Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christine & Mark at David Walley's with Rachel Lomeli Photography

Christine and Mark found each other up in the heavens. That isn't so far-fetched when you learn that Christine is a flight attendant and Mark is a pilot for a parcel delivery company. Both radiate a joy for what they do, a love for one another, and an exuberance for the life and experiences that they now share together. From the moment I spoke with them and then later met with them I knew that I would be lucky to be a part of their day and evening.

Having relocated to and fallen in love with rural Nevada, they wanted a place that reflected the tranquility and sheer beauty of living right up against the majestic Sierras. There is no better place for this than David Walley's. 1862 David Walley's Resort to be more precise. This gem of a resort is one of my favorite venues. It has a phenomenal spa powered by the hot springs beneath it. It's restaurant is top-notch (my mouth still waters thinking of an elk stew I had there last winter), and it's event site and staff are the best around. Marie Stokes runs the events there and her friendliness, professionalism, and attention to detail are second to none. Her staff have been with her for years, the food they prepare is fantastic, and the atmosphere is unique and breathtaking. To have your ceremony out on the lawn with Job's Peak as your backdrop... stunning.

Christine and Mark indeed took full advantage of a sunny Fall day to say their vows with the Sierras rising up behind them. She walked in to Canon in D and when all was said and done they exited as husband & wife to Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon.
Rachel at work- obviously all these pics were taken by me- that's why I am a DJ :)
While everyone moved over to the reception site, Rachel Lomeli got some pictures of family and the bridal party, and soon we were welcoming Mark & Christine to their reception. I have to say in a area blessed with great photographers, Rachel is one of my favorites. Not just because her work is gorgeous- it is- but because she is fun to work with throughout an event whether you are a DJ or the bride & groom. Her love for what she does and her relationship with her clients really draws out the best possible pictures. You want the professionals at your wedding to be as happy and as honored to witness and be a part of your day as your guests are. Rachel and Marie fit this description perfectly.

After U2's Beautiful Day accompanied their Grand Entrance they went right into some heartfelt toasts and then onto a sumptuous dinner. Again I cannot say enough about the food at David Walley's. It doesn't taste like typical hotel/reception faire. And the way Marie and her staff stage the buffet line, it isn't long before everyone is enjoying the deliciousness. I was curious, because I know how efficient they are: how long would it take 120 guests to get through the buffet line (and it had at least 10 selections). The answer? Eleven minutes. Phenomenal. I did a wedding at a different venue not long after and I timed them. 130 people. 38 minutes. Now that is more of a normal amount of time. But this just illustrates the efficiency of Marie and her team, leaving more time for their clients and guests for events and dancing, and just to enjoy their fabulous dinners.
"Come away with me..."
Cake followed dinner, and dancing followed cake. Norah Jones' Come Away With Me was their first dance song, and the universe slowed to a stop for three minutes and eighteen seconds while they danced and sang to each other (I love what I do btw!).

Vince and his beautiful daughter
Christine's father Vince then danced with his beautiful daughter to Unchained Melody and then Gerry danced with her son Mark to Sinatra's Summer Wind. Open dancing then ensued with a great bunch of dancers all night long. They loved Motown and Mellencamp, Timberlake and Neil Diamond, Jason Aldean and Van Morrison. Such a fun crowd!

An Anniversary Dance celebrated love and marriage with Etta belting out At Last and then Christine tossed her bouquet to the strains of Ladies Night by Kool & the Gang.

Dancing then continued only ending much later with Semisonic's Closing Time with everyone joined in a circle around the newlyweds.

