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Destination Wedding in Yosemite

I initially was contacted on September 17th 2015 by Nichole in regards to more information about possibly hiring me for their wedding taking place May 14, 2016; it was about 8 months before the Big Day. After an exchange of a few emails I found out that they were planning a destination wedding and we had to try and arrange a call over the phone versus my usual face to face meeting. We were able to schedule a time to conference call with the Bride to be Nichole, her Fiancé Billy, and little ole me, she was currently in the state of Maryland, I can’t recall what state Billy was in, and I was on my drive home from work when we all spoke. I was pleasantly informed that they were planning a very intimate destination wedding in Yosemite National Park as they were both outdoor enthusiasts and grew up in the Appalachian Mountains. The conversation lasted about 20-30 minutes and a week later I got the email that they would like to hire me for their special day.

I was completely ecstatic about being able to be a part for their big day! It was going to be my first ever destination wedding (I was like this is how it is on TV) and also the first wedding where it was going to be so intimate that the reception was taking place on the dock of the cabin they had rented at The Redwoods In. Then the excitement became nerves and soon they turned into an overwhelming feeling of “Oh crap, how am I going to do this?” There was a minimum of about 30 emails and one phone conversation to guide the way to their special day. Through that stream of communication we established all that we felt was necessary for a smooth reception. The music, the type of events/special dances, location, emergency contacts, toasts, and names of those involved for announcements. I looked up and downloaded cabin map information, I called the place to confirm the instructions for when I arrived, and when the day arrived I left with plenty of time in case we hit traffic on the way up and when we were done setting up we even lend a hand with a few last minute table and décor arrangements.

The cabin’s dock was laced with a theme fit to match the scenery at beautiful Yosemite. The tables were suited with Natural Red Manzanita Branches centerpieces that towered about 18 inches. Their branches were decorated with clear sphere ornaments that housed a hint of green dianthus and an LED candle ready to sparkle like a star in the clear night sky. Mason jars with chalkboard like labels filled two wooden crates that at the base featured smooth pebbles, fuzzy greenery, and chalk to personalize your jar. At the base of the table a sign surrounded by floral designs read “Your glass for the night for what tastes right.” A DIY photo booth station was set up with a scrapbook, gel pens, an instant picture Polaroid-like camera, funny props, and small decorative trunks that were accompanied by their friend dianthus. Pine cones served as loyal companion to most of the décor pieces and all looked so “naturistique” (Lunatiko vocabulary) that even a deer that I take the creative liberty of calling Bambi approached the party. The reception details were ready and the reception events now paved way.

Nichole and Billy are huge fans of what she mentioned was “new grass covers of pop songs” and it was important to have a certain style/tone for their cocktail/dinner music. I shared with them that I was a huge fan Post Modern Jukebox (PMJ) and they liked that band so much they explicitly wanted a special PMJ Mix played from their iPod. The custom iPod playlist contained a song they wanted played in memory of the bride’s grandma who had passed about a year ago. I didn’t think just playing the song would do this type of song request justice. Instead of saying in “in memory of ___________” and cue music I added a more personal touch by announcing “Ladies and gentlemen this next song is for those who are here in spirit and specifically in loving memory of forever in our hearts Grandma Broc.” It was an emotional moment for Nichole’s side of the family and I really felt like I had done right by adding a bit more to it then what was asked.

The schedule of events carried out extremely well and it was the first time I had deer meat at a wedding. The couple had hired a catering company from Stockton, Ca that specializes in that type of cuisine and it was GOOD! I think I was full until the next morning. The weather was immaculate with a gentle sun in the afternoon and smooth cool when the moon joined the party. We played the shoe game in lieu of bouquet and garter toss. The maid of honor had a What does the fox say speech remix and lastly the night ended with a dancing newlywed couple surrounded by their closest loved ones with sparklers in their hands and a loved filled aura in everyone’s eyes. Thank you Nichole and Billy for entrusting DJ Lunatiko with your once in a lifetime event.

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