Monday, July 16, 2012

The Great Outdoors!

I am often asked, "Do you do outdoor weddings?"  The answer is yes, quite a few.  The Kane wedding took place this past Saturday at a private residence in Howell.  The tents used and the creative layout made it feel very much like a real venue and not a back yard wedding.  Each tent had a white flag at it's peak and the various peak heights almost gave it a castle look. 

The ceremony took place about 300 feet behind the tent, near a couple of trees which provided much needed shade.

Several large fans were placed in each tent to provide a nice breeze (it was in the 90's).  Two very large octagon shaped tents provided the seating area for the guests while a medium sized square tent covered the wood dance floor and a smaller square tent covered the DJ area.  All of the tents were connected at their corners, making it a seamless collage of large rooms.

The food (and possibly the tents and other rentals) were provided by Joe's Gourmet Catering and Event Services.  The food was excellent.  I don't get to say that all the time, but in this case, the variety was not standard wedding fare.  The service provided by their staff was top notch and they didn't miss a thing.

The buffet included a spring salad mix with fruit, rolls, grilled mixed veggies, stuffed portabella mushroom caps, rice pilaf, grilled chicken breasts, beef kabobs and a pineapple and pepper chutney.

The best man also happens to be a future client of mine for September 8th, 2012.

(Matt and Angelina)

Congratulations to Bridget and Nick!  It was a beautiful wedding and a perfect day!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vote 4 The Best

This is a busy time of the year for The DJ Guy.  Sometimes it gets so busy that we forget to check on non-essential things like contests.  In this case, I never followed up with last year's 2011 Vote 4 The Best contest, sponsored buy WDIV and DMC.

Just recently, they sent out the details for THIS year's contest and when I logged in to update my business information, I was presented with a surprise--I placed in the Top 10 last year!

Thank you to everyone that voted for me last year!  Once again, I'd appreciate your help getting to the Top Ten or better this year.  The link to vote is listed below.


Monday, July 9, 2012

This Isn't a Picnic.

This is something that's difficult to talk about without sounding ungrateful or egotistical.  I am neither, but there are some things that need to be addressed to avoid these situations in the future.

As DJs, (not just myself, but just about every wedding DJ) we put in a lot of time to make your "once in a lifetime" event flawless and unforgettable.  From the time we leave for your event until the time we get home, we can put in as much as TWELVE hours.  That's a bit extreme and would probably include ceremony services, some overtime and a bit of a drive.  On average, it's at least EIGHT hours.

If a ceremony is included, there may be additional equipment to setup and tear down before the reception even starts.  If it's hot outside, that doesn't make it any easier to do our jobs, dressed up in a tux.

You depend on us to be energetic, good spirited and to keep the party's energy going through out the night.  So WHY would you treat your DJ (or any vendor for that matter) like your dog?  We are people too!  Just like you, we'd like to eat a hot meal with everyone else.  We aren't machines and we can't go for EIGHT hours on an empty stomach.  It wouldn't be much of a wedding if we passed out, would it?  Think about how this person feels, being singled out as "not good enough" to eat with every one else... What do you suppose he/she is thinking about while they're DJing your wedding?  I'll bet it's not "These people are so nice, I'm going to do everything I can to make their wedding the best I've ever done."

I know most of you would never think of doing this, and in the twelve years I've been a DJ, it's never happened to me personally.

When you can afford to spend $30,000 on a wedding (as was the case of this high end wedding last weekend) and you can't afford to give your DJ a hot meal, you're just being cheap.  Not only that, but it's about as tacky as you can get.  Take a look at wedding etiquette on or ask Ms. Manners and they'll both say the same: "vendor meals should be included into your budget."  Many caterers don't even think to charge you for your vendor's meals, especially if it's a buffet. 

Saturday was one of the hottest days of the year, and DJ Cory was doing a wedding at Meadowbrook Music Hall for me.  The location and the caterer had been quite a pain to deal with as they required a special insurance rider that I have never been asked for in all the time I've been in business.  Both the ceremony and wedding were outside in the 100° F weather.  He had to setup for the ceremony as well as the reception because there were in two different areas.  When it came time for dinner, this is what he was given...

A bag of chip, a bottle of water and a sandwich 

Fortunately for the wedding couple, DJ Cory (like myself) is a true professional and did his best not to let this get to him while DJing their wedding.  It did not stop us from discussing it afterwards.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Venue Review: Wheatfield Inn (Williamston, MI)

Last Saturday I returned to the Wheatfield Inn. This is quite a unique location, perfect for smaller weddings of 150 or less.  While I believe they accommodate more than 150, it is not done ideally, seating the remaining guests outside on the patio, under a tent.  The ceremony location (just off to one side of the large patio, is beautifully backed up to a stream.  A steel and wood bridge crossing the stream makes an excellent place for wedding photos.  The inside hall of the Wheatfield Inn has a very high ceiling and seems spacious even though the head table is usually setup on the dance floor with the DJ setup behind the head table.  This seems a bit awkward, but once dinner is done, the head table is broken down and there's plenty of room for dancing.  I think this could be improved on by placing a semi transparent curtain behind the head table during dinner hour.  While the DJ might feel like the man behind the curtain, the pictures would surely look much better.

Here's some pictures from Sean and Victoria's wedding:

The Wheatfield Inn may not be for everyone, but it certainly offers a unique and intimate setting for a wedding and reception.  Catering is usually done by outside vendors and in this case, I misplaced the business card for the caterer.  The food was good, but average so I won't bother with details.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Adding Songs to the Online Music Catalog

Over the past year, a few of my clients have had a little trouble using the Online Music Catalog (client access version). Today I created a tutorial that should help my clients that have events booked with me in the coming months.