Friday, July 31, 2015

Rachel & Brad’s wedding celebration in Louisburg NC on July 26th

Rachel and Brad were originally supposed to get married here in NC, but decided to go ahead and tie the knot in Montana instead and just have a celebration here in NC afterword with friends and family.  I love that idea personally!

They had their “reception” at their house in Louisburg in their huge back yard.  As the 100 guests arrived to the casual party, there was a Scooby-doo bounce house for the kids and a white tent for guests to mingle and get cooled down by the 14 fans surrounding it.  I had a mix of soft rock and country playing and Rachel and Brad shortly joined them. 
The BBQ dinner was ready and I invited guests to find their seats.  We had a heart felt blessing by minister Jimmy Carpenter and the buffet opened with pulled pork, mashed potatoes, beans, bbq’d chicken and slaw.  It was all so great and catered by the Cookshack Catering Company! During dinner I continued the same mix as the social hour.
After dinner Rachel and Brad had their first dance to Dustin Lynch’s “Cowboys & Angels”, Rachel danced with her father to “I Loved Her First” and Brad and his mother danced to “Angels” by Randy Travis.  I love that song!  I opened the floor and guests mingled, danced to some line danced and oldies and the kids ran back to the bounce house.  We paused briefly for the cake cutting to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole, then back to mingling and dancing.  My biggest song of the night was the 50’s ballad “Last Date” by Floyd Cramer.  As guests left, they took koozies and pepper jelly as favors.

I loved that this couple really made this party low key and just had a blast catching up with friends and family.  Congratulations Rachel and Brad!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Keyona & Adeleke’s awesome wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham

I got to know Keyona & Leke a lot better than my typical Bride & Groom when I showed them houses a couple months before the wedding and couldn’t like them more!  They are so funny and play off each other perfectly.  I was really looking forward to this wedding for many reasons.
They had their reception at Durham’s Cotton Room after their ceremony minutes away at Pilgrim United Church of Christ on Saturday July 25th.  As guests arrived for the social hour I had a mix of current and classic R&B and soul playing.  I got a quick peak out the window to see Keyona, Leke and their wedding party getting some pics outside by photographer Brandon from Southern Love Studios while photographer Beth Jarvah was inside getting some shots.  They finished up and were ready for introductions.  The staff opened the white linen drapes that were closing off the tables with floral arrangements by Embellished Blooms and the 180 guests shortly found their seats.
I lined the wedding party up with lots of help from planner Monica Noa from Nouveau Events and got them ready for their introductions.  Keyona and Leke’s mothers and wedding party entered to thunderous applause to “Lean With It, Rock With It” and Keyona and Leke entered to an instrumental of “Columbia (Remix)” by Young Scooter.  They paused on the dance floor for a short dance to it with everyone surrounding them cheering, then had their now 2nd dance to Sam Smith’s acoustic version of “Latch”.  Keyona then had a dance in memory of her father with his brothers to “Your Joy” by Chrisette Michelle and Leke escorted his mother to the floor for their dance that started with a Nigerian song “Sweet Mother” by Tilda then into “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo.  It was such a sweet and special dance!  Leke’s Alpha Phi Alpha brothers joined him for a group hymn with Keyona in the middle and then we had a blessing by Keyona’s grandmother Sarah Jackson.  The buffet opened and I continued a mix of classic and current R&B and soul.
After dinner we had several toasts and a welcome by Keyona and Leke, then the Cinda’s Cake cutting to “Birthday Cake” by Rihanna.  Before opening the floor to everyone I invited all the married guests to the floor for an anniversary dance to “Forever  Mine” by The O’Jays with the winning couple at 38 years married.  I opened the floor with “Too Close” (one of my favorite songs ever!) by Next then into “Before I Let Go” by Maze and “Candy” by Cameo that turned into an Electric Slide line dance, as it always does.  The floor stayed filled for the next hour to current dance hits, R&B and hip-hop and a few Nigerian songs until we paused for the bouquet toss to “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, then back to dancing until the end of the night.  A few highlights were the huge smiles on Keyona and Leke’s face all night, Leke and his APA brothers group dance to “More Bounce To The Ounce” and the group dance to “Swag Surfin’”.

