An Old Hickory Farm Wedding for Samantha & Joe

I had been anticipating Samantha and Joe's wedding for quite some time. This sweet couple were won the contest a complimentary wedding at the farm! I donated my services for a member of the armed forces or first responder, so I got to help them celebrate their special day. The Farm looked beautiful-the main banquet location was decorated with bistro lighting all around. My pictures won't do it justice! Each table and the couple's sweetheart table looked fabulous with subtle greens and beautiful white hydrangea and lilies arranged by Belles Fleures by Illene. I tried to match the rustic room decor by unveiling my new "rustic wine barrel" DJ workstation that fit perfectly within the room, you get to check this setup out!

Guests were enjoying cocktails at the bar but say quickly for the highly anticipated grand entrance of the wedding party. Ron of Powers Images Photography and Kyle of Kyle Ridlon Productions captured the moments with photos and video. Before bringing in the wedding party, I was given the honor to start the intros off by bringing recognition to Joe's grandfather Ralph, a 97-year-old WWII Veteran. It was the perfect way to kick the day off Independence Day weekend! After the huge applause died down for Ralph, we recognized Samantha and Joe's Parents. Then, we brought in all the bridesmaids as a group into the room to "Wannabe" by Spice Girls. Next was the entrance of all the groomsmen to the all familiar song "Bad Boys" by Inner Circle theme song of the TV show Cops which made the room laugh, bet you can guess what most the groomsmen's professions are! Next, Samantha and Joe came into the room to a loud ovation as "Loving You Easy" by Zac Brown Band played in the background. After making their way to the center of the dance floor, Joe welcomed everyone and asked his wife to dance with him. Their first dance was a lovely cover of "Your Still the One" by Soren Okholm.

After sharing their first dance together as husband and wife, everyone was seated to listen to our first toast of the evening by Samantha's sister, followed by Samantha's Maid of Honor. The last was presented by the Joe's Co-Best Men. Once again, we got to get familiar with Joe's grandfather Ralph who gave the most heartfelt talk to Joe and Samantha and blessing, not many dry eyes after he spoke!

We all enjoyed a fantastic meal from Ryan and his staff of Mooney's BBQ & Catering, I'm still talking about how great it was! At the tail end of the meal Samantha and Joe snuck of with Ron and Kyle to get more pictures and video of a lovely cake by Carolyns Creations as the couple made the first cut. Samantha and Joe wanted to get right into dancing so we got to know the couple even more with a quick wedding shoe game and right into the dancing. I opened up the floor with "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé which set the mood for the rest of the night and my assistant Kelli roamed the floor with our portable "roamer" photo booth. We finished the evening with Samantha and Joe circled by all their friends sing two classics, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond and "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. What an honor to be part of this contest working for this amazing couple and to be part of the Old Hickory Farm team of vendors, what a perfect day!

A Lakewatch Inn Wedding for Andrew & Laura

To end our Independence Day holiday weekend, we celebrated the marriage of Andrew and Laura at the Lakewatch Inn located on the east side of Cayuga Lake. Concerns of rain and thunderstorms meant we had an indoor ceremony. The main banquet room provided a beautiful ceremony backdrop, featuring an eye-catching fireplace and vaulted ceilings. Guests gathered in the main banquet room of the Inn and took their seats for the start of the ceremony.

The entrance of both Laura and Andy’s parents started the ceremony as “Nothing at All” by Alison Krauss was playing in the background. As the song changed to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran the bridesmaids soon followed and made their way upfront. Splitting off from the rest of the bridesmaids, Elissa took the officiant position as the two little flower girls made their entrance. “A Thousand Years” by the Piano Guys began to play and Laura and her father Robert made their way down the staircase to the aisle to join Andrew in front of the fireplace. After a sharing their vows and exchanging rings, Laura and Andrew were introduced as husband and wife and made their way back through the aisle as the sound of “Sign Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder filled the room.

