First Dance on the lawn at Crook Hall, Durham Peter & Annmarie booked me to DJ their July wedding last year at a venue completely new to me - Crook Hall & Gardens. As usual for a wedding booking I arranged to meet with them at the venue a) because it's great to meet with people to talk about what they like and b) because it's also a very good idea to find out about the venue before you go to perform at the event! It was a very hot day in June when we had our meeting & their wedding day was even hotter!

Taking into account the summer heat & the potentially tricky route into the house to get my equipment in I allowed two hours rather than the usual one to load in & get set up. It was a good job I did! It was a gloriously hot summer's day!

Shortly after I finished setting up in the medieval hall I got changed & began sorting the questions guests had written for their Mr & Mrs game, when Peter approached me & asked if it'd be possible to play the game, cut the wedding cake and have the first dance outside. No problem - I had extra cables with me as always & took very little time to get one of my speakers outside. Ideally I'd have had more notice & could have set up a small additional system outside but this way would work just fine.

The Mr & Mrs game had some quite risque questions I won't repeat here but they were all taken in the spirit they were intended. The happy couple then cut their wedding cake & posed for photographs & then it was time for their first dance. I ran back to the house where my DJ booth was, introduced their dance, pressed play on their chosen track & dashed back out to see most of it before once again running back to my station, then took the outside speaker down & carried it back inside.

Being such a lovely day outside I'd have been lucky to get anyone inside to dance - and I was indeed lucky for the next few hours, with interesting requests from guests to keep things moving along.

Rain the weather forecast promised came & left after a very brief stay, but that didn't dampen the party spirits any.

We finished the party at 11pm & then it was time to get everything out & go home. The heat hadn't diminished much & taking my trolley back down the moonlit garden path was almost as hard as pushing it up when I arrived.

The venue itself is absolutely beautiful. The staff of Crook Hall & Gardens are meticulous in their attention to detail & are a great asset to the place. Peter & Annmarie were an absolute dream to work for too & I wish them both the very best for their future together!

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