Awesome Venues–Waterfront Convention Center

This is the first in a series of articles featuring some of the greatest locations in the Quad Cities where we have worked over the years.  Our first venue is the amazing Waterfront Convention Center located on State Street in Bettendorf Iowa.  The Waterfront Center is a big venue, capable of hosting banquet events for up to 650 guests in a wedding setting.  The room is very nearly acoustically perfect and has some bold architectural texture that looks great with up-lighting.

Here are some of our favorite photos from past events at the Waterfront:

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Red and white uplighting highlighting the main banquet room entrance at the Waterfront Convention Center. The room has a lot of architectural features with texture that are further accentuated with the up-lighting.

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For this wedding the dance floor was exactly in the center of the room. Barely noticeable on the stage is one of our BOSE speakers which are very effective at filling the room with amazing and crystal clear sound. This room was designed by Tamara Wendt Design, who supplied the crystals and the teal up-lighting.

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Purple, Purple, Purple! Brooke and Ben’s wedding featured the color purple, for which we supplied lots of high powered purple uplighting which bathed the Waterfront Convention Center in the luxurious color!

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A shot prior to the opening of the doors at the 2013 Quad Cities Festival of Trees Sugar Plum Ball, for which we have provided the entertainment for the last 8 years. Notice the Waterfront’s capacity to seat lots of people in a banquet setting!

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Another shot of the Sugar Plum Ball. The Waterfront Convention Center features lots of room to dance, which is a good thing, because this crowd always packs the dance floor!

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For this peacock themed wedding at the Waterfront Convention Center we furnished uplighting to accent the peacock colors that were found throughout the room.

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Nothing beats a fall wedding at the Waterfront Convention Center. To go with the couples’ theme we provided high powered yellow and orange uplighting.

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At this wedding reception in the Waterfront Center we installed programmable uplighting, allowing us to change the color theme throughout the night. It made for quite a party!

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Celebrate!

 The Waterfront Convention Center’s website is http://qcwcc.com

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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!

Hawaii Wedding Reception

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.

A Years Worth of Wedding Cake

One of the best perks of being a Wedding DJ is the frequent close encounters with the slice of the food pyramid known as “Wedding Cake”.  This article is totally devoted to my 2012 exposure to the delicious and artistic treats.

I try to photograph the wedding cake at each and every wedding reception, primarily because the wedding cake is considered one of the centerpieces of the event, worthy of honor.  I know how much the cake means to the bride, and how much effort and expense goes into the selection, procurement and display of the perfect cake.  Each wedding cake is an original; intended to mirror some aspect of the wedding itself, whether it be the décor of the event, attire of the wedding party or personality of the bride.  Grooms, likewise, sometimes have a cake unto themselves, which is solely intended to reflect the occupation or preoccupation of the groom.

If you have any questions or want the name of the creator of any of the below cakes please feel free to leave a comment at the end and I will be happy to furnish the details.

So here, displayed in all their glory, are some of the wedding cakes of our 2012 wedding season.  Enjoy!

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The above cupcakes go with the cake below.  The theme of this reception was peacock!

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The cake above is a groom’s cake.  Can you guess his occupation?

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The above cake was accented with pin spot lighting from Exceptional Events.

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I believe that the cake above is one of the biggest I have ever seen!

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Sweets tables (above) are standard fare in Chicago, and they are becoming more popular here.  I like sweets tables because of the wide selection presented.  It’s fun to make choices.

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Sheet cakes (above) were all different flavors.

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Don’t forget to leave comments if you need contact info for any of the above cake creators.  Thanks!

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!

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!

Jamie and Andrew: A Country Club Wedding Reception

A beautiful day was in store on May 12, 2012 for the new Mr. and Mrs. Jamie and Andrew Porter and their Davenport Country Club Wedding Reception.  We were there to provide cocktail and dinner music, introduce the wedding party and provide music for the formal first dances.  The popular local band, Funktastic 5 took over at 9PM to heat up the dance floor.

Davenport Country Club, as always, was exceptionally elegant, and underwent some renovations over the winter to give the venue a new look.

Jamie and Andrew were an excellent couple to work with; very friendly and photogenic!

Here are some photo highlights of the evening:

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Wedding Cake from Olde Towne Bakery

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Jamie looks lovely after exiting from the luxury Quad City Trolley bus.

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Andrew looks excited to be able to drive his new bride out to the golf course for photos. And what a beautiful day!

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Family style head table looks great in front of the fireplace, with table coverings and chairs from Tita’s Linens in Davenport.

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Table settings in the couple’s colors of Navy, Gold and Hot Pink.

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A view into the Country Club’s renovated East Wing room. Added were a new floor and widescreen TV over the fireplace.

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Guests were able to enjoy the newly added wine cellar decor in the club’s elegant bar area.

Our equipment set up was directly in front of the band.  Jamie and Andrew had their first dance around 8:40PM and danced to “At Last” by Etta James.  When I finished my set at 9 PM we had our equipment and table removed within a few minutes so the transition from DJ to Band barely missed a beat!

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DJ and Band setup area near the dance floor.

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The head table enjoys dinner!

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Jamie and Andrew enjoy a moment during their wedding reception. They are a truly photogenic couple!

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Dancing Begins!

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For those who partied too hard – water and Motrin!

