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There are only two things I know that can be spent in this life: money and time. When planning a wedding it is best to identify how much of each you have and make plans accordingly. Some of the best advice I ever received about planning major events was to try and figure out to the best of my ability what I thought things would cost – then double it! This way, the surprises that come along the way won’t have as much impact and expectations can be more realistic.
Some examples of surprises that impact a bottom-line would be things like security guards when serving alcohol, damage deposits, cake stand rentals (on top of the cake costs), delivery fees, service fees for cutting a cake, mandatory gratuities (as well as voluntary ones), etc. Many DJ companies charge mileage fees, set-up and teardown fees (or hide these in their “hourly rate”), insurance fees and more. The list goes on and on.
When planning in advance as to what vendors to book and when, I always advise brides & grooms to book their venues first and then anything else that is one-of-a-kind. If your favorite musician is available for that day, book them as soon as possible. Same thing with a quality DJ & MC. Since most entertainers are not big companies with multiple “clones” of the same product available, it is good to ensure that they are committed to your event early in the process.
Cakes, flowers, linens, and even catering can all wait until later in the planning process as these can be duplicated by many companies. For example, a bakery can bake many cakes for the same day, but a specific band or DJ can only be at one event that night.
Lately, I have seen a lot of wasted food and cake at many weddings. Since this is a major expense (as well as alcohol), try to be conservative on estimates for food – especially desserts and cake. Most guests do not eat two pieces of wedding cake, so make slices slightly smaller and talk to your baker about accuracy in guest count. I have posted a video with a lot of cake ideas that I have seen in the past couple years:
When the day is done and my bride & groom are finally married, people often look back at the things that they remembered the most. The venue and the entertainment are always closest to the top of the list. Food, cakes, linens, formal wear, dresses, limos, etc. all have a smaller role in the overall impact of the night. Have fun during the process and best wishes in your planning!
The Metroplexers are sounding great and can provide your party, special event, wedding, corporate function, etc. with an exciting live-music show that is fun for all ages. We are a four-piece band with guitar, bass, keyboards and drums.
All four of us are also singers, so harmony vocals and a variety of vocal textures are all part of our show. And since we are a smaller band, we can play in places where others cannot. We can also add DJ & MC services to your event for “the perfect mix”.
The Metroplexers are having a great year playing weddings, special events, and even special night club showcases. Most professional party bands in the DFW area are too expensive for a lot of budgets or they are simply too big. Did you know that many venues do not allow bands of 5-pieces or more? Lots of bands are just too big or too loud for many events.
That is why The Metroplexers were designed specifically to be wedding, party, and corporate friendly. All-time party song favorites from the 1980s, 1970s and 1960s played live along with full DJ & MC services by Mike Mahnich (who plays keyboards in the band). Check them out tomorrow at Lone Star Roadhouse in Dallas.
A disc jockey can do a lot of things at different events. Provide sound, wireless microphones, even video projectors. Of course music is essential, but it is not always the primary reason to hire a DJ.
A lot of work I do in the Dallas / Fort Worth area has to do with health and fitness clubs. I will often provide the right athletic wireless microphones for instructors of Spin Classes, Zumba, or Yoga. Sometimes the events are outside or poolside in order to give clients something interesting in their workout environment.
More and more, certain health clubs are becoming like mini-country clubs (sans the golf) with restaurants, social events, child care and other things all incorporated into a lifestyle or community event.
One such example is The Mat Yoga Studio in Richardson, Texas. Check out this video to learn more about their successful Karma Yoga Happy Hour.
Summertime in Dallas and Fort Worth is so fun! Apartment complexes, hotels, community event centers, assisted living facilities, HOAs and more are all looking for fun things to do to make this the best summer yet.
The old stand-bys of backyard barbecues and pool parties are all-time favorites, so why not enhance a winning idea with professional entertainment that will make the event super-memorable? Here are some ideas and what to expect:
A DJ for your Pool Party - This is a great idea for parties large or small. The right size sound system for your event from 20 – 200 people is easy for the right professional. Combine that with a wireless microphone and your pool party can have hosted games, raffles, hula-hoop contests and more. Get community businesses to donate prizes or sponsor food and drinks and the cost is minimal. All you need is a dry (and shaded) area with a table and electricity nearby and you are good to go!
Book The Metroplexers party band – This band is made for community events or parties with 200+ guests. Always a great mix of party music that is family-friendly, we also incorporate DJ music with endless variety. Since we are a four-piece band, we can fit in small or large areas including a back yard. Put us on a stage or on the sidewalk – either way your block party, car show, 5K fun run or other special event will be extra special!
Host a Dive-In movie – When it gets dark outside and you are wrapping up an evening barbecue event, nothing is cooler than watching a movie while floating in a pool. Full-sound and a projector with a giant screen make for a very memorable event. Watching favorites like Finding Nemo or Jaws are a good fit for the watery environment. Adequate space is needed for a big screen and no fees can be charged for admission due to copyright laws. Check the weather too because moderate wind can turn a big movie screen into a big sail.
For Saturday events ending before 3:00pm or any other day or evening during the week, prices are very reasonable. Combine any or all of these ideas with your local community and you will have one unforgettable summer event!
