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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