Wedding Gig Log - Kris & Wesley, The Wilshire Grand Hotel (Loft)

In Fall of 2013, we were approached by Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design to see if Ambient DJ would be interested in participating in an event that she was organizing in recognition of New Jersey's decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the Garden State. Of course we answered "yes!" Danielle's concept was to celebrate marriage equality by organizing New Jersey's first Same Sex Wedding Giveaway where an array of "vendors" (we prefer the term "professionals") would donate their services so that the winning couple would enjoy a free, all-inclusive wedding reception. Support from the wedding industry community was massive. Importantly, the Wilshire Grand Hotel of West Orange NJ agreed to provide its trendy "Loft" space for the celebration and to cater the event.

The winning couple for the giveaway was determined by the vote of the participating vendors. In January 2014, a cocktail party was held at the Loft, and each participating wedding vendor read an excerpt from a candidate couple's love story. While all of the stories were moving, the story of Kris Longwell and Wesley Loon was particularly compelling. Kris - a native of Texas, and Wes - a native of South Dakota - met at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City in 1989. In 1992, they enjoyed a no-frills budget "commitment ceremony" and continued to build upon their deep love for each other in coming years.

Lovers of music and theater, we discovered during our consultation that Kris spun records as a DJ during college! Kris and Wesley envisioned their wedding reception being "a celebration of love and life" for both them and their guests. Formalities were minimized, and the reception was to take on the air of a festive, upbeat dance party. Kris & Wesley's favorite musical artists include Madonna, Lady Gaga and George Michael. To listen to a free mix that we prepared capturing the spirit of our reception set, check towards the bottom of this blog article.

After an emotional and tear-filled wedding ceremony officiated by Mitch the Minister with music provided by The Smokin Section, Kris and Wes entered the reception party to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." The dance floor quickly became packed. Later, Kris' father Jerry Longwell delivered an incredibly loving and humorous toast to the newlyweds. Kris and Wes then addressed their guests, before segueing into a performance allowing them to flaunt their theatrical chops, lip-syncing to "Wheels of a Dream" from the Broadway show "Ragtime" in lieu of a first dance. The Cake Cutting ceremony song was Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe," and the reception ended with Whitney Houston's "My Love is Your Love" (Dance Remix), followed by an encore to Madonna's "Like a Prayer."

Congratulations Kris and Wesley and to all of the committed same sex couples who are now able to have their marriages recognized by the State of New Jersey! The mix below - is a happy and upbeat set with many of Kris & Wesley's favorites.

Kris & Wesley's Wedding Mix by Dj Gregg Ambient on Mixcloud

The Event Team

The Ambient DJ team was led by DJs Gregg Ambient and Greg Nice. We were proud to work alongside a group of premier event pros, including the following listed below.

  1. Event Planner Rothweiler Event Design (Danielle Rothweiler) www.rothweilereventdesign.org
  2. Catering and Accommodations Wilshire Grand Hotel www.thewilshiregrandhotel.com
  3. DJ Entertainment Ambient DJ Service (Gregg Hollmann) www.ambientdj.com
  4. Photography Al Ojeda Photography www.alojeda.com (the beautiful images in this blog are courtesy of Al Ojeda Photography - follow them on Facebook to view the complete gallery! )
  5. Videography Gabelli Cinema www.gabellistudio.com
  6. Photo Booth Goodwin's Goodtime Photo Booth (Gus Goodwin) www.goodwinsgoodtimephotobooth.com
  7. Hair and Makeup Deirde Mahon from Deeva Beauty www.deevabeauty.com
  8. Media Sponsor NJWedding.com (Erik Kent) www.njwedding.com
  9. Invitations RSVP to Me www.rsvp-to-me.com
  10. Ceremony Officiant Mitch the Minister www.mitchtheminister.com
  11. Wedding Cake Confectionary Designs www.confectionarydesigns.com
  12. Cupcake Truck Polka Dot Cupcake Shop (Little Ferry) www.polkadotcake.com (thank you for serving us a heavenly late night Red Velvet cupcake!)
  13. Horse & Carriage Dream Horse Carriage (Tania Lawson) www.happytalespets.com/carriagerentals/
  14. Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music The Smokin Section www.smokinsection.com

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile New Jersey DJ entertainment company specializing in weddings. We enjoy working closely with couples of diverse musical tastes, and customizing weddings one celebration at a time. We also love working with same sex couples! Ambient DJ was recently voted "Best Disc Jockey Service in New Jersey" in the 2013 Wedding Industry Expert Awards. For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at www.ambientdj.com.