Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Midili/Shaffer wedding at CAM Raleigh on January 18th, 2014

Jaclyn and Eric chose the hipness of Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) for their ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. I provided music and mic’s for all. They didn’t want anything typical for their special day and I was glad to help them out with CAM’s Tamar Harris Warren and photographer Stacia Harrington. The pre-ceremony music was soft indie rock with Mazzy Star, Lana Del Rey and Fleet Foxes in the mix.  There wasn’t a typical wedding party so Jaclyn just walked down the isle with her Father to My Morning Jacket’s “Wonderful (The Way I Feel” and joined Eric and officiant Jonathan Schniepp for the ceremony. After a couple readings and the vows they exited to You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oates and guests made their way to the top level for cocktails and food.  I continued a mix of indie music but added some more upbeat songs and R&B by the likes of Chromeo, Frank Ocean, Fitz & The Tantrums and some classic rock by Bowie and The Stones.  Jaclyn and Eric joined the cocktail hour after some pics were taken and it was time for their introductions and special dances before dinner.

I had guests join them back on the street level for their dances and both sets of parents were introduced to Cee-Lo’s “Fool For You” and Jaclyn and Eric had their first dance to Charles Bradley’s “Strictly Reserved For you”.  I had not heard it before but loved it!  Thanks for turning me onto in Eric.  Jaclyn then danced with her father to “My Girl” and Eric and his Mother danced to “I’ll Always Love My Mama” by The Intruders.  Jaclyn’s Father welcomed everyone and guests made their way back up to the top level for dinner and I went back to an indie rock/R&B/classic rock mix.

As dinner came to an end I opened the floor with some beach and Motown back on the street level and within 10 minutes the floor was jammin’.  I soon went into some current dance music and 80’s and the floor filled with friends and family.  Some highlights were Jaclyn’s long time friend rapping a surprise customized song to the theme from The Fresh Prince for Jaclyn and Eric and their officiant doing a great job dancing to “Teach Me How To Dougie”.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hornaday/Gibson reception at The Stockroom on January 11th, 2014

Jennifer & Whitfield chose the urban feel of The Stockroom at 230 in downtown Raleigh with exposed beams in the ceiling, hardwood floors and painted brick walls for their reception with fabulous wedding planner Erin McLean and beautiful floral arrangements by Tre Bella.  The ceremony was held at Fairmont Methodist Church earlier during a tornado that made the power go out, so the guests lite the room with cellphones.  So great!!  The cocktail hour was held next door to The Stockroom in The Mahler Fine Art Gallery.

There were so many unique and fun things about this reception that I don’t really know where to begin.  When guests arrived I had a mix of country and soft rock playing.  There were 2 bars in the room.  At the top of that stairs was a regular bar with wine, beer and mixed drinks.  At the bottom of the 3 stairs was a champagne bar complete with flavored mixers, juices and fruits.  Guests patiently awaited the arrival of the wedding party and Jennifer & Whitfield and they shared drinks and laughs.  They wedding party arrived and I lined them up with a lot of help from Erin and her assistant Sarah.  The wedding party entered to Capital Cities summer hit “Safe & Sound” and Jennifer & Whit had their first dance to Darius Rucker’s “History In The Making”.  About halfway thru the song the wedding party joined them on the floor.  After the song guests made their way to their tables and Whit made a great speech to the guests and very touching speech to Jennifer.  Great job Whit!  After a blessing by Anna Fischel (their officiant) the salads and entrées came out and I continued a mix of country and soft rock.
After dinner we had the toasts by the best man and maid of honor and the Ashley’s cake cutting to “Better Together”.  I then invited all the married couples to the floor to share the first dance with Jennifer and Whit.  This was actually a longest married couple dance to Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight”.  After that I opened the floor with some beach music and Motown that filled the floor with young and old.  Shortly after, they had a fresh popped popcorn station opened with flavors for the popcorn and small bags to put it in and the dessert bar opened.

After about an hour of dancing they had a surprise “snow dance”.  I played the ballad “Lost In This Moment” and invited everyone on the floor to dance with Jennifer and Whit and the snow machines started flurrying inside The Stockroom.  It was so awesome!  I’m sure photographer Megan Kime got some fantastic shots!  The night ended with a packed floor and the last song of Angels and Airwaves “The Adventure”.  The guests made a circle around Jennifer and Whit and we started the snow machine again.  What a fun reception!!!!  I had a blast.  Thank you Jennifer and Whitefield!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rothecker/Bales wedding at The Museum Of History on January 4th, 2014

Sarah and Matthew chose Raleigh’s Museum of History for their reception with planner Melissa Hayes.  Guests walked from the ceremony at the Church Of The Good Sheperd across the state capitol grounds to the Museum. When they arrived I had a mix of standards, rock and classic soul playing and they were singing along and having a great time around the biggest Christmas tree I’ve seen in the lobby.  Of course, they may have been trying to warm up..

Sarah and Matt arrived with the wedding party and waited on the 2nd floor for the introductions.  The wedding party came down the stairs to “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and Sarah, Matthew and their parents came down to The Avett Brother’s January Wedding. Very appropriate!  They made their way to the dance floor and Sarah and Matt had their first dance to “You Are The Best Thing”, Sarah danced with het father to “The Way You Look Tonight” and Matt danced with his mother to “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  The hors d’eouvres were passed and the food stations opened.  After a short time I opened the dance floor with some beach and Motown since this wasn’t really a “sit down dinner”, but more of a dance if you want or eat of you’re hungry. 

