Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wedding Gig Log - Amanda and Brad - Down Town Club, Philadelphia

On Friday, July 29th 2011, Ambient DJ had the pleasure of performing at Amanda and Brad's wedding reception at the historic Down Town Club (founded in 1897) in Philadelphia.  This client was a referral from Dan Wions at Live Music Consulting.

The Down Town Club is located directly across the street from Independence Hall.  This Georgian Revival-style building is on the National Register as a historic landmark, and also houses a sculpture of Benjamin Franklin by Joseph A. Bailly in the main lobby entrance.  For 98 years, The Down Town Club located on the 11th floor, was an exclusive private luncheon and social club for some of Philadelphia's most prominent families.

Upon arrival, I received VIP treatment from Jerome, who helped me load my gear up a freight elevator with a silky smooth ride.  The Down Town Club is an upscale oasis exuding class and sophistication.  The Grand Ballroom, where the reception party took place, featured high ceilings, wood paneled walls and was selectively lit by chandeliers and uplighting fixtures in natural tones.  We were asked NOT to bring any additional lighting.  

Musically, the party was structured into two sections.  Through dessert, the music featured primarily classical music played at moderate volumes. Afterwards, the mix switched into danceable fare, including current dance music.  Amanda and Brad shared their first dance to Van Morrison's "Someone Like You."  A combined parent dance was shared to Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World."  

With numerous dance aficionados in the mix, the evening went well, right up to the grand finale of LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" (see video below).  Congratulations to Amanda and Brad, and thank you for retaining Ambient DJ Service for your special day!

The Down Town Club is found on the upper levels of this building at the corner of 6th and Chestnut
Classy table settings with chocolate Liberty Bell favors
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Rivenburgh!
Benjamin Franklin greets guests in building lobby
Ambient DJ setup, including table orchid

Key Tracks:
Chank - John Scofield (Grand Entrance)
Someone Like You - Van Morrison (First Dance)
Il Postino - John Williams (Dinner Music)
What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong (Combined Parent Dance)
Gonna Fly Now - Bille Conte and the Rocky Orchestra (Garter Toss, Philly Theme)
Philadelphia Freedom - Elton John (Philadelphia theme!)
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - Katy Perry (open dancing)
Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations (open dancing)
The Show Goes On - Lupe Fiasco (hip hop)
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO (grand finale)

To learn more about Ambient DJs' award-winning wedding DJ services, visit us on the worldwide web at

Wedding Gig Log - Anna and Daniel - The Carriage House

On Sunday July 31st, I had the honor of performing at Anna and Daniel's wedding reception held at the Carriage House in Galloway Township, NJ.  I was introduced to the bride's family by the Lohmann family, a client who I performed two weddings for in 2010 (for the full details, read here).  

The Carriage House is relatively new, having opened its doors about five years ago.  The property is spacious inside and out, and beautifully designed as what is best described as a modern, opulent southern plantation. The Savannah Grand Ballroom is magnificent and somewhat reminiscent of an opera house.  The DJ booth is situated on a stage on the second floor (see photo below).

After providing music for an onsite cocktail hour, the action moved into the ballroom.  I introduced a somewhat large bridal party - then, Anna and Daniel shared their first dance to Josh Groban's "When You Say You Love Me."  After a hot soup course, the groom sang and played piano, performing a song that he wrote especially for his bride on their wedding day.  Fritz, the Father of the Groom, was the Best Man, and delivered an outstanding toast.

With multiple appetizer courses, there was little time for dancing until after dinner.  Sunday night weddings can be sketchy in terms of dancefloor activity, but fortunately this group was full of party people. Later on, the bride's father, a Marine Corps Colonel, emceed a fun interactive game that resulted in nearly every single guest packing the dancefloor.  Anna and Daniel later departed with a bubble send-off.

Thank you to the Hermesmann family for engaging Ambient DJ Service for your family celebratoin.  Congratulations Anna and Daniel!

