Edward and Katlyn Ferguson // 8/16/18

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August 16th was forecasted to be stormy, rainy, and dreary. All week before, the weather portion of the broadcasts were filled with “plenty of rain Friday”. For some, this news comes with joy. For others, it means a huge detriment to wedding day plans. We were part of the latter, with our bride Katlyn sharing the sentiment. Katlyn chose her wedding venue to be Cedar Lake Cellars, a gorgeous place with a barn, a large, attached rooftop patio, a gorgeous lake, and even a spot across the lake where you can have the ceremony on a trickling waterfall while your guests can watch from afar. 

Well, as usual, the rain held off for the entire day, and surprisingly, so did the oppressive August-in-Missouri heat. Still warm, but with a decent breeze, the wedding went on. The ceremony was held on the rocks near the waterfall, while the guests’ chairs were setup across the lake. It’s an interesting thing, this setup, and something unlike most weddings we experience. Generally, in the ceremony, you can hear the vows and ceremony naturally, with the microphone only a supplement. This wedding and setting is different, however. Because the guests are roughly 100-150 feet away from the actual ceremony taking place, the ceremony is significantly more intimate; almost as though you are spying on a private ceremony from across a pond, unbeknownst to the couple. Our wireless microphone system was paramount to the guests, so they could be present, watch from afar, but still hear every sweet word from the bride and groom. 

Photo Courtesy of www.Cedarlakecellars.com

Photo Courtesy of www.Cedarlakecellars.com

The ceremony started, and went on without a hitch. The bridal party entered through this beautiful tunnel of vines and greenery that Cedar Lake Cellars has setup as part of their entrance, they went through the middle of the chairs and to the left of the lake, up to the waterfall. One-by-one, they walked slowly up to the arbor at the waterfall to a beautiful, soft piano ballad. Once they were all up there and the flower-girls threw their petals, the bride’s song came on: “Speechless” by Dan + Shay. The piano-driven intro set the mood and the rhythm, and the Katlyn entered with her father through a different path, around the other side of the lake. Because it was more distant and a longer walk, it seemed more intimate and drawn out. Her total walk took roughly 2 minutes, and the song fades, the ceremony starts. 

Steve, the officiant gave an incredibly strong ceremony, moving from one portion to another. Other than a unity candle, the ceremony only took roughly 10 minutes, and the two were married! Quick, easy, done. 

Once finished, Katlyn and Edward were swept away for some sunset pictures around the expansive property by Brittany Cannon and Skylar from Memories Media (video), and we were left to start setting the mood. The guests were all released to wander the space during the cocktail hour, while the staff moved the chairs from the ceremony setting to the reception area, just to the right, under the covering. As always, we put our playlist for dinner to play through, and we left our station to help the staff setup the reception. When you do this as often as we do, it becomes rather second nature; stack chairs, move stack, unstack chairs, set up. As soon as we were finished and everyone had a place to sit, we set off to check on on our bride and groom. The challenge: finding them. in a place such as Cedar Lake Cellars, with so many gorgeous spots and places around the historic several-acre farm, the creative minds of B. Cannon photography and Memories Media goes absolutely nuts. I wandered the property looking for the bride and groom to check on the status of the grand entrance while Lauryn stayed back and ran the music, constantly monitoring the energy of each song so as to match the atmosphere. As I came around one of the buildings on the property, I could hear laughs, a talking just over the hill. I came upon Katlyn and Edward taking incredibly sweet photos in front of a beautifully painted sky—absolutely stunning. Brittany and Skylar directed them through several motions and poses, attempting to get that perfect shot. Just a few more moments, I was told, so I went back up the hill, around the lake, to everything together for the grand entrance. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you would all find your way to your seats, the bride and groom and the bridal party will be entering the space shortly.”, and surprisingly everyone listened. So, I met the newlyweds and the bridal party on the other side of the tunnel and we got them lined up. Now, since I had Lauryn with me, we were able to pull something off incredibly smoothly. Each pair with the party had a different song they wanted to walk into. It is something that we can handle by ourselves, but it is significantly more difficult and a tad less polished. So, Lauryn was able to blend the songs to-and-fro while I announced the bridal party in from the dance floor, one after another. 

