Posts Tagged ‘wedding reception


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!



Music Monday: “Streets in the Rain” by Sean Kelly

For this week’s Music Monday Eric chose “Streets in the Rain” by Sean Kelly. He is the lead singer for a band called The Samples, which was formed in Boulder, Colorado in 1987, and came from the members’ early sustenance of food samples from the local grocery store.The group’s music can be described as a mix between reggae and rock/pop. Enjoy!






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


Official Opinions: Thanks and happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Valentine’s Day Dance this past Saturday night! And thanks again to our fantastic host, The Mid-America Club!  We had so much fun and it was great to join all of you dancers who packed the floor. We even managed to capture a picture of some of the Stitely staff & interns…

What a good looking group!

We’ll be posting more fun party photos and videos so don’t hesitate to check back later in the week. Also, if you have any great pictures of your own, we’d love for you to share them with us! You can email them to or post them to our Facebook page.

To continue with our Valentine’s Day celebrations, here’s one of Rachel’s favorite love songs, Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Official Opinions: Cupid’s Revenge Valentine’s Day Party at McCormick and Schmick’s

Hey all you single ladies (and gentlemen)! This Friday, February 11 from 8:30pm-11:30 pm, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant is having an awesome Valentine’s Day event, Cupid’s Revenge! If you’re looking to meet new people, hear live music (provided by Stitely Entertainment, of course) and enjoy drink specials, hors d’oeuvres and decadent desserts, head on down to the  41 East Chestnut Street location.  Call (312) 397-9500 to reserve $15 tickets, or swing by on Friday for $20 tickets at the door.  Hope to see you there!

McCormick and Schmick’s is located on Chestnut and Rush Street in Chicago’s famous “Gold Coast.” They have an extensive lunch and dinner menu which is updated twice daily so that they are able to offer the best and freshest selections. These selections include more than 30 fish and seafood selections from U.S. and international waters as well as an assortment of beef, chicken and pasta entrees.

And for all you soon-to-be brides out there who are no longer single, McCormick and Schmick’s accommodates both small and large wedding receptions , as well as bridal showers and rehearsal dinners. There are a number of properties that offer beautiful venues and ideal settings for these special events. Their staff is dedicated to providing assistance with the smallest details and offering a unique, stress free and enjoyable planning experience.


Official Opinions: get ready to dance!

Mark your calendars and get ready to dance on Monday, January 17th.

Stephanie Rogers Band is having a free concert at SPACE in Evanston. The band will play from 7:00 – 8:30 and there will be appetizers and drinks. Come join us to dance and start the week off right!

Hope to see you there.


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’


Stitely Soundboard: Jewish Weddings

The Stitely Orchestra has done several Jewish events in the last few months and all of them have been phenomenal dance parties. I love how people come to celebrate and jump on the dance floor as they are entering the room before the bride and groom are even announced. Most Jewish weddings follow the format that we in Chicago call an “East Coast” style wedding. That’s where people dance as soon as the bride and groom are introduced into the room and also dance between dinner courses.

The challenge in leading a band for an “East Coast” style wedding is the tight relationship needed between the catering manager, photographer, planner and band leader.  There are timing issues that are much more detailed and need to be coordinated with catering as the guests are invited up to dance, and later seated to eat the next course. It’s critical that the leader of the band owns the success of the whole event. It involves more than just playing great music. For instance, last week it was time to bring up the Grandfather for the blessing and the Motzi (bread) wasn’t anywhere to be found. Most band leaders would have introduced the people without even noticing, but I looked for the Motzi, and before making the announcement, asked why it wasn’t there only to find out that the bride’s Aunt was supposed to bring it but didn’t. I went into the kitchen and asked for the biggest roll they had and a cloth napkin. Within 90 seconds we were good to go and everything went off without a hitch. It’s all the little details being handled that make a complex evening go flawlessly and we are committed to doing exactly that.

As the salad was being served, we started playing what was planned as background music but BAM, the dance floor filled up. That’s the kind of situation where you go with the moment and let an event go in the direction it wants to go. It ended up being non-stop dancing all night except while the guests were eating their entree. It’s parties like this that are so much fun for us and for everyone else involved. The best part for me is when all the players involved are committed to making everything work and know how to keep a positive energy going no matter what happens.



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


Official Opinions: Would You Like Fries with that Lifetime Commitment?

For those of you looking for the next sign of the apocalypse, here it is: Hong Kong McDonalds locations are now booking requests to hold wedding receptions at their restaurants. Starting on January 1, 2011, you can say “I do” while Super Sizing your #7 value meal at the same time. Now, as a fan of the Big Mac, McDonalds is of course one of the five main food groups on the college student’s food pyramid, I’d be extremely intrigued if asked to attend a wedding reception at one of these locations. The intrigue does not come solely from the choice of location, but how the typical wedding reception activities would occur. I’m going to break the occasion down into four parts of a normal wedding reception and give you an idea of what I think would happen with the dinner, the toast, the cake cutting and the dancing.


How in the world do they set up a usable system for this part of the night? There is no way that having everyone line up to order would work. Think about it. Do the bride and groom go first? How do you organize the rest of the line? Don’t even think about custom ordering that double cheeseburger with no onions because, first of all, you know they won’t get it right, and it certainly wouldn’t be worth waiting in line again for them to correct it. Your Uncle Allen is bound to get irritated the longer he goes without food, so he’ll probably just get in his car and use the drive-thru. Basically you’re looking at a disaster with the line set up.

What else can one do then? Buffet-style dinner. Those Chicken McNuggets have never looked classier than they do resting in that sterling silver chafing dish. Cut down on line time and keep Uncle Allen happy with a limitless supply of McRibs. Brilliant move.


What better place for the toast than to stand behind the counter and blast it through the mic on the cash register? It says, “I love you and your spouse so much that I want the fry cook in the back to know it.” Classy. Actually, use the opportunity to send some love to the fry cook as well. He worked hard to provide the wedding party with enough calories to nourish a third world country.

Cake Cutting

Oh the possibilities. You think I want to see a traditional wedding cake at a reception held in a McDonalds? Hell no. Get me all the apple pies you’ve got and stick them together with some of that delicious soft serve ice cream. While you’re at it, throw some hot fudge on top of it too. I didn’t show up to see some gourmet creation by a bakery. I’m at a McDonalds. Let’s keep our expectations realistic here. Enjoy cutting through that with the free plastic knife.

(On a side note, during my most recent visit to McDonalds I noticed that the apple pies were advertised as “50 cents!” with “2 for $1” right below it. Can someone please explain to me where the added value in the “2 for $1” is found?)


By this part of the night, it’s become obvious that the newlywed couple really didn’t think this event through. The line to the bathroom has become longer than the Great Wall that’s protecting the country, Uncle Allen’s gone into cardiac arrest due to consuming more McRibs than any person ever should, and now people want to bust a move and work off some of those fries, but there isn’t enough room for even a soloist to fit in the restaurant. Instead, the band is found playing into the “Place Your Order Here” microphone in the drive-thru, and that’s being broadcast over the speakers in the dining area. At least make sure the band’s from Stitely Entertainment so you know you’re getting a quality performance.

With “Sweet Caroline” sounding like it’s being played through a tin can, you somehow manage to squeeze in between the tables and dance with that special someone. She may have some McDonalds BBQ sauce on her face, but are you really going to display high standards at this point of the night? Once the band takes their 15 minute break, sit down, grab a McFlurry, and take in the surroundings. It’s surely an event that you won’t soon forget.

In closing, I’d like to suggest a couple of other places that would be ridiculous to have a wedding reception in:

White Castle–They already take reservations for Valentine’s Day. Why not take it a step further?

Bob Evans–Get hitched “down on the farm.”

Olive Garden–Nothing says true love like unlimited breadsticks. They’ll probably write a terribly cheesy commercial about it afterward too.

If ever invited to any of these wedding receptions, please do me a favor and attend them. It’s too ridiculous of an occasion to pass up. Have a most excellent day.


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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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August 2020