Wedding Entertainment that Goes Beyond “DJ or Band”

Mixing the music: DJ plus band equals best of both worlds

By Stacey Marcus | Above photo of The Free Downloads by Blueflash Photography

Your fiancé is pumped to create the perfect reception playlist with his favorite DJ while your parents are dreaming of filling the room with live music. How do you choose?

According to Mike Amado of Entertainment Specialists, many a millennial bride is caught between honoring her parents’ wishes for traditional tunes played by a live band and her own desire for popular music played by a DJ. Thanks to all-inclusive entertainment companies like Entertainment Specialists, couples can do both.

A wedding music guru, Amado often pairs his old-school style of spinning records on turntables with live instrumental music. The latter, he notes, is often preferred during dinner. Bruce Hopkins of Music Performance Service provides live classical musical and often collaborates with DJs to have recorded music during the reception and live instrumentals at the ceremony and cocktail reception. Using live musicians during the processional makes sense, he says, since they can match their timing to the “human beat.”

Lucky for New England couples, there are a number of local experts who can mix music to create a customized wedding entertainment experience.

Mike Amado of Entertainment Specialists | Photo courtesy of Entertainment Specialists


Award-winning DJ Mike Amado created Entertainment Specialists more than 25 years ago after a colorful music career that was launched in high school playing hits at house parties. Highlights of his career include booking rap and hip-hop legends Run-DMC, Will Smith and LL Cool J.

Amado also served as the musical director of the Bay Tower Restaurant (now the State Room) booking swing bands. His award-winning full-service team cannot only assist you in choosing the best band and DJ, but can also recommend other services like uplighting, photo booths, photographers, videographers, venues, transportation, florists and caterers.


Guitarist George Leonard’s energy is electric as he shares the news that The Free Downloads were recently picked to play a wedding on the set of “The Comedian,” a film about an aging insult comic starring Robert DeNiro, Danny DeVito, Leslie Mann and a host of Hollywood favorites that will premiere in January 2017. The gig illuminates the band’s mega talent and appeal as a multi-generational cover band with an impressive bandwidth of music spanning over 60 years.

The Free Downloads | Photo by Blueflash Photography


Arpeggio Wedding Entertainment specializes in creating customized entertainment packages. “Our DJs can provide music for any and all aspects of your wedding including the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, after party as well as post wedding brunches and celebrations,” says sales and marketing manager Debbie Tomanek.

Along with providing lighting and photo booths, Arpeggio Wedding Entertainment works with clients to include other creative elements including lawn games at outdoor weddings (think corn hole, volleyball, ladder ball, croquet and giant board games). Arpeggio Wedding Entertainment books one wedding per day, so couples can rest assured they are at the center of attention.

Arpeggio Wedding Entertainment | Photo by Faith Dugan Photography


Bruce Hopkins of Music Performance Service has been providing classical musical performances for over three decades. “Weddings are a real big deal for people. It’s their special day,” says Hopkins, who gets a kick out of seeing everyone so excited. He works with over 500 of New England’s most distinguished musicians and groups and is able to recommend every type of music service, from instrumentalists to vocalists.


Jason Citron and his team have over two decades of experience creating the music and mood of weddings and events. Along with customizing music to meet clients’ needs across every genre, Music Mixers Entertainment provides custom lighting services including uplighting, under the table lighting, Chinese lanterns and monogram patterns, as well as photo booths. “Young and old, I play of a little bit of everything,” says Citron who is known for mixing Top 40s with oldies hits and boasts a collection of more than 15,000 song titles.

Photo courtesy Music Mixers Entertainment

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