Hey everyone, thank you for joining us for another episode of backstage pass. I’m Jessie with Our DJ Rocks, and I am excited tonight because I have DJ Kristin with me and one of her past couples Ashley & John! Ashley & John got married at the Waldorf Astoria and they went all out on their wedding day. So, we are going to hear all about it.
Jessie: My first question is, how has marriage been treating you guys?
Ashley: I LOVE IT!
John: Every day is an adventure, it’s great.
Jessie: You just celebrated your one year, right?!
Ashley: We DID, a bit of a background; we actually got married December 2018. A private thing just between us, because we were middle school sweethearts so we just couldn’t wait. Our parents knew so it was ok, my mom would have lost it if she didn’t know. Our wedding date, when we had y’all with us was in March so that was a year this year. So yeah, we did!
Jessie: So marriage is good, smooth sailing?
Ashley: It really is, and I have to say not just because you’re sitting here, our first year of being together, our first year of marriage we went through so much. I honestly could say—and I say it all the time—I couldn’t live without John. It’s not a honeymoon phase; I’ve known him for 17 years. I could not live without him, he does so much for me, and I want to do things for him. That’s the best, not feeling pressure or force. He is my best friend, I tell him anything, everything before anyone else. He’s my whole world.
Jessie: Stop, oh my GOSH! I can already tell you have something so special! Oh my goodness, this is the first question and I’m already…this happens every time Kristin joins us, can I just tell you?!
Kristin: I need a tissue; you want a tissue? Ok, you guys?!
Jessie: What was your biggest fear when picking a DJ?
John: Just wanted to make sure the music was good, pretty much! We wanted to make sure it was a good time.
Ashley: I think having someone really capture who we are as a couple. I am a musician myself so having someone do music when I’m not in control of it, I want to make sure they know who we are. I want to make sure they can embody who we are as a couple and as individuals because our music tastes are a little bit different.
Jessie: Tell me about your music tastes, what were the conflicting genres?
John: I’m more of the club scene beats, Ashley is more of the country and…
Ashley: …Pop genres. I mean, I want to hear the background and the instruments playing but I also need to connect lyrically. John doesn’t care about the lyrics; he wants to feel that rhythm. I’m like, “I can’t understand what they are saying at all, how do you enjoy this?!” So, we have some similarities in certain music but…
John: Yeah, country is starting to rub off on me!
Ashley: When I’m in the car we play my stuff. Because I can’t handle his stuff.
Jessie: That’s like two completely different music styles: someone who listens to lyrics and someone who listens to music for beats, that’s polar opposites. And I know exactly what you are talking about because I totally listen to music for lyrics. 100%.
Ashley: I have to connect; in the music, my brain is going a million miles a minute so I can pick out different instruments, but I have to connect lyrically or it’s not going to work. And the lyrics that play over there I’m like…
John: Yeah, still over here just…
Ashley: He’s a teenager. Oh my gosh, like I can’t even understand what they are saying, what accent is that?! He’s like “You don’t know this song???
Kristin: Wait hold on. John give me a song, like a title name one example…
John: So, like I’m from South Florida so Vybz Kartel… stuff that has a lot of accents in it.
Ashley: It’s very colorful. Listen, I don’t mind accents, I really don’t, and he has some good songs, I’m not going to lie. This may be controversial, but we bonded over a weird Tekashi song, a long time ago back when he was ok. Now we’re like, “Hmm…we never want to mention him again.” And we removed him from our playlist. BUT back when he was cool and rising up, we actually had made fun of the song in a way so then I was like, ok I can get into it.
John: So she listened to mine, I listened to hers and yeah, now we listen to Taylor Swift in the car.
Jessie: And that folks, that is marriage!
OK, my next question is for Kristin. What was your first impression of Ashley and John?
Kristin: Ok, well, first of all, how about everyone type in “THIS was my first impression.”
