Monday, August 29, 2011

Need a DJ for Your Halloween Party?

Booking a DJ for your Halloween Party should never be a scary experience! With over 15 years in the business and roughly 1100 parties under our belt, SOFLO PARTY PROS guarantees a great time for you and your guests, no matter how rowdy, conservative, scary or diverse the crowd! 

With a library of  well over 75,000 titles, we provide a dynamic playlist of party music with a freaky, Halloween twist to keep everyone in attendance consistently entertained at a PEAK level of explosive energy, fun, dancing and excitement!

We show up on time, our prices are competitive and our service is incredible!

Call us TODAY for a FREE quote and consultation:
(954) 663-7165 or email us at 

references furnished upon request.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hits, Tips & Tricks for Planning the Perfect Party!: 10 Common Mistakes in Company Party Planning

Hits, Tips & Tricks for Planning the Perfect Party!: 10 Common Mistakes in Company Party Planning: You may have the responsibility of planning your company party in addition to your regular job can be a real "bear of a job". Y...

Hits, Tips & Tricks for Planning the Perfect Party!: Choosing the Right Bar Mitzvah DJ Company

Hits, Tips & Tricks for Planning the Perfect Party!: Choosing the Right Bar Mitzvah DJ Company: Selecting the right DJ Entertainment for your bar mitzvah is a serious part of the party planning task. Ask any parent who has had a Bar Mi...

10 Common Mistakes in Company Party Planning

You may have the responsibility of planning your company party in addition to your regular job can be a real "bear of a job". You have to face the pressure of being responsible for the party's success and it's not as easy as having 8 people over for dinner at your house...and that can be a nerve jangler. We've produced hundreds of fun company parties - of all types. Of course, we'd like to offer our entertainment and event planning services to you, but in the meantime, here are some minefields to avoid. ... Remember "party" is not a 4 letter word......and planning it shouldn't feel like facing an overdue term paper.


For "once a year" bashes, usually held in December, often the comptroller will hold up the party planning, by not giving a clear go ahead to you. If you're having more than 300 people, you should try to get the party date as soon as possible. (e.g. for parties of 300 to 500 you should begin planning by Sept 1.....parties of 600 to 800, begin planning by August 1 and parties of 900+, try to set your date and hall as early as March, if possible). The very large halls book the good Friday and Saturday dates in December quite early. but because some halls have cancellations for prime dates, it's still possible to plan a large December party in the fall. Of course, once the comptroller has given you the funds, it's advantageous to have several preferred dates in mind, in case the best hall is already booked up. Some planners have tried to deal with party date problems, by shifting their "holiday parties" to January....or to weeknights (e.g. Thursday) in December. Most employees, though, don't appreciate attending the big bash on a weeknight, when they have to rise at 6:00 a.m. the next morning for the job. We keep in close contact with the halls, to learn which ones have last minute weekend openings because of a cancellation.



You want to let many people have a voice in planning the party, so you've assembled a committee of 12 people. Unfortunately, it's hard to match the schedule of 12 busy employees for planning meetings. Usually a maximum of 3 to 5 people works better. Try not to schedule meetings just for small tasks....obviously the meeting should be as organized as possible. (when we work with you, we have a worksheet for party aspects to consider).



For some reason, some employee/party planners either squirrel away their notes from past parties (taking it with them to the next job), or just toss them in the shredder. It's hard to "reinvent the wheel" each time party planning comes up. This doesn't mean that you "rubber stamp" last year's plan, having the same D.J., the same chicken and mashed potatoes, the same dreary're liable to have the same "dud party". But, it's helpful to have each year's party details put into an accessible party booklet. (We, of course, have a massive booklet with all types of party services that we draw upon when we help you plan). It can add hours to your drudgery time to have to relocate 1) dance floor to rent ... or 2) party invitations with your company logo......3) fake snow drifts..........4) chocolate cable cars...........5) that great band you got in 2005 whose name slips your mind...etc.




Yes, everyone has a tendency to put off making decisions....we sympathize with you, but there comes a point in the planning process that further indecision compounds the work. For example, if you have a good party date in December, but can't decide whether to have a holiday themed event, or a political correct non-sectarian black and white'll be stuck, unable to plan the decor, food, etc....months may go by. (Medically speaking, this is how ulcers form). We can help clarify your questions, and help you come to a consensus, so that you can move forward.....and get back into the fun of party planning. Another procrastination treadmill is the D.J. vs. band question (we have solutions for that). Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we'd be happy to set up a free consultation to get the ball rolling!




