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March 2024

Can I Have This (First) Dance?

Can I Have This (First) Dance? 2560 1707 adam Michaels

You’ve done the two hardest parts: found your forever dance partner, and chosen to have award-winning live music for your wedding! Now, the fun part: choosing the music. Of course, there are so many special moments to select songs for, but one moment stands out above all the rest: your first dance as a married couple. We at Around Town believe that choosing a first dance song for your wedding is a special decision, as it sets the tone for not just a memorable moment on your big day, but your marriage. So, we’ve compiled a few helpful things to consider when picking out your first dance song:

1. Meaning and Connection: Choose a song that holds personal meaning for both of you as a couple!  It could be a song that reminds you of a significant moment in your relationship, reflects your feelings for each other, is a personal favorite you both share, or is from a favorite moment in a movie or tv show you love. 

2. Sentimentality vs. Fun: Decide whether you want your first dance to be a sentimental moment or a fun and upbeat one! Some couples prefer a romantic ballad, while others opt for a more lively song to kick off the celebrations. Think about your vibe as a couple and take that into account when choosing the perfect song for the two of you! 

3. Musical Style and Tempo: Consider your musical tastes and preferences. Do you prefer something slow and romantic, or upbeat and lively? Choose a song with a tempo that suits your dancing style and comfort level.

4. Length of the Song: Opt for a song that is neither too short or too long. Aim for a duration that allows you to enjoy the moment without feeling rushed or dragging on, usually around 2 minutes! In good news, you chose to hire our live bands, which means we can easily and seamlessly trim a song to the length you need, and your guests won’t even notice! 

5. Danceability: Think about whether the song is easy to dance to or if it requires specific choreography. If you’re not quite so confident in your dancing abilities, choose a song with a simple rhythm that you can sway to effortlessly. 

6. Lyrics and Theme: Make sure to pay attention to the lyrics and theme of the song. You’ll want to be sure they resonate with your relationship and the message you want to convey during your first dance, so be careful not to pick a song that gives the wrong impression or could make your grandparents uncomfortable! 

7. Cultural and Family Traditions: Consider any cultural or family traditions that may influence your song choice. You may want to select a song that reflects your heritage or has significance within your families, or one that incorporates languages or musical influences that are important or meaningful to you and your loved ones. 

8. Avoiding Overplayed Songs: While popular songs can be appealing, consider steering away from overly cliché or overplayed songs to make your first dance feel more unique and personal. There’s nothing wrong with having the same first dance song as another couple, but it can be uncomfortable, especially in the height of wedding season, to hear the same songs each weekend. Here are some examples of songs that have become popular choices for first dances and may be considered overdone:

While these songs are undeniably beautiful and romantic, they have been frequently chosen and may not feel as unique or personal for some couples. If you’re looking to avoid overdone first dance songs, consider exploring lesser-known or more unconventional options that still resonate with you as a couple. 

9. Practice: Once you’ve chosen your song, remember to practice dancing to it together to ensure you feel comfortable and confident on the dance floor. Even if you want to keep the dance simple, it helps to know what tempos to expect – especially if you’re thinking of trying to incorporate spins or dips! Don’t be afraid to set up your phones to record you from different angles as you practice so you’re sure you look the way you’d like to in the photos and videos of this special moment later on. 

10. Consult with Your Partner: Finally, and most importantly, make sure to discuss your options with your partner and choose a song that you both love and feel excited about dancing to as a couple. This is a deeply meaningful moment for the two of you together, and it should be one that you choose together for what it means to both of you!

How Sweet It Is

How Sweet It Is 2560 1706 adam Michaels

While some wedding customs are going by the wayside, such as the garter toss and even the bouquet toss, one wedding reception tradition looks like it will survive the test of time: the cake cutting! And we here at Around Town Entertainment believe that this sweet moment is just as deserving of a soundtrack as the other special moments in your big day – and here’s why: 

Enhancing the Atmosphere: Music has the power to set the mood and atmosphere. By selecting a song that reflects your personalities or the overall tone of the wedding, it can enhance the ambiance and make the moment even more memorable!

Symbolism: The cake cutting ceremony is a significant moment in a wedding, symbolizing your first task together as newlyweds. Choosing a meaningful song can add depth to this symbolism and make the moment even more special! 

Personalization: Every couple has their own unique story and musical preferences. Selecting a song that holds personal significance to you, such as your favorite song or one that reminds you of a special moment in your relationship, adds a personal touch to the celebration.

Creating Memories: Music has a powerful way of evoking memories. By choosing a song that resonates with the two of you, your families, and guests, it can create a lasting memory associated with that specific moment of the wedding day. Like with your first dance song, or the song that plays for your first entrance as a married couple, this song will become one that immediately brings back a happy memory whenever you hear it in the future! 

Adding Fun and Entertainment: The cake cutting ceremony is often one of the most fun and light-hearted parts of the reception. Choosing an upbeat, whimsical, or very apropos song can inject an element of fun and entertainment into the moment, encouraging guests to join in and celebrate! Additionally, this moment can be a little awkward when it happens in total silence – music makes it feel like a fun or even choreographed moment! 

Photography and Videography: Music can enhance the visual storytelling of the wedding day captured by your photographer and videographer. Having a designated song for the cake cutting provides a soundtrack that complements the visuals, making the captured memories even more meaningful.

