Thursday, December 22, 2011

Heads Up - Book your DJ

Just a heads up! June is only 6 months away. If you have a wedding coming up this summer, you need to start looking into booking your DJ and venue right after the holidays. Believe it or not this is when the rush begins.

There are only a handful of good DJs and wedding venues, and slots are limited. If you know exactly what you want already, you need to make the call!


Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Acoustic Cover Tune Ideas

Do you have a wedding coming up, or a big event and have to select music? Are you interested in creating a playlist perfect for low key dinner or cocktail hour music, but don't want to fall too heavily on mostly music of the old? One option is to find artists that take modern songs and cover them in a loungy/acoustic twist. There are some good modern alternatives that I really enjoy playing at parties.

There are many popular options out there. Jack Johnson and Michael Bublé are two more famous singers, known for some great acoustic and jazzy tracks. They are certainly worth taking a listen to. However there are a few others out there that are lesser known.

Boyce Avenue is great! They are a fairly new American acoustic rock band incidentally, named after a combination of two streets the brothers lived on as children. Assembled in Sarasota, FL by three brothers Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano, this acoustic group does a great job giving modern pop music and a new acoustic life.

BRUCE LASH - is another good unknown artist option to look at. Another good cover tune track that I find interesting was featured in the 2008 box office hit Marley & Me. "Lithium" is performed by Bruce Lash and written by Kurt Cobain founder of Nirvana.

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Years Eve to a DJ Work-A-Holic

I guess I am a bit of a work-a-holic, but I do understand there is something to be said for the importance of the quality of life. However, it is tough to set some things aside for me in my busy life and focus on what is really important sometimes. This year, I have decided to force myself not to work on New Years Eve.

As you know in today's economy, it is very difficult to turn down decent money. It is also difficult for many, to just set everything down and step aside from working from time to time. Being a DJ that gets booked a lot, thus far I have turned away a New Years Wedding, a bar gig and a Lebanese Restaurant in Troy, NY. I am working on it and think that I will be able to stifle the work-a-holic temptation inside me this year.

In the New Year's spirit, I decided to take it off to spend time with friends and family. Though this may not sound like a big deal to some, to others that have the bug, this is very difficult. Work, to me, can easily be a considered an addiction.

This year I am hoping to sit back and have a normal holiday for a change.

Okay - off to the next job. Will write later, when I can find a second ...

Monday, November 28, 2011

DJ Placement at Your Wedding

I recently had a venue coordinator bring me into the room of a very well-known local wedding reception venue over in Albany, NY. The room was beautiful, as always, with a big dance floor, completely surrounded by nicely decorated tables. The food, the decor and everything was perfect except for the placement of one thing...

Poor Placement of The DJ table.

They had allowed for the only space for the DJ booth table to be about 75 feet away, off in the distance in the corner of the room.

"Uggghhhhh!" I thought. "Is there anywhere else I can set up?" I asked her a few questions and didn't like the answer.

She said, “That’s where we ALWAYS put the DJ.”

“If the wedding party has a band, do you put them in the same place?” I asked.

“Well, not really. We usually put them right next to the dance floor.”

There is also a very popular wedding hall in the Schenectady, NY area that likes to put the DJ way up high on a balcony. This too, in a manner of words, SUCKS!

Just a tip; treat the DJ as your entertainmant for the night, as you would any other performer that interacts with your crowd. It really is best to have what ever entertainment that you choose to provide for your guests very close to the dance floor. This is important for a number of reasons.

Here is a list of things to think about when making your seating plan and placing your entertainment spotlight for the night:

1) DO NOT PUT GUESTS/TABLES IN FRONT OF THE DJ - First off, the sound quality will be terrible. Obstacles will hinder the sound from reaching the dance floor properly. Also, the guests sitting in front of the DJ booth will be blasted by sound all night.

2)IS THE ENTERTAINMENT CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE DANCE FLOOR? - No matter what your hall says, the entertainment should ALWAYS be right near the dance floor, period. A wedding venue knows food, and knows how to treat their guests, but they are not entertainers.

3) CAN THE ENTERTAINMENT BE SEEN BY ALL? - The DJ or band often makes announcements. You don’t want your guests wondering where this mystery voice is coming from like a blue light special announcement at K-mart.

4) CAN THE CROWD CONNECT WITH THE DJ / BAND ? - It is very important for the DJ, much like a band, to connect with the crowd. Seeing what is working and what is not is a huge part of being a mobile disc jockey.

5) WILL PEOPLE BE ABLE TO INTERACT EASILY? - If the DJ / nad is far away, requests become very difficult, or sometimes almost impossible.

In a big hall, it is impossible to do a 75 feet corner set up, facing the back of your guests with tables in front of you. Also a balcony set up, doesn't work well for a mobile DJ. (Balcon DJ booths only work in night clubs because the place is hard wired with smaller speakers everywhere to reach the dead spots.)



Overall, in a wedding reception setting, your DJ/MC placement is critical. Do not let the hall put your entertainment in a closet.

Remember, when it comes to dancing, "The King of Dirty Dancing" Patrick Swayze once said, "Nobody puts the DJ in the corner," ...or something like that. Keep this in mind when laying out the seating charts.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TOP 10 Wedding Centerpiece Giveaway List

Wedding Centerpiece Giveaways TOP 10 LIST

My guess is that the a new man and wife certainly do not want to take home a dozen huge floral arrangements that will be dead by the time they get back from their honeymoon. However, you will probably agree that bride and grooms tend to spend big bucks on decorations and flowers for their wedding and it is always the attitude that letting it all go waste would be a shame.

Therefore, we have decided to add "wedding centerpiece giveaway ideas" to our popular “TOP TEN LIST” article category. So I have painstakingly hacked together my very favorite centerpiece giveaway ideas that that will keep your wedding guests happy after the last song.

Want to save some money? Those centerpieces became a tax deductible write off! If you are not all about just saving the cash, it's also nice to know that you could be brightening the day of some people at an elderly home, or hospital, perhaps.

Ask someone to hide a penny either under a plate or coffee mug at the table, or underneath one actual chair at each table. The lucky person who finds the lucky penny gets to take hope the centerpiece. You can switch the penny up, if you like, to maybe a poker chip or something else that may go along with the theme of your wedding.

With this interesting wedding centerpiece giveaway, you reward the most prompt RSVP responders! In order to do this, as your RSVPs come in, just keep track of the order. Then when you make your seating charts, you can put a sticker inside the place card of the people who sent in their RSVPs first., or just have the DJ read a list....


Since the list is pretty long with definitions, to see the rest of the ideas CLICK HERE, to check out our site at

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What's A Wedding Photo Booth ?

I had the pleasure of working with a local photographer again last week, at a fun wedding at Birch Hill in Kinderhook. Tony from "The Time Capsule Photo Booth Service," did such a great job keeping the guests amused that I figured it was time to blog about him here. Deciding to share his great service with my readers, I figure it is probably important, first off, to explain the idea of a wedding booth in general to anyone who is unfamiliar with what this service is all about.

