Carolina Bride – a cover issue!
Recently, one of Split Second Sound’s DJs took the covers of Carolina Bride (yes, both of them)! DJ LeVar ‘Mista LG’ Gladden wasn’t featured by name but two of his brides were. We love seeing our brides throughout Carolina Bride magazine in each release but this is the first time where the same DJ had two different brides making appearances on both the front and back covers of the same issue!
LeVar’s April 26th bride, Veronica Acut (now Getz) was featured on the front cover wearing a stunning Vera Wang gown. Inside the magazine, we can read all about Veronica and her groom, Chip’s beautiful reception which took place at Mint Museum Uptown. Other vendors included some of our favorites: Ashley at Graceful Host, Lindsay Reagan Thorne at Be Pretty and Jeremy Igo!
On the back cover of the magazine, Indigo photography featured LeVar’s upcoming September 20th bride and groom, Jenna Bertram and Adam Nygaard in an up close and personal engagement shoot. Jenna & Adam’s reception will be hosted at a beautiful venue (and another of Split’s favorites), Foundations for the Carolinas.
Digital versions of the Veronica & Chips feature can be found at on CarolinaBride.com
Four Things You Should Cover with Your Wedding DJ
While professional DJ’s are familiar with the flow of a wedding, they aren’t mind readers! If there is a certain expectation or tone you want to set for your reception, you should definitely go over this with the DJ so you can set realistic expectations together. Below are a few other things you should absolutely cover with your DJ prior to your reception:
1.) What you don’t want – if the electric slide makes you cringe or there is a popular song you don’t want to be a part of your night, make sure you inform the DJ. This way, even if he/she were to get requests for those songs, they know to skip them.
2.) Formalities – you can ask your DJ to give you ideas for the cake cutting or the garter toss (that’s what they are for!), but make sure you still cover these details with them before-hand. Asking them to pick the song and not reviewing it before the actual event could be a recipe for disaster.
3.) Timeline – a professional DJ with extensive experience will be able to guide you through a suggested timeline or they will be able to work with one you have created. Either way, because the DJ is the person hosting your event, make a point to cover every detail of the timeline.
4.) Interaction – let the DJ know what you expect from an interaction perspective. How often they are on the microphone, the amount they interact with guests etc should be discussed before the event so his/her performance is what you expect it to be.
3 Ways Music Will Set the Tone of Your Wedding
1. The Big Dances – for example: the Father/Daughter, Mother/Son and of course, the very first dance for the newlyweds. The music selected for these dances will absolutely set the tone for the rest of your wedding so be sure to select songs that are personal to you and your spouse. Often, brides and grooms think asking the DJ or researching lists online will lead to the perfect song but for these few dances, a personal touch is absolutely essential.
2. Reception Tunes – make sure your DJ (or band) understands exactly what kind of reception party you imagined. If you want them to get the crowd on the dance floor, allow them the freedom to make creative decisions about what to play next. Giving the entertainer a few “guidelines” as far as songs you would love to hear and those you don’t want played will allow them to build the best party for both you and your guests.
3. Last Song – choosing the last song of the night is almost as important as the first! While your DJ may have some great suggestions, use the advice to select a song that will leave a lasting impression for you, your partner and your guests.
Music is going to be a large part of your big day so be sure to set the tone you want to see with your entertainment. If you can squeeze in one more song after the ‘last song’ of your reception, give you and your new spouse one last dance as the reception hall clears out and you two are the only ones left. This last moment together on your important day will give you a moment to reflect and solidify the tone of both your wedding day and your future together.
SSS Spotlight: Mike Nania
While he may be a more recent addition to the Split Second Sound team, DJ Mike Nania is making a major impression with his 25+ years in DJ and event experience. DJ Mike City, as the team calls him, is quickly gaining rave reviews from vendors and clients alike.
Starting at the age of 14 as a DJ for parties, Mike eventually was able to start his own company, DJ/MCing for weddings, Proms and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs in 1990.
Originally from the New York/New Jersey metro area, Mike recently relocated to North Carolina with his wife and 3 boys: Michael, 13, Nicholas, 9 and Andrew, 7.
We had a quick Q&A with Mike to learn a little bit more about the family-man and DJ!
What’s your favorite part of an event?
I would have to say seeing people dance and having a good time. Knowing that I can play a part in that is a good feeling.
Do you think your boys will get into a similar business?
Possibly… my middle son, Nicholas, has the most interest. He used to love going with me to public events like car shows all the time so it’s cool to see him enjoy being around what I do.
What is one thing people are usually surprised to learn about you?
People are always surprised to learn that I am a DJ. I can be quiet when you first meet me so when they see that other personality come out it’s not usually something they expect.
