11th Wedding of 2016! The Panetta’s!

Venue: Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth MA

Date: 7-30-16

Couple: Ashley and John Panetta

Photo: Zac Wolf

11 out of 11 for weddings so far this year. Another fantastic couple and great venue! Let’s start from the beginning as always. I was connected with Ashley a couple of years ago now as she had attended the 90’s Night I DJ on Friday’s at 6B Lounge in Boston. She left a Yelp review on the night and from that we had been in touch. We shared a mutual love of some of the same music of course with the 90’s but also some of the older punk rock artists as well. In terms of a playlist she and John wanted to really just mix it up for themselves and the guests of old and new with some party pleasers thrown in as well.

After just about a year of being booked with Ashley and John and all of the planning, emails and meeting up to chat all of the details – the big day had arrived. I loaded up the car with all of my gear, back up gear, and was off to the venue nice and early. It was HOT out but luckily the cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing was held in a back pavilion area with tons of fans going and some shade for the guests. Once I was set up inside the pavilion – I drove up to another part of the venue where the ceremony was being held. It was a hidden gem! Beautiful garden area with a little koi fish pond. I had a minimal set up for this with one PA speaker, wireless mic for the officiant and I provided their ceremony music as well. Pre-ceremony music as guests were taking their seats was Vitamin String Quartet and then the wedding party walked out to ‘Canon in D’ while we then switched over for Ashley to ‘Book of Love’ by Peter Gabriel. Their friend did an incredible job officiating and once it was over they exited to one of my favorites ‘You Are The Best Thing’ by Ray LaMontagne.

Shuttle busses scooped all of the guests up and drove them back down to the pavilion area and we went directly into cocktail hour. It was fun – I got to play some chill indie rock stuff like some mellow Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes, Bon Iver, and threw in some old school Rat Pack tunes as well to keep it mixed up. The appetizers looked amazing that I saw going around! Once cocktail hour was winding down we went directly into introductions. The wedding party and couple all were announced to ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ by JT and went right into their first dance ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran. Speeches were up next and a very lovely blessing from John’s Aunt which was really touching to see.

Dinner music was a similar style of cocktail hour and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. I had a few people ask me who some of the acoustic covers I played were, always great to interact with the guests. Ashley and John had the cake cutting at the tail end of dinner and then we played a song for Ashley and her father Joe Cocker’s ‘You Are So Beautiful’ and John and his mother was ‘I Will’ by The Beatles. Then of course my favorite part of the entire night – open dance floor! I had everyone up and going from start to finish with some top 40 Icona Pop, Macklemore, and dove into the 80s and 90s with some MJ, Madonna, Backstreet Boys, etc. and some Motown/Soul tunes as well (but NO Will Smith – don’t worry Ashely haha – it was requested but not played). We ended the night with a punk song Ashely wanted very badly from Piebald ‘American Hearts’.

CONGRATS to Mr and Mrs Panetta! Thank-you so much for including me in your big day. Cheers!

Couple of iPhone pics I snapped (complete with one of the goat wedding crashers wandering around the grounds!)

 

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Wedding #10 of the season rocks in with Ryan & Kelly!

Venue: Farmington Gardens, Farmington CT

Date: 7-23-16

Couple: Ryan and Kelly Akers

This. Was. AWESOME! I want to first discuss the venue and how much I loved this place. It’s a fairly new venue in the past five years or so I was told by the event coordinator. It was one of the easiest load in and load out weddings I’ve ever done, with tons of power and outlets inside and outside as well for the ceremony. The staff were all incredible as well and the food – WOW. The food was out of this world!!! Okay, now onto the wedding itself…

I was connected with Ryan & Kelly from our mutual friends Pat and Colleen Hirst. Pat had gone to school with Kelly a while back and once they reached the point of looking for entertainment for the big day he recommended me and before I knew it I was booked for July 23rd, 2016 in Farmington CT. They live in NH so we didn’t actually get to meet up face to face until a few weeks before the wedding but thanks to the power of the phone and emails, we had smooth sailing planning everything with music and timelines, etc. Ryan and I share a mutual love for old school hip-hop and I think that was a selling point for him booking me. Kelly was the nicest most easy going bride I’ve possibly ever worked with! She (well both of them) were open to all types of suggestions but had a lot of input and requests of their own as well. We really customized this to be “their” setlist and it really was that night.

The ceremony was held outside in a really nice back garden area of the venue. It was one of the absolute hottest days I’ve experienced but luckily enough most of the ceremony area was shaded by these huge trees which was a relief for all of us. I was set up to the side with a PA speaker and had one wireless mic connected for the officiant. I provided pre-ceremony music on songs they both wanted and then they had a friend take over and play and sing live acoustic for everything else – he was SO GOOD!