Cocktail hour was spent on the side deck area of the Inn as the Lakewatch staff reset the banquet area with a large head table taking the place of where the wedding party had just stood for the ceremony. The wedding party and immediate family shortly came back in to gather for photos with Stu and Aimee of Stu Gallagher Photography.

After a cocktail hour came to an end, guests where invited back inside to seat at tables surrounding the dance floor to start the wedding party introductions. As “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull & Neyo started to play, one by one I brought in the wedding party to be introduced, and Laura and Andy were greeted with a huge ovation. Andy welcomed and thanked everyone for coming. We went right into the first dance with a surprise for the guests. “Wrecking Ball” by Eric Church was the couple’s first dance song and at the end of the song Laura sat in a chair that was placed in the middle of the floor and Andrew removed the garter to finish off the first dance. Guests loved it! Laura and Andrew took their seats at the head table as applause and cheers faded, and we were presented with our first toast by Laura’s father Robert. After Laura’s father spoke, toasts from Best Man Matt, Matron of Honor Dana, and Andrew’s sister Laura led us into dinner.

After a wonderful meal prepared by Lakewatch Inn we started the parent dances with Laura and her father Robert leading the way dancing to the song “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” by Hank Williams Sr. Next, Andrew and his mother Kathy took center stage sharing their moment together dancing to “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” by Tim McGraw. Cake cutting immediately followed the parent dances and Andrew and Laura took their ceremonial first cut into their lovely white cake made by Bagels & Cakes And A Whole Lot More that was surrounded by colorful floral and two little buffalo figurines dressed as a bride and groom to top it off as “Sugar” by Maroon 5 played softly as Stu and Aimee captured this special moment with family and friends gathered around.

Dancing, dancing and more dancing was on the schedule for the rest of the night to the sounds of a lot of 90’s and early 2000’s. Guests filled the dance floor for the remainder of the night. As the evening celebration come to conclusion all of Andrew and Laura’s family and friends surrounded them and the dance floor to dance to “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs and the last song “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks was sang out loud all the way through and a giant cheer and applause for the newlyweds as the song came to an end. Another beautiful celebration at Lakewatch Inn for another beautiful couple!

Owera Vineyards Wedding for Marisa & Brandon

This was an absolutely gorgeous day without a cloud in the sky at Owera Vineyards. This wedding was a truly unique, full of sci-fi twists from the very beginning.

As I was setting up for final ceremony sound check in the vineyard, I looked behind me as Ron Powers of Powers Images Photography was taking photos of Marisa. She was walking through all the fresh spring foliage and grape vines in her stunning Spybaby Bridal black dress to share her first look with Brandon. Always a special moment to watch! Soon after the first look, the ceremony kicked off with the groomsmen entering into the reception, lead by officiant Shelia Bowman to the powering sound of the Star Wars Imperial Attack. Following the guys, all the bridesmaids and the flower girls entered to a No Man's Land from the Wonder Woman soundtrack. Marisa then made her grand entrance in a very special moment escorted down the aisle by her son to the Game of Thrones Khaleesi track. Wrapping up the ceremony, Marisa and Brandon were introduced to their guests as husband wife and made their exit to the Star Wars Ceremony.

After the ceremony, we had a lovely cocktail hour back under the outdoor patio bar, just outside the banquet area. After cocktail hour wrapped up, Owera staff welcomed everyone into their banquet area decorated with lovely hanging florals on the chandeliers, arranged by Hillside Flower. To kick off the wedding party introductions, the sci-fi theme continued to be part of the day with Marisa's parents and sister walking into the reception to Avengers Main on End. All the bridesmaids once again made an entrance with the flower girls to Wonder Woman Wrath immediately followed by the groomsmen to The Avenger by Alan Silvestri. Marisa and Brandon were the last to enter, coming in at the song's crescendo of The Avenger and as the applause died down the newlyweds shared an amazing first dance complete with our dancing on cloud effect to the power ballad of "The Sound of Silence" by Disturbed. Can't wait to see Ron's photos!

