Month: January 2012

Wedding Songs We Love to Hate

Whenever we sit down with a bridal couple to talk about music selections for their celebration two big questions are asked. What songs do you want to hear? What songs do you NOT want to be played?

Often times people know more what they don’t like. A recent bridal couple began naming songs to put on the the Do Not Play List. Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”; “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang; John Mayer’s “Your Body Is a Wonderland” is not invited to the wedding.

All the typical “wedding songs” were off limits. Being involved in many weddings, a night without the songs that everyone plays is a welcome break. Here’s the problem…. The reason why everyone plays those songs is because people love those songs.

“I Gotta Feeling” is ranked No. 1 on the list of most requested party songs over the last 12 months. Oh and “Celebration” after all these years is still at No. 26.

So it presents a bit of a conundrum in an era when weddings are as much, if not more, about the guests’ experience as the bride and groom. No matter how much a couple loathes “Love Shack” (No. 11 most requested and No. 10 most banned), is there something to be said for putting taste aside to get everyone grooving?

We always stress to couples to consider guests and not just what they like to listen to. Yes it is your day, but be considerate. We have had couples choose every single song to be played frome begining to end and others choose a single artist or group to play all night. Trust me, grandma is not going to want to hear the Greatful Dead for 6 hours.

A DJ needs flexibility to satisfy guests of all ages. Couples should keep “Do Not Play” songs to no more than the 10 songs they truly can’t stand.

A list that’s too long or restrictive can dampen a party. If your guests are asking for certain songs that are banned they feel shunned when told thier request won’t be played.

To ensure that “everyone from 3 to 103” was entertained at her wedding in June, Abby Jakoplic left her musical fate to the DJ and banned the Do Not Play list. She welcomed the cheesy and cliche — including the No. 1 most shunned song. “We had everyone from toddlers to grandparents out there doing the ‘Chicken Dance,'” Jakoplic said.

Yes it cheesy, but cheesy can be fun. That’s a song all ages will dance to. In case you were wondering:


Top 5 Do Not Play songs

“Chicken Dance”

“Macarena” by Los Del Rio

“Y.M.C.A.” by Village People

“Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper

“Electric Slide” by Grandmaster Slice

Event Planning Trends, Themes and Ideas for 2012

Yvone Kon's photo

Pittsburgh Event Planning Examiner

Every person planning an event wants it to be special.  As peoples’ lives become busier, and with the success of so many event planning shows on cable TV, more and more people are relying on professional event planners to help them realize their dreams of spectacular weddings, successful corporate events and memorable and unique parties.  Shaun Pierce, President of Pierce Events, discusses upcoming trends for 2012, event themes and some of his favorite places to plan events in Pittsburgh.

Whether you’re a bride, a corporate client, or the host or hostess of a party, as 2012 begins, the trend in events is to offer something unique and memorable.  Mr. Pierce is seeing “bold color choices, custom invitations, mobile food trucks, and dynamic entertainment and design” in upcoming events.  Mr. Pierce’s clients are becoming more involved in the creative process.   Rather than choosing a general theme, couples will try to reflect their style and personality by using décor and design elements.  Corporate clients rely heavily on company branding as a theme, incorporating the company message and logo as design elements.

Environmental issues are more important than ever as we begin 2012.  However, Mr. Pierce is not seeing an increase in requests for ‘green’ events.  Most clients are budget-conscious and hosting a green event is still an expensive endeavor.  Pierce Events offers the option of green events to their clients if requested, and works with many suppliers and venues that have green practices.  Mr. Pierce says clients in Pittsburgh can find ways to incorporate green elements into their events. “Often times, our clients can host environmentally friendly events without really trying.  Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center was the first ‘Certified Green’ convention center in the world.”

Pittsburgh has a wide variety of venues and locations to hold events.  Whether an event is large or small, Mr. Pierce says his company works very hard to match the venue with his client’s needs.  Some of his favorite venues for weddings include the iconic and elegant Wyndham Grand, overlooking Point State Park; The Renaissance Hotel, with stunning views of the city and beautiful photography locations; and The Mansion at Maple Heights, perfect for an intimate events.  For corporate events and parties, Mr. Pierce favors Pittsburgh’s museums, universities and sports complexes.