Once the ceremony wrapped up – everyone was shuffled into a side area of the venue which was indoors a green house with AC thankfully. This was one of my favorite parts of the venue again, while my big main set up was inside the ballroom area where we would be moving into for dinner and dancing – they actually had a PA system that hooked directly into my mixer and pumped the cocktail hour music into the greenroom – so I didn’t actually have to set up anything extra for that part of the night. So that was a plus on my end and I loved it! Cocktail hour was really fun, they wanted a mix of some old school chill 90s hip hop and R&B mixed in with some newer stuff as well. They wanted to keep it upbeat from the get go to really set the party tone. We didn’t really do too much of the jazz and rat pack route for this wedding.

As cocktail hour concluded and everyone came into the main ballroom – we went directly into introductions. (Loved the seating chart and table names BTW – all of them were Ski Mountain and resort names). Before I started the intros – and was getting the crowds attention – Ryan wanted to hype people up with the old Chicago Bulls theme song “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project. We then introduced grandparents and parents to “Dance With Me” by Olly Murs (which was a song I was newly exposed to!) – the wedding party was introduced to “Uptown Funk” and then Mr. and Mrs. Ryan and Kelly Akers were introduced to “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore. It was awesome and everyone was already dancing and clapping along. They went right into the first dance (another song I was introduced to) “No Matter Where You Are” by Us The Duo – it was a really fun upbeat first dance to witness!

As dinner was starting we had a few speeches underway and dinner music was a similar vibe from cocktail hour – throwing in some chill classic rock at this point too and some old school funk and soul to start transitioning us into the dance party. Again – let me just tell you – the food was unbelievable. AMAZING steak and mashed potatoes. After cutting the cake to “Sugar” by Maroon 5 the parent dances were next. Ryan danced with his mother to Mac Miller’s “I’ll Be There” – so fun and upbeat hip hop song. Kelly went with an awesome choice Sir Stevie Wonder “Isn’t She Lovely” with her father. Both led us into one of the best dance parties I’ve seen in a wedding! We were all over the place from 90s pop with BSB, NSync to good old school hip hop from Dre, Biggie, and I even got to play a demanded request for Ryan “Area Codes” by Ludacris and Nate Dogg. That was a first getting away with that at a wedding haha. We had a nice blend of 80s hits as well with old funk and soul as well from Jacskon 5, Earth Wind & Fire, and others. And of course kept it fresh and modern with some tunes from Walk The Moon to Drake’s “One Dance”. It makes my job too easy when the crowd is that fun and into everything. It’s the best feeling!

Congrats to the Akers and thank-you SO much for including me in your big day. You guys were incredible to work with and we will 100 percent do drinks in Portsmouth sometime soon and recap it all.

Here are some quick iPhone snapshots I grabbed throughout the day and night – enjoy!

 

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9th wedding of 2016! Amanda & Mason!!!

Venue: Seacoast Science Center, Rye NH

Date: 7-9-16

Couple: Amanda and Mason Cox

Photo: The man, the myth, the legend Mikhail Glabets (who shot my wedding as well!)

Amanda & Mason everyone! I honestly am on a roll with the couples I get to work with. Every couple is different in many ways but have one thing in common – they are awesome to work with and they all just want a fun party vibe for them and their guests. I was introduced to these two via email from our mutual wedding photographer Mikhail. After a couple of drinks and a face to face meeting the rest was history and we were in constant contact for all of the music details of July 9th, 2016.

They were so laid back and easy going and very open to suggestions as well which I loved. Amanda asked me if I would be okay mixing in some Arabic dance songs for her and her family. Of course that isn’t a problem! This is what makes weddings still fun and exciting for me to do. Even with a MacBook loaded of 70,000 songs – every couple still has stuff I haven’t heard yet. It introduces me to new songs and artists. I also never know what type of crowd I am going to walk into and I love that challenge of getting 100 or so guests I have never met up and dancing.

Once I arrived to the venue and got set up the guests slowly started to trickle in from the ceremony which was held at a separate location. Cocktail hour to start was fun they wanted a mix of some jazzy mellow stuff from Ella Fitzgerald to Pink Martini. It went really well with the setting of being right on the water. The venue was gorgeous for it’s view! Once cocktails wrapped up and everyone came into the tent we were into introductions. The parents and wedding party were all announced to “Can’t Stop This Feeling” the newest and very fun song by Justin Timberlake. Amanda and Mason were then announced to “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities. I think I’ve said this before but it’s great when couples choose fun upbeat songs like this for introductions. It’s a party and really sets the tone for the night to follow! As soon as they were announced they went into “Everything” by Michael Buble for their first dance. Believe it or not – this was (I think) the first time I’ve ever had a couple choose Buble, such a good choice for a first dance.

Dinner was up next and was a similar style to cocktail hour but also mixing in some must play theme songs that Amanda and Mason wanted from the movie Up and also the show West Wing. I have some James Vincent McMorrow playing which someone asked me who it was they loved the song so much. And then during dinner something crazy happened! We lucked out with weather that it didn’t start pouring rain until everyone was at least inside the tent, so they were able to enjoy cocktail hour. Halfway through dinner though – all of the lights and some of the power went out. I think everyone thought I was controlling the lights at first haha but not the case. The best part though is I must’ve been plugged into a different power source because we never lost the music! I don’t know if anyone really noticed but since it was raining SO hard on the tent I tried to subtly play “No Rain” by Blind Melon and “The Rain” by Missy Elliot. Once the lights came back on everything was fine and it was time to cut the cake and get to the dancing.

Mason and his mother danced to “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins which I just found out was Mason’s first concert. I have been to 90,000 concerts and I have never seen Phil – I am VERY jealous of that! Amanda and her father danced to a classic Bob Dylan song “Forever Young”. From there we were off! Dance floor was PACKED all night long and I was mixing in the Arabic dance party songs every few tracks that Amanda provided me. It was great to be able to mix American top 40 and old school stuff with those – everyone was loving the flow and vibe. Seriously one of the most fun crowds I’ve ever had – don’t care if that sounds repetitive either – I really mean it.

CONGRATS Mr and Mrs Amanda and Mason Cox and thank-you times a zillion for having me!!! It was one to remember!!! (I even got to rock my T-Rex cufflinks!)

Enjoy a few of my quick iPhone photos!

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Wedding #8 of 2016 – Meet the Sweeney’s!

Venue: Museum of Science, Boston MA

Date: 7-2-16

Couple: Dana and Mike Sweeney

I cannot even begin to describe how happy I was to be a part of this wedding. Let’s back up about3 or 4 years now to when I first met Dana at my Friday night gig “90s Night” at 6B Lounge. Dana would frequent this night and soon became a regular and I became very familiar with her requests each week. (Whitney Houston, Salt N Peppa, Rob Base, and Juvenile). Well as chance would have it she apparently met Mike outside of 6B and somehow lured him into the throwback night – and the rest is history! Also – having the wedding at the Museum of Science with all of the T Rex’s was just more than fitting. It had all come full circle and it was amazing!

After several emails and a couple of meetings we were all on the same page in terms of flow of the night and music suggestions. They had an awesome theme of movies and TV shows so it was fun being able to sneak in stuff like “Jump In The Line” from Beetlejuice and “Goonies R Good Enough” by Cyndi Lauper from the Goonies.

Arriving to the venue hours early – it was a very simple unloading process and getting set up was a breeze. The ceremony and reception were all in back of the Museum. The ceremony itself was held right along the water outside and it was a perfect day for it! Never know weather wise what you’ll get in New England but it was great. They had a live guitarist play their pre ceremony and ceremony music itself – while I provided a PA speaker and wireless mic for their friend who did a great job officiating the wedding. As they exited after the “I Do’s” was my cue to play “You’re My Best Friend” from Queen. People loved it and it really set the tone this was going to be a fun night. Also a massive note to add is 6B Lounge 90s Night made it into both of their vows!! I felt so proud haha.

I had a smaller setup outside where the ceremony was held also set up for cocktail hour playing a mix of some mellow 80s stuff from Duran Duran, The Cars, The Cure, and some classics from Bob Dylan, The Stones, etc. Once that wrapped up everyone then moved into the tent which was all right in the same area and I had my bigger main set up in there ready to go. While guests were coming in just had some background chill jazzy tunes playing and then went right into introductions. The wedding party to start was introduced to “Uptown Funk” then switched to “Work It” by Missy Elliot for the last part of the bridal party. Up next was Dana and Mike walking into “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and into their first dance “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges. (Guys – if you’ve not heard Leon Bridges album GO LISTEN NOW! It is incredible for a modern day artist, well for any artist for that matter!)

After the speeches and toasts the dinner stations all opened and I had a similar vibe going from cocktail hour to this of the mellow 80s stuff mixing in some of the Post Modern Jukebox covers of 80s and 90s as well. Dinner came to a close and into parent dances we went. Mike danced with his mother to “Kind & Generous” by Natalie Merchant and Dana and her father did Van Morrison’s “Wild Night” and invited everyone up to join them halfway through to start the party! And off we went – all over the place with stuff like “Party Rock Anthem” into “Signed Sealed Delivered” and “Your Love” by the Outfield. It was one of the most fun groups I’ve ever DJ’d to and I knew that would be the case knowing Dana and Mike. They had a box of party props as well wigs, hats, glowsticks which just brings out the weirdness of people (I mean that in the best way possible) haha. I even rocked a wig for half the wedding myself! Closing song of the night chosen by the couple was SUCH an awesome idea I would not have thought of and a massive sing-along broke out “Forever Young” by Sir Rod Stewart.

Congrats to the Sweeney’s and thank-you a million for having me be a part of the big day!! Hope to see you guys at 90s Night sometime soon!

 

 

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Wedding #7 – checkmate! Abigail and Tom (from across the pond)…

Venue: Overbrook House, Bourne (Cape Cod) MA

Date: 6-26-16

Couple: Abigail and Tom

Photo: Alexandera Roberts

Wedding Coordinator: Mandy and her amazing team from Hummingbird Bridal

Double-header wedding weekend here!

I was connected with Abigail and Tom a little while back from the one and only Mandy O’ Connor of Hummingbird Bridal & Events. Instantly we had a connection as they lived in London England, Abigail is from New England but moved over to London to live with Tom. My wife Melanie is also British so the UK/US connection was great between us. We had a couple of Skype calls to start and emails discussing music and everything was booked to go!

Mandy and I did a site visit a few months prior while Abigail and Tom were in Mass. visiting and it was awesome to actually meet them and their families after the Skype calls/emails for so many months. It was super helpful also to see the venue ahead of time as it was a little spread out and I had to do three different set ups – but we got everything rocking for the day itself!

They were SO great to work with. They knew exactly what they wanted and didn’t want for music. It was fun to do the British/American theme a little bit with music as well.

I showed up to the Overbrook House which is honestly one of the most gorgeous venues I’ve ever DJ’d to this point – I showed up several hours early and starting setting up.

Ceremony was held up on a hill in front of the main part of the house with a gorgeous backdrop of trees and sun. I had one PA speaker set up and wireless mic for Abigail’s father, Peter who officiated a truly memorable and heartfelt ceremony. One of Tom’s groomsman, Ben played acoustic guitar as the wedding party entered the ceremony and an exit song once it all wrapped up – it sounded great!

We then moved over to cocktail hour which was in another location of the venue down in an open field type of area. They had lawn games set up and the bar going – I had a really nice mellow mix of old school music from the Rat Pack days up to mellow folk indie stuff from The Lumineers, Feist, and some Amy Winehouse and Adele for the Brits!

Once cocktail hour came to a close everyone was shuffled into the tent which was in the general same area as cocktail hour so I had the same set up going for that. The food was AMAZING! Tom the groom (much like myself) is a total foodie and they had quite the spread to say the least. Dinner music was a mix of everything from Beatles, Stones, Bowie to Lord Huron, Of Monsters & Men, Postmodern Jukebox, and some Tom Petty for us Americans! We had some really hilarious speeches and toasts during this time as well.

Dinner wrapped up and we shuffled everyone over to the dance hall area of the venue. I quickly broke down my gear and threw it all in my car and re-setup in record time to get the party started! Abigail and Tom were introduced to the Austin Powers Theme music which not many people know is actually by Quincy Jones song “Soul Bossa Nova”. People loved it to say the least! Into their first dance as husband and wife they went to “Fill Your Heart” by the late and great David Bowie. And open dance floor was off! People were mingling inside the dance hall and outside for the evening and it was an awesome steady flow which allowed me to play some stuff I don’t usually get to play. Keeping the Stones/Beatles/Queen and other British bands going I was able to even throw in some Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Edward Sharpe, M83, lots of good indie dance rock. Of course we had a great variety of some 80s/90s and tons of old school 60s/70s jams as well. The crowd was great and everyone had a blast. We closed the night out with Robbie Williams “Angels” to a massive group sing-along.

Thank you Abigail and Tom for having me! CONGRATS to you guys and I will surely let you know when I am over in the UK to connect and do drinks!

Thanks again to Mandy for connecting me with another fantastic couple and to Alexandra for being an awesome photographer to work with – it makes a huge difference when vendors known one another already! #DreamTeam

Cheers!

