Thursday, December 10, 2015

Kim & David’s Wedding at Washington Duke Inn on December 6th


Kim and David booked me around 2 weeks before the wedding and I’m so thankful I was available!  They are the sweetest couple and I loved playing for them at Durham’s Washington Duke Inn!  The ceremony was held inside in the foyer out front of the Presidents Ballroom where the reception would later be held.  There was an easily 20 foot Christmas tree already there to decorate the room.  For music they had a wonderful classical violinist playing.

After the short service officiated by David’s Uncle, guests made their way into the small room next to the Presidents Ballroom for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and the Classic Carolina Photo booth that was busy the whole time he was there.  During the cocktail hour I played a mix of rock, classic soul, top 40 and standards.  After pics were taken by photographer Rachel from Thirteen Moon Photography and video by Damien Maass & Kevin Alexander, the 100 guests made their way next door to the Presidents Ballroom to find their seats.  I left some music ands went out to the hallway to line the wedding party up and get them ready for their introductions.  I introduced the group of bridesmaids into the room to “Single Ladies”, the Groomsmen to “Gangnam Style” and finally Kim & David to Shania Twain’s “From This Moment” until they hit the dance floor then I scratched into “Happy” and the room went wild!  So great.  They took their seats and David’s father welcomed everyone including the guests from Singapore where Kim is from.  During dinner I had the same mix as cocktails playing.

After dinner we had a few toasts and the cake cutting to “Sugar, Sugar”.  Kim and David made their way to the floor after for their first dance to “Thinking Out Loud”.  After they finished I invited all the married couples to the floor for a longest married couple dance to ”Endless Love” and half the floor exited after the 5 year mark. Ha ha..  I opened the floor to everyone with “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” and the floor filled instantly for the next 2 hours.  Kim had picked a lot of great songs so I didn’t get a chance to play all the requests, but it didn’t matter.  They danced to everything from top 40 and oldies to sings a alongs and disco.
 

The guests made their way to the lobby for the rose petal exit, but the older guests weren’t ready to leave, so came back and danced for another half hour.  What a fun crowd to play for.  There was one time during dinner that Kim and David visited each table of friends and all stood in a circle screaming to the top of their lungs until they couldn’t any more, then all did a shot.  I had never seen that before, and love it!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ana & Reggie’s Winter Wedding at Highgrove Estate on December 5th


I was thrilled to play for Ana and Reggie at their wedding in Fuquay-Varina at Highgrove Estate on a picture prefect December 5th night!  The ceremony was held outside in the back and overlooks a lake and hill.  They had a trio playing live classical music and a singer for a couple tracks during the ceremony.  I ran mics for the singer and trio, two ministers and for Ana’s brother who did a reading during the ceremony.  The ceremony was beautiful and included communion by their second minister.

After the ceremony, guests made their way to the outside patio for cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. During this time I had a mix of soft and indie rock, standards and classic soul playing for the 150 guests while photographer Megan Kime and videographers Memories Of A Lifetime got some shots of the wedding party around the grounds.  After the cocktail hour was over, guests started making their way inside the ballroom where I was for dinner and dancing.  They found their seats and I went inside the house to line up the wedding party.
 
I introduced the wedding party to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder and Ana & Reggie came right in to the dance floor for their first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s acoustic version of “You Are The Best Thing”.  I had not heard it until this and love it!   They took their seats after the applause settled down and Ana’s father welcomed everyone and their minister blessed the meal.  The family style dinner came out by Angela and the staff at Highgrove and I continued the same mix as cocktails.

After dinner we had a few toasts and the cake cutting to L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole and Ana joined her father on the floor for their dance to “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.  As the song was fading out I mixed into the chorus of The Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” to surprise her father since he used to sing it to her as a child.  So sweet!!  Before opening the dance floor to everyone we did an anniversary dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra with the longest married couple being 56 years!  I then opened the floor to everyone with some Motown and current top 40.  Shortly the Krispy Kreme flambé station opened.  OMG!!!  So good and I always look forward to it.


We ended the night with Zac Brown’s “Chicken Fried”, ‘Sweet Caroline” and finally their last dance to Glen Hansard’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”.  What a wonderful family and group to play for!  Thank you Ana, Reggie, Kenneth & Shirley and congratulations.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Colleen & Justin’s Winter Wedding at Prestonwood Country Club

Colleen and Justin chose to have their wedding reception at Cary’s beautiful Prestonwood Country Club the Saturday after Thanksgiving to extend the holiday.  The ceremony was held earlier in the day in the church.  The 200 guests were able to relax for a while before heading over to the cocktail hour and reception.  The cocktail hour was held in the front hallway and outside on the balcony and the guests enjoyed drinks and passed hors d’oeuvres.  The cocktail hour ended and the doors to the ballroom opened for guests to find their seats.

