After last nights excellent evening at Eastwell Manor we were back out on the road early to set up in a marquee for our first visit to Squerryes Court. As we set out on the road towards Westerham it was clear that this was going to be an interesting experience as the forecast heavy rain had already arrived, however spirits were anything but dampened in what transpired to be a highly memorable day …
Elizabeth & Stephen Farrow – Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent, 24/8/2013
venue – website
package: – total music package
music preferences: – Latest Charts, Rock, R&B, Dance, Guest Requests
all images on this website: – © choicedj.co.uk & soundproofweddings.co.uk
Sometimes weddings are memorable for a number of different reasons, this was one of those weddings but for many factors …including the weather.
I had spent a couple of hours with Elizabeth and Stephen at their home in Sevenoaks last Autumn to discuss the big day …nearly a year on and after one of the hottest driest summers in recent UK history couples have never had it so good as far as the British weather has been concerned throughout the 2013 wedding season, just days before the wedding we were enjoying highs of nearly 30 degrees …no one could of predicted what was to follow.
On our arrival at the 17th century manor house we quickly met up with the event management company running the wedding “Super Event” whom we have worked with many times, they told us that the bride and groom had been down to the venue 24 hours previously to set up …having seen the marquee the way its meant to be bathed in glorious sunshine it must have caused some distress to the down to earth couple who knew that the following day the weather forecast was predicting one of the heaviest and most relentless spells of rain of the year in the south east on their special day.
The marquee was divided into two sections, the main wedding breakfast area with a reveal curtain to hide the disco area. I had set up my largest possible show to fill the stage with the arch, four uplit plinths and booth …we were also working alongside a rock band for the evening so I left an area in front of the booth for the singer and lead guitarist and areas to the left and right for the bass guitarist and drummer. Lighting had also been positioned and co ordinated along with smoke effects to benefit the band during their set following the first dance. During our own sound checks in the early part of the afternoon a problem even greater than the weather started to materialise as the generator failed on a number of occasions, this resulted in the fridge having to be removed from the equasion but with that not being a long term option for the remainder of the day Super Event called in one of its managers to assess the situation …in no time at all they had arranged for the delivery of another generator which arrived just in time to save the day.
With the marquee set behind the attractive gardens in a natural parkland setting the rain was now starting to waterlog the edges of the marquee, and as water started to seep up through the ground into the marquee the event management company did a great job by laying additional carpet to counteract this. The original plan for arrival drinks to be outside was now not an option so 190 guests had to be accommodated in the disco end of the marquee as the emergency back up plan was put into place.
The Total Music Package covers music during the meal, microphone usage and then the disco but I had got to know Stephen a bit during a few conversations leading up to the wedding and I felt determined to go that little bit further for them both to gloss over the weather aspect so I started to play some R&B once guests were congregated in the disco area. It had an instant effect on the crowd and on a day where plans hadn’t quite gone to plan things became a bit more spontaneous as we adapted to the conditions in an off the cuff set to raise peoples spirits. Despite it being 3 o’clock in the afternoon I think we could of started the party there and then …there was that good a vibe in the marquee. People soon forgot what was going on outside, it was all going on inside on a day when good old fashioned British camaraderie took over … the band had been delayed for several hours as a result of the weather on the M25 so once they arrived we had to do an overdue sound check and in no time at all the lead guitarist was jammin to “California Love” in an impressive off the cuff moment.
What I thought was a really nice gesture during Stephens speech was the fact that he acknowledged all his suppliers, I certainly don’t recall too many occasions when the DJ has been cheered by guests during the usually formal speeches, it was a lovely touch from a very laid back groom …despite the disrupted afternoon Stephen and Elizabeth powered through the day with a smile on their face and for me it was clear that the night was going to be extra extra important so that this wedding ended on the high that Stephen and I had been predicting for the past few months.
Having been told that the last song had to be at 1130pm, I was conscious of the time following the ending of the wedding breakfast so with the reveal curtain removed and the guests eager to party I instigated the first set at 8pm to get the party started until Elizabeth and Stephen were ready for the first dance …for an hour the floor was pumping (playlist below) until the bride and groom stepped up at 9pm for their first dance as a married couple in a unique routine. Elizabeths favourite song is We Found Love by Rihanna but with it being a dance track Stephen and I had agreed the week before to play the slower Boyce Avenue version for around a minute and then up the tempo and mix in Rihanna’s version which sent the dance floor back into a frenzy which was great as it was an unusual thing to attempt live. I was tempted to pre record it but I much prefer to do things live as it keeps you on your toes and I generally work better under pressure rather than making things too easy on myself lol
Immediately after the first dance the band kicked off their one hour rock set with even groom Stephen on the stage at one point having a sing before the four piece had to make their way back to London leaving me to wrap things up with a packed floor for the final 90 minutes of pop, rock and a few club classics towards the end.
An excellent wedding …the way everyone rallied and pulled together refusing to be beaten by the weather made it memorable, I will never forget this one that’s for sure. Congratulations to Elizabeth and Stephen, a great couple !
If you were at Elizabeth & Stephen’s wedding how about leaving us a comment at the bottom of this page
DJ Set 1 – 8-9pm
Galvanize (Beginning) The Chemical Brothers
Dark and Long (Dark Train) Underworld
La La La (feat. Sam Smith) Naughty Boy
Love Me Again John Newman
Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) Beyoncé
Pon de Replay Rihanna
Crazy In Love Beyoncé
Be Faithful Fat Man Scoop (Ft. Faith Evans)
Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell) Robin Thicke
Bang Bang will.i.am
Back To Life Soul II Soul
Rock Your Body Justin Timberlake
So Good To Me Chris Malinchak
One More Time Daft Punk
Gettin Jiggy With It Will Smith
Beautiful Girls Sean Kingston
Good Feeling Flo Rida
Need U (100%) [feat. A*M*E] Duke Dumont
First Dance We Found Love Boyce Avenue mixed into We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) Rihanna
Band Set 9-10pm
DJ Set 2 – 10-1145pm
Where Love Lives (Dancing Divas Remix) Alison Limerick
California love Tupac & Dr Dre
Cigarettes & Alcohol Oasis
If Ya Gettin’ Down Five
Play Hard (feat. Ne-Yo & Akon) David Guetta
#thatPOWER (feat. Justin Bieber) will.i.am
Sexy and I Know It LMFAO
Never Leave You (Uh Ooh, Uh Oooh) Lumidee
Sexyback Justin Timberlake
Don’t Cha The Pussycat Dolls & Busta Rhymes
I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor Arctic Monkeys
Blinded By the Sun Seahorses
Get Your Rocks Off Primal Scream
Fire Starter Prodigy
Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey
Eye of the Tiger Survivor
Never Forget Take That
I’m a Believer Smash Mouth
A Little Respect Erasure
Don’t Leave Me This Way Communards & Sarah Jane Morris
Don’t You Worry Child Swedish House Mafia
Common People Pulp
Adagio For Strings Tiësto
Yeah Usher Feat. Lil’ Jon and Ludac
Born Slippy Underworld
Operation Blade (Bass in the Place) Public Domain
The Scooter Song Scooter
Time to Burn Storm
21 Seconds So Solid Crew
Try Me Out (Original) Sunship & Anita Kelsey
Smooth Criminal Michael Jackson