Had a blast doing Natalie and Matthew's wedding reception at the Genesee Grande Ballroom inside the Collegian Hotel and Suites in Syracuse! Not only is this a great venue, but the crowd was awesome... and I was able to debut some new equipment to enhance my dance floor set-up. Check out the photos, song requests and more in this blog post!
As has been the case for some of my previous weddings at the Collegian Hotel and Suites' Genesee Grande Ballroom, two sound systems were in use: one to cover the cocktail hour, and one for the rest of the evening. Cocktail hour is usually held in the lounge outside of the hotel's 1060 bar. The area is closed-off exclusively for wedding guests; any "general public" customers for the 1060 are directed to an alternate entrance. You can see in the photo at right, the compact set-up used for the cocktail hour. It uses minimal floor space, and one speaker was sufficient to provide background music as guests mingled.
I didn't mention it to anyone, but I had ordered a "facade" to place in front of my primary set-up. I've been considering one of these for awhile. It was due to arrive later in the day on Saturday, but thankfully, it arrived early enough for me to bring it along! On the "ballroom" side of the photo at right, you can see how nicely it "hides" all the stuff on the table, so instead of seeing individual equipment racks and cases (like in the cocktail hour setup), it's just a couple of sleek, flat, black panels. (There's a closer-up shot in the photo gallery further down this page.)
One of the highlights of this wedding: Natalie and Matthew requested to play "The Shoe Game" near the end of dinner. It's not requested often, but I enjoy playing the role of "game show host" when it happens! The newlyweds sit back to back on the dance floor and take off their shoes. They keep one, and exchange the other with their new spouse. Then, I ask a series of questions -- where the answer would be one spouse or the other. Both spouses answer at the same time, by holding up the shoe that corresponds with their answer.
We start out with some easier, factual questions ("Which one of you is older?") to get warmed-up and then work into the "opinion" questions that usually get the audience laughing (ie. "Which one of you is more likely to wake up grumpy?"). Want to see how well Natalie and Matthew matched on their questions? There's video of the game further in this post, so keep reading!
Natalie and Matthew's Key Song Selections
- Wedding party intros: Queen / You're My Best Friend (see video below)
- First Dance: Sam Cooke / Nothing Can Change This Love
- Father / Bride Dance: Patrick Doyle / Potter Waltz (from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
- Groom / Mother Dance: Carole King / Child of Mine
- Cake Cutting: Nat King Cole / L-O-V-E
- Bouquet Toss: Beyonce / Single Ladies
- Last Dance of the Night - Everyone: Drifters / Save the Last Dance for Me
- Last Dance of the Night - Newlyweds: Daniela Andrade / La Vie en Rose
Photo Album Highlights
What a great crowd! Lots of photos to share, including a side-by-side of the cocktail hour setup, compared to the full ballroom setup. You'll also see, near the end of the album, the beautiful cake, and a neat feature: a table showcasing various framed photos of Natalie and Matt throughout their respective childhoods. As usual, these are just some of the photos I took... scroll down to the blue button to see more on Facebook, and scroll down even farther for video!
Click any photo to see larger version
Bonus Content: Videos!
While I'm usually too busy with everything else to do video at every wedding, "The Shoe Game" is usually requested only once a year, if that... so I wanted to grab video of this one, as well as the wedding party intros.
Wedding Party Intros - Natalie and Matt requested just one song for their wedding party intros -- "You're My Best Friend" by Queen -- but I did quite a bit of editing beforehand. You'll see a brief explanation in the subtitles as the video rolls on, but if you're interested in more clarification, check out this clip among the samples on my main Wedding DJ page.
Shoe Game - To provide guests some entertainment as they wrapped up dinner, they requested "The Shoe Game," a fun game where we all get to see just how well the newlyweds know each other. Since this always makes me feel like a bit of a game show host, I added in a little game show music. Enjoy!
All in all, a wonderful time with Natalie and Matthew and their families! And since they live out of town, it all came together through email, my online planning form, and a couple of Skype video calls -- we never met face-to-face until the newlyweds arrived near the end of the cocktail hour. Gotta love technology! Thanks again to Natalie and Matt for choosing me as your wedding DJ... I had a great time helping you celebrate, and I wish you nothing but the best together!