Friday, December 5, 2014

TMCC's Royal Father Daughter Ball with CTR Photo Booth and Zinser Photography at The Grand Sierra Resort

I have had the distinct privilege of deejaying the Royal Father Daughter Ball at the Grand Sierra Resort's Summit Pavilion several times now and it is always one of the highlights of my year. I am a huge fan of father-daughter dances during wedding receptions- they are so heartfelt, personal, and memorable for everyone involved. Imagine that same joy multiplied by 1200. That is the Royal Father Daughter Ball.

This year, my daughter, who has attended previously as a participant got to try her hand at spinning the tunes and being the MC (with a little guidance from me).  She did a great job, and I think she even scratches better than her old dad!  It was nice to see all the fathers & daughters dancing to songs that a father and daughter were playing. She played everything from Psy to Ylvis to Meghan Trainor interspersed with slower, Father-Daughter style songs like "Cinderella","My Girl" and "Butterfly Kisses". As always, the number of requests exceeded the time we had to play them, but we put a huge dent in the request list.

If you have never attended the Ball, here's what goes on. There are a hundred or so tables set up, as well as two large dance floors and many daughter-friendly appetizers and treats on side tables. Every one of the 1200 dads & daughters are dressed to the nines- some dads were even in tuxes or uniforms.  In the front of the ballroom, farthest from the dancing are backdrops manned by the amazing folks at Zinser Photography who capture professional portraits of beautiful daughters & proud dads so they can always remember their special night. Zinser Photography has been doing the portraits at the Ball for years and they are great to work with and their photos live up to the specialness of the evening. My daughter and I got ours taken right before the doors were opened to everyone.

On the sides of the room are photo booths provided and manned by Carson Tahoe Reno Photo Booth and they are very popular throughout the night. I see girls clutching and comparing photo strips all throughout the evening, and the people at CTR Photo Booth do a great job making each girl's experience fun and memorable.

There are raffle drawings every 20-30 minutes with items that are definitely geared towards the girls. They had art kits, iPhone decorators, and other creative prizes as well as one goodie bag of dad friendly tools. They aren't trips to Disney World or iPads or what have you, but they are exciting for the young ladies, and all the proceeds from the raffles and the admissions go to a scholarship fund at TMCC, so it is a win-win.

The dancing starts from the moment they open up the doors to the ballroom and doesn't end until the very last moment. The songs are gone through by yours truly to make sure the lyrics and content are all acceptable to kindergartners through middle schoolers. I vary the playlist quite a bit, from a few 60's fun songs to songs from today to all of the group dances that they especially love. Nothing like a thousand people doing the "YMCA" or "Cupid Shuffle" at once! The most requested artist this year was Taylor Swift with the song being "Shake It Off" but I think the best moment of the evening was when my daughter played "Let It Go" from Frozen. The whole room stopped whatever they were doing and every little girl (and quite a few dads) sang every word and made every gesture. Very cool!

Once again I was so honored to be a part of the Royal Father Daughter Ball. Thanks to everyone at TMCC for the elegant soiree they put on for such a great cause. Thanks to the GSR for doing a great job with the room and food & drink. Thanks to all the daughters who danced and danced and danced. Thanks to all the dads who made it a point to create such fabulous memories with their daughters- something they'll remember fondly for the rest of their lives. Thanks to Evan and everyone at Zinser Photography as well as Mike and everyone from Carson Tahoe Reno Photo Booth. Both operations are top-notch. Finally thanks to my daughter with whom I shared some indelible memories both behind the mixer and on the dance floor. 

Finally, dads, grandfathers, guys...  Don't pass up an opportunity to have this experience with your little girl. It's something you cannot put a price tag on and they sell out every year. Start looking for the chance to buy tickets this upcoming summer- you won't regret it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kyle & Marika at the Rancho San Rafael Ranch House with Opa Cafe, Delicious Designs, and Petal to the Metal

I love ethnic weddings. That affection may come from the Italian ones I attended as a child but I really think that it is the fact that celebrating your family background can be a profound part of the wedding experience and really make your wedding unique. Your family gets to celebrate their heritage and your guests get to experience what may be to them new traditions, music, and food. I have had the privilege of being the DJ at many different ethnic weddings over the years- this summer's batch included Guatemalan, Danish, Bosnian, Native American, German, and the one I have chosen to blog about today, Greek.

Kyle and Marika are a fun, energetic young couple that wanted to have a fun and memorable wedding and reception that both told a story of who they are and also paid tribute to Marika's Greek heritage. I met with them several times prior to the big day and their planning and excitement was infectious. I always look forward to every event I am privileged to be a part of, but it was even a little more so with them.

They chose the Ranch House at Rancho San Rafael Park for their ceremony and reception. It is a beautiful spot filled with nooks and corners inside, an intimate lawn & grove outside for ceremonies, and a central open courtyard that is perfect for tables and the reception events. I arrived early on that Sunday afternoon to find Kyle, Marika's brother Taso and many others sprucing up the Ranch House with decorations, lots of color, and photos attached to lines crossing the courtyard, which I thought unique and fun. I loved the bridesmaid dresses too: all different dresses in different shades of purple with cowboy boots. The fantastic flowers and bouquets from Petal to the Metal really tied everything together, and when Kyle wore his straw cowboy hat it put an exclamation point on their vibe and style- very country chic!

The ceremony was held on the back lawn and reflected their personalities: bright and fun. The parents and bridal party entered to a favorite of mine, Alison Kraus's cover of the Beatles "I Will", which set the tone perfectly as we all awaited Marika's walk down the aisle. She emerged to the traditional "Bridal Chorus" with her mom and dad, and the joy on Kyle's face on seeing her was noticed even by me, way in the back working on the tunes. A simple ceremony followed and then they retraced their steps, this time as husband & wife to the traditional "Wedding March."  I really loved the fact that they included their dogs in the ceremony as well.  Again, a super-fun couple!

Tradition was the word of the day as the guests entered the Ranch House finding Greek delicacies from Opa Cafe awaiting them inside. Opa Cafe did a tremendous job the entire event with both staffing and the appetizers and the buffet.  I love Greek food and found their tzatziki sauce especially addictive, but for me the star of the evening food-wise was the moussaka- so light and delicate and flavorful! Yum! Everything was delicious as well and most of the guests wandered back inside to the buffet line for seconds and thirds.

When pictures were done, I introduced everyone during the Grand Entrance. First, to the strains of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" came the parents Mike & Janet and Steve & Judy. Then came the 2 ring bearers and flower girl accompanied by Pharell's "Happy." then the extensive bridal party entered to EMF's "Unbelievable", followed at last by Stevie singing "Signed Sealed Delivered" as we welcomed Kyle and Marika to their reception. Champagne toasts were then made and we opened up the buffet line.
After dinner, a very fine Greek tradition began: Ouzo toasts. If you haven't had Ouzo, it is a clear liqueur distilled with anise seeds that give it a black licorice taste. Unlike sambuca it isn't sweet but crisp and and fragrant, and it will keep you warm around a campfire on a cold winter's night (believe me, I know). It was fun seeing dozens of shot glasses filled with the Aegean nectar and everyone partaking in the traditional "Opa" toast as they wished the bride & groom happiness. Now I never drink when I DJ.  Not only is it unprofessional to be drinking a beer as you introduce the first dance etc, it also obviously effects your performance when weaving songs together. Some do drink- maybe it works for them, but I don't as a rule.  Well rules are meant to be broken, especially when the father of the bride and the father of the groom bring me up a shot and insist that I partake with them in honor of Marika & Kyle. So I did one, and only one Ouzo shot. Hard to say no to Steve & Mike  :)

