Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Music


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!



Official Opinion: Hard to Say “No” to 90’s R&B

Today, the Stitely Office was whisked away oh so tenderly by the 90’s R&B group, AZ Yet. Singing a cover of Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” this single went to #8 on the Hot 100 and achieved platinum status. The song was also nominated for a Grammy  in the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo or  Group with Vocals! Looking for another tender loving song for a dance at your wedding? Listen to AZ Yet! Thank’s N’Jameh (Stitely’s marketing Intern) for this week’s Music Monday choice!


Official opinions: Rachel’s Beatles bash/wedding playlist

Our colorful, Beatles-themed wedding

On September 4th my husband and I were married in a Beatles-themed wedding extravaganza in Toledo, Ohio.  Doug and I are huge Beatles fans and their music was the soundtrack to our college courtship.  When we got engaged in May of 2010, before we knew when and where, we knew that our wedding would include a lot of Beatles music. And not to brag, but my wedding turned out to be AMAZING!  (Mostly because Carly, Stitely Entertainment‘s Event-Planning Coordinator/Guru, planned my wedding from top to bottom. Thanks Carly!)

The "Please, Please Me" table

The "Please, Please Me" table (See the melted record candle-holders?)

Our theme was really fun and allowed us a lot of flexibility in our decorations and other “typical” wedding traditions.  For example, each table was named after an album and was decorated with Beatles trivia cards and melted record-candle holders (which were also favors). Our bridesmaids were called the Honey Pies and our groomsmen were the Day Trippers, while the man of honor and best man were called (what else?) The Walrus and The Eggman. And of course, our theme influenced our music choices and special dances:

  • First Dance: Don’t Let Me Down
  • Father/Daughter & Mother/Son Dance: In My Life
  • Anniversary Dance: And I Love Her
  • Bridal Party Introductions: Come Together
  • Bride and Groom Introductions: All You Need is Love
  • Cake cutting: A Taste of Honey
  • Garter Toss: Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?
  • Bouquet toss: Octopus Garden
  • Second to last song: With a Little Help From My Friends
  • Last Song: The End

Just because our wedding had a Beatles theme didn’t mean we wanted to limit ourselves to only their music.  We also included some of our other favorite dance music that ran the gamut from Motown to indie rock to hip hop.

  • Range Life– Pavement
  • Blister in the Sun- Violent Femmes
  • Do you Realize? – Flaming Lips
  • Send Me on My Way- Rusted Root
  • Home– Edward Sharpe and Magnetic Zeros
  • Superstitious- Stevie Wonder
  • Sexyback –Justin Timberlake
  • Speaking in Tongues- Eagles of Death Metal
  • Crazy in Love- Beyonce
  • 1901- Phoenix
  • Dog Days are Over– Florence and the Machine
  • 10 Dollar – M.I.A.
  • The Way you Move- Outkast
  • Power of Love- Huey Lewis (Requested by my dad!)
  • This is Not a Test- She & Him
  • Electric Feel –MGMT
  • Fidelity- Regina Spektor
  • Bang a Gong – T. Rex
  • Forget You- Cee Lo Green

Some of my favorite memories from our wedding were our musical shout-outs to the Honey Pies and Day Trippers. We wanted to acknowledge their love and support throughout the length of our friendships (and planning process) by picking special songs that reminded us of each of them.  We played some during dinner & some during dancing.

  • Measuring Cups- Andrew Bird
  • Dreams –Cranberries
  • Man in Me– Bob Dylan
  • I Won’t Back Down- Tom Petty
  • Bicycle- Queen
  • Hollaback Girl- Gwen Stefani
  • Land Down Under– Men at Work
  • Ain’t No Other Man- Christina Aguilera
  • Gold Digger – Kanye West
  • Idioteque- Radiohead
  • How Bizarre –OMC (It’s a LOOOOONG story)

Despite the questioning of the skeptics, we couldn’t be happier with the way our wedding turned out!  And by the end of the night many of those dubious relatives said that ours was the most fun wedding to which they had ever been invited. So if you and your fiance don’t want to follow the typical wedding color schemes or traditions, or if others think some of your ideas are “crazy,” just ignore them. It’s your day, do it your way and have a blast!


