Thursday, January 28, 2016

Matti & Gary’s Irish Wedding at All Saints Chapel on January 17th, 2016

This was the second wedding for the Svoboda family this weekend again with photographers Rebecca and Brian Mullins.  This time it was for daughter Matti and her husband Gary at All Saints Chapel in downtown Raleigh on Sunday January 17th.  The ceremony was held on the first floor and I had a mix of light classical music playing as the 140 guests arrived.  As the wedding was about to start they had piper & drum play “Minstrel Boy” for the bridesmaids to come down the aisle to. and Matti walked down the aile to “The Bridal March” by The O’Neill Brothers.  After a short ceremony including a unity candle to “Canon In D” and a reading, Matti & Gary were married and recessed to “The Wedding March”.  The bagpipers made their way downstairs for the cocktail hour and played the first half of it then I played a mix of standards and Billy Joel for the remainder.  It was time for dinner and dancing and guests made their way back upstairs to their tables.

The wedding party entered to Harry Connick’s “It Had To Be You” and Matti & Gary came to the dance floor for their first dance to “Come Rain Or Come Shine” by Frank Sinatra.  They took their seats and the buffet opened.  During dinner I played more standards and Billy Joel.  After dinner they had toasts by Gary’s Best Man who couldn’t make it, but emailed me an audio file of him saying his speech and then Matti’s new sister in law and Gary thanked everyone for coming followed by the Edible Art cake cutting to “That’s Amore”. 

Before I opened the floor for everyone we had a longest married couple dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra and I opened the floor to everyone with some Motown ad oldies that kept the floor packed for the next 3 hours.  They danced to everything from 50’s to 80’s and a couple new songs here and there for the kids.

We ended the night with a huge sing a long to “Piano Man” and finally the Irish folk song “Parting Glass” by The Clancy Brothers to honor Gary’s Irish side of the family. What a fun weekend and I loved playing for The Svoboda’s and their guests!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Brittany & Robby’s NC State Themed Wedding at 214 Martin Street

This was my first wedding of the weekend for the Svaboda family.  I was hired for both Robby (the Son) and Matti (the Sister)’s weddings.  It was a great idea since both were getting married and the family would all be together anyway.  For Brittany and Robby (he was dressed in an NC State tie and socks), they had the ceremony on January 16th at 214 Martin Street in downtown Raleigh followed by a baptism of their beautiful baby Austin.  Before the ceremony one year old Austin was escorted down the aisle by his Aunt Tiffany to “Sexytback”.  It may be one of the cutest things I have ever seen!  Brittany then entered to a cover of Garth Brooks’ “She’s Every Woman”.  After a short ceremony they recessed to “The Wedding March” and then came back shortly for Austin’s baptism during which I played the hymn “All Things Bright & Beautiful”.  After the ceremonies were over, guests made their way to the front of the room for the cocktail hour while the staff flipped the room for dinner and dancing. 
As soon as the cocktail hour started there were a couple surprise special guests.  NC State’s Mr & Mrs Wuf showed up from the top of the stairs and came down to hang out with the guests and get pics taken.  They were great at keeping the kids entertained!  During the cocktail hour I had a mix of country, top 40 and soft rock playing.  After pic were taken by photographers Rebecca and Brian Mullins, Brittany and Robby were ready for their first dance to “You Make It Look Easy” by Eric Church.  The pasta and taco food stations opened and I continued the same playlist as cocktailsr.  Brittany and Robby’s table was decorated with an NC State wolf centerpiece.
After dinner we had a few toasts and the cake cutting (Mr & Mrs Wuf cake topper) to “Die A Happy Man”.  Before opening the dance floor to everyone, we had the bouquet toss to “Single Ladies” and garter toss to “I’m Still A Guy” and then opened to everyone with “My Girl” followed by some oldies, top 40, country and line dances until their last dance to “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice.

I was thrilled to play for them and meet their son Austin.  He is a doll!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ashley & Miles’ Wedding at The Museum Of Art

Already my second wedding of the year, I was thrilled to be playing for Ashley, Miles, their families and friends at their wedding in Raleigh NC at The NC Museum Of Art on January 9th!  The ceremony was held in the old wing and I was set up in the new wing for cocktails, dinner and dancing.

As the ceremony ended, guests made their way to my wing for passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.  I had a mix of soft rock, classic soul and standards playing for the 140 guests.  After some pics were taken by the Wake Forest Portrait Shoppe, I invited guests to dance floor area for the introduction of the wedding party and Ashley & Miles.  I introduced them to Andy Grammer’s “Good To Be Alive” and Ashley and Miles came right to the dance floor for their dance to “Favorite Day” by indie rock group Wonderful Smith.  Great song!  Ashley’s father welcomed everyone and then joined her on the floor for their dance to “I Loved Her First” followed by Miles and his mothers dance to “A Mother’s Love” by Mark Masri.  I invited the guests to the heavy hors d’oeuvres stations and continued the cocktail hour playlist for the next 45 minutes so guests could visit, eat and get pics with Ashley and Miles.

