MCRD Wedding of PJ and Louanne

Client:PJ & Louanne
Venue (Ceremony):Casa Del Prado (Patio A)
Venue (Reception):Marine Corp Recruit Depot (MCRD) – Bayview Room 619.725.6478 (Ralph Alessandra)
Venue Address:3800 Chosin Ave, Bldge 132, San Diego, Ca. 92140
Services Provided:Wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies, Enhanced Dancefloor Lighting
Wedding Planner:Affairs By Amy (Amy Anderson)
Caterer:Marine Corp Recruit Depot (MCRD)
Photobooth:360 Photobooth (Suzanne)
Florist:Branches a Floral Studio (Jen Haase)
Photography:Patricia Lucia Photography (Patricia Lucia)
Limo:Extreme Limousine
Videographer:My Dream Wedding (Matt Mezynski)

PJ and Louanne chose to have their wedding ceremony at Casa Del Prado and their wedding reception at the Marine Corp Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego, and were quite a fun couple to work with. They had fun ideas for every event of their wedding, from a UFC-esque wedding ceremony to customized first dances; No stone was left unturned! I warn you now– If you’re looking to read about a typical wedding, this isn’t the blog for you… PJ and Louanne are a bit ‘extreme’ and their wedding was full of customized touches that their guests are sure to remember forever.

The story of how I entered into their life is a bit complicated, but I’ll summarize it for the purposes of this blog. Originally the couple found a company offering a DJ + Photographer + Videographer package deal for an extremely inexpensive amount. After booking this company, they found out that this deal wasn’t all that great– They couldn’t get emails responded to, and they really needed someone who could understand their unique ideas and make them a reality. They expressed their concerns to their planner, Amy Anderson, and she called me to come to their rescue. I met with them and we got along well. They booked immediately, and with barely a week to learn the details of a very unique wedding ceremony and reception, I set to work.

Wedding Ceremony

Prelude seating: Mellow music from assorted genres (Country, R&B, Rock, Blues)
Wedding Party Entrance: Lil Wayne – How To Love
Bride’s Entrance: Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
Interlude (Sand Ceremony):Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
Recessional:POD – Chargers Theme Song

PJ and Louanne had their ceremony at Casa Del Prado, Patio B. This venue is unique in that it is a public area and as such they do not vendors to use their electrical outlets (they actually claim there isn’t any) to try to limit the amount of amplified sound used. In order to provide the music and PA system for a microphone, I used my custom-designed battery pack. This pack allows me well over 3 hours of power and is useful in venues that do not have power.

PJ and Louanne’s wedding ceremony started out normal…

xMCRD Wedding DJ_ceremony

But soon turned into “The MAIN EVENT” as the officiant shouted “Let’s get ready to RUMBLE! And proceeded to introduce them, ring-style.”

MCRD Wedding DJ_custom ceremony

As the battle continued, both warriors took part in a sand ceremony.

MCRD Wedding DJ_ceremony sand ceremony

Apparently the fight was good because both contestants emerged victorious.

MCRD Wedding DJ_ceremony recessional

Wedding Reception

Cocktail Music:Rock and Roll Theme (RHCP/Counting Crows/Staind/etc)
Grand Entrance (Wedding Party):2pac feat Dr. Dre – California Love
Grand Entrance (Bride & Groom):Usher – OMG
First Dance:Lighters/Wop/Billie Jean/Jump On It (Dennis J Live Mix)
Dinner Music:Italian Music
Cake Cutting:Rathergood – Cake
Mother Son Dance:2Pac – Dear Mama
Family Dance:Mario Lanza – Paralami D’Amore Mariu
Garter Toss:Darude – Sandstorm / Zombie Nation – Kernkraft400
Bouquet Toss:Beyonce – Single Ladies
Last Dance:Black Eyed Peas – The Time (Dirty Bit)

Cocktail hour was outside on the MCRD patio, and guests were treated to a very unusual mix of classic and modern rock hits. Some of the artists they chose to have played were AC/DC, Metallica, Staind, and Audioslave. For the most part I focused on the slower/ballad songs that these bands have released. Once cocktail hour was complete, I invited guests into the ballroom, and with the help of Affairs By Amy, lined up the wedding party outside the front doors and prepared for the Grand Entrance.

Note: The majority of these photos were supplied to me by Patricia Lucia Photography.

Grand Entrance

The grand entrance was relatively normal, especially compared to the rest of the night.

