Barrington, IL DJS

I had the pleasure of playing for the wedding of Melissa Bell and Eric Householder a couple of weeks ago at Pinstripes, in South Barrington, IL. Brides and grooms looking for Barrington, IL DJs and banquet halls would do well to consider Pinstripes, and of course Ameritune! As a wedding DJ in the Schaumburg/ Hoffman Estates area for the last 32 years, I’ve played at a lot of banquet halls, and I can say that Pinstripes has a couple of cool things going for it.

  1. Just 1 banqet room, so the staff is focused on you and your party.
  2. Variety- The wedding party reserved 3 bowling lanes starting at 10:30 pm , there was also a band playing downstairs, and some bocce lanes available.
  3. Location- Its right off 59 and 90 in South Barrington at the Arboretum center.
  4. Good food and service- Melissa and Eric had their cocktails served by the servers instead of having a bar in the room. You would think that it would make getting a drink a pain, but I never had to wait. The servers are attentive and friendly. Dinner was served family style. They had two kinds of salads, then plates of beef, chicken, risotto, potatoes, asparagus, and other delicious goodies. For desert, there was bread pudding, canoli chips, with dip, and some cupcakes that were all delicious and, unique.  Appetizers were creative and delicious too.
Melissa and Eric Householder 8/14/15

Melissa and Eric Householder 8/14/15

Melissa used to babysit our kids when they were little and she called me and said she wanted to hire me for her DJ I was so happy. I told the kids, who are now in there 20s and they was excited for her as well.  She’s not a little girl anymore, but she still has a beautiful glow inside. And I’m glad she loves to dance! One of her highlights was playing “Shoop” by Salt n Pepa, for her and all her girlfriends. A great time was had by all!  Thanks to Pinstripes for being so helpful to work with, too. I remember loading out and the wedding party was waiting for the shuttle to the Hotel.  They kept waiting and waiting and it didn’t show even though they said they were on the way. I told the manager and he arranged for a limo to take them back to the hotel and it was there before I left. Now that’s service…

Best of luck to Melissa and Eric!

Ameritune DJs and Video is available for your wedding in Chicago and the suburbs. call us at (630) 372 TUNE (8863) for details.

Sycamore Weddings

People planning Sycamore Weddings should check out Ameritune DJs and Video. On September 4th, 2010 Ameritune’s Al Mitchell played at the Sycamore VFW for the wedding of Brook Landes and Jacob Coughran. It was a beautiful September day and it only took around a half hour to get there. Still, I left plenty of time because I like to set up relaxed and at my own pace. The VFW was hard to find on the internet. I couldn’t even find a listing on google. I ended up calling there and getting directions. Brook and Jake had decided on a 50’s theme for their wedding. In prep, I had downloaded a bunch of oldies to play for the cocktail and dinner hour. There was old time candy set out on all the tables which really reminded me of the candy my dad used to hide from us under the front seat of his car. They were expecting a lot of people – over 250, and the VFW was challenged to fit everyone in, but that just makes for a better party!

Brook and Jacob Coughran

Brook and Jacob Coughran

Soon, everyone filled the place and beer was flowing from the tapper. After a quick intro and a few toasts, the buffet was open! Food was good and plentyful. I got a kick out of their cake topper, which was a bride dragging her groom away from his tools. I guess that was appropriate because Jake was an avid mechanic. After dinner, we took down a few tables in the dancing area to make more room. Just after the first dance, our special guest, Michael St. Angel aka Elvis appeared, courtesy of the Parents of The Groom.

Elvis aka Michael St. Angel

Elvis aka Michael St. Angel

He did an awesome show for about 40 minutes and kept everyone entertained and dancing. All ages loved him, as you can see. He sang a lot of Elvis popular favorites, but also some of his lessor know tunes as well. I found him to be an excellent performer, and he really appreciated my premium sound system.

brook-good-dancingimg_0179

It’s been a while since I’ve played a wedding away from the city. I really enjoyed the casual friendliness of everyone I met, the slower pace, and all the kids having fun too. A special thanks to Jakes parents who booked me and their generous gratuity too. Good luck to Brook and Jake, and many years of happiness. For more pics of this wedding see our facebook page . Click if you wanna read more blog and tips Ladies and Gentelmen Elvis has left the building……

Cotillion Banquets in Palatine

Al Mitchell from Ameritune played at Cotillion Banquets in Palatine for the wedding of Jennifer Mehlhop and Fabricio Pimenta on November 13, 2009. It was a fun filled wedding with lots of dancing. Jennifer and Fabricio had the right attitude, they were going to enjoy their wedding and they had a great time too. Dinner became fun when we played the pass the napkin game. Then wild when we ended the game with the Chicken Dance!

Pass The Napkin Game

Pass The Napkin Game

Since Fabricio was from Brazil they brought some Brazilian music to play, including the first dance, which we now have in the Ameritune library.

Mr and Mrs Fabricio Pimenta

Mr and Mrs Fabricio Pimenta

Fabricio has a great sense of humor and so do his friends who orchestrated this cute prank for the garter removal. He started off dancing toward Jennifer as she was seated on the dance floor. When he got down on his knees, his friends stopped him and put a blindfold on him, and tied his hands behind his back.

he old switcheroo

he old switcheroo

Then, they switched the bride for a guy with very hairy legs. There was a huge roar of laughterin the room when he went for the garter on another mans leg. He shook his head violently back and forth yelling, no, no, no. Then they let Jennifer sit back down and Fabricio got her garter off with his teeth and everyone applauded.

The Real Thing

The Real Thing

The night progressed on and everyone had a good time and partied till the end. The food and drink at The Cotillion was good and the service is always excellent. We love to play there because they are well run and easy to work with. Read more about Ameritune’s DJs . They have received the Best Of Wedding award from The Knot for the last three years.

Read more Chicago DJ Tips.

DJ in Oakbrook

his past weekend, Ameritune DJ, Jim Schneeberger had the opportunity to DJ in Oakbrook. Here’s what he had to say-

I had the pleasure on July 25, 2009 to DJ at the Drury Lane Theatre (Hilton Suites) for the Kay/Zmuda wedding. Upon arrival, I was amazed at all the wonderful colors in the room. The Bride and Groom chose a Hawaiian theme using florescent colored Martini type glasses with Hawaiian leis and assorted candies. (How fun is that?!!!). The room was nice and large- very easy to maneuver around in. Cocktails were held outside in the lobby. (I have been seeing more and more of this and I don’t know why. It seems that all the hotels are doing cocktails this way) It was a 5 1/2 hour reception, so timing was important. I introduced the parents of the Bride and Groom to “Who Loves You Pretty Baby” by Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons. The wedding party came in to Van Halens “Jump” and the Newlyweds entered to the song “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins. The folks at Drury Lane Oakbrook requested that they cut the cake as they entered the room. (Another common hotel practice) I think it’s better to cut the cake after the speeches or after the 1st or 2nd course. While I can appreciate the hall wanting to get the cake off the floor, and get it plated (so as not to delay dessert), a lot of times the cake just sits out there for twenty minutes before someone carts it away. I prefer that the Bride and Groom have their entrance be uninterrupted by a stop at the wedding cake. The Grand Entrance is an important moment that should be enjoyed fully, without being combined into another important moment. Plus, the change in music can feel kind of abrupt, as you go from some super high energy entrance theme to something decidedly more tame for cake cutting. I don’t think it looks good on video either. (Of course, they had wedding video from Ameritune) The cake cutting and the Grand entrance should be separate events.

They had a build your own Sundae station after dinner.

They had a build your own Sundae station after dinner.

There were four speeches before food was served, they were fun but a little long- a good 20 minutes. We showed an eleven minute big screen video after the entree was served. This timed out very well. As dessert was being served (first came the cake, then the ice cream), the bridal party finished taking their formal pictures. It was about 9:30 before we started dancing and the party was supposed to be over by 11:30. Two hours for dancing is a little short, I recommend at least 2 1/2 hours with 3 to 3 1/2 hours being the ideal time for dancing. 4 hours of dancing is too long as folks just get tired of dancing at that point. (There are always exceptions- usually larger, younger crowds) I’d like to advise couples to pre-arrange the option of adding extra time and put it in the contract. Typically, the banquet halls do not want to extend your time, at the last minute, on the night of your event. It’s also a good idea to plan for your music to end 1/2 hour after the bar ends. (Halls don’t like this option either) I think its a great idea to let your guests sober up a little (or a lot) before hitting the streets. Anyway, even though the dancing portion of the night was a little short, this group was all about having fun. They danced, They laughed, and a good time was had by all. Since there was a good mix of Cubs and Sox fans, I played “Don’t Stop Believing” and “All the Way”. There were more Cubs fans than Sox fans, so I played “Go Cubs Go” near the end, and they had a fun time singing along. The very last song cemented the Hawaiian theme “‘What a Wonderful World/Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole. …. and I thought I had a long last name (Schneeberger)

Overall it really was a wonderful wedding and the Bride and Groom and all the guests were as nice as could be. Jim will DJ in Oakbrook or anywhere in the Chicago area. Ameritunes DJs are experienced, fun and dependable. Call us at (630) 372-TUNE (8863) for pricing and availability.

Belvidere Chateau Banquet Hall

This weekend, I DJed at The Belvidere Chateau Banquet Hall in Palos Hills for Lisa and Dan Wagner. There were about 175 people in attendance and the reception went until 12:30AM. I really liked the place because it was divided into areas for two different separate weddings. There was no common area, so you felt like you had the hall to yourself. There was another large wedding going on in the other part of the hall, but you’d never know it. The outside was nice enough, with beautiful landscaping, the inside opened up to an elegant entry area done in marble.

Marble Foyer

Marble Foyer

The banquet room was really three different rooms separated by pillars. The dinner room-

Dinner Room with staircase for intros

Dinner Room with staircase for intros

The good sized dancing room-

Wood floors with a lighted tree and fireplace in rear

Wood floors with a lighted tree and fireplace in rear

d the Bar room with lots of space for the photographer to set up in.

Bar Room

Bar Room

Food was tasty- Hors D’ouvres were served butler style and were individual portions sitting in paper sleeves. They served awesome homemade perogis, cheese sticks, chicken kabobs, and stuffed mushrooms. Dinner was family style, although I didn’t get to it right away because I was playing my live dinner music. By the time I was able to sit down, dinner was nearly over but it was still very good. They had pork medallions, mashed potatoes, some kind of rolled up beef thing that was good, and a veggie plate. Although I had missed coffee, I asked the waitress for some and she brought it immediately. I had about 3 minutes to eat before it was time to set up our big screen equipment for the photo montage. We showed their homemade video during desert, and then after a few pictures, it was time for dancing, and a great party. Lisa and Dan had a lot of cool things at their wedding, and I will write more posts to describe them. Click here to read more Chicago DJ tips and blog posts.

Dinolfos Banquets

Recently, one of our DJs played at Dinolfos Banquets . Having had a similiar experience myself, and after speaking to several different DJs, I have come to the conclusion that Jim’s experience is the norm rather than the exception.

Jim writes- Friday July 10, 2009 I had the opportunity to DJ at DiNolfo’s in Homer Glen. The Ceremony was done there at 6:00pm and lasted about 20 minutes. After the ceremony, the room was opened for about 35 minutes with no bar service. Guests just roamed around with nothing to do-(not a good start for a wedding reception). They had a cash bar set up in the lobby, which was a nice feature for the guests. The staff seemed courteus and attentive, food was good.

The place is beautiful and well maintained and the kitchen was clean, all in all, a good place.

Victoria Banquets

This weekend I worked at Victoria Banquets Victoria in the Park in Mt. Prospect, IL. I believe this is their newest location, and is a wonderful setting for a wedding. The main level opens to a spacious patio that overlooks a small lake. Cocktails were upstairs in a somewhat crowded room that was a little too warm. Although most brides don’t like crowded rooms, DJs love ‘em. A crowded room is a loud, busy, lively room- guests are forced to interact, and the room generates a buzz. This is a very good start to a party. As usual for Victorias, the hors d’ouvres were unbelievable tasty and plentiful. I especially loved their home made pizza. The overhead background music in the main level room, (where dinner and dancing would be) was cutting in and out. I couldn’t hear if it was the same upstairs because the guests were too loud. Anyway, I asked them to turn it off, and they did immediately-problem soved. Once the guests came down to the main level, there would be no need for the hall’s sound system, anyway. I took a picture of the main level bar area. They created a sexy glow with amber lighting. My pic doesn’t due it justice.

Here is the bar area on main level

Here is the bar area on main level

The bride and groom, Krysta and Tom wanted a different song for each couple as they were introduced from upstairs, so I made a specially edited CD for them. Naturally, the bridal party hammed it up with funny sunglasses and really bad dance moves when they reached the bottom of the staircase. It was a smashing beginning to a great party…

Guests having fun with intros before dinner

Guests having fun with intros before dinner

I really liked their unique dancefloor. Notice the striping on the bottom of the pic.

Champagne Parade

Champagne Parade

After intros and cake cutting,the Room Captain, Arvey asked me to play Barry White’s You’re My First, My Last, My Everything to announce their well executed wine parade. I appreciate Victorias dedication to quality (food is a ten out of ten), and their efforts to remain out of the box. There was a Bannanas Foster parade, a Crepe table, a Sweets table, a flexible menu (guests had their choice of 3 different entrees), and Gene and Judes hot dogs at 11:30. Very cool.