Literally the cutest, I mean…swoon. We actually met at a wedding show. I met Ashley’s mom first and Ashley’s mom was business. “We are getting married here, this is the time, this is what she wants, how much is it?” I’m like, can we vibe first?! I said, “Can I at least meet your daughter?” And she’s like, “She is over there and she’s really busy right now.” I’m like, OK! So, we chatted a bit more and then I don’t know where Ashley was, but she came over and I was like, “Oh my God, so cute.” Then she explained Ashley was touring at that time, I don’t know if you were in the country or not but I’m like, ok mom’s got the wedding plans. Then after that, we had set up a meeting for them to come into our office but it was Ashley’s mom and John so I was like, dang, this girl got her stuff together.
Honestly, after I had met with John and Ashley’s mom, I was like “This is awesome.” I asked about their story and at that point, I knew John had been in the family’s life for a long time. So I thought, “Wow I really want to be a part of this.” I knew that the family was so tight. I totally creeped Ashley on Instagram and was like “Girl Crush!”
I was starting to put the pieces of the story together and seeing that closeness…and John, I can count on maybe one hand how many grooms actually came into the office to meet me so I thought he was pretty special too, I loved that.
Jessie: Groom points!
Ashley: Oh yeah, I’ll give him credit. Him and my mom planned 90% of the wedding. I think I chose the colors. I got some say in things and approved everything but there were some hidden gems I had no idea about. It was great, they did great, he was great.
John: It was fun. We just wanted to make the best time for you. Ya know, so we had to make sure it all went smooth.
Jessie: And you were happy with all his choices?
John: She went to the wedding show and she was like, “Oh my gosh, I met the best DJ ever. You have to come see!” And she was like “But there’s free cake sometimes.” I’m like, “Count me in!” So, we show up and first off there’s no cake, then you weren’t there either and I was like, “What?! We are getting gypped!” You were at a wedding at that point. Then we booked the office visit and you showed us around your studio, which is awesome and introduced your staff. And then yeah, we hit it off well!
Ashley: Yeah, I’m totally thrilled with what he chose and even my mom…she knows my taste very well, I’m very extravagant and big and plugging myself in in the morning, like that’s my personality. Like, GOOD MORNING here I am! So, I knew that’s what my wedding had to envision but John, I mean, that’s where we are really similar. We have the same style preferences in some aspects. We are both very bougie and glam and glitz. I trusted him and he’s great about communication, so he had to make sure I was ok with it.
Jessie: Oh. Yay, so did you guys talk to any DJs before picking us? What was the deciding factor?
Ashley: I went to a wedding show and I can’t even tell you what the name was honestly. I just remember going up and telling them we are already booked with the Waldorf, here’s where we are and what we are planning on doing …we had their biggest package. I’ll never forget this woman came up and she goes “We should already have a DJ built-in at the Waldorf they provide that, so we’re good…” and she walks away. I said, “ha-ha…I wouldn’t be here looking for a DJ if we were good.” I was so put off just her being like, oh well March 2nd is super busy…sorry… I’m just too booked. I was just thinking to myself, I have one of the biggest weddings, why are you being like that? I want to work with you. We did not Vibe…but WE vibed.
Jessie: You got a vibe. Rule one of hiring any wedding vendor ever, you must vibe.
Ashley: For everything but especially weddings, you gotta vibe with the people you are working with because if you don’t…you’re not going to be happy.
Jessie: I should hang that up on my wall to be a rule for all relationships ever, “You gotta vibe”
Ashley: I would hang that up in my house: “We must vibe!”
Jessie: I love it. So, you already mentioned there was a few surprises but was there anything that Kristin did to surprise you guys?
Ashley: Oh my gosh, our music. You make the process so easy, just a fill out form and I love that and I think I gave you like 200-300 songs for you to choose from that you think might mesh the best, you know!
I’m not a DJ, but what I loved the most was during the wedding, it was like, “Ok now, this is going to happen.” You really pulled it all together. I’ll never forget the party was jamming, you got everyone else out on the floor, everyone was dancing, and our biggest thing was “What if people don’t dance?” A lot of my parents people there, like, they aren’t going to dance…everyone was dancing. It was incredible.
Then you came up to me, we are 10 minutes away from our final walk…and like ok, now we’re done and I’m like with what? It’s almost over?! But it just started for me!!!! Are you serious?! It was so great that I was enjoying myself so much that I just never wanted it to stop. The music never stopped, and our guests still say that, “the music never stopped, it was so good.”