One of the newest trends in wedding reception to join the current wedding cupcake and wedding magnet craze is the addition of a Wedding Photo Booth. “So... What exactly is, um, a wedding photo booth?” you might ask.

Out by the bar in a separate designated area, or perhaps in the corner of the dining hall, an extra wedding photography vendor sets up a photo booth, much like the passport picture booths you sometimes see over in the mall.

The way it works is, unlimited pictures are taken and developed on the spot as wedding favors for all the guests. They are also collected in duplicate for an ongoing work-in-progress wedding scrapbook that is compiled throughout the night for the bride & groom.

Off to the side of the curtained booth, many vendors have a table with a spread of silly props, hats, and crazy costume accessories for the guests to use to dress up their photo shoot.

After the pictures are taken, the guests are typically presented with two strips of photos, maybe within 30 seconds. One is pocketed for a keepsake, and the other one is inserted into the bridal scrapbook. Then the scrapbooking fun begins!

Depending on the booth provider, specialized services to this service may be available, such as the ability to add text or custom backgrounds to the pictures.

Now, back to Tony of TIme Capsule Photo Booths... He does a great job. Bottom line.

If you are interested in booking a photo booth for your event and are in and around the Capital District, there are a number of fine vendors that provide this service. But again, one great vendor that I love working with is Tony at . He's professional, offers different custom packages, and has a nice selection of props for your guests to choose from.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wedding Theme Dress Selection

Are you planning a theme wedding? If have the guts and you are contemplating really having a theme wedding for your special day, this can open up all kinds of fun and make your day VERY memorable. The idea of taking on a theme brings direction and personality to your special day and changes the game. The overall tone and decoration ideas just fall right into place and make everything special. People will also offer help decorating that you don't normally get in a traditional wedding. I highly recommend it, if you want your day to stand out. However, there is just one thing: Go with the white dress!

While choosing to where the white dress may slow down some of the creative possibility that can be afforded to the chosen theme, the symbolization behind the dress can outweigh this. For one, the dress symbolizes purity and class, overall. Choosing the white gown makes sense to the guests. Your older audience will apprciate the fact that the traditional bridal regalia is in place and abandoned.

While securing the traditional dress may not matter to the certain brides, there is something to be said for retaining the traditional dress kept sacred. The second very important reason for keeping white dress is you don’t want the theme wedding to just look like a big costume party.

At many awesome theme weddings, the guests end up wearing something that follows the theme. For example, if you were going to a pirate wedding, a beach wedding, or a halloween theme wedding, you can be sure that most people will dress a certain way. Having the bride keep the white dress makes her still look special.

Finally, most bride’s envisioned walking the aisle as little girls, and looking just like a princess. Keep this in mind. On your wedding day, you still want it to feel like like a wedding and despite all the other other theme related things, the white dress will make this happen. You don't want to look back and wish you had.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wedding Hall Review - Carmela's Banquet House

Carmela's Banquet House located at 301 Washington Ave in Rensselaer, New York is a great place to hold a small to mid-range wedding. I would say that if you are a bride or groom and have about 75-125 people on your guest list, this hall could be a great affordable option for you. At the same time, Carmela’s also provides quality for your night to remember.

LOCATION – Location is a great positive when making your venue selection. Carmela's is pretty much out of the busy are of Albany and offset the main drag in a residential area in Rensselaer. It has its own spacious parking lot, so that your guests have no parking issues. It also is only a block or so away from a ramp that will lead your guests directly to Interstate Route 90.

FACILITIES - Downstairs, there is a place for the wedding party to collect and wait for the grand introduction. There is a nice round bar off of the main dining room, which allows for more people to enjoy the bar experience. There is also room in the corner of the bar for traditional wedding decorations/activities, like an acoustic guitarist, photo booth or ice sculpture, perhaps. In the dining room, there is a spacious dance floor and great adjustable lighting.

FOOD - The food is really great. Recently, I was the disc jockey for a wedding that had a nice chicken breast, or strip steak, as well as a vegetarian dish available. The garnishes that the bride and groom selected were garlic smashes potatoes, and a great mixed vegetable medley of peppers, onions and cauliflower.

STAFF - Super friendly and easy to work with.

Overall, I think if the size of the guest list works for you, you should stop by and take a look. I give this hall a big, "bravo!"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wedding Activity - Sing For Your Supper

If you are like me, you have been to a wedding reception where the buffet line was like six miles long and you were in the back of the line twiddling your thumbs. As y ou waited impatiently, bored out of your head, you looked up to notice that they were only serving on one side of the table.... If you are like me, then you know that a food line can often feel like an eternity.

With all this being said, do you have a buffet planned for your wedding and hope to erase the boring parts? If so, one fun alternative activity for table serving order is called, "Sing For Your Supper."

The "Singing For Your Supper" game is a great activity to entertain your waiting guests that also creates entertainment for others waiting for dinner to be served.

As with all wedding activities, this game probably is one that won't work everywhere. This activity should only be chosen specifically upon the bride & groom's request. And while this activity may not be for everyone, it can really be a fun icebreaker with the right people, who want to kill the wait associated with a mega-buffet line of, maybe 150 hungry guests.

Typically speaking, a microphone is passed from table to table by an emcee or maybe the best man, and the only way that a particular table can move up to the buffet line, is to have a volunteer from the table dedicate a song to the bride and groom and then sing it.

In the loving spirit of any wedding celebration, the song is usually supposed to be a familiar chorus selection of a romantic song, "dedicated to the bride and groom from table number eight," for example.

Often times, your guests may be reluctant to start. However, once wedding guests see how fun it can be, they will quickly catch on. Then, once they buy in, the activity can really become creative and very entertaining! (...Especially if the cocktail hour had an open bar!)


"LOVE" - guests must sing any song they like, containing the word "Love" in it, somewhere.

"DUETS" - Two people have to sing a song in order for their table to move to the buffet line.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it! You only live once. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Consider a theme wedding...

Want to really make your memorable? Like things a little different? Why not consider a theme?

When you really think about it, most weddings blend together in your memory banks, years to come when you reflect.

Picking a theme makes your wedding have that wow-factor as well as gives you direction. Just think about the decorating potential you get if you selected a beach wedding, for an example. Flip flops, sea shells, surfboards and more!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good Bye Steve Jobs

Everytime I meet up with a bride and groom for what they want to hear at their wedding, Steve Jobs has played a big part. We can only hope that his innovative impactful ways in technology will continue.

I have in the last year become an avid iPad 2 user, and now I barely can live without it. I use it for calander planning, song samples, photograph album capabilities and to surf the net. All of this in an easy compact tool.

