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.
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.
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!]).
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!