Ah yes, it was easier when there were only dance bands composed of human musicians. Now we have the additional option of machines with recorded music in the electronic age. There are advantages to both options. Obviously a disc jockey is less expensive, and has the versions of songs you've heard on your car radio countless times. The advantages of a dance band (assuming it's a great band) include: 1) the presence of all those live human beings in tuxes and sequins, singing and playing on stage creates a great party atmosphere right off the bat.......2) the band can shorten or lengthen songs according to your preferences and pacing.........3) live bands generally add a specialness to a party.  However, a GREAT DJ will play a great blend of music that appeals to everyone in the room with the ability to switch from one genre to the next in the interest of maintaining a high consistent energy level that will have everyone dancing till they drop! Regardless, if you can't agree on D.J. vs. BAND, we can provide an affordable D.J./BAND package, which will keep all sides happy.  Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we'd be happy to set up a free consultation to get the ball rolling!



Your employees work all year long, and look forward to a holiday party, and it's not good for morale to skip the party all together. In this day of downsizing and myopia towards the "bottom line", you may feel it's impossible to create a party if your funds have been slashed. We have been able to help employees continue the party tradition, by producing the party cheaply "on site", bringing in very affordable decor, food and music to transform "Building B-253" into a temporary festive locale. Tell us what your Scrooge has given you to work with, and we'll tell you what we can do. You'll be pleasantly surprised.




This is a difficult problem, since no one wants to advise the CEO to "keep it short", but we've seen some parties almost squelched by a droning 50 minute speech by a CEO. The CEO may see the party as merely an opportunity to rant on about his(her) "vision", making his party guests sit quietly, unable to enjoy the the minutes tick by. We remember a party that had the best of all intentions----they had a French theme, complete with can can girls, strolling French bistro musicians, flambe desserts, etc...and a 14 piece dance band waiting in the wings. But the CEO proceeded to talk for 70 minutes. When he mercifully finished, some people were too tired to stick around for the band, and his speech definitely contributed to the fizzle out of the party. If you can't speak up to the CEO, perhaps show him this column.




Your choices may be constrained by your budget, but there are other things to consider. In the health-conscious South Beach Area, you probably have some vegetarian employees. Also, some may be allergic to certain foods. Some dishes are too messy for elegant affairs, but fine for picnics or informal parties. For parties of over 500, some menus don't work because of the logistics of carrying food to 500 people (e.g. sauces congeal)....and there's always the bad coffee mistake. (if you must cut corners, don't skimp on coffee, or real cream. If you do, the last impression the partygoer will have is the dinner ending with brown water coffee, and a plastic packet of fake "cream" powder). On a positive note, our caterers have some great menu ideas (themes, multicultural cuisines, flavorful latin-american cuisine, exciting innovative dishes and presentations....for example in an abundant seafood presentation over ice, we included something unusual--- a succulent marinated baby squid in-a-cone hors d'oeuvre, to be eaten with chopsticks). For a holiday party, we had a fabulous elegant French dessert called "Croque En Bouche" (a 4 foot pyramid of eclairs filled with creme anglaise "glued" together with golden spun sugar). Whether your budget is champagne or Dr. Pepper, there are small effective touches one can do.




Yes, it's easier to simply repeat last year's party (see Mistake #3 above), but with minimal changes, you'll keep up your employees' enjoyment of each year's party. Though there may be 1 or 2 employees that rave about and demand to get "D.J. Dave" back again for the 3rd time, there may be 10 or 15 that that would rather have something different this year. Parties are more memorable if there is something unexpected, exciting...and delightful. We'd be happy to share some proven effective ideas on how to make your next holiday party bigger and better, yet not more expensive than the last! Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we'd be happy to set up a free consultation to get the ball rolling!



Often the party planning responsibility is dumped onto 1 person (namely you), and what was fun, now feels like a PBS Pledge just goes on and on. We can offer 2 suggestions: ask for help from your fellow employees or.............give us a call - (954) 663-7165. We can come up with 4 or 5 complete party package ideas (complete proposal usually to you within 48 hours). Staying within your budget, we can provide as much or as little as you want: hall, menu, decor, music and entertainment, celebrities, children's activities, awards, invitations, photographer, transportation, etc. Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we'd be happy to set up a free consultation to get the ball rolling!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Choosing the Right Bar Mitzvah DJ Company

Selecting the right DJ Entertainment for your bar mitzvah is a serious part of the party planning task. Ask any parent who has had a Bar Mitzvah and they will tell you that the Entertainment plays a critical part in the success of the party. After choosing your bar mitzvah location, the next vendor that should be hired is the bar mitzvah entertainment company or bar mitzvah DJ. 

Keeping a crowd of 13 year olds, 30 somethings, and older adults happy, entertained, and on the dance floor, demands a certain level of expertise. If all of these groups liked the same music bar mitzvah entertainment would be a no-brainer, but as you know, this is not the case. So, keep this in mind when choosing to hire a bar mitzvah DJ. Make sure the bar mitzvah DJ has experience in these kinds of events. A bar mitzvah DJ is different than a club DJ!

Different age groups like different music - fact, but there are interactive and fun dances that both can enjoy at the same time. This is where your MC (master of ceremonies) comes in. An experienced Bar Mitzvah MC can have a crowd of adults and kids out on the floor together having a blast.

Aside from handling the candle lighting ceremony, the grand entrance, and various introductions, your Bar Mitzvah MC is the chief motivator and leader of your bar mitzvah. It's important to have an experienced bar mitzvah MC on the dance floor with a microphone to lead your guests through interactive dances and games. Your Son or Daughter is the star of the show and the MC's job is be right there making sure everyone is having fun while paying the right amount of recognition to the guest of honor at whatever level the Bar or Bat Mitzvah feels comfortable. This should be discussed in detail during the planning process, so your child is neither neglected or embarrassed by the bar mitzvah DJ or MC.

All Bar Mitzvah DJs and MCs are different, so make sure spend enough time with any potential bar mitzvah entertainment company you are considering to see if they match your personalities. This will be very important when your bar mitzvah date arrives, and you'll have to count on him or her to ensure the success of your bar mitzvah.

Make sure the bar mitzvah DJ company you are thinking about hiring has a special MC for bar mitzvahs. Bar Mitzvahs are different from wedding in that it takes a little more skill to handle a large group of 12 and 13 year olds than it does to entertain a group of 30 somethings. There is a lot for the MC to keep track of to make sure things run smoothly (making sure the photographer and videographer are ready before an important moment, shutting down any side entertainment before a candle lighting, being by your son or daughter's side during the candle lighting to name a few). It's a good idea to let the Bar Mitzvah DJ play the CDs, and allow the bar mitzvah MC the freedom to run the party.

Some bar mitzvah DJ companies also bring motivational dancers that can help get the kids and adults on the dance floor. This is very popular. They are available through most DJ companies who specialize in Bar Mitzvahs. The dancers are young and energetic, and they work right along side the bar mitzvah DJ and MC. They help fill the dance floor and lead the interactive dances.

Many DJ companies will supply colorful lighting, dance stages, and special effects like dry ice machines and strobe lights. They can completely transform a stale dining room into a rocking night club.

What's the best way to get a feel for a bar mitzvah DJs style? Ask the entertainment company to send you their demo DVD. Most good Bar Mitzvah Entertainment companies will have video footage of their entertainers working bar mitzvahs and weddings. After watching the bar mitzvah DJs demo dvd you can make a sound decision about whether you think they are a perfect fit for your child's bar or bat mitzvah.

Start this process right away, because it is common for some of the more popular companies to book 2 years in advance. When you have narrowed your search to about 4 companies, call them up and make appointments to meet in person. Best of Luck!

SoFlo Party Pros has extensive experience in Bar and Bat Mitzvah entertainment services and would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can become your Bar Mitzvah DJ of choice.  Please call our office today to set up a complimentary consultation: (888) 779-1221

Monday, July 18, 2011

Top 10 Party Venues in South Florida

Whether you're looking for a venue to host a quiet dinner party, wedding reception, or even bachelorette party, South Florida is full of locations to suit all kinds of events. This region, typically referring to the Miami, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale areas, has plenty to offer party hosts and hostesses who are looking for the perfect place. And with warm weather almost year round, the South Florida has some of the top golf courses in the Sunshine State. When you put your clubs away and are ready to get the party started, there are a multitude of party venues from which to choose.

