The Enthusiasts Guide from “Yes” to “I Do”

Host Leah Longbrake is pulling back the veil to bring you honest advice and creative ideas from those in the wedding industry. From the Engagement to the Honeymoon, get all the details you need from wedding and event experts on how to make it your best day ever!

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DJ and Band Advice From "The Bearded DJ" Eric Smith

DJ and Band Advice From "The Bearded DJ" Eric Smith

CLE Music Group DJ Eric Smith, a.k.a The Bearded DJ, shares his advice on how to select your DJ or band for your wedding. He also gives us his take on how soon you should book, what songs you should consider, and extras you could include in your package.


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Get to know Eric:

Eric Smith has always loved sharing music with people and had a knack for creating the perfect mix tapes and playlists for every person or occasion in his life. DJing was a natural progression of this passion. Eric trained directly with CMG’s owner, DJ Scott E. Jones, learning the ins and outs of creating a flawless event that guests will never forget.

Eric realizes that, as no two events will ever be the same, being organized and able to adjust to changes efficiently will insure your night goes off without a hitch. His extensive library of digital music spans all genres and his knowledge allows him to quickly choose the right songs for every crowd. This love of music, expert training and vast experience has made the Bearded DJ one of Cleveland’s premier wedding DJs.



This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Executive Producers David Moss, Gerardo Orlando, Production Director Brigid Coyne and Audio Engineer Eric Koltnow

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Leah Longbrake:
Eric. I'm really excited to have you on the show today. And before we get started deep diving into booking a DJ or a band, tell us a little bit about yourself and CLE music group.

Eric Smith:
Yeah, so I've been deejaying for 10 years now. I got started late, I was 28. I'm not sure anybody is going to college and thinking like "I'm going to be a wedding DJ when I'm older or as a career." And it just kind of just kind of fell in my lap. And I don't know if that's the right saying, but I saw somebody that I went to school with doing it and saying, "Hey, I'm making a Facebook post, I'm going out to DJ." And I was like, well, we were the guys that were putting together a playlist in college for parties. And I was like, "If he can do it, I can do it." So then I reached out to him and then he told me to get ahold of Scott at Cleveland music group, which was then Jerry Bruno productions.

Eric Smith:
And that was kind of it. I went and talked to Scott, followed Scott around for a couple of years and started deejaying on my own. And now it's been 10 years and it's a full-blown career, which is insane to me. And to everybody that I know I think when I started doing it.

Leah Longbrake:
Has to be exciting to be a part of a couple's most important day.

Eric Smith:
Yeah. As a wedding vendor I feel like I have the best job just because all I have to do is make sure everybody's having a good time. And then when I walk away at the end of the night, my job's over, I don't have to do anything else. And videographers and photographers there's hours of editing and culling and doing all this other stuff, and I just get to come and have fun and then leave, which is crazy. And I think back on what my legacy will be, and it's, thousands of people just had fun because I was there playing music for them. Which is a pretty awesome thing.

Leah Longbrake:
Now you also have your own podcast. Tell us about that.

Eric Smith:
Yeah. So I have a podcast called New Dad, Newer Dad with a wedding photographer friend of mine, Dustin Lopez, that we started in 2018 when we both found out we were having, well my second kid, his first kid. And we were talking at a wedding about podcasts and wanting to start talking about stuff and we were going through the pregnancy journey with our wives. And so we started the podcast about being a parent and becoming a parent, and then we never stopped becoming parents after that. So we started with one kid, I just had my son Bo, and now between the two of us we have five kids.

Leah Longbrake:
Wow.

Eric Smith:
I think that's it. But we're going to keep talking about being parents.

Leah Longbrake:
Well, as the kids grow, there's more content to discuss.

Eric Smith:
Yeah, every time we found out my wife was pregnant, we were like, "Well, that's more content for the podcast, at least."

Leah Longbrake:
So let's go right into the very first thing I think that comes to mind when it comes to hiring a DJ, where do you start looking? Where should a couple start considering who to hire to be a DJ, or band, or just a company in general?

Eric Smith:
I think you should really kind of think about your own experience and the weddings that you've been to. There's a lot of bad DJs, there's a lot of bad bands. There's a lot of great DJs and there's a lot of great bands, especially in Cleveland. So being able to see something firsthand is probably the best way to kind of know what you want and what you're looking for. And there's so many different styles, like there's the DJ that will get out there and dance with people and teach them how to dance. A lot of people don't want that, some people do want that. So that's something to consider.


