Friday, April 26, 2013

Suzy & Brad’s 4/21/13 Barn Dance for the Bride from Kalamazoo

Suzy and Brad ceremony and reception were at one of my favorite venue’s, Fearrington Village in Pittsboro NC.  The ceremony was in the garden near the terrace with Reverend Barbara Lodge. Yay !!

The cocktail hour and reception were at the barn.  Since Suzy grew up on a farm, the reception venue could have not been more perfect. There were cows in the back and bluegrass music in the front of the barn on the patio.  The 65 degrees could not have made it a more perfect setting.  After Suzy and Brad had some photos taken by Shoot Me Pretty photography, it was time for the guests to make their way into the barn for the reception.

After the intro’s to “Jump” by Van Halen, Suzy and Brad had their first dance to “It Had To Be You” by Harry Connick jr.  Then a very touching toast by Suzy’s Father Harry, blessing by Brad’s Father Brian and toasts by The Maid Of Honor Beth and one of the best Best Man toasts I have ever heard, it was time for the stations to open. Dinner music started with standards, then a mix of soft rock and Motown.

The cake music was “Love You Madly” by Cake and Suzy danced to “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding. After a quick pic of everyone who went to school at Kalamazoo College with Suzy and Brad, it was time to open the dance floor.  When they said they wanted me to DJ for 6 ½ hours I was skeptical that gusts would stay that long, but I was totally wrong.  They danced for 4 hours non-stop, even to a couple polka’s that got Suzy’s Grandparents on the floor.  I have no idea where they got the energy, but it was a blast !  Check out the great pics taken by Amy Rossi from Shoot Me Pretty.

They made their sparkler exit after their last song, “Come Sail Away” by Styx.

April 19th and 20th Dinner, walking and dancing..for my Simba

On Friday April 19th I played at Embassy Suitesin Cary for a rehearsal dinner for 2 Doctors from Chicago.  The cocktail and dinner music was a mix of soft rock, Motown and current R&B.  The cake for this party was in the shape of a Dr.’s bag with a small cake next to it in the shape of a beer mug.  No, it was not beer flavored. That actually made me feel a little sick right now…  Congratulations Ryan and Jennifer Cooper and thank you to Ryan’s Parents, Jim & Kathy !

On Saturday morning the 20th I was honored to provide music for the SPCA dog walk at Moore Square in Raleigh from 8am til 2pm.  I told them I would do every event they wanted because I found my Simba at the SPCA 19 years ago.  She is still going strong and acts like a kitten.  I loved being able to do it and it’s always a treat to work with WRAL’s Tara Lynn !

That evening I was back under the headphoned for Panther Creek’s Prom.  It was my first time doing their prom and what a blast I had!  Sound and Lights were provided by Simpsound Productions and the room literally looked like a club.  Those kids danced for 3 hours straight.  I was seeing kids come off the floor looking like they had been swimming.  They couldn’t have been a better crowd and I can’t wait to play for them again next year.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Allison & Kevin Rathke 4/14/13..and Emma

Allison and Kevin were married on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon at Italian restaurant Caffe Luna in Raleigh with both the ceremony and reception there.  The ceremony was officiated by one of my favorite Reverends, Rev Barbara Lodge.  This was when I met Emma, the cutest little flower girl!  I am sure photographer Wendy Boyer from Dancing Heart Photography got some great pics.

After the ceremony in the front room, guests were invited into the back two rooms for the cocktail hour and reception.  The cocktail and dinner music was a mix of soft rock, standards and classic soul. 

Their first dance was “When It’s Time” by Green Day from the Soundtrack to the Broadway play “American Idiot” and the cake cutting was to “Better Together” by Jack Johnson.

To open the dance floor I knew Emma was dying to show off her Gangnam style skills and no one could refuse getting on the floor with her.  So, I started with “The Cha Cha Slide” then right into “Gangnam Style” and she did not disappoint!  What a doll.

The highlight of the night, except for Emma, was Kevin, the Groom, dancing and singing to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston and acting out “Sweet Carolina” with one of his buddies. Also, I think I was Ted Danson doing a Michael Jackson kick.  Classic !!

Their exit was out on the street in front of Caffe Luna to sparklers and Emma was there with a huge grin on her face to say goodbye!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Richardson/Stolfi wedding 4/13/13

The beautiful Arnold Palmer designed Brier Creek CountryClub in Raleigh was the location for Kimberly Richardson and Richard Stolfi’s wedding ceremony and reception.  Kim and Richard had the “A Team” for this wedding with Megan and Gina from A SouthernSoiree for their planners, Christobal from Azul Photography and the Chris and Lindsey from Heart Stone Films. Wow !!

The ceremony was in the back courtyard backed by the gulf course and a  beautiful 70 degrees with not a cloud in the sky.  Kim and Richard chose light classical music for prelude music while the guests arrived. The Grandparents and Parents came down the isle to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”.  The Pastor, Groomsmen and Bridesmaids came down to The O’Neill Brothers beautiful version of “Canon In D” played by piano and violin.  Kim’s entrance was to Wagner’s “Here Comes The Bride”.  I had a mic set up for a reading during the service and played 30 seconds of “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton during the unity candle lighting, it was time for Kim and Richard to make their way back down the isle to the traditional “Wedding March”.  The Pastor, Kris Weiss, invited guests to the cocktail hour in the Brier Creek Club House.