Overall, selecting songs for the cake cutting at a wedding reception adds a personal and emotional touch to the celebration, enhances the atmosphere, and creates lasting memories for the two of you and your guests! Now, you didn’t think we’d just suggest picking a song for our live wedding bands to play at this special moment and then not give you some carefully curated suggestions did you? Of course not! Incoming, hot off the press, are some of our favorite song choices for cake cutting, broken into categories and accompanied by our reasons for recommending them! 

On the Nose

Ideally, that’s not where the frosting is, but these songs certainly are! 

“Ice Cream” – This playful and sweet song by Sarah McLachlan adds a whimsical touch to the moment, with the added bonus that the song is quite literally about dessert! 

“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” – A classic song, often performed by both James Taylor and Marvin Gaye, this song perfectly captures the sweetness and joy of being in love – and creates an adorable metaphor by tying it to the sweetness of your cake! 

“Sugar” – Maroon 5’s energetic and catchy hit adds a fun and lively vibe to the decidedly sugary cake cutting moment, making it a great choice for couples looking to infuse some excitement into their celebration. 

 “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies have similarly whimsical and playful lyrics, which can add a lighthearted and joyful atmosphere to the cake cutting moment. The song talks about sweetness and love, which are, again, fitting themes for a cake cutting moment! 

Let the Good Times Roll! 

The cake cutting is one of the best moments to incorporate a sweet, uplifting, up-tempo song, which is a nice contrast from some of the other often sweeter and slower moments of a wedding reception. These are some of our favorites that fit that bill! 

“Lucky” – Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait’s timeless duet is the perfect amount of sweetness – just like your love (and your cake)! 

“L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole is a charming, bouncy classic that really gets right to the heart of this sweet moment between you and your partner. 

“Better Together” by Jack Johnson is another bubbly, sweet song – and this one is very appropriate since you and your partner are quite literally cutting your cake together! 

“Love on Top” – Beyoncé. Queen B is always the right choice. That’s really all we have to say about this one – you simply can’t go wrong with something this classic. 

“You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne is probably the most brassy and boldly celebratory song on this list – so if your cake has sparklers on it, we can’t think of a better song pairing.

Brilliant, Bold, & Brassy: Elevating Your Wedding Celebration with Horns

Brilliant, Bold, & Brassy: Elevating Your Wedding Celebration with Horns 2560 1707 adam Michaels

What do Lawrence, Billy Joel, September, Whitney Houston, Sammy Rae & the Friends, Silk Sonic, and KC & The Sunshine Band all have in common? A few things, believe it or not! First, they all have incredible songs that are perfect for your wedding – whether it’s a classic like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” or a newer hit like “Leave the Door Open” these tunes are sure to get your guests’ feet moving and hips grooving. They also all involve instruments that we here at Around Town happen to love – horns.  

Horns are having quite the comeback lately, especially with the rise in popularity for retro pop artists like Laufey, Lawrence, Lake Street Dive, Sammy Rae & the Friends, Cody Fry, Cory Wong, Vulfpeck, Cory Wong, and Jon Batiste. These bands and solo artists infuse their music with a diverse range of influences, blending genres such as funk, jazz, pop, and rock to create a fresh and eclectic sound that appeals to contemporary audiences seeking something different from mainstream pop. The genre itself often incorporates elements of classic funk, soul, and R&B, which have a timeless quality that transcends generations. The music tends to evoke a sense of nostalgia for past musical eras, such as the 70s and 80s, which resonates with both older audiences who experienced these periods firsthand, and younger listeners who are drawn to the vintage sound and style.This appeal to a broad audience base contributes to the growing popularity. It’s also what makes it such a perfect genre to incorporate into your wedding and reception – it’s one of the few parties you’ll throw in your life that has such a diverse guest list, ranging from your grandparents to your nieces and nephews, with all your friends and family in between. 

With this in mind, it’s important to think about how to get all of those diverse guests out on the dance floor – and we think that horns are your answer. We’ll start by raving about all the fabulous qualities horns bring to the band’s sound, and in case we haven’t convinced you they’re a great idea by then, we’ll also bust out a list of just how many incredible party songs involve horns. And hey, if we happen to give you ideas for your song requests or special moments, fantastic! 

Horns, whether a saxophone, trumpet, or trombone, can be a unique and exciting addition to a wedding band for several reasons:

