Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Karah & Leng at Edgewood Tahoe

The digital world we live in now makes life so much easier in a variety of ways. I used to have to lug a half-dozen crates of records and four cases of CDs around to events. Now a pair of Macbook Pros gives me instant access to tens of thousands of songs without any of that weight or bulk. 

Communication is light-years ahead of where it was when I started deejaying. My website and blog are representing me 24/7 all across the country and the world and people can read reviews on a plethora of sites. I am never far away from my clients, whether by phone, email or text. And I can meet with them no matter the timezone or distance. My office is wherever I am & wherever my brides and grooms are.

Karah and Leng live in the Midwest and decided to celebrate their love with their friends and family on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Through the net they found my website and blog, read some past client reviews, and contacted me about their big day. Pretty soon we were chatting about their vision for their wedding day via Facetime and soon thereafter I was happy to be chosen as their DJ.  

Meeting with your primary wedding professionals is key, especially your photographer & DJ. You want to know if you are comfortable with them, that they have your best interests at heart, and that the chemistry is right so they will capture your true nature in those pictures or through the music and vibe that you want to create.  Skype & Facetime allows for face-to-face meetings even with hundreds or thousands of miles between us. I love technology!

Karah & Leng decided on Edgewood Tahoe, one of my favorite venues anywhere, let alone up at the Lake. Edgewood has wow factors that are unequaled on so many levels. First the location.  The gorgeous golf course fronts sandy beaches with unparalleled views of water and mountains. The building is an architectural gem that even exceeds the spectacular surroundings it sits in. The wood, stonework and wide, tall windows bring the outdoor beauty inside and meld with it flawlessly.

My view setting up
But just as important as the location and ambience is the level of service that the Edgewood is famous for.  The employees are top-notch, friendly, and professional at all times. Walter & Rosalyn were my main contacts throughout the night, and they and their staff were exemplary in every way. Over the years there I see the same faces over and over which indicates to me that in a business fraught with employee turnover, Edgewood hires and retains the best people, and those people enjoy working there and providing that high level of service. Everyone from the bartenders to the waiters to the cooks and maintenance staff seems to love working there and to love what they do, and it shows.
The pensive groom right before the ceremony
The South Room was decorated beautifully and right outside on the terrace chairs were set up for the ceremony.  Some thunderclouds rolled in overhead just before the ceremony time and sprinkled a bit, but as always up at Tahoe in the summer, you can wait ten minutes and the clouds will speed past and sunshine will again reign. Edgewood's folks just wiped down the chairs and  we were ready to go a few minutes later.  Stepdad Dave was the officiant and he did a great job, mixing traditional and personal perfectly and soon thereafter Leng and Karah were married and off posing for pictures on the gorgeous grounds and on the beach. When they returned to the reception, they and their bridal party entered to the Killers' "All the Things That I've Done", an inspired and unique choice.  Leng & Karah have distinct and progressive musical tastes, and all throughout the evening I was able to use the songs and artists they love to make it that much more about them.  I played everything from Elvin Bishop and Allison Krause to Temper Trap and Snow Patrol. Eclectic and sophisticated, just like the bride & groom.

The dinner was amazing as usual... maybe even better than amazing.  I've blogged about the food and service at Edgewood before- how even their simple dishes like grilled veggies and their pasta salad are the best I've ever had.  But even with these standouts, my new favorites there are the flat-iron steak and the parmesan chicken. Absolute yumminess! They put the buffet on the dancefloor and when everyone has eaten their fill, they begin pouring champagne for the toast and in 2:44 (I timed them as I am always amazed at their efficiency) the entire buffet line was taken down and the dancefloor ready for the first dance. Usually I am the one prodding the venue to move along- at Edgewood they are always a step ahead of me, which again shows their flexibility and professionalism.

