This was our second time at the Stratford Country Club for a wedding which is located in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. Stratford is the home of the Shakespeare Festival (now just called the Stratford Festival). It's a terrific location for a wedding and has facilities for both the ceremony and reception. It can easily handle one hundred people for a wedding and it is one of our favorite venues for reasons that will become obvious during this blog.
Sunday, September, 3, 2023, Victoria and Talon tied the knot with about eighty of their friends and family in attendance. Mother nature was kind enough to cancel any rain showers but did decide to give us one of the hottest and most humid days of the season.
With a ceremony starting at 3pm we arrived around 1pm as we had two setups, ceremony and reception. We love how easy it is to load in our equipment here as they have ramp the allows our carts to travel easily to the main level.
We were all setup by 2:30pm with soft music playing at the ceremony location, which is just a short walk to from the reception hall. However due to the "It's not the heat, it's the, well you know" most of the guests choose to stay in the air-conditioned reception hall until about five minutes before the ceremony, which prompted us to play the same style of music inside.
Also at 2:30pm Pastor Al Smith, who was Talon's grandfather (and a big Willie Nelson fan, more on this later), arrived for the ceremony.
The ceremony started just after 3:00pm and everything went as smooth as butter. Both Victoria and Talon said the "I do's" and kissed, made it legal with the registry singing and all within about twenty minutes, they were married!
Ceremony songs were:
Thousand Years (piano/cello cover) by the Piano Guys (Bridal Party)
Turning Page - Instrumental (Bride March)
The Rose - Andre Rieu (Registry Signing)
Marry You - Bruno Mars (Recessional)
One of the benefits of having both my wife and me there is one of us can tear down the ceremony setup while the other can start playing cocktail music. This makes for a fast and smooth transition.
Both Victoria and Talon do not appreciate any type of country music. As I stated earlier, Paster Al, his Grandfather, on the other hand, and who used to be a DJ by the way, loves country music. Enter the mild conflict of the day. We got both parties to make some compromises and got a couple of Willie Nelson songs on during dinner. It was all in good fun. Sometimes DJ's make great arbitrators.
The venue served appetizers including Curried Chicken Skewers Lemon Marinated Shrimp with cocktail sauce Bruschetta on a barquette Potato Puffs. All tasted great and was a welcome as we had a two and a half hour coattail session.
Dinner started at 6pm with a grand entrance to Chris Brown's Forever. We had three bride's maids and three groomsmen, and of coarse the couple of honour.
Every table place setting had a chocolate bar and a small bag of candies. We thought this was super cool and nice touch from the bride and groom!
The first course for dinner was an Arugula Salad, with currant puree, dried currants, sliced almonds, red onion and goat cheese, drizzled with lemon maple dressing. Fantastic!!! Probably the best salad I've had all year.
The main course was running a couple of minutes late so we decided to have the Best Man's speech at this time to kill a few minutes.
Right on time, the main course was brought out just a few seconds after the Best Man's speech ended. Jen and I choose the Bacon Wrapped Chicken– bacon wrapped chicken supreme with hunter sauce, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. This meal was to die for. What ever they pay the chef at the Stratford Country Club, we are sure it isn't enough. The chicken was cooked perfectly. The mashed potatoes were incredible. Jen and I were fighting over them. Even the vegies were awesome.
Next was the maid of honour's speech just before desert.
Desert was a beautiful Cherry Cheesecake with whipped cream. It was so sad that my wife Jennifer doesn't like cheesecake which means I got to have two of them.
Once desert was served we needed to finish off the speeches with both sets of parents and of coarse, the bride and groom.
Next up was the formal dances. The staff had to move a few tables to open up the dance floor which was done quickly and efficiently.
Shoutout to the the entire staff and especially Char who did an awesome job keeping us on track with the timeline and making our job so easy!
Victoria and Talon's first song was Lover by Taylor Swift (First dance remix). We then followed with the father / daughter dance featuring Sweet Child O Mine (father daughter song) and ended with the mother / son dance; Count On Me (mother son song) which we faded out at about the two minute mark at Talon's request.
My favourite part of the evening was next; The Anniversary Dance. This is where I announce anyone that has been married for less then a day please make you way to the dancefloor. Of coarse that's only one couple. Then every twenty seconds I ask for couple that have been married for a year of less to enter the dance floor. Then five years, then ten years and so on until I get every married couple on the dance floor. My choice of song for this is the eternal classic; Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers. By the time we get to the 3 minute mark of the song we have a near full dance floor. I follow that up with Run Around Sue by Dion, an upbeat classic that is just too irresistible not to dance to for most people. Then I followed up with Sugar Pie Honeybunch by the Four Tops.
There were two special requests for Victoria and Talon' daughter and those were; Peaches by Jack Black from he Super Mario Brothers movie and Honey, Honey from the Mama Mia Soundtrack. I know this day is all about Victoria and Talon, but at least for those two songs, their young daughter stole the show.
Later in the evening Talon's aunt requested a special dance where all the gentlemen in the room make a circle around the dancefloor and the bride (Victoria) gets it the middle and each one takes a turn dancing with the her. With well over a hundred weddings under our belt this was the first time we'd been asked to do this (on the fly) and to be honest, we weren't sure how it would go over. To our delight, it was a huge hit and a major highlight of the evening.
It was fun watching the groomsmen try to do The Macarena dance to just about ever song we played all night.
We finished the evening off with Closing Time by Semisonic and played I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys while we were packing up. While everyone was leaving. Many were singing as they left which made us feel rally great!
We wish Victoria and Talon all the best and are thankful they trusted us for entertaining their guests on of the most important days of their lives.
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Stratford Country Club Wedding.
Starlight DJ Services
Venue: Stratford Country Club
Caterer: Stratford Country Club
Photographer: Taylor Ferguson
Some of the songs that got the most people dancing:
Peaches - Jack Black
Honey Honey - From the Mama Mia sound track
Low by Flo Rida
Runaround Sue by Dion
Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex
Dancing Queen - Abba
Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon
September - Earth Wind & Fire
Heave Away - The Fables
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Don't Stop Believing - Journey
Perfect - Ed Sheeran
Carless Whisper - Wham
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - Wham