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Company Holiday Parties | Ideas for Throwing a Memorable Holiday Party

As we move into the holiday season,  we’re pumped up at B-Boy Productions!  Part of it is just because there is a genuine shift in the atmosphere.  People tend to get excited as we move into a time of family get-togethers and reflection on the past year.  New holiday music albums are released, Starbucks holiday drinks and….holiday parties are thrown!

Throwing a Memorable Holiday Party

We’ve seen a resurgence of company holiday parties over the last few years which is a good thing.  Why should these parties matter and why should companies do them?  Here’s our top 3 reasons:

*IT SENDS A MESSAGE TO EMPLOYEES…that you, as a company, care.  With the economy being erratic at times over the years, this gives employees a feeling that things are  OK in their company world.  It also shows that the company is willing to spend money, which could otherwise pad the company’s bottom line, to lift company morale.

*IT ALLOWS EMPLOYEES TO LET THEIR GUARD DOWN…and just be them.  It is t a great way to see how down to earth everyone is OUTSIDE the office.  This also has been known to create bonding moments among employees alike.  We hear these types of comments all the time in our holiday party debriefs with clients.

*IT’S HEALTHY TO CELEBRATE…how the year went.  If it was a good, it’s easy to do.  But even if it is a down year, there is still victory in what was learned through it.  Management can use it as an opportunity to encourage employees to look foward to the following year.  But most of all, it always good to celebrate your team.

With all that said, we don’t take these events lightly.  We try to create an atmosphere that adds to those things and make the event one to remember.  So what are some of our ideas to make these events stand out?  Glad you asked!

*PROGRAM THE NIGHT LIKE YOU WOULD A PRODUCTION!  This might seem silly at first but there’s a ton of truth in this.  You want the night to have ebb and flow, encouraging guests to stay throughout the entire event.  There is no “formula” or websites dedicated to holiday parties (like The Knot or Wedding which help wedding couples) so this is where we come in.  Just a few examples of ways we try to keep it flowing:
– Don’t do all your raffles in the beginning or at end of the night
– Come up with creative ways to entertain during dinner (we have a ton of these things in our arsenal)
– Holiday entertainment should be more than just Holiday music

*ADD A PHOTO BOOTH!  This is the perfect complement to your main entertainment.  You can utilize this as guests arrive, during dinner and/or while the dancing is going on.  The print-outs also make a great party favor for your guests to take home. Talk about letting loose and breaking down barriers; nothing does that quite like a photo booth.  In our case, we have two types of booth styles and we also give you all the photos on a jump drive to use as you wish (blackmail possibly? ha!).

*ADD KARAOKE!  This can definitely take your party to another level. It also can get people out of their shell pretty quickly.  We’ve done “battle of the departments”, “women vs men”, and various other types of karaoke party competitions.  You also may find some hidden talent within your company (and some amazing YouTube material to post).  If you’ve never had this at your party, you don’t know what you’re missing!

*THE RAFFLE MUSIC!  If you’re not careful, the raffles can suck all the energy out of the room (accomplishing the exact opposite of what you’d think would happen). Why?  Because there is no musical help here.  The average DJ just waits until this portion is over and then resumes with the holiday or dancing music.  In some cases, the raffle can take 15-20 minutes.  Talk about a buzz kill (pun intended).  We utilize “audio stingers” during each raffle pull and as winners make their way to the stages.  These are short 10-20 second pre-produced clips of songs (typically the hook) like Dancing Queen, Respect, Movin’ On Up, Jeopardy Theme, Sexy and I Know It,  Roar, etc. and we play off the vibe of prizes being raffled and those who win them.  We have about 100-200 of these ready to go and we can fire them at any time.

*WALKING MUSIC!  At most company holiday parties, the CEO or someone on the management team gives a few words either as a welcome or in the middle of the night.  This is a great opportunity to honor him or her with some “walking music” as they make their way to the stage.  Think about the Oscars.  There’s always walking music as speakers make their way to the stage.  The song choice can range from comical (Rocky Theme, Superman Theme, I’m Too Sexy, etc.) to serious (instrumental music).

*GAMES & SKITS!  I know what you’re thinking…these will be CHEESY!  Well, surprise, the ones we do are not.  These can run the gamut as we’re constantly adding new and fresh games and skits to the mix.  Everything from “Holiday Trivia” to “Celebrity Sightings” to “Build A Snowman” to “Name that Guitar Riff” – this is just a small snippet of what we can do.