John: You had people there that were like 60+ and people that were in their 20s in our age group having a great time. You go to some weddings and like “Oh this is very interesting….”
Ashley: Some weddings do not vibe musically and ours was vibed with.
Jessie: That’s good, that’s how it should be. Kristin, my next question is for you, what was your favorite part of their wedding?
Kristin: Oooo ok, I’m going to answer it two ways…
After I got their wedding pictures back from Rhodes Studio…. Just to recap everybody, I was just there for the party and the reception. I forget what you guys had for ceremony. I saw their ceremony pictures for the first time and just one of my favorite parts was Ashley got the Horse & Carriage for ceremony.
I know how your dad and your mom speak of you and I know your relationship and for him that was probably one of the proudest moments of his entire life because I know that in his mind he thought of you as his princess. To me that captured all of that. Yeah, so that was one of my favorites.
Obviously the dancing on the cloud BUT something I actually had nothing to do with but hand the mic over to Ashley, I don’t even think this was scripted, not on a timeline. I think Ashley at one point you were like, “I want to say something before dinner.” The words that you spoke were so beautiful and you explained to that entire room why you chose every single person to be there, I have chills thinking about it because it brought more of that story together. You pointed out your teacher from Middle School and your middle school friends and you were very intentional. Even if you weren’t the one planning it, you were obviously intentional about why you did every single tiny thing that you did. And I think THAT is what a wedding celebration should be defined as. I think for me that speech alone, hands down, was one of my favorite moments.
Ashley: Oh Gosh! Thank you!
Jessie: It looks like we have some family in the comments saying, “We Love Kristin and Our DJ Rocks!”
Everyone: OH, Hey!!! Hi!!!
Jessie: And “Kristin was amazing at their wedding.” So that’s exciting. OK, Ashley & John, what was the most vivid memory from your wedding day?
John: Saying I DO.
Ashley: John is a sensitive person but he’s very strong, sometimes… he’s very manly. But his vows, it was so interesting to me because we both said, “My goal is to challenge you” and “You challenge me.” Without reading each other’s vows. And the way our vows connected without even knowing it just showed our audience that this isn’t just a “we woke up one day and decided to get married,” this is something we have built for 17 years of friendship and just really exercised. I think that was a defining moment, but I’ll be honest, our first dance just made me explode. Kristin mentioned dancing on a cloud…that I was not aware of, it was just the greatest thing I just…our music, our whole wedding day. My parents and John, they really pulled through for this girl because it was magical.
John: The dancing on clouds, the carriage…there were a lot of extras that were incredible.
Ashley: Yeah, that I didn’t know about. I told my mom, “I don’t want to be a guest at my own wedding. I want to know what you’re doing.” And she goes “I can’t tell you because you are going to walk in and I just want to see that look on your face, I’m your mother I have the right to do that.”
John: It was funny. Ashley was like “This is what I want” writing out like a checklist for us and her moms like “I’m going to add a couple more things. That’s not enough.” It was awesome.
Ashley: I knew what to expect but then there were things I didn’t know what to expect and there were things that now, having gotten it, I could not live without. My mom, she killed it.
Jessie: Kristin, your most vivid memory from their wedding day?
Kristin: Hmm. Everything I already talked about, but I think for me, it’s not like you sign a contract and you’re like best friends with a DJ you know? A relationship must be built over time, right? And it’s not like I’m the sister so I’m not special you know what I mean? BUT I think for me, once we got to a certain point, when Ashley went into her dress change, that’s the symbol that she can relax and cut loose, and talk about songs of the night? I think it was Juvenile, Back it up? I was like, yes girl, get it girl!
Ashley: It was!!! Ha ha!!!! It was!!!
Kristin: Then the energy that was going on. I was kind of over there and was like getting into it with her like yes…. Ashley!!!
Ashley: Yes, you were on the dance floor!
Kristin: I couldn’t help myself because you know, whatever!? Like I don’t know. You wrapped your arms around me and said “Can we be best friends after this?!”
