Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Written by Isaac Freed/Music in Tahoe and published by Megan Butcher/Tahoe Unveiled
Though we publish many beautiful and unique weddings on Tahoe Unveiled, it's not often that we get the chance to share the intricate planning and preparation that vendors use to create a couple's dream day - particularly the essential element of music. Tawny and Andrew's wedding at The Hideout was a fabulous celebration, and, as a professional dancer who tours with an international pop star, the bride wanted music and dancing to take center stage throughout her big day.
In this post, Isaac Freed of Music in Tahoe talks us through the inspiration and preparation his team used to execute the musical journey of Tawny and Andrew's celebration and even shares the dance party mix so you can join the party! VILD Photography photographed this very special wedding. Listen to the mix here!
Andrew and Tawny first met in high school and went the distance for their relationship. After having a long-distance relationship for six years, Andrew surprised Tawny with a unique proposal, flying her out to "teach a dancing class" in her hometown only to have her mom blindfold her and drive her to the actual proposal!
Nestled in the woods near Kirkwood, The Hideout was the dream location for Andrew and Tawny. Not only is The Hideout located on forty acres of pristine mountain landscape, but it allows couples to create weddings that are personal and unique, choosing which parts of the venue they want to use and when. Complete with a gorgeous lake and a natural hot spring, The Hideout is a one-of-a-kind venue. They selected a neutral color palette with stunning flowers that looked like they were gathered straight from the woods.
PREPARATION & PLANNING
Tawny and Andrew enlisted Isaac Freed of Music In Tahoe to create their ultimate wedding party, and he shared with us just what went into making their big day unforgettable. Andrew and Tawny expressed that music was of utmost importance for their wedding. With the reputation as the areas premier musical purveyors, the owners of the Hideout, Tom and BJ, referred them to work with Music In Tahoe. Once we got a chance to talk specifics about music for their wedding, they explained that they wanted an eclectic mix of wedding classics, soul, Motown, funk, reggaeton, top 40 and hip hop with a little country and traditional Irish music sprinkled in. They put me to work to create a club vibe in the woods using their unique blend of musical styles with one main goal, they wanted the dance floor energy to stay high all night.
I sent Tawny and Andrew our Song Selections sheet, where they could indicate their absolute favorite songs for me to use as inspiration. They gave me about 50 tracks to work with, and I was able to add in additional songs that I felt worked for their personalized soundtrack. My goal was to use smooth transitions between similar vibe songs to build energy throughout the night. I wanted to honor the classics while providing a modern twist that would create a "tasty and genuine" overall feel.
It's not just about making a playlist for me, but rather creating tasteful transitions and live mashups to ensure the desired effect is achieved. Keeping in mind the bride's background in dance, I wanted to deliver the absolute best DJ set for her party - leaving behind anything cheesy, contrived, and lacking in authenticity.
We kicked off the celebration with the 80's classic "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates following their officiant's cue - "you may kiss the bride." During cocktail hour, the highly-talented Wade Preston from NYC, a friend of the families, gave an excellent performance of time-honored favorites and original compositions on piano and vocals. The newlyweds entered the reception gracefully and had their first dance outside to an acoustic version of "Latch" by Sam Smith.
During dinner, I played an understated mix of classic soul, country ballads, and timeless singalongs, including "Blueberry Hill' by Fats Domino, a Meyers family tradition. Tawny's parents, Perry and Maranda, gave absolutely tear-jerking toasts, which were felt by all and followed by an Irish blessing over the marriage. Andrew's brother and Best Man, Adam Meyers, closed out the toasts, roasting Andrew in a fun-loving way that only a brother can. He also brought it home with sincere gratitude towards Tawny for being "the absolute best fit" for his beloved brother.
The newlyweds slow-danced with their respective parents, and then we kicked things off with a 1972 hit from British glam rockers The Sweet entitled "Little Willy." This was somewhat of an Andersson family anthem and got everyone on the dance floor surrounding Tawny and her dad as they sang along and danced together, spinning each other around in circles.
It was already clear to see that dance was not only Tawny's profession but an absolute lifelong passion. I mixed, blended, and beat-matched classic selections to get the dance party going. The floor was packed with guests of all ages belting familiar lyrics from the greatest hits of the past fifty years, cutting it up, and line dancing the night away. Paying close attention to not only the time and beat of each song but also to the melodic content, I mixed a themed yet varied set of hits.
When I dropped 'Dance Off' by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, something spontaneously awesome happened. Tawny and Andrew squared off in the center of the dancefloor and began to challenge each other with their dance moves and primal energy. Moving side-to-side with their glare locked on each other, they let loose! I must say, Andrew held his own against a world-class professional dancer, but the winner was clear as she hair flipped, threw her arms in the air, dropped down low, and brought an impressive and expressive energy to each one of her wild moves. The crowd went wild as Tawny walked off the dance floor to get herself a victory drink.
Dance floor shenanigans continued as I mixed and mashed up a storm of hits, pushing the tempo and energy higher and higher as the night went on. This nearly three-hour dance party came to an end outside the HideOut barn with an original idea from the bride: a LED parachute send-off. Guests held the corners of the parachute and raised it as high as they could, creating a space for the newlyweds to embrace underneath.
As you can tell from VILD's beautiful photography and Isaac's play by play, Andrew and Tawny's wedding hit on all the senses. It was a sweet, highly-energized, ridiculously fun, and hilarious merging of two amazing families. Lucky for us, Isaac pressed record on his DJ equipment early in the night, and we're so glad he did because he captured the entire mix live we're able to share it with you today! While you don't need to be a professional dancer to have the time of your life at your wedding reception, Music in Tahoe can make you a customized soundtrack like they did here that will maximize the musical journey of your wedding day.
Get the full experience and listen to Tawny + Andrew's personalized dance party mix by Isaac Freed of Music in Tahoe here!
Photos by the amazing Rob + M of VILD Photography