Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills, MI – Wedding Reception

Even though I’ve deejayed at the nicest venues in the state I have never had the pleasure of working a party here at the Iroquois CLub. What I really liked too is that it’s only 10 minutes from my house in Royal Oak. So — first off it’s pretty darn centtrally located for friends coming from the northern burbs and south down Woodward in Detroit itself. And as most of us know 696 connects all those metro Detroit Suburbs to the east and the west really well. NEXT — the food was excellent which probably wasn’t hurt by the A1 presentation of the food. The staff was friendly and the facility was spotless. I’d say only that groups below 100 will fit best. I can’t recall their max capacity but when the wait staff member told me I could only imagine how crowded that would have been. As a dj I thought it had a great layout to keep people interested and dancing all night long. With that said I give this place 2 thumbs up on all fronts – food, facility, staff and danceability.

If you need some help with your music – let me (DJ Dan Nichols) know. http://www.michigan-wedding-dj.com


Somebody Please Stop Playing That Crappy Music

Frustrated from boring dinner and cocktail music?Honestly as a wedding dj I am not one to pass judgement on music per se’… In fact I don’t call any music “crap”. I just think it’s often easy to play something richer and more provocative. I want music to do what music can do – make people feel. It happens that as a wedding dj with over 1000 Michigan Weddings to my credit, I’ve played “easy” and I’ve played thoughtful. Thoughtful is way cooler. It takes a little extra effort on my part to make the music experience better. To illustrate what I mean, I recall 23 years ago walking down the halls at a banquet facility and hearing wedding receptions with a 6pm start using the same cd and roughly on the same exact song track. I’m not kidding. It’s not that Kenny G was bad – it was simply that the dj’s were playing to the lowest common denominator. They did what was super easy. They threw on a cd that many people thought was pretty good and let it play. No real consideration for how to make it better. Things haven’t changed much either. People, no matter the occupation generally speaking play to a level of “good”. As I see it — good is the enemy of great. NOW… don’t get me wrong. When the dancing starts in all candor I play my share of wedding classics BECAUSE — I know they fill a floor better than the more obscure stuff. UNLESS… UNLESS a crowd is willing to go somewhere different with me. Some crowds will – most won’t. Both crowds are fine – are take either one as long as the floor is hopping.

So, with that being said — why should I play a bunch of music during cocktail and dinner that really isn’t relevant to anyone in the room short of maybe Grandma and Grandpa. I’m 47 years old and I know friends of mine of the same age that have daughters getting married. Sure, at 47-55 years old, we know some Sinatra and sure – maybe even some Kenny G but that wasn’t the music our memories were infused with. For me I remember the greatest summer of my life was 2 summers out of high school and Guns N Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine” was the tune I was wakeboarding to. I remember the late 70’s with Pink Floyd, The Who, The Stones and the stuff my dad listened to like Elvis, Anne Murray, Barry Manilow and yes… even the Village People. Sure my parents influenced my musical likes and dislikes – didn’t yours? Van Halen, AC/DC, Joan Jett, REM, The Cranberries – all that 80’s stuff is well etched in the recesses of my mind. Truth is, your parents might be older than me but I’ll bet they’re more like “Rolling Stones older” than they are Billie Holiday, Dean Martin or Louis Armstrong older.

So, here is my point. When booking your wedding dj have the conversation about cocktail and dinner music. Share what I am sharing here. (or of course you could just book me) It makes me think… in June I’ve got an event at St. Andrews in Detroit. For me, I knew why they chose the venue — an independent dj with years of experience can connect dots like that because they meet you one on one. So, this client likes the whole Detroit thing. They want to show it off to friends and especially out of town family and what better way than renting St. Andrews. Some really amazing musicians came out of and played St. Andrew decades back. I took it upon myself while talking on the phone to first and foremost make sure that it was the Nostalgia that had them booking there. After booking them, I asked if they might want me to share a bit about the venue with the guests just before dinner gets served so the guests can truly feel the history at that venue. I then asked if they’d be cool with me playing some music from those artists during dinner. NOT loudly, not obnoxiously but using it to further set the stage for a great evening. So sure I could have just played some dinner or cocktail standards but then they wouldn’t have squeezed every single drop of their intention out of that venue. It would have been music in St. Andrews, not musicians that actually played at St. Andrews (and “The Shelter” below).

So, in closing know this. You’re not going to get this kind of service from someone that doesn’t get why it matters in the first place. You’ll get it from a pro that knows how important it is to pull people into an event, not just have them at the event. You’re not going to get this kind of service when the dj doesn’t really know you. Weddings are pricey, hire a great wedding dj, compromise elsewhere. And if you have to ask your guy to do these things then it’s highly unlikely he really gets why you want this to begin with. Not every facility has the history St. Andrews has and honestly sharing a venues history isn’t the norm but playing music that matters sure should be.

oh… just in case you wondered this is a cut from the email I sent my bride and groom shortly after booking them.

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Hi, ————

Would you want me to possibly share the significance of St. Andrews – MAYBE this blurb?

“The building we’re in, Saint Andrew‘s Hall is a Detroit music venue and concert hall. Formerly the meeting place for the Saint Andrew‘s Society of Detroit but never a church,[1] the building is now a host of live bands and “Notorious” DJs..

Since 1980, St. Andrews has been bringing trendsetting music to Detroit — St. Andrews has hosted famous acts during the ’80s and ’90s, such as Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Verve, Nirvana, R.E.M. and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Underneath US, is a venue called “The Shelter”. it hosts various live music acts and DJs. and is best known for being one of the first stages Eminem performed.”

I was just thinking this through — wouldn’t it be cool to share that just after the toasts/prayer and then play a tune or 2 from each of those acts mentioned above during dinner?? Just a thought.

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Michigan Wedding DJ
248-648-1669

 


2015 March Michigan Wedding DJ Post

After 24 years in this business I can say that the 20 year old that shows up with his laptop doesn’t get the following. It’s:
1) Not about the DJ – it’s about the family and friends having a great time with the bride and groom. Of course the dj is a part of the whole system but not the only part. It’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s a dance with the “whole”.
2) It’s about serving a client beyond the music. A good dj mixes great music. A great dj does the same but he or she also mixes the entire evening. It’s about good flow from the first guest arriving to the last dance of the night.
3) It’s about sensing where a group is at energetically and going there to serve them. You’ve gotta match their rhythms as a dj. You can lead them somewhere but you can’t force them to go. A good dj feels the crowd in the way a great chef brings all the ingredients together irregardless of what the recipe says – it is a state of flow. 

I’ll be posting again soon. Possibly in a week. I want to tackle more in depth the whole dinner music discussion. I’m on a mission to make that part of the evening part of the party too. Not loud but fun.


Michigan or The Islands – An Island Themed Wedding Reception

tropical michigan wedding reception theme

It was a beautiful day in Troy, MI as Tony and Christy got married in Dearborn, MI and partied at Petruzello’s in Troy.

Location – Petruzello’s in Troy, MI
Bride & Groom – both soon to be doctors and unbeknownst to them I dj’d for 2 of their guests last year in Ann Arbor. Anna and Joe. Anna met them in medical school. Anyway, Tony and Christy were super cool, super polite and personable and just great people to be with. Apples don’t fall far from the tree as their friends and family were just as great to work with.
Facility – well it’s Petruzello’s – The Location is superb and the facility is really well managed with Frank and ma man… Michael! It was well lit as well. Advanced Lighting and Sound tweaked it out with some lights that complimented what Petruzello’s already had. I liked especially the under the table (head table and cake table) lighting. I always think that’s a cool effect. Even if it’s all you light.
Different – they did a nautical theme and had tropical colors in the room, a palm tree gobo on the floor and complimentary colors to give it that Caribbean Jimmy Buffett feel (yeah, I trademarked that description).
Timing – Traffic that day was hellacious all over metro Detroit. I am glad I leave with a ton of extra time for such setbacks because even the surface sideroads were bad. So, they were about 25 minutes late getting there. Between Michael (the banquet manager) and I we bumped some things around and worked it out with the kitchen and staff. Bride was a little stressed over it but I kept reminding her to relax, this was her day.  That’s why one should hire wedding pros – we know how to make things smooth no matter what goes down.
Party Favors – They donated “favor funds” to a needy cause.
Music – because of the island themed reception, she wanted reggae and steel band. After being a dj on the Infinity and Ovation Yachts for over a decade, i was well prepared for this music and have to tell you — it was super. It put people into a bright happy mood. Steel band is soothing and it fit with their style. She also had about 25 songs she new she wanted with everything from Rod Stewart to Flo-Rida, Usher and Eric Clapton for her dad. The great thing is the songs were super choices and really didn’t limit my ability as a dj. I should say the choices didn;t handicap me – they were fitting for the crowd as well as the bride and groom. All in all I think the steel band music made me really re-think what i do as a dj. I already know the dj sets the rhythm and pace of the evening but I was re-reminded how being just a bit different can really impact the flavor of an evening. I heard a guy on his cell phone telling whoever that “yeah, they got this whole laid back island thing going with the music and decor, it’s really cool”. Hiring the right dj is everything to making your Michigan Wedding Reception be all it can be.

