Our Staff at Work: Get to Know the Hurricane Productions Team!

New Jersey couples have a lot of options when they're choosing their wedding vendors, especially when it comes to media and entertainment. There are countless independent photographers, videographers, and DJs out there, all with great reputations and comparable pricing. But when you hire the Hurricane Productions team, you get just that: a team of dedicated people all committed to making your wedding day the most memorable event of your life.

If you're not familiar with Hurricane Productions, here's an inside look at how we work (and play) together as a team.

1. We've got strength in numbers.

During our 15-plus years in business, we've developed a strong talent network that allows us to provide several essential event production services under one roof. With five full-time staff members and more than a dozen contractors, the Hurricane Productions team has greater availability than most other vendors in our space. This means we can work multiple events on the same date, and can often accommodate last-minute booking requests.

2. We all work together regularly.

Many Hurricane couples choose to bundle entertainment, photography, videography, lighting, photo booths, and other add-ons for their wedding day. Aside from the obvious benefit of streamlining payment for these services (and the bundled discount we offer), the biggest advantage of bundling services is getting a team of wedding professionals who already know each other well. Whether we're behind the DJ booth, the camera, or the lighting equipment, there's a good chance your wedding team has worked an event together before (or at least hung out together off the clock!). No need to worry about the photographer and videographer stepping on each other's toes, or missing your favorite song on the dance floor because you were outside taking pictures: Our team knows how to communicate and coordinate with each other to ensure a smooth event.

3. We have a wide range of specialties.

We are constantly seeking the best and most diverse talent in the industry to join our team. This means there's a greater range of personalities, specialties, and work styles for our clients to choose from when booking our services. Any married couple can tell you how important it is to feel comfortable with the people working your wedding, and we can make sure you're matched up with the ideal DJ/MC team, photographer, and videographer for your day.

4. The Hurricane Productions team is like a family.

What sets us apart from other companies is the fact that we're like a family. Despite our individual differences, we work, grow, and learn together with every single event we produce, from weddings and Sweet 16s, to sporting events and award shows, to the annual Rutgers Dance Marathon.

Our ultimate goal is to serve our clients by creating beautiful memories of their celebrations. Like a family, we welcome each of our clients into the fold, treating their special day like it was our own.

Want to learn more about our all-inclusive wedding packages? Visit our pricing page or request a quote for more details.

Contact Us!

If you would like to receive booking information or would like to make an appointment please contact us using the form below.

Event Request Form

Event Information

Your Information

How to Work With Your Wedding Photographer

Your wedding photographer is one of the most important vendors you'll choose.

While your photographer has tons experience shooting weddings, it's important to coordinate and plan with them in the weeks and months leading up to your event. Communicating with them and scheduling a final consultation before your day is essential.

What Song Should We Choose for Our Wedding Highlight Video?

Modern wedding videography is all about the highlight video -- a three to five-minute clip featuring the most important moments of a couple's day. While your feature-length formal edit (typically 60 to 90 minutes) is an incredible keepsake for you and your new spouse, your wedding highlight video is perfect for sharing on social media or sending to family and friend s who couldn't attend your celebration.

While your videographer will review, select, and edit footage for your highlight reel, you'll have to choose the song that plays in the background. This is where many couples get stuck: How can you narrow down just one piece of music to capture the essence of your wedding day?

Hurricane Productions includes a wedding highlight video in all of our videography packages, so our couples often ask us for guidance on what song to choose as their soundtrack. There really is no wrong answer, but as a general guideline, the song you choose should be personal and meaningful to both of you, and reflect the tone and mood of your celebration. Here are a few simple ways to narrow down your song options.

How to choose your wedding highlight video song

We recommend choosing a song you associate with a special or memorable moment from your wedding day. The music you select should also reflect the overall mood of your event. Depending on what your ceremony and reception were like, you may feel it's most appropriate to choose a slow and romantic song, a happy and upbeat song, or an eclectic song that really lets your unique personalities shine through.

Some great options for your video soundtrack include:

Your first dance song

You chose your first dance song because it means something to you. Why not use it as the soundtrack for your highlight reel? When you watch your video, you'll instantly recall the happy memory of your first dance as newlyweds, while enjoying some of the other wonderful moments from your wedding.

Your ceremony processional or recessional song

Many modern couples think beyond the traditional Wedding March for their ceremony and choose a more unique song to play as they walk down the aisle. If you used a special song for your ceremony, it might be a great choice for your highlight video.

Your grand introduction song

One of the most exciting moments of your wedding reception is when your DJ introduces you to your guests as a newly married couple. Relive that excitement over and over again by choosing this song as the soundtrack for your video.

A special request song you asked your DJ to play

Couples who choose Hurricane Productions for their entertainment use our online planning portal to request certain songs for the DJ to play at their reception. After your wedding, review your request list and see if any of those songs stand out as one that you want to play as you watch your wedding memories.

A song you loved dancing to at your reception

Maybe your DJ played a song that you didn't specifically request, but absolutely loved dancing to with your new spouse. Songs like this are great candidates for your highlight reel soundtrack.

'Your song'

Nearly every couple has a song (or multiple songs!) that they feel defines their relationship. If you didn't get a chance to incorporate one of "your" songs into your wedding day, consider using it for your video.

Popular songs for wedding highlight videos

If you're still not sure which way to go for your highlight reel soundtrack, here's a list of some popular song choices, as well as a few unique songs from recent Hurricane highlight videos.

  • "At Last" by Etta James
  • "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley
  • "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You)" by Marvin Gaye
  • "Marry You" by Bruno Mars
  • "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
  • "Everything" by Michael Buble
  • "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri
  • "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele
  • "All of Me" by John Legend
  • "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran

Real wedding highlight videos by Hurricane Productions

Brittany and Shawn - "You & Me" by Dave Matthews Band

Christina and Jesse - "Heaven" by Avicii

Corrine and Jovi - "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers

Shannon and Greg - "Came Here For Love" by Sigala and Ella Eyre

Monica and Michael - "(Nothing But) Flowers" by Talking Heads

Can't decide between two? Ask Hurricane Productions to help you edit them together seamlessly for a one-of-a-kind wedding highlight video. No matter which song(s) you choose, you're sure to end up with a sentimental, visual keepsake of your wedding day.

Need wedding day entertainment, photography, or videography services? Check out Hurricane Productions' all-inclusive wedding packages or request a quote to confirm our availability for your day.

Renting The RAC at Rutgers? We Can Help

Events at
The RAC

The Rutgers Athletic Center, better known as The RAC, has been the home of Rutgers basketball since it opened more than 40 years ago.

Today, the space is being use for more than just athletics events.

The 8,000-seat arena has hosted a variety of other university events, including wrestling matches, gymnastics meets, and the annual Rutgers University Dance Marathon.

But you don't have to be organizing a Rutgers event to host at The RAC.

This facility is available for public rental throughout the year. With its drop-down video board, LED boards and signs, and full air-conditioning system, the RAC is ideal for trade shows, speaking events, concerts, and other special events that require a large space.

If you're looking to rent The RAC for an upcoming concert, trade show, or other event, you'll likely need some help from outside vendors. The Hurricane Productions team are experts in this space, and we'd love to help you bring your vision to life.

What can Hurricane do
for your Event at The Rac?

We provide a full range of individual audio visual (AV) solutions, as well as full event production through our sister brands MediaCutlet and CaneAV.

Sound System Rental and Production

Professional Audio Systems

AV Support for Events at The Rac

Audio Mixing and Control

IMAG Display Screens Projector Rental AV

IMAG, Displays, and Screens

Event Video Services

Professional Event Video

live

Event Live Streaming

Professional Stage Lighting Design

Event Lighting Design

Professional Stage Design Services

Staging and Stage Design

3D Rendering Floor Plan for Events

Layouts & 3D Floor Plans

Hosts and MCs for Events at The RAC

Event Hosts and Emcees

DJ Entertainment for Events at The RAC

DJs & Music Programming

Content Creation for Event Marketing

Custom Content Creation

Event Registration Website Design

Registration & Ticketing

Why hire Hurricane to produce your event at The RAC?