The Carriage House - Galloway Township, NJ
Spacious Lobby of the Carriage House
Table Settings - Thornton Wedding
DJ Booth at the Carriage House - located on aerial stage!
Some Bluegrass and Country Selections
Maximum Guest Interaction with Massive Conga Line
The new Mr. and Mrs. Thornton!
Key Tracks:
Chank - John Scofield (Grand Entrance)
When You Say You Love Me - Josh Groban (First Dance)
Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman (Father-Daughter Dance)
A Mother's Love - Mark Masri f/Jim Brickman (Mother-Son Dance)
It Had to Be You (Big Band Version) - Harry Connick, Jr.
Love Story - Taylor Swift (bouquet toss)
Cha-Cha Slide - Mr. C the Slideman (party starter)
Hot, Hot, Hot - Arrow (party starter)
I Will Be There - Steven Curtis Chapman (ballad)
The Best is Yet to Come - Frank Sinatra (grand finale)

To learn more about Ambient DJ Service and its award-winning wedding DJ services, visit us on the worldwide web at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Biggest Pet Peeves About Wedding DJs

In a recent Facebook poll, we asked fans (primarily based in our home state of New Jersey) to vote on their biggest pet peeves with regards to Wedding Disc Jockeys.  We received a total of 25 votes.  In Family Feud fashion, we count down the biggest pet peeves about wedding DJs.  

Survey Says....

#5 Pet Peeve:   DJ is not a team player with the other wedding vendors (1 vote)

#4 Pet Peeve:  The DJ sports a loud, obnoxious and overconfident demeanor (2 votes)

#3 Pet Peeve:  The DJ plays inappropriate music that does not echo the mood of the crowd (4 votes)

#2 Pet Peeve:  The music is way too loud (6 votes)

and the #1 Pet Peeve regarding Wedding DJs:  The use of too many cheesy phrases and dance routines! This critique logged nearly half of the total votes, with 12 votes. 

The fourth Biggest Pet Peeve - Loud, Obnoxious Demeanor!
Other criticisms from respondents included:

* The overuse by a Wedding DJ of the stock phrases "At This Time" and "Ladies and Gentlemen"

* "When the DJ tries to make the event about himself!"

* "When there's a clearly older crowd and the DJ is blaring loud dance music and a fog machine. There's no one on the dance floor... So he gets out there and starts dancing by himself...oy"

* "The Cha-Cha slide and Cupid Shuffle are particularly painful to watch."

The above survey results provide valuable insights from consumers that wedding disc jockey entertainers  would be wise to take note of.  We have found that many of our prospective wedding clients already have these stereotypes engrained into their minds.  These stereotypes are objections which must be overcome and addressed during a sales presentation.  

For example, talk about how during dinner you will turn down the volume so that guests will be able to comfortably enjoy their dinner conversation.

We have also found that brides and grooms shopping for wedding entertainment are often more in agreement on what they do NOT want from a wedding DJ, then what they do want.  Companies that successfully represent themselves as the antithesis to a particular pet peeve stand to get the booking!  For example, in our marketing materials, we use the phrase "avoids outdated, cheesy wedding DJ techniques." This message resonates with many of our clients.

To learn more about Ambient DJ Service, and its award-winning wedding DJ services, visit us on the worldwide web at  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wedding at Battleground Country Club

This past Saturday, Ambient DJ had the pleasure of performing at Janice and Jonathan's wedding reception held at the Battleground Country Club located in Manalapan, NJ.  The big news of the week was  an intense heat wave with temperatures exceeding 105 degrees in the local area.  Janice and Jonathan judiciously opted to move their onsite ceremony indoors.

Ambient DJ provided sound reinforcement for the wedding ceremony, as well as cocktail hour music and a video slideshow during the reception. Beautiful classical music for the ceremony was provided by The Rose Trio.  At the ceremony, the rabbi told, in an entertaining way, the story of how Janice and Jon met, about each of their individual character traits, what makes their relationship tick, and about their plans for the future.

The ballroom at the Battleground Country Club is spacious with high ceilings and beautiful views of the golf course. We have fond memories of performing in this ballroom at a private party thrown by Marc Ecko for his mother's 60th birthday.  Today, to match the bridesmaids' and groomsmens'  royal blue ensembles, we backlit our DJ facade in blue.

Ocean City, Maryland is one of the couple's favorite vacation spots.  For the reception, tables were named for points of interest in Ocean City (e.g., White Marlin).  In my opening remarks for the wedding reception, I randomly called out some table names in order to engage the crowd.  The grand entrance went smoothly, and Janice and Jonathan enjoyed their first dance to a country track by Thompson Square called "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not."  

The guests, not wilted by the heat, enjoyed dancing both before and after the main course.  Dancing kicked into high gear after dinner, with a lively hora medley that had both the bride and groom being lifted in chairs.  For the remainder of the evening, guests enjoyed a mix of ballads, oldies and modern dance music.

