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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.
If you read anything about me on this website, you hopefully will gather that I love being a part of people’s special moments. Generally, I am a happy person with very few pet peeves or negative things to say about other people or businesses. But this past month I have been witness to an unnerving trend that preys on innocent brides & grooms and their unknowing families. I call them Wedding Factories.
I am mainly referring to venues that host wedding ceremonies and/or receptions (sometimes in large numbers) and treat their clients as if they are in line picking up a fast-food order. “Wedding number 37 – your order is up!“
Usually by the time someone finds me, they have already booked a venue for their wedding activities. Of course, experiences can vary wildly depending on the staff, venue, etc., but what I am referring to is a wedding facility that exhibits the behavior of poor customer service by exploiting the inexperience of young brides and grooms.
Specific things to look out for are the following:
Is your sales person the same as your day-of coordinator?
Are they asking you lots of questions about your vision for the day?
Are they somewhat flexible on times?
Do they have lots of fees for extras (cake cutting, outside catering, etc.)?
Do they interrupt you while you are talking?
Do they host more than four weddings (Fri – Sun) in the same room?
Do you get the feeling that they actually care about your special day?
The key to getting what you want in the wedding industry is to ask a lot of questions and make sure you are satisfied with the answers. Sometimes this means that you need to get specifics in writing. There is a high degree of turn-over in the service industry, so sales people are not always going to be your day-of coordinator, but that can also lead to confusion on your big day.
When you are planning your event months in advance, there may be a need to tweak the event times as your day approaches. A major shift would be anything more than an hour on either end. So some flexibility can be a good thing.
Also, many facilities have substantial upcharges for using off-the-list caterers, bakers, and even disc jockeys. Make sure that you read and understand the fine print when you are planning your event at each facility. Some facilities require licenses and insurance for specific vendors too (this is not always a bad sign).
It is my feeling that a wedding is different than any other special event. Facilities should give you the feeling that they care about your event and want it to be the best that it can. Of course, we are all in business to make money but in the wedding business, customer service is king!
Have you ever texted somebody a note and they got the wrong idea about what you meant? I love texting, but it can be problematic if the conversations get too deep. I also love shopping online. It allows me to do so much that was not possible just a few years ago. But in the entertainment business, or more precisely, the wedding/entertainment industry, there are some things that just should not be bought sight unseen.
By simply looking at a website, it is very difficult to understand all the intangible things that a quality DJ & Master of Ceremonies can bring to the table at a wedding. Do I offer a wide range of services within the wedding entertainment business? – yes. But what do you (as a bride or groom) think that means? I am a mobile disc jockey by definition, but that puts me in the same catagory as anyone with a portable sound system and a loaded iPod. Yes, I have LED lights, sound, video screens, lighted monogram GoBos, microphones, etc. But how are you supposed to know what “package” to choose from without ever having planned a major event? Do you want the Bronze, Silver or Gold package? The Basic, Elite, or Deluxe package? How can someone know what they need when they have never planned a wedding before? To me, it seems like the wrong way to book business. That is why I do not offer “packages”. Rather, I have a range of services that may suit your needs. But we have to speak about it first for me to understand what you want - your vision.
Almost daily, I will receive an email asking if I am available for certain dates and how much will I charge (with no additional information; sometimes not even a phone number). Without more to go on, I cannot give a proper and informed answer. I know most DJ Companies have a “book-it-now” philosophy, but this short changes a lot of Brides & Grooms and sets false expectations. The only way to know what a bride and groom want is to ask questions and make sure that they understand what each piece of the puzzle means. Otherwise, an uniformed customer may have expectations that are far different than what is really being offered. I even have seen DJ websites from “wedding factory” type companies that require the brides & grooms to come up with their own timeline and order of events!
So often, DJ services are based on the amount of time for a certain night. A 4-hour package is $$ and a 5-hour package is $$$. For me, that does not work either, since I will only be at your event that night whether your event is one hour or six hours. Not to mention that many hours will go into planning everything in advance. I would rather find out what a bride wants at her wedding and give it to her at a fair price than find out her budget and give her the bare minimum based on “what she can afford”. Big DJ companies can’t do that since they mostly use sub-contracted labor. That is why you never really know what you will get when you pick a package.
In my case, I must actually speak to my clients and usually will meet face-to-face to make sure we are a good fit. I can offer options for things that do not have to be decided right away since the wedding may be several months away. This way everybody knows what I can do to help them get what they want on their special day – even if we do not know exactly what that is yet!
I am available to speak with brides and grooms at almost any time day or night by appointment, over the phone or in person. Many of my clients work crazy hours or are full-time students and need someone who can guide them through the ins & outs of planning a wedding. Some of my clients live in other states before coming to DFW for their big day. That is why I am here: because I love helping people figure out what they want and then help them get it… and all I have to do is ask!
