Tag Archives: Event

The longest thank-you letter I ever got :-)

Even I was impressed with the things they had to say about me. It’s letters like this, that make me want to do my job forever! Let’s read, shall we?…….

Dear Arron,
I’m sorry that we were not able to create a video testimonial for you after our reception. It had been a very long, hot day. However, we did want you to know how much we truly appreciated the things you did to make our wedding day so special.

From the first time we met with you, we knew you were going to be an amazing DJ. There was no question in our minds that we should book you for our wedding. We knew we had nothing to worry about in terms of the entertainment with you in charge. That was a huge relief for a bride that was worrying about everything under the sun, and the groom who had to put up with her. You understood what we wanted to see at our wedding and you made it happen on our special day. During the planning stage, you were very open and honest. You shared our opinions and experience, but you never said, “This is how I do it.” Even when we considered goofy ideas that were obviously not your personal style, like boy band medleys, you were on board. You wanted us to be happy.

On the day of the wedding, you took the lead. You made sure everything ran smoothly and it did. Despite the diversity of our crowd, you managed to get them all up and dancing at one point or another. You played as many requests as you could while still respecting the atmosphere that Steve and I wanted to create.

We were so excited to be the first couple to use the personalized light. It was absolutely beautiful! It really added to the dรฉcor in the room. We would definitely recommend this extra personal touch to other couples. It made a very nice background for our wedding photos.

Your props brought even more fun to the night. The little kids [and a few of the big ones too] loved the glow necklaces. The leis and straw hats really brought the conga to life. I think our personal favorites were the headlight and the football used during the garter/bouquet toss. It was nice to have a few things that were even surprises to us on that day.

Even when the night was cut a little short, you kept things moving smoothly. You kept the party going until the very end. I don’t think anybody left feeling like something had been missed.

Even several month later, people still talk about how much fun they had at our wedding. That was thanks to you! You brought the party to life and made our wedding reception a truly memorable one! Our guests have done nothing but rave about what a phenomenal job you did. We will certainly be recommending you to anyone who is planning a special event. we cannot thank you enough for making our wedding more wonderful than we could have imagined.

Thank you again!
Stephen and Lauren Kofchak
July 24, 2010

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A matter of courtesy: It’s alright to say no

The most difficult part of writing about this particular subject, without sounding bitter, or like I’m owed something, was trying to not make this personal.
Please understand, that is not the case, but I believe it is a subject that should be addressed. This is not a pricing issue (although it seems it could be), it is a matter of manners and reciprocal courtesy. I am speaking on behalf of other vendors that I have discussed this with as well.

Let me first begin by saying, no, I DO NOT expect every prospective client that calls, to book my services!

I’ve noticed an unfortunate growing trend amongst new prospects. After initiating first contact, they aren’t even courteous enough to return correspondence, once their prospective vendor has done their part in replying to a request. This is a strange thing to me, after attending a few focus groups, and reading different chatboards, one of the things most of the brides complained about, was the vendor they were interested in, did not reply quickly enough, if at all. So, why isn’t your prospective vendor entitled to the same courtesy?
The main question I would like to pose, if after you’ve made an inquiry, your vendor has promptly replied, and you are no longer interested, do you feel the next appropriate action is to ignore them? A lot of vendors in my industry are independent operators, which means you are dealing real people, not callous corporate entities, that will forget you the moment you hang up. This of course, is not everyone, but the number is growing.

The cyber world allows people to be even more distant than ever before, and making it more difficult to be personal in a situation that requires one to be personable. It is very misleading when speaking to a prospective client, everything seems to be going well, so you decide to call or e-mail back to follow up, and suddenly, they are impossible to get a hold of. I understand being busy, we all are when planning important events, but the time you could have taken to tell them you are not interested, is probably a lot shorter than the time it took to ask the numerous questions, that you were given all the answers to, before you decided to reject their services. You have basically told them that their time has no value to you. Would you like for your chosen vendor to not contact you, after they’ve found someone to fill your date? I’m sure that would not be a very pleasant surprise.

For some reason, it seems rudeness is the new standard of communication, and it is a one way street. Could you imagine if vendors took the same route as some of their prospective clients? The chatboards would be on fire with horrible reviews, and we would all be out of business!

Just remember, being polite is like having insurance, you never know when you may end up needing it (because that same person you ignored, might be the only one available in case something happens), but it’s always nice to have. Believe me, unlike the Alison Krauss song, it’s better to say “no”, than to say nothing at all.

~A~


Tips for navigating bridal shows….. Just a few hints.

