Molly and Quinn's wedding at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown was my last for the 2017 season. Like many TV shows, this "season finalé" pulled out all the stops. From a technical standpoint, it was one of my most complex weddings to date. But I love a good challenge and it all came together very nicely. Check out the photos, song selections and some surprises in this blog post!
Since it reopened following a massive renovation a little over a year ago, I've admired the history and elegance of the Marriott Syracuse Downtown -- previously known for decades (and still, informally to many) as Hotel Syracuse. They just don't build 'em like this anymore, at least not around here.
The hotel has three major ballrooms. My first wedding of 2017 was in the Persian Terrace on the lobby floor. Molly and Quinn's was in the Grand Ballroom on the 10th floor. (That leaves the Finger Lakes Ballroom as the only space where I haven't done a wedding -- yet!)
Unique Solution to a "Grand" Challenge
As the name implies, the Grand Ballroom is massive. If it's not the largest wedding reception space in the region, it's definitely near the top of the list. Molly and Quinn booked both the hotel and I before the hotel reopened last year. Soon afterward, they started hearing from people who attended some of the Grand Ballroom's first weddings. Some DJs had trouble filling the room; apparently unaware the "typical" setups used at other venues just won't cut it here.
Thanks to Molly and Quinn for arming me with this information, I had plenty of time to devise a solution. I proposed using two sound systems, linked together. This would allow me to cover the room with four speakers instead of two. My main system would feed two speakers on my side of the room. It would also feed the secondary system, which in turn would feed two more speakers on the other side of the room. To connect the systems, I bought a line amplifier, along with enough cable to run up and over the balcony. While that required a longer cable run, it eliminated the need to run and tape a cable across the floor, right in front of the ballroom entrance.
With set-up complete, it was amazing to hear all 4 speakers running exactly as expected, the first time. No troubleshooting to find a missing connection or a switch thrown the wrong way. A few minor adjustments were necessary to balance out the sound levels as things got started. Beyond that, it was smooth running for the rest of the night. More photos coming up, but first, the songs Molly and Quinn selected for the key moments of the reception!
Key Wedding Song Selections
- Wedding Party Intros: Multiple songs; one for each couple.
- Bride and Groom Entrance: Beyonce & Jay-Z / Crazy in Love.
- First Dance: Most of Adele / To Make You Feel My Love, which transitioned into Britney Spears / I Wanna Go
- Bride / Father Dance: Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris / Love and Happiness
- Groom / Mother Dance: John Denver / Perhaps Love
- Cake Cutting: Jake Owen / Anywhere With You
- Last Dance of the Night for Everyone: Michael Bublé / Home
Here are just some of the photos I snapped. Highlights include the wedding party joining in on the first dance after the "surprise" flip from a slow Adele song to a faster Britney Spears song. And, check out the wedding cake topper -- a fitting reflection to the start of Molly and Quinn's love story as students at Syracuse University. Click the blue button at the bottom of the album to see 14 more photos and like/share/tag on Facebook!
Click any photo below for a larger version.
Thanks again to Molly and Quinn for selecting me as your DJ! It was an honor and a pleasure to help you celebrate your wedding day, and to play in the Grand Ballroom. Hope to get back to this spectacular venue again soon!
Thanks also to Lindsay and Emily from the Marriott Syracuse Downtown for smooth communication leading up to the wedding, including allowing me to visit a few weeks early to test some new equipment in the ballroom. Before running a cable via the balcony, I had originally envisioned a wireless solution... but knowing there was a chance it wouldn't work, I wanted to test everything. Surprisingly, the signal was crystal clear in my headphones - no signal interference from the nearby tall buildings. But as it turned out, the transmitter caused issues for my loudspeakers, of all things. So, the balcony cable backup plan went into effect. Glad I was able to get in and test this stuff out in advance!
It was also great to work once again alongside The Rev. Anthony F. Tosti -- he officiated my own wedding nearly six years ago and was here to do the honors for Molly and Quinn. Always a pleasure to catch-up with Father Tony and his wife, Linda -- a super-nice couple. And I'm looking forward to seeing the great professional shots from Meghan and her assistant from Meghan Marks Photography. Even though she's out of Albany, Meghan says she does plenty of weddings in Central New York and the Finger Lakes.