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!"|