Mountains, Music, and Memories

It has been 4 days since Janet and Jim’s wedding.  I am now just gathering all of my thoughts of this wonderful wedding.

I am always a little nervous about weddings at The Biltmore in Ashville, NC.  The expectations are so high on every level.  To the bride that dares to have her wedding at The Biltmore, I salute you.  Janet took on the challange, and hit a homerun of epic proportions.  Her choice in everything I saw was perfect.  The decor, the colors, the room, the menu, the schedule, EVERYTHING!  Like I said, having a wedding at The Biltmore can be a challenge, everything must be perfect.  Janet accomplished this.

Janet had her ceremony on the grounds of The Biltmore with the reception immediately afterwards.  She had a string ensemble to perform for both the ceremony, and a cocktail reception on the patio.  After the cocktail reception, it was time for dinner and the celebration.

Janet wanted personalized introductions for each member of the bridal party.  She had a different song in mind for each person, and a little one or two line that fit the personality of each person.  I told Janet she is now in charge of writing scripts for me, for each one was perfect.  The bridal party loved it, and really “worked the crowd” upon their entrances.  I will admit, I do not think I did as well as I normally do for introductions, for I was just as entertained watching them enter, it caught me completely off guard!

Janet and Jim had their first dance to “Love You ’til the End” by The Pogues.  After the dances, we had a couple of heart felt toasts, and right into dinner.

After dinner, the celebration started.  And a celebration it was.  You may know, from my prior posts, Sunday receptions have some unique challenges.  They almost always end very early, and most people are ready to leave after saying their well wishes to the couple.  Not this time.  We danced, and danced, and then danced more.  The Biltmore had to kick us out.  That may be a first for me on a Sunday reception!

Janet made lovely leaves as gifts to all of her guests and was kind enough to let me have one.  She made it so it can be used as a Christmas ornament, which I will do this year, however, I do not want to pack it up for almost a year, so I am going to find a place to display it year-round as well.

After the reception, I began my journey home.  I did not make it, and had to find a hotel on the way home.  That is the first time that has happened in a long time, the reception truly wore me out.

We had such a great time, I hope I get to be a part of many more celebrations with this group of people.

Thanks again.

I will soon post links to Janet’s photographer and videographer, please check back soon!

Please go to my website to find out if your date is still available www.ESDJ.com

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The View is Worth It

Sunday weddings are always special. There is just something about them that makes them seem a little more intimate. Elizabeth was married this past Sunday at Grandview Atop Lookout Mountain (link below). She had both her ceremony and reception at The Grandview. The wedding was picteresque, as all wedding there are. (we did not provide sound for the ceremony)

After the ceremony, the guests made their way over to the patio area that has a view that one could just stare at for hours. The air had a chill, it was about 58-62 degrees during the reception, with a slight breeze, and we were already in the shadows. That was of no concern. Everyone was there to celebrate this marriage.

The play list provided by Elizabeth contained only slow songs, so this was not meant to be a big party, but rather a time for family and friends to catch up with each other, and to meet new friends and family. There were several people who wanted to do some swing dancing. I played a couple of swing songs, and there was some serious swing dancing going on! They even got Elizabeth into the action a bit!

The photographer was the same photographer that photographed my wedding more years ago than I care to admit. If you do not have a photographer yet, please check out his site, I think you will like what you see.

Greg Beasley Photography

The wedding, and reception were held at Grandview Atop Lookout Mountain. If you enjoy wonderful views, please check them out.

Grandview

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120+ Years in the Making

This weekend was one I had been looking forward to for quite some time. Since about March 4, 2008 to be exact. Amber hired Cheryl from Blissful Moments weddings (link below) as her coordinator. Cheryl and I had worked together before and she thought I would be a good match for Amber.

I will disclose something here I never even told Amber, after our first meeting, I figured we did not mesh well together. I was a little (a lot) disappointed. After hearing some of her ideas about her reception, knowing the location, and the time of year it was going to be held, I just knew I wanted to be a part of this fantasitic reception. Amber, I think, has a double life as a professional poker player, for she gave absolutely no indication during our meeting that she was interested in hiring Entertainment Solutions.

A couple of weeks later, I received the good news, Amber had decided to hire us for her reception.

Now, on with the fun part, the reception!

