Riverwalk Golf Club Weddings – Demany and Emily

Client: Demany and Emily
Venue: Riverwalk Golf Club
Venue Address: 1150 Fashion Valley Rd, San Diego, CA 92108
Services Provided: Wedding DJUplighting, Wedding Ceremony
Venue Coordinator: Anne Handley
Photography: Alon David Photography
Caterer: Riverwalk Golf Club
Florist: Flora Glamour
Cake: Grove Pastry Shop
Officiant: Rev. Penny Swartz

Emily and Demany contacted me in August of 2011. I replied back and was told that they were interested in my services but were in the process of moving. We didn’t actually end up meeting until nearly a month after this initial introduction. I remember our meeting distinctly because it was unique. They didn’t want to talk about their ideas for events or much about their wedding plans at all, at first. For the first hour or so, the topic was instead about me. I was asked my top 3 favorite genres of music, as well as passions and hobbies. They were looking for a very specific type of DJ, apparently, and these questions helped them decide that it was worth continuing the conversation further. After talking in detail about my style (no cheese, no leading line dances, not really into standard-wedding-playlist songs, very informative when emceeing but not chatty, etc), we did finally get into discussions about their wedding plans and ideas for their events, such as a custom mix for their first dance– Jason Mraz feat Colbie Caillat – Lucky into Michael Franti feat Spearhead – Say Hey (I Love You). Our meeting went well, and a day later I was sent an email stating, “Thank you again for taking your time to meet with us yesterday in Mission Valley. We really liked what you had to say, and your style of DJ-ing was just what we are looking for.” They booked shortly after.

 

Things were obviously very hectic and busy in their lives, and we ended up meeting two more times before their wedding to make sure all the details were clarified. In between meetings, we kept in contact through email, working out versions of their first dance mix and such. Emails contained info such as:

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(we did end up having to loop the Irish Wedding March [only once though] because they had 6 couples and lengthy descriptions about each couple)

and lastly… here’s an email I received about changes to be made on the DAY OF THE WEDDING. These changes are difficult to accommodate, though I try my best to do so if they must occur.

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Their wedding ceremony and reception were held at Riverwalk Golf Club. Their Clubhouse room is on the small side but their staff is great to work with and from my experience the food is amazing!

Riverwalk Wedding Ceremony

The rear patio of the Riverwalk Golf Course Clubhouse was the original location for Demany and Emily’s ceremony, and there was even a provision planned in case of rain– A large white tent to go over the entire ceremony area.

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Unfortunately, the tent didn’t hold up so well! The morning of their wedding, the tent started leaking through the center of it. After analyzing the situation, it was decided that the only recourse was to move the wedding inside the ballroom. The staff and I actually spent quite a bit of time moving tables and chairs around, relocating my table and speaker equipment, and generally changing the inside area to work as a makeshift ceremony location. They had a decent amount of guests (approx. 150) for the size of this ballroom, so the staff didn’t set up seating for anyone except parents and those in need of handicap accessibility.

riverwalk golf wedding dj ceremony seating

The remaining guests were invited into the room and asked to find a spot off of the dance floor to stand. Regardless of the circumstances, the ceremony was fine. As mentioned, inclusion of the parent seating combined with the amount of wedding party couples did result in having to loop the processional song once, and although I do not like to loop songs ever, I did so since it was Emily’s request (as you can see via our email thread).

Prelude Seating: Vitamin String Quartet
Parent Seating: Irish Wedding March
Wedding Party Entrance: Irish Wedding March
Bride’s Entrance: Bridal Chorus (From the album Here Comes The Bride)
Recessional: Jackie Wilson – Higher and Higher

Also, per the client’s request, I set up four white uplights behind the bridal party table. You can see them in these photos on the left side of this filled-to-capacity ceremony site!

riverwalk golf wedding dj white uplighting

 

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Emily and Demany did a cool thing for their interlude — A wine-sharing ceremony. The officiant took both white and red wine and mixed them together, then gave it to them in a gigantic wine glass to share from!

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riverwalk golf wedding dj wine pouring

 

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An interesting thing did happen towards the end of the ceremony. The officiant closed the ceremony with an introduction of the bride and groom, and THEN stated that they could kiss. This took me for a spin, and in retrospect I realized that due to all the rearranging of plans I had not clarified the method of ending the ceremony (something I’ll never forget to do again!). Usually after the kiss, an officiant says something to conclude the ceremony (normally an introduction of the couple as husband and wife, but if not, something else). In this occasion, the room erupted into applause after the kiss, and as I waited for the officiant to state something, I came to realize it was not going to happen! So, before the applause could die, I started the recessional song (at the chorus, as requested in the client’s emails). It worked well, there was no uneasy silence, and the ceremony ended with applause still going on.

