February 19th 2012 – Nicole & Shawn at Addison Park
To say that Nicole and Shawn’s wedding was tailor made to be blogged about wouldn’t really be doing it justice. On top of it being at such an amazing banquet facility, Addison PArk in Aberdeen, and of them just being an awesome couple who were both very down to earth and easy to work with, they had a couple of little things they wanted to do that were a little different which only added to what was already poised to be an amazing celebration. Let us start from the beginning, shall we?
When going over their introductions, they informed me that Shawn’s grandfather William, or “Pop” as they affectionately called him, was to be escorted by “Harry & Lloyd”. That was it. No last names or any other info. Now I consider myself to be quite good at math, but in this instance I was unable to put 2 and 2 together. I go out to line everyone up for the introductions and standing before me are “Harry & Lloyd”…or two people dressed in the tuxes that Harry & Lloyd word to the fundraiser in the movie Dumb & Dumber. Best part was that earlier in the night I saw someone from a distance wearing a full-on orange tux and was a little taken aback by the loudness of his attire. Again, 2 + 2 was like advanced calculus to me at this point.
Once we started the introductions, the crowd was so into every little thing. Each member or couple of the bridal party had their own entrance music. Just to show how awesome this night was, Nicole’s parents came into “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO and Shawn’s parents, not to be outdone, came into “Bring Em’ Out” by T.I. We kept the energy going for the bridal party by using such songs as the “Jock Jams Remix“, “Shots“, “All I Do Is Win“, and “Sandstorm“. But there were two bridal party couples that stood out above the rest. As a wrestling fan growing up, I was a huge fan of Hulk Hogan. And as the millennium dawned, wrestling’s biggest superstar was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin was known for his beer drinking. So when I introduced groomsman Billy & bridesmaid Kate to Austin’s old entrance music, the walked in, tossed each other a beer, clanged them together, and proceeding to CHUG right on the dance floor!! Fast forward to the maid of honor Karyn and best man Will. They came in to Hulk Hogan’s old theme music “Real American“, Will carrying a large American flag and Karyn wearing shirt reading GILKAMANIA on it (Shawn’s last name is Gilkison). And now we get to Nicole & Shawn’s entrance…
They had mentioned when they went to Rutgers games, Shawn’s alma mater, the crowd would have towels to wave around to help urge on the players. Well before their intro, they had asked me to have everyone grab their dinner napkins and wave them around and really just get everyone has hyped as possible. I felt like I was Eli Manning at a Giants game with all of these towels waving around and helping pump up myself and the happy couple. The energy when they entered to an edit they had made of Zombie Nation was off the charts!!! To add to that, Shawn was carrying a replica sword from the movie Braveheart…oh, and did I mention the groomsmen, groom and happy fathers of the bride and groom wore kilts? It was epic!
From there the party was smooth sailing and the dance floor was jamming all night long. Nicole & Shawn wanted a lot of newer music but one of the special things they had me do was play a special block of music from the 90s. I sometimes forget how awesome some of the club music from the 90s was. Some of their choices included “Come Baby Come” by K7, “This Is Your Night” by Amber, “What Is Love” by Haddaway, and “Another Night” by Real McCoy. To close out their lil 90s block party, I threw in one of my personal faves: “Rhythm Is A Dancer” by Snap. We closed out the night by playing “Shout” by the Isley Brothers and having everyone jumping (literally) all over the dance floor.
I have been so blessed and fortunate to have worked with some amazing couples through the years. Nicole & Shawn were an absolute joy to work with and I use the term “work” very loosely. By the time the wedding was over, I felt like I was just able to help my friends throw the party of their lives, and there really isn’t a better feeling than that!
I’m going to miss 2011…
Every time we change the calendar year, people take some time to reflect on the year that was. For me, 2011 was both equal parts challenging and rewarding. One particular day/event perfectly depicts both of those sentiments. The day: Sunday, November 6. The event: the ING New York Marathon. Months of training, hard work, and POUNDS UPON POUNDS of pasta had all led up to what would prove to be the most challenging 268 minutes of my life. I won’t bore you with the details of the run, but the weather was absolutely perfect and I had the pleasure of running it with one of my best friends, Jeff Kaufman. As Elite’s owner Mike Walter can attest, the feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line is really beyond words and will be a moment I’ll remember forever. Now I told you that story to tell you this story…
A few months earlier, on Saturday, August 13th, I had the privilege of performing at Lauren & John’s wedding reception at the Eagle Oaks Country Club in Farmingdale, NJ. It’s easily one of the most beautiful banquet facilities in the entire state. As far as the reception goes, it was one of the highlights for me as a DJ last year. Not only was the crowd absolutely amazing and on the dance floor LITERALLY all night, but John and Lauren were one of the coolest couples I had the pleasure of working with. During the best man’s toast, John’s brother mentioned that Lauren and John had run a marathon together the previous year. So right after all the intros were over, I went up to Lauren & John and just started chatting them up about their experience and asking for any pointers or advice since my first marathon was a mere 3 months away. As I mentioned, the rest of the night was about as flawless as could be and we said our goodbyes and they embarked on what I’m sure was an incredible honeymoon.
Fast forward almost 2 months. I get a piece of mail on October 4th (and I know this because I still have the email I sent to Lauren & John that day). It was a card to say thank you for helping make their big day so special and it ended with “…best of luck at the marathon!” Inside was a bumper sticker with the number “26.2″ on it, representing the distance of a full marathon. Such a simple gift and statement, but I was absolutely blown away. We talked for maybe 4 minutes about the marathon, and the fact they remembered and even sent me a little something about it was truly special. It’s couples, weddings, and moments like this that make what I do truly rewarding and special.