Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let Us Educate You Before You Hire Entertainment

Ray Martinez from Ray Mar Productions... offers this friendly advice before choosing your wedding entertainment.

Your wedding day, what a special and happy day this should be. No expense should be spared to make it one you will remember fondly with each successive anniversary. If corners must be cut however, entertainment is not the area to compromise.
THE LIFE OF THE PARTY: Music and the performance of a professional Master of Ceremonies is the driving force and the life of the party, and it is very crucial and helpful to know what to expect from your DJ/Entertainer, and to be able to provide the services you desire.
PLAN WELL AHEAD: If at all possible start looking at least a year or more in advance of your event. The most popular DJ/Entertainers schedule their event bookings far in advance with the months of May through October, and December booking the earliest.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION: Ask the DJ/Entertainer about meeting with him or her at the office or your home, or better yet at the event venue to get a feeling of where they will set up. If consultations cannot be arranged, ask for brochures or website pricing information, referrals, and venues they have performed. A DVD might also be available but because of the lower sound quality, due to editing, they are often not an adequate measure by which to judge.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC REPERTOIRE: Check the library of music of the particular company. The better companies will have a wider selection of music to serve all ages, ranging from kids to grandparents. Music should be kept at a level comfortable to speak over dinner, and do not hesitate to ask the DJ/Entertainer to drop the level a few decibels.
INFORMATION SHEET: This information sheet/questionnaire is a great opportunity to make any specific requests to the DJ/Entertainer, such as your first dance song, father daughter dance, the names of the wedding party, parents and grandparents to be introduced, as well as agreed upon timing for the grand entrance, toast, cake cutting, and money dance. In order for the DJ/Entertainer to utilize your completed information sheet, it should be returned at least three weeks prior to the event. Don’t forget to put the DJ/Entertainer in touch with the banquet manager to begin important communication to insure the smoothness of your event.
CEREMONY/RECEPTION LOCATION: If the ceremony and reception are at different locations, make sure someone is at the venue to let the DJ/Entertainer in before the party begins. Also regarding separate locations, consult with your DJ/Entertainer if a second system might be available for rental at the second venue for ceremonies. Many venues do not provide this service. If the reception is at the same place as the cocktail hour, it is advisable to hire a DJ/Entertainer to play music during the cocktail hour, or ask him to set up early.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Price is contingent on the popularity of the DJ/Entertainer, traveling required and duration of the party. Three hours is standard and usually the minimum with anything above that, it is considered overtime. In Southern California, the average price range for a full time qualified professional DJ/Entertainer is about $1,400.00 -$2,500.00. Overtime is anywhere from $250.00-350.00 per hour. Weekend or part time DJs will run you about $600.00 - $700.00. If they are charging such a low price you may start asking yourself as to what experience they have and what they offer in comparison to the qualified pros. Upon agreeing on the booking arrangements, you should sign a written booking agreement and return it with an initial payment, usually about 50%, unless otherwise stipulated. Make sure you know what services are to be performed as agreed between you and the DJ/Entertainer. Most entertainment companies will have an additional charge for wedding ceremony and/or cocktail hour to be included, as well as venues that have a flight of stairs and no elevator. It is also an industry standard to include a 15% gratuity. The hallmark of these professionals usually include a custom console, multi-channel mixing board, a matching pair of CD players, or digital computerized system, headset, power amp, two professional speaker enclosures (powered or non-powered) and a music library in road worth cases. For many DJ’s the use of a wireless microphone is a must for remote toasts, organizing and emceeing key events as well as participation dances.
HAVE A GREAT TIME: On your special day, now is the time to enjoy yourself. It is in your best interest to trust all the professionals you have hired. Your DJ/Entertainer is there to coordinate between all vendor services, both in person and on the microphone. We hope this information has been helpful to you. It has been compiled to help educate you so that you may have the wedding you have always dreamed of.
Ray is also weighing in on Jan 10th... Are you? Come join us on the 10th for thee biggest loser challenge and win a wedding dress, bridal portrait photo shoot, and bouquet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thee Biggest Loser Weight Loss Contest

What is your #1 New Year's Resolution?

Thee Wedding Warehouse, along with with Déjà Vu Med Spa and LifeTime Fitness are hosting “Thee Biggest Loser” weight loss contest.

Every girl wants to look her best on her wedding day. Join us for a 12 week bridal boot camp! Winner receives a FREE wedding dress in her dream size courtesy of Molina Bridal, a bridal portrait photo shoot courtesy of Ventola Photography, and a bridal bouquet custom made by EnDearing Floral Design. First place prize package valued at $2500, 2nd and 3rd places prizes also given.

Sign up January 2 – 10, 2009. First weigh in January 10, weekly weigh-ins required until contest ends. There is no charge to enter the contest.

Thee Wedding Warehouse, located at 500 N Bullard, Suite #C29 in Goodyear, AZ offers an innovative way of planning any event. This 2,600sf indoor venue is Arizona’s first and only all inclusive bridal and event store, showcasing the Valley’s best vendors, all under one roof.


