It’s no secret that I absolutely love my clients. While I’m sure there are many DJs who are in business simply because of the opportunity to party every weekend while making some extra cash, there’s one underlying reason why I do this job: I really like the people I get to work for. The only downside is that I generally don’t see them much, if at all, after their events have taken place. With that said, it was truly an honor to be part of Corinne & Ralph’s wedding day. It will be one of the most memorable and treasured events of my DJ career.
Corinne had first contacted me last October; I was the DJ at her sister’s wedding last September on Cape Cod. I was happy that she liked my work and wanted to check my availability, but also a bit surprised – the wedding was taking place near Utica, New York – not exactly close by. After sending a quote for my services and not knowing what to expect, I received the news: “We would really love to have you as our DJ”. Fast forward to yesterday, when my wife and I made the 300 mile trip to the reception location – Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY. We arrived at 3:00 pm, which gave me plenty of time to check out the venue, set up for the wedding and relax a bit before my 7:00 start time.
The reception actually began at 6:00 in a smaller room at Turning Stone, with an elaborate selection of hors d’ouevres and music provided by a harpist. One hour later, one of the smaller room’s walls opened up to reveal a HUGE dancefloor and seating for nearly 400 guests. I invited them in with some great upbeat selections – from an outstanding instrumental rendition of Kool & The Gang’s “Get Down On It” to Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head”. Corinne & Ralph’s guests really liked my choices – some were even dancing a bit while finding their way to their seats.
After introductions (there were lots of Italian names, which required lots of practice on my part), the bride and groom shared a first dance and then took their seats. After a blessing and then a toast by the best man, the Turning Stone waitstaff emerged from the kitchen to “Be Our Guest” from Disney’s Beauty & The Beast. This was well-received by the guests; it’s something that Turning Stone does at every wedding reception they host.
After dinner, the cutting of the wedding cake and some special dances, I opened the dancefloor with a slow song and then went right to some of Corinne’s requests – with so many guests and so much food to be served, we didn’t have as much time for dancing as I’d hoped. The dancefloor quickly filled; in fact, I’m pretty sure that the bride danced to almost every song that I played. For the most part, I stuck with a mix of oldies (”Runaround Sue”), some party classics (”Love Shack” – a request from one of the guests), and more recent hits from the likes of Rihanna and Black Eyed Peas. I also threw in a number of Frank Sinatra songs, as Ralph’s family really enjoys Frank’s music. We finished the evening with “New York, New York” (complete with ‘Chorus Line’-style kicks), and then a song that I picked out at the very last second – Earth Wind & Fire’s “September”. While it wasn’t quite the 21st night (we were just a day too soon), it was the perfect finish to an absolutely wonderful day. After saying goodnight to the newlyweds and their families, I packed up my gear and headed up to my hotel room on the 17th floor – it offered a tremendous view of the New York countryside.
In the morning, my wife and I joined Corinne & Ralph’s family and friends for a post-wedding brunch – there was an invitation tucked into the gift bag that was in our hotel room when we arrived. That’s why I mentioned the earlier “downside” – not seeing my clients after their events have taken place. When my wife and I walked into the room, Ralph got up from his seat, walked right over to us, shook my hand and told my wife “It was awesome… he did an awesome job”. I was elated beyond words.
I really hope that all of my clients feel the same way that Corinne & Ralph do. More importantly, I hope I get to see Corinne & Ralph again. If I had the opportunity to travel to New York and entertain their families again, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Parents’ Introduction Music: “Eye Of The Tiger” – Survivor
Wedding Party Introduction Music: “This Is How We Do It” – Montell Jordan
Corinne & Ralph’s Introduction Music: “Party Like A Rockstar” – Shop Boyz
First Dance: “This Is The Time” – Billy Joel
Song Played During The Cake Cutting: “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Def Leppard
Bride/Father Dance: “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” – Stevie Wonder
Groom/Mother Dance: “I Hope You Dance” – Lee Ann Womack
Groom/Grandmother Dance: “Al-Di-La” – Jerry Vale
Last Dance: “New York, New York” – Frank Sinatra
Farewell Dance: “September” – Earth Wind & Fire