Monday, October 21, 2013

Pittman/Cordero reception at The Fearrington on October 20, 2013

Alisha and Noel chose the Fearrington Garden Terrace for their reception.  I almost feel like I am an employee after playing here 2 days earlier and 3 other weddings this month in the same room.  But I love it here ! The weather was perfect for the 70 guests with not a cloud in the sky. I did not provide music for the cocktail hour, that was done by a violinist and acoustic guitarist from Arioso Strings.  Alisha and Noel arrived after photographer Krystal Kast snapped some pics and videographer Phil from Twenty-One Films got some footage.  The guests made their way into the Garden Terrace and I introduced the wedding party to Head Automatica’s “Brooklyn Is Burning”. After they were introduced Alisha and Noel had their first dance to Idlewild’s “Take Me Back To The Island”.  Half way through the song I invited everyone to join them and the floor filled.  Guests took their seats and Noel welcomed everyone and had everyone laughing. I could tell this was going to be a great one! 

I invited the guests to make their way through the food stations or through the F8 photo booth outside on the patio.  For dinner I played a mix of classic soul, rock and some indie rock. After dinner I opened the floor for a short time with some Motown, oldies and current dance music and the floor was great! I think I even saw a flying child on the dance floor. Ha ha… I even got to play some latin music for Noel’s Puerto Rican family and friends.

After dancing for a while we stopped for the cake cutting to “Sweetest Thing” by U2 and a couple heartfelt toasts by the Matron Of Honor and The Best Man.  Alisha’s Brother Ron then played a cover of “I Turn To You” on his piano and sang it.  It was fantastic and really made the reception unique.  I didn’t even want to play after he did.  I could not top that!  I started back with “Yeah” and the floor packed again until the end of the night.  The night came to an end with “At Last” by Etta James and they started chanting “One More Song” so I ended with a salsa by Juan Luis Guerra.

What a fun crown and I am so happy for Alisha and Noel!

Winwood/Mullen ceremony and reception at The Oaks at Salem on October 19th, 2013

Caitlin and Zach had both their ceremony and reception on the grounds of the gorgeous Oaks at Salem in Apex with owner April Maness and planner Joslin.  The ceremony was held under a huge oak tree on the other side of a pond from the house.  What an elegant setting with white and tan paper globes hanging from the tree.  The wedding party walked from the house around the pond to “Clair De Lune” and Caitlin and her Father walked in to Chopin’s “Nocturne Opus 9. No. 2”.  It was so beautiful despite the mist in the air earlier.  After a fun and touching ceremony by minister Paul Rodney, Caitlin, Zach and the wedding party exited to “More Today Than Yesterday” and guests were invited back to the house for the cocktail hour and reception.  I had a mix of Motown and classic soul playing for the cocktail hour. 

After a few pictures were taken by their friends at Pink Martini Photography Caitlin and Zach were introduced into the covered courtyard and went right into their first dance “Our House” by Crosby, Stills and Nash.  After that, Caitlin danced with her Father to “Forever Young” by Audra Mae.  The original of this song by Bob Dylan was actually the first song her Father David played for her when he brought her home from the hospital.  I have to say I had a tear in my eye when I told that story.  Zach then escorted his Mother to the floor for their dance to “What A Wonderful World”.  The caterer, Beau Bennett from Beau Catering welcomed everyone and told them what was on the buffet and the staff got them through the line quickly.  I had a mix of classic rock and soft rock playing during dinner.  People actually started dancing during the first song of dinner, “Bring It On Home” by Sam Cooke.  I love that song!

Towards the end of dinner Caitlin’s Father said the first toast and I could listen to him all night.  What a great accent.  Cailin’s Sister Leah ended the toasts and Caitlin and Zach had a pie cutting instead of cake made by Pam Runyans from ABC Pie Company.  They must have been good because they were gone quickly.  We said a happy birthday to guests David and Shirley as I played “Birthday” by The Beatles and I opened the floor with an anniversary dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra.  After that I opened the floor to everyone with “My Girl” and the floor filled.  I played a mix of everything from “In The Mood” to “Gangnam Style” and their minister showed everyone up with his Gangnam style moves!

We ended the evening with Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are The Best Thing” and guests made their way to the front of The Oaks for the bubble exit and took their favors on the way.  It was my first time playing at The Oaks and I love it!

Gargan/Bredahl wedding at The Fearrington Garden Terrace on October 18th, 2013

Meghan and Lars chose the charming Fearrington Garden Terrace for their cocktail hour and reception.  I love this room with all clear walls (that can also be open air in the summer) looking out onto the beautiful grounds of The Fearrington. Meghan and Lars were getting pics taken by photographer Julia Wade and videographer Phil from Twenty-One Films while guests enjoyed live music during the cocktail hour.

As the cocktail hour wound down guests made their way inside the room with a roaring fire in the fireplace.  I had some music playing and lined the wedding party up for their introductions.  They entered to “Marry You” by Bruno Mars and Meghan and Lars went right into their first dance, the piano version of “Then” by Brad Paisley.  It is such a beautiful version and there were tears everywhere.  After their dance the food stations opened and I played a mix of classic soul and soft rock. 

After everyone ate, Meghan’s Father Jim said a toast and opened the dance floor with the Father/Daughter song “Butterfly Kisses” and Lars followed dancing with his Mother to “What A Wonderful World”.  I opened the floor with some Motown and went into “Blurred Lines” pretty early.  By the end of the first song everyone in the room but 3 were on the floor.  It was awesome to see Lars Grandfather dancing to “Soul Man” and “Blurred Lines”!

