Monday, May 27, 2013

Rachel & Josh’s 5-26-13 wedding

Rachel & Josh’s wedding reception was held at Raleigh’s North Ridge Country Club on another beautiful 75 degree day.  As the 225 guests arrived, they were ushered to the back patio for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres overlooking the club’s beautiful driving range and I had classic instrumental Jazz playing in the background.

After the cocktail hour, guests were invited into the ballroom for the introduction of the wedding party and Rachel & Josh.  The room was beautifully designed by Megan and Gina from A Southern Soiree with floral arrangements by Rachel at Tre Bella.  The wedding party entered to “Now That We Found Love” by Heavy D and The Boys and Rachel & Josh went directly into their first dance of “The More I See You” by Michael Buble.  A welcome by Rachel’s Father Mark and a blessing by Rachel’s Uncle Leonard brought us to an individually served dinner with standards and soft rock played.

After dinner, the toasts by the Maid’s of Honor, the Best Man and the gentleman that introduced them while they were in camp came the Sugarland made cake cutting to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor.  Rachel danced with her Father to “Always” by Frank Sinatra and Josh danced with his mother to “A Mother’s Song” by T. Carter.  The photographer Michael Moss and videographer John Hayes from Southern Video Design were right on every event and I’m sure got some great shots!

After the parent’s dances, the Hora opened the floor and literally 200 guests jumped to the dance floor to share the dance with Rachel & Josh.  After they were lifted in their chairs and circled, the floor continued to stay packed to a mix of Motown and oldies. 

A first for me was seeing a guest doing “jazz hands” during “The Electric Slide” and it was great having Rachel start the “Harlem Shake” with all her you guests surrounding her.  Josh had a huge grin on his face the whole time!

After their last song of “Marry You” by Bruno Mars, they made their exit to sparklers out front of the Country Club. What a nice couple and I couldn’t be happier for them and their families!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kristen & Brian’s 5-25-13 wedding for the most excited Bride ever!

I get to know many of my Bride’s and Groom’s, but I can’t remember the last time a Bride had a daily, and hourly, countdown to her wedding. LOL.  It really made me laugh every time I read her Facebook post.

Kristen and Brian had me provide music and sound for their ceremony at Brier Creek Country Club on a beautiful sunny 75 degree day. Their officiant Reverend Don Morris held the service outside.  Chris and Toni from Heart Stone Films were there to capture every moment. Their Parents and Grandparents entered to Handel’s “Air From Water Music”, the Bridesmaids entered to “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring” and Kristen, with a HUGE smile on her face, entered to “Canon In D” by The O’Neill Brothers.  During the ceremony, they had a sand ceremony to an instrumental of “Marry Me” originally done by Train.  After their recessional to “The Wedding March” photographer Beth Jarvis with Walters & Walters took a group photo of all the guests with the wedding party outside.  After the pic, guests were ushered to the cocktail hour in Palmers Cove and background music was standards.

After the cocktail hour, guests were brought down the hall to the reception room that had tables draped in black linens with fuchsia flowers by Fresh Affairs, table settings and chair ties.  The beautiful cake was by Ashley Cakes as was a fun scuba diving inspired groom’s cake.

The wedding party entered to “I Gotta Feeling” and Kristen & Brian entered to “Party Rock Anthem” and energy went through the roof!  The made their way to the floor for their choreographed dance to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne followed by Kristen’s dance with her Father Chris to “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman and their wasn’t a dry eye in the room and Brian followed by dancing with his Mother to “A Mother’s Love” by Jim Brickman continuing the water works.  Great choices for the parent’s dances said Kleenex!

After a blessing by the Reverend, Shelly and the staff of Brier Creek passed the salads and entrée’s for the sit down dinner.  Music was county, soft and classical rock.  After dinner, toasts were lead by Kristen’s Father, then the Matron Of Honor and Best Man.  The cake cutting was to “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and an anniversary / longest married couple dance to “Hold On” by Michael Buble opened the floor.  Motown and oldies brought everyone out on the floor and I loved seeing their older guests dancing with their friends!

After several line dances, some fun rock and roll, 80’s and some current jams, it was time for their last song, “Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks, and they made their sparkler exit out the front of the building to the convertible Excaliber car waiting to drive them away.

I am so happy that Kristen’s day finally came and her dream of marrying Brian came true and I was there to share it with her!  Congratulations Brian & Kristen.

Patrice & Jamie’s 5-24-13 Indie Rock inspired Wedding

Patrice and Jamie had their wedding ceremony and reception on the 3rd floor of Durham’s Cotton Room.  The room has floor to ceiling windows surrounding it overlooking the city.  I got to work with wonderful vendors with their planner Michelle Aldred, their photographer Nicole with Alively Photography, the cake by Sugarland and flowers by Tre Bella.

