The early wedding season continued to provide thrills as we rocked Veronica and Tom’s mid-February reception at the lovely Hotel Monaco in downtown DC. Jessica Brown from Simply Chic Events coordinated with professionalism and grace, as always. The ceremony took place at St. Matthew’s Cathedral (and featured a bagpiper!) before the guests convened at the hotel for cocktails, dinner, and dancing. Jake Anderson’s SRO Productions provided the lighting equipment to dramatically highlight the architectural features of the Paris Ballroom. Stephen Bobb of Love Life Images captured all the color, emotion, and fun of the day.
The wedding party made their entrances to songs by Chris Brown, LMFAO, The Black Keys, and Huey Lewis. The crowd saved the loudest noise for Veronica and Tom as they were introduced to “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez.
Their first dance immediately followed; “Old Fashioned” by Cee Lo Green was their song of choice. Veronica looked radiant in her cascading ruffled dress, while Tom was dapper in a dark suit; a pair of red Chuck Taylors lent just the right amount of color and personality.
Dinner was served and we heard a mix of songs including Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and pianist Monty Alexander’s soul-jazz cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” The first toast came from groomsman Ben, who described Tom as “the guy who makes everything better,” like turning a late night Taco Bell run into an Oasis singalong with 20 strangers! Then Tom’s brother Jake welcomed Veronica to the family and gave us another sample of Tom’s musical interests (“Candy Throw Up” was one of Tom’s original compositions, though he didn’t offer an impromptu performance). Veronica’s sister Kaity described her reaction on first seeing a picture of Tom: “Grab this one!”
Tom escorted his mother to the floor to dance to “Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison. Then Veronica encouraged all of her family members to join her for a short set of salsa tunes. We heard “Brujeria” and “Me Libere” by El Gran Combo, followed by “Baila Yemaya” by Celia Cruz.
The dancefloor opened up for the rest of the guests with “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira.
The energy stayed high with “Yeah” by Usher, “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees, Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” and the extended disco version of “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones.
We took a breather for Veronica & Tom to cut their gorgeous cake (a minimal design with perfect geometry!) by Fluffy Thoughts, soundtrack courtesy The Archies’ bubblegum classic “Sugar Sugar.”
Veronica tossed her bouquet to “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé and Tom followed with the garter toss to “Whatta Man” by Salt’n’Pepa.
“Murder On The Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis-Bextor got the crowd back on the floor, followed by an emotional but jubilant singalong to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston (what better way to celebrate her memory?). Enur’s “Calabria” was definitely well-received and Salt’n’Pepa returned with the classic “Push It,” which went over huge, as did Haddaway’s “What Is Love,” “You Make Me Feel” by Cobra Starship, and “Love Shack” by The B-52’s. We heard the bass classic “Da’ Dip” by Freak Nasty and the tech-house of “Zombie Nation” by Kernkraft 400, before hip-hop returned with Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How To Dougie” and Joe’s “Stutter.”
A couple of 80’s hits got the crowd really loosened up: Stevie Wonder’s “Part-Time Lover” and “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins. The dance floor delirium of “Countdown” by Beyoncé made way for some 90s dancehall (“Boombastic” by Shaggy and “Who Am I” by Beenie Man). A request for the classic hip-hop of Warren G’s “Regulate” was happily fulfilled before getting back to the playlist with Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” but the crowd really exploded for the old school party hip-hop of “Jump Around” by House of Pain, K7’s “Come Baby Come,” Mase’s “Feel So Good,” and Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two.”
The evening wrapped up with an impassioned singalong to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” followed by Tom’s requested last two songs Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind,” but Daryle interjected after the New York, New York kickline and invited Tom to reprise a bit of the Taco Bell singalong to Oasis’ “Wonderwall” before blending into “Empire State of Mind,” which continued the impassioned singalong. Veronica got in the last word, commanding attention to announce the after party. It was a great night and everyone had a blast!