Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stephanie & Michael’s wedding at The Carolina Inn



Stephanie and Michael chose Chapel Hill’s historic Carolina Inn for both their ceremony and reception on a somewhat humid June 27th.  The ceremony was held in the back courtyard of the Inn under a tent and officiated by Reverend Ingrid Sagula.  As guests arrived, I had a mix of classical versions of indie rock songs playing by Vitamin String Quartet.  Planners Sally Oakley & Kathy lined the wedding party up and got them ready for their entrance into the ceremony.  The Grandparents, parents and wedding party came in to “I Love NYE” by Badly Drawn Boy and Stephanie and her father entered to The Beatles “Here, There and Everywhere” performed by Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.  After a short ceremony that included hand written vows by Stephanie and Michael, the ceremony concluded and they exited to “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers.  Guests were invited into the Inn for hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while photographer Heba Salama got some shots.

During the cocktail hour I had a mix of classic soul, indie rock and standards playing for the 140 guests.  The doors to the ballroom opened, guests found their seats and awaited the arrival of the bride and groom.  I introduced Stephanie and Michael into the room to The Zombie’s “This Will Be Our Year” and they came right to the dance floor for their first dance to “A Little Trip To Heaven” by Tom Waits.  LOVE that song!!!  Stephanie’s father welcomed everyone and the food stations opened.  During dinner I played a mix of 60’s and 70’s pop with some indie rock mixed in.


After dinner we had toasts by Michael’s father and Stephanie’s sister/maid of honor and then a Simply Cake cutting to “Sweet Life” by Frank Ocean.  Stephanie joined her father on the floor for their dance to “My Girl” and Michael escorted his mother to the floor for their dance to the acoustic version of Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like A Rock”.  I opened the floor to everyone with “Build Me Up Buttercup” and the floor filled for the next 2 ½ hours!  They had a blast dancing to oldies, line dances early 2000’s dance and hip-hop, some current top 40 and classic rock.  I even played a Springsteen and Bon Jovi song for the New Jersey guests!  We ended the night with Paul McCartney’s “My Love” and they had a glowstick exit.  What a fun night and awesome group to play for!  I loved the pint glass wedding favors for the guests that say "Up and gone to Carolina in my mind"!



Monday, June 29, 2015

Jess & Adam’s wedding at Bay 7 in Durham


After dating for 8 years, Jess and Adam chose Durham’s Bay 7 on the American Tobacco campus for both ceremony and reception on a humid June 26th day.  The ceremony was held on the top floor and officiated by Jess’s brother Mike who did a fantastic job!  They had a live pianist for the music and I handled the mic.  After the ceremony, the 140 guests made their way downstairs for the cocktail hour while photographer Cara Galati from F8 Photo Studio and John Hayes from Southern Video Design got some shots of the wedding party and Jess & Adam. During the cocktail hour I had a mix of rock, classic soul and standards playing.  They also had a slow motion video booth supplied by Southern Video Design that opened and was a huge hit all night long! Jess & Adam were ready to get the party going, so I invited guests to take their seats and I lined the wedding party up for introductions with help from Bay 7’s Sarah Lilly. 

Each couple had their own personal song to come down the stairs to and Jess and Adam came down to “Love Me Do” by The Beatles.  They came down the stairs to a loud roar and to the floor for their first dance to “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith and then Jess’s father welcomed everyone and blessed the meal.  The food stations opened and I continued the same mix as cocktails.  After dinner, the dessert station opened and we had toasts by Adam’s father, the best man, maid of honor & a bridesmaid.  Jess then joined her father on the floor for their dance to “My Girl” and Adam escorted his mother to the floor for their dance to “Your Song” by Elton John.  Before I opened the floor to everyone I invited the married couples to the floor for an anniversary dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra with the winners at 51 years married!  So great.  I opened the floor to everyone with “Build Me Up Buttercup” and the floor packed for the next 2 hours to oldies, current top 40 and some sing-a-longs. 


I ended the night with “Sweet Caroline” and everyone made a huge “train” around the room to the song.  That was a first for me.  Their last dance song was “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole and guests made their way outside for a sparkler exit and I played “Closing Time” as they left. Guests got to leave with a custom pint glass as a wedding favor.  What a great gift and wedding!  Thank you so much Jess and Adam and congratulations!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Jess & Mike’s Epic wedding at The Umstead Hotel


I knew this was going to be an awesome wedding, but I had not idea of how much fun it would be!  Jess and Mike met in College at NC State and even though live in Florida now, came back to Raleigh for their ceremony and reception at Cary’s beautiful Umstead Hotel & Spa.   I was thrilled to be working with The Umstead’s Carrie, planners Megan & Gina from A Southern Soiree, photographer Michael Moss and Jess and Phil from Twenty-One Films
 
The ceremony was held in the back of the Umstead overlooking a pond with live musician performing the music.  After the ceremony, guests made their way to the cocktail hour held in front hall of the ballroom where I was set up.  For the cocktail hour they had live music performed by singer/songwriter John Dupree who I always love hearing! The guests enjoyed the open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres until the ballroom opened.

The doors of the ballroom opened and guests found their tables.  The room looked beautiful with white linen drapes covering all the walls, a white dance floor and beautiful mostly white floral arrangements by the Watered Garden.  The wedding party was ready to be announced and they came in to “Uptown Funk” and each did their own dance as soon as they hit the floor.  Jess & Mike came in to the loudest cheering I have heard and went right to the floor for their first dance to the piano version of “Then” by Brad Paisley.  They welcomed everyone and took their seats for the 3 course meal of soup, salad and entrĂ©es after a blessing by Jess’s sister Alexis. After the first course we had toasts by the Maid of honor Holly, Mike’s best man and brother Sean and Jess’s father Edward, then the salad’s and entrĂ©es came out.  During dinner I had a mix of country and soft rock playing.