Leah Longbrake:
How much stock should couples put into reviews? Like if someone goes to The Knot or Wedding Wire or a company's website, are reviews a good telltale of how their service is?

Eric Smith:
That's a tough one because it can be, but it also can be misleading. The Knot and WeddingWire, it's fairly easy to get bad reviews taken down. So one group comes to mind that Cleveland music group is kind of educating people about that isn't really a band, it's a company nationwide that throws together like pick up bands for every wedding like two weeks before, but they have thousands of great reviews because they're nationwide and they can have them all sourced to this one spot. And you'll find like one or two bad reviews sprinkled in here because most of them they're able to get taken out because if there's like one piece of information that's not a hundred percent accurate, they can get rid of those reviews fairly easily.

Leah Longbrake:
Interesting.

Eric Smith:
But reviews are important. A lot of times on the website, you're going to see a lot of good reviews. I think volume is going to tell you a lot, like the higher volume of reviews is going to be helpful.

Leah Longbrake:
But you shouldn't put like full stock into it. It's not like a guarantee. It's a good gauge, but like you said earlier on, try to see if you can see them in action.

Eric Smith:
Right. If you can see them in action, that's great. Selling bands and DJs, we send people out to see bands. It's a lot easier and it's a lot more important to see a band in person because they have a song list that they pull from for weddings, and there's only so much that they can do, so the performance is going to be fairly similar every time out. So you're going to get a really good idea of what they can do if you go. We send couples out to do peak ins at weddings. So once dancing's started.

Leah Longbrake:
You can? Like wedding crash?

Eric Smith:
Yeah. But we teach everybody what to do for these peak ins. So we have them come like once dancing has already started, dress like you're a wedding guest, come in the front door and like hang back and just kind of observe the band.

Leah Longbrake:
Okay. Interesting. So it's not like in wedding singer where like you're seeing the guy up there on stage solo, trying to woo you.

Eric Smith:
I would hope not. I hope we're not sending people out to do that. And we always check with the couple whose wedding it is to make sure that they're okay and they're aware that someone's going to be coming to check it out. So there's no surprises there. With a DJ it's totally different because A DJ has literally every piece of music at their disposal, so we don't like sending couples out to see DJs because He could play one song that you don't like, and that'll turn you off from that DJ completely. When in reality, you're going to go through a huge planning process with that DJ, so that song probably would never get played at your wedding anyways. So people ask to go see DJs at weddings and, and it's really there's too much that goes into each wedding for that specific couple, at least for me and most of our DJs, that we make it so unique to each person that it probably wouldn't be a good representation of what would be happening at your wedding.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah. And if you do not want the guests to make song requests, make it very clear. Because like I had told our DJ, absolutely not, like here is pretty much in order, how I would like the music, I kind of curated it. and come the reception I'm like, "Why the hell is Run Around Sue playing?" Like, not that I don't love [crosstalk 00:08:11].

Eric Smith:
You don't like Run Around Sue?

Leah Longbrake:
No, I do, just not for my wedding. Like I know it's popular at weddings and tons of people on the dance floor, and so that's why I didn't complain, but I was like... but because that played, Irish Celebration from Macklemore did not, you know what I mean? So it's like the trade-off, but like I should have said, I just should have reminded earlier on like, as a reminder, no song requests, but I mean, whatever, people had fun and loved it. But if you're adamant about-

Eric Smith:
Do you think Run Around Sue was a song request?

Leah Longbrake:
It was for sure. So it was also my friend's birthday, another reason why I didn't complain, and he requested it.

Eric Smith:
Interesting. It's funny that you picked that song because I play Run Around Sue at every single wedding.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah. It's a popular wedding song, people love it. And I love the song, I just didn't want it at my wedding. But people don't like Celebration from Kool and The Gang, and I'm obsessed with it. So I made sure it was at the wedding. So that's all.

Eric Smith:
Yeah, and Celebration is one that I don't play at every wedding.

Leah Longbrake:
Okay. So I'm going to kind of jump ahead then. What is like the top three most popular wedding songs and the three least like people are like "Please don't chicken dance me or electric slide."?

Eric Smith:
Yeah. I mean, so like I have... and this is something that when you're talking to a DJ, you can really get a feel for like what they're going to play, and then this is something that I make clear to everybody that talks to me before booking. I have my own personal do not play list in my mind of like chicken dance, I don't go near the chicken dance. I don't go near YMCA. Electric slide is one of like it's a bottom tier line dance, and even just line dances in general, I don't touch those unless I need them. Those are tools, and that's the only way that I use line dances.

