
2. "The Way You Look Tonight" - Frank Sinatra
3. "Can't Help Falling in Love" - Elvis Presley (Haley Reinhart's version is also very popular)
4. "God Gave Me You" - Blake Shelton
5. "Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran
Top 5 Father/Daughter Songs:
1. My Girl - Temptations
2. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
3. Stand By Me - Ben E. King
4. How Sweet It Is - James Taylor
5.My Wish - Rascal Flatts
Top 5 Mother/Son Songs:
1. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
2. How Sweet It Is - James Taylor
3. Stand By Me - Ben E. King
4. My Wish - Rascal Flats
5. Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
Top 5 Bridal Party Intro Songs:
1. Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars
2. Marry You - Bruno Mars
3. Bring 'Em Out - T.I.
4. Forever - Chris Brown
5. Celebration - Kool & the Gang
Top 5 Cake Cutting Songs:
1. Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
2. Marry Me - Train
3. Build Me Up Buttercup - Foundations
4. How Sweet It Is - James Taylor
5. Better Together - Jack Johnson
Top 5 Bouquet Toss Songs:
1. Single Ladies - Beyonce
2. Wannabe - Spice Girls
3. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
4. Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
5. Where Them Girls At - David Guetta
Top 5 Garter Songs:
1. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
2. Hey Ya - Outkast
3. Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
4. Brick House - Commodores
5. Hot in Herre - Nelly
Top 5 Last Dance/Exit Songs:
1. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
2. Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks
3. Livin' On a Prayer - Bon Jovi
4. Last Dance - Donna Summer
5. One More Time - Daft Punk
We hope this list is helpful. As previously mentioned, this is based on what is mostly requested from couples throughout the US. Every wedding is different, but these are the common songs that we've used, this year. When it comes to your wedding, feel free to choose the songs that best suit you and are more your style. As always, feel free to contact us for additional information and planning tips!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Your Austin wedding planning should be a period in your life that's pleasant and fun, and there are ample opportunities to make it so. Here are three upcoming events in the area that will undoubtedly help your wedding reach it's true potential. If you're looking for an easy way to transport a group to these events or your wedding itself, Blackhorn Bus Austin is an excellent option. With years of experience in the wedding industry, you can be completely confident that you're in good hands.
The Milestone Georgetown Open House
Georgetown, TX 78628
The Milestone Georgetown is hosting an open house on July 29th from 1-4pm featuring food, drinks and prizes. RSVP to email@example.com, limit to 4 guests per reservation.
Bridal Open House
at Rio Plaza
245 East Commerce Street San Antonio, TX 78205
It will be worth it to make the trek to San Antonio for this open house! There will be tons of wedding professionals present like florists, bands, photographers, and videographers. You'll get to sample some delicious Tex Mex catering that might end up being the food you serve at your own wedding! There are six different event spaces to explore to get inspiration for your celebration. Get your Bridal Open House tickets, ASAP!
708 San Antonio Street
Austin, TX 78701
Open House at Chateau Bellevue is scheduled for Tuesday August 7th, 2018 from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Come take a venue tour, try some of their delicious in-house appetizers and meet some amazing vendors! If you are interested in attending, please email us to RSVP!
Summer Wedding Cake Tasting
at 10th Collection
109 East Street Hutto, TX 78634
Tickets are $15 to $40 for this wedding cake tasting, and it's totally worth it. Your admission comes with cocktails, coffee, and amazing wedding cake samples in various flavors. Even if you think you've already chosen your bakery, why not enjoy some cake just to be sure? This would be a fun activity to do with your sweetheart or even your wedding party. Get your tickets to the summer wedding cake party, today!
Fall in Love Open House & Big Reveal
The Alexander at Creek Road
6730 Creek Road
Dripping Springs, Texas 78620
Admission is free! Come see our new addition to WindSong Barn and visit with local event vendors. More info: https://www.getmarriedindrippingsprings.com
October 18 - 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Big Fake Wedding
The Addison Grove
11903 Fitzhugh Road
Austin, Texas 78736
Complete with dinner and drinks, an emotional vow-renewal ceremony and a dance-party reception, The Big Fake Wedding is a killer alternative to a bridal show. 'Wedding guests' are brides- and grooms-to-be who get to truly experience the wedding vendors in action. Tickets includes a swag bag, light bites, and sparkling wine. Tickets are $25. Click here to get tickets or R.S.V.P.
More info: thebigfakewedding.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Contributor: Alan James
Alan James is a creative writer with years of experience in the travel industry. Alan and his team hope the knowledge they've gained along the way helps you in your endeavors!
What is a Quinceañera?
What is a Quinceañera? The term quinceañera is a Spanish term, derived from "quince," or 15" and is a special, milestone celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday. This 15th birthday marks her passage from childhood to womanhood; the term is also used to refer to the celebrant herself, or "la quinceañera." The quinceañera is also called quinceaños, or quince años, or often, simply quince. It is also often written as XV. By the way, you may notice the fancy gown/dress, and may be wondering how everyone who is attending the quince should dress. No problem, we got that covered, too! :) Read our article "What to wear to a Quinceanera" to learn more!
Because the Aztec and Mayan cultures also had similar rite-of-passage customs and traditions, it is thought that the quinceañera may have originated during this time, with the Spanish cultural influence (including Roman Catholicism) combined with the indigenous tribes that the Spaniards colonized.
The quinceañera celebration is both a religious ceremonial event (usually Catholic) and a social event that emphasizes the importance of religion, family, community, and society in the life of a young woman. Quinceañeras are celebrated in Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, and in Latino communities in the United States and around the world. Though these celebrations are often for young women, parents can also have a quinceañero for a young man's 15th birthday. Additionally, sweet 15's and sweet 16's are celebrated throughout the United States, and are very similar to a quinceañera, except that they do not have the religious mass.
Quinceañera Ceremonies & Traditions
The typical quince celebration begins with a mass attended by the girl and her family and godparents. The mass is followed by a reception, or party, to which family and friends are invited. The reception features food, music, dancing, and other entertainment, with the birthday girl accompanied by her “court” of damas (“maids of honor”) and chambelánes (“chamberlains” or the maids of honors' escorts).
There are a few symbolic traditions at the quince that are still done, today. One tradition is the presentation of "the last doll," or "la ultima muñeca" that is given to the to quinceañera. If she has a younger sister, the quinceañera will give the doll to her, to show that she is giving up her childhood. If she does not have younger siblings, the celebrant will keep the doll as a last doll, to remind her of the transition.
The crown or tiara, "la corona" is also given to the celebrant, as well as jewelry, such as a necklace, bracelet, or earrings. The tiara/crown symbolizes that the celebrant is a "princess" before God and the world, and that she has transitioned from childhood and now has the ability to face the challenges ahead.
A bible and a rosary are also gifts that la quinceañera may also receive. The bible will be an important resource that the celebrant can use to always keep the word of God in her life. The rosary is also a religious symbol that helps remind the celebrant to keep her faith in God and in herself.
The final ceremony and gift that is presented before the dance or reception starts, is the shoes. The "changing of the shoes" ceremony is done to symbolize the transition from childhood to womanhood. These are supposed to be the first pair of high heels that the celebrant has ever worn.
The Quinceañera Reception
Traditionally, the dance portion of the quince begins with an introduction of the court of honor and la quinceañera, escorted by her chambelan. The celebrant may also choose to be introduced with her parents, instead of a chambelan. After the introductions, a choreographed waltz-type dance is done with the entire court. The court and la quinceañera usually work with a choreographer well before the date, to prepare; this is is considered one of the main events of the evening. The choreographer, planner, or parents usually work with their band or DJ, to determine the song and when the song is to be played. "Tiempo de Vals," by Chayanne, is one of the most popular quince waltz songs we play; however, more and more, we're seeing less traditional Waltz dances and more quinces choosing to create their own mix of songs or use a non-traditional song.
After the court waltz, the celebrant usually does a father/daughter dance, and sometimes a mother/daughter dance. In more traditional quinces, la quinceañera will dance with all of her uncles, after the father/daughter dance. Later in the evening, there is usually a "baile sopresa," or surprise dance. This dance is usually done to a mixture of music of any genre, but often it is done to more current, Pop or Latin music. The choreographer also works with the court to prepare them for this moment. The choreographer, planner, or parents usually work with their band or DJ, to have them create the special mix of songs for this surprise dance. Sometimes, the choreographer or planner will offer to create the mix, as well.
Later in the evening, toasts are often done by the parents of the celebrant, and often grandparents and uncles, too. Cake is also normally served, as well, during this time. The celebration is generally very elaborate and very similar to a wedding! Years ago, the quince signified that a young woman was ready for marriage; now, many parents will allow their daughter to begin dating, after their 15th birthday.
Today, some girls choose a trip abroad rather than a party, and others now choose a car, or may not celebrate their 15th birthday in the traditional manner. The tradition of the quinceañera continues to evolve, today. What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment on traditions or customs that you may have seen, that we forgot to mention.