At the end of the day, our goal is to have company employees be able to forget what’s happening in their world with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and just enjoy one another for the few hours we’re there.  If we do it right, we’ll have helped create moments that will be talked about for years to come.   Let us help you do that.  Contact us for availability.




Huntington Harbour Yacht Club Wedding with DJ Graeme | Shaun & Stephanie

I’m a sucker for stories and this couple’s propsal story was a great one. Stephanie and Shaun met in Washington DC and began dating very soon thereafter in June 2012. Shaun worked on Captiol Hill for a congressman and Stephanie worked for a non-profit. Ten months later, in April 2013, Shaun invited Stephanie to a event that was honoring his boss at the Capitol. Shaun took her out to the Speaker’s balcony (which just so happens to have one of the best views of the city) for an alleged picture to send to his mom. Stephanie noticed a guy taking pictures of the city with a camera. Turns out that this whole thing was just an alibi as he had an elablorate propsal planned. He finally let her in on it by saying, “I have a confession. We aren’t going to an event for my boss tonight.” Stephanie noticed the guy with the camera taking picures much more rapidly and realized he was taking pictures of them. Shaun then went into a speech that Stephanie cannot remember and got down on one knee and asked if she would marry him! She could not believe it was actually happening, so she asked, “Is this for real?” and he said, “Yes.” She said yes and of course started crying/laughing/shaking! Way to go Shaun!

Huntington Harbour Yacht Club Wedding

I know this beautiful couple from the church my wife and I attend and they are completely in love with each other. I love that. I love when a wedding is an authentic celebration of love and commitment. When I asked them what they would rate their crowd on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being hard to get out of their seats and 10 being party animals) , they said, “8”.   I rolled my eyes.  I’ve done weddings for church friends before and I’d say “4” is usually a safe bet.  Well, they did get the number wrong…but the opposite direction. These guys were a 10 without batting an eye. Incredible energy from beginning to end.. it felt like they were there with no other motive than to celebrate.

Huntington Harbor Yacht Club DJs

The ceremony and reception took place at the beautiful Huntington Harbor Yacht Club in Huntington Beach, CA.  If you’re looking in the Huntington Beach or surrounding areas for a wedding venue, this is a phenomenal one to consider.  It’s multi-functional with a serene and peaceful view and the staff is incredibly accomodating and helpful.  We worked with amazing vendors who helped make the wedding come to life.  The wedding was coordinated by her aunt, Christine Wells.  The ceremony was officiated by friends of the bride and groom and former B-Boy groom himself, Jordan Lynch.  Catering was provided by Rhonda and her team from Davenport Catering while Alison Meyer from Just Ask Alison was the cake maker.  Jocelyn Girouard of 1703 Event Studios was the florist on hand.  Photography was done by Elaine from George Street Photography and they also provided videography services as well.

We had a very eclectic crowd but all were willing to explore dancing to each other’s genres. It was a beautiful event that reminded everybody there why so much time and detail go into these days; people will look back on that day and remember a beautiful event and partying the way a wedding should.

A Perfect day for getting married in Sandestin FL | Art & Brittany’s Wedding

It was a perfect day for getting married in Sandestin, FL

It was a perfect day for getting married in Sandestin, FL! As guests started arriving at the Bayview Room and Terrace for cocktail hour, you could see them tapping their feet as they listened to the smooth jams of one our live musicians, Wes Heath, on the guitar and vocals. Everyone was smiling and talking about the beautiful ceremony they had just witnessed.

Once everyone made their way inside for the reception, I knew we had an amazing crowd! They were full of energy which is a key ingredient for an epic party! After introducing myself as the Emcee and my partner in crime for the evening, Dan Davis, as the DJ, we kicked into “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson for the bridal party introduction. Each VIP bridal party member danced their way inside the reception hall. After the last of the bridal party made their way in, we shut the doors and I got the crowd ready for our bride and groom. The anticipation was at the apex when those doors finally swung open. The crowd exploded with a deafening roar of cheers for the new Mr. and Mrs. Becker!

The night went flawlessly! People were laughing, dancing and having an all-around good time! Earlier at the ceremony, the grandmother sustained a minor injury and had to go to the hospital. Both her and her husband weren’t able to make the reception early on. After getting word from our coordinator that they would be able to make an appearance later on, I had her cue me when they arrived. I called everyone out to the dance floor with Art and Brittany standing at the front so when the front doors swung open and I announced them in, they went crazy yet again! It gave the party a second wind. Brittany, our bride, got to dance with her Grandfather to “Fly Me to The Moon” by Frank Sinatra. As the music played, you could see a huge smile on the grandmother’s face as she witnessed her first granddaughter dancing with her husband.