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Once in, I checked with Stephanie, the manager of the evening for Cedar Lake Cellars to confirm that dinner was ready, we went forward with the welcome speech with the Father of the Bride. He gave an incredible speech, sweet and accepting. He talked about an accident that Edward had some years ago, and about how Katlyn had never left his side. It really was so sweet, and there was not a dry-eye to be found. 

After the blessing, dinner service began. Lauryn dismissed tables to the buffet line, while I watched over the atmosphere for the night. Finally, once every guest went through the line, we grabbed a plate. The food looked absolutely delightful, and tasted even better. 

Finally, after the cake cutting, some sweet dances under the market lights of the dance floor, and an anniversary dance, we opened the dance floor. We finished the night with about an hour of open dance, and a modest dance floor. People were enjoying the music from their seats, as it was a tad muggy to dance, but still an enjoyable atmosphere. We finished the nights off with a mix of new and old hits, keeping a two-step request, and some others as well. 

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So, to wrap it up, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson: your wedding was absolutely gorgeous. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better venue for your personalities, and your guests were absolutely amazing. Your ceremony was so special, and your reception was so much fun. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you for your special day. It was an honor to be a part of your story. 

Cedar Lake Cellars, your establishment is gorgeous. The food was great, the grounds are beautiful and well-manicured, and setup in a perfect way for a wedding. Your staff was courteous and efficient, and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner for this wedding. 

- Cole

Vendors:

Venue: www.cedarlakecellars.com

Photographer: www.brittanycannonphotography.com

Videographer: https://memoriesmediastl.com/

Briana and Patrick Orasco // 8/10/19

This August in St. Louis has been rather strange: mild, instead of surface-of-the-sun. No one was luckier for that than Briana and Patrick Orasco. Their wedding was at Blanchett Park in St. Charles, MO. The ceremony was held in the lower Rau Garden, and the reception took place in the Memorial Hall, just a few strides up the hill. The Rau Garden is absolutely stunning!

Consider the ceremony being held in a place like this. Medium-sized shrubs, beautiful flowers, butterflies, and even a hummingbird or two—all while you say “I Do.” For this day, we couldn’t have asked for a more relaxed bride. Briana was absolutely adorably sweet, and absolutely beautiful in her dress. There was nothing that could ruin this day for them, and nothing did.

The ceremony started immediately, bridesmaids and groomsmen walking from either trail, meeting in the middle, taking a few steps forward, and then splitting to round the patio, meeting back together, and then finally making their way up to the altar. It was absolutely beautiful, just like clockwork.

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The ceremony went off without a hitch, and the couple was married. We headed back up for the reception, and got that going. For dinner, we played our general mix, and it was absolute perfection. The mood was incredible, the energy was relatively high, and the food was delish. Finally, once we opened the dance floor, we had a blast. Jacoby and Cole went through some different mixes, from old-school to R&B and hip-hop, classic rock, you name it. We were everywhere, catering to each demographic’s taste.

Now, through the night, we did experience a first: The Thunderstruck Game. Why I’ve never heard of this, I’ll never know, but you can guarantee it’ll be something I talk about from now on. Here’s how it works:

Everyone who is participating must have a drink in their hand. The DJ plays Thunderstruck by ACDC, and as soon as the word (or derivative of) “Thunder” is said, Person 1 starts drinking. They keep drinking until “Thunder” is said again. Then, the person to their left picks up where they left off, and waits for the magic word once more, so the person to their left can start. It really is a hysterical game, considering there are some distances of 30-45 seconds in-between, where the person has to just keep drinking until their finish their drink. Then, once they finish, the person to their left goes. Makes sense?

Anyway! Patrick and Briana, thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of your big day! It was a pleasure and we had a blast! We wish you nothing but the best!

Ruth and Kevin Loving// 7/20/2019

Perfect is the only way to describe July 20th for Kevin and Ruth.

Photo By House DJ St. Louis

Photo By House DJ St. Louis

Ruth and Kevin found us in late May on The Knot. From the first message, we clicked. Ruth was fun and full of life. All through the planning process, she couldn’t been more content, though planning a wedding in the later part of her engagement. When we talked to Ruth and Kevin, they shared with me how much they love art, and they explains their dream venue, the St. Louis Art Museum. We chatted about life, and how they’re living in Seattle, and Kevin’s love for gangster rap.

Now, over the days before the wedding, we had developed a really neat relationship with Ruth and Kevin. We went from client to friend, and really, into more of a support role than an entertainer. She would send us questions about things that didn’t exactly pertain to our part of the wedding, and we would calm her and happily answer her questions. She would be worried about something, and we would calm her. Lauryn and I absolutely love that part of the job, and honestly wish more of our clients would confide in us in that way.

Fast forward to Saturday at 2:00

We got up and around, and started early. Generally, if we’re just doing DJ, we’ll arrive to setup about an hour and fifteen minutes ahead of time, but if we’re doing DJ and photo booth, we show up at least two hours before. Photo Booth doesn’t only double setup time, but load-in, etc. We got there around 2:00PM for the ceremony start time at 4:30. Why? Well, the Jewel Box stacks ceremonies at about 3-a-day. So, when one leaves, you come in, and then when you’re done, the next one comes in. It’s crazy fast. So, we arrived extra early so that we could setup the ceremony stuff as soon as the last wedding was over and fill the space, then Lauryn could run over to SLAM and drop the photo booth off. The earlier we can cross things off our list, we will.

Photo By House DJ St. Louis

Photo By House DJ St. Louis

So, before the ceremony started, we got the bridal party ready, got Ruth and Kevin set, and started. Kevin and the officiant walked down to the same music that was playing “Use Somebody” any Max Arnald, a fantastic piano cover of Kings of Leon. Then, the bridal party walked down to a cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, and then finally, after several pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen, it was time for Ruth to come down.

So, Ruth starts down the aisle with her father. The way the Jewel Box is setup is such that we were set in the middle of the back, nestled into a little half-circle cutout in a flower garden. Then, behind us is two hallways on either side. One is where you enter from, and the other is connected to the Bride’s Room. So, Ruth comes out from behind us to the right, and heads down the aisle to Kevin.

Photo By House DJ St. Louis

Photo By House DJ St. Louis

The ceremony was a lengthy 15 minutes long, and absolutely perfect. The sun shining from the high-sky sunset through the glass windows on the side of the Jewel Box made for an absolutely astonishing ceremony.

So, after the ceremony was done, we hoofed it over to the St. Louis Art Museum and loaded in. Now, I am not kidding when I say this. We’ve performed at some seemingly high-security places: Lambert International Airport, Gateway Grizzlies Ballpark, Busch Stadium, but we’ve never—EVER—seen as high security as this. Buzzed in from the door, bags checked, security escort with all carts to a massive elevator, a long maze-like hallway, another elevator, and then a hallway to the venue. It was absolutely insane, but also—kinda cool.

Photo Taken by House DJ St. Louis

Photo Taken by House DJ St. Louis

So, we were lead to where we would setup, right in the middle of the room with an outlet on the floor—cool. Setup was breezy, and music was playing immediately, but there was one problem: where we were setup was only where dancing would be, and not where any of the occasions were happening. So, none of the sound was legible from the room we were instructed to setup in between the concrete walls and 100ft ceilings. Our saving grace, however, was that the venue recognized the problem ahead of time and rented a sound system, so we were able to plug one of our systems in to their speakers in the hall and run the night without any gap at all.

Dinner went just as it should. The staff at SLAM was fabulous and expedient, going from course-to-course without pause. Just like clockwork. The food was fabulous!

Finally, we moved everyone into the room where we had our main system setup, and proceeded with the first dance of Ruth and Kevin. It was sweet, slow, and seemingly-choreographed. They danced ballroom style to the first dance song.

Photo Taken by House DJ St. Louis

Photo Taken by House DJ St. Louis

Then, we brought out two chairs and played the shoe game. We asked some questions and had them raise shoes. The shoe game works in which we ask questions that is either him or her. They each have one of their shoes and one of the other’s shoes. Then, whoever they think the answer is, that’s who’s shoe they raise. We laughed and let loose throughout the shoe game, and the questions got deeper and more personal as it went on. From “Who made the first move” to “Who is more likely to get lost while driving?”.

Finally. as the last engagement of the night, we did something called an Anniversary Dance. An anniversary dance is something in which we have all of the married couples come out to one side of the dance floor. We play a slow song, and have them all dance. Then, we call out an amount of time. If you’ve been married less than that amount of time, we’ll have you move to the other side of the dance floor. So, naturally, we start out with a couple of hours, to single out the bride and groom and give them yet another spotlight. We worked it all the way down to 38 years. It really was so sweet and fun!

