Monday, September 29, 2014

Dougherty/McLaren wedding at The Angus Barn

Arlie and Chris chose the open air Angus Barn Pavilion in Raleigh for their wedding reception on a gorgeous 75 degree day on Saturday, September 27th, 2014.  They wanted to get some pictures around the pavilion by Lauren Mann (one of my favorites!) after the ceremony, so they had guests stop by the Angus Barn Wild Turkey Lounge for a pre-reception gathering. As pictures were winding up, guests started arriving to the pavilion and I had a mix of country and soft rock playing.  They enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, drinks, celery and that cheese!!!  After a short time the wedding party was ready to get things going and I invited guests to find their tables with help from The Angus Barn’s Kelly Joslin.

The wedding party danced into the room to “Let’s Get It Started” and Arlie & Chris had a huge roar from the crowd s they entered to Usher’s “Yeah”.  They danced for a short time, then into their second dance as husband and wife to “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton.  Arlie’s father joined her on the floor to dance to “I Loved Her First” and Chris and his mother danced to “The Man You’ve Become” by Molly Pasutti.  They took their seats and groomsman Andy Hylton blessed the meal.  The buffet opened with fried chicken, pulled pork, mac & cheese, potato salad…It was all delicious! I continued a soft rock and country music mix during dinner.

After dinner we had a couple toasts and the Sweet Memories cake cutting to “My Best Friend” from Tim McGraw and I opened the floor with “My Girl” that brought the wedding party and Arlie & Chris to the floor.  After a few songs, guests started joining them on the floor and dancing for the next 3 hours, stopping shortly for a bouquet toss to “Single ladies” and garter toss to “Push It”. LOL.

There were a lot of memorable things about this wedding that I loved!  We honored all the active and retired servicemen and women during dinner and I asked them to stand while I played Toby Keith’s “American Soldier”, One of their older guests was doing wheelies on the dance floor in a wheel chair, a huge sing along to “Paradise By Dashboard Lights” with women on 1 side of the floor and Men on the other singing it to each other, Chris brought me a delicious S’more he made on the bonfire and huge sing a long circle to “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Livin On A Prayer” with guests holding candles from the tables as they sang them at the top of their lungs.

Their last song of the night was “I Don’t Want This Night To End” by Luke Bryan and everyone made a huge circle around Arlie & Chris who were dancing in the middle and they made a sparkler exit. Thank you so much for a fantastic night Arlie & Chris and I wish you both the absolute best!

All photo's courtesy of Lauren Mann Photography

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

West/Sparks wedding at Rose Hill in Nashville, NC

After 10 years of dating, Alyson and Joseph chose the beautiful Rose Hill Plantation on September 21st, 2014 for their ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.  I always love playing there! The ceremony was held in the back out the house at a gazebo on a pond with ducks and swans swimming in the background.  As guests arrived, I had light classical music playing.  Alyson was ready and the processional started.  For the processional, a long time friend of Alyson’s mom’s, Allison Sikes sang to an instrumental of “Marry Me” by Train.  It was so special and a great addition!  She also sang Shania Twain’s “From This Moment” during the ceremony after the exchanging of the rings.  For the recessional, Alyson chose “I Do” by Holley Maher and guests made their way to the back patio of the Nathan Hall for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while I had a mix of soft rock and country playing.

After the cocktail hour, guests made their way into Nathan Hall for dining and dancing. There were beautiful floral arrangements by Fresh Affairs on the middle of every table and over the fireplace. I introduced the wedding party to “Happy” and each couple danced into the room and made their way to the fireplace at the far end of the room.  Alyson and Joseph made their way across the room and to the dance floor for their first dance to “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes.  Alyson then danced with her father to “I Loved Her First” (which was a surprise to her) and Joseph danced with his mother to “My Wish”.  I hope photographers Brian and Jo Rierson got some great pictures of Alyson’s fantastic sparkly silver shoes!  Alyson’s father welcomed everyone for coming and Joseph’s father blessed the meal.  The buffet opened and I continued a country and soft rock mix.
After dinner we had a few toasts and the Ashley’s cake cutting to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor.  I opened the floor with a dollar dance to “That’s What Friends Are For/You’ve Got A Fiend” and Alyson doubled what Joseph made. Ha ha..  I then opened the floor and guests danced to beach music, some line dances and 80’s until the bouquet toss to “Single Ladies” and garter toss to ZZ Top’s “Legs”.  Back to dancing until their last song, “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing and a sparkler exit.

