Bridal Tips – 5 Ways Your Wedding Is Different From Your Parents’ Wedding   Leave a comment

Several times recently we’ve had to play the role of a mediator in family wedding disputes. Often this comes from typical family dynamics, but occasionally it comes from the parents wanting to recreate THEIR wedding, a generation ago. Here are just some of the changes, then to now.


  1. DJs are not necessarily a compromise. Back in the dim and distant days – let’s call them the 80s and early 90s – there was very definitely a stigma attached to so-called “high-end” weddings having a DJ. I remember showing up for one, and having the tuxedo-ed father of the bride tell me – almost gleefully – that he had to be persuaded to book me. “Weddings have BANDS, they don’t have DJs, they have LIVE music.” Four sweaty hours later, and with him having barely left the dance floor, we were best buddies, but the point had been made.
    Now, the very best wedding DJs are all things to all people, with superior MC skills and pre-planning guidance that almost no bands would consider a part of their role. They are the quarterback of the night – be sure to book Aaron Rodgers, not Tim Tebow, though!


  1. You don’t HAVE to choose everything off the menu. I sometimes meet with couples who suggest that they HAVE to do a particular activity, be it the bouquet toss, Chicken Dance, or heaven forbid, the Dollar Dance (shudder!), because it’s traditional. Actually the only thing they HAVE to do is say “I do” when the nice pastor says “say, I do”, and sign the official paperwork. Everything else is want, rather than need. Many of the elements that made up many weddings a generation ago, are now seen as quaint and seriously uncool.


KB Image Photography

KB Image Photography

  1. Frank Sinatra is being replaced, sorry Ole Blue Eyes. When your parents married, Big Band and Rat Pack tunes were a much bigger part of the festivities. Sure, dinner and cocktails today are still places Frank, Deano and the boys have a voice, but the days of 10 or more big band tracks being played for dancing are long gone.


  1. Vendors are more than a hired gun. When parents, who may be contributing financially, balk at some of the pricing of wedding vendors, they often think about their own wedding and the lesser “roles” played by their vendors, mostly just seen on the day. Now, your DJ may be a trusted advisor with great suggestions on songs that will best represent you, or custom mixes that “create” new music for your day. Your photographer may feel like a friend after meetings, and an engagement session, perhaps. Indeed, you may have had design tips or craft ideas on making the day unique from a florist, who in the past just supplied boutonnieres and centerpieces.


  1. Expectations are higher. Not only a bazillion bridal magazines, but also blogs, TV shows like Platinum Weddings, Facebook, Pinterest, and ALL of the myriad social media upstarts which pop up like whack-a-moles. Each one showing how your wedding can be perfect – in fact each telling you that your wedding MUST be perfect, to keep up with the Joneses. It’s a ton of pressure, and that pressure has to go somewhere. Even more reason to surround yourself with professionals who’ve been there, done that. Hey, maybe even for your parents’ weddings!

New Music Monday – Disclosure feat. Mary J. Blige   Leave a comment

Been slacking on the New Music Monday tracks, even though there has been a TON of great music out this year. None of it seems to chart, but, hey ho!

My song today is a belter – a remix of the track from UK band Disclosure’s 2013 album, Settle, but with the addition of Mary J. Blige on vocals. I’m not a fan of classifying music genres, but it has a great Deep House feel – reminds me of Celeda’s Be Yourself a little – and I love it! In the wake of Sam Smith and Disclosure collaborating on “Latch”, maybe they’ll re-issue this one too. Enjoy.

