Music To Your Ears

The music at a wedding is often times a primary means of setting a specific tone or feel. Most Bride’s have a “vision” of what they want their wedding ceremony and reception to look and feel like. The music you choose is an intriguing way to accomplish the task of realizing that vision. In today’s post we will chit chat about all of your music options here at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens and then we will break it down into some categories of the most used and popular wedding music (classic and current).

The Ceremony:

Whether your ceremony is at Ashland or The Gardens Chapel or in the Outdoor Garden Area at The Gardens Facility, we have a surround sound system that plays CD’s. We can provide the music (meaning you get a chance to sit down and take a look through our extensive list of music) or you can (meaning you bring in CD’s and we program them into our system).

Sometimes couple’s want live music in the form of a pianist, string quartet or harpist. We have marvelous musicians to recommend to you if any of these instruments interest you for ceremony music.

  • Tom Nix is the Pianist we highly recommend. He has a list of music to choose from and can also find pretty much anything else you are wanting played if he doesn’t already have it.
  • The String Quartet we use is from a local university and they do a beautiful job each time they get a chance to come and play here. They can also play during your reception (we think this would be marvelous at a morning or  brunch reception…don’t you? So romantic!).
  • Jill Justice is who we recommend when couple’s think a Harpist would fit the bill. She is an amazing musician and between her and her husband…they might be able to play every instrument known to man. So if there are any unique instrument requests for your ceremony – they are also who we would send you to.

Any of these musicians or groups can play at an indoor or outdoor ceremony. You are also more than welcome to provide your own musicians or singers.

The Reception:

There are so many different options for music during your reception. And which one you choose greatly depends on what kind of reception you are wanting to have and your budget. Imagining a quiet romantic setting with soft  music playing in the background? Or a lively (and potentially loud!) dance party with all the most popular, current hits? Are you a country or R&B music fan and can’t imagine not having a live band to keep your guests dancing all night long? We have recommendations for pretty much anything you can dream up.

Included in our Basic Package is light, background reception music that plays continuously during your party. This is something you can choose from our library or provide to us. This is an option that we only recommend if you are wanting something very low-key, aren’t wanting special songs played at certain times or songs announced, etc.

Our Royal and Ultimate Packages include a DJ (depending on availability…if he isn’t available, we will find someone else or we can subtract that from the package). Our DJ is Dance Party Productions and we just don’t have enough nice things to say about him. DJ’s can sometimes be cheesy, obnoxious, or cliche…this DJ is none of those things. He knows what to play and when. He knows how to keep your party moving. He. Is. The. Best. He includes amazing lighting and custom uplighting for your reception. You meet with him a few weeks before your event and go over the details of what you are wanting. He does not have a set playlist…so you can bring to him pretty much anything you are thinking. (He can also be added to our Basic Package) Need we say more?

We also understand that some people may know a DJ or have a certain DJ in mind, and that is fine too. You are more than welcome to provide your own DJ, but they must set up and tear down during your facility time.

On occasion people will hire a band to play at their reception. Usually this is a band they know or are related to in some way. Sometimes it is a band from their church. If you are interested in having a band, we would be happy to join you in your search to make the process as easy as possible.

Also, any of the ceremony musicians can also be booked for your reception for an additional cost. Pretty  much any of the live instruments would be unbelievably romantic/elegant. Piano music? A harp for your first dance? Love that.


So those are some options for who or what will provide your music. Here are some popular song options for different parts of the ceremony and for your first dance.

Prelude Music:

Jim Brickman Piano

Kenny G Saxophone

Harp Music

a Mixed CD of your favorite love songs

Seating of the Parents:

Mama’s Song (Carrie Underwood)

Butterfly Kisses (Bob Carlisle)

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)

Tale As Old As Time (Beauty and The Beast)

I Loved Her First (Heartland)

Processional: (This is when the Groom, Groomsmen, and Bridesmaids walk out)

Canon in D (Pachelbel) …this is a number one favorite…and we have like 14 million different versions of it…almost…

Air on G (Bach)

Claire de Lune (Debussy)

Forest Gump Theme (from the movie)…Yes, this is for real. Yes, it is gorgeous.

