Stylus: Jessica and Brian at the GW Masonic Memorial

ceremony in the theater

When Jessica and Brian wanted a memorable party to mark the coming together of her Brazilian and his New England families, they came to the right crew for the job.

And it was a job indeed. The George Washington Masonic Memorial is a stately, imposing, expansive venue, and we were tasked with running three different systems on site. DJ Cleveland Browne was with me that day, so we handled it with no problem.

almost ready...

The ceremony in the Memorial Theater made the solemn space more intimate. When everyone moved to the cocktail hour, they were met with a backdrop of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) and bossa nova that I put together. Moving folks along to dinner was a bit of a challenge, as the drinks, appetizers and socializing got a mini party going. But that’s a good problem to have.

That flow continued since dinner was less formal and more about guests sampling the vast buffet while moving about to interact with each other. Jessica and Brian set the tone by entering to the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” then dancing together to “In My Life” by The Beatles. I found just the right version of Tom Jobim singing “Garota de Ipanema” so Jessica’s dad could dance with his daughter. His beaming smile framed the moment, then Brian danced with his mom to Louis Armstrong‘s “What A Wonderful World”.

bouquet toss!

I continued with Brazilian themed music from artists such as Azymuth and Elis Regina up through the toasts, following the energy buildup in the room. I opened up the dancefloor with “Rhythm Of The Night” by DeBarge and reeled off pop hits like “Shake” by Yin Yang Twins along with party classics like Sister Sledge‘s “We Are Family”.

Then there was a break for the cake cutting, bouquet toss, and the most enthusiastically performed group chicken dance I’d ever witnessed, as it’s a long-running family custom on Brian’s side.

good times

The Brazilian tunes I dropped early on weren’t party jams, so I earned some extra points from the South American contingent with dance songs like “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” by Michel Telo and “Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes. I then capped a quick ’80s set with “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister, which was way more fun than be conveyed in a blog post.

Speaking of not going to take it, this crowd was not trying to take their evening ending before they were ready. So once they sang their hearts out to “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” as if they were a live chorus on the set of Dirty Dancing, the chants for one more song followed, and I obliged with Extreme‘s “More Than Words”.

a sweet moment to end the night


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