Nikki Beach Miami

This South Beach venue is a nightlife hot spot for dancing, dining, and often celebrity-spotting. Located on One Ocean Drive, Nikki Beach offers a posh view of the ocean as well as a posh cabana atmosphere.

One Ocean Drive
Miami, Florida 33139

Mango's Tropical Café

Also located on Miami's infamous Ocean Drive, Mango's Tropical Café offers a vibrant atmosphere for a romping good time. Their private rooms can be reserved for entertaining dinner parties or the quintessential bachelorette party.

900 Ocean Drive
Miami beach, Florida 33139

Wherehouse 2016

A little further north on Miami Beach, Wherehouse 2016 provides a quirky, whimsical venue for parties of all kinds. No matter what the celebration is, this spot will impress guests with its floor-to-ceiling, art and mural-covered walls.

2016 NE 155 Street
North Miami Beach, Florida 33162


The completely renovated but always legendary Fontainebleau in Miami Beach serves parties of all sizes with its vast array of event rooms and outdoor beach space. This sophisticated hotel never fails to meet high expectations for dining and overall atmosphere.

4441 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, Florida 33140

The Breakers

Another elegant resort, The Breakers in Palm Beach, also continues to impress with its stunning views of the ocean and multiple luxurious venues. This little taste of paradise doesn't come without a hefty price tag, but it's perfect for a posh party.

One South County Road
Palm Beach, Florida 33480

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

A trip to South Florida is not complete without visiting the historic landmark of Vizcaya, but the real treat is getting to attend a party there. Once the daytime public museum hours are over, its lush gardens, courtyards, and terraces provide a one-of-a-kind location for unforgettable events.

3251 South Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida 33129

White Space

This venue located in the Fort Lauderdale area is exactly as the name suggests: an all-white, blank space ready to be transformed. The location offers a chic loft-style space and larger open area for parties of all shapes and sizes.

111 SW Second Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Gemma Lounge

The Gemma Lounge is a cozy, inviting haven from the boisterous nightlife of Miami Beach. Its intimate atmosphere and comfortable setting are ideal for a quiet and sophisticated dinner or cocktail party.

529 Lincoln Rd. Miami Beach, FL 33140

Revolution Live and America's Backyard

In the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, this historic space offers two separate areas for private parties. The multi-level Revolution Live venue is great for large-scale indoor events, while America's Backyard provides a laid-back outdoor area complete with a pool bar.

100 SW 3rd Ave.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Exit 66

Also in the midst of Fort Lauderdale's nightlife, the Exit 66 venue finds its home just off the ocean. With a handful of variously-themed rooms, this spot allows you to host whatever size or style party you have in mind from pool parties to proms.

219 S. Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316


Sunday, July 17, 2011

SoFlo DJ's and Entertainment Services, Inc. 888-779-1221: How to Hire a Bartender

SoFlo DJ's and Entertainment Services, Inc. 888-779-1221: How to Hire a Bartender: "In the restaurant business, finding a good bartender is akin to striking gold. There are lots of people who can mix drinks, but few have th..."

How to Hire a Bartender

In the restaurant business, finding a good bartender is akin to striking gold. There are lots of people who can mix drinks, but few have the delicate mix of friendliness and aloofness that is the trademark of good bartender.

Bartender Responsibilities

The bartender is the top position of the front of house staff. Depending on the style and set up of a restaurant, a bartender may be responsible for getting the rest of the staff drinks for their tables (service bar) as well as taking care of customers who sit at the bar. Other bartender responsibilities include:

    • Ordering liquor and beer • Changing the beer gas • Ordering non-alcoholic drinks, such as soda and juice • Stocking the beer cooler and liquor shelves • Creating nightly and/or weekly drink specials and other promotions
Traits of a Good Bartender

A good bartender will listen to customers while at the same time help out the rest of the staff. He or she needs to be responsible, since they typically lock up the restaurant each night and making sure that nightly deposit is taken care of. No other person on staff, save a manager or owner, has as much access to the money as the bartender. They may be responsible for cashing out the servers at the end of the night, and making sure the paperwork all matches up. For this reason alone, you want to make sure the person you hire to tend bar is has an honest and trustworthy reputation. References are an absolute must.