The reception was held at an old barn at The Fillauer House in Cleveland, TN. This barn was originally built around 1880. Honestly, it does not look much has been done since! It is very rustic, and creates a wonderful atmosphere. Because of the size of Amber’s guest list, there was a tent erected on the end of the barn. We set up speakers outside of the barn so the guests in the tent could hear everything happening inside the barn. We also provided all of the lighting for the tent, when available, I will post some pictures. Amber set up some fire pits that provided both warmth, and a place to roast s’mores!

Amber gave every guest some postcards to fill out and mail back to her over the next year, she also had guests write well wishes on some cloth squares, that she is going to make into a quilt, very exciting.

We did an anniversery dance, where every married couple started dancing on the dance floor. As I changed to ever older songs, couples would leave the floor as directed until the final couple was the couple that was married the longest. To her, Amber gave the bouquet.

We had lots of dancing, we had lots of fun. Amber’s dog, Annabelle, was even there! Amber and James left the reception on a four wheeler. When they left, there were still some guests that wanted to party just a bit longer, how could I say no? We played music for about another 30 minutes while everyone else was packing up.

I had a wonderful time, Amber and James look great together.

Please go to my website to find out if your date is still available www.ESDJ.com

Blissful Moments Wedding and Event Planning

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Polka Anyone?

Polka anyone? I pride myself on having most any request made by guests of your event. Well, I must admit, I was a little nervous Saturday night when I got a request. A guest requested some polka. Not very hard, I have a couple polka songs. But then requested a specific polka song. Well, as I searched for the song, to my surprise, I had it! Now, the big question, should I play it? I checked the do not play list, polka was not mentioned, everyone was having a great time, so I thought I would try it. The crowd loved it!

Everyone was there for one reason, well maybe two. To celebrate the joining of these two (actually three, I cannot forget about little Jacob), and to have a great time. A great time was had by all. The venue made me turn the system off before anyone was ready to leave. I was completely loaded and out the door and many guests were still hanging around catching up on old times and meeting new family/friends.

It was a memorable night for everyone.

Please go to my website to find out if your date is still available www.ESDJ.com

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800 miles to get there, 7 hours of fellowship!

Get out your atlas, or Mapquest. Look for Young Harris, GA. As you can see it is basically nowhere. So why would a couple from Florida make their friends and family travel all the way there to get married? That was my first question too!

I met Jennifer and her mother at the Brasstown Valley Resort last spring to discuss her reception. At that time I thought the venue was certainly nice, but worth such a long trip? I must admit, I had my doubts.

I arrived about 3 hours before the start of the ceremony (we were providing the music for the ceremony as well as the reception). I started setting up the ceremony system in the most picturesque garden at the foothills of the Georgia mountains. Behind me was a gentle waterfall going to a small pond which then led to a small creek. In front of me was a wonderful view and the clearest, bluest sky I have seen in quite sometime. It was then I realized, this may be the perfect place for a wedding.

A funny side note. I made Jennifer quite nervous. I checked in with, who I thought, was the wedding point person for the resort, at least he said he was. Unbeknownst to me, there was another wedding there that day. When Jennifer asked if the DJ had arrived yet, about an hour before the start of the ceremony, she was told “no.” Obviously nervous, a manhunt was on for me! By the time they found me, I was about to change into my tuxedo, having set up everything already.

The ceremony was beautiful. We had a small issue with the microphone for the officiant, but as small and intimate as everything was, it worked out well.

During the reception Jennifer’s sister gave the most heartfelt toast I can remember in a long time. Afterwards, it was time to start the party. And a party it was! We played everything from today’s current hits, to funk and rap from the 80’s. I was sad to hear the venue would not allow us to play longer. Grandparents were dancing much later than I thought possible, the flower girl, all of about 4 years old, danced until past MY bedtime!

As usual everyone thanked me for a great time, but the truth is, I had just as much fun as everyone else. I am truly blessed to be able to share these wonderful moments with such wonderful people.

After I was packed and ready to start my three hour drive home, I thought to myself, there is not another place on earth where this wedding would have been any more fun.

Thanks Jennifer!

Please go to my website to find out if your date is still available www.ESDJ.com

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Daytime Reception

I am the first to admit, I usually do not like receptions that are in the afternoon. I mean no offense to anyone, everyone has different tastes, and necessity sometimes requires such. Just because I do not prefer them, does not mean they cannot be fun. Emily and Greg proved that to me!