Patrice & Jamie had me provide sound and music for the ceremony.  Guests were seated while soft indie rock wplayed programmed by Patrice and she did a great job!  The Grandparents and Parents entered to “Life In Technicolor” by Coldplay, the Bridal Party entered to “Lady Sunshine” by Lady Of The Sunshine and Patrice entered to the intro of “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros. The ceremony was on the right side of the room and officiated by Rev. Ingrid Sagula who had a wonderful service with speeches by both Mothers, Patrice’s Father and a grey dogwood tree dedication ceremony for their new home while Patrice’s Brother Jay played “Heartbeats” by José Gonzalez on acoustic guitar. The wedding party exited to “Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap and “Love Vibration” by Josh Rouse and guests were asked to join the cocktail hour in the front of the room while the staff got ready for the reception.

The cocktail hour music was a mix of standards and indie rock, two of my favorite genre’s.  Think Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole along with The Bird & The Bee, She & Him and Spoon.  They actually can work really well together!

When the room was ready, guests were invited to their tables for dinner and I announced the wedding party to “Home” by Edward Sharpe. They made their way to the head table and it was time for dinner.  After salad’s, Patrice’s Father Jeff gave a toast as did the Best Man and Maid Of Honor and Patrice and Jamie thanked everyone for coming.

After dinner, the cake cutting was to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne followed by the “specialty dances”.  Their first dance was “Simple Life” by The Weepies, Patrice danced with her Father to Dave Matthew’s cover of The Beatles “In My Life” and Jamie danced with his Mother to Dave Matthew’s acoustic cover of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”.

“My Girl” opened the floor and guests from all over the country filled the floor singing and dancing.  Motown, beach music because both Patrice and Jamie went to UNC I had to play “Carolina Girls”..duh, and oldies lead up to the bouquet toss to “Bottle It Up” by Sara Bareilles and the garter toss to “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” by Cake.  The Bridesmaids were all ready for a dance with Patrice to “Like A Prayer” by Madonna and the guests filled the floor until the last song of the night, Iron & Wine’s version of “Such Great Heights” and Patrice and Jamie made their sparkler exit out the front of the building.  I had a absolute blast playing for them and I loved their indie rock influence. I could not believe the young flowergirl knew the lyrics to “Don’t Stop Believing” dancing to it in her pajamas and I loved seeing both fathers going crazy to “Footloose”.  So great!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Genna & Derek Smyth's Rustic 5-18-13 Wedding

Rustic is definitely the word for Genna and Derek’s wedding at The Chapel Hill Carriage House.  The ceremony, cocktail hour and reception were all outside.  I’m sure photographer Graham Terhune got some great pics !

The ceremony was held near the farmhouse and guests sat in a large winding circle to music played by a live bluegrass guitarist.  The wedding party and Genna & Derek wound around to the inside of the circle for the ceremony.  What a great idea Genna !

After the ceremony, it was across the grounds for the cocktail hour again with live bluegrass musicians Dave Hughes & Tim Wells and a special limoncello drink made just for the occasion.  They sounded great and set the tone for this reception and gave guests a taste of North Carolina.  Guests could play on the putting green, play corn hole or hit by the stone fireplace and listen to Dave & Tim.

It was then time for me to take over with a lot of  help and guidance by their wedding planner, Alycia Inserra from Mason, inc. Design in the open air pavilion.  Genna’s Father, Bob Gerngross, gave a wonderful welcome speech after guests were seated, then he introduced Genna & Derek for their first dance to the acoustic version of Dave Matthew’s “You And Me” and then dinner with standards, Motown and soft rock playing.

After salads were served, Genna danced with her Father to “I Knew I Loved You” by Savage Garden and Derek danced with his Mother to a shortened edit of “I’ll Always Love My Mama” by The Intruders.  He had me announce that she heard this song played at her cousin’s wedding in the 70’s and said that if she ever had a son, she would want to dance with him at his wedding to it.  I'm so honored I could make her dream come true!

After dinner we had toasts by the Maid Of Honor and Best Man, I reminded guests of the photo booth on the second floor and then opened the floor to Motown and oldies and the floor filled for the rest of the night.  They even had a huge soul trane line to “Celebration” and Derek’s nephew showed off some great moves to “Footloose”.

They could not light the 10 paper lanterns for their exit because of the torrential downpour surrounding us, so they just ended after their last song “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.  What a fun reception, a great group of guests and a fantastic couple!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bethanie & Jeff’s 5-4-13 reception….with a room full of Steelers fans !

