Regular readers will know that I absolutely LOVE marquee weddings!
Sadly, I haven’t done too many marquee weddings during 2022. Most of this year’s weddings have been in my second love…barns!
Jen and Ollie’s wedding though was the stuff of dreams!
The venue, the wonderfully scenic Ketteringham Hall where I had the pleasure of entertaining Eloise and Dom just a year beforehand. This venue is truly wonderful with the backdrop of the historic house and the river running past whatever style of marquee you select for your day.
I love it here!
The day wasn't without it's challenges though!
I’d been told beforehand that the dance floor was to be in the middle of the marquee. This normally means against the side wall somewhere near the centre of the tent. On this occasion, it literally meant slap-bang in the absolute centre…so there’ll be no setting up at the edge of it as is the norm then!
The marquee itself was quite small, so the only logical solution as agreed with the on-site coordinator for the day was to set the equipment up at the very edge of the marquee, with yours truly standing behind it on the outside.
Do you know what? I LOVED that idea. I was working outside under the stars in a gorgeous location on a really nice summer’s day. It’s a solution I’ll try to use again in the future!
The other challenge was that there was a jazz trio set up already in the spot I was to be using. Not to worry….I had a solution for that as well!
The wedding breakfast
Due to the challenging setup situation, I used my trusted battery powered PA system for this part of the day. It’s portable, it’s powerful, and it allows things like speeches to be heard with crystal clarity. It also allowed Jen to Bluetooth into it to allow her own curated playlist of music to be played whilst I got on and set up the main system for the evening’s entertainment.
And finally....party time!
After a lot of waiting around (it’s all part of the job and gives me the chance to befriend some of the guests), and half an hour later than planned…it’s time for the first dance.
The beauty of running 30 minutes behind at this time of year was perfect…it meant that Ollie and Jen did the first dance as it was getting dark outside meaning the lighting had full effect.
This is one of the parts I love about marquee weddings by the way…it gives me the opportunity to use some very powerful lighting but “bounced” from the ceiling of the tent for maximum dance floor effect!
I had a request from Ollie just before the First Dance to play George Ezra’s “Paradise” for his Niece and Nephew who were to go to bed afterwards. Not a problem in my book…let’s make it a bit special for them!
I announced the second song of the night was to be dedicated to the children, and at the end of the song told them it was time for bed and wished them a good night. Apparently, this moment is something they’ll remember!
As for the rest of the evening....
This was ALWAYS going to be an AWESOME night right from the start.
I had a playlist which Jen and Ollie had sent to me, but was also told that guest requests were more than welcome. So it’s basically a case of using the playlist as a guide and running the dance floor using my own expertise from there…my favourite type of party and if I’m honest, ALWAYS the most successful type as well!
From the first dance to the last song of the night, the dance floor NEVER emptied. The energy was amazing and being someone that feeds off of that energy….I left at the end of the evening absolutely shattered!
Before we get to what was played though….here are a few photos from the evening.
And so...the playlist!
As already mentioned, there was a pre-request list which I’d been sent, plus guest requests were more than allowed.
When this is the case, not ALL requests on the night will be played and I use my experience of many years of entertaining at weddings to decide what’s going to work and what’s going to kill the dance floor. I also don’t tend to group things together such as playing an hour of 70s disco, followed by a chuck of ’80s etc. I go with the flow of what’s happening on the dance floor and it’s a formula which works!
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Cheek To Cheek (First Dance)
George Ezra – Paradise (special request for Ollie’s Niece and Nephew)
Lionel Richie – Dancing On The Ceiling
Wham – I’m Your Man
Natalie Cole – This Will Be (the recessional which didn’t work at the chapel but made it to the evening’s playlist!)
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
The B-52’s – Love Shack
Abba – Mamma Mia
Earth, Wind & Fire – Boogie Wonderland
Gala – Freed From Desire
DJ Ötzi – Sweet Caroline
Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
B Witched – C’est la vie
The Spice Girls – Megamix
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
Black Box – Ride On Time
Snap! – Rhythm Is A Dancer
Communards – Never Can Say Goodbye DJ Beats
Billy Joel – Uptown Girl
Backstreet Boys – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
Four Seasons – December, 1963
Ike and Tina Turner – Proud Mary
Whitney Houston – How Will I Know
Lizzo – About Damn Time (Purple Disco Machine Remix)
Rihanna Feat. Calvin Harris – We Found Love
Pitbull feat.KE$HA – Timber
LF System – Afraid To Feel
Groove Armada feat. Gram’ma Funk – I See You Baby
Jennifer Lopez – Let’s Get Loud
Bryan Adams – Summer of ´69
Queen – Dont Stop me Now
The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger
Chumbawumba – Thubthumping
Kaiser Chiefs – I Predict A Riot
Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe
Rihanna – Rude Boy
The Communards – Don’t Leave Me This Way
A-ha – Take On Me
Robbie Williams – Angels
Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire
The Killers – Mr Brightside (false ending)
John Denver – Take Me Home, Country Roads (last song of the night as requested by Jen and Ollie)
This was an AWESOME night of dancing.
As shown in the photos, the dance floor literally never emptied which left me with a massive sense of pride in a job well done.
Jen and Ollie were over the moon with the results!
Are YOU planning a wedding reception at Ketteringham Hall?
If you are, I’d LOVE to hear your ideas and plans for your day, and indeed to be a small part of it.