Themed Wedding Receptions–Success Stories

So you’re planning a wedding reception! You want everyone to remember your big day forever.  Why not stamp your personal signature on your once-in-a-lifetime event through the use of a distinctive theme?  You may want to showcase a particular interest of yours, or maybe a vacation or honeymoon destination that really appealed to you. The sky is the limit when it comes to wedding themes!

Why use a theme?  Simple.  A theme sets your wedding apart and gives your guests something visually powerful to help them remember it for years to come.  And it gives you the opportunity to let your creativity shine through!

So let’s take a look at four ideas from our past clients that I thought were extremely successful, and more importantly, created vivid memories. 

Kelly and Justin Diercks got married in August of 2007.  Their Davenport River Center reception featured a garden theme.  On a scale from 1 to 10 they took their theme to an 11!  Their 420 guests enjoyed a grand selection of gardens, some of which could be walked through, and all of which were beautiful!

Landscaped Wedding Reception

Landscaped Wedding Reception

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Landscaped Wedding Reception

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Landscaped Wedding Reception

Landscaped Wedding Reception

Marilee and Michael Godsil selected a Hawaiian theme for their Galesburg wedding reception in June of 2007.  From décor to attire to catering, their wedding reception made you feel as though you were on the islands!

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Hawaii Wedding Reception

Hawaii Wedding Reception

Authentic Hawaii Food for Wedding Reception

Theresa and Tom Hull’s January 2011 wedding reception guests will never forget the Disney Cinderella experience that Theresa and Tom created for them.  Music and décor was carefully selected to complete the Cinderella theme.

Cinderelly Wedding Reception

Cinderella Wedding Reception

And the best theme award goes to Jessica and Salomon Andrade, who got married in the dead of Winter 2007.  Jessica chose to create an ice castle theme for her wedding reception.  Her reception hall was decorated with artificial icicles strategically hanging from the ceiling.  To complete the effect she selected an arctic white fur parka to wear for a portion of the evening, along with arctic white polar boots trimmed in white fur. 

She could not have imagined that on her wedding day a massive ice storm would shroud the area with a thick sheet of ice just before the reception.  Not only that, but the storm rendered the reception hall powerless.  It was dark and it was cold.  But with the use of a generator, we were able to provide some great ambient light from our dance floor lights which enhanced the ice effect.  We had music, we had food and we had dancing and fun!   Jessica was able to wear her arctic parka and boots the entire evening, as it was so cold in the reception hall.  People danced to stay warm.  And it was the best wedding reception ever!

Strangely enough I cannot find the photos of this event anywhere on my computer.  They’re gone.  Kaput.  But it doesn’t matter.  It further serves to illustrate my point that a great theme makes your wedding reception unforgettable.  While I used photos from the other events to help write this article, I had no photos from the “Ice Wedding”.  But the images from the event are vividly etched in my mind forever.  If a great theme can help your wedding DJ remember your wedding, imagine how much better you and your guests will remember it!

So be bold!  Find a theme and use it!  Create an event that will live forever in your memories!  For more photos and themes please visit our Facebook site under Seamless Wedding Reception series.

Jennifer and Mike – June 30 2012

Jennifer Blaser and Mike Svendsen, along with 230 of their family and friends had an awesome party to celebrate their wedding day! The Radisson Quad City Plaza Ballroom was the perfect setting for an event that combined elegance and good times that lasted well into the evening.

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Jennifer and Mike are an amazing couple, very fun loving and they have a great family and group of friends!

Jennifer and Mike had their wedding ceremony at St. John Vianney Church at 2PM.  Guests were able to then enjoy a cocktail hour at 4PM in the Radisson’s tropical-like atrium.  After Melanie from Best Days Photography photographed the wedding party, Jennifer and Mike descended the grand staircase to join the party that was going on in the atrium.