Emily & Timothy wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham

I never met Emily and Timothy until the day of the reception at The Cotton Room in Durham on September 20th, 2014, but followed Emily on Facebook and knew she was a very excited bride!  She was in great hands with Katie Dunn from La Fete as her wedding planner, Robert Pettus from RDP3 as videographer & photographers Brett & Jessica Donar.  Their ceremony was at The UNC Coker Arboretum.  Guests came to The Cotton Room directly after and were treated to an Ipod mix Timothy had made of Motown and rock with a lot of Mayer Hawthorne (one of my favorites).  Emily and Timothy joined for the last ½ of the cocktail hour and guests started making their way to their tables. 

I introduced Emily and Timothy to a loop of the beginning of Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” and they made their way to the dance  They took their seats after and Emily’s parents welcomed everyone and said the blessing.  The family style dinner came out and I started a mix of standards and Motown.  Towards the end of dinner, we had 4 toasts and the Sugarland cake cutting to Al Green’s “Love & Happiness”.
floor to have their first dance to the song.

Emily joined her father on the floor for their dance.  I started with 30 seconds of “Rhapsody In Blue” because it is United Airline’s theme song and the Families official airlines, then mixed into Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day”.  What a great and unique dance for them!  Timothy then joined his mother on the floor and danced to “High Tide & Low Tide” by Bob Marley for a minute, then I invited everyone to join them, which they all did!  I opened the floor to everyone with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and it stayed filled for the next 2 hours.  I kept them dancing with some oldies, lots of 2000’s R&B and Hip-Hop and some current dance music.  I even got to play Robyn!

We stopped briefly for a group picture with all the UNC alumni with James “Laid” playing in the background and everyone singing along.  I LOVE that song!  The night ended with UNC’s theme “Jump Around” and then into “Gimme Some Lovin’”, but the guests weren’t ready to leave yet.  I played “Good Lovin” by The Rascals and “Shout” to end the night and send home.  Guests grabbed popcorn and water as they left.  What a fun reception and a great couple!!!  I had a blast!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Corwin/Biersdorf fairytale wedding at Castle Ladyhawke in the mountains

Cadence and Nick wanted a fairytale wedding on September 13th, 2014 (well.. Cadence did J) and that’s exactly what they got!  I had never been to Castle Ladyhawke on top of the Appalachian Mountains in NC before, but it is gorgeous!  About 5 hours away from Raleigh, this recreated Scottish castle is perfect for a fairytale wedding. 
The ceremony was held in the back lawn of the castle overlooking the mountain range and it could not have been a more beautiful setting for them!  There was a threat of rain, so I waited until the last moment to set up.  I provided mic’s for the 2 ministers, 3 readers and a singer who sang with a string trio.  Guests took their seats and the musicians played light classical music and some covers of pop songs.  After Nick and his groomsmen took their places at the altar and Cadence’s sister did an interpretive dance to “1,000” miles by Mark Schultz, the wedding party came down the stairs from the castle as the singer and musicians performed “A Thousand Years”. The ceremony ended and guests made their way to the outdoor patio for a social hour and the string trio provided music again. Still no rain!

After photographers from Perry Vaile and videographers Life Stage Films got some pics, the wedding party was ready to be introduced and join the cocktail hour.  They danced into the patio to “Walk It Out” and Cadence and Nick came in to “Timber”.  They stopped at the middle of the patio for their first dance to Marie Miller’s “6’2””.  After a few minutes the Gold Room was ready for dinner and guests made their way through the castle to their reserved tables.  Cadence’s father welcomed everyone and minister Eric blessed the meal.  The buffet opened and I had a mix of rock and country playing.
After dinner I invited all the guests to the great room for cake, toasts and dancing.  We started with 4 toasts and a thank you by Cadence and Nick.  Instead of gifts, they wanted everyone to make donations to an organization of their choice.  They gave over $2,000 in donations!!  I LOVE this idea and glad no one had to do an ice bucket challenge at the wedding, especially Cadence.  The cake cutting was to “Chapel of Love” and the dessert table opened.

Cadence made her way to the floor and joined her father to dance to “Cinderella” by Stephen Curtis Chapman and it could not have been a more appropriate song for them.  Nick escorted his mother to the floor and danced to “Let It Be”.  I opened the floor with “My Girl” and guests filled the floor and made their way out to the lite patio for drinks and conversation.  Still no rain!!!

