When it comes to choosing a song for your first dance as a married couple, it can be hard to know where to start. There’s so much great music out there! How can you possibly choose?

Jeff Stitely, our fearless leader here at Stitely Entertainment and an expert in the field for 25 years, has a few recommendations to help the process along.

First, he says, when considering a song, pay attention to how it makes you feel. Does it give you chills? Make you smile? Do you love the feeling you get when you hear it? If so, those are sure signs of a great song choice!

Second, pay attention to the lyrics. Do they resonate with you? Do they reflect your outlook on life, love, and/or relationships? If so, great! Looks like you’ve got a contender.

On the other hand, what if the song makes you feel great, and you love what the song has to say about life/love/relationships in the first two verses and the chorus… but then the third verse takes a left turn into darker territory? (What if the people who were so in love at the beginning of the song break up? Or what if the person’s love is unrequited? etc.)

Don’t give up on that song just yet – there are ways we can make it work!

If you’ve booked a live band, it can be as simple as changing a few words – past tense can become present tense, for example – or even omitting that last verse entirely. It’s as easy as that! If you’ve booked a DJ, it’s possible to fade the song out before that troublesome verse comes up. Either way, you have options that will help to make your first dance extra special.

Here’s a great example of how someone chose their perfect first dance song. Consider Jeff Stitely’s story:

“When I got married, I was a jazz drummer and loved all the old classic ballads. My favorite song was called “My One and Only Love”. The lyric starts with “The very thought of you makes my heart sing” and the whole song is that scrumptious in addition to being one of the most beautiful melodies ever written from that era. Maybe two other people in the country chose that song but we didn’t care about that. It is a personal choice. Check it out.”

Still need inspiration? Here’s a list of the top 10 most popular first dance songs of 2016 according to the music streaming service, Spotify:

 

  1. Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)
  2. At Last (Etta James)
  3. You Are the Best Thing (Ray LaMontagne)
  4. All of Me (John Legend)
  5. A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
  6. Make You Feel My Love (Adele)
  7. I Won’t Give Up (Jason Mraz)
  8. Everything (Michael Buble)
  9. Better Together (Jack Johnson)
  10. Amazed (Lonestar)

 

wedding band song

I am generally not a fan of new bands and when I say new, I mean bands that were formed after the year 2000.  One Republic is an exception to that rule, as are the Black Keys, but that is a post for another day.

One Republic got it’s start in 2003 according to Wikipedia, but they didn’t hit my radar until my daughter hit her teen years.The band’s recent hit “Counting Stars” has become a highly requested song at the weddings where the Stitely Orchestra performs.  I heard their latest single from their 2013 album Native called Love Runs Out.  That title doesn’t scream “wedding song”, but there is just something about it that makes me think it will be requested by more than one couple.

Dancing to a Chicago wedding band

Stitely Orchestra, Chicago Groove Collective and 312 Chicago all get a kick out of learning fun new songs for our clients.  What do you think?  Will Love Runs Out be the next big wedding hit?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE5WscjdNZs

This song has been everywhere since its release in October 2013. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams has been super successful, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and charts in 23 other countries. It started as the background music for the On Demand trailer of Despicable Me 2, and in 2014, the song was covered in the 100th episode of Glee. 

To coincide with the single release, 24hoursofhappy.com was launched to broadcast “the world’s first 24 hour music video.” The four-minute song is repeated with people dancing around Los Angeles and miming along.

Williams himself appears 24 times on the hour, and there are a number of celebrity cameos including Kelly Osbourne, Magic Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Carell, Jamie Foxx, Ana Ortiz, and JoJo, along with the minions from Despicable Me 2.

The original video spawned many cover videos on YouTube in which people from different cities throughout the world dance along with the song, like this one from Paris.

I’m thinking we’re going to be getting a good amount of requests for this song at weddings. I hope so! What an amazing message for one of the happiest days of a person’s life.

Check out the official music video below, and clap along!

We are totally loving this song!

Pompeii

Bastille are an English rock band formed in 2010 in London.  The four-piece consists of members; Dan Smith, Chris Wood, William Farquarson and Kyle Simmons. The name of the band comes from Bastille Day, which occurs on the same day as Smith’s birthday, July 14th.

In December 2010, Bastille signed a record contract with Virgin Records, and started gaining steam. Their debut single, “Overjoyed” was  released in April 2012. Their second single followed in August 2012, and shares the name as the band’s first studio album: “Bad Blood.” That song gained moderate success in the UK, charting at ninety. “Flaws,” the third song from Bad Blood, debuted at number twenty-one.

That brings us to this killer song, “Pompeii.” This jam was released to huge demand in February 2013.  It charted at number two in the UK and number five in the US.  The band has been nominated for four Brit Awards in 2014, including for British Breakthrough Act, British Group, British Single of the Year and won British Album of the Year. As of February 2014, Bastille have sold over 2.07 million records in the UK alone.

I first noticed them when they performed on Saturday Night Live on January 25, 2014. Kill City.

Check out the official video:

The future is here: tech-savvy couples are live video streaming their nuptials online.

In this age of destination weddings, and when brides and grooms hail from different parts of the country, it’s a way for friends and family who can’t attend the event to watch from afar. Also, it’s a heck of a lot less expensive to watch from the comfort of your couch in your jammies, than spend the average $539.00 it costs to attend a wedding. But…

… What about the loss of intimacy, excitement, and enjoyment that guests experience by being present at the wedding? Hugging and congratulating the bride and groom, dancing alongside them, eating the cake!!! Are these moments that should be experienced firsthand?

What do you think? Would you live stream your wedding?

11_09-24 Binney-Saari_0545 -TIMOTHY WHALEY

Not into sports? Really into sports? Either way, this sounds like fun.

For the third year in a row, Billboard.com is asking pop fans to vote for their favorite songs on a bracket that looks pretty familiar…

march-madness-2014-990

Visit the website HERE to get started. Let the games begin!

I have adored this man for years and years. From his Grammy Award winning and double platinum “When Harry Met Sally” soundtrack in 1989 and the best-selling Christmas album of 1993 “When My Heart Finds Christmas,” to his most recent studio success “Every Man Should Know.”

He has appealed to my ears musically, and appealed to my eyes on film and TV roles, in his screen debut “Memphis Belle,” the beyond romantic “Hope Floats,” and the hip and hilarious “Will and Grace,” to name a few.

He’s done stage (Broadway revival of “The Pajama Game”), he gives back (Musicians’ Village in New Orleans), and he’s a loyal family man (married to former Victoria’s Secret model Jill Goodacre, they have 3 daughters).

Basically, he’s spent my formative years showing me what an ideal male looks like. Swoon.

I’m so glad he is being introduced to a younger, broader audience with American Idol. He’s straight up killing it on the show, by giving great advice, being truthful yet kind, and bringing it onstage. Just what AI needs to save it from irrelevance.

Here he is on American Idol singing “And I Love Her,” made famous by The Beatles:

And here he is doing what he does best – jamming on the piano singing his original “Come By Me.”

 

 

 

 

 

Let me introduce you to an incredible artist: Adele.

What’s that? You’ve already heard of her? Of course you have. She’s been pretty high profile for years, especially with her most recent 2011 smash album “21.”

I, like many, enjoy listening (and painfully singing along) to Adele’s music.  It’s always a delight to see my musical tastes validated, and they are by how often she is requested for wedding music. Many people view “21″ as the ultimate break-up album, and Adele as the ultimate break-up artist. But to hurt that much from a relationship comes from loving deeply. The woman knows love, and isn’t that what a wedding is all about?

These are the three most recent requests for Adele we have received from brides:

“Make You Feel My Love” from her first studio album “19.”

One and Only from “21.”

Lovesong from “21.”

As if I needed another reason to crush on Robert Downey Jr., turns out he has a killer singing voice too?

Back in October of 2011 Sting celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. He was joined on his favorite tunes by fellow superstars Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen… and Robert Downey Jr.

Turns out Sting and RDJ have been pals for awhile now. Back in 2006, both appeared on Ellen to promote the film “A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints,” with Sting as executive producer, and starring RDJ. It was there that RDJ expressed his thanks to Sting for helping through his experience in prison. RDJ said, “Your album, Brand New Day, came out and it was just so strange because it was never really a brand new day (for me); it was the same day all over again. But that helped me so much because it was such a beautiful and hopeful album.”

RDJ joined Sting and his band at his birthday concert on a killer cover of The Police song “Driven To Tears.” Footage of this performance was recently discovered and has gone viral. It’s hot. Check out the vid below, then go listen to Robert Downey Jr’s 2004 album “The Futurist.”

This week’s Music Monday shall be known as “Tunes Tuesday.” Because it’s Tuesday. Sometimes you gotta shake things up a bit, keep ‘em guessing. Yeah, that’s why it’s a day late… on purpose.

This week’s pick comes to us courtesy of Jeff Stitely himself: it’s the jazz trio The Bad Plus.

He saw them in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase 3-4 weeks ago, after his interest was piqued through his 11 year old daughter. Jeff’s daughter is in a billion dance classes, and is currently doing a modern dance choreographed to the CD version of the song “Flim.”

The Bad Plus consists of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King. Their music combines elements of modern avant-garde jazz with rock and pop influences. They have recorded killer versions of songs by Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Rush, Neil Young, David Bowie, Queen, Radiohead, and Tears For Fears.

Check out their version of “Everybody Wants To Rule the World.” This was recorded live at The Basement Night Club in Sydney, Australia.

And here is the song that started it all: “Flim.”

If you feel like road-tripping, the trio will be back in Illinois in March at The University of Illinois Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, in  Champaign-Urbana, IL. Watch them combine forces with the Mark Morris Dance Group.