McHenry Weddings

Those planning McHenry Weddings should check out Ameritune DJs and Video. On October 2, 2010 Ameritune Videotaped and DJed for Sara and Jeff Fewells wedding ceremony and reception. Here’s what Al, the DJ had to say.

This was a little different gig for me because I was also contracted to play for the ceremony at a park in McHenry. The reception was to follow at D’Andrea Banquets. There wasn’t going to be enough time for me to set up my DJ gear unless I did it before the ceremony. It made for a very long day, but I’m glad I did it that way, less stress is good! The weather for the afternoon ceremony was not the best. It was a blustery 60 degrees, and it ended up raining right before the ceremony started. Luckily, there were only a few drops and no damage to my PA system or our Videographers stuff. The ceremony went well and everybody hi-tailed it out of there. By the time I got to D’Andreas, I ended up having about 45 minutes to kill, so I took a little nap in the parking lot. SWEET!

Sara and Jeff Fewell

Sara and Jeff Fewell

Mama Carlson set the tone for this reception with her emotional welcoming toast at dinner- She made everyone cry a little, and then she ended it with …”and I hope everyone gets drunk tonight!” The crowd roared! This was the second great Carlson group I’ve played for this year. I had played at the brides sisters (Matron of Honor Breeona and Mark Nachtmans) wedding a few months earlier.

Ameritune Video interviews Matron of Honor

Ameritune Video interviews Matron of Honor

As the night went on, they got more and more fun, the dance floor was always full, sometimes we even had to make more room for people to dance.

Hows the weather up there?

Hows the weather up there?

Sara’s Brother Brad is the last single Carlson from this family. Hurry up and get married Brad, I love playing for you guys!

Just havin fun

Just havin fun

I took a million pics at this wedding and you can see them on the Ameritune Facebook page. Thanks and good luck to Jeff and Sara! Read more DJ BLOG. Ameritune is available to DJ and Video your special day, call us at (630) 372-TUNE (8863) for info.

Al’s wedding DJ tips

Hawaiian Theme Wedding in Chicago

Last week, I played a Hawaiian Theme wedding in Chicago at The Seville Banquet Hall in Streamwood, Illinois. We do a lot of weddings at The Seville, as they have recommended us there for the last 15 years or so, the food and service are always great there, btw. The Bride and Groom, Mark and Kim Mendralla had actually gotten married a few months earlier in Hawaii, and wanted to have a somewhat casual Hawaiian themed reception to celebrate with friends and relatives. They wanted a lot of Jimmy Buffet, and Island music played during cocktails and dinner, so I made them a nice 2 cd set to play, and later gave it to them it as a gift. Outside in the lobby, there was a cutout of a Hula Dancer “handing Out” leis.

A cutout Hula Girl to welcome guests with a Lei

A cutout Hula Girl to welcome guests with a Lei

nside the room, there was more Hawaiian Theme, thanks to a family friend who has this stuff and volunteered to bring and set it up.

Hawaiian theme decorations

Hawaiian theme decorations

Mark and Kim just wanted to have a good time with their friends and family. Their great attitutude, the island music, and Mark (The bartender) proved to be all it took to create a real positive vibe in the room. Since Mark and Kim had their wedding videotaped in Hawaii, and wanted to show everyone their video, we set up The Big Screen Presentation and let their video run without sound during cocktails and dinner.

Chicken Dance with video screen in corner of room

Chicken Dance with video screen in corner of room

Near the end of dinner, Dr. Nick showed up in his Hawaiian Elvis get up and started the party off with a bang. Here he is singing I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You while Mark and Kim open the dance floor.

Elvis Singing the first dance

Elvis Singing the first dance

Well needless to say, these guys had an awesome wedding! Lots and lots of good times, and the dancefloor was packed all the way to the end of the night. It was my pleasure to be their DJ. You can learn a lot about weddings if you read all our blog posts- Chicago wedding DJ . Ameritune DJs and Video is available for all occasions. Call us at (630) 372-TUNE (8863) and see why The Knot rated us Best of Weddings for the last 3 years.

Arlington Heights DJ

This week, on August 1st, I was an Arlington Heights DJ. Sort of… I provided sound at the annual Mitsuwa Marketplace Japanese Summer Festival. The Mitsuwa Marketplace is a great place to get hard to find Japanese items, and delicious food. My job was to provide a sound system with mixing board and microphones for the various groups and MC. Its always an adventure with the weather when you’re an Arlington Heights DJ playing outside. Mother nature gave us some sprinkles, and I had to get out the tarps a few times, but by the end of the days events, (about 8:30) the weather was perfectly clear and the temperature was comfortable all day.