Next Marika & Kyle cut their cake and it and the accompanying cupcakes were extraordinary. Leigh Anne from Delicious Designs is my absolute favorite baker and this is why: not only were the cake and cupcakes beautiful, they tasted even better than they looked, and Leigh Anne always goes the extra mile to please. Not only were several normal flavor combinations, there were special cupcakes made for vegans and people who needed a gluten/dairy-free alternative. Here were the flavors:

Champagne cake with peach filling & vanilla buttercream icing
Champagne cake with blueberry filling & vanilla buttercream icing
Champagne cake with strawberry filling & vanilla buttercream icing
Vegan Chocolate cake with fresh strawberries & chocolate ganache
Red Velvet cake with cream cheese icing
Gluten & dairy-free Red Velvet cake with dairy-free vanilla buttercream

Wow, huh?  I never have cake/cupcakes at weddings unless it is by Delicious Designs.  I had a Champagne/strawberry one and it was fabultastic.  And if that isn't enough, she made a special surprise for Marika & Kyle- actually for their dogs: peanut butter cupcakes that were dog friendly (I did not know that some ingredients in baked goods aren't good for our canine friends). Above and beyond!
"Rock me mama like a wagon wheel"
"Rock me mama any way you feel"
"Hey mama, rock me..."
After the cake was cut and cupcakes devoured, it was time for the First Dance. Marika & Kyle chose "Wagon Wheel" but couldn't decide whether they liked the original by Old Crow Medicine Show or the later version by Darius Rucker best.  The solution?  Play both!  I started with OCMS and mixed it flawlessly to Rucker's rendition, got a few people nodding their heads, and watched as Kyle & Marika spun around the floor.  I love my job! 
Father-Daughter/Mother-Son Dance
More special dances rounded out the evening. A combined Father/Daughter-Mother/Son Dance with Bobby Helm's "Special Angel" got everyone going when Marika & Steve and Kyle & Janet invited everyone up to join them on the dance floor.  An Anniversary Dance featuring Nat King Cole's "LOVE" was a hit along with lots of other requests. It was a fun dance floor, but that fun was taken to an even higher level when Steve and Judy led everyone in some traditional Greek serto and syrtaki dances.  Very, very fun!

When it came time to toss the bouquet and garter, Marika chose "One Fine Day" by the Chiffons for her toss, and Kyle chose "Can't Touch This" by Hammer for his. We just segued into another serto or syrtaki and I am sure even more Ouzo was consumed- I have never seen so many Ouzo bottles at one time before :)

When all was said and done, I had an absolute blast. As the evening wound down and as friends and family pitched in to gather gifts, put away food, and tidy up the Ranch House I noticed Steve & Judy, Marika's folks busy doing umpteen things as I was beginning to break down my equipment.  I thought they might want a moment to themselves so I played their song "Through the Years" and they stopped their hustle and bustle for a moment and danced together like they were the only ones in the universe. A fantastic ending to a fantastic day. Again, I love my job.
Judy and Steve having a last dance :)
Thanks to Rancho San Rafael Park for allowing us use of the Ranch House. I think it is my 7th or 8th time there and every event has been memorable and fun.  Thanks to Petal to the Metal for their inspired arrangements and bouquets which really fit the couple and their vibe. Thanks to Opa Cafe for their hard work and superlative food. Thanks to the always amazing Delicious Designs for their one-of-a-kind cake and cupcakes. Most of all, thanks to Kyle and Marika.  You and your family and friends made me feel more like a guest than a hired hand and I was honored to be a small part of your special day and evening. Best of everything you two!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lisa & Jimi at Camp Galilee on the shores of Lake Tahoe with the Sierra Sisters

I love the digital age! Oh, don't get me wrong, there is nothing like the feel and sound of a 12" single spinning on a Technics 1200 turntable, but other than that, technology today wins out in every other way. My speakers are lighter yet more powerful. My MacBooks hold so much music it would take me a U-Haul truck to carry all the albums and CDs I've uploaded. But best of all, the internet allows me to connect with amazing brides & grooms whom I might have never gotten to know before the age of Google, blogging and FaceTime. One such couple is James and Lisa.

