Tuesday, January 27, 2015




     While contemplating a post for today, I discovered the following hashtag trending on twitter. #Ruinaweddingin5words. I did some exploring regarding the roots of this trend and learned that Chris Hardwick, television hosts for the tv show MIDNIGHT began the hashtag on Monday evening. Seeing how Top Notch provides services to numerous weddings every year, I felt compelled to read further into the topic. Upon reading many of the responses, I felt some of these were simply too humorous not to share. The link to Chris's clip from Monday as well as the top 10 of my favorite tweets are posted below. If you could think of 5 words to ruin a wedding would it be one of these 10?

5 words to ruin a wedding     Feel free to preview the clip here! #ruinaweddingin5words link

  1. Sorry It's a Cash bar
  2. I have explosive diarrhea
  3. Grandma is Pole Dancing Again
  4. Nickelback is playing the reception
  5. Really, you chose that dress?
  6. What was your name again?
  7. Wait, your not my fiancee
  8. Measles Kid licked the cake
  9. Someone yells out “I Object”
  10. Your sister is much prettier
And, for Top Notch personally, the #5wordstoruinawedding that I may hear include the following
11. We went with an IPOD

Which every Wedding DJ experienced sooner or later, But that's another story, for a whole different blog post. Have a great rest of the week guys!

Friday, January 23, 2015

More Alternatives rather than Dancing for a Wedding Reception

I hope the tips posted in the last blog either provided future bride and grooms with a few concepts that they may incorporate into their wedding reception, or at least got their creative brains churning. Below I have shared a few additional concepts that Top Notch has seen in wedding receptions to entertain guests. Granted, the below concepts may be catered to certain themes, and venues which may contain outside patios, terraces or backyards, but let's face it, as a North Carolina DJ, avoiding small time, country themed weddings is inevitable! Therefore, if the above description fits your wedding planning ideal, feel free to read on for further tips and activities for your family and guests to enjoy on the“Big Day”

  1. Cornhole- Yes, Cornhole may seem more like a game that should be played while tailgating rather than on the wedding day, BUT, recently the game has become very common to play at different events and in various scenarios. Top Notch has in fact deejayed countless events including weddings where Cornhole was offered for guests to enjoy and it always seems to be a hit! In fact, one can even make special “Wedding theme corn hole tables” or Top Notch has actually deejayed a particular wedding where the groom was presented with Cornhole tables immediately after the ceremony as a surprise present from his newly married bride. Guests can play during cocktail hour or after dinner when the dancing and partying begins. Cornhole is a great alternative for dancing, especially for males who may lack rhythm.
  2. Group Shoe Game or Newly Wed Game- Similar to the Newly Wed/shoe game mentioned in the previous posts, however this particular activity has a twist. For the Shoe Game, instead of the bride and groom answering the questions regarding their relationship, the group of guests in attendance initially is offered to answer the questions. Guests can even be divided into groups or teams and a score can be kept. In contract, the Newly Wed game involves the bride and groom as well as 2-4 additional newly married couples. They are asked a handful of questions concerning their relationship and the couple who knows their partner the best wins! Both games have been a tremendous success at past Top Notch DJ events
  3. The Kissing Game- It's a common tradition at weddings for the Bride and Groom to kiss every time a guests clinks a glass. Once other guests catch on, this concept can spread fast, and next thing you know it, guests are clinking the glasses on a repeatedly basis, and the Bride and Groom can be irked from locking lips continuously on demand. In order to avoid this scenario, one can make guests participate in a game to earn a public kiss between the bride and groom. Guests can be delivered Hershey Kisses which they must turn into the bride and groom quietly to requests a kiss, or a basket/punch bowl of actions can be placed in the center of the dinner table, and guests must perform these actions publicly to earn a kiss from the bride and groom. Action suggestions to place in the basket/punch bowl can be anything from “Sing us a melody of your favorite love song”, “Do you best move on the dance floor”, etc.
  4. Board Games- Some may say this is crazy, meanwhile others call this idea fantastic. It all depends on the mood and theme of your wedding. Have you ever been to Cracker Barrel and played the Peg Board Game to kill the time, simply because it's there on the table? The same concept applies here. Place a fun board game at each dinner table for guests to play during cocktail hour as they await the Grand Entrance of the Bride and Groom. Games will usually initiate conversation between guests that may not know each other but are seated together, and guests at tables can even trade games from table to table if they wish. This idea IS NOT common, but I certainly have seen it used for particular wedding events.
  5. Who's That?- Warning: This activity will take some time and research. Prior to the wedding day, pictures should be collected. Place pictures of the bride and groom's family, friends, or even pictures of guests at the table where they are seated. The attendees can then take guesses who deciphering who's exactly in the picture. The guests at each table who is able to detect the most members of the family can win a wedding souvenir or prize.
  6. Photo Booth- I don't think an explanation is needed concerning the idea of this one, however I will say that Photo Booths at weddings are becoming extremely popular and Top Notch fully encourages this idea at any wedding. Photo booths can help “break the ice” before dancing, and the wacky costumes, and wardrobe accessories seem to always put guests in a fun mood which can set the tone for the rest of the evening


