Archive for the ‘Wedding Planning’ category

Top Wedding First Dance Songs of 2014

September 11, 2014

Top Wedding First Dance Songs of 2014

I did some research regarding the Top Wedding First Dance Songs of 2014…and although many wonderful current and standard songs were suggested, without exception, this song was on every list, if not at the top of the list!  It’s destined to be a classic!

John Legend – “All of Me”

Thought you’d enjoy the video.  The lyrics are below, as well.  Definitely one to consider for your wedding day!

Below the lyrics is the video of the version of John with Lindsey Stirling…

Enjoy!

 

“All Of Me”

[Verse 1:]
What would I do without your smart mouth?
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
You’ve got my head spinning, no kidding, I can’t pin you down
What’s going on in that beautiful mind
I’m on your magical mystery ride
And I’m so dizzy, don’t know what hit me, but I’ll be alright

[Pre-Chorus:]
My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

[Chorus:]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

[Verse 2:]
How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every mood
You’re my downfall, you’re my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can’t stop singing, it’s ringing, in my head for you

[Pre-Chorus:]
My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

[Chorus:]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

[Bridge:]
Give me all of you
Cards on the table, we’re both showing hearts
Risking it all, though it’s hard

[Chorus:]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

 

 

Types of Ceremony Musicians in Orange County

July 15, 2014

What types of Ceremony Musicians in Orange County are there to choose from?

There are many types of Ceremony Musicians in Orange County to choose from…

When deciding on your Wedding Ceremony Music, there are two basic things to consider…the actual songs you want played and the instrumentation on which you want those songs played.  Today let’s consider the different types of instrumentation there are to choose from…

According to Essence Entertainment, the particular instrumentation you choose will create a certain ambiance and personality to your event.  There are many options to choose from – all of which are equally lovely.  The decision on what you pick is generally based on what you like, what your budget is, and the size of your event.  Here we discuss the traditional options.

Soloists are obviously the most cost-effective, and are appropriate for small to medium sized events.  Soloists to choose from are:

  • Solo Harp
  • Solo Guitar
  • Solo Piano / Keyboards
  • Solo Organ
  • Bagpiper

It’s always nice to utilize a Piano or Organ if your Ceremony Site has one.  But it’s not mandatory if you prefer the sound of a Harp or a Guitar better.  A Solo Artist creates a more intimate atmosphere musically.  For all situations, be sure to pick an instrument that is appropriate for the setting – for instance, if your Ceremony is in the middle of the beach, don’t pick a Harp…it is not possible to get these large, expensive instruments across the sand.  Or if overall volume is a concern, pick a Guitar, as Guitarists generally bring an amplifier.

A Duo is generally one of the above Rhythm Instruments along with a Solo Instrument.  A few examples are:

  • Harp / Flute Duo
  • Harp / Violin Duo
  • Harp / Cello Duo
  • Guitar / Flute Duo
  • Guitar / Violin Duo
  • Guitar / Cello Duo
  • Guitar / Sax Duo
  • Piano / Violin Duo
  • Piano / Trumpet Duo
  • Organ / Trumpet Duo
  • Any Rhythm Instrument with a Vocalist
  • …etc.

Are you starting to see a pattern here?  There are many more similar combinations to consider.  Duos are appropriate for small to medium events.  Though be careful – if your Ceremony Musicians will also be playing for your Cocktail Hour, you want to make sure they won’t get overwhelmed with conversation noise…something to consider when deciding on your music.  For instance, a Solo Harp can get lost in an outdoor setting of 80 people or more.

The next configuration to consider is the Trio.  Now, here, you can have a Rhythm Instrument with Two Solo Instruments, or you can have Three Solo Instruments playing together.  Here are some examples:

  • Harp / Cello / Flute Trio
  • Harp / Cello / Violin Trio
  • Guitar / Cello / Flute Trio
  • Guitar / Cello / Violin Trio
  • Guitar / Upright Bass / Flute&Sax Trio
  • Keyboards / Cello / Flute Trio
  • Organ / Trumpet / Vocal Trio
  • Cello / Viola / Violin Trio
  • Cello / Violin / Flute Trio
  • …etc.

If you plan on having a Vocalist sing at your event, it is best to have a Rhythm Instrument in the mix – the Rhythm Instrument is much better suited to accompanying the Vocalist than an ensemble with Three Solo Instruments, i.e., a String Trio.

Next up is the Quartet – again, it can be with or without a Rhythm Instrument…

  • Harp / Cello / Violin / Flute Quartet
  • Harp / Cello / Viola / Violin Quartet
  • Guitar / Cello / Violin / Flute Quartet
  • Guitar / Cello / Viola / Violin Quartet
  • Cello / Viola / Violin / Flute Quartet
  • Cello / Viola / Violin / Violin Quartet
  • …etc.

The proper titles for the above configurations are as follows:  Harp Quartet with Flute; Harp Quartet All Strings; Guitar Quartet with Flute; Guitar Quartet All Strings; String Quartet with Flute; All String Quartet…I’m sure you’re getting the hang of it by now.

The most popular Quintet configuration is the Brass Quintet.

Now – how do you decide on which Ensemble is best for you?   LISTEN to them!  An ensemble with a Flute has a different personality than an Ensemble with a Violin.  Harp is different from a Guitar both visually and auditorily.  A Duo sounds different from a Quartet.

Other factors are budget, the space you have available, the size of event / number of Guests you’re having, etc.  The larger ensembles are more appropriate for larger events.

Sound confusing?  Then you need to get some professional assistance by calling Essence Entertainment – their experienced Staff can help you decide which configuration is best for your situation.  However, you still need to LISTEN to the different options and decide which one(s) you like the best – only you know the answer to that!  A good resource is the Essence Entertainment YouTube Playlist – they have many of the options available to listen to.  If you need more options to listen to, work with Essence Entertainment - they can play additional samples for you.

 

 

 

How to Choose a Wedding Coordinator

June 17, 2014

You’re engaged!  Congratulations!   You’ve picked a date…how to choose a wedding coordinator

…now what?!

Beginning to plan a Wedding is very exciting and can be a lot of fun…browsing through wedding magazines, surfing the web for ideas, vendors, etc., talking about it with friends and family, getting their ideas…oh, wait…now it’s starting to get overwhelming…what do I do now?!

wedding coordinatorHiring a Wedding Coordinator (Planner, Producer) may be the best thing to do.  Not only will they help you find reputable vendors, explore fun ideas, and think of things you haven’t, they will also, and most importantly, bring you peace of mind and return the process back to being a fun thing to do!  They will most likely save you money in the long run, too, which is always a good thing.

It’s important to mention that many fine Hotels actually require you to hire a Coordinator – they know how valuable it is and how important it can be towards the overall success of your event.

So – you’ve decided to work with a Wedding Coordinator…how do you find one?

There are many Coordinators out there to choose from…maybe too many.  The beginning step would be to ask friends, family and vendors (like Essence Entertainment) for referrals.  It’s a good place to start, anyway.  Most wedding sites/locations will have a Vendor Referral List which you can also review.  Another good place to find Coordinators is the Association of Bridal Consultants, or ABC – you can search for a Coordinator in your geographic area.  (Orange County ABC; Los Angeles ABC)

Next, spend some time with their websites.  Get to know them a bit, see some examples of their work, get a feel for their style and philosophy, etc.  This will help you narrow the list down a bit.

Then you’ll want to call them all – have an initial conversation with them and find out if they are available for your event.  Get a feel for their personality, how they approach a new event, get their opinion on a location you are considering…just a few basic things.  Trust your gut on the ones you ‘like’ – your Coordinator is someone you’re going to spend a lot of time with and you’ll have a much nicer experience if you enjoy talking to and being with this person.

Finally, you’ll want to meet your few final candidates in person – have a short interview with them, asking questions about them, their work, their services and fees…here’s a listfind a wedding coordinator of questions to consider:  Questions to Ask a Wedding Coordinator from Here Comes the Guide (another useful resource).

Though it may be tempting to pick the Coordinator with the lowest prices, I’d suggest that picking the one you like the best, even if it costs a little more, will be money very well spent.  Remember, it’s really important to like the Coordinator you pick – having a wonderful experience is well worth it.

It’s a great idea to hire a Coordinator near the beginning of the process – they’ll save you a lot of time with their list of vetted vendors, the best order in which to do things, etc.  However, if you feel you’ve got a handle on things, there are Coordinators who offer smaller packages with less service – you should be able to customize the service to your needs.

 

 

 

 

 

A few 2014 Wedding Trends

May 6, 2014

2014 Wedding Trends

Essence Entertainment read a number of articles regarding the Wedding Trends for 2014 and a few ideas stick out…

Wedding Colors:

According to the Huffington Post and the Bridal Guide, PINK is back!!  Do you already feel like a blushing bride? Carry that sweet love over to your color scheme, says Tara Guérard, the event designer behind ultra-luxe Soirée in Charleston and New York. “It’s the nudes, the blushes, the peaches — not Pepto Bismol pink!” she announces.

Bridal Guide adds, The romance of the outdoors inspires West Coast brides. “I’m working in natural colors — creams, ivory, oatmeals,” says Beth Helmstetter of Beth Helmstetter Events in Los Angeles. “If we’re going more glamorous, brides love pops of gold right now.”

Metallics are huge!” Tara agrees. She’s seeing gold sugar stripes on wedding cakes, linens shot through with gold thread and one of her favorite looks — the subtle luxury of pale gold lampshades.

I read a couple of articles which stated that purple is still in, event though it was big last year.

colorFirst Choice Magazine weighs in:  the color of the year is Radiant Orchid. Hemlock, Cayenne, Sand, Paloma, Freesia, Purple Haze, and Dazzling Blue round out the most popular shades. Navy and royal blue are also hot colors for 2014.

They go on to agree that pinks, nudes, blushes and peaches are also big.

To hashtag or not to hashtag?

That is always a question, and according to wedding expert Rita Moore of La Valencia in San Diego, couples these days either unplug altogether from social media during the wedding – or go the opposite direction and make it a major element throughout. The #socialmedia #wedding includes selfies of every moment, a special #hashtag just for the wedding, and special pages or albums on Instagram, Facebook and beyond.

More than one article mentioned that many brides are requesting the event to be “unplugged”, to the extent that they kindly ask that everyone leave their phone at the Phone Check station…they don’t want the distraction, nor the wedding to be inundated with social media coverage.

On the contrary,  you can hire a Social Media Concierge – This is something for that couple that loves to over share every detail of their life on social media. This is a hired professional that will live tweet, update facebook and twitter, share pics and videos via instagram and Vine. Oh and these people don’t come cheap.

The After-Party

ABC News, among others, reports that the After-Party is gaining popularity:  Since wedding receptions tend to be for the whole family, planned after-parties are a popular way for the bride and groom to celebrate with friends late into the night. “After the cake is cut and the old folks go home, couples are organizing personalized after-parties in VIP lounges, special tents, or hotel suites, so they can keep the party going,” says Karen Bussen of Palladium Hotel Group.

It wouldn’t be surprising if even ecstatic newlyweds would show some signs of wear, like this groom, after partying all night!

 

How Do I Choose My First Dance Wedding Song?

August 8, 2012

 

Planning a wedding can seem overwhelming at times…and even a routine formality can be hard to approach and decide upon.

One of these is picking your First Dance Wedding Song.  It may be something you’ve been thinking about for a long time and you know just the song you want to use!  That’s great!

Or…you don’t have a song in mind, and you’re not sure where to begin…and there are SO MANY songs to choose from…how do I start!

Here are some helpful tips from TheKnotTV about how to go about picking a song for your First Dance as well as a few specific suggestions.

See also our Ask Mike! videos:  Ask Mike! Video Playlist.

There is also an attached article (see below) that has a list of suggestions.

Image representing The Knot as depicted in Cru...

Your First Dance should be something you look forward to – not to mention, it’s a rare private moment with your new spouse on an otherwise busy day.  So pick a song you love… a song which is meaningful to you and your fiance… a song which is sentimental to your family (i.e., the song your parents used at their wedding)… a song you can easily and comfortably dance to… a song that is a reflection of your personalities…

Anything goes – this is your moment – pick the song YOU want!!  :)

Hope this helped!  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want some additional assistance with this part of your wedding day!

 

7 Tips to Stay Organized with Wedding Planning

July 13, 2012

Here’s a Blog Post from a local Wedding Coordinator, Kerri Hatter – organizing tips are always handy to have!  Thanks, Kerri!

7 Tips to Stay Organized

June 19th, 2012

It’s officially “wedding season” so for many of you, crunch time is quickly approaching as you figure out the final details of your big day.  No doubt about  it, planning for a wedding can be stressful, but you can handle the stress by staying organized rather than turning into a bridezilla!  Aside from the obvious – hiring a coordinator, below are some other  tips that will be sure to keep you organized and let you relax and enjoy the big day.

  1. First, I recommend buying a calendar and a wedding-specific binder. Make dividers for each section and keep all contracts, vendor information, and timelines in the binder so it’s easy to find. Mark up the calendar with days for when items need to be accomplished.
  2. Share duties with your partner. Make your groom feel like he has a part in the planning (remember this is his day too). By talking and sharing, you both will be able to foresee and avoid any future problems.  Grooms come up with some of the best ideas too, so make sure to include him and let him add his personal touch to the big day too.
  3. Set aside specific days to accomplish tasks and enlist friends and family to help.  It takes so much less time to stuff envelopes and assemble favors when you do it as a team and it’s an easy way to let people help. You will get a lot more done by using your specific wedding planning days and you will feel much more relaxed during your time off.  It’s also important to be flexible when planning so you don’t get bogged down.
  4. Figure out a budget on paper. Find out who will be paying for the wedding and come up with numbers for each category, ie: food, music, flowers…  and don’t forget tipping and misc. last minutes items!
  5. Create a timeline for the week of the wedding.  Make sure you allow enough time for all your tasks to be completed, ie: when to pick up tuxes, dropping off items to your venue, hair/makeup…
  6. Make decisions and then move on.  There is so much information available to us these days that you can go crazy looking at websites and seeing new ideas.  Once you have decided on your floral design, linen colors, table numbers, etc. then stop looking at those items on line!
  7. Of course, hire a coordinator!  If you have put this much time into your planning, leave it to the experts to execute it for you the day of the wedding.

You can find Kerri and many other helpful vendors at ABC – Association of Bridal Consultants.  Here’s a link to my local chapter in Orange County, CA.  However, visit the national website to find a chapter in your area!

Why Hire a Professional DJ?

June 12, 2012

Why should a Bride and Groom hire an experienced, professional DJ?

Well, this video shows one aspect of why it’s important…I warn you – it’s painful, and telling.  Any Bride wondering if she can save a few bucks by not hiring a Professional DJ will think twice…

With 81%** of wedding guests surveyed in a national poll saying that the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment, the quality and style of the entertainer you choose can very dramatically influence the enjoyability of your evening for both you and your guests. Certainly something to think about when debating whether to splurge on chair covers or entertainment.

Here’s a related article on the importance of hiring an experienced, professional DJ from an Entertainment Company like Essence Entertainment.  (See other video below with “iPod” experience…yikes…!)

Why Hire a Professional DJ?
Ohio Wedding DJ'sWith today’s economy, many couples are looking for ways to save money on their wedding. You may be wondering to yourself “why spend hundreds of dollars to hire a professional company when my friend, a DJ from an online classified ad, or an MP3 player can do the same thing for less?” But, remember: like choosing a photographer, dress designer, or cake artist, hiring a DJ is not always an “apples to apples” comparison. While you might pay less for the services of an amateur entertainer, you may not be buying an equivalent product. Differences in quality and style can make a very big difference. The abilities of your DJ selection can determine how enjoyable your reception is for yourself and your guests — whether your dance floor stays packed all night long or whether everyone leaves by 9:00 P.M.

While it is certainly true that, like higher-quality photographers, dress designers, and cake artists, a professional DJ company may not be your lowest bidder, here are a few good reasons to choose one anyway:

  • Experience: how much experience does the person operating the sound equipment have, not only with the equipment itself, but with public speaking, crowd control, and problem solving? Even using professional-grade equipment, an amateur DJ may not have sufficient knowledge to effectively use all those knobs and buttons to their best advantage. The resulting sound may not be much better than your boom box. A professional DJ will know how to evaluate acoustics, “read” the crowd to keep them dancing, speak with good diction, be tactful with guests, and anticipate the needs of the bridal party.
  • Peace of Mind and Good Memories: what do you want to remember most about your reception? Worrying whether your caterer knows it’s time to pour the champagne or if your photographer knows it’s time to cut the cake? Coordinating your reception instead of dancing? Cheesy announcements? Cueing and re-cueing the MP3 player? Listening to songs you don’t particularly like or maybe have never heard? Hiring a professional DJ company allows you to relax and actually enjoy the party you’ve spent so much time planning.
  • Reliability: what will happen if your friend or amateur DJ develops an illness, equipment failure, or transportation problem? With a professional company, replacement equipment and additional staff should be readily available.
  • Equipment: is the stereo setup able to produce high-quality sound sufficient to fill your reception hall but still sensitive enough to prevent the music from blaring or becoming distorted? Do you need a microphone for toasts or other events? A professional DJ company will utilize specialized equipment designed to fill a large hall without distortion and will have microphones available for speeches and announcements.
  • Etiquette (Professionalism): how will your DJ dress? Will your DJ adhere to your “must play” and “do not play” lists? Will your DJ be set up early and ready when the guests arrive, or still be loading in at the beginning of dinner? A professional DJ will partner with you in planning, paying careful attention to your musical preferences. The DJ will arrive early and dress appropriately for your event, according to your preferences, typically in tuxedos or other black-tie eveningwear.
  • Music Variety: will your DJ have access to all your favorites? What about newer music? Professional DJs often have access to new music before it is available for purchase to the general public. A professional DJ stays up-to-date on the latest music.

If you are very brave, you can watch this video courtesy of the American Disc Jockey Association entitled “iPod Wedding Disaster”… While not exactly a “disaster,” I warn you — it’s not pretty. The excitement — or lack thereof — starts about 1:50 in. It points out — “You have worked countless hours and spent thousands of dollars on decorations, food, beverages, flowers, etc. But if your guests leave early, how will they ever enjoy your hard work?”

With 81%** of wedding guests surveyed in a national poll saying that the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment, the quality and style of the entertainer you choose can very dramatically influence the enjoyability of your evening for both you and your guests. Certainly something to think about when debating whether to splurge on chair covers or entertainment.

(Today’s Bride – Magazine & Shows)

Essence Entertainment specializes in experienced Professional DJs – Don’t let this happen to you – let us help you have a successful and wonderful wedding day!

Do you have any questions about hiring a DJ in Southern California?

Do you have a related story you’d like to share with us?


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