We opened the dance floor right after the anniversary dance, a way for us to start with a full dance floor. We opened it with “September”, and only had about an hour and 15 minutes left. We went quite quickly from classic hits into 90’s hits, early 2000s, and then moved into some borderline gangster rap for Kevin.

 
Photo By House DJ St. Louis

Photo By House DJ St. Louis

 

So, acknowledging a few people:

Kevin and Ruth, thank you! You two were absolutely amazing people, and your crowd was so wonderful. We had an absolute blast, and are so honored to call you two friends. Best of luck on your travels in Europe for your honeymoon, and all of your adventures in Seattle.

Saint Louis Art Museum, thank you for your gorgeous place and incredible staff. Gabe was fantastic, your security staff was amazing and helpful, and the wait staff was very expedient. Also, the venue is absolutely amazingly gorgeous. Ruth and Kevin were so blown away.

Want to step inside their wedding? Check out House DJ St. Louis’ video!

https://youtu.be/vsPHW9_z7gM

Update: review from Ruth about House DJ St. Louis:

I highly, HIGHLY recommend House DJ St. Louis. I can’t thank Cole and Lauryn enough for their services. They were PHENOMENAL. If you’re looking for a professional, classy, yet fun and upbeat DJ, you need to book House DJ St. Louis ASAP!

Here’s why we absolutely loved Cole and Lauryn:

1. They’re wedding experts. They’ve done many already, and they’re planning their own wedding, so they’ve experienced weddings from all sides.

2. They’re personable. They got to know us as both customers and friends throughout the planning process. They reassured us and got us excited despite all of the stress and chaos around wedding planning.

3. They’re communicative. They texted us a bunch, and their response time was so quick. They were easy to email, call, text, and meet with in person.

4. They’re flexible. Up until 1 week before our wedding, we didn’t have any music planned for our ceremony. When we told them this, they said they could be there, no problem. They ended up handling our entire ceremony, including coordinating timing w/ music and walking down the aisle. Everything went so smoothly!

5. They’re spontaneous. The night before our wedding, we texted them asking if we could incorporate the shoe game during our reception. They agreed and prepared a list of fun questions in less than 24 hours. The shoe game was a huge hit!

6. They’re insightful. They gave us ideas for activities during the reception, such as the anniversary dance and cake wars.

7. They excel at keeping the dance floor lively. Their music choices were fun, relevant, and appealing to wide audiences. We especially loved that they let us DJ a song during the reception. That was such a highlight!

8. They’re professional and exercise good judgment. We originally wanted to play a rap song at our ceremony, but they used their best judgment and swapped it out for a classier song. We’re super glad they did!

9. They have fast turnaround times for their photobooth pictures. We received the link to download digital copies of our pics in a few days. Our guests were pleased!

10. Their pricing options were reasonable. We were able to pull off a fun, classy, and smooth wedding without breaking the bank.

We seriously can’t recommend House DJ St. Louis enough. They made our wedding come to life. Thank you, Cole and Lauryn, for all that you do!

Lauren and Ted // 7/13/2019

The Best wedding dj in St. Louis

What a night! What do you get when you mix a large wedding party, a beautiful venue, a photo booth, Lauren and Ted, and House DJ? You get Saturday, July 13th, 2019.

We met Lauren back in February. Lauren was actually a referral from a future clients’ bridesmaid. We met at a coffee shop downtown, but it was full. So, what should we do? IKEA. Straight up, we met a bride at the IKEA cafe, and it was fabulous. Alright, enough background. Back to the day.

Photo from: https://eventsatbaileys.com/willow-gallery/dx67frb5nyyofb4ijctraul3ibfyml

Photo from: https://eventsatbaileys.com/willow-gallery/dx67frb5nyyofb4ijctraul3ibfyml

With it being July, we were actually very, very blessed for mild temperatures (still 95 degrees, but not 115). For their venue, Lauren and Ted chose Willow. Willow is a part of Bailey’s Restaurants, which is the family of restaurants and venues with Bailey’s on the Range, Fifth Wheel Catering, and Slate; the venue located across the street on the adjacent corner of the same block. Willow is gorgeous; completely devoid of color, but structural to the T. Large columns, concrete floors, white walls, gorgeous wooden chandeliers, complete with a concrete loft, safely crumbling on the edges for effect. As someone with prior experience in real estate and construction, I am so absolutely enthralled with these venues that operate in old buildings downtown. While I understand the work that goes into rehabilitating a dilapidated brick building, the charm of most of these venues is the imperfections and character. With Willow being on the corner, the walls facing the two streets were all entirely made up of windows, showing bustling downtown during the day, and the twinkling lights, nightlife, and changing stoplights at the corner. Not a single person would walk by without acknowledging the beauty, fun, and dancing inside.