The wedding party came from the top balcony down the grand staircase  that had a with a beautiful Watered Garden decorated Christmas tree to “Who Let The Dogs Out” (LOL) and stood on either side of the dance floor waiting for Colleen and Justin.  They came down the stairs to “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts and right to the dance floor for their first dance to “Walk Thru This World With Me” by George Jones, one of Justin’s favorite singers (mine too).  After their dance, the wedding party took their seats and Colleen’s Father joined her for their dance to “I Loved Her First” and Justin escorted his Mother to the floor to dance to “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd (one of my fav Mother/Son songs).  Colleen’s Father Matt took the mic to welcome everyone and Deacon Gerry blessed the meal.  The three-course meal of soup, salad and entrée’s came out and shortly the Picture That Photo Booth opened.  During dinner I had a mix of country, rock, standards and classic soul playing.

After dinner we had very heart felt toasts by Colleen’s Sister Sarah and Justin’s Brother Matthew followed by the cake cutting to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.  While the staff cut the cake and served it, the dessert station opened in the side room with little bite size pies and make your own s’mores.  YUM!!!  I opened the dance floor with “My Girl” and shortly the floor was packed with young and old for the next 2 hours.  We paused briefly for the bouquet toss to “No Scrubs” by TLC, then back to dancing til the end.  I played everything from oldies, top 40, sing-a-longs, 90’s hip-hop and even “Watch Me Nae-Nae” for the younger guests.  I can’t wait to see the pics from Rebecca and Brian Mullins!  I ended the night with “Sweet Caroline” and finally “Friends In Low Places”. 
 
After the last song, guests made their way to the front of the Country Club and grabbed fake snow to throw as Colleen and Justin left.  What a beautiful and magical wedding and great to see my past bride and groom Megan & Alex Smith!  Thank you Colleen and Justin and congratulations.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ashley & Jonathan’s Wedding at The City Club in Raleigh on November 21st


Ashley and Jonathan chose to have their reception high atop downtown Raleigh at The City Club.  The club is located on the 29th floor of the Wells-Fargo building with a breathtaking view of North Raleigh through the floor to ceiling windows.  The cocktail hour was held in the foyer and I had a mix of classic and soft rock, classic soul and standards playing for that.  It was time for the wedding party to be introduced and guests started making their way into the ballroom where I was and found their seats.  The room looked beautiful with floral arrangements by Lyn at Fresh Affairs!

I was thrilled to be working with some of my favorite vendors in Rebecca from the Club, planner Carrington from Erin McLean Events, and photographer Renee Sprink!  I lined the wedding party up and got them ready for their entrance.  They entered to “Power” by Kanye West (LOL) and Ashley & Jonathan entered to “N’s in Paris” by Jay Z and Kanye and the room erupted with applause when they came in.  They took the floor and had their first dance to a shortened edit I did of “Once Upon A Dream” from Sleeping Beauty.  I wore my Mickey Mouse cufflinks because of that btw…Ashley then danced with her father to “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw and Jonathan and his mother to “Because You Loved Me”.  All three dances were so sweet!  Ashley’s father Terry welcomed everyone and blessed the meal and salads and entrée’s came out.  During dinner I played the same mix as cocktails, but started with “Let It Go” from ‘Frozen’ for the cutest little flower girls!

After dinner we had a couple toasts and the Sweet Memories cake cutting to “Sugar, Sugar”.  I opened the floor with ”My girl” and some Motown and within 15 minutes the floor was packed for the next 2 ½ hours.  They danced to EDM (Electronic Dance Music), top 40, oldies, line dances and even a couple K-Pop songs (Korean Pop). 


We ended the night with “Sweet Caroline”, “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton and finally “Firework” by Katy Perry for their sparkler exit.  Get it?? Ha Ha.  What a fun night, great crown and sweet couple!  Congratulations Ashley & Jonathan and Thank You.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Jennifer & Shane’s Beautiful Wedding at The Umstead on November 14th


Jennifer and Shane chose Cary’s 5 star Umstead Hotel & Spa on a beautiful November 14th evening.  The ceremony was held outside and I provided music for that.  The Grandparents and Parents entered to “Ode To Joy”, the wedding party to a classical version of Tony Bennett’s “The Way You Look Tonight” and finally Jennifer and her Father to “Canon In D”.  After a short ceremony that included a wine box service they recessed to ‘Best Day Of My Life” by American Authors.  After a huge group picture of all the guests and wedding party by photographers Rebecca & Brian Mullins, the 100 guests made their way inside for the cocktail hour with help from The Umsteads’ Carrie, Heavenly & Amanda.

