Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christine & Mark at David Walley's with Rachel Lomeli Photography

Christine and Mark found each other up in the heavens. That isn't so far-fetched when you learn that Christine is a flight attendant and Mark is a pilot for a parcel delivery company. Both radiate a joy for what they do, a love for one another, and an exuberance for the life and experiences that they now share together. From the moment I spoke with them and then later met with them I knew that I would be lucky to be a part of their day and evening.

Having relocated to and fallen in love with rural Nevada, they wanted a place that reflected the tranquility and sheer beauty of living right up against the majestic Sierras. There is no better place for this than David Walley's. 1862 David Walley's Resort to be more precise. This gem of a resort is one of my favorite venues. It has a phenomenal spa powered by the hot springs beneath it. It's restaurant is top-notch (my mouth still waters thinking of an elk stew I had there last winter), and it's event site and staff are the best around. Marie Stokes runs the events there and her friendliness, professionalism, and attention to detail are second to none. Her staff have been with her for years, the food they prepare is fantastic, and the atmosphere is unique and breathtaking. To have your ceremony out on the lawn with Job's Peak as your backdrop... stunning.

Christine and Mark indeed took full advantage of a sunny Fall day to say their vows with the Sierras rising up behind them. She walked in to Canon in D and when all was said and done they exited as husband & wife to Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon.
Rachel at work- obviously all these pics were taken by me- that's why I am a DJ :)
While everyone moved over to the reception site, Rachel Lomeli got some pictures of family and the bridal party, and soon we were welcoming Mark & Christine to their reception. I have to say in a area blessed with great photographers, Rachel is one of my favorites. Not just because her work is gorgeous- it is- but because she is fun to work with throughout an event whether you are a DJ or the bride & groom. Her love for what she does and her relationship with her clients really draws out the best possible pictures. You want the professionals at your wedding to be as happy and as honored to witness and be a part of your day as your guests are. Rachel and Marie fit this description perfectly.

After U2's Beautiful Day accompanied their Grand Entrance they went right into some heartfelt toasts and then onto a sumptuous dinner. Again I cannot say enough about the food at David Walley's. It doesn't taste like typical hotel/reception faire. And the way Marie and her staff stage the buffet line, it isn't long before everyone is enjoying the deliciousness. I was curious, because I know how efficient they are: how long would it take 120 guests to get through the buffet line (and it had at least 10 selections). The answer? Eleven minutes. Phenomenal. I did a wedding at a different venue not long after and I timed them. 130 people. 38 minutes. Now that is more of a normal amount of time. But this just illustrates the efficiency of Marie and her team, leaving more time for their clients and guests for events and dancing, and just to enjoy their fabulous dinners.
"Come away with me..."
Cake followed dinner, and dancing followed cake. Norah Jones' Come Away With Me was their first dance song, and the universe slowed to a stop for three minutes and eighteen seconds while they danced and sang to each other (I love what I do btw!).

Vince and his beautiful daughter
Christine's father Vince then danced with his beautiful daughter to Unchained Melody and then Gerry danced with her son Mark to Sinatra's Summer Wind. Open dancing then ensued with a great bunch of dancers all night long. They loved Motown and Mellencamp, Timberlake and Neil Diamond, Jason Aldean and Van Morrison. Such a fun crowd!

An Anniversary Dance celebrated love and marriage with Etta belting out At Last and then Christine tossed her bouquet to the strains of Ladies Night by Kool & the Gang.

Dancing then continued only ending much later with Semisonic's Closing Time with everyone joined in a circle around the newlyweds.

I can't tell you how honored and thrilled I was to have been a small part of their day. Thanks to Marie and Rachel and their teams for all their hard work and professionalism. Thanks to Christine & Mark for letting me experience their day and evening along with them. It really makes me happy to do what I do for couples such as yourselves. All the best, always!
The monogram I made for them projected on the spinning ceiling fan. Trust me, it looked way cooler than this ;)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Brent & Crystal at Redhawk with Delicious Designs and the Traveling Photo Booth

Brent and Crystal. Crystal and Brent. One of my favorite couples ever. From our first consultation I knew that I had to be a part of their day. They exude togetherness and an ease with one another that tells everyone around them that they are a couple. A relationship that is tempered and perfected with glowing affection, wonderful children, and life experiences that only come when you overcome previous difficulties and realize that all of these things have brought you to this person- the one you were meant to spend the rest of your life with. This is what you find when talking with and watching the two of them together. 

