Sunday, November 21, 2010

Opulent Wedding Reception at the Elkins Estate

This past Saturday, November 6th, Ambient DJ crossed state lines to provide the music and entertainment at the new Mr. and Mrs. Eric and Ji-May Jen's wedding reception. The reception was held at the opulent Elkins Estate in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. The 42-acre estate contains five buildings, the most notable being Elstowe Manor and Chelten House, both Horace Trumbauer designed mansions. Elstowe Manor was the summer home of William L. Elkins, a prominent Philadelphian businessman who was integral in the formation of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and SEPTA.

The reception was held in Elstowe Manor, a 45 room manor built in the style of Italian High Renaissance. Eric and Ji-May chose to have their grand entrance and first dance in the foyer, with the bridal party entering down the grand staircase in dramatic fashion. The parents of the bride and groom entered to Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out" which I then mixed in to "Mo Money, Mo Problems" for the bridal party members. Eric and Ji-May entered to the chorus of Jagged Edge's "Let's Get Married" (remix), and then enjoyed their first dance to a special edit of the Foo Fighter's "Everlong" (acoustic version). After taking a group photo in the foyer, the guests walked up a short carpeted staircase into the grand ballroom - a very long space with perhaps 20 foot high ceilings.

The room was configured in 3 sections: the front area is where the bulk of the guests sat at large circular tables. The middle section contained the Sweetheart Table and long rectangular tables for the bridal party. The dance floor and DJ booth were located at the back of the ballroom. Of note, the side walls of the middle section, as well as the back wall (behind the DJ booth) were covered with 16 foot high pipe and drape (i.e., curtaining) that was uplit in blue to match the color of Ji-May's bridesmaids dresses. The wedding cake, the Sweetheart table and select other table centerpieces were accentuated with pinspotting. The wedding cake in fact looked like a piece of art (see photo below). Ambient DJ backlit its facade in blue, matching the uplighting of the pipe and drape. Finally, the side walls of the dance floor area were wood-paneled, and uplit in amber. The combined effect of the room was jaw-dropping modern grandeur!

Eric, the groom, made a welcoming speech and gave guests an outline of the event: six meal courses and eight speeches in what was described as a "foodcentric" wedding. Catering company Feastivities ( did an awesome job of efficiently running through the six courses, allowing plenty of time for open dancing. Our MC Brian D. skillfully navigated guests through an ambitious program of speeches, food courses and contests. After several courses, we displayed a video slideshow on our largest screen (10 foot horizontal). Thereafter, the screen was removed, revealing the DJ booth and dance floor.

The dancing kicked in, and kicked in hard at around 9 PM. The dancefloor was electrified with energy and packed with younger guests. The bride and groom were right in the heart of the action! Several outstanding breakdancers dazzled guests with their savvy execution of moves such as the windmill. My early club set featured tracks like DJ's Got Us Fallin' in Love (Serafin RMX) - Usher, Dynamite - Taio Cruz, Stereo Love - Edward Maya, Like a G6 - Far East Movement. Later in the evening, I mixed more 90s hip hop and R&B, and a late night performance of of Danzel's "Pump it Up" took the party to the next level. The evening concluded at 11 PM with sweaty guests dancing to Donna Summer's "Last Dance" and an encore performance of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer."

Brian and I received a commendation from a smiling bride and groom at night's end. It is always rewarding to take on a challenging engagement and then deliver the client's vision. Eric and Ji-May's wedding will surely rank as one of the most memorable of 2010. It was a privilege spending time in Elstowe Manor, an opulent setting far removed from my daily experiences in the New Jersey suburbs.

I would also like to shout-out videographer Jack Dempsey of Kleer Video Productions ( who we worked closely with throughout the evening.

Contact Ambient DJ at or 609.672.1270 to discuss planning your own dream reception! You can become a fan on our Facebook page at Ambient DJ Service, or on Twitter at AmbientDJs. Finally, our corporate website is

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