Posts Tagged ‘First Dance


Official Opinions: Getting Your Groom to Dance

I get strange looks from my friends when I tell them that I am a terrible dancer. They respond, “but you were just GREAT in West Side Story when we saw it – and those are complicated dance moves.” I usually just chuckle and then go on to explain that, yes, with 6 months of intense training with a choreographer busting my hump, I can dance like in the movie West Side Story – I also tell them that when you go to a wedding or a club that people DO NOT dance like the Jets and Sharks. I mean, people would think I’m crazy if I started doing THIS in the middle of the dance floor. So how do I dance at parties, clubs and weddings… a little something like this

Yup, I flail around like a fish out of water… and I KNOW I’m not the only guy out there who is somewhat less than enthused about someday dancing in front of a room of family and friends only to been seen as a fool. Naturally of course I will do it for two reasons: 1) Because I will undoubtedly love my bride and nothing will stop us from having a good time (even if it is at my expense) and 2) Liquid courage.

Brides, if you have a groom that is like me then listen up because you’re about to get some rare insight into the male mind: guys like me need some encouragement. Essentially, to get me (and others like me) to dance and have fun doing it you need to do a few things:

  1. Gentle Reminders – Remind us every once and awhile how important it is to you that you look great dancing together. Don’t go the “you’ll look like an idiot if you don’t learn how to dance” route. It scares us off more. If it is important to you, it is important to us.
  2. Teach – Teach us a few steps we can use. We might groan and say we’d rather watch the game, but we’ll be thanking you after the reception. It could be fun!
  3. Laugh WITH me, not AT me – Again, I don’t like feeling like a fool, so if I mess up or am doing some ridiculous dance move don’t laugh at me – let me know that it’s goofy and laugh with me. Heck, join in so we look like fools together. Just don’t leave me hanging!

Basically, it just takes a lot for guys like me to get the cojones to get up and dance the night away, even at my wedding. So please, be encouraging above all else – who knows, with a little help, your groom may even find out he likes dancing!

Have fun!



guest star: Stitely’s Real Weddings- Adam and Melanie’s musical extravaganza

The Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

The Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Melanie Wheeler and Adam Fritsch were married on June 25, 2011 at the Hope Lutheran Church in Long Grove. Their reception was held at the fabulous Lincolnshire Marriott Resort. From the beginning it was clear that Melanie, Adam and their families really love music and that it would be an important element of the wedding celebration. This love of diverse musical styles was consistently demonstrated throughout the evening.

The Wheeler-Fritsch wedding featured a fantastic musical lineup that began with a piano, violin & cello trio for their ceremony. Adam and Melanie liked The Vitamin String Quartet, a string ensemble that plays interpretations of modern tunes, so this trio was perfect for their ceremony requests such as “There Goes My Baby” by Usher, “Secrets” by OneRepublic and “Yellow” by Coldplay.

The trio continued to perform during the cocktail hour, playing some of Adam & Melanie’s favorite classic rock songs from artists such as The Beatles, Sting, Eric Clapton & The Eagles. To satisfy their parents’ love of classic jazz, the couple booked a quartet for dinner, which included piano, drums, saxophone and a male vocalist. Adam & Melanie loved 80’s and Motown hits, and really liked 60’s & 70’s rock and contemporary party tunes, so the Stitely Orchestra was the perfect band for their party. The band kicked off the celebration with some energetic tunes to flood the dance floor.  Some highlights include:Adam & Melanie's first dance

  • Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett
  • I Gotta Feelin’ by The Black Eyed Peas
  • The Joker by The Steve Miller Band
  • Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
  • Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
  • Dynamite by Taio Cruz

Their special dance choices also reflected the variety of music they enjoy:

  • First dance- Faithfully by Journey
  • Father/daughter dance: I Loved Her First by Heartland
  • Mother/son dance: The Perfect Fan by The Backstreet Boys
  • Bouquet toss: Single Ladies by Beyonce
  • Garter toss: Cissy Strut by The Meters
  • Last song: Don’t Stop Believing by Journey

The Wheeler and Fritsch families were incredible in their demonstrations of love and commitment to each other. What a tight knit group! Although Robin, the mother of the bride, got into a car accident days before the wedding, she let nothing get in her way of dancing at her daughter’s wedding.  Even a close family member with a rare form of cancer was in attendance.  The couple also provided a donation box to encourage their guests’ contributions to a cancer research fund.

Furthermore, you could see the importance of music in Adam & Melanie’s relationships with their families. Bruce Wheeler, the father of the bride, surprised his daughter by initially singing the father-daughter dance, “I Loved Her First,” before putting down the mic to dance with her. He even came into the Stitely office a few weeks before the wedding to practice with Stitely guitarist John Sabal. Melanie also requested a family sing-along in honor of her mom, grandma and aunts who love to sing “Jackson” by Johnny Cash & June Carter together. Halfway through the night the Stitely Orchestra played a smashing version while the guests sang their hearts out. It was gratifying for our musicians to be a part of something so special.

Photo by Andre Lacour

Many thanks to the fantastic vendors who helped make the Wheeler-Fritsch wedding a complete success! Andre LeCour from Edward Fox Photography took great photos while Xpress Video Production filmed the evening. Katie Hauser from The Meetinghouse Company planned the logistics as well as decor, with Debbie’s Floral Shoppe providing the beautiful flowers. Well done everyone, and congratulations again to Adam and Melanie!


Stitely Soundboard: Creating a wedding timeline

Creating a timeline for your wedding is one of the most difficult & detail-oriented tasks to handle during the planning process.  Luckily, Stitely Entertainment has a Planning Department and full-time Event Planning Coordinator to help our clients work through this massive job.  Here are some tips that can get you started, but if you have questions don’t hesitate to contact Carly, our Stitely Entertainment Planning guru.

There are many options for the flow of an evening. You will want to make a decision by what feels best to you. A typical timeline may go like this:

• One hour of cocktails
• An hour and a half for dinner
• Three hours of dancing

Cocktails may last longer than an hour if pictures off site are in the plan. Dinner can be various lengths, depending on the number or courses. Dance time can be adjusted if you and your guests love to dance and party.

Another type of timeline is called the East Coast-style wedding. In this style, there is a flow between dancing and eating. The couple or bridal party is introduced, the couple does their first dance, and everyone dances for three or four songs. Then everyone sits for toasts followed by the first course. As salads are picked up, the bandleader invites everyone to dance for another block of songs. After the next course is served, people take their seats again and eat. You finish the evening with dancing. An East Coast timeline usually includes one hour of cocktails and four hours for dinner and dancing with a full band.

While planning your timeline, make sure to consider the special events that occur during the night and if you want music to accompany them:

• The entrance of the Bridal Party
• Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dances
• Cake Cutting
• Bouquet and/or Garter Toss
• Religious Traditions (Prayers, Horas, etc.)
• Bridal Party group dance
• Songs with special meaning to your group (school fight songs, sing-along songs like “Wonderwall” or “Don’t Stop Believing“, etc.)
• Do you have any musical family or friends who would like to participate? Talk to your bandleader about including them in the set list.
• Last song of the night

You can have songs for these events in mind or talk to Carly if you need suggestions.

Delivering a perfect event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of unique events.  We want nothing more than to ensure that your wedding goes the way you want it to, flawlessly.


Official Opinions: Choosing your first dance

As the busy summer wedding season quickly comes upon us, Carly, our Stitely Entertainment Event Planning Coordinator, has been receiving questions from clients about how to choose their first dances.  Here are some suggestions that can get you started, but if you have further questions please don’t hesitate to contact Carly at 847-866-8002.

When selecting your first dance, many things are important to consider. When you hear the song, does it make you feel good, put a smile on your face, make you think of your partner? Bottom line, it should feel personal to you. The lyrics should also feel right or resonate with you. Every line of the song won’t fit exactly with what you might want to say, but you should like the overall message and feel comfortable dancing to the lyrics. If there is a line that absolutely ruins the song in terms of a first dance, it can be re-written to fit the moment. A flexible bandleader will be able to work that out with you.

