Vendor Ridealong – Episode 4 – Katie Mathewson – DJ – Black Tie Entertainment

Vendor Ridealong – Episode 4 – Katie Mathewson – DJ – Black Tie Entertainment

Vendor Ridealong is a new way to showcase the talented vendors of Central New York.  Are you looking for a vendor for your wedding?  Subscribe to the channel for more episodes as they are released.

Episode 4 of Vendor Ridealong is loaded! Today’s guest is Katie from Black Tie Entertainment. WHAAAAT?! Another DJ?! Why not, right? Katie is very good at what she does and a fun conversation as well. And hey, if I’m already booked, you gotta go somewhere, right?

For more information on Black Tie Entertainment, check them out at:

I hope you enjoy the video and I hope to do many, many more in the future with so many different vendors!


Josh Marmon & Patricia Stevens Wedding

We were travelling East, yet again for another early 2015 wedding.  This time, not quite as far as Saratoga Springs.  This time we were in Yorkville, NY, just outside of Utica for the wedding of Josh Marmon and Patricia Stevens.  It was new territory for SCSM, having never really DJed in the Utica area, but a challenge is always welcome.  And honestly, the couple made it much easier because they were fantastic clients.

The reception began immedately with introductions and dances.  No formal cocktail hour?  No problem.  The guests and wedding party came into the Upstate New York cold ready to party.  After some preliminary adjustments and people getting settled in, it was time to get it going.  I distinctly remember the eagerness in Josh and Patricia’s faces before their introductions.  They were in line with their wedding party and you could just tell that they were insanely happy and ready to have some fun.

As for the introductions, the parents, wedding party, and bride and groom all walked in to the same song (A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay) and everyone stood and surrounded Josh and Patricia for their First Dance (Latch – Sam Smith).  Once their moment was complete, our couple opted to do their family dances before dinner.  They began with the Father/Bride dance (That Kind of Love – Claire Lynch)  and concluded with the Mother/Groom dance (What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstong), totaling two family dances.  Originally, we were scheduled to go straight into dinner at the time, but we had to move up the Cake Cutting because the cake wasn’t exactly cooperating with the atmosphere… it was starting to collapse!  So, the cake was cut and we transitioned into dinner.

The dinner didn’t begin right away, as we still had some time to kill, so by the request of Josh and Patricia, SCSM played some lite, jazzy music which led directly into speeches and toasts.  Finally, once the speeches were over, it was time for the wonderful buffet, located on the dance floor, so that had to be cleared before we moved on to dancing.

Once the food was clear, the guests really enjoyed the dancing.  They were particularly fans of group and line dances, like the Cupid Shuffle, but the dance floor remained hot and full amongst the bride and groom requests of modern top 100 hits like Marry Me (Jason Derulo), and more obscure songs like Martinelli’s (Wordsplayed & Andy Mineo).  And of course, the more Justin Timberlake, the better.  The crowd enjoyed it all.  Even the families got in their two cents on the play list with requests such as Everybody Eats When They Come To My House (Cab Calloway) and When You Say Nothing At All (Alison Krauss)

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Along with the general dancing of the day, Josh and Patricia had plenty of moments to put that indelible stamp on the day.  First of those moments was the Dollar Dance, where the crowd got a chance at a brief solo dance with the bride and groom.  Josh and Patricia initially chose one Dollar Dance song (Summer Love – Justin Timberlake), but there were so many people wanting to participate (If I Had 1,000,000 Dollars – Barenaked Ladies). Directly following was the Bouquet Toss (My Love – Justin Timberlake), where Patricia got a chance to show off her tossing skills.  Finally, rounding out our trio was the Generations Dance (Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran) where all married couples got a chance to dance, and the last couple standing had been married for 55 years!

So as usual, every good thing has to end.  Luckily, this good thing was only the reception, not something more serious.  Many good things came from this reception, mostly the marriage of Josh and Patricia.  They capped off the night in pure, 90’s dance fashion (One More Time – Daft Punk).  After which, there was nothing left to do but say goodbye and get back on the Thruway

Congratulations to Josh and Patricia.  Thank you for choosing Salt City Sound Machine. We wish you the best of luck in the future!


Vendor Ridealong – Episode 3 – SRW Joyce Photography

Vendor Ridealong – Episode 3 – SRW Joyce Photography

Vendor Ridealong is a new way to showcase the talented vendors of Central New York.  Are you looking for a vendor for your wedding?  Subscribe to the channel for more episodes as they are released.

This episode features Sarah from SRW JOYCE PHOTOGRAPHY. She’s a wedding photographer in the Syracuse area and she talks about her artistic vision when it comes to wedding photography. Definitely worth a watch!!

For more information on SRW Joyce Photography, check them out at:

I hope you enjoy the video and I hope to do many, many more in the future with so many different vendors!


