The Sound of Wedding Music – Top DJs, Live Bands, Instrumentalists – Caliente has it ALL covered…

Caliente As I walked down the aisle towards Mr STG, a string quartet struck the first notes of Barry White’s The First, My Last, My Everything. Then Jerusalem of Gold. Come on, there are no rules, right?

Under the chuppah, a chazan sang so soulfully that he captured and melted the hearts of all present. And when Mr STG smashed the glass, the strings started up again for a joyous Mazal Tov/Hava Nagila medley.

After dinner my dad and his cousin followed this with a surprise rendition of ‘Swell Party / Well, Did You Evah‘. And the DJ took the party from there. Our wedding was a very personal musical extravaganza from beginning to end and we just loved it.

When it comes to your Jewish wedding, the music you choose will be as important as the venue. It becomes the heartbeat of your day and carries your guests along.

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Who can create your Wedding Soundtrack?

Meet Caliente – a Tel Aviv based company – who totally get this and will cover the ENTIRE soundtrack of your big day. They’re creative, massively experienced and provide DJs, bands, instrumentalists and singers to pretty much anywhere in the world.

They’ll sort out all your musical needs, including ones you didn’t even know you had – live singer with a DJ set anyone?

In fact, two of our upcoming STG real wedding features used these guys and LOVED them – watch out for those posts in the coming weeks.

Will they have something for you? Absolutely. Caliente has a HUGE collection of stunning acts. You can take your pick. They cover all musical genres from soft jazz ensembles, chuppah music (see the video below – I just love it), chamber string quartets, live artists and bands (with original or cover music) to seriously impressive top DJs that’ll rock your party.

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The Best Israeli Wedding Band Ever!

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We love an Israeli wedding here at STG and have covered everything from spectacular to super casual Big Days, as well as more recently, a heart-achingly gorgeous Jerusalem tale.

For many, Israel is the ultimate Jewish destination wedding; it is the most spiritual place on earth that you could choose to make this special commitment to your partner. And while it carries momentous cultural meaning, that’s just one side of its nuptial allure. Israel is also a place where east meets west, where the sun shines eight months of the year, it’s beautiful, exotic, energetic and FUN. You’d be hard pushed to match the vivacity and heady enjoyment of an Israeli bash – and where there’s a party, there’s music!

If you’re thinking of heading to Israel to marry your beloved, I implore you to follow this amazing Tel Aviv based party band, The Live Band.

This eight-to-fourteen piece outfit really is THE Israeli wedding band. Incredibly professional, energetic, charismatic and super glamorous (think tailored suits and glittery cocktail dresses), The Live Band know exactly how to create a performance that builds energy and excitement throughout the night.

They can whip the crowd up and have them eating out of the palm of their hand with their belting tunes, incredible stage presence and outstanding repertoire. From Hava Nagila to Uptown Funk they will find a playlist to suit you and your guests perfectly. Don’t believe me – just watch!

Have Atmosphere – Will Travel

Luckily The Live Band are set up to do international gigs, so whilst they are Tel Aviv-based, fret not as they can, will and have travelled anywhere in the world to bring the party. So you can have the big band Israel-style delivered to you wherever you are.

Live Band vs DJ

Traditionally, an Israeli wedding is more about the DJ but increasingly people are now turning to bands – as an alternative or as an addition – to give their wedding that extra pizazz, the real showmanship and explosive atmosphere that only live music can bring. And that’s where (aptly named) The Live Band. step in.

The Live Band’s musical signature, lead by founding members Yuval Niv and Yonatan Fridge, in collaboration with incredible vocalists and super talented instrumentalists, is a polished, upbeat sound, delivered with incredible energy and performance. There’s no singing from song sheets like the dreaded wedding singers from films. They are experienced, professional musicians who love what they do and have played with the top singers and bands in the Israeli music industry – Rita, Shlomo Artzi, Idan Raichel, Ivri Lider …

You just cant replicate that magical moment when all your favourite people in the world are all on their feet, dancing to the same (perfectly chosen, well-timed) tune, smiling, singing, hands in the air and of course one of two with their eyes closed, lost in the moment. And that’s what this Tel Aviv band bring. If there is one thing The Live Band knows how to do, it’s how to make a party explode!

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How To Have The Most Fun On The Dance Floor At Your Jewish Wedding

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Top image: Kelly Kollar Photography, taken from Ava & Josh’s Art deco-inspired Jewish wedding
All other images: Laura DeBourde Photography, taken from Amy & Steve’s Jewish wedding

I have to hand it to Steve, my husband – he knows how to set priorities when it comes to wedding planning. We got married last month, and he didn’t care too much about many of the little details – talk of place cards and napkin rings didn’t garner much interest. But when it came to planning our wedding reception (or party, as we liked to call it), he knew exactly what he wanted.

We both love to dance and often host parties at our flat – friends end up dancing in the kitchen, the living room and even the hallway. Music was always going to be an important part of our big day. When we first started talking about what kind of party we wanted to have, Steve said it was important to him to invest our money in three things –

  1. A groovy dance floor to complement our largely 70’s, 80’s and 90’s playlist
  2. A band or/and D.J. that we respected
  3. Lighting to create a party mood

Jewish wedding dancing
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Top 20 songs to play immediately after smashing the glass at a Jewish wedding!

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Image by Dave & Charlotte

There’s no doubt about it, one of the theatrical highlights of any Jewish wedding is when the groom stamps his foot and smashes that glass (is it any surprise that it’s the Jewish wedding tradition this blog is named after?!).

For me, the breaking of the glass is THE moment of a Jewish wedding. With cries of ‘mazal tov’, cheering, clapping and hollering, it’s a great time to play your favourite party song to kickstart the celebrations, smooch your beloved for the first time as man and wife, and joyously embrace your loved ones.

You may want to choose a tune that’s personal to you as a couple, or perhaps something brilliantly traditional like Siman Tov U Mazal Tov or Hava Nagila, but if you want to pump up the party atmosphere, choose any one of following 20 songs.

The first 10 tunes are my top picks, whilst the following 10 come courtesy of Maya Bechor from Zebra Music, who’s an expert at gently encouraging couples to step out of their comfort zone of ordinary “wedding music”.

All 20 tunes are also handily compiled in this Spotify playlist for your entertainment pleasure.

Are there any other ‘breaking the glass songs’ you’ve you heard that really got the party started? Let me know in the comments section below!


1. Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder


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Jazz up your new year with Totem, the ultimate live Jewish wedding entertainment

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Happy New Year everybody! Here’s a post to liven up your celebrations in 2015 and beyond, and it comes with lots of goodies (a free evening of live music, and a very special offer for all brides and grooms) so listen up!

Joyous dancing at Jewish weddings is a tradition as old as Jewish weddings themselves, and is certainly one of the things I love most about a W-Day. In fact, when Mr STG and I were planning our wedding, music was way up there with the most important elements of our day. We spent hours crafting the perfect playlist, and would have loved to have had live music at our party, but sadly it just wasn’t within our budget. Who wouldn’t be thrilled by a live music set rocking, jiving, or jazzing up your wedding party? And what if the live music was guaranteed to energise your guests all night long with a fusion of the visual and acoustic brilliance of a live band with the flexibility and modern feel of a DJ?

Well, I might have just uncovered the answer to all your musical prayers with one of the best Jewish wedding bands around – Totem. They’re experts at reading the crowd and building energy on the dance floor by mixing and blending a diverse set of genres to appeal to your taste and guest make-up, meaning everyone from the Best Man to Grandma has an absolutely amazing time!

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See and hear Totem live in central London on 22nd January

You can read all the testimonials in the world, but in my mind it’s still vital to ‘try before you buy’, and see a wedding band perform live to find out if they’re the right fit for you. Well those talented Totem-ites are putting on a cracking showcase on Thursday 22nd January from 8-10.30pm, in central London, at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone (as a matter of fact, just a stone’s throw away from Smashing The Glass HQ).

What a brilliant way to kick off the New Year! There’s no way that I’m missing out on this. Myself and Mr STG will be attending so do come over and say hi (I’ll be the one throwing out the crazy dance shapes). I’m so looking forward to meeting you!

To confirm your attendance to the free showcase, simply click on the image below and fill out the form, or email showcase@totem-tribe.co.uk, or call 020 8207 4794.

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