You provide the love, and this BOLI favorite will provide the festivities
After the pomp and circumstance of your beautiful ceremony, it’ll be time to kick back and have a blast with your new spouse and guests! For an out-of-this-world reception with your favorite music, a photobooth, and maybe even some Wedding War Games (you read that right!), look no further than Long Island legends Absolute Entertainment. In this interview, Kevin McClafferty (CEO and Owner of Absolute) gives us a little insight into what makes his company a clear choice for so many Brides of Long Island.
When did Absolute open for business? Give us a little history of the company.
Kevin: By 1990, I had graduated from Hofstra, dabbled in several business opportunities, and started a career in corporate management. I was also DJing and MCing for a top local rock band when an incredible, very random opportunity presented itself while at a guitar lesson. I overheard my instructor say his wedding band needed a DJ for a Showcase that weekend at the Mediterranean Manor–one of the biggest and busiest catering halls on Long Island at the time. I spoke up and told him I could DJ/MC, knew the catering hall, and could help him with the showcase. They were in a jam, time was short and they gave me a chance. I ran out to buy my 1st DJ system and figured out how to put on a showcase. 30 years later and we still work with the Abazis family as one of their DJ companies.
Over the years, Absolute has grown and now represents more than 20 catering halls in Suffolk and Nassau. I am proud to say that I have several “OGs” that have been with me for 25+ years and are still crushing events!
You’re a BOLI favorite! What do you think makes Absolute Entertainment stand out?
Kevin: There are two primary reasons Absolute has become a trusted entertainment source here on the Island: Style & Partnership.
As for “style,” being born & raised in western Pennsylvania, I have never had the native Long Island DJ vibe. Not that I didn’t like it…I just didn’t know how to do it! When Absolute started, my PA roots and style started to become what my guys and I were known for. As we grew, I felt passionate that the focus of the day should be on our client and their guests – not spotlighted on us. To this day, our clients seem thrilled at our style choice.
As for “partnership,” we value and cherish our partners- from catering sales teams, to former and future clients, to forums such as our amazing supporters at BOLI. Without our “partners”, there would be no Absolute. We work exceptionally hard to please our catering hall partners by treating their clients like GOLD. Our brides’ & grooms’ positive feedback to their catering staff closes the circle of satisfaction. Absolute is blessed with amazing DJs & MCs that care deeply about the success of each party. We always offer the best in equipment, cutting edge services, a state-of-the-art music planning feature, and fair pricing! Rocking events and exceeding clients’ expectations is the final key.
How do you work with couples to come up with the perfect playlist?
Kevin: Future newlyweds know their guests best, as well as what music will get their crowd rocking. Every wedding is different, and couples should consider the different age groups and tastes of their guest list. Our goal is to have everyone leave an affair and say they heard something they liked.
To achieve this goal, we invested heavily in the Absolutedjs.com website to create our industry-leading online planning system. We have provided the tools to tell us what you LOVE, LIKE & do NOT want. We have an in-depth sample song list loaded with the best songs from every genre. Go crazy and select as many songs you want. Many of our couples print this song list out and pass it amongst their parents & friends with different colored highlighters. When it comes time to submit their list, they can tell what everyone likes and select songs accordingly. Absolute’s DJs are some of the best in the business and they know how to pick songs to glue your list together & build a show. It’s a lot like cooking…you give us the ingredients & we figure out what dishes to cook and the order we will serve them!
What are some of your favorite first dance songs?
Kevin: My God, there are sooooo many great wedding songs! We always suggest 2 songs so the moment isn’t rushed and you can have a minute to decompress & soak each other in! My favorites range from classics like “Can’t Help Falling In Love” & “At Last” to standards like “Wonderful Tonight” & “I’ll Be”. Contemporary hits would include “Yours”, “Perfect”, “Thinking Out Loud” & “Say You Won’t Let Go”. The country genre has some of the most popular with “Then”, “God Gave Me you”, “From the Ground Up” & “My Best Friend’. I used John Legend’s “All of Me” and Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” when Wifey & I got hitched 🙂
What are some other services you offer?
Kevin: I always say we offer everything in the land of fun! Standard products include DJs, MCs, TVs, Zap Photographers & a full Wedding Video department. Absolute is one of the largest providers of photo booths, offering the rowdy, open-air Superbooth, a Mirror Booth, and the Classic style photo booth. For our clients that like live music, we have an amazing roster of cocktail musicians (guitar/steel pan/sax/violin/piano) and the BEST DJ-Fusion of sax, drums, and/or guitar during your reception. We can give you all the energy and power of a full band at a fraction of the price!
Many of you know of our specialty lighting products like the Color Kinetic Uplighting & Blizzard DJ Booths, our incredible Rustic Barn Door Front Boards w/ String Lights, and our custom-designed “MR & MRS”, “MR & MR”, “MRS & MRS” & “LOVE” marquee letters. Then there are our crazy glass-enclosed Sparkler Machines! Our newest product is the Wedding War Games…crazy fun for crazy times! Like I said, we offer everything in the land of fun!
There’s no denying that Kevin and the team at Absolute Entertainment exceed expectations to make every client’s big day a rousing and rocking success. BOLI founder Heather Cunningham gives them her seal of approval. “I have had the ABSOLUTE pleasure of getting to know Kevin personally and can tell you first hand that this man is 100% dedicated and in love with what he does,” she says. “The level of energy and passion he has for his profession does not go unnoticed.” Bride Briana Zasowski agrees. “My husband and I used Absolute for our wedding day, and they were amazing from day one. We made a playlist of songs we definitely wanted to play, and Carlo (our MC) actually had the list in his hands and was crossing off the songs during the night, making sure all of our must-haves were played! We wanted the “MR & MRS” sign but unfortunately at the time they only had one, and it was already booked the day of our wedding. A week before our wedding, they called us to let us know they got in another sign and asked if we wanted it! They really went above and beyond for our wedding and have a customer for life.”
Written by Jennifer Rizzuto,