It's like dejavu! I was once again back at Sliders Restaurant at the Grand Jordan Hotel at Sunday River to wrap up my wedding season. I did the same sort of thing to wrap up 2012. In fact, Lori and Jeff booked me back before that gig because they really wanted to get married on Columbus Day weekend at the resort.
As I gathered the paperwork together for their wedding, I could tell this would be a little different from your average event. They had such a laid back style on the phone when we went over everything that I felt incredibly relaxed heading into it, despite my concerns with some of the requests. As I told Lori, she had forced me to greatly expand my Phish, Grateful Dead and Damian Marley catalog. There was plenty of that on the list, mixed with some wedding favorites, some top 40, some old rock, and even a little early 90s rap. It was a very eclectic request list.
The drive up to the mountain saw lots of low cloud cover and misting on the windshield. I was already having my concerns about the outdoor ceremony before I even got there. We brought in all the gear, met with Betsy, the event coordinator, and talked about the plans. We set up outside and crossed our fingers that the sky would cooperate. As it turns out, it did. A little light mist here and there, but overall, a clean outdoor ceremony. On the technical side, I couldn't have been happier with how it all worked out. The music was perfect. They asked for acoustic guitar, relaxed wedding music to all the guests to get seated. The same artist performed the bridal chorus and it timed out perfectly for Lori to get down the aisle. The Rev. Coverdale got us rolling and about the only thing working against us was the cold. Working a mixing board outdoors had my fingers absolutely frozen. BUT, the mic picked up the whole ceremony nicely and the music sounded good, so everything on my end went great.
Back inside, as the guests flooded into the warmth, Becky (my lovely assistant) got the cocktail music going while I packed up the ceremony gear. Cocktail hour seemed to fly by, and next thing I knew the bridal party had joined me in the balcony to line up for introductions. A little Party Rock Anthem brought them in, and the reception was officially underway. Lori and Jeff shared their first dance together and with their friends and family joining midway through. We had a couple of nice toasts from the best man and maid of honor, then dinner.
Dinner was served to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Diana Krall and other similar artists. I fun, jazzy background for dinner. People seemed content to relax and dine and dinner seemed to go on for a bit longer than I expected, but we still had plenty of time. We cut the cake and broke out the dance music.
This crowd was a little different. I'm used to people getting up and dancing for fast songs with a beat and slow dancing occasionally to catch their breath. This night seemed to be almost more like a hang out. We were all there to relax, have some drinks (well, them, not me...) and just listen to some good music. If the song moved you to dance, so be it, but otherwise they were mostly content with just hanging out on the dance floor. The eclectic list seemed to be exactly what the crowd wanted as I found myself playing a lot of stuff that would likely not work at 95% of the weddings I've done.
It was a fun night and we even took it a little past the original end time of midnight and pushed the limit to 12:45. Becky and I packed up the car and took a very long, tiring drive home. Arriving home at 3am, I was definitely ready for bed. It was a looooong day, but a fun one. A great end to an awesome wedding season. Can't wait to do it all again next year. For now, I think the gear is ready to hibernate.
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My follow up thoughts to weddings, etc.