Steve Jobs will be remembered as a person who was associated with making modern computing simple, seamless and very satisfying. The iconic co-founder of Apple, helped to create the old school funny-looking Apple I & II computers in the 1970s. As time went on, he gave us the Macintosh and the iMac. Then he added music to loop with the iPod. Then he added phone calls with the iPhone, and then bundled it all together with the Star Trek-like iPad. Who knows where things will go in the future? I can only imagine Jobs has left his company behind a truck load of ideas for the years to come.

I just jumped on the apple band wagon the last couple of years, but know that people have been here a long time.

Steve Jobs will be missed.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Clifton Park Elks Lodge Wedding VENUE REVIEW

- Wedding Venue Review

Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of being the disc jockey at The Clifton Park Elk's Lodge. Two things that I always look forward to when doing a gig at The Elks is some really great cooking, and the fact that the people are very easy to work with.

At the Elk's, they provide a quality venue at reasonable pricing. They also allow quite a bit of freedom to the bride and groom to customize outline of the night's events and how they will unfold. In today's wedding industry, this is not always so.

VENUE - According to their web site, The Lodge's facilities at the Clifton Park Elks are said to be, "a great place to have the wedding of your dreams or enjoy a great barbecue." This is true. Know this. Guests there can choose from their indoor facilities with 2 connecting rooms, dance floor and complete bar, or their out-door pavilion with a large grill and on-site sporting games. The Elks Lodge can also custom create a combination package of both upon guest request.

FOOD - The food really is great considering they cook all their own food without a cateror. It has a more homey-like feel to it, rather than the mass-produced feel that some of the bigger venues have, and I think that the guests appreciate that.

SERVICE - They do serve their guests the buffet food portions which slows down their buffet line to some degree. However, the hand-carved prime rib was high quality and great for a smaller-to-medium sized venue. The sides were really good, as well, and they even featured their own home-made sauces, like a great bistro horse-radish for the beef.

One more thing I really like is that they are super easy to work with. For example, the lodge doesn't force the cake, or toast on you. Wedding halls and catering venues sometimes push to have the cake cutting activity happen very soon after the dinner. This push for early dessert helps them organize the employees' duties in the back and an early cake activity can actually maximize employee potential and save the hall money.

However, an early cake is not always the best for the party, as many people leave right after the cake, and the activity can really slow down the fun. At the lodge, they are really cool with letting it happen later. I also don't think they try and soak the bride and groom with a cutting fee.

If I could change one thing, I would probably change the buffet line up to both sides of the table to speed up the actual serving, and set up a separate food station for the hand-carving roasts. However, because it is a smaller venue, maybe 80-120 guests in full capacity for the dinning room, it is possible that space is an issue.

BAR - There is a cool little bar in a separate room for the drinking enthusists, as well as a small bar in the large extended dining room.

LOCATION - The lodge is conveniently located at 695 Macelroy Road in Ballston Lake NY. This site is right on the border of Clifton Park and is an easy place to get to. It is still far enough away from the commericialism right off of the 87 exit.

If you need to book your small to medium sized wedding and are now thinking about the Elks as an option, the phone number is (518) 877-5200.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wedding Cake Cutting Song Ideas - Song List

The idea of the wedding cake has been around forever, though it has morphed into what we know it as today. During the Roman Empire times, the groom would crumble a bread-like cake over the brides head. In the 17th century a large wedding pie was used, with a glass ring hidden inside it somewhere to symbolize that the finder was the next to be married. By the 19th century, cakes started to look and taste a little more like we are accustomed to now.

No matter how you cut it, music makes everything better, so having a cake theme song is a fun thing to do for the people surrounding the bride and groom. The best thing to do when choosing a song is to think about what kind of atmosphere you would like to set during your cake cutting activity. Happy, party, fun, serious, nostalgic, classy, and romantic are all moods that you could set. Remember to pick a song that goes along with the feeling you would like to convey.

Here are some songs that you may like:

Ain't That a Kick in the Head - (Dean Martin)
All My Life - (KC & JoJo)
Banana Pancakes - (Jack Johnson)
Better Be Good To Me - (Tina Turner)
Cut the Cake - (Average White Band)
Eat It - (Weird Al Yankovich)
Happy Together - (The Turtles)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot - (Pat Benatar)
How Sweet It Is - (James Taylor)
I Got You Babe - (Sonny Bono & Cher)
I Wanna Grow Old With You - (Adam Sandler)
I'm Yours - (Jason Mraz)
If I had $1 Million Dollars - (Bare Naked ladies)
It Had to be You - (Harry Connick Jr.)
It's your Love - (Tim McGraw & Faith Hill)
Love and Marriage - (Frank Sinatra)
Lucky - (Colbie Calliet)
Mack The Knife - (Bobby Darin)
Pour Some Sugar on Me - (Def Leppard)
So This Is Love - (Cinderella Theme)
Sugar, Sugar - (The Archies)
That's Amore - (Dean Martin)
Theme From 'Jaws' - (Jaws Soundtrack)
This Guy's In Love With You - (Herb Albert)
When I'm 64 - (Beatles)

Friday, September 9, 2011

TheCoolTV - New Local Music Video TV Channel you will love!

During the hurricane/tropical storm two Sundays back, I was fortunate to still have power, so I decided to put in hardwood floors in the master bedroom with my friend Justin. We did a great job, but the furniture wasn't in yet. (It comes this weekend.) Therefore, my wife and I moved into the spare bedroom.

I put up flatscreen TV and had to run a channel update on it. I had never done that and it actually found new channels. One of them, I thought was MTV2 (a channel that actually still plays some music videos,) but I was wrong... It is called TheCoolTV, and it plays really cool retro music videos mixed in with today's modern hits; just like MTV would have done. It also has the underground feel that MTV used to have, before they went mainstream. You will love it!

I called our WXXA's program director in Albany, NY, Paul Pelliccia, and he gave me the low-down on what Dash-2 channels are and what is up with TheCoolTV.

A few months ago, WXXA Fox canned their Hunting Channel affiliate on the digital channel 8's, which nobody watched. It was all fishing and hunting shows, and I guess it was pretty lame. In looking for a replacement, they decided to go with some hip syndicated programming, in totally the opposite direction of the redneck channel that they had. They replaced it with an all music video channel that really is great.

THE HD TV "DASH TWO" CHANNELS - In case you didn't know, with the advent of FCC creating all digital channel programming in America, all local netwoks now have access to additional channels available to them for alternative programming. Local Network affiliates like CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC can now opt to have two more channels of programming under their banners on most Cable providers like Time Warner. Most network providers opt to use the "-1" channel for their all-day news programming, and the "-2" for cheap retro programming for now that doesn't cost the company very much money to make some extra advertising dollars.

HOW TO FIND IT - If you have a HD flat screen without a cable box, when you put it on channel 8, bump up the channel button twice. You will see it go, "08", "08-1", and then finally "08-2" and there is TheCoolTV. If you have a cable box set up, it is now channel 423.

WXXA's program director, Paul Pelliccia, said the "HD - 2 channels are often a tough sell," and sometimes people don't get to see them well, because they are kind of hidden. Hopefully, people will watch this and enjoy it like I did and let WXXA know.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lady Gaga's New Track sounds like...

Many people are scratching their heads, asking themselves, "That Lady Gaga new song sounds just like... Umm... Just like.... Hmmm. What does it sound like?"

In case you are like the others and believe that Lady Gaga's new track "You and I" seems to sound like something else you have heard before, you are probably right for two reasons. To me, I think that the music sounds like one song, and the the way the lyrics are sung sound like another. It's almost as if Lady Gaga has created her own mashup remix for all the little monsters for this song.

So which songs have been mashed up for this new hit? After hours of racking my brain and searching, I think that music sounds like Shania Twain "Man, I Feel Like a Woman," and the way she is singing the lyrics suspiciously sounds even more like Anna Nalick's "Breath (2am)."

PRODUCTION/MUSIC - First off, the song was, in fact, produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange, the producer and ex-husband of Shania Twain’s Come on Over, as well as cmany other rock/pop blockbusters hits. “You and I,” the radio release, which is actually a remix from the original studio track, is now sort of country/pop and, can arguably be said to resemble Shania’s choppy guitar riff from her mega party anthem, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman." Take a listen here:

LYRICAL ARRANGEMENT - Okay you little loyal little monsters. Here is the big one. Just like that other track, "Born This Way," sounds a hell of a lot like Madonna's "Express Yourself," listen Anna Nalick's 2007 hit "Breath (2am)" and tell me you do not hear any similarity. Listen:

LINE SIMILARITY- Okay, I am still stuck on this one. There's also to line "It's been a long time..." that bugs me. I feel like that exact line is somewhere else, sung identically, but It is not in Nalick's song. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know. I thought at first maybe, "What's Up" by The 4 Non-Blondes, but that wasn't it, though it too, does sound a little like this track. Your thoughts?

LADY GAGA's "You And I" - So here it is... Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. You can also email me at

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Wedding

I would have never thought that I would have to DJ a wedding and play "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and really mean it, one day.

This past weekend, I played the tunes for a fun wedding in Poestenkill, high up on the mountain. Everything was really beautiful and all was going well, until the rain started up just five minutes before the bride was about to walk the aisle. It was the first of the bands that would become the harbinger for Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.

The actual wedding ceremony was scheduled to occur just outside a big white wedding reception tent, and underneath a gorgeous apple tree. There was an nice white arch decorated in flowers all set up and waiting. The scene was picturesque with Mother Nature as the backdrop, until the sky turned dark as the bride was stepping out of her limosine.

At show time, 6:30pm sharp, we figured we would shoot for the delay and try to wait it out. Fifteen minutes or so went by, however, and things only bega to look worse. We decided our delay tactics were to no avail. As the rain really started dumping on us, I could see that the guests were upset. I acted as wedding planner and took charge. I ran back to the log cabin where the bride and her mother were gathering umberellas.

"How about we just switch it to under the tent on the the reception intro entrance way?" I asked. "The guests won't be able to hear anything out there." They agreed and we were on our way.

A few guests helped me move around a few tables and we were back on. As the town justice found his place with the groomsmen, it was evident that there too, was probably no way that the people were going to hear him over the crazy hurricane raindrops hammering hard on the vinyl rooftop above. Easy fix... give the man a microphone.

So far so good, right? But just as the bride's aunt read a prayer into the mic, water began to flood the electrical panel behind my DJ Booth set-up. It seemed that the tent must have been a little off-level and all of the tent's rain water irrigated towards me, making an exit-spout out of an electical box. That is right about when the water started to short out the power surges for the bar and my set-up.

We lost microphone power for all of 20-30 seconds, but people just smiled patiently. Any other circumstancs, if your microphone were to go out when the bride was ready to say her vows, the guests would probably kill you. However, because of a hurricane, they seemed more forgiving.

I quickly re-routed the cord with the bartender to the power line that lit the tent lights and soon after, it all came off without a hitch.

Just as Murphy's law would have it, five minutes after the ceremony, the rain stopped for about an hour, and then came and went off and on for the rest of the night. But at that point, it didn't matter. People were drinking, flowers were tossing and garters were coning off. In the end, the people all rocked like a hurricane during a hurricane, and all had a rocking great time!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WeddingTable Decorating Idea: Table Sash

Being a local DJ means, also, quite often I have to pinch-hit as a wedding planner. Therefore, whenever I see a new activity or decorating idea that I like at a wedding that I am the disc jockey for, I really feel the need to share. This past week I saw one of the coolest table settings I have ever seen and I had to really stop to figure out what was making it so different.

The answer was a strip of fabric, a runner or a table scarf / sash, placed right across the center.

Are you planning a wedding and looking for a fresh idea to spice up your table centerpieces for your wedding? Here is a noble idea. Why not jazz things up with table sashes?

This new decorating trend is an affordable way to really flash some color at your wedding reception.

Performing as the disc jockey at The Franklin Terrace in Troy, NY, I got to see first hand how the bride and groom added to the hall's linen with some linen of their own. They gave the event planner some really great sashes that they purchased online for their tables housing a guest list of about 180 people.

Over the hall's already sharp black table clothes with dark pink napkin accents, the white table scarfs brightened the center, accenting detail in a black Oriental print running right down the center.

No matter what you choose, this idea can really make your wedding colors pop.

For more wedding tips, check out

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cost-Effective Wedding Photographer Review

As a wedding DJ, I work with a lot of photographers and there are many of them out there I love to work with. However, one recently did a great job for me personally. If you want a photographer that offers great print print packages or just hand over an image disc at the end of the night - not forcing you into a large print package, you may want call Manny Ortiz of Affordable Photo Pros. Manny is who shot my Pirate Theme wedding, to compliment out magnet photo shoot favors by Homes Photography.

I worked with Manny again recently and he was great, just as he was for my reception.

Here is a sample of his work:

Manny gets to the hall very early and even shows up the night before for the rehearsal, and did house shots before the wedding started if needed! After the special day, where he paid close attention to detail, he also sent some early proofs via email to the customer for feedback on edits.

Great job and thanks to Manny!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Write a Best Man or Maid of Honor Wedding Speach Toast

Writing a great best man / maid of honor toast requires patience and creativity. Most people cannot just wing it. If you are in the position now where you need to do this, fear not. You can do it, especially if you do not overlook the often-overlooked part of the writing process.

As a DJ home-based out of in the Troy, NY area, I have witnessed some really splendid best man speeches and some others that really missed the mark. Therefore I feel I can identify shortcomings and comment well on this topic. Moreover, as a high school English teacher as well, it is even more so immediately obvious for me to identify which person has done their homework, and which person has not.