  • We've produced more than 25 events at the RAC since 2013, including Dance Marathon.
  • We're familiar with the space and understand the ins and outs of its video and LED technology.
  • We're deeply embedded in the Rutgers community – our founders and many of our staff are RU alumni!
  • If your event requires tables and chairs, tents, staging, or other rental items, we have a strong working relationship with trusted vendors like Miller's Rentals.
  • You'll have direct communication access to our staff before, during, and after your event, as well as 24/7 access to our online planning and payment tools.

Our work at Rutgers Athletic Center

Here are just a few of the events we've worked on at The RAC over the last six years:

  • Rutgers University Dance Marathon – A Hurricane staff favorite, Dance Marathon is a 30-plus hour fundraiser for the Embrace Kids Foundation. Each year, we provide professional support and consultation for this event, including social media, video production, entertainment, marketing, and advancement.
  • Athletic Events – We've provided DJ entertainment, MC announcements, lighting, and other event production services for RU sporting events. Most recently, we helped introduce wrestlers at the USA Wrestling Final X Series at The RAC.
  • Awards Programs – Hurricane has helped Rutgers Athletics produce numerous awards banquets and programs with AV setup, stage design, projection mapping, and more.
  • Convocation – We've provided AV services at annual convocation ceremonies for some of Rutgers' individual schools.

Need AV or event production services for your next event at Rutgers Athletic Center? Fill out the form below with your upcoming event information to learn more about how Hurricane Productions can help.

Event Request Form

Event Information

Your Information

Long Engagement? 4 Reasons to Take Your Time With Wedding Plans

One of the first decisions you'll have to make as a newly engaged couple is your wedding date. You can't start booking vendors without it, so you and your spouse-to-be have a big question to answer: Do you fast-track your wedding plans or go for a long engagement?

According to Brides.com, the average American couple is engaged for 12 to 18 months before they tie the knot. Some couples only wait a few months to get married, while others extend their engagement to two years or longer. There's no right or wrong answer; it all depends on what you and your fiance want for your big day.

The case for a long engagement

That being said, there are a few distinct advantages to a long engagement. After all, there's no need to rush the wedding -- you two will have the rest of your lives together! Even if you want to get legally married right away, you can still take your time planning the perfect reception for your family and friends. Here are some good reasons to consider stretching out your wedding plans.

1. You can take your time on the big, important decisions.

When you're on a time crunch, you may end up rushing big decisions and settling for a location, vendor, or dress you're not completely in love with. With a long engagement, you'll have plenty of time to research and visit venues, and interview vendors for your big day.

2. You can book your vendors early.

Popular wedding vendors, including venues, photographers, videographers, and DJs, often book up over a year in advance. If you have your heart set on a particular place or service provider, setting a date far in advance means there's a better chance your dream vendor is available for your wedding.

It's also important to note that wedding vendors and banquet halls may raise their prices year after year. Booking early means you'll lock in their current rates and get the best deal possible.

3. You'll have more control over your wedding budget.

Another financial advantage of a long engagement? You can better manage your wedding budget. All the little expenses, like decorations, wedding party gifts, and hotel gift bags, can add up quickly. The further in advance you set your wedding date, the more time you'll have to save up for the things you really want.

When you're able to spread out your payments, you may also find that you have room in the budget for those "nice to have" elements you weren't sure you could afford when you first got engaged. You can set aside money each month so that as your wedding gets closer, you can go back to your vendors and request that fancy dessert station, photo booth, or lighting upgrade.

4. You can take the time to truly enjoy your engagement.

There are so many exciting events that happen during a couple's engagement. Instead of trying to cram an engagement party, a bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette weekends, and the wedding day into a single year, you can spread them out and make the wedding excitement last all the way up to your big day. Perhaps more importantly, a long engagement means you and your fiance will have plenty of time to appreciate each other, strengthen your relationship, and figure out your plans for married life.

We're here to support you throughout your entire wedding planning process, no matter what your timeline is.

Couples have booked Hurricane Productions anywhere from a few weeks to a few years before their wedding day. Whether you choose a short or long engagement, we are here to make your wedding planning process as smooth as possible.

When you book one of our all-inclusive wedding packages, our full-time support staff can help you create the wedding you've always envisioned. You'll also receive access to our convenient online planning portal, where you can fill in your wedding details, plan your timeline, request music, and make payments on your own schedule.

Ready to book your wedding entertainment, photography, and videography? Fill out this short form or contact us directly to get a quote and confirm our availability for your date.

Top Greek Wedding Dance Songs

HASAPIKO

(TRADITIONAL)

Afti e nyhta menei
Agape mou, pios sou’pe tetia pragmata Armanaki
Dari, Dari
E Trata mas e kourelou
Eimai sta “high” mou
Fiye, fiye
Kapatan Andrea Zeppo
Komotries
Ksekina mia Psaropoula Maria me ta Kitrina
Matia mou, matia mou
Matia san kai ta dika sou Melahrinaki
Modistres kai komotries
Mpikan ta gidia sto mandri Ntiri-ntak-ntak, ntiri ntiri ntak-ntak
Pali ego tha erhoume
Pali Portes Ktipas
Pare to Trainaki
Pios moro mou, pios
Romios, Agapise Romia
Sala, sala, mes sti sala
Se psili rahoula
Siko horepse koukli mou
Siko pano, katse kato
Ta ‘ho hamena
Tha paro mia psaropoula
To louloudaki tou vounou
To moro, to moro, to moro
To Santonak

 

TSAMIKA

Aginara me ta ngathia Enas Aetos
Ilio
Itia

Itia (sta chondra, instrumental) Kano Petra tin kardia
Kovo Mia Klara
Na ‘san ta neiata dio fores Papalambrena

Poulaki xeno, xenihtemeno Poulia mou diavatari
Ton Amaranto

 

TSIFTETELIA

Belly dance in Dmi
Saleas tsifteteli
Stratos’ tsifteteli
To bouzouki mou ehei kaifi To santonaki

 

ZEMBEKIKA

Aliti M’eipes mia vradia Den Pao Pouthena
Enas Mangas sto Votaniko Evdokias

Kai Pao, pao, pao Mia Molivia Nyhta Kselogiastra O Aetos

Pare oti thelis, Paliatzi Stin Alana
Stin Elefsina
Ta angela ftera

Ti eimouna yia senane To Ayalma
To Vouno

SYRTO

(FAST HASAPICO)

Vasilis Karras - Astin na leei
Dakrizmeni zitas tin ayapi mou Eksonterthia
Leye oti thes, leye
Me lene Yioryo
Me xehnas
Moro mou
Mou ‘heis kanei Mayia Paranomia agape mou Phenomenon
Pitsirika
Pou Girnas
Pros kremos
Se youstaro poli
Tha tis Perasi
Then me katalaves pote
Ti sou Ftaiei
Tilefonise mou
Yia ta lefta ta kanies ola
Zilevo, zilevo

 

KALAMATIANA

Mantili Kalamatiano
Mou paringile t' aidoni
Ola ta poulakia
Kori pou pas ston potamo
Tin agapi mou tin apothimissa
Thalassaki mou
Dio Kardies
E manna mou me dernei Gerakina
I Thiva ehei omorfes Manousakia
Mantili Kalamatiano Mavra Matia sto potiri Mou Parigele Taidoni
Na Haris ta Matia Sou Orai pou einai I Nifi mas Palamakia, palamakia Samiotissa
Skali kale mou skali
To diko mou paplouma Tria Pedia Voliotika Vangelitsa Mou

4 Historic Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Venues

Forget winter -- Wedding Season is coming.

New Jersey is home to some impressive historic castles and mansions, so why not host your wedding at a venue that looks like it's straight out of Westeros?

Millions of Game of Thrones fans are currently following the eighth and final season of the popular HBO series.

If you and your fiance are among them, you might be thinking about how to incorporate elements of the show into your big day.