Food – baked chicken, beef, potatoes,  pasta – well Petruzello’s always does a super job with their food. It wouldn;t be a diet my cardiologist would recommend on a daily basis but then again if you want tasty find me a meal that would? I really liked the salad actually. It was a huge family style bowl with plenty for guests seeking seconds.
Cocktail hour – guests were greeted with a pink martini ala the island theme. Music was very much the same as dinner with the reggae stuff and steel band as well as Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, Buffett, Marley, Lucky Brown (Michigan Reggae Guy) and a few others.

Michigan Wedding DJ – “The Most Professional DJ in Michigan”
248-648-1669


Baseball Themed Wedding – Very Cool Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers

detroit tiger paper cocktail napkinsI did an event recently for a couple that were both baseball fans of rival teams. It was at Petruzello’s in Troy, MI. If you look at the pictures you’ll see how they named each table according to a pro baseball player’s name. They used vernacular germane to baseball for stuff in the room. For example the head table was named the dugout. The seating cards were baseball tickets and really well done at that. You will see they had themed napkins at the bar for Detroit Tigers and Yankees fans. They also used the tickets to reflect the guests name and their section. Even the barbode reflected the date of their wedding. I’d go on but the pictures sort of tell the story. Remember I am not a professional photographer and these were shot with an iphone on the fly. I am instead “The Most Professional DJ in Michigan”.

Michigan Wedding DJ Dan Nichols ( formerly Boogie Brothers Productions )
248-648-1669

baseball ticket name cardsSection Seating Wedding Table CardsOther Side of Wedding Section Seating PictureSection Seating Card Wedding Table PictureGroom Hoisted in the air by his buddies.


Originating your wedding vows… Make Your Michigan Wedding Ceremony Special

As a dj here in Michigan I play music for both wedding receptions AND ceremonies. Over the years I’ve definitely become accustomed to being witness to the exchange of vows, as they’re one of the most heartfelt statements one can be apart of, especially if you’re writing them yourself. I really like how Harmonie Krieger sets the stage for your most romantic exchange by giving a few tips on writing original, personalized wedding vows. This is a great video for anyone that is taking the time, thought, and consideration to draft up their own set of promises for that special day, and I’m in full agreement with Harmonie – That writing and exchanging of your own vows can and will be one of the most significant and profound experiences of your lives. So let’s raise a glass and toast to another great Michigan Wedding Ceremony.


Choosing a Reading for Your Michigan Wedding Ceremony

Here are a number of really great tips to help you choose a reading that’s right for you, your fiance, and your family. I really like how she mentions the importance of opinions of your family, as well as the advice to reference any religious texts that may be sacred and relevant to your families religious values. Another great tip is to consult your Officiant, as mentioned, to ensure that there is a comfort level in your chosen reading. Above and beyond all, make sure your reading is personalized and meaningful for YOU, as many times parents and others can influence your selection and subtract from the meaningful and relevant choice you’ve made. Michigan is a beautiful place to have a wedding ceremony especially when it’s got your signature on it.


