Monday, June 30, 2014

Venue Review: Coyote Preserve & Golf Club

Coyote Preserve & Golf Club is tucked away off of the US23 service drive between Center Rd and White Lake Rd.  You can see the entrance from US23.  The entrance winds back a few miles through a nice private subdivision and leads to the clubhouse.  The building is very nice and even the chairs are elegant enough that covers might actually detract from the look of the venue.  The room was decorated beautifully in splashes of yellow and grey.  I had never been here before this event, but Anthony and Renae picked a beautiful location for their reception.

We also provided a photo booth for this wedding, which was a huge hit.  The bridal party was so excited, they used it before their grand entrance!

The food was excellent and gets a big thumbs up for presentation!  I haven't seen a fruit display this nice, since I was on a cruise ten years ago.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate prior to dinner and it was pouring down for about an hour.  On the bright side (pun intended), the sun came out afterwards and the photographer was able to get them out quickly and get all their photos done in just 30 minutes!  The golf course has numerous photo-perfect areas for pictures.  I saw a few of the pictures that were taken and they were amazing!

The Dipzinski's had a wonderful day and were a pleasure to work for!  The guests were all very polite and really enjoyed dancing the night away.


Here's some video f
rom the last song of the night.  Feel free to add my page on Facebook!

Due to next week being the 4th of July, there will be no venue review.

Have a great holiday and stay safe!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Truth Behind Wedding Articles Like This One...

Consumer Reports published this article and it was brought to my attention recently on a DJ forum that I belong to.  There were dozens of comments, in just the first hour, from DJs all over the country and the consensus is the same... much of this is BAD advice.  That's not just coming from me, but as of this posting, 57 other DJ companies around the country have commented and have requirements similar to mine.

The bullet points Consumer Reports listed are as follows, I've added comments below in red and green.

  • Try to use a known provider of wedding-related goods and services. Get recommendations from friends and relatives, if possible.

    This is true and a good idea! You should also try to meet with the DJ or the owner if possible. In some cases (companies with multiple DJs) it isn't always possible to meet your DJ, but the owner should be willing to sit down and talk with you.
  • Check out the company. Obtain at least three references. Look for a report at the Better Business Bureau, and use a Web search with the company or individual's name and such terms as "reviews" and "complaints."

    Bad idea.  Did you know the BBB is a PAID SERVICE?  I didn't either until I received a call from them last year stating that I had a "AAA" rating with them and that they would be happy to publish my info on their site - for $450 A YEAR!  So apparently you CAN buy your way to the top.
    Better advice: look on wedding sites such as The Knot, WeddingWire and more.  Even most of these have a pay-for-placement option so be sure you're getting honest opinions.  One of my clients pointed this out to me and I had no idea it existed.  I was pleasantly surprised to see what my clients had to say.  It's published by The Knot, but is strictly feedback from clients.  The Wedding Channel
  • Read contracts thoroughly before signing. Be sure any times and dates are included and are correct. Find out what the cancellation policy is. You never know who might get cold feet.

    Good idea!  Always read what your signing.  I do it myself.  Everything in my contract has been generated by situations that have occurred over time that I need to protect myself from.
  • When leaving a deposit or making a payment, use a credit card instead of cash, check, or debit card. That way, if there are any shenanigans or a company disappears overnight, you can ask your card issuer for a chargeback. Never pay in full ahead of time.

    WRONG!  Out of all the DJs on our forum, almost every one of them requires payment in full two weeks (or more for some of them) in advance.  As business owners, we have all gotten burned by bad checks, failure to pay and in some cases, legal repercussions.  This isn't a hobby for a professional.  It's a business and businesses have expenses like insurance, fuel, vehicle costs, equipment, supplies, advertising, media, taxes and more.
    If you've done as suggested in bullet point one and (green comment below)
    two, you'll have no problems.
  • As an extra precaution, double check with the providers a few days before the wedding that everything is ready to go and that there are no complications. Verify dates and times.

    Good idea, but I take it a step further and I call the client a few days prior to make sure there are no last minute changes and to answer any questions.
  • If you think you've been scammed or otherwise victimized, file a complaint with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau.

    This one isn't bad advice but I'm not sure how much luck you'll have with it.  The CPA may be helpful, but I've had issues with companies before and the BBB does nothing to help.
    Here's the link to the full article:

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Venue Review - Indian Springs Metropark, White Lake, MI

Hidden North of M-59 in White Lake, is a modern, elegant, educational and fun location that most would overlook for their wedding.  Indian Springs Metropark offers a lot to see and do in addition to their beautiful hall that seats about 200.

While there is a lot of glass on two sides of the room, the natural wood ceiling and wall really benefit from up lighting.  I also did the monogram for them.  This is a perfect example of how a little extra lighting can really transform the look of your event! The top picture was taken with my phone (which is why it's darker) and the two under it were taken with my DSLR and are more accurate to the brightness and color.

