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Weddings

Nicole and Will's Wild Archeo Wedding

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Nicole and Will's Wild Archeo Wedding

 Wedding at Archeo, Distillery District, photo by Silverlight Photography

Wedding at Archeo, Distillery District, photo by Silverlight Photography

Last year I included Archeo as one of my favourite restaurant wedding venues in Toronto. For a DJ it's a space that works perfectly for getting people dancing for one key reason: guests have to go through the dancefloor to get to the bar! 

Nicole and Will were married this past November. They're an impossibly kind couple who were a dream to work with -- we met once to discuss music and aside from a few favourites, they left it wide open for me to play whatever I needed to keep the party going. I also stood in as MC through the night, helping with a few introductions and announcements. 

The playlist was a mix of classic hits through the decades, and later veered towards 2000s nostalgia . At one point there was a call for some throwback Euro dance hits, which culminated in a big "Sandstorm" dance circle!

Here's what Will and Nicole had to say following the wedding:

"Rich is an excellent and very talented DJ! He helped make our wedding an awesome and unforgettable party. Our musical tastes are broad so it was hard giving Rich any direction but he didn't need it. He was great at choosing the right genres and songs for the right times throughout the evening. He made sure the dance floor stayed lit and we got many many compliments about the music. Would definitely recommend!"

 

Photos: Silverlight Photography

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Matt & Tasha's Prince Edward County Wedding

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Matt & Tasha's Prince Edward County Wedding

 Matt & Tasha's Prince Edward County Wedding, Photo by Cait Lavoie

Matt & Tasha's Prince Edward County Wedding, Photo by Cait Lavoie

Matt and Tasha are the life of the party. I'd first met them while I was DJing another wedding, where they were firmly anchored on the dancefloor all night. They were wild, funny, and always looked like they were having the time of their lives. When they asked me to DJ their wedding I knew it would be an epic night!

The wedding took place at Fields on West Lake, August 2016. A large barn set in the middle of a lush sprawling property, this venue has become one of Prince Edward County's most popular spots for weddings over the past several years. PEC is quickly losing its "hidden gem" status (if it hasn't already) with more and more city slickers making the 2 hour drive east of Toronto to discover fantastic restaurants, wineries and picturesque settings ideal for weddings.  

I shared DJ duties with good friend and turntablist extraordinaire DJ Timfamous, who was also a groomsmen in the wedding party. We took turns trading off sets, starting off with some Motown, Top40 and classic rock hits then moving into some hip-hop throwbacks and dancehall later in the night. 

Here's some sweet feedback the couple gave after the night ended:

"Rich was amazing to work with! The music was amazing and the dance floor was packed the whole night. I highly recommend DJ Rich Sweet to anyone who wants a great dance party inclusive of all ages. If I could give more than 5 stars I would!"

Congratulations again Matt & Tasha!

 

Photos: Cait Lavoie 

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3 tips for couples hiring a wedding DJ

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3 tips for couples hiring a wedding DJ

 Photo: Niv Shimshon Photography

Photo: Niv Shimshon Photography

The following is an excerpt from an interview I recently did with Niv Shimshon Photography. To read the full interview & see more pictures, click here: http://www.nivshimshon.com/toronto-wedding-dj/

When asked about what to consider when hiring a DJ for your wedding, here's the advice I offer...

1. Ask to meet your DJ. Some companies will book clients who won’t meet the DJ until the day of their wedding. The DJ they send might be fine, but a wedding is a very personal event! I pick up a lot of information just chatting and corresponding with clients along the way.

2. Ask family and friends about their own experiences hiring a DJ. Although I use social media and various wedding vendor sites to get leads, word of mouth is still my most powerful form of marketing. Online reviews are also key.

3. When it comes to the budget, consider how important music is to your event. Booking a DJ doesn’t need to break the bank, but this is an area where couples sometimes try to save money by getting a friend to do it or by hiring a company advertising cheap DJ services. Price is usually linked to experience, and a DJ who puts a real value on their own time and services will take pride in making your wedding the best it can be!

 Photo: Niv Shimshon Photography

Photo: Niv Shimshon Photography

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Toronto's Top 5 Restaurant Wedding Venues

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Toronto's Top 5 Restaurant Wedding Venues

 Photo: Frances Beatty Photography

Photo: Frances Beatty Photography

As couples get more creative planning weddings in unique downtown locations, foodies are looking to restaurants to host their big day. Although restaurant receptions sometimes means a limited guest count (which can be a good or bad thing depending on if you're looking to make some tough cuts) what's sacrificed in seating is made up for in impeccable food.  Meals are typically made to order, and the experienced in-house staff means flawless execution.

Here are some of my favourite restaurant venues I've had the pleasure to DJ weddings at... 

 

5. George Restaurant - Queen St. East

 George Restaurant, photo by Studio2000

George Restaurant, photo by Studio2000

If you're on Queen Street East this hidden gem is easy to miss if you're not paying attention. Unassuming from the outside, George's beautiful private dining room can accommodate up to 110 for a wedding reception. The menu emphasizes local, seasonable and sustainable ingredients, with an in-house sommelier to offer wine pairings.  There's a central courtyard which can host ceremonies and cocktail hour and guest suites available upstairs. They've even got their own spa in the basement!

