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Esther & Norman’s Picturesque Winery Wedding

A beautiful day at a beautiful venue with beautiful people! Frederick wedding DJ Steve brought the beautiful sounds to complete this picturesque day.

Frederick Wedding DJs │Music, Lighting, Photo Booths
Steve Hartka

Beautiful couple, beautiful venue, beautiful day. 

Esther and Norman’s August wedding in Frederick, Maryland was full-on photo spread worthy. Seriously, we expect to see these fabulous pictures by George Street Photo & Video in the pages of Brides or Martha Stewart Weddings any day now.

The magic took place at Springfield Manor, one of our favorite Maryland wedding venues. This amazing space is a combo winery-distillery-brewery. In the spring, the lavender fields are awash in purplish-blue, and the whole venue has stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Loudoun Valley. 

Esther and Norman’s wedding started with a ceremony at the sleek white pergola, with those amazing views in the background. Their parents, grandparents, and bridal party made a sweet entrance to pianist Paul Hankinson’s cover of Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. This version has themes from Pachelbel’s Canon blended in. And that made it a perfect segue into the bride’s processional, which was Hankinson’s version of Can't Help Falling In Love featuring Bach's Air and Pachelbel's Canon.

After the vows, DJ Steve set the tone for the rest of the night with pop banger I Like It Like That by Hot Chelle Rae. Cocktail hour was next, in the bright sunny solarium and attached patio. 

Then it was time for the par-tay! The wedding party strutted their stuff into the reception to Shake Ya Tailfeather by P. Diddy ft. Nelly & Murphy Lee. This crew did a FULL wedding party intro, including the parents of the bride and groom and the flower girl and ring bearers. Fun to get the whole crew in on the laughs! Finally, Esther and Norman made their big intro to Bring Em Out by T.I. 

The reception ballroom was lit in soft pink uplighting by Maryland’s DJ for the evening. This pretty pink is super flattering on everyone and adds a little romance to the space. And things got real romantic with the couples’ first dance to Lover by Taylor Swift. In fact, there was quite a bit of ol’ Swifty at this sweet wedding! 

For the parent dances, Esther and her dad chose a classic—My Girl by the Temptations. Then Norman and his mom danced to Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver. You can never go wrong with John Denver! 

Hold up! Record scratch. Is that an outfit change we see? Oh yes, it is. Traditional Chinese weddings put the bride in red, which symbolizes happiness, luck, and celebration. So Esther swapped out her white gown for a stunning red and gold take on the cheongsam—a high-necked, close-fitting dress with a slit up the side. She looked 绮丽! (That means gorgeous.)

For the last dance of the night, Esther and Norman went full pop with a little number called I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys. And it was all wrapped up with a sparkler exit to the tune of Firework by Katy Perry.

We had so much fun at this poppy, peppy, perfect wedding. Let us bring the vibe you’re looking for to your wedding in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC! Fill out our quick online form (it’s seriously 6 questions) to get started! 

All photos by George Street Photo & Video

Sara & Ryan’s Not-So-Traditional Farm Wedding

This beautiful California couple had a few surprises up their sleeves when it came to their song choices. Lots of laughs ensued at a stunning Virginia farm venue!

Baltimore Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

They say a picture says a thousand words. And yeah...that’s kinda true. But a few pictures don’t always tell the whole story. To look at the gorgeous, dreamy pictures from Sara and Ryan’s July wedding on a classic farm, you’d think this event was classic. Traditional. And while there were certainly some traditional elements to this lovely wedding day, there were also a few surprises on the docket. 

Sara and Ryan are a California couple that headed back to beautiful Virginia wine country to say their “I do’s.” (We guess Napa Valley just couldn’t cut it compared with Loudoun County!) 

The big event took place at Tranquility Farm, a boutique farm venue for up to 100 guests. Under the shadow of the largest silo in the county (130 feet!), 23 acres of rolling farmland hides away among the vineyards and hills. This is where the couple chose to say their vows, and they couldn’t have picked a more picturesque location. Photographer Corrin Jasinski is from the area, so she knows just how to make those Virginia hills look their best. 

The wedding party made their entrance to Beyond by Leon Bridges. Side note: More weddings need to play Leon Bridges!! For Sara’s processional, she chose Can’t Help Falling in Love by Kina Grannis. This stripped-down version puts all the focus on the lyrics, which are simple and gorgeous. 

Up to now, this farm affair has been lovely, romantic, and classic. But as soon as those vows were over...the wedding party beat their retreat to Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry. What? That might be a first for us at Maryland’s DJ, and a great indication that there were a few more unexpected choices on the way.

After cocktail hour, it was time to welcome the wedding party into the barn for food and festivities. The bridesmaids and groomsmen made their entrance to Who Let the Dogs Out by the Baja Men. This may have been a popular choice circa 2000, but in 2021 it’s downright unusual. And then Sara and Ryan made their first appearance as husband and wife, accompanied by the romantic tones of the Space Jam theme song by Quad City DJs. Every 90s kid lost. their. Minds.

For their first dance, this fun couple toned it back down a bit, with You Are the Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne. Then Sara and her dad danced to Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles.

After a slew of toasts from well-wishers, it was time to open up the dance floor. During the reception, Sara and Ryan cut the cake to Beyoncé’s Love on Top, and Sara tossed the bouquet to Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me. DJ Steve also made a custom mashup just for the couple, combining Hot in Herr by Nelly and Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy by Big & Rich.

For the final song of the night, they went with the meme favorite Baby I’m Yours by Breakbot. There’s a reason that tune has been so popular with dance videos. It’s a bop! 

We had so much fun playing the unexpected choices at Sara and Ryan’s Virginia wedding! And we’d love to do the same for you. You only get married once (hopefully), so have some fun with it! Contact Maryland’s DJ today to reserve your date with one of our experienced wedding DJs! 

All photos by Corrin Jasinski

Stacey & Tim’s Reggaeton-Fueled Wedding

Stacey and Tim asked for reggaeton and dancehall music for their Beltsville wedding. And DJ Steve Hartka delivered! Get all the details on this fun-filled day.

Washington DC Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

Stacey and Tim’s Beltsville wedding was a beautiful blending of two families—with a healthy dose of dancehall hits to keep things festive! Stacey and her sons welcomed Tim as an “official” part of the family on this warm July evening. But anyone who knows them could see that no ceremony could make Tim more devoted than he already was. 

Tim and Stacey’s wedding was at The Villa in Beltsville, MD. Both ceremony and reception took place in the stunning Grand Ballroom, complete with stately tray ceiling and crystal chandeliers. It has the look of a high-end hotel ballroom without the random hotel guests wandering around! 

By holding their wedding and reception at an indoor venue, the couple were able to keep their 100 guests comfortable, away from the July heat and humidity. Our summers are not friendly to wedding cakes or bridal hair. And with photographer Mini Conway on hand to capture those lasting memories, it was important that all the details be juuuuuust right. 

The wedding party made their entrance to Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk. Stacey’s processional into the Grand Ballroom was to You Are the Reason by Calum Scott. This was a great example of a processional to a song with lyrics. So many couples choose instrumentals, but lyrics can really work, too! After saying their vows, the party boogied down the aisle to Marry You by Bruno Mars.

When it came time to transition into the reception part of the evening, the couple knew what vibe they were going for—reggaeton, dancehall, and danceable beats. For the wedding party introductions, they chose Give Me Everything by Pitbull (feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, & Nayer). And for Tim and Stacey’s first welcome as a married couple, they chose Beyoncé’s Love on Top. When it came time for the first dance, they went with Queen Celine, and her 90s hit The Power of Love

After dinner, Tim and Stacey made it very clear that they wanted a reggaeton/dancehall sound for their soundtrack. So Beltsville wedding DJ Steve Hartka opened the dance floor with Hold Yuh by Jamaican reggaeton artist Gyptian. He enjoyed the opportunity to play a unique  wedding DJ set, with Jamaican artists like Beenie Man and Vybz Kartel on the playlist. 

For the cake cutting, they chose BØRNS 2015 pop song Electric Love. And for the anniversary dance, they went with another pop hit—(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time On You by NSYNC. For the last song of the night, the happy couple picked Adorn by Miguel. A little loving and a little racy, this was a great choice to cap off a wild dance floor! 

DJ Steve was thrilled to bring the reggaeton beats to Tim and Stacey’s big day. Whether your wedding vibe is pop or rock, country or Latin, EDM or classics, the team at Maryland’s DJ can make magic happen. Contact us today to get your wedding date on our calendar! 

All photos by Mini Conway Photography

Trending TikTok Songs for 2021

Want to bring one of these songs to your next big event? Let us know! Our DJs know the trending tunes and the obscure jams to help you create the right vibe at a wedding, corporate event, or private party.

DJ Thoughts
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TikTok’s format can make new releases explode...or drag old songs from seeming obscurity to new heights of popularity. The short-form video app has become famous for dancing videos, using clips as soundtracks, and lip-syncing in creative ways. All this content needs music. If a song can go viral on TikTok, it can quickly rack up millions upon millions of views and propel the artist to stardom...if only for a little while.

Here are 10 of the top trending TikTok songs (as of August 2021).

Content Warning: Many of these songs contain explicit lyrics.

Deja Vu by Olivia Rodrigo

You could probably pick anything off of Olivia Rodrigo’s album Sour and it would be trending on TikTok. This particular song often has TikTokers dueting with themselves, pretending to be two different people.

Beggin’ by Måneskin

This tune by the 2021 Eurovision contest winners has been used for everything from dance videos to outfit demos. The original was by The Four Seasons, but this cover is thoroughly modern. 

Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish could probably cough and it would trend anywhere teens and 20-somethings hang out. While the title makes you think this song could be uplifting, this is Eilish we’re talking about. So expect a hefty dose of melancholy in these TikTok videos.

I Like Him by Princess Nokia

Does anyone ever just want one thing? I Like Him by Princess Nokia is the song you use when you have a list of favorites...especially favorite celebrity crushes. 

Levitating by Dua Lipa

Even if you haven’t heard the full song, you’ve probably heard the short clip with lyrics, “You want me, I want you baby…” This clip has been used in reference to everything from toxic boyfriends to junk food to body confidence.

Kiss Me More by Doja Cat ft. SZA

The laid back disco vibe of Kiss Me More has made it one of the most popular dance videos on TikTok. 

Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran

A popular video theme with this tune is, unsurprisingly, listing one’s bad habits along to the song. Ed Sheeran himself did a video about his own bad habits including junk food, alcohol, and reality TV. Stars...they really are just like us.

Stay by The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber

Some dance videos on TikTok are meant to be taken seriously...but the trend of men dancing badly to Stay by The Kid LAROI and Justin Beiber is all fun. 

Industry Baby by Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow

Lil Nas X has been making HUGE headlines in 2021, between the release of his controversial video for MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) and the whole Satan shoes fiasco. Like him or hate him (and we like him), the man knows how to make a splash. 

Save Your Tears by The Weeknd

This 80s-inspired song from 2020 is still trending on TikTok (and everywhere else.) Videos with this tune don’t fit one format. Instead, this song is popular as a background for all sorts of creative endeavors.

Want to bring one of these songs to your next big event? Let us know! Our DJs know the trending tunes and the obscure jams to help you create the right vibe at a wedding, corporate event, or private party.

Sean & Bryan’s Diva-licious Baltimore Wedding

This Baltimore wedding was an extravaganza of love, disco, and divas. Find out how DJ Steve brought his pun A-game, and get some table number inspo.

Baltimore Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

Gay. Disco. Brunch. Wedding. 

