Tag Archives: Music

finding the music

I’ve had music on my mind since our second meeting with Darin of Entertainment Plus.  The second meeting, for those of you who don’t know, is when you pick out the all the music.  The songs that take you from your first step down the aisle, to the last dance of the evening.

Below, I’ve outlined all the places you’ll need music throughout the day and a few suggestions to get you started (with a few personal faves sprinkled in – for good measure).

Also, at the bottom of very bottom, I’ve embedded a playlist with all the songs mentioned in the post. For your listening pleasure.

Ceremony Music

Prelude (when guests are being seated)

Traditional – think Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and lots of violins.

Bach – Ava Maria

Beethoven – Fifth Symphony

Mozart – Greensleeves

Modern – look for soft crooners such as Nora Jones, Enya and Andrea Bocelli.

Andrea Bocelli – Amapola

Enya – Fairy Tale

Norah Jone – Those Sweet Words

Or you can go completely badass and have your amazingly, talented uncle play his guitar.

Processional (bridal party walking down the aisle)

Traditional – same as above.

Bach – Sheep May Safely Graze

Pachebel in Canon D

Trumpet Voluntary

Modern – modern in the sense of using lyrics, not necessarily modern artists. A little different. A little memorable.

Celine Dion – A New Day Has Come

Josh Grobin – You Raise Me Up

Storybook Love – Mark Knopfler

The Bride’s March (yep – we get our own song. we’re that special.)

Traditional – you know, more hymns.

Here Comes the Bride (tons of versions) – not my favorite, but a classic.

Pachebel in Canon D (assuming you don’t use it for the processional)

Bach – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring


Chrisette Michele – Golden

Enya – Only Time

Andre Bocelli – Con Te Partiro (I hear some celebs have used it. Reason enough.)

Recessional (back up the aisle as man + wife)


Mendelessohn – Wedding March

Handel – Water Music Hornpipe

Henry Purcell – Trumpet Tune


Rascal Flatts – God Bless the Broken Road

Dashboard Confessional – Stolen

Donna Lewis – At the Beginning (for the 80s lover. totally guilty here.)

Cake Cutting

The Archies – Sugar, Sugar

U2 – The Sweetest Thing

Pat Benetar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot (if you’re into food fighting)

Father/Daughter Dance

Note: On parent dances, Darin, of Entertainment Plus warns to be careful on song length, as modern songs can be a bit lengthier compared to the older, classics. Long songs with mom/dad can get awkward if you don’t have footwork planned. Thanks for the tips, Darin!

Paul Simon – Fathers and Daughters (mine + dad’s. may need to practice a few steps with this one :))

Heartland – I Loved Her First

Bob Carlisle – Butterfly Kisses

Luther Vandross – Dance With My Father

Mother/Son Dance

Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World (ahh the goldens)

Rascal Flatts – My Wish

Celine Dion – Because You Loved Me

First Dance

Marc Cohn – True Companion (LOVE, love this song. It’s not our first song, but thank you  Kirk + Heather for introducing me to its beauty)

Elvis – Can’t Help Falling in Love (please don’t ruin this by using Michael Buble’s version. Stick with The King.)

Alison Krauss – When You Say Nothing At All (a long time fave)

gold mine of good first dance songs right here

Garter Toss

Elvis – A Little Less Conversation

George Thorogood & The Destroyers – Bad to the Bone

ZZ Top – Legs

Bouquet Toss

Single Ladies – it’s one of the most popular songs for the ‘toss’. I don’t care for it. These ladies are aware they’re single.

Kool & The Gang – Ladies Night

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Madonna – Express Yourself

Last Dance

Edwin McCain – I Could Not Ask for More

Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight

Lifehouse – Everything (note: it’s a good six minutes – maybe not the worst way to end the night with your love though)

Rock on,

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Victory #13 Pre-Ceremony Music

My uncle {dad’s brother} – a wonderful and talented musician – agreed to play his guitar for us, pre-wedding ceremony.  We’re including a cocktail hour {or rather, cocktail half hour} to allow our guests to dribble in, take photos for the guestbook, mingle and have a drink or two before the ceremony begins.  My uncle played his guitar as guests were being seated at his daughter’s wedding almost two years ago . . . and he sounded absolutely beautiful. 

This is how I imagine it going:

Guests: “Who’s that playing the guitar?”

