There were so many classic and beautiful weddings that took place this past year – too many to recap. So, let’s focus on the wonderfully weird and unique ones!

This one is our favorite due to its musical theme: a bride and groom played a guitar duet when the bride walked down the aisle.

The groom is a guitar teacher, so of course he pulled out an electric guitar during the processional and started playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D. To add to the surprise, the bride joined in having just learned how to play.

Check out the video, it’s adorable.

See the other 9 wedding stories HERE

Call us sentimental. Call us nostalgic. Call us to book one of our bands for your wedding. It’s January after all, and we know you just got engaged over the holidays! Congratulations!

It was my turn to pick the song for Music Monday this week. Hurray! (This is Sarah, by the way. Nice to meet you.)

Since it’s always hard to choose just one song, I picked something that covers the bases. This is “Evolution of Music” by the insanely talented a cappella group Pentatonix:

A Cappella is defined as “without musical instrument,” and while accurate, that definition barely does it justice. A Cappella has become more mainstream in the past few years, with hit shows like The Sing Off  and Glee, and the the movie Pitch Perfect. Ben Folds, one of the judges on The Sing Off, recently wrote a blog post that can explain this phenomenon way better than I can. Check it out here.

Pentatonix is made up of five vocalists, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola.  The group is named after the pentatonic scale, a musical scale or mode with five notes per octave, a concept the group believed matched their membership. They replaced the “c” on the end of the word with an “x” to make it more appealing.

The group gained real notoriety when they won the third season of The Sing Off. They also have a pretty significant online presence on YouTube; check out the rest of their videos here. If you want to see them live, they are kicking off a worldwide tour in 2014.

In homage to the holiday season, here is Pentatonix’s version of “Carol of the Bells.”

 

 

Jason Derulo has given the world its next top wedding song: “Marry Me.” Not to be confused with Train’s “Marry Me,” or Bruno Mars’s “Marry You,” or Paula Abdul’s “Will You Marry Me Boy” (OK, you probably weren’t thinking about the last one), it is the second single released from his third studio album Tattoos (2013).

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Jason wrote the song for longtime girlfriend Jordin Sparks about his intention to marry her… so that should tide her over for now, right?

I first heard this song on satellite radio while cruising down the highway. It didn’t strike me as anything special musically, but when I saw the title “Marry Me,” I stayed tuned in. Being in this industry, it seems like a no-brainer that this song will be requested. After listening to the lyrics, it doesn’t really seem that ideal for a wedding, in my humble opinion. I mean, he hasn’t actually asked if she’ll marry him yet, he’s talking about doing it in the future when he’s set financially, so there’s no need to rush (as if Jason Derulo doesn’t have enough money). Romantic? Meh.

Sometimes we get requests for songs, where the chorus or most high-profile part of the song seems romantic or appropriate when it’s really not. We always encourage people to put a lot of thought into their song choices, to listen to all of the lyrics, especially during a special dance when their guests are paying close attention.

This is just food for thought. At the end of the day, it’s ultimately about what makes the bride and groom happy. It’s their day after all.

Check out the song below:

Over the years, Sweden has given the world some killer bands – all to varying degrees depending on your taste in music – Roxette, Ace Of Base, Europe, The Cardigans, and of course, ABBA.

This most recent Swedish group takes the Princess Cake. Ladies and Gentlemen… Dirty Loops.

This trio of young, fantastic musicians is causing a stir all over the world. Millions of fans have discovered them online through their videos and recordings. See, they take songs by well-known artists like Adele and Lady Gaga, twist them, turn them, and make them their own.

I, like most people, first saw these guys on YouTube tearing up a version of Britney Spears’ Circus. Not sure how you feel about the Britney Spears version, but I always thought it was, like most of her music, FINE. I think she peaked in 1999, but I digress. These guys made me love that song. It’s the jam. It’s here.