Presentation of the Bride:

The Bridal Chorus (we have more versions of this than we do Canon in D…piano, harps, strings, guitar…etc)

  • The most popular version we use currently is one by Jonathan Cain…gorgeous, dissonant version on the piano with a beautiful entrance point. Just ask for #8

Pretty much anything else you could possibly imagine. This is YOUR moment to shine. Walk to whatever makes you feel good. Lots of couple’s choose a song that has had special meaning to them or a piece that points to their faith.

Unity Ceremony:

If you are choosing to do a candle or sand ceremony or other kind of unity ceremony, you will probably want a song played during the moment. Here are some faves…

How Beautiful (Twila Paris)

I Will Be Here (Steven Curtis Chapman)

When I Say I Do (Matthew West)

Hymne (Vangelis…we have a very pretty soft piano version…don’t be fooled by some of the versions on youTube!)

Or again…anything you love.

Recessional: (Bride and Groom and Wedding Party leaving the Chapel at the end of the ceremony)

Wedding March (Sometimes called “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”…the really traditional one you hear in wedding movies)

Ode to Joy (Beethoven)

Spring (Vivaldi)

At Last (Etta James)

This Will Be (Natalie Cole)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Stevie Wonder)

I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas)

Forever (Chris Brown)

This is one you can really play with. What makes you dance? What makes you laugh? What will make your guests do both? Choose that song.

Here are some popular songs from certain genres that you can also plug into places you need music during your ceremony (pretty much any of the above spots).


Me and You (Kenny Chesney)

Then (Brad Paisley)

Only You Can Love Me This Way (Keith Urban)

Amazed (Lonestar)

My Wish (Rascal Flatts)

I Could Not Ask For More (Sara Evans)

When You Say Nothing at All (Alison Krauss)

The Way You Love Me (Faith Hill)

R&B / Gospel:

Ribbon in the Sky (Stevie Wonder)

Here and Now (Luther Vandross)

Endless Love (also Luther)

You for Me (Johnny Gill)

I Believe in You and Me (Whitney Houston)

If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys)

Let’s Get Married (Jagged Edge…and the remix. We love the remix. It makes us dance.)

All My Life (K-Ci and JoJo)

Coffee House Hits:

Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)

One, Two, Three, Four (Plain White T’s)

I’ll Be (Edwin McCain)

Unfailing Love (Jimmy Needham)

You and Me (Dave Matthews….swoon)

The Luckiest (Ben Fold’s Five…swoon even more)

Love Never Fails (Brandon Heath)

Falling in Love at the Coffee Shop (Landon Pigg)

Bella’s Lullaby (From Twilight, the piano version…don’t judge, it is beautiful)

Make You Feel My Love (the Adele version…or any other version you love…we love the Adele version)

The First Dance

This is the song that couple’s often struggle with choosing the very most.

Couple of tips:

  • Don’t give up. There is always a third option. You hate his. He hates yours. Find a third option you both LOVE. (This will be good practice for pretty much every other decision you make in your marriage.)
  • Dance to it. Before the night before your wedding. If it feels weird, find something else. If you simply must dance to this song…practice. Lots of places in the city offer one class deals where you can take one lesson to brush up on your skills.

As for some suggestions to get the creative juices flowing, we talked to our DJ, Chris of Dance Party Productions about some of the most requested songs for the first dance. He said, “Lots of Tim and Faith” (meaning McGraw and Hill, of course). “At Last by Etta (James) or Beyonce for a classic sound.” For a great R&B selection, he says “Differences by Ginuwine is a very popular choice.”

That’s all we have for now…Have fun adding your unique style to the big day by choosing music selections that either match the theme, tone, or feeling of your event!

Happy Planning!





Kira and Nathan

Life got a little wild around here after the new year and so we missed telling you about  a couple that just should not be missed. So here is Kira and Nathan from the end of December.


They are a precious couple whose love and faith was so evident in every aspect of their event. They were not only a joy to work with, but their day was seriously beautiful.


Kira and Nathan wanted a very Christ-Centered Ceremony and their minister did a beautiful job sharing about their love and faith, and what a truly Christ-Centered Marriage looked like. The music for the ceremony was very seasonally appropriate (the songs for the Seating of the Parents, Processional, and Presentation of the Bride were 3 different versions of Canon in D) and also featured current worship music such as Never Once (during the family prayer) and All That’s Left (during their Unity Candle).



Kira chose a stunning plum color with a green that popped and added a festive element (we are talking 4 days after Christmas here folks!). They also chose to add a super fun Hot Chocolate Bar to their cake and punch reception which added to the warmth and elegance of the event.