Professional wedding vendors who assisted Jamie and Andrew with their big day included:

Venue and Catering – Davenport Country Club

Linens – Tita’s Linens

Formal Wear – Milroys Dubuque Iowa

Bridal Attire – Nordstroms, Heart to Heart, North Liberty Iowa

Cake – Olde Towne Bakery

Transportation – QC Trolley

Photos and Video – Creative Wedding Package

Floral – Milan Flower Shop

Guest Lodging – Radisson Quad City Plaza

Ceremony Site – Our Lady of River LeClaire Iowa

Entertainment – Black Tie Entertainment, Funktastic 5

Thank you and congratulations to Jamie and Andrew!  We wish you the very best as you begin your new adventure together.

Audra and Brad – April 21 2012

There is one concept that every wedding D.J. must embrace enthusiastically:

Wedding receptions are all about FAMILY milestones and memories.  

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Audra and Brad Daufeldt

On November 19, 2005 I was first introduced to the Daufeldt Family at the wedding reception of Kelly Hauser, who married Brent Daufeldt.  Their reception was in the Radisson Quad City Plaza ballroom.  I have a very distinct set of memories from that reception.  The setting was beautiful, one of the most beautiful that I recall from that year.  But more importantly, Brent and Kelly were an amazing couple, and the guests had an absolutely incredible time that night.

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Brent and Kelly Daufeldt – First Dance in November 2005 at the Radisson Quad City Plaza

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Brent and Kelly cut their wedding cake – 2005

One of Kelly’s bridesmaids was Brenda Daufeldt, Brent’s sister.  Brenda got engaged to a man named Michael Bany, and on August 26, 2006 their wedding reception was held at the industrially chic Hotel Vitro in downtown Iowa City.  I was again honored to be the D.J. at my second Daufeldt wedding reception.  And just like Brent and Kelly’s reception, this was a truly great party!

Brenda and Michael’s wedding cake was stunning, the venue was incredible, but again, the families and the guests in attendance were simply the best.  I have a very vivid set of memories from that amazing night also!

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Brenda and Michael Bany – August Wedding Reception at the Hotel Vitro, Iowa City, August 2006

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Brenda and Michael’s stunning wedding cake (2006)

The Daufeldt family loves music, country music in particular, and every song selected for their events were what I would call timeless classics.  There were songs from Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Johnny Cash, The Eagles, Neil Diamond and more.  That makes for a really fun time on the dance floor!

One of the men in Brenda and Michael’s and Kelly and Brent’s wedding party was Brad Daufeldt, the youngest brother in the family.  We were thrilled when he contacted us to announce his upcoming wedding!  The date was to be April 21, 2012 at the Clarion in Iowa City.

There is nothing more heart warming to see the same fun-loving family, after almost six years, getting together to celebrate another family milestone!  There have also been a lot of little additions to the family!

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Flower Girl and Ring Bearer’s had been practicing their photo posing, and were really good at it by the time they got to the reception!

Audra and Brad had around 350 guests looking forward to welcoming them when they arrived at the Clarion for their grand entrance around 5:45 PM.

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Audra arrives in style in her private tour bus!

The wedding party made their grand entrance to “Thunderstruck” by AC-DC.  Members of the wedding party included:

Parents – Tim and Deb Grieves, Don and Pat Daufeldt

Ushers – Clint Huntrods, Charlie Uthe

Bridesmaids – Callie Pederson, Kelly Littleton, Tracee Wellik, Amy Ducharme, Kay Galvin

Groomsmen – Jeff Wiele, Travis Maurer, Jeff Vedepo, Nolan Grieves, Bryan Daufeldt

Maid of Honor – Emily Grieves

Best Man – Brent Daufeldt

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Below are some of the beautiful details of the banquet room:

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Pink and Purple floral arrangements, pink sashes, white chair covers and table settings

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White and Pink chair covers and pink uplighting. (Uplighting by Black Tie)

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Tempting sweets table!

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Brad’s wedding cake with the familiar IH logo.

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Brad and Audra’s beautiful wedding cake.

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Bridal table with pink uplighting

As we expected, Audra and Brad’s guests danced the night away, and we stayed longer than we had planned so that even more fun could be had!  For more photos of the dance floor memories please visit our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/blacktieentertainment

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Wedding professionals that played a role in Audra and Brad’s special day included:

Venue – The Clarion (Highlander) Hotel and Conference Center Iowa City

Photography – Gwen’s Photos North Liberty Iowa

Table Linens and Chair Covers – Best Dressed Bridal and Linens, Cedar Rapids Iowa

Floral – HyVee Waterfront, Iowa City

Ceremony – St. Josephs, West Liberty Iowa

Entertainment and Uplighting – Black Tie Entertainment, Quad Cities

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Don and Pat Daufeldt

When the music was over and the dust was settling, it was a privilege for us to again say farewell to Don and Pat Daufeldt, Brad’s parents.  I mentioned to Don that all the children were now married and this would be the last party we would get to do for them.

Don replied, “We still have the grandchildren’s weddings to look forward to!”

Spoken like a true family man.

Congratulations to Audra and Brad, the Grieves and Daufeldt families, as you all begin a new chapter in your lives.

And again, thanks to the Daufeldt family for sharing your children’s milestones with us.   I am sure you will cherish the memories, as will we.