They were having their wedding up at Lake Tahoe but live down in San Diego and found me online. We chatted and exchanged emails and as I travel to SoCal quite often for family and to DJ events we arranged to meet at Gordon Biersh in Mission Valley. I was down for an annual bocce tourney I DJ so it worked out perfectly. It was a great evening- we had spent the afternoon with friends, the Aztecs were playing basketball on the monitors at GB, and Jimi and Lisa and I immediately clicked. They were very laid back and fun to be around but also had definite ideas about their day and the events and music that would help make it uniquely theirs. For the next few months we met via FaceTime, exchanged emails, and gradually firmed up the plans for their day.

Their venue was the Galilee Episcopal Camp and Retreat in Glenbrook NV. I have passed it many times coming down Hwy 50 into the Tahoe Basin but was unaware weddings were hosted there. They really don't do very many, but the location, the staff, and the delicious food really make it a unique and memorable spot for a celebration like Jimi & Lisa's.  The compound is nestled between cabins to the north and a huge lakefront mansion to the south, and it is quiet, peaceful, and overlooks a very beautiful stretch of Tahoe. There are cabins that can be rented, a quaint stone church, and several outbuildings that remind you that it is a retreat most of the year- warm and comfortable but not pretentious. The staff fits right in. They are friendly and easy to talk with- they are proud of their little piece of paradise on the shores of the Lake and are happy to share it with visitors. Stuart, the head honcho there, was constantly checking on the guests, food, and countless other details without being obtrusive. He and his staff engender a feeling of comfort and friendliness pretty unmatched in the area. A real hidden gem of a venue.
The Sierra Sisters
Lisa and Jimi had their ceremony underneath a pine grove overlooking the lake, and I was able to watch a bit of it after I finished setting up for the reception. They had an acoustic duo playing their ceremony music and when they officially became husband & wife, the duo and all the guests moved over to the reception area while the bridal party got photographed. I made some announcements here and there but basically just enjoyed the duo's music like the rest of the guests. That duo turned out to be the Sierra Sisters. One of the two musicians looked very familiar and it turned out to be my daughter's elementary school principal! I had no idea she was so talented musically! She is an outstanding educator but at all the assemblies my daughter sang in, not once did I see Dr. Moller pull out her instrument and strum along with her kids. Life is always surprising you, and in very good ways  :)

When the BP returned from pix, I played "Happy" by Pharell and introduced the bridesmaids & groomsmen. Then is was time to introduce Jimi & Lisa, and I loved the enthusiastic response from the guests and family. I played "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder and then went into their First Dance, a rendition of "All of Me" by John Legend accompanied by Lindsay Stirling. The crowd went wild and was so energetic and involved all night long. I can't recall when I have had so many great conversations with guests, and I'm just the lowly DJ! What a group! But if you meet Lisa & Jimi you'll understand why- fun & happy people come with fun & happy families & friends. I spoke with authors, musicians, and just plain interesting people. And these folks had come from all over the globe to be with Jimi & Lisa on their day. I am getting off the point, but my favorite story was from a relative who had come from Edmonton Alberta to be at the wedding. He was born in Africa, lived in England and the United States, and now resides in Canada. We got to talking about concerts we'd seen, and he had the best concert story ever:

He was bar-hopping in London in the late 60's after his soccer team had won. He and his friends were a bit rowdy and kept on getting booted from bar after bar. They went into the next one and he became entranced by the musician on stage. He was pretty drunk, yet he said the man's guitar playing instantly sobered him up and he forgot about his friends and the soccer match. He had no clue who the artist was, but as he looked at the tables near the stage he noticed they were occupied by all the Beatles (minus John), Eric Clapton, and all their wives/girlfriends- every last one of them entranced just like he was. You've probably figured out who it was- the only one who could so impress a virtuoso like Clapton: a heretofore unknown Jimi Hendrix. All my concert stories went out the window. None could ever compare to that. Just a highlight of the fantastic people and conversation that night! Have I ever said that I love my job?  I do!
First Dance!  The gentleman in the foreground is the one who saw Hendrix.
After the First Dance a fabulous meal was set out and I was impressed by its simplicity and quality. It was made in the retreat's kitchen, and it wasn't filet mignon or super fancy, but man was it delicious! My favorite was the salad with fresh berries and nuts and the fantabulous chicken- understated but outstanding. As dinner wound down the toasting began and then it was time to cut the brownie. Lisa & Jimi had a brownie bar instead of a sheet cake or cupcakes. The guests loved it! Decadent yet it fit so well with the atmosphere and vibe. After everyone indulged in chocolate awesomeness one of my favorite moments of the evening started. 

"Very superstitious..."
Matty, a friend of Jimi's had a phenomenal way to start the general dancing. I played a karaoke version of Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" and he began belting the song out like he was Stevie himself! It was infectious as everyone joined him on the dance floor and the dancing never really halted after that except for the tosses. I loved the combined Father-Daughter/Mother-Son dance they did as well. I started with Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" and then about a minute I segued into "The Twist" by Chubby Checker. So fun as it surprised dad Jim and mom Bernadette and soon everyone was twisting the night away (okay, so that is a Sam Cooke reference...). The Anniversary Dance came at the first slow break and its was so great to honor Roger and Sandy who now share their anniversary with Lisa & Jimi by playing their song, "Shining Star" by the Manhattans.
Impromptu limbo after a bit of Elvis Crespo :)
Just a terrific night of dancing and fun followed. I played everything from Van Morrison to Marley; from Outkast to Marvin Gaye; from Billy Joel to James Brown. There was limbo-ing, electric & cha cha sliding, and some very good MJ impersonators during Thriller. Just a perfect crowd.  At the end of the night we shut down the dance floor to Van Morrison's "Crazy Love." 

Last dance late that night
So honored to have been a part of an extraordinary reception with such extraordinary people. Thanks to the Sierra Sisters for great ceremony and cocktail music. Thanks to Stuart and everyone at Camp Galilee for their friendly service and stellar food. But most of all, thanks to a pair of special San Diegans who allowed me to be a small part of their evening. Jimi and Lisa, you rock! Go Aztecs!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Brad & Shannon at the Olympic Village Lodge with day of coordination by Katie Ross

I had a great time a few weeks ago being the DJ for Brad & Shannon's wedding reception up in Squaw Valley at the Olympic Valley Lodge. It was my first time at this venue, it was a beautiful Sunday evening, and the newlyweds and their family and guests were ready to celebrate!

