Aaron Barksdale-Burns of Californos Reviews Elite Sounds

Working together with Californos comes so naturally to us. I'm sure it has something to do with their knowledge of the wedding industry and professionalism to make every event a success. Here's what head coordinator Aaron Barksdale-Burns had to say on the subject.

To Toss Or Not To Toss

The Bouquet Toss. An old tradition that comes from England. To try and obtain some of the bride’s good fortune, women used to rip pieces of the bride’s dress and flowers. I can smell the desperation from here. I guess it didn’t occur to these women to just try and be tolerable to one person out of the 7 billion options. So to escape their grab-happy guests, women would toss their bouquet and run away... Like a grenade.

As tradition worthy as that mess sounds, a lot of brides are steering away from the bouquet toss. Some of your uber-traditional wedding guests may be shocked but chances are they’re older and wouldn’t be able to participate anyway. And those single women that can participate often have to be forced to the dance floor to endure the occasion awkwardly. Who’s really winning here?

By all means, if you have been dreaming of tossing the bouquet at your wedding since you were a little girl, then do it! It is your day and if you want to hurl a batch of flowers, the choice is yours.

Looking for a reasonable medium? Consider giving the bouquet to the next couple at your wedding that is arranged to be married. Or you could do an Anniversary Dance and give the bouquet to the couple that has been married the longest. Or to avoid the single women awkwardness, just invite ALL of your female guests to the dance floor. Toss it and give the winner a nice bottle of wine.

Ultimately, this formality is a personal preference. Whether you want to go old-school, revamp it or boot it. Do what suits you and your guests best. It is what you make it.

Quick Tip - Guest Count

Wondering what the magic number is for your reception guest count? The magic number is.... More!

Real KC Wedding - Hayes & Taylor at Mildale Farm

A gorgeous day in May, 2017 was the setting for Taylor & Hayes Farwell’s reception at Mildale Farms in Edgerton, Kansas. One of the highlights was Champ, Taylor’s lab as the ring bearer. Other special moments were shared from personal notes, self-written vows, and hilarious toasts. And we ended the night with a memorable dance floor celebration. Big thanks to a very fun bride, groom, friends and family. So honored we could be a part of this unique event.


Photo Credit - Melissa Sigler Photography


Special thanks to the vendors that made this event a reality.

Kansas City wedding venue – Mildale Farm

Photographer – Melissa Sigler

Florist – Heartstrings – a floral boutique

Cake – Cardinal Cake Company

Pies – The Upper Crust

Invitation Suite – Magpie Designed

Caterer – Ambrosia Catering

Makeup Artist – Jolie Artistry

Wedding gown – Kitty Chen

Bridesmaids Dresses – Adrianna Papell

Menswear – Mens Wearhouse

Officiant – Nanette Roberts

Engagement & wedding rings – Shane Co

The Backup Plan

You’re working your way through your wedding checklist. It’s stressful. We get it, but even so, we want to make sure you are considering a few items as you search for that perfect DJ company.

No matter what your budget is there are some things you should always consider when hiring your entertainment. One of the most important is their emergency backup plan.

Accidents happen. No one in any business is immune to something going wrong. People get sick. Cars wreck. Equipment fails. It’s just the nature of the beast. But where your DJ company should be separating themselves from the pack is in the way they handle emergencies. Be sure to ask the right questions. What happens if your DJ is sick on the day of? What happens in the event of equipment malfunction? What is the backup plan?

At Elite Sounds, we have 8 DJs with experience ranging from 5-20 years. None of us are wet-behind-the-ear-newbies. And all of our DJs are active. We aren’t bringing Father Time out of retirement to play the Hokey Pokey at your reception. Each of our DJs is up to date with what is happening in the KC wedding scene and in the national music scene.

We encourage you to check out our reviews on The Knot. We are a company comprised of successful DJs with great past client reviews!  Not a company with one or two all stars and then a bunch of duds. We are a group of well-established, collaborative DJs that grow our skills together. As you scroll through the reviews, notice how many different DJs are mentioned. When you are looking through other DJ company reviews, be sure and keep an eye out. They may have 100 five star reviews, but is there only one or two people out of a staff of 5 or 10 being mentioned in every review that you see? If so, you better hope that you aren’t paired with the others that aren’t getting any kudos.  You know nothing about them!  They’re riding the coattails of the others!