A speech from Brandon's father, Thomas, welcomed everyone to the reception after the first dance. He was followed by a toast from the Maid of Honor Jennifer, and Best Man Brian to close out toast. We then had a family style dinner, served by the Copper Top Tavern. As a side note, do yourself a favor and go to their restaurant and get their avocado eggrolls. Absolutely Delicious!

After dinner we transitioned right into parent dances with Marisa and her father Kenny leading the way to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. Brandon and his mother followed with another lovely cover song "Simple Man" by Jensen Ackles. Cake cutting immediately followed the parent dances with a beautiful cake from Murphey's Specialized Pastry with our last piece of a sci-fi twist. The cello cover of the popular Game of Thrones piece "The Rains of Castamere" played in the background as the couple cut into the cake with some cool looking light saber wedding cake knife and server pieces. The cutting ended with Brandon getting the worst of the cake to the face!

After cutting the cake, Brandon and Marisa headed outside for an amazing sunset for photos and I opened up the dance floor with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen. Dancing was how we closed out the night, ending with Marisa and Brandon surrounded on the dancefloor with their family and friends with Dirty Dancing, Time of My Life playing to close out the night. After a round of applause and cheers for the days newest couple everyone went out front of the venue to send Marisa and Brandon of into the night with a grand light saber exit!

Vendors:

Venue: Owera Vineyards

Officiant: Shelia Bowman

Photography: Powers Images Photography

Flowers: Hillside Flower

Cake: Murphey's Specialized Pastry

Bridal Shop: Spybaby Bridal

Caterer: Copper Top Tavern

Springside Inn Wedding for Karen and Jory

The first time I met Karen and Jory in person was at their venue, Springside Inn, located in Auburn, NY right on the north end of Owasco Lake. We met on a cold December afternoon to sit down and begin planning for their wedding for June 1st, 2019. After diving deep into planning that day I was really excited to play for them.

Fast forward to this past weekend their wedding day finally came. We had a great day for an outdoor wedding ceremony at the Inn's beautiful ceremony location known as The Grove. The weather had been questionable the day before but Mother Nature cooperated so we could get the ceremony in before the evening showers arrived.

After the ceremony, all of the guests headed down to the back entrance of the banquet room for cocktail hour where they walked past a lovely half-carrot and half-red velvet cake that was made by Camerons Bakery. Not only did the cake look amazing with the custom comic design of the bride and groom living happily ever after, but it also tasted amazing- with blue frosting and a beautiful orange colored frosting that matched the groomsmen's boutonnieres from Smileys Town And Country, also from Auburn. While I left music playing I went out to the lobby to line up the wedding party. I introduced everyone to "Shut Up and Dance" by WALK THE MOON! Got the guest fired up! Karen and Jory went right into their first dance "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. Karen's father Tom welcomed everyone followed by a toast from the Maid of Honor Katie and Best Man Derik that lead us into dinner. During the dinner I played a wide mix of Motown classics aside with 80's and 90's classic rock songs.

After Dinner, we had Parent Dances where Karen lead things off with her father Tom dancing to "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle and Jory danced with his mother Jamie to "Faithfully" by Journey that took us right into cake cutting where photographer Jessica Freeman of J Freeman Photography captured an epic cake smash photo where Jory surprised Karen with a slice right to the face while the "Jaws" movie theme music was playing. I then opened up the dance floor with "Brown Eyed Girl" and some Motown, Top 40 and 80's hits.

After Cake, we danced the night away right up to the grand finale where I told guests that the last song of the night was "Lost Boy" by The Midnight! Awesome song, check it out! We then surprised them with a bonus song, "This Will Be An Everlasting Love"! Another great wedding in the books and I can't wait to hear about Karen and Jory's Vegas honeymoon!