As for the dancing, it didn’t take hardly any time to get everyone up and partying. With New Yorkers in the house, we hit them with “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G. and, of course, they knew all the words. For all the Chicagoans (where the bride and groom live), we dropped “Homecoming” by Kanye West and everyone went nuts. We finished the night with “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and ended on a high note.

Wedding Djs

We worked with some talented vendors as well to pull off this incredible wedding. Kelli Deary coordinated the event for Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Patty Bilbo from It’s A Perfect Day provided all the florals and decor. Heidi from Bake My Day made the cake. Last but certainly not least, Sarah Lyn Photography was on hand to capture the day in photos.

Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort Wedding Cake

Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort Candy Bar

This was definitely one of those weddings where I realized I have the greatest job in the world.  I love to DJ weddings and play a part in a couple’s special day! Thanks for having us Art and Brittany! We wish you both the best!

DJ Josh B Rocks Hilton Sandestin Weddings | Nikki & Donnie

Sandestin Weddings

As B-Boy Productions’ resident Hilton Sandestin DJ/Emcee, I had the privilege to perform for the wedding of Nikki Young to current University of Tennessee men’s basketball head coach, Donnie Tyndall. Their ceremony took place on the white sands of the beach.  The weather was gorgeous, the attire was casual, and the smiles were abundant!

Nikki and Donnie said their I-do’s, the crowd of loved ones and onlookers alike erupted in a cheer as they kissed, and within minutes the wedding guests were making their way up to the deck to enjoy some refreshments and the Florida evening air as the sun began to set and the newlywed couple tended to having their photos taken.

I have discovered in my time as a destination wedding DJ that the term “cocktail hour” is often a misnomer, considering one hardly ever actually lasts a full hour. But on this particular occasion, the bride and groom were in no hurry to rob themselves of one moment in the gorgeous outdoor surroundings offered by the Hilton’s beachside verandas. They joined their guests on the Sunrise Deck as the cafe lighting took over for the retired sun, and the merry crowd mingled and consorted for the entirety of the hour. I was happy to lurk a bit in the shadows, manning my laptop as the music offered a subtle soundtrack to the merriment around me, because it gave me a chance to observe the attendees and get a bit of an idea what sort of celebration they would be up for as the night progressed.

As cocktail hour came to a close, we moved indoors to the Coral Ballroom, for the reception.  Inside the long and majestically high-ceiled hall, a massive dance floor and plenty of spacious seating around ornately decorated tables awaited their guests. A long banquet table for the bride and groom to sit flanked by their bridesmaids and groomsmen ran along the main wall in plain view of every guest.

Nikki and Donnie, along with Donnie’s two young daughters, made their grand entrance into the ballroom to “Rocky Top,” the fight song of UT, as their friends and family cheered their arrival with as much gusto as any sports crowd. As I had instructed them, they made their way to the dance floor to share their first dance … but that’s when a surprise was sprung on the bride. Donnie appeared on the large screen in a prerecorded message, offering a poetic tribute of love — which he “rapped” — to his new bride. The mixture of humor and genuine emotion on display as the video version of Donnie cracked a bit in his delivery had Nikki, and plenty others, giggling through happy tears. At the video’s conclusion, I cued up “Whatever It Is” by the Zac Brown Band, and Donnie and Nikki were in each others’ arms sharing their first dance as husband and wife.

Hilton Sandestin Wedding DJs

Nikki remained on the dance floor as I invited her father to join her. Dad and daughter shared a few short minutes of closeness to the tune of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” — which then suddenly transitioned into “Happy” by Pharrell. All sappiness abandoned, Nikki and her dad let loose and cut a rug, much to the delight of all in attendance. At Donnie’s turn to dance with his mother, the classic “Wind Beneathe My Wings” by Bette Midler proved a perfect choice.

Upon the conclusion of dinner, the Best Man offered a toast to the happy couple as did the Maid of Honor. Then I introduced another video presentation featuring a photo slide show of both Donnie and Nikki as they grew up. From baby pictures to present day, the memories played upon the screen and in the end there was hardly a dry eye in the room. I offered the microphone to the groom, who managed to say a brief but very heartfelt thank you to everyone before we moved ahead with the cake cutting and other festivities. The bouquet toss mustered a sizable crowd of fairly competitive single ladies, but the catch ended up going to one of the youngest (and most petite) girls in the group. Donnie removed Nikki’s garter to the sultry vibes of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”.  Once again, the catch — or more accurately, the scoop, was scored by a very young lad who clearly wasn’t quite sure what it was he had there (I’m sure it will occur to him sometime when he’s older).