I can't tell you how honored and thrilled I was to have been a small part of their day. Thanks to Marie and Rachel and their teams for all their hard work and professionalism. Thanks to Christine & Mark for letting me experience their day and evening along with them. It really makes me happy to do what I do for couples such as yourselves. All the best, always!
The monogram I made for them projected on the spinning ceiling fan. Trust me, it looked way cooler than this ;)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Brent & Crystal at Redhawk with Delicious Designs and the Traveling Photo Booth

Brent and Crystal. Crystal and Brent. One of my favorite couples ever. From our first consultation I knew that I had to be a part of their day. They exude togetherness and an ease with one another that tells everyone around them that they are a couple. A relationship that is tempered and perfected with glowing affection, wonderful children, and life experiences that only come when you overcome previous difficulties and realize that all of these things have brought you to this person- the one you were meant to spend the rest of your life with. This is what you find when talking with and watching the two of them together. 

They selected the Redhawk Resort for their ceremony and reception venue. They made a great choice. Chardonnay and her crew were exceptional all afternoon and evening. She unobtrusively hovered in the background throughout the event, taking care of small issues and making sure things ran smoothly. She was great to work with from the DJ perspective as well. She brought the lights up and down various times for the optimum photo opportunities balanced with dancing atmosphere. She checked on the guests continually, and the DJ as well. I felt warmly welcomed and well taken care of, so I can imagine what the guests thought :)

It was a spectacular day for the first of April, and the ceremony was framed by the wetlands and golf course. The entire wedding party came in to "1000 Years" by Cristina Perry: five bridesmaids, five groomsmen and Cassidy, Emily, Jake & Cayden (B&C's children) followed by Crystal. I was so proud of the children especially- they took their duties very seriously and were just a fun and well-behaved quartet the entire day and evening. Blake was a bit nervous officiating the ceremony but he had some great lines and was genuine and funny. I was really impressed with Emily (or was it Cassidy?) who had a reading in the midst of the ceremony and was on point with her delivery.

When Blake had pronounced them married, they left to a George Harrison song, "What is Life" which I thought was a cool and fitting song for the moment. I love that album and now when I hear that song I'll think of them. That's the magic of a great song paired with a great moment :)

Cocktails and pictures then commenced. They had a new (to me) photo booth company, The Traveling Photo Booth up and running when the guests arrived inside. Jesse and his helper were very friendly and everyone liked the booth's features. I saw people there multiple times, which always means that it is a fun booth and vibe.

Chris Brown's "Forever" serenaded the bridal party in for the Grand Entrance and shortly thereafter a buffet dinner was served. I got several requests from Crystal and the head table for songs during dinner and everyone was just in such a happy and fun mood. Not hard to imagine though. If you are friends or family with those two, chances are you are pretty cool and fun. Redhawk put out a fine buffet with chicken and beef but what I liked the most was this huge mound of fresh vegetables that were sautéed/steamed. I'm a sucker for fresh and well prepared veggies! As I mentioned, great service from Chardonnay and her crew and before everyone had even been through the line, champagne was poured and served for the toasts.

Lonnie was my favorite person in attendance besides Crystal & Brent. He was their Best Man and he was just a great guy all during the afternoon and evening. Fine choice for Best Man! He started the speeches off and gave a great, heartfelt toast. Crystal's sister and Maid of Honor Deanna followed him with an emotional speech that epitomized sisterhood and their unbreakable bond. What was that? A bit of a tear? Maybe... Then the gentleman that introduced the couple spoke and finally Crystal and Brent. Brent had an idea to start up the "hurry up" music like at the Oscars in the midst of his speech, so I did and everyone enjoyed the moment. 

The cake cutting was next. They had placed glass jars near the entrance of the ballroom- one for Brent and one for Crystal. The guests could then vote via a dollar or two on whom would be smashed by the other. Brent won. Or lost, depending on your viewpoint lol. Crystal smashed him in the face! Not too badly, but I loved this and their other ideas throughout the evening. Fun ideas from fun people. 