There's a few floorplan options for creating a dancefloor space, with sound and lighting being brought in by the DJ. 

website: George Weddings

 

4. Canoe - Financial District

 Canoe Restaurant

Canoe Restaurant

If your guests aren't afraid of heights, check out Oliver Bonacini's Canoe. Perched above the Financial District on the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower, this power lunch locale can accommodate receptions of 140 seated guests or 250 standing. With stunning panoramic views of the city and an available ceremony space, it's one of Toronto's most unique wedding venues.

There's an elevated section in the middle of the room perfect for a dancefloor, with sound and lighting brought in by the DJ. 

website: Oliver & Bonacini Events

 

3. Rosewater - Downtown Core

 Rosewater, photo by Jennifer Moher Photography

Rosewater, photo by Jennifer Moher Photography

Looking at Rosewater from the street it's hard to picture how big this venue actually is.  There's the elegant restaurant on the ground floor, but also supper club in the basement and a dedicated event space on the second floor. 

Upstairs, The Rosewater Room does the classic banquet hall motif with a modern feel. It can hold large ceremonies then be reset for a seated dinner accommodating up to 200 people. 

Lots of room for epic dance parties here, and the in-house A/V team offer support with sound and lighting design.

website: Rosewater Room

 

2. Archeo Trattoria - Distillery District

 Archeo Trattoria, photo by Zsuzsipal Photography

Archeo Trattoria, photo by Zsuzsipal Photography

It's impossible to walk through Toronto's Distillery District on a weekend without photobombing a wedding party. Among the several heritage buildings turned event spaces, it's not uncommon to see 3 or 4 brides congregated on the main Trinity Street any given Saturday. But of the Distillery venues, Archeo remains my favourite.

Located in the Distillery's old carpentry shop, Archeo's brick and beam design is a perfect spot to host any cozy reception. The room can seat up to 118 guests, and has an adjacent courtyard for ceremony and cocktails. The food here is excellent -- with Chef Joshua Dyer crafting menus that focus on local and sustainable choices. 

The dancefloor finds a perfect home right in front of the bar, where the guests' next drink are just an arms reach away. The in-house A/V team can take care of any sound or video setup requirement.

website: Distillery Events

 

1. Mildred's Temple Kitchen - Liberty Village

 Mildred's Temple Kitchen, photo by Frances Beatty Photography

Mildred's Temple Kitchen, photo by Frances Beatty Photography

In the heart of Liberty Village, Mildred's Temple Kitchen is a beautiful restaurant with great food, exceptional staff and has the perfect layout for an intimate wedding reception... in fact, I recently had my own wedding reception here! Personal bias aside, it's one of the best venues in the city. 

Typically known for their famous pancakes and epic brunch lineups (which can reach up to 2 hour waits), Mildred's is also quickly becoming one of Toronto's most popular restaurant wedding locations. The menu is fantastic and the food is made to order, skillfully executed right before your eyes in the open kitchen.

Mildred's can accommodate up to 100 seated guests, and up to 200 for a cocktail-style reception. There's a couple options for ceremony location if it's happening on site. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows and simple, modern design make it a bright space that looks great as-is, with or without added decor.

I've seen a lot of epic dance parties happen here; the elevated section next to the dining room makes for the perfect dancefloor, with the DJ bringing in all sound and lighting. 

website: Mildred's Temple Kitchen

 

To find out more about Rich Sweet visit www.djrichsweet.com

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JJ & Nancy's Burroughes Building Wedding

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JJ & Nancy's Burroughes Building Wedding

 JJ & Nancy's Burroughes Wedding, Photo by Mango Studios

JJ & Nancy's Burroughes Wedding, Photo by Mango Studios

I've known JJ as a staple in Toronto's restaurant scene for years -- so it's fitting his wedding would take place on a Monday: industry night.

This past December, family and friends gathered at The Burroughes, a gorgeous space at Queen & Bathurst. The venue was given a lot of great decorative touches to create a warm, intimate space. We also provided some soft LED uplighting throughout the room.

I had no doubt the food would be on point -- with food stations provided by the wildly popular Thai restaurant Pai Toronto.

With bellies full and the drinks flowing, guests were ready to get down! The music was a mix of Top 40, 90's hip-hop and dancehall. There was also a call for some throwback 90's rock and we wrapped up the night with a little Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam.

Here's what JJ had to say after the dust cleared and the party was over:

"DJ Rich Sweet was one of the best choices I made for my wedding. Not only did he raise the roof with jaw dropping beats, but he also played for the crowd. It seemed like he knew just the right song to play for each moment. Our dance floor was constantly jumping and all my guests and family and friends couldn't stop talking about how amazing he was. . I would recommend this guy to anyone having a wedding. Thanks again Rich."

Planning: Lexington & Co

Photos: Mango Studios

 

To find out more about Rich Sweet visit www.djrichsweet.com

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