The Radisson Ballroom’s elegance was revealed to the guests when the doors opened promptly at 5PM.  Guests’ eyes were treated to the beauty of floral arrangements by Clazzy Designs.   Below are some of the photos I took during the night:

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Beautiful head table setting with Radisson’s elegant lighting and light peach uplighting from Black Tie

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Another view of the head table.

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Beautiful floral decor from Clazzy Designs!

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Olde Towne Bakery wedding cake. It’s always good!

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Centerpieces from Clazzy Designs were a big hit!

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Guests enjoy cocktails in the atrium prior to the arrival of Jennifer and Mike.

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Beautiful decor just outside the ballroom.

The wedding party’s grand entrance music was “At The Beginning” by Richard Marx.  Jennifer and Mike’s wedding party consisted of:

Parents of the Bride – Mark and Nancy Blaser

Parents of the Groom – Craig and Cathy Svendsen

Bridesmaids – Stephanie Blaser, Laura Blaser, Jamie Blaser, Kristin Stopulos, Liz Martin

Groomsmen – Robert Hatheway, Matt Svendsen

Maid of Honor – Michaela Byrne

Best Man – Doug Svendsen

Jennifer and Mike had a large contingent of guests from the State of Minnesota and another group of guests from Dubuque Iowa.  Most of the guests stayed for the duration of the evening and they had a super good time on the dance floor!

For more photos please make sure to visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BlackTieEntertainment

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This group is just getting started!

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More fun on the dance floor.

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This group probably had very tired feet the next day!

Jennifer and Mike were assisted by these quality wedding vendors:

Venue, Lodging and Catering – Radisson Quad City Plaza

Photography – Best Days Photography

Floral Design – Clazzy Designs

Wedding Cake – Olde Towne Bakery

Attire – Celebration Bridal, Men’s Wearhouse

Uplighting, DJ and Emcee – Black Tie Entertainment

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Mike and Jennifer had such a large group left at the end of the night that there was barely enough space to fit them around the edge of the Radisson’s large dance floor!

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A night to remember!

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Svendsen for allowing me to help you celebrate, and for furnishing such an awesome roomful of guests!  I wish you the very best in your new life together!

Marissa and Ryan June 16 2012

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Marissa and Ryan

Marissa Romero and Ryan McKee were married on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at St. Paul Apostle Catholic Church.  Marissa and Ryan are one of the nicest and most photogenic couples you will ever meet and it was a pleasure to help them celebrate their wedding day!

After the ceremony, guests arrived at Quarters One on Arsenal Island for cocktails.  Quarters One is the second largest official federal residence in the United States, behind the White House, and it is located on the Rock Island Arsenal Army Base in the Quad Cities Area.  During the cocktail hour the Quad Cities received a rare Summer thunderstorm (rare because the Midwest is enduring an extreme drought during the Summer of 2012).  The rain really poured down but stopped just long enough for guests to make the walk from Quarters One to the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club for the wedding reception.

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Rock Island Arsenal Quarters One

Guests arrived at Marissa and Ryan’s wedding reception to find the grand banquet room decorated in purple up-lighting from Black Tie Entertainment, spring green chair sashes from All Pro Custom Productions and floral arrangements from Milan Flower Shop.  The room looked outstanding!

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Room decorated in purple uplighting and spring green chair sashes with white chair covers

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Purple, green and white floral arrangements from Milan Flower Shop

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Arsenal Golf Club dance floor

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This was one amazing wedding cake!

Members of Marissa and Ryan’s wedding party included:

Parents of the Bride – Maria and John Romero

Mother of the Groom – Mary and Ron Ashley

Usher – John Romero Jr.

Flower Girl and Ring Bearer – Noah McKee and JZ Martinez

Junior Bridesmaid – Hanna McKee

Maid of Honor – Samantha Ferreyra

Best Man – Nathan McKee

Ryan and Marissa danced their first dance to “Quiero Decirte Que Te Amo” by DLG and danced quite well!

After speeches from the Bride and Groom, Marissa’s parents and the Best Man and Maid of Honor guests enjoyed a great buffet meal served by the chefs and staff of the Arsenal Golf Club.