The cake was delicious! Delicious Designs, that is. Actually Leigh Anne makes cakes that live up to her company's name. They taste different than other cakes. The fresh ingredients and flavors really come through. Brent and Crystal opted for a chocolate raspberry top and a champagne strawberry bottom. The latter is my favorite of Leigh Anne's but both were wonderful. The true test of a cake is when it is portioned correctly, are there lots of leftover slices? The answer was no. I saw people come back again for a taste of the other or just another piece no matter which flavor. The small box that included the leftovers at the end was the size of a pie box, and it included their cake top. Delicious is right...

When Brent had cleaned up frosting from his visage, I introduced them for their First Dance. They chose "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts, which I thought signified their lives apart and now together perfectly. They "Danced on a Cloud" which means that I put about 15 pounds of dry ice into a special Nimbus machine and out came clouds of water vapor to punctuate the dance. The kids especially loved the effect, chasing stray wisps around the edge of the dance floor. It was a magical moment and always a favorite time in a reception for me. The bride and groom have been doing so many things all day, and while they are together during the ceremony, the First Dance is a moment almost frozen in time. It allows them to almost be alone together in the midst of all of these happy onlookers. They can talk and laugh, sing to one another- just enjoy each other in a pure moment. Time seems to stand still, then before you know it, the song is over and everyone is cheering. I love weddings (if you can't tell lol)!

Last song
The rest of the evening was filled with dancing with a small break for tossing the bouquet and garter. Crystal chose "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" for her toss and Brent "I Want to Sex You Up" for his, which got lots of cheers and applause when he started singing and dancing. Super fun! I took many requests and had a happy bunch of dancers and we ended the night with another Brent & Crystal favorite, MJ's "Will You Be There".  It was a perfect ending to a fantastic afternoon and evening.

Thanks to Chardonnay & staff at Redhawk, Jesse at The Traveling Photo Booth, and Leigh Anne from Delicious Designs- you all rock!  But thanks the most to Crystal and Brent for inviting me in to their special day and amongst their fantastic friends and family. I really am honored to do what I do, especially for couples like you two. Best of everything, always!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Kristi & Stephen at Sugar Bowl Resort

Want to hear about a perfect day and evening? That pretty much sums up Kristi & Stephen's big day up at Sugar Bowl. 

There are so many things to gush about...

First there is Stephen and Kristi. What a couple! I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed working with them both prior to and during their wedding and reception. Whether it was an email or a FaceTime session, their enthusiasm for their day and their love for one another always shone through even during the more menial details. I felt excited and honored to be a part of the planning, and then the execution of their vision. They had some fantastic ideas for special moments and songs that just helped take their evening to the next level. I truly love what I do, and to get to do it for couples like Stephen and Kristi really exemplifies that feeling.
The DJ gets his own parking spot?!? Just a first taste of how well the day went :)
Secondly, there is Sugar Bowl. I have had the privilege to work at many ski resorts in the Sierras but for some reason there is a magic about Sugar Bowl that is unique and lends itself so well to weddings and receptions. From the phenomenal staff to the fantastic food to the surroundings that steal your breath away, Sugar Bowl is in a class by itself. The resort is usually quiet in the summer and the guests feel that they have the place all to themselves. 

The ceremony site is lush with grass and flowers, framed by a babbling brook just below and with the mountain rising up a short distance further. The lodge becomes a perfect backdrop for the bride's walk to her husband-to-be as well as a convenient place to get ready and enjoy the mountain beauty. Then, when the ceremony concludes, guests can travel up the chairlift to a small mountaintop chalet where 360 degree views and fields of wildflowers and mule's ear help make a cocktail hour like no other.  
The newlyweds arrive for cocktails!
Photos at 8,000 feet!
Stephen & Kristi return for their Grand Entrance!
When it is time to head back down the chairlift, the large deck of the lodge, framed with flowering hop vines and topped with umbrellas makes for a reception site unlike any other. As day turns to night, the last glows on the mountain switch to a glorious star-scape to dance under. If there is a slight chill in the thinner air, dancing and space heaters warm you up, and since most of the guests end up staying at the lodge or nearby, no one leaves until they absolutely have to. Such was the case with Kristi & Stephan's crowd.