I titled this post “Cleans Up” because they are finally getting the recognition they deserve – Music mogul David Foster signed them to his Verve Music Group, and last year they embarked on Asia Tour 2012 alongside Chaka Khan and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. With David Foster on your side, the sky’s the limit.

They are currently working on their debut release. It was slated to be released “early 2013.” It’s September. Why do you make me wait, guys? Sigh.

I hope this is inspiring to all you artists out there, vying to become internet sensations and parlay that into legit success. It happens. Not always for the good – isn’t that how Justin Bieber was found? – but this time, the internet got it right.

Here’s another example of musical genius at work:

Choosing Music for Your Reception

Choosing wedding music that makes everyone happy can be a complicated process. In Parts One and Two of this series we discussed selecting music for your ceremony, cocktails, dinner and special moments. Today we’ll discuss how to create your own musical signature as a couple while satisfying the tastes of your guests during the reception.

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Guests flood the famous Knickerbocker Hotel dance floor at a summer wedding. Photo Credit: Gerber & Scarpelli

So how do you honor your personal preferences while keeping the dance floor packed? The key is considering the music you and your fiancé like, as well as the songs your families and friends will respond to.  People dance to what they know, so if you are not already aware ask your family or friends what artists and genres they like. For example, the Stitely Orchestra played at a wedding where the couple and their friends were Phish heads. They knew that Lady Gaga was not going to get their guests on the floor, so they chose music that reminded them of their shared memories and appealed to their friends. We also played at a wedding where the bride and her family is Bolivian, while the groom and his family is Irish. To satisfy everyone they hired a Bolivian duo and an Irish combo to play during the band breaks; that way their families as well as their friends got to enjoy themselves.

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Guests of all ages enjoy the wedding classics! Photo Credit: Brian Hall Photographers

Often, playing older styles of music like jazz or classic rock earlier in the reception helps to include older guests. However, if you want a more modern feeling right from the beginning there are some ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s tunes that can work great in the first set. Songs like “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green, and artists like Adele, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, and Taylor Swift appeal to guests of all ages. Avoid songs with a lot of electronic elements in the first set; work up to those auto tune hits that make your booty shake but make your grandparents cringe. Also consider if there are any cultural traditions, songs with special meaning to your group like college fight songs, or sing-along tunes like “Wonderwall.” These songs are great to include earlier in the evening because they keep everyone engaged.

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Great music and a fun dance party will leave a memorable impression of your wedding celebration. Photo Credit: Timothy Whaley & Associates

The final song will cast a lingering impression of your wedding for you and your guests. Consider whether you want to leave with a romantic ballad like “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne, or a rocking anthem that keeps the energy high to the very end. Songs like “Don’t Stop Believing” or “We are Young” are great at creating a musical climax that reflects the fun and excitement of the day.

The process of choosing your wedding music can be as personalized as you and your fiancé want it to be. Put your unique signature on every musical aspect from the ceremony to reception, just remember that music frames memories and creates a lasting impression of your wedding for your family, friends and guests. But more importantly, how do you want to remember your special day?

Part Two: Choosing Music for Your Special Dances

First Dance. Photo Credit: Anna Guziak Photography

First Dance. Photo Credit: Anna Guziak Photography

It can be tricky choosing wedding music that both you and your guests like. In Part One of this three-part series we discussed choosing music for your ceremony, cocktails and dinner. Today we’ll discuss what to consider when choosing music for your special dances.

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Father/Daughter Dance. Photo Credit: Todd James Photography

When contemplating a song for your first dance, consider whether you want an intimate moment, a playful interlude, or a flashy choreographed show that wows the crowd. What songs make you think of your partner? Is there a song that reminds you of a shared experience? Also think about logistics: how long do you want to be dancing in front of your guests? If your favorite song is too long, work with the bandleader or DJ to adjust the length by omitting verses or fading out. You can also combine two of your favorite songs. For example, a recent couple’s first dance began with Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and faded into “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. Bottom line, the song should feel personal with lyrics that appeal to both of you.