Ashley: I was like two margaritas in. I’m like, “Let’s do this!”
Jessie: I like your Vibes!
Ashley: I like your Vibes!!! We vibe!!!
Jessie: Ashley and John, what was your favorite musical moment of the night?
John: Our first dance. Yeah.
Ashley: Yeah, that was mine.
Jessie: What was your first dance?
Ashley: “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice. John and I struggled with our first song. I remember at the time being at work and someone was playing it and I thought, oh that’s Lee Brice…oh John! We had gone through dozens of songs; I’ve said John is very sensitive, but he is also very picky, so coming up with a first dance was a little challenging.
John: Well ya, we like different genres of music so…
Ashley: Right, so I sent him this song and immediately he hearted it on the text message and like “I love this.” Then we were sitting in my parents living room, playing all the songs for everybody and our first dance. And still to this moment, I hear it on the radio or feel sentimental and play it in my car and I bawl my eyes out like a little girl.
John: She texts me “I’m listening to our wedding song!!”
Ashley: I love this song, I love it…you remember?
Jessie: There’s totally a moment…that happened to me and my husband, we had a song picked out and we were watching something and a song came on and we were like “We have to change it to this song.” If you’re planning a wedding, wait for the moment, it’ll happen. It’ll click.
Ashley: That’s like the wedding dress, my mom said that’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. I said, “No way, this will be the easiest decision, because I’m the type of person: I know when I know. And the 3rd or 4th dress I tried on I remember, I’m going to marry my best friend in this dress!” When I heard that song…you know you know. Still to this day I wouldn’t choose anything different; it was perfect.
Jessie: Ok Kristin, what song choices stand out to you on their wedding day? Like it’s either something sweet or you broke down to it on the dance floor.
Kristin: It’s like that special moment that, “I Don’t Dance” right? I love that because if you look up that song online, the lyrics are talking about basically a guy being in love but he just doesn’t know how to dance but he wants to be in that moment with her. It was perfect because she was in her dress, you had the cloud. Even his tuxedo, what do you call it? Tuxedo tails? It was very fairytale-black tie. You’ve got this song that’s like “I don’t dance but here I am dancing with you.” It was the most… and then of course “Back it up!”
For those of you who don’t know, and should go listen, Ashley is an artist and she makes her own music. We fused some of her own songs into the night as well. For me, that was really awesome because that came from start to finish and right out of her gorgeous voice, to play those at her wedding was very special to me.
Jessie: I didn’t even know that happened that’s so cool.
Kristin: Ashley J Music on Spotify.
Ashley: Ashley J…. Ashley J_ music on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…If you just google Ashley J, I pop right up!
Jessie: Ok Ashley and John, what advice would you give to someone who’s planning their wedding and thinking of booking with Our DJ Rocks?
John: Hands down, do it! If you go with anyone else, you’re dumb.
Ashley: Do it, I’m not even joking just because…our word of the day is “vibe,” so you have the vibe. But it was a no-brainer. We had spoken to a lot of people and we said, “You know when you know.” Even if you are an indecisive person, do your homework, sure, but you will find there is no better choice. You really captured who we are as a couple and I think that is so important, especially for the music at your wedding.
You want people to have familiarity with your guests and with songs but you really need to know the couple too and have both our styles. Then just had some spectacular bangers that we both loved and shared and a crowd-pleaser. Every single person on the dance floor—even people that don’t even walk straight—were dancing and enjoyed themselves. That was a huge comment our guest would say is everyone was on the dance floor.
John: And I want to add you guys went over and above because you gave us over 200 songs to choose from and we could put them wherever we want as well. You’d hear a song here and there we didn’t choose and it goes so well with what we were thinking. And it’s because you sat down, talked to us, understood who we are as individuals, like, “This is a song he would like, let’s put it in, this is one she would like, let’s put it in there…” It was a vibe.
Ashley: It was a vibe.
Jessie: A vibe, a whole mood!
Ashley: A Mood. Everyone was in the mood; they were dancing. My mom, she doesn’t dance. That was a favorite moment, too, getting to dance with both my parents. That was super special to me. I had never seen a bride dance with her mom and that was something I was adamant about, you know? Kristin made sure that moment happened. We had so many dances. I already knew what to expect dancing with my dad, like tears, bawling my eyes out. My mom, that was a whole different emotion that I knew I expected because I planned it but the lighting…y’all did the lighting for us, like “Oh My God!” Whoa, it was so good.
Kristin: I still drool over that.
Jessie: Some of their wedding photos are in our Instagram story now and we’ll put them on the blog, but ya just drools…it’s a whole mood.
Ashley: It was a vibe…
John: It’s a vibe…
Ashley: we were one of those couples that if anything went wrong … we found out later. Like, we had wedding crashers… no idea, our team, you guys included took care of everything. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.
Jessie: Ok, last question. You guys went ALL OUT on your wedding day and I didn’t even realize but some things you didn’t even now about but it included a photo booth, uplights with party mode, dancing on a cloud, custom monogram…. You had a subwoofer… like all the upgrades…
Kristin: Because John really wanted to feel the base!
Jessie: I was wondering, like what did they need a subwoofer for?!
Kristin: Why do you not need a subwoofer??!!!
Jessie: So I want to know what did you guys think of everything, especially when you walked in and saw the cloud happening and what made you add those features?? Give us a review.
Ashley: Actually, when we all walked in, we didn’t do a cloud it was just normal, and then we were on the dance floor doing our first dance and it came to the part where… oh my God it makes me cry when I think about it sorry…where he says “Here I am spinning you round in circles.” Suddenly, this fog appeared, I just remember looking down and oh my gosh like this is SO DREAMY. It really took my breath away even thinking about it.
John: And 100% of the credit goes toward mom because the Waldorf was like “We aren’t sure we can allow this because fire regulations.” She’s like… “We’re having this, we’re putting it in, this is a requirement.” They were like, OK! Ha-ha! One of the extras that were on the checklist.
Ashley: My mom says, I don’t care what the clean up fee is, we’re having it. Her telling me this after this whole thing. And we mentioned the mood lighting, the lighting for our first dance was so dreamy and the lighting with every song had different vibes. I had “Butterfly Kisses” with my dad and “In My Daughter’s Eyes” with mom. I had never seen a bride dance with her mom before and I stress it again because it was so special. The lighting just went with the music. I’ve been in many music videos and it was like being in a video and watching it at the same time. It was an out of body experience, and the monogram it just it was spectacular.
Jessie: What did you think of the photo booth?
Ashley: When we watched those videos, we know who had a good time…and you know who hit up the open bar…the best! Johns wearing like a sailor’s hat and we have some of those framed around our house! It was so fun! I think an absolute must, it’s something different. You go to a wedding and you hear the speeches you hear the music you eat you dance you go home, and you stop at Taco Bell on the way home. For us it was not like that!!! The photo booth you could just sidestep, do something different come back out and like “Look at my photos!” I just remember having some many photos with my parents, my parent’s friends, with John… his family. It was just a total must.
John: Like when you’ve been to one wedding you’ve been to them all. But with the photo booth and some of the extras that were there, it’s different, it spices it up. It was a great option you guys offer.
Ashley: It’s like a parting gift that people made and they go home with it!
John: Yeah, it’s not like a drunk selfie, it’s not.
Ashley: It was so good. And watching after the wedding those moments and watching the moments you didn’t know happened and people tell you how they really feel and you’re like “I didn’t know you loved me that much!!” So great! 10 out of 10 would do it again!
Jessie: You guys are best, you’re like a walking billboard!
Ashley: We are brutally honest, and we would tell you if we didn’t like it! I would do it just to do it, but if you need something to spice it up or want something different, the photo booth is great and classy, I enjoyed it!
Jessie: My last question is for Kristin, a lot goes on behind the scenes on a wedding day, do you have any fun stories about their wedding that the couple may not know about?