MCRD Wedding DJ__grand entrance

Tarentella Dance

Direct after their Grand Entrance, we went into a special dance called the Tarentella, which is one of the most recognized dances to Italian music. Originally it was a ritualistic dance in honor of the god of music and sun, Apollo, and god of wine, Dionysus (which is the god from which my name, “Dennis”, comes from!). Ancient Greeks settled in Italy, and this beautiful dance continues to become a part of many Italian weddings. For this dance, they chose to use Cumpari Sonati – Tarantella Calabrese. It is very high-energy, which works well because the dance is actually very frantic. It is supposed to be a dance emulating what one that is bitten by a tarantula needs to do to survive. It was believed that in order to stay alive after a tarantula bite, the victim needed to move quickly and continuously. The dance is very entertaining to watch, and I highly recommend attending an event with one if you get the chance!

MCRD Wedding DJ tarentella dance

First Dance

After their Grand Entrance, we went right into their first dance, but this was no ordinary first dance! For their first dance, PJ and Louanne had asked me to pre-mix four songs for them. When presented with this idea, I took the list of songs and went into my lab and started testing them out. An hour later, I had figured out a way to mix them all together smoothly, and told them with confidence that I wouldn’t need to resort to fake pre-mixing of songs. They loved that idea. I really hate fake DJing, so I was happy to do it live for them. In my opinion, the ability to mix crucial songs live without error is one the things that separates me from others in San Diego, so I love when I get a chance to use that skill. Of course, I can pre-mix if a client really prefers it, but who wouldn’t rather have their DJ mix it live in front of their guests?

Although this video isn’t the best quality, I was able to take a Flip MinoHD and an iPhone4; record two different views of their first dance; and compose a video to show the entire performance by me as well as PJ, Louanne, and their wedding party. Enjoy.

Kudos to PJ and Charest for putting together a cool first dance idea and thanks for allowing me to get involved!

MCRD Wedding DJ_first dances

For dinner, I played big band music such as Sinatra, Dean Martin, Desi Arnaz, and Louis Armstrong, concentrating on the songs with extreme Italian influence such as Dean Martin – Luna Mezzo Mare and Mombo Italiano. Halfway through, I switched it up to some Italian favorites such as Renato Carosone – Tu Vuò Fà L’Americano. For those that do recognize that song title, it was sampled in the recent top40 hit, Yolanda Be Cool – We No Speak Americano.

Once dinner was finished we began toasts.

Wedding Toasts

This is my favorite toast photo from the ones that I took. It’s not professional but it sure shows the humor and fun that was involved on this night!MCRD Wedding DJ_toast funny

MCRD Wedding DJ_toast maid of honorMCRD Wedding DJ_father of groom
MCRD Wedding DJ_toast groom
MCRD Wedding DJ_toast bride

It was then time to begin cake cutting.

Wedding Cake

Check out this beautiful cake with blue orchid decorations supplied by Branches a Floral Studio (Jenn Haase).

MCRD Wedding DJ_cakeThis event was just like the rest… full of fun and playfulness.

First the sharing of the cake…

MCRD Wedding DJ_cake feeding

…and then the mess.MCRD Wedding DJ_cake italian

Mother Son Dance

MCRD-Wedding-2011-mother-son-danceFamily Dance

Louanne’s father has passed away so in his honor and in lieu of a Father Daughter Dance they had a family dance to one of his favorite songs, Paralami D’Amore Mariu. It started with Louanne and her mother dancing, and then the family joined in.

MCRD Wedding DJ_father daughter dance

We then did a Money Dance. Sorry, no pics!

After formal dances were over, we opened the dance floor up for everyone!

Bouquet Toss

MCRD Wedding DJ_bouquet toss

Garter Toss

PJ and Louanne’s garter toss was an event to remember.It started out normal, as most of the events of this night did.

Unbeknownst to the guests, Louanne had hidden a bevy of props in her dress and as PJ went under it and came back out, he had different funny things that he had pulled out. Here’s an example of him after he pulled out a bat.

MCRD Wedding DJ_garter surprise bat

Eventually he got the right item.MCRD Wedding DJ_garter removal

Wedding Dancing

We then opened the dance floor up for the guests to enjoy.

MCRD Wedding DJ_dance floor
MCRD Wedding DJ_dance line


The reception was a blast and we had soooo much fun! I made sure to connect with the happy newlyweds as everyone was on the porch getting some last minute photos, and get one of my own.

MCRD Best Wedding DJ

Congrats to PJ and Louanne, and thank you both for creating such a unique wedding vision and then entrusting me and your other vendors to make it a reality!


Louanne and PJ took time after the wedding to write the following review about me on Weddingwire. Direct link:


Aww… thanks for the kind words!


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  • Will

    Great post and definitely creatively fun❢ Awesome pictures too documenting the fun.