Kelly and Alan came to find my services from Heidi-O-Photo. Heidi and I have worked together many times before and have had a lot of success as a duo at our events. We tend to have similar style and are both open to move with the ebb and flow of the traditional and non-tradional wedding itineraries. Kelly and Alan seemed to be pretty sure they wanted to hire me right from the meeting. They really seemed to like many of my suggestions and how I described the course of the evening.
Alan and Kelly had their ceremony outside on the patio at Admiral Kidd Clubhouse. It was a very warm and humid day in July. One of the more unique offerings musically, was that Kelly and Alan really enjoyed country music. So they wanted their dinner hour to have modern country, like the stuff you hear on the radio. While this doesn’t sound like it would be a challenge, it can be! For someone like me, who has only lived in Southern California in a close vicinity to the beach my entire life, it isn’t second nature to know what country music to play. The good part of this, is that after some research I was able to put together a great country playlist and the bride & groom said it fit perfectly for what they were looking for. And I must admit, I found some great new country artists and songs, and found out that even though Blake Shelton is a funny host on the X-Factor, that some of his songs aren’t half bad!
Kelly and Alan really liked my song suggestion of “Somebody Like You” from Keith Urban for their Bridal Party Introductions. It has a great introduction which can be looped as instrumental. It is a nice guitar riff, with a beat behind it. After announcing the wedding party into the reception room, I then went to a cue point on my dicers (DJ equipment) to jump to the chorus of the song as the bride & groom were entering. It turned out awesome, and the song really set the perfect country vibe they were looking for.
The First Dance: “Only You Can Love Me This Way” by Keith Urban
Father / Daughter Dance & Mother / Son Dance: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Midway through the song I invited Alan and his mother to dance floor….
Bouquet Toss: “Hit My With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benetar
And then they danced and danced! I played everything from Disco, to Country to Top 40 to get the dance floor moving. There really wasn’t a single point in the evening where there wasn’t a group on the dance floor!
The last dance was awesome! Heidi (Heidi-o-Photo) had this great idea of having the guests surround the bride & groom during the last dance. I sometimes do this with certain clients, but it’s usually something we discuss prior. In this moment, it just felt like it was the warm and loving type of crowd that would enjoy it. I suggested to Heidi that we start the song out with all of the guests, and then halfway through we can ask the guests to form a circle around the bride & the groom, that way the guests really got to feel the romance of the song, and the last dance as well. She liked the idea, so that’s what we did.
And now the circle of friends and family around Kelly and Alan. What was really great about this moment, is it was something that Heidi and I just impromptu felt was a good choice. And it brough Kelly to tears. She even talked about how much she loved this moment in our reviews! I am so glad that we were able to create this special moment for Kelly and Alan and their families. Also, they picked one of my all-time favorite country songs as their last dance song.
The Last Dance: “Forever and Ever Amen” by Randy Travis
And the Sparkler goodbye. This was a real challenge! The sparklers were being passed out as the guests left the building. But out of nowhere someone says “light ’em up!” and well, it wasn’t time yet! So we had to all rush and come together to try and get the shot. I think Heidi and myself learned a valuable lesson on this though, and that is to be very loud and overt at the door “DO NOT LIGHT THEM UNTIL THE PHOTOGRAPHER TELLS YOU!”. Not sure if that will work either, considering once someone says “light them” it’s all chaos from there 🙂
Special thanks to Heidi-o-photo for referring me the wedding, and for the beautiful photos. It was a beautiful event and I am so glad I was able to a part of it!