Songs for the Mother Son Dance

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding music, wedding planning, wedding receptions | author: By Keith Sly,    

A highlight of any wedding reception is the Mother-Son First Dance, and we’ve seen some truly wonderful moments between mothers and sons at the start of the couple’s big day. It’s such a special moment when the groom and his mother take to the dance floor, smiling as ‘their song’ plays, and tears of joy often flow for both of them. This is a moment when both mother and son thank each other for being so special, so loving and supportive, and for the mother-son dance, a very special song is played.

Here are some of the most popular mother-son dance songs, reported by some of the top New Jersey wedding entertainment experts that we’ve had the great fortune to host here:

What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by James Taylor
“Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
“She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel
“Through the Years” by Kenny Rogers
“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
“You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
“Thank You For Loving Me” by Bon Jovi
“Kind and Generous” by Natalie Merchant

One trend that we’re seeing for Mother-Son dances is the groom choosing a song as a surprise for his mother, sometimes playing a song that his mother has always loved, one they’ve held close as a special tune between them for years. Dancing to that wedding song now, in front of all of their family and friends at such a special celebration is a wonderful tribute to the mother’s special place in the groom’s heart, and he in hers.

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Wedding Wishes for Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 7th, 2011 | Filed under: Bright Ideas for your wedding, Valentines Day weddings, wedding themes | author: By Keith Sly,    
Valentine's Day is for Lovers.

Image by susan_d_p via Flickr

Many of today’s brides have romantic wedding wishes for a Valentines Day Wedding. This is, after all, the ‘holiday of love’ and of romance…and for many of our local New Jersey wedding couples, Valentine’s Day is the same holiday on which they became engaged. So they love to come full-circle, embrace the heart-filled wedding theme, and plan their wedding to include Valentine’s Day elements both large and small.

Here at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, we’ve worked with countless brides and grooms to help them design their dream wedding celebrations at our Northern New Jersey venue, and we’ve often transformed our ballroom into a Valentine’s Day wonderland filled with lovely, fragrant floral arrangements, romantically flickering candles, and other idyllic, mood-setting wedding décor touches.

If you’re dreaming about your own romantic wedding day, we offer you this list of our favorite Brides’ Wedding Wishes for Valentine’s Day weddings.

Romantic Red Flowers. Many of our brides wish for a vibrant, red color palette in their wedding décor designs and centerpiece colors. Their bridesmaids will be wearing lipstick-red gowns, they’ll carry lipstick-red bouquets, the vision is all-red. As a leading NJ wedding venue, we can tell you to add some additional colors to the mix. Red is the most difficult color to match perfectly from item to item, from clothing to flowers to linens. The color red comes in so many different hues – from lighter red to lipstick red to a blue-tinted red — we warn against choosing red as your color for everything. Instead, consider the big new trend of Valentine’s Day wedding décor in reds and several different hues of deep pinks and light pinks to create that romantic Valentine’s Day theme with a pretty range of romantic colors that pop in person and in pictures.

• Romantic Soft Lighting. A dimly-lit room with a sea of flickering candles creates the ultimate romantic ambiance, and our brides’ wedding wishes for Valentine’s Day always include soft candlelight. We, of course, agree that nothing says romance like the glow of candlelight, so we show the trends of tall pillar candles in red or white or patterned red and pink candles, plus candelabras and a large number of votive candles as a multi-tiered, top wedding décor trend maximized to make our brides’ wedding wishes come true. We can even have our lighting design team create special lighting effects throughout the room, with soft amber lights trained on the guest tables, and perhaps a pale pink light trained on the wedding cake.

• Romantic Menu. An indulgent, gourmet wedding menu includes romantic dishes such as caviar-topped salmon and other culinary choices, and our brides’ wedding wishes now focus more often on the tastes of the menu, not the literal, cliché Valentine’s Day interpretations of foods that may be cut into heart-shaped bites or sprinkled with pink sugar. Rather than shapes and colors, our New Jersey and New York City brides and grooms wish to dispense with the formulaic and have our banquet chefs present them with an array of gourmet foods for the cocktail hour and dinner. Romantic foods need not be pink or heart-shaped. They are to be delectable, savored and shared by guests.

• Romantic Drinks. Our brides’ Valentine’s Day wedding wishes include fine wines and elite champagnes from our sommelier’s list of award-winning vintages, and the champagne toast is the #1 wedding wish for a romantic Valentine’s Day wedding.

• Romantic Entertainment. At a Valentine-themed wedding, the bride’s biggest wish is for plenty of romance, and that means slow-dancing to beautiful music played by a wedding band or wedding deejay. The couple’s playlist includes their favorite songs from throughout their courtship, the songs that share their love story, played for a longer period of time during the reception’s dancing hours.

Additional wedding wishes for Valentine’s Day-themed weddings include heart-shaped chocolates and gourmet truffles to enhance the wedding cake, additional wedding décor such as heart-shaped ice sculptures, and lighting effects that project images of intertwined hearts on the ballroom dance floor and walls, along with a projection of the couple’s names or monogram. These design elements combine to bring the bride’s wedding wishes to life and make the couple’s Valentine’s Day celebration an elegant expression of what they consider to be the hallmarks of a romantic wedding.

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Songs for the Father Daughter Dance

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 | Filed under: wedding ideas, wedding planning, wedding receptions, wedding songs | author: By Keith Sly,    

>After your traditional first dance as husband and wife, it’s customary for the bride and her father, or step-father, to take to the dance floor to perform their Father-Daughter Dance. During so many years as home to beautiful New Jersey weddings, we’ve seen thousands upon thousands of sentimental moments between fathers and daughters at the wedding reception, and some of their first dances took our breath away. The songs they chose were so lovely, such a heartfelt tribute to the special bond between father and daughter on the wedding day.

Since so many of our wedding couples have inspired us with their Father-Daughter dance songs, we thought we’d share some of the most memorable ones, as well as songs you may like to consider for your own father-daughter dance:

“My Girl” by The Temptations
“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
“My Dad” by Paul Petersen
“Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
“Isn’t She Lovely?” by Stevie Wonder
“Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison
“What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
“Butterfly Kisses” by Raybon Brothers
“And Then They Do” by Trace Adkins
“There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill
“In My Daughter’s Eyes” by Martina McBride
“A Song For My Daughter” by Ray Allaire
“You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban

We’re seeing a wonderful trend in Father-Daughter dances – father and daughter are picking out Their Song together, using a song from the bride’s childhood. So in addition to the most popular songs listed above, we’re also seeing fathers and daughters dancing to unexpected songs with great memories attached, like You Are My Sunshine and My First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White – the song the father always danced with his little girl to at other weddings they’ve attended over the years.

Whatever your Father-Daughter song, consider the other new trend: brides and fathers are practicing their first dance ahead of time, perhaps even having a dance instructor choreograph it. It’s their moment in the spotlight, and they make it special.

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

To make an appointment with a banquet manager, please contact us at 973-731-3100.