The most important advice I can give to a best man, maid or matron of honor has to do with preparation. The keyword to success is PRE-WRITE!

PRE-WRITINGBefore you actually sit down and start writing, sketch out some ideas that answer the BIG QUESTIONS that people might not know. So ultimately, take a look at the following questions I have provided below and maybe write down a few even more personal questions that you think people would ask you about the bride and groom, if they could.

1. Why did the bride and/or groom choose you as best man?
2. How do you know the bride and groom?
3. How did this couple meet? How did the groom first tell you about her?
4. How has the groom changed since meeting the bride?
5. What are five good adjectives that describe the bride or groom?
6. What is some good marriage advice you’ve received or witnessed?
7. What is a great little story that illustrates the personality of the bride and/or groom?

At last, once you have the big questions figured out, the hard part is really finished. Your next step is putting these answers down into some kind of order that will make sense to your audience. Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that when you are writing you need, “a beginning, a middle, and an end.” …Therefore, here are a few tidbits to bring your pre-writing ideas together with organization in mind:

WRITE & ORGANIZE IDEAS1. Your Beginning – Start with an introduction. Get your audience’s attention, and immediately let them know who you are to the brode and groom. Because everyone loves to laugh, it is often great to start with humor. This is also a great way to build up the courage to speak well in public.

2. Your Middle – This is where the pre-writing questions that you worked on before will really be of great help. Everyone loves to hear a good story, so try and do just that. However, avoid ex-girlfriend stories and keep it appropriate for everyone, especially the parents and older folks in the room!

Writer beware. As the best man you probably know the groom better. Be careful not to only talk or tell stories only about the groom. If you do this, you will leave out half of your audience. A really great toast will be evenly balanced adressing both the bride and groom.

3. Your Ending – When you finish, it is best to wrap up your toast with some kind of wish of happy future for your bride and groom. This way everyone knows that you are done and have reached the end of what you are going to say. Then, they can act accordingly. So finally, raise your glass in tradition to close with, “congratulations”, “cheers”, or “salud." Also, do not forget to drink from your own glass!

DELIVERY OF MESSAGEFor more tips on the actual fine-tuning and delivery of your best man toast - check out my other blog at BEST MAN TOAST

DJ Kenny Casanova is highly-sought after mobile & wedding DJ servicing the Albany Area (Capital District) and beyond. You can follow DJ Kenny Casanova on twitter at:


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wedding buffet lay out & Wedding DInner Music List

A buffet these days at a wedding makes a lot of smart. It is not always the cheaper option anymore, either. It also gives your guests a chance to sample ALL of the entrees. So... Are you thinking about having a buffet now at your wedding? IF the answer is yes, there is one thing you really do have to remember.At all costs, try and ale sure that your buffet tables and your line is double-sided with dual serving set ups..

I have watched countless weddings go into overtime simply because the buffet tables were up against the wall. Not having access to both sides of the table easiyl means that your couple will have double the wait.

This may not mean much in a small wedding, but if you have a guest list of 100 plus people, you will liely end up with half of the people done eating before the other half has even started.

A great way to set up the tables is to provide a double setting of each food tray on the table back to back, like the picture to the left. This setting has people move along the line on either side, and see the same dishes on the opposite side of the table.

It may sound simple, but often it doesn't happen. If you do indeed set up your buffet line like the one in this picture, there will barely be any wait and this inturn will allow for extra time for even more fun evening.

For some more tips on some great music to listen to while you eat, check out this blog: Cocktail and Dinner Music List.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NY Media Wants to Rush Gay Couples into Marriage

by DJ Kenny Casanova, Albany, NY.(518-506-3305).

Finally, law makers have created "marriage equality" in New York state. This means a whole new demographic will enter the market in the wedding industry. However, people in the media seem to be waiting for a gay mob of brightly dressed stereotypical homosexual couples to break down the doors at David's Bridal in Colonie.

Now that New York passed the ground-breaking law that allows members of the same sex to get married, it seems that every day, news writers and broadcasters alike continue to ask the same question. "Why are there not hundreds of people taking advantage of this new opportunity?"

Think about it. THE LAW JUST PASSED! You can't plan a good wedding in a few weeks! There are many timely things to think about that you can not just run over:

MEANING: There are many many different things you have to look at when having a decent wedding. I am sure that members of the gay community do not want to rush their big day, just because they can, and certainly not just to get on News Channel 9 for thirty seconds. The whole reason most same-sex couples want to get married is because the idea is that marriage is supposed to mean something. It is a special day and one that often involves loved ones. In order to make all this happen, a lot of planning has to go down.

ENTERTAINMENT BOOKING: It usually takes couples six to twelve months at the very least to plan a wedding. Whenever you book a DJ, most of the decent ones are booked a year ahead. We are already booking up next summer, and this one isn't even half gone. If someone calls right now, I do not have any Saturday time slots available at all until November.

VENUE BOOKING: Even more so, banquet halls and catering services are currently dealing with full plates. Most of their desired dates were long since grabbed up. Most people, from experience want to get married on a Saturday in the summer. If the couple, gay or not, really wants to get married at Franklin's in Troy, NY, Franklin's only has 8 couples they can accomodate for the July and August months.

INVITING GUESTS: Finally, your guests need advance notice. Most people really need at least three to six months notice in advance, especially in the busy summer months when people have their vaction times carefully planned out. My wife and I planned our wedding about a year out, and we still had a few close friends who really really wanted to be there for us but they could not show, due to conflicts in schedules! (Chris you are still a bastard!)

DEMOGRAPHIC CONCERNS: As different as the media may think gay people are, they have the same concerns about their special day as anyone else would. I believe that gay people who care about being married will also care about how their weddings come off, just the same as anyone else would. (If members of our gay community who were excited to finally get married because they legally could and willing to rush through it, they already would have done so with a quick drive to Vermont.)

Therefore Mister Media, you can not, I repeat can NOT, plan your special day in a few weeks. Calm down already. You are ridiculous! You got your midnight wedding 12:01am stories on the day that the law went into effect. I think story producers are drewling for something that isn't going to happen in droves. We have only had eleven couples in the area get hitched in same sex weddings since the law passed.

I know it would have made for better TV if a thousand homosexuals in drag came out screaming to say, "I do," but it didn't work that way, and won't.

For more information on gay-friendly same sex wedding professionals to do service at your wedding, drop us a line 518-506-3305.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wedding Flip Flops Idea

Have you ever dressed up to go to your friends wedding and realize that despite the fact that you look great, you know that your feet are going to kill you within a few hours? You are really not alone. This happens to us all. Fear not. If your bride and groom have stood up and done their homework, it is possible that sore toes will not be in your future.

Here is a modern idea some of you may not have seen yet. Rather than have your guests walk about and dance in uncomfortable shoes, why not provide a basket of cheap, but nice wedding flip flops? USually the biggest offender to "Wedding Feet Syndrom" is the dancing and that takes place when the lights go out anyhow, for the most part.

