Elegance and exuberance happily mix at Emily and Chester’s fantastic wedding!
On a springtime Saturday evening in late April, we played for Emily and Chester—one of the sweetest, most charming couples we’ve ever worked with—and their wedding at The Daughters of the American Revolution Headquarters. DAR is a wonderful venue where we always have a good time. The classical revival style of DAR’s Memorial Continental Hall frames any event beautifully during the day. And after dark the magnificent two-story marble portico on the south end of the Hall becomes one of the few truly outdoor dance floors in downtown DC. With the assistance of our respected and beloved colleague Terri Eaves and her superb team from Bash, Emily and Chester’s special day turned out to be everything that they had envisioned.
During the vendor load-in, rain threatened, so the call was made to move the outdoor ceremony from the south porch inside to the O’Byrne Gallery. Tennessee Congressman Lincoln Davis officiated, immediately followed by a round of well-received toasts while everyone was still seated for the ceremony (one of several slight twists on traditions that made the event unique). Washington Talent’s Da Vinci Strings accompanied the ceremony with a varied program featuring Bach, Vivaldi, and The Beatles.
Cocktail hour immediately followed inside the foyer (the bar set up by Occasions Catering was impressive, to say the least), but many guests chose to step out onto the portico for lively conversation. Even though the wind picked up and rain dotted the portico floor (and our speakers!), they were game and stayed outside (from where we stood, a good sign of things to come). Eventually all the guests found their way to their dinner tables inside the library, and enjoyed live music throughout the building – including cello and harp. The most dramatic was the string quartet playing from one of the library’s balconies.
After dinner, guests made their way out to the portico to watch Emily and Chester cut their wedding cake. The happy couple performed their first dance to the 1975 classic “Ophelia” by The Band (the selection taking on additional poignancy in light of drummer Levon Helm’s very recent passing). In another sign of good things to come, the dance floor was absolutely full by the middle of the song – these people came to party! Next up, Emily danced with her father to the “Tennessee Waltz” as performed by Mark Howard, Stuart Duncan, & Matt Combs. And dances finished when Chester and his mother danced to “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra With Count Basie & His Orchestra.
The crowd was ready to storm the floor and they got started with some disco: “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees and “Upside Down” by Diana Ross. James Brown, “Need You Tonight” by INXS, and “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan were all on Emily and Chester’s playlist and D-Mac was more than happy to oblige. The party was off to a rollicking start!
Bel Biv Devoe’s classic “Poison” and Timbaland’s “Give It To Me (feat. Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado)” were huge and the crowd got their hands in the air with Taio Cruz on “Dynamite,” and kept it going with MGMT’s “Kids.”
Everybody loved the absolute must play Earth Wind & Fire’s “September” and “American Boy” by Estelle (featuring Kanye West). Determined requests for newcomer Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” were fulfilled and a house remix of “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers was a uptempo twist on another song from the playlist. The floor was bumping to Jamiroquai’s discofied “Canned Heat” and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” After several requests, a half-time blend into R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” was another huge hit; amazing that a tune so slow can bring so much energy to a dance floor.
The R. made way for a pair of wedding classics: “Shout” by The Isley Brothers and “Love Shack” by The B-52’s. Chester’s request for “Cars” by Gary Numan was fulfilled before Emily let us know that another song she absolutely had to hear was “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton; everybody sang along, whether they knew all the words or not. One more nod to the bride’s home state came from Arrested Development’s “Tennessee.”
As the end of the event approached, we were ready to wind it down (slightly!) with “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie, but a couple more requests shot the energy right back into the stratosphere: “Feel So Close” by Calvin Harris and “The Time” by The Black Eyed Peas. The night wrapped up with an ecstatic singalong to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Everybody had a fantastic time, most of all Emily and Chester, who were giddy, exhausted, and genuinely appreciative with every member of the assembled team that made their event possible. After stepping to the microphone to thank all of their wonderful guests, there was still energy to spare for the after-party!
Congratulations to a wonderful couple!