Honestly, how much more needs to be said? But we’ll press on, because this June wedding needs to be discussed. In detail. 

Sean and Bryan’s Sunday brunch wedding took place at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore. This fabulous hotel is most striking for its enormous open marble staircase. Is this double height? Triple? It’s hard to tell. The couple chose to use the staircase itself for their ceremony site, which was clearly the correct call, as caught by wedding photographer Valerie Michelle

This wedding was all about the divas, from beginning to end. For their processional, the couple chose an instrumental version of Madonna’s Vogue. After a short ceremony (dogs included), Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance escorted Sean and Bryan off into their first steps of wedded bliss. 

After cocktail hour, the brunch extravaganza began. Did Sean and Bryan enter the reception to something pedestrian? Something conventional and not amazing? Clearly, no. They catwalked their way into their wedding reception to Rupaul’s Sissy That Walk. Because of course they did

For their first dance, the couple danced to Lady Gaga’s cover of Your Song by Elton John. Then they passed the dance floor over to Sean’s sister, Erin, and her husband for a dance of their own. 

Instead of table numbers, the couple identified each table with a diva. Why use numbers when Diana Ross, Celine Dion, and Cher exist?? And to call each group up when it was their turn to get food, the couple asked Baltimore wedding DJ Steve Hartka to get a little creative...which he was only too happy to do. So each table was summoned with their own diva-themed pun. 

For the Lady Gaga table, the “Little Monsters” were called up to the buffet. For the Mariah Carey table, Steve said, “Okay Mimi, keep your confessions to yourself.” The Celine Dion table was told, “Your heart can go on into the buffet.” For Ariana Grande, “Thank you, next” was the clear choice. And for Diana Ross, he told them “You CAN hurry love for the buffet…” If you’ve ever wondered what happens at the intersection of puns, divas, and brunch buffets, we now know the answer. 

After dinner, DJ Steve spun a steady stream of divas and pop tunes to keep the party moving. Bedecked in colorful cocktail attire and rainbow masks, the crowd bopped all afternon. The couple’s must-play list included:

There’s absolutely no reason that a daytime dance floor can’t get as rowdy as a nighttime dance floor, and this group certainly proved it. For the last dance of the night, Sean and Bryan chose Last Dance by the disco queen herself, Donna Summer. This was a wildly fun and unique wedding party hosted by an incredibly sweet couple. It was a joy to be a part of it!

Interested in asking DJ Steve to bring his pun action to your Baltimore wedding? Fill out our quick online form to reserve your date and start planning your special day! Just give us plenty of notice...those puns don’t write themselves, you know.

All photos by Valerie Michelle Photography

How to Pick a Song for the Anniversary Dance

How the Anniversary Dance works, and some tips for picking the perfect song. Make sure your DJ knows how to run this traditional dance before you hire!

DJ Thoughts
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Debating which traditions to keep at your wedding, and which to skip? 

Unsurprisingly, we're fans of any wedding traditions that get people out on the dance floor. That's why we're big supporters of the Anniversary Dance. It's a fun way to recognize the longest-married couple and give the newlyweds a goal to aspire to!

What is an Anniversary Dance?

The Anniversary Dance is a fun wedding tradition that honors the couples who have been married longest. 

When the song starts, your wedding DJ will invite all the married couples to the dance floor. At short intervals, the couples who have been married for a certain amount of time will be dismissed, from shortest to longest. So couples married for less than a month will leave the dance floor first (that means you, newlyweds!). Then those married less than a year, five years, ten years, and so on.

Near the end, you'll have just a handful of couples left—the ones who have been married the longest and can show the rest of us how it's done. If you like, you can have a special gift for the last couple standing. They could have been 50, even 60 years, and that's worth celebrating!

Photo by Photography by Brea

Picking an Anniversary Dance Song

An anniversary song is usually going to be slow. Remember that some of your oldest guests will be participating, and we don't want any injuries! Also think about longevity when you make your choice. The idea is to recognize those couples who have made their marriages last. So lyrics about long-term love are the way to go. 

Here are 10 modern and 10 classic wedding anniversary dance songs we love for a little inspiration.

Modern Anniversary Dance Songs

Millionaire by Chris Stapleton

Perfect by Ed Sheeran

You're Still The One by Shania Twain

You Make It Easy by Jason Aldean

Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs

Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis

You and Me by Dave Matthews

Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton

All of Me by John Legend

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

Classic Anniversary Dance Songs

The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra

Can't Help Falling In Love by Elvis (or one of the many covers!)

You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder

Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton

Unforgettable by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole

Stand By Me by Ben E King

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole

You Send Me by Sam Cooke

Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon

As Time Goes By by Billie Holiday

Photo by Photography by Brea

The Anniversary Dance and Your DJ

This is a well-known tradition, so any experienced DJ should know how it works. When you're interviewing wedding DJs, ask them if they can run an anniversary dance. See if they have any suggestions for making the event run smoothly.

And if they say they've never done one before, they probably don't have the experience you're looking for in a wedding DJ. So we recommend you keep looking!

At Maryland's DJ, we have facilitated hundreds of anniversary dances. And we can help you choose the perfect song, too! Fill out our quick online form to check our availability and start planning!

Header Photo by Photography by Brea

Kalana & Steve’s Afternoon Wedding Bash

This wedding was wrapped up by 4:15 PM, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a blast! Get the details on this College Park wedding with Maryland’s DJ.

Washington DC Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

Kalana and Steve’s summer wedding in College Park, MD was a cheerful daytime affair that saw our happy couple hitched by 1:00 PM! We often assume a wedding has to take place in the late afternoon and into the evening. But this lovely event just goes to show that there’s no right or wrong way to have a wedding. 

This incredibly fun couple met at Blerdcon. Blerdcon (an amalgamation of “Black Nerd Convention”) is a wildly inclusive nerd culture event created to welcome people of color, the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities who are often left out of mainstream nerd culture. It’s a three day extravaganza of costumes, panels, and fandom, and we can’t think of a more fun place for a meet cute. 

Kalana and Steve’s wedding was at the Cherry Hill Ballroom in College Park, Maryland. Located inside a charming family campground, couples can have their own cozy log cabin for the weekend, and family can stay on the property as well. 

The site has a long, narrow chapel perfect for ceremonies. With white drapery and stained glass windows, the space creates an intimate, church-like vibe without feeling stuffy. That’s where our lovely couple decided to say their vows. 

The wedding party’s entrance was accompanied by H.O.L.Y. by Florida Georgia Line. Then DJ Steve slowed things down for Kalana’s processional, with the Pentatonix cover of Perfect by Ed Sheeran. The friends who couldn’t attend due to distance or health concerns didn’t miss the magic—the couple live-streamed the whole thing. When it was all over, the happy snaps of (This Will Be) An Everlasting Love by Natalie Cole saw them out of the chapel. 

Across the hall in the ballroom, things were ready for the afternoon party. The couple’s colors were white, red, and gold, so they used red uplighting to set the mood. This intimate event had a small wedding party consisting of just a Maid of Honor and a Best Man, so their introductions were short. But they got a great upbeat song—Colbie Caillat’s I Do, which we don’t get to play very often! 

Steve and Kalana then made their grand entrance. They decided to use At Last by Etta James for both their entrance and first dance, for a seamless transition between the two. After their dance, Kalana and her dad danced to This Dance by Scott Thomas Laughridge.

This afternoon wedding was proof that you don’t need the cover of night to have a good time! The dance floor was hopping throughout the reception. For the cake cutting, the couple chose The Sweetest Thing by U2. And for the anniversary dance, they picked Dance With Me Tonight by Olly Murs. We loved this upbeat take on the usually slow anniversary dance tradition!

For the last song of the night, they did a reprise of (This Will Be) An Everlasting Love, and made their exit under a tunnel of ribbons and bells created by their guests.

We had a phenomenal time at this College Park wedding, and we’re pretty sure everyone else did too! Start planning your wedding playlist with a little help from Maryland’s DJ. Fill out our quick contact form to get started.

All photos The Beholden Eyes

Rachel & Alejandro’s Main Street Ballroom Bash

A laid back wedding in a historic Ellicott City venue. Maryland’s DJ helped the couple celebrate their wedding reception with family, friends, and great tunes.

Baltimore Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

As vaccinations have spread and the threat of COVID is reduced, couples are finally getting the parties they’d always wanted. Rachel and Alejandro are one such couple. When the pandemic derailed their original plans, they had to come up with plan B. Their solution was to keep their original wedding date, but have a very small event. Then in July 2021, they threw their bigger celebration for friends and extended family. 

While their original plan was to only hold a reception, they ultimately decided to hold a brief ceremony as well for those who couldn’t attend the original wedding last year. This kind of hybrid was a smart approach that let Rachel and Alejandro have an intimate event in 2020, and a bigger celebration now that it’s safer. Everybody wins!

The wedding took place at Main Street Ballroom in Ellicott City, MD. Couples love Main Street for its historic charm and modern amenities. Originally a stone warehouse built in the 1920s, it’s been updated with polished concrete floors and industrial touches while letting the stone walls take center stage. As a neutral space, it can be a lovely backdrop to weddings of all styles. 

Photographer Nicol Belvedere caught the laid back style at Rachel and Alejandro’s Ellicott City wedding. The couple did a great job choosing relaxed music to go with the vibe. It started with the bridal party’s entrance to Ho Hey by The Lumineers. Then Rachel’s processional was accompanied by Can’t Help Falling in Love by the king himself, Elvis Presley. After their short second ceremony, the couple beat a happy retreat to Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles. 

A 30-minute cocktail (half)hour gave everyone a chance to grab a drink before the reception got started. They kept things upbeat with You Make Loving Fun by Fleetwood Mac for the bridal party introductions. And then they kicked off the party with Footloose by Kenny Loggins for Rachel and Alejandro’s grand entrance. Gotta love Loggins.

Ellicott City wedding DJ Steve Hartka loved this wedding for its easy breezy style. No need to get anxious on a day as chill as this one! A food truck brought flatbread pizzas to the reception, and a photo booth by Maryland’s DJ gave the guests a way to make a shareable memento.

Rachel and Alejandro’s first dance was to Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs. Then Rachel and her father danced to My Little Girl by Tim McGraw. Later, DJ Steve hosted an anniversary dance, which is one of our favorite dance floor traditions. For the song, the couple chose Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Valli, which was a fun choice.

For the last song of the night, the party rocked out to Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money. Why don’t more weddings end with this banger? We don’t know, but we think they should. Maybe we’ll start a petition. It all ended with a sparkler exit. 

This party may have been delayed, but we think it was worth the wait. Rescheduling your celebration in Ellicott City or anywhere else? We’d love to help. Contact us to get that party back on the books!

All photos by Nicol Belvedere 

Rosewood Farms

One of our favorite newer venues in Maryland is Rosewood Farms. Two large barns, a tree-filled property, and a sparkling pond make a perfect backdrop for a Maryland wedding.

Venue Spotlights
Steve Hartka

Rosewood Farms brings the barn wedding venue out of the rustic category and into the elegant and chic arena instead. This modern barn venue in Elkton, MD sits on 44 acres of lush green farmland. It’s on its third life in recent memory, going from a cow and poultry farm to a vineyard to the wedding venue we see today. 

The two large barns onsite were recently renovated with an eye to modernization and elegance, while keeping their original character intact. Because the barns are so clean and chic, Rosewood Farms is not limited to country-style weddings—although those are certainly welcome! Glam, boho, vintage, traditional, and minimalist weddings can all slot seamlessly into the Rosewood experience. 