Lauren and Ted had a fairly large wedding party, which always makes for fun. Longer grand entrance, more cheering, more energy, and more camaraderie throughout the night. The grand entrance went off without a hitch, couple-by-couple entering from upstairs, from the side of the loft to the staircase at the middle, down the staircase, and to the head table. Perfect. Then, the warming welcome speech by Lauren’s parents, then toasts by the best man and maid of honor: sweet, warming, and funny—every one.

Dinner was provided by Fifth Wheel Catering; a delightful menu. The line went through relatively quickly for roughly 200 people, but still took roughly 30 minutes to get everyone through. Shortly after dinner, Lauren and Ted were ready to go. We did a first dance with a song I’ve never played before for a first dance, “Manta Rays” by Ludo, a St. Louis-based band that stoped performing years ago, but still has a cult following. It was absolutely fantastic and personal for them; for that, it was perfect. Then followed two special dance with Lauren’s step-father and father, and then Ted and his mom. Then, skipping all other formalities, we were off.

Photo Taken by House DJ St. Louis

Photo Taken by House DJ St. Louis

The photo booth we provided opened, and people were split between this glamorous booth and the dance floor. With the ages of the people on the floor, we started it off with some family hits, leaning vintage but maintaining familiarity. Songs like “September”, “Dancing Queen”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, and kept that going for a moment. Everyone had a blast, and then something happened:

Lauryn was upstairs manning the photo booth, asked me to come up and help her with a printer issue: paper needing to be changed turned into a paper jam. So I did. Little did i know, her plot was to swap spots with me, so she would DJ and I would man the photo booth—sneaky. So, Lauryn finished the night DJing and killed it (though I did the hard work of setting the tone….). Joking aside, everybody had an absolute blast. The night moved into 2010’s dance hits (“TGIF”, “Pretty Girl Rock”, etc), and the girls had a blast. Shouting every word to every song, dancing until the end of the night (unknowingly actually 15 minutes later than we should [oops!]).

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What an amazing night, and what an incredible couple.

Willow, your place is gorgeous and the staff was lovely. We hope to perform there again!

Lauren and Ted, you did an incredible job bringing everything together. Your wedding was beautiful, you both looked great, and your guests were amazing. Everyone had an amazing time, and we can’t thank you enough.

For the photo booth photos from Lauren and Ted’s wedding, click here!

HAYLEE AND BRIAN WOMACK // 7/06/2019

I’m standing there, listening to this, knowing what was about to happen. I’m trying my best to hold myself together, and was succeeding. I was fine and prepared, but once he said it, and everyone did what they did, I nearly lost it.

Photo Taken by House DJ St. Louis

Photo Taken by House DJ St. Louis

So, this weekend was one for the books, and one I’ll remember forever. As wedding pros, we see tons of weddings, and it—albeit, sad—becomes monotonous at times. Fortunately, however, there are some weddings that break the mold and remind us just how basically human this all is. So, before we get to the wedding, I have to explain some things and circumstances:

So, while I don’t quite remember where we met Haylee and Brian, they have been a couple that stuck out in my mind the whole time. I’ve known (and remembered) their wedding date since day one, I’ve recognized her name, but I never knew the whole story. The week before each wedding, we will generally call our brides and go over their playlist for the day and see if they had any questions. While chatting, Haylee and Brian mentioned that Brian would be making a welcome speech after the toasts. I thought nothing of it at the time, as I had totally forgotten that they had told me about Brian’s cancer diagnosis a few months ago. We continued through the rest of the conversation, confirmed some things, and chatted for a minute just about life and small talk. We ended the conversation, hung up the phone. Then, just a few minutes later, I get this text from Haylee:

So, didn’t want to say this on the phone because my mom is home. But Brian and I just got word as of last week, Brian is officially cancer free. We have not told anyone. Not even our parents. So, after the best man and maid of honor speech, Brian is going to thank everyone for helping him through the last 7 months of chemo and surgeries and announce that he is officially cancer free.

Guys, I freaked out. What in the world! So, now, not only is everyone going to celebrate the wedding, but they will also be celebrating Brian’s life and news! I couldn’t have been more excited.

So: beautiful, sunny early July day for these two beautiful and healthy people. For their wedding, Haylee and Brian chose Third Degree Glass Factory as their venue, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Photo Taken By House DJ St. Louis

Photo Taken By House DJ St. Louis

Third Degree was perfect, I can’t say it enough. The industrial-chic joint on Delmar, nestled between the CWE and Forest Park was the perfect venue for this day, with beautiful hand-made glass fixtures, a glass wall where you could watch demonstrations, and colorful decor against the otherwise white-walls and red brick. Full-length linens were a fabulous feature, and the centerpieces were simply gorgeous.

Bragging: We did have the opportunity to help assemble the room after the flip. While we’re just playing cocktail hour music, there’s little else to do. We’re all a part of “Team Bride”, so we pitch in to make things happen whenever we can!

Photo Taken By House DJ St. Louis

Photo Taken By House DJ St. Louis

The vendor team was a well-oiled machine. Everybody was incredibly supportive, the coordinators were involved but not overbearing, the photo and video teams were incredible to work with, and you could just tell everyone was there to be a part of the love shared that day.

The ceremony started promptly. Logan, the officiant gave a long, personal ceremony, and the two shared vows, ring exchanges, and even participated in a 3DGF exclusive, a Glass Ceremony. The glass ceremony went a little like a sand ceremony: two jars of two different colored glass bits, poured into one. Then, during the cocktail hour, the master glass-maker mixes this combination of Haylee and Brian’s glass together to create an amazing piece, and something that Haylee and Brian can have (fragilely take care of) for the rest of their marriage.

Photo taken by House DJ St. Louis

Photo taken by House DJ St. Louis

After the ceremony, the bridal party skirted off for some photos, and we were left to handle the cocktail hour. We started the music, playing overhead on the venues’ house speakers (which we usually aren’t comfortable with, but in this specific instance, helped us with flow and made more sense). So, with so little to do, we joined the setup team, Cassidy and Olivia from 3DGF. First, move chairs, then set tables up, then place chairs around, tablecloths, centerpieces, candle votives (oh, yeah, and I dropped one.. oops!), greenery, napkins, done! Just in time, 7:00—showtime.

Grand entrance came in with the bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid of honor, and best man. Then, the bride and groom and the guests went nuts! For us, we can always tell how a night is going to go from the grand entrance by how much or little you have to direct people. If we have to tell people to stand for the bride and groom and prod them to give a round of applause, it’ll be a long night. But, when people immediately give you their attention, cheer for everyone that comes through the door, and go crazy for the bride and groom, that’s a sign that you’re going to have an amazing party. Well, if it says anything we had an amazing party.

Dinner was provided by Pappy’s, and—as always—fabulous. Pulled pork on a toasted bun with signature sauce and a selection of meats: who wouldn’t be in love?

So, after dinner, came the toasts. Both were sweet and loving, a little humour, a little love. Then, came Brian’s speech. If you are ever wondering if something is happening during a wedding, watch the vendors. We all know, and we’re all going to hone in on it and be ready. When Brian reached for the microphone, the photo and video teams all walked forward and readied, all of us aware on what was about to happen, but none of us truly prepared in hindsight.

Brian made the speech, stampered a little, and got a little choked up. He thanked everyone for all of the support with his cancer diagnosis, and then muttered the words:

As of a few days ago, we got word: we’re cancer free

Photo Taken by  B. Cannon Photography

Photo Taken by B. Cannon Photography

Photo Taken By B. Cannon Photography

Photo Taken By B. Cannon Photography

You guys, the place EXPLODED. Like, before he could even finish “free”, people stood, they cheered, they got loud and shouted. This went on for, no joke, 30 seconds at 11/10 volume. I was prepared for the words to come out of his mouth, but what I was not prepared for, was the explosion of energy that erupted from his family and friends, celebrating his health and life. I lost it, cheering, grinning from ear-to-ear, and celebrating as though I had known Brian and Haylee for my whole life, when I had only known of their existence for under a year.

Photo Taken By House DJ St. Louis

Photo Taken By House DJ St. Louis

From that point forward, there was nothing I could do to kill the mood. We usually pride ourselves on being able to create an atmosphere of love and excitement, but let me say this: there is absolutely nothing that will accomplish that quite like the love of hundreds of your closest friends, cheering for your imminent health. As I said, they celebrated, and they celebrated until well after 10:55, when we shut it down. They were in the parking lot, laughing, rejoicing, congratulating.

That was a first for us, and we don’t get to say that often.

So, I want to talk to a few groups of people:

Vendors, you all were amazing. Austin, Tara, Brittany, Brooke, you were all absolutely amazing. What a dream team, and I hope to work with you all again soon.

Third Degree Glass Factory, thank you. Even having an amazing place,. taking such great care of Haylee and Brian, and also for the gift you gave Lauryn and I for helping. 3DGF will go down as one of our favorite venues, and we will share it with our undecided clients.

Haylee and Brian, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for being fighters. Thank you for allowing us to be an integral part of your big day. It means everything to us. We wish you the absolute best and many years of happiness.

Blessings,

Cole

Parker and Emi Van Nest// 6/22/2019

For the first place on this platform, I am conflicted. Should I honor it as the first post, or should we post it later as to not bury it? We have to start somewhere, so here goes:

Emi and Parker’s ceremony reception was absolutely perfect.

The forecast looked gloomy, and the morning sky was dark. Their ceremony was set already, and Emi and Parker were optimistic about the weather, though the odds appeared to be against them. As usual with this sort of circumstance, the weather obeyed the positive vibes and cleared up moments before the ceremony, and everything went smoothly. Then, the reception:

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We arrived a couple of hours early to setup as always. Load-in instructions were simple: through the doors, to the left, elevator to the 4th floor, and back corner of the room. At the 4th floor, the view of the city was surprisingly great from the east, mid-town venue. To the east behind me, you could clearly see the St. Louis Arch and the downtown buildings, and across the room to the west, you could clearly see the downward sloping rooflines of the rim of the city. Absolutely picturesque.

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Their reception was at NEO on Locust, a popular venue in St. Louis, (and actually the one in which Lauryn and I will be having our wedding and reception later this year). Their industrial-chic style is gorgeous, but masculine. The layout is easy, open, and simple. Like an empty canvas for a painter to complete their art. Emi and Parker could not have picked a better place for their love to be celebrated (but I may be a bit partial).

Once the reception got started, the energy was already set, and you just knew this was going to be one of those nights. Speeches were absolutely sweet, with advice given from Emi’s father during the welcome speech:

Your wedding day can be a blur. During your wedding day, take 5 moments and say “I want to remember this moment.” My father gave me that advice on my wedding day, and I still remember those moments.

Then affable stories from Parker’s brother, the best man, and some sweet reminiscent stories from the maid of honor. Between the welcome and toasts, a fabulous meal. Hollyberry Catering provided the meal; from a wedding vendor who has had his fill of “roast beef and potatoes”, this menu was fabulous. Complete with chicken and waffle skewers, mini pretzel burgers, and various incredible mini-meals and snacks, this dinner was absolutely fire. Credit to Emi and Parker for requesting and dreaming of this menu, and credit to HollyBerry for properly pulling it off.

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Oh, and Ryan Roe, a crazy talented caricature artist was doing caricatures during the cocktail hour and created this gem for me. Brides, this dude was a HIT, super nice, and starts at $120/hour!

Finally, once the dance floor opened, it would not stop. The dance floor was absolutely packed all night long. We played everything from “September” - Earth, Wind, and Fire, to “No Hands” - Waka Flocka. I couldn’t get them to sit down, even if I tried. You could feel the love from these two, and feel the love from their guests to them.

To say that I was grateful to perform this wedding would be an understatement.

My shotty iPhone pic, barely a commercial for the smartphone’s camera.

My shotty iPhone pic, barely a commercial for the smartphone’s camera.

Parker and Emi, you have my utmost gratitude for the opportunity to be such an integral part of your big day. We wish you many more years of love and happiness!

- Cole