Bartenders must be good listeners, or at least be able to fake good listening. Customers sit at a bar for a variety of reasons. They are lonely and want someone to talk to. They are tired and want to be alone. They want to watch the nightly football game. They want to try to pick up a date. Whatever the reason, the bartender needs to be able to interact with customers on their level. That lonely guy who want to pour his heart about his recent divorce will need a ear to listen to his problems. If a bartender shows irritation toward that customer, or just ignores him completely, the customer isn’t likely to come back. On the other hand, if the bartender insists on chatting up a storm with the guy who just wants some peace and quiet after a long day at work, that guy won’t come back. A bartender needs to know how to read people and interact with them accordingly. These are the types of bartenders who develop a strong customer following. A good bartender will bring customers in, just because he or she is working.

A Bartender Should be a Good Salesperson

A bartender should be a good sales person, without being pushy. A customer asks for a martini. A good bartender would ask if they want Beefeater or Bombay, and not just assume they want well gin (yuck). Many restaurant bars offer full dinner service. A good bartender will always offer a dinner menu and tell the customer about the daily specials. They will have as much knowledge of the menu as the servers and will always be able to recommend a favorite dish or two.

Experienced Bartenders Only, Please!

One of the most important traits in a good bartender is experience. Tending bar is a hands-on job. You cannot learn it from a book. You have to do it! For this reason, it is a very, very, very bad idea to hire someone fresh out of bartending school as your main bartender. Bartending schools, a good idea in theory, do not give the kind of hands on experience that is needed to be a bartender at a busy restaurant. A graduate of a bartending school is ideal for a bar-back position, or even a bartender on a slow night, but they are definitely not the ideal choice for the busy weekend shift. Like all careers, the bartending school graduate must work his or her way up the restaurant staff totem pole.

Always Check References When Hiring A Bartender

Always check references. Hiring employees is time consuming and frankly, a pain in the you-know-what at times. It is often tempting to hire a person on the spot, because he or she is a friend of one the staff, or a friend of friend, ect… Because of the important role a bartender plays in your establishment, you should be vigilant about checking references. Also, ask your employees about the person you are considering hiring. They may give you a more candid opinion of the candidate than a former employer or reference.

Questions to Ask Bartending Candidates

When you are interviewing a bartender, ask candidates to describe their previous job settings. Is the previous restaurants where they worked similar to yours? If the candidate only worked a service bar, then they might not be the ideal choice to run a busy pub or sports bar. Other questions to ask a potential hire include:
    • How do you tell if someone has had too much to drink? • How do you handle drunk customers? • How do you handle a busy bar? • How do you deal with an unhappy customer? • You have a problem with one of the other staff, what do you do? • Are you TIPS certified?
Final Words About Hiring a Bartender

As a restaurant owner, it’s hard to be in all places at all times and know everything that is going on. However, you should definitely keep an eye on the new bartender. Despite the above mentioned advice, you can be snowballed by a friendly face and pleasant manner.

Ask your other staff (privately) how they like working with the new bartender. While many employees don’t want to be viewed as a rat, you can gauge their responses. Are they enthusiastic about the bartender? Are they evasive in their response? A good boss knows his or her staff, and will know how they like the new bartender.

Also, keep an eye on your liquor inventory. Many a bartender (and other staff) has helped himself to a bottle of two of house liquor. If you notice that a certain brand of liquor is flying off the shelves, check your POS to make sure that it is accounted for. If it isn’t, speak with your bartender about where it has been going.

Until you feel one hundred percent comfortable with the person you have entrusted with a good portion of your business, keep track of sales, receipts and deposits and inventory.

, Guide

SoFlo DJ's and Entertainment Services, Inc.: Choosing the Right DJ for Your Event

SoFlo DJ's and Entertainment Services, Inc.: Choosing the Right DJ for Your Event: "I'm sure you've heard it before…” A bad DJ can ruin a great wedding” and at a wedding reception, where the entertainment is considered to be..."

