The secret ingredient to a memorable wedding toast

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memorable wedding toast

The secret ingredient to a memorable wedding toast

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This blog has written on the subject of the wedding toast on more than one occasion. The subject is important, because a memorable wedding toast is pure magic. At the same time, a toast by your best man or maid of honor can go astray with all sorts of negative consequences.

There is never an excuse for a poor toast as long as your toasters are armed with some basic information, which I am about to reveal.

There is an almost magical secret to giving a memorable wedding toast, and that is the “turning point.” The turning point is the secret sauce, that moment when the toaster reveals what makes the bride or groom so special, and what makes the bride and groom such a great couple.

It is the pay dirt for which everyone awaits.

The video above provides helpful tips on how to write an effective toast. It breaks down the toast into five steps:

  1. Introduction. Who is the toaster, and what is his/her connection to the bride and groom?
  2. Great story. Everyone loves stories. Everyone! What are movies and television shows, except stories? Stories are so powerful that Jesus used them as the basis for His teachings. What is your story that involves either the bride or groom, or both?
  3. Turning point. Here you reveal the secret, that very essence of what makes the toastee tick, and why that bodes well for their marriage. This is that “feel good moment” that makes a good toast soar.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Toast.

Let’s look at an actual toast I found on YouTube. Whoever posted it labels it as the ‘greatest best man speech ever.’ That it is not. The ‘story’ part of the toast floundered, and the toaster talks more about himself than the groom. However, he redeems himself with a fine ‘turning point.’ Tune in at around the 2:40 mark in the video below to see what I mean:

The toast below is heartfelt. The toaster provides a wonderful story beginning around the 1:40 mark. But he skips the conclusion and the toast itself. And the ‘turning point’ precedes the story:

No criticism intended towards either toaster, each of whom had some good elements in their toast. We can all learn from them in order to write and deliver a memorable wedding toast when our time comes.

Check out an earlier blogpost that offers a memorable wedding toast script. Do you see the ‘turning point’? It is the paragraph immediately following the line, “bring bride into the toast.”

Writing and delivering a memorable wedding toast isn’t rocket science. It takes more heart than science, along with the tips above. Good luck!

[When should toasts be made? Crestline Entertainment offers DJs who are also professional MCs. We know when to cue up toasts and control the entire tempo of your celebration. You have no worries, other than to celebrate! Our online planning tools are awesome!] 


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wedding toast delivery tips

Excellent wedding toast delivery tips

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Wedding toasts can be such a wonderful part of your wedding reception. And they can be a disaster in the hands of an unprepared toaster. Here are some really excellent … and PRACTICAL … wedding toast delivery tips presented in the video below.

Study these wedding toast delivery tips

Tip #1: KNOW your toast. Know it well enough so you don’t need it scripted. It’s okay to have a few bullet points on a note card. But if you’re able to tell a nice, warm story about the bride or groom, you’ll find it really easy to remember and convey your toast.

Tip #2: Make EYE CONTACT. A simple technique to get started is to stand up straight and tall, smile like you’ve never smiled before, and cast your gaze across the room. What expectation you’ll create! You’ll have the audience in the palm of your hand before you even begin talking.

As your toast unfolds, cast your gaze around the room, working every corner of the hall. Are you shy? Are you scared to death at making eye contact? No problem. Before you begin your toast, identify a few people you’re close to in different areas of the venue, and you can focus your gaze on them.

What can be really helpful to you is to make a point to introduce yourself to as many people as you can at the reception before the toasting begins. That way, there are fewer strangers in the hall! And let me tell you, if you look at someone and smile, it is really, really hard for them to do anything other than smile back. Toasting is so rewarding when it begins and ends with a smile.

Tip #3: Be CONCISE. The video suggests a toast can be up to ten minutes. This blogger suggests 3 to 5 minutes is MUCH better. You need to be a master toaster to pull off a ten minute toast. Whatever the length, rehearse. Let me say it again: rehearse and rehearse your toast. You owe it to the bride and groom. Do NOT let it run on too long. Bring it to a nice, clear conclusion with the line:

“Will you raise your glass and join me in toasting this great couple, Mr. and Mrs. [couple’s name].”

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

Tip #4: Be CONVERSATIONAL. The conversational approach is intimate and compelling, IF you have properly rehearsed your toast. The worst thing you can do is to have a few too many drinks and let your ‘conversational’ toast drag on and on. (Actually, worse than that is to embarrass the bride and  group. But you know better than to do that!) Limit your alcohol. Rehearse. Make eye contact. You’re going to be great!