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
This month, Austin's Best DJs (ABDJs) was featured in one of the top bridal magazines in the US and UK! This was our second time to be featured in Brides. :) Brides featured ABDJs in a story on "Crazy Wedding DJ Requests You Just Won't Believe." Since we've been DJing over the last two decades, we have gotten some interesting, and at times, shocking requests from events we've performed at, including weddings. Be sure to check out the June/ July 2018 edition of Brides Magazine to read the entire story.
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Planning class reunions can be a lot of work! Usually there is a planning committee that divides the responsibilities, but either way, it can be just as much work as planning a wedding! One thing is for sure for weddings, quinceaneras, parties & events: people ALWAYS remember the food and music!
First and foremost, you have to find a great venue to host your class reunion. You'll need to get an accurate head count or RSVP, to be able to select the venue that will best be able to provide a comfortable space for your party size. Next, you'll need to hire a great catering company, or speak with your favorite restaurant, to see if they cater large events. After you have secured your venue and food, which is usually the largest portion of your budget, next comes the entertainment!
You need to hire a great DJ or band, for your class reunion. Be sure to speak with your band or DJ and let them know what type of reunion you're having. Whether it's a 10 year or 50 year reunion, it's important for the band or DJ to know, so they know what type of music will best suit your event. We've done a variety of reunions, and often do many 50 year class reunions! A great DJ will know exactly what to play, to take the attendees down memory lane, as well as play some current hits to keep the guests dancing, all night!
Additionally, you should consider a photo booth rental for your event, as well. Your guests will have a blast taking selfies at the event, with their former classmates! You can also ask your photo booth provider to add on a photo book, or photo album scrapbook, to the event. We'll take a copy of each picture and have the guests place it in the album. The guests can write a personal message in the book, add fun stickers, or whatever else you'd like to add. We've also seen where guests will send in their graduating picture, and the photo album will have that picture, along with a blank space for the new picture from the photo booth, for a "then and now" page! :) This is always fun to see and do, as well.
If you need more planning details or ideas, be sure to check out our blog for many more planning tips and great ideas for your class reunion! Read about our last 50th class reunion event, with Travis High School! The picture, above, is from the reunion. They danced every song, all night! :)
If you need some fun music ideas, be sure to check out our Top 25 Fun Wedding/Event Songs article. As always, contact us for any questions and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Saturday, we had the pleasure of providing a photo booth rental for a fun 50th birthday party, at Don Dario's Cantina, in Austin, Texas. The family planned a fun surprise birthday party for Loretta and decided to book us for the photo booth. Not only to provide entertainment for those who did not dance, but for the favors to give their guests, too! We also always give the guest of honor a flash drive with all the photos taken at the event, too!
Don Dario's provided the space for 50 people, and the great food and drinks for this Fabulous & 50 party! The food was great and the guests had a blast dancing and taking pictures at the photo booth. Dario's actually already provides a DJ every Friday and Saturday, so this was a great way to save on the DJ cost for their event. Ironically, the DJ, Jimmy, is a DJ who is on the Austin's Best DJs team! :) So of course he did a great job keeping everyone moving and shaking, all night! Jason & Diana personally worked the photo booth, and kept everyone entertained at the photo booth, throughout the event, too! It was a great time and we're so glad to have been part of Loretta and her family's special celebration! Happy birthday, again, Loretta!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Can you use a Spotify list, instead of a wedding or event DJ? This is a very popular question that we see asked, nearly every month, all year, on different wedding forums, wedding websites, etc. The short answer is: Yes, you can. The better answer is, it depends.
Things to Consider When Using Spotify For Your Wedding
Create a Playlist for Every Part of the Wedding
Every month, we get clients who choose to send us their Spotify playlist, so that we get a better idea of their music preferences. Some clients may even ask us to play exactly what's on the list, in the exact order, for moments such as the ceremony, pre-ceremony music, cocktail hour, dinner, etc. In this case, if you want the DJ to play exactly what's on your list, in the exact order, then perhaps using a Spotify list would be a great choice. Just be sure to create separate playlists for each part of your wedding or event. You'll need a playlist for the prelude, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and the dance.
Purchase Spotify Premium
Be sure to get Spotify Premium, in order to avoid commercials, during your wedding or event. Right now, Spotify even has a current promotion that lets you try their premium version, free for 30 days! If you only need it for this one event, you can sign up just before your wedding or event, and then cancel, 30 days later! Although it is only $9.99 per month, after, which is a great deal! :) Also, be sure to download your entire playlist and put it in the correct order, so you don't have to worry about having WiFi at your event.