Bethanie & Jeff had their ceremony and reception at The Brier Creek Country Club.  The ceremony was in the Jasmine courtyard overlooking the Arnold Palmer designed golf course.  The Grandparents and Parents came down the isle to “Air On G Sting”, the Groomsmen to “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring”, the Bridesmaids, Flower girl and Ring bearer to “Canon in D” and Bethanie to “Trumpet Voluntary”.  During the ceremony they had communion, unity sand ceremony and gave both Mother’s a rose to “When I Say I Do” by Matthew West.  Their recessional was to Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”.  Guests were ushered to the cocktail hour in the Palmer's Cove inside the Clubhouse for drinks and to enjoy their standards and soft rock music mix.

Their reception was down the hall in the large banquet room with floral arrangements done by Lyn Graves from A Fresh Affair and he and his staff always do such an awesome job as does Shelly Keeter and the staff at Brier Creek! The wedding party was introduced to one of my favorite songs ever, “Got To Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye and Bethanie & Jeff went right into their first dance of “Unchained Melody”, Bethanie with her Father to “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman and Jeff & his Mother to the slow version of “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart.  After the dances were toasts by the Best Man and Maid & Matron Of Honor, then into the buffet dinner. 

The cake cutting followed dinner to "How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor then into a “snowball dance” that I started with the whole wedding party on the floor to “Runaround Sue” and after every 30 seconds, made them grab a guest and bring to the floor. By the end of the song everyone guest was on the floor dancing and singing.  “The Twist” followed this and it was havoc on the floor!  What a great idea Bethanie!  “Runaround Sue” works every time..except if the Bride’s name is Sue.  Then it’s not such a great idea…:)

Bethanie is from Polish heritage, had a ton of Pittsburg guests and is a Steelers fan so she requested “The Steelers Polka” and what a great choice!  The center of the floor was all the Steelers fans singing it to the top of their lungs and polka dancers circled them dancing. Fan-Tastic !!

They stopped to have another polish tradition, the money dance.  Both Bethanie and Jeff danced with guests to “With A Little Help From My Friends”, “You’ve Got A Friend” and “That’s What Friends Are For”.  Not only did the guests get to dance with the Bride & Groom for their money, but they also got to do a shot that was specially made for Bethanie & Jeff’s wedding.  Another great idea!

The reception ended to every guest there making a huge circle and singing “Sweet Caroline” to the top of their lungs and then “Carolina In My Mind” by James Taylor.  They made their exit to sparklers from the front of the Club.

What a fun reception and I think I saw a baby flying in the air on the dance floor (not kidding) and Bethanie and Jeff had a huge smile on their face the whole night!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lauren & Garry’s 4/27/13 Five Star reception at The Umstead Hotel & Spa

Lauren and Garry chose to have both their ceremony and reception at Cary’s five star hotel, The Umstead Hotel & Spa. Their ceremony & cocktail music were provided by The Arioso String Quartet.  I always love hearing them play!

The reception was in the large ballroom and I had a dream team of vendors to work with.  Kelley Ann from The Umstead and Megan from A Southern Soiree were there to make sure everything went perfect and photo’s by Kevin Milz captured every minute. I’m hoping he caught the usher, Joshua, dancing in the red high heel.  That will haunt him someday!

Laura and Garry, along with the complete wedding party, were introduced to “I Gotta Feelin’” by The Black Eyed Peas, then they went directly into their first dance.  The first dance was a custom edit I did for them of one minute of “Faithfully” by Journey, then into a minute of “Gangnam Style” that had everyone cheering and clapping along.  Great job Lauren and Garry ! After that was Lauren and her Dad’s dance to “Just My Imagination” by The Temptations and “I Hope You Dance” for Garry and his Mother.  A short welcome by Lauren’s Father, Doug, made way for the three-course meal of shrimp & grits, salad and plated entrée’s.  The choreographed serving of the meal by the Umstead staff is something to see!  The music for dinner was a mix of standards, classic soul and soft rock.

After dinner a short toast by the best man, Shawn and cake cutting to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor opened the ice cream sundae bar and the dance floor.

A short Motown/oldies set made way to current music for the younger guests that were there.  It was great seeing everyone from 4 year olds to 74 year olds all dancing together to “The Cupid Shuffle” and “Yeah” by Usher !

The last song had everyone on the floor singing along to “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver then their exit out the terrace to biodegradable confetti.  What a beautiful wedding reception and a great time thanks to the hard work of Lauren, Kelley Ann, Megan and the staff at The Umstead!