Posted August 4, 2014 by ScottishDJ in Music, New Music Monday

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New Music Monday – Oscar Special   Leave a comment

Hooray for Hollywood! Oscar time is here, and, as a DJ, I love the Best Song From A Movie category. This year, every parent to a little girl is probably already fed up of Let It Go from Frozen, this year’s winner. My favorite Oscar winner is from Once, a movie that sneaked under the radar, as did indeed, the song Falling Slowly. Written and performed by the stars of the movie, Glen Hansard and Marketa Iraglova, it’s probably one of the unlikelier winners, going, as it did, up against THREE tracks from the movie Enchanted. Glen is the leader of Irish band The Frames, and best known, cinematically, as the shock-orange haired guitarist Outspan Foster in the Alan Parker flick The Commitments. First wedding dance material, right here…

Posted March 3, 2014 by ScottishDJ in Movies, Music, New Music Monday

New Music Monday – Elbow   Leave a comment

This week’s New Music Monday tune is by one of my all time favorite groups – UK band Elbow. Despite having easily one of the most ridiculous names in musical history, they’ve created masterpieces for almost 15 years now, although most in the US would be hard pressed to name anything they’ve done. Their new single is a belter, and has a very cool, completely typical Elbow video. No band-miming-in-slo-mo performances, if they can help it. Just a study of two 50-something New York music fans, Dennis and Lois,  reminiscing on old CBGBs days. I love this song – enjoy…

Bridal Tip of the Day #1 – Ac-centuate The Positives!   Leave a comment

Today’s Bridal Tip. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to couples getting married is this: when putting together a wedding budget, sit down and score each part of the day (ceremony, reception, entertainment, photographer, flowers etc.) out of 10 based on how important those are to you. Then organize and book each vendor/venue etc. based on that order. To put it simply, often you have no idea how MUCH to budget for each part. Why would you – you’ve probably never done this before?

That way, when faced with a difficult decision, you can revisit that priority list to inform and remind you of the things YOU admitted were important. By compromising in some of the lower scoring items, you can splash out a little more on others. If possible, though, try to base buying decisions more on PEOPLE, than on PRICE, and you’ll be amazed at how much nearer to your dream day you’ll have.

New Music Monday – The Beatles?   2 comments

So, Monday is here, which means it’s New Music Monday. MCCARTNEY HARRISON LENNON STARR

Let me introduce you to a little band called The Beatles!  I know – crazy name, but stick with me, these cats are gonna be famous one day!

Okay, it might be a wee bit cheeky to include (arguably) the most famous, most influential band, EVER, as my first New Music Monday track, but stick with me. 50 years ago,  yesterday, they performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, in what is regarded as their big “coming to America” moment.

The musical landscape would never be the same again.

I’m by no stretch of the imagination a superfan – heck, I think McCartney was better than Lennon, which makes me in the minority, I’m told. However, much of the music I love was directly as a result of what the Fabs did. So, here’s my favorite 10 in chronological order, including the surprise entry, which you might not know!


 1. I Saw Her Standing There. Side 1, track 1, album 1 from the single biggest band the world has ever known. I’d say in my 20+ years as a DJ, this is probably the track I play most at weddings, just shading out Twist and Shout (but that’s an Isleys cover, so it doesn’t count on my list). “Ooooohs” entirely stolen from Little Richard – heck they were a Little Richard/Buddy Holly cover band, more or less, for their first few years!






 2. Day Tripper. A non-album single from the sessions that ended up being Rubber Soul. Just a great guitar riff, and typical Lennon word-play on the “weekend hippies” who weren’t fully committed to the cause, as it were!





 3. In My Life. Also from Rubber Soul – this one at least ended up on the finished album. One of the 3 I play the most (the other 2 mentioned above) – usually as Mother/Son dance accompaniment. The fact that covers from acts such as Johnny Cash and Aztec Camera’s Roddy Frame are also awesome, is pretty telling. For years I was impressed at the harpsichord solo, only to discover it was a piano, played slower, then sped up on tape. Oooh, George Martin!





  4. A Day In The Life. For many, the best Beatles song – and the final track on what many rate as their best, Sgt. Pepper. Two completely unlinked, unrelated and separate half-songs smushed into one incredible whole. Banned by the BBC for the “I’d love to turn you on” line. Lord knows how tame that sounds compared with 2014 lyrics!





