Serious glamour meets serious fun at Shannon & Chase’s New Year’s Eve wedding
Arena Stage was the dramatic modern setting for Shannon and Chase’s New Year’s Eve wedding reception. A stunning black, white and red color palette (with gilded accents) was expressed everywhere, from the floral arrangements to the checkerboard dance floor. Planning and styling was executed by our friends Laura Ritchie and Christie McGuire of Events in the City.
Guests entered the room for cocktails and heavy hors d’ oeuvres to a soundtrack of classic jazz and swing: “I Hear Music” by Blossom Dearie, “Pennies From Heaven” by Louis Prima, “House Of Bamboo” by Andy Williams, “Unchain My Heart” by Trini Lopez, “Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)” by Frank Sinatra With Count Basie & His Orchestra, “Sweet Georgia Brown” by Django Reinhardt, and “Lulu’s Back In Town” by Mel Tormé.
After a brief welcome from the father of the bride, Allen Monroe, Shannon and Chase took to the floor for their first dance: “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. The father/daughter dance (“The Way You Look Tonight” Frank Sinatra) and mother/son dance (a cover of Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” by Mandisa) followed immediately after.
Because Arena Stage’s production of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was taking place elsewhere in the theatre, I had to keep things quiet (and the powered sub turned off!) for the early part of the evening. We kept things [politely] grooving with some classic R&B: “He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin'” by The Velvelettes, “The Real Nitty Gritty” by Shirley Ellis & The Hutch Davie Orchestra , “Out Of Sight” by James Brown, “Baby Love” by The Supremes, “Pride and Joy” by Marvin Gaye, “Last Night” by The Mar-Keys , “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel, “Let’s Get Married” by Al Green, “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb, along with a couple of classic rock requests: “New York State Of Mind” by Billy Joel and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys.
Cake cutting was accompanied by “Birthday Cake (Remix)” by Rihanna & Chris Brown with its refrain of “cake cake cake cake”—all other lyrical content was (thankfully) largely ignored—and was a hint of things to come later in the evening.
Finally, it was curtain call in the theatre and the dance floor could heat up! After burning through some warm-up classics (“ABC” by the Jackson 5, “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé, “Yeah” by Usher, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours [DJ Smash Essential Funk Mix]” by Stevie Wonder, “Walk This Way” by Run-DMC, “Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp), the floor was full of ready-and-able dancers. But it wasn’t until the blend of “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie and “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice that the energy really took off.
We got into some current pop (“Feel So Close (extended mix)” by Calvin Harris, “We Found Love (Extended Mix)” by Rihanna, “I Love It” by Icona Pop (feat. Charli XCX), “Hello (Club Edit)” by Martin Solveig & Dragonette, “Titanium (Extended)” by David Guetta, “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida, “Firework” by Katy Perry, “Timber” by Ke$ha, “Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix)” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “1901” by Phoenix, the international hit “Wavin’ Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)” by K’Naan), and peaking the tempo with “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, then a brief comedown with that 80s epic “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, before an extended hip-hop/R&B set (“Ni**as In Paris (clean)” by Jay-Z & Kanye, “Get Silly [feat. Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em]” by V.I.C., “Lean Wit It Rock With It [feat. Jim Jones]” by Dem Franchise Boyz, “Chain Hang Low” by Jibbs, “Jumpin’ Jumpin'” by Destiny’s Child, and “Pon de Replay” by Rihanna).
About 11:55, we started getting guests ready for the countdown to midnight with a few brief announcements. Party hats and noise makers were distributed and champagne was poured.
At the end of the countdown and the stroke of midnight (in a surprise for everyone, including the bride and groom!), a confetti cannon was fired, showering the dance floor with colored paper. The Guy Lombardo Orchestra’s traditional “Auld Ang Syne” lead us into a pair of my favorite signature slow dances, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” before the bouquet toss (“Single Ladies (Funkymix)” by Beyoncé) and garter toss (the Beastie Boys classic, “Girls”), and then returning to the hip-hop (“Ay Bay Bay” by Hurricane Chris, “Snap Yo Fingers” by Lil’ Jon, “Dance (A$$)” by Big Sean, “I’m Different” by 2 Chainz, “Let Me Love You” by Mario, and “Hold On We’re Going Home” by Drake).
We finished the evening strong with must-plays: “We are Young [feat. Janelle Monae]” by FUN, “The Promise” by When in Rome, and “One More Time” by Daft Punk, before sending everyone off into the new year with one last request: “Shape of My Heart” by Backstreet Boys.
Amazing night. And an amazing way to ring in the New Year.