The Seamless Wedding Reception – Part One

Some of the best wedding receptions I can remember over the last 27 years of being a “Wedding DJ” all seemed to have one thing in common. Not only did guests have fun and celebrate, but more importantly, the event flowed seamlessly from one moment to the next. The very best wedding receptions were always the ones at which time seemed to pass by very quickly. One moment people were walking into a beautifully decorated banquet room, and seemingly in the blink of an eye the event was over. But although the perception of the passing time was short, the reality was that the time was surprisingly loaded with a lifetime of unforgettable moments.

This type of event does not happen by accident. It takes months of meticulous planning to create this type of wedding reception. As a contrast, events that are poorly planned seem to drag on forever with very little memories left in the guests’ minds.

Some people have a knack for planning details and others would prefer that those details be left to someone else. Those who are skilled at planning would all probably admit that they rely on some type of tool to assist them. The numbers of little details that go into a great wedding reception are simply far too overwhelming to keep track of without help.

Almost all of our brides take advantage of the planning session that Black Tie offers as an integral part of their wedding package. Many of those brides arrive at that session armed with some type of aid, whether it is one of those big bridal planner binders with all the special pages and pockets, a professional wedding planner, a laptop with a complicated spreadsheet, or quite possibly the ultimate planning tool – the Mother of the Bride.

In any event, those who are serious about planning usually have the greatest chance of staging one of those great wedding receptions where the time flies by and people talk about it for years to come.

A few days ago I was reminded of the useful online planning tools that we offer all of our clients when I received an email from one of our Spring Brides. She wrote, “I can’t say enough about your website. The checklist (planning) has been awesome and I love the music suggestions and such. Thanks so much”, from Kasey Ciccarone. Thank you for the compliment Kasey!

In the coming months I will offer a short series of articles on the art and science of “seamlessly flowing” and “memory loaded” Wedding Receptions based on my experiences and best memories of the last couple decades. I will use a few examples of previous events and also offer some samplings of the online planning tools we provide our clients.

In the meantime we will be looking forward to another year of very happy memories!


New Weddings for 2012

Black Tie Entertainment has recently begun booking weddings for the year 2012.  We are pleased to welcome the following new brides to our schedule:

May 27, 2012 – Jamie Dunn     Reception Venue: Davenport Country Club

June 9, 2012 – Jessica Pryor     Reception Venue:  i.wireless Center

September 15, 2012 – Kelli McMullen      Reception Venue:  Rock Island Holiday Inn

Congratulations to our newly engaged brides and we look forward to celebrating with them in the year 2012!

We still have just one or two prime wedding dates available in 2011.  Please check our website for availability.

A Day At The Bridal Show

It was a great time at the Davenport River Center on Saturday.  Robin and I visited with a lot of old friends and made some new ones during the course of the annual Jaycees Bridal Expo. 

Unlike some bridal shows in the past when there was occasional down time, this day was virtually non-stop traffic from the time the doors opened.  We made a lot of contacts with new potential clients and look forward to the opportunity to work with them in the future!

Aisles Were Busy All Day Long

Here are a few photos from the day:

Our booth featured a color changing uplighting display. Photo courtesy of Best Days Photography. Thank you Melanie!

A View of the Trolley

Best Days Photography Booth

Jaycees Bridal Show-Saturday January 29,2011

We are looking forward to seeing many familiar faces at the annual Jaycees Bridal Expo this Saturday at the Davenport River Center!  The Jaycees Bridal Expo is the larges bridal show in the area, featuring almost 130 vendors. 

Please stop by our booth to say Hello!  You can find Black Tie Entertainment’s booth on the first aisle on the right as you enter the show.  Our booth is conveniently located towards the front. 

Jaycees Bridal Show

We will be featuring a bridal show special and we look forward to seeing you there!

A Cinderella Wedding – Theresa and Tom

The Happy Couple ready to enjoy dinner.

