It started in high school English class. Melyssa and Matt Beshara built a friendship over the better part of a year, and then shared a mutual admission: She liked him. He liked her.
Nearly a decade into their love story, Something New Entertainment narrated and provided the soundtrack to their cozy, relaxed wedding on July 7, 2012, at Happy Days Lodge at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
“I was definitely a laid-back bride,” Melyssa told us for this blog about their special event in Northeast Ohio. (She’s telling the truth; she even crafted her own floral bouquet and Matt’s boutonniere!) “I told every vendor that I respect that this is their profession and that they know better than I do.”
Their play list was no exception: The couple had a preference for a retro feel (some Harry Connick Jr., Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke), but beyond that, they discussed ideas with us and trusted that we would play what they would like. We sprinkled in some popular dance tracks, too, and played everything from Feist to Cat Power (more on their special song choices later).
It was refreshing to work with them. They stressed less about what happened with each, individual detail of their wedding day and more about the fact that this was their day, and they were going to do it together, no matter what.
Melyssa had always wanted an outdoor wedding, but she worried about rain and mosquitos. Happy Days Lodge offered a screened-in porch that was a pretty, comfortable alternative to an outdoor ceremony. “I loved it there,” she recalls of their first visit. “I was like, ‘OK, where do we sign?’”
Nestled in the valley, it is a great location, particularly for someone who has an affinity for the environment and/or who wants the rustic barn-type feel.
We — and Melyssa and Matt, of course — have beautiful images of the wedding thanks to Kayla of Full Bloom Photography. Melyssa found Kayla through a Google search. She’d been on the hunt for someone who would deliver nothing like the “cheesiest, 1980s” photography she’d seen on others’ sites, and she liked the warm light and candid style she saw in Kayla’s portfolio.
As disc jockeys, we work closely with photographers. It’s always a pleasure working a wedding with Kayla because she’s so easy-going and conversational. And the good news for brides and grooms she photographs: Her photo composition is striking.
When it came to music, Melyssa admits they didn’t have a lot of preferences. They shared with us which radio stations they liked, and they asked, too, that we play some polka for some of their older guests.
For their first dance, Matt and Melyssa chose “Sea of Love” by Cat Power. They’d heard it first in the movie, “Juno,” and ever since then, it’s been their song. It’s short and sweet, too, which made them happy since they’re “not very showy” people.
Melyssa became emotional during her father-daughter dance, set to “Wild World” by Cat Stevens. “It just gets me in the gut every time I hear it,” she said. “It’s just a really beautiful song.”
And the song they cut their cake to makes her cry, too: “Mushaboom” by Feist, she said, is really sweet — quite fitting for dessert time, she said. And it reflects Melyssa’s aspiration in life: to be a wife and a mother.
Let’s talk fashion: the groom bought all of his wardrobe from Macy’s, and Melyssa actually bought a dress from one store, then saw THE dress during bridesmaid dress shopping at Something White, a bridal boutique in Independence. After learning that this second dress could have straps added, and after really appreciating the more individualized shopping experience (no “cattle call” there!), she bought the dress she ultimately wore.
We often work with clients of Something White because brides of theirs tend to want something with a little more style and character — and not just when it comes to their gowns.
Another top-notch vendor for Melyssa and Matt’s event was Spice of Life Catering, which cooked roasted garlic and herb chicken and sirloin on site and presented a “really fabulous” arugula and berry salad, she remembered.
In our experience, Spice of Life is always firing on all cylinders. Their food is spot-on, and it doesn’t taste catered. It’s spiced and seasoned well, and the proteins aren’t mush. Everybody, Melyssa told us, was still talking about the food weeks later.
“Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee (Her dress was named Sweet Pea, and the song was playing when she tried it on, so it kind of became a happy wedding anthem.)
“Little Romance” by Ingrid Michaelson
“Junk of the Heart” by Kooks
“Is this Love?” by Marley, Bob & The Wailers
Line dances (She never liked them in middle school, and she doesn’t like them now!)
“I Gotta Feelin’” by The Black Eyed Peas
We’ll leave you with some wedding advice from a bride who’s been there, done that:
“Give yourself permission to let things go if they’re not working,” Melyssa said. Originally, her friend and she made a “bajillion paper flowers,” only for her to decide she didn’t want to finish them. “It’s OK. It’s your wedding, and don’t feel bad about it. Stuff happens, and you’re only in control of yourself that day. Let your vendors do what they’re going to do.”