After some great toasts the cake was cut and we went into the first dance and then the Father-Daughter dance. The guests and bridal party then settled into a fun night of packing the dancefloor.  There were lots of great requests but my favorite was for "Everybody" by Backstreet Boys by Leng's sister.  I wasn't expecting the response when I started it up: the groom's family knew all the dance moves to it, like a music video or something!  Leng later told me that his sister made everyone dance to it when they were kids and it was so fun to watch them laughing and totally in sync with each other. These are the moments that everyone will remember forever, and I was so pleased to be a part of it.  Leng and Karah, thanks again for allowing me into your amazingly special day!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kathy & Patrick at the Ranch House at Rancho San Rafael with Ever After Creations and Hidden Valley Country Club Catering

I was thrilled to be able to deejay Patrick & Kathy's wedding last weekend at the beautiful Ranch House at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno. To be asked to be a part of their wedding was special, as Kathy is the Event Director at Hidden Valley Country Club, a stunning venue in Reno where she and her staff are always so professional and endlessly accommodating to their guests. I have had the pleasure of working there many times and have always enjoyed the opportunity to not only entertain the clients and guests but to work with Kathy. She is well-known and well-liked in the local wedding industry and I knew that her husband-to-be must be special to capture her heart.

Meeting them together to discuss the music and events I could literally see the chemistry flow between the two of them.  To be already blessed with the personalities and families they have and then to find absolute true love in one another means someone is looking out for them upstairs. I am a big believer in that what you put out into the world you get back in return, and they epitomize this belief.

Kathy didn't want a stuffy wedding and reception. She helps countless brides & grooms and other clients with their events and for her day she really concentrated on decor, events and creating a vibe that celebrated their friends and family, and the love that she shares with Pat.  There were so many details, both large and small that really accented that feel, from sayings on the wall, to pictures and flowers over the fireplace, to horseshoes for the guests and lining the aisle, to her stunning dress.  She even posted handmade signs here and there to direct and inform her guests and set a fun tone for the day.  Besides a photo frame to sign, she had these very cool "Mad-Lib" style slips of paper for her guests to fill out for their advice, both serious and silly.
When it came time for the ceremony, Patrick's dad was the celebrant.  He is a great guy, a pastor for many years down in Palm Springs who is about to retire and he loved the opportunity to marry his son to his new daughter-in-law.  The almost newlyweds had their boys stand up with them, which I thought was a neat touch, and then Kathy and then Pat read very thoughtful vows to one another that really expressed their joy to be marrying each other.  To hear such love in their words, from a couple that has lived life and have already experienced many things was awe-inspiring and made everyone there a gift of re-evaluating what is really good and true in life.
Everyone moved into the Ranch House for drinks and a fabulous dinner from Hidden Valley Country Club Catering.  Delicious flat-iron steaks were the culinary bomb and the service from the staffers from HVCC was efficient and super-friendly- I think that Kathy picked the best of her already great staff :)
Vicki and Craig Musni from Ever After Creations were never idle, videoing the ceremony, the events, and getting neat interviews from the guests.  They are always super to work with- consummate wedding professionals and just great people.  They were guests as well, but made sure that everything was fully and beautifully documented.  It was fun to play them a song or two later that evening.
The sons of Kathy and Patrick gave memorable toasts in the perfect evening in the courtyard.  Then Kathy & Patrick danced their first dance to "It's Your Love" by Tim and Faith, and boy did they dance!  They surprised their guests with elaborate choreography with twirls and dips and everyone was cheering by the end.  Lots of dancing then ensued with plenty of great requests and dancers having fun.  I was really impressed by a little girl, Emily I believe, who knew all of the current dance steps and led all the grownups in line dances and other specialty songs.
It really was a fun wedding and reception and I was so honored to be a part of it.  When you have a couple that does so much for others: Kathy in helping to make people's weddings amazing and Patrick in helping the community through his social work, it is so nice to see all that come back in spades for them. Truly a wonderful afternoon and evening. Congrats Patrick & Kathy!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chelsea & Kyle at The Chateau at Incline Village with Ciprian Photography

To have a beach wedding is a dream of many brides, but to have it on the shores of Lake Tahoe, at the foot of the family cabin was a dream come true for Chelsea & Kyle last week.  I love the fact that it was held at a place already so special to the family, a spot already containing a lifetime of memories and now with a brand-new memory shared at the same moment with all of their loved ones and friends.

