When it came to choosing songs and performers for their October wedding ceremony and reception, Barkley Rafferty and Christopher Tidmore didn’t know what they wanted right away. 

Christopher took the lead on music choices. “He's a lot more invested in music than I am,” Barkley said. “My parents — Katie and Shaun Rafferty — and I definitely had our opinions, but he was the organizer. 

“We went through lots of options until we were both really overwhelmed and needed to make a decision, especially for the reception.” 

She remembered a band she loved from a friend’s wedding five years ago. “I'm not a huge dancer, and I remember dancing all night at this wedding."

Christopher really wanted to see the band in person before booking it — a hard proposition without crashing random weddings.

The duo was at a parade party on the Saturday before Mardi Gras and something sounded familiar to Barkley. It was the same band as the one at her friend’s wedding: Bobby J and Stuff Like That.

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The Bobby J and Stuff Like That performing at the wedding of Barkely Rafferty and Christopher Tidmore.

“They were nice enough to play a couple of songs that Christopher requested,” Barkley said, “and he was super impressed.” Barkley asked for the band’s business card, and the duo’s wedding coordinators emailed the band the next Monday. 

Christopher was in charge of special songs, with the couple dancing to a Randy Travis tune, "Forever and Ever, Amen," for their first dance, followed by Barkley and her dad, and Christopher and her mom, dancing to “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans.”

“One of the best parts of the night was when Bobby J sang ‘Loch Lomand,’ an old Scottish song,” Barkley said. Christopher is interested in Scottish history and culture and asked Bobby J — who added a Motown twist to it — to learn it for the wedding.

For the ceremony at Trinity Episcopal Church, Barkley and Christopher started with concert pianist AnnaLotte Smith, who performed the first published sonatas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johannes Brahms as people walked in and were seated.

Family friend Rebecca Coe and Albinas Pritzgintas worked hard to organize a song list for the ceremony.

“I told them that I didn't want anything too ‘bridal,’ ” said Barkley, who admitted it might be a strange request from a bride. The duo learned "Coeur de Jesu" (the Academy of the Sacred Heart alma mater), which the couple walked out to at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Barkley and Christopher were happy with their choices: “We wanted people to dance at the reception, and they did,” Barkley said.

And, “We stayed within budget.”

Tips from Barkley and Christopher 

  • Think back to events that featured music you love and try to replicate it. You'll be happy and comfortable knowing that your band/performer already has impressed you.
  • Find out what is important to you and your partner, and your parents. Do you want to dance, or do you want it to be background music? Do you want your band to try and learn a special song for you and your partner?
  • Lots of logistical questions pop up, such as: How long are the sets? Does the band's contract include dinner? Do they need a place to change costumes? Read the fine print.

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