Also think about the circumstances of the first dance:
• How long do you want to be dancing in front of all your guests? “Stairway to Heaven” may be your favorite song, but eight minutes is a long time to be dancing to one tune. Find a song within the length you want, or work with the bandleader to adjust the song time by cutting down verses, playing the chorus again, etc.

• If you’re learning a dance, make sure you tell the band how fast or slow you want the song to go so you aren’t rushing or dragging. Send the bandleader an MP3 of the version you’re practicing.

• If you have your heart set on a certain version of the song, say Ben Folds singing “The Luckiest,” you can ask to play it on a CD or iPod.

Need some inspiration? Here are some first dances past clients have used at their weddings:

  • Because of You – Tony Bennett
  • Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You – Frankie Valli
  • Come Fly Away With Me – Frank Sinatra
  • Crazy Love (Van Morrison)
  • Dance Me to the End of Love – Madeleine Peyroux
  • Everything – Michael Buble
  • Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
  • Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra
  • God Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
  • If I Could Build My World – Marc Broussard
  • It Feels Like Home – Chantal Kreviazuk
  • It Had to be You – Frank Sinatra
  • Lucky – Jason Mraz
  • Moondance – Van Morrison
  • My Best Friends – Tim McGraw
  • Nothing Can Change This – Sam Cooke
  • Our Love is Here to Stay – Frank Sinatra
  • Save The Last Dance For Me – Michael Buble
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
  • Something – The Beatles
  • Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  • Stay With You – John Legend
  • Sway – Michael Buble
  • The Best is Yet to Come – Frank Sinatra
  • The Real Good Thing – Marc Broussard
  • The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
  • These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding
  • This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
  • True Companion – Marc Cohn
  • When You Say Nothing At All – Alison Krauss/ Ronan Keating
  • Your Song – Elton John

Music Monday: Marry Me By Train

For this music Monday I chose Marry Me by Train. The song is on their newest album “Save Me, San Francisco” which came out in 2009. It’s great for all you soon to be  brides out there! It’s one of my favorites right now and seems to always put me in a good mood. The music video is also so so cute so you should check it out!


Official Opinions: Lindsey’s music monday choice

Today’s Music Monday pick is Black River Killer by Blitzen Trapper. The band has truly captured the art of seamless editing and storytelling in this video. Thanks Lindsey for this music find from Portland, Oregon!


Official Opinions: Hipster Wedding 101

If someone were to ask me what plans I have for my future, marriage would not be a definite.  I was never one of those little girls who day-dreamed about her wedding since the moment she turned eight.  I also never played the “wedding game” with my friends, dressing up in our mothers’ high heels and draping pillow cases over our heads.  Despite this fact, since starting my internship and working with wedding clients each day, I have found myself fantasizing more and more about how my wedding would play out.  What would my dress look like?  Maybe a vintage Grecian inspired frock?  What will my color scheme be?  I’m thinking a warm marigold… Should I have lotus flowers or wild orchids?  And what song will I choose as my first dance? “Hold You In My Arms” by Ray LaMontagne, or maybe ”Love Will Come Through” by Travis?  No wait! “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson?

So…these brief trips of daydreaming have led me to start searching weddings on the Internet.  I recently stumbled across this article, and if I do end up getting married, this is how I would do it!

There’s a new trend happening these days within the urban hipster culture…Throwing a Hipster Wedding!  The tradition of the wedding day stays pretty much the same, but the journey getting there is oh so indie.  In this article featured on flavorwire, we are informed of a 5-step easy process on how to throw the most unique hipster wedding ever!  And I’d have to say, my favorite step is number 5.  If my wedding video looked like these do, I would watch it every day!



A sample wedding invitation designed by Rudi de Wet

Alternative wedding cake ideas! Photo by 1000 Layer Cake

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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