DJ Jerry B’s Blog Mostly daytime ramblings

July 25, 2011

John and Tonja – Blissful Meadows

Filed under: Weddings — Tags: , , , , , , , — DJJerryB @ 6:23 am

I was extremely flattered when John contacted me earlier this year to be the DJ at his wedding. He had seen my storefront on WeddingWire and started off his inquiry with, “I liked what I read”….

The ceremony and reception were held at Blissful Meadows Golf Club in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. There’s a great area with a gazebo and garden which overlooks the course, tailor made for an outdoor ceremony. That plan became just a little more challenging when the thermometer topped out at 96 degrees. Still, they decided not to move things indoors and I’m happy to report that there was no collateral damage — no one fainted. And, as a result, there was a solidarity among the guests who took it all in stride.

John and Tonja’s road to marriage was a long one, built on beginnings, separation, loss and renewal. I won’t go into the details here, but trust me when I say that it’s a REALLY great love story — the kind of thing that makes me believe in destiny. Borrowing from the toast from Mike, John’s brother and best man, it’s not important what roads it took to arrive; only that the roads converged at the right place and time.

July 18, 2011

Arthur’s Birthday – Continental Restaurant

Filed under: Birthdays — Tags: , , , , , — DJJerryB @ 6:10 am

Although my primary business is that of wedding DJ, I am sometimes called to do other functions as well. Birthday parties make for a nice distraction. When I was contacted to do Arthur’s surprise party at the Continental Restaurant in Saugus, his daughter told me to wait until I met him — that he was really “something.”

Arthur IS something. Arthur was born two years after the war. He grew up, went to school and served his country during the next war. Arthur was honorably discharged, came home and finished his education, graduating college (Harvard). He met the girl of his dreams and got married. She and Arthur raised a family (a big one). He built a business, worked at it for decades, retired and now he spends a lot of time with his wife, his garden and his grandchildren, who are CLEARLY the light of his life. And this past weekend his family surprised him with a party that involved storytelling, many laughs and food (and I mean a lot of food — the family is Italian and Irish.)

And there was dancing. And Arthur kept right up with the kids and grandkids, showing them that he knew how to party.

Did I fail to mention that Arthur is 90 years old?

Five minutes with Arthur and you see immediately that he’s an interesting guy. I learned that his father was born in 1867 (just two years after the end of the American Civil War. How’s that for a little perspective?) Arthur told me that, when he was in high school, he would watch some of the kids in the neighborhood while their parents were working. At least one of those “kids” — now 69 years old — is still a family friend and was among the guests at the party. Arthur spoke glowingly of his family, including the newest grandchild who is just 10 months old. He grinned when he told me it was pretty special to be at  a party where the age range of the people attending was almost a century.

You’re right Arthur — it was special. And I have no doubt whatsoever that the family will be planning another party ten years from now to celebrate your 100th birthday. And I would be thrilled to come out of retirement to be part of that one.

Cheers to you Arthur.

July 11, 2011

De and Brad – Smith Barn

Filed under: Personal,Weddings — Tags: , , , , , — DJJerryB @ 11:51 am

I’m gonna need a little indulgence here — this one is personal…

I’ve written before about the fact that I sometimes end up feeling close to the couples that I work with — call it a great “drawback” to my job. In this case, I was ALREADY close to the bride. De and I met, probably, 20 years ago during my financial services days. We rarely worked at the same location – she was in Boston and I was out in the ‘burbs. But between in-house messaging (e-mail’s predecessor) and company softball games, we became “buds” — I can’t even begin to count the number of times that one or the other of us needed another person to simply  help deal with something. Sometimes work-related, sometimes personal. It didn’t really matter. From my perspective, De was the kind of rock-solid friend that I could always depend on to provide an honest (sometimes brutally honest) view on things. I ended up leaving the company 10 years ago or so and De and I pretty much dropped out of touch.

Then, quite reluctantly, I joined Facebook.

Howard Stern may be the King of All Media, but De is surely the Queen of SOCIAL media. And, just about a year ago, De and I re-connected. Shortly thereafter, she asked if I had any plans for a day in July — she needed a DJ. In her own words, De had been on her last first date.

The actual ceremony took place in April and the reception was planned for the summer. The couple had landed on Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm in Peabody as their location. A very easy to get to, fun venue. The main hall is great, with elevated balconies on either side of the dining/dancing areas. I really enjoyed working with the whole crew there, most notably, Tammy and Michelle, both of whom were on top of everything. And an absolutely outstanding buffet was prepared by Mitch Mitchell’s Affairs Catering.

The reception itself was typical in many ways – a room full of people who were so fully immersed in sharing the celebration. One spotlight moment that I particularly enjoyed was their variation on the “Anniversary Dance.” You’ve undoubtedly seen in the past when married couples are called to the dance floor then slowly eliminated until the couple that has been married the longest is the last one standing. Instead, the bride and groom did their homework and had me call up many couples, each of whom had been married for an impressive number of years. It was fun hearing the building momentum from the crowd as the years climbed, ranging from 45 to 52 years. Collectively, these ten couples had racked up 477 wedding anniversaries. We dedicated “Through the Years” to them and invited others to join them. It was very sweet.

It may seem like I’ve sort of neglected the groom throughout this little tale. Brad is, without a doubt, the quintessential great guy. Brad, if you  happen to read this, I’ll let you in on what I leaned in and whispered to De: “You and Brad? Total no-brainer!” Anyone who knows me at all will recognize that as a ringing endorsement. I can’t think of anyone I would rather see together than the two of you. Continue to take care of each other and I’ll undoubtedly be seeing you both on Facebook.

July 5, 2011

2012 Weddings

Filed under: Advice — Tags: , , , , , , — DJJerryB @ 6:00 am

It’s hard to imagine that, here in the middle of wedding season 2011, I’m going to suggest a call to action for couples who are planning their wedding next year, but that’s precisely what I’m going to do. The reason is very simple.


If you were to believe many of the online planning tools, they will suggest that you can get a DJ anywhere from six to twelve months prior to your wedding. And that’s PARTIALLY true if you plan to pull names from a phone book.  But if you are looking to hire a specific DJ (or photographer,  planner or wedding venue) you shouldn’t think that this time frame is safe.

In my own experience, just so far this year, I have turned away 15 to 20 couples who inquired about dates that I already had booked. I’ve been asked many times over the years why I have never pursued the idea of hiring other DJs so that I can take more bookings. For me, it’s very simple. I am a service provider, not a product. Truly “personalized service” is not a marketing ploy. It’s the heart and soul of my business. I do only one wedding on any given date and so do many other independent vendors.

Prime wedding season is from early April though late October. There are only 25 to 30 Saturdays within that time period and those are the dates that book the fastest. If you are planning a Saturday wedding next year, it’s not too early to get your vendors under contract.




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