If you have ever come up to me at a wedding, you've undoubtedly seen my "cheat sheet" I create for myself before every event with the timeline for the day spelled out with music cues and announcements. It's something I put together myself, usually. In this case, I feel like half of my job was done for me! Jon emailed me a few weeks before the wedding with the most detailed rundown of a wedding day I think I've ever seen. When I met up with him and Melony for a final consult before the event, we were able to literally just go through the email and double check everything. It was fantastic! I've come to find that the better the prep work before a wedding, the easier and more successful the wedding tends to be. Go figure!
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.
When a friend asks you to DJ their wedding, it's an honor. When an old friend you grew up with and spent so much time with in years past asks you, it's an even bigger honor.
I grew up with Lindz and her family. Her brother Greg and I were practically inseparable through high school and I was constantly hanging out at his house. In turn, I spent a lot of time with Lindz and their mom, Jane. Lindz contacted me through Facebook and asked me about DJing their wedding, telling me that they weren't looking for any sort of traditional reception with all the fanfare and special dances. They wanted a party. They wanted to have friends and family come to their home, hang out, have some drinks and have a kicking soundtrack in the background. I was happy to oblige!
It was a perfect day for an outdoor event. Not too hot (mid 70s), no humidity, lots of sun and a cool breeze. They had a Hawaiian theme to decorate the backyard and people dressed for the occasion. Including myself! The beer flowed for the adults while the kids had a great time playing in the yard, limbo-ing to some classic Chuck Berry and knocking the crap out of a pinata to "I Want Candy."
The music for the night was a great mix of classic rock, some folky stuff, some beach music and even a little early 90s hip-hop mixed in. Lindz had one request: no top-40. She allowed the rule to bend a couple of times for the kids who had a hankering for Beyonce and Psi.
All in all, it was a great day. Everyone had a great time relaxing and celebrating with Lindz and Colin. It wasn't the kind of party that people danced at, necessarily, but people were still constantly saying how great it was to have the music playing all afternoon. As I said, it was an honor being asked to play for an old friend and I was very happy I could be there to help them celebrate. A few pics below. For me in a Hawaiian shirt, you may have to visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hicksproductions.