Leah Longbrake:
Like if people are not getting on the dance floor, you're like, "All right, Cupid Shuffle it is."

Eric Smith:
Yeah. Yeah. Same with slow songs. Like if we have a party going and everybody's just going crazy, I don't want to slow it down.

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

Eric Smith:
Like I just want to keep going, so a slow song gets people on the dance floor that maybe wouldn't be on the dance floor for the fun stuff, so that's when I use it.


Eric Smith:
It's so tough to say like what a top wedding song is. There's like the ones that everybody knows, like Don't Stop Believing a like strictly last song. For some reason up until this year, I've played it at like, I don't know, 70% of my weddings as like one of the last two songs. I stopped playing it. I don't know why, I just stopped playing it.

Leah Longbrake:
Don't Stop Believing?

Eric Smith:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
You stopped believing in Don't Stop Believing?

Eric Smith:
I did.

Leah Longbrake:
Maybe it was the pandemic, maybe it just crushed the spirit.

Eric Smith:
I love ending the night on a song that maybe the couple didn't realize they even wanted, but it like falls in line with their requests completely or, or like something that came up during a toast. Like that's the stuff that I love to do is when I'm really doing my job and paying attention and like I pick up on something and I'm like, "All right, this is what I'm going to do." And then the end of the night just like the last three songs are just like huge singalongs.

Leah Longbrake:
Like Sweet Caroline?

Eric Smith:
Sweet Caroline I reserve for requests. If I get a request from the bride and groom, I'll play it. Yes. Sweet Caroline is a little bit cliche.

Leah Longbrake:
September by Earth, Wind, and Fire I would think is classic.

Eric Smith:
September is awesome. September is really fun. Usually if I have a longer seventies set I'll get into some September.

Leah Longbrake:
Sneak some Brick House in.

Eric Smith:
Yeah, Brick House comes up on do not playlists a lot.

Leah Longbrake:
Really?

Eric Smith:
Yeah. So I tend to stay away. When things like constantly come up on a do not play list, I tend to like store that and just kind of stay away from them in general.

Leah Longbrake:
And then you probably have like the more modern, pretty much anything Justin Timberlake, especially like a Sexy Back or Can't Stop the Feeling I'm assuming?

Eric Smith:
Yeah. Can't Stop the Feeling a couple of years ago, every wedding. It's started declining this year, I think I've played it just a couple of times because there was requests, but it's like some songs stick around... like Blurred Lines in 2013. God, Blurred lines, I played it three, four times at one wedding because they'd want it over and over again. And I don't play it anymore like at all.

Leah Longbrake:
It's over.

Eric Smith:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
And completely original, the Marvin Gay Got To Give It Up.

Eric Smith:
It's a good song, it's just not dancy. It's not danceable enough. Like that's a good cocktail song for sure.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah.

Eric Smith:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, so that's something else that couples should consider. Like you're not just looking into what music to play for your reception, you've got pre-ceremony, during the ceremony, and cocktail hour.

Eric Smith:
Yeah. And dinner too.

Leah Longbrake:
And dinner, yeah. So Let's start with ceremony.

Eric Smith:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
What should you consider with your pre music and your walk down the aisle, both you and your bridal party? Because there's so many options, you can go with a pop hit or R&B jam, or you can have violinist, like where do you begin with that?

Eric Smith:
I mean because you're going to set the vibe for the rest of the night, so it's really just kind of what you want to do. Do you want this to be a fun evening? Do you want it to be like a serious thing? Most of the time people now, they opt for like during the prelude, if I'm providing the music, I'm usually playing like Vitamin String Quartet, string covers, that kind of thing, something soft and then change it up a little bit for the processionals. I always recommend having the bridal processional sound a little bit different than the rest of the bridal party. Like if you're doing strings for the bridal party, do a piano cover for the bride. So just as something to kind of differentiate and not make it all feel like it's just one thing, like really make you feel special. But then yeah, you can, you can do the live musicians, string quartet, they sound amazing. And if you're out in a barn or something, get a guitarist.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, yeah.

Eric Smith:
There's a lot of great guitar singers here in Cleveland.

Leah Longbrake:
Jazz quartet?

