Tornado Warning and Heavy Rain Kill the Power
The Stage was set at the beautiful Williamsburg Hellenic Center, a new facility that has been hosting wedding celebrations in Williamsburg, VA for over seven years without a hitch. But…you never know what might happen. That’s why it’s always important to have a “Plan B”, because sometimes mother nature is not cooperative.
If it’s an outdoor wedding, make sure you have a tent. If your wedding is during hurricane season, and you live in Virginia…wedding insurance is a must! Seriously!
You also want to make sure you surround yourself with seasoned wedding professionals who have lived through some wedding disasters, and are prepared to take care of you, in the worst case scenarios. As a Professional Wedding DJ, sometimes it takes a little bit more than a backup speaker and amplifier.
Jillian and Andrew are both in the theatre, but unlike me, they spend the majority of their time “backstage”. Andrew is a Stage Technician/Lighting Designer and Jillian is a Seamstress and Costumer. And just as we were about to line up the bridal party and introduce everyone…THE POWER WENT OUT! So as they say in the theatre, “the show must go on”…and my beautiful couple were ready to “go with the flow”. Williamsburg was under a tornado watch and the torrential rainfall was intense.
Husband and Generator to the Rescue!
After waiting for five minutes to see if the power would be quickly restored, I went into action! I called my husband…who was at Lowe’s (his favorite place to be), and the very calm conversation went like this:
Me: “Where are you?”
Me: “I need you to go home and get the generator, get gas and bring it to me as soon as you possibly can”.
Him: “OK…be right there”
Once I knew we would have power shortly, we decided to serve salads while we waited for the generator.
Then, without aid of a microphone or amplification….I let the guests know that a generator was en route, and that we would begin the “celebration and dancing” shortly. Everyone CHEERED!!!!!!
It’s not often that I need 100 foot, heavy-duty power cables, but when I do….I really do. As guests ate their salads with the rainfall as their soundtrack, my wonderful assistant, Peter Merry ran all the cables so that when the generator arrived, we could immediately be ready to go!
Let there be Music!
Of course it seemed like an eternity to me, but in actuality… the guests only sat in silence for about 30 minutes.
As my husband arrived in his big black truck, we fired up the generator and plugged in and….given the delay… decided to just “Go”!!!!! I knew the bridal party would hear me from their holding area as soon as I turned on the music….so I just went for it! Evelyn, the Event Manager from The Williamsburg Hellenic Center was at the top of her game, because as soon as she heard the music, she quickly wrangled the bridal party from their holding room. They weren’t lined up, but they were outside the ballroom ready to go. I ran into the hallway to meet Evelyn, and briefly told the bridal party “off mic” to just enter when they heard their names. Fortunately, they already knew what to do when they got in the room, thanks to our briefing BEFORE the power outage. Again, Evelyn showed her professionalism as she “read my mind” from across the room as we “slammed” into the Grand Entrance. And I must also mention that the photographer, Mike Dragon and Videographer, Delta Studio Productions were also completely in the moment and ready to go… capturing the “arrival” of the generator and all the slight craziness leading into the “official” start of the party! Jillian and Andrew truly had a great team looking out of them. The energy in the room was exhilarating!
History Repeats Itself
Turns out that 30 years ago, when Jillian’s parents got married in Long Island, NY….there was a hurricane and they also had to deal with power issues…and they’ve been happily married for 30 years! So this rain and tornado watch was a good omen.
Dancing and Celebration!
Once the meals were served, I jumped on the opportunity to get the dancing started as soon as possible without ripping the forks out of people’s hands. My first song: “The Power” by Snap! Everyone cheered!
All the older folks were hot…understandably so, the thermostat showed the room to be 97 degrees. But the younger folks didn’t care. So we went crazy with a lot of new music! (Then I went “old school” for a few ballads for the “parents”.)
As we progressed into the evening, I knew we probably wouldn’t get much past 8:00pm, because there were ZERO lights in the room, and once there was no “outside” light….it would become dangerous for everyone to remain in the building. So, I played all the “I’m a DJ god, solid gold, crowd-pleasing songs” much earlier than normal, cause I knew we were on a time constraint. Here are two pictures showing the “age gap”, inside and outside.
I can’t wait to see the professional photos and video. I will update this post as soon as they are available. For now, you’ll have to be satisfied with my personal photos.
Congratulations to Jillian and Andrew, who are now safely enjoying their honeymoon!