Think about it. Many women, imparticular, struggle with a balance of comfort for their feet and wearing the right shoes to go with their dresses. No matter how much you spend, most high heel shoes cannot hold any woman up for a full 4 hours or more, without some discomfort.

As a bride planning your wedding, it is important to note that you really cannot expect the majority of your guests to make the comfortable decisions in their footwear for your night. They are trying to look their best for you. Getting together the perfect ensemble almost never translated into comfortable footwear.

-Designer stores like Old Navy carry a variety of colors for around $2 a pair.
-Some local dollar stores even stock some decent flip flops and sandals.
-Try and make your flip flops available to your guests in your wedding colors.
-You can make your flip flopss look pretty in a stylish basket with vibrant ribbons holding pairs together.
-Keep your flip flop basket conveniently right near the dance floor.

For more ideas cheack out Albany Wedding DJ Kenny Casanova

Monday, July 11, 2011

Same Sex Weddings: Finding a Non-traditional or Theme Wedding Officiant for your Ceremony...

A Review on a New Local Non-Traditional Wedding Ceremony Officiant

Are you about to plan your wedding and have some great ideas for something a little bit different? If so, you may notice that some wedding officiants do not offer services for certain types of weddings that do not follow tradition. Same-sex weddings and theme weddings are ones that do not always go along with certain theologies that most traditional wedding reverends/ministers hold. And also, many judges may just be too plain-jane for what you are looking for. So what can you do? Fear not. Check this guy out...


I recently married DJ Maria in a full-fledged pirate theme wedding. We wanted something different, because we didn't want out wedding to blend into the memories of all of our customers. So we brought in a fully licensed and practicing Wedding Reverend, Todd Bovair to do our ceremony in complete pirate character.

He did a great job with the voice and customized ceremony script to our request. Words do not really do what "The Rev" offers to the Capital District, now that he is in the area for theme weddings and non-traditional ceremonies. Here is a video clip to give you an idea of what he can do for you. He starts at the minute mark of 6:10 in.

I give him ten stars out of ten stars, and never do that unless the wedding professional is perfect!!! You can book Todd for your wedding ceremony at at 518-283-8250.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Top 100 Modern First Dance Wedding Song List - NEW TRACKS! 1990-CURRENT

Getting married soon? If you're looking for first dance modern track ideas for your wedding, look no further. I know you may have spent days surfing through lists loaded with Dionne Warwick, Peter Frampton and a whole google of artists with sweet mullets who are no longer relevant in today's pop culture. I just updated my own playlists for my web site and this list is all new stuff!

I am a DJ. Most of my brides are younger and demand stuff they know. (Duh!) While there are some great classics out there to choose from, this list I compiled concentrates on late 90s up until today; the slow jams that today's bride and groom likely grew up with and listen to. Here is my list:


Adele - Make you feel my Love
Alanis Morissette - Head Over Feet
Alicia Keys - Fallin’
Alicia Keys - If I Ain’t Got You
All 4 One - I Swear
Ashlee Simpson - Pieces Of Me
Avril Lavigne - I'm With You
Ben Folds - The Luckiest
Corrs - All The Love In The World
Counting Crows - Accidentally In Love
Dave Matthews Band - You and Me
Delta Goodrem - Out Of The Blue
Dido - Thank You
Dixie Chicks - Cowboy Take Me Away
IZ Isreal Kamakawiwoʻole - Somewhere over The Rainbow
Jack Johnson -Banana Pancakes
Jack Johnson - Better Together
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
Jason Derulo - Watcha Say
Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait Lucky
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
Jennifer Lopez – Baby I Love You


There are 100 songs in this custom list, this is only a sampling of it. Click the above link to go to my web site, to see the entire thing. Enjoy!

-DJ Kenny Casanova

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kick off your 4th with a Beer Pong Tourney Sat Night

As part of the weekend festivities, Villa Valenit Pub on Pawling Ave in Troy, NY is having a beer pong tournament that will run every Saturday night in July at 9pm. Dj-JD will be playing the tunes and there are $100 in prizes! Call 518-326-9500 for more information.

I DJ here every weekend, so I can verify it will be a great time!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An overcast day on your wedding....

Many brides wish for a wedding outside in bright a bright ray of sunshine for their backdrop. Though many say that they don't want it to rain on their wedding day, some people and cultures believe it is good luck.

Many people don't know that as a wedding DJ, I also do some photography.

For a photographer, rain wouldn't be ideal, but sunshine isn't either. I actually really like a bit of overcast with interesting rain clouds approaching. Here are a few shots I have taken to help illustrate what I mean. The first two with the dock is from a wedding at Crystal Cove, just this past weekend.

This second photography set is from a shoot I did in Fonda, NY about a year ago for a different couple. Both shoots have a soft natural lighting that is difficult to duplicate artificially.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DJ RULE #1: Timing is Everything

Being booked a lot and very busy, means I often have to turn work away. I hate it, but it happens sometimes. Some people have asked me what to look for in a DJ. I always tell them that they need someone who knows about timing. Timing is everything. There is a time and place for everything.

DJ RULE #1: Stealing The Spotlight is something your DJ should never do. If they refuse to work with you on your requests, this is a clear red flag that they may think they are a superstar. However, on your wedding day, YOU are the superstar, and they should be willing to work with you at all costs to make the spotlight shine on you.

Many of you know that I have a backgorund as a ring announcer in professional wrestling. I also have had my hand in the pro wrestler/personality mix. I did both. Wrestling is all about timing and so is song selection and mic work when you DJ.

In pro wrestling, you have to work well with your opponent in order to look good, and also make them look good. There is a whole philosophy in old school professional wrestling, back in the earlier days up to the 80’s or so, where you did not want to “steal heat.” Stealing the heat would mean to take the spotlight off of the person that really should be shining at a particular moment, for your own personal gain. I guess I have applied this to my disc jockey philosophy and it seems to work.

Acting as a DJ, it is easy to “steal the heat,” or steal the spotlight at any given time. We have all probably been to a wedding where the DJ talks way too much, to the point of nausea. A good DJ should be informative and funny, but also professional and only offer humor or wit in moderation. Unfortunately, sometimes this is something you either have or you don’t, much like most of the successful wrestlers out there. It is hard to teach charisma and likeability.

I believe that on the bride & groom’s special day, the DJ has to think about timing. The disc jockey and the other wedding professionals need to let the new husband and wife shine and do everything in their power to make this happen. This means on the microphone, in mid-activity, and also behind the scenes.

A good professional wrestler or pro wrestling personality, has to know how to make others look good at, often at their own expense, for the good of the show. John Cena, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin would be nothing today, if they didn’t at some point try and make their opponents look good. The performance is better when both sides have decent input. If a superstar wrestler were to run in and destroy each opponent taking no offence in return, people would get bored very soon.

