An inspiring wedding at the Ocean Gateway in Portland, ME where East Coast Soul's Stax ensemble definitely made some new best friends!
East Coast Soul was grateful to be asked to join Anne & Derek for their stunning Ocean Gateway Wedding in Portland, ME.
Our planning for the wedding day began months in advance, with Anne & Derek offering a myriad of musical and logistical options with us for the wedding day (we take our preparation process extremely seriously). Anne & Derek were heavily involved in this advanced planning and a huge asset throughout.
Once the wedding day arrived, East Coast Soul traveled to Portland, ME and began our standard load in and sound check process for Ocean Gateway. We're often asked about our process for loading in and sound checking at various venues. This is a part of the day that we take seriously, spending extra time to avoid rushing, and ensuring our gear is properly tuned for the room.
One aspect of our planning involves outlining exactly what portions of the wedding day East Coast Soul will be involved with.
For this wedding in particular, we learned that Anne & Derek were also interested in East Coast Soul to provide ceremony music. In this case, Anne & Derek 's ceremony was held at Ocean Gateway. After East Coast Soul provided roughly 30 minutes of “prelude” music as guests found their seats, the ceremony began. Specially, we provided a Soloist performance for the processional, bride’s entrance, recessional.
As is often the case, East Coast Soul was asked to provide cocktail hour music. Cocktail hour is a wonderful chance for the bride and groom to relax after the heightened emotions of the ceremony. We do our part by providing a blend of relaxed music for guests to listend to. In this case, we provided a and featured music by artists such as Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and more.
In a lion's share of celebrations, we is asked to provide MC services for the formal portions of the receptions. This Ocean Gateway Wedding was no different. With introductions finished, we transitioned into the couple’s first dance. The first dance is traditionally one of the most meaningful parts of the wedding day. It's a chance for the couple to take a moment for themselves. With this portion of the evening complete, the guests and vendors took a break for dinner. After resting briefly, East Coast Soul's Stax ensemble returned.
In many weddings, we are also asked to perform the couple's parent dances. This is a chance for the bride and groom to spend a couple minutes on the dance floor with their father and mother. In this case, the bride and her father danced together. The groom and his mother shared a dance as well. Parent dances are a great way to start the performance portion of the evening. We generally ask for the attention of the guests to start. We then often ask them to join the couple and their parents on the dance floor, and then move directly in to the rest of the performance.
Our performances often start with older material. We've found this is a great way to get folks up on the dance floor with songs they're familiar with. Artists like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Sam and Dave, The Temptations, Earth Wind & Fire, and more dominated the beginning of our set list. We then moved into performing music by artists like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Finally, we ended the night performing contemporary material that everyone could sing along with.
Guests danced non-stop from beginning to end, and we limited our breaks to ensure people had as much time to dance as possible.
Thanks so much to Anne & Derek for having us at their beautiful April wedding at Ocean Gateway!