After everyone had eaten and were ready to move on we had the Cinda’s Cake cutting to “How Sweet It Is” and the opened the floor with some Motown and top 40.  Guests danced to top 40, oldies, line dances and some sing a longs until the end of the night including a ling train to “C’Mon Ride The Train”.  I ended the reception with “Piano Man” that had Miles and his buddies in a large circle with their arms around each other and pants on the ground singing it at the top of their lungs! Ashley’s father even joined in!!  The best part of the night tho was the look on Ashley’s face when she turned around and saw what they were doing.  That was classic!!  I then played “Sweet Caroline” and finished the night with “Wagon Wheel” before the black and white streamer stick exit.  What a fun night and a great group.  Thank you Ashley and Miles and Miles, thank you for your service to our country commanding tanks for the National Guard!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Emily & Joel’s Wedding at The Capital City Tavern in Raleigh NC

There is no better way to ring in the New Year than to rock a wedding reception for a soldier! I was honored to play for Joel and Emily’s wedding reception on January 2nd in The Capital City Tavern on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street with photographer Autumn Harrison. They were actually already married, but in Germany where Joel is stationed so this was more of an “after wedding party” for 130 guests.

During the cocktail hour I had a mix of standards, soft rock and classic soul playing as the guests arrived and visited with each other throughout the bar.  The passed hors d’oeuvres by Dames Chicken & Waffles of BBQ sandwiches and lamb chops were awesome!  Even though Emily and Joel joined the cocktail hour, I introduces the parents and wedding party to “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” by DMX (LOL) after the cocktail hour was over.  They all came from the back of the room and to the dance floor for Emily’s fathers welcome and blessing.  I invited guests to the dinner buffet and went back to the same music mix as cocktails.

After dinner Emily and Joel had their first dance that night to “You Are The Best thing” by Ray LaMontagne, Emily danced with her father to “My Girl” an

d Joel and his mother danced to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor.  I invited all the married couples to the floor for a longest married couple dance to “Sweet Pea” with the winners at 53 years married.  I swear the winning man is my father’s double!  Not kidding!!  I opened the floor to everyone with some beach music and it soon filled.  I played everything including oldies, top 40, 90’s, 80’s, beach and even a polka!  One of the best moments was when a guest “Gene” got on a chair on the dance floor are rode around like driving a motorcycle to “Leader Of The Pack” with other guests behind her like a train.  So great!

I ended the night with “Sweet Caroline” and “Wagon Wheel” with everyone in the room dancing and singing along.  What a fun night and a great group!  Thank you Joann, Emily and Joel and thank you for your service to our country Joel!

Kate & Ross’ New Year’s Eve Wedding at The Carolina Inn

Kate & Ross chose to welcome in the new year with 150 friends and family at their wedding reception at The Carolina Inn and I couldn’t have been happier to join them!  I was also thrilled to spend New Year’s Eve with Gina and Megan from A Southern Soiree, 11 Wedding Photography and Blueberry Creative Videography.  The cocktail hour was held in the hallway in front of the old well room where I was and music was provided by guitarist/singer Gary Mitchell while drinks and hors d’oeuvres were passed.  

After the cocktail hour, guests made their way inside the ballroom to their seats for dinner and later dancing.  I introduced the wedding party and Kate and Ross into the room and they came straight to the dance floor for their dance to “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding followed by a heartfelt welcome by Kate’s father.  The soup and entree’s came out and I played a mix of standards, soft rock and classic soul during dinner.

After dinner we had the Sugarland cake cutting to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor and the best man and maid of honor toasted Kate and Ross.  Kate then joined her father on the floor for their dance to “What A Wonderful World” and Ross escorted his mother to the floor for their dance to “Days Like This” by Van Morrison.  I opened the floor to everyone with “My Girl” and some motown that filled it for the next 2 hours.  They danced to top 40, oldies, 80’s and sing a longs until it was time for the New Year’s countdown.  I started the countdown at 1 minute while the Southern Soiree ladies passed out hats, noise makers and blinking tambourines.  The countdown ended with a white, gold and black balloon drop and a sing a long to “Auld Lang Syne”, Kate and Ross’ first dance of the New Year to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne and the final dance song of the night to The Black Eyed Peas “Dirty Bit”.

What a fun night and great group to play for!  I will always remember this as one of my favorite New Year’s Eves!  Thank you Kate, Ross and A Southern Soiree!