It was a gorgeous King's Beach afternoon- boats out on the water, people on the sands, and classic WWII Mustangs and Texans flying overhead.  Chairs were set up right in the sand, steps from the water with parasols and flip-flops available for guest's use and foot-washing basins filled for those that wanted to go barefoot.  Simple pinecones decorated the chairs, amplifying the Tahoe feel.  Chelsea picked the "Forrest Gump Suite" for her bridesmaids to walk down the aisle to, and a piano version of Love Story for her processional with her father. Inspired choices. Chelsea's sister Megan was the officiant and did an amazing job with a heartfelt and thoughtful ceremony- hard to believe it was her first time marrying anyone!  Soon she was announcing Kyle & Chelsea for the first time as husband & wife and they exited to Natalie Cole's "This Will Be an Everlasting Love". The bridal party and family remained on the beach for photos while everyone else headed up to the Chateau at Incline Village for the reception.
Just Married!
The Chateau is a beautiful venue set amongst the pines on the golf course in Incline Village and whether it is a gorgeous sunny summer day or a snowy winter's afternoon, weddings are always special there.  The guests (and the DJ) arrived and settled in, enjoying the room and deck outside.  After pictures on the Lake, family began to arrive and so too the bridal party.  Chelsea & Kyle followed the rest of their party into the room accompanied to thunderous applause and enjoyed a great dinner and some tremendous toasts by their family and bridal party.  Then dancing began and never really abated all night.  Kyle & Chelsea started with Jack Johnson's "Better Together" and then Roland danced with his daughter Chelsea to "Butterfly Kisses."  Kyle then danced with his mom Michele to "Sweet Child of Mine" by Sheryl Crow.  I loved how Chelsea and Kyle really thought of their guests all throughout the day- from the flip-flops on the beach to asking all the fathers & daughters to join Chelsea & Roland and all of the mothers and sons to join Kyle and Michele. This, to me, is a very unselfish moment in a reception.  To give your guests and family members the same opportunity to have a special moment with their mom, dad or kids is magical and something they will remember forever.  To further emphasize how attentive Chelsea and Kyle are, after they cut the cake, Chelsea took the mic and wished a guest, Myra,  a very happy 50th birthday and Kyle brought out a cake just for her. Just another classy touch amongst many throughout the day and evening.
All the fathers & daughters
Ciprian of Ciprian Photography was their photographer, and I always enjoy working with him as he is very professional and creative.  He also provided a photobooth for the evening, and it was an open space with a backdrop and props.  In the past I have thought that enclosed photobooths work better.  The guests seem to feel less intimidated and like to push the buttons and take their own shots.  But I was very pleasantly surprised with Ciprian's booth.  It was more like having a fun portrait taken as Ciprian and his assistant really brought out the best in his subjects and the guests played off one another in the shots.  It is a neat thing as well to see the entire bridal party posing with the bride and groom- something not possible in a small booth.  Everyone had a blast using the booth, and over my way the dancefloor never emptied.  The money dance really set a fun tone with Kyle covered in bills at the end and it was neat seeing the large number of couples during the Anniversary Dance.  Many couples had been married for 20+, 30+ and 40+ years, but the last couple on the dancefloor were the Smiths who gave something for us all to aspire to- 61 years of marriage!  They are truly great role models and amazing people as I was privileged to speak with Mr. Smith several times before the ceremony and during the evening. What a great example for Kyle & Chelsea!

