The song says it all.
You know a wedding is epic when it ends like this... and yes, they are singing the Ronstadt / Neville song, word for word. Simply amazing.
I have to congratulate JP and Michelle Nebres for throwing a wedding that will resonate with family and friends for years. It also had subtle touches that will keep Kleenex in business for the next decade.
Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day, JP & Michelle.
The day started early. The wedding was in Santa Cruz, at the Hollins House on the Pasotiempo Golf Course. I arrived about 1pm, and began setting up. The bridal party was still taking pictures, courtesy of Shoot Me Now Photo, and the pics were touching and hilarious. You could tell the vibe was going to be amazing.
12 purple uplights in the main ballroom, video projector and screen, and four wireless mics for some special performances later. The ballroom also had two 55" LCD screens built in, so those were connected as well.
After cocktail hour in the front of the house, it was time to bring the guests inside for the introductions.
The sponsors entered, dancing down the center of the crowd to Blurred Lines, the Jr Bridesmaids to 1D, the Bridal Party to Young Wild & Free by Wiz Kalifah, and finally it was the grand entrance of the Bride and Groom.
The Groom, JP, has been in the music business for a long time, producing, writing, and even was a backup dancer for a hip-hop group back in the day. So it was fitting that the happy couple "danced" their way into the venue to a song he was involved with in the early 90s - Dedicated to My Girl by R.O.C.
Following the hype intros, the groom took the mic, a total surprise to his wife. They had agreed to dance to a Lionel Richie song as their "first dance", but JP had something else in mind. He had written a song just for her, and had 'Sway' Penala and Darell Seegmiller of DnH record it and sing it. The song played, accompanied by the lyrics on the video screens. Not a dry eye in the house.
Next the Father of the Bride took his turn with his daughter to Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely.
JP then escorted his mother to the dancefloor. In another surprise, as Lionel Richie's Three Times A Lady played, the video screens flashed a message to the crowd. Unbeknownst to his mother, the message on the screen invited the audience to serenade her, along with the lyrics. Once...Twice...Three times a ladyyyy... again, not a dry eye in the house.
From this point the crowd moved outside to the dining area, with beautiful views overlooking Santa Cruz and the ocean.
I handpicked the dinner music to fit with what I thought the crowd would like, including a few Tv Themes sure to have them singing along at the dinner table. I wasn't wrong.
Speeches by the Maid of Honor Connie and Best Man KC were amazing. Both absolutely hilarious.
Next up were the performances. First to bless the "stage" was the four lovely ladies of Pinay, a singing group from the 90's that was very popular, and the groom had worked with them back then. Their voices hadn't changed, they were as fabulous as always as they sang "Share My World". They were accompanied by Elvin Reyes on guitar with assistance from Matt Villacarte, one of the groomsmen, aka DJ Pleez.
DnH took the mics next for a quick medley, and took us back to the 90's. They guys really put it down for the ladies.
The third vocal performance was none other than the father of the groom, Dr. Victor Nebres singing Promises Of Love. A touching performance for his son.
As the "Summer Jam" of weddings continued, and dinner was finished, the guests moved back into the ballroom, and were treated to an interpretive dance solo by the groom's niece (it really must run in the family) as well as a hula display. A video was shown, put together by the groom, featuring various friends' and family's reactions to the news of the wedding, hidden camera style. Laughs all around. Just awesome again.
And with that, the party really began, with the dancefloor packed all night, and guests loving every minute of it. At one point the groom was lifted and carried around the room, crowd-surfing style. Yes, the bar did well that night.
Soul, r&b, classic hip-hop, cha-cha, Motown and some pop were the formula for the night. Everyone had a great time.
As the night came to a close, and the bar almost ran out of alcohol (true story), it was time to slow things down. Time Of My Life (from Dirty Dancing) inspired a few near-falls as guys ran to other guys, hoping to be hoisted in the air, a la Jennifer Grey. Well, you aren't her, and he isn't Patrick Swayze. Almost disastrous.
Last dance song of the night: Let's Stay Together - Al Green
Last song: I Don't Know Much - Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville
Arms linked, a circle of love for the Bride and Groom, the night came to a close.
Congratulations JP & Michelle!