The crowd proved eclectic in their musical tastes, shaking it down to everything from golden oldies and 70’s disco, to 90’s hip hop and today’s hottest country! One of Donnie’s young daughters entertained with an impromptu karaoke of “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea.

Being on vacation in Florida, everyone related well to “Toes” by Zac Brown Band. Figurative boots were scooted to “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker. I took great pleasure in teaching the bride (and a few unwashed others) how to do the “Cupid Shuffle.” Great classic rock hits like “Shout” and “Do You Love Me?” rounded out the energy of the night, and the evening drew down with the dance floor covered in couples as Jason Mraz sang “I Won’t Give Up” and finally, the legendary Elton John mused “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.”

Hilton Sandestin Wedding DJ

Destin Wedding DJ

For the multitude of memorable moments packed into this one single evening, I can’t help but consider Donnie and Nikki’s wedding to be one of the best I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of! When by the end of the night it genuinely feels like you’re not just DJ’ing another “gig,” but instead you’re celebrating with a room full of new friends — it makes it hard to stop. My hope for this happy couple is for all that same joy and exuberance to continue on beyond their wedding day and into the full length of their marriage. Because if so, their life together will be an absolute blast!

***UPDATE [This review just came in from Nikki on our Yelp page]***
“My husband and I just had the most amazing wedding on the beach in Sandestin, FL. Our DJ, Josh, was amazing! He was so professional and did a fantastic job. He called me a month before the wedding and went over the playlist with me. I felt assured he would do a great job and that is what ‘brides to be’ need! He did everything I asked and then some! The songs he picked were perfect for every occasion (grand entrance, dinner music, etc.). If you are a ‘bride to be’ looking for an experienced, friendly, professional DJ for your wedding…look no further than B-Boy and DJ Josh B.”
– Nikki Tyndall, Sandestin, FL (event date 8/2/2014)

WaterColor Inn Wedding with DJ Brian B | Catie & Russ

WaterColor Inn Wedding DJ

I truly believe that WaterColor Inn is one of the most stunning wedding venues on the planet.  Having performed all over the country as a wedding DJ, I say this with extreme conviction.  So when Catie called us to inquire about our services and mentioned they had just booked that venue, I was so happy for them.  Multiply that excitement by 110% when she asked me personally to perform at her wedding!

Although she was extremely laid back, Catie and I were in contact frequently up to her wedding day.  I love it when a bride takes that much interest in the entertainment portion of her wedding.  We threw formality song suggestions back and forth many times until we found songs that fit them perfectly.

On the day of the wedding, the weather was stunning.  We set up on the lawn for the cocktail hour and reception while the ceremony took place on the beach.  With our 2 person DJ/Emcee package, DJ Charles handled the ceremony sound technician duties while one of our guitarists provided the ceremony music.

WaterColor Wedding Ceremony

Image Courtesy of Paul Johnson Photography

At the reception, we kicked into “The Wobble” immediately following the first dance and the entire crowd came out onto the dancefloor.  Talking about setting a dancing tone right off the back!  Wow!  They were ready to party.

The Wobble Wedding DJs

As I started playing for dinner, a huge cloud formed over us.  I tried my “music karma” in getting the sun out there with this Beatles selection.

WaterColor Wedding

In true Florida fashion, within all of about 90 seconds, a slight drizzle started. We quickly covered our gear and waited for it to pass.  As soon as it did, we went back out and started again.  The weather kept threatening and when the wind picked up, it was obvious that Mother Nature had other plans.

WaterColor Inn DJ

We quickly packed up our gear and moved inside one of the ballrooms and carried on with the rest of the night.  The crowd was in such a great mood despite the weather ordeal.  It was probably one of the best dancing crowds I had all summer long.

Emerald Coast Wedding DJ

What really stood out to me, however, was the love that this family shared.  The toast tributes to both the bride and groom were so touching.

Wedding Toasts WaterColor

Image Courtesy of Paul Johnson Photography

It was great sharing this wedding with some of the local area wedding industry all-stars.  We had Cheryl from WaterColor coordinating the event, Paul and Mecheal from Paul Johnson Photography, Celia and Danny from Momentus Films, and the crew from Fisher Flowers and Events.

DJ Brian B

Image Courtesy of Paul Johnson Photography

We send out heartfelt best wishes to both Catie and Russ!!!  With that, we’ll leave you with this awesome highlight video from Momentus Films.


