Awesome Vermont wedding vendors … today on the blog: Evan from Vermont Wedding DJ

We all know that a wedding DJ can make or break the wedding reception. S/he can either keep the dance floor packed all night long or send people running for the hills before dessert is being served. We’ve all been to weddings and cringed at the DJ yelling “now give it up for the bride & groom” for the umpteenth time. Having been a Vermont wedding photographer for the last 5 years, I’ve seen my fair share of Vermont wedding DJs and one of my absolute favorites is Evan from Vermont Wedding DJ.

He’s professional, always dresses for the occasion, is fun, relaxed, knows his stuff, won’t embarrass the couple [he also doesn't yell "now give it up"] and he knows how to get the crowd going. There won’t be any inflatable guitars or other silly gimmicks, just an awesome wedding DJ experience with incredible music.

Disclaimer: I will only showcase VT wedding vendors I have previously worked with, whose work I absolutely love and whom I’d have at my own wedding. That’s it. They don’t pay me, I don’t pay them.

But now, without further ado, here is Evan in his own words.

How did you get started in the wedding business?

I started doing weddings word of mouth about eight years ago. I started Wedding DJ VT in 2010 so that couples could find me. No one in Vermont was offering a cool, alternative wedding DJ service. I saw an opportunity and jumped on it. I now have a network of DJs that are a similar style that I can set people up with if I am not available. The response has been great and we continue to do more weddings each year.

What do you do when you are not working (are you ever not working ;-))?
I like to work on personal music projects such as making remixes, edits, original tracks and mix tapes. I am plenty busy with other gigs outside of the weddings on a year round. I love to record shop. I work at Burlington Records in Burlington, which has been an awesome way for me to grow my vinyl music library and learn about music. I like to stay active and travel as well.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?
I have DJ’d so many weddings and have seen so many different and unique settings that it is hard to pin point one specific thing. I did a wedding in September of 2013 at a girls summer camp in NH with about 250 guests. I was hired to DJ the after party starting at 10:30. At the reception before I started, they had an incredible a eight piece band with a super charismatic lead singer. They were playing a ton of funk and Motown classics. The dance floor was absolutely packed before dinner even started and stayed that way all the way thru their sets. I started at 10:30 in a rec hall and played until 5 in the morning! The dance floor was crazy all night. A cool wedding experience for sure.

best Vermont wedding DJ

What is your favorite thing about what you do?
Being able to provide an amazing experience for people whether it is at a wedding, event or club. I love the connection between the dance floor and the DJ. I love music and I am super thankful that I am able to be involved with it in some capacity that I make a nice living.

What do you think sets you apart from other wedding DJs in Vermont?
We are unique because we use turntables and can mix. We all love DJing and got into it organically by our own virtues. Most of us play regularly in clubs and bars, which help keeps us fresh, relevant and constantly getting better at our craft. We will use vinyl for cocktail hour and some times dinner. People young and old love this detail about what we do. We are DJs that aren’t trained in a cookie cutter fashion. We are all about providing people with an amazing dance party with none of the other silly games and stuff.

What’s the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business?
I would say see the last question! Also, we use really high end equipment that does make a difference in the sound quality at a wedding.

How would you describe your approach to weddings?
Our approach to weddings is professional with an attention to detail, but in a laid back manner. This is a huge day for the couple. We want to work hard for them and their guests, but we need to be relaxed and confident in the situation. We want to put couples and their friends and family at ease. We want the music to go really we all night with a strong emphasis on the dance party portion of the evening. Weddings are fun and we are there to help out with that!

What inspires you in your work?
I am inspired by music new and old. I love finding new music that is out there, but love finding awesome old records I have never heard of. Again, coming back to the dance floor. I get inspired in the moment and for what the future holds by an amazing wedding or party dance floor! It makes me excited about DJing and where I am headed with it.

What do you love about weddings?
I love doing weddings because it is the celebration of people’s lives. Their closest family and friends have gathered together to have an amazing time. It is beautiful to see.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding?
Be as relaxed about it as you can. It is a huge day in your life. You get to share a very intimate moment of your life with each other and in front of family and friends at the ceremony. After that, it is a awesome party. Have fun with it! Also, don’t feel like you have to do any of the traditional wedding reception things. It is your wedding. Customize it in your way and design it in a way that you are comfortable with. We are totally happy to do whatever you want or don’t want to do on your big day.

Final thoughts:
I am totally excited to work with forward thinking vendors and couples in Vermont and the New England region! They make it an exciting and fun industry to be a apart of.

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Thank you so much Evan for being part of this blog series on “the best of the best” Vermont wedding vendors. Here’s to an equally incredible 2014 wedding season!!!

Kat – Kingdom Wedding Photography by Kat
Vermont wedding photographer

Meet the dog who saved our family’s lives.

“We’re fine, the firetrucks just left.”

I had just met with a wonderful bride & her mother for lunch in Burlington and was pulling out of the parking garage when Damian called.

“WHAT?”
“There was a gas leak but we’re fine.”
“Where are the dogs? And cats?”
“We’re FINE. Get home safely and I’ll explain.”

Hammond flew home in record time.

When I got home, the house appeared to still be standing. Inside, it was freezing with the windows wide open & the footprints of roughly 15 firefighters were hard to miss. Tails were wagging and three dogs & two cats were beside themselves.

“What the eff happened?”

Now I have to back up and let you know that we have the WORST history when it comes to home renovation. There is no easy project around here. We think we’re just going to paint a wall or something simple and 10 seconds later, we discover structural damage that will require some time to fix. If you ever watched the movie “The Money Pit”, it depicts our house pretty accurately.

We should have been suspicious when the installation of our new in-floor heating went off without a hitch. 3 days of smooth sailing. I went to Burlington before the project wrapped up. Damian stayed behind until the last of the crew left and had high hopes for finally taking a nap. However, Shelly, our latest addition, was acting strangely. Her hackles went up and she barked and barked and barked. And then barked some more. Everybody else was settling in and getting sleepy. Shelly kept on barking at the mud room, running back to Damian in an attempt to wake him up, then barking again at the mud room – running back and forth.

our dog saved our lives

Feeling dizzy, Damian got up to take her outside past the mud room with Shelly still barking at one particular spot. Then he noticed the smell of gas filling the house – from a gas leak in the mud room. After guiding Daisy, Jake & Shelly to safety in the back yard, he went back inside to save our two kitten boys while calling 911.

From the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU to the Albany Vermont Volunteer Fire Department for saving the day & our family.

As for Shelly – we thought we saved her when we got his puppy full of worms from a rescue. Turns out, she saved us.

Have a fantastic weekend and go hug your family!

Kat – Kingdom Wedding Photography by Kat
Your Vermont wedding photographer

  • Ronald LaCasse - January 18, 2014 - 4:47 am

    Good job shelly! Glad to hear everyone safe!

  • Kim Haecker LaCasse - January 18, 2014 - 12:39 am

    So happy that everyone was safe…way to go Shelly!!! Bones gor the kids…..drinks for mom and dad. love to all

  • Kim Haecker LaCasse - January 18, 2014 - 12:38 am

    So happy that everyone was safe…way to go Shelly!!! Bones for the kids…..drinks for mom and dad. love to all

  • Ronald LaCasse - January 18, 2014 - 4:47 am

    Good job shelly! Glad to hear everyone safe!

  • Jami Swinford - January 18, 2014 - 1:19 am

    That's awesome!! Thank God everyone's ok.

  • Kim Haecker LaCasse - January 18, 2014 - 12:39 am

    So happy that everyone was safe…way to go Shelly!!! Bones gor the kids…..drinks for mom and dad. love to all

  • Kim Haecker LaCasse - January 18, 2014 - 12:38 am

    So happy that everyone was safe…way to go Shelly!!! Bones gor the kids…..drinks for mom and dad. love to all

  • Jodi Reynolds - January 17, 2014 - 4:35 pm

    Shelly’s brother Beau says way to go! woof! woof!

  • Jodi Reynolds - January 17, 2014 - 4:35 pm

    Shelly's brother Beau says way to go! woof! woof!

New Series: Awesome Vermont wedding vendors … today on the blog: Kathryn Blume, Vermont wedding officiant extraordinaire

Congratulations! You decided to get married in Vermont, maybe you’re planning your Vermont destination wedding from out of state and are looking for amazing Vermont wedding vendors who will make your wedding day go off without a hitch. Having lived in Germany, Los Angeles & Boston, I can honestly say that there is no better place than Vermont [just don't ask me when it's minus 40 degrees in February ;-)] and over the last 5 weddings seasons as a Vermont wedding photographer, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside some really, really amazing Vermont wedding vendors. Knock your socks off amazing. Soo … why not feature these awesome people right here on the blog to make planning your Vermont wedding a little easier for you. So without further ado: Welcome to a new series bringing you the best of the best of Vermont’s wedding vendors.

Disclaimer: I will only showcase VT wedding vendors I have previously worked with, whose work I absolutely love and whom I’d have at my own wedding. That’s it. They don’t pay me, I don’t pay them.

The first person I contacted is truly amazing. A Vermont wedding officiant extraordinaire. She is incredibly fun and will make your Vt wedding ceremony truly special & memorable. Meet the one and only Kathryn Blume!


How did you get started in the wedding business?

Years ago I saw a some friends get married by a judge who was also a family friend. The judge was a sweet woman, but in all honesty it was a pretty boring ceremony. So, like the actor I am, I thought, “I could do better than that.” I got really excited about the idea of getting ordained and performing wedding ceremonies. I love ritual, I love writing, I love performance, and I love, well, love! But while I’m spiritual, I’m not really religious, and I couldn’t figure out what cloth I would want to be a woman of.

Then a friend told me about this old hippie church in California that advertised on the back of Rolling Stone and would ordain anyone. I did a little research and found out about the Universal Life Church. They’re all about democratizing the marital process, and their basic tenets are that everyone should have as much access to food, shelter, and sex as they want. I thought, “Now THAT is a church I can get behind!”

So, I called them up, they took my information, said they’d send me a packet, and I’d be ordained as of the postmark on the envelope. Which is exactly what happened. For a long time, I didn’t really do much about it. Every once in a while, someone would ask me to perform a ceremony, but it wasn’t a big part of my life.

And then a few years ago, I was having a kind of “What’s Next” moment, when a couple different friends called out of the blue and asked me to do their ceremonies. I started reflecting on the fact that Vermont is a big wedding destination, and that writing and performing weddings could actually be a delightful and deeply meaningful kind of business. So I gathered up all the wedding photos I had, put a page on my website, got listed with a number of wedding resource websites, and to be perfectly honest, people just started calling.

I had a fantastic summer of performing ceremonies, and it’s just taken off from there. I’m somewhere up around 200 weddings now, and I never get tired of it.

Kathryn Blume Best Vermont wedding officiant

What do you do when you are not working (are you ever not working ;-))?
It’s Vermont! I’m freelance! Therefore I’m always working! I practice (and sometimes teach) yoga, I garden, I teach acting and writing, I do voiceovers, I direct the occasional play, I write the occasional play, sometimes I even perform in the occasional play… In the wedding off-season, my primary gig is running an award-winning community sustainability game called Vermontivate! It’s all about bringing fun, imagination, and collaborative competition to the serious work of addressing the global climate crisis.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?
I’ve seen so much! Moose puppets, tea ceremonies, vomiting dogs…

I think my favorite was at the wedding of these two women in Huntington. They’d come to Vermont with a friend of theirs to get married and were staying at this gorgeous farmhouse at the base of Camel’s Hump. We strolled up into the field above the farmhouse to do the ceremony, and just as they laid down this handmade quilt on which they were going to stand, a small herd of Jersey cows wandered over to see what was going on.

The cows were apparently very taken with this wedding because they stood as close as they could to the quilt without actually standing ON it. They put their noses right up against the two brides (but didn’t eat their flowers). They also were very well behaved and didn’t poo or pee on anything.

When the gals and the photographer Karen Pike went walking around the field to take photos, the cows came with them and were in almost every single picture. Then, just as they were wrapping up, the herd just slowly and quietly wandered away.

What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I pretty much love everything about it. I adore meeting new people at such a significant moment in their lives. I enjoy making the process of putting together the ceremony as easy as possible. I really like going to places around the state that I never would have seen. I get a huge kick out of dressing up in the color scheme of each wedding (it’s the actor in me – I love costumes) and, of course, actually performing the ceremony. It’s all just a blast!

What do you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a good listener, so I can really take in what a couple wants for their ceremony. I’m a deft writer, so I can craft something that’s elegant, artful, meaningful, personal, and also funny. I know how to create sacred space without being too sentimental or sanctimonious about it. I’m a very experienced performer, so I know how to take the stage and run the show while still keeping each couple at the center of their own wedding. Plus, I just don’t get rattled. So no matter what happens – be it animals, babies, weather, in-laws, or the bride passing out – I can stay focused and in charge without turning anything into a crisis.