Vendors

Venue: Springside Inn

Cake: Camerons Bakery

Flowers: Smileys Town and Country

Photography: J Freeman Photography

First Dance Song: Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars

Father Daughter Dance - Bob Carlisle - Butterfly Kisses

Mother Son Dance - Journey - Faithfully

Grand Finale Song - The Midnight - Lost Boy

Lucky Star Ranch Estate Wedding for Colleen and Hunter

I traveled to an incredible Chaumont, NY wedding venue this weekend-Lucky Star Ranch Estate. What an amazing celebration for Colleen and Hunter. The day started out with slight showers with a not-so-promising weather forecast. Fortunately, about 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, the dark sky parted long enough to have a beautiful outdoor ceremony. As the ceremony began, the wedding party made their way down, and then Colleen was led down the aisle by her father Bill. The Bridal March song was a lovely cover of "All You Need is Love," sang by two vocalists, Nancy & Jennifer. Bill handed his daughter off to Hunter as Colleen's cousin (and officiant!) Steven welcomed everyone to the wedding. As we came upon the moment of the ring exchange it was quickly realized the rings had been left back at the cottages! Thankfully, the best man Pat was a able to quickly run to retrieve the rings.

While we waited for Pat, we began our interlude song, a lovely ballad titled "A Million Dreams." The bride surprised the groom by stepping up to sing with Nancy & Jennifer! As the interlude wrapped up, with perfect timing Pat returned for the ring exchange. After exchanging rings and a kiss to seal the deal, Colleen and Hunter walked back up the aisle as husband and wife to the song "Smile" by Uncle Kracker. The wedding Party immediately followed the newlyweds for photos with photographer Brittany of Cherished Light Photography and the guests headed to poolside courtyard for an outdoor cocktail hour.

After cocktail hour, we started the reception off by entering under the beautifully decorated tent with some amazing hanging florals and elegant bistro lighting-it looked stunning! I quickly introduced the wedding party in with the song "The Lucky You Got" by The High Strung as rain showers began to approach. Colleen and Hunter came into to join everyone to the tune of "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5, it fit just right since their doggy's name is also coincidently Jagger! After a quick welcome by the bride and groom, Hunter asked Colleen to dance as I played their first song "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton. It was awesome! After the first dance we welcomed best man Pat as he presented us with the first toast, followed by maid of honor Angela and a quick blessing by officiant Steven.

Dinner was provided by RJ's Catering out of Adams Center with an array of veggies, pasta and a meat carving station. At the tail end of dinner, we continued on with parent dances with Collen and her father Bill dancing to the upbeat tune "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Hunter joining his mother to dance to a country number, "Call Your Mama" by Seth Ennis ft Little Big Town. Parent dances lead us right into cake cutting as Collen and Hunter headed over to a lovely three-tiered white cake with pink roses spread on each tier that was provided by Kylies Kakes and More.

I opened the floor to dancing with Elvis Presley's "Burning Love" which packed the dance floor and set the tone for nonstop dancing the rest of the night! We had over three hours of dance time ending with a grand finale starting with "Don't Dream it's Over" by Crowded House and a final surprise song "Say a Little Prayer" by Aretha Franklin. As we know all things come to an end but I think we could have danced all through he night with this group of amazing guests!

At Alexandria's for Tiffany and Matt's Wedding

Tiffany and Matt are my first out-of-state clients of the season! They came to Tiffany's hometown of Oswego to be married on Lake Ontario, courtesy of Alexandria's Premier Lakeview Weddings. Matt is originally from California but was stationed in Fort Drum, NY where he met Tiffany.

We kicked off the day with the most beautiful ceremony right on the water, with clear blue skies and a slight breeze coming off the lake. After a quick vow exchange, the newlyweds kissed and walked down the aisle to "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz accompanied by the cheers and applause of their guests.

As the bride and groom posed for family photos by DominikFoto, guests made their way inside to the lounge area of the banquet room, where we had the photo booth set up for them to enjoy during the cocktail hour.

After portraits, the family and wedding party were excited to join the cocktail hour and be introduced. As the sound of Walk the Moon's Shut up and Dance played, Tiffany's parents Lisa and Jay and Matt's parents Patty and Hector lead the way for the rest of the wedding party. As the music faded the powerful sound of the AC/DC TNT guitar riff fired up the guests as Tiffany and Matt entered the room! Matt delivered a quick welcome speech that ended by asking his wife to join him in their first dance to True by Tilian.

Dinner followed two great toasts, Rikki the Maid of Honor was the first toast and Best Man Doc lead us into dinner. As guests dined, they viewed a touching and emotional slideshow on the venue's projector that Tiffany created as a surprise for Matt since he completed his time with the Army just three days after the wedding. As dinner came to an end, Tiffany's father Jay spent shared a special moment, dancing to "I Loved Her First" by Heartland and Matt shared his moment with his mother Patty dancing to the Spanish version of "Song for Mama" by Boys II Men. After a quick session of the "shoe game" to see how much we knew about Tiffany and Matt, we opened up the dance floor.

Pharrell Williams "Happy" set the mood on the dance floor before pausing for a quick Garter removal where Matt was blindfolded and Tiffany hopped out of the chair as one of Matt's groomsmen slipped the garter on and took her place. Matt knew something was up as he touched his groomsmen leg quickly removing the blindfold to see Tiffany standing behind him. What a laughed we all had! Tiffany dedicated her bouquet to her Maid of Honor Rikki who will be getting married herself soon. We danced the rest of the night before everyone had to head to the evening after party at the waterside bar below the banquet room. The night ended with a slow dance of "Shallow" duet with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper and "Forever" by Chris Brown capped off the night as everyone cheered for the days newest couple, Tiffany and Matt!

A Hope Lake Lodge Wedding for Kira and Nick

We had an absolutely beautiful day celebrating Kira and Nick's wedding at the Hope Lake Lodge, located at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland, NY. Guests arrived to the lodge and headed down behind the reception location and sat at the gazebo with a view of the large mountain. Part of the wedding party made their way down to the gazebo to the music, "More Than Words" by Extreme. The bridesmaids were the last of the bridal party to make their way down. Then the white Greek Peak SUV pulled up with Kira and her father, Ed, inside and we changed the music to "Wonderful Thing" by Grace Vanderwaal. Kira and Ed headed down to join Nick and the rest of the wedding party. Kira's Aunt Flora officiated the wedding and started by welcoming all guests and speaking by request in rhymes the entire ceremony, it was so cool! She talked about Kira and Nicks traits and what made them such a great couple before Kira and Nick shared their vows with each other and exchanging rings. Kira and Nick sealed the deal with a kiss and headed back up the aisle as husband and wife to the song "It's a Beautiful Day" by Michael Bublé. The immediate family followed behind Kira and Nick and the rest of the wedding party to the edge of the woods for photos with Janetta & Bogdan of Boyko Photography. Remaining guests headed back up the main lobby of the lodge to spend cocktail hour before heading into the tented reception area.

We kicked off the reception by introducing Kira and Nick where they welcomed their guests and then shared their first dance to "Stand by Me" cover by Florence and the Machine. After watching the first dance, we had our first toast of the evening given by Kira's Maid of Honor Christina. Christina handed off the microphone to Nick's Best Man Ken for our final toast of the night. Kira and Nick are both breakfast lovers so we dined to a wonderful meal with all the breakfast fixings you could image. Kira and Nicks love for breakfast was never more evident than when you saw their cake that resembled a stack of pancakes made by Nick's mother Gigi! Everyone enjoyed breakfast sitting at their tables decorated with a pink rose and fern centerpieces from Arnolds Florist Greenhouse & Gifts. Closing out the dinner were parent dances with Kira and her father Ed going first dancing to "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts and Nick and his mother Gigi dancing to "I Loved Him First" covered by Joyce MacPhee. After parent dances we just danced the night away to a lot of timeless classics from the 80's and 90's. With a packed dance floor, the night came to a close with cheers and applause with "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen to bring an end to a perfect day with the perfect song!