In fact he asked if we would be willing to do the disco for their wedding. Willing! I was absolutely delighted to have been asked. I really felt that it was an honour to have been asked.
This conversation must have been at least a year ago and the wedding was always a long way into the future. However, the date did have some impact on our plans. Before we became the victims of a successful campaign by a few members of the Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners group, we realised that we would not be able to attend the weekend of drunkenness that passes for their rally. Not that this would have mattered to us, but I am at risk of digression into old wounds and that’s a story that has already been told.
As July approached, we discussed music with the bride and groom and found out a little about their music tastes (Gareth is into Kings of Leon and also uptempo house, while Emma is a huge fan of Take That.) We also compiled a CD for the wedding ceremony itself which included the traditional Wagner Wedding March, better known as “Here Comes The Bride”, a superb mix from Take That’s “Rule The World” to Shania Twain’s “From This Moment” which was to be played while they were signing the register and posing for photographs at that point, and their unusual choice of exit music, “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles.
I was most relieved that this CD worked perfectly on the day, but was a little disappointed that the person operating the CD player in the venue stopped the music just as Take That had mixed seamlessly to Shania Twain. However, I was probably one of only two or three people who noticed.
But, as usual, I have jumped out of any kind of logical sequence for this story.
The big day really started on the Friday before when several of us went over to Long Eaton to deliver the disco equipment to Trent lock Golf Centre, the venue for both the wedding and reception. It was then that we hit a small snag. They were expecting a few people, including both bride-to-be and groom-to-be to bring in table decorations and place names, but because they weren’t expecting a large pile of disco equipment, we couldn’t set up until the following day, but they allowed us to stack it in a corridor close to the dance floor area, but warned us several times to be careful of the newly decorated paintwork on the corridor walls.
So ended the build-up. Dear reader, you should breathe a sigh of relief that I spared you the reminiscence of shopping for my shirt and tie as part of this build up, but I make no apologies for this post capturing the memories of a a very proud dad, as we finally get to the big day, which can best be describedwith a few (hundred) well-chosen pictures, almost all taken by Sue.
The morning rather dragged for me as we didn’t have to be at Trent Lock until 2pm. We arrived at the appointed hour and got into conversation with some other early guests and a very nervous bridegroom along with his best man and one of the ushers, my other two sons, Daniel and Matthew respectively.
The ceremony itself took place upstairs in the Nicklaus Suite. Emma, naturally, looked beautiful and once the formal part was over, Gareth’s grin seemed to be fixed in place for the rest of the day and evening.
After the official photographs outside, it was time for the best meal I have ever tasted at a wedding. Sue captured this picture of the menu, which doesn’t do justice to the food or to the very good service from the venue staff.
After the speeches, all of which were sincere, funny in parts and far more real that some of the over-rehearsed and stage-managed presentations that we have seen at some weddings, we were amazed that we were singled out to receive some flowers from the bride and groom for our help in doing the disco. (Remember that they hadn’t heard us play at this point!) My mum was also given flowers for her skill and hard work in making the wedding cake, which was a work of art in itself.
With the afternoon part of the proceedings over, it was time to swing into action and get the disco set up. Sue and I were helped by Daniel and Matthew and one or two of their friends and the rig was quickly assembled and the entertainment started. I was really pleased that there the dance floor filled up straight after the first dance (Bryan Adams – “Everything I Do”, with the long intro edited out) and stayed full all evening.
I made sure that I played Kings of Leon and plenty of Take That and from all the singing along and joining in, I am sure that most of the guests enjoyed the evening as much as I did. We did have a minor problem in that the after I had turned the volume of the music up to “disco” level, rather than “background” the lights were overwhelmed by the sound and their sound-to light function simply shut down. This was solved by Sue keeping one finger on the microphone at the back of one of lights for the rest of the night.
It’s great to realise that more than 40 years after I started playing records for people to dance to, that I can still keep a dance floor full and happy. It’s even more amazing that many of those dancers would be the sons and daughters of people that I entertained all those years ago.
Sue took a LOT more photos, and if you want to see them let me know and we’ll find a way, but for now, I’ll just say: