The Crosby Wedding – Brandon and Stephanie Hammermeister

Client:Stephanie Houghton & Brandon Hammermeister
Venue:The Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe (Liz Diaz)
Venue Address:17102 Bing Crosby Blvd, Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Services Provided:Wedding DJ, Enhanced Dancefloor Lighting, Monogram, Uplighting, Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Planner:Yellow Swans Dancing Weddings & Events (Annette Bravo)
Cake:Cute Cakes (Jill)
Florist:Embellishmint Floral (Dawn Stone)
Photography:Bauman Photography (Jared Bauman)
Linens:Wildflower Linen

Before I begin the recap of this wedding, have any of my readers heard of Wedding Wars? For those not familiar, it was a show on VH1 where 11 couples competed ‘Survivor-style’ for the ‘Ultimate Wedding’ (a $100,000 wedding with a $25,000 nest-egg). Each contest during the show had a prize of it’s own, from a complete set of outfits for the entire wedding party, to a $10,000 gift registry.

Brandon Hammermeister and Stephanie Houghton were one of the couples chosen to compete on Wedding Wars. They did an amazing job, but that was probably part of their downfall. They are both very athletic and in the beginning of the show they won several episode contests:

Episode #2 – The guys had to throw bouquets over their heads to the women, who had to catch as many as they could and get them to a finish line. But that’s kind of where the rules ended. It was a knock-down drag-out fight to get those bouquets across the finish line. Stephanie and Brandon won the prize of $5000 worth of floral arrangements.

Episode #3 – Each couple had a three-tier cake placed in front on them, and the first couple to eat the entire cake won the challenge. Sounds easy, right? Well, here’s the catch. The first layer was frosting over … blue cheese! The second layer was frosting over … pigs feet (yes, nails and such too). And if that wasn’t enough the third and largest layer was frosting over … dog food! If you have to watch one episode of Wedding Wars, I recommend it is this episode! Each couple started diving into the cake, and several didn’t make it past the first layer before vomiting and giving up. So how did Brandon and Stephanie win? They proved they are not only athletic, they are also ingenious! Instead of tackling the layers one by one, they made a smart decision and mashed all the layers together, creating a glob of disgusting stuff, but a glob without any one strong flavor! This allowed them to eat the cake slowly but effectively and they won. Their prize was a cake package worth $2500.

They made it to Episode #5, where they were cast off the island by elimination vote. The general consensus is that the other contestants realized how strong of a couple they were and that they stood a good chance of winning if allowed to remain.

Lucky for me, they didn’t make it to Episode #7 where they could have won a DJ for their wedding! Also lucky for me that Stephanie and Brandon chose to have their wedding at The Crosby Club at Rancho Santa Fe, a gorgeous venue that looks like this from the outside.

The Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe
Wedding Ceremony

Prelude Seating: String Renditions of Popular Hits
Parent Seating:Jared Johnson – You and Me
Groom and Officiant Entrance:Jared Johnson – Marry Me
Wedding Party Entrance:Jared Johnson – I’ll Be
Bride’s Entrance:Jonathan Cain – Bridal March
Recessional:Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling

Crosby Wedding Ceremony Wedding Wars brandon stephanie

crosby brandon hammermeister stephanie houghton wedding ceremony processional

crosby brandon hammermeister stephanie houghton wedding ceremony recessional

Wedding Lighting

The elegant look of The Crosby was enhanced even further by the use of uplighting, a cake pinspot, and a giant monogram to cover the curtain where they made their grand entrance.

Crosby Weddings uplighting amber wedding wars

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars uplighting covers

The Crosby Wedding Wars Monogram

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars cake

Note the cake topper used on their cake. If you watched any of the episodes of Wedding Wars, you’ll recognize the topper as the same one used for the elimination rounds!

brandon hammermeister stephanie houghton wedding wars cake topper

And here’s a classy shot Jared Bauman got of the cake topper ‘watching’ the guests.

brandon hammermeister stephanie houghton wedding cake topper watching

Wedding Reception

Cocktail Music:Rat Pack and Big Band
Grand Entrance:LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
Dinner Music:Today’s hits/Old school hits
First Dance:Coffey – Better Today
Mother Son Dance:Aaron Lines – 20 Years Late
Father Daughter Dance:Bob Carlisle – Butterfly Kisses
Mother Son Dance:Lee Ann Womack – I hope you dance
Cake Cutting:Christina Aguilera – Blessed
Garter Toss:MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This
Bouquet Toss:Keri Hilson – Pretty Girl Rock
Last Dance:Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

Cocktail hour was held in the center of the building, which on The Crosby’s website is called, “Private Dining Room”.

Cocktail Hour

the crosby private dining room


Once cocktails were over, I invited guests into the ballroom began the Grand Entrance. Brandon and Stephanie used the curtain to create a theatrical entrance. As I announced each group of the wedding party, they came bursting out of the curtains to thunderous applause. It was a great way to set the mood for the rest of the night. Sorry, no photos yet, but hopefully soon!

Crosby Weddings monogram

Immediately after the Grand Entrance, we went into dinner.

First Dance

When dinner was drawing to a close, Stephanie and Brandon started their First Dance.

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars first dance

Wedding Toasts

For the toast beverage, a distinguished guest of theirs that couldn’t appear in person donated a gigantic bottle of quality champagne for use during toasts. I announced this to the guests, and then the catering staff made a big show of opening the bottle for guests to enjoy. Stephanie and Brandon left me to my own devices for this presentation, so as the bottle was being popped, I chose to play Ron Brows – Pop Champagne. It seemed to be a good choice since the guests started singing along with the chorus as the champagne was being opened.

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars champagne toasts

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars toast best man

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars toast maids of honor

Brandon and Stephanie then gave a short speech and thanked their family and guests.

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars toast bride groom

Father Daughter Dance

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars father daughter dance

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars 2011 - father daughter dance stephanie pro

For their dances, I’d like to demonstrate an interesting effect I used that I can incorporate when a client has a white dance floor. If you’re willing to get a white dance floor for your event, I can make your dance floor appear to change colors under your feet!

Mother Son Dance

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars mother son dance

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars mother son dance brandon hammermeister pro

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars mother son dance brandon hammermeister

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars mother son dance brandon hammermeister laughing
After formal dances were over, we opened the dance floor up for everyone!

Wedding Dancing

Crosby Weddings 57

brandon hammermeister stephanie houghton wedding dancing

Crosby Weddings 60

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

Wedding Cake

Garter Toss

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars garter toss

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars garter catch

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars garter replacement

Bouquet Toss

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars bouquet toss

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars bouquet tosses

Wedding Dancing Part II

Crosby Weddings 59


After another wonderful wedding reception, I got a photo with the newlyweds, Brandon and Stephanie Hammermeister.

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars preferred dj

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

Additional Photos

Here’s some additional photos that are worth showing.

Wedding Wars winner and runner-up couples Joseph & Elsie, and Rich & Marina were guests at the Hammermeister’s wedding. From what I understand they’ve all become really good friends since the show. How cool is that, right? Here’s a photo of me with Joseph and Rich.

Crosby Wedding Wedding Wars rich and marina - joseph and elsie

Jared also managed to get a cool shot of me behind the turntables.

The crosby preferred vendor dj


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