The new Mr. and Mrs. Roth hit the dancefloor!
Key Tracks:
Beautiful Day - U2 (Grand Entrance)
Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not - Thompson Square (First Dance)
Unforgettable - Natalie Cole w/Nat King Cole (Father-Daughter Dance)
Through the Years - Kenny Rogers (Mother -Son Dance)
I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) - The Four Tops (Cakecutting)
You Can't Hurry Love - Diana Ross & the Supremes (Bouquet Toss)
A Little Less Conversation (JXL Remix) - Elvis Presley (Garter Removal/Toss)
Let's Get It On (Remix) - Marvin Gaye (Bouquet Garter Finale)
At Last - Eva Cassidy
Heatwave - Martha and the Vandella
Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull w/Ne-Yo, Nayer and Afrojack
Save the Last Dance for Me - Michael Buble (Grand Finale)

Thank you Janice and Jonathan for utilizing our wedding DJ services, and best wishes in your marriage! 

To learn more about Ambient DJ Service and how we can personalize the celebration of your dreams, visit us on the web at 

The Life and Music of Amy Winehouse

On Saturday July 23, 2011, the music community lost a major talent, Amy Winehouse.  Troubled by substance abuse in recent years, the news of her death, at just 27 years old, did not come as a surprise. 

I first learned of Amy Winehouse from her music video "Rehab"and was instantly captivated by her deep, soulful voice, and the retro-soul feel of the song that even featured a baritone saxophone. 

Eager to learn more, I bought the Grammy-award winning album, Back in Black (mostly produced by the extraordinary DJ/producer Mark Ronson), and loved it.  Ever since, I have liberally programmed Amy Winehouse into the mix at parties and even some wedding cocktail hours.  

Listed below are my favorite Amy Winehouse tracks:

1) You Know I'm No Good (I actually prefer the non-rap version) - the horn section is wonderful... how telling were Amy's lyrics "I cheated myself, like I knew I would."  
2) Rehab (Jay-Z rap version)  - Jay's rap verse is brilliant and takes the song to a new level
3) Me and Mrs. Jones (love the opening line.... 'What kind of fuckery is this?... you made me miss... the Slick Rick gig)
4) Valerie - this is a nice song for cocktail hours or for early in a party
5) Just Friends - reggae vibe with brass section
6) Love is a Losing Game - sad but beautiful song.  
7) Monkey Man - From Back to Black - B Sides
8) Back to Black 
9) It's My Party (featuring Amy Winehouse) - Quincy Jones

Winehouse's final recording project was with Tony Bennett earlier this year.  Bennett and Winehouse sang the Johnny Greene standard "Body and Soul" which will be featured on Bennett's "Duets II" scheduled for release this September.

We'll miss you Amy.  I'll keep spinning your records, but wish that you could have stayed with us longer.  You were just getting started.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

50 Awesome Tracks for Your Sweet 16 Party

The following post was prepared by Christopher Smith (aka DJ Spinz).  Chris has a passion and expertise in Sweet 16 parties.  Read on!

Congratulations Sweet 16!

At Ambient DJ, we know that your Sweet 16 celebration is a once in a lifetime event! You  have many decisions to make and it can be stressful coordinating all the details to ensure that your party is perfect. We'll help you get on-track in planning, from music selection for dancing, to providing the perfect backing tracks for your candle lighting ceremony. 

Below we have compiled a list of the top 50 tracks that are currently rocking our Sweet 16 parties!  This list contains a mixture of newer songs, along with some classics that have stood the test of time.  Of course, you are also free to use Ambient's online planning tools, selecting songs online from our 50,000+ song library.  

