Bud and Alley’s Weddings in Seaside, FL

If you’ve ever driven along 30A going from Santa Rosa Beach into Seaside, then you’ve had to come across Bud and Alley’s in Seaside, FL. We’re so excited to see more and more of our clients having their wedding receptions there.  This venue has always been an after-hours place for many of our wedding clients once everything else closes down at 10PM due to the upstairs bar that stays open till 2AM.

However, they just completed a renovation of the main restaurant and over the last year or so, a ton of wedding receptions are now being held on property. I recently got a chance to see the venue a few weeks ago and sit down with their event coordinators, Rachel and Kathryn.

This outdoor space has been redone to include a tented area for the DJ to set up under.  Additionally, they have professional grade speakers permanently mounted to the top of the tent that allows us as the DJ to tap into.  This eliminates the clutter of seeing our speakers stands, etc. On that lower level is where dancing takes place.

Bud and Alley's Weddings
There’s a raised deck that is adjacent to the restaurant.  This is where the dinner tables are placed.  This picture below doesn’t show it but the deck wraps around to the left and more tables can be placed there. They have standalone heaters for the cold months available and cafe style lighting strands are strung over the dance floor year round to give it that throwback rustic look.

Bud & Alley's Reception

If you haven’t yet seen Bud & Alley’s and are looking for a private venue that serves amazing food, make sure you check it out.  They only do 1 event per day so be sure to get your reservation in early.  We will be shooting a venue profile video and have it up on our YouTube channel later on this season.

Best David Bowie Party Song Ever

David Bowie passed last night but his legacy lives on.  His music has been a staple in our wedding and corporate event dinner and dance sets for years.  Just a couple that are in our music catalog:

  • Golden Years
  • Heroes
  • Kooks
  • Let’s Dance
  • Modern Love
  • Oh! You Pretty Things
  • Space Oddity
  • Under Pressure
  • Ziggy Stardust

However, now that our 20 something wedding clients are products of the 90s era, very few find their way on to our couples’ music request lists anymore.  Except for two.  You can probably guess which ones.  They are “Let’s Dance” and “Under Pressure”.  Both songs are upbeat (although the latter is a faster tempo).  But if you had to pick just one, what would be your best David Bowie party song ever?  Which one would rock your party the best?

David Bowie DJ Songs

From a DJ perspective, I have to go with “Under Pressure”.  The tempo (114 beats per minute) is perfect to transition between a dinner set into a dance set. You have the noticeable bass riff that has guests usually thinking you’re going into “Ice Ice Baby”.  However, I’ve found that in a wedding set, you can keep the older folks dancing longer with this David Bowie tune because they know the lyrics rather than going with Vanilla Ice’s knock-off old school rap track.  The key to this tune is not to stay with it too long.  If you get to the bridge at about 2 minutes in, the beat drops out for about 20 seconds (which can seem like an eternity for your average dance crowd) and then the track changes in feel and can be tricky getting out of without letting it play to the very end.

The best remix I’ve found to date for a wedding/corporate application is one by DiscoTech.  The song stays true to the original and is a quick 2 minutes and 30 seconds with a DJ friendly intro and outro fade that makes it easy to transition into whatever genre you want to go to next.  What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with this pick?  Or do you think another song should top the list?  Have a better remix of Under Pressure?  Comment below.

DJs December 2015 Spotify Playlist

It’s time for the B-Boy DJs December 2015 Spotify playlist release – just in time before the end of the month (and year). These selections are from some of our working DJs who have given us 1-3 songs they are enjoying this month. Not all of these are meant for event purposes (although many are); they represent what our team of event DJs are listening to. If you haven’t subscribed to our Spotify, do it today!

Wedding DJs Spotify

 

DJ Brian B (Owner/Exectuive DJ)

  • Love Yourself (KANDY Remix) – Justin Bieber
  • Sugar (HUGEL Remix) – Robin Schulz feat. Francesco Yates
  • Same Old Love (Filous Remix) – Selena Gomez

DJ Duane (Associate DJ)

  • WTF (Where They From) – Missy Elliott feat. Pharrell Williams
  • Like I’m Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor feat. John Legend
  • Here – Alessia Cara

DJ Irving G  (Associate DJ)

  • La Gozadera – Gente de Zona feat. Marc Anthony
  • One Call Away (KLYMVX Remix) – Charlie Puth
  • Fiesta – Bomba Estereo feat. Will Smith