My view of their First Dance!
I loved the little touches the two of them came up with! Their first dance was "Georgia" by Vance Joy but they wanted the song changed a bit- a chorus removed here and the bridge extended there and I was able to tweak it to their satisfaction and they had a first dance to it that was choreographed, elegant, and truly their own.
Irish Wedding Song by special request :)
They had picked songs for their special dances with Dad etc. but also thought about their grandparents, for whom I played the "Irish Wedding Song". I loved that they danced the night away, to songs slow and fast, and songs of their era and songs of today. No wonder Kristi and Stephen are so fun- it runs in their genes :)

I played "Footloose" for Kristi and her family as it holds special meaning and fun for them and a short time later I played Bruce Springsteen's version of "Jersey Girl" as many of Kristi's friends and family are from there. Well, the dance floor was filled with Jersey girls (and guys) singing along for all six and a half minutes with the Boss. Such a fun group! They never left the dance floor. I played a wide variety of music and the intensity level just kept going up! As the evening came on and the sky darkened, I brought out some glow sticks and lights that Kristi & Stephen provided and that just sent them into another level of dancing! Again, there is something about Sugar Bowl that lends itself to fun and dancing, and this night was no exception.

I was so pleased to have been a part of such an amazing celebration in Stephen & Kristi's life together. I love what I do and for whom I do it for! Thanks to Kristi & Stephen and everyone at Sugar Bowl for all the hard work and thought that was put into this day and evening. Congrats you two!
Last song of the night... What a group!

Matthew & Corey at St. Gall Catholic Church and the Orchard House with Tamarack Junction Catering

I had the pleasure of being a part of Matthew & Corey's wedding at St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville. I helped provide music over the church PA system for seating, prelude, processionals, Unity candle lighting, communion, and of course the recessional. They picked some fabulous music including Pacabel, Bach, Schubert and exited as husband and wife to Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. I was honored to be asked to play at the ceremony. I do many ceremonies during the year, but they are typically at the reception site and this time I was able to witness their offsite wedding instead of hearing about it when people arrived at the reception site..
Wedding inside beautiful St. Gall's

Newlyweds catch their breath!

Father Paul is the Pastor at St. Gall's and a friend of the couple's so it was great to have him say the Mass and marry them. I was able to meet with him and the newlyweds-to-be prior to the big day and I sensed the familiarity between the three of them immediately. I love it when the officiant actually knows the couple. It conferred a feeling of closeness and grace to an already beautiful ceremony.

I liked the signage :)

Before the guests arrived.

Their reception was held in Genoa, Nevada at the beautiful Orchard House. I always like playing there- the owners are nice and welcoming and the gardens are spectacular. When you reserve the Orchard House, you are in fact reserving a large garden lawn with several spaces, a separate house for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready in, and a large parking lot with plenty of room.  It is a tranquil setting- the crossroads of Genoa a few hundred feet away, the Sierras precipitously rising above you, and semi-tame deer roaming the neighborhood. It is my favorite spot in the historic part of Genoa and it is a blank slate for decoration and for bringing in your choice of vendors. 
My view of the toasts.

The bridal party arrived and were introduced while Michael Franti's "Say Hey" welcomed them in.  Then it was Corey & Matthew's turn. They care in accompanied by "Paradise" by Coldplay and took some time to enjoy their beautiful surroundings and their friends and family. Dinner was served soon thereafter with Tamarack Junction providing the catering. It was delicious and the Tamarack Junction team was on the ball all afternoon and evening. Toasts followed and soon they were dancing to a specially edited version that Matthew made of "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" by Bryan Adams. 
Lee then danced with his daughter Corey and Matthew with his mom Cindy to a medley of "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder and "Somewhere Out There" by Linda Ronstadt and then general dancing ensued as night enveloped the party.

First Dance!