After a couple hours of dancing to current dance songs, a few line dances and some oldies, Cadence and Nick made their way to the outdoor back patio for their last dance surrounded by friends and family with sparklers to “All Of Me” by John Legend, still no rain and they made their way back to the front of the castle for a sparkler exit….now beginning to sprinkle.  As guests left, they were given a potted succulent to take home and grow.  What a beautiful and charming wedding and I am so glad I was a part of it.  Thank you Cadence and Nick for a wonderful wedding I will never forget!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Balentine/Clay wedding at The Oaks At Salem on September 7th, 2014

I met Jillian and her mother during an open house at The Oaks at Salem in Apex in April.  We hit it off instantly and I was excited to play for this beautiful bride, her mother and their 200 guests and The Oak’s April and Joslin!  I provided mic’s for the ceremony that was held across the pond from the house under a huge tree.  It is a beautiful setting for a wedding and Jillian had harpist Amy Kortus provide music.  She plays beautifully!  After a short ceremony that somehow missed the rain, guests made their way back to the house for the cocktail hour inside the house and under the tent.  I had a mix of soft rock, country and classic rock playing as guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.   Photographers Three Little Birds took pictures of the wedding party around the grounds until the introductions.

I introduced the wedding party from the house into the tent to T.I.’s “Bring ‘Em Out” and Jillian and Zach came right in and into their first dance to Mumford & Son’s “Not With Haste”.  They took their seats and Zach’s father welcomed everyone and minister Jay Minnick blessed the meal.  Beau Bennett from Beau Catering explained the buffet menu to everyone and I went back into a mix of soft rock, country and classic rock for dinner. 

After dinner we had several toasts rounded out by Zach’s father and then the Ashley’s Cake (yay!!) cutting to “Build Me Up Buttercup”. I opened the floor with some Motown and current dance music for a few minutes until we paused for the bouquet toss to “lady Marmalade” and Jillian’s mother caught the bouquet!  So funny! We then had the garter toss to “Danger Zone” from Top Gun and back to dancing to some line dances and current top 40.  One of the highlights for me was everyone singing “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show and, of course, the look on Jillian’s mom’s face when she caught the bouquet.

The night ended with their last dance to Michael Buble’s “Everything” and a sparkler exit from the front of the house.  Thank you so much Jillian and Zach and congratulations!

Collins/Pierce wedding at The Cotton Room

I never met Amanda and Ben until just before their ceremony and reception at Durham’s Cotton Room on September 6th, 2014.  We had Skyped a couple times, but I knew they were going to be a blast to play for and very nice!  This is the first Bride and Groom that gave me a pair of cufflinks to wear at their wedding (classic Nintendo controllers!).  What a thoughtful gift for me.  All I knew going in was that they loved Springsteen..and having fun.

I provided music and mic’s for their ceremony on the right side of the room with the dinner area hidden by white linens.  As guests arrived, I had a mix of light classical playing.  The ceremony started and the parents entered to John Tesh’s cover of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, the wedding party to a string version of “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring” and Amanda entered with her father to “Canon In D”.  After a short ceremony by Terry- Michael Newell and a few readings, Amanda and Ben recessed to “Anywhere With You’ by country singer Jake Owen.  Guests made their way to the front of the room for cocktails and the wedding party had pics taken by Casey from Urban South and video by Michelle from Post Script Productions as I had a mix of soft rock, country and lots of Springsteen playing.

The white linens opened and guests made their way to their tables with floral arrangements by Tre Bella.  The wedding party danced into the room to “Gonna Make You Sweat” and Ben and Amanda to “Anywhere With You” again.  They went right to the head table and Amanda’s father welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming.  The salad’s came out and it was time for the toasts rounded out with a wonderful heartfelt toast by Ben’s father.  The plated dinner came out and I had a mix of soft rock and country playing.

After dinner, Amanda and Ben went around to tables until it was time for their first dance.  They made their way to the floor, guests took their seats and enjoyed their first dance to Clarence Clemons sax solo from “Jungleland” by Bruce.  Amanda then danced with her father to “ Things We’ve Handed Down” by Marc Cohn and Ben and his mother danced to Brother IZ’s “What A Wonderful World”.  I opened the floor with Motown and it filled with young and old.

After some dancing, we paused briefly for the Daisy Cakes cutting to “Waiting On A Sunny Day” by Springsteen and back to dancing to some line dances, some latin music and current top 40/hip-hop.  The night ended with “Piano Man” and “Sweet Caroline” that had everyone in a huge circle singing and, of course, 2 Springsteen songs.  “Born To Run” turned into an air guitar contest between Ben, his father and Amanda’s father and their last dance to Bruce’s “When You Need Me”.  They had a sparkler exit from the ground floor.  What a fun reception and wonderful couple!  Thank you Amanda and Ben and congratulations!