We have all seen it: fundraising events run by committees of volunteers who are committed to the cause, but do not understand the dynamics of running a large event. Usually, in an effort to honor a chairperson, one of the committee members is chosen to also be the Master of Ceremonies and speak on the microphone throughout the night. While this can be a successful choice if the speaker is a seasoned crowd-pleaser, the choice of having an amateur speaker can also bring confusion, tedium and ultimately negatively impact the bottom line of a fundraising event.
Most fundraisers have a similar format: dinner during a silent auction of donated items followed by entertainment (usually dancing to a DJ). Occasionally, there is also the addition of a casino night for faux gambling with an effort to win prizes. Door prizes with numbered tickets are also a popular choice. But what else can be done to enhance a night and how can it be cost-justified?
The first thing to know is that a seasoned DJ & MC can act as your A/V person and technical advisor when in the planning stages of the event. As a veteran of literally thousands of events in my entertainment career, I have seen a lot of options on how to “flow” an event. There are also numerous ways that a DJ with Video Screens can help enhance quality sponsorship and properly honor those that need to be recognized during the event. It is best to have these things planned before the donated items even are solicited. A benefactor is a lot more likely to donate a quality item if they know their name/face/logo/brand/company message is going to be on 10 foot video screens in front of hundreds of people. Preparation in this matter is key.
A good MC can also act as a pseudo “auctioneer” to help spark interest in certain items. One common technique is to call out to the audience to “sponsor” a specific event, person, project, etc. The Master Of Ceremonies can continue solicitations until a financial goal is met. This alone will usually pay for the level of service a true professional DJ & MC will bring to an event.
Of course, having an entertaining theme and a person who can play the right types of music to energize your audience is crucial to a successful night. This is even more important if a fundraiser is intended to be an annual event. Woe to the annual fundraiser committee who follows the year after a dud-DJ was hired! It is very difficult to get your audience back into a giving mood once they have been burned by a poor quality entertainer. Remember, the best professionals always bring more value than you will ever pay them.
Join me at the CHICS organization’s annual fundraiser for Family Place. We will be at the Park Lane Ranch on October 15th with dinner, dancing, awards, raffles and more!
Come join the CHICS at the 5th Annual Gala and Fundraiser in support of The Family Place. Enjoy fabulous dining and fast-paced musical entertainment and dancing at beautiful Park Lane Ranch. Live and silent auctions will offer amazing deals on jewelry, spa, sports and getaway packages!
Your $60.00 ticket at the door gets you a great night of fun, friends, and dancing, an excellent meal and helps save lives!
There are many things to like about Belltower. For one thing, it is one of very few places to have a “church” wedding on a Sunday. The vintage architecture has been gorgeously restored, and the stained glass is fantabulous! It is conveniently located off of I-20 and there is excellent security and parking. You can have indoor or outdoor events. The staff is super-friendly and really care about their brides & grooms. I could go on and on…
So, sure the place is unique, clean and beautiful. But what really sets the place apart is the reason they are in business. This facility is in business, not to make money from brides on their wedding day, but to help children and needy families through a charitable non-profit called ACH. Here is a quote from their website:
ACH is a nonprofit organization that has been protecting children and preserving families in Tarrant County since 1915. ACH operates a variety of both residential and outreach programs designed to protect children from child abuse, neglect and family separation, or help them heal from these tragedies when they do happen. Each year, ACH reaches more than 3,100 children and families through direct program enrollment and touches the lives of 8,000 more through vital safety outreach and education programming. ACH serves nine North Texas counties, with primary operations based in Fort Worth.
The giving heart and spirit of this organization is exemplified by the caring staff at Belltower. Their staff is filled with certified wedding planners who give expert recommendations for outside vendors. They screen their recommended vendor list to make sure you are going to get the best-of-the-best.
It should be noted that not every wedding disc jockey carries the type of liability insurance that Bell Tower requires (I do!), so always check with your vendors to make sure that they are able to meet the requirements needed to serve you at this facility.
For more information about Belltower Chapel and Garden, contact Wendy Abrams by email or call 682-432-1140. You will love it!
The bell is rung by each newly-wed bride & groom. Fun!
Inside look at the stained glass.
This is the Chapel at Belltower Chapel and Garden.
Part of being a well-rounded DJ & MC (announcer too!) is helping to promote brand awareness, venues or products on location. I have been involved with too many to count with brands like Pepsi, Budweiser, Ritz Crackers, KCSC, Crate & Barrel and more.
This past weekend, we had a fun event at Macy’s NorthPark Center that featured Justin Bieber’s fragrance “Someday“. The event happened to coincide with Tax-free Weekend in Texas, so lots of kids and parents were out in the mall.
Justin Bieber’s representatives were there and captured some of the action:
UpLights and GoBo Monograms are some of the most popular options for wedding receptions and other special events. They can be customized for your personal tastes in infinite combinations and allow for a total room transformation.
With the right pre-planning, a party or event coordinator can save literally hours of setup and decorating time by bringing in an UpLighting and GoBo package. Compared to draping, paper, or other traditional decoration option, a lighting package is more economical too. Nothing has more impact on a plain/boring room than an UpLight / GoBo package. Watch the following video for more information: