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.