After a while I slowed the music down and invited all the married couples up for the Anniversary Dance, another medley they requested: "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis followed by "Unforgettable" by Nat & Natalie. The cake was then cut, with Sinatra and Buble in the background.
Love these two!

Dancing then ruled the rest of the evening with a quick break with Pitfall to toss the bouquet.  I want to thank (belatedly) Corey & Matthew for allowing me to be a part of such a fantastic day and evening as they had. I felt uplifted spiritually and know that all is right with the world when two people such as they are united amongst friends, family and faith. May the Lord bless and keep you always :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association at The Peppermill Reno Resort

There are times as a DJ when events transcend a simple party. This is especially true when deejaying weddings, which I tend to specialize in. The ability to witness and be a small part of a couple's most special day is something that drives me to give 200%, to exceed their expectations, and make indelible memories for the couple and their family and friends. 

For these reasons and more, I love to do weddings and it is the majority of my business. I am proud to have been a part of well over eight hundred of them, and proud of the fact that people see me as a "Wedding DJ", and a damn good one too!

But back in the day, when I was still lugging around crates of vinyl I deejayed nightclubs and reunions, birthdays and conventions, car shows and holiday parties. I still, to a lesser extent, do these other types of events, but they generally don't excite me as much as a couple's first dance or their elaborate Grand Entrance.

But holding a special place in my heart are veterans. I grew up with WW2 vets telling me their stories. My parents' generation fought in Vietnam. My best friend from high school watched MLRS launches and distant tank battles in Iraq at 73 Easting. I am in awe of our vets. The closest thing we Americans have to royalty are our honored service members.

I've had the pleasure of deejaying reunions and parties for ships, air wings, SEALs, and Marine units. I've done Xmas parties for Depots and squadrons and deejayed the Nevada Military Governors Ball. One of my favorite of these events was the USS Oklahoma reunion. The battleship was sunk at Pearl Harbor and my contact and the person uncharge was one of the few that escaped from the hull after days on confinement when the ship rolled over. To talk to those gentlemen and eavesdrop on their stories was a highlight of my career.

Another highlight for me was this past weekend when I had the honor of deejaying at the 2016 Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association convention held at the Peppermill

If you are unfamiliar with the WACs, they were formed in WW2 as a way to get large numbers of women into the Army. Up until the war, there were very few women in the Army, excepting nurses, and even fewer officers. The WACs were 100% volunteers. They served our country with the utmost distinction doing everything short of actual combat, and I am sure they did that when called upon. 

My aunt was a WAVE- the Navy's version of a WAC, and she was proud of her service and her contribution to the war. I didn't know any WACs prior to this weekend, but I was able to meet quite a few and be in awe of their dedication and patriotism.

The organization honors those original WACs and all the women who have served in the Army since. The attendees came from all over the country for this convention and were ready to shake it loose a bit after a great dinner and fantastic remembrances by Major General McWilliams (Ret.). MG McWilliams shared stories emphasizing humorous and poignant anecdotes about her career and the careers of those she worked with. Her theme that she wove throughout her talk was that the contributions of this group, its members, and the thousands of WACs they represent should be remembered, recorded and shared with loved ones as well as future generations. 

Indeed, as I spoke to many of the ladies, they told me stories of perseverance against adversity from both within the Army and from without. These ladies, every one a volunteer, worked twice as hard as their male counterparts to level the playing field, enabling the current generation of men and women to work together without much thought as to gender or MOS. Each one of these trendsetters contributed tangibly to the security of our nation and to the progression of equality in our society and yet they were approachable, fun, and absolutely proud of the service they chose, the United States Army. The camaraderie was palpable. They share a bond that is unbreakable. To be a small part of their celebration was a true honor and their closeness reminded me of those men of the USS Oklahoma. 

