My Top Ten Wedding Moments

Posted by on September 12th 2018

My Top Ten Wedding Moments

So it’s safe to say that I’ve been a part of a lot of weddings over the last five years. Between my time on staff at my church and more so as Fun DMC’s wedding coordinator I’ve definitely racked up some numbers as far as weddings go. I was thinking back over some of them today and there have definitely been some highlights that stick out. Here are a few for your reading enjoyment in no particular order:

10. Ryan and Amy Byers

The couple had mentioned in a meeting that one of their favorite songs was “99 Red Balloons.” As the venue conveniently had a balcony located above either side of the dance floor, the band decided to dump over 200 red balloons onto the unsuspecting guests of the Byers while performing the Nena classic. (Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield IL)

9. Adam and Rebecca Knade

After performing a rooftop ceremony overlooking the Chicago skyline, the band returned to the top floor only to find a locked door. Not to be dissuaded, the band “broke into” the restricted area, resulting in a group photo of the first iteration of Fun DMC. (Lacuna Artists Lofts, Chicago IL)

8. Chris and Melissa Cook

For me personally, this was one of the most meaningful weddings I’ve professionally been a part of. The Picketts (Melissa’s side) have been close family friends for years and it was somewhat of a reunion to come back and do what I love for a rental tent full of old friends and acquaintances, some of whom I’ve not seen in years. As most of them had known me in the context of “church music guy” it was quite entertaining for me to watch their faces as the look of recognition crossed their eyes. (Chatham, IL Backyard Ceremony and Reception)

7. AJ and Kara Berry

Masonic TempleI could say a lot of things about this wedding reception – the dance floor was full the entire night, there was one working outlet in the entire room, the venue was so cool we took our current promo picture there, there was a death-defying loading ramp, there was a random shirtless guy on the dance floor… However, the moment that I cherish the most from this wedding was in the moments following the final song. It had been a long run of shows and the band was really looking forward to a few weeks off. This was the last show of 2016 and we were feeling every show leading up to that night. Before the frantic tear down began the band took a moment to have a seat around a table, have a drink and reflect on the year. And with that, the band began the long trip up the ramp into the frigid December night. (Decatur Masonic Temple, Decatur IL)

6. Connor and Lindy Bridgman

Bridgman WeddingAs technology has improved the need for verbal directions has all but disappeared. However, there are the rare occasions when a a GPS and Google Maps just can’t get the job done. Such was the case for the Perryman wedding. We had an address, and coordinates and we all arrived at a dirt field. After a few frantic phone calls the band made a hasty retreat to the ceremony location at the other side of the town of Assumption where we were given three completely contradictory sets of directions by well-meaning groomsmen. Finally, and bout 70 minutes behind the schedule, the band was able to locate the reception site and have the show set up and ready to go with time to spare. Also worth mentioning, if your photographer gets lost and misses the introductions and speeches, Fun DMC has got you covered. (Assumption, IL, Backyard Reception)

5. Vikash and Leslie Bhakta

The Expo Building, Springfield, ILThis wedding featured a traditional Hindu ceremony which through my travels I must say I’ve never encountered before. It is quite involved, requires a bit of incense, some rhythmic chanting, and ends with passing out ice cream to the guests (which was a nice treat in the 100+ degree second floor of the 100+ year old building). In addition we were treated to traditional Indian food at the reception. Another honorable mention, don’t order coffee at Buffalo Wild Wings while you’re in-between set up and the event. (The Expo Building, Springfield, IL)

4. Ryan and Gretchen Anderson

Peoria Marriott Pere MarquetteThere were so many fun moments at the Anderson wedding reception from “Rock Around The Clock” as the Father/Daughter dance to the wonderful salad served prior to dinner (seriously, this salad was killer). That said, nothing could compare to the lighted LED dance floor provided by Fun On The Run. It took the dance floor energy to another level. (Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette, Peoria, IL)

3. Michael and Chelsea Dorris

Pana Oak Terrace Resorts

So my first meeting with Michael and Chelsea was interesting as half of the conversation was translated by Michael on Chelsea’s behalf through American Sign Language. It took a few exchanges to adjust to waiting a moment or two longer before responding to questions and giving answers. I kept a similar rhythm at the reception as about half of the guests of the Dorris wedding were also deaf and I was given a translator to follow my announcements and general wedding banter. I remember watching Michael sign his way through the ceremony and how gracious Chelsea was as he admittedly stumbled through a skill he was still somewhat uncomfortable with. It was a beautiful moment of unconditional love overlooking a beautiful lakeside backdrop. Honorable mention: No matter how hungry you are, don’t eat the mashed potatoes at the KFC buffet. You will not recover quickly.  (Pana Oak Terrace Resorts, Pana IL)

2. Sam and Gloria Davis

Cedars of Lebanon State Park, Lebanon TNSam Davis has been a close friend of the band for years and was even part of the front line for a while. So when we were asked to be a part of his wedding reception in Nashville, even though we had a gig the night before, we gladly accepted. Like many of these weddings there are quite a few memories I could pull from including giant inflatable dinosaurs on the dance floor during “Walk The Dinosaur,” Sam reprising a very smooth verse of “Ice, Ice Baby,” and my high-flying leap from the stage at the end of “Baby Got Back.” That all said, the most memorable moment came the next morning. Any Nashville resident will tell you that when you visit Music City USA you have to try a hot chicken sandwich. And while there is some debate among the locals, most agree that there’s not a better place to do this than Hattie B’s. So following a delightful stop at the Frothy Monkey for some morning coffee, the band decided to make the 2 mile walk to Hattie B’s. About halfway there we encountered a woman who was wearing what some might call “a 1000-yard stare.” There were four of us walking in groups of two down the sidewalk and as we neared this lady we started to veer to the right to allow her the space to do likewise from her perspective. She did not. Her face set like flint toward her destination she parted our group like the Red Sea and barreled through between our ranks. I was quite thrown off by this action and stopped in my tacks and turned to look in her direction to which she responded with a barrage of vulgarities that I will spare you from. In short in involved a threat with a knife and how she planned to use it on us. That’s when we noticed that the neighborhood we were passing through was a little less safe than the one we were in three blocks earlier. We quickly continued on our way. In short, Hattie B’s hot chicken is the best sandwich in the world, we took an Uber back to where we parked, and we drove home on faith, country music, and a burned out tire.  (Cedars of Lebanon State Park, Lebanon TN)

1. Josh and Emily Banks

So there are occasions when we are given the task of performing wedding dance songs live rather than playing them from a laptop. For the most part these are familiar and easily accessible songs from a small bank of tried and true selections (think “All Of Me” by John Legend, “Over the Rainbow” by the Hawaiian guy, etc). That said, Josh and Emily presented Fun DMC with a challenge that we had not encountered before which was to perform a song that was virtually unknown, at least in the eyes of Google. We had a track and that was it. No lyrics, no chord charts, no sheet music. The title of the song was “Perfectly Imperfect” by Ryan Hiroka. No offense to Ryan should he ever read this but not many people are aware of this fun little reggae number. After several run listens to the song I finally had the lyrics written out and then it was time for the chord progression. Fortunately it wasn’t much more than an easy I V IV classic. I remember the band looking at each other and smiling as we stepped up to play the couple’s first dance song. The look on their faces more than made up for the work going into this project.  (Firefighter’s Club, Springfield, IL)

There are so many more memories I could share from all of the Fun DMC weddings. Don’t worry if I missed yours. I’m sure there will be a part 2 and 3 to this series.