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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Connelly

Ryan and Sonette's Lake Tahoe Wedding

Hello blog reading person,

I just had the most amazing experience DJing Ryan and Sonette’s wedding last week just outside of Tahoe City, and I wanted to share some highlights with you all. As a Lake Tahoe wedding DJ, I think was the perfect Tahoe wedding. Read on to check out a few unforgettable moments at the stunning Skylandia Park and The Dollar House at Chinquapin.

Ceremony Highlights of this Lake Tahoe Wedding:

We kicked off the ceremony at 3 PM sharp at Skylandia Park, with a beautiful instrumental vibe reminiscent of Bridgerton. Never heard of this beach? It was a first time for me. (I lived in Tahoe for ten years, too) Amazing beach, limited parking, but uncrowded. Just before the ceremony started, I played:

  • "Rylynn" by Andy McKee

  • "Wildest Dreams" by Duomo

Ryan and Sonette had an unplugged ceremony. I'm a huge fan of this. I'll ask your guests to refrain from photos during your ceremony. It's an easy message to share. The wedding party made their entrance to “Something Just Like This / Hungarian Rhapsody” by The Piano Guys, which I looped perfectly so they could all be in position before the song ended. 

Sonette’s entrance was a showstopper. She walked down the aisle with her parents to “A Million Dreams” by Taylor Davis, and the moment was simply magical. Once she was in position, the officiant's mic went live, and the ceremony began. Ryan and Sonette even did a reading themselves, adding a personal touch to the ceremony. This was the first time I had a couple do a special reading to their parents. I hope this catches on. 

A highlight from their officiant, Chris, was, “You only need a good pair to win the game.” Words to live by. Curious about asking a friend to be your officiant? Check out my blog post about what you need to consider. Here’s the link - Ask Your Friend To Be Your Officiant

We wrapped up the ceremony with “Do You Believe in Magic?” by The Lovin' Spoonful as the recessional song. The groom, Ryan, is an amateur magician. It was a perfect, upbeat choice to celebrate their new journey together.

Cocktail Hour:

After the ceremony, we kept the vibe going with a playlist that captured the essence of the couple’s style—lots of wedding classics and a few modern folk-inspired artists like Jack Johnson (perfect for the beach vibes), The Lumineers, and Of Monsters and Men. 

Reception and Dinner:

The reception was held outdoors at The Dollar House at Chinquapin, where we had some fun with the introductions. This epic location is just a few minutes by shuttle from the ceremony site—a large patio with views across the lake and Heavenly Ski Resort as a backdrop. As the wedding party entered to "CAN'T STOP THE FEELING!" by Justin Timberlake, I made sure to cue them at the perfect moment when the chorus picked up. I did the introductions as a group. This is a trending style for intros. 

  • Groomsmen: Patrick, Jon, Chance, Ryan O, Nels, Mark, and Aaron.

  • Bridesmaids: Christine, Faun-nee, Lina, Sam, Kelsey, and Jenna.

  • And finally, "the newly married Sonette and Ryan!"

After the introductions, Ryan and Sonette welcomed everyone, and we moved on to dinner. For dinner music, we had a Motown-inspired playlist with a couple of special requests:

  • "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole

  • "Wedding Song (There Is Love)" by Noel Paul Stookey

Toasts and Special Dances:

Toasts were heartfelt and touching, with speeches from:

  • Steve Steczina (Father of the Bride)

  • Bill Moyes (Father of the Groom)

  • Christine You (Maid of Honor)

  • Patrick Murray (Best Man)

Sonette dedicated her bouquet to her mom, which was a lovely moment. I'm happy to see this becoming popular.

For the formal dances, Ryan and Sonette chose "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat for their first dance. They mentioned to me they might work on a choreographed first dance. Let me simply say that this was possibly the most beautiful first dance I’ve witnessed. The Father-Daughter dance was to “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, and the Mother-Son dance was to “Crowded Table” by The Highwomen. 

Lake Tahoe Wedding Reception and Dance Music:

The night continued with a mix of great songs. They left the night’s first song up to me, so I selected The Flamingo’s “I Only Have Eyes For You.” My goal is to create an amazing moment with songs that are not the standard go-to selections. Sure, I could go with an Elvis track, maybe a John Legend song, or something from Ed Sheeran (I love all these artists), but I don’t know how unique the experience would be. Later in the evening, Sonette’s mom came by to ask me what the name of the first slow song I played was. This, to me, means everything as I think she loved the song and was familiar with it but didn’t know it by name. I hope my selection reintroduced a beautiful song to her and her family. I amped up the energy with “Dance with Me Tonight” by Olly Murs. We avoided heavy rap and deep country and kept guided dance songs to a minimum, as requested.

We wrapped up this incredible night with “Marry You” by Bruno Mars as the last song. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Vendors who helped make the day amazing included:

As a Lake Tahoe wedding DJ, I felt honored to be part of Ryan and Sonette’s special day. Here’s to many more weddings filled with high fives and good vibes. 

Ryan sent me an email a few days later with this message. "Matt, thank you so much for everything! You were an incredible DJ! We had so many guests approach us afterwards to say how fantastic you were. Everything with the sound, music selections, and emcee’ing were amazing. :)"

Until next time,


BTW, if you’re reading this and are looking for a DJ for your Lake Tahoe Wedding, I might be the right DJ for you. Send me a message and tell me about your wedding plans. Email Me!


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