Ray LaMontagne

When planning your wedding you should have complete control over the genres and artists played during all three parts of your wedding reception: cocktail hour, dinner and dancing.  Traditionally, DJs will play classical and “Rat Pack” music during dinner and cocktails, which is fine, but don’t forget, the entire reception is an opportunity to showcase your musical tastes and interests. Couples today are including their favorite adult contemporary artists such as Coldplay, U2, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer in the dinner and cocktail must play lists.

Another artist that has become wildly popular due his recent hit “You Are the Best Thing,” is folk singer Ray LaMontagne. “You Are the Best Thing” can be used for dinner and cocktails as well as the bride and groom’s first dance or cake cutting song.  “With a voice that recalls a huskier, sandpaper version of “Van Morrison ”, LaMontagne’s song has an upbeat, jazzy sound that will appeal to every age group and has lyrics that lend themselves very well to a wedding.  “We’ve come a long way, baby / You know, I hope and I pray that you believe me / When I say this love will never fade away / Oh because / You are the best thing / Ever happened to me.”

The song can be found on LaMontagne’s 2008 album Gossip in the Grain, but is by no means the only song that can work at a wedding reception.  His debut album, Trouble, includes the title track “Trouble” as well as “Shelter” and “Forever My Friend”. His 2006 offering Till the Sun Turns Black, is still a great album, however it comes across a little darker and more melancholy – not what you are looking for at a wedding reception.

If you like Ray LaMontagne, be sure to also look into artists like Ryan Adams, Iron and Wine and Damien Rice for your cocktail hour and wedding reception dinner music.  Whatever music you listen to, remember this: your wedding reception should reflect your music tastes. Customize the evening to showcase the artists you like and your guests will leave your reception with a unique experience.

Personalize Your Reception

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of DJ’ing a wedding chalked full of personal touches that displayed the bride and groom’s outgoing, fun-loving personalities.

My Thoughts…When planning your wedding, do not worry about what other people expect or what is conventional. Don’t be afraid to add a little flair to your special day.

For starters, their first dance was choreographed to Ray LaMontagne’s “You are the Best Thing.” The groom twirled his bride around the dance floor and hammed it up for the guests. Everyone loved it. You could feel the energy in the room building as everyone anxiously awaited to see what was going to happen next… as the groom dipped the bride and I faded out the music and mixed in “Weapon of Choice” by Fatboy Slim. On the far side of the dance floor, the father of the bride began to move around slowly as if to break into dance at any minute as the song began to build. At the same time, the bride (on the other side of the dance floor) also began pacing the dance floor. After the 30 second intro, the father of the bride and the bride began dancing ala Christopher Walken in the “Weapon of Choice” music video. The room erupted with applause and I knew right away this was going to be a fun bunch. From here, we faded into the more traditional “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong as the groom and his mother joined the bride and father of the bride on the dance floor.

I was told ahead of time that the bride and groom and their friends had a lot of “song routines”. “You’ll see what we mean,” they said. I had no idea what I was in store for. First up, “Time Warp” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, by special request from the bride. The entire dance floor filled as the song began and everyone took their place as if this was a well rehearsed Broadway show. Everyone in the room was grinning from ear to ear as they “performed” synchronized movements to the song. It was a blast!

Throughout the evening, the group continued to participate in other group dances, including a hilarious dance to The Pointer Sisters “Jump (For My Love) in which members of the bridal party took turns jumping into an imaginary double Dutch jump roping scenario. Again, it was a blast for everyone involved.

Because they planned a night that was customized to their specific tastes, the couple and all of their guests will definitely look back at that night as one they will never forget. They were not concerned about convention. They wanted to have a fun, memorable, and unique wedding reception and they most definitely did. I can honestly say that it was one of the most fun wedding receptions I have ever been a part of.