5 Processional Songs You Should Consider
While Canon in D and the Wedding March are classics, you may want to consider something a little different for processional. Whether it is for you or your bridesmaids, see our list below for some inspiration.
When considering songs for processional, it is important to consider a few factors like the pace for walking down the aisle and the length of the song (depending on your bridal party size). One other element to keep in mind is the style of the music itself and which songs you can combine so that the entire ceremony sounds seamless (your DJ or live musician should be able to help with this).
The cheerful beat is one that nearly everyone will recognize but is also a change of pace your guests may not expect.
A sweet ballad about a man who loves his lady for exactly who she is – it’s a beautiful sentiment to think about as you walk down the aisle to your waiting groom.
This is another ballad we love because even the instrumental version is often recognizable. A dedication to just how amazing the words ‘You’re Beautiful’ can make you feel.
This love song hit from 2000 was a dream for girls everywhere and is still remarkably romantic today. What better way for you and your wedding party to come down the aisle than to use ‘I Do’ to celebrate the very reason everyone has come together.
Making a Cultural Statement
There is a definite advantage to having a broadly-cultured, experienced crew of DJs! We love the fact that each of our clients are different in so many ways and we look forward to matching the best fitting DJ to each diverse event.
After all, what better way to celebrate your unique culture than having someone who can relate to you and your family as the host of your wedding reception?
With DJ’s from both the North and South we understand what a ‘Northern’ wedding means.
Many of our DJ’s and assistants speak different languages from Spanish to Italian and even Russian. With experience in several cultures, many of our DJs spend hours preparing for an event by studying the culture they are about to be a part of for the evening. Split Second Sound matches each event with the best-suited DJ to deliver an unparalleled experience on the big day.
Our DJ’s appreciate that brides & grooms want to be comfortable with their vendor so they will go to many lengths to achieve the smoothest event possible. We are proud to have been a part of several cultural events including Indian ceremonies, Polish celebrations and many more!
When it comes to your wedding day, be sure you pick a DJ who will go the extra mile to make you feel comfortable so that you can truly enjoy yourself.
3 Reasons to Have a DJ at ANY Event
It is a common theme to have a DJ at a wedding but what about all of the other gatherings that go on throughout the year? Birthday parties, proms, corporate events, bar/bat mitvahs, pool parties – the list could go on and on. If you think an iPod will do, we beg to disagree. We say, if you want people to dance and have a good time, don’t trust a machine, hire a DJ! Here are three reasons why:
1) Range of music – chances are, if you are gathering a large amount of people for one event, then there will be a wide range of personalities in the crowd. DJ’s are equipped with thousands upon thousands of music options to please everyone and if they don’t have it, they can get it!
2) Experience – those who are familiar with the flow of an event know that there is a lot more to an evening than just playing music and letting the people dance. There are elements to an event than only those who are experienced will know how to handle. For example, an experienced DJ will read the body language of the crowd to identify which songs and styles are working and which ones to mix out of and go to something else!
3) Professional – meaning professional equipment, professional mindset and professional interaction with your guests! Events like the community pool party can turn into a disaster even if a local DJ does double-check his music for radio edits. By hiring a professional DJ, you are insuring that the music element of the event will be quality.
If it was up to us, we would have a DJ at every occasion. In our experience, we know they can make or break an event so we love pulling the crowd together and allowing even the hosts to feel that they can enjoy themselves.
The DJ’s Guide to a Great Party
Whether you are hosting a wedding reception or a birthday party, if you are hiring a DJ then you are looking for a great party! Split Second Sound has entertained at over 3,500 events in the last 3 years so if there is one thing we know how to do, it’s have an awesome party.
Below are a few of our favorite tips to guide you to your best event yet:
Not Enough – We’ve seen it a time or two. The party gets a little bigger than what you expected and you just don’t have the supplies to keep up. For example, it is always better to have leftover food (for example) than it is to run out before the event is over.
Too Much – As mentioned above, hosting enough goodies are a priority but occasionally, we all have the guest (or guests) who tend to ‘overindulge’ on the beverage supply. While you want everyone to have a good time, we suggest designating someone you trust to keep an eye on those you may be concerned about ‘overdoing it’.
Something to Remember – Set the mood and create an ambience (having an awesome DJ is a great way to do this). Most people will look for the music to create the best atmosphere so let your DJ work with the crowd to make sure everyone is involved!
The 3 most important factors of any great party are food, beverage and entertainment (remember: the DJ can make or break an event). Be sure to give those a little extra attention (using the tips above) to ensure an amazing event.
SSS Honored to Join Top Professionals at Emily Maynard Wedding
Split Second Sound recently spent an exciting evening with our good friend, Ivy Robinson of Ivy Robinson Events at Emily Maynard’s beautiful wedding.
Ivy Robinson, known for her unique design skills and for adding her personal touch to each event, originally from Elizabeth City, NC, is the recipient of countless event planning awards. In Charlotte for 11 years, Ivy has been received recognition with awards such as Best of Event Planner North Carolina, the BOB (Best of Best in Charlotte), and the BOW (Best of Weddings in Charlotte). She has been featured in the Knot National and BRIDES Magazine, has appeared on local CBS, NBC and FOX stations along with regular appearances on the Style Network. Ivy was recently interviewed by Carolina Bride and Charlotte Wedding magazines, she guest lectures at UNC-Charlotte every semester and has won the Best of Educational Program award (twice) from NACE (National Association for Catering and Events).
With a list of achievements like Ivy’s, it is no wonder that Emily approached her to lend her talented hand in planning her big day. Planned in only 12 weeks, Ivy kept all details hush-hush as engagement party invites were sent for the soon-to-be bride & groom! All of the guests were in for a big surprise when they arrived in Sharon, SC at the family property of groom, Tyler Johnson. It was there that Emily & Tyler tied the knot under a large white oak tree standing over 100 years old. Ivy mentioned that when Emily first saw that very spot on Tyler’s family tree farm, she knew she would be married there some day!
Ivy pulled off a stunning, southern-chic event while just mere hours before, a downpour drowned the grass on the farm. Ever-the-professional, Ivy hopped in her truck to pick up bales of hay and bring them back to the property to spread over the grass.
When she asked Split Second Sound to be a part of the entertainment, we were honored to participate in the plan for this adorable couple. SSS was joined by other familiar vendors like Lindsay Regan Thorne at B E P R E T T Y (link to: http://www.lindseyreganthorne.com/) and Amy Craparo at Wow Factor Cakes (link to: http://charlotteweddingcakes.com/). SSS owner, Diane Esposito, also made an appearance to support her DJ team!
Wedding Must-Play’s from 2014
We’re only half way through 2014 but there are already some huge hits to include in your wedding. Below is just a few of our favorites with the lyrics you will love!
John Legend performed this song for his wife, Chrissy Teigen at their wedding in September 2013 but if that isn’t enough of a reason, here’s our highlight of the lyrics:
Our favorite line: “Cause all of me/ Loves all of you/ Loves your curves and all your edges/All your perfect imperfections”
There’s something about Bruno Mars’ sweet, soulful voice that makes him a great choice for a wedding hit. Plus, the lyrics are adorable while the beat is still one that everyone can dance to.
Our favorite line: “Treasure, that is what you are/ Honey, you’re my golden star / You know you can make my wish come true”
As a testament to the men who step outside of their comfort zone for the women they love! This country hit will add a sweet touch to your wedding.
Our favorite line: “I don’t dance, But here I am / Spinning you around and around in circles / It ain’t my style, but I don’t care / I’d do anything with you anywhere”
If anyone knows a thing or two about being ‘Crazy in Love’ it’s Queen B. Her 2014 hit, “XO” is a testament to those who have found the person who will stick with them through thick and thin. Sound familiar?
Our favorite line: “In the darkest night hour / I’ll search through the crowd / Your face is all that I see / I’ll give you everything”
Band vs DJ: Why We Love this Age Old Debate
Why do we love it? Because we have all the answers when it comes to the many questions surrounding this debate! We know we may be a little biased but there are a few really good reasons we love discussing Bands vs DJ’s.
DJ’s Always Win
Okay, maybe not always but we get to discuss all the reasons DJ’s are awesome which is a conversation we already love to have with brides and grooms. The primary focus for most weddings is how to get everything the bride and groom wants for the right budget. In terms of value, DJ’s take the category with the ability to play a range of music and are generally the more ‘budget-conscious’ option.
At the end of the day, who doesn’t love the original version of their favorite classic? That’s why it’s a classic! So no matter how great the band that’s being considered may be… they’re still no Journey.
Music? Yes MC? No…
We hate to be sticklers for details (no we don’t, we love it!) but playing an instrument and hosting a wedding are not directly related. This means we (as wedding DJ’s) have a head up on the competition before we even start the debate! Most wedding DJ’s are experienced in the flow of a wedding which makes a world of difference when it comes to the person running your big day. As DJ’s we are trained as MC’s for the details like the first dance, father/daughter, bouquet toss etc. bands however, generally do not do the formalities as they are more focused on the music they are playing.
DJ Design Elements We Dig
We might be partial to the DJ being a highlight of your wedding day environment but there are a few other décor design elements that we think adds the perfect touch.
Whether it’s just an area of the room or the entire room, uplighting gives just the right pop of color to bring location to life. The colors of the uplights themselves can be set to match just about any theme and provide an ambiance that is perfect to get the party started.
We are all for putting your name on everything for the big day so why not have it shining on the dance floor as well? Or even on the wall? This classic element is a beautiful touch that shows up great for first dance photos!