What’s the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business?
Ha! What a funny question. I’m not sure. Hire me and find out…

How would you describe your approach to weddings?
Casual yet focused. Weddings are so stressful for most couples that I feel like it’s my job to be the eye of the hurricane. And after 200+ ceremonies, it’s not hard for me to say with complete authority, “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be just fine.”

What inspires you in your work?
Ok, this is going to sound totally corny, but I’d have to say it’s love. Supporting two people who love each other and who are entering into the epic experiment of formal, long-term commitment.

Also, because I’m fortunate enough to live in Vermont, I perform a lot of same-sex ceremonies, which to me is an enormous social justice issue. The fact that gay marriage isn’t universally legal is about as wrong as wrong can be. Any of us could have been born gay and found ourselves on the short end of a lot of cultural and legal sticks. That I can participate in leveling the playing field a little is incredibly meaningful to me.

What do you love about weddings?
Watching people realize one of their very biggest dreams.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding?
You don’t have to sell a kidney and both your grandmothers to pay for your wedding. There are an infinite number of creative ways to have a beautiful, memorable, and really fun day without going into hock for it.

Final thoughts:
The most important thing is that you’re marrying the person you love. So try to stay on the same team, even if things get stressful.

On Bridezillas & amazing couples.

“Did you ever work with a Bridezilla?” I was talking to a future bride last week when she popped the question.

I thought of all my amazing & incredible couples and their weddings and three words came to mind: Adventurous, fun & fearless. Without a doubt, my couples couldn’t be any further from Bridezillas, Groomzillas or Momzillas if they tried. They are incredibly fun and amazing people who are up for anything. Rain on their wedding day? They’re going to grab an umbrella and battle the elements on top of a mountain.

A abandoned ladder near the ski lift at Jay Peak?

Fearless wedding photographer Jay Peak Vermont

Grab the groomsmen, figure out how to stabilize the swinging seat & get them up there…

Fearless wedding photographer Jay Peak Vermont

…to create the final photo.
Fearless wedding photographer Jay Peak Vermont
In short: I don’t have any juicy details to share about wedding nightmares, Bridezillas or any other horror stories . And I couldn’t be any happier about it. My couples are without exception the most amazing & fun people any Vermont wedding photographer could hope to work with.

Kat – Kingdom Wedding Photography by Kat
Your Vermont wedding photographer – photographing fun & fearless couples throughout Vermont & the US.

2013…what a trip

2013 marked Kingdom Wedding Photography by Kat’s 5th official year as a company here in Vermont and I am still blown away by what this has turned into. These past 5 years have flown by and have been nothing short of fun, incredible, emotional, beautiful, inspiring, and ever-changing. Thank you for coming along for the ride. There is nowhere and no one else I’d rather be.

2013 was jam packed with beautiful Vermont & New Hampshire weddings, amazing couples, travels, collaborations and charity efforts. Together, we were able to donate 1100 Dollars to three amazing charities and will continue to do so in 2014.

In addition, the in-house critters pooled their allowances and donated boxes full of dog toys, cat toys, cat nip & bully sticks to the Frontier Animal Society right here in Orleans, Vermont.

my adorable dogs donating their toys to shelter dogs

I was able to take some time off to hang out with my parents who made their way over from Germany. Together we toured the Northeast and had a fantastic time together. I’ve photographed a wedding after seeing Daisy through cancer surgery, holding her paw alongside my husband Damian through the night before heading out again in the morning. We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary and got struck by puppy fever; leading us to rescue another pup in the midst of wedding season. Without the support of the amazing people in my life (including you), I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of this!

Thank you to everyone who was a part of my 2013! Whether you’ve been one of my wedding couples this year, liking the Facebook page, are commenting or just reading this, I appreciate it more than you know.

I already have numerous weddings booked 2014 and I am so excited to be able to meet my fabulous couples to photograph their weddings this year. I may be the one holding the camera, but your support is what makes Kingdom Wedding Photography happen.

I have incredibly high hopes & big plans for 2014 from both a business and personal standpoint and plan on making it the best year yet. I hope you’re all going to be along for the ride.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Bring it on 2014

Love,

Kat