Eric Smith:
Jazz quartets are great. And that's something that can be more fun too, you can transition that into cocktail hour and have a saxophonist walking around.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh yeah, that'd be fun. I love that. And then how should you determine you walk down the aisle to? Like I'm not traditional, so I didn't walk down to the... I walked down to Paul McCartney and wings, Maybe I'm Amazed, but if someone's on the fence, like, what do I do? Do I go the traditional route?


Eric Smith:
Do whatever you want to do. Like, whatever feels right. This is what I always tell bride and grooms, it's your day, you can do whatever you want. I'm just there to facilitate it. It comes up a lot with the cake cutting, like, "Oh, what do people normally do for the cake cutting?" It doesn't matter what people normally do, cake cutting is such a little thing. People will default, if you Google it, it'll say like, "Oh, do like Sugar, Sugar, or something having to do with sweet or sugar" or whatever. You don't need to do that. Maybe you had a runner up for your first dance, pick that. Pick whatever you want.

Leah Longbrake:
That's a great option.

Eric Smith:
It doesn't have to be anything. This is like one minute of you cutting a cake and like half of your guests paying attention, make it special, pick a song that you love. It doesn't matter what it is.

Leah Longbrake:
That's a great tip. So then when you transition for cocktail and dinner, should you stick to music that's more instrumental. Can you do songs with lyrics? Like what's the best bet?

Eric Smith:
For cocktail hour I would say doing instrumental is probably not necessary for cocktail hour because people are up and moving and louder. If you're going to keep it quiet, I would do that during dinner. The biggest thing when I'm handling cocktail and dinner music for couples is that I make playlists for every single wedding that I do. I don't have like a cocktail hour that I am like, "Okay, here's my cocktail hour music. This is what I use."

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

Eric Smith:
And you should be skeptical of any DJ that does that because it's your wedding day. So maybe you don't love dancing or your groom doesn't love dancing, so they're not going to be interested in that part of the evening so much. Cocktail hour and dinner is a time where you can tell me what kind of music you want to listen to or what you listen to in your daily lives, and I can create a playlist for you just based off of that. Give me a few artists and I'm going to build it.

Eric Smith:
If you looked at my Spotify, I have hundreds of playlists on there from cocktail hours and dinners that I've created for every single wedding that I've done. I use the Rat Pack as an example, I always tell people if you don't listen to Frank Sinatra in your daily life, why would you listen to it on your wedding day?

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, that's true.

Eric Smith:
Like let me put together a nice indie playlist for you, or some new country, some old country, anything that you want. And sometimes that's the most fun thing for me too is when someone gives me like an odd request for like a cocktail hour. Like I've had someone say, like, "I just want eighties ballads." I'm like, "I love it." I will spend all day making this awesome playlist for you that's way longer than it needs to be. One wedding I did they just wanted one hit wonders. I was like, "This is amazing." And then you get to do a deep dive on one hit wonders, and it's little things like that.

Leah Longbrake:
I love what you said though, like be skeptical if the DJ just has a grab and go playlist. I mean, unless you're really cool with that, but then you're not getting something curated for you probably the rest of the time either.

Eric Smith:
Yeah. And if you don't want to be bothered with giving someone music that you like, then that's fine. That's a question to ask when you're booking somebody or trying to decide on a DJ, "What is your approach to cocktail and dinner music? Is this something that," if you lead in the questioning, they're going to obviously going to answer in the affirmative, but you should have a hand in that and they should want to make the day special for you.

Leah Longbrake:
Do these rules also apply if you're booking a band?

Eric Smith:
Oh yeah, definitely because a lot of times the band is going to be playing music through their system for cocktail hour rather than performing it. Because usually the performance starts later on, so they go through the same process for cocktail and dinner music usually, at least for the beginning of dinner. But yeah, with bands, they're going to give you the song list of all the songs that they're capable of. Always ask if there's something that you don't see on the list, but they're going to have you cross out songs that you don't want them to play also.

Leah Longbrake:
So when in the planning process should a couple start doing their research and booking a DJ or band? There's only so many days in a year and Fridays and Saturdays definitely fill up fast. So how soon should they start looking?

Eric Smith:
It depends on how important it is to you. So when I was planning my wedding, I knew I wanted to have this one band, like I knew I wanted them. So I reached out to them and I was like, "Hey, these are a couple of weekends we're planning on having our wedding, which ones are you open?" And they lined up with our venue and that was it. It was venue and then band, because we knew what we wanted. So yeah, it's kind of how you prioritize things, and normally, music kind of ends up as like a third or fourth thing that people are usually booking. So it usually goes venue, photographer, and then somewhere music is in there, and then flowers after that usually.

