Katherine and Gregory - Schermerhorn Symphony Center - 8/12/2017

Katherine and Gregory are some of the most kind and sweetest people that you could ever hope to meet. We were privileged to be party to their wedding, which was held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville. If you've never been to this facility, it's the absolute most elegant venue in Nashville and it was the perfect location.

Entertainment was provided by The Downtown Band, one of the top wedding bands in the nation, and they certainly live up to their name. Carolyn and I split photography duties (she goes with the girls and I go with the guys), then combined for the remainder of the evening. We'd like to thank Katherine and Greg, for allowing us to be a part of their special day. We wish them both all the happiness in the world.

 

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Ryan Wedding photographers, DJ and Lighting

www.RickRyan.com

 

Hannah and Daniel - King's Chapel, Arrington TN - 5-7-2016

Please meet Hannah and Daniel. The two are simply made for each other and we loved, loved, loved working with them on their special day. Their ceremony was held at history King's Chapel in Arrington, TN (about 15 miles south of Nashville). This chapel is a wonderful historic location and their ceremony was just perfect. After the ceremony was over, our couple and their guests moved over to the clubhouse for a night of dancing and partying with our very own DJ Rob acting as DJ and MC for the occasion.

Services provided: 2Xphotographer, DM/MC, dance lighting

 

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Jennifer and Mike - Cathedral of the Incarnation and Terian Farms (10-17-2015)

Meet Jennifer and Mike. They had one of the most interesting combinations of venues for their beautiful fall wedding. The lucky couple is from Chicago, and chose Nashville for their very special destination wedding.

The ceremony was held downtown at the beautiful Cathedral of the Incarnation. This is one of the most palatial churches in Nashville, and provided the perfect backdrop for their full-length, traditional Catholic ceremony. After the ceremony was over, the couple and their (quite large) bridal party were whisked away by a 50-person limousine, where we made stops at Riverfront park where Mike's friend had driven his boat down from Chicago, where staged some fun, bridal party portraits. After this, the party moved over to Mt. Juliet at Terian Farms. This is a quaint, working horse farm. Jennifer was even brave enough to get up close with one of the horses for some tremendous party shots.

Services used: 2Xphotographer, DJ/MC, lighting, photo booth

 

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Nashville wedding photographers, DJ and lighting

www.RickRyan.com

 

Brittany and Wes - Opryland Hotel 11-20-2015

We fell in love with these guys from the moment we met them. Wes and Brittany chose Opryland Hotel for their nupitals and wedding reception and wow, what an event. Their ceremony was held out by the Lion's Head fountain. It's in the old section, and a gorgeous spot for a ceremony. After the ceremony, they moved over to the Delta Pavilion, where they danced the night away with their family and guests. Thank you for allowing us to be a small part.

Service provided: Photography, DJ/MC

 

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Emily and Kenneth - Scarritt-Bennett & Musician's Hall of Fame - 11/14/2015

Meet two of the sweetest people in the world; Emily and Kenneth. This lovely couple chose the stately Scarritt-Bennett chapel for their nupitals. We simply LOVE this venue and there's just none others like it in the area. After their ceremony, our couple and their guests moved over to the Musician's Hall of Fame where they danced the night away.

Services provided: 2 photographers, DJ/MC, Lighting and Photo Booth

Venue; Scarritt-Bennett (ceremony), Musician's Hall of Fame (reception)

 

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Nashville wedding photographers, DJ and Lighting

www.RickRyan.com

 

Adrianne and Jake - Hutton Hotel - 11/7/2015

Meet Adrianne and Jake. They had an absolutely perfect day with their wedding being held at the elegant Hutton Hotel in Nashville. The ceremony and reception were both held at the same location, and both families had a wonderful time, dancing the night away. Check out the images we got of this beautiful (and handsome) couple. We wish them all the happiness in the world for their future.

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Adrianne's bridal portrait session

Adrianne's bridal portrait session

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Nashville wedding photographers, DJ & Lighting

Justin & Lindsey - Indian Hills Country Club - Bowling Green KY

This had to have been one of the most high-energy parties of the year. Held at the Indian Hills Country Club in Bowling Green, KY our lovely couple had their wedding Ceremony out on the green complete with a live string section. Something a bit out of the ordinary, Lindsey & Justin came back after their exit and released their guests, row by row, which gave them a chance to personally visit with each person. A very nice touch. Kudos to my good friends at B&B Portraits. It's always a thrill to work with you guys.

After the Ceremony was over, we moved things indoors. If you haven't been there before, Indian Hills is a first-class venue. The main banquet room is perfect for groups of 100-150 and opens out to a rear patio area that's great for chatting or just enjoying the scenery. This event was scheduled for our Live-Pics live slideshow but when we arrived there was already a memories slideshow running, using the in-house A/V system (two large screens). After checking with the mother of the Bride as to whether she wanted me to run Live-Pics (during the dance set) or just leave it as is Lindsey piped up "What? I LOVE the Live-Pics thing." Yes ma'am.

After dinner I ran "The Shoe Game" as a lead-in to cake-cutting. It was fantastic and, judging from the applause and laughter from the guests, I knew we had a real live one here. As soon as we hit the first tune the dance floor filled (completely) and it stayed packed the entire evening. I threw a very wide variety of material at these guys. The amazing part was that practically everyone stayed on the dance floor regardless whether it was a song from "their era" or not.

