music

First Dance Songs Made for You!

One of the highlights to any wedding is the first dance. The bride and groom’s first dance fills the air with love and illustrates the story of their relationship. So, if you were to describe your relationship in a song, what melody would you sing? Are you a caring and romantic, quirky and fun, or a traditional and classic pair? There are a plethora of aspects to explore when choosing the song for your first dance, and we’re here to help narrow down the choices! Check out some options for your first dance and see which category you and your partner fall into.

Romantic. Are you and your partner in total adoration with each other, and want everyone to know it? Nothing is greater than two hopeless romantics on their wedding day, and the wedding song should display that perfectly. Here are some options for lovebirds that are interested in a sweet and touching first dance.

  1. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  2. Marry Me – Train
  3. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  4. So Close – Jon McLaughlin

Fun. Of course you are in love, but do you want to go beyond that and show your relationship’s fun side in a song? What better way to start your wedding by showing all of your guests you and your partner’s fun, upbeat personalities? If your goal is to have a light-hearted yet loving first dance, check out these options below.

  1. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  2. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Michael Buble
  3. Is This Love – Bob Marley
  4. Dream A Little Dream Of Me – The Mamas & Papas

Classic. You know what they say, oldies are goodies! The best part about having a timeless song for your first dance is that they are powerful – not to mention everyone in the room will most likely already be familiar with it. You simply cannot go wrong with a classic love song. They effortlessly fit into any wedding along with most couples’ personality and taste. If you and your partner are looking for a song that will please you and your guests, these classics will not disappoint!

  1. For Once in My Life – Michael Buble
  2. At Last – Etta James
  3. Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
  4. Something – The Beatles

Keep in mind, the best song to choose for your first dance should be the one most meaningful to both you and your partner; and you may not always find that on any list.  If you already have a song that you have branded “Our Song,” that would be the one to choose. Remember, it’s your day. So what if your guests have never heard of the indie artist you guys have seen at countless shows; or even if your song is as goofy as doing the chicken dance while wearing a tutu. This is a song that has helped bring your and your fiancé to this very day. While you are dancing together, staring into each others’ eyes and seeing your future with this person, it helps to have the right soundtrack to go with your vision. In the end, that’s the only song that matters.

 

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3

The Dos and Don’ts to Building Your Reception Playlist

 

Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight. Sounds like the perfect plan for your wedding day, right? We certainly think so. But before you can do that little dance, you’ve got to set the scene for the right wedding reception playlist. Here are some rules to live by when consulting with your DJ about building the ideal playlist.

1. Playlist Harmony. It may come as a surprise, but this is also someone else’s wedding too…your future spouse’s! And just because you’ve come to love one another enough to spend the rest of your lives together, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your playlists feel the same way about each other. Remember to consider both yours and your beau’s musical tastes when compiling a wedding playlist. A variety of wedding songs are to be expected, so don’t worry about his Guns N’ Roses clashing with your Gangnam Style! Maybe he wouldn’t mind hearing an acoustic version of a classic during dinner.

2. Spread the Love. It’s important to keep your guest list handy when formulating the wedding playlist. What will Aunt Debbie and Uncle Rich enjoy dancing to? Or how about Grandma Sue’s favorite ditty, Runaround Sue? Even a sprinkle of some oldies may be appropriate for a portion of the crowd. If your cousin Jaime loves Madonna, throw in a little Like a Virgin. Even if something may not be exactly to your taste, you’ll enjoy seeing everyone else having a great time dancing.

 

3. A Little Goes a Long Way. The biggest mistake people make when going to meet with their reception DJ is bringing along a big list of songs they want played at the wedding. For most DJs, this is unnecessary. At maximum, your DJ should need is a list of about 12-15 songs that depict the mood you want at your reception. From there, he or she will be able to compile a larger playlist based on the list you provide. Remember, DJs have extensive databases of songs from every genre. You may spend hours putting together a list of hundreds of songs that they would be able to compile in minutes.

4. DJ Knows Best. There’s a reason why people hire a DJ. It’s not just to play music; it’s to guide the atmosphere of the party. DJs are trained to read the vibe of the crowd. From there, they choose the best song for the moment. Receptions are usually just 4 hours in length, a time span that is further decreased by formalities like speeches and dinner courses.  It’s crucial that you trust your DJ to make musical decisions during the party. After all, that’s why you hired them in the first place. To feel most comfortable about handing over all the music power for your reception, it’s a good idea to have at least one face to face meeting with your DJ prior to the wedding. It’s best to meet about a month in advance to discuss your expectations, as well as provide a DO NOT PLAY list. This way you’re guaranteed to not hear the songs you dislike. Now you can relax on your big day, knowing the party is in the best possible hands.

