I have the best job in the world!

I love to browse through photos from my past events. They make me smile. What makes me smile even more are the letters of gratitude I receive from my clients every year. I love my job. :)

“Dear Rich,

Two months have passed and we are still delighting in the memories of the day that Stephanie and Tom were married.

I want to thank you for the enormous part you played in making that day one of the greatest days of my life. I know that Gary, Stephanie, and Tom feel the same way. You made the reception so much fun. From your opening remarks, to sharing the significance of the cake top, to the final dance, you made it all so personal. Countless people have told us that they have never had so much fun at a wedding reception. You kept the dance floor full all evening and everyone, young and old, had a chance to enjoy their type of music.

You have a genuine gift for using music to spread joy. Thank you so much for sharing that gift with us.”

Edie Keck (Mother of the Bride)
Wedding Reception for Stephanie & Tom Little at Cinnabar Hills Country Club.

Take Me Home Tonight!

About thirty minutes before the end of the wedding reception, I had to make an announcement regarding the centerpiece giveaway. As the song faded out, I clicked on the microphone, getting ready to speak. But before I could even utter a word into the mic, a woman starting singing “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money at the top of her lungs!

It was the craziest thing. Where did she get her motivation from? A fond memory? Five shots of tequila? Whatever it was, it caught on like wildfire. All of a sudden, the entire room was singing the words to the song! In this situation, most DJ’s probably would have just stood there, or proceeded into the announcement about the centerpieces, as planned. This is just one of the many things I learned over the years: improvisation.

I knew I only had a few seconds to react to their madness or the moment would be lost. I quickly found that Eddie Money song in my library and had it playing in fifteen seconds (that’s the beauty of being all digital). EVERYONE WENT NUTS!! Just about every guest at the reception rushed the dance floor and danced and sang like they were at a concert! It was an awesome moment that took the energy level of the evening to an all-time high.

The Bride and Groom, Stephanie and Gary, rocked out with 225 of their closest friends and family at the Saratoga Country Club. To say it was an incredible reception would be an understatement. They are my favorite type of clients because of two big reasons: 1) They wanted to dance. 2) They wanted to party.

Did they dance? Yes!

Tim and Allie rocked the house at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club with their closest friends and family. Here is a shot of them during the last dance at the end the evening. Still going strong!Allie and Tim small

The Theory of Fun!

awesome dj

Big Brothers, Big Sisters

I’m very fortunate to have an amazing business, wonderful family and friends, and a beautiful wife (imported from Spain!). To show my gratitude, I love to give back to the community. I was thrilled when Big Brothers, Big Sisters called me, looking for a DJ to donate their services for their fundraiser. I played a variety of music from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s—as well as current hits from the radio—as the guests ate tasty food, sampled wine, and participated in the silent auction to raise money. It was a wonderful night. My wife—my angel—wanted to help too so she volunteered to be my assistant. Isn’t that so sweet? I just need to kiss her now!

So Much Fun in Pleasanton!

It was an absolutely beautiful day at Casa Real in Pleasanton where 160 people showed up to celebrate with Jeffrey and Lauren. Photos by the incredible Rhee Bevere. Jeffrey and Lauren’s Special Dances:

First Dance: “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray La Montagne
Father-Daughter: “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
Groom-Mother: “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand

They danced to a variety of music but preferred Motown, 80’s, and current hits. Here is a fun shot of Jeffrey and Lauren airborne!
Jeffrey, Lauren, and their parents really showed what type of people they are by choosing to make donations to three organizations in honor of their guests. What a super-classy gesture on their part. The organizations were:

Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation
Best Friends Animal Society
Mazon – A Jewish Response to Hunger

Speaking of the parents, here is a great photo of Lauren’s Mom, Bobbie, having some fun on the dance floor. I love to see the parents cut loose!

Wedding Receptions That Rock! The Book

Book coverIt’s a pretty exciting day for me professionally. I’ve been a Wedding DJ for over twenty years, but now…I am officially an author.

People had been telling me for several years that I should write a book about planning wedding receptions, so that I could share my knowledge with brides and grooms. Well, I did it and I’m very proud of the final product. Wedding Receptions That Rock! is for anyone planning a wedding reception. It’s available here: Paperback Kindle 

The cool part is that those are actually my clients (Katie and Dave Orsburn) on the cover of the book!

I Heart You!

Congratulations to my video buddy Dave Ethridge (AVR Films) and his wife Meg! They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on the beach in Half Moon Bay. Dave surprised Meg by inviting family and a few friends (including me and Silvi) as they renewed their vows right there!We all formed a heart in the sand and waited for their arrival.It was such a beautiful ceremony and the weather was perfect. It’s so cool to see how much Dave loves his wife and how excited he was to celebrate this milestone in their marriage.After the ceremony, we all went to Moss Beach Distillery for a wonderful dinner. What a beautiful evening! Special thanks to the incredible Rhee Bevere for the amazing photos, including this one below of me and Silvi as we admired the happy couple.

This is how you enter a room!

Were Katie and Dave ready to party? YES! This was a shot perfectly captured by Jeff and Julie Photography as I introduced the newlyweds to the guests waiting inside the banquet room for dinner.

Rain, Rain, Go Away.

Your Wedding day has arrived. You’ve been planning it for months (or years!) and it’s finally here. Then, unexpectedly, it rains. On you. On your guests. On everybody. During the outdoor ceremony! OMG! Don’t Freak out!! Mike and Alice did not freak out. And they were rewarded. So were their guests at beautiful Rosewood Sandhill in Menlo Park.

You may not want to hear this, but things can unexpectedly happen on your wedding day. How you react to those things will be a big indication of how your wedding day will actually turn out. Having the right attitude makes all the difference in the world. You can freak out about the rain, or get upset about the centerpieces that should have had 18 roses but only had 17, or about the kid who pulled the Bride and Groom Cake Topper off of the cake and ate it. Or, you can just blow it off (even laugh it off) as something very insignificant in comparison to the big picture. Mike and Alice decided to laugh it off. And smile it off! It was such a treat to watch. Beautiful Photos by Vero Suh Photography.The guests (me too!) could feel Alice and Mike’s positive energy and everyone fed off of that. It was amazing to watch (but not surprising). They did not let the external circumstances affect their moods. (Or maybe they were just incredible actors!) And because of that, it turned out to be one of the most incredible evenings.

Bottom line: You can obsess over the little things and let them ruin your wedding day. Or, you can just focus on what matters most (Love!) and have a blast. It’s your choice. As you can see, Mike and Alice were all smiles all the way to the end of the night. Here are a few of their special song requests for the reception:

Bridal Party Introductions: “Sirius” by Alan Parsons Project

First Dance: “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” by Dean Martin

Father-Daughter Dance: “Moon River” by Henry Mancini

Farewell Dance: “Every Time I Close My Eyes” by Babyface

BTW, kudos to the incredible staff at Rosewood Sandhill and Wedding Planner, Jean Marks, and her staff. They Rock!

A Roaring 20’s Wedding

Steve and Christine did not initially set out to do a Roaring 20’s themed wedding; it just happened! And judging by the response of their guests at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park that evening, it was a huge hit.

They started with cool table names, which included Sinatra, Crosby, Clooney, and Hepburn. Then, they bought a 1925 Sonora Phonograph from Craigslist, along with a big box of 78 rpm records. They asked me if I wouldn’t mind changing the records on the phonograph during the dinner and, of course, I said yes. I had no idea, though, that I would have to change the needle after every record!I even had to wind up the phonograph every 5 minutes since it did not run on electricity. It sure is a lot easier to play music these days! It was a lot of fun, though, and the music was beautiful. Here were some of their special songs requested:

Bridal Party Introductions: “When The Saints Go Marching In” – Louis Armstrong
First Dance: “Cheek to Cheek” – Fred Astaire
Father-Daughter Dance: “As Time Goes By” – Rosemary Clooney

They also dedicated the song “Our Love Is Here to Stay” to Christine’s parents who were celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary.

Keeping with the theme, they arrived in a 1927 Stutz. What a cool car! I want one!

Engagement Rings only $19.99 at Target!

I took this photo with my left arm stretched out in front of us just 5 minutes before I proposed to Silvi. As for the proposal, everything did not go according to plan (but we wouldn’t want to change a thing!)

My plan was simple: get the ring, spend a romantic weekend by the ocean, and pop the question. The day before Silvi and I were leaving for our romantic getaway in San Simeon, I found out “the real” engagement ring would be not be delivered on time. Oh no!

I decided to look for another ring the day we were leaving. I told her that I wanted to stop by a friendly, neighborhood Target store to get some of those jalapeño-flavored pretzels that I love. The Target had only size 7 rings, but her finger is a cute little size 4.5! So, that’s what she got! A size 7 ring with a fake 2-carat diamond. I felt like a high-roller walking out of the store with that ring. lol.

 I removed all of the songs from my Ipod and then added only one song: “Eres Para Mi” (You are for Me) by Julieta Venegas. This was the first song I bought for her when we first started seeing each other. On a bench by the ocean, I told her to listen to my ipod. As she was enjoying the song and singing out loud, I stopped a couple from Holland who were walking by and asked if they could snap some pictures because I was getting ready to propose to my girlfriend. They were so excited to be a part of it and said yes. The man took a practice picture of me hugging her and the camera died instantly! He said, “Don’t worry, I have the exact same camera as you and I always carry an extra battery”. He reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a freshly charged battery, and stuck it in our camera. Amazing! What are the chances that a guy from the other side of the world would have an extra battery that fit our camera? He ended up taking about 20 photos.

Silvi loved my proposal and we had a very romantic weekend. She also loved that I got down on one knee too. She will keep “the cheapy” ring forever because it will always be a part of our history (and she thought what I did was funny). I am so glad she has a sense of humor! Here is a picture of us with the couple from Holland. They were so sweet.

Hot Hot Hot

Ian and Joanna celebrated their big day at The Ranch Golf Club in San Jose. They started off so strong that I thought they would run out of energy, but they kept it going until the very end of the night! Photos from Vince Tarry Photography.They requested a wide variety of music including great songs from: The Temptations, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Maroon 5, Tupac, and Beyonce. Here are the songs they chose for their special dances:

First Dance: “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
Father-Daughter/Groom-Mom: “Kind & Generous” – Natalie Merchant
Farewell Dance: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Lauryn Hill

 

Here is a great shot of a traditional Jewish Dance called “The Hora”. It is always so much fun to watch because practically everyone in the room gets involved and they always have a great time.

A Rock & Roll Wedding

When I arrived at Eric and Cindy’s wedding reception to set-up, I noticed there was no guest book for people to sign on the table near the entrance. OH NO!! What happened? Did someone steal it? Were they just trying to conserve paper? Maybe someone forgot to bring it! Not quite! Eric and Cindy had the guests sign their electric guitar instead! (Eric plays guitar) What an awesome idea! Here is a picture.
Cindy and Eric certainly did many other non-traditional things on their big day which I just loved! Got a sweet tooth? Well, just step right up to their huge candy table and enjoy some M&M’s, Snickers, Red Vine’s, Skittles, Mike & Ike’s, Tootsie Rolls, and a ton of other candy. YUMMY!
In front of each place setting on the dinner tables, there was a guitar pick attached to a card that read: “In Lieu of traditional favors, a donation has been made to “Rock For Kids” in your honor.” What an awesome idea because most people don’t know what to do with those favors anyway. (unless you can eat them) Rock for Kids is a non-profit organization that provides support, hope, and inspiration to under-served children and teens. Here is their website.
To continue with the rock theme, they asked me play ” Welcome to The Jungle” by Guns and Roses during their introduction which I happily did. Here are their other special songs:

First Dance: “That’s How Strong My Love Is” – Otis Redding
Groom-Mother Dance: “Unforgettable” – Nat King Cole

What a fun night. What a unique night. What a sweet night for a super-sweet couple! (pun intended)

In The Air Tonight.

Ashley and Nick took dance lessons and choreographed their First Dance. It was the first time that I’ve ever seen the Groom actually pick up the Bride during the First Dance and swing her around. Yes, the Bride was airborne! It was awesome! Photo by Deanna Graham. The 180 guests who came to celebrate at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose boogied to 50’s, 60’s, Country, Disco, Motown, and some current stuff as well. Ashley and Nick even requested a few fun Italian songs for everyone. Variety was key and they had a great time.

First Dance: “With Me” by Sum 41
Father-Daughter Dance: “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
Groom-Mother Dance: “In My Life” by The Beatles