 

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Wedding #6 of the season, Heather & Paul! #GettinChizzyWithIt

Venue: The Pierce House, Lincoln MA

Date: 6-25-16

Couple: Heather & Paul Chisolm

So this was my first wedding back post my wedding a few weeks earlier on June 11th and man oh man I was ready to go! I had been connected and working with Heather and Paul for about a year now. We met for drinks to start and they were so easy going and chill – it made my job honestly too easy in a way! I was waiting to see where the “glitches” would be with them haha but there were none. So easygoing and an awesome couple all around.

I did what I always do and over the months leading up to the big day we circulated emails back and forth just organizing music for the ceremony, cocktail hour, etc. and the timeline of the day itself. Heather & Paul were great – they made Spotify playlists to share with me of music ideas/suggestions they wanted during the night from country to 80s dance jams and some new school top 40. We even did a site visit together of the venue ahead of time just to go over set up and all of the logistics.

Wedding day arrived and off to the Pierce House I went. I had a small set up outside (one PA speaker and wireless mic for the officiants) for their ceremony by the pond which was gorgeous. Running the music from iPhone – Heather had sent me over some instrumental MP3s of a few country songs for pre-ceremony while guests were being seated and I mixed those in with some Vitamin String Quartet songs. The ceremony started and the bridal party all entered to an instrumental version of Beyone’s “Halo” and Heather walked into “Here Comes the Bride”. They couldn’t have had better weather, the ceremony was great!

Cocktail hour was a blend of some mellow country tunes with old school jazzy music from Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra, and some Postmodern Jukebox covers of modern day pop songs which always go over well with the crowds once they recognize the songs. I then rounded up the wedding party and got introductions underway. The wedding party were all introduced to Will Smith’s “Getting Jiggy With It” to pair with the hashtag of the wedding #GettinChizzyWithIt – awesome song choice. Heather & Paul were then introduced to “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé & Jay-Z. They went directly into their first dance “Die a Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett. I wasn’t familiar with the song before but it was really great for that moment!

Dinner was underway and the music was still a similar mix of cocktail hour with some country tunes but now mixing in some mellow classic rock that Paul also wanted like Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan. We had a few speeches and toasts which were all really well done and had some great laughs of stories of Heather and Paul. Once dinner was wrapping up we did the cake cutting to Maroon 5’s “Sugar” and then right into parent dances. Heather danced with her father to “One Call Away” by Charlie Pluth and then we had a huge surprise for Paul’s mother and their dance. Kate and Rich had practiced and brought their guitars and mics – and did a live version of LeeAnn Womack’s “I Hope You Dance”. It was SO GOOD and the crowd loved it. Really nice surprise for Paul’s mom.

And at that time – it was open dance floor! The crowd was an absolute 10 out 10 and were dancing all night long. Started out old school with some Sly and the Family Stone, Beatles, etc. and off into the 80s, 90s, and top 40, and back to the old school to close the night out. Some of the biggest sing alongs of the night were Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and “Shout” from the Isley Brothers.

Seriously – a top notch wedding and crowd all around. Thank you Mr & Mrs Chisholm for having me and congrats! Enjoy the honeymoon and Italy – we will recap over drinks soon!

 

 

 

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Fifth wedding of 2016! #BecomingMcLoftus

Venue: Mass MoCA, North Adams (Berkshires) MA

Date: 5-21-16

Couple: Julie & Jimmy McCarron

Well, this was freaking AMAZING!!! I have known these two for a few years now – going back to us all meeting when Julie used to work at 6B Lounge where I still currently DJ 90s Night every week. Her and Jimmy are the two nicest people you could ever meet in a lifetime and I’m beyond happy they asked me to DJ the biggest day of their lives.

Over the time spent getting to know and hang with them at 6B – I already had a good feel of what they liked for music and it is very much along the same lines as my personal tastes. A little bit of everything from indie dance rock to old school funk and soul, 50s and 60s, etc.

Once I was officially “booked” for May 21st at the Mass Moca – it was time to get down to business and really start going over specifics and timelines, logistics and all of that fun stuff. We met a couple of times over drinks and had a blast just talking music and how crazy wedding planning can be (as I am going through the same thing myself for my upcoming wedding) – so we were all on the same pages which was very nice. J & J explained to me that the ceremony would be played by live musicians and it was such an awesome touch seeing that happen.

I started to prep the playlists for dinner and dancing very far in advance and as I was finishing them up in the weeks leading to their wedding date – I kept getting SO SO SO excited for it. I love all of the couples I work with and I truly mean that but it is a little different when you actually ‘know’ the couples and are friends with them. I had put together an amazing dinner music of stuff they wanted like Depeche Mode & The Cure to The XX and Beach House to Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. The flow of it was awesome and really represented them as a couple.

