Erika and Andrew Barnes – December 29th, 2007; Calamigos Ranch

What do you do when you’ve been recommended by a mother of a bride (Mary Joy P.), their wedding location Calamigos Ranch, and your wedding coordinator friend, Kathy Bailey, and 300 guests from all over the country converge on Malibu?

I knew that I had better bring my “A” game!

(Of course, I bring my “A” game to every wedding, but it seemed appropriate as Erika was a former softball star and works in the athletic department for the University of Arizona, and Andy is a pro golfer).

Erika’s mother contacted me and wanted to make sure that I was willing to work with them on their play list, and after reassuring her, they secured their date!

We kept in touch and Erika made it into town in October, and she was looking forward to our planning meeting (Andy couldn’t make it…something about being off travelling the world playing golf…rough life!).  But I had already been alerted that Andy is a big dancer…a “Justin Timberlake” type of dancer.

On a crisp starlit evening, the stream of cars began to arrive.  After their ceremony, we began their cocktail hour with contemporary selections including Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Coldplay, Edwin McCain, and The Fray…then it was time for their grand entrance.

I should probably mention that Erika and Andy aren’t shy…nor boring, and neither are their friends!  It was quite the entertaining grand entrance…personalized, with upbeat music cued and perfectly timed!  I won’t publicly give away all of the details because a wedding is a private family function, but I assure you that it was quite memorable (in a good way).

Andy and Erika entered to a standing ovation, and since they love the band O.A.R. (they had seen them perform on campus back in 1999), they took the stage to “Nasim June.”

The toasts were entertaining and personal, and I still remember one special part from Erika’s father’s toast.  He was reminiscing about commitment to practice, sports, studies…and how he would remind Erika “To show people, don’t tell them.”  And he was so happy for Andy and Erika because he saw, (through their actions, not just words), that they truly love each other.

Towards the end of dinner, they were both proud (and brave?) to have their college coaches give a toast, and these guys could go do stand up comedy if they wanted to!

The dancers and the dancing more than lived up to the hype!  The song of the night?  “That Was A Crazy Game of Poker” by O.A.R. of course!  I think their singing partially drowned out my sound system (and that’s not an easy thing to do, especially since the song is over 8 minutes long!).

Playing songs from their list and mixing a few others in and out of  the dance sets made time fly, and at 10PM, we announced that the first round of shuttles had arrived, but I don’t think anyone left!

By 11PM, we had to wrap things up, and I’m pretty sure that was a good time to send everyone back to their hotels.  I chatted with Erika’s parents for a while, and hugged Erika and Andy.

That was the perfect way to ring in 2008.  Again, congratulations again to both of you and your families!

P.S.  Note to Andy…it’s just over one month to go before your one year anniversary!

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