50) Blow- Ke$ha
49) E.T (Remix)- Katy Perry ft Kanye West
48) Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO ft Lauren Bennett & Goon Rock
47) Price Tag- Jessie J ft B.O.B
46) We R Who We R- Ke$ha
45) Give Me Everything (Tonight)- Pitbull ft Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
44) Yeah 3x- Chris Brown
43) Super Bass- Nicki Minaj
42) On The Floor- Jennifer Lopez ft Pitbull
41) I Like It- Enrique Iglesias ft Pitbull
40) Shake Senora (Rmx)- Pitbull ft T-Pain, Sean Paul & Ludacris
39) Apache- Sugar Hill Gang
38) Forget You- Cee Lo
37) Down- Jay Sean ft Lil Wayne
36) Check It Out- Nicki Minaj ft Will I Am
35) Don't Wanna Go Home- Jason Derulo
34) Cotton Eye Joe- Rednex
33) The Time (Dirty Bit)- Black Eyed Peas
32) OMG- Usher ft Will I Am
31) Shots- LMFAO ft Lil Jon
30) Tonight- Enrique Iglesias ft Pitbull
29) Waka Waka- Shakira ft Freshly Ground
28) California Gurls- Katy Perry ft Snoop Dogg
27) Like A G6- Far East Movement ft Cataracs & Dev
26) Dj Got Us Falling In Love- Usher ft Pitbull
25) Raise Your Glass- Pink
24) Gasolina- Daddy Yankee
23) Single Ladies- Beyonce
22) Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - Katy Perry
21) Dynamite- Taio Cruz
20) Out Of My Head- Lupe Fiasco ft Trey Songz
19) Hey Soul Sister- Train
18) The Lazy Song- Bruno Mars
17) Look At Me Now- Chris Brown ft Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
16) S&M- Rihanna
15) Teach Me How To Dougie- Cali Swag District
14) Whip My Hair- Willow Smith
13) No Hands- Waka Flocka Flame ft Roscoe Dash & Wale
12) Roll Up-  Wiz Khalifa
11) Bottoms Up- Trey Songz ft Nicki Minaj
10) Pretty Girl Rock- Keri Hilson
 9)  Firework- Katy Perry
 8) Cupid Shuffle- Cupid
 7) Run The World (Girls)- Beyonce
 6) Down On Me- Jeremih Ft 50 Cent
 5) We No Speak Americano- Yolanda B Cool ft D Cup
 4) Cha Cha Slide- Mr. C
 3) The Edge Of Glory- Lady Gaga
 2) Just Can't Get Enough- Black Eyed Peas
 1) Tik Tok- Ke$ha

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning DJ Service based in Central New Jersey.  Ambient DJs' Music Mixologists specialize in Sweet 16 parties, offering quality DJ, Sound, Lighting and Multimedia services. Whether you are planning an extravagant Super sweet 16, or something more intimate, we can guide you toward a smooth, fun, and unforgettable celebration. Contact us to find out more details!

Alternative Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

Wedding cocktail hours are a great time for couple's to stamp their individuality upon an event since there is no need to maintain a dance floor with recognizable hits.  Cocktail hour music should be atmospheric, creating a nice backdrop to enjoy cocktails and set the stage for the fun later in the evening. 

The following playlist was compiled for Nicole and Fred, who enjoy alternative rock/indie rock.

Awake My Soul -  Mumford & Sons
Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg
Out of Tune - Real Estate
Far, Far Away - Wilco
Valerie - Amy Winehouse
Lovesong - Adele
Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping - Charlotte Gainsbourg
Space Maker - Air
I Have Seen - Zero 7
Karma Police - Radiohead
Blue Light (Engineers Anti Gravity Mix) - Bloc Party
Slow Show - The National
Colors - April Smith & The Great Picture Show
Naive - The Kooks
This Charming Man - The Smiths
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun
Young Blood - The Naked and Famous
Funny Little Frog - Belle & Sebastian
All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem

Mumford and Sons
To learn more about Ambient DJ Service and its wedding DJ services in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, visit us on the web at

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ambient DJs' New Display Ad

Check out our new full page ad, to be run for the next year in a golf lifestyle magazine called "The Turn."  This publication is found at local country clubs and golf pro shops, but is also distributed hand-to-hand from golf pros to their students.  The magazine is being distributed at fine local clubs such as Jasna Polana, the Trenton Country Club, Forsgate Country Club, Cherry Valley Country Club and Hopewell Valley Golf Club.  

Our hope is that the wealthier demographic found at these venues would be interested in our upscale disc jockey (DJ) service offerings, particularly for events such as holiday parties, weddings and corporate events.