The Rustic Barn is where most indoor ceremonies are held. This two-story barn is whitewashed inside and has massive windows on all sides. It almost seems to glow! On the lower level, the space was kept to its historic roots with lots of exposed wood and brick. It has a live-edge bar and folding windows that bring the outside in.

Photo credit: Madison Short

Photo credit: Madison Short

The Rose Barn is the larger space, at 6,000 square feet. It’s used more often for the reception, since there’s space for up to 275 guests. The 20’ ceilings are adorned with rough wood beams and clerestory windows bring light into the full height of the space. The attached silo from the original barn has been preserved, and turned into a one-of-a-kind bar for your reception. And the patio that runs the full length of the barn overlooks the pond and gives guests a quiet place to cool down after a riotous turn on the dance floor.

Photo credit: Madison Short

Photo credit: Sara Vars Photography

One of the benefits of having so much space is the number of configurations that couples can choose from when planning their weddings. Partners can say their vows in the Rustic Barn, and then head over to the Rose Barn for their reception. Or they can have their ceremony at one of the outdoor sites, under the two towering pear trees or right at the edge of the pond (complete with sparkling fountain). And for cocktail hour, there are vast areas of lawn to choose from, plus several patios off each barn. 

The entire property features no shortage of photography opportunities. While it’s no longer a working vineyard, there are still grape vines on the property. The venue keeps them pruned and primed for use as a photo backdrop. Couples can also head out to the fields, or take pictures under the heavily-laden pear trees. There’s also a gorgeous stone staircase leading up to the Rustic Barn that’s perfect for group shots.

Photo credit: Sara Vars Photography

And of course, there is a separate Suite and a Lounge where the wedding party can get ready. Both spaces have plenty of room for the party to relax and enjoy snacks and drinks while they’re getting all dolled up.

Emily Simmons, Tour Venue Specialist at Rosewood Farms, said, “I believe what makes us so unique to clients is that we are able to offer a gorgeous venue that acts as an effortless backdrop in the best day of their lives.” And she’s absolutely right. There’s nothing here that needs to be “covered up.” Honestly, this is the type of space that speaks for itself. But since it’s so simple and sleek, you can bring in whatever you like to make it feel truly you.

We asked Emily to share some stories about her time with Rosewood Farms, and here’s what she had to say!

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

What is the most unusual or unexpected wedding you've ever had at your venue?

We had an epic Baraat (a parade of a hundred luxury vehicles with lights flashing and horns honking) for a multicultural couple and a jaw-dropping, indoor sparkler show! This specific wedding gave us excitement and momentum to continue hosting beautiful events for all cultures in the future!

What's the wildest thing a couple has ever asked for?

The couple wanted to fly to the ceremony in a helicopter!

What's the best "little kid moment" you've seen at a wedding?

The ring bearers dancing to an Elton John song that's featured in their favorite animated film!! So precious!

What's one thing you wish people knew about running a wedding or event venue? 

It takes a team of dedicated vendors to make your dreams come true. No couple should have to take it on alone!

This doesn’t have to be you! 

Want to see some real Rosewood Farms weddings? Check wedding recaps for Rebecca and Bill or Sara and Michael to see this space in action.

And if you’re planning your own wedding at Rosewood Farms, we’d love to help. We can help you with ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception music to set the tone for your special day. Just fill out our quick form to get started.

Header photo by Madison Short

Bobbi & Kirsten’s Party in the Park

Beaming couple Bobbi & Kirsten celebrated their wedding in Annapolis’ Quiet Waters Park. Annapolis wedding DJ Steve was on hand to keep the party pumping!

Annapolis Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

Bobbi and Kirsten’s June celebration at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, MD was everything we love about weddings. Strangers became friends, music pumped all night, and the dance floor never stopped moving! 

This was our first wedding at this charming venue. We were delighted to find a beautiful, 340-acre wooded park, full of trees and greenery. It’s tucked between the South River and Harness Creek, giving it plenty of peaceful waterfront.

The day’s photographer was Paige Shyrock, of Paige Shyrock Visual Art. After doing the couple’s engagement photos (also at Quiet Waters Park), they knew they were in good hands for their special day.

Bobbi and Kirsten organized their wedding at the park’s Blue Heron Center, a banquet hall on the property. The building has a curved front with plenty of windows and glass doors, giving it the feel of an enclosed gazebo. The ceremony was held outside on the adjoining red brick patio. The space is complete with brick walls for privacy, and a three-tier fountain for a bubbling soundscape. While the guests gathered in this peaceful setting, Annapolis wedding DJ Steve Hartka set the tone with classy string covers.

The bridal party made their entrance to XO by John Mayer, before the bride’s processional to Angel by Jack Johnson. One of the most unique touches at this Annapolis wedding was the painter they hired to commemorate the occasion! Artist Brittany Branson created art in real-time, capturing the ceremony in paint as it happened. This was an amazing touch, and now the couple will have a piece of original art from their wedding day to hang in their home. 

After the vows were said (and the painting was mostly completed), the couple beat a loving retreat to the Love You For a Long Time by Maggie Rogers. 

After cocktail hour, the party moved inside for dinner and dancing. The space was given a soft pink glow with uplighting by Maryland’s DJ to set the scene. For the big entrance of the wedding party and the happy couple, they actually didn’t pick a song in advance. Maybe they meant to, but in the end, they didn’t get around to making that choice. No worries! DJ Steve, Bobbi, and Kirsten made a game time decision and used You Make My Dreams (Come True) by Hall & Oates. It’s a pop classic, gets everyone smiling, and no one at the wedding knew that it wasn’t planned in advance. 

For their first dance, Bobbi and Kirsten swayed to I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz. Then, both brides did their parent dances together. First they danced with their fathers to Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. Then they danced with their mothers to In My Daughter’s Eyes by Martina McBride.

Once this dance floor opened up, it opened UP. It was bopping from start to finish, with dancers of all ages grooving to the music. Bobbi and Kirsten clearly knew what they were doing when they decided to focus on country and indie music for this partying crowd. 

At Maryland’s DJ, we help couples of all orientations and denominations to celebrate their love. Fill out our quick online form to discuss scheduling your own Annapolis wedding DJ!

All photos by Paige Shyrock Visual Art

DJ Mike "Q" Stock

Bring the hype to your dance floor with experienced DJ (and former Baltimore Ravens mascot) Mike Q! Meet this spinning specialist and find out what makes him tick.

DJ Bios
Baltimore Wedding DJ
Mike Q

If you’re looking for a DJ who can be your hype man and has tons of experience, DJ Mike “Q” Stock is your guy. 

DJ Q is an Annapolis native with deep roots in Maryland. Not only was he born and raised here, but he’s keenly invested in Baltimore, as we’ll see! 

Q has two long-time loves: DJing at clubs and private events, and graphic design. He’s lucky enough to get to do both! He studied graphic design in school, and spends his days doing design work for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.

But he’s also got some serious DJ chops. He’s been working in the industry since 1990, playing in bars and nightclubs all over Baltimore, Annapolis, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. He’s even held summer residencies in Las Vegas, as well as at waterfront bar and nightclub behemoth Seacrets in Ocean City. He recently joined the Maryland’s DJ team and we’re hyped to have him!

Speaking of hype...DJ Q knows how to bring it. Who is the absolute best at hyping up a crowd? Could it be...mascots? Well our Q has experience in that line. He brought the Baltimore Ravens mascot, Poe, to life, for the 2009-2010 season. He got the crowd worked up and incited general game day shenanigans, as any respectable mascot must.

When he’s not DJing or doing design work, he hangs out with his extremely intimidating scooter gang. Just kidding. About the intimidating part, not the scooter gang part. Q and his friends like to hop on Spin or Lime scooters and spend a few hours cruising the city they call home. 

We asked Q to chat with us to share his thoughts on DJing and weddings so we could get to know him a little better. Take it away, Q!

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

What makes a great DJ?

Ultimately I think it's the energy I bring. I tend to create a fun vibe and that translates through my play.

What’s your favorite local wedding venue and why?

Pond View Farm because the staff is amazing and it’s so picturesque.


Kacie & Shawn’s wedding at Pond View Farm

Photo by Photography By Brea

What’s your favorite thing about weddings?

The wide variety of genres I get to play.

If you were getting married this weekend, what would your first dance song be?

Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?

A 7-year-old catching the garter.

What’s the best “little kid moment” you’ve seen at a wedding?

When they have the best moves on the dance floor.

What's the most unique processional song you've ever played?

The Imperial March from Star Wars.

What do you think is the most overplayed wedding song?

The Cupid Shuffle, but I still love to play it when they want me to, lol.

What’s one thing you wish people knew about working as a DJ?

That I still can't believe I get paid to do this.

When you're not working, what kind of music do you listen to?

Literally EVERYTHING. I have musical ADD.

To get this hype king on your side, let’s chat! Fill out our quick online form so we can check our availability and reserve your date. You and Q (or any of our other experienced DJs) will have unlimited planning sessions to hash out every detail of your big day.

Your LGBTQ+ Friendly Wedding DJ │Maryland’s DJ

Maryland’s DJ is an all-welcoming wedding vendor ready to bring the party to your dance floor! Learn how we create an inclusive space for all couples.

DJ Thoughts
Steve Hartka
Jordan Solender

It's amazing—astonishing—astounding that same-sex marriage has only been legal across the country since 2015. 

2015, y'all.

Here in Maryland, marriage equality has been the law for a bit longer, but not by much.

While the state can no longer prevent same-sex couples from saying their vows and being legally recognized as married, unfortunately privately-owned companies can still refuse service to queer couples. 

And since some vendors don't make their position on same-sex weddings clear up front, it can lead to uncomfortable conversations. Clients may feel they have to disclose that they're gay in the planning process, to make sure a vendor's wedding services are available to them. That conversation comes with the risk of judgment at what is supposed to be one of the happiest times in their lives. 

At Maryland's DJ, we're proud to serve all types of weddings, including those of the LGBTQ+ community. Here's how we work to make the experience a welcoming one.

Inclusivity From Start to Finish

Just because a wedding DJ is happy to work with gay weddings, that doesn't mean that they have their business set up in a way that feels inclusive. 

This industry has been very hetero-normative until recently, and much of the language surrounding marriage continues to reflect this. Bride and groom, Mr. and Mrs., bridal party, maid of honor, best man. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these terms, it can make gay couples feel like the wedding industry isn't "for them." 

Marriage is for everyone. 

So at Maryland's DJ, we've updated our online forms to be more inclusive. Rather than "bridal party," we refer to your wedding party. Instead of assuming there will be a father/daughter dance, we ask about any special parent dances, regardless of gender. 

We hope that this non-gendered language will make all couples feel welcome and validated!

Flexible Options

One big mistake wedding industry vendors make is assuming that gay weddings will look just like straight weddings, but with a same-sex couple.

Sometimes, this is true.

And sometimes, there are changes to the format of the ceremony and reception. For example: if there are two brides, does one walk down the aisle (like the "traditional" bride) and one wait for her arrival (like the "traditional" groom)? Or do they both get walked down the aisle? Or neither?

An LGBTQ+ wedding DJ will be happy to make the adjustments to your ceremony music to make it work with your unique format.  

At one recent wedding for example, our two brides danced with their fathers together, and then danced with their moms together over the course of two songs. 

In your pre-planning sessions with your DJ, you can explain the timeline and get advice on some ways same-sex couples have approached these decisions in the past.

Playing Appropriate Music

We love music, obv. It's what we do.

And as music lovers, we are aware that not all music is equally welcoming and inclusive. Hip hop in particular has a reputation for not always being gay-friendly, but it's far from the only genre that has this issue.

We want your dance floor to be a happy place of love and celebration, and that means being discerning with our music choices. 

Not only will you have the opportunity to create a must-play and do not play list for the music at your wedding reception, but we'll also be cautious about our own music selections to prevent offensive language from marring the magic on your wedding day.

As you plan your wedding, we would love to suggest gay-friendly wedding vendors that we've worked with in the past. We've DJ'ed hundreds of weddings with caterers, photographers, florists, videographers, and more who are happy to help you celebrate your same-sex wedding!

Love is love!

Planning your big day? Fill out our quick online form to get more information about working with Maryland’s DJ and get your date on our calendar!

Photos by Valerie Mitchell and Bradley Images

Sammie & Nic’s Chesapeake Bay Wedding

This June bayside wedding hummed with strings and bounced with pop, dance, and rock tunes. Cambridge MD wedding DJ Jordan brought the dance floor to life!

Frederick Wedding DJs │Music, Lighting, Photo Booths
Jordan Solender

The threat of rain loomed over Sammie and Nic’s wedding day at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay. But this cheerful couple was all smiles, and we like to think they scared the rain away with their warmth and enthusiasm.

The 342-acre resort that the couple chose for their wedding site is both gorgeous and fun. It features an 18-hole golf course, boat marina, pool, and full-service spa. If you have out-of-town guests coming to stay, this is the perfect place for them to pamper themselves over a long weekend.

The wedding photographer for Sammie & Nic was Kathleen of Love and Adventure Photography. And she takes the “adventure” part seriously. When she’s not shooting weddings in Maryland or Washington, DC, she’s traveling the world to capture weddings in places as disparate as Greece, Newfoundland, and Texas. How about an elopement to Antarctica during a solar eclipse? Think of the photos!!!

After the bride and groom, the next star of the show at this June wedding was the couple’s goldendoodle. This sweet boi had his own special moment during the processional. He even got to hold the rings for a minute.

For the pre-ceremony music, Sammie and Nic asked for a gentle playlist of string covers, which Cambridge MD wedding DJ Jordan was happy to provide. They maintained the string theme for the rest of the ceremony music, starting with the parents, grandparents, and bridal party entrance to Vitamin String Quartet’s cover of Island in the Sun by Weezer. This playful version of the song was SO much fun. You can’t listen to it without bobbing your head.

For Sammie’s grand entrance, they chose another string cover. This one was A Thousand Years played on violin by Alan Ng. The ceremony was held waterside (of course, because you don’t get married on the Chesapeake Bay and not enjoy the views!) After they were pronounced husband and wife, the party danced back down the aisle to a string cover of Walk The Moon’s Shut Up and Dance by Simply Three. By sticking with string covers from prelude music all the way through the recessional, the couple created a cohesive musical experience while still playing with several genres. We loved it!

After cocktail hour by the resort’s outdoor fireplace which overlooks the bay, it was party time. The bridesmaids got their own entrance to the tune of Vida 23 by Pitbull, followed by the groomsmen to In Da Club by 50 Cent. Then, DJ Jordan introduced husband and wife Sammie and Nic to the dance floor to Danza Kudro by Don Omar ft. Lorenzo.

For the couple’s first dance, they chose Arms by Christina Perri. Confession: A Thousand Years may be her most famous song, but we actually like this one better. ;-)

For the father/daughter dance, Sammie chose My Baby You by Marc Anthony. Then Nic and his mom sped things up a bit with Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns and Roses. After that, the dance floor was opened up and DJ Jordan kept it packed all night long!

For the last song of the night, the couple played the original Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. We love this way of connecting ceremony to reception, playing a string version of a song first, and the original later in the night.

We’re currently booking weddings for 2022 and beyond! So fill out our quick online form to confirm your date and start planning the soundtrack to your special wedding day!

Tricia & William’s Kent Island Wedding

Classical, rap, and everything in between were on the musical docket at William & Tricia’s Kent Island wedding. DJ Steve played a surprise mash-up that wowed the bride!

Annapolis Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

William and Tricia’s June wedding was at one of our favorite seaside venues, the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, Maryland. We never get tired of their classy ballrooms and stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay and Bay Bridge! 

Bekah of Evergreen Photo brought her “experiences over poses” philosophy to the photography. She focuses on personal, intimate moments, rather than a strict shot list. It really comes through in the personality she is able to bring to each couples’ wedding and elopement photos! 

William and Tricia’s wedding ceremony at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club took place in the enclosed rooftop deck of the Sunset Ballroom. We love this location for its huge, full-height windows that bring nature inside, while still protecting the party from winds off the bay. 

For ceremony music, the couple chose one of the absolute masters of piano composition Claude Debussy. The grandparents and bridal party entered to his Suite Bergamasque. L. 75: III. Clare de Lune. Then Tricia made her entrance to Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1. These are two stunning pieces of piano music, and ones we’d never played at a wedding before! Kent Island wedding DJ Steve always likes when he gets to play something unique.

After the couple said their vows and enjoyed their first smooch, they switched up the mood with Bruno Mars’ Marry You for their recessional. The guests then headed over to the open rooftop above the Tavern Ballroom for cocktail hour. They sipped their drinks to more piano music while taking in views of the Chesapeake Bay and Bay Bridge.

When it came time for the reception, the party had a short commute—just down the stairs into the Tavern Ballroom. We love this space for its warm, vaulted wood ceilings, big windows, and handsome wood bar. The wedding party’s entrance was to the tune of Touch the Sky by Kanye West. Then the newly-wedded couple made their entrance as husband and wife accompanied by Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1, also by Kanye.

The happy pair’s first dance was to John Mayer’s cover of Beyoncé’s XO. Then Tricia and her dad, and William and his mom danced to Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers.

After dinner, the couple included lots of wedding traditions at their reception! They did the classic bouquet toss, accompanied by Wannabe by The Spice Girls. For the garter removal, they played Tunnel Vision by Justin Timberlake. Cheeky! And for the toss, they went with Death of a Bachelor by Panic! at the Disco, which has a real old-school crooner vibe. Love it. Finally, they did an anniversary dance for all the married couples to Perfect Duet by Ed Sheerhan and Beyoncé.

Towards the end of the night, DJ Steve created one of the evening’s highlights. He did a mix of  Ni**as in Paris by Jay-Z and Kanye West with Sugar We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy and it was LIT. The whole dance floor loved it, especially the bride! 

The last song of the night was XO by Beyoncé, as a great throwback to the couple’s first dance earlier in the night. We had such a great time at William and Tricia’s gorgeous wedding on Kent Island—one of our favorite places to celebrate. 

Let our team of wedding DJ pros bring the right vibe to your special day, whether that’s in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC. Fill out our short online form to get started!

All images by Evergreen Photo

Bethany & Mike’s Rose Hill Manor Wedding │Leesburg, VA

Bethany and Mike combined a classy, timeless venue with a thoroughly unique playlist for a wedding all their own. Read about their music choices & amazing photographer!

Leesburg’s Wedding DJ Service
Jordan Solender

Bethany and Mike’s Rose Hill Manor wedding in Leesburg, Virginia was a dance party extravaganza against the backdrop of a classy, historic mansion venue. The building’s traditional Georgian architecture feels thoroughly timeless, but this crowd was anything but stuffy! With a sprinkle of musical genres from country to pop punk, this was a group that knew how to have a good time. 

Photographer Lynn Dunston brought out the romantic side of the day. She’s particularly gifted at capturing the quiet, intimate moments of a wedding. She can make a couple look like they’re completely alone, even when they’re surrounded by people. It’s a gift! 

Bethany and Mike set up their venue a bit differently than most couples. We often see weddings with the ceremony outside in a lovely setting, followed by an indoor or tented reception. For their celebration at Rose Hill Manor, Bethany and Mike swapped things around. 

Their ceremony was held in the Grand Ballroom at the manor, where the stately columns and polished wood floors brought elegance and class to the occasion. Then, they headed outside for the tented brick patio for the reception where they could kick back and have a great time. It was a super smart way to get the best out of multiple locations at this stunning mansion.

While the guests gathered, DJ Jordan set the mood with string and piano music from groups like The Piano Guys. Then the bridal party and Bethany made their entrance to the Guitar Tribute Players’ version of Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy. After the ceremony, the couple set a much different vibe with Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne, which was a blast!

The wedding party and the bride and groom made their entrances into the reception tent to Mean to Me by Brett Eldredge. Mike and Bethany went right into their first dance, to the same song. Then Bethany and her father danced to What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, and Mike and his mom danced to My Wish by Rascal Flatts.

Once the dance floor was open, it was packed all night long. The playlist had an early 2000s-slant, with “must play” songs like: 

For the bouquet toss, no Shania Twain or Beyoncé here—instead, the couple went full hair band with Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me. For the last song of the night, Bethany and Mike went a different direction yet again, choosing With Arms Wide Open by Creed.

We had so much fun bringing Bethany and Mike’s playful music choices to life at their Leesburg, VA wedding, just across the Potomac River from Maryland. And we’d love to do the same for you!

If you’re planning a wedding, hit us up. Let’s talk about your wedding date, musical style, and how we can make your wedding a day to remember.

All photos by Lynn Dunston Photography

Julie & Roy’s Washington DC Wharf Wedding

A gorgeous river-front venue and a DC wedding DJ who saved the day! Get the details on Julie & Roy’s Dockmaster Building wedding at District Wharf!

Washington DC Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

When you’re throwing a one-day-only event like a wedding, sometimes adaptability and problem-solving is required. Is it raining? Well then your outdoor ceremony has to move inside, and the room might have to be flipped pre-reception. Wardrobe malfunction? Who has a needle, thread, and knows how to backstitch? Guitar player gets into a car accident on the way to the venue? Uh...

That’s exactly what happened at Julie and Roy’s April wedding. They hired a talented guitar player to provide live music during the ceremony...and he was in a wreck on the way to the venue. When the wedding planner told our own DC wedding DJ Steven Hartka about an hour before the ceremony was due to start, he stepped up to the plate. He downloaded the music that the guitar player had planned to play, and used his phone as a hotspot to make it work. Boom. Crisis averted. 

Julie and Roy’s wedding was held at the Dockmaster Building at the District Wharf in Washington, DC. Perched at the end of District Pier, this glass-wrapped building provides 270-degree views of the Washington Channel. The couple said their vows outside right on the water, under the building’s protective overhang. Erinne Losinio of E. Losinio Photography was on-hand to capture the magic. 

But what ever happened to that guitar player? Luckily he was okay, and he made it to the venue in time to serenade the couple and their 35 guests during cocktail hour. 

When the reception began, DJ Steve got the party started. With such a small group, there was no need to introduce the wedding party. Instead, there was a simple—but enthusiastic—greeting to the bride and groom to the tune of All You Need is Love by The Beatles. 

We see you back there, Steve.

For their first dance, Julie and Roy chose the Eva Cassidy version of What a Wonderful World. This version is often overlooked in favor of the more famous Louis Armstrong original. And while both are fantastic, it was nice to play a version that fewer people know. 

Next, Julie and her dad danced to The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra, and Roy and his mom danced to A Song for Mama by Boyz II Men. This is clearly a couple that loves the classics—and yes, A Song for Mama is a classic. 

The couple requested jazz and contemporary tunes for the dinner part of their reception, with songs like Let’s Do It by Ella Fitzgerald and I Only Have Eyes for You by The Flamingos. This kept the vibe relaxed and classy, perfect for such a gorgeous venue. 