When it comes to your reception, Crestline Entertainment provides that impeccable timing that only professional MCs bring to the table. We know how to time the toasts, the cake cutting, and all the key moments of your reception. Get ready for the best day of your life!


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wedding communication

New technology enhances wedding communication!

Everyone knows that men and women communicate differently. At long last, new technology boosts wedding communication between the genders, setting the stage for a lifetime of marital bliss!

Men tend to view communication as having a purpose, while women view it as an outlet for feelings.

Women want to talk more often and use more words than men.

Men’s listening skills tend to be literally oriented, which can create challenges for women who view conversation as more of a process which does not necessarily seek solutions.

In light of these differences, it was only a matter of time until science developed vital technology that narrows the communication gap between the genders.

Get ready for better wedding communication!

You have to see it to believe it. The video below reveals the medical breakthrough, Hearitol. Watch and listen!

And in case your relationship needs a little more help than Hearitol offers, perhaps you are a candidate for another new technological marvel, the Manslater! The video below provides the details, as well as ordering information:

This blog is always on the cusp of the latest and greatest in everything, including a good laugh.

When it comes to planning your wedding, you’ll find communication is as easy as saying “I do” when you select Crestline Entertainment to handle your wedding entertainment. We offer easy to use planning tools to make the planning process easy for you.


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popular wedding processional song

Popular wedding processional song

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Vivaldi’s Spring is a very popular wedding processional song. (See our earlier blogpost, “Top classical songs for walking down the aisle.”)

You can listen to it in the video below…

…complete with the violin sheet music. There’s a problem. While you’ll love the happy main theme, it veers off into sections of music that just aren’t conducive to a wedding procession.

Another problem: not every bride and groom can afford a string quartet, the desired combination of instruments for this gem, composed by Antonio Vivaldi in 1725. On the other hand, most weddings feature at least one or two instrumentalists, with piano as the lead instrument.

To simplify your options, we’ve asked a musical arranger to create a playable arrangement for our readers. It features just two instruments, piano and cello. This arrangement only uses those lovely, happy melodies brides prefer. That’s what makes Vivaldi’s Spring such a popular wedding processional song.

You have permission to print this music off and pass it on to your musicians:

popular wedding processional song Spring:VIVALDI

Of course, you have another enticing option for your ceremony music: us! Crestline Entertainment not only provides world class entertainment for Chicagoland wedding receptions, we can provide any type of music for your wedding ceremony, too.

So if you’d like to hear Vivaldi’s Spring with a full orchestra, no problem! Crestline Entertainment is the affordable option for brides who don’t want to scrimp on the quality of the music for their wedding ceremony.


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favorite first dance songs

Your first dance song done exactly the way you want it

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What are the favorite first dance songs?

Our blog presented ten of the best a while back, but we also recommend the Knot’s great list, complete with 50 wonderful songs you’ll hear at weddings coast to coast.

We’ve made an interesting observation of these songs. The older and the better they are, the more artists who cover the song. This presents wonderful opportunities for you. The more great artists who have covered a song, the more likely you’ll hear a version just right for you.

Let’s check out songs #11 and #19 on The Knot’s list:

#11 Crazy Love

Van Morrison wrote and recorded Crazy Love in 1970. Here it is:

What a smooth, timeless love ballad. On the other hand, maybe you’d like it a little more bluesy. No problem. Listen to Morrison’s duet with the legendary Ray Charles, backed up with Charles on piano and Hammond organ.

Then again, maybe you prefer a real mellow interpretation of the song. Who better than Michael Bublé? Check it out:

This is a well-crafted song that holds up to a wide range of vocal interpretations, and the same goes for this next song from The Knot.

#19 In My Life

Five years before Morrison wrote “Crazy Love,” John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote “In My Life.” This song is so good that Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it 23rd on their list of the 500 all-time greatest songs ever written. Impressive.

Here is this wistful love song as performed by The Beatles:

Can’t get any better than that, right? Well, that depends on your unique musical tastes. For example, Sara Niemietz offers this delightful, romantic rendition that might make it on to your favorite first dance songs list. Take a listen and enjoy:

Your first dance song should be a few minutes of pure heaven. All eyes are on you. The love of your life looks you in the eyes and gently sways to the music with you. Time stands still.

Your first dance song defines the moment.

Crestline Entertainment offers a simple benefit for you as you build your own list of potential favorite first dance songs:  we can play whatever you want, by any artist.

This matters.  No offense to the local bands around (and there are some fine ones), not all of them can sing as well as Michael Bublé or as distinctively as a Van Morrison or a Ray Charles or The Beatles. No offense, but they simply may not be as good of musicians as these legendary bands were.

With us, you get exactly what you want: the perfect song played at the perfect moment by the perfect artist.

