Kate and Matt Underwood – January 5th, 2008; Annandale Country Club

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I met Kate and Matt through Katie and Greg Pappianou (see my next wedding post for June 8th, 2008), as Kate and Katie had been roommates at USC, and they were in each other’s bridal party.

They also told me that they had seen another DJ who was “obnoxious” and had made some “awkward/offensive comments.”  Where do all of these guys come from?!

So of course if Kate was one of Katie’s friends, I knew they would be a great couple to work with since they were looking for a fun and relaxed celebration!

We weren’t able to meet in person right away because Kate was on the east coast finishing up grad school, and Matt was in Los Angeles, but working crazy hours.  As I type this (on November 22nd, 2008), it’s fun to note that we met on November 23rd, 2007 at Annandale for a location visit and planning session.

As we got to know each other better, it was apparent that their group of 240 guests were going to be quite a fun dance party group!  We got a lot of the planning done that afternoon, so all they would have to do was show up, enjoy, and have plenty of time to dance and socialize.

On January 5th, I arrived very early to set up, and one of the first groups of guests to arrive were Katie’s (Katie and Greg’s June 8th, 2008 wedding) parents.  I really had to be on my toes, as I didn’t want to accidentally announce or say “Katie” and Matt Underwood during the reception, and to complicate things, Kate and Katie look like they could be sisters!

The ceremony was in another room with a piano player, but I still watched and enjoyed hearing their vows, and seeing everyone clap as they were announced as, “Mr. And Mrs. Underwood.”

I recall that they had quite a festive cocktail hour, and that was the perfect prelude to a personalized and upbeat grand entrance!  Their wedding party danced their way in, and you should have seen the look on some of Matt’s groomsmens’ faces.  (I can’t share all of my secrets in public, but it was quite entertaining!).

Now originally, Matt and Kate were trying to see if they could get the USC marching band to lead them in for their entrance, but that didn’t work out.  However, they entered to one of their favorite dramatic soundtracks, and went right into their first dance.  What happened a minute or two into their first dance?  Let’s just say that their practice paid off!

Then, as the USC fight song and “Tusk” came on, Kate, Matt, and their entire wedding party got pumped up and they sang along and belted out the “family friendly PG” version.

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We toned it down a bit for dinner, with rat pack classics played at a “background” level (per Matt’s mom’s request….not that I ever crank it up during dinner!) so everyone could enjoy each other and the country club setting.

The celebration continued after dinner with a special dedication from Kate’s father to his daughter before their father daughter dance, and then?  It was one of those nights where their guests were just so into Kate and Matt’s music requests, and I knew what other songs to mix in to take them to the next level!

Sing a long songs, classic rock, top 40, a little old school…it was a blast!  Another song request was “Tell Me Ma” by Gaelic Storm.  This song has special meaning to them, and as I listen to it on my computer and picture them hopping around, it was, quite simply, an awesome moment.

For the bouquet, all of Kate’s USC friends went wild for the toss…

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…and for the guys and the garter, we paid tribute to Matt’s baseball skills by playing “Centerfield” as he showed off his baseball arm.

The party went on for quite a while, and although most guests were still there, everyone was starting to get a little….winded.  After getting Kate and Matt’s “OK” to end things on a high note, all of the couples surrounded Kate and Matt for Michael Buble’s “Save The Last Dance For Me.”

Finally, with boisterous applause and cheering, Matt and Kate ran through a shower of rose petals to escape to Bora Bora!

Mr. And Mrs. Underwood, it was my pleasure to work with you, and keep on dancing.

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