One of the many nice things about living in Syracuse is that it's a substantial city, but you don't have to go too far to "get away" from the hustle and bustle. Highland Forest is a great example: it's just a little over 30 minutes from downtown, but despite the commanding, spectacular views, you won't see even the slightest trace of Syracuse from the Skyline Lodge. It was this beautiful view that served as the backdrop for Amy and Joel's wedding.
From my standpoint as a DJ, this is an optimal venue for the "outdoor ceremony / indoor reception" combo because the outdoor deck is immediately behind the building. This type of layout allows me to set-up most of the equipment indoors, except for one speaker outdoors for the ceremony. The officiant wore a wireless lapel mic, which also picked up the bride and groom. Not only did this make it easier for guests to hear the ceremony -- it also allowed me to hear what was going on from indoors, so I could play music at the proper times.
For the toasts, the best man and maid of honor used my wireless handheld mic. If you compare the toast photos below, with some of the wider shots that show the entire room, you'll get an idea of the range for these wireless mics. I like to put that wireless mic right near the bride and groom so the photographer can get any combination of shots including the toaster and/or the newlyweds.
Once the dance floor opened up, we had a blast! Played everything from oldies and country to 90s hip-hop and today's biggest hits. To save a little extra time for open dancing, Amy and Joel combined their "parent dances" together, so Amy danced with her father at the same time Joel danced with his mother.
Here are all the key songs Amy and Joel selected for their big day:
- Ceremony Processional: Canon in D
- Ceremony Bridal Entrance: Norah Jones / Come Rain or Come Shine
- Ceremony Recessional: James Taylor / How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
- Wedding Party Intros: Pharrell Williams / Happy
- First Dance: Averett Brothers / Swept Away (Sentimental Version)
- Bride / Father and Groom / Mother Dance (combined): Rascal Flatts / My Wish
- Married Couples' Dance ("Longest marriage" contest): Jack Johnson / Better Together
- Cake Cutting: Beatles / When I'm Sixty-Four
- Last Dance of the Night: Ray LaMontagne / You Are the Best Thing
Here are some photos from the night!
Here's the review Amy posted on WeddingWire afterward:
Peter was wonderful to work with - very quick getting back to us with any questions, very flexible and open to our ideas, and friendly and professional in all of our interactions. Planning was particularly impressive, his materials that helped prepped us for the wedding and his responsibly helped to shape how our reception went. I felt very at ease with the reception because Peter had such a thorough understanding of how the night would go. It was a wonderful experience working with him and I would highly recommend him to anyone!
Thanks again for selecting me as your DJ! Had a great time, and I look forward to returning to this wonderful venue for another wedding!