DJ Dan Davis  (Associate DJ)

  • Honeymoon  – Lana Del Rey
  • Downtown – Macklemore
  • Good For You – Selena Gomez

DJ Josh Bausch  (Associate DJ)

  • Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay
  • On My Mind – Ellie Goulding
  • Lean On – Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MØ

DJ Shawn Frady  (Associate DJ)

  • White Iverson – Post Malone
  • You Got Me – G-Eazy
  • Bros – Wolf Alice

DJ Che (Jr. Associate DJ)

  • Good Times Roll – GRiZ & Big Gigantic
  • Random – G-Eazy
  • Holding on To You – Twenty One Pilots

DJ Josh Weck (Jr. Associate DJ)

  • When We Were Young – Adele (original not on Spotify)
  • In The Night – The Weeknd

Steve Harvey gaffe at the Miss Universe Pageant was not what it seemed

Being in the event world and putting such an emphasis on MC’ing with my DJs, the Steve Harvey moment at the Miss Universe pageant last night seemed to be, on the surface, a very teachable moment for my crew. Steve had to have known this was the one thing to get right. How do you not take the 30-60 seconds to look at the cards and prepare before announcing the winner to millions watching on TV? Although it’s a on a much smaller scale, wedding party introductions carry the same type of magnitude. We spend the first half of our DJ training course on this specific area.

Steve Harvey

But that’s where this particular story shifts. As much as “live” TV tries to sell the general public that it is indeed live, those of us in the production world know nothing is left to chance on these sorts of things. It is always mapped out, especially when millions of people are tuned in. Think of any award show you have watched. Do the producers and directors let the host or presenters free-style? Of course not! It is scripted and placed on a teleprompter for them to read. So where I am going with this?

In an industry that demands I stay up on all the latest social media platforms, I stay connected to them all. If you’re not on Snapchat, then you may not have seen one of the snaps in the “Miss Universe” story. Steve Harvey was caught on video talking to the producers saying that the prompter showed “Miss Universe – Colombia”. Interesting enough when I went back this morning to look for it, that snap was deleted! Luckily, the web keeps all this stuff and I found the snap.

If this snap is indeed accurate, I give Steve Harvey a ton of credit. It would have been so easy to throw the production crew under the bus. Yet, he put it on himself. As MCs in the event field, we can take a cue from Steve on this. How many times does a bride/groom switch the wedding party order last minute or the planner calls an audible or a father of the bride demands we switch a song that will kill the dance floor? Do we blame someone else (though we’d have every right to) or do we take it on the chin and make it work. I’ll always go with the latter. Your thoughts? How would you have handled this?

Destination Wedding DJ Heidi Jade at Hilton Sandestin

Heidi Jade (1024x1024)

DJ Heidi Jade

Today we are highlighting Destination Wedding DJ Heidi Jade who recently was our headlining entertainer at the destination wedding of Grace and Danyel. The ceremony and reception took place at the Hilton Sandestin in Destin, FL. When asked what their ideal DJ looked like, their reply was “carefree and fun.” We then had them describe their ultimate wedding reception to which they said “party of a lifetime”.

Assigning their wedding DJ was a no-brainer. We knew Heidi would fit the bill perfectly for this wedding. Her easy-going demeanor and impressive mixing skills would be sure to amaze not only the bride and groom but their 65 guests in attendance as well. We utilized one of our DJ assistants so it would be easy for Heidi to coordinate and get out from behind the decks and into the middle of the deck for the Grand Entrance announcements.

One of the best parts of a destination wedding is that you have your closest family and friends in attendance. This usually means they have no problem letting loose and having a good time. Grace rated her crowd as a 9 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being complete party animals). The love that these guests had for the bride and groom could be felt immediately and they lived up to the party rating.

From the moment the open dancing started, Grace set the tone and danced the entire evening. Her guests followed suit and the party was officially on! With some of their guests coming from New Orleans, Zydeco and Cajun music were on the request list as well as some of the popular line dances like “Cupid Shuffle” and “The Wobble”. These were the formality song choices:

  • Grand Entrance (Bridal Party): “I Gotta Feelin” by Black Eyed Peas
  • Grand Entrance (Bride/Groom): “Everything” by Michael Bublé
  • First Dance: “1000 Years” (Christina Perri Cover) by Boyce Avenue
  • Father/Daughter Dance: “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle
  • Mother/Son Dance: “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
  • Cake Cut: “How Sweet It is” by James Taylor

Check out this highlight reel of Heidi that we put together from the wedding below.

Our Event DJs November 2015 Spotify Music Picks

We’ve put together a list of tracks for our event DJs November 2015 Spotify music picks which you can listen to here. This a fantastic way to stay up on some of the new music climbing the charts and getting airplay on the radio as well as to get a feel for what a lot of our entertainers are playing out at parties.  Be sure to follow our channel and subscribe to the playlist.

B-Boy DJ Spotify Picks November 2015

Brian B (Owner/Executive DJ)

  • Be Real (Vice & Justyle Remix) – Kid Ink, Dej Loaf
  • Say My Name (Ganz Remix) – ODESZA feat. Zyra
  • Renegades (The Knocks Remix) – X-Ambassadors

DJ Duane (Associate DJ)

  • What Do You Mean – Justin Bieber
  • Delirious (Boneless) – Steve Aoki, Chris Lake & Tujamo feat. Kid Ink
  • Lean On – Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MO

DJ Irving G (Associate DJ)

  • Hotline Bling – Drake
  • Sorry – Justin Bieber
  • Run For Your Life – Big Grams

DJ Dan Davis (Associate DJ)

  • Skin-Tight Boogie – EODM
  • Here – Alessia Cara
  • Disarm You – Kaskade feat. Ilsey

DJ Josh B (Associate DJ)

  • Honey I’m Good – Andy Grammer
  • Stitches – Shawn Mendes
  • Downtown – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

DJ Che (Jr. Associate DJ)

  • Revolution – Diplo
  • Middle – DJ Snake
  • Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes

DJ Josh Weck (Jr. Associate DJ)

  • Cake By The Ocean – DNCE

DJ Shawn Frady (Jr. Associate DJ)

  • S.O.B. – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  • Weathered – Jack Garratt
  • Retrograde – James Blake

DJ Heidi (Jr. Associate DJ)

  • Can’t Sleep Love – Pentatonix
  • Gibberish – MAX feat. Hoodie Allen
  • Levels – Nick Jonas

Until next month…happy listening!

Wedding DJ Wedding Package Winners | Des & Basil

Last year we did a wedding package giveaway. It was one of the best contests we’ve ever ran. It came down to the wire but Deserie and Basil (pictured bottom left below) pulled away and won it!

DJ wedding package

It took over a year to see the wedding come to fruition but wow, what an awesome event. I didn’t get a ton of time to hang out with Des and Basil but you could see the genuine love in their eyes all night. Their crowd was amazing and boy did they love some old school!

This was the first time I’d ever worked at this venue, Plaza De Magdalena, in San Juan Capistrano, CA. From the street, you’d have no idea this hidden gem was there. And a hidden gem it is! The courtyard is downstairs and very private – perfect for ceremonies and cocktail hours. But the crown jewel is the Magdalena Room, which boasts a phenomenal in-house lighting system (complete with decor and monogram/gobo lighting potential) and they have an in-house sound system. Patti, the contact at the venue, was amazing to work with. She was very accommodating and unlike many venue contacts, she stayed until the end (which I very much appreciated).

Des had her friend, Elena Moreno, run the event and she couldn’t have been easier to work with! You’d have thought she had done this for years by the way she was so calm and collected throughout the night. Here are a photos of the evening we snapped.

Plaza De Magdalena Courtyard

Wedding Instagram

Wedding Decor

Wedding Decor

Wedding Cake

Wedding Decor

DJ Brian B CA Wedding DJ

Atomic Dog

DJ Brian B Official

Destination Wedding Tips | Weather Contingency Plan

I’ve always loved the quote by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you plan to to fail.” There’s a ton of truth in that.  If you’re looking at having your wedding in the panhandle of Florida, this should be your battle cry.  Maybe you saw the beautiful beaches and are dreaming of having a picturesque ceremony take place on the white sand followed by an outdoor wedding reception on a lawn or deck.  Sounds amazing right?  I wish I could say that this perfect scenario plays out for all of our weddings but every now and then mother nature decides to throw some curve balls.  Although rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck, this can wreak havoc on all the hard work you’ve put into your wedding plans and add some unnecessary stress.  With over 9 years in the Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30-A, and Fort Walton Beach area, let us give your some helpful destination wedding tips.