SoFlo DJ's and Entertainment Services, Inc.: Choosing the Right Limo Company

SoFlo DJ's and Entertainment Services, Inc.: Choosing the Right Limo Company: "One of the many things you will have to consider for your wedding day is how you plan on getting from point A to point B throughout that day..."

SoFlo DJ's and Entertainment Services, Inc.: The Many Responsibilities of a Professional DJ

SoFlo DJ's and Entertainment Services, Inc.: The Many Responsibilities of a Professional DJ: "Music It is important to first understand what responsibilities a professional DJ should have on your wedding day. The foremost responsibil..."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Many Responsibilities of a Professional DJ


It is important to first understand what responsibilities a professional DJ should have on your wedding day. The foremost responsibility, as you might imagine, is to play music at your reception that will keep the party going. However, there is more to this than you might expect. In fact, the most common mistake couples make when choosing a DJ is to overestimate the ease of playing music that keeps a crowd on the dance floor. For this reason, many couples will opt to have a friend or coworker DJ their wedding reception rather than hire a professional. In reality though, nowhere is the difference between a professional DJ and an amateur more apparent than on the dance floor. As we will see, just because someone has DJ equipment does not mean that they know what they are doing.

Many amateur DJs will tout at least some experience playing music in clubs or at house parties. However, playing music at a club is absolutely nothing like playing music at a wedding reception. At a club, most people are around the same age and have similar tastes in music. That's why they're there! This leads the inexperienced DJ to assume that everyone likes the same kind of music as they do. At a wedding, however, there may be people from ages 8 to 80 on the dance floor at any one time and the differences in their musical tastes will be vast.

Only experience will teach a wedding DJ the need for variety. Their job is to appeal to the masses by playing all styles of familiar party music. An experienced wedding DJ will understand that everyone is passionate about ‘"their style" of music and know how to tap into that passion and present it in a manner that everyone on the dance floor can get excited about together. They will know how to correctly weave in and out of many different styles of music and, ultimately, keep the party going all night long.

DJs with little or no wedding experience, on the other hand, may not even consider the diversity on the dance floor. When people don't respond to their music selections they may get frustrated and simply blame the "lame crowd" rather than digging in and working the music to find something that works for everyone.

Remember, a professional has a sense of pride to keep people on the dance floor, whereas amateurs believe people should be on the dance floor out of an obligation to them! This is why the experience of your DJ is paramount to the success of your wedding night.

It is also important to make sure that your DJ has a large selection of song titles, 12,000 is usually a good place to start. Without an adequate selection of music, it is difficult to satisfy a large variety of age groups and musical interests. In addition to just owning the music, a DJ should have extensive knowledge of the music as well; this includes everything from popular fox trots and waltzes to the latest club hits. Furthermore, be sure that your DJ will play the songs you want hear, not just the songs they want to hear. Many frustrated newlyweds have spent their wedding night listening to their DJs favorite tunes! And lastly, be wary of the DJ whose presentation is obnoxious or cheesy. You don't want a DJ who thinks that he or she is the star of the show.


Coordinating the Event

While playing music is the most obvious responsibility of a wedding DJ, it is certainly not the only one. Many couples don't realize that one of the biggest responsibilities of the wedding DJ is to coordinate the evening's events. This is the job that will make the single biggest difference between your guests remembering a wedding that was smooth and effortless or one that was awkward and clumsy.

As couples soon discover as they plan their wedding, there are many different people who must contribute to the success of their wedding day. These include the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the hall manager, the videographer, the photographer, the church personnel and more! In addition to the people, there are also events that need be coordinated, such as the cake cutting ceremony, toasts, grace, introductions, bouquet toss, the bridal dance and more. A professional DJ will be able to walk the bride and groom through the evening's events with ease and grace by working with all the parties involved to ensure things run smooth and as planned. Be wary of amateurs without experience! You will put a lot of work into planning your wedding. A DJ without experience can easily become overwhelmed at this enormous responsibility and may forget important events, causing stress, chaos, confusion and disappointment.

In short, a DJ needs to be organized, perceptive and efficient to properly orchestrate the evening's events.

