Friday, June 15, 2018

Lights, Camera - SPEECH!

Giving a good speech can be difficult and stressful. Trust me, I speak in front of large crowds every single week and it isn't something you master quickly. I can tell you that after years of public speaking, it just comes naturally and I barely even think about it these days.

Standing in front of a room full of people, with a photographer and videographer can be very intimidating. Don't let get to you. In fact, don't even look at them! Look past them at various things around the room. If there are lighting fixtures on the wall, look at those and focus on what you're saying and say it clearly.

As for writing your speech, what to include or not include... take a look at this article from Brides magazine:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Why the dollar dance is fading away...

The dollar dance (or money dance as it's sometimes called) is a tradition that originated in Poland. The newlyweds would dance and guests would pin dollars to their clothes while they dance. This tradition has changed quite a bit over the years and now guests can give their dollars to the best man or maid of honor (to collect for the couple) as they get a chance to dance with either the bride or groom for 20-30 seconds.

So, why is the “dollar dance” sometimes considered to be tacky? In cultures where the tradition isn’t a normal wedding reception practice, it can be viewed as a public way of requesting a cash gift. After family and friends have already spent money on wedding gifts, shower gifts, and possible travel costs, some find the dollar dance to be in bad taste – even if it is optional. On the contrary, in some communities the tradition is not only accepted, but it’s also encouraged. Like the majority of social customs or cultural practices, what might seem tacky to one group of people may be incredibly significant to another. (excerpt from Southern Living)

In my experience, the dollar dance is often viewed by guests as a good time to leave for the night. In some cases, the dollar dance can last up to 15 minutes if the lines are long and guests are over-staying their 20-30 second dance time allotment. Playing slow songs for this long can result in a lull for the reception and is often viewed as "the reception is winding down".

Many couples only insist on the dollar dance because they feel they will get rich from a few dances. The fact is, most couples will only give $1 for the dance and even if grandma or grandpa give you $20, the most you'll end up with is about $150-175. Is that enough to risk ending your reception early? Most couples don't want to chance this as they've spent thousands on their special day and would hate to see it end prematurely.

The dollar dance will most likely, never fade away completely, but it is far less common today than it was 15 years ago. Whether a couple decides to do it or not is completely up to them. After all, it's their day and The DJ Guy will make it happen they way they want!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Four reasons you need a photo booth at your wedding

As you're getting ready for your big day, you probably have a few key things at the very top of your to-do list: venue, photographer, catering, etc. But what you might not have considered yet is something that could add loads of fun to your reception: a photo booth!
If hearing the words “photo booth” make you think of those drab, cramped boxes at the arcade that take blurry, unflattering pictures, think again! Modern photo booths are sleek, open, and hi-tech. It’s like having a mini photo studio at your event, featuring high definition cameras, complete with awesome props.
From a black tie affair to a rustic gathering, a photo booth can fit in with any theme. If you’re debating whether a photo booth is a good fit for your wedding, consider these four reasons why you should spring for one:
  1. Capture Unique Memories
Certainly, your professional photographer is going to capture those special moments from your wedding: your first look, first kiss, and first dance. But nothing beats the photos taken when you and your college friends grab a pair of Kanye sunglasses and a mustache-on-a-stick, and jump into a photo booth! The pressure to get into just the right pose comes off when the purpose of the photo is to be whacky and fun. Some of the most amusing and genuine moments of the night will be captured on the little strip that pops out of the printer.
  1. Entertainment Variety
Great DJ? Check. Open bar? Check. Sounds like you’re on your way to planning a good time! But chances are, everyone isn’t going to dance for the entire reception. And we all know what happens when someone spends a little too much time at the bar. What else is a guest to do? A photo booth adds variety and makes for a great activity for guests bouncing between the dance floor and the bar. Taking a break after the Cupid Shuffle for a quick photo shoot is sure to entertain!
  1. Socialize
Some aspects of a wedding reception can be very structured, particularly seating charts and buffet lines, all of which can cut into the opportunity for guests to socialize with people they haven’t met yet. There’s something about a photo booth that really brings people together! Aunt Janet and Bill from the office might discover a mutual love for 80’s rock while waiting in line for the photo booth, and that’s just priceless, isn’t it?
  1.  Easy Favors
We’ve all been to weddings where the thank you gift has been a shot glass, a bag of stale yogurt covered almonds, or something else that soon gets tossed or forgotten about. Thank your guests for coming in a far better way by sending them home with a personalized photograph or two that serves as a constant reminder of how much fun they had at your wedding. Don’t be surprised to see that photo hanging on their fridge when you stop by to visit, even months later! Prints from a photo booth are customizable, and can include your names, wedding date, and can even match your colors and theme, making them the perfect keepsake.
Ready to book some fun?  Why not give us a call or send an email.  We would be happy to help you book a photo booth for your big day!  We even have packages that are all-inclusive with our DJ services.
Ecobooth by The DJ Guy • • 517-404-0418