The Guestbook Table had engagement photos that showed the couple holding signs that said why the loved each other.


The scripture readers during the ceremony used a special Family Bible.


Kira’s Shoes and the Bouquets that she made for herself and her bridesmaids.

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The Big Happy Wedding Party!


Congrats Kira and Nathan! May you be blessed in your marriage!


The Cake with a fun Mr&Mrs Topper!


The Couple toasted with bottles from POPS set on coasters that displayed the wedding date!






The Hot Chocolate Bar provided by Cypress Creative Services:


The Hot Chocolate Bar


Toppings: Marshmallows, Whipped Cream, Crushed Peppermint, Cinnamon Shake, Caramel Drizzle



Open House 2013

We would like to extend our gratitude to each Bride and each vendor who made this evening a complete success. It was awesome seeing lots of current and potential Brides checking out everything we have to offer. We also had the great pleasure of showing off our brand new stage design at Ashland Gardens for the very first time (there are just a few things left to do before it is complete…it’s amazing!).

Here is a complete vendor list. For additional information or contact info, give us a call.

Open House 2013 Vendors:

Dance Party Productions

Cooper’s Catering

Apple Envy


Cakes by Dee

Dee’s Chococlate Fountain

Ideas in Ice

Tuxedo Junction

PJ’s Flowers and Gifts

The S’mores Bar

Cypress Creative Services Design Packages

Huntington Photography

Blue Label Bartending

Patrick Berry Photography

The Finishing Touch

Marianne’s Rentals

Mary Kay

White Wings of OKC

Oklahoma Marriage Initiative

Boudoir by Heather Schlepper

Oklahoma Premier Carriage Company

Unforgettable Video

RE/MAX Gemini Realty

Caricatures by Robert Lange


We are so blessed to have so many amazing amazing people we work with on a regular basis to be able to recommend to you! Here are some pictures of the evening:


Almost complete...the brand new beautiful stage design at the Ashland Chapel

The Brand New Beautiful Stage Design at Ashland Gardens!

Amazing New Chandelier (it will be getting two beautiful chandeliers on either side in the next week!)

The Stunning Chandelier (two smaller versions of the center chandelier will be installed this week for a completed design!)


The Gardens Reception in all it’s Open House Glory!


Patrick Berry Photography


Dee’s Chocolate Fountain


Cakes by Dee


Cypress Creative Services


Cooper’s Catering


The S’mores Bar


Apple Envy


Arbonne, PJ’s Flowers, Ideas in Ice, Huntington Photography


Blue Label Bartending








Caricatures by Robert Lange, Unforgettable Video, RE/MAX Gemini, Forever For Real


Boudoir by Heather Schlepper


Mary Kay, White Wings of OKC, Tuxedo Junction




The Finishing Touch



Dance Party Productions

okBride Bridal Show – January 6th 2013

We are so pleased to again be attending the okBride Bridal Show on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at the Cox Convention Center in Downtown Oklahoma City. If there is ONE and only ONE Bridal Show you attend during the planning of your wedding…the January okBride Show is the one to see! Bring your walking shoes, your address labels, and your bridesmaids (to help you carry all your bags of free stuff and brochures!) and get ready for a wedding extravaganzaa!

Check out their website for more info, and give us a call if you have any questions! It is a great day to get lots taken care of and of course…we will be there – so stop by, say hello, and get an invite to our Open House.

winter2013_postcard_4x6_front_001Still need tickets? Give us a call…we might be able to hook you up compliments of okBride!



Purple Accents in The Gardens Chapel

Wednesday, 12.12.12. was a big day for us here at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens. We had the pleasure of hosting an Intimate Ceremony and TWO Royal Wedding and Reception Packages! Rumor has it that nationwide, 7,500 couples chose this special date to tie the knot! It truly was a once in a lifetime day for people to say “I do!”

Centerpieces, Cake Cutting, Limo Exit!