Some things your DJ should be watching for to ensure the night runs smoothly include: Checking with the hall to make sure that dinner is actually ready to be served before asking people to sit down; letting the photographer know what's coming up next so they aren't outside smoking a cigarette or in the restroom while the cake is being cut or the bridal dance starts; making sure that the champagne is served before handing the microphone to best man for his toast; or checking for utensils on the cake table so when you go to cut the cake, you have something to cut it with! A good wedding DJ is detailed oriented and will keep an eye out for things that are missing or out of place. These little things certainly won't ruin your wedding night, but added up; they will surely cause anxiety for you, as well as your guests.

An organized wedding reception starts with a DJ who cares, and who takes pride in being prepared. A good DJ should begin preparation for your wedding reception many days in advance. It is extremely important for a bride and groom to be given the chance to convey to the DJ what they want their wedding reception to be like. Couples will hear many different opinions about what their reception should be like, and a good wedding DJ will go over every aspect of the wedding reception with the bride and groom to fully understand what they expect.

Watch out for unscrupulous DJ companies who will send out DJs who have never even talked to the bride and groom. And be equally cautious of amateurs who will only do things their way - the only way they know how. In addition, be sure your DJ will arrive at the wedding hall at least an hour and a half before the wedding. A good DJ will have everything set up - music playing, tuxedo on, excess gear put away, cords neatly taped down, etc. - before guests begin arriving. You don't want your DJ setting up gear while your guests are arriving for cocktails.


Master of Ceremonies

Finally, a professional wedding DJ should be a well-trained Master of Ceremonies. This means being confident on the microphone and able to make important announcements and introductions in a classy, charismatic manner. Professionals will spend time preparing their announcements and have pride in their ability to pronounce everyone's name correctly. Nowhere will lack of experience be more obvious than in a Master of Ceremonies. Unprofessional announcements, mispronounced names and titles, and inappropriate remarks are just a few of the ways an MC might show their inexperience. Nothing makes a crowd more uncomfortable than to sit in front of someone who is nervous and stuttering on the microphone. Often times, a DJ may try to hide this nervousness by turning into a cheesy "party motivator", annoying guests and embarrassing the bride and groom. A professional clearly understands their boundaries and will never try to upstage the bride and groom by putting undue attention on themselves.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Choosing the Right Limo Company

One of the many things you will have to consider for your wedding day is how you plan on getting from point A to point B throughout that day. Many couples use a limo as oppose to the family car to get them to the ceremony location and reception. But do you really need a limo? Take into account how many people you are going to have in the vehicle. If you'll be traveling with a small group, you may want to hire a town car instead. On the other hand many brides like to travel with their maids. In which case, you may want to hire a stretch limousine. In any event, consider the amount of space you need before you get the biggest limo on the lot.

Also, there are some things you should to consider before making that decision – if you don't hire a reliable company, you might not get to your event at all. To reduce the risk of a no-show, or getting poor service, or not getting what you expected, check out the limousine service before hiring them!. First and foremost you must decide what type of limo you are looking to rent (traditional stretch limo or specialty limo), the length of time you need it for, and how much you are willing to spend.

Here are some things to consider and look for when shopping for a limo:

While some shoppers tend to always search online to find the best deals, don't choose your Limo based on price alone. Because most Limo Companies are small businesses, the price you pay may reflect on what you get.

A reputable company will happily agree to provide you with a written contract. Also, keep a copy of the contract you sign. The contract should include the following:
  • Year, make, model and color of the limo you selected
  • Pickup time, drop off time and itinerary for that day
  • Rates, including the percentage of gratuity and any other miscellaneous charges etc.
  • Deposit and cancellation fees
  • Company's liability in the event of breakdowns, no show, etc.
  • Overtime fees (if there are any)
Most reputable companies will have no problem including any of this information in the contract. The contract should also contain the written rules and regulations such as no smoking, drinking, etc. Any violations of their rules will most likely lead to immediate termination of their services. Also, beware that as the signing party, you are liable for any damage to the Limo.

Insist on seeing the actual car that will be transporting you. If you don't have time to go and visit the Limousine Company's showroom personally, ask the company to email you photo(s) of their limo(s) or other vehicles. To make sure you get a top quality car, consider writing down the license plate of the car you've been shown, be sure to check the year, make, model as well as the amenities inside the limousine and include that in your written contract. This will ensure that you will not end up getting some old rundown limousine.