I think what has made me popular as a wedding DJ in Troy, NY is that I am a personality, but I don’t hog the microphone or scream for the guests to look at me every moment for some ridiculous unwanted commentary or shtick. I try my hardest to make everyone have fun and push no agenda. Many DJ’s think that since they are a paid entertainer, it is their show and think the spotlight should always be on them. However, this is incorrect, especially so at a wedding.

I have been told by many people in my life that I can be a very funny guy, at times. Therefore, I chime in the microphone when I can and add some good spice to the event. However, I never ever overkill and I know my role. While it is true, I am paid to entertain, I focus on entertaining by providing the appropriate music at the appropriate time and read the crowd to provide the music that they like, which ninety percent of the time, I am playing songs that I would never listen to on my own.

It is all about reading the crowd and playing stuff at the right time.

You can reach kenny at


Monday, June 13, 2011

Waterford Banquets & Saratoga Elks Wedding Catering/Hall Review

A great company called Waterford Banquet caters all over the Capital Region and other areas nearby, but it is most noted for being the in-house food provider at The Saratoga Elks, Saratoga Springs, NY.

At the Elks, Waterford Banquets had a good little spread for a recent wedding I was the disc jockey for. Their prime rib, which I would classify (size-wise) as decent medium cut of beef, was a pretty tasty dish. On their website, I believe it is somewhere around $23 a plate. That actually for a wedding dish, is a competitive bid and a pretty good deal. You can spin by their web site for the menu pricing by clicking here.

Overall, the hall is pretty good for an average-sized wedding. not too small and not too big. It seems ideal for weddings between 125-200 guests.

At The Saratoga Elks which is very conveniently located by 87's Exit 15, they have a very modern look with great lighting, for what most would expect from an "Elks Club." The hall itself features a nice bar and a fairly new dance floor. For the vendors and decorating purposes, they also have good access to the hall itself with a back door, that you can pull right up to. There is also great air conditioning (I was actually cold, and many electric outlets for your convenience.

I would rate them about 8 stars out of 10, only subtracting a little for an unusable disco ball (people wanted me to turn it on as the DJ, but it didn't work) and a few minor eye sores, like the Elks Logo sign in the banquet hall and what I believe was a bingo board on the wall covered by curtains.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Franklin Plaza Banquet Hall Review – Troy, NY

I am not sure if you have been there lately, but The Franklin Plaza Banquet Hall of Troy, NY is a really great option to hold your wedding or any high-end event that demands class and elegance.

Quite often, due to the state of economy, I am the one who ends up paying attention to most of the minor details of big events myself, working as a DJ and often pinch-hitting as the client's event planner. However, I barely needed to step up at a recent gig that was held at The Franklin Plaza. If you choose to book the Franklin Plaza, I think you will agree that the staff does a super job making everyone feel comfortable, while paying attention to fine detail.

One thing that really helps is that the management do not cheap out. They are not afraid to put many employees on to make your event move more efficiently. Quite often, many halls only used 3-5 servers, but at Columbia High School's recent prom, I easily saw 8 -10 employees.

Another perk I wanted to highlight here in this review, is Franklin now has their own in-house dance lights! Greg Cushman, the hall manager, mentioned that the system is brand new, as the lights were installed only a few months ago. From the looks of things, The Plaza spares no expense in ambiance. As a great extra bonus for booking the hall, the multi-color LED lights with programmable DMX technology are free of charge to the customer, and available at the flip of a switch. The thing that really makes these lights neat is that they were installed high up in the corners of the dance floor and out of sight; perfect for photography reasons. They also have some very impressive back lighting built into the walls!

You will not be disappointed with the food either. The selection and quality is delectable to say the very least.

Overall, I give The Franklin Plaza of Troy, NY 4 1/2 stars out of 5, subtracting only a half a star for location-related reasons that cannot be helped. It is a very convenient location in the heart of Troy, right across from Dinosaurs BBQ. However, there is medium to limited parking, and I ran into a few unsavory individuals who made things difficult to unload. (I think some homeless guy spit on my car in the parking lot, because I was unloading and didn’t have time to listen to his sob story setting up!!! Incidentally, if you see this Redd Foxx look-alike, shoot me an email so I can knock the last two teeth out of his mouth.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wedding Worksheets - a must for success.

When you plan a wedding, many people end up being in charge of many different aspects of the night. It may sound simple, but it is important to communicate well, in order to get what you want. One way you can really get your points across is by mapping everything out on paper so your expectations and wishes are clearly understood and met.

When you go about hiring a wedding professional like a disk jockey, a professional photographer, or even your caterer, you should always ask if they have a planning worksheet. Most often, the vendor has their own custom document that will help you be prepared for your wedding day. Using the vendor's own custom worksheet will better help them understand what you want in their own recognizable format, perhaps collecting everything aver a few pages. This erases confusion and helps the vendor know exactly what you are looking for.

Wedding worksheets really do help you get prepared for your wedding day. A good worksheet will help you also to better understand how most traditional weddings (and even many non-traditional ones) will look in an outline form.

Using worksheets will help you make sure, in the long run, that you will not overlook anything on the hectic, special day when you get married.

Whether or not you are using a custom vendor worksheet, or just downloading one online, there are FOUR very important aspects that you will want to keep in mind when filling out your disk jockey worksheet:

1) SETTING THE TONE – Some people want class. Others want an all out party. Many people want their reception to fall somewhere in between. A good worksheet will ask you what kind of feel you are trying to acheive, and when you will want that tone met over the course of the evening.

2) CREATING A MUSIC PLAYLIST – Your wedding is your special day , therefore you really should be the one to decide how you want it to feel. Music will set the atmosphere. Getting some of your ideas down onto paper will better help to create the feel you are hoping for. While you should not attempt to write every song down that you would want to hear, providing ten or twenty might give your DJ a good idea of what you like, while giving them the room to read the crowd.

3) THE DO NOT PLAY LIST – This is very important, but quite often forgotten in the mix. You should always take the time to write down the few songs you absolutely do not like, so that there are no surprizes on your special day. Although I hate playing "The Chicken Dance," for example, some older DJ’s absolutely love it! If you failed to add this song to your worksheet as a “DON'T PLAY,” you may end up thinking your DJ clucked everything up in the end, while you watch good 'ole grandma flap her wings.

4) ACTIVITY OPTIONS – There are so many wedding activity options that you can rock at your wedding. A good worksheet will have them listed so you can easily cross off or circle the ones you want.

If you would like to check out my latest worksheet, email me a request at and I can email you over one.


Monday, May 23, 2011

New Wedding First Dance Song

With so many tired old first dance options out there, it is really important to pick a song that is imporatant, and also different for your first dance. I'm not sure if you have heard it yet, but there is a great new wedding song option out there that many people are starting to look at for an alternative wedding ceremony song, and also the first dance.