Leah Longbrake:
So I know budget's going to vary based on region, cost in Cleveland's going to be different than New York city or LA or if you're in the UK or Australia, but what's a good, healthy budget range for a DJ and for a band that couples should kind of have already in their heads so they're not sticker shocked?

Eric Smith:
Yeah. I mean, in Cleveland, for a good DJ you're going to spend at least... I want to say at least 1500, and that's usually for five hours. So you have to budget a little bit more if you need them to handle ceremony, cocktail hour, anything over five hours. A band, good bands are usually going to start around $4,000. That's for a smaller band, usually four or five pieces.

Leah Longbrake:
And then of course there's add-ons because companies like yours, like CLE music group, you do far more than just DJs and bands, there's up-lighting, there's photo and video booths, et cetera. So tell us about some of these different offerings and the pro and cons of couples having them.

Eric Smith:
Yeah. So we do a ton of uplighting, photobooths, bistro lighting. A lot of that's dependent on the venue, like a place like city hall or courthouse, you've never seen those without uplights. So that's usually something that we let couples know upfront when they're booking their band or their DJ, "You're definitely going to want this." But usually stuff like that, it's so easy to add that on later. So that's something that if you're in a room that might need it, might not need it, you can hold off and kind of see where your budget's at and add it on later if you find some extra money. Super easy to add on later. Same with photo booths. If you decide to do the photo booth, they're a ton of fun, some people just don't like them.

Leah Longbrake:
Well, there's so many different versions now, too. Because like there's still the traditional photo booth, which is fun and great, and I recommend just making it your favor like I did, because it saves you money there too. But there's also the video booths that I see that are really popular now, there's like the ring light ones that are kind of self-contained.

Eric Smith:
Yeah, like the purely social booths, like we have one of those called the halo booth where it's just like a picture or a GIF and you're emailing it right away. I love that. It's really easy to do those. And I feel like you can just go back and go back and go back and it's really fun. But yeah, there's so many different things now it's kind of crazy. Those 360 booths scare me.

Leah Longbrake:
Why is that?

Eric Smith:
So I'm looking at a tripod here with like a skinny arm on it, right? And it's like attached to this thing on the bottom and it just seems like it's not what I would want to have around like 150 drunk people. Like, it just seems like it's going to break. I don't know.

Leah Longbrake:
Is this like where you spin around? Kind of like an [crosstalk 00:23:29]

Eric Smith:
Yeah. You stand on like a circle platform and it goes around you.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah. I think of like on the Oscars, it's something that they've been doing now, having them on the pedestal and it goes around. That's crazy. I didn't know that was happening in weddings. I thought it was just for like Oscar night.

Eric Smith:
Yeah, no, I've seen them at a couple of weddings. We've had them at like networking events and stuff here. So they're out there.

Leah Longbrake:
I know you offer it, but how popular are the monograms that are like lit up on your dance floor, on the walls and stuff like that?

Eric Smith:
Stuff like that has kind of fallen a little bit in popularity. I feel like maybe monograms are like the next ice sculpture type thing. But there's venues especially around here where they look great. Like if there's a big bare like brick wall or something and you want to throw something up there. Now there's a lot of like we offer like vinyl dance floor wrapping. So you can have a design on the dance floor, you can have like your initials or names right there with really a cool design all over it. I think people are kind of moving towards that and away from the monograms.



Leah Longbrake:
Anything music wise that you're seeing a trend in? Like people going away from something or doing more of like eighties or nineties?

Eric Smith:
Yeah. I mean the early 2000s is like the most fun thing to play right now, because that's like the age group that's getting married is like 30 years old. So I mean that music right now is the most fun for me to play because I was in high school and college at that time. So that's kind of always the music that sticks with you. So yeah, it's definitely the most fun to play right now. And I'm trying to think... it's tough because the music right now, I'm going to sound like such an old person, but there isn't like a ton of like great music to play at weddings that's coming out currently. It's like the last like album where you got multiple tracks to play was like Bruno Mars.

Leah Longbrake:
That's true. I haven't really heard any jams in the last like couple of years and like, "Oh, that's going to be like an arena hit or at all the weddings," like I love Dua Lipa, I think her music's great, but I can't think of one of the songs I'm like, "That's going to be played at every wedding or during halftime."

Eric Smith:
Yeah. Levitating is probably one of the better, newer songs to play at a wedding. And I'm trying to think like Lizzo is really fun to play at weddings too.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah. But even that's a couple of years old already.