Wedding Rain Plan DJ

#1: Choose your wedding venue carefully.
You’d think this was a no-brainer but not all event venues (especially in the panhandle) are equipped with a back-up indoor space.  So ask these venues the right questions.  Here’s a few:

  • If my event is outside, do you have indoor space in case of rain?  If so, is it available to us and what is the cost?
  • If there are multiple weddings at your venue, how do you decide who gets what room?
  • When do you make a rain call to move things inside?
  • If there are no indoor options, will the venue allow us to rent a tent?


#2: Speaking of tents, put down a deposit upon booking your venue!
A lot of our destination clients can wait for the rain to pass to get in their 20 minute ceremony but if there are having their reception outdoors at say a beach house or a venue that has no indoor space, there is a chance the rain may come back again.  You then find yourself in a pickle because so many of your reception elements have to be preset (tables, centerpieces, cutlery, cake, etc.).  The best thing to do is reserve a tent as soon as you lock in your date and venue.  While the deposit is generally non-refundable, you can’t afford NOT to do this.  Like having an insurance policy, it’s not until you need it that you wish you had it.  With so many weddings happening in the area, the last thing you want to do is wait until the “day of” and play Russian roulette with the tent companies.  If you can find one that is available, chances are the rates are going to be high due to supply and demand.


#3: Find out your vendor’s policies are regarding rain.
If your vendor is contracted for a certain amount of hours and there is a weather delay, do they charge extra for any time overage?  Will they even work out in the rain?  

As an entertainment company, rain is an obvious concern for us.  We strive to do all we can to accommodate our client’s wishes, but we can’t put the couple’s event, their guests’ safety, our employees’ safety or the gear in jeopardy.  Chances are that same gear is booked out the very next day for another client’s wedding.  For our live musicians, unless they are under a covered area, they can’t play in the rain with their personal instruments.  For our DJs and Photo Booth personnel, we have a 3 strike policy when it comes to rain. Assuming it’s dry, we will set-up as planned outside until the first few drops of rain.  Once that occurs, we will pull all gear until the rain stops so we can minimize any damage and hopefully continue on without any hiccups due to water damage.  The client has the option at that point to move our team inside (we’ll reset at no cost to the client) or wait until it stops and we’ll re-set outside again as fast as we can to reduce the time delay. If it rains a second time outside on the gear, we have to strike the gear until an indoor solution can be figured out.

In the last two years, we’ve had a ton of rain during wedding season on the Emerald Coast.  These tips, if followed, will allow this rain to slide right off as you move on to an even more fabulous Plan B.  We know this area like the back of our hand so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Best Wedding Venues in Fort Walton Beach | 2015 Recommendations

In the final installment of our 2015 picks for top destination wedding venues in the Panhandle of Florida, we’re going to show you the Best Wedding Venues in Fort Walton Beach.  There has been a resurgence of weddings in this area over the past year thanks in part to some new development.  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working these particular venues and think you be pleased to  have any of these are your wedding day venue!

Watervue at Brooks Street – Destin, FL
This is a recently renovated property under new ownership/management.  The venue is extremely spacious (over 5,000 square feet and a guest capacity of up to 300).  Mary is a delight to work with.  She is extremely personable and looks to make each event stand out.  With both indoor and outdoor options as well as the ability to bring in your own vendors, this is a venue that should definitely be considered.  They have a permanent dance floor installed as well as an elevated stage for the entertainment but what I think is their best feature is the wrap-around outside deck that circles around the ballroom with a waterfront view.  Plenty of on-site parking as well.

Watervue at Brooks Street Wedding DJ


Holiday Inn Resort – Fort Walton Beach, FL

This new property officially opened its doors in 2014.  Kevin (the venue manager) has some amazing group rate specials for wedding parties. While this is a smaller property, the open lobby floor plan, pool, and beach access makes it a perfect place to have your guests stay for your wedding celebration.  Their private beach access works well for ceremonies and they have a few indoor ballroom options for receptions.   What we like about this resort is that because of its size, they can’t have too many events happening at one time.  This means dedicated attention to you and your event.  In a day and age where venues want to flip ballrooms as many times as possible in a day, this resort has taken a quality over quantity approach which you will really appreciate!