Here are just a few of the songs Stitely bands have played at recent weddings. Some classics include: “The Best is Yet to Come” by Frank Sinatra, “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke, or “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen. “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes and “Whatever It Is” by the Zac Brown Band are great contemporary options.

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Mother/Son Dance. Photo Credit: Wedding Story Studio

When selecting music for the father/daughter and mother/son dances consider similar questions. Is there a song or an artist that reminds you of your father or an experience you had together? This song could be sweet and sentimental, or fun or outrageous. There is something timeless about older songs like “My Girl” by The Temptations or “You Make Me Feel So Young” by Frank Sinatra, however, if you want a modern feel try “Daughter” by Loudon Wainwright or “I Loved Her First” by Heartland. Mother/Son dances can be challenging since so many great “love” songs are about romantic love. Songs like “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts, “In My Life” by The Beatles, and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder will warm your heart without creeping anyone out.

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Anniversary Dance. Photo Credit: Todd James Photography

                   If you don’t want to toss your bouquet, consider an anniversary dance. During this dance, married guests dance together and leave the floor as an emcee announces increasing lengths of time, ultimately leaving the longest married couple in the spotlight. The bride rewards their longevity with her bouquet. This is a sweet way to celebrate your older guests like grandparents, or avoid an awkward situation in which many of the female guests are too old, young or married to catch the bouquet. Typically this dance is a classic ballad, but if you have a favorite song you didn’t choose for your first dance, use it here instead.

With the musical tearjerkers out of the way, it’s time to party down! Stay tuned for Part 3 next Wednesday in which we’ll discuss reception music that keeps everyone on the dance floor.

Choosing Music for Your Ceremony, Cocktails & Dinner 

The venue is reserved, vendors are booked, and the dress bought; now it’s time to start planning the timeline and musical flow of your wedding! There are a lot of elements to consider, but in this three part series we’ll focus on choosing music that reflects your personality as a couple while keeping your guests of all ages glued to the dance floor.

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Photo Credit: Garbo Productions

Music transports you back to certain times in your life. Finding those sweet spots that hit an emotional chord with different groups of people is what choosing your wedding music is all about. First consider the function music will play at your wedding. What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? When you fantasize about your future wedding memories, what do these moments feel like? Clarifying the mood you want to create will help you choose music that will make you, your fiancée and your guests happy.

Your ceremony is one of the few times of the evening when you can be completely musically “selfish.” You don’t have to consider whether your family or friends enjoy or approve of your choices. You don’t have to worry whether your guests will dance or whether the tempo is too slow or fast. The goal here is to create the unique atmosphere that you and your fiancé will remember forever.

So what kind of ceremony are you going to have – traditional, modern, religious? If you like traditional wedding music, stick with the classics and enjoy the timeless ambiance. An increasingly popular trend is to play modern songs with classical instruments such as a string combo. This adds a contemporary edge to your traditional ceremony, or a classical flavor to your modern ceremony. Whatever your preferences, just remember- this is your chance to choose songs that are special to both of you, no strings attached.

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Guests dance between dinner courses during an East Coast Style wedding. Photo Credit: Jolie Images

The music you choose during cocktails and dinner sets the stage for the rest of the evening. This music creates a subtle backdrop for guests to mingle and enjoy their meals. However, in a typical East Coast timeline dinner music also serves to connect important moments like your first dance or cake cutting. Again consider the atmosphere you want during this period. Cocktails and dinner are wonderful opportunities to include music that you really love but might not translate well into dancing. For example, a lot of indie music is great to listen to but lies in a mid-tempo range that makes dancing awkward. A great example of this is Feist’s “Mushaboom.” If you, your fiancé or friends love this music, consider a combo that plays indie & contemporary music rather than the traditional jazz combo. However, if you enjoy the chic ambiance provided by a jazz combo then go with that group.

With dinner completed, it’s time to take the floor for your special dances! Stay tuned for Part Two next week in which we’ll discuss choosing music for these significant moments.