DJ Josh B Rocks Hilton Sandestin Weddings | Nikki & Donnie
As B-Boy Productions’ resident Hilton Sandestin DJ/Emcee, I had the privilege to perform for the wedding of Nikki Young to current University of Tennessee men’s basketball head coach, Donnie Tyndall. Their ceremony took place on the white sands of the beach. The weather was gorgeous, the attire was casual, and the smiles were abundant!
Nikki and Donnie said their I-do’s, the crowd of loved ones and onlookers alike erupted in a cheer as they kissed, and within minutes the wedding guests were making their way up to the deck to enjoy some refreshments and the Florida evening air as the sun began to set and the newlywed couple tended to having their photos taken.
I have discovered in my time as a destination wedding DJ that the term “cocktail hour” is often a misnomer, considering one hardly ever actually lasts a full hour. But on this particular occasion, the bride and groom were in no hurry to rob themselves of one moment in the gorgeous outdoor surroundings offered by the Hilton’s beachside verandas. They joined their guests on the Sunrise Deck as the cafe lighting took over for the retired sun, and the merry crowd mingled and consorted for the entirety of the hour. I was happy to lurk a bit in the shadows, manning my laptop as the music offered a subtle soundtrack to the merriment around me, because it gave me a chance to observe the attendees and get a bit of an idea what sort of celebration they would be up for as the night progressed.
As cocktail hour came to a close, we moved indoors to the Coral Ballroom, for the reception. Inside the long and majestically high-ceiled hall, a massive dance floor and plenty of spacious seating around ornately decorated tables awaited their guests. A long banquet table for the bride and groom to sit flanked by their bridesmaids and groomsmen ran along the main wall in plain view of every guest.
Nikki and Donnie, along with Donnie’s two young daughters, made their grand entrance into the ballroom to “Rocky Top,” the fight song of UT, as their friends and family cheered their arrival with as much gusto as any sports crowd. As I had instructed them, they made their way to the dance floor to share their first dance … but that’s when a surprise was sprung on the bride. Donnie appeared on the large screen in a prerecorded message, offering a poetic tribute of love — which he “rapped” — to his new bride. The mixture of humor and genuine emotion on display as the video version of Donnie cracked a bit in his delivery had Nikki, and plenty others, giggling through happy tears. At the video’s conclusion, I cued up “Whatever It Is” by the Zac Brown Band, and Donnie and Nikki were in each others’ arms sharing their first dance as husband and wife.
Nikki remained on the dance floor as I invited her father to join her. Dad and daughter shared a few short minutes of closeness to the tune of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” — which then suddenly transitioned into “Happy” by Pharrell. All sappiness abandoned, Nikki and her dad let loose and cut a rug, much to the delight of all in attendance. At Donnie’s turn to dance with his mother, the classic “Wind Beneathe My Wings” by Bette Midler proved a perfect choice.
Upon the conclusion of dinner, the Best Man offered a toast to the happy couple as did the Maid of Honor. Then I introduced another video presentation featuring a photo slide show of both Donnie and Nikki as they grew up. From baby pictures to present day, the memories played upon the screen and in the end there was hardly a dry eye in the room. I offered the microphone to the groom, who managed to say a brief but very heartfelt thank you to everyone before we moved ahead with the cake cutting and other festivities. The bouquet toss mustered a sizable crowd of fairly competitive single ladies, but the catch ended up going to one of the youngest (and most petite) girls in the group. Donnie removed Nikki’s garter to the sultry vibes of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”. Once again, the catch — or more accurately, the scoop, was scored by a very young lad who clearly wasn’t quite sure what it was he had there (I’m sure it will occur to him sometime when he’s older).
The crowd proved eclectic in their musical tastes, shaking it down to everything from golden oldies and 70’s disco, to 90’s hip hop and today’s hottest country! One of Donnie’s young daughters entertained with an impromptu karaoke of “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea.
Being on vacation in Florida, everyone related well to “Toes” by Zac Brown Band. Figurative boots were scooted to “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker. I took great pleasure in teaching the bride (and a few unwashed others) how to do the “Cupid Shuffle.” Great classic rock hits like “Shout” and “Do You Love Me?” rounded out the energy of the night, and the evening drew down with the dance floor covered in couples as Jason Mraz sang “I Won’t Give Up” and finally, the legendary Elton John mused “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.”
For the multitude of memorable moments packed into this one single evening, I can’t help but consider Donnie and Nikki’s wedding to be one of the best I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of! When by the end of the night it genuinely feels like you’re not just DJ’ing another “gig,” but instead you’re celebrating with a room full of new friends — it makes it hard to stop. My hope for this happy couple is for all that same joy and exuberance to continue on beyond their wedding day and into the full length of their marriage. Because if so, their life together will be an absolute blast!
***UPDATE [This review just came in from Nikki on our Yelp page]***
“My husband and I just had the most amazing wedding on the beach in Sandestin, FL. Our DJ, Josh, was amazing! He was so professional and did a fantastic job. He called me a month before the wedding and went over the playlist with me. I felt assured he would do a great job and that is what ‘brides to be’ need! He did everything I asked and then some! The songs he picked were perfect for every occasion (grand entrance, dinner music, etc.). If you are a ‘bride to be’ looking for an experienced, friendly, professional DJ for your wedding…look no further than B-Boy and DJ Josh B.”
– Nikki Tyndall, Sandestin, FL (event date 8/2/2014)