As dinner was winding down, Jess and Mike were ready to get this party started so we did the Sugarland cake cutting to “How Sweet It Is” and Jess made her way to the floor for her dance with her father to “My Wish” and Mike danced with his mother to “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins.  I opened the floor to everyone with “My Girl” and it packed (I mean PACKED) instantly!  Guests also went out in the hall for Twenty-One films slow motion video booth that was a HUGE hit! For the next 2 ½ hours they danced to oldies, top 40, lots of early 2000’s and a few ballads.  I loved seeing Mike singing along to to the Grease medley, cousin Scott performing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and everyone singing N’sync’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart”.  I ended the night with everyone on the floor for “Sweet Caroline”, “Friends In Low Places”, Mike singing “Wagon Wheel” and saying goodnight to everyone in my mic.


This wedding could not have been better for me and is one that I will never forget.  Thank you Jess & Mike for the unforgettable memories and congratulations!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Samantha & Bobby’s Classic Southern Wedding at Rose Hill Plantation


Samantha and Bobby chose Nashville NC’s own Rose Hill Plantation to be the setting for their classic southern wedding on June 13th 2015.  The ceremony that was held on the front porch of the large white plantation house with huge pillars.  As guests arrived, I had light classical music playing.  The Grandparents and parents entered to “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring” and the wedding party to an instrumental of  Train’s “Marry Me”.  Samantha and her father entered to a live acoustic version of “Brown Eyed Girl” performed by their friend Dave who sang and played the song on guitar and did an excellent job!  After the ceremony, guests made their way to the back porch of the reception hall for cocktails and I had a mix of beach music and classic soul playing while photographer Will Greene took pictures of the wedding party around the picturesque property.
 
After the cocktail hour, guests happily escaped the 98 degrees to come into the ballroom for dinner and dancing. The guests found their seats and the wedding party was ready to be introduced.  Samantha’s parents entered to “September”, Bobby’s parents to The Grateful Dead’s “Sugar Magnolia” and the wedding party to “Uptown Funk”.  Since both Sam and Bobby went to ECU (Yes, I wore ECU cufflinks), they came into the room to a loud roar to “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix.  They came right to the dance floor and had their first dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” performed by Dave.  Sam then danced with her father to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and Bobby and his mother danced to Brad Paisley’s “Anything Like Me” preformed by their friend April.  Samantha’s father then welcomed everyone and the minister blessed the meal.  The buffet of southern food opened and I played a mix of standards, classic soul and soft rock.


After dinner we had the toasts and pie cutting to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor (yes, pie and it was delicious!!).  The bouquet toss to “Single Ladies” and garter toss to “Hot For The Teacher” followed and I invited all the married couples to the floor for an anniversary dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” with the longest married couple being 48 years!  I opened the floor with “My Girl” and some beach music that filled it for the next 3 hours.  They danced to country, line dances, oldies and lots of 90’s and early 2000’s dance music.  The night ended with “Save The Last Dance For Me” by The Drifters.  What a fun night with lots of help from Rose Hill's Nicole.  The highlight for me was when all Samantha and Bobby’s friends from ECU were on the floor “enjoying” “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.  I will never forget that one…ha ha..

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kate & Chris’s wedding at Merrimon-Wynne House


Kate and Air Force Major Chris chose downtown Raleigh’s historic Merrimon-Wynne House for their cocktail hour and reception on a perfect June 7th day.  After the ceremony at Our Savior Lutheran Church, the 120 guests made their way to the house for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live music by a string quartet.  Kate and Chris and their wedding party arrived and had some pics taken around the grounds by photographer Jamie Blow from J&J Photography.  After some pics were taken, Kaila from the house asked guests to start making their way outside to the tent decorated with beautiful arrangements by Lyn Graves at Fresh Affairs for dinner and dancing.
 
The guests found their seats and I introduced the wedding party into the tent to “Good Life” by OneRepublic and Kate and Chris came right to the dance floor for their dance to “Living For Love” by The Avett Brothers. Kate was then joined by her father Jeff for their dance to Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight” and Chris escorted his mother to the floor for their dance to “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys.  Two of my favorite songs ever!  Kate’s father welcomed everyone including Kate’s 94 year old grandmother and Chris’s father blessed the meal.  The plated salad’s came our by Rocky Top Catering and the buffet soon opened in the house.  During dinner I had a mix of  ½ classic rock and ½ Avett Brothers songs playing.  Each table had lyrics to an Avett Brothers song on the table number signs.  Love it!!
 
After dinner we had toasts by the Maid of honor Kaitlin Briggs and best man “Ringo” and the cake cutting to “The Greatest Sun” by The Avett Brothers.  We then had an anniversary dance to “La Vie En Rose” by Aoi Teshima with the longest married couple being married 52 years, and then opened the floor for everyone with “My Girl” that brought out young and old to dance for the next 2 hours to everything from oldies and classic rock to 90’s pop and current dance hits.


We ended the night with all their friends in a big sing-a-long circle to “Wonderwall” (another of my favorite songs ever) by Oasis and their last dance to “One More Time” by Daft Punk before making a sparkler exit from the front of the house. What a great group to DJ for and the nicest couple!