Baltimore MD ~ Outdoor Country Wedding ~ Katie & Matt

Maryland in May~ Under a magnificent tent on the grounds of a beautiful private home, Katie and Matt were married ♥

The country estate overlooked a panoramic view of a beautiful valley – across which you could see the home where Katie grew up. A quite sentimental & romantic setting to celebrate their union with family & friends.

Top Pittsburgh Wedding Band  John Parker, played a fun mix of songs that kept the bride and groom and their guests dancing for hours! Baltimore wedding photographer Dennis Drenner captured amazing images that show just that:

Congratulations to Katie and Matt!

You’re In Love!…now what?

So much thought goes into planning a wedding. Whether you’ve known what you wanted since you dressed up as a bride as a little girl, or are starting fresh, there’s some work to be done… But what kind of “work” is more fun than planning a party based on love?!

Many brides, understandably, fret over all the details— the perfect dress, food, flowers, hair; something old, new, borrowed, blue!—but those who have already walked down the aisle know that it’ll all come together beautifully just in time 🙂

As Ashley and Mark (in the feature above) realized at their Pittsburgh wedding, a great wedding band can really make the reception. A bride may remember the flowers and the dress, but the guests will remember the PARTY! “I honestly think our guests could have danced for another four hours! Nobody wanted to leave at the end of the night, everyone wanted to keep dancing!” What a great testimony to the City Heat Band!

John Parker Bands always strives to do just that—keep the party going! By responding to each unique crowd, and adjusting accordingly, they’re able to include everyone for a guaranteed great time.  Simplify your search for the perfect Pittsburgh wedding bands by starting with John Parker Bands!

Happy planning!

Special thanks to Ashley and Mark; The LeMont Pittsburgh; RIU Palace, Cabo San Lucas; Pittsburgh Post Gazette; and of course, The City Heat Band!

Please pass the toast!


John Parker Bands have performed at so many weddings, we’re practically experts on the topic! Music, of course, is our forte, but we can also help guide you through the rest of your plans!

Wondering about toasts?  Well here it is:   Generally, the host speaks first. Often that is the father of the bride, sometimes the bride & groom, & occasionally all parental entities. This happens usually early in the reception, preceded typically only by the first dance & possibly the cutting of the cake. In the most traditional setting, the father of bride welcomes his new son-in-law to the family, talks about his daughter, and welcomes the guests from all the places from which they’ve traveled.

If it is the Father of the Bride that has spoken, then sometimes, the groom then responds. He thanks his father-in-law for the kind words and often then thanks his parents for their making him marriage material. He (if he’s smart) often then thanks his bride for marrying him and he (again if smart) toasts the bridesmaids as well. I’d say I see the groom toasting in this way in only about 15-20% of weddings.

Next typically is the best man, and/or the Maid/Matron of Honor. Sometimes there are more of each of these. In this toast, the best man or maid of honor will, besides toasting the bride & groom, often attempt to entertain the guests, being funny and emotional all at the same time. Often times the best man is entertaining even when not particularly funny, so all in all a definite highlight in the scheme of any “toast-a-rama”. Though often I like to say “ladies before gentlemen” – personally I have found the biggest consideration might be who speaks the best. If one speaker is a natural & is going to blow the others away with their elegant or hilarious speaking skills… Do the rest a favor & save them for last! Likewise those who might be timid or have trouble forming complete sentences might be placed first.

STAGE FRIGHT: Sometimes a family member or friend may be too shy or otherwise unable to speak – we, in this case, have often been asked & are happy to read prepared remarks or toasts when the person expressing the are too shy or emotional to do it otherwise.

Others guests may want to toast after the bridal party has made their toasts. Brides & Grooms may be ok with a little, a lot, or none of this. This really depends on the wedding reception and how things are going.

Regardless of who’s toasting, sometimes you can just tell that it’s time to end the toasts and move on to something else. Groans, yawns, or sometimes outright snoring & especially objects being hurled at the speaker are solid indicators that it might be time to wrap it up.

We once had a father of the bride toast for almost a full hour. I’m just leaving that out there, figuring no further comment is probably needed.


So, here’s a wrap up of most common toasting choices:

• The father (or parents) of the bride

• The father (or parents) of the groom

• The best man toasts the bride & groom.

• The maid (or matron) of honor toasts the bride & groom.

• The bride toasts the groom

• The groom toasts the bride

• Other people toast

• the chef toasts the bread

Lastly – there are millions of pre-written toasts on the internet. Don’t even think about it. For inspiration it’s one thing. But use your own words. People will appreciate your sincerity more than anything else.

Here’s to the Bride & Groom!  🙂

Ask not why – rather, why NOT! :)

We have been to so many weddings it seems like we might know a thing or two about them.

Yet still I was reluctant to blog.  Who would want to read about our weddings or our thoughts about weddings generally?

But rather than continuing to ask “Why would someone want to hear about it…?”    – finally I have decided, “Why not?”  And here I am.   For better or worse.  (wow, that’s bad)