 5. Back In The U.S.S.R. I wasn’t aware of Beatles songs released when I was growing up (I was 5 when they split in ’70), but when track one of The Beatles (White Album) was re-released in 76, for some reason, it was kind of a big deal in my musical development, that made me seek out the Red and Blue compilations. I just love the vibe, the cod-Beach Boys parody and terrible puns (Georgia on my mi-mi-mi-mi-mind, anyone?). Macca was smart enough to pander to Russian teens too, who loved them, despite what the Kremlin said.




 6. Lady Madonna. Another non-album single, their last before launching Apple Records. I always loved the boogie woogie piano, and the various puns on the theme of “see how they run”. For me, their creative peak was right about 1968, and this belter is right there in the middle.





7. Get Back. Recorded for Let It Be, but released after Abbey Road, the only Beatles track to credit another musician, in the mad piano skillz of Billy Preston. Was “get back to where you once belonged” directed at Yoko? Lennon seemed to think so! Just a great bluesy rock and roll track, that I can’t believe I don’t play at events more.





8. Something. George never really found it easy to squeeze into the Lennon/McCartney dynamic, although his tracks are always, at least, interesting, and don’t sound like album filler, like the occasional John and Paul track can. This is simply one of the most gorgeous love songs ever written – for Pattie Boyd, or not, depending on whose version of history you prefer!





 9. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End. The medley that (mostly) ends Abbey Road, I just always need to hear them together in one movement, which makes it tricky when listening to albums on shuffle! I’m including them as one track, and it also contains my personal favorite Beatles lyric “and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”.




Which brings us to the “new” part of their catalog.

10. Tomorrow Never Knows/Within You Without You (Mashup). Remixed by George Martin and his son Giles, for the Vegas Beatles-themed Cirque show Love, this is genius. I love a great mashup, and the combo platter of Tomorrow Never Knows’ music, with the lyrics of Within You Without You, is inspired  and it’s slightly freaky, how well they go together. Enjoy.

Posted February 10, 2014 by ScottishDJ in Music, New Music Monday, Top 10 lists, Uncategorized

Time to mix things up a little!   Leave a comment

There’s a new sheriff in this here town. Just call him Mr Blog Calendar. Moving forward, we’ll have Daily updates for your (and my!) delectation, good people.

Blazing SaddlesMondays – New Music Monday. Okay, I admit that Duran Duran’s “New Moon On Monday” was in my head when I named it, but it’s catchy, so sue me! I’ll post something new, either ACTUALLY new, or just new to me. Hopefully there will be a nugget or two that gets some conversation going, or a wee gem that you always loved and can’t BELIEVE it took me this long to discover it!

Tuesday – Bridal Tip Tuesday. We have a few Bridal Tips from past entries, so it’ll be cool to revive some of those and add a bunch of new ones. And by “cool” I mean “really awesome” – ya dig? Memo to self – stop watching so many old movies!

Wednesday – Real Wedding Wednesday. We’ve done a crap-tastic job of highlighting some of the wonderful celebrations we’ve done over the years, so it’s time to remedy that with Pinterest-worthy details of weddings and other celebrations thus far.

Thursday – Home Thoughts From A Dude. Okay, so the Browning poem Home Thoughts, From Abroad, was the inspiration for this day, except, I’m not A broad, I’m a dude. Ba-DING! That, boys and girls, was the dream that woke me up this morning. Yup, bad puns…

Anyways, as a transplanted Scotsman living in the US Midwest, my focus is quite often on my homeland, and either the similarities or differences to here. Since my website is, I thought I’d comment, at least occasionally on what that Scottishness entails.

Friday – Friend Feature Friday. Alliteration aside, this is my chance to highlight the many, many talented industry colleagues with whom I’m fortunate enough to work. I won’t be highlighting the occasional “Uncle Bob and his awesome camera” that I see a couple of times a year, so there’s that!

Weekends – Anything Goes. Whatever hasn’t been covered by the other days – you know, the box marked “other”!

Comments, as always, are welcomed, encouraged and all other variations thereof. Pop ‘em in the ol’ box below.

Posted February 7, 2014 by ScottishDJ in Uncategorized