I don’t often toot my own horn, but when I receive a nice bit of recognition from a respected industry resource, it is nice to let everybody know about it. Here is what the people at Wedding Wire have to say about me:
WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding Marketplace, is excited to announce Mike Mahnich – DJ & MC – Voice – Music has been selected to receive the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for DJ & MC Services!
The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. While many industry awards are selected by the organization, Mike Mahnich was selected based on his stellar reviews from past newlywed clients.
Mr. Mahnich is recognized as part of the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. The Bride’s Choice Award recognizes the best local wedding vendors across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their overall professional achievements throughout the past year.
“WeddingWire is thrilled to honor the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Since the launch of the Bride’s Choice Awards™ program four years ago, thousands of outstanding wedding professionals have been recognized by the bridal community for their supreme service and dedication to the wedding industry. It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Mike Mahnich for continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.”
We are happy to announce that Mike Mahnich is one of the very best DJs within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. Thanks to their positive feedback we were able to receive the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ for 2012.
For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/mike-mahnich-dj-mc-voice-music-dallas-fort-worth/b83025bca064bf08.htm.
To learn more about the Bride’s Choice Awards™, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.
Thank you so much to all of my past brides, grooms, parents and friends of my happy couples for all of their confidence and continued support of me. I am so pleased to have been a part of more than 700 wedding receptions over my career and still love every minute of it! :^)
I recently saw a bumper sticker on the back of a construction vehicle that said “Excellence has to be planned in advance”. I like that. As a full-time, professional wedding DJ & MC, I often hear from people in other professions about how great it must be to have my weeks off and just work one or two days on the weekends. But that is not how things work if you want to be the best at what you do – especially for weddings.
The way I look at things regarding wedding clients is that it is my job to help my brides & grooms get what they want on their wedding day. To me, I see it as a one-time chance during a 4-6 hour window to help create an atmosphere, a mood, and to facilitate several once-in-a-lifetime moments - all according to the vision that my happy couples have in their minds. It would be foolish and presumptuous of me to think that I already know what a bride may want at her wedding. After all, she may have been dreaming about this day since she was a little girl!
Fancy lights for a fancy night!
The only way I can know what she may want is by getting to know her. And the best way I know to do that is through a series of phones calls, face-to-face meetings (usually at a Starbucks – yum!), listening to music together, picking out lighting colors, emailing, texting and finally putting things in writing in my reception and ceremony planning guides. My brides & grooms can rest assured that on their “day-of” I know what they want and will not forget it because they have seen the written documentation.
This planning may take two, three or four times as long as the actual event, but it is usually spread out over several months. I can meet my clients during the regular business day. But because of my clients’ schedules, I will usually meet people after they get off work at a place that is convenient for them. Since I work all over Dallas & Fort Worth, I may find myself driving for an hour or more one-way just to have a 40 minute meeting. But that is what it takes to make sure that my brides & grooms are taken care of. Brides and grooms are usually super-busy with planning their wedding and often times they are in the midst of wrapping up a college degree or moving (or both!) – should I make them come to me and meet me when it is convenient to me? Do I limit how much time I give to my brides? Happily I say – NO!
It is true that some couples take more time than others, but people want to know that I can be there for them to answer questions and bounce ideas off of. This is what separates the true professionals from the part-time hobby DJs. The irony is that the difference in price is not much more than if you found a “wedding factory” anonymous DJ through a big nationwide company. Plus the value I bring to the table far outweighs that difference. Since I have been a part of hundreds of wedding receptions over a long period of time, I am able to help brides, grooms, and their parents figure out how to get what they envision. Sometimes that means that I provide things that will save them hundreds of dollars elsewhere and eliminate overcharges by other vendors for unessesary expenses. You just will never get that level of service and personal touch from a part-timer or a big company.
We had fun at Winstar across the Red River.
I am not writing this to simply toot-my-own-horn, but because I think it is important to help distinguish what constitutes excellence in a crazy profession such as mine. Anybody can buy a sound system and play pre-recorded music, but in my world as a Professional Wedding DJ and Master Of Ceremony, the actual execution of the ceremony and wedding reception starts from the first phone call months in advance and does not end until the the truck is packed at the end of your wedding night. :^)
Come see me play with two of my bands on 11/23/2011 at Lone Star Legends in Garland, Texas. First up is my rock & roll party band, The Metroplexers featuring our new line-up with guitar player, Randy Howard. Lead singer, Larry Porter has moved from guitar to bass.
The Metroplexers are opening for my other band, Streetlight People - The Music Of Journey. All Journey – All Night!
Cover charge is only $5.00 for an entire night of music and fun. Hope to see you there!
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.