Shannon and Brad are just an awesome couple. I had a lot of fun when we were planning their music and events. They had definite ideas of music for dinner and for dancing, thinking about not only made them want to get up and dance but also what their friends and family would enjoy during dinner and for the events.  Making sure everything ran smoothly was Katie Ross, a wedding coordinator they hired for the day, and I was very appreciative of her hard work that evening. To tell you the truth, I am not impressed by that many coordinators. Many times brides and grooms would have been better off just leaving me in charge of the flow and events. There are a few, however, that really help take the event up to the next level through their dedication and hard work behind the scenes. Katie is one of these. She was constantly in communication with me, the photographer, the caterer and the bride and groom to make sure everything went as or better than planned. Made my job much easier, and the whole event benefited from her expertise.
Best man Paul's toast (I love Brad's socks!)
Just outside the spacious ballroom is a garden where Shannon & Brad said their "I do's" and they had a strings group playing their ceremony and outdoor cocktail music. I set up inside and awaited their arrival. When the guests filed in they received a champagne-filled flute and settled in to their seats. I then started up "The Final Countdown" by Europe and began to introduce the bridal party accompanied by huge applause ending in a crescendo when the new Mr & Mrs made their official entrance. Toasts then ensued with MoH Claire, BM Paul and finally Shannon's dad Staff getting everyone to both laugh and shed a tear or two. Brad's father Jim then gave a blessing for the meal, and a delicious dinner was served and enjoyed.
Staff & his daughter :)
After dinner I started up the Irish classic "Tura Lura Lura" and Shannon danced with her father Staff. Staff then handed his daughter off to Brad, and they started a wonderfully choreographed dance to John Legend's "All of Me". At about 90 seconds into their song, I scratched the record a bit, they looked up pretending to be surprised (the guests had very puzzled looks), and we transitioned into "Build You Up" by 50 Cent. The crowd went wild and I invited them to join the newlyweds up on the dance floor. The dancing never stopped from that point onward other than for a brief moment when the cake was cut. I played almost everything- from Stevie Wonder to Dean Martin to Jay-Z to the Spice Girls ("Wannabe"- super fun!). Anytime I can mix Frankie Beverley & Maze, Earth Wind & Fire and Heavy D & the Boyz and the dance floor is jamming, I am one happy DJ!

I loved the fact that Shannon & Brad really thought about their family and crowd. First they found out many of their close friend's and relatives' first dance songs and I played them interspersed throughout the evening. The coolest one was for Peg & Staff, Shannon's parents. Apparently almost 36 years ago, Staff's dad had the wrong song played for their first dance. They danced anyway, laughed about it later, and basically chalked it up as a funny anecdote. Shannon & Brad had heard this story, found out what song they had actually wanted ("Some Enchanted Evening") and I then played it for them and told the story. Better late then never! These were the kind of details that endeared them to their family and guests and made for a very personal and unforgettable night
Peg & Staff's "Some Enchanted Evening"
They had friends and family from all over the country, especially from NYC and Boston. So they had me announce a round of Street Gangs (PBR and a shot) at the bar for the New Yorkers. As they gathered there, I played "New York Groove" by Kiss and then "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z. They had their shots and PBRs and then made their way back to the dance floor for the finale, "New York. New York" by Frank.  Not to be outdone, I then played "Sweet Caroline" for all the Bostonians. Leave it to Brad and Shannon to get these two rival cities together for a couple of songs! I saw Bostonians kicking like Rockettes and then New Yorkers singing along with Neil Diamond. So fun!
"I want to wake up in a city that doesn't sleep..."
Thanks so much to everyone at the Olympic Valley Lodge- great staff! Thanks to Katie Ross for all your coordination and communication! Thanks to all of the guests and family that made me feel like more like one of them than a hired hand. And a big thanks and congrats to Brad & Shannon- it was a special evening that I'll remember for a long time to come. So honored to have been a part of your day!
"So good! So good! So good!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

April & Brian at the Lost Marbles Ranch

This summer I have been blessed to be a part of so many super fun and memorable weddings. I get to meet some amazing couples and their friends and family and share in a day that they will remember for the rest of their lives. One of these exceptional couples are Brian & April and I was honored to have been a small part of their fabulous day this past July.

Everything about April & Brian is special. They are unique, down-to-earth, well-rounded and fun individuals that fell in love and now make that perfect couple. I felt so at ease meeting with them, discussing their day and what they envisioned and I loved all the unique and special touches they had planned for their day.
The venue was the first of these. It was my first time at the Lost Marbles Ranch, a working ranch in the valley between Loyalton and Portola which has started to allow events on their property. The day was gorgeous, and the country chic feel that April & Brian were shooting for was perfectly realized there. The ceremony was held in a garden near the pump house, with rows of hay bales covered in burlap as seating for their guests. The dining tables were set up outside the barn in a grassy spot, and the inside of the barn was decorated and became the dancehall and bar later that evening. The barn was built over 90 years ago and has a lot of character and a resident owl family. So unique!