Brideshows, bridal fairs, bride expos, wedding productions…..
I fondly refer to them as “The Circus” Even though they are a necessary evil for me, I love doing them, because the atmosphere presents many new opportunities for me. Whatever you know them as, you can find lots of valuable information, if you are focused, and up to the challenge. These helpful hints may guide you along, so that your experience will be more pleasant, and you can get on track to planning your dream wedding.
Here goes…..

1) Wear comfortable shoes:
Although being fashionable is always good when you are out in public, this is really not the best time to be cute. Convention centers have hard floors, and even when you go to a hotel show, where the floors are carpeted, there will be lots of walking involved. If you want to last more than a half an hour, do yourself the favor.

2) Don’t go alone!:
Ever heard the term, “There’s safety in numbers”? I’m not saying you have to bring an army with you, but it does help to have one or two people to discuss important matters with you. Preferably someone that will actually be involved with your wedding, and can offer differing opinions or reinforce your decisions Your MOH, mother, and (depending on whether or not it’s football season) your groom to be, are definitely good people to consider tagging along. Some vendors can be really aggressive with their approach, and you become an easy target, which could sour your taste about attending another show.

3) It’s best not to send a proxy:
I’ll tell you why. Even someone with the best intentions, will never be as excited as you are about your big day. I’ve seen it a hundred times. Parents, siblings, friends of the bride and groom, will blow through the building as quickly as possible, and gather tons of information for you, leaving you to sift through two bags full of fliers and cards, thus putting you back at square one…. Having no idea where to start ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

4) Try to attend more than one show:
The number of vendors available for each category is astounding. There is quite a bit of information to process, and trying to find the right fit for every possible vendor in one show, can be really overwhelming. Try to focus on 1-3 things at a time, and take each show in small doses, there is a lot to see, and with patience, you’ll get through it just fine.

And last…….

5) Try to be in a good mood ๐Ÿ™‚ :
This is also something I’ve seen a lot of. When you are in a bad mood, you make bad decisions. Come on, it’s your wedding!! What ever may be the cause of you not being happy at the moment, could really stress you out when shopping around for your vendors, and a rash decision could result in buyer’s remorse. But if you absolutely HAVE to go in a cranky disposition, remember #’s 1 & 2, comfy shoes, and lots of friends!

These are not words to live by, because I’m not telling you what you have to do, but from my experience as a vendor, and from what I’ve observed, this can definitely help, as you search for the people that will make the day of your dreams come true.

Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚
~A~


The usefulness of vendor reviews – Do you find them useful?

As you embark on the daunting task of planning one of the most important events of your life, a question comes to mind: Where can I find the most useful information to make an informed decision? (other subjects to follow)

One of many places you may seek, is a chat-board, or review site, populated by recently married brides.

The question I have, as a vendor myself, How much of your decision to hire someone, depends on the opinions of what others said? How openly do you evaluate each post, do you look for multiple reviews, and do you feel you can trust the opinions of others to point you in the right direction?

From honest experience (and this will be the last time I mention my self) I’ve had many positive reviews, one mediocre, and one from someone whose event I didn’t even do. So I have mixed feelings about this subject, and asking for reviews is like pulling teeth from a wild boar!

So you’ve found a vendor you like, you’ve met them in person, but before you make the jump, there is some last minute checking you’d like to do. Here is the tricky part 1) You cannot find anything, or very little about this vendor. 2) You find loads of reviews, but a high percentage are negative. 3) The potential vendor has nothing but shining reviews, and you are seemingly impressed. Which would have the most influence on you, and which the least?

The unfortunate truth about reviews is pretty much the same as anything else. A harmful review can be written by someone who found, or experienced something wrong with everyone, except the vendor you like, but being caught in the crossfire of anger, they found the smallest mistake and exploited it. A good piece of advice would be, don’t write a review while you are in a bad mood. Other instances may have included another vendor disguised as a recent bride, or worse yet, an individual with a strong dislike for a vendor they’ve never used. These harmful reviews could sabotage the outcome of your chosen vendor’s success.
Some vendors are not completely innocent. They will sometimes pose as clients on different chat-boards, and boost themselves with overwhelming reviews.

There is a definite positive side to reviews, and although very helpful at times, like any amount of research, you must trust your own judgment.
Other ways that review sites can be of better use to you, is having the reviewer’s basic contact information available, so that you may gain some insight, by speaking with them about their event experience with your chosen vendor.
If you’ve found a review to be helpful, it would be reciprocally helpful to others, to write one yourself, and also make yourself available for inquiries about your experience. You have a great deal of power to express what may potentially influence someone’s decision, just as you were influenced by what you’ve read…..