Chelsea & Kyle gave me a substantial list of what songs they really liked to dance to and I played the vast majority of those plus took great requests off the floor all evening.  The dancing was going so well that they extended for extra time so we could keep the party going. Truly an absolute blast for a DJ lucky enough to be a part of the celebration.  Thanks to Linda, Chelsea's aunt who really helped me through all aspects of the ceremony and reception.  Thanks to Ciprian Photography for all of their hard work and expertise. But most of all, thanks to Chelsea and Kyle for picking me to be a part of their amazing day. I say it again, because it is true: I love my job!  But I love my job because of the special people I get to meet, interact with, and help to realize their vision of their perfect wedding day. I am blessed.  Congrats Kyle & Chelsea!

Update 11-13
Just received a thank you card from them! So fulfilling to have a bride & groom's wedding dreams come true and be a small part of it!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tim & Arlene at Cal-Neva Resort, Lake Tahoe

I feel honored every time I am chosen to provide entertainment at a couple's wedding.  It is a big responsibility not only to emcee and keep everyone informed about what is happening or about to happen, but also to help plan the events and music, and above all keep the dance floor hopping when the dancing begins. When I initially spoke to Tim and Arlene about their upcoming wedding and how I could help them realize their vision for their day, I couldn't help being impressed with their ideas, questions for me, and their overall level of organization.  It turns out that Tim used to DJ and Arlene used to photograph weddings.  To be chosen to be a part of their day was an honor, doubly so because they were living in Vegas and we were able to meet only by Skype and phone, but over a few sessions we hammered out the music selection and reception events and I really looked forward to their day up at Lake Tahoe.

Cal-Neva is a historic property located right on the California-Nevada state line.  It overlooks the Lake and you can envision Sinatra and Jack Benny walking down the halls, visiting the bar, entertaining guests in the Showroom or at a banquet in the Indian Room.  Arlene & Tim had their ceremony at the gazebo, a gorgeous spot with expansive views of the Lake and plenty of seating and room for all their guests.  The bridal party entered to "Titanium/Pavani" by the Piano Guys and Arlene came down the aisle to a version of "Canon in D" mixed by Tim (how cool is that!?!).  Their ceremony was unique and heartfelt and included a poem by Robert Fulghum called "Union" which everyone liked very much, including yours truly. After they kissed and were introduced, they recessed to "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates... such a fun song!  The families remained at the gazebo for pictures while the guests moved to a shady, tented pavilion just outside the Indian Room for cocktails and conversation.
My view of their first dance
The Indian Room is a one-of-a-kind banquet room where wooden beams and rock dominate the architecture and a line painted down the middle of the fireplace and the room denotes the border of the two states.  I was told by a staffer that back in the '20s they would have gambling before it was legal and drinking (during Prohibition) in the room, and depending on which state's police force was raiding them they would just move the gaming tables and/or bar to the other side of the room!  Lots of cool anecdotes about the property really makes it a unique venue.  When Tim & Arlene were done with photos, I ushered everyone into the Indian Room for dinner and their Grand Entrance (with "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis emphasizing their entry).  A delicious dinner was then served which was followed by some truly well-thought-out toasts.  Thanks go out to Sharon & her very capable staff at Cal-Neva for all their hard work and friendly assistance throughout the night.
Again Arlene & Tim's vision for their day came to the forefront when, to start the dancing, Arlene began with her stepdad Rick, dancing to "Beth" by Kiss.  Shortly thereafter her dad Art stepped in and we faded into "November Rain" and finally Tim, after a minute or so, stepped in and the Bridal Dance began- one of my favorites, "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz.  Following thunderous applause, we started open dancing and the dance floor never emptied the rest of the night.  Tim & Arlene had a great Money Dance and then cut their zombie cake (very cool!) to "Moondance" by Van Morrison.  As dancing began again, "Thriller" kept the zombie vibe going and lots of fun requests kept everyone happy.  "Conga" was huge as were Daft Punk, MJ and David Guetta amongst others.  Their musical tastes are varied, as were those of their guests so it was fun to play stuff like Johnny Cash and Santana and Jive Bunny as well as the newer stuff.  Very cool crowd!  So fun to talk and interact with them all day and night!  

