An ambitious idea and a lot of rehearsal went into the execution of PJ and Noah’s first dance. It was a surprise for all of their guests, and then it was a surprise when it went online, went viral and brought thousands and comments and media inquiries to their door. What happens when you do something and the world notices? PJ and Noah turned the unexpected flood of attention into a donation drive that raised over 30k for a non-profit that means a lot to them, and to many people who watched their dance video with happy tears in their eyes: It Gets Better. PJ and Noah share their experience with the dance and all of the other sweet, personal moments on their wedding day. We are so happy to have them on the podcast!
PJ and Noah knew how they wanted their wedding to feel and they worked towards that every step of the way with wedding planning. They wanted the entire day to feel relaxed, personal, and for all of their guests to just have fun together. The incorporated all of their favorites into the day - their dog, their families - giving important ‘jobs’ to all of those VIPs they wanted to honor and include, their favorite songs and talented vocalist friends, and of course, the dance now seen ‘round the world - their choreographed first dance mashup, which included their very favorite songs from all phases of their life. Songs that reminded them of good times, great movies and shared experiences. The music was a very big part of their wedding day. It was meaningful, it added to the feel of the day.
The dance took a lot of work, but putting the music together in the mash up took a lot of work too! PJ toiled away on Garage Band putting together all of the songs they wanted to use, and putting them in order, cued at the right time...it was a lot. But when something takes a lot of work, it helps if you have fun doing the work! PJ has a musical background and really enjoyed the process.
Practice makes perfect, and if you are performing something at your wedding, or reading your vows to each other - it helps to run it by a few people to help get out some nerves, and maybe solve some of the technical problems. PJ and Noah shared their vows with their moms, and rehearsed the dance in front of Noah’s sister ahead of time, and that helped a lot.
Involving your dog in the wedding takes a little preparation, planning and day-of helpers lined up. PJ and Noah had friends take ‘shifts’ to help care for Mila (their dog) during the reception. They had plenty of treat bags ready to go, and dog-loving ready to help.
Noah and PJ didn’t have a wedding party, but they did have dear friends and families involved in the ceremony and at the reception. They had a flower girl, they had a young nephew with a job wrangling the dog and feeling important, the moms walked down the aisle before the grooms, the grooms walked in together, their dad’s were joint-officiants, and they had friends sing, toast and dance their asses off. Everyone that wanted to help was able to. It was a ‘it takes a village’ kind of wedding.
Links we referenced
The dance video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhXBNaUOTvU
It Gets Better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjRD_6Gqb88
Wedding Highlight video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJwATkN9CBY
“Who knows these guys? I need them in my life!” - Christy, telling the universe what to give her!
“Everything we chose - every song - was recognizable and relatable. And that was intentional. People say that about vows too, that you don’t want to have too many inside jokes so that everybody can feel included.” - PJ
“I was outside mowing the lawn while PJ was inside working on his tap steps.” - Noah, on wedding preparations
“Make sure you have that actual first dance moment - look at each other, focus, and don’t just use the dance as a means to getting to the party.” - Noah, on starting the big dance
“We didn’t have a wedding party, but we had people play roles if they wanted to - readings, toasts...we had a lot of toasts.” - Pj and Noah on friends being involved in their wedding
“We wanted to remove the constraints of the table assignments. We kept saying that we wanted this day to be fun for us and everybody. So whenever something started stressing us out, we just got rid of it.” - PJ on deciding not to have a seating assignment for the reception
“As we started to get this huge viral sense of what the video was achieving and how it was being received...as we got more and more hits and views, we said, we have to do something more with this. We are celebrating love and we’re celebrating life as two men, together, and that’s exactly what the ‘It Gets Better’ project does, what it shows. That is does get better.” - Noah, on sharing their story after the video went viral
“It makes people feel good to watch the video - the dancing and the songs and your smiles and the guests clapping...it’s just good to watch. And the world told you that.” - Christy, in summary
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