In my business, you come across many different people with many different stories. That’s what makes every wedding I do unique. It makes it a new experience every time.
This was especially true this past Saturday night, when I helped Michael Anne and Phil celebrate their wedding, which took place in the atrium, just steps from the reception room at Northeast Ohio Medical University. I didn’t have a long established relationship with this couple. Why? I sometimes do freelance work for other DJ companies both in town and out. This was an out-of-state couple, they lived in Brooklyn, NY. In spite of this, I felt a bond with them. When I arrived, I could hear the ceremony perfectly (the microphone that the officiant had on was piped into the reception room). It was my first audio wedding!! Anyway, the wedding finishes, and I head out to see everyone and what was going on. I saw the photographer, Tom Pastoric. Tom is a friend of mine, having worked with him on several weddings prior to this one. I saw a group picture being taken (by group, I mean EVERYONE!), and Michael Anne said hello to me, then Phil…and others joined in (I heard a few “who’s Gary?”, but they said hello anyway..funny). Pictures finish indoors, so they head outside. Looking at my watch, I knew this was going to run over (see Laura & Jason from my previous blog). I was chatting with Dawn, who is the Food Service Manager (and a JOY to work with!) when it became obvious that we were going to be set back a bit. We just started walking the hallway, following the wedding party. This place is gorgeous! When I first booked it, I thought, “Medical University? Are we going to be in the cafeteria or something??” This place is nicer than a lot of traditional wedding venues. The best part is, next year, they are moving into a new facility next door! If you’re looking for a venue, CHECK THIS OUT!! Here’s a pic.
In the planning stages, I sent them a schedule for the events that would take place and the times as I usually do. This time, I forgot to erase the songs for the Introductions and Cake Cutting. Phil e-mailed me back and said they loved the song choices. I totally goofed and it still worked out. Time finally comes for Intros. I line them up in the next room. Phil & Michael Anne were not into calling them Bridesmaids & Groomsmen. Maid of Honor & Best Man wouldn’t fly either. They came up with “Honor Attendants” I really liked that! Intros went great (they loved my full introductions..not just names) and dinner went along well. The food was GREAT!!! I’m not listing the food because I’ll get really hungry. All I have while writing this is a box of raisins and a Nutri-Grain bar.
Anyway, this a just a prelude to the REAL story here. Remember when I said that everyone has a different story?? This one is different all right. Some of you who are reading this have seen Phil before…on NATIONAL TV!!! Back in 2010, a disgruntled employee of JetBlue Airways became fed up with his job of over 20 years when he snapped and yelled profanity on the intercom. If you don’t remember, click here. From there, he grabbed a couple of beers, opened the emergency hatch, inflated the lifeboat and exited the plane. What does have to do with Phil?? Phil was ON THE PLANE!!! He had tweeted about the experience, and the national media picked up on it. next thing he knew, he was on CNN, CBS, ABC and most importantly to the story, NBC’s “Today” Show. You can check out the interview with Matt Lauer here. It was here that Michael Anne saw her childhood friend, whom she had not seen in over 20 years! She tracked him down online, and started a correspondence, which grew into a romance. You can guess the rest. She moved from Ohio to Brooklyn to be with him and they got engaged. So, a nutty flight attendant was basically responsible for getting them together!! I couldn’t make this up folks! This happened.
Dinner is over, and it’s time for the first dance.
Since they are both musically inclined, (Phil is a violist in the New York Repertory Orchestra and Michael Anne sings in the St. John’s Church Choir in Brooklyn) they chose Journey’s “Faithfully” as the song. I opened up the dance floor to everyone else and let them do their thing!!
Took quite a few requests. I played some of the hits of today, which was apparently not going over well with one couple. After finishing a block of requests, I decided to play some 80s hit. I chose Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony”. This was to their liking. While walking by me to the dance floor, the woman shouted at me…”FINALLY, you play something for the old folks”. Yes, that happened. Okay, history lesson time. This song was released in 1981. These two were acting as if it were 1951! I didn’t realize until now that Billy Idol is “old people’s music”. The gray hairs I have are a little grayer today…
So we come to the end of the night. It was a short night (4 hours), but a fun night with some really nice folks.
Everyone has a story. I think we should all stop and hear one. Who knows? it might make for good TV.