As you begin to plan your event, the most important thing to remember is to make it unique and memorable.  If you’re planning a wedding, make sure it reflects who you are as a couple.  Tell your story.  If you’re planning a corporate event, it should reflect all the wonderful things about your company.  Using an event planner to assist you with all the details, and planning your event in Pittsburgh, is a great way to get started.  According to Mr. Pierce:

“Pittsburgh is finally being recognized as a gem of a city.  I see more people choosing Pittsburgh as an event destination.  Couples that have left Pittsburgh are coming back here to get married.  Companies are discovering we can produce world class events at a fraction of the cost of other locations.”

For more information on Pierce Events, or to contact them to plan your event, please call 724-986-6939 or visit their website.

Weddings Trends 2012

One of the most often asked questions we get from brides and media is “What are the new trends?” And so we thought we put the cyber pen to paper and list the top trends we see, along with asking some of the industry pros on what they see for 2012!

  1. Incorporate Color Into Your Gown

No longer are brides going with the traditional all white dress. We have seen brides choose bold colors like red and black or more subtle incorporations of pink and light blue.

“Consider asking your seamstress to sew your favorite colorful fabric to your wedding dress’ crinoline petticoat; as you walk down the aisle, everyone will catch glimpses of your favorite color beneath your long white gown,” said Preston Bailey.

2. Photo Finish

You may have heard of brides and grooms renting photo booths, but “back drops” (where guests use a variety of props and backgrounds to take snapshots) are an emerging trend.

The possibilities are endless-planner Bryan Rafanelli suggests individual handheld photo frames in a variety of colors, a favorite quilt, or setting up in front of a great architectural element at your venue.

3. Go Natural

Hearty flowers in subdued hues and even trees add a clean, fresh feel to your fête. Rafanelli recommends miniature calla lillies in white, green, lavender, or brown for receptions outdoors.

4. Mix, Match and Miniaturize

2012 Color of the year Smaller centerpieces will reign supreme in 2012, especially in multiple container shapes and sizes. Stay away for tall massive pieces. Consider a combination of exotic flowers mixed with the classics (roses, orchids, calla lillies) to add a modern feel to your wedding décor.

“Tight bunches of hot pink carnations in square containers, coupled with orchids in another holder can look great, even with mini English roses in another container. It’s all about balance,” said Rafanelli.

Also don’t be afraid to mix a couple of vibrant colors (“Tangerine Tango” was revealed as the new Color of the Year by Pantone). This eye-catching aisle was created by Nikki Khan.

5. The Truck Stops Here

The food truck revolution continues as a popular addition to events, and experts predict that it’s going to pick up steam in the coming months.

“Old-fashioned ice cream trucks, crème brûlée trucks or even bacon trucks offer a fun addition to the end of the night or the after party,” said Sasha Souza.


Top Wedding Songs for 2012

Event entertainment booking service announced the Top Songs for 2012 weddings. The lists are based on a survey of recently married and soon-to-be married brides and grooms.

“Can’t Help Falling in Love and At Last remain the most popular songs, with newer songs like Train’s Marry Me breaking into the top 5,” says Marta Segal Block, GigMasters’ Editorial Director. “Although many of the songs being chosen aren’t new, what is new is that brides and grooms are taking a larger role in choosing the rest of the songs for the reception. The majority of couples are creating “Must Play” and “Do Not Play” lists for their reception, and some are even creating specific set lists.”

TOP 5 FIRST DANCE SONGS 1.    At Last – Etta James 2.    Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley 3.    Marry Me – Train 4.    You and Me – Dave Matthews Band 5.    All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo tied with Lucky – Jason Mraz, The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra and Then – Brad Paisley

TOP 5 FATHER/DAUGHTER DANCE SONGS 1.    I Loved Her First – Heartland
2.    Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong 3.    The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra 4.    Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman 5.    My Girl – The Temptations tied with Unforgettable – Natalie Cole

TOP 5 ‘DO NOT PLAY’ SONGS 1.    Chicken Dance 2.    Electric Slide
3.    Macarena 4.    YMCA 5.    Cotton Eye Joe

TOP SONGS FROM 2011 FOR 2012 WEDDINGS 1.    Marry You – Bruno Mars
2.    Just a Kiss – Lady Antebellum 3.    Love You Like a Love Song –Selena Gomez 4.    Countdown – Beyoncé 5.    We Found Love – Rihanna

We asked Shaun Pierce of Pierce Events about song choices for couples. “Most couples have fun choosing songs that are important to them. It’s amazing how certain songs can set the tone and create romantic or fun moments. Often times even the bridal party will choose their own songs for the enterance”

Pierce says if you find yourself at a loss for choosing songs or are looking for something out of the ordinary they are always ready with suggestions.

Have fun creating your own soundtrack for your special day.