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Jan23

Event Recap and Pictorial: Amber and John’s Charmingly-Chic, Rusticly-Sweet Fall Fete at Conrad Botzum Farmstead

Amber and John's charmingly-chic, rusticly-sweet fall fete at Conrad Botzum Farmstead.  Bride and Groom portrait by Anna Zajac of Anna Zajac Photography.

Amber and John’s charmingly-chic, rusticly-sweet fall fete at Conrad Botzum Farmstead. Bride and Groom portrait by Anna Zajac of Anna Zajac Photography.

On Saturday, September 7, 2013, we (DJ AJ9 and DJ Mike) had the pleasure of providing Ceremony Sound Services, a Master of Ceremonies and Disc Jockey, and Lighting Design for Amber and John’s charmingly-chic, rusticly-sweet fall fete at the historic Conrad Botzum Farmstead in Akron’s Merriman Valley near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  Special thanks to Anna Zajac of Anna Zajac Photography for sharing her lovely photographs of this beautiful event!

I remember when I (DJ AJ9) first met Amber at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar, this past January, where I was MCing the fashion show with DJ Justin backing me up on lighting design, sound design, and music.  Amber and I REALLY hit it off, right away, and we made plans later that same week to meet for coffee and chit-chatting (with her then-fiance (now-husband!)), the following Sunday at one of my favorite local spots, the Valley Cafe near Botzum.

After talking for just over an hour, it was obvious that Amber and John were a Something New Bride and Groom.  We made it official, but no one was ready to say “good bye,” just yet!  I knew the couple had an appointment at the Farmstead shortly after our meeting, and we were all just having such a great time planning, so we decided I would tag along on their visit (including a special guest star from the genius sustainable chef team at Sowfood) to talk with them about lighting design in the space, as the barn can become quite dark at night.

Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

The Historic Conrad Botzum Farmstead, Dark by Night. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

The Historic Conrad Botzum Farmstead, Dark by Night.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

The Historic Conrad Botzum Farmstead, Dark by Night. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

PARAGRAPHBREAK

In addition to working as a Senior Account Executive at a boutique PR firm, Amber also serves on the board of directors for a Farmers Market and contributes to a Edible Cleveland magazine, so being able to serve responsibly-grown, local food to the most important people in her life on her wedding day was very important to Amber.  Since Conrad Botzum Farmstead typically encourages couples to choose from a small list of preferred caters, the Sowfood team arranged a time to meet at the farm to go over the details and guidelines for this historic barn, and we also brainstormed about Pinterest-worthy lighting design solutions that would give the barn some extra sparkle — and visibility.

Amber and John's "Globe Light Chanda-Drape," Conceived, Designed, and Crafted by Hand by Our Own DJ AJ9.  Photo by Anna Zajac.

Detail of Amber and John’s “Globe Light Chanda-Drape,” Conceived, Designed, and Crafted by Hand by Our Own DJ AJ9. Photo by Anna Zajac.

Fast forward just over seven short months later, and, arriving on site early for setup, Amber’s vision beginning to unfold was absolutely breathtaking, with a stunning mix of modern elements and rustic, homespun charm.

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Letterpressed Escort-Coasters Clothespinned to a Line. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

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A Black-and-White Striped Modern Runner Contrasts with Casual, Homespun Bouquets in Pastels that Look Fresh-Picked from the Field. Florals by Brandon Sitler of The Urban Orchid.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

 

The earlier-in-the-day scattered showers cleared just in time for Amber and John’s wedding ceremony, which took place in the grassy meadow just beyond the historic barn’s porch area, surrounded by the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park forest.  What a great backdrop for a perfect day!

 

Amber and John's Outdoor Ceremony Setting at Conrad Botzum Farmstead.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

Amber and John’s Outdoor Ceremony Setting at Conrad Botzum Farmstead. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

 

Can you spot Something New Entertainment’s sound system in the photo, above?  Nope?  Good.  That’s always the plan.  😉

After the ceremony, it was time to celebrate!  We helped Amber and John to prepare personalized bios for each member of their bridal party to honor their friendship — and make them laugh just a little, too!

 

A Pair of Amber and John's Closest Friends Enjoying Their Introduction by Something New Entertainment's DJ AJ9.  Photo by Anna Zajac.

A Pair of Amber and John’s Closest Friends Enjoying Their Introduction by Something New Entertainment’s DJ AJ9. Photo by Anna Zajac.

 

Because of our unique approach to working with our clients to create special moments, photos of the Grand Entrance are often some of our very favorite from each event!   Amber, John, and the delighted members of their Bridal Party are no exceptions!

 

A Pair of Amber and John's Closest Friends Enjoying Their Introduction by Something New Entertainment's DJ AJ9.  Photo by Anna Zajac.

A Pair of Amber and John’s Closest Friends Enjoying Their Introduction by Something New Entertainment’s DJ AJ9. Photo by Anna Zajac.