What’s on your list of favorite first dance songs? Check out our music database. If you don’t have it, we’ll get it!


 


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wedding guest entertainment

The Evolution of the Wedding Reception

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Cake and punch wedding receptions are a thing of the past. Today’s brides and grooms want their reception to pack a punch. Wedding guest entertainment is the name of the game.

The Knot conducts an annual survey on the trends in the wedding industry. Their most recent survey revealed that 41% of couples include wedding guest entertainment (beyond music) as part of their wedding reception festivities, up from 11% as recently as 2009.

The #1 form of wedding guest entertainment

Photo BoothWhat is the #1 form of guest entertainment at wedding receptions? Photo booth.

Photo booth keeps growing in popularity because it offers the perfect complement to DJ entertainment. Back in the days of the cake and punch receptions, guests chatted with their fellow guests, sipped their punch, ate their cake, checked their watches and bided their time until they could leave.

In this exciting era of wedding guest entertainment, photo booth and DJ entertainment create celebrations where no one wants to leave. Our DJ/MC gets your guests out onto the dance floor for one song after another. When they get tired, they take a break and head over to the photo booth, opening up dance floor space for your guests at the photo booth.

We call this the “cycle of fun.”

Crestline Entertainment offers the dynamic DJ entertainment and state-of-the art photo booths to create a cycle of fun that will thrill your guests. This is wedding guest entertainment at its finest!

Join the evolution!


 


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first dance songs

The Art of a Love Song

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First dance songs are usually love songs.

Love is the most powerful force on earth. It is the very lifeblood of a marriage, which is why a love song is such a good choice for your first dance.

As a professional wedding DJ, I really appreciate the craftsmanship of good love songs. There are many that are used by brides and grooms throughout the country all the time. The best are timeless, because they integrate a powerful lyric with a lovey melody.

Let’s use as an example a song you know whose melody was written way back in 1784 by a French guy named Jean-Paul-Egide Martini. The name of Monsieur Martini’s song was “Plaisir d’amour” (or in English, “The Pleasure of Love.”)

Listen to the embellished melody as performed by The Piano Guy’s Jon Schmidt:

Powerful lyrics define great first dance songs.

Some 177 years later, three American songwriters stumbled upon this tune and penned their own lyrics in a song they titled, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The writers, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David, penned a particularly strong lyric with an opening line that touches upon the sacrificial nature of authentic love:

“Wise men say only fools rush in,
But I can’t help falling in love with you.”

One can’t help but think of the first responders at Ground Zero who rushed in to the burning Twin Towers. That’s what defines true love, sacrifice, and this song touches upon this potent force of nature.

The lyric concludes with astonishing impact in its simplicity:

“Take my hand, take my whole life, too,
For I can’t help falling in love with you,
For I can’t help falling in love with you.”

This line defines marriage, as two people give their lives to the other, just as it demonstrates the impact of a timeless love song: great lyric and great melody.

Listen to various artists make this song their own.

As a DJ, I marvel at the way top vocal artists make a love song their own. For example, listen to what the great Andrea Bocelli does with this song:

For a completely different take, here is how a group called ‘twenty one pilots’ performs the song, complete with ukulele as the main instrumental accompaniment!

The English group, UB40, gives it an irresistible reggae beat:

If you think you’ve heard it all, you haven’t. Listen to what Haley Reinhart of America Idol fame does with the song. Is this first dance material or what!

Can it get any better than this? Well, 8 million people say yes! More than that many have listened to Michael Bublé’s silky smooth rendition on YouTube:

Am I missing anyone? Oh, there was this guy named Elvis who popularized the song in 1961. Some 22 million people have listened to his classic version on YouTube. Here’s what the fuss is all about:

There are a lot of other good first dance songs, and in fact, we wrote another blogpost on the subject called, “Top Ten Classic Songs for Your First Dance.” Check it out!

Why does Crestline Entertainment love entertaining at weddings like yours? Because we can play the music you want to hear sung by the artists you want to hear. We offer a mammoth song list so you can select the versions of your favorite songs you love most.

Even more, we can MC your event with the grace and timing honed by years of experience, so you can simply be “in the moment” on your wedding day and revel in the beauty of falling in love.


 


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thank-you note etiquette

Thank-you note etiquette

Thank-you note etiquette never changes, even with our culture’s growing menu of communication options.

In other words, you should send your thank-you notes on personal stationary or nice thank-you cards. Emails, Facebook messaging, texting, and phone calls don’t cut it.  Each note should be personal.  Fill-in the blank notes are worse than sending no note at all.