Me: “My uncle.”

complete with a big smile on my face

makes me pretty proud

how cool is that

My Uncle Pat and dad @ my cousin, Heather’s wedding in 2008

{I have such a cool family to help me out so much}


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Ask the Expert – Darin Clark of Entertainment Plus, DJ

Here is the full interview from the Yakima Valley Bride’s article – get the new issue on stands now!

Need more info on deejay’s, don’t forget this post.  

Interviewing a deejay soon? Don’t forget this or this.

Stone Castle Photography

Ask the Expert

The founder of one of the area’s top Disc Jockey services answers questions about the benefits of hiring a DJ and the importance of entertaining your guests.

D A R I N  C L A R K  of  E N T E R T A I N M E N T   P L U S   DJ

IN THE AGE OF ITUNES, many couples are tempted to save a few bucks by personalizing a play list and handing the “DJ” responsibility to a friend.  I was once one of those people.  However, after interviewing Darin Clark, owner of Entertainment Plus DJ, I have personally come away with a fresh perspective on my very own wedding entertainment.  Read on to discover the benefits of using a professional for your reception music and what all couples should know about hiring a disc jockey for their big day.

YAKIMA BRIDE: How did you get involved with disc jockeying?

DARIN CLARK: I used to be a dance instructor, which was a job that took me all over the country and kept me away from home on the weekends.  In the early ‘90s my kids began hitting their teens and I decided I needed to stay home a little more.  I wanted to do something that my son would be interested in and since I’d never met a teen that didn’t like loud music, I just decided to go all in with it.  In 1993 I launched Entertainment Plus DJ, a company my family and I could both enjoy.

YAKIMA BRIDE: Why do you think hiring a DJ is important?

DARIN CLARK: Your D.J. is responsible for the biggest part of the night’s success and can take your reception to the next level.  We want to help everyone have fun.  I believe no other single element of your reception will provide a greater impact for you and your guests.

YAKIMA BRIDE: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?

DARIN CLARK: There has been a big misconception in the industry that DJ’s are just there to party, get free drinks and hit on the women – that’s not what we’re there for.  Most DJ’s today are highly trained professionals on entertaining the guests and achieving the desires of the bride and groom. At Entertainment Plus DJ, we have a very strict policy on such behaviors – we are solely there to provide you the service you’re expecting.

YAKIMA BRIDE: If a couple chooses to have live music at their wedding, do they still need a DJ?

DARIN CLARK: I believe it can enhance the experience. A  DJ does a lot more than just play music; we also act as the Master of Ceremony (MC), providing professional announcements and keeping the flow of the reception.  If the budget allows and a couple does decide to have both, the DJ can provide microphones and background music for vocalists as well.  The DJ also has the ability to play a wider array of music that the band may not be able accomplish.   Switching between the two styles of music throughout the wedding can work well if the band and the DJ are on the same page and not trying to steal the spotlight from one another.   

YAKIMA BRIDE: What are a few mistakes couples make when choosing a DJ?

DARIN CLARK: The first thing is not researching the industry enough when they’re hiring and second, is going by the price only.  Prices can range from $200-$2,000 for a show but the most important thing is whether they fit your personality or not.  Sure, money may dictate who you ultimately decide to go with, but that also doesn’t mean that the $2,000 DJ is the best decision for you either. 

YAKIMA BRIDE: What should couples look for when hiring a DJ?

DARIN CLARK: It may sound obvious but anytime a bride is dealing with anything in the wedding industry, they need to make sure to have a contract.  Believe it or not, a lot of D.J.’s in the area are not using them which can lead to disagreements with payment and reliability.  If you don’t have a contract, your chances of getting dumped for a higher pay check are more likely. 

YAKIMA BRIDE: What is the worst mistake a DJ can make?

DARIN CLARK: Lack of communication – thinking they know the couple without asking enough questions.  A lot of DJ’s will assume they know what their guests like based on their age or looks, but that’s not always enough.  You have to plan the evening together to make sure the bride and groom get exactly what they want.  With weddings, there is no second chance.

YAKIMA BRIDE: What is the one thing you wish all your clients knew when working with you?

DARIN CLARK: How much we actually care about them and making their day perfect. *

 Visit www.yakimabride.com/music for more information on the area’s music selection and



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My Yakima Valley Bride Article

Yay! I’m so happy it finally came out! It’s such a cute issue and so beautifully done.  Grab your copy now at Safeways, Top Food or the Herald. The Spring|Summer 2010 issue is filled with tons of wedding shoe flair {and not just for the ladies}, deejay and wedding planner advice and a few real Yakima weddings to make you ooh and aah!


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Victory #8: the deejay


{Stone Castle Photography}

dancing = tons of fun

You can let loose, free your mind, whirl + twirl, work off those cake and cocktail calories . . .

My family is the “let’s have fun”, dancin’ type and we will definitely be having a dance par-tay at our wedding. 

Got my friends.

Got my fam.

Got a dance-worthy occasion.

The last piece of the puzzle, a rad deejay – and I got him last weekend!

{check out my little interview/article in the new Yakima Valley Bride – I will post it later tonight}

To be honest, we did think about doing the whole iPod thing. . . . buuut, I don’t have time to make a playlist, complete with a wide range of booty-shakin’ tunes, find somewhere to rent speakers, find someone to set them up, rent mics, etc. etc.  It’s a hassle. Is there even money saved at that point, anyway?

Maybe yes. Maybe no. One thing I do know, is its one less thing for the me {the bride, the intern, the mom to a puppy and fiancé to a very busy basketball coach} to stress about. And that makes it sound so much more wonderful.  So, we made the decision to put in someone else’s hands.

I am picky about the music I want, and when I talked with Entertainment Plus DJ, I felt confident that I’d be getting what I wanted, not what the deejay thought was best.  The deejay however, isn’t called a Master of the Ceremony (MC) for nothin’!  They know how to play the tunes that keep the people on the dance floor and the reception moving throughout the night . . . I do not.

While I’ve got my wonderful deejay booked, however, I am still unsure about which kind of music I want played at certain points, if I want the garter toss, money dance . . . you get the idea.  How interactive do I want my guy to be? All things I have yet to ponder and mull over.  I trust Entertainment Plus that if I am against a certain “game”, forced activity, funky costume or whatever, that they will listen to me. I just want some cool tunes and a fun atmosphere, bottom line.

However, as a bride you need to think very thoroughly about what you want vs. what can happen.  If it weren’t for what this wonderfully helpful {and recent} Yakima bride had to say in reference to her deejay, I would never have thought about this stuff :
“…he refused to play a request my BROTHER made saying it was ‘inappropriate’ and further into the night he played a song I didn’t want and when I told my MOH to ask him to change…he replied to her “if the bride wants me to change the song you can tell her she needs to come to me.  Additionally after our toasts, he had us do a cheesy pose and smile for the camera…” 

So for my part, I realize I need to be up-front and forward with my concerns and thoughts in order to achieve the effect I expect.  Talk with the deejay and let him know the point of contact.  That’s something all brides should think about – don’t just assume it’ll turn out like you want.  Know what you’re looking for and make sure to convey those thoughts before they happen.  No cheesy, forced poses for me, please!

Still looking for your deejay? Check out YV Bride’s music list.

Still convinced you want to go the iPod route? Let this article help you make that happen. Or check out this horror story so you can take preventitve measures.

Still on the fence? Brush up on what you need to know BEFORE you choose an iPod for your event.

Still don’t have a clue? Here you go :).




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Remembering Michael


Last week we lost an American ::music icon::.  Since Jackson’s death, his songs have saturated the airwaves, continuing through the weekend and even trickling into the following week.  Aside from the continuous replay on the radio, I have also reminisced with my own collection of MJ favorites.  Research from Nielsen BD reported (after monitoring over 1,600 stations) that for the week ending June 28, Michael’s airplay was up 1,735%.  Now that’s crazy!

Surrounded by Michael Music Mania, I started thinking about his songs in relation to weddings. Always in research mode, I found a fantastic little {Michael Jackson wedding playlist} — courtesy of Wedding Bits Blog — that will not only honor the King of Pop on your big day but will keep your guests entertained through the night.   As Wedding Bits suggests, “The Way You Make Me Feel” can give an exciting twist to a first dance, you can sway with your dad to “I’ll Be There” for the father/daughter number or “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” can be used to entice everyone to {shake it} on the dance floor! 

I hope you enjoy this little tribute as you bid adieu to the late, great Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson Wedding Songs  — follow the link for the playlist


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