If something were to go wrong at your event (knock on wood), we always have a DJ that is unbooked when we have events happening. They are “on-call”. Ready with your special songs, timeline and requests to take over like nothing ever happened.

In fact, here is a review that we received several years ago when one of our DJs ended up in the hospital and not able to be at Lisa & Joe’s reception as planned:

Our backup DJ is also prepared for equipment malfunctions. We have multiple complete DJ setups at our office in the crossroads, packed and waiting to be hauled out.

So know your DJ company’s back-up plan and roster. Hire a company you trust, not just an individual. Once you do, it is one less thing you have to worry about.

4 Aspects of an Outrageously Successful Introduction Song

There are a couple of high energy focal moments during your wedding day. The first kiss. The dance floor. And the grand entrance. (I left the part of the night after the reception off because we can’t help you with that). However, we do have some advice on making your grand entrance a moment to remember.

At Elite Sounds we pride ourselves on bringing newlyweds’ reception visions to life. We are always collaborating with brides and grooms that are unique in their own way. Whether they are going for a traditional feel or a completely original new concept for a reception. So whether you want Shut Up and Dance or When a Man Loves a Woman for your introduction, we will be there to make sure it is what you have envisioned. We have success stories from both ends but let us break down some of the aspects of a great grand entrance track.

The more of these aspects you can check off, the more relevant and successful your grand entrance song will be.

High Energy
This is your big entrance! Your guests just watched your relationship go to the next level and they’re as amped as you are. Pick a song that reflects that energy.

Topically Relevant
Outta Your Mind by LMFAO is an extremely high energy song. But is it topically relevant? Unless you two were crazy to tie the knot, then probably not. It may be cliche but this may be the time to pick a love song. And mind you, just because it is a love song doesn’t mean it has to be a slow song. 87% of songs are love songs (we made up this statistic, but it’s probably not far off considering every song ever).

Crowd Familiarity
You want your guests to be able to relate to the way your feeling. Picking an obscure track can be a risky move if you are going to be looking for crowd reaction/participation. However, if you are able to hit the other points, this could potentially be overruled.

Personally Special
You want a track that speaks to both you and your partner. Find a track that has a special memory attached to it. Or one that shares a similar significance to each person. For example, we had a couple chose Space Jam by Quad City DJ’s to walk in to. They were both 90’s kids and loved 90’s music. They loved movies. Was it a high energy track? Check. Topically relevant? Perhaps not (but they danced in and made it their own). Crowd familiarity? You betcha.

For those of you who are considering picking a different track for every bridesmaid and groomsman, we would lean you a different direction. A single track allows for a uniform energy level, smoother transitions and won’t add hecticness to an already exciting formality. When you choose a different track for each couple your crowd will only hear about 10 seconds of each song, resulting in a muddled mess. If you do want an extra song option, consider just having one for the bridal party and a different one for the newlyweds.

After you book with Elite Sounds you meet your DJ. Our DJs can help you find the perfect track for your entrance after learning more about your musical tastes, relationship history and the overall style of your wedding.


Photo Credit - Brianne Elizabeth Photography

Audrey & Mike's Reception

We had an amazing time making Audrey & Mike's reception their dream party. They were kind enough to sit down with us and give us their thoughts on the night and our services. Thank you both so much!

Real Weddings...Recapping Brooke & Tiradej's Reception!

This week we are celebrating Brooke & Tiradej!  We loved working with these two.  They were super fun, laid back, and had some pretty amazing dance moves as you will see!  As always, thanks to Californos for the hospitality and Dannie Dan - Irabor for being such a great photographer to work with.  On behalf of Ryan Guthrie and the rest of the Elite Sounds crew, congratulations Brooke & Tiradej!!  We were honored to be a part of your day!

6 Reasons to Throw a Party for Your Business

You’ve thought about bonuses and cheap gifts to reward your employees but do they really want a personalized company pen…? Why not throw a party? Create memories, pull down barriers and just cut loose. Need more reasons? Ok fine. Here’s a few.

Ask anyone what the most important aspect of anything is and most likely that answer is communication. Communication is the key to success. If the only communication that your staff has together is business related you are limiting their potential. Name a better ice-breaker than dancing. It brings us all together.