This reception had a little something for everyone. First, the music selection. I do not recall a wedding in a long time where I had to buy so much music, except for maybe the French/Korean wedding from a couple months ago! Emily and Greg have such a unique taste for music, their friends knew this and were expecting something different than any other reception. Greg seemed a little nervous the first time he called me. His plan was to create play lists on his iPod and just allow me to hook it up to my system. I assured him that would not be a good idea. After a couple of conversations, I think I finally convinced him I know a thing or two about music!

When working with Entertainment Solutions, you can be as detailed, or “hands off” as you feel comfortable. Greg was the former. At our final meeting Greg and Emily brought me two play lists. One for dinner, and one for dancing. The play list for dinner contained about 20 songs. I owned about 3. I bought the rest, and loved almost all of them.

The reception was at The Walden Club in Chattanooga. I love working at The Walden Club, for both the view, and the helpful staff. This reception was no exception. After dinner it was time to start the celebration.

Here is where many daytime receptions start to fade away fast. Not this one. We had a blast! Greg and Emily make such a wonderful couple. The songs they choose fit both of their personalities, and worked well with atmosphere they wanted to create. At the end of the reception, which came waaaay too soon, I could not believe how many people were still there to celebrate the marriage. Greg and Emily are blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. I am glad they allowed me to share in this day with them.

Please go to my website to find out if your date is still available www.ESDJ.com

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Worlds Apart – Back Together

What I am about to tell you may not be completely true. I will do my best to explain the exact situation, but I have taken some liberties and made some assumptions.

Jen & Simon are both homeless, sort of. Simon is from the UK, Jen is from this area, Chattanooga. Jen lives in New Zealand. Both of their Visa’s prohibit either from living in the other’s country until they get married. Simon, living in the UK, is helping Jen, living in New Zealand, plan a wedding in Chattanooga, TN! Think about that!

Now, on to the part I know is 100% true. The wedding and reception. Both were held at The Fairyland Club on Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga. We did not provide the sound for the ceremony.

The reception, well wait, I need to back up for a moment. Jen sent me an email about a month before the wedding asking what I wanted to eat at the reception and if I had any dietary restrictions. Normally, it is my policy to not eat at the reception. I certainly do not think you should both pay me, and then buy my dinner. However, I also do not argue the point too much. I love sharing dinner with new friends. Back to the menu. When I first saw it, I thought there are some restaurants that do not have this wide of a selection! Usually it is “Chicken or Beef.” I had no idea for what I was about to experience.

Jen & Simon, in wanting to share with their family and friends the wide array of cuisine they have been eating over the past couple years while traveling the globe, had a dinner in the style of tapas. Basically a plate that might be a small meal that two or three can share, is brought to the table of 8-10 for everyone to share. Everyone eats small portions of many courses. In this Tapas, each course was a different region of the world. There was southern American, there was Thai, and of course, beef wellington, among three others. By the end of this meal, guests were as full as any would have been from a 5 course dinner.

One story you must know about this reception. The Best Man’s toast. Simon’s brother obviously spent many hours, days, or even weeks preparing this “toast.” I put toast in quotes, because it was more of a production. It was, and I do not think I am stretching this too much, was about 20 minutes long. It felt like it was about two minutes. It was so entertaining. Everyone laughed, cried, hugged, and even got their own picture of Simon as a baby. My description cannot do the toast justice, so I will cease in my attempt to do so.

Once the dinner and the toasts were complete, it was time to dance. Jen and Simon started it off with their first dance. Simon stared into Jen’s eyes like he had discovered the meaning of life. If I was in charge of Hallmark cards, the picture of the two of them dancing would be on the front of many a love card.

We had a wonderful evening of dancing. Simon’s niece (about 3 yrs old), who was still on UK time mind you, ran around and hugged everyone and certainly stole the show away from me.

As usual, the end came too soon for me. For our final dance everyone came to share the special moment. Amazing, people traveled across an ocean and still, the celebration of two people trumped all issues of being tired, worried about life, etc. We all just admired these two people. Admired how even being oceans apart, fate has a way of bringing the right two people together.

Best of luck to both of you, now, go get your Green Cards!

Please go to my website to find out if your date is still available www.ESDJ.com

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