Major General McWilliams said something that will stick with me for the rest of my days. She said she gets thanked for "her service" quite a bit, and while that is fine, it really doesn't do these women and many vets justice. "Service" sounds like they were called up, they did their job, and went on with their lives. For millions of vets this is very true, and we are thankful for them. But this room full of women (and some of their veteran husbands) were all volunteers. They chose to make the Army a career, to move constantly, to accept less pay than the private sector, all for our benefit.

She said instead, thank a veteran for everything they have done for our country.  The sacrifices they made were worth it to them. Let them know that you appreciate them. And I do. 

A WW2 vet leads the conga line :)
The Peppermill sets the bar very high when it comes to service, food, AV support, and the countless little things that help make a convention a success. The Naples Ballroom was filled with conventioneers and several other nearby rooms were set up for meetings and roundtable discussions. I spoke to the Head Waiter after the event and had nothing but praise for his friendly and efficient staff.
Starting the march!
Having a crowd that musically spanned nine decades was a blast! Playing Glenn Miller through Motown through Justin Timberlake can present some deejays with a challenge but he ladies were ready to dance and had lots of favorite requests. They had an auction and other ways to raise money for their causes and drawings and even some singing made it a unique and energetic evening. I loved how they began- with a Sergeant Major leading everyone in the room to the theme from "Bridge Over River Kwai" and ended with them locking arms and singing "God Bless the USA" at the top of their lungs. What an extraordinary group of ladies, veterans, and patriots. I was honored to be in your presence and thank you for all you did and all you continue to do for our great nation!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Michelle & Justin at Skylandia Park with As You Wish Catering

Weddings for me are magical- moments that inspire me and make me strive to be a better husband and DJ. All are special and unique but some are more magical than others. It is sometimes hard to put your finger on why. In Justin and Michelle's case, it was apparent from the first.

The biggest factor in a perfect wedding and reception is the couple getting married. I am lucky in that my brides & grooms are mostly professionals, closer to thirty than twenty, and that they have found me because they don't want ordinary for their day. My couples know what they want and don't want for their big day, and it is a privilege to make their dreams become reality.

From the moment we FaceTimed, I knew their day was going to be special. They have an ease about them, an aura of happiness and positivity that is infectious. Their love for each other is always apparent- it's like they are the embodiment of living life fully and joyfully. And they have found the perfect partner in the other. That old adage, being greater together than the sum of their parts is absolutely true. I was enchanted- not a word I use often- and excited to be a part of their special day.

Tahoe and more specifically Skylandia has a special place in Michelle's family. It is a gorgeous area on the North Shore and a place where memories become sacred, to paraphrase Nicole, their phenomenal officiant. When Justin, a native of Colorado, visited for the first time, he became interwoven into the magic of the place and every subsequent visit to Tahoe includes walks in the park and selfies on the dock. So when they decided to marry, no other spot seemed more fitting for their vows.
My ceremony view
I had never been to Skylandia, so when Justin & Michelle came up to the Lake several weeks ago I met them there for our final planning meeting. It's more of a locals spot as the usual beach parks are right on the highway. Skylandia takes some perseverance  to discover. A beautiful forested area stretches in three directions and a rocky bluff overlooks the beach and has views all the way across to South Lake Tahoe. It is a place where almost everything has to be brought in, but is away from crowds and tourists- not always a given on the North Shore.
Hey! That's me! :)
When I arrived on Saturday, tables were decked out, chairs were set up for the ceremony, lights were strung between trees with photos hanging from the strands, and a dance floor was set up waiting for me. Power is not available there, so I brought my Honda 2000. It is a workhorse- it quietly provided clean and plentiful power for 7 hours without fail. It sips the gasoline as well- I don't think it used much more than a gallon.  I was early and set up by 2:30 for a 4pm ceremony, but as people began to arrive around 3pm, I started a nice background mix to set a fun tone.
Loved their seating chart!
I was a bit worried as the winds were gusting that day and the sun was in and out of the clouds. It felt more like Spring than July, but as the ceremony got closer, the winds started to die down and weren't a factor.  It really was a group effort from Justin & Michelle's friends and family- there were several people making sure things were set up and perfect when I got there and friends brought their Photo Booth. Their props/hats/masks etc were probably the best I'd seen at an event. Quality, fun stuff that really got people happy and silly.