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Marissa and Ryan entertained their guests with an amazing first dance!

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Salsa Dancing – many of the guests were great dancers!

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Singer Juan Carlos performed live for the wedding party dance

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Beautiful floral arrangements on the head table

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Time to dance!

Marissa and Ryan’s guests had a great time on the dance floor right up until the end of the evening.  The night was spiced up quite a bit with a variety of great Salsa dances as well!

Wedding professionals who assisted Marissa and Ryan on their wedding day included:

Venue and Catering – Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club and Quarters One

Photography – Rick Jennisch

Chair covers and sashes – All Pro Custom Productions

Floral – Milan Flower Shop, Damien

Guest Lodging – Ramada Inn Bettendorf

Wedding Cake – Cakes by Kaye

Entertainment and Accent Lighting – Black Tie Entertainment

Thank you to Marissa and Ryan and your families for allowing me to help you celebrate your big day! It was a day that you and your guests will remember for a very long time.  Best wishes!

Jessica and Connor McGee June 9 2012

It was way back in October of 2010 when Jessica Pryor and her Mom walked into our office to talk about Jessica and Connor’s June 2012 wedding reception.  Jessica was a very busy medical student and wanted to get an early start on her wedding plans so she could focus on her future medical career.  Jessica struck me as someone who was focused, organized and had a bright future ahead.  I was delighted when she selected Black Tie as her entertainment provider and knew ahead of time that it would be a great party!

Flash forward, almost two years later, and Jessica and Connor McGee arrived at their wedding reception to find a fantasy land awaiting them, alive with colors of pink, purple and orange.  All of this was arranged by Peg and Jim from Exceptional Events in Moline, creators extraordinaire of perfect wedding receptions.

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Jessica and Connor are ready to celebrate!

Jessica and Connor’s family and their 225 guests at the iwireless center in Moline were a DJ’s dream, packing the dance floor from the very first dance.  This was a great group!

Jessica and Connor’s wedding party included:

Parents of the Bride – Ron and Joanne Pryor

Parents of the Groom – Mike and Taylor McGee

Ushers – Mike Renfro, Chris VanTiem

Bridesmaids – Kate Wojcicki, Sunita Saigal

Groomsmen – Ryan Stack, Liam McGee

Maid of Honor – Caitlin Pryor

Best Man – Sean McGee

Jessica and Connor danced their first dance to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz.  We created a custom mix of Phil Vassar’s “She’s On Her Way” for the Father Daughter dance, featuring the voice of Jessica singing at the age of 2.  It was a special moment!

Here are some photo highlights of Jessica and Connor’s unforgettable wedding reception.  Please visit our Facebook page for more photos of the party.

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Pink uplighting highlights the columns and pink color wash accents the area behind the head table.

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Wedding cake from Heller Cakes. Yummy!

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Photo of the parents of the bride at the place card table.

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A view from the DJ area.

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Custom made guest register.

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This is the kind of moment I love to see, when the bride and groom get lifted up on the dance floor by their friends. Totally spontaneous!

Wedding professionals who helped Jessica and Connor celebrate their marriage included:

iwireless center – Venue

Levy Entertainment – Catering

Rick Jennisch – Photography

Exceptional Events – Overall Event Design

MI Studios – Videography

Lori Heller – Wedding Cake

Staack Florist – Floral design

Ducky’s Formal Wear – Formal Wear

A Storybook Ending – Bridal Attire

Radisson on John Deere Commons – Lodging

Black Tie Entertainment – DJ/Emcee/Accent Lighting

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Thank you and congratulations to Jessica and Connor as you begin your new life together!  It was an unforgettable evening filled with memories that will last for a lifetime!

Joan and James Kranovich June 2 2012

When it came time to decide where to have her wedding reception, the choice was easy for Joan Frank.  After all, The Abbey Station in Rock Island is simply one of the most elegant facilities of its kind anywhere in the Midwest.  The former train station for the once mighty Rock Island Lines Railroad was painstakingly restored several years ago.   Trains still rumble past the station’s platform during events held there, stirring ones imagination back to the glory days of rail travel.

And if that wasn’t reason enough, Joan used to work special events there!  So it was obvious that Joan and James Kranovich would be celebrating their big day at The Abbey Station on June 2, 2012!

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The Abbey Station – an incredibly beautiful and historic site.

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Trains rumble past the station just a few feet from the old station platform. This makes events there much more interesting!

Joan and James’ guests began arriving at the reception shortly after their 2PM ceremony ended at St. Mary’s Church in Davenport.  The wedding party arrived around 5 PM and had their grand entrance to “Me and My Gang” by Rascal Flatts.

Members of the wedding party included:

Parents of the Bride – John and Mary Frank

Parents of the Groom – Richard and Floriana Kranovich

Ushers – Joseph Frank, Christopher Frank

Flower Girl and Ring Bearer – Maddisyn Mojica, Jackson Connors

Bridesmaids – Melissa Kranovich, Ashley Mojica, Elizabeth Berner, Joanna Connors, Kelsie McLain

Groomsmen – Joe Siegert, Angel Mojica, Matt Lellig, Brian Friederich, Joel Donnelly

Maid of Honor – Molly Watkins

Best Man – Garrett Connors

Below are some of the highlights of James and Joan’s delightful wedding reception:

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White and Cornflower Blue table settings from Clazzy Designs, accented by blue uplighting from Black Tie.

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Scrumptious cake from Al Nitz.

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It is important to not visually detract from such a beautiful setting. Notice how our DJ sound and lighting equipment blends into the decor inconspicuously.

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The Limo Arrives!

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During her days of working wedding receptions at the Abbey Station, Joan had seen many DJ’s work in the venue.  Long ago, she had decided that Black Tie Entertainment was the best match for her event, and so we were honored to help Joan and James celebrate, along with their 150 guests!

Additional wedding professionals who participated in the day included:

Abbey Station – Venue

Bridges Catering – Food and Beverage

Clazzy Designs – Floral and Chair Covers

Al Nitz – Wedding Cake

Limo Experience and Davenport Trolley – Transportation

QC Photo Booth – Photo Booth

Duckys – Formal Wear

Davids Bridal – Bridal Attire

Kelsey Zwicker – Photography

Rock Island Holiday Inn – Lodging

Black Tie Entertainment – Uplighting, DJ, Emcee

Thank you so much to James and Joan for allowing me to help you have a great time on your wedding day!  Best wishes as you begin your exciting new life together!

Jamie and TJ Loger May 27 2012

Jamie Dunn and T.J. Loger were married on the Sunday before Memorial Day at Christ’s Family Church in Davenport Iowa.   A big reception at the elegant Davenport Country Club took place immediately afterwards.

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Jamie and TJ looking forward to dinner!

Members of Jamie and T.J.’s wedding party included:

Parents of the Bride – Tom and Deborah Dunn

Parents of the Groom – Tom and Charlotte Loger

Ushers – Kit Roed, Chad Huffman, Aaron Jalas, Derek Stammer

Bridesmaids – Michelle Rasmussen, Katie Huffman, Megan Wolcott, Kate Sandy

Groomsmen – Justin Jenness, Nate Roos, Josh Guffey, Devan Moylan

Maid of Honor – Shannon Schraegle

Best Man – Josh Rasmussen

The wedding party entered the room to “Get On The Floor” by Jennifer Lopez.  Jamie and TJ entered the room to applause and the song “Chelsea Dagger” (one of my favorites).  The couple had their first dance to Miranda Lambert’s “Making Plans” immediately after their entrance.

The Father of the Bride, Tom Dunn, offered a warm welcome speech and dinner was served after a prayer by Pastor Tim Truesdell of Christ’s Family Church.

Later, toasts were offered by Shannon and Josh, Maid of Honor and Best Man.

Jamie was a member of the University of Iowa Dance Team, and at 10:00 she, along with her friends from the team, did a special performance of the Iowa Fight Song!

Below are some photos highlighting the elegant and fun event:

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Jamie and TJ’s first dance as husband and wife!

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Delicious wedding cake from Cakes by Kay

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Magenta uplighting and color wash in the newly renovated West Wing of the Davenport Country Club

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We used battery powered uplighting to create an uncluttered look which was important since the lighting was on the window sills.

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Jamie and TJ’s guests had an exciting night on the dance floor.

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Spontaneous kick line.

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A typically beautiful Davenport Country Club sunset.

Wedding professionals who helped Jamie and TJ celebrate their big day included:

Davenport Country Club – Venue and Catering

Mens Wearhouse – Formal Attire

Macys – Bridal Attire

Cakes by Kay – Wedding Cake

Luxury Limo – Transportation

VIP Trolley – Transportation

Leigh Loftus – Photography

Bloomers – Floral

Christ’s Family Church – Ceremony Location

Isle of Capri – Lodging

Black Tie Entertainment – DJ/Emcee, Uplighting

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Circle of love!

Many heartfelt thanks to Jamie and TJ for allowing me to help them celebrate the beginning of their new life together!

Kailan and David’s Mozart Room Reception

David and Kailan (LaFrenz) Neff celebrated their wedding reception at the elegant Mozart Room in the Bavarian themed Lodge Hotel on May 19, 2012.  There were 245 guests present and they sure had a great time!

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The new Mr. and Mrs. Neff

We have to go back about five years in time to my original introduction to the Neff Family.  Back in June 0f 2007 I was honored to help Katherine Neff and Geoff Gibson celebrate their marriage at the historic Abbey Hotel ballroom in Bettendorf Iowa.  Sadly, the Abbey Hotel no longer exists as a venue for weddings, but it sure is nice to go back and remember all the good times that we had there over the years.  Kat and Geoff’s wedding reception at the Abbey was one of those really good times that I have never forgotten.  Here are a few choice photos from that event:

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Mr. and Mrs. Geoff Gibson’s first dance in June of 2007

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Katherine and Geoff’s wedding cake at the historic Abbey Hotel

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Fun on the Abbey Hotel’s legendary dance floor!

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One of the big hits at Katherine and Geoff’s 2007 wedding reception was this “Bee Suit”. At least a half dozen people took turns wearing the suit, including myself. This picture is a little misleading, but the sailor wearing the suit actually has a drink in his hand, so things are not as they appear at first glance!

Fast forward 5 years and I was thrilled to be asked to DJ for Katherine’s brother David Neff at his May 19 wedding to Kailan LaFrenz.  I knew we would be in for another fun night!

Here are some photo highlights from David and Kailan’s party:

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The Lodge Mozart Room is ready for Kailan and David’s guests.

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Delicious wedding cake from Hy-Vee.

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Kailan and David used our focal point uplighting feature, which is included in our wedding packages, to highlight their head table area in green.

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Floral design by Staack Florist.

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Beautiful head table setting in Green and Watermelon Pink

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There was a lot of fun on the dance floor all night!

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Kailan and David’s friends and family show their love and support

Wedding Professionals who played a part in David and Kailan’s wedding reception included:

The Lodge Hotel – Venue, Catering and Lodging

Mens Wearhouse – Formal wear

David’s Bridal – Bridal attire

Hy-Vee 53rd Street – Wedding Cake

Josh Woolheater – Photographer

Karen and Richard Mowers – Videographer

Staack Florist – Floral Design

Edwards UCC – Ceremony

Black Tie Entertainment – Emcee, Music and Uplighting

Congratulations to David and Kailan as you begin your new life together!

Thank you to the LaFrenz Family and to the Neff Family for having me back to help you celebrate another big milestone for your family!  It was nice to see you all again and I hope to see you all again sometime soon!