P.S.  It's never too soon to reserve your date for holiday parties!  The first two Saturday nights in December are always in high demand.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lush Electronic Lounge Selections

For lovers of moody lounges and lush electronica, here are some favorite tracks compiled by Ambient DJs' electronica guru, DJ Jagged:

Ceu Distante (DJ Spinna Remix) - Bebel Gilberto (4:21)

Habla Mi Corazon (Kevin Yost's Otherside of the World Remix) - Lemongrass (7:22)

Lovely Dae (Doc's Wax Mix) - Blaze (6:49)

Bahia (Kyoto Jazz Massive Remix) - Ananda Project (8:23)

Aquilas Coisas Todas - Luisito Quintero (6:20)

Depois Do Carnival (Spiritual South Remix) - Azymuth (7:27)

Superman (f/Bucie) (Club Mix) - Black Coffee (8:26)

Coma Cat - Tensnake (6:57)

Heat You Up, Melt You Down (Instrumental) - Shirley Lites (6:01)

Grand Central Party 1 (Deep Into the Bowel of House) - DJ Sprinkles (7:00)

M.U.S.I.C. (original mix) - Vincenzo, Lovebirds (9:00)

My House (Dennis F. Remix) - Aaron Carl (5:23)

Take Me Back (f/April) (Sandy Rivera's Original Mix) - Kings of Tomorrow (5:48)

Waiting for Your Love - Onda (8:43)

C'est La Vie (Montana & Stewart Instrumental) - Colin Sales and Suzy (7:29)

Primavera (f/Lety) (Classic Mix) - Francesco Gomez (7:34)

Enlightenment - Francois K. (6:35)

Mojo Tribe - The Bongo Man (8:00)

Dirty Laundry (Tom Middleton's Balearic Mix) - Bitter:Sweet (4:57)

Gone Space Trippin' - Peter Munch (7:21)

The Dreamer - Jose James (7:05)

Who says that your private party has to feature well-known radio hits?  Surrender to the groove of house music, and enjoy!

To learn more about Ambient DJ Service's award-winning music entertainment services, visit us on the worldwide web at

Lounge Lizard

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

50 Recommended First Dance Songs for Weddings

Browsing the internet, there are some awful lists of suggested special songs for weddings that were clearly not compiled by musical people.  Below are listed 50 awesome tracks to consider for a bride and groom's first dance.  These tracks span various genres and the majority have been used by Ambient DJs' past clients.

The first 25 tracks are Modern or Alternative Tracks, while the second 25 are traditional and timeless selections!

25 Modern or Alternative First Dance Songs

1) You Are the Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne
2) Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
3) Slave to Love - Bryan Ferry
4) Desire - Ryan Adams
5) The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
6) I Only Have Eyes for You - Jamie Cullum
7) All That You'll Be - Emma Bunton
8) Marry Me - Train
9) I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
10) Better Together - Jack Johnson
11) Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band
12) In a Little While - U2
13) Two Love Birds - Robin Thicke
14) By Your Side - Sade
15) Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
16) Lovesong - The Cure, or 311
17) The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson
18) All Mine - Portishead
19) The Luckiest - Ben Folds
20) My Favourite Book - Stars
21) Do You Realize - The Flaming Lips
22) True Companion - Marc Cohn
23) For a Moment Like This - Kelly Clarkson
24) Awake - Secondhand Serenade
25) Make a Memory - Bon Jovi

25 Traditional and Timeless First Dance Songs

1) When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
2) You Make Me Feel Brand New - The Stylistics
3) These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding
4) It Had To Be You - Harry Connick, Jr.
5) The Way You Look Tonight - Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra
6) Crazy Love - Van Morrison
7) I Will - The Beatles
8) Bless the Broken Road - Rascal Flatts
9) Amazed - Lonestar
10) The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Marcia Griffiths
11) Saving All My Love For You - Whitney Houston
12) Heaven - Bryan Adams
13) Don't Want To Miss a Thing - Aerosmith
14) At Last - Etta James
15) Always and Forever - Heatwave
16) All My Life - K.C. and Jojo
17) Through the Fire - Chaka Khan
18) From This Moment - Shania Twain w/Bryan White
19) It's Your Love - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
20) Can't Help Falling in Love With You - Elvis Presley
21) Beautiful in My Eyes - Joshua Kadison
22) Crazy for You - Madonna
23) Lost in Love - Air Supply
24) Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
25) We Have All the Time in the World - Louis Armstrong

To learn more about our award-winning wedding DJ service, please visit Ambient DJ on the worldwide web at 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hot Summer 2011 Playlist

Summer is a great time for parties.  The sun, surf and sand has everybody in a great mood and ready to celebrate into the evening hours!  Here are 30 hot tracks for the summer, courtesy of Ambient DJs' head honcho Gregg Hollmann, aka DJ Jagged.  They are listed in no particular order.

1) Don't Wanna Go Home - Jason DeRulo (dance)
2) Moves Like Jagger - Maroon Five w/Christina Aguilera (dance)
3) My Feelings For You - Avicii  & Sebastien Drums (dance)
4) I'm Still Hot - Luciana (dance/electro)
5) Turbulence - Steve Aoki w/Lil Jon and Laidback Luke (dance/electro)
6) I'm Drinking Red Bull  & Rum - Beenie Man and Fambo (dancehall reggae)
7) Hold You - Gyptian (reggae)
8) Night Nurse (Kruder & Dorfmeister Remix) - Gregory Isaacs (reggae)
9) Loca - Shakira w/Dizzee Rascal (Latin)
10) Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - Katy Perry (Pop)
11) Grove Street Party - Waka Flocka Flame (Hip Hop)
12) Novacane - Frank Ocean (R&B)
13) I'm on One - DJ Khaled f/Drake, Rick Ross and Lil' Wayne (R&B)
14) Motivation - Kelly Rowland f/Lil Wayne (R&B)
15) Right There - Nicole Scherzinger w/50 Cent (R&B)
16) On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull (dance)
17) Cinema (Skrillex Remix) - Benny Benassi (dubstep)
18) Sofi Needs a Ladder - DeadMau5 (techno)
19) Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun (alternative)
20) Under Cover of Darkness - The Strokes (alternative)
21) Sunlight (Gloves Remix) - Bag Raiders (dance)
22) Stand By Me (Latin House Version) - Prince Royce (Latin)
23) It's Real - Real Estate (alternative)
24) Young Blood - The Naked and the Famous (alternative)
25) C'est La Vie (Montana & Stewart Instrumental Mix) - Colin Sales & S.U.Z.I.E. (house)
26) Primavera (f/Lety) - Francesco Gomez (Latin House)
27) Danza Kuduro - Don Omar (Latin)
28) Hello - Martin Solveig & Dragonette (dance)
29) Give Me Everything Tonight (Pitbull w/Nayer and Afrojack) (dance) 
30) Beautiful People (Disco Fries Remix) - Chris Brown (dance)
31) This is My Life - Edward Maya (House)

Wedding at Wallace Hall - Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, NYC

Our company's meme is Ambient DJ Service, "Keeping New Jersey in the Mix."  However, we regularly perform in both Pennsylvania and Manhattan.  In fact, this past weekend, both of my weddings were out-of-state, with the second being held on Park Avenue in New York City at Wallace Hall, found below the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola located on the corner of Park Avenue and 84th Street.

Like many of our clients, Christine and Lawrence learned about our company via internet research.  The couple was married in the cathedral at ground level, with the reception moving downstairs to Wallace Hall.  When first viewing a floor plan, I was wondering, how are 340 guests going to fit in this space? However, after conducting a site visit, I was pleasantly surprised by the grand scale of the room.  To fill a room this big with sound, we utilized an enhanced sound system with a sub-woofer.  Additional touches included uplighting the sweetheart table on the main stage, as well as the wood-panelled walls behind our DJ booth.

After acknowledging a list of family members from their tables, the parents entered to the downtempo  Empire State of Mind pt. 2 - Alicia Keys, before the bridal party entered to the energetic Empire State of Mind with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.  Lawrence and Christine enjoyed their First Dance to Mariah Carey's (w/Brian McKnight) "Whenever You Call." 

As per the client's preference, dinner music featured soft classical music with selections by Debussy, Chopin, Yo-Yo Ma and Andres Segovia.  A combined parent dance to Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" occurred after dinner, followed by an in-laws dance to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong.  It was also very cool that during his speech, the groom gave a shout-out to Ambient DJ Service for helping to make the day such a success!

The final hour featured a high-energy modern dance mix with smiles and hands in air!  

I do not normally comment on food in wedding logs; but in this case the food provided by Real Food Catering was exceptional - particularly the shrimp cocktail which had a Thai seasoning with hints of cilantro and coconut milk.  I must also say that the drive home was particularly interesting, resembling the video game "Crazy Taxi" with numerous human and inanimate obstacles.

Thank you Christine and Lawrence for entrusting us with your special day and putting us in an Empire State of Mind!

Our DJ booth was located on the upper level stage
(T) Uplit Sweetheart Table, (B) Peaking the Dancefloor
Mike Amoroso, our talented NYC-based web designer and assistant for the evening!
To learn more about our award-winning wedding DJ Service, visit Ambient DJ Service on the web at

Wedding at the Mansion at Ridley Creek

This past Friday, Ambient DJ Service had the honor of providing music and entertainment at Nicole and Fred's wedding reception at the Mansion at Ridley Creek in Newtown Square, PA.

