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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Connelly

Brian and Mikayla's Wedding at River Highlands Ranch!

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to share the unforgettable wedding day of Brian and Mikayla, which I had the honor of DJing at the beautiful River Highlands Ranch on May 18. It was a day filled with love, laughter, and some seriously good music. Let me take you through the day, from the first note of the pre-ceremony playlist to the last dance of the night.

The Ceremony

The ceremony started at 4:00 PM, but the vibe was set well before that with a playlist of modern chill love songs. Think Colbie Caillat, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Jack Johnson, John Legend, Vance Joy, The Lumineers, and Fleetwood Mac. The atmosphere was perfect as guests took their seats, and it was clear that everyone was excited but relaxed, ready to celebrate Brian and Mikayla’s love.

One special note about their ceremony—it was unplugged! They wanted everyone to be fully present, which I think is such a wonderful touch. Plus, it made the family photos right after even more meaningful. There weren’t any readings, so the simplicity and elegance of the ceremony spoke volumes.

As the ceremony began, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac played for the honor seating. Watching Tony, Brian’s grandfather and the officiant, walk down with Debbie, Brian’s grandmother, was incredibly touching. Next came Brian and his mother, Carrie, making their way to their seats with a sense of pride and joy.

Outdoor wedding Ceremony at River Highlands Ranch in Smartsville, CA.
Photo Credit - Allison Upchurch

For the wedding party processional, they chose the piano version of “How Does a Moment Last Forever” from Disney Peaceful. It was a beautiful choice that added a magical touch as Kylie and Ryan, Alin and Spencer, Jessica and Noah, Teresa and Jackson, and Kaycie and Kelcie made their way down the aisle.

And then, the moment everyone was waiting for—Mikayla’s entrance. She walked down the aisle with her dad to “I Get to Love You” by Ruelle. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including mine! It was such a heartfelt moment, and you could feel the love radiating between Mikayla and Brian.

After the officiant’s words and the “who gives this woman” part, they were pronounced “Mr. and Mrs. Blake” for the first time. The joy was palpable as they walked back down the aisle to “Marry You” by Bruno Mars.

Cocktail Hour

After the ceremony, it was time for the cocktail hour. They requested a mix of 80s and 90s hits along with some funk and Motown—Fleetwood Mac, Zac Brown Band, Florida Georgia Line, Hall & Oates, and other upbeat country and classic jams. It was the perfect backdrop as guests mingled, sipped on signature cocktails, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery at River Highlands Ranch.

Introductions and Dinner

Once everyone was seated inside the modern barn at River Highlands Ranch for dinner, it was time for the grand introductions. The bridesmaids entered to “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross, setting a fun and celebratory tone. The groomsmen followed with “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” from James Brown’s 50th Collection, adding a touch of classic cool.

And then, the moment we were all waiting for—Brian and Mikayla entered to “Good Life” by Kanye West. The energy was electric as they were introduced as “Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Mikayla Blake!” Even though they didn’t have their first dance immediately, you could see the love and excitement in their eyes.

Dinner was accompanied by a chill playlist featuring John Mayer, John Legend, and some mellow country tunes. It was the perfect soundtrack for guests to enjoy their meals and share stories about the happy couple.

Toasts and Cake Cutting

The toasts were heartfelt and hilarious. Kylie, the Maid of Honor, and Ryan, the Best Man, each delivered beautiful speeches that had everyone laughing and tearing up. Both moms shared stories of their newly married kids.

For the cake cutting, they chose “Grow Old with Me” by Adam Sandler. It was such a sweet moment, literally and figuratively. The song added a touch of humor and warmth, perfectly fitting Brian and Mikayla’s personalities. I love this song.

Formal Dances

The formal dances were some of the most touching moments of the night. Brian and Mikayla’s first dance was to “You” by Dan + Shay (acoustic version). We let it fade out at the perfect moment, giving them a special and intimate dance.

Mikayla then danced with her dad, Troy, to “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw. There were so many happy tears! Brian and his mom, Carrie, danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts, another emotional moment that had everyone in the room feeling the love.

The first slow song for everyone was “Nervous” by John Legend (Piano version), which set a romantic tone for the evening.

Bouquet Toss and Party Time

Mikayla’s bouquet toss was a blast! All the unmarried guests gathered, and “Ladies Night” by Kool and the Gang played. It was a fun and lively moment that had everyone cheering.

The general vibe for the rest of the night was a non-stop party. With a guest count around 105, it felt like the perfect size for everyone to be on the dance floor. I played everything from P!nk’s “Get The Party Started” to Usher’s “Yeah!” and of course, Fleetwood Mac. There were some must-plays like “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire and fun group dances with “Cha-Cha Slide” and “Cupid Shuffle.” They wanted to avoid Kei$ha and limit Pitbull and T-Swift, so we made sure to keep the playlist tailored to their tastes—early 2000's R&B/Hip Hop, country, pop, upbeat rock, and a bit of punk rock.

Good vibes at River Highlands. Photo Credit - Allison Upchurch

Wrapping Up This River Highlands Ranch Wedding!

The night concluded on a high note with Lionel Richie and Jimmy Buffett’s “All Night Long,” followed by a private last dance to “My Side of the Fence” by Dan + Shay. It was a beautiful, intimate moment for Brian and Mikayla to soak in their special day one last time before the formal exit at the front of the barn.

Overall, Brian and Mikayla’s wedding was an incredible celebration of love, filled with some of my favorite music, heartfelt moments, and an energy that kept everyone dancing all night long. It was such an honor to be a part of their special day and help create memories that will last a lifetime. Check out my wedding recap video on Instagram.

If you're planning your big day and want to ensure it's as magical as Brian and Mikayla's, let's chat—I’d love to help you make your wedding day unforgettable! I’m based in Northern California. Here’s my website: Thanks for reading!


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