Was that helpful? I hope it was!


Easy Street and Carson City Saloon

Are you looking for a unique place to hold your small gathering, of blowing off some steam before your big day? Well I have two for you! Carson City Saloon and Easy Street bar & restaurant. I love these two legendary Pittsburgh hot-spots. You can host your bachelor/bachelorette party in the private room at Carson City, or run a muck with with the crowd, in one of the nation’s best sports bars!!
Easy Street (Brought to you from the Carson City brain-trust) is a nice venue for your smaller wedding receptions, or special celebrations, but don’t let me tell the story….

Whether you’re in something borrowed and blue, turning the big 4-0 or landing a new account at work. Easy Street can provide the perfect setting for you! With our outside patio and family style seating, we provide a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff to set the mood for any occasion large or small. Our patio can accommodate up to 150 people and our entire bar/restaurant can accommodate up to 300 people. We customize every event to ensure we deliver exactly what you need. Join us, roll your windows down, relax and take a ride down Easy Street.

Our event planning is perfect for: Corporate Functions, Wedding Receptions, Rehearsal Dinners, Bridal Showers and much more.
Contact our event coordinator Laura Wilcox today by email easystreetpghevents@yahoo.com or by phone at

412-235-7984 or 724-554-5488
to book your next private event.


How do you feel about uplighting?: I choose ADS

As the trend of uplighting is growing ever more popular, I’ve noticed a lot of my fellow entertainers expanding their services to include uplighting.

I think it’s a nice idea, but I also believe I should stick to what I’m good at. I operate best as an entertainer, and my focus remains to provide a memorable show. Besides, I’ve also noticed complaints from other DJs, that the venues are getting all the credit for setting up the room so nicely! Such a shame that the hard work is credited to someone else, even if you are making a good return.

My belief is: Leave the work to those to whom it is intended!
Would you hire a photographer to DJ your wedding? How about getting your florist to shoot video? See what I mean?

As far as monogram, and dance lighting, I do offer those, but uplighting should be handled by people that specialize in lighting. I would feel horrible, if I had charged someone for uplighting, and something went wrong that would cause me to spend time troubleshooting a faulty fixture, or a program failing, thus pulling me away from my responsibility as an entertainer!

This is why all my referrals for lighting will go to ADS Lighting & Staging. They are very good at what they do, because that’s all they do! ADS is the exclusive vendor for event uplighting at The Pennsylvanian on Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh, PA. Andy Shick, the owner, is a very nice person, and really easy to work with. For more information about ADS, click the link below.


Stirring things up: Different ideas for wedding reception formalities

By now, everyone in America has seen, or heard of the wedding video featuring the bridal party doing their entrance to the Chris Brown song “Forever”
This routine was very creative, but not entirely new.

Many brides and grooms are shying away from the “traditional” formalities, and going with anything that comes up in their heads, and with the help of a flexible entertainer, these ideas can become a reality

ENTRANCES:
The aforementioned video was the church entrance, but the same idea can be applied to the reception as well. I’ve had a few wedding receptions where the bride and groom wanted to set the tempo with their grand entrances, and here’s what happened…..

About 5 years ago, this was the first, and only time I’ve done this – The bridal party was divided by parents, groomsmen and ring bearer, bridesmaids and flower girl, then the bride and groom. Each group had their own song, and the intros doubled as a chance for the photographer to get some unique extra shots.
Some other ideas for intros, have been each couple in the bridal party had their own song, and did a little skit upon entering the room. These entrances bring an uptempo atmosphere to the party, and lets everyone in attendance know, that the mood will be high energy for the entire evening.

Looking for a new twist on your dances?
Doing your own version of “The Evolution Of Dance” is always a neat idea! (You can see my link to Jason and Kayla’s wedding)

On this particular occasion, the members of the bridal party didn’t know each other very well, so the B&G decided to do something really fun. Instead of the awkwardness of having to dance with strangers, the bridal party did the “Cupid Shuffle”. It was a unique way to start the party, and the audience got a good laugh! I stopped the music, and had them each go out and bring back someone to the dance floor, and everyone was ready to go.

If you don’t want to get too emotional, but still want to dance with your parents, perhaps you may want to incorporate a swing dance, or something more upbeat for the bride/father, groom/mother dance.
A really nice idea a former client of mine had. The groom’s mother didn’t want to do a slow song, because she knew she would cry. So, they choreographed a routine to “Ice, Ice, Baby”, that was pretty awesome!

The great thing about your wedding day is, it’s your day. Whatever you are looking for, to implement new ideas to make your reception more memorable, the sky is the limit. And of course, you can always call me!