Limousine companies are required to carry both state and federal operating authorities. Ask your prospective company if they are licensed to operate in your state.

All Limousine companies must carry a minimum amount of commercial liability insurance, depending on their operating state. Ask your prospective company to fax you a copy of their Certificate of Coverage.

Check with your local Better Business Bureau about past complaints about the prospective Limo Company. You can locate your local BBB office at

A ask others you know if they can recommend a service they have used, or ask the company for their most recent references of past performances. Hearing from recently satisfied customers will lend truth to the prospective limo company.

Inquire about the prospective limousine company's associations with organizations such as the National Limousine Association and their local state livery association. A company that is a member of a recognized association must abide by certain code of ethics, thus reducing their chance of providing inadequate service.

Inquire about the company's policy of hiring chauffeurs and the screening process. Make sure the company's chauffeurs are familiar with the service area so that you don't end up wasting unnecessary time while their chauffeur gets lost.

A ask about the Limo company's hourly minimums and how they calculate their time.

Again, do not choose a company because they are less expensive. You will most likely hear horror stories from couples, parents and students that have all made this mistake. Inquire about all the rates involved, including gratuity and any other miscellaneous fees. Rates vary based on area of service.

Provide the Limo Company with a written itinerary, of all the pickup and drop off locations. Most companies will require this information in advance and ask for advance notice of any changes.

Some couples like to arrive in one-of-a-kind style. There are other specialty limo's available for your wedding day needs such as sports cars, vintage automobiles, double-decker bus even a horse-drawn carriage, etc.

  • Remember to book as early as possible to get what you want. If you are booking a limo for a wedding, you should start your limo search 3-6 months in advance. This will ensure that you get that dates and service that you want.
  • Find a service that specializes in weddings or larger events as opposed to simply transportation if that's why you're hiring the limo.
  • When deciding what type of limo to rent, make sure that the company you are interested in actually owns that type of limo, and is not using a second company.
  • Use a company that has a good reputation for being on time.
  • Keep you special event special by checking out the limo service before hiring it.

Choosing the Right DJ for Your Event

I'm sure you've heard it before…” A bad DJ can ruin a great wedding” and at a wedding reception, where the entertainment is considered to be such a major component, next to the food, service, and decorations, hiring the right DJ, should be given some serious consideration. But, where do you start? With thousands of wedding disc jockeys on the market, and all claiming hall of fame status, making the right decision gets really confusing.

There are actually several things you should consider before selecting an entertainer:

Spending more money will not guarantee you the best entertainment for you particular affair. You will have to select the DJ that's right for you, and your guests.

Is the entertainer experienced in providing these services for your event? How much experience does he or she have? Get references from people you trust.

Is your entertainer insured? Every legitimate business has insurance.

The type of equipment the DJ will be using at your event? There are many DJ's that get by, using beat-up cheap equipment because they can't afford quality. This will impact the quality of sound you will get when your music is being played.

Lighting is another option to consider. Some DJ's charge extra for it, some offer none at all, and some might have very elaborate packages to choose from.

Should something go wrong, is back-up equipment immediately available? Should a problem arise, and you are relying on the entertainment, don't you want to know what the entertainer's backup plan is for your very important event?

What happens if your DJ cannot make it? You should have a contract that answers this question.

Who will be the entertainer at your event? Many DJ companies have employees under them that you have never met before? Some of these might even be beginners! Your contract should make this clear as well.

The all important references! Ask for them and actually check them! Satisfied customers say "quality" best!

What other services are included other than just playing music? Do you get an emcee, a coordinator, how about someone to interact with your crowd, to inspire them and encourage them to participate?

Will your DJ take requests, or tailor the event to your specifications. Will your DJ spend time with you, to find out what you want and help you plan your event?

Will your DJ speak professionally in front of your guests?

Are there any hidden or extra charges for expected services, travel expenses, or requirements from the entertainer that seem unusual? Do they take smoke breaks, drink alcohol or wear a baseball cap on the job? If they don't cover these topics, perhaps you should.

In the end, you must choose who you feel is right for your event. Keep in mind the DJ you select, will dramatically impact your event, your memories and your reputation. Invest some time on your decision, and you will get favorable results.