  1. Unique Sound: Horns add a distinctive and rich sound to the music, enhancing the overall auditory experience for guests! Their presence can elevate the atmosphere and make the wedding celebration more memorable. 
  2. Versatility: Horns are versatile instruments that can adapt to various music genres, including classical, jazz, pop, and more. This versatility allows our live wedding bands to cater to diverse musical preferences among guests, ensuring that everyone finds something to enjoy
  3. Elegant Aesthetic: Brass instruments, particularly trumpets and saxophones, have a very elegant and sophisticated appearance that can complement the formal ambiance of a wedding ceremony or reception. They can also add a touch of glamor to the band’s visual presentation – nothing quite literally shines like the light catching on a brass instrument!
  4. Energy and Excitement: The vibrant and dynamic sound of horns can inject energy and excitement into the performance, encouraging guests to dance and celebrate throughout the event. This lively atmosphere contributes to the overall enjoyment of the wedding festivities and keeps toes tapping. No one can stand still at a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, or in the presence of a Parisian sidewalk jazz quartet – your wedding music should have the same effect on your guests: giving them the irresistible urge to dance!
  5. Memorable Performance: Incorporating horns into the wedding band creates a unique and memorable musical experience for the couple and their guests. It adds a special touch to the celebration, making it stand out from typical wedding entertainment options. Whether it’s a soulful saxophone solo during the first dance or a brass fanfare to announce the newlyweds, horns have the power to make key moments in the wedding ceremony and reception even more special and unforgettable.
  6. Professionalism and Quality: Hiring horn players also demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and quality entertainment, which signals to your guests that you’ve invested in your wedding band, and the band has invested in talented musicians who will deliver an exceptional performance. This attention to detail can enhance the overall aesthetic of the wedding and leave a lasting impression on attendees.

Overall, horns can be the perfect addition to a live wedding band, offering a combination of unique sound, versatility, elegance, energy, and memorable performance that enhances the overall wedding experience! 

Now that we’ve convinced you to add horns to your Around Town band, it would be just rude of us not to include a few killer song suggestions to help you utilize them! 

And these are just the songs that already have horns in their arrangements! You’ll be amazed at how many songs that don’t originally have horns in their arrangements are utterly elevated by their addition. We can certainly promise that adding horns to your live wedding band will make for a night to remember and a dance floor to never forget!

Can You Feel the Love-All Tonight?

Can You Feel the Love-All Tonight? 1000 667 adam Michaels

In the whirlwind of modern romance, Julia and Matthew found themselves caught in the crosshairs of fate, their love story unfolding across miles and moments that would shape their lives forever.

Their journey began with a simple swipe on Bumble in early 2019, a digital connection that bridged the gap between Julia’s life as a globetrotting tennis player and Matthew’s career as a medical resident in Charlottesville, Virginia. Despite the geographical distance between them, sparks flew through their virtual exchanges, leaving them with a hopeful promise: “If you’re ever in New York…”

December 2019 brought a twist of fate when Matthew found himself in New York during a trip back from visiting family. Seizing the opportunity, he reached out to Julia, proposing a meetup on Long Island. Little did they know, this fateful encounter would set the stage for a remarkable journey ahead.

Their first face-to-face meeting at Bar Frites in Greenvale, N.Y., was nothing short of magical. As they delved into deep conversations and shared laughter, a profound connection blossomed between them. Julia, captivated by Matthew’s sincerity, found herself drawn to him in ways she hadn’t anticipated.

With Matthew’s impending move to New York City for a fellowship in June 2020, the stars seemed to align for the couple. However, fate had other plans. Covid lockdowns ensued, trapping Julia in Charlottesville for what was meant to be a brief visit. What began as a temporary rendezvous turned into an unexpected three-month cohabitation, marked by shared meals, outdoor adventures, and cozy nights in.

As Covid restrictions eased, the couple returned to their respective lives in the New York City area. Matthew pursued his medical career, while Julia, recovering from a tennis injury, transitioned into sports journalism. Despite their divergent paths, their bond only grew stronger, and by September 2022, they knew they were meant to be.

In a serendipitous twist of fate, Matthew proposed to Julia during a picturesque stroll along the water in Tarrytown, a moment that encapsulated the beauty of their love story. Now residing in Tarrytown, the couple embarked on a new chapter of their lives together, cherishing the memories of their proposal spot visible from their apartment window.

Under the crisp November sky, and in unseasonably warm weather, Matthew and Julia exchanged vows in an enchanting outdoor ceremony at the historic Hempstead House in Sands Point, NY. As guests gathered, the gentle breeze carried the strains of JVKE’s “Golden Hour,” played poignantly by Around Town’s incredibly talented pianist, setting the perfect tone for the procession. All eyes turned as Julia made her grand entrance, radiant in her stunning lace gown with its off-the-shoulder sleeves, to the timeless tune of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Against the backdrop of Hempstead House’s Celtic castle, the former estate of the Guggenheim family, the two were married. As they sealed their union with a kiss, the joyful jive of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” filled the air, oh-so-aptly. 

Inside the Gatsby-era castle, Around Town’s jazz trio provided the perfect ambiance for the cocktail hour, which was already starlit at 5 o’clock thanks to the early sunsets of November. This was, of course, only a warm up to a very lively and memorable reception. 

The bridal party entered to a classic (and incredibly appropriate) bop, as Around Town’s live musicians provided a rocking rendition of The Black-Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get it Started,” and the bride and groom entered just after to Barry White’s soulful “You’re the First, the Last, my Everything.”  

The absolute show-stopper of the night, however, was the couple’s first dance. As Around Town’s fabulous band crooned Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?]’ Julia and Matthew took to the dance floor for a gorgeous choreographed dance that left the room with not a dry eye to be found. And the waterworks didn’t stop there! Julia and her father danced their Father/Daughter dance to Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” and Matthew and his mother shared a lovely moment to The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” 

The fun lasted well into the night, and this lovely couple’s witty musical taste just didn’t quit! The two cut their cake to another Bill Withers’ classic, “Just the Two of Us” and the bouquet was tossed to the jockeying unmarried ladies of the party to Kool and the Gang’s “Ladies Night.” Julia and Matthew and the phenomenal Around Town musicians made sure that no one felt like leaving the dance floor that night, busting out hits like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ “Oh What a Night,” Andy Gibb’s “I Just Want to be Your Everything,” and The Beatles’ “Here, There, and Everywhere.” 

Of course, the party had to end sometime – so their lives together could begin! Julia and Matthew exited the stunning castle, to wall an aisle of their friends and family with sparklers, to reach their fabulous vintage getaway Rolls Royce. 

Look Out for Your Lyrics!

Look Out for Your Lyrics! 2560 1707 adam Michaels

One, two, three-four-five, 

Everybody in the car, so come on, let’s ride! 

…Did we get Lou Bega’s ‘Mambo No. 5’ stuck in your head? Easy to do, the song is undeniably catchy and it certainly never fails to make people want to dance! Which is why this next sentence may come as a surprise: 

We strongly recommend not playing this song on your wedding day. 


Simply put, the same or similar reason we’re going to recommend a whole list of songs not to play on your wedding day: these particular lyrics are all about someone who is seeing at least ten women at the same time (though shout-out to Rita and Sandra for being the only two to be mentioned in both a verse and the refrain?). On your wedding day, these lyrics may not quite convey what you’re hoping to in terms of eternal and true love. 

So, as NYC’s premier entertainment company, with 5 of the most-lauded live wedding bands in the tristate area, Around Town Entertainment is here to help you make sure the music at your wedding is full of good vibes only! Below, we’ve broken it down to a few different categories of thematic material you may not want to feature on your special day, and included lists in each of those categories because we believe that when planning your wedding, choosing the music should be the easiest and most fun part! So without further ado, let’s get into it! 

Songs that Insult Your Partner (or her Family)

Let’s face it, we all love a song with a witty little jab for an ex. There’s something eternally satisfying about cleverly putting someone in their place. However, your wedding doesn’t seem like the time or place for these songs, since your partner is presumably someone that you want to spend the rest of your life complimenting – you chose to marry them because they aren’t like the lyrics in the following songs: 

‘You’re So Vain’ – Carly Simon

‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ – Bon Jovi 

‘Highway to Hell’ – AC/DC 

‘I Hate Everything About You’ – Three Days Grace 

‘Gold Digger’ – Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx

‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ – Shania Twain 

‘Bad Romance’ – Lady Gaga

‘Mother-In-Law’ – Ernie K-Doe

This last one isn’t about your partner, is funny, and may even be apt for your relationship with your new Mother-In-Law, but it probably isn’t one you want to play the very day she becomes your family; not if you want to start out on the right foot! 

Songs About Cheating 

This one… feels like it should be the most obvious category. It’s your wedding day and you just promised to love and cherish one another in sickness and in health ‘til death do you part. Songs about cheating on your partner just don’t fit the bill for this special day. We’re also going to start this list off with a hot take: the first song is still about cheating, even if they do end up back with the partner they started with and never technically see anyone else. Fun as it is, we don’t encourage it for your wedding! 

‘Escape (The Piña Colada Song)’ by Rupert Holmes 

‘Before He Cheats’ by Carrie Underwood 

‘Unfaithful’ – Rihanna 

‘You Know I’m No Good’ – Amy Winehouse 

‘Cry Me a River’ – Justin Timberlake 

‘Jolene’ – Dolly Parton 

Songs About Leaving or Breaking Up 

This also feels exceedingly obvious as a category. And while there is certainly a time and place to belt out some of the following bangers, your wedding is probably not one of those times and places, since we’re very much hoping your love is here to stay! 

‘Thank U, Next’ – Ariana Grande

‘You Can Go Your Own Way’ – Fleetwood Mac 

‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’ – Paul Simon 

‘Bad Blood’ – Taylor Swift 

‘I Will Survive’ – Gloria Gaynor 

‘Since U Been Gone’ – Kelly Clarkson 

‘I Will Always Love You’ – Dolly Parton (covered by Whitney Houston) 

Songs That Make Your Grandma Blush
(Or are generally tasteless) 

We’re sure your grandma is a cool grandma. She’s YOUR grandma after all. And while TikTok has certainly revealed its fair share of cool, rebellious grandmas, we also know there’s every chance that your grandma or another of your guests could be easily offended by the… racier content in some of the following songs. These songs might be perfect for your bachelorette night, but your wedding reception maybe isn’t the time. Additionally, some songs, we can acknowledge in 2024, simply aren’t appropriate (if they ever were). 

‘Bootylicious’ – Destiny’s Child 

‘Baby Got Back’ – Sir Mix-A-Lot 

‘My Humps’ – The Black-Eyed Peas 

‘Candy Shop’ – 50 Cent feat. Olivia

‘Every Breath You Take’ – The Police (Stalker vibes!) 

Songs About Lost Love

Your wedding day is all about celebrating the full and hopefully long lives you’ve just promised to share! These songs are ones that, stunning as they are, focus on love that’s been lost, either to life’s circumstances or (gulp) death. So again, while they might put you in your feels or even be a personal favorite, we think there are better times to play these particular songs than on your wedding day. 