Once I made the drive out to the Berkshires and started setting up I saw everything coming together. I loaned Julie’s brother Greg some PA speakers and stands in a different part of the museum as he and some friends ended up playing live for one of the most fun cocktail hours I’ve ever been a part of! It was nice to be able to hang out at this wedding and work. I loved getting to catch up with some of my old 6B Lounge crew who had made it out for the weekend as well.

Everyone wrapped up cocktail hour and headed downstairs into a main lobby of the museum where dinner was set up (WITH SOME OF THE BEST FOOD EVER!) J & J didn’t want to do some big deal and make a scene of introductions so we took a very casual approach and I just announced the wedding party’s names as they would wave from their seats. I then announced Julie & Jim and they went right into their first dance ‘I Found You’ by Alabama Shakes – it was SO good and they had some great moves (which makes me realize I need some major dance lessons before my wedding now haha).

As dinner started to wind down we had both parent dances take place. Jimmy danced with his mother to ‘Everlasting Light’ by the Black Keys and Julie danced with her father to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘When You Need Me’. This got things going and led right into the best dance party ever! The crowds I’ve worked with lately have made my job beyond easy it seems. Everyone is just in the best mood, will dance to anything played, it’s really awesome to be a part of it and see it happen. The dance party was a mix of everything from Jackson 5 and Aretha Franklin to Turn Down For What and Macklemore with plenty of 80s and 90s jams thrown in to represent the 6B Lounge days. We got in some Bog Seger, Tom Petty, and Isley Brothers in at the end of the night. The only problem with this wedding was – we ran out of time!! It honestly FLEW by once things got going and I was doing all I could to get all of their ‘must plays’ in but I felt bad I missed out on a couple. It was still amazing nonetheless and I want to repeat it again this weekend!

Thank-you Julie and Jimmy! You guys are amazing and two of my favorite people I’ve worked with – CONGRATS to you both and best wishes for the future! We need to pick a show to hit soon and get drinks and recap everything.

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Wedding #4 of the 2016 season is signed, sealed, and delivered!

Venue: Rye Tavern, Plymouth MA

Date: 5-14-16

Couple: Liz and John Chisholm

Photo: Abby Lorenz Photography

Liz & John… where do I begin? I guess from the beginning. I was connected with these two from the amazing one and only Abby Lorenz taking care of photography for the day. Abby and I have now worked weddings together I believe since 2011 and are lucky enough to do several a year together. #DreamTeam

After just the first few emails between Liz and myself discussing music and personal tastes, we both found out we are into hardcore and punk rock and quickly met up for a face to face consultation meeting over coffee between the three of us. Finding out John was also into the same music – I was soon booked to rock the house on their big day. They were beyond easy and laid back too work with – almost too laid back at times it actually gave me anxiety haha!

Once again, I arrived to the Rye Tavern as I do with any venue on a wedding day hours early to get set up and sound checked. They had the entire place to themselves and it was an awesome venue and setting, very peaceful and the onsite staff were super nice and helpful with anything I needed in terms of set up, power logistics, etc.

I had a smaller scale set up outside which would act as ceremony audio, cocktail hour, and the dinner and speeches. Everything was pretty much right there in the same general area so it was rather easy for those earlier parts of the night. The ceremony itself was short, sweet, and to the point. Not to mention how amazing the weather was and they lucked out being it was pouring the day before! Pre ceremony music was a mix of Vitamin String Quarter covers of The Cure, Metallica, Edward Sharpe, Guns N’ Roses, and The White Stripes. Once the ceremony began the flower girls and bridesmaids entered to a gorgeous instrumental track from Sigur Ros, and then switching over to Liz’s aisle song of ‘A Thousand Years’ covered by the Piano Guys. Once they were official husband and wife off they went walking out to “I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ by The Darkness.

Cocktail hour followed directly after the ceremony was really fun and mellow with a mix of tunes from Bon Iver to Of Monsters and Men to Postmodern Jukebox and Volcano Choir. I think I even threw in some old Radiohead, because, why the hell not?! I really liked the outdoor set up for a change of scenery – really fun vibe while DJ’ing.

Introductions, first dance, and speeches were up next – the entire wedding party along Liz & John were all introduced in true punk rock fashion to The Bouncing Souls ‘True Believers’. From this they went right into their first official dance as a married couple doing one of my favorites ‘In Joy & Sorrow’ by the Finnish rock band H.I.M. Liz’s father, Taylor then gave a really nice welcome speech followed by the best man and maid of honor. As dinner was going on I had a similar mix to cocktail hour and throwing in some mellow classic rock again in the likes of Petty, The Stones, and Dylan. I did NOT throw in any Beatles whatsoever as John strictly had it on the do not playlist! As dinner was winding down they did their cake cutting to ‘Love You Madly’ by the band Cake! Pretty awesome.