For the cocktail hour I had a mix of soft rock, standards and classic soul paying.  The 100 guests enjoyed drinks, passed hors d’oeuvres and the Classic Carolina Photobooth in the prefunction area.  After pics were done by Brian and Rebecca as well as video by Nathan & Ashley from Oak City Films, the guests made their way into the ballroom for dinner and dancing.  The room looked beautiful with floral arrangements by The English Garden.  They took their seats and I went out to line up the wedding party for intros.  They were introduced into the room to “Bring ‘Em Out” by T.I. and Jennifer’s Father entered wearing a kings hat.  Classic!  I LOVE that guy.  As Jennifer and Shane entered I started their first dance, “It Is You (Waltz version)” by Dana Glover from Shrek for their choreographed dance.  Jennifer was then joined by her Father for their dance to “I Loved Her First”, but I started his favorite song “Rappers Delight” first (just for 10 seconds) to play a joke on Jennifer’s Mother.  Sorry Jackie! It was hilarious though. After their dance, Shane escorted his Mother to the floor for their dance to “What A Wonderful World”.  Jennifer’s Father welcomed everyone and Patty Brooks blessed the meal.  The soup, salad and entrée’s came out after a surprise solo to “At Last” by professional singer Sheila Starr Washington that was amazing. During dinner we had toasts by the Maid Of Honor and 2 best men and I continued the same mix of music as the cocktail hour.

After dinner we had the Nantucket Grill cake cutting to “Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler followed by an anniversary dance to “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis with the winning couple married 47 years but, this day would have been Jennifer’s Grandparents 62nd anniversary.  I turned on my dance floor lights and opened the floor with some Motown and top 40 that quickly filled it for the next 2 hours.  Guests danced to top 40, line dances and oldies wearing glow sticks as well as enjoyed the photobooth.  I even played a polka for Shane’s family.  We ended the night with “Sweet Caroline”, but they were not ready to leave yet so I played “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line by request from one of the best men.  After that, guests made their way to the lobby for a ride over to Ruckus Pizza for an after party.  What a fun night and wonderful couple!  Thank you Jennifer, Shane and Jackie and congratulations!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Meaghan & Gordon’s Epic Wedding at The Stockroom and All Saints on November 7th


I was back to The Stockroom for the 2nd wedding in 2 days and I was thrilled to be there againwith planners Kathy and Sally Oakley!  I always love playing there, and this time it was for Meaghan & Gordon’s wedding.  Gordon loves music maybe as much as I do and I was excited to play for him, their family and friends. I got back to the stockroom to set up then walked down to All Saints Chapel to start music for the pre-ceremony.  Gordon had picked some awesome indie rock & acoustic rock for this playlist.  The church was filled and it was time for the ceremony by Reverend David L. James to begin.  The whole wedding party walked down the aisle to beautiful piano piece, “Zanarkand” from the Final Fantasy X soundtrack. Meaghan walked down the aisle with her father to the traditional Bridal March.  After a short ceremony they recessed to “Best Day Of My Life” and I walked back to The Stockroom to start music and await the guests arrival.

For the cocktail hour I had a mix of indie rock, soft rock and classic soul playing for the 150 guests while they enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  Photographer Julie Livingston (YAY!) arrived and started setting up so I knew the wedding party couldn’t be far behind.  They arrived and I invited guests to find their tables that had floral arrangements by The English Garden.  I introduced the wedding party to “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie and Meaghan and Gordon came in to thunderous applause.  They came to the head table and took their seats while Meaghan’s father welcomed everyone.  The Donovan’s Dish buffet opened and I continued the same mix as cocktails.

After dinner the staff moved the buffet tables for dancing and we had a few toasts before Meaghan and Gordon had their first dance to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.  Meaghan & her father then danced to “What A Wonderful World” and Gordon and his mother to “In My Life” by The Beatles.  I opened the floor with some Motown, oldies and top 40 and it filled for the next 3 hours.   We only paused briefly for a cake cutting to “How Sweet It is” and an anniversary dance to “Dancing In The Moonlight”, then back to dancing for all.

There were so many great moments during the evening!  Two of the gentlemen guests made a limbo stick out of their ties (while wearing them) that Meaghan and Gordon went under, 70-80% of the guests dancing all night, Gordon dancing with his shirt completely unbuttoned, but tie still tied (ha ha!) and finding out that they have been together for 10 years and he was her first kiss! 


I ended the night with a request by Gordon, “Let Me Clean My Throat” mixed into “Kangaroo Court” by Capital Cities.  After that, guests made their way downstairs for a sparkler exit.  It’s nights like this that make me still love my job as a DJ after 33 years!  Thank you Meaghan, Gordon and Sally!