While you can certainly add other GoT details to your invitations, attire, and decor, the right location can create an atmosphere that truly brings the Seven Kingdoms to life. Check out a few of our favorite New Jersey Game of Thrones inspired venues perfect for any wedding.

 

Waterloo Village

game of thrones wedding venue nj, waterloo village

New Jersey state park or the Westeros countryside? Waterloo Village, a restored 19th century canal town in Stanhope, is a perennially popular wedding venue. This little slice of history is nestled in Allamuchy Mountain State Park along the Musconetong River.

Its gorgeous natural backdrops are reminiscent of some of GoT's filming locations in Iceland and Croatia. Waterloo also offers tons of amazing photo opps in front of its quaint historical mansions, stone buildings, and bridges.

Castle Wedding Venues in NJ

The Legacy Castle

game of thrones inspired wedding venue, the legacy castle nj

The Legacy Castle has a lot in common with Riverrun, the ancestral castle of House Tully. Surrounded by two lakes and the Pompton River, this Pompton Plains venue boasts beautiful water views and decor fit for royalty.

Beyond the castle's impressive entrance way and white stone exterior, you'll find exquisite details from a bygone era: wrought iron railings with gold leaf detailing, chandeliers with cascading crystals, multiple indoor and outdoor fountains, and a beautifully landscaped courtyard.

Epic Wedding Venues in New Jersey

Lambert's Castle

lambert's castle, game of thrones wedding nj

The aptly named Red Keep in King's Landing is built of red stones and sits atop a hill, just like Lambert's Castle. This museum and library is located on Garret Mountain and overlooks the city of Paterson. Owned and maintained by the Passaic County Historical Society, the castle dates back to the 1890s, when it served as the residence of silk industry mogul Catholina Lambert.

Unfortunately, Lambert's Castle recently stopped renting out its facilities for private parties. However, if you're getting married nearby, you can still get a permit to take wedding photos and video inside the castle and on its gorgeous historical grounds.

Castle Weddings in NJ

Pleasantdale Chateau

weddings like game of thrones in new jersey, Pleasantdale chateau nj

Like House Martell's Dorne region, Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange was, in part, inspired by the architecture of Seville, Spain. The entrance hall of the venue's magnificent Fountain Room is lined with colorful,17th-century Portuguese tiles imported directly from Seville.

The exterior of the Chateau was modeled after Norman architecture, a popular style of many 11th and 12th century European castles and cathedrals. Pleasantdale Chateau also features lush greenery and landscaping, not unlike the Water Gardens of Dorne.

NJ Castle Wedding Venue

Already found your wedding venue? Give Hurricane Productions a call to book your wedding entertainment and media services. Visit our pricing page or request a quote for more details on our all-inclusive packages.

Contact Us!

If you would like to receive booking information or would like to make an appointment please contact us using the form below.

Event Request Form

Event Information

Your Information

Picturesque Spring Wedding Venues in New Jersey

It's not hard to see why springtime marks the beginning of wedding season. When you're surrounded by blooming flowers and lush greenery around every corner, spring wedding photos can be exceptionally gorgeous. Plus, outdoor photo shoots are much more pleasant before New Jersey's humid summer heat kicks in!

If you're planning a spring wedding in the Garden State, you've got a lot of options for gorgeous venues. No matter where in New Jersey you live, there's a nearby location with the perfect backdrop for your big day. Here are five of our favorite NJ spring wedding venues.

Rutgers Gardens (New Brunswick)

 

Many Hurricane staffers are Rutgers University alumni. As a result, we work with a lot of couples who met during their time at RU. If you and your sweetheart are Scarlet Knights, what better place to get married than the place you fell in love? Located on the Rutgers-New Brunswick Campus, Rutgers Gardens hosts wedding outdoor ceremonies and receptions throughout the year. Whether you choose the Roy DeBoer Evergreen Garden or the Art Rudolph Sun and Shade Garden, your wedding photos will be filled with stunning florals and greenery.

Shadowbrook (Shrewsbury, NJ)

 

Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury is an incredible venue for any time of year, but a spring wedding at this historical Monmouth County estate lets you take full advantage of its 18-plus acres of natural beauty. After you travel up the maple tree-lined drive to the property, you'll find an elegant, historical mansion, an outdoor ceremony space with rows of gorgeous flowers, and countless opportunities for photos and videos in front of the venue's flawless landscaping.

The Spring Lake Manor (Spring Lake, NJ)

This beautiful wedding venue dates back to 1901 and was recently renovated to "preserve its unique character." In addition to its elegant exterior, Spring Lake Manor features a private outdoor courtyard with a fountain and a brick waterfall out front. Want beach photos, too? The Manor is just a few short blocks from the shore.

Clarks Landing (Point Pleasant)

Clarks Landing is one of our favorite Jersey Shore wedding venues. You can have your outdoor ceremony overlooking the Manasquan River, and then head out to the docks for a romantic photo shoot. Even if the weather isn't ideal for outdoor photos, Clarks Landing offers some amazing indoor shots:. Its Grand Ballroom has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water.

The Water Witch Club (Highlands)

If you want the best of New Jersey's outdoor views in one location, look no further than the exclusive Water Witch Club. Situated on one of the highest points of the eastern seaboard, this one-of-a-kind venue is surrounded by the Sandy Hook bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the New York City skyline. The Water Witch Club's official event season runs from April through October, so if you want to book one of its limited spring wedding weekends, you won't want to delay.

Planning a New Jersey wedding? Let Hurricane Productions provide your entertainment, photography, and videography services. Check out our pricing page to view our packages, or request a quote for more details.

 

Wedding Lighting and Your Reception: Why Venue Lighting Design Matters

You've booked your wedding venue, chosen your color scheme, and picked out your centerpieces and floral arrangements. The look and feel of your reception is coming together – but have you considered wedding lighting?

Good lighting is the difference between an ordinary ballroom and your wedding reception. With uplighting to match your colors, spotlighting for your introductions and first dance, and customized visual displays, your venue will be elevated and transformed into a unique space designed just for you and your guests.

A lot of couples overlook wedding lighting when they're planning their big day, but you don't want to skip this important element of your reception. Here's why you should ask your venue and entertainment team about lighting options for your wedding.

Set the mood with the right wedding lighting

What kind of emotions do you want to evoke on your wedding day? Romance? Fun? Playfulness? Excitement? Intimacy? This is where well-placed uplighting and spotlighting come in.

Uplighting typically involves soft white or colored lighting to change the style of the room and set the tone for your wedding. For evening celebrations, it helps your guests transition from the brighter lights of the venue's lobby into the more romantic, intimate space that is your reception. For daytime receptions, uplighting can enhance or replace any natural daylight that may be coming into the ballroom.

Spotlighting can help keep your guests focused on the most important moments and elements of your reception. For instance, spotlights during your grand entrance, special dances, toasts, and cake-cutting will draw guests' eyes to the right place, while strategically placed lights can showcase your floral arrangements, wedding cake, and other décor elements. Intelligent spotlights, which can be programmed to move and adjust, can help create a club-like or "party" atmosphere when guests are out on the dance floor, too.

When you meet with your venue's event coordinator, you'll want to ask about the ballroom's existing lighting options (dimmers, zones, etc.) and where your focal points (head table, dance floor, cake table, food stations, etc.) will be placed during the reception. This will help your wedding lighting designer figure out the right strategy for uplighting and spotlight placement.

Wedding lighting helps your other vendors, too

You probably already know that photography and videography turn out best when you have the right lighting. Spotlighting and uplighting in your venue can greatly enhance your reception photos and video footage. Your first dance will look magical and ethereal with a spotlight shining on you. The colors of your decorations will pop in photos. Every detail and special moment will simply look better on camera when the room has well-designed lighting.

Our wedding lighting options

Hurricane Productions can do more than just get people on the dance floor at your wedding. Our talented lighting designers will ensure that the mood is perfect with the right visual elements. Here's a breakdown of the lighting design options we offer as part of our wedding services:

Intelligent Spotlighting

Our lighting designers will control an intelligent spotlighting system at your reception. It's perfect for introductions and toasts, and can double as lighting for your dance floor. This option is available as a free upgrade to our Request Entertainment Package, and comes standard with our Spotlight Entertainment Package.

