Last Saturday we had the pleasure to work with the ladies of Ritzy Bee again and their very cool clients, Kristen & Keith. The venue was the Clarendon Ballroom, an elegant space with preserved Art Deco architecture, original maple floors (great for dancing) and an cool old school vibe that was a perfect match for Kristen & Keith. Frost Lighting did a great job creating dramatic ambiance for the reception. Holly Chapple Flowers put together gorgeous centerpieces and bouquets in purple, with yellow and red accents. Kendall’s Cakes provided a simple square tiered cake with a topper of the couple accurately crafted in marzipan.
Kristen and Keith were a lot of fun to work with and with the help of Maria and Kelly. And along with the other vendors, they put together a wonderful wedding. They did a great job of honoring their family traditions (including a surprise birthday cake for Kristen’s dad, Raul!) while bringing in their own personal touches, like the vintage 45 table numbers and vintage 45 curtain backdrop in their photo booth. Keith and his groomsmen were handsome in their gray suits with just a touch of punk rock added via black Chuck Taylor’s. Kristen opted for a traditional A-line wedding gown with a satin waist sash, which she looked stunning in.
While D-Mac spun a mix of tough-but-smooth Hammond-driven 60s mod jazz (from the likes of Shirley Scott, Cal Tjader, Bill Doggett, and Googie René) and some summery classics (Julie London, Captain & Tennille, The Turtles, and Looking Glass (their mid-70s hit “Brandy” was a favorite for all of us working behind the scenes)), the bar served margaritas, which featured in the couple’s courtship, and a very tasty cucumber gin and tonic.
Keith and Kristen danced for the first time as husband and wife to Billy Bragg & Wilco’s “She Came Along to Me” (original lyrics by Woodie Guthrie). Afterwards, Kristen’s father gave an emotional speech and exhorted everyone to “Take one for the team!” and be ready to party. The toasts from their friends described Keith’s wild youth, how Keith & Kristen met, and how happy they have both been since. Groomsman Scott’s speech was definitely the most uproarious! Guests ranged from children to Keith & Kristen’s friends to older family members. One very special couple was celebrating 61 years of marriage themselves.
When we first met with Keith and Kristen, they let us know that their tastes in music leaned towards punk rock. In Keith’s case, they did a bit more than lean. If it were up to just him, his wedding would have been all Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat. But with some convincing from seasoned professionals, we were able to reassure him that we could mix some of his favorites in with other genres and make everyone happy. This definitely came to pass to Keith’s delight as D-Mac played disco (by request from Kristen’s father, a discotheque expert (with the moves to back it up!), Latin, 80s and current pop music along with tunes by The Clash (“Train in Vain”) and The Ramones (“Sheena is a Punk Rocker”). We even had a bit of dancing during dinner as we caught Kristen grooving with a few friends to The Pretenders “Brass in Pocket.”
The blend of the night was Adele/Daft Punk/Madonna, while “Forget You” by Cee Lo got a huge reaction. Everybody got up for the “Electric Slide” at the insistence of the mother of the bride. This was a great crowd, from the disco moves to the slam dancing. I pulled out a couple of tambourines to see if anyone wanted to add some percussion and before I knew it, our entire duffel bag of instruments was out on the floor. It was truly an incredible party! The evening wound up with everyone slow dancing to Otis Redding, and the Clarendon Ballroom graciously let us sneak in one more request by Kristen’s dad (the song he and Kristen’s mom danced to at their own wedding), Billy Joel‘s “Just the Way You Are”. It was a really fun party and a beautiful event, and the next day Keith gave us his enthusiastic assessment: