We were back at the familiar setting of Justin’s Tuscan Grill on October 11, 2014 for the wedding of Paul Stiles and AnnMarie Gacek. It was the latest wedding in our busy 2014, but as per usual, each wedding always presents its own, unique story. Our story today begins with an indoor ceremony in East Syracuse, NY.
An October wedding in Central New York can be unpredictable. It can go from a standard fall day, to sunny and warm, to snowy and cold in the blink of an eye. Keeping this in mind, it was a good idea to have Paul and AnnMarie’s ceremony indoors. Replacing the usual dance floor and table array were the chairs set up for the guests and area where the wedding occurred. First down the aisle were the mothers complete with their own dedicated song (Ave Maria – Andrea Bocelli). For the AnnMarie and her bridesmaids, they each used a different variation of the same song (Marry Me – Train) for their walks down the aisle, with the bridal party using the standard version of Train’s song, and AnnMarie using an instrumental violin arrangement. The ceremony itself was brief, a bit too brief… more on that later… but at the end, Paul and AnnMarie were married and traveled back up the aisle to their recessional (Accidentally in Love – Counting Crows).
After the staff at Justin’s diligently reformed the room from ceremony mode to reception mode, the guests enjoyed cocktail hour, after which the reception officially began. The entrances were very thematic in the sense that they consisted of two themes from films. Our thematic introductions began first with the parents and wedding party (Jurassic Park Theme – John Williams), changing for the Paul and AnnMarie (Flash’s Theme (Flash Gordon) – Queen).
In my experience, surprises at a wedding are always risky. Sometimes, with the anticipation of the day, certain expectations can be developed.. especially concerning specific moments. Paul took a bit of a risk by choosing the First Dance (Make You Feel My Love – Adele), but he did not tell AnnMarie what it would be until the day of the event. His gamble paid off though, because AnnMarie had a big smile throughout the dance. Following the first dance and right before dinner, Paul and AnnMarie enjoyed their individual parents dances with AnnMarie going first with her father (Little Small Town Girl – The Ink Spots w/ Ella Fitzgerald) and Paul finishing the moment in a dance with his grandmother (You Make Me Feel So Young – Frank Sinatra).
I had mentioned before a brief ceremony, that’s because something was left out. Sometimes people get swept up in the moment… it happens. In this case, during the ceremony, the officiant forgot to do the vows. As a result, Paul and AnnMarie decided to read their vows before dinner and before the speeches and toasts. The vows, of course, were followed by other speeches, toasts, and sit down dinner starting with sorbet and salad.
As soon as dinner ended, dancing began with a specifically requested song. It was asked that, in dedication to a guest named Ryan, that we started our dancing with U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer. It turned out to be a good way to kick off dancing as Ryan got the crowd pepped up and ready to have some fun. The dancing was a great time as usual, with people of all backgrounds, ages, and personalities all joining at times on the dance floor. Some things were excluded by the bride and groom… namely country music and songs from Dave Matthews Band, but that barely made a dent in the potential songs that I could play to get people to boogie. Later on, there was traditional Italian wedding dancing to Lazy Mary by Lou Monte. Traditional ethnic music is always welcome and it’s interesting whenever it happens. Whether it’s a tarantella, polka, or anything in between, it’s music that gets people together spanning generations and always puts a smile on the participants faces. Also, by request of Paul and AnnMarie, the parents of the bride were going to be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary a mere two days later, so the song After All These Years by Journey was played.
Paul and AnnMarie also had their moments as the night went on. Of course we played their desired requests they submitted, headlined by I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith as a slow dance, but they had a few other specific moments and songs to experience throughout their wedding. Shortly after wedding, they had their cake cutting (That’s Amore – Dean Martin) as they sliced into a multi-tier cake adorned in blue and white flowers. Later on in the night, they called all married couples onto the dance floor for a 3-song Generations Dance (When I’m 64 – The Beatles, I Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher, It Had To Be You – Harry Connick Jr.). These moments came to define the characteristics of this wonderful Fall 2014 wedding.
Congratulations to Paul and AnnMarie. Thank you for choosing Salt City Sound Machine and we wish you the best of luck in the future!
- Ave Maria – Andrea Bocelli (Ceremony – Mother’s Walk)
- Marry Me – Train (Ceremony – Processional)
- Marry Me – Train (Instrumental – Violin Cover) (Ceremony – Bridal Processional)
- Accidentally in Love – Counting Crows (Recessional)
- Jurassic Park Main Score – John Williams (Grand Entrance – Wedding Party)
- Flash’s Theme (Flash Gordon) – Queen (Grand Entrance – Bride and Groom)
- Make You Feel My Love – Adele (First Dance)
- Little Small Town Girl – The Ink Spots w/ Ella Fitzgerald (Father/Daughter Dance)
- You Make Me Feel So Young – Frank Sinatra (Mother/Son Dance)
- That’s Amore – Dean Martin (Cake Cutting)
- When I’m 64 – The Beatles (Generations Dance 1)
- I Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher (Generations Dance 2)
- It Had To Be You – Harry Connick Jr. (Generations Dance 3)