As stated above, these ideas may not fit appropriately for every wedding, but are certainly a few ideas to consider while planning the wedding. Top Notch is always available to answer any questions or to discuss further details of any of the above mentioned concepts if anyone is interested. Happy Wedding planning guys!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Guests not Dancing? A few fun tips to put in place for your Wedding Reception

Let's be honest, not every wedding that you or I attend will be a thriving dance party. In fact, not all of us can “cut the rug” so to speak on the dance floor like Kevin Bacon in “Footloose”. So, lately a frequently asked question that Top Notch addresses during wedding consultations is “What other activities can we do if people aren't dancing”. It's a very important, yet common question that Top Notch will address. The good part is that there are so many activities that a couple could offer for their wedding, that it's going to take 2 blog posts for me to write. So the first in this 2 part series blog is below. 

A bride and groom know their guests and therefore will often know before the event if the party will contain a “dancing crowd”. If, the event is not necessarily full of dancers, it's certainly ok. The most important part of any wedding or event is for 1. The bride and groom are happy and that every one has a good time. Now, on to a few games you can incorporate into your potential wedding reception plans.

  1. Money Dance- Also called the Dollar Dance or Apron Dance involves the male guests paying to dance briefly with the new bride. On most instances, the males will either pay the new groom or the mother of the bride for the dance. Often times, Top Notch will use fake money for this activity unless the bride and groom are counting on “cashing out” by the bride and groom dancing with family members.
  2. Anniversary Dance- Also called the “Age Dance” serves the purposes of recognizing the couple in attendance at your wedding that has been married the longest. A couples dance song is often played and all married coupes are invited to gather on the dance floor. Couples are dismissed depending on the length of time they are married until one couple which has been married the longest remains on the floor.
  3. I SPY: This is a GREAT Game for guests to play at a wedding reception and it allows the bride and groom to gather pictures from their reception that the photographer may have missed.
    How it works: Guests are giving a list of I SPY images as well as a digital camera (or an Instagram hashtag for smart phone users in this day and age). Examples of I SPY images may include “Best Man embarrassing the Groom”, “The Best Dancer in Action”, “Bride & Groom Kissing”, etc. Guests should attempt to shoot photos of each image required on the list before the conclusion of the reception.
  4. Question/Message Booklets- The question booklet asks particular questions to the guests and is placed on all dinner tables. Examples of questions guests are expected to answer may include “What should we do for our honey moon?” Guests can leave their thoughts, and comments for all questions and the bride and groom are guaranteed to find the answers amusing upon reading. In contrast, the Message Booklet is a very similar concept as the Question Booklet with the difference being that guests are allowed to leave messages for the new bride and groom such as “Please leave a message for us to open on our 5th wedding anniversary”
  5. Mad Libs- Wedding Mad Libs can be purchased at various wedding stores and online, however, this activity is great for guests seated at the dinner table as it allows them to converse, bond and get to know each other. Additionally, the bride and groom will certainly get a kick out of the responses that the guests have written after the wedding For examples of Mad Libs for your wedding check out Etsy.com such as these mad libs