But my favorite moments of the night revolved around the last couple of dances that Tim & Arlene picked out.  Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" got every person up singing at the top of their lungs as Tim & Arlene danced in their midst and finally, the final song was a perfect choice, "Swing Life Away" by Rise Against.  I was unfamiliar with it prior to planning with Arlene & Tim, and I have to say, seeing Tim & Arlene, with their bridesmaids and groomsmen hugging and swaying and singing to it was an absolute perfect way to end an absolutely perfect day and evening.  Congrats to Tim & Arlene and thanks once again for sharing your day with me!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tim & Erin at Winters Creek Lodge

DJ's today market themselves in a variety of ways- through associations, the internet, and the occasional bridal show.  I am lucky that referrals from past clients make up about half my business but I do make a point of doing the Reno Fantasy Wedding Faire every January because it is a great show and even more importantly, every dollar goes to the local American Heart Association.  I feel good about being a part of such a great event- a resource for local brides-and-grooms-to-be and a step towards heart health and disease prevention and hopefully, one day, a cure.
During this past January's Faire, I had the opportunity to meet Erin and her mom Debbie at the show and we ended up talking for quite some time.  I knew then that I wanted to be a part of their day.  They had a unique vision for the ceremony & reception which was to be held up at Winters Creek Lodge, a spectacular and somewhat unknown venue that is part of the Mount Rose Ski Area.  They ended up booking me on the spot and over the next few months we met and planned out the music and events for the ceremony and reception. Erin, Tim (Erin's husband-to-be) and Debbie were all so easy to work with and eager to make the day unique and memorable.
Hang-glider high above the pre-ceremony afternoon
When their Saturday arrived, I drove up the mountain, the skies clear, the temperature perfect and hang-gliders wafting in lazy circles far above the Lodge.  What a perfect day! Even the winds were mellow, and the Winters Creek staff had set chairs up overlooking Washoe Lake thousands of feet below for the ceremony to come.  The Lodge itself is architectural art with huge glass windows, gorgeous wood and stone and metal framing that really catches the eye and brings the spectacular outdoor scenery in.  Winters Creek Lodge is at 8260' and really has expansive views.  On one side is Washoe Lake & Valley and on the other the slopes of the East Bowl which still had some snow on the upper stretches.  What a way to combine the natural beauty with the inherent beauty of the building.
Hang-gliders launch themselves into the air a couple hundred yards away, and I watched them dive and rise up into the updrafts as I set up for the ceremony and reception.

After a while, the guests began to arrive and filled up the seats for the ceremony.  Erin & Tim like the Beatles so I found some great instrumentals of their music for the guest's arrival and before long I was playing "Marry Me" by Train for the Bridal Party, and then "1000 Years" by the Piano Guys for Erin's processional.  After a thoughtful and heartfelt ceremony they exited as husband & wife to "This Will Be an Everlasting Love" by Natalie Cole and the guests found hors d'oeuvres and drinks awaiting them inside.  I really enjoyed speaking with all the guests and bridal party members.  A fun crowd and very happy for Erin & Tim, they really loved the amazing views and attention to detail they found inside.