Rent the Right PA System
You will need to rent the appropriate PA system for your wedding ceremony or reception, or both, and be sure to have the appropriate cords to hook up your laptop or tablet. Your needs will vary, depending on the size of the venue, the number of people attending, if you'll need a separate system for an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour, how loud you want/need the music, the quality of the PA system, do you want uplighting, dance floor lights, etc.
If you're having an event in the Austin area, we often refer clients to Rock n Roll Rentals for their rental needs. We've rented equipment from them, hundreds of times, over the years. They have great prices for great equipment. Be sure to tell them what you're using the equipment for and they should be able to get you all the cords you need. I believe they now offer setup, too. This will save you from having to do it yourself, or asking friends/family to do it.
Designate an MC
Additionally, you'll need to designate someone to act as the MC for all your key moments, and to give your guests guidance and direction, on what's happening, where, and when. This will have to be someone who is willing to work a little, and obviously not drink too much, to keep track of what's happening throughout the night. Be sure this person is comfortable speaking in front of people and comfortable on a microphone.
Reasons to Book a DJ Instead of a Spotify List
Although we're a DJ and photo booth company, we always do our best to write our articles objectively. If you're willing to do all of the above, then yes, Spotify may be a great alternative for you. You can really save money by doing this. If you think it may be a bit too much work, then here are some reasons to consider a DJ.
DJs Should Have All the Necessary Equipment
Any great, reputable DJ company should have all the necessary equipment for your wedding. Whether you're having 30 guests, or 300, the DJ should have exactly what's necessary for your wedding or event. This saves you from having to go to your local rental place, worry about renting everything, picking up all the equipment, setting it up, breaking it down, taking back the equipment, etc. Leave the setting up and breaking down, to your DJ. Your job is to simply show up and have fun!
Leave the Music Selection to the Pros
DJs should have thousands of songs in their database and a good DJ will know how to keep the dance floor packed, all night! You won't have to worry about creating a playlist. Simply tell you DJ what you want, and leave it to him/her to create the list and he/she should know when to play everything, when to change the tempo, etc. Anyone can play a line dance and get everyone dancing. What song will they play after that to keep everyone dancing? There are only so many line dances you can play, so this won't work all night. :) A DJ should be able to play the best 100 songs from your genre preferences that will keep everyone dancing, all night.
Additionally, your DJ should be able to fulfill your vision of your perfect wedding. Want a fun wedding where everyone is dancing, from your youngest family members to your great grandparents? Your DJ should know how to do this. Want your wedding to be like the upscale Country bar you like to go to? Your DJ should be able to do that, too. Perhaps you want it like a downtown club? Again, your DJ should be able to do that, too.
The DJ Should Also Act as MC
The MC for any event is very important. Being a great Mc is more than just announcing what is happening. The MC should also be able to guide the flow for the entire evening. If the DJ/MC notices that perhaps people are leaving early, that DJ should be able to determine what to do to keep the guests there. Should they move the timeline? Is dinner taking too long? Is the music not getting people dancing? A great DJ/MC will know exactly what to do to solve this problem.
Let Your DJ Create Your Fun, Memorable Night
A great DJ will be able to check in with you, if perhaps your preferred playlist isn't working. Not only should he/she check in with you, they should know exactly what to play, to get your guests dancing and keep them dancing, all night. We've had brides and grooms who created playlists which we knew were probably not going to be very fun for their guests. We had a bride tell us "We want our wedding to be different. We don't want to play all the usual songs that you hear at most weddings. We want to play all the songs that nobody plays. We want to play all the 'B' sides." We KNEW it would not work as well as they imagined, but we also give our clients total control over what we play at their wedding, because it's their wedding.
On the day of the wedding, we played all the "B sides" of the artists they wanted and nobody danced. After about 30 minutes, we checked in with the bride and said "no one seems to be dancing to your playlist. What would you like us to do? We can stick to your list, or change it." She said "forget the playlist, just play whatever you think will get this party going." We did just that and everyone had a blast, dancing all night. Not every DJ will have the experience or expertise to be able to ditch the playlist and read the crowd, to know exactly what to play.
These are just a few great reasons of why choosing a DJ may be best for your wedding or event. Obviously, the choice is yours. Depending on your budget and circumstances, a Spotify list may be better for you. Your wedding should be fun, stress free, and one of the best times of your life. Hiring the right professionals can cost you a little more, but having a fun, memorable, stress-free event is truly priceless! :)
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Wedding & Event Planning Tips - Written By Certified Wedding/Event Planners!
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!
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