Saturday, September 18, 2010

Photos from Steenman Wedding - Ringoes, NJ

Props to Mark Gardner Photography ( of Philadelphia for capturing an amazing array of photographs at this past June's wedding of Robin and Matt at the scenic Steenman farm in Ringoes, NJ. The bride and groom, as well as guests, were very outgoing and photogenic, helping to create some colorful and unforgettable images. You may see me lingering in the background on some of these photos. The day was extremely hot and humid, but that did not deter the guests from dancing! Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Steenman!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What To Play (and Not to Play) at a Wedding Reception - Part 2

Ambient DJs' Director of Musical Programming, Mike Bacon, aka DJ Iron Mike, submits part Part 2 of his What to Play (and not Play) at wedding receptions. As usual, Mike's article is insightful and thought-provoking. Mike adds the caveat that his opinions are not the final world. Please feel free to comment on our blog with songs of your own!

"Reasons"- Earth, Wind & Fire

GASP!!! Can you believe it? I'm calling out one of my all-time favorite groups for an all time classic song. This joint as anybody who saw me during my 2002 karaoke singing phase know that this is my ace in the hole at any bar or restaurant, just ask Rockin' Ron… he gave he the moniker "Soul Man" Iron Mike for my singing exploits. But back to the track, even lead singer of the group Phillip Bailey will tell you (as seen in EWF's Sony released DVD), Reasons is NOT a wedding song. Phil went on to say that he was surprised at the amount of fans that told him about getting married to the song. This joint is about the confusion that arrives during and after a one night stand. The lyrics include "the reasons we're a LIE" "all our illusions we're just a parade" and "after the love game has been played." Far from what one should want to hear during their first dance. Overall, it really comes down to the vibe. "Reasons" is sung with such emotion and passion that the lyrics get overlooked and misconstrued. Also, stay away from 1979's "After the Love is Gone"…even though that title should be a dead giveaway!
What to play instead: Of course, Earth Wind & Fire are best known for their funk/disco material (September, Let's Groove, Shining Star) but in the way of Slow ballads comes Straight off of my favorite EWF LP (1977's All N' All) "Love's Holiday" . This one probably won't go over as well at a Caucasian wedding, but sure to please the African-American crowd. I'm also strong on "Love Ballad" by LTD. Also, an artist who has performed with EWF, Denice Williams' "Cause You Love Me" is good for cocktail hour.

"I Will Survive"- Gloria Gaynor

Maybe I'm getting a little harsh. After all, not ALL wedding dance songs have to be about love. For example (Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men") and a host of other dance floor fillers have nothing to do with the subject. My beef with this classic disco smash is it's strictly a break up song, on the real… it's probably the top feminine breakup anthem. Not only that, I've heard DJs close out a wedding with this one. Yeah, it pumps up the ladies, but not the best note to go out on. Basically, as DJ Jagged would say (but not in reference to this song) "Proceed with caution." Some couples might bypass the message and want you to play it. I say do it, but like The Pina Colada Song… I wouldn't' play it on my own.

What to Play Instead: Since "Last Dance" by Donna Summer is tired and overused, how about Diana Ross' "Love Hangover"? It starts out slow, but then picks up with a huge disco climax. I think even "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston is a good closer. The song title is a little misleading; I think that track has more to do about desire to continue a relationship, not to end one.

"I Would Do Anything for Love"- Meatloaf

…But You won't do what exactly Mr.Loaf ??? This song confused me when I was in the 7th grade and it confuses me to this day. I'm starting a new rule! If you're first dance has confusing lyrics, your marriage will be that much more confusing! I'll also include some personal bias… I hate this song. It sucks. It's in my top 5 least favorite pop songs ever. Enough said about that. (Editor's Note: Mike also despises the Village People!).

What to play instead: ANYTHING. But, if you're into that over the top cheesy, whisk you away to a medieval castle, rock opera effect and not coincidently written by Meatloaf buddy Jim Steinman Sound, go with "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. As an added bonus, your guests can re-enact the wedding scene in Old School where the band's lead singer inserts an F-Bomb every now and then. Fun for the whole family!!! The Latter actually happens! I've strayed away from playing this since the original writing of my blog.

Be sure to add any possible wedding reception song traps!!! They're out there... Spotting them can help you or I prosper in the future!

To benefit from the musical insights of DJ Iron Mike, contact Ambient DJ today to book him for your next wedding or soiree! Ambient DJ Service (,, 609.672.1270).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"World's Happiest DJ"

As DJs, we should all be happy for the chance to bring joy to peoples' lives and make them dance. At some level, a DJ worries about that day in the future when he or she can no longer connect with audiences. Yet, this video below proves that age is a state of mind. This party rocking DJ won't be hanging up his headphones anytime soon!

I love this video!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ambient DJ Service to Appear at PlanIt Expo Bridal Show, Sunday 9/12

Attention future brides and grooms - Ambient DJ Service will be appearing this Sunday September 12, 2010 at the Windsor Ballroom in East Windsor, NJ. The show is being organized by PlanIt Expo (, which produces top-notch bridal show events across New Jersey.

In addition to being an exhibitor, Ambient DJ's Christopher Smith (DJ Spinz) will be emceeing the show and spinning some tunes. Also in attendance will be Ambient DJ Service President Gregg Hollmann and wedding specialist Greg Lambiase (aka DJ Greg Nice). For the entertainment showcase portion, Ambient will show a brief video slideshow presentation.

Be sure to stop by the Ambient DJ table and enter our drawing for a FREE wedding DJ service (the drawing will take place on November 1, 2010). For additional information about this promotion, see This is an amazing and unprecedented promotion - please tell a friend!

Doors open at 1 PM, and there is no cover charge. For additional information, please visit the PlanIt Expo website. The Windsor Ballroom is located at:

399 Monmouth Street
East Windsor, NJ 08520
(609) 448-7000

For those traveling from a distance and utilizing the NJ Turnpike, the Windsor Ballroom is located just around the corner after taking Exit 8.