One of my favorite perks of being a wedding DJ is getting to explore the region. I've heard of Greene before, but never had occasion to visit until Liz and Nakul's wedding at Gabriella's Manor. Perfect day for an outdoor ceremony, followed by an indoor reception featuring some exquisite decorations. Check out the photos in this blog post!
I almost said "getting to explore Central New York" in my opening line, but Greene is in Chenango County, so it's part of the Southern Tier. Still, at just under an hour's drive from my home base near Syracuse, it's closer than some venues within CNY!
Gabriella's Manor is a wonderful "ceremony and reception together" venue. Behind the gazebo, a sweeping, green lawn gave way to trees and blue skies in the distance. There are no businesses on either side of Gabriella's, so there was no "side noise" bleeding into the ceremony. The interior of the venue is beautiful and the food was excellent. (The photographers, who know the owner/head chef, told me he takes a lot of pride in his work.) But there's a trade-off for that country peacefulness: Greene's a small town without any major lodging facilities. Having a lot of out-of-town guests, Liz and Nakul chartered a bus to shuttle guests to/from hotels near Binghamton. If you found this blog because you're considering Gabriella's, guest transportation could be an added expense worth consideration. But if most of your guests are local, you might not need to worry about it.
In order to provide sound for the ceremony, two sound systems were needed. One was located inside the ballroom near the dance floor. The other was located on the covered back deck, overlooking the meticulously-landscaped ceremony area. More photos to come later in the post, but this first one offers perspective on where the outdoor sound system was located, compared to the outdoor seating area. You can click for a larger view. The speaker is easy to see at ground level, the sound system is in the highlighted area on the deck. The right side of the photo shows the "DJ-eye view" of the ceremony site.
The speaker was placed well to the side of the seating area to minimize "photobombing" and to avoid feedback. During the ceremony, the officiant wore a wireless lapel mic, and a handheld mic was available for one of the bridesmaids. She sang a song during the ceremony, using a backing track which I edited down to the length she had requested in advance. As soon as the ceremony was over, cocktail music started on the indoor system. I also had the same music playing outside as guests went through a receiving line on the back deck, en route to the ballroom.
Key Wedding Song Selections
- Ceremony Processional: Piano Guys / A Thousand Years (Cover of Christina Perri)
- Ceremony Bridal Entrance: Piano Guys / Just the Way You Are (Cover of Bruno Mars)
- Ceremony Recessional: American Authors / Best Day of My Life
- Wedding Party Intros: Pharrell / Happy
- First Dance: Jason Mraz / I Won’t Give Up
- Bride / Father Dance: Beach Boys / Forever
- Groom / Mother Dance: Neerja / Aisa kyu maa
- Cake Cutting: DNCE / Cake by the Ocean
- Bouquet Toss: Queen / Another One Bites the Dust
- Last Dance of the Night for Everyone: Kings of Leon / Beautiful War
In addition to visiting a new venue, this wedding introduced me to some new music! Nakul is Indian and many of his relatives came out from India to celebrate. He requested some popular Bollywood songs to blend into the evening's lineup and they were a big hit with everyone. Here are some photos from the ceremony and reception -- check out that watermelon carving!
Click any photo below for a larger version.
For even more photos (and of much better quality, I might add) check out Larry Lefferts Photography. Had a great time talking with Larry and his wife, who acts as second shooter. Here's a video they assembled with some of their favorite photos. (You'll spot me near the end looking perplexed -- trying to decide how many guest requests time would permit before the last dance!)
And you can find more photos on Larry's Facebook page. Larry said he's been getting more work doing family portraits and such, so he hasn't needed to book as many weddings lately. In other words, if you like his work and you're interested for your own wedding, get in touch sooner rather than later!
Thanks again to Liz and Nakul for finding me and choosing me as your wedding DJ! A great day, an incredible wedding, awesome guests and a wonderful venue. After a couple weeks off to have my remaining wisdom teeth (finally) removed, I'm gearing up for my next wedding. Heading south again -- to Ithaca, this time -- this coming weekend. Stay tuned!