My goal is to be completely caught-up on my 2014 event blogging by Christmas... still not sure if I'll make it, but I'm getting really close! Maria and Ben hail from the Utica area, but selected the beautiful Bellevue Country Club in Syracuse as the site for their wedding reception. Although a planned outdoor cocktail hour had to be held indoors due to the weather, most guests probably didn't even realize there was a change. As expected of any professional venue, the Bellevue had a solid backup plan in place (of which I was also aware) and the entire evening went off without a hitch!
Regarding the main ballroom, I'll concur with Bellevue's own description: "A hardwood dance floor welcomes. Warm, rich, music-friendly acoustics inspire musicians and dancing couples alike. And soaring oaken ceiling trusses would seem at home in an English manor house."
Speaking of dancing couples and acoustics, let's review the key songs for the evening.
- Wedding Party Intros: Capital Cities / Safe and Sound
- Bride and Groom Entrance: American Authors / Best Day of My Life
- First Dance: Goo Goo Dolls / Come to Me
- Cake Cutting: Adam Sandler / Grow Old With You; and Matchbox Twenty / Overjoyed
- Bride / Father Dance: Chuck Wicks / Stealing Cinderella
- Groom / Mother Dance: Elvis Presley / Memories
- Bouquet Toss: Martina McBride / This One’s For The Girls
- Last Dance of the Night for Everyone: Eric Clapton / Wonderful Tonight
- Last Dance of the Night for Bride and Groom: Goo Goo Dolls / Iris
I often tell couples, "there's no such thing as a 'cookie cutter' wedding," meaning you can arrange things any way you want -- there's no required order. Maria and Ben changed things up a bit from "the usual" by using the cake cutting to end the dinner hour. Immediately after, the bride and groom each danced with their parents, followed by the bouquet toss.
Most weddings have the "parent dances" earlier (before dinner or right after), then scatter the other special events throughout the remainder of the night. However, for those of you reading this blog as you plan your own wedding, there are some notable benefits to getting everything "out of the way" immediately after dinner:
- Once the dance floor opens, it can remain open non-stop for the remainder of the reception. No worries about "killing the momentum" of a busy dance floor when it's time to cut cake.
- Guests are usually still at their dinner tables, so they'll see everything. By contrast, events scattered later into the evening are often seen by only a portion of your guests because there will almost always be a handful of people occupied elsewhere -- the bar, the restroom, or outside -- at any given moment later in the reception.
- If your photographer has a cut-off time, doing everything right up-front ensures they'll be able to cover everything. Many photographers now include the entire duration of the reception, but some still charge by the hour or provide a set number of hours of coverage.
Even the bouquet toss was different: rather than just the "single" ladies, Maria invited all women in attendance to take part, because she had a special "breakaway" bouquet which split into 5 smaller bouquets so more guests could go home saying they caught the bouquet.
For this wedding, I was able to borrow my wife's camera (no phone shots, yay!) because -- if you've been reading my blog, you guessed it -- I still have no idea what happened to my own camera. As always, these shots are also on my Facebook page, so click the blue buttons above or below the gallery to see them there, where you can tag yourself and/or friends, and share! Or, if you just want to browse, click any photo in the gallery below for a larger version.
Afterwards, Maria posted an awesome 5-star review on WeddingWire! Here's what she had to say:
We would highly recommend Peter. He kept everyone dancing all night and did a great job announcing as well as keeping us on schedule. We left the dinner music up to him and we loved what he picked - it was a huge hit with our guests as well. We were happy with his work and the value of his services.
Thanks again to Maria and Ben for selecting me as your DJ! I had a wonderful time and I'm glad you did as well. All my best to you both for the coming new year!