Kristin: I thought about this beforehand and usually there’s something way left field that happens. There really wasn’t and I don’t know if that was an omen so leading up to it, everything was perfect. Even during soundcheck and photo booth tests and lighting check everything was perfect. I kept waiting all night for like something and Linda, Ashley’s mom, came in the room. She wanted to do a room reveal with the lighting and she and I had talked about Ashley’s vision and what that represents so I customized their color for them based on what they told me and when she walked in she’s like, “Oh my God perfect!” And I’m like “Thank God, next step.”
The only other moment I can think of after that was I remember Ashley’s dad coming to me like five seconds before the doors were going to be opened and he had a particular song requests and I think it was one of Ashley’s songs, but she had already requested these other songs so, let me add one more. I just thought that was sweet of him because every piece of this was thought through. That was really my first interaction with dad was he wanted to customize that. But really, I’ll be honest there wasn’t anything crazy. Which is fantastic.
Ashley: I was ready! Spill the TEA, I am ready to know who I need to contact after this!
Kristin: There wasn’t! There’s usually something! Like equipment you’ve got to replace or drama in the hallway…something with vendors…everything was just smooth. I’m glad to hear you have positive affirmations to say, too, because the end of the night wraps up and I’m like yes! I share with the team how great the weddings were and then we don’t get to talk through email so it’s nice to like to hear.
Ashley: That spilled into the wedding because we didn’t feel anything. I don’t mean because we had drinks, there was nothing that stressed us out… the wedding day was the least stressful day out of the entire process. It was so calm. We care about everybody, but we care about each other so the only question that may have come to our mind is how you are doing, and we were good…we rolled with it. Nothing happened that was catastrophe. We found out that we had wedding crashers AFTER the wedding.
Apparently at the Waldorf, we had the largest ballroom and there was a conference down the hall from us and the Waldorf is super spread out, so you walk a minute to get to our ballroom. Apparently, they had to wear formal wear, so they looked like they could have been a part of our wedding, but the staff and the bartenders were so great at the Waldorf because they recognized faces. And know the questions like “Who are you here for? What’s bride’s name, what’s the grooms name again?” Our wedding planner mentioned to us that we had up to 20 wedding crashers. One guy came in like shorts and flip flops and our wedding was black tie only so, yeah, up to 20 wedding crashers, it was crazy.
Jessie: They could hear the most amazing party happening and were like, “I need to be in the room where it happened!”
Ashley: They wanted to be a part of it, I don’t blame them. I would have probably crashed my own wedding it was so cool.
Jessie: I’m sad I wasn’t there at this point. We’ve got some of our future couples in the comments “I’m crying, and I don’t even know you all!”
Ashley: Oh that’s so nice, well you picked a great DJ group let me tell you!
Jessie: Kerri’s going to dance on her cloud on October 10th so…
Ashley: Oh, that’s another thing besides the photo booth, if you don’t have a cloud, you will regret it. You will miss it because now you know about it. Find the budget.
Kristin: We need to post that magical picture. Just that picture, nothing else.
Jessie: Grooms! Definitely! Surprise your bride with a cloud, wow…I have to go yell at my husband after this, I think.
John: Sorry Bro!
Jessie: Thank you guys so much for joining us, trusting us with your wedding and being amazing. We are so glad we got this chance to reconnect with you. And we are so grateful for couples like you. Any last thoughts Kristin? Ashley? John?
Ashley: Honestly Thank YOU! We are still on cloud nine, still dance through our cloud and if there’s anything we walked away with and our guests walked away with it’s that our music never stopped. Everyone hit the dance floor; I can’t stress it enough. My dad being musically inclined and myself being musically inclined, that was a big takeaway. Your DJ, that and your photos, are the most important part of your wedding and obviously Our DJ Rocks is the best!
Kristin: Thank you guys, thank you for letting me be a part of your wedding and create these memories. I feel like you’re going to remember this forever and I love to follow your journey because I love watching your relationship grow and building your family and that’s really special to me too so thank you!
John: Thank you for having us guys!
Ashley: Yes, thank you!
Jessie: Thank you everyone for tuning in! Join us next week for another episode of “Backstage Pass” where DJ Stasia has one of her past couples with her. Don’t forget to stay connected with us on Instagram @OurDJRocks and we will see you all soon have a good night!