When I was looking over my June schedule this year I saw a reception hall I hadn’t heard of before. The Duck Walk Vineyards. My first thought was that it was down in south Jersey where there are a number of nice wineries that also host weddings. But then I noticed the bride and groom (Charlie and Renata) lived in my hometown of Queens. I clicked on the link for The Duck Walk and sure enough it was out on Long Island. And not just out on Long Island but way out on Long Island. Growing up in Queens I was familiar with Jones Beach and I had cousins in Happauge but this was definitely the furthest out on the island I’d ever been.
When it came to meeting with Charlie and Renata to go over the details for their reception I wanted to be as accommodating as possible. My parents still live in the house they raised us in so I set up an evening meeting with the bride and groom and then a dinner afterwards with Mom and Dad. It just so happened that the meeting itself was on the week of Mothers Day so it was a win-win-win for me. I got to provide great customer service for this client, I got to have dinner with my folks and I got to fulfill my obligation of seeing my Mom for Mothers Day. I love it when things work out like this!
Charlie and Renata definitely love their wine. It was a major topic of conversation when we met (besides of course their music and wedding plans) plus they offered me a glass of white wine from their winery. (I loved it so much I picked up two bottles while I was there for the wedding.) I was providing music for their ceremony, cocktail hour and reception so we had a lot to discuss. They had some definite ideas but were also open to some of my suggestions and in the end we put together a very collaborative selection of requests that set the soundtrack for an elegant ceremony, a fun cocktail hour and an upbeat dance floor all night.
When your GPS tells you a drive is going to take three hours, you just double that and get on the road way early. I met my music mixer at the rest stop at mile 123 on the Parkway and we headed out to Long Island together. We actually made incredible time going so we were able to stop for some pizza on the way (yes I’m biased but New York pizza is the best!) and still got to The Duck Walk Winery hours early. It was a beautiful June day but there were clouds threatening (we had driven through some drizzling on the way out) and for a while the outdoor ceremony looked like it might be in jeopardy. But the day cleared up just in time. We do a ton of wedding ceremonies on the beach and those are always incredibly picturesque but I have to say a ceremony overlooking a vineyard has a unique and beautiful charm to it. I have friends who own a DJ company in the wine country in California and for them this setting is standard but for me it was pretty unique and memorable.
Once we got everyone inside and the party started rocking it was a fun night. Renata is Hungarian and a friend of hers is a DJ so he came up to spin a couple of sets. This was a great way to integrate her music with the other selections I was playing and it made for a diverse and fun night. I was thrilled that a few weeks after the reception Renata wrote this very nice review on Wedding Wire:
I wish a lifetime of health and happiness to Charlie and Renata. May your wine glass always be full!