Tim & Erin eventually returned after what I imagine were fantastic photo opportunities around the area and they and their bridal party entered to "I Gotta Feeling" by the BEP and mingled with their happy crowd. I have to give massive thanks to Judit, the wedding coordinator at Winters Creek Lodge.  Her attention to the guests, the food, and the bar really sets WCL well above the competition.  Her bartender and servers always had a smile and went out-of-their-way to make sure everything went perfectly throughout the day and evening.  Their stellar service certainly only adds on to the beauty of the venue.
After some mingling, the newlyweds danced to "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain and then Erin danced with her dad Wayne to Satchmo's "What a Wonderful World".  More dancing then followed with a fun Money Dance followed by an Anniversary Dance using Mraz's "I Won't Give Up."  Anniversary Dances are amongst my favorite events at a wedding.  What a great way to acknowledge those who have committed to one another by a couple who just did the same only a couple of hours prior.  Tim & Erin went a step further- they gave a bottle of wine to the couple who had been married the longest.  A nice gesture and then they had another surprise for their guests.  They called up several couples without any explanation and gave them wine for having travelled the farthest, having gotten their RSVP in first and having the next upcoming wedding.  A real classy idea from a top-notch couple. 

A bit later Christine (an aunt) sang "At Last" to Tim & Erin and shortly thereafter the bouquet & garter were thrown, the garter tossed to the "NFL on Fox" theme song... Very fun!  The rest of the evening was spent reveling in the beauty without and within and dancing the rest of night away.  I truly feel blessed to be able to do what I do, and this night punctuated that feeling for me.  Congrats Erin & Tim!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Jenna & Travis at The Gatekeeper Museum with Dish Catering & A Simply Splendid Event

Sometimes no matter how much you plan and envision your day unfolding, mother nature intervenes and you just have to deal with less-than-perfect weather.  Twenty-six years ago, I married my wife inside a church on a rainy day.  We spent the reception inside the hall we rented but it didn't diminish the day or the joy we shared with our guests. You just make do.  Lake Tahoe can be notoriously fickle weather-wise.  Usually it is later in the summer when thunderstorms rush overhead- rainy one moment and beautiful the next.  It seems that even if the rain is coming down hard, you can wait ten minutes, wipe off the chairs, and have a gorgeous outdoor ceremony and reception.

Travis & Jenna brought all of their friends and family up to Lake Tahoe from Arizona for their dream destination wedding, held on the pristine grounds of the Gatekeeper's Museum in Tahoe City.  The weather before and after their date was beautiful with few if any thunderstorms.  But a freak low-pressure system, usually only found much earlier or later in the year brought constant rainfall, of course centered right on their special day.  Surrounded by their loved ones and friends, Jenna & Travis wouldn't let a few raindrops dilute their dream wedding and indeed it turned out beautifully because of their character & vision, the support in every way possible from their remarkable families, and help from some very dedicated and special wedding professionals.  They made some pretty great decisions that made a less-than-perfect day pretty darn perfect.

First off, they hired Melody Holland from A Simply Splendid Event as their coordinator.  She is one of my favorite people to work with as she doesn't rest a moment while she works an event.  She did countless things, both small and large to make the event not only a success but a resounding one at that.  She coordinated with all of the other vendors, lending a hand and guidance where needed.  She made every guest and family member feel comfortable and constantly adjusted for the rain and the countless other issues that occur in every event.  She always makes sure she takes into account the bride & grooms wishes and overall vision.  Some coordinators feel they need to leave their "stamp" on things, sometimes obscuring the original ideas of the clients.  Melody goes above and beyond to make their vision come to life and exceed their expectations while still maintaining that theme or idea that they had for their day.  And that vision was spectacular.

The second great decision they made was to get a clear tent to cover their dining and other events.  Many times I see a white tent used, which functions well but except for a side or three constricting the view of the outside.  With the tranquil surroundings of forest, river and lake surrounding the Gatekeeper's Museum, they elected to spend a bit more and get a clear-sided tent. That was an inspired decision!  All of the beauty that made Jenna & Travis want to marry in this temple to nature was still there for everyone, visible even in the hardest downpour.  There were lights strung within as well, which illuminated and also gave it a magical feel when the sun went down.  With Melody's help and direction, all the tables and chairs, vendors and guests were covered and it really felt intimate inside.

