< return

2015 XO Award Recipients
March 03, 2015

Most of us have been to or been a part of our fair share of weddings and know that the occasional mishap is bound to occur. CMWA chooses recipients for the ‘XO’ Award to showcase their skills at turning potential catastrophes into mere matrimonial road bumps.  Carlos Creek Winery, Impressions Mobile Music and Pianist for Parties have showed how exceptional they are at ‘saving the day’ for brides and grooms to make their wedding one to cherish and remember for a lifetime. 

Read the entries below to see why this time around, we could not choose just one recipient of the ‘XO’ Award, but instead three. 


For one wedding, the DJ did not show up. Paige – one of our wedding coordinators – noticed this and tried calling the DJ. He never answered or called back, so our staff used the winery iPod for the ceremony music based on what we had learned at the rehearsal, and then again for the social hour. 

During this time, the couple did not notice that her DJ was not here. Our staff kept trying to reach the scheduled DJ – yet with no answer. After the grand entrance song, Paige came to rescue once again, playing the part of emcee for the night. We got our musician for the day – Josie Nelson – to play the first dance, mother/son dance, father/daughter dance and for the first few songs for all guests – it brought the couple to tears for their first dance and they were so thankful that we covered it for them. We used a groom’s men’s iPod for the rest of the dance (as he thought he had the best music.) The guests were all dancing and enjoying the night and the wedding was a success!


We decided to have our wedding outside in a field on our farm. We decided to have a Stearns County Judge do the ceremony. I sent our choice of wording for our ceremony and the address, time and date. 

The Judge stated he had a wedding prior to ours but would for sure arrive by 5:30. Larry came out earlier in the afternoon and set up all of his equipment for the music and lights. I was in the house getting ready, and all of the guests were beginning to arrive. We had our BBQ started and the dance floor was ready for the evening. The hay ride to the field was on its way, it was 5:30 and we were ready. When we got to the field we were informed there was no JP yet. 

We decided we could wait a little to see if he was running a little late. Larry came up and asked if everything was okay. We said play some music for a little bit and we will see if he shows up. Joe’s sister had googled ceremonies and had a plan we would fake it and have Joe’s brother Pat just read the ceremony and we could get married at the courthouse at a later date. 

Larry came over and said I can't believe how calm you are ... Other brides would have been crazy by now and that was putting it mildly. We told him this is our life just winging it most of the time. He offered to see about a friend of his that would be able to do the ceremony. We said well, we will wait a little bit. He called his friend just to see if he was around and well he was fishing. 

Larry came back to tell us what he had found out. We thought for a bit. I guess we have to pull him off the lake. We said okay the JP isn't showing and we better get someone here everyone was getting hungry and mingling. So Larry called his friend and asked him to come. He stated he had to run home and shower but would be on his way. I said he doesn't need to shower we don't care if he smells fishy. We were all watching the driveway for the next car to come in and who it was going to be the JP or Larry's friend. 

Larry's friend pulled into the driveway and he calmly came up to us asked us if we wanted anything special said and Joe and I both said no just let’s get married and get to the dancing. Larry literally saved the day, went WAY above and beyond his job. We loved his music he kept everyone young and old on the dance floor all night. I cannot say enough GREAT things about Larry and how he just seemed to keep everything going calmly and of course pulling a JP out of his hat was quite amazing. We will never forget what Larry did and how professionally he did it.  Words cannot explain how lucky we were to have not only a GREAT DJ but one that knew a JP.


I was delighted when Andy and Nick hired me as their wedding pianist. I was honored that they selected me out of a number of other pianists.  I met with Andy and Nick to plan their music. I learned that they not only wanted a pianist but also a violinist. 

The wedding was at the Maple Grove Town Green. I was not familiar with the venue so I scheduled a visit ahead of time. The location was beautiful..... On a peninsula overlooking a small lake. I observed that there was only one electrical box on the peninsula. I would need this for my portable piano and sound system. During my visit I wanted to try out the electricity to make sure it was active. I knew from past experience that just because there is an electrical outlet, doesn't mean that it will work. The electrical box was locked!

I tracked down someone in a nearby office and they explained that the box could not be unlocked until the event. The staff assured me that they have never had any problems with the electricity. They explained that there was a wedding the week before Andy and Nick’s that was using electricity and if there were any problems it would be solved then. Wisely I asked for the name and phone number of the person in charge should I have any problems. They gave me that information of the facility supervisor in charge for the day.

I always arrive early for events should there be any unforeseen problems to be solved. I set up my piano and sound system and connected them to the electrical box. No power. Either there was a problem with my cords, equipment or the electricity was not working. I tested every possible power options I had and after 15 minutes I determined that the electrical outlet was the problem.

I hunted down the facility supervisor and she tested the outlets and still now power. She disappeared to check the poser on the other end.  It was time for sound checks with the officiant but still now power. The facility supervisor returned to tell me that things looked fine on the other end of the power source. She called her supervisor and during that conversation she was pushing and prodding the outlets and finally got them to work. 

Guests were now streaming in, the violinist arrived but we never were able to do a sound check. All we could do at that point was to start playing music. It was 4:30.... The sun was shining..... The lake was sparkling and the last guests took their seats. The ceremony commenced..... I breathed a sigh of relief that all was on track. With all due respect, it was Vanessa the facility supervisor that saved the day. Her persistence and willingness to contact her supervisor on his day off that enabled the wedding to proceed. But..... Vanessa is not a member of the CMWA. I would submit that it was Sharon Planer’s calm, persistence and professional demeanor that compelled Vanessa to ultimately solve the problem.

As you can see, our members are truly eXtraOrdinary. They not only did their job, but went above and beyond to make these three weddings go off without a hitch! If you are looking for an excellent wedding venue, DJ or Pianist, look no further because these three are known to create the perfect experience for you and your significant other on your wedding day.