The Bridgerton Effect & The Power of Strings 150 150 adam Michaels

The Bridgerton Effect & The Power of Strings

Bridgerton has safely cemented itself as an international phenomenon – a sensational hit, with its latest season taking the No. 10 spot on the list of Netflix’s most-watched English-language shows. The series, based on Julia Quinn’s novels, offers a captivating mix of romance, drama, and intrigue set in the Regency era. Combining historical settings with modern sensibilities, it features a diverse cast, which is relatively uncommon for period dramas. This inclusivity has been praised for breaking traditional norms and providing broader representation, as well as makes the show relatable and compelling. The show is known for its lavish costumes, grand sets, beautiful cinematography, and sweeping soundtrack. The inclusion of modern music covered in a classical style and contemporary dialogue elements within a historical setting creates a unique and appealing blend. 

 

The show’s soundtrack sets the tone for the show and its somewhat idealized or fictionalized universe, which is what paves the way beautifully for the anachronistic string and orchestral covers of songs by pop stars the likes of Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and, recently and quite memorably, Pitbull. After the release of each season, the covers used in the episodes see a jump in popularity on TikTok and Instagram, not to mention streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. And just how dramatic is this jump? Take the Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ), who perform many of the show’s tracks.  The group saw a massive and almost unprecedented surge in popularity in 2020 after “Bridgerton” first debuted. Prior to the show’s premiere, their total fortnightly streams were at 3.8m, but after the release, that number jumped by 350%.

 

Now why spend all this time on facts and figures? Because we wanted you to know exactly what we were talking about when we told you that adding a strings trio to your ceremony is one of the best choices you can make – Bridgerton just proves our point for us! You picked Around Town for our award-winning musicians, and we can guarantee that adding our strings instrumentalists to your ceremony is the perfect choice. In just a moment, we’ll dig into some of our favorite suggestions for strings arrangements for your big day, but first, we’ll fill in some of the other reasons that strings are unbeatable in a wedding ceremony. 

 

First of all, the combination of violin, viola, and cello produces a rich, warm, and sophisticated sound that enhances the romantic and celebratory atmosphere of a wedding. The sound is intimate and can fill a space without being overwhelming, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies. String instruments also do not require amplification in the majority of settings, which can simplify logistics and create a more natural, acoustically pleasing experience. Finally, music played by a trio has a timeless quality, appealing to a wide range of tastes and ages, making it not only a safe and classic choice for weddings, but one that can create a sweepingly romantic ambience while remaining intimate in nature.

Now, we come to the best part: what are some of our favorite songs for string trios, either from Bridgerton or elsewhere, that we know will be perfect for the best part of your day. Let’s start with ones from Bridgerton! (We should note that the suggestions below are not a comprehensive list of the various instrumental covers of pop songs used throughout the show; you can view a full list here.)

 

“Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift, covered by Duomo

Daphne and the Duke begin their married life in Season One, Episode Six to this stunning song, filled with a beautiful push and pull of the strings. The rendition is dynamic but tender, full of anticipation, rising and falling beautifully to evoke feelings of joy and longing. The fact that it also happens to originally be a Taylor Swift bop just makes it a great way to score bonus points with your fianceé, gentlemen! 

 

“What About Us” – P!nk, covered by Duomo

This beautiful instrumental cover of P!nk’s iconic ballad plays in Season Two, Episode Six, as Kate and Anthony are tricked into meeting in the chapel after Edwina flees from the altar, realizing the two have feelings for one another before they will even admit it to each other. This song underscores the moment the two are forced to come to terms with how they feel about one another, and it’s dramatic chords are perfect for the couple who lives for a bit of intensity. 

 

“If I Ain’t Got You” – Alicia Keys, performed by Vitamin String Quartet or Queen Charlotte’s Global Orchestra

This stunning arrangement of the Alicia Keys power ballad serves as the underscore for the first dance King George and Queen Charlotte ever share together, in public, at Lady Danbury’s first ball of the season. The moment is something that feels hard-won, triumphant, and yet tender as two people make compromises to make one another happy and their marriage stronger. This is a perfect song for couples who know that strong marriages are built on compromise, and the strings really bring that home with the song’s darker cello line and soaring violin part. 

 

“Give Me Everything” – Pitbull, covered by Archer Marsh 

…if you or your partner watches Bridgerton in any capacity and didn’t live under a rock this year, you’ll know that this song is a rather… climactic moment in Season Three, Episode Four. No one ever expected a Pitbull song to serve as the underscore for one of the most rewatched scenes in Netflix history, but here we are! Surprisingly, this song brings the heat as a strings piece! With a beautiful melodic tension that builds into broader, more sweeping chords, this song is perfect for the couple that had a longer journey to the altar – but knows they’re marrying their best friend.

Getting Your Grandparents on the Dance Floor 1707 2560 adam Michaels

Getting Your Grandparents on the Dance Floor

It’s almost your wedding day and you know exactly what songs will bring you and your friends to the dance floor – it was blowing up on TikTok, you were texting each other Spotify links, someone posted it to their Instagram story. You know exactly what jams will have your parents and aunts and uncles busting out moves you forgot they had – it’s been a few years since the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances of your high school years after all, but you’ll never forget the tunes they’d put on in the car or the living room. 