The reception room was draped in sheer while linens along all the walls and ceiling.  What a beautiful room and a great job by Megan and Gina planning this wedding !  The wedding party entered to Frank Sinatra’s “Love and Marriage” and Kim and Richard instantly went into their first dance, the UB40 version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love”.  Then, Kim danced with her Grandfather to a minute of “Isn’t She Lovely” and Richard danced with his Mother to “Through The Years” by Kenny Rogers.  I love that song !!  Then, we had the toasts by the Matron of Honor, Best Man and Kim’s Mother Rebecca and blessing by Pastor Kris. Dinner was individually served and music was a mix of soft rock, country and standards.

The cake cutting was after dinner to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor.  The dance floor opened to beach music and Motown/oldies and filled floor with both older and younger guests alike.  There was a photo booth and candy bar in the room and a custom cigar roller in the lobby.  There was no way anyone got bored at the wedding reception !

Kim disappeared for a short time to change her dress to a more appropriate “dancing” dress and the re-entered with Ramsey, the UNC Tarheel mascot, to the UNC fight song.  Everyone was shocked and Ramsey joined guests on the dance floor for a while.  So great seeing him dancing to “The Electric Slide”.

Their last song of the night was “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing and Kim and Richard made their exit to sparklers out the front door.  What a fun wedding reception and everyone had a blast !

All photo's by Azul Photography

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Johanson/Tilton wedding 4/6/13

Ashley & David’s wedding reception took place on a beautiful Saturday at one of my favorite venues, The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, NC with Kelley Ann Ward to help them out.

I provided a mix of soft rock, classic R&B and standards for the cocktail hour that was both in the pre-function hallway and outside on the back patio in 65 degrees.  Absolutely perfect weather!  They had 3 different bars opened to handle for 130 guests.

The doors of the ballroom opened and it was time for the guests to find their seats and get ready for the wedding party introductions, including both sets of parents.
They were all introduced to the instrumental intro of the 90’s dance classic “Strike It Up” by Black Box.  Each couple danced into the room and made a line in front of my table for the Bride & Groom’s first dance.

Their first dance was a custom edit I did for them that started with “Look At Me” by Carrie Underwood then, after 1 ½ minutes, went into the beginning of “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and caught everyone off guard. So great !  They had choreographed a dance routine that took the energy to the roof.

After the first dance, the wedding party and Ashley & David took their seats and Ashley’s Father, George Johanson, said a few words to welcome everyone to the reception and celebrate his last child getting married.

Dinner was a 3 course meal with soup, salad and entrĂ©e that the staff delivered to perfect precision. Dinner music reflected the cocktail hour playlist. 

The toasts were after dinner given by Ashley’s sister, the Matron of Honor, and David’s Best Man and long time friend.  Then, Ashley danced with her Father to “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw and David danced with his Mother to a new song by Teresa James, “It Happens In A Heartbeat” that is perfect for a Mother/Son dance.

The dance floor opened for everyone to Motown and the floor instantly filled.  Within minutes everyone was dancing and singing along until the cake cutting.  The beautiful cake was made by Cinda’s cakes and looked amazing.  Photographer Dara Blakeley & her assistant Kathy were there to get some great photo’s!

The floor opened again to “Boogie Shoes” by K.C. & The Sunshine Band and I had them all back out there.  After a short 70’s mix, it was all top 40/hip-hop per Ashley’s & David’s playlist.  It was so great to see their friends as well as their Grandparents & Parents dancing to current club music.  I couldn’t believe it!

They selected “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj for the last song.  After I said goodnight they started chanting “One More Song”, and I knew they would, so I played “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey and literally everyone there was on the floor singing along.  What a fun reception and I couldn’t be happier for this couple!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Banka/Lievers Wedding 4/5/13

It was a beautiful day in Chapel Hill for Anna & Martin's wedding at The Carolina Inn.  The ceremony was outside in the courtyard under an old oak tree and bright blue Carolina skies.  It couldn't have been a better day if you had asked for the 60 degrees.

The cocktail hour was inside the Inn at the hallway outside the Old Well room with music provided by their ceremony guitarist.  Hors d'oeuvres were passed and drinks were poured for the 50 people at the reception.

The doors to the reception opened and guests were invited to find their seats for the introduction, dinner and dancing by one of my favorite wedding planners, Kailey Branham from A Southern Soiree.  Anna & Martin chose to only have them announced into the room to M.I.A.'s instrumental of "Paper Planes". As they danced into the room, they stopped on the dance floor to have their 2nd dance as husband and wife to "Little Trip To Heaven" by Tom Waits.  Martin chose the version off "The Early Years Pt. 1" CD since it is 30 seconds shorter than the version off Tom Wait's "Closing Time" CD. ha ha..

A welcome by Martin and blessing by Anna's Father, Joseph Banka, made way to the buffet.  Dinner music was a mix of soft rock.  After dinner was the cake cutting with 5 cakes to choose from all provided by Tanya from Daisy Cakes and then the toasts by the Best Man and Maid of Honor.

The dance floor opened to Anna and her Father dancing to "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker, then an audience participation dance, the Chicken Dance.  Yes, I said it !  It went over great.  The floor packed with a little help from Anna to get the reluctant guests up and dancing and the light package they added to give the all black and white room some color.  After they were up and dancing, I went into "My Girl" by The Temptations and a short motown mix and that was all it took.  The floor stayed packed for the next 2 1/2 hours to Motown, oldies and some 70's and 80's.

I am sure the photographer Dana Jo snapped some great pics.  The guests looked like they were having a blast! I couldn't believe I saw both Anna parents and Martin's Mother dancing and singing along to "Pour Some Sugar In Me"!  Classic !!

Their last song of the night was "You Shook Me All Night Long", then they made their exit to bubbles out the front doors of The Carolina Inn.  What a fun reception and a great group to play for !