The third great decision they made was hiring Joe with Dish Cafe & Catering.  The Dish Cafe is a favorite of my wife and I.  It is a small lunch spot in Reno in an ordinary office building that makes extraordinary food.  Indeed it is so good that it was featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives" and everything they do is delicious, handmade, and sourced locally when possible.  I have had their food truck fare as well, but this was my first time with their catering side and we were not disappointed!  They arrived in a small SUV and proceeded to pull delectable dish after delectable dish from it.  Their hors d'oeuvres were both simple and complex, with cheese & crackers, amazing salamis, and skewers of chicken that reminded me of a Persian version of satay.  While guests devoured the appetizers, Joe and his helper readied the main courses, a Mexican feast that included several homemade salsas and tremendous marinated chicken, savory beef that reminded me of rib meat sans the bones, and pork carnitas that were my personal favorite.  The rain did not dampen their spirits or efficiency, and they made a point of chatting with the guests in line and helping out with beverages and other details wherever they could.  Very pleasant people with very yummy food!

Finally I think the thing that I liked the most about the day and evening was the spirit of togetherness and fun exhibited by their friends, family, and bridal party.  Everyone pitched in to help make the day special and fun.  Dad built all of the gorgeous wood tables that everyone sat at and ate on.  They were fashioned in Arizona, taken apart for transport, packed in a U-Haul trailer and driven all the way up just for the day.  Groomsmen lit and moved portable heaters.  Bridesmaids passed out shawls to all the ladies.  Guests helped put beer on ice and moved chairs from the ceremony site to the tent.  When we found out we were short on bottle openers for the beer & wine bottles, guests brought out their utensils and the party continued without a hitch.  Later, when the reception had ended, at least half the guests remained to help clean up, gather up gifts, fold chairs and take apart the wooden tables.  A communal effort that demonstrated the bonds of love and friendship that brought them 750 miles to help celebrate Travis & Jenna's day.

I really enjoyed video chatting with Jenna & Travis prior to their day.  They have a great chemistry between them and shared ideas for their events and music selection that really made their day unique and their own.  They have a love for music and turned me on to a couple of artists that I was unfamiliar with but really liked when I heard them- Band of Horses being one.  Another song of theirs which I will add to my repertoire is "Love Never Fails" by Brandon Heath, a great choice for a sand or candle ceremony. 

When the rain let up and some actual sunshine began peeking through the clouds, the ceremony began. The bridal party walked in to "I Will" by Alison Kraus and Jenna appeared accompanied by Van Morrison's "Sweet Thing."  After they had been pronounced husband & wife and kissed, they used another Van Morrison song, "Glad Tidings" for their recessional.  They took off into the wilds beside Lake Tahoe for pictures and the aforementioned appetizers and drinks came out for the guests.  When they returned, they and their bridal party entered to Muse's "Starlight" and the real reception began.

The sun, which hadn't made much of an appearance all day began to break through, and the rest of the evening had bouts of light drizzle but for the most part was much drier than earlier.  Dancing commenced on the deck near the museum with Jenna & Travis dancing to "Into the Mystic" followed by a Brother-Sister and Mother-Son dance danced to Iz's "Over the Rainbow".  Lots of dancing then followed with an Anniversary Dance thrown in for good measure.  When it came time to toss the bouquet and garter, Yello's "Oh Yeah" gave the moment a great vibe.  

Throughout the night I spoke with the friends and family that had travelled up to witness the nuptials and really felt welcomed and at ease with every one of them.  Despite the rain, everyone was having a great time and made the most out of every moment.  Just a tremendous crowd filled with love for the bride and groom.  Sometimes adversity on a wedding day pulls everyone together even more than before, and this was definitely the case this time.  Thanks to Melody and Joe for all their hard work and a special thanks to Travis, Jenna, and their family & friends for including me in their day and making me feel so at home and a part of their moment.  Love conquers all, even a little rain on the shores of Lake Tahoe...