Wild Sides
Bring out the goofy sides of your employees with a photo booth. You will see sides of people that you didn’t know they had. Speak to that and create memories. Your guests will receive a photo strip of their own and you will get a digital file of the lot. Pick a few and throw them on social media. Put out that fun company image.

Celebrate Success
What says the company is in good financial standing? Gold Porsches for everyone, I guess. But for us reasonable people, a company party probably makes more sense. Your staff has done a great job. Reward them. If we can’t stop and celebrate what we’ve done, what is it all for?

The Recap
When you’re back at the grind on Monday your staff will still be coming down from their high. That photo booth picture of shy Sharon is now a conversation piece. Someone took a video of Carl from accounting breakdancing. What is that I smell in the air? Is that bonding? It is.... It is.

Don’t be the stepdad that refuses to say he’s proud of his stepson. Publicly acknowledge those that have gone above and beyond to make your company better. You may be surprised by how the newbies start to emulate the people you reward. Win-win? Yep.

Fully Customizable
We can come in at whatever level you’re thinking. From a parking lot bbq to a black tie cocktail mixer to an informational conference. Make it reflect your company’s style. Our additional services provide a variety of options to make the night fit your group.

If that swayed you, contact us to talk through some options that will make the most sense for your upcoming event . Everyone will have such a good time that you will be booking next year’s party while we are packing up our equipment. We have a team of DJ’s with experience ranging from 5-20 years. We can make the vision of your party a reality.

Breaking Down Todays Top 25 Hottest Hits. What To Play, When To Play It, What To Avoid.

You hear them in your car on your favorite station.  You like them!  But before you go adding them to your playlist for your next event, let us guide you through the ones to use…..how to use them…..and maybe the ones to stay clear of all together.

We don’t have to tell you that NOT all of the songs on the charts today are bangers. From slow songs to just plain don’t work songs, you can’t just roll with a “Just Play Top 40” scenario and create a successful soundtrack to the night.

Today we are going to break down a handful of the top 25 in a few different categories that will help you understand what will work and what won’t.



The Urban dictionary defines a banger as a song that is is extremely tight or just unbelievably awesome.  We agree!  Unfortunately, there is only one of these on the Billboard Top 25 currently.  The masses love it, and you should too…..so much so that you add it to your playlist.

24K by Bruno Mars

Remix It!

Don’t be afraid to add in some remixes for your event.  If the artist would of made the track cool the first time around, us DJs wouldn’t need to play the remix, but that didn’t happen in the case of this next group of tracks :)  We kid, we kid…actually these are great songs, they just need a little more umph to build up the energy on the dance floor and get your crowd moving.


Closer by The Chainsmokers

That’s What I Like By Bruno Mars

Shape Of You by Ed Sheeran


Potential Cocktail or Dinner Tracks

These aren’t meant for the dance floor. They are for sitting down, mingling, and creating vibe.  Feel free to use these for a more contemporary cocktail or dinner set so Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack can take the night off.  


Down by Marian Hill

Paris by The Chainsmokers

Love on the Brain by Rihanna

I Feel it Coming by The Weeknd

What Happened To Hip Hop!

Mo Money Mo Problems, Nuthin’ But A G Thang, Can I Get A…

These are classic tracks that you want to party to in that last portion of the night when your guests are a bit inebriated and looking for that perfect throwback jam to relive their youth to.

What’s that you ask?  Can we play new hip hop?  It would be nice to throw in something a bit newer, we’ll give you that.  The problem is, God didn’t gift todays hip hop artists’ with the same skill set that the artist of the yesteryears had.  That’s why you should have second thoughts about letting them sneak into your playlist.  They are trying to trick you by currently being popular.  That Nicki track is a bit explicit so watch yourself!

iSpy by Kyle

Bounce Back by Big Sean (This one is not as bad as the rest)

No Frauds by Nicki (no rappin’) Minaj

Bad & Boujee by Migos

Well there ya go! About one usable song for the dancing portion of the night. You just dodged a bullet. You’re welcome.

An Awesome Night With Cathie & Mike

We had the honor of working with Cathie & Mike on their wedding day. They were kind enough to stop in and let us know how their night went. Thank you both!

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