I had the pleasure of being a part of Zane & Rachel's big day this past December at the always amazing Grove at Southcreek. If you know The Grove, you know that even without decoration it is a spectacular venue, with the stonework, wood, and gorgeous windows- it reminds me of a lodge in the Montana Rockies, but Rachel & Zane had a vision for using and decorating the space that really took it to the next level. They had Celadon Events come in and The Grove was transformed, inserting an indoor chapel without the distraction of the dinner tables or dance floor. A giant flowing curtain partitioned the space, while another bedecked the fireplace, punctuating where everyone would stand for the ceremony. Ornate chairs and square tables finished off the unique vibe that Rachel & Zane had envisioned and it really made The Grove into their own creation for the evening.
|Here come Rachel & Bob (followed by the ever-attentive Teresa)|
As guests arrived I played seating music and then "Marry You" by Bruno Mars to let everyone know we were getting close. Rachel & Zane really chose songs that amplified the moments while keeping with their personalities. John Mayer's "XO" helped usher in Zane, the parents, and grandparents and then the bridal party began their entrance with a really great (and until then unknown to me) song by Sleeping at Last, "Dear True Love". What a fantastic song! It is already on my list of preferred songs to recommend. I love being a DJ as my knowledge of music is ever-expanding due to the phenomenal brides & grooms I am lucky to work with. Everyone rose to their feet as Rachel entered to a sweet acoustic version of "Give Me Love". I liked how the curtain really punctuated her arrival. I love the outdoor weddings at the Grove, but this setup really went above and beyond in creating an intimate indoor ceremony for those cold wintery days.
Soon the two were exiting the ceremony area as husband & wife to Hall & Oates "You Make My Dreams" and the guests began enjoying drinks and appetizers while people from Celadon quickly took down the curtain. Roberto, Marco and the rest of The Grove's impeccable staff finished the transformation of the space back to a grand dining and dancing ballroom, and Jo from Reno Photo Booth entertained the guests with her bubbly, welcoming ways as they had their pictures taken for fun and for posterity.
Shortly thereafter, I introduced the bridal party to the upbeat strains of "Eye of the Tiger" and then had the privilege of introducing Rachel & Zane to the assembled guests while the Temps crooned "My Girl". They received a tremendous welcome to their reception and immediately headed to the dance floor for their first dance, Ed Sheeran's "Kiss Me".
As soon as they were through and people had cheered and dried their eyes, fabulous Teresa, our hostess at The Grove was serving the newlyweds dinner and releasing tables for the always fantabulous buffet. I like the fact that even though many of the events at The Grove choose the buffet over a plated meal, the bride & groom are always accorded special treatment and delivered a plated meal and waited on like the royalty they are for that day. Just another small but important touch The Grove does so well in so many ways.
I also appreciate the fact that champagne and cider is always poured without any fuss or need for me to remind them to do so. You'd be surprised at the number of times I have to step in and get the bubbly started at other venues. Teresa and her staff are always one step ahead of me, not only with the champagne but also with coordinating the bridal party for the ceremony, for the Grand Entrance and countless other moments that make the whole event run that much more smoothly. I am thankful every time I have the opportunity to play there :)
|Bob & his daughter :)|
The MoH Hayley & BM Suede gave nice toasts followed by dads Lorne & Bob, and then we were watching Rachel dance with Bob to "My Little Girl" for their Father-Daughter dance. After a little kleenex and a lot of cheering, it was Zane's turn to dance with his mom Michelle to "I Hope You Dance", followed by a great Anniversary Dance- Ray LaMontagne's "Hold You In My Arms." General dancing then ensued, and the dance floor never emptied the rest of the evening, except for maybe when they did their cupcakes, accompanied by a great rendition of "Let's Stay Together" by Maroon 5. Again, another inspired song choice by the newlyweds.
|Michelle & her son :)|
Dancing included everything from Jason Aldean to Elvis; One Direction to Brad Paisley; Etta James to Los Lonely Boys (for Bob). I had a sheet full of requests and managed to play every last one. Meanwhile Jo was busy manning her booth all night long and after the cupcakes came out, so did a hot chocolate bar- a great idea for a chilly December night.
All too soon we came to the last dance, Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" and soon we were ushering Zane & Rachel off to Stevie's "For Once in my Life". Really a fantastic couple. Combine that with super fun & friendly family and friends, a bevy of the best wedding professionals, and the striking decor and ambiance, and you get a very memorable event. That's what you want when you have a wedding- one that people will remember with joy and compare other weddings to. Rachel & Zane accomplished this and more.
Thanks to Jo at Reno Photo Booth. Thanks to Celadon Events for providing the magical backdrop. Thanks to everyone at The Grove at Southcreek for exceeding everyone's expectations on so many levels, as usual :) And of course thanks to Zane & Rachel for allowing me to be a small part of your wonderful day and evening. All the best!