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I actually recorded the whole ending, which I do often as it helps me to remember and learn from experiences. Have a listen yourself if you’d like:

Ceremony Wedding Snippet

After the ceremony, guests remained in the ballroom while Emily and Demany took photos at the ceremony altar, then outside and on the golf course.

Here’s another interesting occurence– While setting up for the ceremony and after having placed the white uplights, the best man came over and suggested I change them to green (it was Saint Patrick’s Day after all). I replied that that didn’t sound like a bad idea to me, but they had specifically said they wanted white, so that change would have to be cleared by the client if it was to happen. The best man said, “I’ll talk to Demany”, then after a bit came to me and said that it was approved, and that Demany and Emily wanted them white for the ceremony, but after that it was OK to change them to green. In retrospect, I think that Emily was never included in this decision, but I didn’t know this at the time.

So while they took their photos and the guests mingled for cocktail hour, I changed the uplights to a nice bright shade of green.

Riverwalk Wedding Reception

Cocktail Music: Steel Drums
Grand Entrance Wedding Party:
Grand Entrance Bride & Groom:
Special mix provided by client
Dinner Music: Bossa Nova and covers
First Dance: DennisJ Mix – Lucky into Say Hey (I Love You)
Father Daughter Dance: Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight
Mother Son Dance: Stevie Wonder – Sunshine Of My Life
Cake Cutting: Dean Martin – Ain’t That A Kick In The Head
Garter Toss: T.I. – Bring ‘Em Out / MC Hammer – Can’t Touch This
Bouquet Toss: Beyonce – Single Ladies / Whitney Houston – I’m Every Woman
Last Slow Dance: Etta James – At Last

The reception was held in Riverwalk Golf Course’s Clubhouse. This is a small room so the original plan was to put several of the guests’ tables outside to provide ample walking space inside. The rain forced the placement of the tables to be inside though. The tables did fit, but walking space was a bit limiting as you can see here.

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Grand Entrance

When meeting with Demany and Emily, we had discussed them wanting to do a Grand Entrance with a “high-five line” similar to what is used in sports. The plan was to have guests line up on either sides of the path for their entrance, and the wedding party would high-five the guests left and right as they came down. When it was time for Grand Entrance, I surveyed the room to ensure that the plans would work and due to the table positioning, it obviously wouldn’t. I pointed this out to the coordinators and they agreed, so I told them I would go inform the bride and groom and see what they wanted to do. When I approached Emily and Demany about it, they were adamant that they wanted that high-five line, so I went back to the coordinators and asked them to get the venue staff to make some adjustments. In the end, we weren’t able to fullfil the original vision, but we came as close as we could as you can see here.

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Toasts

Immediately after Grand Entrance, we began toasts.

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Once toasts were completed, dinner was served buffet-style. I was sincerely impressed by the food. I have banquet meals every weekend and this one, although not filled with unique cuisines, was delicious!

First Dance

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Father Daughter Dance

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Mother Son Dance

Riverwalk Weddings DJ mother son dance1

Wedding Dancing

No amount of rain was going to dampen the spirits of this celebration!

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After a bit of dancing we took a break for some more formal activities.

Wedding Cake

Cake cutting was an eventful affair. Remember the email at the top of this blog about the surprise singer? Well, it was now time to manage that. I thought the singer was going to do her performance acapella, but when the reception dinner started, I was given an iPod with the instrumental track she wanted to sing over. That’s fine, except for the fact that they only opted for one microphone (I have an option to supply extra mics if the client orders them), and they wanted their guest to sing to them standing next to the cake on the other side of the banquet room! I would have asked the coordinators to help with this, but after the grand entrance their coordinating role seemed to be finished. I had to think quick and ask a member of the wedding party instead. I asked the Best Man if he would mind taking the microphone over to the cake table for the singer so I could remain back with my system and start the song when she was ready. He agreed, and we were able to make a super-smooth transition from the cake cutting announcement to the recorded song originally planned for cake cutting, then to their friend when she was in position and ready to sing. I was lucky a member of the wedding party was willing to work with me to manage this transition smoothly.

Riverwalk Weddings DJ cake cutting1

Riverwalk Weddings DJ cake cutting singing

Bouquet Toss

Riverwalk Weddings DJ bouquet toss

Garter Toss

Riverwalk Weddings DJ garter retrieval
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Wedding Dancing Part II

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Riverwalk Weddings DJ dance train

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Post-Reception

After the wedding, I took a chance to make sure things went well and that the Demany and Emily were happy with their special day, as well as get a post-reception shot with the happy couple.

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Congratulations to Demany and Emily and their families, and thanks for choosing The Creative Music DJ for your special day!


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