Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Luciani/Berry reception at The Stockroom in Raleigh on November 16th, 2013

Jessica and Casey chose the urban feel of The Stockroom in downtown Raleigh for their reception.  With exposed brick walls, wood floors and and exposed wood beams across the ceiling, it’s a great room for a wedding and floral arrangements by Martha at Artfully Arranged helped give the room some color.  Photographer Sarah Der was there taking pictures and it was great to work with her again!  Guests arrived after the ceremony at The Longview Center and I had a mix of standards, soft rock and classic soul playing.  The wedding party arrived and it was time to get this show on the road.

The wedding party and Jessica and Casey entered to “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by one of my favorite bands, The Darkness and went right into their first dance of the Boyce Avenue version of “Use Somebody”.  After a loud roar from their guests, Jessica danced with her Father to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra and Casey danced to “Simple Man” with his Mother.  After they ended their dance, I invited Jessica’s Father up for the welcome and blessing and he did a great job that included a non-return form for Casey that He and Jessica’s Mother had written.  It was so funny !!!  Guests made their way to their tables and the buffet was opened.  For dinner I continued the mix of standards, soft rock and classic soul. During dinner their LOL Photobooth opened and I invited guests to visit it and sign the “guest poster”.  As dinner wound down we had toasts by the 2 Maid’s Of Honor and the Best Man.  Instead of a cake cutting, Jessica and Casey had a cobbler cutting to “How Sweet It Is”. It was so unique and I loved it!  There was 2 different cobbler’s for guests to eat as well as cake and canolli.

I opened the dance floor with some beach music and Motown.  There were a lot of Italian guests from Jessica’s side of the family.  I played “The Tarentella” and it was awesome to see her Aunt showing everyone the dance. After some dancing I slowed it down with a special song for Jessica’s Parents, “Could I Have This Dance” which was their wedding song.  It was so sweet!  I invited all the Groomsmen out to the floor and they put their arms around each other and sang “Lean On Me” to the recording by Bill Withers.  All the guests joined in!

I ended the evening with a couple sing a long songs that brought young and old to the floor to “Sweet Caroline” and “New York, New York” and the night was topped off with “Stay With You” by John Legend.  Guests made their way to the exit and there was small bitesize pizza’s made by caterer Irregardless CafĂ© for everyone.  What a fun evening and I was so happy to play for Jessica, Casey and their friends and families.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cutting/Ryals wedding at Prestonwood Country Club on November 9th, 2013

I had the pleasure to play for Lindsay and Shawn on November 9th at the beautiful Prestonwood Country Club in Cary NC.  I was so excited to play for their wedding!  I had met them a few times and had played for their friends Ashley and Colby Mooney’s wedding a few years ago.  It was so great seeing everyone again.  I think Ashley and one of my biggest fans. Working again with planner Sally Oakley and photographer Dara Blakely was a hug bonus for me!

Lindsay and Shawn had their ceremony in the large ballroom of Prestonwood and the 170 guests heard classical pop songs as they were seated.  I controlled Reverend Robin Renteria’s mic volume also.  She always does such a nice ceremony. The wedding party and Lindsay entered and exited to “A Thousand Years part 2” by Christina Perri.  After the ceremony, guests were invited to the hallway and foyer for the cocktail hour and I had a mix of classic soul, standards and soft rock playing.

Pictures were done and it was time to open the ballroom filled with floral arrangements by The Watered Garden for dinner and dancing.  The wedding party danced into the room to “Forever” by Chris Brown and lined the floor.  Lindsay and Shawn came into the room to a loud roar from the guests and had their first dance to “Stay With You’ by John Legend.  After that, the wedding party found their seats and Lindsay’s Father George came up to welcome guests which turned into him and 4 family members reciting a “ditty” that was a custom poem about Lindsay and Shawn to the tune of “skip to my lou”.  It was so funny and they did a great job!  The salads came out and the buffet opened shortly. I continued a mix of standards, classic soul and soft rock for dinner music.

After dinner, we had toasts by the Maid and Matron of Honor and Shawn’s Best Man, Stubby who used to work with Shawn at the place Lindsay and Shawn met, Checkers Pizza.  The cake cutting followed to “Yellow” by Coldplay at the top of the stairs.  Lindsay and Shawn came back down the stairs and she met her Father on the dance floor to dance to “I Look To You” by Whitney Houston and Shawn danced with his Sister to Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately”.  I announced that the Shutterbooth photo booth was opened in the front lobby and invited guests to sign the thumbprint tree, then opened the floor with a few Motown songs then on to some current that had the younger guests join the older guests already on the floor. The energy went through the roof!

We stopped briefly for the bouquet toss to “Girl On Fire” and the garter toss to “Blurred Lines”.  The floor opened again with “Electric Slide” and everyone filled the floor again until the last song of “All Of Me” by John Legend and they made their exit from the front of the Club to white rose petals.

It was such a wonderful reception and I had a blast playing for Lindsay, Shawn, Ashley & Colby and their friends and families!

Collins/Armfield wedding at Highgrove Estates on November 8th, 2013

Laura and Jonathan chose the picturesque Highgrove Estates in Fuquay-Varina for their wedding ceremony and reception on a beautiful fall day overlooking a pond.  I provided a mic for one of my favorite Reverends, Ed Sansbury, and for Laura’s Father and Jonathan’s Sister to do readings.  For their music they had a violinist and acoustic guitarist, Dave and Warren, who also provided music for the outdoor cocktail hour on the terrace.  Photographer Adrienne from F8 Studios was there to capture the moments.

