Umstead Wedding/Cindy and Ed!

We played a really great wedding at the Umstead in NC. The bride and groom had a church wedding. I sang in the church with no was beautiful...We proceeded to the Umstead (an awesome and very new hotel/spa that I highly recommend). The flowers were beautiful, Missy McLamb was the photographer . Cindy went all out...she had the florist create these amazing topiaries of her dogs...she had 3 cakes, a gigantic ice sculpture with purple/pink lighting and amazing food....the guests were from all over the world...the countries represented were Nigeria, Ethiopia, London, Germany to name a few. I performed with my 13 piece band. We played primarily a range of music and worked into overtime. The Umstead finished the evening passing out home made apple cider while the bride and groom took off in their horse drawn carriage...Cindy put on a white fur shawl over her Vera Wang wedding dress.....she also had a blue grass rehearsal dinner at the Angus Barn ( a local vintage steak house) the night before. During the wedding Missy McLamb put up an awesome montage of the dinner the night the wedding...Missy had a video confessional set up for guests to come in (ala MTV) and talk about the bride and groom. The couple had it set up so they guests would be recorded from the minute they entered the booth in case they said anything funny gearing up to their so called TAPED piece....the next day Missy showed the video during the brunch..super cool!!!!!!


The Economy and Your wedding!

What to do in an ailing economy? I have been conversing with many brides who have been scaling back...I just tell everyone to communicate to the florist, venue and band. We have started offering some smaller ensembles to couples who cannot book a 12 or 13 piece band. I have even been known to go out with a 6 piece band on occaision. I actually like it....I think if you find the right band you can still have a full group that can still provide a diverse repertoire...and you of course can have a blast. Also, negotiate with the venue as well as the florist, photographer, caterer....Don't be shy..just put it all out there and you can still have an amazing wedding that may not be over the top but will be fantastic..

Bridgewaters! NYC

Bridgewater's is located in the south street seaport in NYC. I performed for the 3rd wedding for this family. It was totally a rock and roll wedding..we played Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Aerosmith, etc. It was raining all night...there were actually there even was some water inside of the venue...not fun. It also made people leave early for fear of getting stuck. But we had fun hearing everyone shout out with us as we sang JERSEY GIRL and THUNDER ROAD. Fun time!

Washington Duke Inn! Durham NC

I had so much fun at the wedding of Aimee and Geoff. Aimee is from Ireland. We hired an incredible irish violinist named Mary to play for cocktails and between sets with the jazz band during dinner. The jazz quartet was so amazing..Of course my husband was playing and having a great time..After dinner, which was in a tented area adjacent to the ballroom, the guests came into the ballroom where i performed with my 13 piece band. I have some amazing players in NC. I love them....the house rocked, great lighting , huge stage and so much fun. We also had been hired by Aimee to write an original song. I wrote about their engagement which occured in Marbella the song is called Marbella. It is a bossa nova and was super fun to do. The bride handed out CD's of the custom song as party favors....she also had sched UGGS as footwear to take some pressure off of the high heeled feet....

Waldorf Astoria!NYC

I love the Waldorf Ballroom the best. It is just the perfect room for a big band like mine to play in . Once again we played for the Lenox Hill dinner dance. THere were 900 guests and Robin Roberts was the honoree. The acoustics are great in there. We dressed in these cute purple/pink dresses that coordinated with the theme "THE BEAT GOES ON" and we had so much fun playing both NY Classic society music (ala Cole Porter...and Gershwin) mixed with Earth Wind and Fire and even Beyonce and Gnarls Barkley. FUN! The night ended a little early as do most Monday night events....I love knowing that I am leading my band in the same hotel where such great band leaders as Glen Miller, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie is such an honor...

Mandarin Oriental! NYC!

I had a blast at a wedding at the Mandarin recently. The bride had the florist create this amazing white screen to divide cocktail hour from the main was so elegant. THey also laid out white carpet in the cocktail area and suspended these awesome center pieces that sort of floated over the tables..The lighting was magnificient and the view of the city was gorgeous....Highlight of the night was this fully choreographed dance that looked like something out of a 40's Fred Astaire classic....I know it can be a real hassle to tackle during planning of the wedding, but it is so worth it to have some nice moves during the first dance. The guests love it and it makes for such an excellent photo op both on video and stills....

Bowery Hotel! is been WAYYYY too long since I posted here but that is good news because that means we have been busy with our weddings. We performed a couple of weeks ago at a wedding at the Bowery Hotel...EXTREMELY AWESOME place in the Bowery in NYC. This wedding was a 2nd wedding for Tara. I played her first wedding about 8 years ago and so appreciate her not being superstitious and hiring us again. She had a really cool ceremony and then just hung out with her friends during a gigantic cocktail party. We played and people danced and her new stepdaughters sang....BUBBLY....they sounded really cute. It was pouring outside so getting in was tough but I loved the elegant but simultaneously relaxed vibe there. I think this place is a secret gem for weddings in Manhattan. It can actually accommodate quite a few people for a cocktail party and I believe at least a couple hundred people for sit down......