JASC Tsukasa Taiko Drummers

JASC Tsukasa Taiko Drummers

The events began with a Montessori group singing some Traditional Songs, they were cute, young and very talented. They were followed by a large adult group pictured above. Taiko Drumming is beautiful to watch as they dance while playing. It sounds awesome, and I was hearing it in my head as I layed down to sleep that night. The ryhthms were intoxicating and the group was very precise. In between performances, while the main group was setting up their various drums, a duo played traditional Japanese instruments. Unfortunately, I did not write down the names of the performers or their instruments.

The duo played while the larger group changed sets

The duo played while the larger group changed sets

This group performed intricate dancing while playing their drums. The costumes were vivid, the beat made me want to dance too.

taiko-dancing-drummers

taiko-dancing-drummers

Later, there were more musicians and the singer, Yoko sang some traditional Japanese folk songs.

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This is about the 10th year we have provided sound for the Mitsuwa Summer Fest as Arlington Hts DJs. Every year the attendance seems to climb, and its always a great time. If you have a chance to come out next August, I highly recommend stopping by, its FREE!!! If you’d like to book Ameritune for your special event, call (630) 372-TUNE (8863) for pricing and availability. For more blog – Chicago DJ
There was an impressive Karate demonstration, more drummers, some airline ticket giveaways, and the grand finale was a Japanese Tradition call the Bone Dance. It’s actually a series of dances performed over and over while traveling in a circular pattern. The leaders of the dance (decked out in their traditional Kimonos) invited everyone to participate. The moves were simple enough to figure out, but also challenging enough to make it interesting. The music was simple, and happy and there was lots of smiling. I can hear the melodies in my head again when I look at these pictures. I made the Kimono ladies laugh when they saw me trying to follow along with them. Yep, I usually have that effect on people when they see me dance!

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After a brief break, we went right back to Bone Dancing, and this time just about everyone in attendance joined in the fun. Young, old, all shapes and sizes having a good time.

Fun for all

Fun for all

Chicago Northwest Marriot

Last weekend Ameritune’s Jim Schneeberger played at the Chicago Northwest Marriot in Hoffman Estates, IL. Here’s what he had to say- Guillet/Schulte Wedding 8/1/09. Wow. This wedding was for over 400 guests, and took all the room the Chicago Northwest Marriot had to offer. The room looked wonderful. I believe the Groom’s family came from the Millwaukee area and were huge Packer fans. The wedding colors were Green centerpieces and Yellow napkins, Vince Lombardi himself would’ve been proud. Cocktail hour was held in the lobby, as hotels seem to be doing these days. Intros were scheduled for 6 pm, but we didn’t start getting the guests in the dinner room till just after 6, and it took a good twenty minutes.

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The Bridal Party entered to “Freaks Come Out At Night” by Whodini and they all did a little routine as they crossed the dancefloor. The Bride and Groom entered to Todd Rundgrens ‘Bang On The Drum”. They play this at all the Packers games when the Pack scores. There were 4 speeches, a Prayer and Cake Cutting to do before dinner was served. The speeches were all very entertaining (but went a little long) By the time dinner was served, it was 7PM. This wedding was unique because various relatives of the happy couple wished to play instruments and sing songs to them during dinner. This was a very musical and talented family. This did not interrupt the food service at all. The service took a very long time. Even though it was a large group, much of the staff seemed to be working slow and waiting to be told what to do, but I must say, the food was excellent! We enjoyed the filet and chicken, and the filet was cooked perfectly, even though it probably sat for a while, waiting to be served. It was already after 9PM and desert was just being served. We decided to not wait any longer, and began the dancing at that time. Once we started dancing, the floor was never empty, all night. I started with a request list of 35 songs, and added 17 more throughout the night. I was able to get 34 out of the 52 in, that’s a lot! Everybody seemed to enjoy almost every song played- young and older. It was a dominant younger crowd, but this seemed to bring out the inner children of a lot of the elder guests.

Having a good time

Having a good time

Huge songs were The Cha Cha Slide, Thriller, Shout, Ice Ice Baby, Cher’s Believe, Since You’ve Been Gone, and Go Your Own Way. Ballroom music like Cha Chas and Tangos were big hits as well. Again, a very entertaining and talented group. The Bride and Groom had graduated from the University Of Iowa and had a lot of Hawkeye alumni there to celebrate with. They took a Hawkeye alumni picture in the lobby then I played their fight song and they carried the Groom over their head to the dance floor. I saw the groom raised in the air several times that night.

Dollar Dance

Dollar Dance

The dollar dance was about 4 songs long and as guests came up to dance with the Bride and Groom, they pinned money to the tuxedo or dress, as you can see, this made for a fun picture of them all decorated with $$$. Ameritunes Videographer (Robert) would set off into the crowd on the dance floor, and 15 or 20 minutes later, he would come out like he had been in a battle. I would give him a napkin and water like a prizefighter in his corner. At the end of the night, all of the guests looked like they were at a sporting event. The local cleaners should thank Ameritune, Hoffman Estates DJs, for all the business this week. In summary this was a Large, Very Fun, Wild, but well behaved group. Everyone was so nice, and had a lot of good clean fun. No spilled drinks on the dance floor either. Amazing! For booking info call Ameritune at (630) 372-TUNE (8863). Read more blog at Chicago DJ

McHenry DJs

Ameritune DJs and Video are a popular choice if you are looking for the best McHenry DJs . Recently I played at the backyard ceremony and reception for Matt and Jayne. I’d like to tell you about it. Matt and Jayne are personal trainers and this was a second wedding for them both. There were some friends, relatives, and clients in attendance. Second weddings are usually a little lower key than the first time around, and the beautiful backyard setting at their new home in Johnsburg was perfect. Since dress was casual, I wore a nice short sleeve short and shorts. It felt kind of underdressed to be in shorts doing a wedding, but it was hot outside, so I was grateful.

Als set up backyard wedding

Als set up backyard wedding

I was able to set up my DJ equipment the day before the actual wedding, which was a good idea because there were some pitfalls. My equipment and stairs don’t mix, so I had to get my stuff over the lawn and a gravel walkway. It was difficult getting in, so I ended up making a ramp out of some plywood, and the equipment was a lot easier to load out that night, with some help from the very kind father of the groom. I ended up using a couple of different circuits, as the garage power was being stretched a little too thin. To get more power, I ran an extension cord up along the gutter and across the house. As you can see, I was set up along the dancing area (patio). The ceremony was performed deeper into the backyard. I played music and supplied a wireless mic for the Justice Of The Peace. Immediately after the ceremony, there were cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres supplied by 3 chefs catering in Crystal Lake. They were a little understaffed, and when it was time to cut the wedding cake, I couldn’t find any servers. They were all gone! I had to ask the bartender to get it. It was being kept in the basement so it wouldn’t melt. She put the wedding cake out on the table and left it in the box with cellophane wrapping on it. I got the distinct feeling that she had never prepared a wedding cake before. Needless to say, the Bride wasn’t happy, lol. I fixed it and they had a nice cake cutting.

Cake Cutting On The Patio

Cake Cutting On The Patio

After the cake cutting, it was time to dance and by then the temp had cooled down a lot. We partied till about 11:30 and everyone had a good time. Lots of Jimmy Buffet. Best of all-NO RAIN! I was a little worried, being that I was uncovered. I had tarps with me just in case, but never used them. Ameritune DJs and Video are your choice if you are looking for McHenry DJs or anywhere in the greater Chicagoland area. Call us for a price quote (630) 372-TUNE (8863), you won’t be dissappointed! For more tips on how to have a great party read our blog Chicago DJ news.

Hoffman Estates DJs

Ameritune DJs and Video offices are between Hoffman Estates and Elgin. When playing in Hoffman Estates DJs usually are working at The Stonegate or the Marriot Northwest. Both are nice places, with newer, spacious facilities. Food could be a lot better, though. At a recent wedding, our clients requested our Party Toy Pak. This is a goody bag filled with novelties such as YMCA hats, blow up guitars, glow necklaces, maracas etc. When completely sober, party toys seem like they would be better for a kids party, than for an adult function. (such as a wedding reception) But when the wine is flowing and the music is jamming, party toys fit right in.

Party hats get you there

Party hats get you there

Glow necklaces are most effective for creating a warm and festive mood. When DJing a party with a Party Pak, the first open dance is when I hand out necklaces to the couples on the dancefloor. People come running from all sides of the room just to get one. 50 multicolor necklaces can really transform the mood of a room- instantly. Later, at the right time, we pass the YMCA hats out. Air guitars appear strategically during fun guitar songs like Johnny Be Goode, or You Shook Me All Night Long. After a few beers, everyone is a rock star!

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Of course, we know who ends up with all the guitars…

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Are party toys cheesy? Yeah, a little. Okay, maybe a lot… If want to have the classiest, most upscale affair ever, you probably don’t want all this stuff, but I would still consider the glow necklaces. If you want to have the most fun possible, these toys can help break down the barriers. Look at it this way- Once you’ve put on a plastic YMCA hat, there isn’t much that you can do to embarrass yourself, you’ve got nothing to lose, so have a gooooooood time!