Vendor Ridealong – Episode 2 – Aurora’s Treasures

Vendor Ridealong – Episode 2 – Aurora’s Treasures

Vendor Ridealong is a new way to showcase the talented vendors of Central New York.  Are you looking for a vendor for your wedding?  Subscribe to the channel for more episodes as they are released.

This episode features Stephanie from Aurora’s Treasures as we discuss custom jewelry for your wedding!

For more information on Aurora’s Treasures, check them out at:

I hope you enjoy the video and I hope to do many, many more in the future with so many different vendors!

Ryan McFadden and Sarah Janssen Wedding

Let’s kick off our 2015 wedding event recaps where our 2015 season officially began.. about 150 miles to the East of our home base in Saratoga Springs, NY.  It’s always fun to travel, but travel in February in Upstate New York often comes with its own set of challenges.  Fortunately, the ride to Saratoga had no problems, however the ride back as a different story.  But this isn’t a travel blog… this is meant to feature what happened between the travel.  The awesome wedding reception that kicked off our best year in one of the best venues that SCSM has been privileged to work in.  This is the story of the wedding reception of Ryan McFadden and Sarah Janssen.


McFadden Wedding CollageAs the guests came in and enjoyed their cocktail hour, several things were noticed right away.  It was impossible to miss features like the indoor koi-pond, complete with bridge, or the Syracuse Basketball cake topper, adorned with “You Will Have Your Cake, And Eat It Too” wooden sign.  But also, while Ryan and Sarah awaited their introductions upstairs, away from the guests, they gave everyone a little thinking problem with their table number.  Instead of the usual written number, the seats had math equations that the guests had to solve to figure out which table was theirs.  I know what you’re thinking… Ryan and Sarah made their guests do math while they sat upstairs?  Are these people sociopaths?  Acutally, no.  They’re lovely people and the math equations added a cool, unique touch to their wedding.

The reception began with the introductions.  The path for the entrances took our people of honor down a staircase, over the bridge of the koi pond and onto the dance floor.  First up were the parents all coming out to a single song (Forever – Chris Brown).  The wedding party was next and they set the tone for something that ended up being incredibly popular for 2015… single music per couple.  As each pairing of the wedding party came in, they had their own theme music, so the guests were treated to a variety of songs ranging from Queen to Taio Cruz to Jason Derulo to Inner Circle.  For those interested, the full list will be posted below.  For Ryan and Sarah, however, they came into a custom SCSM mix of two songs (Forever – Drake/Kanye West / Suit and Tie – Justin Timberlake).

McFadden Wedding Collage2When the official dances began, Ryan and Sarah kept the custom mixes going.  The popular song in 2014 into 2015 for weddings was All of Me John Legend.  With the Tiesto remix on the charts, Salt City Sound Machine combined the two songs for the McFadden wedding, starting with the slow nature of All of Me, and mixing in the more dance floor friendly Tiesto remix at the end.  As the first dance evolved and Tiesto came through the speakers, everyone was invited onto the dance floor to join Ryan and Sarah for and upbeat dance.  It was something that really set the tone for how the night was going to go.  The dances were not over, however, so everyone had to get back in their seats for the Father/Daughter Dance (Walk With You – Edwin McCain) and the Mother/Son Dance (A Song For Mama – Boyz II Men).  Finally, after some great toasts and speeches, it was time for dinner.

Speaking of dinner… NY Strip topped with Gorgonzola Cheese…. drooling-homer-simpson


After dinner, the guests simply dominated the dance floor.  Ryan and Sarah assured me ahead of time that their wedding guests were big time dancers, and they did not disappoint.  Guests danced all night to long time favorite songs, plus requests from the Bride and Groom ranging from Darius Rucker to Beyonce.  There was even a moment in the night where I took off my tie and turned it into a makeshift limbo stick for a great, impromptu limbo contest.  I did that at later weddings, but this was the first time it occurred to me.  The dance floor was flaming hot and the guests only made it hotter as the night went on.

Ryan and Sarah had their share of special moments as well.  Along with the wedding standard Cake Cutting (Sugar – Trick Daddy) and Bouquet Toss (Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It – Beyonce), they also had a handful of specific songs and requests meant to make their day perfect.  They chose a song to pay tribute to their family members who have passed on (Heaven – Beyonce).  And for those who were still here and married, Ryan and Sarah had a Generations Dance for them featuring 3 songs (You and I – John Legend / Then – Brad Paisley / The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra).  So overall, their specific moments had their time, but it didn’t overshadow the fun times people were having throughout the night.