Eric Smith:
Yeah it is, which is crazy. It's like we missed a whole year of playing Lizzo at weddings last year.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, 2020 just didn't exist. And actually let's get to that because with COVID a lot of couples postponed their wedding, so with this wedding season of 2021 and going into 2022, are you seeing this kind of like jam of couples trying to like get in their dates on top of the people that have been getting engaged in the meantime?

Eric Smith:
Yeah, because we went through a whole summer last year of just canceling and postponing and there was no selling happening. Nobody wanted to book anything at that time. So now we're doing all these weddings that were postponed and then people are like, "Well let me get my wedding in also," and so now it's crazy now just trying to get everything in and help everybody.

Leah Longbrake:
So definitely something for couples to consider is if having a DJ or a band is important to you, get on that as soon as you get your date and venue, because there's a lot of couples that are still making up for that lost time, and then all the couples being engaged now.

Eric Smith:
Yeah. And even 2022 is booking pretty quickly. I'm almost fully booked for 22 already, which is crazy.

Leah Longbrake:
Any 23s already?

Eric Smith:
Do I have any 23s yet? I don't think so. I think as a company we have like five 23s booked.

Leah Longbrake:
But engagement season is coming up.

Eric Smith:
Yeah, the engagement season during the winter, like I'm sure starting in November, we're just going to be all 23 at that point.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah. So any last advice for couples planning their wedding?

Eric Smith:
Just do your research. I think something that you've touched on with some of the early guests like Angela and Melanie is being comfortable with the person that you hire because they're going to be with you. The photographer is going to be there all day, you got to make sure that your personalities mesh and the person knows exactly what you're looking for. So a lot of times I ended up working with a lot of the same people like a Melanie or an Angela just because we attract the same type of people. So once you find a planner or a photographer that you're super comfortable with, ask them for a few recommendations because they're going to give you people that they like working with also. So if they're comfortable with them, chances are pretty good that you're going to be comfortable with them also. But yeah, it's all about finding that personality match and make sure that they're going to do stuff that makes the day special for you and your guests.

Leah Longbrake:
I love that. That is really great advice. My last question for you.

Leah Longbrake:
What to you, Eric, personally, to you, is the best first dance song?

Eric Smith:
Oh, see you asked this to someone, one of your other guests and I was thinking about it and I hate doing this because [crosstalk 00:30:33] I know I picked something, like I picked out my first dance song for my wife and it was The Woman I Love by Jason Mraz, it was a live version, like an acoustic. And it was just because when I heard it, I thought about her. So it was really so specific to us that it wasn't this huge popular song that everybody else was going to be using, it was just something that we could have. And then there's times where like my friend has asked me for advice. I'm like, "You guys, I can't give you your first dance song," but they were getting married in 2013, in September, and John legend just released All of Me. And I was like, "This is a really great song." And it hadn't gone off the charts yet, it literally just came out.

Eric Smith:
I was like, "Guys, listen to this song, see if you like it, because I love it." And it was just like, they listen to it and they're like, "Oh my God, this is the perfect song." And then by the time their wedding rolled around, it was like number one for weeks on end and it was the most popular first dance song. A more current one that I really like is Leon Bridges has an acoustic version of Beyond. I think Luke Bryant might be on it also, but I think he did it for like Spotify sessions. Really, really cool version. But yeah, again, it's like it's so personal and specific that I hate giving recommendations unless I know more about the people.

Leah Longbrake:
No, I know it's tough. And I had to like, because I love the wedding planner, I always think of when they're in the car ride trying to decide their first dance song and Olivia Newton John's I Honestly Love You comes on and J-Lo's like it has a six month before divorce rate song.

Eric Smith:
Yeah. But listen to Beyond by Leon Bridges. It's an awesome, awesome song and there's something about making you my wife in there. It's just it's really cool and it's kind of funky and the Spotify Session one is a little bit slower, so it's nice for a first dance.

Leah Longbrake:
I will definitely check that out. So how can we get more information on you, Eric and CLE music group?

Eric Smith:
So I'm in the office at Cleveland music group, you can look us up online, follow us on Instagram. I believe it's CLE music group, G-R-P. I'm @thebeardedDJ pretty much everywhere. If you're a parent and you want to listen to a podcast and listen to me struggle about parenting, New Dad, Newer Dad and we're on Instagram too.

Leah Longbrake:
Cool. Well, thanks for being here today. A lot of great advice and I'd love to have you back.

Eric Smith:
Of course.

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