My latest wedding took me to one of my favorite venues -- Traditions at the Links in East Syracuse -- for the second time this wedding season. It's a wonderful venue and I'm always happy to return, especially when the dance floor is consistently packed throughout the entire evening, as it was with Maura, Nicholas and their guests. Inside this blog post, check out the photos from the reception and see which songs the newlyweds selected for the key moments of their reception.
Maura and Nicholas live a few states south of New York, so we never had a chance to meet face-to-face until it was time to line everyone up for the wedding party introductions after cocktail hour.... but that wasn't a problem. Everything ran smoothly, including a fun idea called the "Shoe Game," which I've never been asked to do before, but Maura had read about it online and shared the idea with me. It was pretty easy to add it into the itinerary.
If you've never heard of it, the bride and groom sit in chairs, back-to-back, in front of all the guests. (For Maura and Nick, we scheduled the game at the very end of dinner, so everyone was seated as the dance floor hadn't opened yet.) Then, they each give each other one of their shoes, and hold the shoes (one hers, one his) in each hand. My role was to ask about 15 different questions, such as "Who said 'I Love You' first?" or "Who's a better driver?" Both newlyweds would then answer by hold up one shoe or the other. Reminiscent of TV's "The Newlywed Game," it's fun to see how many times the newlyweds come up with the same answer -- and Maura and Nick did an excellent job! Although my voice was acting up on me a bit, I enjoyed playing "game show host" for a few minutes.
For those of you planning your own weddings and seeking some inspiration, here are the songs Maura and Nick chose for some of the key points of their reception:
- Wedding Party Intros: Alan Parsons Project / Sirius (custom-edited to seamlessly keep playing, as the original is too short for intros).
- Bride and Groom Entrance: Quad City DJs / Space Jam theme
- First Dance: James Blunt / Bonfire Heart
- Bride / Father Dance: Paul Simon / Father and Daughter
- Groom / Mother Dance: Carole King / Child of Mine
- Cake Cutting: Foundations / Build Me Up Buttercup
- Bouquet Toss: Beyonce / Single Ladies
- Garter Toss: Jimi Hendrix / Foxey Lady
- Winners' Dance: DJ Khaled / All I Do is Win
- Last Dance of the Night for Everyone: Beyonce / XO
And now, here are some of the photos I snapped throughout the night. Near the top of the gallery, check out the clever idea for table numbers: on the front, each one had a map of a specific place and the table number, and on the back, an explanation of why that particular location is important to Maura and Nick. In the example pictured below, it's a map showing Washington, DC on the front, and the reverse side explains that's where the bride and groom met on St. Patrick's Day in 2012.
Click on any photo below for a larger version.
Want to see more photos from the wedding day, including several more shots of guests rocking out on the dance floor? Check out CNYsmile for excellent work by official wedding photographer Bob Bills!
The night was a smashing success... the dance floor was packed straight through, with not even one song causing a lull in the action at any point in the evening. Maura and Nick agreed -- here's the 5-star review Maura posted on WeddingWire:
Peter provided a professional, prepared, and outstanding service for our wedding. He was on time, dressed professionally in a tuxedo, and took care of everything he was responsible for without a single prompt. Efficient in his setup, organized in his entertainment, and great at prompting and asking the bride and groom what they would like to do next. He accomodated us when we decided to play the "shoe game" during the reception. His hard work and great preparation resulted in a fantastic reception. In addition to being a DJ, Peter also took some pictures that he posted quickly to Facebook for us.
Thank you very much, Maura! And kudos to you and Nick -- your pre-request list was filled with songs you knew your guests would enjoy, and the guests provided some excellent additions of their own (some of which I was already planning to play, but also some good ones that made for excellent additions to the lineup).
Even though we didn't have a chance to meet in-person prior to their reception, it was apparent when I did meet them, that Maura and Nick make an excellent couple... surrounded by awesome families and friends. Thanks, Maura and Nick, for choosing me as your DJ! It was an honor, and I wish you all the best together!