Official Opinions: And the winner is…

We are very proud to announce that Stitely Entertainment has been voted by our 2010 wedding clients to the The Knot’s Best of Weddings for another year!  We’ve received this honor in both 2008 & 2009 as well.  We are also the recipient of the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award for 2011.  Both of these awards  recognize top wedding professionals who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism, as voted by past clients.

Thank you to our clients for selecting us for this award and to all of our musicians and staff for their contributions that made this year so successful.  Congratulations to all of our vendor partners who also received The Knot’s Best of Weddings award. These are just a few of the great companies on the list:


Stitely Soundboard: Stitely’s Valentine’s Dance- Oh What A Night!

I don’t know that there are enough words to describe the scene at Stitely Entertainment‘s Fourth Annual Valentine’s Day Dance last Saturday night. The Mid-America Club was an phenomenal host, with great views both inside and out.

Click here for more photos

The festively decorated interior was filled red and pink balloons, while guests marveled at the view of the city from the 80th floor.  The evening began with a delicious dinner prepared by the Club’s gourmet chef.  While the diners enjoyed their meal, a Stitely soloist serenaded the happy couples with romantic violin music.  It was after dinner that the dance party really began.

The Stitely Orchestra, Chicago Groove Collective and DJ Vincent did a fantastic job of getting everyone, old and young, on the dance floor and keeping them there all night.  As a company with a passion for celebration, it was so great to see everyone out there enjoying themselves, losing themselves in the music and ambiance of the affair.  Everyone had a great time dancing the night away with their friends and/or valentines. Some of the highlights of the evening include the Stitely Orchestra’s showstopping rendition of Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope.”  Joan Collasso’s voice really brought the house down! And we could not have been happier with the debut of the revitalized Chicago Groove Collective. Their versions of “Raise Your Glass” by Pink and “Only Girl” by Rihanna brought a ton of energy to the dance floor and collected any remaining wallflowers.  Another treat for the younger crowd was “California Girls” and “Groove is in the Heart.”

Stitely guests feeling the music

Another people-pleaser was the photo shoot area provided by Best Friend Photography and Design.  In another area of the Club, Ingid set up a blank background and box full of fun props and let the guests’ goofy antics do the rest.  A huge shout-out to Ingrid and her crew for the fab photos she took of the evening too!

Thank you to everyone who made this evening such a success! It was so great to see some of our past clients, interns and friends dance the night away.  For those of you who couldn’t make it, including our very own Peggy Latko, we missed you and hope to see you next year.

Jeff and the Stitely gang


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: indie wed is for lovers

For those of you who have never been to a bridal show, they can be overwhelming. Tons of vendors, lots of noise and so much to see that you don’t even know where to begin. But this weekend a couple of us Stitely gals went to Indie Wed to check out the scene, and what we found was a lot fun!

Indie Wed is not your average bridal show.  It caters to couples who are taking “a more modern, edgy, or eco-friendly approach to their special day,” as well as more traditional couples who are looking for unique or hand-made special touches such as custom stationery on recycled paper or crocheted ring pillows.  It was hosted on three separate floors at the Ravenswood Event Center, which is a totally cool space, btw.  If you have never been there, you should definitely check it out!  A converted factory, the space is big with high ceilings and the Showroom has antique cars and old neon signs lining the walls.  It definitely fit the independent, funky, crafty, boutique-like vibe of the show.  They had a ton of different types of wedding vendors ranging from photographers, bakeries and caterers, to fashion, stationery and floral designers.

Rachel at Indie Wed

As the resident bride-to-be, I found a lot of inspiration for my wedding! These are a few of my favorite things from Indie Wed (insert Sound of Music Reference here): I think the item(s) that I enjoyed  the most, the one I will probably incorporate into my wedding, are these incredible button bouquets.  I just love how quirky and interesting these are, and since you can get them by the wire I’m thinking about adding them to my flower bouquets.  At least they’ll last longer than the real flowers. I also really liked these beaded flowers by Ododo Originals. Hmmm, these would look great on my bridesmaids… And this peony pendant by Moira K. Lime would look pretty good with my dress. In fact, it was difficult for me to keep from buying everything in the place!