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

5 Tips for a Successful Wedding

wedding toast, champagne toast, bride and groom

What makes a successful wedding? If you’ve never planned a wedding before, the question probably sounds pretty simple. A cake, a little music, some food, and you’re good-right? If you were to ask a couple that has gone through the wedding planning process, you’d find out that nothing is simple when it comes to creating the perfect wedding. However, if you stick to a few key components, your big day will be a great success and leave your guests with an amazing impression.

wedding, dance floor, party, wedding reception, daning, fun
1. First, it’s so important to remember that you are throwing a party- and a party is nothing without guests. Be sure to consider what kind of party you want have. We all know and respect that Nana and Pop Pop have to be there. But if you want to have a packed dance floor and party that goes way into the night, be sure to invite the people you know
can make this happen. As long as they’re your friends, it’s a win-win.


2. Then there’s the ceremony. As with any part of a wedding, the more creative it is, the better. And the ceremony is where people can afford to get creative without the added costs (pun intended). One tip is to make it short. People don’t usually enjoy a long, drawn-out ceremony, so they’ll appreciate a condensed ceremony. Instead of splurging
on flowers, why not invest in some butterflies to release at the end? They’re only about $100 per dozen. Here’s where you can find them: http://www.butterfly-gifts.com/livebutterflyreleases.html. A good friend of mine did this after her ceremony and it was beautiful! Some of the butterflies even landed on the bridesmaids dresses which made for
some great pictures!


3. Next comes the reception. And let’s face it, it’s the only reason people attend a wedding ceremony-if at all. We all love to party and wedding receptions tend to be the greatest parties of all. Setting the mood for your wedding reception is key. One of the best ways to do this is with the lighting scheme. Tinted hues of violet and blue add
so much elegance to a room. Your guests will feel like they’re in for a great time in a luxurious space.

4. On to my favorite part of every wedding…the food! Whether you’re having a cocktail hour or not, you want the food you serve to do more than just look good; it absolutely must taste good. It’s important to focus on having food you know your guests will enjoy. What’s the point of having rack of lamb or filet mignon if no one eats it? Stick to what you know is good. If that’s some baked macaroni and cheese, so be it. With a good caterer, they’ll know how to make those classic favorites into something special for your big day.


5. Now to what is probably the most important aspect of a wedding, the music. Ok we admit, we’re a little biased in this area, but can you blame us? Music is everything. More than people, lighting and food (maybe not drinks), it sets the stage for an amazing and memorable party. The DJ has the power to guide the party just the way the bride and groom would like, while keeping guests enthusiastic during every moment. Investing in a DJ is major, and we happen to know a pretty good one…

Post by: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: http://simplywed.com/2011/02/wedding-mood-board-rustic-italian/, http://www.seweddings.com/uplighting.htm, http://www.christinaweddings.com/officiating-services-ceremonies, http://dancerconnection.com/?page_id=274, http://www.aisledash.com/2010/12/24/champagne-for-every-wedding-budget/

 

Why go? I’ve caught up with everyone on Facebook.

The release of “American Reunion” sparked our interest in the topic of reunions.  After a bit of research, we have found that they are still occurring at a high rate but the attendance is down 10% from previous years.  Could this be the Facebook effect?  Can one possibly find out everything they need to know about past classmates using social media?  Well, yes, but also no, the reason is that it is up to the discretion of the Facebook user to disclose what they want and when they want.  I like to say, “Everyone’s life is fabulous on Facebook”, and not many people are willing to disclose every bad moment in their lives.

In an article from USA Today, we found that although attendance of reunions is down people still enjoy the face-to-face contact they lack from social media sites.  Facebook has reduced the mundane conversations to more intimate conversations about life that generally would not be touched on 10 years ago.  The only thing Facebook has ruined for reunion goers is the element of surprise, especially for the High School outcasts who were anticipating their big revenge for all those years of torture.