Destin Wedding DJs Brian B & Josh B at Rutherford’s 465 | Lauren & Alex

When I first met Lauren and Alex at the Commons in Destin, FL before they booked us, I just knew that they would be a fun group.  Although laid back, they both had a “cool” factor and I was really looking forward to sharing their day with them and their guests.  They had a vision for what they wanted and being one the few Destin wedding DJs that has seen just about everything, I loved the fresh and creative spin that they were putting on their wedding!

I started following them both on Instagram and was stoked to see that Alex was totally into fly shoes like I am.  Sure enough, he and his groomsmen were sporting some dope kicks at the wedding.  But I digress…

The wedding was great on so many levels.  We worked with some talented professionals – Christine Walker from RSVP Destin, Michael from Michael K Photography, Sally from Florals By The Sea, Heidi from Bake My Day Destin and of course Jackie from the venue, Rutherford’s 465.  A few years back when I was living full-time in Destin, it seemed like I worked with this crew just about every weekend so it was exciting to be reunited with some of the best in that local market again.

As far as our staff goes, we had Eric Partin officiating, Cam Ray playing keys for the ceremony and cocktail hour, and then I got to work the reception with DJ Josh B as the wedding DJs.  The venue, itself, is such a modular space and the couple took full advantage of the multiple levels that it offers.  Sally and her crew did an awesome job with the décor throughout from lounge seating on the deck to sweeping linens from the inside ceiling, etc.

When it came to the dancing, this crowd was ready! The space is so well lit that everything just popped!  Each song seemed to go over perfect and the dance floor filled almost immediately.  In our venue review, we used a ton of photos from this wedding so to not be repetitive; we leave you with this highlight reel we put together.  We wish Alex and Lauren many happy years together!

Brooklyn Restaurant For Wedding Receptions | The Atrium Dumbo

We’re headed back to New York City in our latest venue review. Today we’re looking at the Atrium Dumbo, a restaurant/event venue in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn where we just recently DJ’d a wedding.

Atrium Dumbo Wedding

One of the hallmarks of a great DJ is not only have great skills (that should be a given) but also doing your homework on the event and being well prepared with plenty of back-up options in case of an emergency.  Part of our internal procedures is doing a site inspection of any new venue we haven’t worked at prior to the event (when possible).  Some of our DJs get booked to play all over the country and seeing a venue beforehand isn’t always an option.

Because this was in our backyard so to speak, I went and did a site inspection a few weeks before the wedding day. Right off the bat, I loved the layout!  It is a multi-level space with 3 floors.

Atrium Dumbo DJ

This venue works best for guest counts between 80-120 people.  The bride mentioned they had a sound system in-house which they (both the client and the venue) preferred we use.  I’m usually opposed to this because it has been my experience that most in-house systems aren’t “DJ Friendly”.  Especially for restaurants, in-house sound systems are usually installed for low-level background music and not intended for dance parties.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the system due to customers being in the space at the time I visited but the manager assured me all the DJs who’ve worked there have used the system and actually prefer it because they have multiple speakers throughout the space so everyone can hear clearly.  It was only at the event that I realized I should have pushed harder to test the system (more on that later).

Another perk of this venue is that it is close to the East River so a lot of couples who have their reception at the Atrium Dumbo, will have their ceremony at the Brooklyn Bridge Park (a 2-3 minute walk) which makes for some amazing shots with the Manhattan Bridge as your backdrop.  One thing to note about the park is that there is NO power so all speakers and PA must be battery-powered.  Luckily, we have battery-powered systems.  It is also a bit windy being so close to the water, so it’s important to have windscreens for mics.

Brooklyn Park Wedding DJ

When I arrived the day of to plug into the venue system, there was no sound.  Of course, this was a little disheartening and I panicked for a moment as this was a little out of my control.  The manager called someone who was able to walk us through getting the system on.  The only issue once we got the sound working was that it was super quiet.  I couldn’t push too hard or the speakers in the space would distort.  I tested opening announcements and no one could hear me.

And this is where the back-up comes in.  I ended up plugging in my ceremony sound system as well so I could double up the sound.  Thank God I had it.  Without it, the event would’ve been extremely tough to not only create a dancing environment but to make any announcements for people to hear unless everyone was completely silent.  So until they update their sound system, bring your own!  You’ll thank me later.

Where this restaurant really shines, however, is with the food…both in quality and presentation.  They kitchen is very visible and clean so it’s actually kind of neat to watch it all unfold from the third level.  The staff was extremely nice to everyone and seemed to really enjoy working as a team.   The only thing that seemed off was that the staff wore their plaid shirt uniforms.  Not sure if that fits with a formal wedding reception event but it could be that the bride wanted it at this wedding.