The Live-Pics and text-messaging was also a huge hit and I'd have to say this group probably ran more text messages than any other I've ever seen (and almost all of them were clearn too). Lots of good-natured ribbing back and forth over college sports teams but also lots of well-wishes for the lucky couple. I normally provide my own screen, usually behind the DJ stand, but this venue was setup so we could tap into their system. The layout of these screens was perfect and I wish every venue had an A/V setup like this one.

At the end of the evening Lindsey's dad absolutely made my night. He came up to thank me and told me that as the bride was getting into her Limo she looked at him and said "Dad, this was absolutely perfect." Guys, all I can say is "thank you" for allowing me to be part of your "perfect" evening.

The couple's First Dance
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Time to party!
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Lindsey's sis & dad enjoy a slow dance together
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Event Playlist
2011-10-01 Wedding Reception - Indian Hills Country Club - Bowling Green KY

Filename Song Artist Year Genre
Black Eyed Peas5 - I Gotta Feeling.mp3 I Gotta Feeling Black Eyed Peas 2009 Pop
Jason Mraz\We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things_3 - Lucky featuring Colbie Caillat.mp3 Lucky featuring Colbie Caillat Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat 2008 Pop
Louis Armstrong1 - What A Wonderful World.mp3 What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong 2007 Jazz
10-16-2010 wedding (Megan Elliott)\GARTH BROOKS - IT'S YOUR SONG.mp3 It's Your Song GARTH BROOKS 0 genre
Various Artists\Motown\19 - I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).mp3 I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) Four Tops 2008 Pop
Beyonce\Put A Ring On It-CLEAN.mp3 Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) Beyonce 2008 Pop
- downloads\Destiny's Child\#1's\11 - Bootylicious.mp3 Bootylicious Destiny's Child 0 Pop
- Hip-Hop\Nelly\Hot In Here-CLEAN.mp3 Hot In Herre Nelly 2002 Rap & Hip-Hop
@PrimeCuts\Train - Marry Me [Album Version].mp3 Marry Me [Album Version] Train 2010 AAA
Zac Brown Band2 - Whatever It Is.mp3 Whatever It Is Zac Brown Band 2008 Country
- Jazz\Steve Baxter Feat. Randy Crawford - 4 More Days [Album Version].mp3 4 More Days [Album Version] Steve Baxter Feat. Randy Crawford 2009 Smooth Jazz
@PrimeCuts\Patrick Lamb - Sweet Tea [Radio Edit].mp3 Sweet Tea [Radio Edit] Patrick Lamb 2011 Smooth Jazz
- Jazz3 afterglow.mp3 afterglow Dwayne Jones 0 Jazz
- Jazz2 If You Care.mp3 If You Care Dwayne Jones 0 Jazz
- Jazz4 any port in a storm.mp3 any port in a storm Dwayne Jones 0 Jazz
- Jazz5 steppin' out.mp3 steppin' out Dwayne Jones 0 Jazz
Frank Sinatra1 Come Fly with Me.mp3 Come Fly with Me Frank Sinatra 2008 Vocal
Frank Sinatra8 - Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) (Remastered Album V.mp3 Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) (Remastered Album Version) [The Frank Sinatra Collection] Frank Sinatra 2008 Pop
Frank Sinatra9 Summer Wind.mp3 Summer Wind Frank Sinatra 2008 Vocal
- downloads\Diana Krall\All For You (A Dedication To The Nat King Cole Trio)7 - Hit That Jive Jack.mp3 Hit That Jive Jack Diana Krall 1996 Jazz
Michael Bubl?\Call Me Irresponsible9 - Everything.mp3
Frank Sinatra1 - I've Got You Under My Skin (2006 Digital Remaster).mp3 I've Got You Under My Skin (2006 Digital Remaster) Frank Sinatra 2007 Broadway & Vocalists
Nat King Cole1 Unforgetable.mp3 Unforgetable Nat " 0 Easy Listening
Michael Bubl?\Sway.mp3
Frank Sinatra7 The Girl from Ipanema.mp3 The Girl from Ipanema Antonio Carlos Jobim 2008 Vocal
- downloads\Diana Krall\All For You (A Dedication To The Nat King Cole Trio)4 - Frim Fram Sauce.mp3 Frim Fram Sauce Diana Krall 1996 Jazz
Nat King Cole7 L-O-V-E.mp3 L-O-V-E Nat " 0 Easy Listening
Sara Bareilles\Little Voice\10 - Many the Miles.mp3 Many the Miles Sara Bareilles 2007 Pop
Various Artists\Motown\(Disc 3) 09 - ABC.mp3 ABC Jackson 5 2008 Pop
@PrimeCuts\Little Big Town - Little White Church.mp3 Little White Church Little Big Town 2010 Country
Stevie Wonder2 - Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours).mp3 Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours) Stevie Wonder 2000 R&B
Michael Bubl?\It's Time\10 - How Sweet It Is.mp3
Darius Rucker7 - Alright.mp3 Alright Darius Rucker 2008 Pop
Zac Brown Band\Zac Brown Band - Toes [Single Edit - No 'Ass'].mp3 Toes [Single Edit - No 'Ass'] Zac Brown Band 2009 Adult Contemporary
Michael Bubl?\Moondance.wma
Brad Paisley\Then-slow.mp3 Then Brad Paisley 0 Country
Various Artists\Party Starter- Funk Mix2 Brick House.mp3 Brick House The Commodores 2006 Soul And R&B
Miley Cyrus\Miley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A. [Cosmo Remix Version].mp3 Party In The U.S.A. [Cosmo Remix Version] Miley Cyrus 2009 Top 40
- Hip-Hop\Cupid\Cupid Shuffle - CLEAN.mp3 Cupid Shuffle Cupid 0 Other
- Kids\Disney9 YMCA.mp3 YMCA Village People 2004 Disco
Otis Day\Shout.mp3 Shout Various Artists 1999 Children's Music
- Kids\18 - The Chicken Dance.mp3 The Chicken Dance KidzTown 2009 Miscellaneous
- Hip-Hop\Quad City DJ's1 - C'mon N' Ride It (The Train) (LP Version).mp3 C'mon N' Ride It (The Train) (LP Version) Quad City DJ's 1996 Rap & Hip-Hop
@PrimeCuts\Justin Bieber Feat. Jaden Smith - Never Say Never.mp3 Never Say Never Justin Bieber Feat. Jaden Smith 2011 Top 40
- Hip-Hop\Ludacris\Ludacris - How Low [Clean].mp3 How Low [Clean] Ludacris 2009 Top 40
@PrimeCuts\California Swag District - Teach Me How To Dougie.mp3 Teach Me How To Dougie California Swag District 2010 Urban
01 - Moving Like Berney.mp3 Moving Like Berney Isa 2010 Rap & Hip-Hop
Salt-N-Pepa\The Best Of Salt-N-Pepa 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection1 - Push It.mp3 Push It Salt-N-Pepa 2008 Rap & Hip-Hop
Neil Diamond\13 - Sweet Caroline.mp3 Sweet Caroline Neil Diamond 1987 Pop
Old Crow Medicine Show\11 - Wagon Wheel.mp3 Wagon Wheel Old Crow Medicine Show 2004 Folk
Lonestar\Amazed - SLOW.mp3 Amazed Lonestar 1999 Country
ZZ Top\13 Cheap Sunglasses.mp3 Cheap Sunglasses ZZ Top 1992 Rock
Michael Jackson\Thriller.mp3 Thriller (Album Version) Michael Jackson 2008 Pop
Journey\Dont Stop Believin.mp3 Don't Stop Believin' Journey 1988 Pop
V.I.C_\Wobble1 - Wobble (Radio Version).mp3 Wobble (Radio Version) V.I.C. 2008 Rap & Hip-Hop
- Hip-Hop\Sir Mix-A-Lot\Baby Got Back.mp3 Baby Got Back (Album Version) Sir Mix A Lot 1992 Pop
Ying Yang Twins\Me & My Brother5 - Salt Shaker (Edited).mp3 Salt Shaker (Edited) Ying Yang Twins 2003 Rap & Hip-Hop
- Hip-Hop\DJ Casper\Cha Cha Slide - CLEAN.mp3 Cha Cha Slide Org Platinum Band 0 Other
Etta James\At Last.mp3 At Last Etta James 1999 Blues
Various Artists\Hits of The 60's Volume 19 - The Twist.mp3 The Twist Chubby Checker 2008 Pop
@PrimeCuts\Adele - Rolling In The Deep [Radio Edit].mp3 Rolling In The Deep [Radio Edit] Adele 2010 Adult Contemporary
Lady GaGa\Just_Dance - CLEAN.mp3 Just Dance Lady GaGa 2008 Pop
Bon Jovi\Livin' On A Prayer.mp3
Jagged Edge3 - Let's Get Married.mp3 Let's Get Married Jagged Edge 2006 R&B
@PrimeCuts\LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett And Goon Rock - Party Rock Anthem.mp3 Party Rock Anthem LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennett And Goon Rock 2010 Adult Contemporary
Toby Keith\Greatest Hits, Vol. 2\Should've Been a Cowboy [#][Live].mp3 Should've Been a Cowboy [#][Live] Toby Keith 2004 Country
Garth Brooks\Friends In Low Places.mp3
Jason Aldean9 - Big Green Tractor.mp3 Big Green Tractor Jason Aldean 2009 Country
[Vanilla Ice] - Ice Ice Baby.mp3
Various Artists\Party Starter- Funk Mix4 Super Freak, Pt. 1.mp3 Super Freak, Pt. 1 Rick James 2006 Soul And R&B
Bee Gees _ Various Artists\11 - Stayin' Alive.mp3 Stayin' Alive The Bee Gees 2008 Pop
Lynyrd Skynyrd\Sweet Home Alabama.mp3 Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd Skynyrd 2000 Rock
- Hip-Hop\[Young MC] Bust A Move - CLEAN.mp3 Bust A Move Young MC 0 Other
- Hip-Hop\Lil Wayne\Got Money - CLEAN.mp3 Got Money Lil Wayne 2008 Rap & Hip-Hop

4 Secrets to the Perfect Wedding Reception

I meet regularly with brides (and grooms) to be and the most common comment I hear is "This is the first time we've done this." This is usually followed up by an hour of machine-gun-style tips and suggestions (from me) but I realize that sometimes it's a lot to take in and digest. I'd like to use this blog to share those ideas and concepts and hopefully help you to make the right decisions on how to structure YOUR special day.

#1 Planning

There simply is no substitute for proper planning. The diligence you do here will pay off in a smoothly-run event but even more importantly, it will pay off in putting your mind at ease and to understand better what to expect. It's always best to write out a Timeline of Events for your wedding and it's almost always a good idea to employ someone you can trust to help you in this process, ideally someone who has experience with this.

Now keep in mind, a Timeline of Events is a game plan. It's quite likely that your event will not follow the script exactly but that written timeline will give your vendors a clearer picture of how you want things to go and it will also give you peace of mind that all the details are taken care of, letting you actually enjoy the evening instead of worrying about it.

#2 Start Strong, Finish Strong

The moment your guests walk into your Wedding Reception is perhaps the most crucial of the entire evening. They should be greeted by soft (dimmed) lighting and quiet, beautiful music. This is also where uplighting comes into play. The goal is that you want them to pause in the doorway and tilt their heads back in order to take it all in. We call it the "tilt back effect". Anytime we see this, I know we're off to a good start.

The second strong start you want is the Grand Entrance, or the introduction of the Bridal Party. This is THE moment of your arrival. Even if you're the shy type who doesn't want to be the center of attention, understand that this evening is also about your guests. A great Grand Entrance is another great way to set the tone and raise the expectations of your guests. When you raise the energy level here, it pays off throughout the evening. Finally, make sure you have a strong, and definite exit. Without a definite exit, guests end up "sneaking out" and that dampens their perception of your event and how great it was.

#3 Room Focus Events

Most wedding receptions follow the same general format but I see a wide variety in how the special events are handled. One of the biggest mistakes I see made is when things like First Dance, Parent Dances and Cake are stacked up, back-to-back. The comment usually is "We're going to get those out of the way." BIG mistake. These special events are traditional elements of any good wedding celebration and we term those "Room Focus Events".

We recommend that you spread RFEs throughout the evening. It's always best to spread these events at 20-30 minute intervals, throughout the evening. First, it keeps your guests entertained but it also works to re-center the group's attention and holding their attention will pay off in holding them longer at the event itself.

#4 Let it Unfold Naturally

Your Wedding Reception is a huge event in the life of a young lady. You plan and plan and plan and every detail must be perfect and especially so if you're a micro-manager type. No matter how detailed your plans may be, you must keep in mind that your event involves people and the one constant about dealing with people is that there are no constants. Each Wedding Reception is different and has its own ebb and flow of energy and this just isn't something you control. You have to let it unfold, naturally. Do your diligence and planning up-front but when it comes to the day-of, sit back and take it all in. Don't let some small, un-planned event take away your joy and ruin your memories.

Summary

I trust that you find something in this blog that will be helpful in planning for your own special day. Enjoy it all.

Would you like more info on our services and how we can benefit your event?

About The Author

Rick Ryan Entertainment is Nashville’s premiere party entertainment service. Our team of DJs and support personnel provide the ultimate in DJ, Emcee, Lighting and PhotoCenter service for many of the area’s most discerning clients. We would be honored to be part of your very special occasion.

Nashville Wedding Photographers DJ & Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com

 

Oscar and Doris (1-18-2014) Wedding Reception, Opryland Hotel (Magnolia Ballroom)

Client: Doris and Oscar

Date: January 18th, 2014

Venue:Opryland Hotel - Nashville, TN

Services Provided: DJ, Emcee, Live-Pics, Texting, Monogram and Photobooth

Photo Album: Doris and Oscar

Meet one of the sweetest couples in the world, Doris and Oscar.

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This lovely couple tied the knot at the world-famous, Opryland Hotel. We were honored to provide DJ/Emcee, Live-Pics/Texting and Photobooth for their event. For those who have been there, you know that Opryland is one of the most premium venues in the Nashville market and the Magnolia ballroom is simply stunning with its very ornate columns, mirrors and carved trim work.

After exchanging vows, our couple and their guests joined us in the atrium for cocktails. It didn't take long to start having some fun with the Photobooth.

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After cocktails, our couple moved into the ballroom for dinner, then dancing. Here is their First Dance (notice the gorgeous decor in the room):

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After the formalities were finished it was time for open-dance. Our lucky couple certainly managed to dance the night away.

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We'd like to also extend a special shout-out to Courtney Hammons and her wonderful staff at A Magical Affair, who provided planning and direction for the event. We wish both Oscar and Doris all the very best in the world and especially in their next great adventures in Belgium!

Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ & Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com

Making the most of your Uplighting

The best events are always well-lit events and uplighting has gotten to be one of the top "must have" items on every discerning Bride's list. In this blog, I'd like to take a moment to go over some lighting basics, and help you to understand how to strike the perfect balance on your lighting and to get the absolute most "bang for your buck" possible. Perimeter Uplighting Colors

Color choice is key to making any lighting work and it also displays your personality, perhaps more than any other decor decision. In choosing a lighting color (or colors), we often see one of the most common mistakes; using a color that is too sub-dued. When used correctly, uplighting should make your room "come alive" and we always tend to lean towards more vivid colors. First, a vivid color is more eye-catching to your guests and it can't be stressed enough how important it is to overwhelm your guests' senses. This first impression is absolutely key in setting the proper tone and ambiance for your event. Second, vivid colors work to increase the depth-of-field for your photography and videography.

In selecting a color(s), we generally recommend the following: Magenta (bright purple), Royal Blue, or Amber (yellow-white, with just a hint of orange), Pink (for the girly-girl in you) or Red (especially for the holiday season). Keep in mind, it's not a necessity to try and match your table colors exactly, especially when using something like Silver or Gray. Go for a lighting color that works WITH your table colors. It's also highly-advisable to stay away from darkness-based colors (maroon, dark-blue, hunter-green, etc.). These colors are based on an absence of light (darkness), which means your fixtures will be putting out less light, not more.

Ambient Ties it Together

Before we talk about how to properly handle ambient lighting, let me give you an example of what NOT to do. This is an example from a wedding where we provided DJ service. Another lighting company did the lighting (they shall remain name-less) and they made the classic mistake of too much color and almost zero ambient:

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As you can see, the room was simply too dark and the colors were over-whelming. The overall effect was almost a blacklight kind of look and, in my humble opinion, it detracted from the event more than it helped. On the opposite, here's an example where there's a much better use of ambient, striking a much-improved balance between ambient and perimeter lights:

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A great lighting job takes more than just colored, perimeter uplights. It also requires a good blend of ambient light, usually in the center of the room, as well. The absolute first rule of good ambient is "NO fluorescent lights, ever". These can be traditional, stick-type bulbs or CFL bulbs installed into recessed fixtures (a lot of hotels are doing this these days). If your venue has fluorescent lighting fixtures, you need to plan on installing your own incandescent lighting. This can be traditional par cans bounced against a celing (for diffusion), leko lights (these can do nice gobo patterns) also bounced against the ceiling,

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(Here's an example leko install for a church concert)

or Italian String Lighting. On ISL, make sure you're using commercial-grade stringers with incandescent bulbs in them. These usually are 15-watt bulbs at either 18-24 inch spacing. Here's an example:

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Christmas lights and little 7-watt (1-foot spacing) bulbs just don't give the same effect. It's also highly advisable to make sure that whatever ambient lighting you use, it can be dimmed. For our events, we generally have ambient at 50% brightness for the guests' arrival (to maximize uplighting effect), then push it to 75% for dinner (so they can see to eat), then finally we'll dim it down to 30% for the dance portion.

Installation Tips

If you're using perimeter uplighting at your event, make sure you discuss table placement with your venue or planner (whoever is responsible for the floor diagram) that you are doing perimeter lighting. The biggest problem we run into is when the venue doesn't know about uplighting and they push tables, right up against the wall. This often ends up with guest chairs that are bumping into lighting fixtures, which are sitting on the floor and shining up. End result, fixtures get bumped and the nice, uniform wall color patterns get broken up. We recommend at least 36" spacing between wall and table, to allow the fixtures to be placed without having them knocked over by guests.

In addition to guest table placement, also be aware of wall table placement. Many times, rectangular tables are placed against the wall for buffets, candy tables, gift tables, etc. If you stack these tables end-to-end, it can cause a break in the color patterns. For best results, we usually recommend no more than a single 8-foot table without having a spacer.

Summary

I trust that you'll find the above info helpful. If you have any questions regarding the info provided, please feel free to drop us a line (Contact Us). For other useful event photos and ideas, please also see our event photo page. We're always glad to help.

Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ and Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com 

Jordan and Andree's Reception (9-14-2013) at Liberty Park, Clarksville

Client: Jordan & AndreeDate: September 14th, 2013 Venue:Liberty Park – Clarksville, TN Service Provided: DJ, Emcee, Live-Pics, Texting, Uplighting, Monogram (Diamond Pkg) Photo Album: Jordan and Andree

Meet Jordan & Andree. Two of the nicest people you'd ever have the pleasure of meeting.

This was our first time to do an event at Liberty Park in Clarksville and what a gorgeous facility this is. Three of the walls are glass and overlook the rest of the park, complete with some of the nicest scenery you can imagine. With the reception beginning during the day, lighting was completely by sunlight.

Given this was our first time at this venue, we had a special challenge in that we had to "fly blind" on the lighting. The other challenge was that the walls were a fairly dark color, which makes it even harder to color match, much less to do it in full sunlight. However, Matthew was certainly up to the challenge and nailed a gorgeous color that we used around the building's perimeter.

For the dance floor, we used 2 Leko lights (theater lighting) to spray gobo patterns onto the dance floor. In the center, we placed the couple's monogram. The results were very good.

As the evening progressed, the dance floor heated up with our couple and guests dancing the night away to a lot of "old school" material. By the end of the evening we also had another special treat. As it turns out, we're also booked to do Lindsey's wedding in March, 2014. Both Lindsey and her fiance were in the bridal party for Jordan and Andree's wedding.

We'd like to say a huge "Thank You!" to both Jordan and Andree, for allowing us to be a part of your very special day. We wish you both many happy years together and wish you all the best.

Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ & Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com 

Event Pacing - The key to the "Magic"

I have to admit it always tickles me to hear the sales pitch of DJs who proclaim about how it's their "sparkling personality" or "mic skills" that make an evening special for their guests. Sorry, I beg to differ. Perhaps I'm a bit of a simpleton (an under-statement) but I believe a great event is designed and executed. It does not just "happen magically", at least on a consistent basis. Sure, there are a million little tid-bits of tricks and stunts we pull to control, influence and steer but at the end of the evening, the event pace is what makes it all come together.

Start with a Timeline of Events

The first goal we have is to build a good timeline of events. Grand Entrance, Dinner, First Dance, etc. Now I know that some DJs are strict "by the schedule" guys/gals but with our crews, we use the timeline as a "game plan" and that game plan revolves around (in the case of Weddings) the Bride, and to a lesser part, the Groom. Before each event change, we check in with the Bride/Groom and see if they're ready. If not, do a time shift. If they are, notify the other vendors (to give them time to get in place), and do it. For our timeline builder, we use a custom-designed, web-based system to get timeline events from the client. Everything is online, centralized, and in the case of an emergency, anyone else in the organization can step in and execute the program, exactly as our client requested it. Once the timeline is built (with a phone consult the last week to go over details), we get into the meat of how to put it all together.

Break it into Segments

I remember from my musician days at The Grand Ole Opry where several artists told me, "Rick, always give them something different". We use that concept today in how we time and run our events. It seems to work. The most basic rule is "No segment longer than 20-30 minutes maximum" (possible exception of dinner). We humans are funny creatures with short attention spans that must be constantly prodded and re-directed. Run anything too long, it's boring. Run it too short, it's piece-meal. This is also an argument to not just stack things together (First dance, parent dances, cake) to "get them out of the way". No, put each element into its own time frame and use that to re-focus and re-center your room's attention at every turn.

Patience is a Virtue

The other element of a well-run event is patience. You have to realize, the event's energy has an ebb and flow, much like waves crashing on the shoreline at the beach. I've seen so many Brides worry themselves silly because their floor wasn't slammed in the first 15 minutes. Slow down, be patient. This is the time where we're testing the waters and gauging reactions from your guests. You'll see a lot of musical change-ups (remember our "Rule of Rotating Fours") and a good DJ is sitting there, silently, behind the console, and carefully observing, planning for when and how he's going to "drop the hammer" and kick it into overdrive. Remember, you want to start strong, and finish strong.

While some DJs like to claim "I'm the party starter", most parties are going to start on their own and if the guy on the mic tries to push it prematurely, it usually annoys the guests more than entertains them.

The DJ-by-Proxy Bride

Another thing that often can trip up a successful evening falls squarely at the feet of Mr. Steve Jobs and a little device called an iPod. Let's face it, we've all got a million songs and it makes everyone think they're a DJ who can easily write out a slamming mix that will have the house jumping. I have to admit that I cringe anytime I get that dreaded 60-song playlist (yes, we'll do it, if that's what you want) where the client has picked out every single song, and in the order they want them played. Big, BIG mistake. The smartest advice I can give is to give your DJ about 10-15 of your personal favorites. A good DJ can take that list and can tell within a few seconds where you are (musically-speaking) and will know how to angle the evening to make it work for you. Let the professional you've hired do what you've paid them to do. They have a method and a plan, you just enjoy the evening because I assure you it will go by quickly.

Summary

I hope you find something helpful above. Setting the tone and controlling the pace, not too fast and not too slow, works and it works consistently (alcohol or not). I wish you well in planning your very special day.

Would you like more info on our services and how we can benefit your event?

About The Author

Rick Ryan Entertainment is Nashville’s premiere party entertainment service. Our team of DJs and support personnel provide the ultimate in DJ, Emcee, Lighting and PhotoCenter service for many of the area’s most discerning clients.

Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ & Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com 

Liz & Ryan's Wedding (8-10-2013) Cathedral of the Incarnation

Client: Liz & RyanDate: August 10th, 2013 Venue:Cathedral of the Incarnation – Nashville, TN Service Provided: DJ, Emcee, Live-Pics, Texting, Uplighting, Monogram (Diamond Pkg) Photo Album: Liz & Ryan

What a wonderful couple! Meet Liz & Ryan as they get down with some of their friends.

They are an absolutely delightful couple and they certainly did a great job on putting together a stellar event. Their event was held at the Nashville Cathedral of the Incarnation, right down by Vanderbilt. This is a choice venue and we always love working there.

For lighting, Liz asked for a "peachy but not too pink". The Cathedral has these lovely old (and yellow) stained glass windows, which change the tint a bit while sunlight is still streaming. Over the head table, we placed a large monogram of their last name and date. It seemed to be a hit with a lot of folks.

The evening was filled with a lot of fun, dancing and elegance and finished off with one of the sweetest final dances I can remember.

Special props go out to the vendor team:

Lindsey Stamps (615-390-6450) - Coordinator (great job!)

Ambrosia Catering (www.AmbrosiaCateringTN.com)

B&B Portraits (www.bandbportraits.com)

Enchanted Florist (http://enchantedfloristtn.com/) Caprice, you're a monster, as always!

We wish the happy couple many, many wonderful years together! Thanks for letting us be a part!

Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ & Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com 

Press Release: Our new Online Song Request system

Ryan Photography, DJ & Lighting is proud to announce our latest tool to make your event a memorable experience. Our new Online Song Request system is now online and ready for our clients' use.

A key part of making any event successful is pre-planning. From the DJ side of things, that means gathering the information needed to create a timeline, also known as the Schedule of Events. For any event that we perform, our clients start receiving reminder notices about 90 days out from their event date. In addition to the Online Planner link, these notices now will include Client-access and Guest-access links to our new Song Request system.

"Why include guests in the song list?"

The easiest way I can explain it is; "To build a buzz." As we often tell our clients, "Song requests are vital in making your guests feel a part of the celebration. It's the glue that keeps them at the event longer and letting them have input on music selection really makes them feel part of the action." The link that we provide can be forwarded to friends and family and is designed to let them "vote" on their favorites. Here's a screen shot (not an actual event):

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 Guests (and clients) make their requests and can "Vote" on any song(s) to move them up the list (only 1 vote per request per guest is allowed). Your guests can come back as often as they like to see what position their request(s) are. The important thing is, it keeps them thinking about you and your up-coming wedding day.

Now in addition to the Guest-access option, we also provide a Client-access link. This one gets priority (hey, it's your wedding day after all) and any requests entered go straight to the top, although guests are still allowed to "Vote" for particular songs as well.

Another important part of any song requests that we get from our clients are "Do Not Play" (DNP) requests. These may be any song(s) that trigger painful memories or perhaps just are annoying to the Bride & Groom. As the entertainment provider, it's absolutely top priority that we protect our clients from anything that might possibly add spoil to their "Special Day". Additionally, we also segment the DNP list into two categories;

"Soft DNP" - These are songs that you'd really rather avoid but hey, if "Uncle Charlie" is just pestering you to play it, then go ahead.

"Hard DNP" - These are songs that absolutely, under no circumstance, should they be played at this event. In all cases, we give preference to our clients' wishes and will avoid these.

Keep in mind, that the majority of our clients don't need or provide us with a DNP list. It's only there because we're thorough and careful in our business. In this line of work details matter and we always "Sweat the details". The new Song Request system is now online is going out now with all new Online Planner notifications.

Ryan Wedding Photography, DJ and Lighting

http://www.RickRyan.com 

Meghan & Robert's Wedding (6-1-2013) Houston Station

Client: Meghan & RobertDate: June 1st, 2013 Venue:Houston Station – Nashville, TN Service Provided: DJ, Emcee, Live-Pics, Texting, Uplighting, Monogram, Italian String Lighting Photo Album: Meghan & Robert

Meet Meghan & Robert as they enjoy their First Dance together.

Both of them are teachers and wow, do they know how to throw a great party! Their event was held at the el-chique, Houston Station, which is a lovely old converted warehouse space near downtown Nashville.

This event had a few special items on lighting so let me share a few of those. Over the dance floor, we installed Italian String Lighting, then hit the floor with an Amber, patterned leko light as well as the couple's monogram. Around the perimeter, we also installed LED uplights with a rich, Amber tone to it. Here are a few pictures.

Seeing that there's a nice, long entry hallway, we used a combination of another Amber Leko light (same gobo pattern), Amber LED uplights as well as some Blisslight star system lasers. It gave the entrance a magical feel to it, which the guests loved.

Now enough about the boring techie stuff, let's get to the party (and boy, what a party it was)!  From the minute we opened the dance floor, it was packed all night and these guys partied like rockstars!

What a fantastic evening and to top it all off, the guests were given Tennessee and Yale pom-poms for a drive-by send off. Thanks for letting us be a part of your very special evening, guys. We wish you all the very best in life.

Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ & Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com 

Zena & David's Wedding Reception (5-25-2013)

Client: Zena & David

Date: May 25th, 2013

Venue:Loews Vanderbilt – Nashville, TN

Service Provided: DJ, Emcee, Live-Pics, Texting, Uplighting, Monogram, PhotoCenter

Photo Album: Zena & David

Meet Zena & David during their First Dance.

Their Wedding Reception was held at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville. This was an ultra-elegant affair, complete with monogram, uplighting and a PhotoCenter. The pink uplighting blended perfectly with the elegance of the main ballroom. Check out the cake spotlighting.

Zena & David live in Atlanta, moving there from Nashville. During our planning meeting, we had the pleasure to meet David's mother, who is from Chile. Seeing that a portion of the guests were from her home country, we also incorporated latina music, so they would feel at ease as well.

The couple said their guests were going to be huge dancers and they certainly didn't fail to impress this DJ with some serious moves.

The guests also had some huge fun at our PhotoCenter (special thanks to Angela, our PB technician).

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your very special celebration.

Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ & Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com 

PRESS RELEASE: Italian String Lighting now available!

We're excited to announce that we now are offering Italian String Lighting for our clients' ultra-elegant events! For those who aren't familiar with it, let me share a photo from a recent event Houston Station in Nashville, TN.

I know, "Oh you mean Christmas lights?" No, there's a huge difference. These are commercial-grade stringers, complete with 15-watt (not 5 or 7-watters) globe bulbs and dimmer circuits. These are incandescent bulbs that give off a soft, romantic light. They give that ultra-chique to practically any event, not to mention the soft glow that will set a wonderful ambiance for your event.

To make things simple for our clients, we're packaging these at three different levels;

"Small" - 2, 54-foot stringers (25 lights), suggested for up to 100 guests

"Medium" - 4, 54-foot stringers (50 lights), suggested for up to 200 guests

"Large" - 6, 54-foot stringers (75 lights), suggested for up to 300 guests

Pricing may be found here. Given the logistics involved with this style of lighting, we require a site survey and venue permission, prior to booking. Please call us today to discuss how this great new product can benefit your very special day.

Photos

Nashville Wedding Photography, DJ & Lighting Service

http://www.RickRyan.com 

2013-05-04 Megan and Patrick's wedding (Tulip Grove Mansion at The Hermitage)

Client: Megan and PatrickDate: May 4th, 2013 Venue: The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson' home), Hermitage, TN Service Provided: DJ, Emcee, Uplighting, Monogram Photo Album: Megan and Patrick

This is Megan and Patrick's wedding that I DJed this past weekend at The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home). The Ceremony was held in the Tulip Grove mansion followed by a cocktail hour. For the reception, the party of about 75 moved out to a 30'X60' tent. Our service was DJ, Dance Lighting, Uplighting (peach & mint), and monogram.

The day was very wet and cold (mid-40s) but I was able to back the van, right up to the doorway to unload. Got everything in place and strung cables and installed the uplighting fixtures (20). I have to admit, I wasn't very crazy about what I might run into on this setup. It was cold and wet (something you don't want to deal with when running lights on the ground) and I knew we were working off a generator. I was pleasantly surprised to find out the tent company had also supplied the generator and they did it right. Big, industrial inverter-style generator with the distro box dropped right behind my table. In addition, the sidewalls had been properly pegged down (attaboy Patrick) and they actually had proper heating in the tent. Have to hand it to the B&G, they did the setup right. Great job guys.

The Ceremony and cocktail hour were held in the Tulip Grove mansion. Nice place with lots of character to it. A bit later, the guests made their way out to the tent for the Wedding Reception. For the Father-Daughter dance, Megan asked us to do a mash-up. Start with a slow piece, then break into about 8 different songs and ending up with the full-length version of Quad City DJ's "Come On Ride The Train". This isn't what I'd normally use to transition into open dance but it worked perfectly. As the last song started, we invited the guests to "Get on board" and boy, did they ever!

This was the perfect start to a high-energy dance set.

A shot of the monogram, projected to the tent ceiling.

The evening ended with all-smiles by our happy couple. Congratulations Megan and Patrick. We wish you both all the happiness in the world. Special thanks go out to our great friends at B&B Portraits and Two Fat Men Catering (I need the recipe on that potato chip chicken, WOW!). Fantastic job, guys!

Nashville Wedding DJ, Lighting and PhotoCenter Service http://www.RickRyan.com – http://www.615dj.com –http://www.615lighting.com – http://www.615photobooth.com

04-27-2013 (Daniel's Big Bar Mitzvah) Old Natchez Country Club

Client: The SaulsDate: April 27th, 2013 Venue: Old Natchez Country Club, Franklin, TN Service Provided: DJ, Emcee, Live-Picx/Texting, Shadow-dancing, Uplighting, Monogram, PhotoCenter, Motivational Dancers Photo Album: Daniel's Bar Mitzvah

This is Daniel's Big Bar Mitzvah held this past weekend at Old Natchez Country Club in Franklin, TN. This was a huge event with energy that was absolutely off the charts! About 100 kids an 50-75 adults in attendance.

Our crew included a 7-person team; 2 DJ/Emcees, 2 professional dancers, 2 A/V techs and 1 PhotoCenter technician. The package included our huge, dual video screens (which barely fit in the room, btw); Live-Pics/Texting on the left and Shadow-dancing on the right.

DJ Russ started the evening off with a series of fun games and the kids quickly got into "party mode". Our dance team, Shay and Malik helped us with the kids as well as a new friend, Angela. Thanks guys, for such a great job! As the evening progressed and daylight subsided, the bright and bold uplighting colors really began showing. We used about 30 fixtures, which were strewn through several different rooms around the venue and we used a color scheme of Blue, Orange and Yellow, which matched up with Daniel's chosen theme and table center-pieces (Blue/Orange/Yellow Lacrosse balls). The PhotoCenter was also a huge hit and we look forward to seeing the PictureBook from it. Following are some pictures from the event.

The kids with their glow necklaces. Live-Pics/Texting on the left screen, shadow-dancing on the right

Monogram with blisslight background

Lotsa games (and Shay with a big ole smile)

Lots of dancing on this one

For dance lighting, 4 chauvet LED scanners and 1 Martin acrobat

Nashville Wedding DJ, Lighting and PhotoCenter Service http://www.RickRyan.com – http://www.615dj.com –http://www.615lighting.com – http://www.615photobooth.com

04-20-2013 Lauren and Philip's Wedding (Old Natchez Country Club, Franklin, TN)

Client: Lauren and PhilipDate: April 20th, 2013 Venue: Old Natchez Country Club, Franklin, TN Service Provided: DJ, Emcee, Ceremony Photo Album: Lauren and Philip

Meet Lauren and Philip (as he gets her garter).

One of the absolute sweetest couples you'll ever hope to meet and they were an absolute joy to work with on their wedding. The event, both Ceremony and Reception, was held at Old Natchez Country Club in Franklin, TN.

This was my first time to work at Old Natchez. Very nice club and the staff there are superb and hosted a flawless event. There are separate areas for dance, dinner and cocktails, yet all three areas are adjoined together. The rear veranda opens up to some fantastic scenery, overlooking the golf course.

Once we began the dance segment, the energy went through the roof. Check out a few dance shots:

To finish off a perfect evening, our lucky couple departed to a sparkler exit.

Nashville Wedding DJ, Lighting and PhotoCenter Service http://www.RickRyan.com – http://www.615dj.com –http://www.615lighting.com – http://www.615photobooth.com