Once the floor was opened up for dancing, however, things got a little rowdier. With a great genre mix including songs by Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Steely Dan, Outkast, Patty Labelle, and a lot more, things were hopping on the dance floor. The groom’s family was particularly enthused about disco hit The Groove Line by Heatwave.

Thank you to Julie & Roy for letting us create the musical magic on your special day! And special shoutout to DJ Steve who went the extra mile at this fantastic Washington DC wedding. 

PS. Check out some of our other favorite venues in DC!

Let us bring the same level of care and service to your special day! Book your wedding date with Maryland’s DJ—before it gets snapped up by someone else.

All photos by E. Losinio Photography

Callie & Daniel’s Backyard Seaside Wedding

Callie & Daniel planned to wed in Baltimore, but COVID changed their plans. Check out their beautiful seaside wedding on Kent Island instead!

Annapolis Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

A private seaside residence on a perfect May day with a small group of family and friends? Sounds like a pretty pleasant way to get married. 

While this wasn’t Callie and Daniel’s original plan, they—like so many other couples over the past year—had to be flexible. They had to change venues several times, as their planned locations cancelled all events due to the pandemic. In the end, the couple booked a lovely Airbnb on Kent Island where they could hoist a tent and have the waterfront wedding they wanted. Adaptability is key!

This gorgeous event at a private residence in Stevensville, Maryland was personal and intimate, with about 30 family members and close friends in attendance. Just the wedding party, their dates, and the couple’s immediate family were there to celebrate with Callie and Daniel. One of the benefits of a limited guest list is that it opens up so many venue opportunities, and makes sweet backyard weddings a possibility.

We’ve worked with a lot of wedding photographers over the years, and they each bring their own unique talents and vision to the way they see a wedding. Baltimore-based photographer Hannah Mink’s special gift has to be lighting. Her photos from Callie and Daniel’s wedding make it look like the whole day was aglow, and they’re truly wedding mag-worthy. 

Stevensville wedding DJ Steve knew that the ceremony music for this wedding would be string covers of some famous pop songs. So he decided to go with that same theme for the pre-ceremony music. Highlights included string covers of some songs by Dr. Dre which set a fun mood without being distracting.

The bridal party entered the ceremony site to a cover of Stand By My by the Stringspace Orchestra. If you’re looking for string covers for your wedding, Stringspace has lots of great ones! Callie then made her grand entrance to another cover, this time of Ed Sheeran’s Perfect by Brooklyn Duo. And after the vows were said and the tears were shed, the couple’s recessional song was to the upbeat guitar of I Will Always Find a Way by Sheffield.

For cocktail hour, some couples have very specific requests, and some just go for DJ’s choice. Callie and Daniel were somewhere in the middle. They requested music “along the lines of The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, [and] John Mayer” to keep the mood folksy and relaxed. This gave DJ Steve plenty of info to work with to make sure the vibe was right.

After cocktail hour, Callie and Daniel entered the reception tent to Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede. Then they had their first dance as husband and wife to Make You Feel My Love by Adele. After that, the party was off! This may have been a small group, but they sure didn’t lack energy or enthusiasm for the dance floor. 

For the last song of the night, they went with the ol’ classic Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. Good times never felt so good (so good, so good, so good)!

We are currently booking weddings for the 2022 wedding season, and we’d love to be at yours! Fill out our online form to check about date availability and start planning the soundtrack to your big day.

All photos by Hannah Mink Photography

Pre-Ceremony Music: Choose Well and Set the Tone

Here are some tips to help you choose pre-ceremony music that fits in with the rest of your big day. Choose live, pre-recorded, classical, or contemporary.

DJ Thoughts
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Couples often spend a lot of time thinking about their wedding ceremony music. Processional and  recessional songs are high on the list of musical priorities. But pre-ceremony music often gets short shrift in the long list of decisions to be made. We encourage you not to settle for any old thing, but instead to make intentional choices to set the tone for your special day. 

Here are some ideas that you can use for inspiration when choosing your own pre-ceremony music.

String Quartet Optional

Many couples default to the string quartet, either live or pre-recorded. We love a string quartet! But there are other instrumental choices that you can make that will still be classic, and will also be more unexpected. 

How about an acoustic guitar duet? Or a single harp? Get swingy with a small jazz trio. You could also go big with a full orchestra. (If it's pre-recorded, we mean. No one expects you to hire the local philharmonic to trudge up a hill to your ceremony site.) 

Photo by Dani Leigh Photography 

Brett & Maggie’s Wedding at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

Also keep in mind—there's no rule that says you have to go "unplugged" pre-ceremony. An instrumental rock band could also be an excellent and intriguing choice. Or, just pick some of your favorite songs and ask your wedding DJ to play music in a similar style!

Classical Music vs. Contemporary Music

Going with a classic string quartet or even a solo piano doesn't mean you have to choose classical music. You certainly can if you like—there's a reason classical music is, well, classic. 

Recently, a bride we're working with was inspired by the series "Bridgerton" on Netflix for her pre-ceremony music. The show plays string covers of contemporary Top 40 hits, which is a great way to give current audiences some context for the music of the era. After all, the Regency ballroom was basically the dance club of its time! Our bride wanted to do something similar for her pre-ceremony tunes, and we were happy to comply.

This is a really fun way to keep the music classy but not classical. You can pick instrumental covers from a single artist with an extensive catalogue like the Beatles or Beyonce, or just choose a selection of assorted contemporary hits. 

This advice holds true for your ceremony music, too!

Consider the Transition

When choosing your wedding prelude songs, think about the transition into your wedding party processional. There should be a clear, but not jarring, transition from pre-ceremony music to processional music. 

A good way to transition smoothly is to choose music from a similar genre, or with similar orchestration. If your processional song is piano and guitar, your pre-ceremony music could be piano and violin, or simply guitar. 

Photo by Dani Leigh Photography
Brett & Maggie’s Wedding at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

Give Them Something to Listen To!

Whatever you choose, make sure you choose something! No one wants to arrive at an event and sit in silence for 20 minutes. If you don't have a DJ playing music for your ceremony, you can still put together an awesome playlist to provide a little entertainment. Plan for at least 30 minutes of music, but 45 would be even better in case you get started a few minutes late.

If you need help selecting fun or romantic songs for your pre-ceremony time, we can help! Our team are pros at choosing wedding songs for all parts of your big day. 

Header Photo by Dani Leigh Photography 

Allie & Pete's Shadow Creek Wedding

Allie and Pete said their vows looking across northern Virginia’s wine country. Get the details about this stunning barn wedding and Pete’s surprising talent...

Leesburg’s Wedding DJ Service
Steve Hartka

We are officially knee-deep in 2020 wedding reschedule season! We know that last year was hard on our couples, having to postpone after all of their hard work and planning. But we’re so glad that those weddings are finally starting to come to fruition. 

One of those reschedules was Allie and Pete’s wedding at Shadow Creek in Purcellville, Virginia. This barn venue sits on over 200 acres of rolling farmland in Loudoun County. From their vantage point, you can see for miles across northern Virginia’s famous wine country. 

The weather was touch and go for a bit on Allie and Pete’s big day. Fortunately, they had Stephanie from SRS Events coordinating their wedding. She kept a close eye on the forecast, and made the call to start the ceremony a bit early. And it’s a good thing. Just as it was ending, the rain started to fall.

The photographer for the day was Jennifer Bosak of Jennifer Bosak Photography. Just like us, she’s fitting two wedding seasons into one this year, but she has handled the workload with grace!

The bridal party’s processional took place to The Piano Guys’ cover of A Thousand Years. Then Allie’s grand entrance began. For her song, they chose Yoke Lore’s banjo folk cover of Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden, which is just gorgeous. 

This song choice is a great example of just how specific you can be with which parts of your song you choose to play and when. Allie and Pete wanted Allie to be walking during the chorus of the song. So they asked for the doors to be opened when the vocals start 17 seconds in. Then, they told DJ Steve to get through the chorus and fade out. A good DJ can follow this kind of specific direction to make sure you hear just the right parts of a song. 

The reception for Allie and Pete’s wedding was inside the venue’s stunning 300-seat barn. With all that wood, barn venues can be a bit dark inside. No risk of that at Shadow Creek. Their huge open barn is not only lined with windows all around to let the light in, but they also painted two of the walls and the roof behind the raw beams a bright white, which keeps the space feeling airy and luminous. 

For the bridal party’s celebratory reception entrance, Allie and Pete chose Kygo’s cover of Higher Love. Then the couple had their first dance to Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga from “A Star is Born.” For the parent dances, they chose the classic What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

How often does the groom do a live performance at a wedding? When the groom is a Souncloud rapper, then the answer is always. Pete (aka Texas Pete) performed his song Tesla for at the reception and got everyone hyped. At the end of the night, Allie and Pete were sent off in a cascade of sparklers. It was a fitting end to a glowing day.

If you’re planning your wedding for 2022, we can help! Not only can we provide pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception music, but we can help you select your music as well. Plus, we offer custom event lighting and photo booth packages. Fill out our online form to reserve your date!

All photos by Jennifer Bosak Photography

Steve & Erica’s Rosy Antrim 1844 Wedding

Happy couple Steve & Erica said “I do” among the roses at Antrim 1844. Learn about their song choices and the surprising special guest at their Maryland wedding.

Frederick Wedding DJs │Music, Lighting, Photo Booths
Steve Hartka

It’s hard to say what month is prettiest at Maryland wedding venue Antrim 1844, but May is certainly a contender. The roses are blooming and the temperatures are still comfortable. At Erica and Steve’s Friday wedding in mid-May, the high was in the low 70s—perfect wedding weather! 

Antrim 1844’s Katie Coon made sure everything ran without a hitch. She’s the Special Events Manager at the venue, and she keeps all of the details organized so the couple can just enjoy their special day. Samantha of Samantha Jean Photography was also on hand to capture the  picture-perfect day. With these two pros on the team, along with videographer Josh Goodman and Maryland wedding DJ Steve Hartka on the scene, this wedding was in good hands.

For Erica’s entrance to Antrim 1844’s lush Rose Garden, she and Steve chose Can’t Help Falling in Love by Haley Reinhart. Is it sacrilege to say we like this version better than Elvis’ version? Maybe, but we’ll risk it. After the ceremony, things got upbeat with Marry You by Bruno Mars. 

When cocktail hour out in the garden was over, the party moved to the reception area—a beautiful white tent out on the grounds. The couple made their grand entrance to Hall & Oates’ You Make My Dreams Come True, which never fails to get big smiles (and major The Wedding Singer vibes.)

For their special dances, Erica and Steve chose a really nice combo of songs. Their first dance was to I Am Yours by Andy Grammer. Then Erica and her mother danced to You Say by Lauren Daigle. The lyrics are all about being seen and supported even when you don’t think you can measure up, and it beautifully reflects the unconditional love a parent has for their child. Steve and his mom finished out the formal dances to Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw. 

For the bouquet toss, Erica went with some pure 90s female empowerment by the legendary Shania Twain, with Man I Feel Like a Woman

Fun fact: did you know that the video for Man I Feel Like a Woman is a parody of Robert Palmer’s 1985 video for Addicted to Love? People got upset about Palmer’s video in the 80s because the “band” is made up of nearly identical women in matching outfits with dead expressions on their faces—and it was a bit objectifying. Twain played with a little role reversal by having her (all male) backup band dress in matching outfits and express the same blank faces. Checkmate, Palmer.

Steve and Erica are clearly a fun-loving couple. Not only did they have their pups involved in their day, festooned with garlands of greenery, but they also invited a special guest to their reception—Slapshot, the mascot for the Washington Capitals hockey team.

After a sparkler exit at 10:30pm, Steve and Erica disappeared into the night, to start their married life as husband and wife. 

We love weddings at Antrim 1844, and we have plenty more planned over the summer! If you’re getting married at this classic venue—or anywhere else in Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, or the surrounding area—we’d love to be there to spin the tunes and provide fun facts about them. What can we say? We’re music nerds.

Fill out our super quick online form to get started with your Maryland wedding DJ!

All photos by Samantha Jean Photography

Denissa & Conner’s Hilltop Bash - Rochelle VA Wedding

See the stunning views at Denissa and Conner’s Rochelle VA hilltop wedding! DJ Ryan got to groove to the couple’s unique music choices and everyone had a blast.

Northern Virginia Wedding DJ
Ryan Carr

The panoramic views from the ceremony site at Denissa and Conner’s May wedding were un.be.lievable. This beautiful couple said their vows atop a hill at Renback Fall at Falk Farm in Rochelle, VA, in front of a sweeping vista of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was like something out of a fairy tale. Or a movie. Or a fairy tale movie. 

Renback Barn is a 27-acre property located within the larger Falk Farms’ 300-acre expanse. It has a huge lawn for all your guests, plus a massive rustic barn where you can hold a reception for up to 200 people. 

Denissa and Conner’s big day wasn’t quite that size, with COVID still on their minds. Instead, they gathered with closer to 50 friends and family, and had a spectacular time. 

Hannah Schones of Hannah Dawn Photography was on hand to commemorate the day with her beautiful pictures. They definitely did justice to the fantastic scenery!

Rochelle wedding DJ Ryan provided the music for both the hilltop ceremony and the barn reception. Some of the song choices for this event were ones we’d never heard before, which is always fun! 

The bridal party made their entrance to a piano cover of Oasis’ Champagne Supernova by Juniper Hanson, which we loved! Then Denissa made her entrance to a piece called Almost Idyllic by Sleeping at Last. It’s from the soundtrack of the film “Many Beautiful Things,” so it’s sweeping and cinematic, and fit the stunning landscape perfectly. 

After the ceremony was over, Conner and Denissa sauntered off the hill to class rock geniuses The Who and Baba O’Riley. We obviously know this classic, but we don’t hear it often during wedding ceremonies, so we were quite pleased.

After cocktail hour outside taking in those gorgeous views, the guests moved into the air conditioned barn for food and fiesta. The newly married pair made their grand entrance to Oh Honey by Delegation. If you’re not familiar with this funk and soul ballad from 1975, we recommend you check it out. 

For their first dance, the couple went back to a piano cover. This time, it was Pure Imagination (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) played by Wesley Keys. Then Denissa and her dad danced to The Way We Were/Try to Remember by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Her father made a slideshow to play along with their dance. DJ Ryan said it was the highlight of the night. After the slideshow, Conner and his mom danced to a cover of Landslide by Molly Parden & Hollow Hum.

There were a few more excellent song choices for the night. For the money dance, they chose Grover Washington Jr.’s Just the Two of Us. When it came time to cut the cake, they were accompanied by a cover of Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader.

And when it was time to say goodbye, they went big (band) with It’s Been a Long, Long Time by Harry James & His Orchestra. All of the music choices for this gorgeous, fun wedding prove that you don’t have to choose a single genre or stick to traditional “wedding music.” You can choose tunes you like from all genres to make your special day feel deeply personal!

Whether you know exactly what you want or need a little help with the tunes for your wedding, we can help. Give us a shout and let us know when we can play you down the aisle!

All photos by Hannah Dawn Photography

Elkridge Furnace Inn

Learn about this historic Elkridge wedding venue, and why this beautiful wooded spot on the Patapsco River is a must-see for Maryland couples.

Vendor Spotlights
Baltimore Wedding DJ
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If you: 

  • Love historic venues and big mature trees;
  • Are wild about locally sourced produce and upscale farm to table fare
  • Are looking for a beautiful but unfussy space that can be personalized just for you…

then you really need to check out the Elkridge Furnace Inn & Manor House in Elkridge, Maryland. 

The buildings on this property are old. One even dates back to pre-Revolutionary War! The Tavern (1744), Manor House (1810), and Brick House (1830) were actually in danger of being demolished until The Department of Natural Resources purchased the property to save it! Donna Wecker and her family provided the vision for the restoration and help run things day to day on this gorgeous property.

Since 1992, they’ve been feeding the Elkridge community, first as caterers, then as an onsite restaurant, and finally as a wedding venue. It’s a truly family-run business, with Donna running the sales and management, husband Chef Dan handling the food, daughter Genelle providing the pastries, and son Matthias helping out behind the scenes. 

We asked owner Donna Wecker to share some of her thoughts with us about what makes Elkridge Furnace Inn special, and some of the wildest things she’s seen in her years at weddings. 

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Tell us the story of your wedding venue! 

We have been making wedding memories for 27 years at the Manor, which is uniquely apportioned for weddings. Chef Dan's famous cuisine is one of the highlights — couples come back and say their guests are still talking about it! With our location right on the Patapsco River, most of our couples choose to share an outdoor ceremony with us. Our couples appreciate the way we personalize and customize their day.

Photo by Dani Leigh Photography

When our couples arrive, they are greeted and taken to either the Celebration Lounge or Celebration Suite for changing, sharing some bubbly, laughing and taking photos.  Then with our main Ceremony Point just above the banks of the Patapsco River, couples and their loved ones are enveloped within wild and tamed natural spaces for the nuptials.  The front yard and Manor House are gracious spaces for Cocktail Hour.  When guests are invited into the Celebration Tent, we line up the bridal party for announcements while excitement mounts.  After first dances and formalities are completed over a carefully chosen menu by Chef Dan, it’s time for uplights and a bit of unrestrained revelry on the dance floor. (Note — this is Maryland’s DJ’s time to shine!)

The large side yard allows guests to spill out to enjoy the chef's Kitchen Garden and other fruit trees and berries grown on this Farm to Table venue. There is a unique space for every aspect of Wedding Day and a team of professionals ready to make memories happen.

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

What is the most unusual or unexpected wedding you've ever had at your venue? 

We've had wedding rings delivered by a hawk and a dog ring bearer...who "misplaced" the ring.  It was finally found after many intense minutes. 

What's the wildest thing a couple has ever asked for?

That's a toss up between the adult-sized white bouncy castle or the wedding cake stand that hung from our tent rafters. 

What's the best "little kid moment" you've seen at a wedding?

Of course, we love our blended families and love them being part of the ceremonies.  But honestly, seeing the Flower Grannies meticulously tossing their petals before the grand entrance of a bride was priceless. 

What's one thing you wish people knew about running a wedding or event venue?

Just how much time and coordination it takes to pull off with staff who is mostly part-time!

Photo by Dani Leigh Photography

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

Thanks so much to Donna for sharing your gorgeous Elkridge wedding venue with us! If you’re getting married at Elkridge Furnace Inn, we can help you cut loose. Fill out our quick online form to secure your date.

Header Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

Allayne & Stephen’s Celebration at the Bay

Pasadena, MD wedding DJ Steve brought pop and country tunes together for Allayne & Stephen’s big celebration. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple.

Baltimore Wedding DJ
Steve Hartka

Allayne and Stephen’s wedding by the sea was a perfect way to spend a lovely day in April. The venue was the stunning Celebrations at the Bay in Pasadena, MD. It seems like no matter how many weddings we DJ in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia, we never get close to seeing all of the amazing waterfront venues! 

Celebrations at the Bay has three different ceremony and reception locations. Our couple chose the Tented Vista Ballroom, which includes a half-domed arbor on the waterfront for the ceremony. Draped with flowers and garland, it feels like a place where real life royalty would say their vows. 

The photographer for the day was Emily of EEG Photography. She caught all the fun of this happy day, from the “I do’s” to the dance floor shenanigans.

Pasadena wedding DJ Steven was on site to make sure everything went smoothly. He had a personal stake in this wedding—he went to the same high school as the groom, and played football with the groom’s younger brother. It’s a small world!

The bridal party entered the ceremony site to Speechless by Dan + Shay, and then Allayne made her entrance to the same song. They lightened things up for the recessional, with the song Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra. 

Note: Can you hear this song and not immediately think of Married With Children? I can’t, but I may just be showing my age.

After the ceremony, the 50-or-so guests at this intimate wedding headed over to the Tented Vista Ballroom. This pretty reception site has an outdoor feel, but the tile floor and temperature control keeps it comfortable for dancing in all weather.

The music choices for the evening were a combination of pop and country, starting with the grand entrances. The bridal party partied their way in (see what I did there?) to P!nk’s Raise Your Glass. But then things went country with Allayne and Stephen’s big entrance to Fire by Brett Eldredge. 

For the couple’s first dance, they chose My Best Friend by Tim McGraw. Then Allayne and her father danced to I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack, and Stephen and his mom chose You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins. There was one more special dance on the agenda—Allayne and her grandfather danced to Hero by Mariah Carey, which was a lovely tribute to a special man.

After that, we were all over the place! The Must Play list had a great blend of pop, funk, and country from a number of decades. A few of the choices that Pasadena wedding DJ Steve made sure to play were:

The last song of the night was Forever After All by Luke Combs, which made a fitting end to this country-loving wedding day.

But the weekend wasn’t over yet! The next morning, there was a big brunch for everyone at another one of our favorite venues, Elkridge Furnace Inn in Elkridge, MD. This is one of the many benefits to having a more intimate wedding! You can have a nice brunch or next day get-together with the whole crew. 

Whether your wedding music choices are country and pop, funk and soul, hip hop and R&B, or swing and showtunes, we can help put together the right soundtrack. Contact us today to tell us about your big day and let’s start planning!

All photos by EEG Photography

Winnie Dora Photography │Maryland Wedding Photographer

Meet Winnie Dora, talented Maryland wedding photographer and all-around awesome human. Learn what she thinks about weddings—and the one odd place she was asked to go.

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Maryland wedding photographer Winnie Dora Nham’s path to the industry was a bit different than most! 

She wasn’t a photographer’s assistant, a coordinator, or a designer. She was a musician! 

As a long-time violinist, Winnie spent seven years as a member of a string quartet that played at weddings across Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. As a wedding musician, she and her group played ceremony and cocktail hour music, so she got a behind-the-scenes look at how weddings were run. 

Outside of her quartet, she was (and still is) also an avid traveler, which led to her capturing her trips through photography.

Now, she’s the mastermind behind Winnie Dora Photography where she combines her love of weddings with her passion for photography. Winnie and her team shoot engagements, elopements, portraits, and wedding days. Her photo philosophy centers around a lifestyle approach, capturing candid and genuine scenes from life’s big moments.

Another wonderful thing about Winnie—she’s always willing to help. Whether that’s stepping in when another photographer becomes unavailable, or helping a bride-to-be decide what to wear for an engagement shoot, she takes her dedication to service to the next level. And that’s something that makes her stand out. 

We asked this talented Maryland wedding photographer to share her thoughts on weddings and the local venue scene. Here’s what she had to say! 

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

What’s your favorite venue and why?

I gravitate towards venues with a lot of historic and architectural interest. There are so many gorgeous venues to choose from in the DMV, but DAR Constitution Hall and Meridian House are among my favorites.

Meridian House. Photo by Winnie Dora Photography.

What’s your favorite thing about weddings?

Wedding days are one of the most joyous, emotional days of a person's life. That happiness manifests itself in different ways at different little moments for every couple, and it is so touching to see my couples realize how surrounded with love they are as their visions come to life on a wedding day. Being there to witness that joy and capture it is an honor I don't take lightly.

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

What’s the wildest thing a couple has ever asked for?

I once had a bride whose mother asked me to follow her EVERYWHERE. Everywhere, including...*drumroll* the bathroom. That was an interesting day!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen a member of the wedding party do?

Well, there may or may not have been a pool at the resort of a wedding I was at. The entire wedding party decided to jump in at the end of the night (including the bride and groom in full attire!). Does it count if I was part of said wedding party!? Haha.

What’s the best “little kid moment” you’ve seen at a wedding?

Literally, the little kids. I love when they run onto the dance floor and start dancing like nobody's watching (usually, everyone is). It cracks me up because sometimes they're dancing on their own before the festivities start, sometimes it's during an important moment like speeches or first dances...but it is always adorable.

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

What’s one thing you wish people knew about working at weddings?

The amount of time and energy that goes into shooting a wedding—both the lead into, the day of, and post processing after the wedding day. I think there's a common misconception that we simply show up, press a few buttons, and call it a day, but there's an incredible amount of planning that goes into a timeline, thinking about lighting and locations, and capturing couples in a way that is authentic to them as individuals. 

It can also be backbreaking work since you're running around on your feet with heavy gear, contorting your body to get “the perfect shot.” I spend at least an hour before and after each wedding stretching, foam rolling, and doing yoga to help counteract the physical toll it takes on my body! At the end of the day, it's all worth it for the couples we serve.

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

What’s the best speech you’ve ever heard?

I've heard so many speeches at this point that it's hard to remember specifics, but usually when someone starts crying I'm a total sucker and tear up as well. I also love speeches that don't go on forever, especially before dinner is served because everyone is hungry. 

(Can you tell I'm a wedding vendor? Haha!)

What’s your favorite wedding movie and why?

Bridesmaids! Such a solid laugh, every time.

What’s your best marriage advice?

After the wedding is over, it can be so easy to get caught up in the day to day practicalities (and annoyances) of existing together and life in general. Use your vows as a compass to steer you back to who you want to be as a couple when things go amiss.

Photo by Winnie Dora Photography

That is some world-class advice from a world-class wedding pro! 

To work with Winnie or see more of her beautiful photos, visit her website. And to reserve your wedding date with Maryland’s DJ, reach out today! We’re booking for 2021 and 2022, and we’d love to save the date for you!

Juan & Jessica’s Latin-Fueled Maryland Wedding

Central Maryland wedding DJ Steve brought the Latin spice to Juan & Jessica’s wedding! Held at historic Antrim 1844, this special day was classy and caliente.

Frederick Wedding DJs │Music, Lighting, Photo Booths
Steve Hartka

It was impossible not to get into the spirit of things at Jessica and Juan’s Latin-filled wedding day. With a ceremony out in the English Tea Rose Garden of lovely Antrim 1844 and a reception inside the historic mansion’s glass-enclosed pavilion, this April wedding took advantage of both the indoor and outdoor spaces in one of our favorite venues. 

Antrim 1844 is a Greek revival home that looks right out of another time—because it is. It was built in 1844 (hence the name), and has been lovingly restored by the owners who turned it into a stunning central Maryland wedding venue. DJ Steve always appreciates a chance to bring music to such a beautiful space!

Our happy couple on this beautiful April day was Jessica and Juan, two Latin-music enthusiasts who brought plenty of their favorite genre to the reception. 

But first, the ceremony. 

For the intro music out in the classic rose garden, the couple went with lovely, simple violin covers of a couple modern pop love songs. For the bridal party’s entrance, they chose Perfect by Ed Sheerhan. And for the bride’s processional, they selected All of Me by John Legend. Both covers were by the super talented violinist, pianist, guitarist, and who-knows-what-else-ist Daniel Jang.

Winnie of Winnie Dora Photography took all the photos on Juan and Jessica’s big day, from the classy ceremony to the epic salsa party after! The groom’s parents set the tone for the reception with their entrance to Colombia Tierra Querida by Juan Carlos Coronel.

In a reception space draped in mauve, white, gold, and pastel pink, Central Maryland wedding DJ Steve made the room glow with custom uplighting. After a lovely meal, toasts, blessings, and love all around, it was time to dance! 

And of course, their Must Play list included lots of Latin music! Here are a few of the highlights: 

(Incidentally, those last four are on our list of Top 12 Wedding Salsa Songs...see what else we chose!)

But it wasn’t all Latin. They also chose a couple wedding classics like September by Earth, Wind, and Fire, and the Y.M.C.A. by the Village People.

We had a great time at Juan and Jessica’s wedding. And it’s been amazing over the past few weeks to start celebrating with bigger crowds again. 

Whether you’re planning a rescheduled 2020 wedding, or you just got engaged this year, we can help. The team at Maryland’s DJ can help you choose just the perfect songs for your perfect day. 

Contact us to check our availability and get a demo of what we can do!

All photos by Winnie Dora Photography

Party with DJ Darian Granger │Maryland Wedding DJ

Darian has nearly 10 years of experience at weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers, engagement parties, boat parties, proms, homecomings, and more!

DJ Bios
Baltimore Wedding DJ
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Time to celebrate, folks. There’s a new DJ on the team! Darian Granger, aka DJ V-las, has joined Maryland’s DJ and we are pleased as punch to have him. 

Darian has been sharing vibes since before he even started DJing! He began by sharing his own mix tapes with friends (back when people still made mix tapes) that he called D-Mixes, so his buddies always had good tunes to listen to. When he got a bit older and started going to parties, he was always responsible for the music, picking each song on his iPod. 

Soon it was time to take things to the next level, and he sought out a professional DJ to teach him the real deal. He spent some time as a roadie, and eventually started taking on his own events. DJ V-las has almost 10 years of experience, and he’s both DJ’ed and MC’ed hundreds of events including birthday parties, weddings, fundraisers, engagement parties, boat parties, proms, and homecomings, plus working at bars and clubs. 

Darian says, “I truly enjoy and play ALL types of music so I'm always prepared for any type of event. I strongly believe that it's about what the client and crowd want to enjoy, not the DJ.”

Darian can do it all, from disco to country, classic rock to EDM, top 40 to house music, and more. And if you need something custom, talk to him about a remix or mashup of a couple of your favorite tunes. 

Outside of DJing, Darien is a fitness buff, and he’s a pretty big Marvel and DC fan as well. 

We asked Darian to share some of his thoughts on weddings, the art of DJing, and the songs he thinks are a bit overplayed. (But don’t worry, he’ll still play them for you!)

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

What makes a great DJ?

I pride myself in my knowledge of all types of music and combining different eras of music through transitions and mixing. I also love interacting with people during events.

What’s your favorite local wedding venue and why?

For DJ V-las, it’s more about a wedding venue type than one specific venue. He says, “I always enjoy a barn wedding venue. They seem to have a more laid back feel for both DJ and patrons.”

Photo by Valerie Michelle Photography

*A couple of our favorite barn wedding venues include Stone Ridge Hollow (pictured above), Rosewood Farms, and Pond View Farm.

What’s your favorite thing about weddings?

Always dance time. It’s the time in the evening all the guests come together and enjoy themselves.

If you were getting married this weekend, what would your first dance song be?

My first dance song if I were to get married would be Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?

The craziest thing I ever saw was a falcon that flew through the hall to deliver the best man's speech.

What’s the best “little kid moment” you’ve seen at a wedding?

I love seeing the little kids do the dances like they do on TikTok.

What's the most unique processional song you've ever played?

GDFR by Flo Rida. 😳

What do you think is the most overplayed wedding song?

All line dances.

What’s one thing you wish people knew about working as a DJ?

Not all DJs will deliver the same quality service. You always get what you pay for!

When you're not working, what kind of music do you listen to?

I love hip hop, pop, R&B and all music from the 2000s.

To get started working with Darian or one of our other awesome DJs on your must-play tunes, get in touch! All clients at Maryland’s DJ get unlimited planning sessions with their DJs, so you can ask all the questions and get everything set up just right.

The Maryland’s DJ 90s Music Playlist

If you grew up in the 1900s, you may want to harken back to your youth on your wedding dance floor. Here are some tunes you’ll want on your 90s music playlist.

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Okay, 90s kids, it’s your time to shine. 

This is the music many of today’s engaged couples grew up with. Millennials are between 25 and 40 as of 2021, which puts them at that average age for marriage. We know that when we start up a Backstreet Boys or TLC track, we’re going to be playing the bridal party and friends’ jams. 

As mostly Millennials ourselves here on the Maryland’s DJ team, it was tough to pick just a few songs each to add to this 90s playlist. But we persevered. So here are 12 of our favorites from this formative decade. 

Eat your millennial heart out.

DJ Steve’s Top 90s Songs

Believe by Cher (1998)

Cher’s dance-pop jam Believe introduced autotune to the masses. We’re not sure whether we should thank her for that, but the song is still awesome. 

P.S. Lenny Kravitz co-wrote this particular hit. 

What Is Love by Haddaway (1993)

It became legendary through Saturday Night Live and A Night at the Roxbury, but What Is Love was already a hit five years before the movie. It’s incessantly catchy and we love it.

Better Off Alone by Alice Deejay (1999) 

This Eurodance song includes exactly two lyrics: “Do you think you’re better off alone” and “Talk to me.” So it’s not going to win any lyric awards. 

But that synth melody and drum machine are so bouncy it does. not. matter.

DJ Brian’s Top 90s Songs

Santeria by Sublime (1996)

It’s not all synth and drum machines and dance music. Sublime combined reggae, rock, and hip-hop into something completely different. That first guitar riff on Santeria will get all the 90s kids hyped.

Hypnotize by The Notorious B.I.G. (1997)

The one. The only. The Notorious. Even people who aren’t into 90s hip-hop know and love Hypnotize.

This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan (1995)

This song was Montell Jordan’s introductory release. It sold a million copies, went platinum, and won Jordan a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Not too shabby for your first single. And it will get your dance floor fired up.

DJ Jordan’s Top 90s Songs

I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys (1999)

You can’t talk about the 90s without boy bands. Backstreet Boys took the boy band genre and exploded it into a mania that we wouldn’t recover from for over a decade. 

Actually…(checks BTS’ record sales)...maybe we still haven’t recovered.

No Scrubs by TLC (1999)

The ladies at the wedding will lose their minds when No Scrubs starts. We’ve seen it. Never fails. 

Backstreet’s Back (Everybody) by Backstreet Boys (1997)

Jordan wasn’t satisfied with just one Backstreet Boys song. He needed a second installment, so he went with a little tune called Backstreet’s Back (Everybody). It’s pretty obscure. You’ve probably never heard of it.

DJ Ryan’s Top 90s Songs

Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison (1996)

Inevitably, there will be someone on the dance floor who's been through a rough patch. Return of the Mack will help them get their groove back.

Rump Shaker by Wreckz-N-Effects (1992)

The earliest release on our list, Wreckz-N-Effects Rump Shaker holds over a bit of that late 80s hip-hop sound. 1992 was definitely the year of booty-themed songs—Baby Got Back came out that same year.

Another Night by Real McCoy (1994)

Another night, another dance-pop hit. This jam by Real McCoy is one that you may not recognize by the name, but everyone will know it when the music starts.

Working on a 90s music playlist for your wedding or event? The Maryland’s DJ team can help you pick all the hits in all the genres. Fill out our online form to check availability and start planning!

All photos by Glenn Clevenger III of I Live Art

See more photos from Mic & Corie’s wedding!

Fun 80s Songs to Bring to Your Wedding

Want to get the crowd riled up? The 80s were full of danceable songs and memorable hooks that will get your dance floor grooving.

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With synths and drum machines on one end, and stadium-worthy guitars on the other, the 80s were one of our favorite decades for music. Huge hits were coming from the U.S. and U.K., both from bands that would have long-established careers and some very memorable one-hit-wonders. 

We asked some members of our team to share three favorite songs of the 80s that they think you should request at your wedding!

DJ Steven’s Picks for Fun 80s Songs

Let's Go Crazy by Prince & The Revolution (1984)

We’re starting out on a high note. Everyone—and we do mean everyone—-loves Prince. And this particularly awesome 80s dance song is the party jam of party jams. Modern party anthem wannabes can only aspire to this level of greatness.

Don't You Want Me by The Human League (1982)

So it’s technically a breakup song, but we all just love to sing “Don’t you want me, baby?” loudly and badly. Also, you do you girl. Don’t stay in a relationship that you’ve outgrown. That guy just wants power over you. 

Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode (1981)

Another synth-jam, Just Can’t Get Enough is an iconic version of that new 80s dance sound and launched Depeche Mode into stardom. Plus, it’s a love song, so it’s totally wedding-appropriate.


DJ Brian’s Picks for Fun 80s Songs

Africa by Toto (1982)

It’s hard to put your finger on what makes this 80s song so great, but it just grooves, you know? The melody is super catchy, and even though most people mumble their way through the lyrics, everyone knows at least part of the chorus.

Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)

One of the most famous and catchy smashes of the 1980s is Come On Eileen. Everything from the riffs to the lyrics to the legendary video (not available on YouTube, unfortunately!) have been stuck in our collective unconscious since the song’s release nearly 40 years ago. Play this one at your wedding and everyone will get into it.

All Night Long (All Night) by Lionel Ritchie (1983)

Lionel Ritchie’s Caribbean-inspired vacation song All Night Long (All Night) is a chill-type of party anthem. It’s less “drink until you’re sick” and more “hey cool cats, let’s sip a mai thai and enjoy these sweet jams all night long.” We’re all about it.

DJ Jordan’s Picks for Fun 80s Songs

I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) by Whitney Houston (1987) 

We have unilaterally decided that no wedding is complete until this all-time favorite 1980s wedding song has played. There will be no send-off, no sparklers, and no decoration removal until we hear from the Queen of the Night, thankyouverymuch. 

Shout by Tears for Fears (1984)

When the DJ needs to give the crowd a breather but doesn’t want to play a super slow song, he can start-up Shout by Tears for Fears. Everyone knows the chorus and they can sing along in between swigs of something refreshing.

Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi (1986)

By the mid-80s, the hair bands had a firm grip on the decade’s music scene. Bon Jovi was a little less “glam” and a little more “rock” than some of their contemporaries, which may be why they’re the only band of the genre that is still topping charts. 

One of their biggest hits was Livin’ on a Prayer, which will get the entire dance floor sing-screaming “Whooaaaaa, we’re halfway there…”

Also, someone needs to tell Jon Bon Jovi that he’s 59 years old and has no business looking as good as he does. 

DJ Ryan’s Picks for Fun 80s Songs

Get Down On It by Kool & The Gang (1981)

At the start of the 80s, funk and disco were still riding the wave of popularity. Get Down On It has such a simple chorus that everyone can sing along.

You Dropped a Bomb On Me by The Gap Band (1982)

It’s clear that DJ Ryan has a soft spot for 80s dance songs that hold over some of that 70s sound. You Dropped a Bomb On Me combines funk with the up-and-coming 80s synth sound for one of their biggest hits.


Fun fact! The Gap Band was created by three brothers, and they named it for three streets in their hometown of Tulsa—Greenwood, Archer, and Pine.

Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart (1984)

Combining pop synth and rock guitar, this song is a jam even with lyrics that are a bit...odd. Does anyone know what this song is actually about? Regardless, the video won the first ever Video of the Year Juno award in Canada, so check it out!


Need more 80s jams on your dance floor? There are SO many good ones from this synth-heavy decade. Get in touch and start planning your wedding with Maryland’s DJ!

Photos by Emily Chastain
See more of Brock and Theresa’s wedding!

Maryland’s DJ’s Favorite 70s Dance Songs

Disco, soul, yacht rock, funk — the sounds of the 70s run the gamut. We’ve picked some of our top tunes from this funky decade to get your dance floor hustling.

DJ Thoughts
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The 1970s were a decade of soul, disco, yacht rock, and funk. The platform shoes were tall. The skirts were short. And the tunes were grooving.

We love the music from this era for its funky bass lines, plus the diversity of popular genres! Compare the jangly disco of ABBA with the smoooooooth hits of The Doobie Brothers with the upbeat funk of Earth Wind and Fire, and you get a feel for the sounds of the 70s.

Here are some of the Maryland’s DJ crew’s favorite songs from this happening decade!

DJ Steve’s Top 70s Dance Songs

Lowdown by Boz Scaggs (1976)

Boz Scaggs’ voice was one of the coolest in the game back in the 70s. His funk hit Lowdown always gets shoulders shimmying. 

Hollywood Swinging by Kool & the Gang (1974)

Kool & the Gang loved to boogie, and this song (with the ultra-famous intro that was sampled by DJ Kool for Let Me Clear My Throat in 1996) brings the funk.

What a Fool Believes by The Doobie Brothers (1978)

This jam by The Doobie Brothers was one of the few non-disco songs to top the charts in 1979. Michael McDonald’s voice is as smooth as Crisco and sweet as sugar.

DJ Brian’s Top 70s Dance Songs 

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor (1978)

Breakup songs aren’t always considered the “right” choice at a wedding or celebration, but this ode to female empowerment is an exception.

Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours by Stevie Wonder (1977)

From the second that “sitar-guitar” starts playing the descending scale in the beginning of this song, you know there’s good stuff coming. 

September by Earth Wind and Fire (1978)

This tune makes its way onto tons of wedding playlists, and it’s one that we never grow tired of. And if your wedding happens to fall on the 21st night of September, it deserves a special place in your big day.

DJ Jordan’s Top 70s Dance Songs 

We Are Family by Sister Sledge (1979) 

There aren’t many better songs to play at events with all your family and friends than Sister Sledge’s We Are Family — especially if there’s a close group of sisters or bridesmaids in the crowd.

Proud Mary by Ike & Tina Turner (1971)

Tina Turner didn’t write this tune — that distinction goes to John Fogerty. But when many of us think of it, we think of the icon Tina. She sloooooows down over “Rolling on a rivverrrr…” and then 


The sax starts, the energy picks up, and it’s time to hitch a ride on the riverboat queen. Classic.

Dancing Queen by Abba (1976)

It says it right there in the title. When this tune comes on, we’re all diggin’ the Dancing Queen.

DJ Ryan’s Top 70s Dance Songs

Le Freak by Chic (1978) 

Le Freak is an ode to Studio 54’s heyday and the glitz and grime of 1970s New York. It’s so firmly 70s disco that it’s practically polyester.

I’ll Be Around by The Spinners (1973)

Soul was alive and well in the 70s, as evidenced by The Spinners’ I’ll Be Around. And as a wedding song, it’s a hit. It’s got a mellower energy than some of the other tunes on this list, and gives the couple a chance to remind each other that, “Whenever you want me, I’ll be around.” 

Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees (1977)

If you took a poll asking people to pick a song that encapsulates the 1970s, we bet quite a few would choose the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive. All you have to do is strut when this jam comes on to feel like a million bucks.


Need to bring a little boogie to your party? The team at Maryland’s DJ can help. Fill out our online form to get your date booked and start planning!

Photos by George Street Photo & Video

See more of Matt & Christine’s wedding day!

Our Favorite Dance Songs of the 1960s

We dig the dance songs of the 60s for the slick vocals and major nostalgia. Add a couple of these crowd-pleasers to your wedding’s must-play list!

DJ Thoughts
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There’s no two ways about it—the 1960s had some fantastic dance songs. Music from the 60s makes an awesome, crowd-pleasing addition to your wedding playlist. The songs are danceable and upbeat, they’re clean and family-friendly (for the most part), and pretty much everyone in the crowd from kids to grandparents will know them. 

We asked our DJs to pick a few of their favorite dance songs of the 1960s. Choose a few to add to your “must play” list, or just tell your wedding DJ that you like upbeat tunes from this great decade for music and let them take it from there.

DJ Steve’s 1960s Song Picks

Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (1967)

From the second that jangly xylophone starts chiming, you know you’re in for a treat. Just dare your guests not to belt out “Ain’t no mountain highhhhh enough!” when it gets to the chorus. 

Uptight (Everything's Alright) by Stevie Wonder (1966)

This earlier Stevie Wonder tune sometimes gets forgotten in the wake of his 1970s mega-hits like Superstition and Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours). But this upbeat song with its happy lyrics is totally danceable.

My Girl by The Temptations (1965)

Could these guys be any smoother? This song is a wedding hit on the dance floor, plus it makes a sweet father/daughter dance choice.

DJ Brian’s 1960s Song Picks

I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye (1968) 

Marvin Gaye’s recording of I Heard It Through the Grapevine wasn’t the first version of this classic, but it’s DJ Brian’s favorite and it’s one of the best-known.

I Want You Back by the Jackson 5 (1969) 

I Want You Back may be an odd song to be recorded by a 10-year-old lead vocalist, but that didn’t stop Michael Jackson and his 4 older brothers from creating a massive hit. 

Twist and Shout by The Beatles (1963)

Fun fact time! Ever wonder why John Lennon’s voice sounds so different on this famous recording? Almost like he’s struggling to get the notes out? That’s because he was. This track was made after 12 solid hours of recording by The Beatles, and Lennon’s voice was practically gone. They knocked out a single take, and that’s the version we all know and love.

DJ Jordan’s 1960s Song Picks

Respect by Aretha Franklin (1967) 

No self-respecting list of 1960s bangers would leave out the Queen of Soul. And honestly, a wedding isn’t a bad time to remind the people in your life of the kind of treatment you deserve.

Your Love Keeps Lifting Me (Higher and Higher) by Jackie Wilson (1967)

It’s been proven by science that it’s impossible to have a bad day after listening to this ultra-happy dance song of the 1960s. From the tambourine to the sax to Jackie Wilson’s falsetto, everyone will be singing this tune to their “one in a million girl.” 

Runaround Sue by Dion (1961)

This song is an absolute toe-tapper. And after hundreds of weddings, we can guarantee that it will get the crowd more animated than the stiff, mannequin-like people in this video. It’s like they directed the audience to look as bored as possible. Weird.

DJ Ryan’s 1960s Song Picks

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops (1965)

Covered by everyone from The Supremes to Dolly Parton to La Toya Jackson, nothing can top the original! 

This Old Heart of Mine by the Isley Brothers (1966)

Upbeat, romantic, and totally danceable, This Old Heart of Mine is everything we love about tunes from the 1960s.

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg by The Temptations (1966)

The Temptations get a second entry on this list (and they could have several more) with Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. Begging never sounded so good.

Start with these tunes, and if you need more help with a bopping 1960s dance floor playlist, we can help! Maryland’s DJ offers its couple unlimited planning sessions, so we can answer all your questions and make sure your playlist is packed with danceable songs of the 60s and more. Contact us today to get on our schedule and start planning.

Photos by Love and Adventure Photography

See more pictures from Melissa and Nicholas’s Wedding!

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