After about an hour of dancing we stopped for the cake cutting to Emile Sande’s “Next To Me” and then back to dancing to some 70’s, 80’s and current club music.  The night ended with Lars and his buddy’s singing “Wagon Wheel” at the top of their lungs and the last song of “One More Time” by Daft Punk.  What a fun night and I am so happy for Lars and Meghan!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stroud/Lun wedding and reception at The Sutherland on October 12, 2013

Kathleen and Ryan chose the over 200 year old plantation style home and grounds of The Sutherland in Wake Forest for both their ceremony and reception with planner Jennifer Jones. I was so thrilled to be playing for this family again.  I had met them when I had DJ’d Kathleen’s sister Molly’s wedding almost 4 years ago.  That wedding was crazy and I thought I was going to fall through the front porch of the venue where the dance floor was.  I knew this one would be no different!  I was working with photographers Bob and Lisa Stuart from Sacred Shots and I’m sure they got some great pics!

The outdoor ceremony in the huge side garden was beautiful with floral arrangements by Watered Garden.  I had classical music playing as guests arrived and also for the bridal party & Kathleen’s entrance.  Kathleen’s Aunt officiated the ceremony and that made it extra special.  After the ceremony, Kathleen and Ryan left to “This Will Be An Everlasting Love” by Natalie Cole and guests were asked to make way to the other side of the house for the outdoor cocktail hour in the Groom’s terrace and I had a mix of soft rock and classic rock playing.

Some pics were taken and it was time to announce the wedding party to the 80’s club hit “Gonna Make U Sweat” and Kathleen and Ryan to “Good Vibration” by Marky Mark.  The guests surrounded the courtyard for a few toasts and there was not a dry eye during Kathleen’s Father Guye’s heartfelt toast.  I invited guests to the tented lawn for dinner and reception and continued a soft rock mix as guests ate heavy Hors d'oeuvre’s.  After dinner and a few more toasts, Kathleen and Ryan had their choreographed first dance to “L.O.V.E.” by Nat King Cole, Kathleen danced with her Father to “Isn’t She Lovely” and Ryan danced with his Mother to “Days Like This” by Van Morrison.

Guests were dying to get on the floor and I opened with “My Girl” and the floor was so packed some guests were dancing on the outside of the floor.  After about 25 minutes of dancing we stopped to have the Cinda’s Cake cutting inside the Sutherland to The Beatles “All You Need Is Love” then back to dancing to some 70’s and 80’s until the bouquet toss to “lady Marmalade”.

After the bouquet toss I went 90’s hip-hop and some current jams for Kathleen and Ryan and their friends and family.  The night ended with “Walking On Broken Glass” and The Isley Brother’s “Shout”.   I have to say I was a little sad it was over and guests made their way to the house for the sparkler exit.  I absolutely LOVE the Stroud’s and they make me feel like I am party of their family.

Benjamin/Valente wedding at Brier Creek Country Club on October 11, 2013

Ashlee and Ronald had both their ceremony and reception at the Arnold Palmer designed Brier Creek Country Club.  The ceremony was outside backing right up to the green.  I had the pleasure of working with Rev. Barbara Lodge during their ceremony.  I had piano music playing by Jim Brickman while guests arrived. The wedding party came down the isle to Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary and Ashlee entered to “Rigaudon” by Andre Campra .  Instead of a unity candle or bending of sand during the ceremony, they had a wine ceremony where they took 3 different bottles of wine and placed them inside a box with 3 slats. Along with the wine was a letter they had written to each other that they will open at a later date, the first in 1 year, the 2nd in 5 years and the last in 10 years.  Inside each slat are engraved lyrics from a Sinatra song.  That was awesome!!!  They ended the ceremony walking back down the isle to “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates.  Photographer, and friend from Omaha, Daniel Dunlap was there to snap every shot.

After the cocktail hour the 100 guests made their way down the hall and into the main banquet room with floral arrangements by The English Garden for the reception.  I had a mix of standards playing as guests found their seats and got ready for the wedding party to enter.  After they were all seated, the

wedding party was introduced to “Love Somebody” by Maroon 5 and Ashlee and Ronald had their first dance to Michael Buble’s “Close Your Eyes” and there was a big “awww” from the guests.  After that Ashlee danced with her Father to “My Father’s Eyes” by Eric Clapton and Ron danced with his Mother to Elton John’s “Blessed”.  Ashlee’s Father welcomed everyone and salad’s and entrĂ©e’s were served as I continued the standards music mix with some classic rock mixed in for Ron’s Italian NYC family.  They started dancing during dinner to “Jersey Girl” by Bruce Springsteen and I could tell this was going to be a great crowd!

After dinner we went right into the toasts and Ashley's Cakes made cake cutting.  They chose Michael Buble’s version of “How Sweet It Is” for the cake cutting.  After singing happy birthday to 3 different guests celebrating their birthday, we opened the floor with a longest married couple dance to “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley.  I opened the floor to everyone with “Because Of You” by Tony Bennett then some Motown and oldies and the floor packed.  I ended every set with a Springsteen song and I felt like I was watching a Springsteen air guitar contest.  They sang the songs at the top of their lungs!  So great!!  I will never forget Ashlee doing some dance that looked like she was in The Matrix to “Dynamite” or Ronald singing those Bruce songs like he was Bruce himself.
We stopped for a few minutes to toss the bouquet to “It’s Raining Men” and the Garter to “Where Dem Girls at”, than back to dancing to some current dance music and 80’s sing-a-long songs until the end of the evening. 

What a fun crowd and I had a blast playing for them!