Thursday, September 8, 2016

Kristi & Stephen at Sugar Bowl Resort

Want to hear about a perfect day and evening? That pretty much sums up Kristi & Stephen's big day up at Sugar Bowl. 

There are so many things to gush about...

First there is Stephen and Kristi. What a couple! I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed working with them both prior to and during their wedding and reception. Whether it was an email or a FaceTime session, their enthusiasm for their day and their love for one another always shone through even during the more menial details. I felt excited and honored to be a part of the planning, and then the execution of their vision. They had some fantastic ideas for special moments and songs that just helped take their evening to the next level. I truly love what I do, and to get to do it for couples like Stephen and Kristi really exemplifies that feeling.
The DJ gets his own parking spot?!? Just a first taste of how well the day went :)
Secondly, there is Sugar Bowl. I have had the privilege to work at many ski resorts in the Sierras but for some reason there is a magic about Sugar Bowl that is unique and lends itself so well to weddings and receptions. From the phenomenal staff to the fantastic food to the surroundings that steal your breath away, Sugar Bowl is in a class by itself. The resort is usually quiet in the summer and the guests feel that they have the place all to themselves. 

The ceremony site is lush with grass and flowers, framed by a babbling brook just below and with the mountain rising up a short distance further. The lodge becomes a perfect backdrop for the bride's walk to her husband-to-be as well as a convenient place to get ready and enjoy the mountain beauty. Then, when the ceremony concludes, guests can travel up the chairlift to a small mountaintop chalet where 360 degree views and fields of wildflowers and mule's ear help make a cocktail hour like no other.  
The newlyweds arrive for cocktails!
Photos at 8,000 feet!
Stephen & Kristi return for their Grand Entrance!
When it is time to head back down the chairlift, the large deck of the lodge, framed with flowering hop vines and topped with umbrellas makes for a reception site unlike any other. As day turns to night, the last glows on the mountain switch to a glorious star-scape to dance under. If there is a slight chill in the thinner air, dancing and space heaters warm you up, and since most of the guests end up staying at the lodge or nearby, no one leaves until they absolutely have to. Such was the case with Kristi & Stephan's crowd.

My view of their First Dance!
I loved the little touches the two of them came up with! Their first dance was "Georgia" by Vance Joy but they wanted the song changed a bit- a chorus removed here and the bridge extended there and I was able to tweak it to their satisfaction and they had a first dance to it that was choreographed, elegant, and truly their own.
Irish Wedding Song by special request :)
They had picked songs for their special dances with Dad etc. but also thought about their grandparents, for whom I played the "Irish Wedding Song". I loved that they danced the night away, to songs slow and fast, and songs of their era and songs of today. No wonder Kristi and Stephen are so fun- it runs in their genes :)

I played "Footloose" for Kristi and her family as it holds special meaning and fun for them and a short time later I played Bruce Springsteen's version of "Jersey Girl" as many of Kristi's friends and family are from there. Well, the dance floor was filled with Jersey girls (and guys) singing along for all six and a half minutes with the Boss. Such a fun group! They never left the dance floor. I played a wide variety of music and the intensity level just kept going up! As the evening came on and the sky darkened, I brought out some glow sticks and lights that Kristi & Stephen provided and that just sent them into another level of dancing! Again, there is something about Sugar Bowl that lends itself to fun and dancing, and this night was no exception.

I was so pleased to have been a part of such an amazing celebration in Stephen & Kristi's life together. I love what I do and for whom I do it for! Thanks to Kristi & Stephen and everyone at Sugar Bowl for all the hard work and thought that was put into this day and evening. Congrats you two!
Last song of the night... What a group!

Matthew & Corey at St. Gall Catholic Church and the Orchard House with Tamarack Junction Catering

I had the pleasure of being a part of Matthew & Corey's wedding at St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville. I helped provide music over the church PA system for seating, prelude, processionals, Unity candle lighting, communion, and of course the recessional. They picked some fabulous music including Pacabel, Bach, Schubert and exited as husband and wife to Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. I was honored to be asked to play at the ceremony. I do many ceremonies during the year, but they are typically at the reception site and this time I was able to witness their offsite wedding instead of hearing about it when people arrived at the reception site..
Wedding inside beautiful St. Gall's

Newlyweds catch their breath!

Father Paul is the Pastor at St. Gall's and a friend of the couple's so it was great to have him say the Mass and marry them. I was able to meet with him and the newlyweds-to-be prior to the big day and I sensed the familiarity between the three of them immediately. I love it when the officiant actually knows the couple. It conferred a feeling of closeness and grace to an already beautiful ceremony.

I liked the signage :)

Before the guests arrived.

Their reception was held in Genoa, Nevada at the beautiful Orchard House. I always like playing there- the owners are nice and welcoming and the gardens are spectacular. When you reserve the Orchard House, you are in fact reserving a large garden lawn with several spaces, a separate house for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready in, and a large parking lot with plenty of room.  It is a tranquil setting- the crossroads of Genoa a few hundred feet away, the Sierras precipitously rising above you, and semi-tame deer roaming the neighborhood. It is my favorite spot in the historic part of Genoa and it is a blank slate for decoration and for bringing in your choice of vendors. 
My view of the toasts.

The bridal party arrived and were introduced while Michael Franti's "Say Hey" welcomed them in.  Then it was Corey & Matthew's turn. They care in accompanied by "Paradise" by Coldplay and took some time to enjoy their beautiful surroundings and their friends and family. Dinner was served soon thereafter with Tamarack Junction providing the catering. It was delicious and the Tamarack Junction team was on the ball all afternoon and evening. Toasts followed and soon they were dancing to a specially edited version that Matthew made of "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" by Bryan Adams. 
Lee then danced with his daughter Corey and Matthew with his mom Cindy to a medley of "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder and "Somewhere Out There" by Linda Ronstadt and then general dancing ensued as night enveloped the party.

First Dance!

After a while I slowed the music down and invited all the married couples up for the Anniversary Dance, another medley they requested: "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis followed by "Unforgettable" by Nat & Natalie. The cake was then cut, with Sinatra and Buble in the background.
Love these two!

Dancing then ruled the rest of the evening with a quick break with Pitfall to toss the bouquet.  I want to thank (belatedly) Corey & Matthew for allowing me to be a part of such a fantastic day and evening as they had. I felt uplifted spiritually and know that all is right with the world when two people such as they are united amongst friends, family and faith. May the Lord bless and keep you always :)