 

Last — but certainly not least — the couple of the hour, the NEW Mr. and Mrs.!

 

A VERY Grand Entrance!  Something New Entertainment Created Personalized Introductions for each Member of Amber and John's Bridal Party.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

A VERY Grand Entrance! Something New Entertainment Created Personalized Introductions for each Member of Amber and John’s Bridal Party. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

 

Next, time to toast the newly-married couple and to enjoy the feast prepared by SowFood’s Bryan Doyle and Maggie Downey!

 

Amber and John's Pinterest-Worthy Lighting Design -- a Custom-Constructed Globe Light Chandelier/Curtain Accent for the Head Table.  Lighting Design by Something New Entertainment.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

A Toast to the NEW Mr. and Mrs., Framed by the Centerpiece of Amber and John’s Pinterest-Worthy Lighting Design — a Custom-Constructed Globe Light Chandelier/Curtain Accent for the Head Table. Lighting Design by Something New Entertainment. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

 

John and Amber’s musical taste was very broad, so the couple decided to “crowdsource” some of their music from their guests!  Each RSVP card had a line for requests, and we incorporated some of those to identify musical trends among the guests — it was still a pretty wide variety, though!  During dinner and cocktail, guests were serenaded by a variety of artists both classic and contemporary from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to Michael Buble, Gin Wigmore, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Hall & Oats, the Lumineers, and the Avett Brothers, to name just a few.

 

Amber and John Enjoy Lively Dinner Conversation With Their Nearest and Dearest.  Photo by Anna Zajac.

Amber and John Enjoy Lively Dinner Conversation With Their Nearest and Dearest. Photo by Anna Zajac.

 

As the night drew on, we were glad for the ambiance and luminance of the globe lights — perfect for a semi-outdoor space like Conrad Botzum Farmstead!  With a bride named *Amber,* I had a dream of seeing a warm, amber (colored) glow, throughout the evening, and our beautiful design did not disappoint!

 

A Front View of Amber and John's Chanda-Curtain of Globe Lights Cerated by Something New Entertainment's DJ AJ9.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

A Romantic Front View of Amber and John’s Chanda-Curtain of Globe Lights Cerated by Something New Entertainment’s DJ AJ9. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

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After dinner, Amber and John cut their cake privately (to Cake’s “Love You Madly”) before we moved into their Love Story and Traditional First Dance.

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Amber and John’s story has all the elements of a classic romance — the yearning of long-distance love, John in the Navy and Amber still in college, John’s sneaky plan to surprise Amber with a custom-made engagement ring, and (let’s not forget!) the 36-hour car drive to deliver said ring from SanDiego to Cleveland!  Spending time talking with my clients and learning about what makes them special — especially what ties them to one another — is so important to creating special memories and is — without a doubt — my favorite part of my work.

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Something New Entertainment Master of Ceremonies Anna-Jeannine "DJ AJ9" Performing a Touching (and Funny) Love Story for Amber and John's September 2013 Wedding Reception at Conrad Botzum Farmstead.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

Something New Entertainment Master of Ceremonies Anna-Jeannine “DJ AJ9” Performing a Touching (and Funny) Love Story for Amber and John’s September 2013 Wedding Reception at Conrad Botzum Farmstead. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

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Being able to share these moments of such acute, pure joy as couples hear their love stories told before family and friends for the very first time is amazing, heart-wrenching, and incredibly rewarding!  Special thanks to Anna Zajac of Anna Zajac Photography for all of her wonderful photos from this event, but this one (above) is one that I will especially treasure.  Stay tuned for an interview with Anna, later this month!

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Amber and John's Romantic Traditional First Dance as a Newly-Married Couple!  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

Amber and John’s Romantic Traditional First Dance as a Newly-Married Couple! Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

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Amber and John shared their first dance as a newly-married couple to “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley.

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John and his Mother, Mary Jo, Share a Special Dance.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

John and his Mother, Mary Jo, Share a Special Dance. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

Amber and her Father, Toby, Share a Special Dance.  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

Amber and her Father, Toby, Share a Special Dance. Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

PARAGRAPHBREAK

After their traditional First Dance, Amber and John danced with their Father and Mother, respectively.  Amber and her Father (Toby) to James Taylor’s “You’ve Got A Friend” and John and his Mother (Mary Jo) to “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King.

And — then — there was DANCING!

Amber with her Girls. Photo by Anna Zajac.

Amber with her Girls. Photo by Anna Zajac.

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Dancing!  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography!

Dancing! Photo by Anna Zajac Photography!

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and MORE Dancing!  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

and MORE Dancing! Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

 

Fun!  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

Fun! Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

 

and MORE Fun!  Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

and MORE Fun! Photo by Anna Zajac Photography.

 

A Memorable Evening for All.  Photo by Anna Zajac.

A Memorable Evening for All. Photo by Anna Zajac.

 

Sisters.  Photo by Anna Zajac.

Sisters. Photo by Anna Zajac.

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