Even more, your thank-you notes should go out within three months of receiving wedding-related gifts. For starters, gift givers want to be sure you actually received their gift, especially in the case of those who had something shipped to you.  But even those who brought their gift to the wedding want to be sure you actually got it.

Who needs to receive thank-you notes?

A well written thank-you note is pure gold.  You should send notes to anyone who gave you gifts at an engagement party, wedding shower, and your wedding itself.

Be sure to send notes to those who hosted those events.

In addition, send a nice note to your entire wedding party, including the officiant.

And, of course, you should send notes to anyone who helped pay for your weddings (such as parents) and even those who helped plan your wedding. If in doubt, send a thank-you note.

The best-written thank-you notes are personal.  Acknowledge receipt of the gift, name the gift, and if possible, how you will use the gift.  For example:

Dear Aunt Sarah and Uncle Joe:  First of all, thank-you so much for attending my wedding wedding.  That meant everything, because you have been special to me my entire life.  Sean and I will think of you every time we use the new grill you gave us.  We look forward to having you over when things settle down to break in the grill and thank-you properly.

Thanks again from us both.

If you’re planning your wedding, be sure to check out Crestline Entertainment’s wedding services. You’ll thank us for the tip!


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second marriage wedding etiquette

Second marriage wedding etiquette

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As times change, wedding etiquette evolves. We work with many couples of all ages and backgrounds, including those getting married a second time.  In fact, something like one of three weddings involve couples where at least one of you has been married before.  Because this is so common, let’s look at second marriage wedding etiquette based on current cultural norms.

The engagement announcement

If either of you have children, tell them first, and then your parents.  You should also tell your ex spouse the news if you have children with whom you share custody.

May we throw an engagement party?

Absolutely, although parents of the either party don’t typically do this for second marriages. This honor is more likely to fall on friends or other family members, and gifts are not usually involved.  Chances are, an engagement party takes the place of a wedding shower.

May we put our name in a gift registry?

Depending on your age and a number of other variables, you may not even want gifts.  That probably won’t stop friends who absolutely want to honor you with some type of gift.  So go ahead.  Register.  A gift registry is a nice way to guide your friends on selecting gifts that truly matter.

Does a second wedding have to be a small, intimate affair?

Times have changed, and the answer is no.  You can invite whoever you’d like, especially since in most second marriages, the couple is paying for the wedding themselves.  Except in extraordinary circumstances, you may not want to invite ex spouses and ex in-laws.  The obvious exception would be in the case of couples who were widowed, and who maintained a close relationship with their late spouse’s family.

Is the bride limited in what she may wear?

Yes and no.  With the widespread practice of co-habitation, the culture no longer equates white with virginity, so second time brides may wear ecru, ivory, cream, or even white colored gowns, whatever color fits her fashion style.  On the other hand, the culture still views a wedding veil as a sign of purity, so second time brides should forgo it. The slide show above showcases some lovely gowns for second time, and more mature brides.

May Dad walk the bride down the aisle a second time?

Certainly.  But also we’ve seen many second time brides walk down the aisle by themselves.  And some couples prefer to do it together.  What’s right for you?

May we have attendants at our second wedding?

Yes, but we’ve noticed that most second marriages tend to use fewer attendants than first time marriages.

A second marriage is a celebration of love, and like all celebrations, music is THE foundation for your entertainment.  We’ve worked with many, many couples getting married a second time.  Learn more about our wedding services here. Something that has not changed since the first time you got married is that popular dates book fast, especially in June, September, and October. Check on our available dates right now, and then give me a call to share your wedding dreams at 1-630-766-9898.


 


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stress free wedding planning

Keep a sense of humor when planning your wedding

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Typical weddings require over one-thousand decisions on your part. Wow! That’s a lot! The key to stress-free wedding planning is a sense of humor and a well-organized wedding plan.

Stress free wedding planning begins with a good laugh!

Watch the video above for some good laughs. Even more, watch it as a tutorial on how a sense of humor helps turn a few gaffes into something funny and memorable. British comedian, Rowan Atkinson, is a master at showcasing life’s foibles as he so ably demonstrates in this scene from “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

By the same token Crestline Entertainment is a master at helping you create a well-organized wedding entertainment plan that runs like clockwork.  We coordinate details with all your wedding vendors to create a well-oiled machine at your wedding celebration with no surprises.

For the record, Mr. Atkinson would never cut it as a DJ with Crestline Entertainment! We offer only the cream of the crop wedding DJ and MC talent in the area.

In other words, you can simply enjoy your wedding day knowing we’ve got you covered. Stress free wedding planning begins with Crestline Entertainment. We offer an extensive array of wedding planning tools which allows such tight coordination, that not even a Rowan Atkinson character could muck it up!


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