They selected the Redhawk Resort for their ceremony and reception venue. They made a great choice. Chardonnay and her crew were exceptional all afternoon and evening. She unobtrusively hovered in the background throughout the event, taking care of small issues and making sure things ran smoothly. She was great to work with from the DJ perspective as well. She brought the lights up and down various times for the optimum photo opportunities balanced with dancing atmosphere. She checked on the guests continually, and the DJ as well. I felt warmly welcomed and well taken care of, so I can imagine what the guests thought :)

It was a spectacular day for the first of April, and the ceremony was framed by the wetlands and golf course. The entire wedding party came in to "1000 Years" by Cristina Perry: five bridesmaids, five groomsmen and Cassidy, Emily, Jake & Cayden (B&C's children) followed by Crystal. I was so proud of the children especially- they took their duties very seriously and were just a fun and well-behaved quartet the entire day and evening. Blake was a bit nervous officiating the ceremony but he had some great lines and was genuine and funny. I was really impressed with Emily (or was it Cassidy?) who had a reading in the midst of the ceremony and was on point with her delivery.

When Blake had pronounced them married, they left to a George Harrison song, "What is Life" which I thought was a cool and fitting song for the moment. I love that album and now when I hear that song I'll think of them. That's the magic of a great song paired with a great moment :)

Cocktails and pictures then commenced. They had a new (to me) photo booth company, The Traveling Photo Booth up and running when the guests arrived inside. Jesse and his helper were very friendly and everyone liked the booth's features. I saw people there multiple times, which always means that it is a fun booth and vibe.

Chris Brown's "Forever" serenaded the bridal party in for the Grand Entrance and shortly thereafter a buffet dinner was served. I got several requests from Crystal and the head table for songs during dinner and everyone was just in such a happy and fun mood. Not hard to imagine though. If you are friends or family with those two, chances are you are pretty cool and fun. Redhawk put out a fine buffet with chicken and beef but what I liked the most was this huge mound of fresh vegetables that were sautéed/steamed. I'm a sucker for fresh and well prepared veggies! As I mentioned, great service from Chardonnay and her crew and before everyone had even been through the line, champagne was poured and served for the toasts.

Lonnie was my favorite person in attendance besides Crystal & Brent. He was their Best Man and he was just a great guy all during the afternoon and evening. Fine choice for Best Man! He started the speeches off and gave a great, heartfelt toast. Crystal's sister and Maid of Honor Deanna followed him with an emotional speech that epitomized sisterhood and their unbreakable bond. What was that? A bit of a tear? Maybe... Then the gentleman that introduced the couple spoke and finally Crystal and Brent. Brent had an idea to start up the "hurry up" music like at the Oscars in the midst of his speech, so I did and everyone enjoyed the moment. 

The cake cutting was next. They had placed glass jars near the entrance of the ballroom- one for Brent and one for Crystal. The guests could then vote via a dollar or two on whom would be smashed by the other. Brent won. Or lost, depending on your viewpoint lol. Crystal smashed him in the face! Not too badly, but I loved this and their other ideas throughout the evening. Fun ideas from fun people. 

The cake was delicious! Delicious Designs, that is. Actually Leigh Anne makes cakes that live up to her company's name. They taste different than other cakes. The fresh ingredients and flavors really come through. Brent and Crystal opted for a chocolate raspberry top and a champagne strawberry bottom. The latter is my favorite of Leigh Anne's but both were wonderful. The true test of a cake is when it is portioned correctly, are there lots of leftover slices? The answer was no. I saw people come back again for a taste of the other or just another piece no matter which flavor. The small box that included the leftovers at the end was the size of a pie box, and it included their cake top. Delicious is right...

When Brent had cleaned up frosting from his visage, I introduced them for their First Dance. They chose "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts, which I thought signified their lives apart and now together perfectly. They "Danced on a Cloud" which means that I put about 15 pounds of dry ice into a special Nimbus machine and out came clouds of water vapor to punctuate the dance. The kids especially loved the effect, chasing stray wisps around the edge of the dance floor. It was a magical moment and always a favorite time in a reception for me. The bride and groom have been doing so many things all day, and while they are together during the ceremony, the First Dance is a moment almost frozen in time. It allows them to almost be alone together in the midst of all of these happy onlookers. They can talk and laugh, sing to one another- just enjoy each other in a pure moment. Time seems to stand still, then before you know it, the song is over and everyone is cheering. I love weddings (if you can't tell lol)!

Last song
The rest of the evening was filled with dancing with a small break for tossing the bouquet and garter. Crystal chose "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" for her toss and Brent "I Want to Sex You Up" for his, which got lots of cheers and applause when he started singing and dancing. Super fun! I took many requests and had a happy bunch of dancers and we ended the night with another Brent & Crystal favorite, MJ's "Will You Be There".  It was a perfect ending to a fantastic afternoon and evening.

Thanks to Chardonnay & staff at Redhawk, Jesse at The Traveling Photo Booth, and Leigh Anne from Delicious Designs- you all rock!  But thanks the most to Crystal and Brent for inviting me in to their special day and amongst their fantastic friends and family. I really am honored to do what I do, especially for couples like you two. Best of everything, always!