Stay tuned as the second blog will provide more additional tips one can have in place to keep wedding guests entertained throughout the wedding reception.  Thanks for reading!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Inviting Children to your Wedding or Event

2015 A new year! New Events and new plans! Perhaps for you or someone you know, 1 of the events scheduled for 2015 is getting married. It is very common for Top Notch to receive numerous inquiries during the beginning of the year (Jan-March) as brides eagerly begin planning and gearing up for their “Big Day”
            One major question that could arise in your planning may pertain to inviting young children to your wedding event. If the answer to this debate is “YES” for your family, it may be wise to have activities and games for them to do. If they’re old enough, consider giving them a small job to do throughout the event, by doing so, it not only gives them a focus but also makes them feel as if they’re contributing to your big day!
     Furthermore, often times it’s wise to assign a kid or children’s table during cocktail hour and dinner. Some of the best weddings Top Notch has deejayed in the past, have “kids” tables that are full of fun activities/games for the kids to play such as crayons, puzzles, I spy, photo booth and albums, sand art, etc. If the games provided at the table are creative and interesting, the children will enjoy themselves, and the concept allows the parents to mingle with other adults and family members at the event. Top Notch has event serviced weddings where bean bag toss, corn hole, or scavengers hunts are planned to keep the children occupied and busy until the “dance/mingle” portion of the reception arrives.
    Lastly, when the energy of the event has increased, and guests begin to dance, it’s nearly always a great idea to encourage the children to join on the dance floor! Sharing in a father/daughter dance, or mother/son dance between a parent and a loved one can be a very memorable moment, and most children love to dance! Once the party time begins, the hilarious dance moves from children have served as a great entertainment factor in past Top Notch events. Furthermore, all of the dancing usually exhausts their energy by the end of the event.
      The ultimate goal for every wedding is for the event to run smoothly! Activities and games such as those listed above are just a few of the many entertainment sources you can provide for the young one’s at your wedding to keep them engrossed in fun so that you can your guests can do the same

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's 2015!!!

     Yesterday evening brought the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015! As the 2014 year wrapped up, Top Notch took some time to reflect on what a great year the DJ business has been. This year has brought more games to play, more props (including Riley the dancing dog which has made many special appearances at events), Karaoke was brought back as a service, a new website, Top Notch became a vendor on many great networking sites and most importantly 2014 has been another year of doing what I love to do! This year Top Notch did expand service all over the state. I had the privilege of deejaying many weddings at the coast this year as well as Brian and Kristin Blonk's wedding in Boone, (Crestwood Resort- see link for the video). Watch video here! 

      2014 has also been a year of testing, and experimentation. I've tried new things, tested new waters so to speak, and have certainly learned a few things that have worked and have not worked. I believe every year should bring some kind of risks, trials and learnings, after all, if you're not learning and growing, you're not living! Overall, Top Notch can say “Adios” to 2014 with a smile, as it truly has been a year of fun! With that being said, I personally would like to say “Thank You” to those that have used Top Notch DJ Service throughout the 2014 year! Thank you for allowing me another year of playing music, running this entertainment business and ultimately doing what I enjoy. I am extremely grateful! 

      I close by wishing each and every reader a Happy New Year! Happiness is an attitude, happiness is a state of being and happiness is a choice. In the words of a great mentor “ There is no better time to be happy than right now”. I hope each and every day of 2015 is filled with happiness and bliss for you all.

2015 LET'S GO!

-Joseph Wells- Owner/Operator of Top Notch Entertainment and DJ Services