Last night I was given the honor of DJing a friend’s parents’ wedding at the Lake Elmo Event Center. The ceremony was to be outside and the reception was inside. When I arrived I stepped out of my car and squinted at the sky looking for signs of rain. All looked alright but my phone said there was a 50% percent chance of precipitation. I thought surely we’d be safe for the 3:00 outdoor ceremony and that maybe rain would come around 6:00 during dinner. I set up my speakers and the rest of my equipment in the beautiful masterpiece of a garden adjacent to the event center. The staff set up chairs and within an hour we were ready to go.
Before the ceremony started, I walked back to my car to grab a few business cards when the skies opened up with a downpour of dense rain. My mind went into some sort of primal survival mode as I sprinted back to the ceremony site and threw my jacked over my NS6 controller and laptop. I unplugged all the chords from the controller and pulled the whole table under an awning. Then I ran for the speakers-- making sure they weren’t damaged and pulled them under the awning as well. I was panting and my clothes were soaked but the equipment was safe from the rain.
A couple of staff members rushed to my assistance with towels and positive words. They helped me get the rest of the equipment dry and to safety. It was really great to be working with a staff that was so considerate and helpful and the staff at Lake Elmo Event Center was great! Tents were set in place and at the wedding couple’s request we moved all the equipment back outside and under the massive tent. The rain didn’t subside but no one really seemed to mind. It was kind of romantic. The guests watched the rain drip over the sides of the canvas as they made their way into the chairs under the tent. I cued Yiruma’s “River Flows in You” as the bridal party began their processional walk. The thunder roared all around us under the tent and created a very powerful addition to the gentle piano coming from my speakers.
The ceremony was the kind of rainy romance you can observe in The Notebook and it was wonderful to be a part of. The reception was just as fun and romantic as the ceremony. The people in attendance were most interested in slow dances and as I started Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” the floor filled with couples aged 18 years old to 78 years old. I watched for a moment and was overcome with joy as I watched each couple’s unique styles as they spun slowly around the dance floor.
Line dances, country music, and 80’s rock were all hits with the crowd but nothing filled the dance floor like the slow dances this particular night. Here are some of my favorites that I got to play:
Tiny Dancer – Elton John
Faithfully – Journey
Let’s Stay Together – All Green
You Are The Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne
I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
The hand on my watch pointed just 6 minutes before 11:00 and I grabbed the microphone to announce the last song of the evening. I faded in Piano Man by Billy Joel and the crowd roared with excitement. As if choreographed, the dance floor formed a circle. Each person had an arm around the person next to them and the circle swung back and forth to the ¾ beat of the song. It was a beautifully romantic wedding and I’ll remember the powerful and almost spiritual effect of the thunder during the ceremony for a long time.