‘Make You Feel My Love’ – Adele 

‘Yesterday’ – The Beatles 

‘Tears in Heaven’ – Eric Clapton 

‘White Wedding’ – Billy Idol 

While this list certainly isn’t a complete list with every song that maybe shouldn’t make an appearance on your wedding day, these categories and examples should give you a good set of questions to ask yourself before selecting a song. Even more helpfully, we’ve provided a list of songs that we know are classics and hits your guests will love – when you book us, you get to highlight ones you like to your heart’s content so we get a sense of your style and vibes! While we may not get the chance to play all of them, we can promise your day will be full of crowd-pleasing, bopping, non-problematic tunes

It’s a Love Story: Baby, Just Say Yes!

It’s a Love Story: Baby, Just Say Yes! 2560 1707 adam Michaels

Congratulations! You booked Around Town Entertainment for your wedding, and now it’s time to pick out the music. We happen to like the sound of music around here, so we’re going to start at the very beginning – we hear it’s a very good place to start. The beginning, of course, is your ceremony music! While your cocktail hour gets a lovely jazz trio, and your reception will, we’re sure, be full of lots of danceable tunes; the ceremony can be tricky because this moment, more than most, is one where your creative license can truly run wild. 

The music for your ceremony can be the most instrumental (pun intended) part of setting the tone and telling your guests precisely who you are as a couple and what’s important in your relationship. Your ceremony also presents the unique opportunity to create a story arc – your procession can begin with a song or songs that remind you of how your relationship began, and by the end the two of you can exit to a song that conveys your hopes and intentions for the future! Today, we’ll be diving into this idea a bit more, since it’s a little less conventional. 

Since there are three main sections of music – your bridal party procession, the bride’s entrance, and the recessional – we’ve broken each of them down in their own section of this blog and filled them with questions & suggestions to get you started in building your perfect ceremony

Seventy-Six Trombones Led the Big Parade 

The procession of your grandparents, parents, and bridal party likely won’t come with 76 trombones, but depending on the size of your bridal party, the length of the processional music can vary greatly! That’s why it’s often important to choose multiple songs, and maybe even one more than you’ll think you’ll need, just in case (though when you make the list, put the most essential songs in the top 2, knowing you may not need the songs after that). 

Now we come to the big questions: 

What is the overall vibe of your wedding? Are you looking for something classic and romantic? How about something sweet and simple? 

Do the two of you have a favorite film? Some popular wedding procession choices include “Concerning Hobbits” from ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’, or “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in the style of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Is there a TV show you both love? Consider using the theme song or a song from a meaningful moment in the show. “The Office” is a great example of a show with a beautiful theme song that is well suited to a piano or guitar cover, and recent smash hit “Bridgerton” is full of stunning orchestral arrangements of more modern pop songs that could be perfect for your bridal party’s entrances. 

How about a favorite band or artist? Was there a concert you attended together that made a certain song all the more meaningful? 

Use this time to tell your love story! Your procession music can tell your story from start to present – In three songs or less, do you think you can tell the story of how you met, how you first fell in love, and the love you came to when you decided to spend the rest of your lives together? 

At Last, My Love Has Come Along

Mark Gordon and Harry Warren really nailed it with the lyrics to this classic popularized by Etta James – and it’s how we hope you feel when you see each other from opposite ends of the aisle as the bride’s part of the procession begins! This is another moment to really tell your guests the story of your love, while all their eyes are on you. Is there a song that immediately comes to mind as one that always makes you think of the moment you truly knew you loved your partner? Stop reading for a moment to think! 

Ok, now that you’ve thought about it, if you’re stuck or coming up empty, we do have a few ideas to get the ball rolling for you. Consider songs like Sara Bareilles“I Choose You” or Train’sMarry Me”! A little too on the nose? Other popular choices include Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years,” John Legend’s “All of Me,” or Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” 

This Will Be An Everlasting Love 

We and Natalie Cole just know it will! And, conveniently, this song remains one of the most popular song choices for a couple’s recessional back down the aisle after being pronounced as married! But there are other choices, too, and most couples seize this opportunity to pick a song that stays consistent with the theme of telling their guests just how much hope they have for their future together. Disney lovers have been known to use “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams” is an eternally fun bop (Even if their partnership didn’t survive the test of time, we’re sure yours will so don’t let that deter you from using the song!), and Stevie Wonder remains quite a king of the wedding music scene with the ever-so-apt “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” 

For this moment more than any other in the ceremony, we recommend something truly celebratory – it’s the start of your life together, and, more immediately, the start of the party! 

No matter what music you choose for your ceremony, our live musicians will have the perfect touch to bring your ceremony, be it intimate or grand. 

Choosing the Perfect Song for your Father/Daughter Dance

Choosing the Perfect Song for your Father/Daughter Dance 2560 1833 adam Michaels

You’ve done the hard part – you’ve found your live wedding band! Now comes the fun part: choosing the music. There are so many important songs to select for your special day, but one song can be harder than others: The Father/Daughter dance. 

Your first dance partner. The man who taught you just how high the bar should be for your forever dance partner. Fathers wait from the moment their daughters are born for this most special moment – one that famously brings tears to your guests’ eyes. 

Choosing music for your wedding is important and picking the song to dance to with your dad can be tricky, so we at Around Town have assembled a few simple ways to help you find the perfect song for you and your dad, as well as included some examples to get you started! 

