Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Today I've got a little Easter Egg for all the brides planning their big day.  I saw this on Yahoo and had to share it with all of you.  It's an article on how to prevent fashion disasters on your wedding day.

The original story and text can be found here:

Hope you all have a great day and happy planning!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lighting sets the mood...

I mentioned last week that I had added some new lighting and I promised some video from an actual event.  Well, here it is.  This was taken at Crystal Gardens last Saturday.  As you can see, the new lights are much more vibrant an the effects are great!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Venue Review - Chemung Hills Golf Club

While it has great potential and a mostly classy look, Chemung Hills is starting to show it's age.  Some minor repairs and attention to detail could easily make this the perfect spot for weddings.  For now, it's a little rough on the edges.

What you can't see in these pictures is the chipped up pillars and the hole in the wall by the dance floor.  Minor things, but it definitely detracts from the classy venue this once was.  Regardless, it didn't stop the guests from having a great time on the dance floor!

EDIT 2015: This venue has REALLY turned around.  The food is
 GREAT! Everything looks clean and is in good shape!

The food was decent, but the service was quite an eye-opener.  The caterers asked me to release the tables to the buffet, which I had no problem doing, but they waited almost 20 minutes to tell me this!  Typically, it is the responsibility of the caterer to release tables as THEY know when the food is ready and THEY know when to hold up to replenish empty pans.  I have done this before at small outdoor parties to help out when the caterer is a bit under staffed, but never in a hall with 6 or 7 servers just standing around.  It just seemed very unprofessional on their part.

Lastly, I'm going to finish by saying I REALLY hope they can turn it around as I like the layout, location and atmosphere at Chemung Hills.  It's only 5 minutes from home and has a lot of potential.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Is Your DJ "Livin On A Prayer"???

Chances are, if you've been to a wedding recently and the DJ was using CDs or even worse: RECORDS, it's because he or she just doesn't care about their clients, it's all about the money for them.  It's sad to say, but far too many DJs don't invest in their own business.  Over time, equipment becomes outdated, damaged and worn out.  If it isn't replaced, there's a good chance it could stop working or act up at your event!

The DJ Guy is CONSTANTLY upgrading, adding and improving equipment.  Just this week we made the switch to ALL LED lighting!  The final lights (our colored flood lights) were replaced with LEDs.  They're more energy efficient, the colors are more vibrant, there are more colors and LEDs don't burn out like regular light bulbs.  This also allowed a smaller, less obtrusive lighting setup.  The entire lighting system is also wireless as well, so we can plug in anywhere there's power and turn various effects on and off from the other side of the room.

While it may not look like much, the effect is really incredible for the size.  Below are two short sample videos.  The first with just the lights hitting the wall, the second is with fog for effect.


I've had couples ask what type of lights I use in the past and what they look like.  I'll post some event video in the weeks to come so that everyone can see what they look like in a wedding reception setting.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Venue Review - The English Inn

A few weeks ago, I did a wedding at The English Inn.  I've been there before, a few years back, but I don't do too many events in Eaton Rapids (about 15 minutes south of Lansing).  The property is ideal for ceremonies and pictures.  Unfortunately, the weather was a little on the cold side when I was there.

The inside of the hall was beautifully decorated and the food was very good.

I don't really know of anything else in the Eaton Rapids area, but I wouldn't hesitate to check out The English Inn if you're looking to have a wedding in that area.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Venue Review - River Birch Lodge / Thomas' Catering

Looking for the perfect wedding?  You can't do better than the combination of River Birch Lodge and Thomas' Catering!

River Birch Lodge is located in Hartland, MI and is run by Laura & Greg Palmer.  Each weekend, they rent their 7 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom home (really it's a mansion) out to couples for weddings.  Nowhere, will you find a more scenic ceremony location as well as rustic elegance for the reception.  The location requires some flexibility on the part of the couple, but makes for a unique experience you can't find anywhere else.  One of the unique features is the ability to stay there overnight.  There's plenty of room for family members too!

Some of the pictures I am posting are from summer 2010 and some are from winter 2010, but NONE of these pictures can show you what an amazing place this is.  It has to be seen in person!

Be sure to check out their virtual tour for even better images:

I do several events here each year.  The last one I did in November was catered by Thomas' Catering.  The food was amazing from the soup shooters to the potato bar to the 3 choices of pasta and sauce that was individually prepared to order.  The catering staff is top notch and the food is five star.

If you check out River Birch Lodge, be sure to tell Laura where you heard about them!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Venue Review - Howell Opera House / The Town Host

Last Friday I did a wedding reception at the Howell Opera House.  First of all, congratulations go out to Christine & Troy!

I've had the opportunity to work here on several locations and I appreciate the fact that it's only minutes from home, in downtown Howell.  It has a very historical feel and is large enough to accommodate about 150 people.  The front lobby serves as the cake, coffee and bar area.  While I've never been up to the actual opera house, I've been told it's great for wedding photos!

The Howell Opera House does not have their own catering staff and I've sampled food from several caterers at this location.  On this occasion, the catering was provided by The Town Host (Crystal Gardens off site catering).  As Crystal Gardens is a larger company, I see them quite often and the food is ALWAYS good.  The staff is very professional and efficient. Their menu must be very extensive because it's not too often that I have the same thing twice.  Some of their dishes are better than others, but none of it is bad.

All in all, it was a wonderful night for everyone and I'd recommend both the Howell Opera House and The Town Host to anyone inquiring about a venue or catering.  

One of the things I do NOT like about The Town Host / Crystal Gardens is the way they recommend vendors.  Vendors must advertise with Crystal Gardens in one form or another to be one of their "preferred vendors".  This doesn't say much about whether the vendor is good or bad, but rather that they have paid for an endorsement.  ALWAYS ask vendors for references and if they are unwilling to provide them, look elsewhere!