Friday, April 7, 2017

Don't fall for gimmicks and dishonesty!

We've all seen offers that seem too good to be true.  Well, as the saying goes, it probably IS too good to be true.  Recently, offers are popping up for "free this or that" for your wedding.  A good example is this facebook ad recently pointed out in a forum of photo booth professionals I'm a part of.

Let's be honest... no one is giving away a free photo booth.  How do they get away with saying this? Simple - by raising their DJ pricing and lowering the amenities offered with the photo booth in order to get you to add things in order to bring it back to the original price.

For example: They could cut the hours down, not offer printing, no scrapbook, no graphic design on the photo strips, no props and no digital copy of the images.  This diminishes the "wow factor" of the photo booth.  It's supposed to be fun and enjoyable for your guests, not tacky and cheap.

Another dishonest tactic is... 

Groupon is great for restaurants as they have a lot of room to work with on their pricing (in most cases).  $10 for $20 worth of food at a Mexican restaurant is still a profit for them.  If Taco Bell can do it for $5 and make a profit, so can they.

The big scam on Groupon is when you buy a discount photo booth service and the company doesn't even OWN a photo booth!  That's right, they subcontract EVERYTHING!  You never know who is going to be at your event or if they'll even show up.  This has happened countless times and I've seen a lot of articles about this.  I've even been contacted by some of these people, desperately trying to find someone to fill a date (usually within a week's time) and offering considerably less than what our cost is.  You can't get into a business if you don't understand it and know the costs involved.  On an average four hour booking, we're spending more than they charge!  We have employee costs, travel, media for the printer, insurance and much more.  I've even heard of companies that tried subcontracting for these people and then not getting paid!

How can they possible offer this for $199?  Simple.  Cut corners.  Which ones?  ALL OF THEM!
You'll get a subpar product that won't look good and will leave guests disappointed (if someone even shows up).

DON'T fall for these gimmicks and dishonest marketing!  The DJ Guy is ALWAYS honest about pricing and what's included.  We don't even offer a package that doesn't include basics like: props, custom graphic design, prints and flash drive copy of all images. Why?  Because we believe the experience is important.

Give us a call to book your event today!  517-404-0418

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cheap DJs aren't good and good DJs aren't cheap...

There are plenty of amateurs DJs out there. If you're paying under $100/hr, you might have one. Here's an article on the costs involved and this doesn't even begin to detail everything. I chose not to use any of the ones from actual DJ sites (there are plenty of them) because part of our job is to educate clients so they don't end up without a DJ at their reception or one that does a poor job. I don't want to sound like I'm selling something, it just bothers me when I hear about some amateur giving our profession a bad reputation. This is why I chose an article from an unrelated source. Take a look at that list and the final amount and just tell me how you would pay bills and cover costs charging $50 an hour. It cannot be done without cutting a LOT of corners and possibly resorting to illegal activity.

Here's a few examples of some minor issues with amateur DJs. This is the least of your concerns, but it may affect the image your had in mind for your reception.
Problem: lights on the table instead of being mounted, wires exposed and sloppy This DJ wouldn't even have a properly skirted table if the venue hadn't provided one for him!

Problem: no table skirt, wires running everywhere, everything exposed and sloppy Is this your home office or a wedding? No one wants to see all your junk piled up on the table, hide it!

Here's how things SHOULD look. Clean, no exposed wires and appealing to the guests.

The saying you get what you pay for is true. I get calls all the time from frantic brides and moms because their cheap DJ (or photo booth) cancelled or didn't show up.

PRIME EXAMPLE: Last week I got a call and the photo booth company they hired, cancelled on them the week before their wedding. Fortunately, I had the date open and was easily able to exceed their expectations (they actually got a much better package from me).