Theresa Davis and Tom Hull were united in marriage on a wintry Friday evening, January 7, 2011.  Black Tie Entertainment was honored to emcee their Cinderella themed wedding reception at the Steeplegate Inn on the North end of Davenport Iowa.  Despite the cold, blustery conditions Theresa and Tom’s guests showed up ready to have fun.

The Williamsburg banquet room was set up and ready to host guests when they arrived after the 7:00 pm ceremony at Olde St. Annes Church.  Theresa and Tom’s friends and relatives entered the banquet room to find tables decorated in the couple’s colors of Pink, Cream and Red.   The cake and refreshment table featured the Cinderella Themed Cake, a glass slipper, and a fruit filled punch fountain. 

Glass Slipper

The Glass Slipper!

Cinderella cake

Cinderella cake complete with castle and carriage!

While guests awaited the bridal party they enjoyed a sumptuous appetizer table loaded with sandwiches, shrimp and other goodies.  The bridal party entered the room around 8:30 PM with the song “When You Wish Upon a Star” as a musical backdrop.

Members of the wedding party included McKenzie Sharp, Blake Hull, Pam Kershner, Jerry Kershner, Becky Hull, Cody Redman, Staci Redman, John Hull, Sandy McKay and Danny Redman.  Toasts were given by Matron of Honor, Sandy Mckay and Best Man, Danny Redman. 


A closeup of the magical carriage with a photo of Theresa and Tom inside.

Theresa and Tom danced their first dance as husband and wife to “When I Said I Do” by Clint Black.  The party ended at midnight with the song “Save the Last Dance for Me” by The Drifters.  The small but enthusiastic group mainly enjoyed older Rock and Roll and Country music for most of the night. 

A view of table setting, dance floor and Black Tie equipment setup.

Here are some of the people and businesses that helped create the perfect Cinderella wedding for Tom and Theresa:

Wedding Cake-Hy-Vee

Catering-Steeplegate Best Western

Photos-Theresa’s brother Dennis

Ceremony-St. Annes Church

Emcee and Music-Black Tie Entertainment

First Dance!

Thank you Theresa and Tom for allowing me to help you celebrate your special day!

Hannah and Jimmie’s Wedding-January 24, 2009

Photo Courtesy of Creative Wedding Package

Photo Courtesy of Creative Wedding Package

Although the temperature outside was in the single digits, the Garmisch room at the Lodge was warm and cozy.  The wedding guests of Hannah and Jimmie Horton enjoyed celebrating with the bride and groom on January 24, 2009.  Hannah and Jimmie got the guests ready to celebrate when they made their “Grand Entrance” to “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang.  Speeches and toasts were given by Monte Asbury (Father of the Bride), Avery Horton and Erin Petersen (Best Man and Matron of Honor) and Bishop Jimmie Horton Sr. (Father of the Groom).

Hannah and Jimmie - Photo courtesy of Creative Wedding Package

Hannah and Jimmie - Photo courtesy of Creative Wedding Package

The guests enjoyed a plated dinner served by the Lodge.  After dinner and socializing Hannah and Jimmie’s Love Story was presented by Black Tie Entertainment, and then it was time to heat up the dance floor on a cold winter night.  Here is the vendor team and some of the highlights of Hannah and Jimmie’s perfect winter wedding reception:

Ceremony Location-Gospel Mission Temple

Reception Venue and Catering-The Lodge

First Dance-Elvis Presley “I Can’t Help Falling In Love”

Photography-Creative Wedding Package

Cinematography-Media Innovations

Flowers-Clazzy Designs

Wedding Colors-Silver and White

Photo Courtesy of Creative Wedding Package

Photo Courtesy of Creative Wedding Package

Wedding guests enjoyed dancing to:

Elton John Blessed (Father Daughter Dance)
Etta James At Last Short Version
Al Green Let’s Stay Together
Glenn Miller In The Mood
K.C. & The Sunshine Band Get Down Tonight
Aretha Franklin Respect
The Dixie Cups Chapel Of Love (Bouquet Toss)
Alan Jackson Remember When (Anniversary Dance)
Glenn Miller Moonlight Serenade (Anniversary Dance)
Frank Sinatra Fly Me To The Moon
Michael Jackson Billie Jean
The Commodores Brick House
Kool & The Gang Get Down On It
Sister Sledge We Are Family
Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive
Mr C Cha Cha Slide Main Mix
Band of Gold Love Songs Are Back Again
Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole Unforgettable
Luther Vandross Always And Forever
The Stylistics You Are Everything
Dusty Springfield Son Of A Preacher Man
Michael Jackson Rock With You
AC You Shook Me All Night Long
James Brown I Got You I Feel Good
Flo Rida Low
Rihanna Dont Stop The Music
Duffy Mercy
Escape Club Wild Wild West
Frankie Goes To Hollywood Relax
Cheryl Lynn Got To Be Real (Single Version)
Madonna Like A Prayer
Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Rihanna Disturbia
Billy Joel Piano Man
Journey Don’t Stop Believin’
Boston More Than A Feeling
The Police Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Michael Jackson Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Michael Bublé Save The Last Dance For Me
Alison Krauss A Living Prayer
Let's cut a rug! Photo courtesy of Creative Wedding Package

Let's cut a rug! Photo courtesy of Creative Wedding Package

Thank you Hannah and Jimmie for allowing me to be a part of your big day!

Park Board Daddy/Daughter Dance

Once again this year the Dads and Daughters who attended the annual Davenport Park Board Daddy/Daughter dance on February 15, 2009 had a great time!  Last year the event was moved to the Davenport River Center in order to accommodate the increasing popularity of the event.  This year featured a buffet meal catered by Golick’s Meat Market in Davenport.  Food selections included ham, chicken, scalloped potatoes, mac and cheese, a fluffy fruit salad, and of course, cake for dessert.  Those in attendance had the opportunity to sit for a formal picture, make a bracelet and keychain at the craft table and sign up for some great prizes.

At 6:20 pm it was obvious that many of the young ladies were ready to “cut a rug”.  We opened the dance floor by lining everyone up and then began with the “Cha-Cha Slide”.  This year we focused on playing more recent music than in past years.  The young ladies were not shy about requesting music, the most popular requests being music from “High School Musical” and “Love Story” by Taylor Swift.  I also honored requests for the old stand-by’s such as the Chicken Dance and The Macarena.  The Dads enjoyed twisting to the Beatles and Chubby Checker.

Nothing is more fun than a date with Dad!

Nothing is more fun than a date with Dad!

At the end of the evening I asked the young ladies to teach their fathers the motions to “Crank That” by Soulja Boy at home, so that the Dads could join in next year.  Hats off to the Davenport Park Board for staging another family friendly event!  One more reason it’s great to live in the Quad Cities!

Keep up with us, Dad!

Keep up with us, Dad!

Here is this year’s play list of the music the Dads and Daughters enjoyed during the night:

Mr C Cha Cha Slide Main Mix
Rihanna Disturbia
Jonas Brothers Burnin’ Up
Los Del Rio Macarena
Chubby Checker The Twist
Taylor Swift Our Song
Hannah Montana Rock Star
Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock
Aqua Barbie Girl
Shania Twain Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
Rihanna Dont Stop The Music
Trace Adkins Then They Do
The Temptations My Girl
Ray Anthony The Bunny Hop
High School Musical Cast High School Musical
High School Musical Cast I Want It All
The Beatles Twist And Shout
Baha Men Who Let The Dogs Out
Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive
Break for Prize Giveaway

Taylor Swift

Love Story
Cupid Cupid Shuffle
DJ’s Choice The Chicken Dance
High School Musical Cast The Boys Are Back
The Beatles I Saw Her Standing There
Rednex Cotton Eye Joe
Ray Anthony The Hokey Pokey
Soulja Boy Crank That
The Four Tops Sugar Pie Honey Bunch