With transportation, train stations are close by for locals who are coming from Manhattan and cabs frequent this area so you can get one pretty quickly.  If you drive in, there is an all-day parking garage close by.  With construction happening nearby, street parking is tough to come by.

If you’re looking to break away from the traditional “wedding venue” and have a trendier feel, I’d recommend this venue.  Just make sure the DJ brings his own sound gear.

The Atrium Dumbo

Top Destination Destin Wedding Beach Houses Part 2 | Emerald Coast of Florida

We continue our thoughts on the best Destin Wedding beach houses. Before we jump into it, a few things to keep in mind when considering booking one for your event:

  • Always check with the owner of the house to make sure you can have a wedding/private event function there and be sure your rental contract has verbiage stating this. Don’t go just by what the website says. More times than note, the website is not up-to-date and it may come back to bite you later.
  • The city/county noise ordinance should always be considered. The area has a strict curfew outside (usually 10PM). So if you’re planning on having the reception outside, this is definitely something to take note of.

Martinis In The Sand – Destin, FL

Martinis In The Sand Wedding

This picture above is of the back deck.  As you can see, it is very spacious. This is one of the few that lead right out to a private beach where you can have your ceremony.  You can easily add a tent to the deck if you need it in case rain becomes an issue.  We’ve done mostly 30-40 person weddings at this location.  The house is massive at 6000 square feet! It has 4 floors, 7 bedrooms, 8.5 baths and sleeps 24-25 people. This is a perfect house for a small wedding.

Margaritaville House – Destin, FL

Margaritaville House Wedding

This three-story house has a 4th story observation deck with 360 degree views.  The house sleeps 24.  Comfortably, you can entertain up to 40 guests in the private backyard.  The public beach is a short walk where most of the ceremonies occur.  We usually set-up on the porch of the backyard close to power and most of our clients who use this house typically hire a caterer who does a buffet style set-up.

Frangista Beach Houses – Miramar Beach, FL

Frangista Beach House Wedding

This is a community of homes that are available and close to public beach access.  If you have between 25-35 people, these homes are ideal.  One of the ones we tend to work at quite often is the Santorini House.  It has 8 bedrooms and sleeps 24 people.  If you go to their website, you’ll find a ton of different options that can fit exactly what you’re looking for. At most of these, we DJ the party outside in the private backyard or sometimes in the front yard that has a white picket fence to make it feel more private.

Escape To Il Paridso – Miramar Beach, FL

Escape To Il Paridso Wedding DJ

This home is unique because it has a very large back deck where you can have a more casual reception, provided the weather doesn’t have rain in the forecast. Should rain be a possibility, the living room space can make for a great back-up plan as it’s quite large and it is easy to move furniture around. This house is perfect for entertaining 30 or so guests. Right down the steps from the deck, you can have your ceremony on your own semi-private beach. The house itself sleeps 18.

Hix Six House – Grayton Beach, FL

Hix Six House Wedding DJ

This 3 story home is one of our faves. You’re a 60 second walk from the beach.  The architecture and amenities will blow away your guests.  We’ve DJ’d on the deck and inside this home. It sleep 15 and would entertain 30-40 people easily.

Casa Del Mar – Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Casa Del Mar Wedding

This is another home that we’ve worked at quite frequently. Santa Rosa Beach is away from the heavy traffic so a lot of people gravitate towards this area. This particular house is actually inside of a gated community which makes the event feel even more private and is just a short walk to the beach.  The house also has a spacious backyard with a pool (you can do so many cool things decor-wise with a pool – lighting, candles, etc.). We typically set-up back there when DJ’ing events. The 3 story house itself is spacious as it sleeps 16.

A Point of View – Seagrove Beach, FL

A Point of View Wedding

This house shares beach access with a few other neighboring homes as shown in the picture.  However, it boasts a nice private back deck (with a pool) for entertaining small crowds of 30-40 people. It sleeps 12.  Additionally, it’s close to a few restaurants (723 Whiskey Bravo is a good one) which would be perfect for a rehearsal dinner.

So there you have it!  We have other beach house recommendations we can give you but for this blog focus, we’ll leave you with these.  Like we’ve mentioned in the post, we’ve worked with each of these properties and know your guests would thoroughly enjoy any one of these!