The ceremony was fantastic. With the Lake at her back, Nicole wove nuptials that were specific to Michelle and Justin- telling their story, eliciting laughs, some happy tears, and finally huge applause as Justin & Michelle became Mr. & Mrs.

Pictures followed while the guests enjoyed cocktails and appetizers courtesy of As You Wish Catering. I was very impressed with As You Wish. I have worked with them before, and their standards of personnel and food and beverage service are the highest. Many times during the evening As You Wish went above and beyond, cleaning broken glasses on the dance floor, helping people find belongings and countless other little things that make an exceptional  wedding vendor. Their BBQ-themed dinner fit the setting perfectly and was efficiently served and delicious. I am sure they were happy to work at Skylandia, as it is just a couple of blocks from their office/kitchen.

Several games were set out for the cocktail hour. Some bocce and corn hole matches were played and witnessed and Justin & Michelle's "guestbook" were some large Jenga pieces that people would sign and then play with- just a fun vibe throughout.

Michelle and Justin had a Grand Entrance punctuated by a little Usher, and dinner was immediately served. After dinner, the two Mikes (Justin & Michelle's dads) gave poignant toasts followed by Jerica and Jessica, their Best Woman and Maid of Honor respectively.  I get to witness many toasts and these four really were great. Following Justin thanking everyone for being a part of their day, the dancing started, and never really ceased except to cut the cake and toss the bouquet and garter.

First Dance
"Die a Happy Man" was Michelle & Justin's First Dance, and it was neat because one of their beloved dogs, Aspen, joined them at the end of the dance :)  Next up was Michelle and her dad dancing to what else but "Michelle" from the Beatles. Michelle had danced with her dad at his wedding, so they already had some fantastic history with the song, and halfway through I invited all the other fathers & daughters to come up and join them in the dance. Always tugs on the heartstrings a bit!

Justin had a surprise for his mom when the Mother Son dance started. I played "Wonderful World" by Satchmo for twenty or thirty seconds then scratched out and started up "La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens. Everyone including mom was surprised and it became the joyous start to open dancing. I invited everyone up and soon we were deep into an oldies set that just set the tone for the rest of the night. 

Family and friends were really tremendous throughout the day and evening. So many people came up not just to request songs but to just chat and I had some fantastic conversations throughout the evening. Most of the crowd came from a good distance away and their love for the newlyweds was very apparent. I think Michelle and Justin have that effect on people. If you knew them, how could you possibly miss their wedding day, even if you call Colorado or the East Coast home?  My favorite conversation was with Michelle's grandfather. After a lively rendition of "Tequila" with everyone singing along and doing their best PeeWee Herman dance, he came up to me and told me that he was in the room when Danny Flores wrote the song. It was a B-side instrumental to the Champs' first record but it became the star instead of the A-side. What were they doing as Flores wrote the song you might ask? Drinking tequila, of course :)

I played a great mix of oldies, 90's pop and hip/hop, rock & roll and a little country and the dance floor never emptied. Lots of fun requests meant a happy crowd and a happy DJ. We went an extra hour until the dreaded Tahoe 10pm curfew reared its ugly head. Finally, as I was packing up, everyone headed down to the pier for a last group shot and some fireworks went off nearby. Coincidence? Probably :)

Thanks to everyone at As You Wish Catering for a stellar job. Thanks to the family and helpers that spent a lot of time getting Skylandia just right. Thanks to all the guests who made me feel like one of them instead of a hired hand. And finally, thanks most of all to Michelle and Justin for including me in their day and evening. I am honored to be a part of many fantastic receptions and this one was one of my favorites. If you can't tell, I love what I do!
Congrats you two!