Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Video Posted through the Snow Storm!


This week truly has been full of snow, ice and winter storm weather. Resultantly, as with most of society, Top Notch has confronted delays, cancellations, etc due to the weather. Today's "Snow Day" (Raleigh has almost 7 inches of snow, if not more!) has allowed me to find the spare time to create a new "Promo" video for the DJ business. Most of the footage is from Brian and Kristin Blonk's wedding from last July (2014) with all videography taken from Reel Weddings  I have been busy gathering footage from past Top Notch events from last year recently, so I do hope to have more videos up on the website, youtube, and all social media avenues very soon. Click below to preview the clip (it's less than a minute long). Stay warm Raleigh!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Conversation Starters


      Top Notch has been busy gearing up for Wedding Season 2015! Therefore, it is standard procedure to schedule free consultations with all of our wedding clients. It was during a recent one of these consultations when the bride and groom mentioned that their wedding will have“Assigned Seating” for guests. The concept of assigned seating is very common, and may help create a more structured affair for the cocktail hour and dinner portion of the wedding reception (as it avoids guests moving from table to table and scrambling for seats when dinner is served) however, in this specific scenario, the bride and groom further mentioned, that their guests may not necessarily be familiar with each other at each table. Coincidentally, during this consultation the bride and groom both looked at each other while conversing over certain guests they had invited and stated the following “we've invited (insert name here) and also (insert other name here) which will most likely be sitting down together, and they don't know each other so we don't know what they will talk about but I'm sure they'll be ok”. That specific statement led to today's blog post. Seeing how I personally have been “that guests” assigned to sit with complete strangers, I felt compelled to address the issue. A fantastic idea for future brides and grooms that may be faced with this issue, is to simply provide “conversation starters” on the tables. These items can be in the form of table topic cards simply placed on each table prior to the wedding, printed on guests napkins, or even placed in a jar at each guests tables (see picture) There is also the “Guesterly guide” which is a great tool guests can use prior to the wedding to familiarize themselves with other attendees (see more about guesterly here Below I have posted some of the most popular conversation starters.

  1. When was the last time you attended a wedding? Who was it that was getting married?
  2. When you've been invited to a wedding, do you go out and buy a suit/dress and/or a pair of shoes for the occasion? Why do some people feel that they have to do this?
  3. What do guests at each table have in common? One can actually make this a guessing game for other guests to determine who at the table shares a commonality with them (such as went to the same college, plays the same sport, works in the same field/industry, etc)
  4. What do you do” or what is your occupation (A common question which will inevitably arise) can be switched around to ask “What has been your least favorite job?
  5. What is your favorite wedding song that you hope the DJ or Band plays?
  6. Do you know how the groom proposed to the bride or how they met?
  7. Who do you spy right now that you think may either be a great dancer and/or drunk by the end of the evening?
  8. What is your favorite memory or experience with the bride and/or groom?
  9. Do you think the bride and groom will have children? If so, what should they name their first child?
  10. Where should the bride and groom go on their 5th anniversary or 10th anniversary or even honeymoon?

There are a number of resources available online which lists alternative questions are great tools for locating additional conversational starters for your wedding. Of course, this concept does not have to apply to weddings only. The questions can be altered and applied to Christmas parties, bridal showers, corporate parties, etc. The trick is simply get creative with the idea and the questions to insure your guests begin chatting and become more comfortable with the other attendees at the wedding. A few additional sites/links are listed below for further research and ideas. Have a great weekend guys and thanks again for reading!

Additional sites.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Top 10 Anti-Valentine Party Songs

     It is the week of Valentine's and while the majority of us may be searching for gift ideas, and special plans, Top Notch this week is going for the opposite approach. There's absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine's Day and sharing love, in fact, Top Notch certainly encourages this for all of my readers. However, for the purpose of this blog, as well as for entertainment, Top Notch this Friday evening will be deeyaing an Anti-Valentine's Day party at the Luxury Box in North Raleigh. Not to be pessimistic, there is just something fun about rebelling against the rest of society and this Friday, Top Notch does intend to make the event a FUN one for all guests involved. Furthermore, considering the fact, Top Notch services numerous weddings every year which may include tune after tune on the subject of love today I'll provide some of the top recommended songs to play and Anti-Valentine's day party, most of which I do intend to play this weekend. Feel free to review my top 10 lists and let me know if there is “MUST” song I may have left off. Additionally, look for a Top 10 list for “ladies night blog post very soon as well. I wish everyone a Happy V-day weekend!     

Top 10 Best Anti-Valentine Songs are the following.....     

    10. “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele
    09. “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar
    08. "Forget You" by CeeLo Green
    07."Somebody that I Used to Know" by Gotye
    06. "Bye, Bye, Bye" by NSYNC
    05. "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell
    04.  "We Are Never Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift
    03. "Burn" by Usher
    02. "Heartbreaker" by Kanye West
    01. "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Are Your Vendors on the Same Page?

This past Saturday, Top Notch had the privilege of deejaying Adritah's Birthday party. It certainly was a success, however, in this case, I can certainly say all guests were entertained but not necessarily from Top Notch services. Adritah's party was simply filled with entertainment that kept the guests interested throughout the evening. Along with Top Notch, Adritah's parents had hired

  1. A Professional Photographer (
  2. Minnie Mouse Costumed Actor
  3. A Face Painter
  4. A Caricature Artists-
  5. A Balloon Twister- Balloons by Chelsea
  6. A Magician
  7. Caterer
With so many different forms of entertainment in place at one event, I could not help but realize, it was imperative that all vendors work together to make this event a success. Each vendor served a different function, and was only hired to provide their services for a small window of time, therefore, it was critical for me to know the time slot each vendor would be available for guests to enjoy, as well as the extent of their services, etc. I encouraged children to dance with Minnie Mouse on the dance floor to which many did. To take advantage of Bruce Stevenon's unique Caricature talents, as he was only booked briefly and seemed to have plenty of guests eager to have their portraits completed, and the magician required specific speaker and microphone capabilities which I was able to accommodate so that her magic show went flawlessly and her voice was transmitted over my speakers throughout the venue for all to hear. Thankfully, due to planning and communication between I and Adritah's father, I was aware of all vendors that were present before the event, and had prepared for my entertainment, music and games to not interfere with their allotted time slot for service. There should never be competition between vendors and it's essential for vendors to work together, to be on the same page, and to strive for the same goal which should be to make the event as much of a success as possible. This concept applies to all events ranging from parties like those mentioned above, fundraisers, block parties, and certainly at weddings! Pictures from Adritah's party are available on the Top Notch facebook page and I have posted a few below for all to enjoy as well as links to some of the vendors services. Huge thanks for Chris Formont of for allowing me to use the pictures below.

Photographer- Formont Photography
Balloon Twister- Balloons by Chelsea
Caterer- Peacock Indian Restaurant
Face Painter and Minnie Mouse- Savings 1 Kid at a Time -
Magician- (Jazzy from Magic by David) -
Caricature Artists- Bruce Stevenson