The afternoon wedding and reception for Yvonne and John and 100 of their guests held in store a chapel full of gorgeous purple accents, a heartfelt ceremony, heavy hors d’oeuvres in the reception with a DJ (Dance Party Productions), purple uplighting, and a champagne & wine bar. Their cake was a towering 4 tiered hexagon shaped cake with purple flowers between each tier. The Bride chose a Diamond Icing Design with the top tier having a Heart Icing Design. The Groom’s cake boasted decadent chocolate icing designs and chocolate covered strawberries. The couple left in a limo and went straight to the airport for their Jamaican Honeymoon! They were not only a delight to work with, but such a sweet couple who had a blast on their wedding day! It was fun to share in their joy – the bride was simply radiant with excitement at each new point in the day!

The Bride and Groom The Chapel, The Wedding Party

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The evening wedding for Jennifer and Shane and 50 of their closest friends and family was absolutely everything an evening winter wedding should be – elegant, romantic, and downright dreamy. Their colors were red, ivory, and black which was a beautiful touch in The Gardens Chapel. The flowers were done by PJ’s Flowers and Gifts – they were amazing! White roses, cala lillies, and red hypericum berries with black and red ribbons and a custom designed flower girl basket in those colors tied in exactly what the bride was hoping for her special night!

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Their reception included heavy hors d’oeuvres, Dance Party Productions (DJ), and custom red uplighting. Their cake was the epitome of festive elegance with red ribbon at the base of each tier with our Tie The Knot Icing Design and a red flower topper. They got a little feisty behind the cake table, but they kissed and made up and spent the rest of the evening dancing the night away.

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We look forward to next year – 11.12.13!

Save The Date: 10th Annual Open House 1.15.13

Please “Save The Date” and consider yourself officially invited to The 10th Annual Open House at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens! We are so excited for this very special after hours event that will take place on Tuesday evening, January 15, 2013 from 6PM-9PM (come and go). Admission is free. Once you register you are entered to win amazing door-prizes. You will have the opportunity to view the facilities, speak with MANY of our wonderful recommended vendors and taste test cakes and hors d’oeuvres.

In the coming weeks we are looking forward to sharing more with you about some of our vendors who will be there.

To pre-register visit THIS link! Registration will also be available the night of the event at the door. This will just save you some time that night when you arrive.

You can also RSVP by “Liking” us on FacebookHERE! – and then going to events and let us know you are planning to come . This will keep you “up to the minute” on anything new, exciting, or fabulous going on with The Open House!

If you are planning a wedding, looking for a facility, or already have your event booked here with us for 2013 – you will not want to miss this evening!

Planning a Party

Did you know that at Ashland Gardens and The Gardens we do more than just weddings and receptions? Shocked? It’s true!

DJ and Uplighting
for any event!

We can do bridal and baby showers, family and class reunions, corporate dinners or luncheons, sports awards banquets, birthday and anniversary parties, Quinceaneras, Baptisms, Holiday parties – whatever event you are planning (large or small) – you should come and chat with us about hosting it here. The smaller reception area at Ashland would be ideal for a baby shower or a Bridal Tea. The larger reception area at The Gardens is perfect for Anniversary Parties or Proms.

Quinceanera Expo 2012
We love to host Quinceaneras
at The Gardens

Imagine not having to set up tables and chairs, not having to mop the floor when you are done…imagine sitting back and relaxing – at your own event – we will take care of everything! Our coordinators are here to connect you with the people you want to make your event a huge success – and we are here to make sure things go smoothly before and all during your event.

Fun Party Decor!

Give us a call today to set up a time where you can come in talk with us about making your next event a breeze.

Open House: Preview of Coming Attractions

Ashland Gardens and The Gardens hosts an annual Open House each Winter. It is an evening full of wedding planning bliss where you can view each facility, meet our wonderful recommended vendors, taste test cake flavors, sample hors d’oeuvres, and take a look at all of the planning services we can offer you. Think: Mini-Bridal Show. Admission is free and when you register, you are signed up for a multitude of door prizes that range from a free limo to significant discounts on our packages. Lots of the vendors offer Open House Specials and can check their availability for your big day on the spot. This event is a HUGE time and money saver when it comes to planning your wedding. Our current and potential brides are all encouraged to attend.

Be Our Guest!

This year, we are  looking at possible online pre-registration to save you even more time that night. This event is not to be missed! As soon as the date is decided  – we will let you know. (Just FYI, traditionally it is scheduled on a Tuesday evening from 6-9PM in mid-late January or early February).

Let us know if you have questions about the Open House or how to be put on the VIP Early Invite list!

Have a beautiful, stress-free
Wedding Day & Planning Experience!
Don’t miss our Annual Open House!