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After the Last Dance of the night (Save the Last Dance For Me – Michael Buble), there were so many changes in the air, figuratively and literally.  Of course, the most obvious change is that Ryan and Sarah were now married, happy, and ready to face a bright future.  And, we’d see them again later in the year at Ryan’s step sister’s wedding.  But another change came in the snow that fell throughout the party.  Turns out the snow was just getting started and the storm hit on the ride home to Syracuse.  But us in Upstate New York are tough and a little bit of snow won’t ruin our good time.  It certainly didn’t ruin Ryan and Sarah’s

Congratulations to Ryan and Sarah.  Thank you for choosing Salt City Sound Machine. We wish you the best of luck in the future!


Vendor Ridealong – Episode 1 – Edge’s Photography

Introducing Vendor Ridealong

Vendor Ridealong is a new way to showcase the talented vendors of Central New York.  Are you looking for a vendor for your wedding?  Subscribe to the channel for more episodes as they are released.

This episode features Paul from Edge’s Photography as we discuss wedding photography and what Edge’s is all about.

For more information on Edge’s Photography, check them out at:

I hope you enjoy the video and I hope to do many, many more in the future with so many different vendors!

Introducing 2015: The Non-Weddings

It’s finally time to kick off the 2015 event recaps.  2015 was an incredibly busy year for Salt City Sound Machine amassing 70 events!  And while it’s true that SCSM specializes in weddings, that’s not all we do.  There are so many different reasons to hire a DJ and in 2015, we got a wide variety which led to some great new relationships, tough events, and everything in between.  Here are some small recaps of some of the non-wedding events we had in the first half of 2015!

Alexandra’s Macedonian Sweet 16

Venue: St. George Macedonian Orthodox Church, Onondaga, NY
Date: January, 17 2015

I don’t mind Sweet 16 parties at all.  They’re usually a good time, and it’s kind of like a mini prom. This one was a bit different because of the ethnic inclusion on the day itself.  It took place at a Macedonian Orthodox Church at the base of Onondaga Hill in the midst of a very snowy winter.  It was a great group of people and Alexandra was a fantastic girl.  The traditional Macedonian dancing and celebrating was very fun to watch.  The dance floor was pretty much always full and included a father/daughter dance.  Oh, but if it were only that simple.

The difficulty of doing an event that is so rooted in a particular ethnicity is that traditional music may be tough to find or one might not have a broad knowledge of it.  So it’s imperative that the DJ gets as much input from the customer as possible.  The Taskovski family were rock stars when it came to providing the necessary music, but luck was not on our side.  Somehow the flash drive that they gave me became corrupted and that had all of the Macedonian music on it.  I should have copied it to my hard drive, so that’s on me, but I was flying blind for a while until one of the members of the family allowed me to use their phone that had some Macedonian music on it.  It really saved the event and it’s a memory I won’t soon forget.

But thank you to the Taskovski family for having Salt City Sound Machine for Alexandra’s Sweet 16.

Lord & Taylor Events

Venue:  Lord & Taylor – Destiny USA, Syracuse, NY
Date: Several

Something else that happened that was pretty cool in 2015 was that Salt City Sound Machine entered into a small partnership with Lord and Taylor.  They originally hired SCSM to provide music for their 2015 Prom Fashion Show.  They built a runway right outside their storefront and after raising our lights to a dangerously high level, they got a chance to show the latest and greatest 2015 Prom trends.  Later, they contracted SCSM on 3 different occasions to provide music for the make-up department during some big time sales.

Thanks to Lord & Taylor for choosing Salt City Sound Machine for your events

Morrisville-Eaton 2015 Junior Prom

Venue:  Highland Forest Lodge, Fabius, NY
Date: May 9, 2015

I enjoy doing Proms.  I really do.  It’s fun to interact with the students, plus I get to find out new music that a 33 year old Classic Rock and Punk fan generally doesn’t listen to.  Morrisville-Eaton Junior/Senior High School hired us to do their Junior Prom in 2015 and it was a great experience.  Well… except the part where my light bar fell on my hand.. that was no good.  But overall, this particular group ended up being a memorable group for SCSM because not only did we get to DJ their Junior Prom, but also a 2016 semi-formal and their Senior Dinner.

Morrisville-Eaton does their proms a little differently than some others I’ve experienced in the area.  They begin with the parents allowed into the room for official pictures while the students were introduced as couples.  Once the couples are all announced they immediately announce the King, Queen, and Court for the Prom.  They give the families about a half hour to take pictures, then all non-students are ushered out and the fun begins.

The 2016 events will get their own recaps, but with the sheer amount of recaps needed for our 2015, this is the most for the Prom.  But SCSM congratulates the Class of 2016 on their recent graduation!

Gatsby New Year’s Eve at the Barnes Hiscock Mansion

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Before 2014 ended, I received an interesting message… someone wanted me to DJ a party in a mansion.  I mean really, who would say no to that?  Naturally, the lead was followed up on and it lead me into a sit down meeting with Kristin Earle, the awesome director of the historic Barnes Hiscock Mansion in Syracuse.  Kristin had an idea for a New Years Eve party… a throwback, 1920’s Roaring Twenties Bash to bring in the New Year.  And she wanted me to be her Jay Gatsby.  Again, who would say no to that?