But before we do, just a quick reminder that the Father/Daughter dance should be around 2 minutes long – not the whole song! Since you’ve made the clever choice and booked one of our fabulous bands, you’re already in great hands that will make sure you have a seamless cut of whichever song you choose. That said, keep in mind when choosing your song that it will be shortened; so if you have a favorite verse, don’t be afraid to specify! 

With Love From Me to You 

Often, brides will take this opportunity to pick a song that sends a message, whether that’s telling their dad just how much they love them, or sharing with their guests how important their dad is to them. Both Natalie Cole & Nat King Cole’s posthumous duet of “Unforgettable,” or John Legend & Cynthia Erivo’s cover of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” immediately evoke that unique feeling of a Father-Daughter bond. Maybe you want a song from Dad’s point of view – Bruce Springsteen’s “When You Need Me” is a classic, as is James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” (For the Disney-lovers, a fun riff on this idea is Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

A Walk Down Memory Lane 

While your wedding day is certainly about a walk down the aisle to your future, your Father/Daughter dance is a sweet walk into the past. Think about key memories you have with your dad, or special moments you’ve shared. We don’t have suggestions in this category because these memories are specific to you and will lead to choices all your own – but we do have some questions to get you started! 

Maybe he took you to your first live concert – who was playing? 

How about a meaningful sports game? Did your team have “a song”?

Was there a jam he’d play in the car on the way to school to hype you up for a test? 

Do the two of you have a favorite movie with a memorable song on its soundtrack? 

Did a certain song come on at the school Father/Daughter dance that revealed what kind of dancer your dad truly was? 

Was there simply a song you’d dance to together in the kitchen when you were little? 

Is it a Wonderful World or a Boogie Wonderland? 

Tempo changes everything! When choosing a song for your Father/Daughter dance, keep in mind how much the song moves and grooves. Do you want a nice slow song that’s easy to sway to? Consider songs like Nancy Sinatra’s “It’s For My Dad,” or “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Or are you the kind of dad and daughter duo who will choreograph a show stopping musical number? Songs that lend themselves to something more high-energy include ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” The Temptations’ “My Girl,” or Doris Day’s “Papa, Won’t You Dance With Me”

Baby, You’re So Classic! 

While we don’t actually recommend using MKTO’s “Classic” for your Father/Daughter dance (we sure hope your dad doesn’t want to kiss you like Prince or get it on like Marvin Gaye), we do know that in a day full of so many special moments that it’s sometimes comforting to have something picked out that you know will be a hit. So, we took a look at some of the Father/Daughter dances our bands have played to great success recently and compiled a list of classics for you! 

Stevie Wonder’s  “Isn’t She Lovely” 

Guns n’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” 

Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight”

Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl”  

Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” 

Other classics include songs we’ve already mentioned, like “My Girl” and “What a Wonderful World.” 

Save the Best for Last 

Best of all, because you chose to have our live bands play for your special day, if you don’t see the song you want on our list, we’ll learn it! This is our way of guaranteeing that your Father/Daughter dance is as special as your relationship. No matter what song you choose, we’re sure it will be one that shows off the heart and soul of your Father/Daughter relationship – with your signature flair! 

Bouquet Toss: A Tradition to Keep (Not Toss!)

Bouquet Toss: A Tradition to Keep (Not Toss!)

Bouquet Toss: A Tradition to Keep (Not Toss!) 2560 1707 adam Michaels

In the grand tapestry of wedding traditions, the bouquet toss stands as a vibrant thread, weaving together elements of joy, symbolism, and inclusivity. For many couples embarking on the journey of matrimony, this age-old tradition holds a special place in their hearts, resonating with profound meaning and significance. While the tradition of a bouquet toss at wedding receptions may be less common in some modern ceremonies, there are still several great reasons why you might still choose to include it – and, just as importantly, select a song for Around Town’s live bands to play while you do! 

At its core, the bouquet toss is more than just a simple act; it is a symbol of hope, luck, and the passing of happiness on to another. Rooted in centuries of folklore and customs, this cherished tradition embodies the belief that the single woman who catches the bouquet will be blessed with good fortune and perhaps even find herself walking down the aisle next. This unique moment of whimsy is also one that adds a little extra fun and zest to the evening! 

The bouquet toss can also be an act of inclusivity, inviting guests of all ages and relationship statuses to partake in the festivities. Regardless of whether one is single or coupled, young or old, the invitation to join in the fun can be extended to all. It’s a gesture of unity, bridging divides and fostering a sense of belonging among all who gather to celebrate your love.

Yet, in the ever-evolving landscape of weddings, tradition now often finds itself intertwined with innovation. Some couples opt to infuse the bouquet toss with a modern twist, adding creative elements or alternative interpretations to personalize the experience. Creativity knows no bounds, offering couples a plethora of inventive ways to infuse this cherished tradition with a touch of magic and flair. Here’s a bouquet of imaginative ideas to make your toss one for the books:

Trivia Takes It: Kickstart the bouquet toss with a splash of intellect by hosting a trivia session. Delight your guests with questions about the couple or love in general, granting the bouquet-catching honor to the sharpest mind in the room.

The More the Merrier: Why settle for one bouquet when you can have many? Break the traditional mold by presenting multiple bouquets, ensuring that a plethora of guests gets a chance to snag one.