Top Destination Wedding Beach Houses Part 1 | Destin, Florida & Emerald Coast

One of the most searched sections of our blog is “Top Destination Wedding Venues” in Destin, FL and the Emerald Coast. We did a 3 part series last year on actual event venues. For our venue posting in the panhandle of Florida this year, we thought we’d do a focus on wedding beach houses. In the panhandle, this is picked quite often by our wedding clients in lieu of the traditional wedding venues with guests counts of 30-80 people. Some of the obvious advantages:

  • If you’re a destination bride or groom bringing in friends and family with you, this usually cuts down the cost of individual rooms per night for you and your guests.
  • A lot of these wedding beach houses have access to a private beach which gives you a chance to steer clear of other sunbathing tourists and make it truly a private event.
  • With some of these venues, you can bring in your own caterer and vendors!
  • No one has to risk driving intoxicated.  If you and your guests are staying at the beach house where the wedding is occurring, it’s just a walk to the room rather than a drive back to a hotel.
  • This can give your event more of a “family” feel since it’s being done at a house. If you’re looking for a little more laid back vibe, this is the way to go.

There’s so many great options out there that this is going to require multiple posts.  Here’s some of our favorites:

Highlands House – Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Highlands House DJ

We are the exclusive entertainment company for this bed and breakfast location. Sherry and Denise are so easy to work with and do a stellar job. Here’s a few of the venue highlights: The B&B can sleep 21 people. If you’re party is larger than that, they recommend putting the family and/or bridal party there. They have 2 beach haven cottages that sleep 10 each for other guests. So perfect for a 40 person wedding! If your party is larger, they have other places they recommend for guests that are close by. This has private beach access for your ceremony! Also, everything is done in-house (one of the few venues like it); from florals to photography to catering to rentals, etc. This gives some brides and grooms peace of mind in not having to source that. They recently added a café and bar in the lower level of the property. They have a 4.9 Wedding Wire Rating and have won the Couples Choice Awards 2 years in row.  To contact them, e-mail Sherry and Denise here.

Palazzo Del Sol House – Destin, FL

Palazzo Del Sol House DJ

By far, this is one of our favorite houses to recommend for those looking to stay in Destin. This is literally the PERFECT wedding event house. It is located within the Holiday Isle community. The house  sleeps 12 within 3 bedrooms and 2 additional bunk rooms. If  you need additional rooms, they manage some condos that are also on holiday isle. A couple of the highlights: They have a tremendous manicured grassy backyard which is great for receptions. This gives you unlimited options for decor with furniture, etc. There’s a pool back there as well (floating votive candles anyone?). They offer private beach access and although the have a list of preferred vendors they recommend, you can bring in whatever vendors you choose. There is a gourmet kitchen inside the house and although it’s not a commercial kitchen per say, they have a double oven which has 6 burners that any caterer can use. They do require a 5 night minimum stay. If you’re looking for a house without the beach, they also manage the Southern Hospitality House which overlooks the bay.  For more information on either of these locations, contact April here.

Atypical House – Grayton Beach, FL

Atypical House Wedding DJ

Grayton Beach is in Walton County, which is about 20 minutes east of Destin. This particular house we’ve DJ’d at quite often. It has 6 bedrooms that can sleep up to 19 people with 7 full bathrooms and 1 half bathroom. The backyard is perfect for receptions with guest counts of up to 75. You can bring in your own vendors and it’s within walking distance to the Red Bar, which is great for rehearsal dinners. Contact Larry and Laurie today.

Anna’s Veranda – Inlet Beach, FL

Anna's Veranda Wedding DJ

A little further east of Grayton Beach is Anna’s Veranda in Inlet Beach. It’s a Victorian Style Home which gives it a real uniqueness compared to other homes in the area. While it doesn’t have private beach access from the property, you can walk to the dunes in less than 90 seconds which is where most couples have their ceremony. This house is a great option for guest counts of up to 75 people. Typically, when we’ve performed here, couples will utilize the front yard for cocktail hour and then the backyard for the reception. They allow you to bring in your own vendors as well.

Villa Capri – Miramar Beach, FL

Villa Capri Wedding DJ

Another favorite of ours is the Villa Capri house located in Miramar Beach (about 5 minutes from Destin proper). The house sleeps 25 and is multi-level but one of the best things about it is the architecture and landscaping (with palm trees and pool) which makes for amazing photos. Again, you can bring in your own vendors and the house has a gourmet kitchen. While there is no private beach access from the home, it’s just a short 2 minute walk. For larger groups of 50-60 people, this house is ideal for a casual reception.

