The Corcoran Gallery of Art is Washington DC’s oldest private art gallery and an amazing space to hold a wedding reception. Just blocks from the White House the Corcoran has huge classical columns, high ceilings, wide staircases and marble floors. The lay out is a photographer, lighting designer and wedding planner’s dream—in this case, Laura Ritchie of Events in the City—but potentially a DJ/soundman’s nightmare.
Arriving at the earliest possible time three soundmen set up a multitude of speakers on the main floor and upstairs where the cocktail hour was taking place. The full array of speakers numbered at least ten and transformed what could have been an echoey mess into a very nice sounding room!
Once the set up was complete we welcomed the guests through the front door with Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder.” Up the central staircase they went for passed hors d’ouvres and drinks. Cocktail music was low key but upbeat and hip. Thievery Corporation, Gotan Project, Serge Gainsbourg and Cal Tjader all got spins.
An hour later some chimes sounded and the wedding party descended to the main room for dinner. After introducing the bride and groom to a standing ovation, we had a welcome toast from the father of the bride and a blessing.
Jamie and Sam requested ahead of time to have all of their “official” wedding duties bunched together so the could get to the “party” portion of the evening and not have frequent stops once that got underway (wedding planners and future brides take note!).
The cake cutting was very low-key and after two toasts we had the first dance. The couple requested “Everything” by Michael Bublé. They also requested everyone join in after one minute. DJs love this as its easier to keep people on the dance floor once they’re already out there! In this case it worked as the dance floor stayed pretty much packed until the very end.
The groom’s side of the family is Indian so there were a few Indian songs played including “Beware of the Boyz (Remix feat. Jay-Z)” by Punjabi MC. Apparently the night before was the big bhangra throw down which took some of the pressure off this (non-Indian) DJ.
There were also a lot of Detroit folks in the house so a few Motown tunes made it in there as well as South Detroit’s greatest shout out “Don’t Stop Believing” which destroyed the place (not literally). Also dropped were Nelly, Deee-Lite, Montell Jordan, Katy Perry, Ike and Tina Turner. The last song at midnight was the bride and groom requested “(I’ve had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. There was an after party somewhere but I had to pack up. A beautiful night all around!