I quickly broke down the outdoor setup and announced for the guests to start making their way inside the tavern for the actual dance party to begin. We kicked things off with an awesome group parent dance; Liz and her father, John and his mother to Louis Armstrong ‘What A Wonderful World’. This launched us into an incredible dance party going old school with some Stevie Wonder, Isley Brothers, Artetha Franklin, into the 90s with some Vanilla Ice, Montell Jordan. Mixing in some 80s Billy Idol, B52s, sprinkling in some top 40 if Icona Pop, Macklemore, Sia, and more. But the best (well the best part to me) was being able to throw in a nice heavy dose of punk! I was playing things like The Used, MXPX, Alkaline Trio, Head Automatica, and The Strokes. I had to balance it all out though to not lose a majority of the crowd but it worked very well. The ending of the night might be one of my all time favorite weddings endings I’ve ever been a part of. Liz and John both agreed closing the night out with a nice big group rock ballad sing-along would be great, and we did just that ‘Faithfully’ by Journey. However, this wasn’t the actual end. The couple demanded and had a “MUST PLAY” of one of my all time favorite hardcore bands ever ‘Nerdy’ by Poison The Well. So with great pleasure I hit play and all hell broke loose. I didn’t feel like I was at a wedding, I felt like I was at that moment at an actual basement hardcore show with a full on pit in motion between the bride and groom and guests. It was AWESOME!!! I literally got to play Poison The Well at a wedding!

Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm – THANK-YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME! You guys are incredible and were a blast to work with. Congrats once again and cheers! I will see you at a punk show sometime soon!

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Wedding #3/2016 welcomes Mr. and Mrs. Broyles!!!

Venue: Bittersweet Farm, Westport MA

Date: 5-7-16

Couple: Chris and Krista Broyles

Photo: Sara Smile Photography

I need to start this one out again with acknowledging how lucky I am to work with such awesome and fun couples.

Krista & Chris are a prime example of that. I was connected with these two about a year before the wedding through the super talented Sara Smile photographer. We all hit it off right away and shared the same love for good craft beers (which we shared several of in our meetings over the months) along with being on the same exact page of music. We even met up at an Of Monsters & Men show at one point.

I arrived to the venue super early to start setting up and sound checked all of my gear. It was a REALLY nice spot – the dinner and dancing set up was inside the main venue which was basically a barn type of layout which exposed wooden beams all over, drenched in the little Christmas type of string lights. It looked stunning once everything was set to go. I then had a very small minimal set up outside in the courtyard area for cocktail hour. Best part is, the rain held off!! Their ceremony was held outside in a gorgeous little garden field area of the venue with a live guitarist/singer performing and it sounded SO GOOD!

The vibe they were going for throughout the earlier parts of the night was very indie folk rock-esque which I already had tons of. Lumineers, Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, etc. for cocktail hour along with acoustic covers of pop songs which was really fun to download and discover. Once cocktail hour wrapped up we all moved inside to the main building and it was time to round up the troops and introduce the wedding party and newlyweds. Krista & Chris chose some of the best introduction and first dance/parent dance songs I’ve played to date! The wedding party along with parents were announced to “You Shook Me All Night Long” – AC/DC and Mr. and Mrs. Broyles were announced to “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness and the whole place was going nuts for it. From that they went directly into the first dance of none other than Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child Of Mine”. Seriously awesome song choices!

Dinner kicked off with some toasts from the maid of honor and best man along with carrying over some similar music from cocktail hour – still keeping the indie folk vibe going along with a must play Chris had sent me of the theme to Trailer Park Boys along with some Ben Harper, Postmodern Jukebox, and some mellow classic rock. As soon as dinner was winding down I called Chris and his mother to the dance floor for their dance of “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Up next was Krista and her father doing a complete planned out dance to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen. It was great and got everyone going and ready to party which was exactly what we transitioned into next – dance party time! Kicking things off old school with some Stevie Wonder/Jackson 5 stuff moving into top 40, 80s, 90s, and some more funk and soul tunes. The crowd was phenomenal which makes it too easy for me at times haha. I fit in just about every “must play” song they had along with some more Queen for Krista and her father as well. Before I knew it we were already closing in at 10:15pm and I hadn’t slowed it down once yet! We finally did that and played a few slow jams for everyone to take a breather and picked it right back up until ending at 11pm with two requests from the Broyles of Queen for a final fun upbeat song and ending on a slow sweet note to a Josh Ritter track. It FLEW by once everything got going. SUCH an awesome time!

Krista & Chris YOU ARE THE BEST! Thank-you times a billion and a massive CONGRATS to you guys!!! (Please let’s hit another show sometime soon and grab some drinks!)

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Wedding #2 of 2016 ROCKED with Liz & Zach! Check it out…

Venue: Waterworks Museum, Chestnut Hill MA

Date: 4-23-16

Couple: Liz and Zach

Photo: Alexandera Roberts Photography

Wedding Coordinator: Hummngbird Bridal & Events

Liz and Zach, can we please do this again? This wedding was an absolute blast and one of the most easy going/fun/amazing/genuine couples I’ve had the pleasure of working with. My buddy Mandy from Humming Bird Bridal connected me with these two a year or so ago. We had a consolation meeting and the rest is history. We started discussing the music basics for cocktail hour/dinner and into dancing and all of us were on the same page, seriously they made my job way too easy with how chill they were and just 100 percent trusted my judgement.

As with every couple we exchanged multiple emails once we got closer to the date to work out the ceremony music and of course all of their first/parent dances. I made a site visit with them a few months prior to the wedding as well just so I could see the layout and setup area. It was a bit of a unique layout being held in the museum but we made it all work and the end product was amazing. The catering and decorations, everything looked great.

Once the day arrived I got everything set up and sound checked nice and early. The ceremony was held on the front steps entrance to the museum using their house speakers and mic. I supplied the music playing a nice mellow mix of Vitamin String Quarter before we started, and switching over to the processional song for the wedding party and Liz herself to ‘Here Comes The Sun’ covered by Whalebone. The officiant did an awesome job, and off they went exiting the ceremony to an instrumental cover of ‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift.

Cocktail hour was a mix of some old school stuff like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald with some modern chill stuff from Michael Buble and Jack Johnson type of music, and people were really enjoying it. Once that wrapped up – we lined up the entire wedding party and couple and did the introductions. The parents and wedding party were introduced to Tyrone Wells ‘Feel Good’ (side note one of the groomsman did an actual back flip for his introduction!!!) and in walked the newlyweds and went directly into their first dance ‘You & Me On Top Of The World’ also by Tyrone Wells. (Another side note and why I love doing weddings – I’d never heard of Tyrone Wells and his music is great! Love being exposed to new music through this job.)

Once the dinner service began we had the speeches and toasts underway. The dinner playlist was a little mimic of cocktail hour but mixing in a little more fun and upbeat stuff like Lumineers, Vance Joy, and some PostModern Jukebox covers of Backstreet Boys to Coolio. Always fun to play that stuff! Dinner concluded and we were into parent dances and a massive surprise planned by the couple for the entire wedding!

I was told months ago by Liz and Zach they wanted to do a Lip Sync Battle with one another and they each e-mailed me over their song choices as a surprise so the other wouldn’t know what they were doing until that night. First up was Liz doing ‘Aaron’s Party’ by Aaron Carter. I had edited all of these tracks ahead of time so they could practice exactly how long they wanted to lip sync for. Liz nailed it with the opening song but then Zach was up and blew everyone away by doing ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ by Christina Aguilera. The place went NUTS! Liz was back up though with a mesmerizing version of the ballad ‘And I Am Telling You’ by Jennifer Hudson. To round out the battle Zach went back up to sing ‘Downtown’ by Macklemore which Liz joined in on the second verse and the entire wedding party all joining in towards the end. It was hands down one of the most entertaining things I’ve seen a couple do at a wedding and super original. I am waiting to see the videos of them go viral!

At that time we were into open dance floor with another energetic and fun crowd that just made the job too easy! I’m VERY lucky to work with such awesome couples who have such awesome crowds for me to get dancing all night. It was a wide age range so I kept it moving with all modern top 40 stuff into old school 50s and 60s and touching on the 80s and 90s to try and please everyone. The old school tunes were going over really well this night and we ended the night with their song choice of a reprise of Macklemore ‘Downtown’ with everyone in the crowd singing along and jumping up and down.

Liz and Zach, just a reminder because I know you already know this – but you seriously rock. Thank-you TONS for having me play some fun music for you guys! CONGRATS!

(Another fun side note I also learned on the wedding night – Zach and I share a mutual love obsession for Dumb and Dumber. Zach – I have the soundtrack on blue and orange vinyl if you ever want to rock out to it sometime! YACK! Sorry Liz, I know you’re not a fan!)

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