The Seahorse Retreat and Palm Breeze Beach House – Mary Esther, FL

Seahorse Retreat Wedding DJ
These two houses we have experience with as our owners were married at this property with 150 people in attendance. While it may not have the actual pristine white beach sand per say, it is located on the Santa Rosa Sound which has a dock that makes for some amazing pictures. The Seahorse Retreat and The Palm Breeze Beach House are literally right next door to one another and they share the same backyard that boasts an amazing infinity pool. You can rent each one separately or do what we did and rent both together. Private access to the sound makes it ideal for pictures and the sand is still great! However, if you really want the white sandy beach photos, Navarre Beach is less than 5 miles away. One of the big selling points of this venue is that you’re dealing with way less traffic! It’s in between Navarre and Destin so you’re able to avoid the craziness that those two cities can bring in season. You’re also able to bring in your own vendors. Both houses sleep 16 each and they both are outfitted with a gourmet kitchen. The parking can fit anywhere between 6-10 cars on property and you are allowed to line up the street with parking as well. You can also park in an open lot which is just a small walk nearby.

Be on the look-out for part 2 of beach houses next week!

NYC Event Space: The Manhattan Penthouse

Beyond music, one of the biggest questions we get as an event entertainment company is where we recommend having their party. This makes sense because just about every weekend we are working at a different venue. It is one of our most searched blog topics. With that in mind, we’ll be giving you some ideas on venues over the next few weeks in each of our regional locations. There’s a lot to consider: guest count, indoor/outdoor, functionality, catering, and of course, price. Today we’re going to highlight the Manhattan Penthouse in New York City. This venue and it’s sister venue, The Alger House, are run by Green Mansions Catering.

I’ve actually worked both venues and my experience at both have been great. They share a lot of the same staff at both venues and that cameraderie is on full display. It’s also obvious to see that they genuinely care about the client experience. They all are dressed in tuxedos and present themselves professionally!

As for the venue, it’s located in Greenwich Village off of 5th Avenue on the top floor (hence the penthouse in its name). It’s a very modular space and each time we’ve performed there, clients have also used it for their ceremony as well. You might as well take full advantage of the gorgeous rooftop views!

Manhattan Penthouse Wedding View

The building has three elevators which makes for little to no wait time. Upon exiting the elevator on the top floor, you will enter what is commonly used as the “cocktail hour area” or if you’re having your ceremony at the venue, it doubles as the “waiting area” before the ceremony. Lots of windows gives you a view down 5th avenue as well as 13th and 14th street. They have a large bar in that particular room and some seating as well as a few highboy tables to set your drinks on. This particular room is also equipped with a sound system…perfect for the client or the DJ to plug in an iPod solution for cocktail hour. It is a private room which can be closed from the main room so guests won’t get an early peak of the main room.

As you make your way into the main room, they have the asian style zen Shoji room dividers which hide the pre-set reception tables if you’re having your ceremony in there first. The is a very open room…no permanent bar in this room (guests generally go back to the other room when they are looking to get another drink) so it really is an open canvas to do what you want.

The main room can seat at least 150-200 comfortably for a ceremony. The DJ is set-up in their “reception spot” and can play music for both the ceremony and reception. They won’t be in the view of pictures and makes for a stress-free, one-time set-up for them.

Manhattan Penthouse Ceremony Wedding

Once the ceremony is complete, guests are led back to the other room while the venue staff transforms the main room to a reception-ready space! With tables pre-set, this transition is virtually seamless.  One of the other big perks of this venue are the pin-spot lights which can highlight centerpieces on every table as well as the cake table.  120-150 guest count feels comfortable with tables. The events we’ve worked there have had 100-150 in attendance.

Manhattan Penthouse Wedding Cake

Manhattan Penthouse Wedding Food

The food is excellent! The catering company does a phenomenal job not only with presentation but taste and service as well! The room doesn’t come equipped with any speciality lighting so the DJ would need to either bring dance effect lighting or the client would want to consider hiring a lighting company. The house lights are dimmable, however, which is great for dinner service and dancing. The main room has great acoustics and the sound is great! While there appears to be speakers in the main room, we’ve always brought our own PA system. I’m not sure if their sound system is rentable or not in the main room.

Manhattan Penthouse Wedding DJs

In closing, what separates this venue from a lot of others, is that this is strictly an event space. That means they know how to run an event. This can’t be overstated enough. Additionally, the views are magnificent. I’ll leave you with this picture I took in dining room where you could see the Freedom Tower through the sunset.  Stunning!

Manhattan Penthouse Freedom Tower View Wedding