Full Venue Uplighting Design

Our battery-powered, wireless uplighting can be placed anywhere in your reception venue. One of our lighting designers will fully customize the lighting in the color and style of your choice, ensuring that your lighting matches the overall décor and ambiance of your wedding. Uplighting design is available as an upgrade to any of our wedding packages.

Custom Visuals and Name-in-Lights Monogram 

These wedding day upgrades add another touch of personalization to your wedding reception. With our Visuals Package, our team will create a custom monogram animation, photo montage presentation, and social media streaming of your wedding hashtag, all displayed on two LED screens. Our Name-in-Lights option lets you display a highly detailed, customized design directly on the walls of your venue.

Projection Mapping

Want to kick off your reception in a spectacular and memorable way? We can create a custom projection mapping display synced with the music of your choice for your grand entrance into the ballroom.

No matter what kind of atmosphere you want to create at your reception, well-designed lighting can help you achieve it. Talk to us about your wedding day vision, and we'll help you turn it into a reality.

Ready to book media and entertainment services for your wedding day? Visit our pricing page or request a quote for more details.

What Is the Appropriate Amount to Tip My Wedding Vendors?

Your DJ has just played the final song of the evening at your wedding reception. Your guests are all getting ready to head home (or to the afterparty!), but before you follow them out, you decide to make the rounds and thank your vendors with a tip.

While wedding vendor tipping is never required, it is often customary in the service industry (and always appreciated). If you loved your DJ, photographer, videographer, or anyone else who helped coordinate your wedding, it's kind and classy to show your gratitude with a small bonus for a job well done.

With so many different wedding expenses, it can be tricky to determine the right amount to give each of your vendors. Follow this handy guide to help you figure out the appropriate tips for your various wedding service providers.

Wedding vendor tipping: What do most people give?

Most wedding vendor tipping standards are based on a percentage of your contract amount. If you decide to follow these guidelines, it's a good idea to have all the numbers in front of you a few weeks before your big day so you can calculate and prepare your tips ahead of time. You'll also want to review your wedding contracts carefully to see if a gratuity was already built into the final price. This is common for transportation services and wedding venues (a service charge is typically included to cover the tips for your wait staff), but not for other types of vendors.

Wedding reception staff

  • Amount: 15 to 20 percent of the contract, if gratuity was not included
  • When to tip: At the end of your reception, usually handed to the maître d'

Wedding officiant

  • Amount: $100, or a donation to their church (if applicable)
  • When to tip: At the rehearsal dinner (if present) or after the ceremony

DJ or band

  • Amount: $100 to $200 per entertainer, or 15 to 20 percent of the contract
  • When to tip: At the end of the reception

Photographer

  • Amount: $100 to $200 per photographer
  • When to tip: At the end of the reception

Videographer

  • Amount: $100 to $200 per videographer
  • When to tip: At the end of the reception

Limo/transportation

  • Amount: Around 15 percent of the contract, if gratuity was not included
  • When to tip: At the end of the evening when they drop you off

Other wedding vendors you may want to tip include your hair stylist, makeup artist, delivery drivers for your flowers or wedding cake, wedding planner, and bartenders (if their tip wasn't included in your catering contract).

How to present a tip to your wedding vendor

Traditionally, wedding vendor tips are given in cash, enclosed in an envelope. Often, one of the couple's parents or someone in the wedding party is responsible for delivering the tip, so the newlyweds don't have to worry about it at the end of the evening. However, some couples prefer to give the tip themselves so they can chat with their vendors and thank them personally.

Don't want to carry around envelopes of cash all night? Some vendors, including Hurricane Productions, will gladly go digital and accept tips through services like Venmo or PayPal. You'll definitely want to confirm that other vendor accept electronic tips, but if they do, it can be an excellent alternative to the awkward envelope hand-off. Sending a tip quickly and securely through your phone means you never have to worry about misplacing the tip envelopes or giving the wrong tip to the wrong vendor.

Your wedding day team takes pride in their work and wants to ensure that you and your guests have an amazing experience. If they've delivered that, let them know it and say thanks with a tip (and a smile!).

If your budget is tight and you can't afford a big tip, you can also express your appreciation through a handwritten or emailed thank-you note and/dor positive online review of the vendor. This can go a long way and even encourage new business, so feel free to tell the world if you loved your wedding staff.

Hurricane Productions offers a full suite of wedding day services, including DJ entertainment, photography, and videography. Visit our pricing page for package details, or request a quote for your event.

New Jersey Wedding Inspiration: 4 Gorgeous Waterloo Village Weddings

There's something truly magical about Waterloo Village weddings. Maybe it's the natural beauty of Allamuchy Mountain State Park. Maybe it's the quaint, historical charm. Either way, it's hard not to fall in love with this rustic and romantic wedding venue.

Located in Stanhope, New Jersey along the Musconetcong River, Waterloo Village transports you back to a simpler time. This perfectly preserved 19th-century canal town has a working mill, a general store, a blacksmith shop, an active church, and beautiful historic houses -- all of which can serve as gorgeous backdrops for wedding photos.

Hurricane Productions has worked countless Waterloo Village weddings over the years, and we're always thrilled for the opportunity to come back. There are countless indoor and outdoor photo opportunities around every corner of the village's nearly 70 acres, making Waterloo Village a photographer and videographer's dream location. Although it's particularly beautiful in the fall, this venue is the perfect choice for any season. No matter what the time of year, you're guaranteed to capture stunning wedding memories here.

If you're considering Waterloo Village for your big day, check out these videos from a few of our recent Waterloo Village weddings to get some inspiration. These highlight videos showcase the grounds and buildings on this historical site from all angles, including some breaktaking aerial shots.

Lara & Dustin

Brandon Perera and Tyler Ajamian shot Lara and Dustin's September wedding.

Jess & Matt

Jess and Matt's October wedding was filmed by Phil Shvartsman and Tyler Ajamian.

Allie & Richard

Corynn Egreczky and Tyler Ajamian captured Allie and Richard's November wedding.

JoAnna & Ron

JoAnna and Ron's December wedding was filmed by Markus Robinson and Phil Shvartsman. The couple opted for our Cinematic Angles Videography package.

Planning a wedding in the tri-state area? Hurricane Productions offers a full suite of media and entertainment services for your big day. Learn about our all-inclusive packages on our pricing page, or request a quote for more details.

Hosting an Engagement Party? Here's Why You Should Hire a DJ

So you just got engaged. Before you and your fiance get into serious wedding planning mode, you decide you want to throw an engagement party to celebrate the happy news with your closest friends and family.

Although engagement parties are usually more low-key and informal than the wedding itself, there's still a lot of planning that goes into it. Depending on your budget, you may be thinking about what to do for entertainment to ensure your guests have a great time.

Hurricane Productions offers DJ and MC entertainment services for all special occasions, including engagement parties. If you're about to start planning yours, here are a few good reasons to consider booking a DJ for an engagement party.

Your guests will enjoy live entertainment.

If you're hosting your engagement party at a private venue or banquet hall, you'll probably want some background music while your guests enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner with you. Sure, you can make a Spotify playlist and hook up a speaker, but a DJ will be able to take requests and mix in real time, creating a unique experience for your guests. DJs are also generally more affordable than live musicians or bands, which are popular alternatives for engagement party entertainment.

It's a good chance to give your wedding DJ a test run.

Entertainment can make or break a wedding, and there's no better way to see how your DJ and MC interact with a crowd than watching them in action. By hiring the same DJ company for your engagement party and your wedding, you can give your DJ a "test run" for your wedding reception to confirm your decision and make sure they're a good fit for your guests.

You might be able to save money.

If you haven't already booked your wedding DJ, consider hiring Hurricane Productions for both your engagement party and your wedding day. We love bundling services for our clients, and for a limited time, we're offering a discount to clients who book entertainment for multiple wedding events.

Thinking about a photo booth for your engagement party? We can help you save money there, too: When you book an entertainment package, you'll receive a discounted rate on our attended open-air or enclosed photo booths. A photo booth is a great way to keep your guests entertained when they're not on the dance floor -- plus, they'll have a fun souvenir of your engagement party to take home!

Contact us or request a quote to check availability on your dates and learn more about our entertainment services and add-ons.

Gorgeous Winter Wedding Venues in New Jersey

Spring and summer may be the most popular seasons for weddings, but some couples prefer a winter wonderland for their big day. Whether or not there's snow on the ground, celebrations held during the colder months can be just as beautiful as any other time of year. Winter weddings in New Jersey can be particularly gorgeous, especially when there's sparkling frost, evergreen trees, and warm lights in the background.

If you're getting married in or near New Jersey next winter, these local venues can provide the perfect setting for your wedding photos and videography.

The Graycliff

The Graycliff in Moonachie, NJ is an sophisticated venue with tons of photo opportunities. Here you'll find a stunning outdoor gazebo with sculptures and decorative wrought iron roof, a stone waterfall wall, and lush gardens. In addition to several well-decorated bars and ballrooms, The Graycliff also offers a bright, airy greenhouse with atrium-style windows. No matter where in this venue you hold your ceremony and reception, you're sure to get a picture-perfect backdrop.

Real Wedding: Samantha and Michael


James Ward Mansion

Known to some as the "best kept secret" in Union County, James Ward Mansion is the very essence of class and elegance. It has spectacular 24-foot ceilings, fireplaces, spiral staircases, and gold-gilded architectural detail, and its sky-lit garden atrium room includes a working fountain. For more wedding photo and video opportunities, step outside the mansion and take a walk around the charming town of Westfield.

Real Wedding: Brianna and Dan


Martell's Waters Edge

The Jersey Shore may not be your first thought for a winter wedding, but Martell's Waters Edge offers a breathtaking view of Barnegat Bay all year round. Located in Berkeley Township, this waterfront venue has a private garden for ceremonies and a pier for outdoor photos. In the Main Dining Room, you and your guests will enjoy panoramic views of the bay. Waters Edge only hosts one wedding at a time, so you'll be sure to get personalized attention and service on your big day.

Real Wedding: Alexa and Armando


Waterloo Village

One of the most popular wedding venues for all seasons (it's on our fall venue list, too), it's easy to see why so many New Jersey couples choose Waterloo Village. Located within Allamuchy Mountain State Park in Stanhope, NJ, this centuries-old canal town offers countless scenic views, including the Musconetcong River, an outdoor pavilion, and impressive historical buildings. The natural beauty of Waterloo Village is only enhanced by a fresh blanket of winter snow.

Real Wedding: Allison and Richard


The Arts Ballroom (Philadelphia)

Just a stone's throw from Southern New Jersey is the City of Brotherly Love. The Arts Ballroom is nestled in the heart of Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts District, giving couples the opportunity to explore the city for their wedding day photo and video shoots. Inside the venue is more than 10,000 square feet of customizable space that can accommodate up to 550 guests. The Arts Ballroom's granite staircase, Grand Ballroom, mirrored Sylvania Room, lounge, and mezzanine are all excellent backdrops for your wedding day memories.

Real Wedding: Erica and Michael

If you've booked your venue and are ready to hire your DJ, photographer, and videographer, get in touch with us! Hurricane Productions offers all-inclusive wedding service packages for your special day. Request a quote for more information and availability.

Why You Should Book Your Wedding DJ and Videographer As a Team

After you and your fiance choose your wedding date and venue, your next step is to start booking your other vendors. At the top of the list for many couples are selecting a DJ, a photographer, and a videographer -- and sometimes, this means dealing with up to three different companies.

At Hurricane Productions, you can book your DJ and MC, videographer, photographer, lighting designer, ceremony sound, and more, all under one roof. While you can certainly hire us for individual wedding day services, we highly recommend combining your entertainment and videography packages.

Why pairing up your wedding DJ and videographer makes sense

It might seem like your wedding DJ and videographer won't have much interaction throughout your day. The entertainment team operates from behind the DJ booth, while the videographer moves around capturing the most important moments of your wedding events. However, booking these two services together offers a huge advantage, both to you and your vendors.

They already know each other.

It takes a lot of different people and moving parts to make a wedding happen. All your vendors have to talk to each other to coordinate the day from set up to break down, and miscommunications can sometimes throw a wrench in the process. Hurricane Productions staff members know each other and are already comfortable working together. Chances are your entertainment team and media team have already done a wedding or two together, so they know how to communicate and make an event run smoothly and efficiently. Each side can plan ahead and stagger their breaks, so neither your DJ nor your videographer misses a single important moment of your wedding.

They both have access to the same wedding timeline.

Your entire Hurricane event team has access to the wedding timeline you create in our online planning portal. This means that, when the big day arrives, your wedding DJ and videographer will both be working from the exact same schedule. This becomes incredibly important if any last-minute changes to your timeline occur. Imagine if your DJ was about to start the music for your grand reception entrance, but didn't realize your video shoot outside the venue was running behind. Your Hurricane videographer can send a quick text to the DJ and MC to ensure they wait until everyone is ready and in place.

Your wedding video will have crystal-clear audio.

Poor quality audio can really detract from a beautifully shot, cinematic wedding video. That's why, whenever possible, we have our videographers plug into our DJ setup to record the microphone feed and music. Your wedding film will not only only look great, but it will have crisp, clear audio straight from the source. No need to worry about the videographer's camera mic cutting out parts of your vows or your best man's toast!

You'll save money by bundling services.

We understand that hosting a wedding is an enormous investment. That's why we offer a discount to couples who book multiple wedding day services through Hurricane Productions. The money you save by bundling your DJ and video packages can go toward another part of your wedding day budget, or give you a financial boost as you begin your life as newlyweds.

Ready to book your wedding media and entertainment services? Hurricane Productions offers a variety of packages and add-ons to suit your needs and budget. Learn more on our pricing page or request a quote for more information.

Battello Is Back! Check Out Our Favorite Jersey City Wedding Venue

Since it first opened in 2014, Battello has been one of Jersey City's most popular restaurants and event venues. Its convenient location, top-notch cuisine, and unparalleled views of the New York City skyline made it a go-to destination for couples seeking a scenic New Jersey wedding spot with an urban vibe.

Like many of those familiar with this Jersey City wedding venue, we were devastated when Battello abruptly shut down in September 2017 to make safety-related structural repairs. Hurricane Productions has worked several Battello weddings in the past, and we loved the unique, industrial atmosphere and incredible event staff.

A few weeks ago, we heard the news all Battello fans were waiting for: The venue has officially reopened its doors. According to its website, regular dinner service is now available, with lunch and brunch service resuming in mid-February. That means the first new-and-improved Battello wedding isn't far behind.

Why choose Battello as your Jersey City wedding venue?

If you're among the many recently engaged couples who are planning a 2019 or 2020 New Jersey wedding, you may want to consider Battello as a venue option. Known for its nightlife and live entertainment, this waterfront establishment is easy to access from both New Jersey and Manhattan. It offers several unique spaces to host your special day, whether you want a small, intimate dinner reception or a cocktail-style party with hundreds of guests. Whatever you're looking for in a wedding venue, Battello is likely to offer it.

We wish Battello's owners and events team all the best as they make their grand re-entrance into the New Jersey wedding scene!

Need to book media and entertainment services for your upcoming wedding? Request a quote for more details on our wedding service packages.

Yes, You Need to Plan Out Your Wedding Timeline

When you hire a wedding vendor, one of the first things they'll ask you about is your wedding timeline. A clear, detailed sequence of events allows everyone involved in your big day to understand exactly where they need to be and when.

But your wedding timeline involves more than just the start and end times for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. You need to break down every step of your day -- from wedding party preparations to your final dance -- to keep everyone moving and on track. While your photographer, videographer, MC, and venue staff can help with this, you and your fiance need to work out a plan for each of these vendors to follow.

What does a wedding timeline look like?

Your wedding timeline is a list of specific time blocks set aside for each event throughout your day. The more detailed your timeline is, the more likely you are to stay on track.