After about an hour we stopped for the Cinda’s cake cutting to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor and I opened the floor again with some 70’s funk and 80’s and the bridesmaids started dancing.  We stopped again for the bouquet toss to “Single ladies” and the garter toss to “Danger Zone”.  Since we were playing a song from Top Gun, I invited Matt’s groomsmen and fraternity brothers to the floor to sing ”You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” to Sarah and I opened the floor again with some current dance music that brought everyone to the floor.  The night ended with some great sing along songs and Sarah and Matt had their last dance to “Wonderful Tonight”.  Glow sticks were passed out for their exit and Sarah and Matt made their get away.  I was so glad I was party of this celebration and I now there will be some great pics from photographer Les Atkins.

Ring/Bolick reception at Prestonwood Country Club on January 3rd, 2014

Callen and Matthew chose the beautiful Prestonwood Country Club in Cary NC for their reception and I was excited to start out the year of weddings there with Joey from Prestonwood, photographers Frank (who manned the photo booth), Elizabeth and Christa from Sweet Life Studios and videographers Twenty-One Films.

The doors to the ballroom opened aftera social hour and guests came in and saw beautiful winter inspired centerpieces on the tables by The Watered Garden.  I lined the wedding party up for introductions and they came into the room to “Footloose” and stood at the bottom of the large staircase for Callen and Matthew to come down.  When they appeared at the top of the stairs there was a loud roar of applause and they came down the staircase and right into their first dance.  I had done a custom song edit for them that started with “Hold On” by Michael Buble then into “Build Me Up Buttercup” that caught all the guests off guard.Nicely done!  They took their seats and Callen’s mother welcomed everyone and Pastor Dave said the blessing.  The salads and entrée’s came out and I started a custom mix of standards and soft rock. 


After dinner and 3 toasts we had the cake cutting to “Everything” by Michael Buble and Callen made her way to the floor to dance with her father to “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman and Matthew escorted his mother to the floor for their dance to The Beatles “In My Life”.    I then opened the floor to some beach music and Motown while Callen changed into her “dancing dress” and the wedding party started dancing and guests followed.  The photo booth started getting some action and I switched to some current dance music for the younger guests.  Callen had requested “What does the fox say” earlier in the week and I dropped it when there were about 6 kids dancing with the older guests.  They got huge grins on their faces and started singing along and acting the song out.  It was awesome!  Now I know why Callen wanted it played.  I followed that with another request by Callen, a “tush-push” dance to Duffy’s “Mercy”.  Everyone started doing the dance with Callen including her Grandparents.

We stopped to do the bouquet toss to “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and the garter toss to “Another One Bites The Dust”.  More current dance music brought everyone back out to the floor until the end of the evening.  That was when one of the most touching parts of a wedding reception I have seen came.  I played the last song of “Unforgettable” and made guests gather in the front lobby for the snow exit since it was 25 degrees out.  We locked the ballroom doors so Callen and Matthew could have one last dance alone surrounded by candles on the dance floor to Frank Sinatra’s “it Had To Be You”.  Callen and Matthew then made their way to join the guests for their exit and their horse drawn carriage getaway.  Callen always wanted a fairy tale wedding and this was about as close as you could get.  What a wonderful evening!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

LaVange/Clark reception at The Fearrington Barn 12/28/13

New Yorkers Leigh and Andrew chose the southern charm of The Fearrington Barn for their cocktail hour and reception.  I did not have to provide music for the cocktail hour and dinner that was provided by a jazz trio, The Swingin’ Chads with keys, trumpet and stand up bass.  They did an awesome job covering Sinatra, Stan Getz, John Coltrane etc…They paused for me to introduce the wedding Layne Sizemore got some great shots!

party to Paul Simon’s “Me & Julio Down By The School Yard” and Leigh and Andrew had their first dance to “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” by Dean Martin. After a welcome by Leigh’s father and a blessing by the Reverend I let the 175 guests know what was at each food station and the Swingin’ Chads took over again for the dinner hour.  I’m sure photographer

As dinner ended Leigh took to the floor to dance with her father to “Do You Believe In Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful and Leigh and her father were both singing it to each other.  You could tell they used to dance to this when she was younger.  It was so sweet! Andrew escorted his mother to the floor and danced to “Stand By Me” by John Lennon and I opened the floor with some beach music and Motown and the guests, old and young, filled the floor quickly.

After about an hour of dancing we stopped for Andrew to thank everyone for coming and Leigh joined him to cut the cake to “Us” by Regina Spektor.  I love that song!  We went right back to dancing with some 80’s and current dance music until the bouquet toss to Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” and the garter toss to Kanye’s “Gone”.  Back to dancing and their friends and family made a soul train line to “Forever” by Chris Brown.  It was just like the wedding video.  So great!

Since they are both living in New York City now I ended the night with “New York, New York” and finally Billy Joel’s “New York State Of Mind”.  As the song ended I announced for the guests to make teir way to the front of the barn for the exit to snow.  That’s right, they had guests throw snow for the exit!  What a fun reception and I’m so glad I was a part of it.  I’m sure their friends and family had a blast in North Carolina.