But there are some special people there for your big day whose musical taste might not be familiar to you – you may not even think of them as people who can dance. However, we here at Around Town can promise you that your grandparents once had a whole lotta shakin’ going on, and with the right songs, they’ll forget all about their aging hips and knees and be right on that dance floor with you. 

For the purposes of these suggestions, we’re focusing our energies on grandparents currently between the ages of 75 and 90, but feel free to take your own grandparent’s ages into account as you read or research! The simple formula we’re using to figure out what music they likely loved dancing to the most goes like this: Take your grandparent’s age, and subtract it from the current year (if you don’t already know what year your grandparent was born); next, add 13 – now you’ve got the year they became a teenager! Take that number and add 17 – this is the year your grandparent turned 30. The years between 13 and 30 tend to be the most musically formative, and indicative of someone’s taste or favorites for the rest of their lives. So, we’ll be focusing on the most popular dance music between 1950 and 1980! 

Now, before we go any further, our first and best suggestion is this: call your grandparents and ask them what their favorite songs to dance to were. Having done this ourselves, we promise it’s a blast of a conversation – the look in their eyes as they remember and recount it is genuinely priceless (topped only by the look on their faces when the song plays at your reception!) Additionally, ask them what song their first dance was to, or if there was a song in their courtship that was “their song” – it might be a classic like Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” or something more surprising or obscure like “Cindy Lou” by Dick Penner

…Ok did you do it? Did you call your grandparents? We’ll assume you did! Maybe you didn’t and you want to keep this all a surprise for them – that’s fun too! Without further ado, let’s get into some suggestions, by decade, of songs our award-winning live bands love to play that we think will get your grandparents moving and grooving! 

First Stop: The Fifties! 

Famous for giving birth to Rock n’ Roll, filled with legends like Elvis and Chuck Berry, the 50’s were also what launched R&B – think Ray Charles – and the popular big band and jazzy stylings of artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Perry Como. Our suggestions for fun or touching 50’s songs are: 

 

Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley & His Comets 

Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley 

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On by Jerry Lee Lewis 

The Twelfth of Never by Johnny Mathis 

Tutti Frutti by Little Richard 

Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis Presley 

The Twist by Chubby Checker 

Put Your Head on my Shoulder by Paul Anka 

I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra 

Swing Into The Sixties! 

Get ready for the British Invasion! The 60’s were a dynamic and transformative decade for music, ushering in Motown, expanding Rock n’ Roll, and giving rise to folk rock. The Beatles stand out as the most dominant sensation, but the 60’s were full of incredible artists who changed the face of music, from Aretha Franklin to Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye to Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles to The Beach Boys. Here are some of our top suggestions for this decade’s most danceable tunes: 

Twist & Shout by The Beatles 

You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes 

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 

I’m a Believer by The Monkees 

It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones 

God Only Knows by The Beach Boys 

Stop! In The Name Of Love by The Supremes

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond 

Respect by Aretha Franklin 

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons 

Get Groovy, Baby – it’s the Seventies! 

Will your guests have “Saturday Night Fever”? The 1970s was a decade of musical diversity and innovation, with genres like rock, disco, punk, and funk all leaving a significant mark, and singer-songwriters really taking over the more intimate parts of the music scene. Iconic  (if entirely different) bands like Queen, ABBA, and the Bee Gees emerged, alongside acts like the queen of disco herself, Donna Summer, storytellers Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and The Carpenters, as well as the kings of the piano scene, Sir Elton John and the king of Madison Square Garden, Billy Joel. A quick note here, depending on how old your grandparents are, this decade of music may actually speak more to your parents and their peers – still fun to take into consideration when picking your music! Our suggested bops are: 

Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind & Fire with the Emotions 

Night Fever by the Bee Gees 

Top of the World by The Carpenters

The Hustle by Van McCoy 

Voulez Vous by ABBA (much of ABBA’s catalogue is extremely danceable, you can’t generally go wrong with one of their many smash hits)

September by Earth, Wind & Fire 

Boogie Shoes by KC & The Sunshine Band 

Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel 

Crocodile Rock by Elton John 

Turn the Beat Around by Vickie Sue Robinson

While we didn’t touch on this decade this time, if your grandparents are well into their 90’s or perhaps liked “oldies” even when they were younger, don’t forget to take a look into the bold, brassy, big band, jazzy, crooning songs of the 1940s! Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Glenn Miller & His Orchestra are great places to start!

Song of the Summer? We’ve Got You Covered! 2560 1707 adam Michaels

Song of the Summer? We’ve Got You Covered!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, we’re pretty sure you’ve had some pretty incredible earworms stuck in your head for the past month or so. It’s the start of the summer, which means our favorite artists are dropping new songs left and right – and the songs of the 2024 summer are as hot as the weather is predicted to be! Since you and your partner have already proven you’re cool and have great taste (you booked Around Town after all), we’re sure some of the following songs are already on your list of bops you can’t wait to dance to on your big day. 

 

So to put your minds at ease – or to inspire you – here are a few of our award-winning live musician’s favorites!  

 

A Bar Song (Tipsy) by Shaboozey

 

Someone pour me up a double shot of whiskey

They know me and Jack Daniels got a history

There’s a party downtown near Fifth Street

Everybody at the bar gettin’ tipsy

Everybody at the bar gettin’ tipsy

Everybody at the bar gettin’ tipsy… 

Some country flavor, a hint of hip hop, some easy-to-remember lyrics that sum up the mood… it’s no wonder this one is a wedding reception smash hit! We know you and your guests will happily be singing and bouncing along to this fun number that just invites a call and response! 

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM by Beyoncé 

This ain’t Texas (woo), ain’t no hold ’em (hey)

So lay your cards down, down, down, down

So park your Lexus (woo) and throw your keys up (hey)

Stick around, ’round, ’round, ’round, ’round (stick around)

And I’ll be damned if I can’t slow dance with you

Come pour some sugar on me, honey too

It’s a real life boogie and a real life hoedown

Don’t be a b*tch, come take it to the floor now, woo, huh (woo)

This one has been all over TikTok since the Super Bowl, but that hasn’t diminished its catchy power. Fun for all ages, Beyoncé always knows how to bring the party, no matter what genre she’s tackling. 

Espresso by Sabrina Carpenter 

Now he’s thinkin’ ’bout me every night, oh

Is it that sweet? I guess so

Say you can’t sleep, baby, I know

That’s that me, espresso

Move it up, down, left, right, oh

Switch it up like Nintendo

Say you can’t sleep, baby, I know

That’s that me, espresso

Currently the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the number one song on Spotify’s Global rankings, no one seems to be able to get these lyrics out of their head – it’s like the song is just as addictive as the caffeine it alludes to. Danceable, fun, this one is guaranteed to have your guests running to the dance floor

HOT TO GO! by Chappell Roan 

H-O-T-T-O-G-O, snap and clap and touch your toes

Raise your hands, now body roll, dance it out, you’re hot to go

H-O-T-T-O-G-O, snap and clap and touch your toes

Raise your hands, now body roll, H-O-T-T-O-G-O

H-O-T-T-O-G-O

You can take me hot to go

H-O-T-T-O-G-O

You can take me hot to go

It’s Pride Month! And Chappell Roan is the hottest new thing in the LGBTQ+ music scene, with a new album positively STACKED with bops. HOT TO GO! is one the most fun and danceable though, without having any lyrics that will give your grandma a heart attack. 

Lovin’ on Me by Jack Harlow 

I don’t like no whips and chains

And you can’t tie me down

But you can whip your lovin’ on me, baby

Whip your lovin’ on me, baby

A hip hop jam you can really sink your teeth into, this one speaks to the same part of our souls as some of our classic favorites from high school dances. While it might not be perfect for the older members of your crowd, we know it’s a perfect song to keep the energy going as the older folks head out. 

We Can’t Be Friends by Ariana Grande 

We can’t be friends

But I’d like to just pretend

You cling to your papers and pens

Wait until you like me again

Catchy from the moment it debuted, Ariana Grande once again knocks it out of the park with this upbeat jam – a red herring that hides its somewhat sad lyrics about an unrequited love. While you’re celebrating having found the love of your life, this song is too fun not to sing along with! 

Don’t see your hot new favorite song listed above? Not to worry! The Around Town Entertainment bands are pros for a reason – just include whatever song you can’t stop dancing to in your “Top 3 Song Requests” and we’ll make sure to bring the house down with it on your big day!

Spot(ify) the Similarities: Using Spotify to Help Find the Perfect Blend for Your Big Day! 2560 1707 adam Michaels

Spot(ify) the Similarities: Using Spotify to Help Find the Perfect Blend for Your Big Day!

It’s a tale as old as time, really: Indie-Acoustica Girl meets EDM Bro; Classic Rock Chick meets R&B Babe; Country Gal meets Latin Lad;  Bossanova Boy meets Death Metal Dude; Chappell Roan They meets Sammy Rae & The Friends Them. You love your partner to death and there are so many wonderfully compatible things about the two of you – it’s why you’re getting married! But what if your musical tastes could not be more different? Great news, your music tastes don’t have to be compatible for the two of you to be! Strong marriages are also built on your differences, not just your similarities, so don’t fret if your musical vibes are polar opposites! Even better news, you made the phenomenal choice to hire Around Town to handle the music for your special day – and we’re as versatile as your tastes! 

You may have noticed from watching clips of our fabulous bands or from checking out our song list, we have a pretty extensive and broad catalogue under our belts! Which means you and your partner don’t need to worry about limiting yourselves when highlighting the songs and genres you like. (Please note that not all genres are in the song list – for example, we don’t perform rap numbers. Also important to note, an additional vocalist may need to be contracted if you’re requesting songs sung in languages that are not English). You can trust our award-winning bands to pay attention to everything you tell us about your taste, as well as read the crowd; we’ll be playing songs that keep your guests dancing all night long

But what if you’re worried that your differing tastes in music will make it difficult to select songs that are perfect for your special moments? Or maybe they already are? Have no fear – we’re here to help! Let us start by saying that choosing these songs doesn’t need to be something you sit down in a single night and decide. While we do have our “30 days prior” deadline, that still gives you lots of time to really think about and find your perfect songs. Which is where this series of hot tips is about to come in! 

Spotify has really been focused on honing and improving their platform, algorithm, and, in particular, collaborative features in the last several years. And it’s these collaborative features that we’re gonna reveal and recommend using to help you and your partner find your perfect blend! 

Let’s start broadly: Spotify has a phenomenal feature called “Blends.” This is a fantastic way to get a constantly updated playlist that will have a fun mix of whatever you and your partner are currently listening to. Creating a Blend on Spotify is as easy as making instant noodles, and a fun way to mix your musical tastes with your partner! First things first, both you and your partner need to have Spotify accounts—free or premium, either works. Open up the Spotify app and head over to the “Search” tab. Type in “Blend” and you’ll see the option to create one. Tap on it, then hit “Invite” to send a link to your partner. Once they accept, Spotify will work its magic, combining your favorite tunes into a single, harmonious (and sometimes eclectic) playlist that reflects both of your styles. It’s like a musical marriage, perfectly blending your unique vibes! Whether it’s Coffeehouse Jazz meeting Hip-Hop, or Top 40 jamming with Motown, your Blend will be the fun and informative soundtrack to your tastes. Even more helpfully, each song will have one of your profile pictures next to it, depending on whose current listening the song came from; most helpfully of all, if there’s a song you’re both listening to, both of your profile pictures will appear next to the song! And with that, we’re off to the races. 

Taking our “Blends” idea a step further – welcome to shared or collaborative playlists! Once you’ve started to notice songs that both of you are listening to – or maybe you always had a song or two that you both agreed on, or you each have a few songs that are really important to you – it’s time for a shared playlist. 

Creating a shared playlist on Spotify is a breeze and a fantastic way to bond over, or sift through and narrow down, your favorite tunes with your partner! Start by opening the Spotify app and heading to the “Your Library” tab. Tap on the “Create Playlist” button and give your new playlist a catchy name that’s meaningful to both of you. Once your playlist is set up, hit the “Add Songs” button to start curating your mix. Now, for the magic: tap on the three dots at the top of the playlist, select “Invite collaborators,” and send the link to your partner. Voilà! They can now add, remove, and reorder songs just like you can. Whether you’re blending Folk with Broadway, Disco with Punk Rock, or any other combination of your totally different but equally fabulous tastes, your shared playlist will be the perfect musical expression of your unique connection. It’s also a great way to streamline your choices and figure out the perfect combination of songs for your special moments on your big day!

The Perfect Processional – Tips from Professionals! 2560 1709 adam Michaels

The Perfect Processional – Tips from Professionals!

This is it. Your final moments as an unmarried person. All eyes are on you as you process down the aisle on the arm of whomever is “giving you away,” but the most important eyes are, of course, your partner’s. Your soon-to-be spouse is there, waiting for you at the other end of the aisle. Let’s face it, there are some who’ve dreamed about this moment their whole lives and can tell you immediately exactly what song is playing in their minds when they close their eyes and picture it. And kudos to them! We applaud the clarity of their vision!! But what if you close your eyes and you see the moment and you know how you want the music to make you feel or contribute to the ambiance, but you have no idea what song to actually pick for it? That’s where we come in! 

Around Town Entertainment isn’t just here to make sure your reception is the fun-filled dance party of your dreams, we’re here to help ensure that every part of your big day sounds the way you always dreamed it would. So if you’re feeling stuck trying to choose your processional song, we’re here to help make that decision a little easier. 

We’ll kick it off with some fun questions to get the ball rolling on your own creative juices first – after all, the best way to guarantee your day feels as personal as possible for you and your partner is to pick music that’s important and meaningful to you both! But of course, since a game of 20 Questions doesn’t always lead to total consensus, or sometimes just a dead end, we’ve listed a few of our favorite classics at the end. 

So, without further ado, let’s play! 

  • When did you and your partner meet? Was there a song that seemed to play all the time around the time you were falling in love? 
  • Do you and your partner have a favorite movie? Is there a song or part of the soundtrack you particularly love?
  • What about a favorite tv show? Is there a moment in the show that’s perfectly underscored that you both love?
  • Do the two of you have a favorite band or musical artist? Have you been to a concert together? 
  • Is there a song that your partner has told you makes them think of you? 
  • Is there a song that makes you think of your partner? 
  • Do you two just have a song that’s “yours”? Keep in mind that even if the song isn’t originally in a style you think is appropriate for a wedding processional, you have one of our award-winning live musicians – which means that the style of the song can be adjusted so the vibe more closely matches what you’re looking for, all while keeping the emotional impact of a song that’s important to the two of you! 
  • Were you ever in the car together and a certain song came on and you both just belted your faces off to it? Was there a song that brought you so much inexpressible joy to sing (potentially well, potentially horribly) together? 

Admittedly, that wasn’t technically 20 questions, but we hope that it got the ball rolling and some creative juices flowing for you and your partner! Even if nothing is coming to you right this minute, that’s ok – our brains are mysterious places, so don’t be afraid to just take a few days to let these questions simmer in the back of your mind. Play your favorite playlists (even better if you have a shared playlist) and just go about your life – the right song has a funny way of coming up on shuffle when you least expect it. 

Of course, sometimes our own playlists and memories aren’t the answer, or it’s crunch time and you don’t have a few days to think this one over. So the rest of this post is devoted to giving you a quick list of some of our favorite processional songs that consistently knock it out of the park – we promise they’ll have you and your guests feeling all the right emotions as you walk down the aisle! 

“Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles 

“Over the Rainbow,” by Israel Kamakawiwo’

“I Choose You,” by Sarah Bareilles

“Rhythm of Love,” by Plain White T’s

“Dawn,” by Jean-Yves Thibaudet (You’ll know this one from 2005’s Pride & Prejudice) 

“A Thousand Years,” by Christina Perri 

“Your Song,” by Elton John

“The Luckiest” by Ben Folds

“Clair de Lune,” by Claude Debussy

“Canon in D,” by Pachelbel (A true classic in the wedding world) 

“Can’t Help Falling in Love,” by Elvis Presley 

“Falling Slowly,” by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (Iconically from Once – the film or the Broadway musical) 

“L-O-V-E,” by Nat King Cole

This Will Be (The Best Moment of the Day) 2560 1707 adam Michaels

This Will Be (The Best Moment of the Day)

“I now pronounce you married – you may kiss your spouse!” 

One of the most iconic moments in any wedding, and the one you’ve been waiting for. This is what the day is about, after all! We’re sure you’re all familiar with the many videos floating around the internet of couples who manage to perfectly time their first kiss as a married couple to the horn blare and opening lyrics of Natalie Cole’s famously celebratory This Will Be (An Everlasting Love). And such a celebratory song is a perfect choice for this moment, sharing your first kiss, your first steps as a married couple, in front of all the people who love you most in this world. 

The recessional song is often one that’s forgotten about, almost an afterthought during your planning. After all, there’s so much focus on the processional, the bride’s entrance, your first dance… it’s almost easy to forget that this song sets the tone for the start of your lives together, as it kicks off the first moments. We here at Around Town LOVE a good recessional song, but we know that it’s also a bit of a niche category – celebratory love songs that make you want to cheer and clap and dance a bit for joy. You’ve chosen us for your big day and we know that’s no accident – our award-winning live bands are the best around at bringing the party, elevating the mood, and making sure the music matches the level of joy you and your guests are feeling! 

Trusting us to bring the party of course doesn’t solve what might be your biggest question at this point: what song should you choose?? Have no fear, we’re here to help on that front, too! Below are just a few of our favorites for the happiest moment of your day. 

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole 

…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! This one’s a classic and a famous choice for this moment for a reason – the lyrics perfectly encapsulate what’s happening in the moment, the music is nothing but joyous and energetic, and we know part of the reason we all love the song so much is because of its feature in as the closing/credits song in the 1998 Lindsay Lohan classic ‘The Parent Trap.’ Yup, for those who don’t remember, this is the song the film plays as Nick and Elizabeth get married (again) and the 4 begin their lives as a family. Whether conscious or subconscious, we know these feel-good vibes are quickly associated with this song! 

You Make My Dreams (Come True) by Hall & Oates 

This one is just an eternally fun bop. Once again, it has lyrics that suit the moment beautifully, the intro guitar vamp feels anticipatory (ready for that first kiss everyone?), and the song is the perfect tempo to dance/walk out to. And while Hall & Oates’ partnership didn’t survive the test of time, we’re sure yours will, so don’t let that deter you from using the song! It also has the advantage of being a total classic, so no matter the age of your guests, we know they’ll know this one and be feeling the celebratory vibes right along with you! 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is kind of the king of the celebratory love song – which makes him an absolute hit at weddings. Again, this song is a classic; well-known, well-loved, and immediately recognizable, which means you and your guests will be feeling the joyous vibes from the moment the intro starts. Nothing risky about this one – just guaranteed good vibes! 

Anything Can Happen by Ellie Goulding

Believe it or not, this is another song that’s from an iconic pop culture moment that left fans everywhere cheering for the success of true love. Remember the elevator moment in New Girl when Nick and Jess finally get together? Yup, this song was the one playing under that moment. We’re positive that the anticipatory build of this song and its triumphant chorus will leave you and your guests feeling that same fist-pumping joy every New Girl fan felt when our favorite “will they, won’t they” couple finally said “we will” (the first time)! 

All You Need is Love by The Beatles 

Does it get any more classic? Simple, straightforward, catchy, well-known, well-loved, this song nails the point home like no other. It has the added bonus of once again showing up in an iconic pop culture touchstone – Love, Actually! We’re sure many of you will remember the charming surprise pulled off at the wedding early in the film where the best man surprises the bride & groom with a hidden choir & instrumentalists to serenade them with this song as they begin their journey back up the aisle as husband and wife – and we’re sure that this song will evoke the same joy for you and your guests! 

Of course, the most important part is making sure that your recessional song speaks to you and your now-spouse! A song is never the wrong choice if it’s meaningful to the two of you and perfectly encapsulates your relationship and connection. We’re just there to make sure it’s everything you always knew it would be.

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Love you, Mom & Dad – But not like THAT!

At Around Town Entertainment, we love a parent (or grandparent!) dance, whether it’s a Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, Mother/Daughter, Father/Son, or any other combination that makes the most sense for you and your family on your special day. In a day filled with and centered around a celebration of romantic love that will last forever, this moment stands apart; Highlighting instead the everlasting love of the people who raised you. Touching, often tear-jerking, this is a moment we know your parents have looked forward to since the day you were born. 

We’ve written before about some of our favorite songs to play for these dances, or ways to pick out the song you’d like to dance to for this moment, but today we want to touch on something different. Despite how common this moment is in weddings across the country, there are a surprisingly limited number of songs written to suit its purpose. Even worse, there are a surprising number of songs that sound like they COULD work for your dance with your parent, but we promise they don’t. Don’t believe us? We’ve taken the liberty of listing some songs below that seem, at first glance, like they could work, and then we’ve detailed why they’re maybe not the best choice

Van Morrison’s ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’ 

Fathers and brown-eyed daughters love to suggest this one, but let’s start with some of the opening lyrics, shall we? 

“Making love in the green grass,

Behind the stadium with you,

My brown-eyed girl.”

…we think our point is made. 

‘I’ll Always Love My Mama’ by The Intruders 

The opening line of this song quite literally goes: 

“I’ll always love my mama,

She’s my favorite girl”

While the song goes on to talk about how mothers bring us into this world and sacrifice left and right for their children, we think it’s in poor taste to dance to a song on your wedding day that loudly proclaims that your mom is your favorite girl… when you just married your wife. That said, if a wife doesn’t feature in your couple, this song could still be considered appropriate! 

John Mayer’s ‘Daughters’ 

At first listen, this song seems sweet – and the title quite literally involves the word “daughter.” But John Mayer has talked openly about how the song is written as a cautionary tale, saying he wrote it because he thought women didn’t receive enough love from their fathers, which impacted their ability to show love in romantic relationships later in life. 

Additionally, the lyrics “girls become lovers, who turn into mothers” is maybe a little more suggestive than any father wants to be about his daughter’s nocturnal activities with her new spouse. 

‘Butterfly Kisses,’ by Bob Carlisle

Despite being known as one of the more iconic father-daughter dance songs, “Butterfly Kisses” could be one to avoid. Yes, the lyrics are remarkably sweet, but some might find them to be a little too sweet, especially if your relationship with your dad isn’t regularly filled with deep sentimentality. Determining the right song for your moment is highly subjective, and this one just might not be it. It also focuses heavily on a father’s sadness to be saying “goodbye” to his “little girl” as she grows up – and your wedding is a day of celebration! 

‘Heaven,’ by Kane Brown

We love country music for its frequently thoughtful and emotional qualities, which make it a popular genre for weddings! But if you’re thinking about this Kane Brown song for your father-daughter dance, we recommend finding something else. Lyrics like:

 “Lyin’ next to you, in this bed with you, I ain’t convinced’

Cause, I don’t know how, I don’t know how heaven, heaven

Could be better than this” 

…aren’t the most appropriate for this reception moment with your parent.

‘Every Breath You Take,’ by The Police

“Every smile you fake/Every claim you stake/I’ll be watching you”

Can you say creepy? This song has been pretty universally acknowledged as uncomfortable and stalker-ish; Sting himself admitted he wrote it about a very jealous and obsessive love he had for someone. There’s just no denying that it’s probably one of the worst parent dance songs. No one wants their parent, or their new in-laws for that matter, to be “watching” them every step they take, every move they make and every vow they break! 

There are plenty of songs out there that DO work for a dance with your mom or dad, though! Our best advice is to think of songs that were meaningful to you growing up, or that bring a special moment to mind. Then, and this is the important part, look up the lyrics. A lot of people hear the chorus of a song and fall in love with it – and they forget to check the verses for the lyrics that could get them into trouble! No matter what you choose, Around Town’s award-winning live bands have this special moment covered, but we definitely recommend choosing something that won’t have your guests blushing for all the wrong reasons!

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Live Bands Have You “Covered”

Sometimes, crazy as it sounds, a cover is “Simply the Best.” For example, one that immediately and aptly comes to mind is Noah Reid’s cover of Tina Turner’s “The Best.” The song shot back into the limelight in 2018 when Schitt’s Creek featured the cover in one of its most touching episodes, with Reid’s character playing his own original, stripped-down, acoustic cover of the iconic rock power ballad Tina Turner cemented as a classic in its own right in the late 80’s. Both songs are impactful and beautiful, yet utterly different, despite the fact that they are “the same song.” Reid’s cover begs to be used for a slow and intimate moment like your first dance though, where Turner’s original fits perfectly for the moment you first enter your reception as a married couple! 

Hiring a live wedding band, like any of Around Town’s award-winning bands, is the secret to making sure you can use your favorites songs during your special moments – even if they don’t originally seem to fit the vibe! As a live band, we can use reference material to take a song to new heights and depths by changing its genre from the one people might know it best in! Don’t believe us? Here are some killer examples of songs with covers so phenomenal you’ll never have to say “We love this song and its meaning, but its vibe just doesn’t match what we want for that moment at all” again! 

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You 

This classic was first made a hit by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons in 1967 and is known for its gentle intro, which builds into one of the catchiest horn hooks of all time. If you’re a fan of the “slow build to big finish” then the original version is the one for you! Whether your introduction to the song was on the radio, jamming to your parents’ record collection, seeing Jersey Boys on Broadway, or (our personal favorite) Heath Ledger’s iconic rendition in the 90’s classic ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ – this song is timeless, catchy, and a wedding smash hit. 

Oh what’s that? You love this song but you and your new spouse were really hoping to sway to something a little less bopping for your first dance? Great news! The band known as stories has a stunning, stripped back, slowed down, acoustic version of the song that’s sure to have your guests in tears (the good kind, obviously), featuring Sarah Isen. 

We’re actually going to pause here to let you in on the fun trade secret that stories’ entire purpose is to take favorite classic songs that began their lives a little more on the “rocked out” side and strip them back to reveal the tender acoustic side that lives within. 

You Make My Dreams (Come True) 

Who doesn’t love Hall & Oates’ original bop? An infectious rhythm, a feel good vibe, a guitar hook that grabs you from the moment the song starts… all fantastic reasons to involve this song on your wedding day. The original version of this song is absolutely perfect for the couple with a fun choreographed dance routine for their first dance, or even as a reception entrance or ceremony recessional

But you’re a rustic, folk couple that loves the sweet, soft vibe – some “slow dancing, swaying to the music” over a high energy routine, if you will. That works for us! Check out Billie Marten’s Ont’ Sofa cover, a slowed, simple, acoustic version of the song that suddenly places the lyrics at the forefront. 

What if you’re that post-modern couple that loves chic vintage touches in a refurbished warehouse and loves funk music? Guess what – we’ve got you covered too. Give a listen to Scary Pockets’ funky, half-tempo cover featuring Jennah Bell

Fun Fact! Scary Pockets is from the minds of the same folks who brought you stories – where stories focuses on acoustic, totally stripped-back covers, Scary Pockets loves to find the pocket and get a little scary. Which is to say, they specialize in funk-pop covers of all your favorites! Wow, we’re really giving away all the industry secrets today, aren’t we? 

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough 

…to keep us from spilling the tea on all the different ways you can play the same song! Here’s another all-out classic from Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell that never fails to bring the heat. We love the original version of this song – who doesn’t? High energy vocals, an upbeat tempo, and percussion that just won’t quit – of course this song is a wedding favorite! But once again, the team over at Scary Pockets has brought us a funk cover that manages to change the vibe just a bit (and slows the tempo slightly for the more novice dancer); and the team at stories busts out a stunning acoustic rendition that has us wondering how more people haven’t been asking for an acoustic version of this Motown hit. 

You probably noticed right away from watching our bands’ videos and checking out our song list that Around Town Entertainment bands are as versatile as they are talented. And it’s this versatility that means we can take your favorite song and, with the help of a little reference material, do it just the way you want it for your special day. You and your spouse aren’t like anyone else – why should your music be any different? 

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Dance the Night Away!

Congratulations! You’ve said “I do,” sealed your love with a kiss, danced your first dance, been toasted (or roasted), you’ve cut some cake and now it’s time to cut up on the dance floor with your nearest and dearest! But what’s the secret to keeping the energy high and the dance floor packed throughout your wedding reception? Well, secrets, secrets are no fun unless they’re shared with everyone, so without further ado… drumroll please… it’s the music! 

At Around Town Entertainment, we understand the importance of crafting the perfect playlist to ensure your guests are grooving all night long. From timeless classics to contemporary hits, we’ve curated a selection of songs guaranteed to ignite the dance floor and create unforgettable memories. On our extensive song list, we have just about everything you could ask for, which is where you come in! Grab your fiancé, a bottle of wine and your favorite snacks, and let’s get down to business – it’s time to highlight to your heart’s content. Highlighting the songs you love on our extensive song list is what gives us a sense of your taste… and what kind of party you’re looking to have! 

If you’re like most of our couples, you’re more than ready to dance the night away all night long with all your favorite people, so below we have a few examples of songs that get people moving and grooving every time; because once you’re finished highlighting the song list, don’t forget you still get to pick 3 specific song requests! While it’s important to pick songs that are meaningful to you and your new spouse, if you wanted to make sure a favorite dance tune came on: this is the place to do it. And remember: if it isn’t on the song list, that doesn’t mean we don’t know it or can’t learn it! Any song in your three requests is a song we will learn and deliver with the same high energy and professionalism you expect from an Around Town live wedding band

  1. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

Kick off the party with this infectious funk-pop anthem that never fails to get people moving. With its irresistible beat and catchy chorus, “Uptown Funk” sets the tone for a night of non-stop fun and celebration.

  1. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston

No wedding playlist is complete without a dose of Whitney’s powerhouse vocals. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is a timeless classic that appeals to guests of all ages, ensuring everyone hits the dance floor.

  1. “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon

With its upbeat tempo and feel-good lyrics, “Shut Up and Dance” is guaranteed to have your guests singing along and busting out their best dance moves. It’s the perfect song to keep the energy high and the party vibes going strong.

  1. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey

Cue the sing-alongs and air guitar solos! “Don’t Stop Believin'” is a crowd-pleaser that never fails to unite guests in a collective moment of pure joy. It’s a must-have on any wedding playlist for its timeless appeal and infectious optimism.

  1. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake brings the funk with “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” This feel-good anthem is guaranteed to have everyone on their feet, dancing like nobody’s watching. It’s the ultimate mood booster for your wedding reception.

  1. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire

Channel disco vibes with “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire. This funky groove is impossible to resist, making it a surefire way to keep the dance floor packed and the good times rolling all night long.

  1. “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas

Get the party started with “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas. With its infectious energy and optimistic lyrics, this song is the perfect soundtrack for celebrating love, friendship, and unforgettable moments.

  1. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA

Embrace your inner dancing queen with this timeless classic from ABBA. “Dancing Queen” is a wedding reception staple that never fails to get guests of all ages grooving on the dance floor. It’s a nostalgic anthem that brings people together in celebration of love and music.

  1. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift

Shake off any wedding day jitters and hit the dance floor with Taylor Swift’s empowering anthem, “Shake It Off.” With its catchy chorus and upbeat tempo, this song is guaranteed to lift spirits and keep the party vibes going strong.

  1. “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars brings the funk with “24K Magic.” This high-energy track is perfect for getting the party started and keeping the dance floor packed all night long. With its infectious groove and smooth vocals, it’s a surefire hit with wedding guests of all ages.

  1. “Dance the Night Away” by Dua Lipa

Some might say this was the song of the summer, and certainly one that kept all the Barbies on their toes in 2023’s smash hit movie. Between the high energy vocals and classic disco feel with a modern twist, we’re pretty sure you’re about to have your own Barbie & Ken dance party for the ages with this hit! 

  1. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers

What could be a better song for a wedding reception – right after you’ve “proclaimed” your love for one another – than one that professes just how far you’d go to be with one another? It also doesn’t hurt that this song has a nice steady beat, with a catchy melody and infectious chorus that tends to get even the quietest of partiers hollering along with the “da-da-da-da’s”! 

At Around Town Entertainment, we’re passionate about helping you create the ultimate wedding celebration – no matter what your taste or what songs you choose, our award-winning and highly acclaimed bands will work with you to ensure your reception is a night to remember. So, let’s turn up the music, hit the dance floor, and make memories that last a lifetime!

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Keeping Classic Current

Ella Fitzgerald’s “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E.” Etta James’ “At Last.” There’s a reason these artists are known as “The Greats” and these songs as some of the most timeless, classic love songs of all time. We here at Around Town Entertainment love these songs and this gorgeous style of music, with its beautiful brass, and rich, swelling vocals. 

If you’re one of our classic couples who loves old romanticism, and a gorgeous classic vintage vibe, we’re sure these songs have crossed your mind as you’ve been planning your music – how could they not? We’d happily recommend all of them for your big day and special moments; they’re standards, totally classic, guaranteed hits. We also understand though if you have that little voice in the back of your head going “…does classic run the risk of being overdone?” 

First of all, no, not at all. Classic is classic for a reason! Some things truly never go out of style and these big band, jazzy, soulful numbers have safely ensconced themselves in that category. However, we’re also happy to say that there are ways for you to still have that sweeping romantic jazz feel – without picking an old jazz standard!

There’s been a recent comeback, or resurgence in the sweeping, romantic, symphonic, big band, jazz sound in contemporary music with artists like Laufey, Cody Fry, Jacob Collier, Jon Batiste, Sammy Rae & the Friends, Olivia Dean, Adele, and Ben Rector at the forefront of the movement, along with cover artists like Postmodern Jukebox, or stories. 

These artists and others like them infuse their music with rich orchestration, incorporating elements like brass, strings, and woodwinds to create a full-bodied sound that harks back to the golden age of big band music. Their compositions often feature soaring melodies, intricate harmonies, and dynamic shifts, evoking a sense of nostalgia and romance – perfect for a wedding where you’re blending the idea of rich romance with the idea something that can last forever – just like this classic style of music. 

Moreover, the revival of this sound speaks to a broader trend of artists rediscovering and reimagining classic genres and styles. By blending elements of jazz, classical, and pop, these artists are creating a unique sonic landscape that appeals to both old-school aficionados and contemporary music lovers alike – which makes it ideal for a classic yet contemporary wedding, and is sure to keep all your guests feeling like the music is familiar to them, from grandma to your girl friends! 

Of course, we wouldn’t rave about these artists or throw this idea out there without having some fabulous examples to back it up! Here are just a few of our favorite suggestions our award-winning live bands can play that could fit beautifully into your evening – a lot of them make for stunning first dances

“Best Friend” by Laufey – an ideal tempo for a calm, sweet, soothing first dance, this song has a romantic timeless vibe and lyrics that express a deep and genuine affection, capturing the essence of a strong bond between two people. Perfect for newlyweds that know their deep friendship is at the heart of their passionate love; and as a bonus, the lyrics have a few clever little jokes that will leave you and your guests laughing at its poignancy. 

“I Hear a Symphony” by Cody Fry – this song is deceptive and perfect for couples looking for a choreographed dance moment. It begins very softly and simply and builds to a lush and rich musical moment as the lyrics describe how someone went from hearing a simple song as they went through their life, to hearing a full symphony each time they look at their love. It’s the musical and aural equivalent to the “I met you and now the world is technicolor” sentiment! If you ever wanted to feel like the main characters of a movie, this song is the perfect soundtrack, with its deceptive simplicity magically transforming into a sweeping romantic movement that will leave your guests in tears (the good kind). 

“I Get It Now” by Sammy Rae & The Friends – This one is brand-spanking new, so we aren’t surprised if you haven’t heard it yet! Once again lush yet simple, this song beautifully describes how the love you spent years trying to make happen turned out to be something so simple and effortless with the right person. Believe it or not, it’s the bands’ first love song – and we think it hits the mark perfectly. Slow and steady, just like your love, this song is another perfect option for a first dance – its structure simultaneously classic and flowing, allowing for that lovely jazz sound. 

What if the song that means the most to you and your partner doesn’t match the vibe of your wedding? Say you’ve planned this gorgeous classic, romantic, timeless day, but your favorite song that you’d like to use for your first dance or other part of your big day just doesn’t seem to fit musically. Well, that’s the most beautiful part of your brilliant choice to hire our incredibly talented live musicians: we can change the style of a song. Think of Postmodern Jukebox taking contemporary songs and giving them a retro makeover – we can do something similar! In the same way that artists will often release acoustic covers of their music or someone else’s, we can take the song that’s most meaningful to you and shift its style so that it suits the vibe you’re looking for!