Below is an example of a wedding timeline. Not every couple's timeline will look like this, as many modern brides and grooms choose to omit or reorder certain "traditions" during their reception. However, this list should give you an idea of what the average wedding day looks like:

  • 1:00 pm: Photographer and videographer arrive to capture wedding party preparations.
  • 3:00 pm: First look
  • 3:30 pm: Wedding party and family portraits
  • 4:30 pm: Couple portraits
  • 4:45 pm: Guests seated for ceremony
  • 5:00 pm: Ceremony
  • 5:30 pm: Ceremony ends / cocktail hour begins. Additional photo and video shots with couple.
  • 6:30 pm Cocktail hour ends / guests seated in reception room
  • 6:40 pm: Wedding party introductions
  • 6:50 pm: Newlywed grand entrance and introduction
  • 7:00 pm: Couple and parent dances
  • 7:15 pm: Toasts
  • 7:30 pm: Dinner served
  • 8:30 pm: Cake cut and served
  • 9:00 pm: Open dance floor
  • 11:00 pm: Final dance/couple's grand exit

A well-planned timeline is very important for keeping your vendors on schedule, but the biggest benefit is eliminating a huge source of stress for you on your wedding day. Your vendors are professionals, and with your plan in hand, they'll be able to facilitate seamless transitions from one event to the next, while you two enjoy your celebration.

Can our vendors help us with our wedding timeline?

Yes! When you book Hurricane Productions for your wedding, you'll have access to our easy-to-use online planning portal, which allows you to customize your wedding timeline exactly the way you want it. This will ensure that your Hurricane DJ, MC, photographer, and/or videographer all have access to the exact same information and can coordinate with each other ahead of time.

If you're struggling to plan your timeline and need some guidance, our full-time staff members are available to help you every step of the way. Our general manager, Chelsea, assists every single Hurricane client in their planning process, and can give you some insights on how other couples have structured their wedding day. You can also speak directly with your media and entertainment team to get their thoughts and come up with a plan that works well for everyone.

Your vendors can also help you with any day-of changes to your wedding timeline that may arise. Let's say you decide that morning that you really want to get a certain photo or video shot that you didn't plan for. You can discuss it with your media team to see where else during the day you can fit that shoot in. Similarly, if you realize right before the reception that you'd rather scrap the planned bouquet and garter toss, just let your MC and DJ know and they'll add a few extra tracks to the playlist.

Do we need to include every traditional wedding element in our timeline?

Your wedding timeline is your own. There's no rule saying you need to have a first look (although we highly recommend it!), nor do you need parent dances, a formal cake-cutting ceremony, or anything that doesn't feel like "you."

Your family, friends, and vendors can certainly make suggestions, but ultimately, it's up to you to decide what you do and don't want to include in your wedding day events. Just be sure that whatever you do want to happen, gets a spot on your final wedding timeline.

Haven't booked your wedding day entertainment, photography, or videography yet? Check out Hurricane Productions' all-inclusive wedding packages or request a quote to confirm our availability for your day.

Cannabis Wedding Trends to Incorporate Into Your NJ Wedding

Cannabis has been a hotly debated issue in recent years, and as more states vote to legalize recreational use, it's no surprise that so-called "weed weddings" are becoming hugely popular across the nation.

As of January 2019, more than half of the United States allows for medicinal marijuana use, and recreational use is fully legal in 10 states plus the District of Columbia. More states – including New Jersey – are expected to follow suit this year, so it's highly possible that some 2019 and 2020 weddings in the Garden State could incorporate cannabis.

In legal-use states, the annual Cannabis Wedding Expo has set the bar for industry vendors that want to help weed-friendly couples celebrate their big day. As more of the country says yes to recreational marijuana, here are a few cannabis wedding trends you're likely to see in the near future.

Cannabis Wedding Trends NJ Couples Can Jump On Now

Give a nod to cannabis on your big day with these subtle incorporations.

Cannabis Plant Bouquets and Décor

One of the easiest (and least controversial) ways to incorporate cannabis into your wedding is in your bridal bouquet, floral arrangements, and other décor. Get some fresh cuts of cannabis plant to add to your greenery for a bright, natural look. You can even add some cannabis leaves to your wedding cake to tie the theme together.

Wedding Party Gifts and Guest Favors

While you can't get high at your New Jersey wedding reception just yet, you can show your love of cannabis through your favors. Personalized pipes, match boxes, and even small packages of rolling paper are all thoughtful gifts for your cannabis-consuming guests. As an alternative, you might consider gifts that contain the non-intoxicating compound CBD, which can be found in cannabis lotions, oils, and edibles. CBD-infused products provide all the benefits of cannabis (including muscle relaxation and reduced anxiety) without the potent high you'll get from products containing THC.

Hemp Attire and Cannabis Leaf Accessories

For the cannabis-consuming couple who's looking for a much more understated approach, your best bet may be attire made of hemp (think dresses, ties, and anklets) or adding cannabis leaves to your wedding day accessories.

Trends for Future New Jersey Weddings

These next few trends might have to wait until New Jersey legalizes recreational cannabis use, but are good to keep in mind if your wedding happens post-legalization.

Infused Edibles

Cannabis-infused olive oil and butter are becoming more popular in the edibles market. If you're having your wedding reception catered by a third-party vendor, consider asking for an "infused" food station of dishes cooked or garnished with cannabis, such as flatbreads, pasta, and soup.

Cannabis Cocktails

Alcohol is already a staple at most wedding receptions, so why not add a little cannabis to the bar selection? Cannabis-infused mixers like tinctures, syrups, and creamers can make it the star of your signature wedding drink.

Open Cannabis Bars

Having an outdoor wedding reception? Consider hiring a "budtender" to serve 21+ guests a selection of gourmet cannabis strains, including low-dose edibles. Like a regular bartender, your budtender will be a knowledgeable professional who can help you and your guests achieve a safe, responsible high. If you or your guests are sensitive to THC, you can also consider strains that contain more CBD.

Dedicated Cannabis Consumption Areas

While some venues allow for cannabis use throughout the establishment, couples that can't find a cannabis-friendly location can set up a dedicated area near the reception for guests who want to discreetly consume or smoke during the wedding. Limos or party buses are also a viable option for this purpose.

Planning a New Jersey wedding? Check out Hurricane Productions' all-inclusive media and entertainment packages on our pricing page or contact us for a quote.

Wedding Trends: Cannabis, Brunches, Minimalism and More

Someone tagged you in this post because you're engaged and planning a 2019-2020 wedding. It's time to get to work : Set a date, pick a venue, book vendors, find your dress, etc.

Hurricane Productions helps hundreds of tri-state area couples celebrate their big day with DJ, Photo, and Video services. Our full-time staff recently compiled this list of wedding trends.

Cannabis

If you're reading this in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania: Cannabis isn't legal, yet. But its coming. And couples are drawing from cannabis wedding ideas in states where it is legal and anticipating that they can incorporate it in all aspects of their wedding day including decor, favors and dessert.

Engagement Brunches

Many couples host an engagement party to kick off their wedding activities well before the big day. If you’re not already planning a daytime wedding, consider celebrating your engagement with a late-morning fête featuring breakfast foods, endless mimosas, and a DJ. Your friends are sure to have a great time -- after all, millennials are known for their love of brunch!

Daytime Weddings

Evening receptions are still the standard, but more and more couples are opting for afternoon weddings. There are a few good reasons to consider a daytime reception. First, many venues offer incentives for off-peak events, like a discounted per-head rate or no minimum guest count. It also may be more convenient for your guests to head home in the early evening, rather than 11 p.m. or midnight. The biggest advantage? You'll be able to take advantage of more daylight hours for gorgeous, well-lit wedding photos and videos.

Sunday Weddings

While not necessarily a new trend, Sunday weddings are becoming more common as well. As with daytime events, hosting your wedding on a Sunday is considered an off-peak time for most venues, so you'll likely save some money on the reception. If you do opt for a Sunday wedding, set the time early enough so your guests aren't still in "recovery mode" come Monday morning!

