Another fabulous wedding at The Grove this past weekend! Chris & Carly were married and celebrated the night away with a great bunch of family and friends who included me in their happiness for the newlyweds. I had met with Carly back in January right before the American Heart Association's Fantasy Bridal Faire. I love doing the AHA event as all the proceeds go to fight heart disease and raise awareness. I told Carly to look me up if she came to the Faire, and she did, so I gave her my Bridal Faire special and we were good to go. Carly & Chris also saved money with me and with many of their other expenses by planning a Sunday wedding. Many wedding professionals will give discounts and/or extras for events falling on non-Saturdays, and they had chosen their Sunday wisely- the Sunday before Memorial Day! So they got great deals and their guests still had a day to sleep in afterwards. Exceptional planning!
It was a gorgeous day, and the ceremony was held in the outside patio at The Grove. As a DJ I love the flexibility The Grove allows their clients to have their ceremony either inside or out. I could have set up inside and taken care of the ceremony music and amplification as well as the later reception however I like to be able to watch everything in case I need to cue music or change volume on a mic, so I usually set up just outside and then move inside after the ceremony. It is only a matter of about 12' but I think I do a better job when watching the ceremony, and it is always an honor to witness a couple's vows.
This was certainly the case with Carly & Chris. Their officiant was Dave Beronio Jr. I have witnessed many ceremonies officiated by Dave Beronio Sr. who does an outstanding job and about whom I blogged about here:
However, if you read that blog you'll find I was very impressed with Dave Sr's son Dave Jr, who really helped make that ceremony go off without a hitch. As they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and Dave Jr. really did a great job both officiating and making the Chris & Carly feel at ease. I liked the fact too that he made sure that the clip-on mic I rigged him up with picked up Carly & Chris's vows so everyone could hear them. We are so lucky in the Reno-Tahoe area to have such outstanding officiants and it is great to know that another Beronio has joined this auspicious group.
I really liked Carly's choices for ceremony songs. Her bridal party entered to a great version of Pacbel's Canon, and then she appeared with her dad Gary and walked down to the Vitamin String Quartet's version of "1000 Years". When Dave pronounced them husband & wife they exited to the famous version of the same by Christina Perri. I always appreciate the help coordinating the couples that the coordinators at The Grove provide. Teresa was amazing as always all throughout the day and evening as was the entire Grove staff- truly the friendliest and most professional team in Reno.
After the ceremony the guests went inside for drinks and conversation while Chris & Carly posed for pictures. They had a slideshow presentation that played on The Grove's state-of-the-art projection and monitor system. I was enthralled especially by scenes from the Nevada outdoors that showed the happy couple enjoying hiking & hunting, and gorgeous pheasant and other game that they hunt together. I thought when I met them that they were a fun couple, attuned to each other, and to see that they share so many interests and hobbies really makes me think they are in for a long lifetime of things that they will discover and do together. When they were finished with pictures they and their bridal party entered and were introduced while "My Kinda Party" by Jason Aldean played, and that song really just set the tone for the evening.
As soon as they entered dinner was ready and Executive Chef Shakka had amazing beef and salmon along with delicious sides ready for the attendees. Even though it was a buffet, at The Grove it always feels more like full service. There are always waiters hovering to check if you need anything, removing used glasses and plates and pouring champagne and cider for the toast. They are efficient and friendly and really take pride in where they work. After dinner, Carly's dad Gary started the toasts followed by Chris' dad Rick and everyone from the bridal party. Each toast was heartfelt and had a different perspective on the day and on the bride & groom. Just like toasts are supposed to be. Carly & Chris then started the dancing with their first dance, "She's Everything" by Brad Paisley. Gary and Carly then followed with "I Loved Her First" by Heartland and LouAnn and Chris followed with "In My Life" by the Beatles. I loved the fact that Chris & Carly had the other fathers & daughters and then mothers & sons come up after they had danced for a minute or so. It is really a classy way to extend that sentiment with your guests, and those guests really appreciated being able to share that moment of parent and child.
What didn't I play that evening? Chris & Carly did not have a "do not play list", although they gave me a dozen or so songs to include, and with those songs and with many requests from the guests, the dance floor was never empty. I did have a groomsman come up and request that I didn't play "Thriller". I thought, sure, I have lots of other MJ tunes if asked for. But then several bridesmaids came up and requested it. What is a DJ to do? For his sake I tried to talk them out of it, but they were adamant. So I buckled and "Thriller" came on, and that groomsman did the most awesome dance and basically copied MJ's moves perfectly. Everybody went crazy cheering for him and trying to imitate his moves. I talked with him afterwards and he was cool with it- I think he doesn't want to seem like he is showboating, but wow! I've seen groups do "Thriller" better but never a single dancer as good as him. Very cool!
|All the Dads & Daughters!|
A Money Dance and Anniversary Dance were also danced that night and when they tossed the bouquet & garter some great snatches from mid-air were made. Dancing continued all through the night with all different genres and tempos. I really liked how they responded to old-school hip/hop so I played some deep cuts from that genre as well as motown, country, rock & roll and the latest pop hits. A very well-rounded evening of music with enthusiastic dancers- what more can a DJ ask for? Thanks to Teresa, Shakka, Marco and everyone at The Grove. Thanks again to Rev. Dave Beronio for starting us off so well, and finally thanks to Carly & Chris for sharing their special day with me. Wishing them many years of health, happiness, music and love. Congrats you two!