I don't usually pay a lot of attention to the decor, but April & Brian really went all out to make the venue pop and their guests feel at home. Wildflowers were placed everywhere and fun signage really brought the experience up a notch with their guests, giving them information as well as plenty of things to do and smile about. They had fun games like word searches and I Spy, a wedding app, and mason jars for everyone. It gave the event a flow that didn't interfere with the informal fun they wanted to encourage.

Music-wise, they put a lot of thought into the playlists for the ceremony, cocktails, dinner, and the dancing. They listed what they liked to dance to, but also what their guests liked as well, and really dug deep for their family & friends special songs. They had listed songs that they knew meant a lot to a friend or an aunt & uncle- maybe their wedding song, and that unselfishness really touched many of their guests. When guests come to a wedding, they expect it to be all about the bride & groom, and much of the day was, but for Brian & April to think about their guests and to make sure their special songs were played goes above and beyond and helps make a reception be that one that everyone compares all other receptions to.
Owlet :)
The ceremony was officiated by Pastor Joel, and he knew Brian & April well and spoke of their relationship and commitment eloquently. I played "I Can't Wait" by Ben Rue when Joel and Brian entered, then a Baroque version of Canon in D for the rest of the bridal party, and when April and her dad appeared, Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" accompanied their walk down the aisle. They had this very neat cross (I should have taken a picture) which was assembled in a cross ceremony and was again, very unique and fit their aesthetic and personalities perfectly. The coolest thing about their ceremony though was a pair of songs specifically written and performed for them by a musician friend of theirs, Travis Atkinson. I played his "Grow Old With Me" during the cross ceremony and communion, while his amazing "Meant to Be" was their recessional. Fantastic, and the lyrics were written with Arpirl & Brian's story in mind. Very special!

We all moved to the inside and outside of the barn while all the VIPs posed for pictures. The baby owl was in evidence all afternoon and evening (we probably kept him up past his bedtime) but the parents didn't appear until late that night. Very neat to have a working barn with built-in rodent control. Everyone explored the barn, had a drink, and had fun with the various activities on the tables.
When it was time for the Grand Entrance, the flower girls & ring bearers entered to "Kiss the Girl" from the Little Mermaid, while parents and the older bridal party members came in to "Fallin for You" by Colbie Caillet. As a crescendo of cheers peaked, the newlyweds entered to the classic "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. What a way to start of the reception! A delicious BBQ (with an amazing sauce crafted by Brian) then followed, and as plates were slowly pushed away the toasting began. MoH KB and BM Justin gave very heartfelt toasts to lead off and soon everyone moved inside the barn and up to the bar for a special moonshine toast given by the bride & groom (accompanied by "Get Your Shine On" by FL-GA Line). Tiny mason jars, very ingeniously camouflaged were given out and some pretty raucous moonshine was imbibed and enjoyed by many. I judiciously just took a whiff from the bottle instead of a proffered shot, and it reminded me of very high octane stuff I tried in Georgia once- just a sniff probably raised up my blood alcohol level perceptively... lol!
First Dance!
Dancing started with Brian & April taking the floor to Blake Shelton's "God Gave Me You" and then Bob danced with April and Susan danced with Brian for the Father-Daughter/Mother-Son Dance, for which I played "Thanks Again" by Ricky Skaggs. Dancing then ensued in earnest, with a Money Dance and an Anniversary Dance mixed in. I loved the selections April & Brian chose- everything from Tanya Tucker to Jimmy Buffett to Sir Mix-a-Lot to OAR to Marty Robbins. So eclectic and fun! I had plenty of great requests from the guests as well- everything from disco to Bocephus to ACDC. The dance floor never emptied and only became more full as the night progressed.
A father, a daughter, a mother a son...
I have to say that the atmosphere, the people, the music... everything just fit together perfectly. It will be, for me, the reception that all barn and country weddings are now measured by. So, so happy to have been a part of your day Brian & April. All the best you two!