Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Elisa & Tommy at Rancharrah with Ken Lewis Photography, Dish Catering, Reverend Mark Frady, and The Socks

I had the most fantastic wedding and reception to start off my 2014 season a few weeks back and it can be attributed to the amazing bride and groom, their friends & family, the outstanding vendors who worked tirelessly, and to the beautiful grounds of their special venue, Rancharrah.
Ceremony- DJ's view :)
First off, Tommy and Elisa are one special couple. They were such a pleasure to meet and chat with and they had a vision of their day that really reflected their likes and points of view while taking great care of their guests from the moment they arrived. They gave me an extensive music list but also encouraged requests throughout the evening. We met several times prior to the big day to perfect a special mix of three songs that they learned a dance to for their first dance. They were very involved in planning and it showed- from the cocktail tables with custom "Mad Libs" to fill out, to the lawn games for their guests while they were off taking pictures, to the acknowledgment of guest's anniversaries and birthdays, to a completely green candy table that matched their colors, no detail was overlooked and it gave their day such an intimate and personalized vibe.
Onlooker- don't think he was on the guest list...
Secondly the setting they chose was spectacular- the Rose Garden at Rancharrah. Their ceremony site, flanked by trees and backing up to a pasture with horses seemed to make the most of the gorgeous day. I am continually impressed by the professionalism, friendliness, and the willingness to go above and beyond that Brandi, Rosie, and their crew at Rancharrah exhibited before during and after the event. Their dedication is certainly worthy of the surroundings- both are exceptional.
The Socks!
Third, they hired some of the best wedding vendors in Reno to make their dream become a reality. To start it off, they had a great band, The Socks to play for seating, ceremony, and cocktails. I was very impressed with their talent and musical range and they seemed to set a perfect tone for the nuptials and cocktail hour. Next they had one of the best officiants there is do their ceremony: Mark Frady. I love the way he puts his couples at ease- the way he styles their ceremony around them, and the obvious delight he has being a part of their most important day. He is always a pleasure to work with, and I was astonished at the time and effort he put in to a surprise for the B&G: framing their marriage certificate and printing a booklet with their names and personalized vows that he gives to them and their immediate family members. Such a class act! 
Ken Lewis even framed me!
Catching all of these special moments was Ken Lewis of Ken Lewis Studio, another inspired choice for a wedding professional. Ken has great photographic talent but the thing I admire most about him is that he is everywhere during the day and evening, capturing shots that many other  photographers might miss. He really documents the entire event and his subjects are so comfortable with him that they lower their guard and he captures their true personalities. One more thing Ken did- he had an assortment of various frames at one end of the Rose Garden where guests could come to and pose for a picture. Their personalities really came out holding a frame and acting happy or silly- kind of a classy, different Photo Booth concept. Very cool!
Best Man Michael's toast
Finally, Tommy & Elisa chose Dish Cafe as their caterer and as usual their food was extraordinary. They had these cold soup shooters and fresh bruschetta for appetizers that really were a hit. When the dinner buffet was set up, I saw many head back to the line for seconds and thirds. It is nice to know that even with the success they have had with "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives", their quality has remained at such a superlative level. Yum!
First dance! My iPhone does not do them justice...
When the reception got underway, the BP entered to "Could You Be Loved" by Bob Marley and the newlyweds entered to Michael Franti's "Hey Hey Hey". Following the Dish Cafe's delicious dinner, some great toasts were given. I liked the fact that every toaster had a unique way of presenting their toast whether it was sentimental, funny, anecdotal or just full of love for the B&G. It really set the stage for a video presentation projected up on the tent wall. Again Elisa & Tommy personalizing their day. Dancing then began with the mix we perfected- three songs by Elvis, When in Rome, and the Mowgli's that they danced a beautifully choreographed routine to. Such a great moment and all the guests were on their feet clapping and cheering by the end. Magical.
Anniversary Dance
Elisa then danced with her dad Mike to "Over the Rainbow" by Iz, graciously allowing me to invite all the dads & daughters up midway through so they could have a special moment as well. Tommy and his mom Heidi then danced to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong and again welcomed the other moms and sons up to dance halfway through. I love when couples do this! It really touches their guests and makes an already memorable event even that much more so. The dance floor then never really emptied as the night progressed. With Tommy & Elisa's song list and requests from the crowd it was a DJ's dream. When Fun's "We Are Young" finally closed out the evening that had already gone into extra hours, every voice sang as loud as they could and happily wished the newlyweds well. What a way to kick off the 2014 wedding season!
Last song- everybody singing "We can go high-er than the sun!"
Thanks to Brandi & Rosie and everyone at Rancharrah. Thanks to Ken Lewis for his pictures and his enthusiasm. Thanks to Mark Frady for an inspiring yet down to earth ceremony. Thanks to the crew from Dish Cafe for their delicious food and to The Socks for their great music. Finally, and most importantly, thanks to Elisa & Tommy for allowing me to be a small part of their incredible day and evening. You guys rock! Many, many years of happiness and love!
Elisa & Tommy!