We ended the night with a filled floor to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and a sparkler exit from the first floor of the building.  What a wonderful couple and group to play for.  Congratulations Keyona and Leke and thank you for my fantastic new cufflinks!

Top picture courtesy of Southern Love Studios

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Paige & Steven’s Wedding At The NC State Club on July 18th, 2015

Paige and Steven’s wedding reception was held at NC State’s Alumni Center in Raleigh on July 18th and could not have been more fun!  Their ceremony was held earlier in the day at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh.  After a little break, guests made their way to the Alumni Center for cocktails, dinner and dancing..and more cocktails…

Their cocktail hour was held in the front lobby and side hallway of the Aluumni Center with passed manhattans and hors d’oeuvres.  During the cocktail hour I had a mix of standards playing.  Paige and Steven were done with pics by photographer Amy and Scott from Your Still Life and wanted to join their cocktail hour, so I introduced the wedding party early to “You Make My Dreams Come True” and they came down the long staircase to the lobby and Paige and Steven to “L.O.V.E.” by Nat King Cole.  When I went to line them up for the intro’s I could tell this was going to be a great one!  They joined the remainder of the cocktail hour until the doors to the ballroom opened. 

Guests found their tables that were decorated with beautiful arrangements by Lyn Graves from Fresh Affairs and Paige’s father welcomed everyone and blessed the meal.  The served meal came out and I played a mix of standards, soft rock and classic soul during dinner.  After dinner we had toasts by Paige’s sister / maid of honor and Steven’s best man and the Cinda’s Cake cutting to “How Sweet It Is” by Marvin Gaye that had everyone in the room clapping along with it.  Paige and Steven then made their way to the dance floor for their dance to the piano version of “Then” by Brad Paisley, Paige danced with her father to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and Steven escorted his mother to the floor to dance to “Baby Mine” by Alison Krauss.  The cigar and bourbon bar set up by the club’s Wendy opened out in the front of the building and I opened the dance floor with some Motown and current dance music that filled the floor with young and old.

After about an hour of dancing we paused for the bouquet toss to “Wishin & Hopin” by Ani DiFranco then back to dancing to some current hip hop and top 40.  The night ended with Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” and finally “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit before the sparkler exit.  What a fun night and great group to play for!  Congratulations Paige and Steven.

All photos courtesy of Your Still Life Photography

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ashley & Kyle’s Comic Book Themed Wedding At The Stockroom

 I knew this was going to be a fun wedding when I met Ashley and Kyle for a drink a few weeks before the wedding to get to know them better.  They have the best personalities and sense of humor!  Their comic book theme was awesome with guests tables named after comic books and Ashley & Kyle’s corsages made out of comic book pages.
They had both their ceremony and reception at downtown Raleigh’s Stockroom at 230 on July 11th.  They chose to have their cocktail hour start before the ceremony (LOVE IT!).  As guests arrived for the ceremony I had 90’s ballads by boy bands & R&B artists playing.  A guilty pleasure for all!  The ceremony was about to start and I had guests find their seats.  Kyle and both sets of parents entered to “Your Song” by Ellie Goulding and the wedding party entered to “Luna” by Smashing Pumpkins.  It was time for Ashley to enter and she was escorted down the isle by her father to an instrumental of “Gravity” by John Mayer.  After a short ceremony, they recessed to “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens and went to the lobby for some pics by two of my favorite photographer,s Geoff & Carolyn from Carolyn Scott Photography.

The cocktail hour continued for a short time while guests mingled with Ashley, Kyle and the wedding party.  They had a scavenger hunt for the kids where they had cameras for them to go around and take specific pictures including one of the DJ.  So great!  When they had all the items photographed, they turned in their sheets for a gift card from wedding planner Whitney Davis from Whitney Elizabeth Events.  Best idea ever! 
They bypassed the intro’s and were ready for dinner and their dances.  They had their first dance to “Chemicals Collide” by Cloud Cult, Ashley had her dance with her father to “You’ll Be In My Heart” and Kyle danced with his mother to “Kind & Generous” by Natalie Merchant.  After that, I invited all their married wedding party friends to the floor to join them in a dance, which actually was a mash up I did of all their first dances.  It surprised all of them and brought tears to some of their eyes.  Another fabulous idea!  I had guests find their tables and the buffet opened after welcomes by Ashley’s father and Ashley & Kyle.  During dinner I continued a mix of 90’s and early 2000’s pop songs including what turned out to be a sing a long to “Totally Eclipse Of The Heart” and Wilson Phillip’s “Hold On”. 

After dinner we had toasts by the best man and maid of honor and opened the floor with some Motown that filled it for the next 3 hours with glow sticks everywhere.  They danced to oldies and a lot of 90’s and early 2000’s top 40 and hip-hop.  We ended the night with “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo and their last dance to “Zombie” by The Cranberries.

This was such a fun group to play for and I loved the theme and spider man cufflinks!  I can’t wait to hang out with them again!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Maddie & Nathan’s Epic 4th of July wedding reception!

An epic wedding doesn’t come along very often, but this was the second in a month.  I can’t decide which was better, this one or Jess and Mike Glennon’s last month with NFL players everywhere.  For this, Maddie and Nathan had their reception at The Chapel Hill Country Club on July 4th and what a celebration it was!

The 140 guests arrived at the club for cocktails in the ballroom and bar area and I had a mix of soft rock, beach music, standards and country playing.  Shortly Maddie, Nathan and their wedding party arrived for pics on the golf course by photographer Carolyn Stotts.  After they got the pics they wanted, they came into the club and were ready for introductions with help from the club’s Julie Aridas.  The wedding party including parents entered to “Uptown Funk” and Maddie and Nathan entered to “Celebration”.  The danced into the room and came to the floor for their now seconds dance to a custom edit I did that started with Brad Paisley’s “Then” and went into “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.  After the applause wound down, they took their seats and Maddie’s parents welcomed everyone followed by a blessing by her Uncle Bob.  The floor stations opened and guests ate and visited.  During dinner I continued the same mix as cocktails.

After dinner, we had 4 very different, but heartfelt toasts that ended with a toast by Nathan’s father that included a karaoke version of “ I Wanna Know What Love Is” performed by Nathan’s family.  After that, they welcomed Maddie to the family with a line dance to “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” that had Nathan dancing with them in a curly red wig and then a group dance to “We Are Family” that packed the floor with the guests.  That’s when I knew this was going to be epic!  Maddie had her dance with her father to ‘What A Wonderful World” and Nathan escorted his stepmother to the floor for their dance to “My Wish”.  I opened the floor to everyone with some beach and oldies that filled it for the next 3 hours!  They danced to top 40, line dances and oldies until we paused briefly for the cake cutting to “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch”. 

Some current top 40 and hip hop filled the floor again until we stopped for the bouquet toss to “Single Ladies”, garter toss to “Pour Some Sugar On me” and a surprise bridesmaids dance with Maddie to “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips.  Back to dancing til the end of the night to 80’s sing-a long songs, hip hop and a tribute to all the military past, present and families to “American Soldier” by Toby Keith.  I even saw a train to “Get Down Tonight”  The night ended with everyone on the floor to “Sweet Caroline”, “Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler and their last dance to “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing.  They had a sparkler exit from the front of the country club and I played “Courtesy Of The Red, White and Blue” as guests left.

I could not have had a better time DJing this wedding and the guests couldn’t have been more fun to play to.  Congratulations Maddie and Nathan and thank you!