Disco Wed wedding DJs at Upwaltham Barns in West Sussex2 Comments
I’d been looking forward to being Barry and Michelle’s wedding DJ at Upwaltham Barns for ages, as I’d played for them before at their friends’ wedding about 6 months before and had a brilliant time! The nature of being a wedding DJ is that you don’t expect much repeat business, most people don’t expect to be getting married again any time soon afterwards after all! But there are a few families and groups of friends who we’re delighted to play for regularly, and this gang are definitely one of them!
I met Barry and Michelle again for a drink a couple of months before the wedding to talk about music and their plans for the day. They’re a super cool couple and we had loads of fun getting planning – there was much debate about how many slo-jams and garage classics should be played, an argument eventually won by Michelle! They also talked me through the set-up at Upwaltham Barns, which I was keen to see, as I’d heard lots of good things about the venue and we had a few outstanding queries from other couples about playing there.
Sadly the weather was nothing like this picture, as it was absolutely pouring down all day. In spite this though, the venue still looked wonderful – it’s a stylish place, with a series of interlocking barns set around a central courtyard. The surroundings are equally lovely, the classic English rolling hills interspersed by incredible vistas that makes up a lot of the South Downs.
I was to be playing music during the ceremony, so with half an hour or so to spare and the help of some kindly ushers, I unloaded my DJ equipment into the barn where the meal and party would be taking place, before heading to the ceremony barn. Upwaltham Barns is nothing if not well equipped, and I was able to plug my iPad straight into the in-house PA. The other barn also has a PA for background music and speeches too, very useful!
Barry had reliably informed me that one of his pet hates is tunes being faded out too suddenly, so being a relatively new iPad user, I diligently practised some smooth fades before the guests started arriving for the service. Barry arrived to cheers, looking cool in a pale blue skinny fitting suit, and before long it was time for me to play the Bon Iver song Skinny Love, as covered by Birdy -a lovely version of a great song – and Michelle walked down the aisle looking truly stunning.
I played some more tunes as they signed the register, and they’d picked three belters! First up was Little Dragon’s Ritual Union, a cool tune by a brilliant band I’d loved seeing live not too long before, then it was Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles, which sadly proved a little too optimistic given the weather, and finally my favourite of a great bunch, This Is The Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads.
After the ceremony I headed back to the other barn to set up my DJ stuff for the evening party, not before popping back to give the wedding party a couple of games of giant jenga to play during their drinks reception. For the wedding breakfast I’d prepared a playlist of cool indie and electronic tunes, mixed with some of Michelle’s slo-jams, and so left that playing through the house PA whilst I enjoyed a hearty lasagne with Anna Rosell, the lovely photographer, whose work adorns this page. (You’ll know which are her photos!!)
The evening party kicked off with Down By The Water by The Drums, before I launched into a set of eclectic party classics – Barry and Michelle had provided an excellent playlist of contemporary tunes but left enough room for me to see what worked on the night, and Barry had complimented me on how I’d pieced together lots of mini-sets at the last wedding so I knew what he liked. And sure enough, the dancefloor was never anything other than heaving, and never more so than for the old school garage rinse-out that Michelle had requested.
It’s fair to say it was a really up for it crowd, which helped make a great party – perfect for this happy couple, who are so perfectly suited and clearly completely in love with one another. It really was a wedding to remember and I can’t wait to play for them all again!
Barry & Michelle Pilling
Tunes of the Day:
- Birdy Skinny Love
- Little Dragon Ritual Union
- the beatles Here Comes The Sun
- Talking Heads This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
- The Maccabees Pelican
- The Drums Down by the Water
Barry & Michelle’s play list highlights:
- Michael Bolton Said I Loved You…But I Lied
- AlunaGeorge You Know You Like It
- Jodeci Freek N’ You (TOKiMONSTA Frickinyoo Remix)
- Sweet Female Attitude Flowers (radio edit)
- MJ Cole Crazy Love
- So Solid Crew 21 Seconds
- The Source Feat. Candi Staton You Got The Love
- Miguel Adorn
- Madness It Must Be Love