The idea of attending your high school reunion conjures up all sorts of emotions for everyone.  Personally, it only reminded me that I was that much older and how quickly time has passed.  I recalled the days of Facebook back in 2004 when I had approximately 25 friends; all of which I saw on a regular basis on campus.  When I check back to my Facebook page I have now acquired 567 friends in less than 10 years; granted less than 25% of these friends are people I attended high school with.

One day on Facebook I received a notification informing me that a former classmate has added me to the 2001 High School Reunion group.  I understand the gesture of adding a friend to this group but I did not appreciate being thrown into a group of people I have purposefully kept out of my Facebook and personal life.  I immediately removed myself from said group and stuck to my “I will not attend my high school reunion” attitude; which was eventually cancelled due to a lack of interest and attendees.

For most of us the idea of attending your high school reunion remains pointless.  We create excuses such as; we simply don’t care to attend, too busy, too expensive, or hated High School and the people.  Most of all, Facebook has created a generation who is in constant contact with their past, present, and future.  With the click of a button we can literally find out where someone is, what they’re doing, who they are friends with, and even see what they had for dinner.  Facebook has stifled the need for reunions because we can find methods of reuniting on our own.  We no longer need the help of reunion companies or our alumni offices to get in touch with classmates because of course, everyone has a Facebook.

Party of the Week: Mr. & Mrs. Chris Michele’s Wedding

 

To pick one party out of a weekend filled with memorable events is no easy task. From February 17 – 19, LJ Productions celebrated weddings, birthdays, and school parties. However, as great as these events turned out to be, nothing can compare to a wedding 15 YEARS in the making! We knew Chris & Gina since they were a couple of young “Bucs” walking hand in hand through the halls of Belleville High School. It was a love that even the groom’s father mentioned started long before their high school days. When they first came to our office for a consultation, we let them know how honored we would be to host their event.

 Chris & Gina chose the gorgeous Crystal Plaza in Livingston for their special day.   Their closest friends and relatives shared the love that filled the entire ballroom. Marco and Nella of the Crystal Plaza felt an energy they could not quite put their finger on.  The “love buzz” was in the air and no one could escape it. And with the Concert Package and the team of DJ Jack, MC Jorge, LT Anthony, and VJ Mike Silva making its impact on the guests, everyone knew they were in for an extraordinary night, especially when one of your guests is taken to the ER for a dance related injury.  Fortunately, Gary came back in time to finish off the night with all his friends.

Personalizing each wedding is a big part of the LJ Productions experience; and the Micheles certainly put their stamp on this event.  Chris and Gina had their Bridal party fist pump their way into the main ballroom to Darude’s Sandstorm. The bride and groom’s entrance song was the freestyle hit by Lissette Melendez, “Together Forever”, which could not be more suitable. Throughout the night, Jack had the guests dancing through the decades playing everything from Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline to Mike Macaluso’s FINAL CHAPTER(a crowd favorite).

LJ Productions Entertainment would like to congratulate the Mr. & Mrs. Chris & Gina Michele. We would also like to thank them for allowing us to partake in this memorable event. The only thing greater than celebrating love; is a love is close to home.

Whitney, tormented while alive but celebrated in death. Why the media has a bipolar relationship with the famous.

Whitney Houston, a Newark, New Jersey native, was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday, February 11th 2012 at a very young 48 years of age.  Whitney sold 170 million albums, singles, and videos and set records by having 7 consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 Hits (Whitney Houston’s website).  She is still the only artist who has seven consecutive multi-platinum albums while her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I will always love you” has gone 4x platinum.  Guinness World Records has listed Whitney as musics, “most awarded female artist of all time”.  Her humanitarian efforts reached organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the United Negro College Fund, and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation.  Her voice captured audiences around the world and inspired many artists we listen to today.  But with such a tremendous career you would think that the latest news on Whitney would be positive.  Most recently, we have heard all about Whitneys drug abuse, turbulent relationship with Bobbi Brown, failed recovery, and financial woes.  I feel awful especially for her daughter who has lost her mother at the young age of 18, and for her family who has lost a daughter, sister, and more.