Runner Runner's song, "I Can't Hardly Wait," is about a man anxious to finally get married to his bride-to-be. Ryan Ogren, the lead singer for Runner Runner, has announced that wrote this song special for his fiancé, and that she would be walking down the aisle to it.

Runner Runner is a pop-punk band from Huntington, California. The band name originated from member's Ryan Ogren and Jon Berry's love of poker. The term, 'runner runner', loosely means to beat the odds and pull off a winning hand in the last possible moment. My wife and I took a gamble and chose this song for our first dance, only a week after it hit the charts.

"I Can't Wait" Lyrics, written by Ryan Ogren

The way you curse while we are in traffic, A million flavors of your chapstick,
The way you keep my heart captive...
The Journey concert in A.Z., Do you remember we sang faithfully?
I've still got that old hotel room key... This is the way I feel.

Cause I can't wait for you, to be my wife,
To live this life, together.
And I won't let you go, I need you to know
That you are my heart, forever.

And on, and on, and on...

The way you like to sing my songs, you always know when something's wrong.
The way you say you miss me when I'm gone.
The things you do that show you care, you are always down for truth or dare.
Freeze this moment, let me stop and stare.

Nothing before was real. This is the way I feel

And I can't wait for you, to be my wife,
To live this life together.
And I won't let you go, I need you to know
That you are my heart, forever.

And on and on and on... And we'll go on and on and on

For better or for worse, no matter how it hurts
You've got me to hold you hand.
I promise you the world, in your wedding dress
We'll dance till no one's left.

Don't wanna blink my eyes. I Don't wanna miss a thing

I can't wait for you, to be my wife.
To live this life together.
And I won't let you go, and I need you to know
That you are my heart, forever.

And on and on and on... And we'll go on and on and on.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Petersburg Memorial Hall Review (by Grafton State Park)

Looking for an affordable wedding hall, for a small wedding that allows outside catering? If you answered, “yes,” and live in the Troy area, or nearby, you may want to read on.

It is funny. I live in Wynantskill, right between Troy and Albany, NY. I have been a disc jockey for quite some time and never heard of Petersburg Memorial Hall before. When I talked with the bride and groom about doing their special day, I had to look at a map to find a place that was only 25 minutes away from me. What Google quickly taught me is that if you have ever been to Grafton State Park, Petersburg is the next town down.

The wedding I was a DJ for in Petersburg was at a nice little place called “Memorial Hall” on 71 Main Street. The Petersburg Memorial Hall is right near the town library. It has ample parking and is a great little place for someone looking for a smaller wedding with the potential for affordability. Unlike many halls that hold frequent wedding receptions, at the Memorial, you can book any catering service that you like and set up your own bar. This means an incredible amount of savings, as these two expenses are quite often the largest for any wedding.

The hall seats about 80-120 people comfortably and has a little stage in the front which could be used for a DJ or a small live band. It has two side doors for easy access for vendors and decorating purposes.

There are a few little facility things to note. Facility-wise, there is a kitchen, but it is not very big. It probably is suitable for an outside caterer to make due with. Also, there is only one shared bathroom which is handicap accessible, I believe.

On a tech note, Petersburg does not have Sprint cell phone coverage, but it does have Verizon and Internet access provided through a wi-fi hub in the library nearby. These concerns may or may not be too important for a smaller wedding.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Alternative Nontraditional Wedding Resource

Being a wedding DJ who specializes in modern weddings, I found a resource on the world wide web that I thought stood out as being a bit different from the rest. This web site, I think, is a great option for brides who do not want their wedding to be the traditional ceremony and reception that we have grown accustomed to here in the states. They want it to be different.

Here is the url:

The Offbeat Bride website launched on four years ago, now, to support the release of Ariel Meadow Stalling's book entitled, "Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides."

Since the book promotion, the web site slowly grew into a multi-writer blog with tons of photos from "offbeat" weddings and wedding advice for couples planning weddings full of originality and personality.

Let me know if you like it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Pirate Wedding Report

Hey party people! DJ Kenny Casanova here, with my OWN wedding report on The DJ Kenny Casanova & Maria DJ Pirate Wedding Extravaganza.

A lot of local people from Albany, Troy and Schenectady browse my blog here at for great wedding tips and planning ideas, based on succesful weddings I have attended. Therefore, it is ironic now that I can share some fun things from my actual wedding.

As I stated in previous posts, we practiced what we preach. If you have the guts, "Theme weddings make for a better time!" ...We had a theme wedding ourselves, so that our special day would stick out and be memorable. Being a wedding DJ that has a few weddings a week, we had to go with something different so it would stay in our minds forever. My wife chose PIRATE and it was awesome!

CELEBRITY EMCEE - We brought in the most pirate-like celebrity we could think of; Glens Falls native former WWE United States Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan to emcee the event and mingle. Hoooo! He was great!!! Everyone loved him and he fit the bill perfectly!

CENTERPIECES - Our centerpieces were treasure chests with mardi gras beads, gold coins and large crystal gems. Here, we did not skimp on contents and also did not use any cartoony-like happy meal-like prize inserts, which would have been easy to do. The key to decorating for a fancy pirate wedding was that we tried our best to make everything look legit and as real as possible, so it didn't look like a kid's pirate birthday. Using higher quality decorations made everything feel more classy ...or at least as classy as a pirate shindig can be!

FLAGS - We hung 17 different jolly roger pirate flags up in each window bay of Birch Hill's big reception hall. (With them all being slightly different, this helped things feel more real and made things more interesting to the eye. It was way more cool to see the little variations to each flag than to quickly browse over the same print over and over again of the same skull & crossbones. There are actually many different pirate flags out there, and if you look online, you can find full real 3 x 5 foot flags for $5-$10 a piece, that may not be all that weather-sound, but perfect for the short-term; an indoor reception like ours.

FOOD - We had buffet style thick carved prime rib, lobster penne, and chicken marsella.

CAKES - Arrrghhh! Yes matey! We had two cakes; one custom pirate wedding tower by yummy local wedding cake favorite Cocodots, and a surprizing groom's cake by my own sister that was peanut butter frosting, peanut butter cake and topped with crushed reeses everything! (My favorite!) I actually fed a piece of this to my best man, the same as you feed one to your bride, in full pie-face tradition.

PHOTO MAGNET PHOTO-SHOOT - We had a green screen magnet shoot so that people could bring home high quality magnets to put on their refridgerators of the night, featuring fun with all their friends. These keepsakes were great because the photographer would change the background on the spot to match costumes and our theme. And, the sharp full color quality was also unbelievable! This extra fun was provided by Holmes Photography in the Albany, NY area.

In case you might want to walk the plank yourself at your own wedding, here are some of our guests pictures to hold you over, as the professional shots by Manny at Affordable Photography are not quite done yet.

There will be more to come soon, on how to actually plan a great pirate wedding, once we go through all the pictures.

In the meantime, we have more of our guests shots at