Unique Locations

Forget the traditional banquet hall: Today's couples want a wedding venue that reflect their unique personalities and aesthetic. Wineries, barns, and historical villages are all on the list of locations today's NJ couples are considering for their celebrations. You can check out a few of these gorgeous NJ wedding backdrops we've captured if you need some inspiration.

Natural Greenery and Foliage

Floral arrangements make an appearance at just about every wedding, but many couples are opting for a more natural, outdoorsy feel in their wedding decor by incorporating lush greenery, tree branches, and grasses. According to Martha Stewart Weddings, pampas grass and wheat will be included in more wedding florals this year.

Minimalist Aesthetic

The price tag on a wedding can skyrocket quickly, so couples are saving their budget for the important stuff (e.g. the venue and vendors) and going minimal on their wedding details.  WeddingWire says the "bold, minimalist look" can be seen everywhere -- invitations, florals, table settings, cakes, and even wedding dresses. Many wedding experts say modern brides have been inspired by Meghan Markle's simple but sophisticated Givenchy Royal Wedding gown, leading them to embrace minimalist attire for their big day.

Fully Customized Lighting

LED Lighting was the "it" feature for the early part of the decade. But couples are customizing lighting for more than decor purposes. Ever try taking a photo on your phone at night? It's not so easy.  Lighting can enhance photo and video - not just the moments captured by professionals. Everyone has Instagram (yes, even Grandma). And lighting can make guests' DIY photos from their phones look better, too.  Hurricane Productions has always been ahead of the curve on this trend -- we offer tons of custom-designed lighting add-ons for your big day, including full venue uplighting and Name in Lights monogram displays.

Do I Need a DJ and MC at My Wedding?

When people look back on the weddings they've been to, the one element that usually stands out in their mind is the entertainment. The entertainment company you hire can make or break your reception. If you want your guests to remember how much fun they had at your wedding, you need the right event host and musical talent.

While some couples still opt for a live wedding band, many choose DJ entertainment to save on cost and venue space. DJ companies will often give you the option of hiring one person as a combination DJ and master of ceremonies (MC), or one DJ and one MC. If you're on the fence, we highly recommend having a separate wedding DJ and MC.

Why hire a two-person wedding entertainment team?

Much like having two videographers, a two-person entertainment team will only enhance your wedding day. Each entertainer brings their own style and flair, but can collaborate together to produce an engaging, unforgettable experience for your guests.

Just ask any couple who's hired our main wedding entertainment team, DJ Alvin Gay and MC Robbie "Maserobbiee" Padovano. The combination of Robbie's larger-than-life personality with Alvin's energy and musical flow keeps guests out on the dance floor and having a great time throughout your entire reception.

"Over the years, Alvin and I have built a flow were we are able to create memories and moments that will last a lifetime," says Robbie. "From Alvin bringing the energy from behind the decks, to me not only entertaining guests, but coordinating the timeline to keep the overall flow of the event on track, we are the perfect team."

Having a wedding DJ and MC allows each to focus on their strengths.

At Hurricane Productions, all of our entertainers are comfortable behind a microphone and can seamlessly transition between DJ and MC. However, a combination DJ/MC shoulders a lot of responsibility in keeping your event flowing. They'll need to step away from the DJ booth to make announcements and speak to you and your guests, meaning they may need to line up a few tracks to auto-play while they handle MC duties. With a separate MC at the helm, the DJ can focus on taking requests, mixing tracks, and crafting a musical flow that's truly in-the-moment and unique to your event.

By the same token, a separate MC is free to get out on the dance floor, interact directly with guests, and make sure everyone is having a phenomenal time. You won't have to worry about whether your friends and family are enjoying themselves; you'll be able to see it in the way your MC handles the crowd.

What should I ask my potential wedding entertainers?

As with any other wedding vendor, you'll want to sit down and chat with your potential entertainment team before signing a contract. Ask good questions to determine if this particular DJ and MC are the right fit for your wedding – what is their planning process like? Do they understand your wedding details and timeline? How willing are they to work with you on customized playlists and music edits? Do they also provide a ceremony sound system?

Through these types of conversations, you'll get a better idea of your DJ and MC's personalities and styles, as well as how they'll interact with each other during your reception. After all, you need to feel comfortable with the people who will help create your wedding memories.

Hurricane Productions offers a full suite of wedding entertainment services, including DJ/MC entertainment, custom lighting design, ceremony sound, and more. Visit our pricing page to view our all-inclusive packages, or request a quote to create your own.

The Gorgeous Garden State: Beautiful New Jersey Wedding Backdrops

When it comes to natural landscapes and scenery, it doesn't get much more diverse than New Jersey. We've got it all – beaches, mountains, forests, farmland, historical villages, urban skylines, and more.

But our home state is not a paid actor; we've photographed and filmed hundreds of New Jersey weddings and events over the years, we can confidently say that couples couldn't ask for a more beautiful place to get married.

No matter what type of aesthetic you're looking for, we guarantee you'll find it right here in NJ. Here are just a few examples of gorgeous New Jersey weddings to inspire your vision for your big day.

NJ Beach and Waterfront Weddings

For most of us in the tri-state area, no summer would be complete without a trip to the Jersey Shore. This is a place where so many families create happy memories, so it's no surprise that NJ couples flock to one of our dozens of beaches to get married. Venues like Crystal Point Yacht Club, Clarks Landing, and Jack Baker's Lobster Shanty offer fantastic waterfront views for romantic ceremonies and amazing photographs.

Real Wedding: Joe & Jamie, Clarks Landing

NJ Mountain View Weddings

If the ocean isn't your thing, New Jersey has plenty of picturesque mountains, too. Whether you're a ski fanatic or just love the majestic beauty of a mountain range, venues like Mountain Creek Resort, Neshanic Valley Golf Course, and Crystal Springs Resort will give you the view you're looking for.

Real Wedding: Melissa & Frank, Mountain Creek Resort

NJ Golf Course and Country Club Weddings

Many couples love the idea of an elegant, sophisticated wedding held at a country club. Luckily, New Jersey has tons of exquisitely landscaped golf courses with clubhouses for private events. If this is the look you're going for, you'll love venues like Battleground Country Club, Blue Heron Pines Golf Club, and Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club.

Real Wedding: Gabriella & Mike, Blue Heron Pines Golf Club

NJ Farmhouse Barn Weddings

They don't call us the Garden State for nothing. New Jersey boasts acres and acres of farmland, and along with it, we've got spacious farmhouses and barns that are perfect for wedding photos. Try a venue like The Hamilton Manor, Perona Farms, or Bear Brook Valley for that rustic, country aesthetic.

Real Wedding: Christine & Tim, The Hamilton Manor

NJ Weddings at Historical Sites

If you want to be surrounded by a bit of American history on your big day, choose a venue like Waterloo Village, The Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury, or The Olde Mill Inn. New Jersey has a rich past, from its Native American roots, to the Revolutionary War, to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Many historical venues in NJ date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, and offer a perfect blend of old world charm and modern amenities.

Real Wedding: Jessica & Matthew, Waterloo Village

NJ Weddings with the New York City Skyline

There's nothing quite like looking at the twinkling lights of a city skyline – and what skyline is more iconic than Manhattan's? When you get married at a venue like Liberty House, Maritime Parc, or The Water Witch Club, you and your guests will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the city that never sleeps.

Real Wedding: Kimberley & Eric, Maritime Parc

Celebrating your wedding in New Jersey? Hurricane Productions provides a full suite of wedding entertainment and media services for couples in the tri-state area. Check out our pricing page or request a quote for more information.

What Music Do You Need for Your Wedding Ceremony?

When you think about wedding ceremony music, you probably think of pipe organs or string quartets playing Richard Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" (better known as "Here Comes the Bride") and Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March." While these two compositions are certainly traditional, they are far from the only options you have for your own ceremony soundtrack.

While some religious weddings require certain song or hymn selections, many couples are able to customize the music that plays during their ceremony. This is more than just the processional and recessional songs, though – there are several other opportunities for you and your fiance to choose background music that enhances the overall ambiance of your ceremony.

