Mike McClusky Kristen Serens Wedding

Venue: Hayloft on the Arch–Vernon Center, NY
Date: July 19, 2014


Barn weddings were big in 2014 in Central New York.  They’ve been popular for a while now, but with the emergence of venues like MJK Farms, Wolf Oak Acres, and the new Hayloft on the Arch in Vernon Center, it became more of a commonplace wedding venue, almost as common as a hotel or golf club.  They offer a rustic aesthetic with a massive space, usually large enough to house a ceremony, dinner, and plenty of room for dancing… not to mention the landscape views that tend to come with them.  The Mike McClusky/Kristen Serens wedding was a barn wedding taking place in July of 2014 at Hayloft on the Arch and it took advantage of everything a barn wedding has to offer.

Mike and Kristen were already in the process of getting married when Salt City Sound Machine arrived.  The sprawling area of Hayloft on the Arch allowed us to get in without being seen or interrupting anything.  After a quick set up, the ceremony ended and cocktail hour began on the patio area outside the barn.  Meanwhile, inside, the barn was set up as multi-tiered floors.  The top part and main area doubled as the dining room and dancing area.  Behind the dining area, down a few steps, was a lounging area and bar, with cake and other fun things on the floor below the bar.  Cocktail hour lasted the full hour and it was soon time to do the introductions.

The reception began with the introductions where the couples entered up the stairs, into the dance area.  The parents had their own theme song (Happy – Pharrell) and were followed by the wedding party, who also had their own individual theme songs.  For those interested, the songs and artists are listed above, but they were mostly hip-hip and pop songs ranging from Chris Brown to Iggy Azalea with a Jason Aldean thrown in for a little bit of country.  Mike and Kristen made their entrance (Bring Em Out – T.I.) to a standing ovation.  Everyone remained standing for the First Dance (All Of Me (Unplugged) – John Legend) as Mike and Kristen enjoyed their moment as husband and wife.  Many people sat during the next sequence, which included the Father/Bride dance… with a very emotional father (I Loved Her First – Heartland), Mother/Groom dance (The Man You’ve Become – No Limitz), and speeches and toasts leading up to a great buffet dinner.

Dancing was after dinner and this was a really fun group.  The volume had to stay down a little bit per the open air nature and location of Hayloft on the Arch, but that did not seem to deter anyone from having a good time.  Group dances were especially popular with the Cupid Shuffle and Cha Cha Slide standing out as the songs that got the biggest reactions.  Later on, the Stanky Leg even played much to the delight of the bride.  As the night progressed, things got more and crazier with the dances getting more exciting.  At one point the father of the bride ended up shirtless and one of the groomsmen grabbed the mic for a huge sing-along.  Interspersed throughout the night was also a fair amount of slow dances, which are usually a crowd pleaser.

As for specific moments, there really weren’t many.  Mike and Kristen opted against doing wedding standards such as the Bouquet Toss or the Dollar Dance in favor of more of a dance based reception.  Of course, there is no right or wrong way to structure a wedding reception and the way they did it actually worked in their favor since the dancing was so well received.  There was one moment that they did do: the cake cutting.  The moment took place on the first floor of the barn, at the base of the steps leading up to the barn.  Mike and Kristen cut their cake to their chosen song (Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations) and quickly met their guest back on the dance floor while their guests could help themselves to the cupcakes and cookies laid out for themMuch like the previous night, 11pm came marked the end of the night.


Also, much like the night before the bride chose the same song for their last dance ((I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes) and they all danced and enjoyed as the night came to a close.

Congratulations to Mike and Kristen.  Thank you for choosing Salt City Sound Machine and we wish you the best of luck in the future!


Notable Songs

  • Happy – Pharrell Williams (Reception Entrance – Parents)
  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO (Reception Entrance – Wedding Party 1)
  • Yeah 3X – Chris Brown (Reception Entrance – Wedding Party 2)
  • My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean (Reception Entrance – Wedding Party 3)
  • Forever – Chris Brown (Reception Entrance – Wedding Party 4)
  • Fancy – Iggy Azalea (Reception Entrance – Wedding Party 5)
  • Walk It Out – UNK (Reception Entrance – Wedding Party 6)
  • Bring ‘Em Out – T.I. (Reception Entrance – Bride and Groom)
  • All of Me (Unplugged) – John Legend (First Dance)
  • I Loved Her First – Heartland (Father/Daughter Dance)
  • The Man You’ve Become – No Limitz (Mother/Son Dance)
  • Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations (Cake Cutting)
  •  (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (Last Dance)

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