Kathy Baggett, 623-536-0995
Email: info@theeweddingwarehouse.com

Friday, December 26, 2008



1. View samples of completed wedding DVD's. Notice the picture quality - is it shaky or unclear? Professional videographers use high quality cameras, tripods, lighting and sound equipment.
2. Ask how many cameras are used in filming. One camera will provide only one angle the entire time. This will end up looking "amateurish". Two cameras are very good - the industry standard. Three cameras are even better and will provide simultaneous coverage of the bride,
groom, and the wide angle from the back of the ceremony. This set up is truly lovely and well worth the extra money if available.
3. Verify what is included in the total package price. Good videographers will attach high quality microphones to the groom and officiant (if allowed) during the ceremony. Full editing of the raw film footage should be included as well. Video editing is the work that happens in the studio after
the wedding is over. Any substandard shots, lighting, or sound issues are corrected. And all camera angles are seamlessly compiled to create a beautiful viewing experience. Full editing is crucial to the final look and flow of the video.
4. Know how many hours of filming are included on the wedding day. The ceremony should be fully covered with choices of reception coverage options.
5. Be aware of the filming and editing styles of videographers you interview. How do you want your wedding day captured? Does the videographer believe in a natural unobtrusive style of filming? Or is their style more commanding and loud - like a "Hollywood" movie director? If you
desire your day to be completely captured from beginning to end, make sure the videographer isn't going to cut most scenes out during the editing process. Many videographers produce a DVD full of "wedding day highlight scenes" set to music and then call it a day! Your wedding
video should be a complete record of your special day. If the footage captured is overly manufactured and changed, you will not feel like you are there again every time you watch it. Filming and editing style is very important.
6. Get all details of the package in writing. This is usually called a service agreement or contract. If you feel anything is missing or incomplete, ask for an amended copy until you are satisfied.
7. Listen to your instincts when meeting and talking on the phone or in person. A professional should listen fully to your desires, take time to answer all your questions, and communicate that they understand your wishes and are able to deliver. If you don't have a good feeling,
keep interviewing! Your wedding day is too important to leave up to chance :-) - Royal Sun Productions - Wedding Videography

Royal Sun Productions
Wedding Videography

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lost Love Ones

HI Everyone! I need to write about something that has been brought to my attention several times in the last few weeks...How to memorialize someone who has passed at your wedding. It is a sad subject but I feel it needs some attention.So,... here's how I feel.

First and foremost, DO NOT leave and empty chair for them !!! This is just an open invitation for tears on your special day. This is a special day for all of your family and it should be a happy day! I am not trying to say that the lost ones are less important but if you leave a chair for them all it does is leave everyone with the feeling that some one important is missing. I mean think about it, you are walking down the aisle and there is a place where a dear friend or family member is NOT sitting! I don't know about you but it makes me sad even thinking about it! I have been telling my clients to come up with other things to include a lost loved one. One way is to put pictures of them at the guest book table. A picture of them smiling and laughing or one at Halloween in a funny costume. If they were in our armed forces ( as so many have been) show your pride with a photo in Uniform. Pictures of when they were little and ones of them with the Bride and Groom or Mom and Dad! That way people will look at the pictures and smile feeling happy as they walk into your big day! Another good idea is to put lots of votive candles out(enough for each couple attending) don't forget the matches on this table, leave a note with the pictures and ask each couple to light a candle for your loved one! This is not only a happy way to say we miss you but it also serves as a beautiful decoration at your reception !! Also you could place a special floral arrangement of their favorite flowers with a picture of them laughing... See, theirs so much you can do and make everyone happy! I hope I have shed some light on a very sad and sometimes heated situation. I am here if any one has questions or wants some other ideas for remembering lost loved ones.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Go crazy

Be sure to take advantage of, or request, an engagement portrait session with your photographer. Not only can it improve your wedding pictures, but you’ll probably have a great time! How can the engagement session improve your wedding photos weeks ahead? If you think about it, your photographer is very comfortable behind the camera; and the average person is not comfortable in front of the camera.

Try to get to know your photographer. Have fun. Be yourself. Go crazy. Let’s face it: those images of brides that you see in magazines do not happen all by themselves. There is a lot of planning and rehearsal that goes into them. And that one photo that you see was probably chosen from hundreds of photos.
So spend more time with your photographer. You’ll see on your wedding day that you feel more comfortable and have more confidence that he or she will capture those special moments that you’ve spent months, even years, thinking about.

Congratulations on your upcoming event!

Kym Ventola
Ventola Photography

Engagement Portrait by Kym Ventola

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thoughts about hiring a DJ

Here's a few tips for hiring a DJ:

Hire a trained/experienced professional DJ/entertainer. A cool cousin that has an Ipod and some ecclectic tastes in music or your friend who DJs at a club may not be in a position to properly handle the ceremony music, the dinner music, the announcements, wedding traditions and the musical tastes of perhaps 3 generations of people attending the event. By the time you rent the needed speakers and equipment to plug in the Ipod and provide a microphone for the toast, most of the intended savings will be spent.

In addition to the several specific songs such as Bride and Groom first dance, coming down the aisle, the father/daughter dance etc, also provide about 20 songs that indicate your tastes- songs that can be mixed in during the course of the evening as the mood presents itself. No more than about 20- leave some room for your guests to request a song or two and for the DJ to use his or her professional judgement. Provide a DO NOT play list as well.

If hiring a DJ from an entertainment agency, insist on meeting with the DJ that will actually be working at your event.

Is your entertainer insured? Many venues no longer allow vendors who don't carry liability insurance.

Are there contingency plans for equipment failures? A back up soundsystem back at the shop will not be of much value if it takes an hour to get there and another hour to get back to the event.

Use a contract. It should spell out who, what, when, where, and how much.

How much time is required for set up and break down and is that part of the contracted time? A venue may have an event before or after yours and the DJ may be required to load in and out more quickly than is possible for his or her sound and/or lighting rig.

How will they be dressed? Hotels and Golf Clubs tell stories regularly of hobbyist DJs attempting to perform at a formal function in shorts, tanktops and baseball caps worn sideways. ???!??!!

Does your entertainer belong to any professional organization or network? This does not guarantee satisfactory performance but usually is an indicator that they are willing to learn and grow and attend training and other industry functions.

Here's to a great event!

Curtis Whipple
480 634 6127 AZ office
909 758 1969 CA mobile
Member of the American DJ Association
Member of the Wedding and Event Network
Picture from Wigwam Bridal Tour by Kym Ventola

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Toilet Paper??

We just got the new Wedding Star book and on page 327, I notice toilet paper. This is what it says:

This novelty toilet paper roll with comical bride and groom is sure to bring a smile. Here is an easy way to add a little fun. Your guests will be amused and amazed with your attention to every detail when they discover... even the toilet paper has a wedding theme? 350 sheets, 2 ply $9.98

Then I just had to laugh. Toilet paper??? Yeah I think no but that's just me and what do I know anyway.

This did however get me thinking about budgets. I think over 95% of brides and grooms don't put enough thought into the budget and budget process. Unless you have done it before 9 times out of 10 you are unsure how to set a budget because you are unsure what things cost. I encourage everyone seek help, look online, buy a good planner. Make a list. Everyone has that one or two things that is very important to them. For one it might be the cake so they allot more of percentage and go with the cake of their dreams. Some its the dress. Or the flowers. Repeat make a list. Make a list of everything that you want then number them on what is most important. If your decorations are the most important upgrade your flowers and your linens and then serve chicken instead of filet mignon. Try trimming unneeded items like pretty toilet paper that may be cute but you could spend that money else where and get more bang for your buck. Pick an awesome photographer but maybe don't order the books right away. I could go on and on so if you need help or ideas come in or call.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Wreath Workshop

We had such a good time last Saturday... here are some of the pictures that Kym Ventola took. She can make any one look beautiful!!!

Jacque will be here all day Saturday so please come in and ask lots of questions. She has several centerpiece ideas under $30. Also don't forget the Wreath Workshop at 10:30 AM this Saturday. I posted the information below.

Fresh Holiday Wreath Workshop
It is two weeks before Christmas, the perfect time to hang a fresh holiday greens wreath. On Saturday, December 13th please join for 1st annual wreath workshop. We supply the wreath, ribbon, decorations, and thee know how!!! You supply the smile and $40. The wreath is yours to take home or give as a gift. We will serve hot apple cider, hot cocoa, and hot glue! What could be more fun than some girls, hot glue, and hot drinks. Class begins at 10:30AM and reservations must be received by Thursday December 11th at 5PM. Please call (623) 536-0995.

Wishing you every happiness this Holiday Season and prosperity in the New Year. Thank you for being our customer.

All the best to you and your family,
Thee girls at Thee Wedding Warehouse

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Digging for Diamonds is Back

Engaged? Looking for help planning the biggest event of your life?

Bridal Planning 101 on Saturday, December 6th!
10 AM - 5 PM

Join the valley’s best wedding vendors, as Thee Wedding Warehouse raffles off a 7-day Honeymoon Trip to Cabo San Lucas and much, much more!!

Digging for Diamonds is back ~ Dig for $20 a scoop in a bucket of full precious gemstones and 1 ct. diamond is hidden in the sand
Wonderful Food Creations by All About Catering and Cake Tasting All Day Long
Something special for all Grooms
Complimentary Engagement Photos Session – call to make appointment (623) 536-0995
Curtis Whipple will be providing entertainment.
Katie Easley of Kate Ryan Occasions will be answering all your questions from 10AM to Noon.
Amazing Face will be doing complimentary make-up trails all day.
Looking for something fun... check out A2Z Photo Booths
Cake Tasting All Day!!!
Its A Celebration Party and Event Rental is providing the popcorn.... and rentals.
Ask Ray from Ray Mar Productions about being on Deal or No Deal (get $200 off his DJ Services)
Looking for a Photographer... make your pictures say wow... stop by and see Rachel Priddy.
Plan your event in one day with out stress.... Creative Healing will be on site offering complimentary messages.
Book three or more services and get a $100.00 gift card for the store. Services must be booked by December 15th. Mention the blog to get your gift card.