As pictures were finishing up, the ballroom opened with floral arrangements by Flowers On Broad Street and guests found their seats.  I had some jazz standards playing and went into the house to line the wedding party up for introductions and I could tell this was going to be a good one.  They were having a blast already!  They entered into the ballroom to “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC and Laura and Jonathan had their first dance to “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton.  Laura’s Father then welcomed everyone and Reverend Ed Sansbury said the blessing. The salads came out and shortly the food stations were opened.  I had a mix of country and classic rock playing for dinner.

After dinner, Laura’s Matron of Honor and Jonathan’s Sister gave toasts and we had the Sweet Memories cake cutting to “Home” by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. Laura joined her Father on the floor to dance to “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon and Jonathan danced with his Mother to “My Wish” and then his stepmother to “Kind and Generous” by Natalie Merchant. 

To open the floor, Laura and Jonathan wanted to have a longest married couple dance so I invited all the married couples out to the floor.  After all the couples were out and ready to slow dance, I played the beginning of “Gangnam Style” and everyone died laughing, then went into their real dance, “To Love Somebody” by The Bee-Gee’s.  I LOVE that song (The Bee-Gee’s, not Gangnam Style)!  I then opened the floor to everyone with some Motown and the floor filled with young and old. It was great to see such a mix of groups dancing together and they made a huge circle and showed off their moves to “Love Shack” including Jonathan!

After some dancing we paused to do the bouquet toss to “Single Ladies” and the garter toss to “Legs” and the staff at Highgrove brought out snacks of ice cream and milkshakes with home made peanut brittle.  It was sooo good!  Then, back to dancing to some 80’s and current music.  The night ended with “Wagon Wheel” and  “Sweet Caroline” and Laura and Jonathan made a sparkler exit from the front of the house.  What a beautiful wedding and I couldn’t be happier for them.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sutton/Craig wedding at The Umstead on November 2nd, 2013

Blair and Ryan chose the beautiful Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary NC for their ceremony and reception.  This is one of my favorite venues to play and an extra treat to work with some of my favorite vendors in Kevin and Lindsey from Heart Stone Films and photographers Jenn Aan and Diane McKinney. Blair is a designer and she had the room looking beautiful with floral arrangements by The Watered Garden.  They had brought 6 real trees into the room and the centerpieces were leafy branches with lots of white roses on the table.  It was beautiful, classy and very unique.

Both the ceremony and cocktail music were provided by Arioso Strings.  It’s always a pleasure to hear them play.  After some pictures were taken during the cocktail hour, guests were invited into the ballroom for dinner and dancing.  I introduced the wedding party to “Forever” by Chris Brown and each couple had a unique dance into the room.  Blair and Ryan came into the room and right to the dance floor for their first dance, “Time Of My Life” by David Cook.  The wedding party found their seats and Blair’s Father welcomed everyone for coming.  He is a riot and had me laughing everytime I looked at him.  After his welcome and a blessing he escorted Blair to the floor for their Father/Daughter dance to “My Girl” and Ryan escorted his Mother to the floor to dance to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.  The 3 course dinner came out and I played a mix of standards, classic soul and some rock.

As dinner wound down the staff poured the champagne and we had the toasts by Ryan’s Father and Blair’s Matron Of Honor, her Brother and her Father. We went right into the Sweet Memories cake cutting to Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is” and I opened the dance floor. I opened the floor with some beach music and the floor filled within minutes.  People were even dancing on the carpet outside of the dance floor.  After a few Motown songs I went into “Blurred Lines” and is was havoc!  Arms were in the air and I heard a lot of “Woot Woot’s”. lol.  It was great to see their family and friends all having so much fun together.

After a couple hours of a packed floor it was time to say goodbye for the bubble exit.  For the last couple songs I played “Sweet Caroline” and ended with “Wagon Wheel”.  I was so happy to play for this group and I think everyone had a blast!

Solak/Owens wedding at B&B Country Garden Inn in Apex on Halloween 2013

Nicole and Larry LOVE Halloween so they decided they wanted to have the happiest day of their lives on their favorite day of the year, even though it was a Thursday afternoon.  The setting and weather could not have been more perfect for the 40 guests.  The B&B Country Garden Inn is set on a pond and has a huge back yard that I set up on.  The 70 degrees made it perfect with a little breeze coning off the pond.  As guests arrived to the ceremony held on a dock at the pond, I had classical music playing and some soft rock.  The wedding party came from the house to the ceremony site to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perry and Nicole entered with her Father to a classical version of “Joy and Sorrow” originally done my HIM.  Larry could not have been happier all day.  From the moment I saw him he was excited and had a huge grin on his face!  After their vows Nicole and Larry left to Foo Fighters “Everlong” and went to the pond with the guests for pictures that had white swans swimming in the background.

The cocktail hour on the back porch of the home took place while the wedding party had more pics   Remington Grill catered the dinner with Barbeque and the fixings and it was great!  I continued the rock mix through dinner and the reception.  This was one of the most laid back groups I have ever played for.  Nicole and Larry visited with guests on the porch and opened presents during the reception.  No pressure on me to keep people dancing was fine for me.  I loved just playing music and being by the pond.  Nicole did dance with her Father to “I Loved Her First” on the ceremony dock and then Larry joined her for their first dance of “I’ll Follow You” by Shinedown.
taken and I played a mix of classic and modern rock.

They had their cake cutting inside the house to “Sweetest Thing” by U2 and Larry’s Father and he both said toasts.  It was so great to play for this couple that couldn’t be happier to be married to each other.  Congratulations Nicole and Larry!