Whether you're hiring live musicians or having your reception DJ provide sound for all your wedding events, here are a few key points during the ceremony where you will want to plan out your music:

1. Prelude

Prelude music usually plays for 20 to 30 minutes before the ceremony begins while guests gather and take their seats. A set of seven to 10 light, romantic songs will set the mood for the ceremony and your overall wedding day.

2. Processional

This is the music that plays while honored family members (e.g. grandparents and parents of the couple) and the wedding party walk down the aisle. The processional song signifies the official beginning of the ceremony, so there should be a tonal shift from the prelude music. You may even wish to choose two songs to distinguish your family members' entrance from the wedding party.

3. Bride's Entrance

Aside from "the kiss," the bride's entrance is easily the most anticipated moment of many wedding ceremonies. Guests typically stand up and turn around to see the bride as she walks down the aisle. While you can use one processional song for family, wedding party, and bridal entrances, most couples have a pause before the bride enters to switch to a more dramatic piece of music.

4. Interludes/Special Ceremony Events

If your wedding includes special traditions like a unity candle ceremony, you may want to choose a subdued, emotional song to play while this is happening. Some couples also choose to have a friend or family member perform a musical interlude during the ceremony.

5. Recessional

Your recessional should be a joyous, upbeat song that celebrates the start of your life as a married couple. You and your spouse will exit the ceremony during the recessional song, followed by your bridal party and family members.

6. Postlude

Depending on when your cocktail hour begins, your guests may not leave the ceremony site right away. You may want to select a song or two to play in the background as they mingle and chat. Like the recessional, postlude songs should be cheerful and celebratory.

Other Wedding Ceremony Sound Considerations

Once you've chosen the songs for your ceremony, you'll need to think about sound amplification. A good audio system is essential if you want your guests to be able to hear your music, your officiant, and your vows.

Check with your wedding vendors to see what kind of sound setup they have, especially if you're having an outdoor ceremony. Weddings held at locations like beaches, lakefronts, and gardens may look beautiful, but it can be difficult to find a power supply for microphones and speakers. One potential solution to this problem is a wireless ceremony sound system, which we provide with each of our wedding entertainment packages.

When you hire Hurricane Productions as your wedding entertainment, we'll work with you to plan out the timing for each musical moment of your ceremony. If you're having live music, our high-quality sound system ensures that every musician and speaker at your ceremony is heard loud and clear.

Looking for entertainment and media services for your wedding day? Visit Hurricane Productions' pricing page to learn about our all-inclusive packages or contact us for a quote.

The Truth About Raw Footage in Wedding Videography

Many modern wedding videographers, including Hurricane Productions, offer couples their raw footage as part of their video package.

There are a lot of questions and misconceptions about what raw video footage is and what you can do with it. Whether you've already booked your videography services or are just exploring your options, learn more about this line item and understand what you'll actually be getting from your wedding videographer.

What is raw footage and what do I get from my videographer?

The most common misconception about raw footage is that it's one, long, continuous video of your wedding events, from start to finish. In reality, your raw footage is a collection of all the video files your videographer took throughout the day. Because a new file is created every time the camera stops and starts, each clip is short, usually lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes.

While the files you receive should be in chronological order, you may find some clips that are out of sequence if the videographer had to switch memory cards or if you had a second videographer shooting your wedding. Additionally, the file names will come directly from the camera. So instead of seeing something like, "Ceremony Clip 1" for the first clip from your ceremony, the file names might be, "DCIM_0001."

We deliver our raw footage to every video client, directly from the camera, through our secure cloud server. We can walk you through your clips or sequencing if you have questions, such as which series of files came from which videographer.

Do I need my raw footage?

With a Hurricane Productions video package, your raw footage is already included in the purchase price. However, you may be wondering if you really need that footage if we're already creating a formal edit of your wedding day.

Keep in mind that there are often six to 12 hours worth of raw footage from any given wedding, and feature-length cinematic edits are just 60 to 90 minutes long. When we're editing your video, we'll choose the highlights and best shots of the day, but most of the footage will not make the final cut.

Even if you only watch through your raw footage files once, you'll be able to see every single second that was captured during your wedding. There may be little moments you had forgotten about, like a quiet, private conversation with your new spouse after the ceremony – or things you didn't even see happening, like a hilarious clip of your aunt tearing up the dance floor. Having your raw footage means you'll always have access to these moments.

What can I do with raw footage?

The great thing about raw footage is that it can be arranged in countless different ways to tell the same story from different perspectives. If you're handy with video editing software, there's no limit to what you can do with your raw footage. You and your spouse can each create videos of your favorite individual moments from the wedding. You can make a funny video of outtakes and silly moments from the reception to share with your friends. You can even piece the clips together in chronological order to create your own documentary-style video to accompany the professional cinematic edit you'll receive.

Can I have my raw footage professionally edited if I didn't buy an edit package up front?

Most of our couples choose to purchase a video package that includes editing up front. Others, like Jessica & Joe and Lisa & Jaime, hire us to simply film and deliver raw footage – but after the wedding, they realize they'd like a professional edit. In other cases, a couple may initially opt for our Short Movie Package, which includes a three to five-minute highlight video, and later decide they want a feature-length cinematic edit.

Regardless of what you hired us to do, it's never too late to add editing services if you have your raw footage. We are always happy to accommodate post-event requests for editing services, even if it's months later.

In addition to wedding videography, Hurricane Productions offers photography and entertainment services. Interested in one of our all-inclusive wedding packages? Check out our pricing page or request a quote for your big day.

Should I Hire One or Two Wedding Videographers?

If you and your fiancé have decided to invest in wedding videography, then you already know the value of having your day documented on film. Photography is still important, but pictures alone won't allow you to relive your wedding the way a beautifully edited cinematic video can.

The question, then, is whether you hire one or two wedding videographers. There are pros and cons to each, and the right choice for you depends on your budget, your timeline, and your vision for your wedding film.

Here are a few important factors to consider when you're deciding which route to go for your wedding videography package.

How much do you want to spend on wedding videography?

When a couple is contemplating wedding videography services, the package they choose is often dictated by how much they can afford to spend. Hiring a second videographer means paying for an additional person's time and talent, so if you're on a tight budget, you may only be able to afford one. However, couples with a little more flexibility in their funds can explore their options for a two-person team.

A mid-point between having one and two wedding videographers is a package that includes one main videographer and an assistant. The assistant won't be operating the camera for the whole day, as a second videographer would, but this person can help the main videographer set up audio equipment, scout out good angles and locations, and direct the couple and their wedding party while the videographer captures that perfect shot.

How soon do you want your wedding video?

We make our couples' edited wedding videos available within 8 to 12 weeks after their event. Most videographers give this type of range because the time it takes to create the finished video product(s) depends on the package the couple selected and the amount of footage we need to review.

There's no guarantee you'll have your wedding video a month earlier if you opt for a single, half-day videographer, but there's a chance it could take longer to edit if you choose two: Editing six hours of footage from one videographer is a very different process than piecing together footage from two videographers who filmed for 12 hours each.

Regardless of how many videographers you hire, your service provider should be able to give you access to all your raw footage long before the final edits are completed.

What kind of wedding film do you envision?

The biggest advantage of a second videographer is the variety of shots and perspectives that can be included in your final wedding video.

Wedding photography and videography is often heavily focused on the bride, but with a second videographer, both you and your fiancé will be able to have your moments in the spotlight. This is especially important for couples who plan to get ready for the ceremony in separate locations. One videographer can only film one of you at a time, but a second videographer ensures that both the bride and her ladies and the groom and his guys have their wedding prep time documented.

As with many creative endeavors, two heads are often better than one when it comes to shooting and editing a wedding video. While your videographers will be able to collaborate and work as a team, each will also bring their own individual style, flair, and vision to the finished product. A video that combines the work of two wedding videographers means you get two unique perspectives telling the same beautiful love story: yours.

No matter what kind of wedding videography you want, we have a package to fit your needs. Visit our pricing page to learn more, or reach out to request a quote.

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