Dearly Beloved: Elevate the toss by dedicating it to a special guest. Whether it’s the longest-married couple in attendance or someone celebrating a milestone birthday, this gesture adds a heartfelt touch to the festivities.

Charitable Twist: Infuse the bouquet toss with altruism by inviting guests to make a charitable donation in exchange for the chance to catch it. Not only does this foster goodwill, but it also adds a philanthropic dimension to the tradition.

Scavenger Hunt: Embark on an adventure with a bouquet scavenger hunt. Conceal the bouquet within the venue and provide guests with tantalizing clues, sparking a frenzy of excitement as they race to claim the ultimate prize.

Spontaneous Surprise: Keep guests on their toes with a surprise bouquet toss. Forego the customary announcement and unleash the toss when they least expect it, infusing the reception with a delightful sense of spontaneity.

Adding music to accompany the bouquet toss can enhance the overall experience and create a more festive atmosphere for this traditional moment. Music sets the stage, creating a soundscape against which the bouquet toss unfolds. Whether it’s a lively melody to ignite the crowd’s enthusiasm or a soulful tune to tug at heartstrings, the right music sets the tone, aligning seamlessly with the celebratory spirit of the occasion. 

Music can add an extra layer of excitement and anticipation to the bouquet toss, encouraging guests to get involved, clap along, and cheer for the participants, making the moment more engaging for everyone! A catchy tune can encourage guests to join in the fun and feel more comfortable participating in the bouquet toss. It can also help create a sense of unity and camaraderie among attendees, regardless of their relationship status.

Choosing a song that holds special meaning to you and your partner, or reflects your personalities can personalize the bouquet toss and make it even more meaningful. It’s another way to add personal touches to the overall wedding celebration! Alternatively, you can pick a song that’s thematically appropriate; some options that fit the more traditional ideas around a bouquet toss include “A Good Night” by John Legend, “Single Ladies” by Beyonce, “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor, “This One’s for the Girls” by Martina McBride, or Shania Twain’s classic “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” 

Incorporating music for Around Town to play during the bouquet toss helps maintain the flow of the reception program. It provides a smooth transition between different segments of your event, ensuring that guests remain engaged and entertained throughout the evening. So if you were worried that a bouquet toss would interrupt the flow of people wanting to spend time on the dance floor – don’t fret! This is a great chance to give your guests a breather in between dance numbers, while still keeping the energy high and the party going.

If We Were a Movie… What is Our Soundtrack?

If We Were a Movie… What is Our Soundtrack?

If We Were a Movie… What is Our Soundtrack? 2560 1709 adam Michaels

You’ve chosen the venue. The flowers. The place settings, the centerpieces, the lighting. The bridal party ensembles and guest dress code, The Dress. The time of day and its accompanying vibes. The photographer. The menu, the signature cocktail, the wine. Each element carefully chosen for the aesthetic it creates or contributes to – because you know exactly what you want your day to look, taste, smell and feel like. But what does your day sound like? The music is a huge piece of the overall theme of your wedding, so whether you’re having a classic, elegant affair, or a bubbly, quirky dance party, it’s important to choose the right sound to go with your day! That’s where Around Town Entertainment comes in, of course. As one of NYC’s top live music and entertainment companies, we’re here to help ensure that your music coordinates perfectly with the vibe you want to create for your special day. 

Think of your favorite movie. Got it? Now think of your favorite moments from the film – is there music playing under them? Film scores and soundtracks have an incredible ability to change the feeling of a moment or even the entire film, thanks to music’s ability to create or evoke an emotion. Did you know that When Harry Met Sally was originally supposed to have a contemporary soundtrack? Writer Nora Ephron and director Rob Reiner decided they simply needed to go with jazz standards, however, and brought in Harry Connick Jr. to score the film with improvisational jazz, as well as jazz standards, as he watched parts of the film; bringing that cozy, nostalgic, comforting, classic feeling that the film is known and loved for. 

Live music, more than canned, really lends itself to making sure that the sound and theme you want for your day is consistent – because live bands can modify a song from its original style so that it matches more closely with what you’re looking for. And as some of NYC’s top wedding bands, we can guarantee that your favorite songs will sound just the way you want them to. 

We’ll also help you find the right style of music to match your wedding aesthetic! From here, we’ll be digging into some aesthetics that are popular right now and what music we think coordinates well in creating a cohesive experience and vibe for your big day. Of course, what matters most is picking music that’s important and meaningful to you, but if you’re feeling stuck or don’t know what to choose, then we’re here to help you get the ball rolling and the creative juices flowing! We’ve chosen to list artists, rather than songs to get you started, but each artist’s name is hyperlinked to a song of theirs that you might consider wedding-appropriate; keep in mind all of these artists have a lot more songs though, so explore to your hearts’ content! 

Rustic or Barn Vibes: 

Rustic has been on the rise the last several years, as weddings seek simplicity and a very natural feel. Music genres that pair well with this aesthetic are bluegrass, country, folk, indie, and acoustic. Feel free to lean into songs that have more guitar or bass, or even a violin! Artists and bands that have some great music to match this vibe are George Ezra, Laura Marling, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and Johnnyswim. If you’re looking to go full country, then you can’t go wrong with Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Brandi Carlile tunes! 

Vintage or Classic Elegance 

The best part of “classic” is that it will never go out of style, and incorporating vintage elements only serves to make a wedding feel truly timeless – just like your love! Classic, elegant, charming music that suits this theme perfectly tends to come from the 1940’s and 50’s with big band music and its iconic singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Nat King Cole, and Louis Armstrong. There’s even been a resurgence in this style of music recently, so you can look to artists like Laufey, Cody Fry, or Melody Gardot for new releases with slightly more modern lyrics, or even just a fresh take on an old classic. If you feel that this style of music suits your wedding aesthetic, consider adding horns to your band! This style of music is heavily characterized by brass, piano, and percussion, so if this is the sound you want, we recommend adding a saxophone, trumpet, trombone, or even all three. 

Contemporary Modern & Industrial 

The word “steampunk” comes to mind – another trend that’s been on the rise has been the industrial twist. Old warehouses, burnished brass fixtures, minimalist flower arrangements, exposed wood and brick… you can picture it easily, but what does it sound like? This one is fun because it’s so versatile, though it tends to lean towards music written after the 1950’s. This is a perfect style for getting a little edgier, heading into “urban rock,” incorporating Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Carole King, Tina Turner, Fleetwood Mac, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Aretha Franklin, and Phil Collins. Powerhouse vocals, a great guitar or piano line, and a nice steady beat, this genre of music is sure to get your guests jumping and swaying on the dance floor. 

Whimsical or Bohemian

We won’t lie… this one is harder for us to bring suggestions for, because by their very definitions, these wedding themes are meant to be completely, utterly, and personally unique. Which means you can choose just about anything! In fact, you probably choose this wedding aesthetic because you already know exactly who you are as a couple and what kind of music the two of you prefer. So we won’t bore you with suggestions for this one and instead say: Yes! Whatever style of music you’re thinking probably works!!

Long-Distance Love Built to Last

Long-Distance Love Built to Last

Long-Distance Love Built to Last 1800 1199 adam Michaels

Zach and Julie met the old-fashioned way, like most couples their age… on Hinge! They met for drinks at The Binc in Brooklyn Heights in May of 2022 and ended up spending hours together that night. But… he was only in NYC for that month before moving to Texas for the next three years! They spent that month ordering sushi, getting to know each other and their friends, all while knowing it would come to an end when he headed to the Lonestar state in June. Despite having sworn off long distance, as the end of May neared, the two found themselves reconsidering – one visit to Texas later by Julie, they said “why not?” and took the plunge! They spent the following year flying between Texas and NYC, eating and exploring their way through innumerable cities, cheering on the Yankees; moving, grooving, and singing along at concerts; getting to know and love each other’s families, and spending hours and hours on FaceTime realizing they were meant for each other.

In May 2023, Zach flew to NYC to celebrate his birthday – where Julie “thought” she was planning a surprise birthday party for him with all of their family and friends. But little did she know, Zach was planning a surprise of his own. He had worked with her brother and their friends to reimagine the supposedly-surprise birthday party as their engagement party! On their way to the bar where the party was, they took a walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park and Zach got down on one knee and popped the question – and Julie said yes! The reverse-engineered double surprise party full of all their friends and family was just the icing on the cake, and was a testament to just how well Zach knows Julie: he knew she’d want to plan her own engagement party (even if she didn’t realize it at the time)! 

When it came time to plan their New York wedding, Julie and Zach chose to have Around Town’s Altitude Band provide the live music for their special day at The View at Battery Park! On one of those strange December days that started out somewhere in the 50s, but suddenly dropped into the single digits, just as the sun had set, the pair tied the knot in the beautiful second-floor room of The View, overlooking Battery Park, with the gorgeous backdrop of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty rising out of the water in the distance. Accompanied by Around Town’s oh-so talented pianist and violinist, the bridal party led the way down the aisle to a stunning rendition of “Kiss the Girl” from Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ – a sweet and very apt precursor to Julie’s entrance. Coming down the aisle to a positively swoon-worthy and tear-jerking “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, as Julie and Zach closed all of the distance of their relationship to come together, forever. Once the vows were exchanged, they made their way back up the aisle to Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True” – a perfect song for the celebration. 

Then it was on to the reception! The Altitude Band kicked off the party with a classic – ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” as the new Mr. & Mrs. grooved their way into the room. As a treat for themselves and their guests, Zach and Julie brought Altitude’s saxophonist in on the action, which elevated the whole vibe – especially since they cleverly slowed down a lot of the songs for their most important and special moments. Their touching first dance was a beautiful, stripped down version of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – a perfect song for two people whose love grew over lots of distance and lots of travel. Of course, the energy wouldn’t stay slow for long – not with an energetic Hora to follow it up! 

Julie and her father took to the floor with a gorgeous, ballad-like rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” and Zach and his mother followed it with a similarly slowed and poignant version of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” One thing is for sure, this couple knows how to have a perfect and heartfelt moment with the people closest to them! Of course, these two also know how to party – and the Altitude Band really brought the heat with energetic bops galore. From Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” to DJ Sammy’s “Heaven” the dancing went til eleven o’ clock – with nary a mention of anyone named Caroline or how sweet she might or might not be for these Yankees fans! Of course, most appropriately, Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close” played – reminding everyone of just how much distance, time, and space these lovebirds traveled and overcame to be together.