Archive for the ‘Vendors’Category

Whose Your DJ? [Thoughts on Weddings and DJ Entertainment]

ipod-djThis weekend, I had the pleasure of working with a cute young couple who had a very tight wedding budget. I was confronted with a few challenges while coordinating their wedding, not the least of which was the fact that the friend who officiated their wedding was also playing the role of DJ/MC. And while I must commend the bride and groom for their efforts in organizing a complete playlist of music for the evening, here are some of the glitches we encountered:
– There was no prelude music for the ceremony
– There was no exit music for the recessional
– The first dance song ended up on the wrong iPod (and we had to track it down)
– The music selections for dinner were a bit unorthodox
– The pre-programmed music selections did not leave any room for ‘playing to the crowd’
…and so on…

Fortunately they had me to help keep things running smoothly, and overall things went very well; the couple had “their day, their way” and they seemed oblivious to glitches.

When I’m wearing my “Day-of” coordinator hat, I must be careful to provide support, not criticism. As a Planner, I would strongly advise against this type of scenario and take appropriate steps to illuminate and eliminate potential glitches. However, when circumstances dictate that I play the hand I’m dealt, that’s precisely what I do. And let’s face it: if the couple could have afforded a wedding planner, they likely could have afforded a professional DJ as well.

Ironically, I returned home to find an email from a colleague who provides exceptional DJ services. Obviously, fresh off a gig and needing to vent – here is his email to me (but it reads more like a plea to Brides & Grooms):
AFFA Wedding-Junction 88
“Elisa – I wonder why brides don’t trust their DJ to play the right music? I have had way too many brides completely program their wedding music to the point that they have had to hear certain songs in a certain order and at certain times.”

“Most good DJ’s have the ability to read the crowd and know what to play when to play it. I understand that you may not want to hear a certain song or songs, but to totally program the entire function, just defeats the purpose of having a DJ. You might as well just bring your iPod. Oh that’s right, you would have to rent the speakers and no one would be able to talk on the mic and introduce you in…”

“If you trust your DJ to do that, then trust him/her to play the right music.
Most of us do this for a living. I personally do 75+ weddings a year, so I may have seen a wedding or two in my life. We don’t want you to be unhappy so we are going to do the best possible job we can. We are going to do a good job, trust us!”

I contemplated the situation he described and couldn’t help wonder why this is so… Where does it stem from? And then a thought occurred to me:

Picture the wedding I described – glitches and all – and then try to estimate how many of the 100 guests in attendance understood the entertainment arrangements. It’s quite possible that a few people (maybe more) were unaware that the DJ was not a hired professional. It’s also possible that an engaged couple or two were present, in which case they were likely wondering what to expect from their wedding DJ… Would they feel the need to dictate the entire evening to ensure their satisfaction? Hmmmm…. yes, I’d say that’s plausible.

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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Tips for Brides & Grooms: Protecting Yourself in Today’s Uncertain Economy

According to The Wedding Report, wedding spending has declined significantly since 2007 – almost by 30% (averaged) overall. The vast majority of wedding vendors can attest to the a downsizing of wedding budgets, as well as a drop off in bookings (new clients). Consultants and Coordinators in particular have seen postponements and cancellations spike in recent months.

Everyone is feeling the pinch; while engaged couples are trying to save, Photographers, DJs, Consultants and Venues are trying to survive. Competition for new bookings is fierce, thus creating a buyer’s market which gives couples shopping for wedding vendors and services more purchasing power. But how can you spot a “true bargain”? I’d like to offer a few tips to help you make a sound investment:

1. Perform a Status Check – Do your homework to determine if the vendor’s company is healthy. A healthy company is “current”, meaning they have an up-to-date presence, including a website featuring pictures of current staff, projects and client testimonails. A company that is healthy is typically involved in Professional Associations, and may be known as a leader in their industry. Healthy companies are growing (even now) and are gearing up for a great 2009-2010 wedding season. Look for current blog posts, quick responses to emails and phone calls, and positive recommendations from others (friends, vendors, etc.).
2009 Wedding Client, Portofino Bay
Look for evidence of
a well established business
with a proven track record.

2004 Wedding Client, Maison & Jardin

2. Beware of the high pressure sales pitch: The best vendors are eager for your business but not desperate.

3. Beware of Part-Timers: A part-timer (sometimes known as a ‘moonlighter’ or ‘weekend warrior’) may be able to offer a very competitive price, but do they have the equipment and experience to deliver the quality of product or service you are looking for? What is their stake in the success of your event and are they driven to ensure your complete satisfaction? Does the Vendor’s Contract protect both parties?

4. Beware of Start-Ups: The poor economy has spawned a huge number of start-up businesses; people who have lost jobs or need extra income are becoming entrepreneurs. On one hand, it’s beneficial to the market to have more affordable options, but who is the person behind the start-up? Do they have any experience with weddings? Will they grow tired of this new business venture in 6 or 9 months and leave you in the lurch? Is it worth the risk to hire someone with no track record?

5. Beware of “Free”: “Free” is a hook; it’s a term that often denotes an extra added value. Conversely, free also has no refund value, so like it or not, you’re stuck with it. (ex: “That free album you gave me was poor quality.” “The free candle centerpieces only lasted halfway through the reception.” …Get the picture?)

For additional pointers on what to look for when hiring a professional wedding planner and coordinator, please visit A Flair for Affairs website.

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Fun & Festive Wedding & Party Favors [ Kernel Encore, Orlando ]

Here’s an idea that sure to please everyone on your guest list! Custom flavored popcorn treats, wrapped & ready to go, in every color of the rainbow!

Below, our purple and lime green color theme was complimented by individual bags of custom blended flavors: Peanut Butter and Grape, Grape & Green Apple and Caramel Apple.

Popcorn by Kernel Encore, Photo by A Flair for Affairs Popcorn by Kernel Encore, Photo by A Flair for Affairs

Our guests could not believe their eyes and were so excited to receive such an original favor! Pricing is quite affordable and shipping is available to any locale. These make great gifts, too! Please visit the Kernel Encore store in Orlando or visit their online store

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02 2009

Green with Envy! – Wedding Reception at Lake Mary Events Center

Wedding Reception - Lake Mary Events Center; A Flair for AffairsI just had to share a few images of this fabulously stylish reception from last weekend. This apple green and brown color theme is not exactly new, but it’s still quite popular; and this reception was exceptionally chic! It exemplifies how a few simple details, such as custom graphics, granny smith apples and cymbidium orchids, can deliver a huge, dramatic impact!

My very talented bride designed her own invitations, custom favors and table signage. The same brown and green motif was also incorporated into the cake design (cake by Karen Alvarez) and the graphic for the video screen. It’s easy to see how these signature details were instrumental in tying event decor together.

The major splurge for the reception decor was a lighting package by Kaleidoscope Productions; they provided perimeter and accent lighting throughout ballroom which glowed apple green most of the evening, but also changed periodically to enhance the mood of special dances and draw attention to the cutting of the cake, etc.

I also must say a few words about the beautiful Lake Mary Events Center. The Events Center has so much to offer! It’s a state of the art events venue with a tastefully appointed interior and lovely lake front views. Wedding ceremonies can be accommodated outdoors as well as indoors. The Events Center has a spacious Grand Ballroom with a dark wood dance floor and a small stage, a large Rotunda, flexible pre-function space, meeting and conference rooms, and dressing rooms. It is well designed and provides a “comfortable flow” – meaning everything is convenient and easily accessible – which is important to every event. Be sure to consider it for your next event!
© 2008 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved / Photos by E. Delgardio

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10 2008
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