The end of wedding season is always a mixed bag. 2011 was a great year on several levels. I’ve written about many of the couples I worked with and I would say that it was as satisfying a year as I can ever remember. And while one couple in particular made a huge impact on me (and if you are reading this, you know who you are!) I have to say that, across the board, I am thankful to have shared such special days with so many truly good people — I wouldn’t have traded ANY of them. I thank them all again for letting me be a part of their celebration.
And while there may be some small measure of taking a breath as the slow season arrives, it also presents new opportunities.
Inquiries for the following season begin to pick up around the holidays (many people either become engaged or announce it to their loved ones during family get-togethers around the holiday season.) Many dates in 2012 are already booked and, in fact, I am already beginning to turn away couples because their date is taken — probably my LEAST favorite part of this business. Even as I write this, I have several pending meetings with prospective clients who are anxious to hire their DJ.
It”s also a time to focus on the management side of things by looking ahead. It’s a time to plan business purchases, update/upgrade equipment, determine marketing plans, website updates, budgets and so on. I am excited at the prospect of adding uplighting as an optional service. As a side note, I’m always very cautious about trying to wear too many hats, but this will fit nicely into the service that I provide and is only being introduced after careful consideration and planning.
2012 looks to be another very good year.
A return to Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm in Peabody for Shannon and Matt’s celebration was my final wedding in 2011. I couldn’t have been more pleased to end my wedding season with these two.
Shannon was the ultimate planner, having originally contacted me fourteen months prior to the wedding. It was a great plan, since they were to have a destination wedding in Key West, Florida, followed by a party for all of their family and friends back home. All of that changed when Matt was accepted by the Boston Police Academy, thereby canceling the plan for a wedding in Key West in October (it’s hard to have a wedding when one-half of the couple can’t be there…) They had already secured tickets to see Jimmy Buffett at the Comcast Center in Mansfield and, being self-described major Parrotheads, they decided to get married there in the parking lot, surrounded by 20,000 of their closest friends. Imagine that: after nine years together (they met in college at Hofstra University) and all the early planning, they ended up putting together the actual wedding in only two weeks. A fantastic slideshow of that day in June was shown to the guests immediately preceding their vow renewal and it set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Shannon and Matt have had their share of challenges on the road to marriage, but they come from good stock. Each of them have parents that have been married for more than 30 years, which was celebrated through the dedication of Alan Jackson’s “Remember When.” I have no doubt that they will be celebrating their own 30th anniversary. And if Jimmy Buffett is still around and singing, I have no doubt HOW they will celebrate — nibbling on sponge cake…
Planning for Julianne and Ben’s wedding was way ahead of schedule. We had met for our final “in person” meeting three weeks before their ceremony and had reviewed or finalized almost all of the details of the day. As it turned out, my tendency to over-prepare (and to prepare EARLY) ended up paying big dividends since I was without power, telephone and internet for three of the last six days before the wedding. Even cell phone service was interrupted. Nature’s sense of humor by playing a big honkin’ “trick” on almost all of New England on the eve of Halloween didn’t amuse me at all. And although I had managed to stay in touch with the bride by searching out every internet cafe in the area so that she knew that all contingencies were in place, it was a solid reminder that even a veteran like me needs to stay on my toes every single time with such a big celebration. And, when all was said and done, everything went off without a hitch.
The crew at Stow Acres Country Club had been dealing with similar issues but were well prepared by the time the big day rolled around. Vows were exchanged inside the Victorian Clubhouse, which was nicely sectioned off to create an intimate setting. The ceremony itself was simple but sweet and, has been the case many times this wedding season, I had provided the music and sound. I loved that the bride chose “Then He Kissed Me” — the classic song from The Crystals — as their recessional. It was so appropriate and perfectly fit the charming mood of the day.
At most weddings, there is a moment that I know is going to stick with me. At this one, I knew it was happening even as it developed. There were no fewer than four generations in attendance, including the bride’s grandmother, who is restricted to a wheel chair. Nonetheless, this lovely lady was tapping her hands along with every dance song that I played, from Michael Jackson (more on MJ later…) to Nicki Minaj to Earth, Wind and Fire to Pitbull. Then that moment happened: we dedicated Buddy Holly’s “True Love Ways” to Grammy Kate, at which time she was wheeled out onto the floor to ‘dance’ with the bride and a few other family members. It was touching beyond words and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
Julianne is a huge Michael Jackson fan. She also attended dance lessons for 13 years (thanks to the bride’s mom for filling me in on that one…) The result was, without question, some of the most entertaining dance moves I’ve ever seen. One of the guests had requested that I play “Smooth Criminal” and Julianne, along with a few of her friends, put out the kind of stuff you see in music videos — and they were clearly having the time of their lives. Another guest request (“Ice Ice Baby”) showed why, on at least one occasion, she had won a dance contest.
Big thanks to Julianne, Ben and all of your family and friends. It was as fun as it gets.