 The in house caterer is Kosch Catering and they do a great job.  The wedding I did had a time change and dinner was moved up 45 minutes and they easily accommodated it.  The staff was friendly, efficient and very helpful.  The food was well above average and if I had to rate this meal I'd say 4/5 (near perfect).

I highly recommend this venue for weddings as your guests will appreciate it as much as you will.



 Venue Reviews by The DJ Guy - EVERY Sunday at noon!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Venue Review - Arnoldo Banquet Hall, Riverview, MI

Today's review is a bit different from the ones I've done in the past.  It's not often that I book photo booth services and not DJ services, but it happens.  When it does, I run the photo booth and give my guys the day off.  On a Friday in May, this was the case, so I headed out to the Arnaldo Banquet Hall in Riverview.

The Hall itself is very "over the top" with a circular ceiling that has twinkling stars and blue lighting to the fountain and faux marble columns that line the lobby area.  They must have spent a fortune on the 12 HDTVs behind the bar, but then decided they would look better if they were behind a waterfall that runs over a plexiglass window, placed in front of them.

On this occasion, I did not get the chance to eat.  But don't worry... this isn't my first time here.  I was here about 5 years ago for my high school reunion and the food was nothing to write home about (I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars).

I was also looking forward to this for one other reason... I can sit back and take in what another DJ is doing.

I made a list of all the pros and cons of this particular DJ.  While the setup is clean and professional looking, there isn't much else that I can add to the list of pros!

This room has the unfortunate layout that forces the DJ to the far corner of the room, with tables placed directly between the DJ and the dance floor.  I've stated in the past how this is completely inappropriate and creates an impossible situation for any DJ to overcome.  Guests should NEVER be seated in front of speakers and lighting the dance also becomes a challenge.

Lucky for this DJ, she only had one light to begin with.  That's right - ONE LIGHT for the entire dance floor!  You'll notice it's sitting on the table instead of being up in the air, where it can be angled down, over the tables and actually hit the dance floor.  I've seen DJs that only use a few lights in the past and for some reason, they think that putting them on the table is acceptable (it's not, it's quite amateur).

She has a lovely twinkling LED backdrop that sells for no less than $400.  Aren't you glad she spent money on a backdrop instead of lighting the dance floor?  She's obviously trying to draw attention to herself.  But if that's the case, she should be standing and not sitting the entire night.  There's a reason for that too...

After hearing her dinner music, which was a compilation of "weddings greatest hits" (including Love Shack, Old Time Rock & Roll, White Wedding, Baby Got Back and MORE!), I was curious to take a closer look.  She was using a desktop computer with WINDOWS "FREAKING" MEDIA PLAYER!!!!  No DJ software, no controller, just a keyboard and mouse.  This explains why NONE of the songs were ever mixed together, why sometimes there was 5-6 seconds of silence between songs and why some songs seemed to suddenly get cut off and another one started abruptly.

"DJ Trainwreck" also managed to fumble through introductions without welcoming guests and getting them seated and forgot to cue the song for the bride & groom's intro!

THIS is what the fabulously low price of $499 will get you for your wedding!  If that's what you want, you could probably just hire a friend to do it with their ipod and they might even do a better job.  People like this give professional DJs a bad reputation and I just want to let everyone know that there ARE professionals like myself that will exceed your expectations - EVERY TIME!

At least one thing went right for this couple... they had a great photo booth that everyone enjoyed and memory scrapbook they can look through for years to come.



The PINK PARTY is this Thursday (June 12th)

Come on out to downtown Howell from 5-9 to celebrate a great cause.  This is one of the few public events I do through out the year and it's a great chance to see what I do.  Unfortunately, I don't MC this event as they have a separate MC, but I'll be playing music right next to the courthouse on the stage between various events.  I also light the historical courthouse up in Pink at 9 PM!

The Pink Party is a town wide fund-raiser to raise funds for St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Livingston for supportive care and breast cancer research. the Pink Party is an after hours adult, town-wide ticketed event for retail shops to help raise funds for a great cause, invigorate a small downtown and strengthen our sense of community. Proceeds will be donated to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Livingston. Tickets can be purchased in advanced for $25 at participating businesses.

The Pink Party is a ticketed  event for adults. You must have a passport (ticket) in order to receive giveaways, specials, etc. from businesses. Items are limited and on a first come, first serve basis. Remember, this is for a great cause and will help so many!

Your ticket includes:

  • A generous discount at participating retail stores
  • Food & Wine Tasting
  • Massage Stations
  • Queen of the Night Awards for Most Creative Pink Outfit
  • The parade of men
  • Groups purchasing 8 tickets or more at one time will be escorted by a tuxedo wearing, handsome James Bond type. He will be with your group to open doors, carry shopping bags and umbrellas, fetch coffee and remind you of just how fabulous you are!
  • Festive Party-like atmosphere throughout town
  • Roaming entertainment
  • Belly dancing
  • The DJ Guy
  • Zumba
  • Live music and entertainment on the main stage
  • Special handouts on the courthouse lawn

Look for another Venue Review next week!