First off, let me say, I really love the Maple Hill Bed & Breakfast. It's not too far away (about an hour), and it's an absolutely beautiful venue. It's set on an open farm, up in the hills. You're within 5 minutes of Augusta, and yet you feel like you're way away in the countryside. The reception room is great with a grand fireplace, high vaulted ceilings and really cool lights hanging from the ceiling. The side of the room is lined from one end to the other with big, glass double doors that lead out to a lawn area. For the weddings I've been to there, they have a tent attached to the building with some of the tables and chairs for dinner set up outside. The dance floor is just inside the doors, right in front of me, and is, thankfully, quite large.
It was an outdoor ceremony and once again nature provided a perfect afternoon of weather for the couple. After the ceremony, the crowd made their way into the reception room for happy hour. People lined up at the bar for over an hour straight to get some refreshments for the celebration. We introduced the bridal party, had some awesome toasts from the best man and maid of honor, and moved into dinner. Jon and Melony had asked for some classic jazz for cocktail hour and dinner. We had a great mix of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and lots more of that upbeat big band sound from the 30s and 40s. Once everyone had been served and had a chance to eat, Jon and Melony took to the floor for their first dance. They put on a show! They danced a carefully choreographed dance to Lady Antebellum's "When You Got A Good Thing," complete with a dip and kiss to close it out. It was easily one of my favorite first dances I've seen.
Once the cake was cut, we cut loose on the dance floor. Jon and Melony had no specific requests for the dancing portion of the evening, just that people danced! I tried to feel the crowd out with some old stuff, new stuff, some classic Michael Jackson and a little mid-90s stuff to see what they liked. Turns out, they liked it all! It's so great when you have a crowd that is game for anything. If it had a beat of a lyric they could sing to, they were on the floor, hands in the air and having a great time. We partied steadily for a few hours and even took the night into extra innings by tacking on an extra half hour. As I said, I could not have asked for a better crowd. I'm just glad I didn't get into trouble with the venue when I obliged the chants of "ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!" even though we had hit our limit.
The night was just awesome. One great moment that stands out, which you can see in a picture below, was when the crowd all formed a circle around Jon and Melony during the last dance and cheered them on as they reprized some of their moves from the first dance. This whole crowd of friends and family were there to celebrate a great couple and they made sure they knew that this was their day and they were the center of attention. It was very special.