The Button Bouquet

Carly liked the sassy hair pieces from Lulu Mae and the Bario-Neal rough cut diamond engagement rings. And the amazing dishes offered by Fig Catering, like the succulent braised pork.  A combined favorite was Vavoom Pinups, a vintage style photography studio that specializes in dolling girls up in sweet 50’s vixen outfits with glamorous hair and makeup. This looks like so much fun, I can’t even stand it!

Even though by this point next year my wedding will have passed, you will still find me at Indie Wed.  Not just for the delicious food and incredibly artistic products, but for the awesome ambiance as well. Check it out.

Rachel and Carly


Official Opinion: Trashing the Dress

A new phenomenon that has become not only popular, but also fascinating is “Trashing the Dress”. For years it has been a tradition for brides to seal their dresses up tight after their wedding day and save them for their children to play dress up in and potentially wear at their own weddings. But, with the times changing so hasn’t the wedding dress tradition.

Wondering who started this dirty tradition? A Las Vegas photographer by the name of John Michael Cooper is credited with being the first to try this new type of shoot. Bored of the typical wedding photos, he asked some of his clients to pose in settings that most brides would never dream of going with such a clean crisp white wedding dress and the rest seems to be history.

After months of looking for the perfect dress, fittings, and alterations, brides are now taking their beautiful/expensive dresses and “trashing” them. Paying professional photographers to take pictures of them rolling in mud, running through water, and getting enormous grass stains post wedding day. Depending on how tame or wild a bride may be there are different options as to how badly one may trash their dress (and what will be able to be dry cleaned). From looking at pictures posted on blogs and photographers websites some shoots are subtle walks through the woods while others are what looks to be a fun game of mud volleyball without the net or ball.

With so many different locations in Chicago it is really up to a brides imagination and wildness as to where one may trash their dress in the city. There are the beaches on Lake Michigan, the parks throughout the city, local construction sites (because we know there are plenty of those), and maybe even a trip out to the suburbs where there are more fields and dirt to roll in.

So if you chose to get some of these unforgettable images shot I have made a list of photographers who offer the shoots, help you pick the perfect location to get as dirty as you want, and have pictures of past shoots to share.  Enjoy!


Stitely Soundboard: We Cater To You

One highlight of the year for Stitely Entertainment was preparing for Tina LeDinh and Bang Trinh’s wedding at the Trump Hotel. It was a magnificent Chicago wedding where everything was done with the utmost amount of class. Laura Patterson from “The Ideal Day” lived up to her name by pulling all the pieces together and running the evening flawlessly.

In our preparation meeting I learned that the bride’s parents, the bride & groom, and many of their friends loved to ballroom dance so we prepared a few Salsa tunes, Cha Chas, Tangos, Rhumbas, Waltzes and of course Michael Buble and Sinatra were their faves. The Michael Buble version of “Quando, Quando, Quando” was their first dance and “Save the Last Dance for Me” was the last dance of the evening.  It was an East Coast Style wedding so we played most of the ballroom dancing earlier in the evening before moving on to the wide variety of music we do: Motown, Classic Rock, 80’s and contemporary songs. At their request we stayed away from Funk and Country.

One of the highlights for me was speaking Vietnamese to welcome everyone. The dance floor was packed with every song we played which makes our job so much fun! The other contributors to the evening were: Flowers by Heffernan Morgan, Amanda Sudimack at Artisan Events did the photos and videography was provided by Fig Media.

It’s very rewarding to me when a parent takes the time to write a letter to us after the event. Tony LeDinh wrote, “Thank you. It was a wonderful evening with great music…Your band gave “first class” entertainment.  We loved it.”

Sweet! I love my job.



Stitely Soundboard: A Reception on the River

On November 20th, the Stitely Orchestra performed at a crazy fun wedding at Fulton’s on the River. Zach Tinkle and Emily Whitson were such a sweet and fun couple. It started with us providing the music and sound for the ceremony. The pianist and violinist prepared “Clocks” by Coldplay for the recessional and the bride mentioned how much that meant to her at the end of the night. Continue reading ‘Stitely Soundboard: A Reception on the River’

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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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October 2020