TVs with photo montage’s playing are usually a centerpiece for your guests. While flowers and other décor may be nice to look at a few times, your guests can be entertained all night by passing pictures of vacations, engagements shots or even pictures that include them!
You have a whole room to celebrate your recent nuptials in so you might as well decorate all of it, these are just of the few décor items that add to the atmosphere!
Building through Education
“Vendors are afraid of the unknown; we want to change that so we can reveal the positive effect that working as a community can have on the wedding industry.”
-Vinny Esposito, Co-Owner of Split Second Sound
Split Second Sound has always been an advocate of promoting other professionals within Charlotte’s wedding and event industry. After 13 years, we decided to take this dedication to another level and the Charlotte Wedding Insider organization was born in 2012. Through CWI’s bi-monthly bridal panels, brides and grooms are able to learn about planning their big day from Charlotte’s top wedding professionals while the anonymous vendors on the panel are able to hear from the market’s current brides and grooms. At the same time, CWI hosts seminars and educational resources for vendors to understand the wedding industry and running their businesses.
Split Second Sound is confident in the mission built by Charlotte Wedding Insider and is excited about continuing to assist in the growth and education of the wedding industry. By bringing vendors and clients together, we continue to learn from each other as well as our clients.
To find more information about the Charlotte Wedding Insider mission or upcoming panels, check out www.CharlotteWeddingInsider.com!
Hitting a Home Run at your next Event
Talk about a meeting spot! The breathtaking views from the Charlotte Knights BB&T BallPark provide an amazing location for your next corporate or private event.
Boasting record attendance this season for the Knights (the highest in the league too), there’s no question that the park is a new hub for social gatherings and sports fanatics alike. The location offers several different areas to host a variety of events. Including the full ballpark (which can hold up to 10,000), the venue provides some seriously beautiful spots for a meeting, party, conference or other events.
Don’t think you need to fill the entire stadium though? Smaller areas like the Pepsi Party Terrace or one of the private Luxury Suites allow for groups between 25 and 30 people. One of our favorite spots, the Budweiser Home Plate Club, is perfect for a cocktail reception. With access to the full bar and optional catering, this enclosed area is top of the line. Throw a DJ in the mix and this would make an awesome party spot as well!
If you haven’t made it out to BB&T BallPark yet (or even if you have!) seriously consider hosting your next event or corporate event here. Don’t forget to invite Homer!
Split Second Sound’s Top 8 DJ Must-Haves
Let’s face it; there are some things you MUST HAVE on your wedding day. We may be a little biased but we think a DJ is one of them. Not just any DJ though, it’s absolutely essential to check out these important points when booking your wedding entertainment …..
Have a Great Personality
Some may think letting their BFF or cousin take on the mic for announcements is great idea. That can be a horrid mistake! There is a fine art to MCing a wedding with the appropriate flow while incorporating the right personality.
Being a professional is super important. Ask about dress code. What will your DJ wear? Ask about setup. What will the DJ setup look like? Is there a way to see your DJ in action? How long has the DJ company been in the local market? And most important of all … Is the DJ a preferred vendor at your wedding venue?
They should have Experience
We’re not talking general music or even basic DJ experience. We are talking about WEDDING DJ experience. There is a certain skill set that comes along with having several weddings under the belt of a DJ that cannot be replaced. Most DJs will make this experience readily available so that you can see the value in what you are receiving when booking them.
In combination with experience, this is another priority factor to keep in mind. A solid DJ will come prepared with knowledge of all kinds of different genres and styles of music. Any DJ worth his weight will know that it’s about the client’s style, which is why it’s important for them to be informed on a little bit of every music genre.
Well obviously there’s just no easy way to say it. DJs of yester-year have a long running stereotype of tuxedos and Chicken Dance’s but (thankfully!) these days, there are other options. It’s important to give your DJ the parameters of what is perfect fit for your wedding so you and your fiancé are on the same page with exactly which lines the DJ shouldn’t cross with your crowd.
Wedding guests typically approach the DJ in hopes of hearing their favorite song
s. However you might not want “Hot in Herre” played … really – there’s no need for anyone to take their clothes off. You may not realize how important a sociable DJ is until he tells your college roommate that she can’t hear her fav jam.
A failure to plan, is a plan to fail right? Sometimes it doesn’t matter how right you have it, something could go wrong. You’re going to need a DJ who can roll with the punches because at the end of the day, the party must go on!
The only one who should be late to your reception is you and your groom because you were too busy sneaking newlywed kisses in the car… and maybe your Great Aunt Erma but it probably takes her a little longer to get around these days. If your DJ shows signs of being unreliable, it’s better to consider an alternative BEFORE your big day. If they show up late to your meetings or say they will call and never do, take your red flags and run.