While the article below talks about startup costs, it doesn't mention annual costs and one very important cost - investing in your business. When we don't stay up to date with the latest trends and looks, we become irrelevant. Take a look at Kmart. When was the last time you were in one? The store hasn't been updated since the early 80's. They didn't invest in their business and soon they will be gone and out of business.

Here's the article...

Sunday, June 5, 2016

What is the Purpose of a Wedding Planner?

There's are a lot of people "claiming" to be wedding planners, but what exactly IS a wedding planner? I can tell you what a wedding planner isn't. A wedding planner is NOT a venue coordinator. It is NOT a wedding decorator. It is NOT the photographer or the DJ (nor my 4 page PDF, which I call a wedding planner). It's NOT someone who just planned their whole wedding and now they think they can do yours.

This article covers what a wedding planner is, their purpose and what to look out for. I can offer one excellent suggestion if you need a REAL wedding planner. She is the only person I've every worked with that constantly amazed me at how intuitive she was and how hard she worked. If you decide you need a wedding planner after reading this article, call Ashley Lynch from Festoons & Flourishes (734)546-1487.

Stop Calling Yourself a Wedding Planner by Danielle Rothweiler
"A wedding planner seems to be the easiest job in the world. I mean, it must be for so many people to just throw it on their signature lines. Girl gets married? Instant wedding planner. Recommended peonies to your sister for her wedding? You’re a wedding planner too! To go all Oprah in this article, “You’re a wedding planner, and you’re a wedding planner, everyone’s wedding planner!!” Just add water, and boom: wedding planner.

This stuff is ridiculous now and the industry is saturated enough without these people running around claiming to be a wedding planner. It’s not fair to actual wedding planners, and guess what? It’s really unfair to those couples that are looking to hire a real wedding planner. Why? Because sometimes it’s hard to tell a Prada from a Canal Street Knock-Off. So, I’m going to make it a little easier for everyone right here, right now."

Continue reading at...

Monday, January 4, 2016

Five Questions You Should Ask Before Booking Your DJ

It's that time of the year again.  The holidays are over, and maybe you got engaged sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.  Now the task of planning the big day begins.  You have to choose a venue, photographer, cake and of course the entertainment!

Here's a few things I'm commonly asked by clients and a few things you SHOULD be asking as well.

1. What happens if you can't make it to our wedding?

Good question.  I have NEVER missed a wedding.  Unless I'm dead, there's no excuse.  Your wedding is the most important day of your lives!  I know that and I wouldn't be where I am today without the great reviews and referrals of my past clients.  This is what I do for a living and I take it very seriously.  I've had some crazy situations come up in the past (a rollover accident with a deer the night before) and still managed to get to a rental facility and make it to my wedding on time.  It's that important to ME.  If something should happen to me, I have other DJs that would fill in.

2. Are you insured?

Absolutely!  Both DJ and Photo Booth are insured up to 1 mil for liability.  This separates the amateurs from the pros.  Always ask your entertainers if they are insured.  If they say no, it's time to call someone else.

3. Do you have backups in case something fails?

Yes.  While we can't carry a backup of every single item as it would be both expensive and require an enormous box truck, we do carry backups of all the essential items such as laptop, cables and so on.  Most DJs use sound systems with active speakers these days, meaning the amplifier is built in to the speaker.  This means that at no time should the sound ever go completely out.  In most venues, our sound system is rarely turned up past the halfway point, which gives us plenty of extra volume if needed.

4. Can we come hear you at an event?

NO.  I'm not sure who had this great idea, but imagine if I invited clients to your wedding to come "hear me".  Doesn't sound like a good idea anymore, does it?  Most of the events I do are weddings.  When I'm working your wedding, I'm focused on that and not trying to sell to the next client.  I do a few charity events from time to time, but they don't include the same type of announcements (if any) that I would make at your wedding.  A better idea for this is in the next question.

5. Can we sit down and meet with you?

Absolutely!  In fact, I highly recommend it.  This is the best way to get an idea of my personality and hear who will be making those announcements for you.  It also allows me to show you some of the things I can do for you and what some of the services I offer, look like.  Many clients meet with the understanding that if they like who they are meeting, they will book the date at the meeting.  I can easily accommodate this.

Written by Ed Altounian
January 4th, 2016

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