Michigan Wedding Ceremony Decor

This episode brings ceremony decorations to light and the various details associated with many of the decisions you’ll be facing at your Michigan Wedding Ceremony. Silk or real flower? Which colors should I use? Should lighting replace fabric? And most importantly, which of our options allow us to remain within our budget? These are all serious questions and each should be addressed with a creative mindset aimed at making your ceremony both memorable and personalized. As mentioned, many of the details of decor can be substituted for other, less expensive, though completely creative items such as – Substituting feathers for flowers, hiring a linen company instead of buying linen, choosing center pieces that denote special guests at their tables, as well as color-coordinating lighting and fabric.


New Years Eve Reception at The Colony Club in Detroit

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update and I have a few events I want to share with you. Well, this wedding reception on New Years Eve in the “D” was pretty darn cool. The bride and groom were totally cool and were actually referred to me by wedding coordinator Misty Trompeter of Bells & Bliss . She said “Dan, i just think you guys would be a good fit.” Well she was right.

I’d have to tell you that one of the greatest things about this reception besides the dancing was the food. Here we are at this very high end event venue and in each corner of the room were food stations. Station 1 had the busiest of all food offerings. They had tacos — not off the shelf standard Ortega variety taco shells but real mexican village style with nacho chips that were out of this world. In fact I need to contact the chef to find out where he got them. Corner number 2 with the second busiest station had stir fry with peanut and soy sauce to lay over the great chicken, shrimp and rice. Station number 3 was a pasta bar and the least busy station was I think prime rib and turkey. I am telling you people were getting 3rds and 4ths as I played music with Detroit Roots per the bride’s and groom’s request. Because I couldn’t help myself I threw out some cool salsa and merengue music into the mix (must have been those tacos) including Ray Barretto and Grover Washington. So their you have it – the food really stood out because they took the leap and went for it. Don’t get me wrong most of the food I eat in this industry is excellent but this was “excellenter” (I love adding er to words).

In addition they did this evening in a strolling fashion. What that means is there is no real assigned seating, stations open up and people are free to go anywhere in the room.
AND it also allows anyone at anytime to get up and start dancing. This is not always a good thing though for a number of reasons but it worked out fine at this Detroit Michigan Wedding Reception with Michigan Wedding DJ – yours truly.
Musically we were all over the board but the younger generation was doing most of the voting with their bodies so there was a decent dose of hip-hop both old and new sprinkled in with their more classic motown requests.

OH… one more thing they did right was to give me some direction on what they were after musically but also they made sure it was ultimately up to me to do what was necessary to get people out dancing.

Courtesy of Mod4.com

Courtesy of Mod4.com


Michigan Wedding in Keego Harbor

Ok, this was one of those weddings I was a bit concerned about having all the right music for. The bride and groom had different musical tastes that bordered on very “indie” in some cases. They also had some pretty normal requests too — so frankly that soothed my dj soul. What gave me a bit more concern (nothing too heavy, I don’t get freaked anymore – I’ve seen all kinds of people over 18 years of doing weddings in Michigan) was when the guests started to arrive many of them had the very “hip” rock star hairstyles, there were many piercings and a groomsman asked if he could call me dj fancy pants. OK… here is how it all panned out. It was super, they came to have a good time and the thing they did right was pick some stuff to express their style at key points – during bridal entrance, bouquet and garter and the other few main bridal songs. Beyond that they understood that though they liked a lot of stuff their guests wouldn’t necessarily know, we could go a bit more mainstream during the rest of the evening shy of a few (as in 3) other requests. My favorite from their picks for dancing and one that could possibly even work with other crowds was “Detroit 67″ by Sam Roberts. It was simply a great song and man oh man the guy sounds just like Bono. Anyway, they gave me the freedom to do what i needed to do to get people dancing but still expressed themselves during key points of the evening. Also, they both enjoyed dancing and that never ever hurts the dance floor. OH, lest i forget the groom was a marine and he cut the cake with his sword and that was pretty cool too!

Ok, that’s it for now.
Michigan Wedding DJ