The Mansion is located deep inside a state park.  As a result, the event needed to be concluded by 9 PM,  resulting in an early start time of 3:30 PM for the ceremony.  Load-ins at mansions are typically harder than at banquet halls, and this event was no exception.  For the ceremony, the bride fell in love with the sounds of the Vitamin String Quartet (performs classical cover versions of popular songs).  The bridal party entered to VSQ's version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" while the bride and her dad processed to the VSQ's version of the Arcade Fire song "Neighborhood No. 1 (Tunnels)".

After enjoying a beautiful outdoors ceremony in pleasant July weather with the ambient sounds of the woods, the action moved indoors.  Reflecting the couple's Indie rock tastes, the mix was stacked with artists such as Mumford and Sons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Adele, Wilco, Radiohead and The National.

Guests enjoyed an evening of fine dining, cocktails and dancefloor fun. The 80s were particularly popular with the ladies!  Congratulations Nicole and Fred!
The beautiful bride is walked down the aisle by her Dad
Onsite Ceremony at the Mansion at Ridley Creek
Exchanging Vows
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Fred Clothier IV!
Feeling the Beats of Ambient DJ Service
DJ Command Center
We placed an LED par can to uplight the cake table
Key Tracks:
Desire - Ryan Adams (ceremony)
Paparazzi - Cover Version by Vitamin String Quartet (ceremony)
Born This Way (dance remix) - Lady Gaga (grand entrance of bridal party)
That Time - Regina Spektor (grand entrance of bride and groom)
My Favourite Book - Stars (First Dance)
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper (open dancing)
Material Girl - Madonna (open dancing)
Home - Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros (ceremony recessional and open dancing)
Young Blood - The Naked and Famous (cocktail hour)
All I Want is You - Barry Louis Polisar (cakecutting)
Nobody Does it Better - Carly Simon (slow dance)
Harvest Moon - Neil Young (slow dance)

Special thanks to the other fine professionals working at this event:  Dan from Christina's Catering, Amy and Mert from Amy Tucker Photography, and "go-getter" Len from La Penna's Envisioned Video.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wedding at Knob Hill Golf Club

This past weekend, Ambient DJ performed at the wedding reception of Matt & Sheilla held at the Knob Hill Golf Club in Manalapan, NJ.  In addition to DJ services, we also provided uplighting and a Photo Booth.  The ballroom at Knob Hill is perfect for uplighting given its high ceilings and abundant columns.
Our Radiance Package with backlit facade and Wall Wash
Transforming the room with Uplighting (18 cans)
For cocktail hour, we provided music in the adjacent bar/grill room (the Sycamore Grille), stacking the mix with vocal performances as per the bride's preference. We included tracks by the likes of Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, the Plain White Tees, Marc Anthony; and also some modern Broadway show tunes.

The 150 or so guests moved into the main ballroom at 7 PM, and I lined up a large entourage featuring a combination of sponsors, parents, junior bridal party members, bridesmaids and groomsmen... and of course, the newlyweds!  Introductions went smoothly to the selected songs of "James Bond Theme" (Oakenfold Remix), "Soul Bossa Nova" - Quincy Jones, and "Danger Zone" - Kenny Loggins.  Sheilla and Matt's first dance song was "Awake" by Secondhand Serenade.

Between appetizers, Father Gene requested some tracks for Filipino-style line dancing.   I obliged by playing "September" - Earth Wind & Fire, followed by the "Chilli Cha-Cha."  After dinner, of course, I played the ever popular "Todo Todo Todo!"Father Gene was a great lead, and it was a refreshing surprise to see a priest at the center of the dance floor action! 

With nightfall, the uplighting really started to pop.  Throughout the reception, guests enjoyed the Ambient DJ PhotoBooth in the lobby, with some utilizing props procured from a theatrical shop. Dancing kicked in hard after dinner, opening with modern dance fared, followed later on by classic ballads.  For the Grand Finale, guests made a giant circle, with the bride and groom dancing in the center of the circle, to "That's What Friends are For."  

Impressionistic Scene of Matt & Sheilla's Final Dance
Congratulations, and many thanks to Matt and Sheilla - you were an awesome couple to work for, being so laid-back and thoughtful! Thanks to DJ Brian who operated the PhotoBooth while celebrating his 39th birthday, and to DJ Mike Bignell who pitched in on all facets of the event.  It was truly a team effort!
DJ Mike Bignell
Key Tracks:
Awake - Secondhand Serenade (First Dance)
I Loved Her First - Heartland (Father-Daughter dance)
Song for My Son (country version) - Donna Lee Honeywell (Mother-Son dance)
The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson (slow dance)
Todo, Todo, Todo! (Line Dance)
Just Dance - Lady Gaga (Party Starter)
The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra (Anniversary Dance)
I Honestly Love You - Lea Salonga (ballad)
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (sing-a-long)
I Wanna Grow Old With You - Adam Sandler (Cakecutting)
That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick & Friends (Last Dance)
Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight - The Spaniels (Encore)

For more information about Ambient DJs' award-winning wedding DJ service, please visit us on the web at  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Weekend Wedding - Christopher & Pauline

On Saturday July 2nd, I performed at the wedding reception of Christopher and Pauline at the NorthamptonValley Country Club in Richboro, PA.  Pauline learned about Ambient DJ while attending a wedding that I performed at several years ago at the Nassau Inn in Princeton.

Chris and Pauline reside in Georgia, and all of the preparations were done via e-mail and phone.  It was nice to finally meet the happy couple in-person!  Bucks County, PA is beautiful country, and the venue club had a relaxed country ambience on this beautiful warm, sunny day.

Unique touches for the couple's celebration included:

* a comedic video slideshow re-creating the couple's courtship and engagement, played just before their grand entrance;
* dramatic grand entrance of bride and groom to Sirius (use for Chicago Bulls), with basketball jargon such as "man in the middle" and "power forward" used;
* Moving speeches by the fathers of the groom and bride, with family members translating from Korean and Chinese into English, respectively. A special moment came when the groom's father was having trouble reading his speech, and the groom joined him, with cellphone flashlight in one hand, and the other hand draped over his dad's shoulder;
* A freshly-picked peaches station for party favors;
* A dinner station that included an eclectic choice of leg of lamb!;
* A sparkler send-off - what a great touch for 4th of July!

The dancefloor kicked in hard at the appropriate time, with the bride and groom in the center of the action.

The happy couple celebrating with family and friends
Cute Cake Topper
Party Favors - Freshly Picked Peaches Station!
Sparkler Send-Off!
Ambient DJs' Radiance Package
Key tracks:
* Sirius - Alan Parsons Project (grand entrance)
* Lucky - Jason Mraz with Colbie Callait (first dance)
* Jai Ho! - A.H. Rahman (party starter)
* Cupid Shuffle - Cupid (line dance)
* Firework - Katy Perry (seasonal selection)
* Tearin' Up My Heart (Boy Band throwback)
* What is Love - Haddaway (90s throwback)
* Another Night - Real McCoy (90s throwback)

Special shout-out to photographer Erika Manzano from Captured by Erika who was a pleasure to work with.  You can check out her website and awesome blog here

Saturday, July 2, 2011

4th of July Playlist

It's Fourth of July weekend, and time to fire up those grills for backyard barbecues and partake of the enjoyment made possible by the efforts of America's Founding Fathers.  These sacrifices were not insignificant, as described in "1776" written by esteemed historian David McCullough.

Recommended Reading!
Below are presented Ambient DJs' top selections for this weekend:

1) Born Free - Kid Rock (southern rock)
2) Toes - Zac Brown Band (southern rock)
3) Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen (rock)
4) Summertime - Shaggy (reggae)
5) Living in America - James Brown (funk)
6) American Pie - Don McClean (folk)
7) God Bless the U.S.A. - Lee Greenwood (folk)
8) All Summer Long - Kid Rock (southern rock)
9) Don't Wanna Go Home - Jason DeRulo (dance)
10) Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (rap)
11) Hot Summer Night - David Tavare f/2 Elvissa (dance)
12) America - Simon and Garfunkel (folk)
13) America - Neil Diamond (pop standard)
14) Fire Burning - Sean Kingston (dance)
15) Stars & Stripes Forever - U.S. Marine Marching Band
16) Jammin' - Bob Marley (reggae)
17) Pink Houses - John Cougar Mellencamp (rock)
18) Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett (beach music)
19) My Kinda Party - Jason Aldean (country)
20) Freedom 90 - George Michael (90s)

Please comment with your own favorites!

Last Fourth of July's Wedding Reception of Marina and Sabir
Tomorrow, we'll be rocking out at the Soffel's summer party with some of these tunes, and many more!

To book Ambient DJ for your next summer party, please visit us on the web at