Who I do not feel for is the media and their exploitation of Whitney, both alive and dead.  Yes, we lost an amazing artist but we can always remember her through her music which was really the only way we ever felt her presence in our daily lives.  The media has caused Whitney’s death to become a spectacle.  Particularly, people like Nancy Grace and her counter-parts have put their two cents in and continue to cause more pain for the family than they have already suffered.  I do believe that Nancy Grace is by far one of the most disgusting public figures out there who will spew out any information she believes is true regardless of its impact for ratings.  How dare she allege that someone physically drowned her without any autopsy results or police reports to confirm this information.  Unfortunately, it seems as if there is a trend of celebrities losing control of their lives, careers, and more.  This isn’t the first artist in recent times to die due to alcohol or drug abuse, remember Michael and Amy?  These artists are public figures and they acknowledge this when they sign contracts and endorsement deals, but their private lives and struggles should never be up for debate unless they publicly acknowledge their inner demons.  But lets all remember that it was the media who put all of Whitney’s business out there for everyone to chew up and spit out.  As Whitney’s life spiraled out of control they were the first to report and judge the famed singer on a regular basis, again, just for sensationalism.  Now that Whitney has passed they fail to mention all of the previous reports of her drug and alcohol abuse and celebrate her as Americas sweetheart.  Recovering from addiction is not an easy journey to conquer especially in the public eye.  Of course we do not know what Whitney has died of just yet but she did die alone in a bathtub…and we can only speculate what the cause of death is.  Everyone needs to stop making assumptions until the results are released and let Whitney rest in peace and her family mourn respectfully.

RIP Whitney

Whitney Houston- I will always love you

<3 mariza

Party of the week: Megan’s Phantom of the Opera Sweet 16

Megan's Phantom of the Opera Sweet 16

 

On Saturday, December 10th, 2011 LJ Productions had the honor of hosting Megan’s Phantom of the Opera Sweet 16 at Portobello’s in Oakland, New Jersey.  As the official LJ blogger, I had the pleasure of discussing this event with DJ Fernando and his assistants DJ Bryan and DJ Chris.  After our conversation, I have decided to make Megan’s Sweet 16 LJ’s party of the week.  On a weekly basis, we will be highlighting one of our successful events from the past weekend and discussing what made this party a hit.

On Monday, Megans’ aunt Lisa called LJ’s office raving about what an amazing job our team did at her niece’s party.  This enticed me to call the DJ’s and discuss specifics about the party.  What made this party stand out from many of the other events was the intricate performance by the birthday girl and her court.  The guest of honor, Megan,  entered the venue to a song from The Phantom of the Opera, dressed in a cape and mask to match the theme of her party.  This shortly erupted into a quick paced dance number involving her entire court.  DJ Bryan and DJ Chris described this as one of the aspects of this party that set it apart from other events; from the professional choreography to the perfection in which they executed the dance, stirred up the crowd and created the high energy atmosphere for this party.

The concert package, which includes intelligent lighting and 2 plasma screen TV’s displaying candid photos, set the bar and took this event to a whole other level.  Bryan, who was in charge of the photo-booth all night, said “if they weren’t on the dance floor they were in the photo-booth”.  The added feature of text messaging was also a total hit with the guests.  We must give credit where it is due, DJ Fernando did an outstanding job with his music selection keeping the dance floor packed all night.  He had guests coming up to his booth throughout the party to telling him what an amazing job he was doing.  Fernando played all the music requested by the birthday girl including; Top 40 hits, hip-hop, dance, and reggaeton.

At this event, LJ’s newcomer DJ Chris, found this event to be an amazing opportunity for him to learn about the entertainment business.  Chris aspires to become a full-time DJ with LJ Productions and will continue to improve his skills, learn set-ups, and the importance of music selection.  Chris has a promising future at LJ and will continue to work hard to climb to the top.

Need a professional entertainer who will have your guests raving about your party for years to come? Call LJ Productions at 973-751-8850 or check out our website at LJ Productions. Like us on facebook & follow us on twitter to keep up with all the action!

 

♥mariza

LJ Productions Official Blog

Welcome to LJ Productions Entertainment official Blog!

LJ Productions Entertainment is a full-time event production/entertainment company that has built an exclusive reputation for excellence in events for well over 14 years.  We believe that your event should be personalized and created with the class and experience only a true professional can offer.

This blog will bring you directly into the action that is LJ Productions.  Each post will bring you plenty of event planning tips, wedding ceremony/reception ideas, music tips, hot new songs, and MORE!  Our multi-talented DJ’s will be video blogging from events and our studio to bring you music mixes, mixing tips, and how to get your crowd going.  This blog will keep you in the loop on where to find LJ Productions on a regular basis; whether at a Wedding, Birthday, Corporate event, or your local club/lounge.

 

 Scroll to top