While it was a New Years Eve Party, it also doubled as one of the Mansion’s largest fundraisers of the year.  The funds are used to continue to preserve the mansion that was built in the 1800’s and owned by George and Rebecca Barnes, two Syracuse citizens who were abolitionists and staunch supporters of the Underground Railroad.  The Barnes family also used their means to raise public funding, support, and awareness to many important causes in the mid to late 1800’s.  Kristin has excelled in creating fundraising events in order to preserve the mansion, and although she has since moved on to a great position at the local Cystic Fibrosis foundation, she left a great legacy and nurtured a wonderful business relationship with Salt City Sound Machine.

The Gatsby party was a great turnout and everyone was dressed to the nines.  We played modern remixes of 20’s songs all night and added in some more modern swing.  Flapper outfits, feathered headbands, and costume jewelry were the norm for the beautiful ladies of the evening.  While in the mean time, the guys came decked in their own vested suits and fedoras.  The first floor of the mansion was opened to all complete with food and drinks of the era.  Guests were able to go from room to room, but when they were in the room where we were, they were treated to songs from Postmodern Jukebox, Parev Stelar, and excerpts from the Great Gatsby Soundtrack.


Of course, as the clock rang midnight, everyone gathered in the same room for a New Year Countdown, a champagne celebration, and Auld Lang Syne.  Soon after, the music ended and 2015 began… but at least this was a year that was starting right.

Thanks to the Kristin and the Barnes Hiscock Mansion for having us for your New Years Celebration.  We’ll be doing it again in 2016/2017, bigger and better than ever.  In the mean time, if you’d like to donate to the preservation or general infomation on the Mansion, check them out here.


Patrick Seguin and Julie Krol Wedding

A Destination weddings are interesting.  Although Salt City Sound Machine has never fully done a destination wedding, I suppose the Seguin/Krol wedding is the closest we’ve come.  Patrick and Julie had their wedding ceremony at a resort in Mexico, but beforehand requested CDs of music from us for the destination celebration.  As far as they said, everyone had a great time in Mexico.  Does that make SCSM an international DJ company?  That’s not for me to determine.  However, what I do know is that Patrick and Julie came home and were ready to party with their local reception.

The evening began at Barbagallo’s with a quick cocktail hour before the introductions.  It’s becoming more often that our clients are choosing to have different songs for their entrances.  While they didn’t have a song for each pairing, there were a multitude of songs specifically for groups coming out including the parents of the Bride and Groom (I Love It – Icona Pop), the Junior Bridesmaids (Fergalicious – Fergie), One half of the wedding party (This is How We Do – Katy Perry), and the second half of the wedding party (Turn Down For What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon).  Finally Patrick and Julie made their own entrance (All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled), and followed it up with their First Dance (Something I Need (Acoustic) – OneRepublic) where the wedding party joined midway through.

The rest of the night were heavy on dancing, drinking, and stories.  After dinner, Patrick and Julie had simultaneous parents dances (The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson), and that was the last specific song before the Last Dance at the end of the night.  Patrick and Julie were clear… they wanted as much dance time as possible and the end od the parents dance signaled the beginning of nearly 3 hours of uninterrupted dance time.  Of course we played all the great songs that Patrick and Julie requested, like I’ll Back You Up by Dave Matthews Band, and other songs that were near and dear to their hearts.  They did, however, request that only 2 group dances be played, which is plenty for a 3 hour dance block.  Some of the guests actually grabbed the mic and sang along to the songs being played, which was actually started by our former clients, Mike and Kristen McClusky  (you can read their event recap here).


For those who weren’t feeling the dance floor, there were plenty of other things to do.  Those who attended the wedding in Mexico were sharing stories nearby the slideshow of pictures of the event, and the staff at Barbagallo’s made sure everyone had everything they needed.  Even though there was no cake cutting, there was also desserts for the people in attendance to enjoy.

The night ended around midnight and the stateside celebration of Patrick and Julie Krol came to an end with their chosen Last Dance (You’re All I Want – Lifehouse).  The entire process was unorthodox, but there’s nothing wrong with that.  After all, who wouldn’t jump at the chance of getting married in a beautiful setting and saving the party for the loved ones at home?  Patrick and Julie did it their way, and they are better for it.

Congratulations to Patrick and Julie.  Thank you for choosing Salt City Sound Machine. We wish you the best of luck in the future!


The People have Spoken! – Early 2016 Wedding Testimonials

The People have Spoken!  We love our clients. Wedding season is getting hot and heavy, but SCSM has been working all year long. Check out what some of our early season clients have said about their SCSM experience!

We are booking into 2017 and beyond so if you’re looking for a DJ, head over to the Contact page to get the process started!