Holiday Inn Fort Walton Beach Wedding DJ


Southern Bay Manor – Fort Walton Beach, FL

Tucked off of Highway 98 in downtown Fort Walton Beach, this venue is pretty amazing.  It’s located along the Santa Rosa Sound and the lush green lawns and beautiful trees give off a feeling of serenity.  Capacity is 500 people.  The set-up configurations are truly limited only to your imagination.  One of the best things about this venue is the fact that you can utilize the private boat/boat captain for some amazing sunset photos of the couple of honor.  Amber (the venue manager) has years of experience (though she looks like she’s 25!) so you’ll be well taken care of.  If you’re looking for a non-traditional wedding venue, check it out!

Southern Bay Manor Wedding DJ


Compass Rose – Valparaiso, FL

While not technically in Fort Walton, this is literally minutes away and we had to mention this venue!  They recently converted from a restaurant to strictly a private event venue. Not only is the food top-notch, but they have 3 spaces for you to have your function.  The have an outside patio that seats up to 100 people and is partially covered with a fantastic waterfront view of Tom’s Bayou.  Inside, you have two options.  If your guest count is 100 or less, we’d recommend the Banquet Room. It’s updated wood floors give it a real modern touch.  If you have between 100-150, then you’ll want to utilize the dining room.  It’s very spacious and has some window views out to the Bayou.  If you really want to get a feel for each room, go to their website and utilize the 360 degree view function of each space.

Compass Rose Weddings
Want more location ideas?  Check out our 2013 picks and Part 1 and Part 2 of our 2014 picks as well as Part 1 and Part 2 of our 2015 picks.

Best Wedding Venues in Destin | Best of 2015

Here’s Part 2 of our 2015 picks for top destination wedding venues. In this post, we’re going to focus on the best wedding venues in Destin.  This is the town everyone talks about for weddings in the panhandle of Florida and for good reason!  The beaches are amazing and it’s quickly become of the most developed areas around with some of the hottest retail and restaurants having just come to town in the last year. Believe it or not, there’s still some gems of wedding venues that you may not be aware of.  So let us tell you about them.

Resorts of Pelican Beach – Destin, FL
You have to be careful NOT to get this confused with the Pelican property by Wyndham.  The Resorts of Pelican Beach can be easily missed as it is backed into the south side of highway 98 with a ton of foliage disguising it.  But once in, you realize you have a fantastic all-in-one venue that has accommodations, private beach access and indoor venue spaces. This venue has been around for quite a while but we’re always surprised when people say they’ve never heard of it.  As one of their preferred vendors, this is a spot we highly recommend. If there’s any negative to the venue, it would be that it is that the indoor venue space is a bit dated.  However, it is very clean and the pricing is perfectly in line with the space.

Pelican Beach Resort Wedding

The Venue at Surfside Resort – Destin, FL
This event space was re-launched in 2014 and Nicki (the venue manager) did a phenomenal make-over to the space.  It sits off of Old Highway 98 with unobstructed floor to ceiling window beach views of the gulf. Although not directly on the beach, it’s literally a 5 minute walk away.  It has both indoor and outdoor cocktail hour/reception space and can fit 60-75 very comfortably. We honestly believe this is one of the best kept secrets in Destin.  They do offer accommodations. Parking is on-site.  While they do push their all-inclusive services, they allow outside vendors and catering. With a very neutral color palette, this venue should definitely be considered for intimate and mid-size weddings.

The Venue At Surfsider Wedding DJ

The Henderson – Destin, FL
Just when you thought Destin was all built up, here comes the latest resort development which is opening in the Summer of 2016.  It is called “The Henderson” and there won’t be anything close to it as far as luxury goes in the Destin area.  The owners also have the Henderson Park Inn property, which is rated the #1 Hotel in Destin according to TripAdvisor.  What does that mean?  This sister property place is going to be even more spectacular!  This will be the only “Diamond” rated resort in the area (next closest one is in Tampa).  There will be multiple ballrooms and beach front options for your ceremony and reception. Sherri and her team are one of the most professional in the area so you will have nothing to worry about with your wedding if you choose this location.

The Henderson Wedding DJ
Stay tuned for our 3rd installment (the Fort Walton Beach 2015 picks) coming out soon. In the meantime, want some other location ideas?  Check out our 2013 picks and Part 1 and Part 2 of our 2014 picks as well as Part 1 of our 2015 picks.

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