QMEP Blogs So You Can Party
Imagine you're at a wedding and the DJ goes to introduce the Best Man to give a toast, but for some reason your glass is empty! As you look around you notice everyone's glasses are empty and most of the people are wandering around. The photographer is nowhere to be seen and their is a surprised look on the Best Man's face. Now, he's uncomfortable and we don't know what's going to come out of his mouth because he just got put on the spot. Now imagine thisis your wedding.
Does this really happen? Yes, it does. How? Simple. The "friend" who has always wanted to be an event planner has told the DJ it's time to do the toasts without taking the necessary steps to plan for the moment.
A professional event planner is going to make sure the caterer has poured drinks or invited guests to the bar if they are not pouring to the tables. The planner will also let all the vendors know the toasts will be happening in X amount of time and where they will be taking place.
Your planner should be giving anyone who is going to speak about a 10-15 minute heads up so they can prepare and are not shocked when it's time to deliver that awesome toast in front of your guests. A professional planner will ask the DJ to make an announcement prior to inform your guests the toasts will be happening in about 10 minutes. The planner should also verify that the DJ actually knows everyone's name. All of these things should happen before the DJ ever introduces the Best Man or anyone else.
The toast is just one example of a small but important part of a wedding. Now, I ask that you think about all the other important moments, specific details and duties that will need to somehow be facilitated. You will need a professional.
Think about your other vendors for a moment. Who will they be comfortable working with? Will you be able to get the highest level of performance from your DJ, the best shots from your photographer, great sound bites from your video and great service from the caterer and bar if they can't rely on your event planner? The answer is No. The event planner effects everything.
Stay tuned. Part 3 of this blog will be posted in a few days!
As a professional vendor in the wedding industry for 20 years, I have experienced the friend, co-worker, family member or wannabe event planner that has been brought in by the bride and groom to help plan their wedding, many times. And for the most part, this has been a huge mistake.
If you think this will give your wedding a more "personal touch" or help with your budget's bottomline, it won't.
Hiring a professional event planner can save you time and money overall when accounting for industry connections, experience, knowledge and discounts. This is time and money you would unnecessarily spend due to a lack of those real intangibles.
Maybe you don't think a professional event planner is really needed. You wouldn't hire your cousin to extract your tooth, unless they were a real dentist, would you?
If you find yourself in a place where help is needed, and let's face it most people do need some help planning their wedding, it's always best to hire a professional.
So much time and energy goes into this special moment in your life, a day you'll always remember. Do you really want to leave it in the hands of a family member because they're familiar, your co-worker that seems "organized" or a friend who has always wanted to be an event planner?
It's not the same thing, not even close. It doesn't translate to running a smooth wedding and your wedding should not be a test dummy!
This topic will be in three parts. Part 2 will be posted in a few days. I will provide real experiences why hiring someone other than a professional is a bad idea.
In Part 3, I will provide a couple of great event planners that actually work for some of our favorite caterers here in the Bay Area!
These days caterers are stating they can do more and more services everyday. Some have even changed their names to include "Events" or "Event Planning". They will even tell you they provide lighting, decor or djs. In fact, many caterers don't even own really nice plates and silverware.
Yep, most caterers will actually rent things like linens, heaters, decor and other rental items from an actual rental company and receive an "industry standard" 20% discount. Sounds good right? Well, you need to keep reading...
The caterer will gladly add it to their own invoice but they will upcharge the rentals or even mark the items up further so they can make a nice profit! Instead of passing along the discount to you and your wedding budget, you end up paying more money. A lot more. How much cash are you giving away? If it sounds expensive, that's because it is!!
Ask yourself one question...is this extra cost worth it?
If it still sounds nice, going to a caterer who provides all these services (they really don't) and letting them take care of everything (they really don't) so you don't have to go to a rental company yourself, consider this; You really only need one professional for this, an Event Planner.
Now, when I say "industry standard", you should know the rental companies set it up this way so they don't have to deal directly with the client. They want to deal with caterers, venues and professional event planners.
The caterers know this too. They will now include a so called event planner. Really to get your rental business and keep you from getting a real event planner. The truth is most catering services hate dealing with outide event planners! Especially, the person who thinks they know what there doing because they've planned a bunch of family events or they loved helping their friends get married. These people have made it really hard for the professional event planners.
Anyway, the problem with this is the caterers' "event planner" really only has the best interest of the caterer, largely in part to their experiences with bad event planners. For the most part, they don't consider the logistical needs of the other wedding vendors.
For example, floor plans will be great for their wait staff to serve food but will not consider things like where the dj will need to put their speakers or keeping the photo booth in the party area. It's really not objective.
We recieve those same "industry standard" discounts as the caterers. The difference is we're not trying to make a profit on this. We take care of the services we know how to provide and give our clients the "industry hookup". It's simple, you save thousands of dollars with QMEP.
Here's an example: QMEP operates Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, Ca. In the past, we allowed our preferred caterers to handle the rentals. In 2015, QMEP has taken over the rentals. We have saved each couple an average of $475 just on linens! Think about the overall savings!
QMEP DJs are trained to facilitate the special events within your wedding, such as the first dance or cake cutting and perform as master of ceremonies. We believe the MC duties are a vital part of a djs performance and ultimately effect the outcome of a wedding. So vital in fact, that we discourage having anyone else, such as a close friend or family member perform as the MC.
Why? Over time, we've seen these "stand in" MCs attempt to perform at weddings and it never goes well. Here are a few things we've experienced. The actual flow of the wedding is effected. When the music stops or transitions need to be made from one event to another, the "stand in" is not always available or they don't know how to phrase what they need to say. What if the "stand in" is too comfortable, has a few drinks and says something that is really inappropriate or crosses the line at your wedding. We've all seen a person crack jokes that didn't go over well and they just know they're so funny. Super awkward.
It's always better to leave it to the pros. Remember, public speaking is one of the biggest fears people have. This can cause mistakes, awkward moments and make your guests uncomfortable.
We may not know your family history as well or even have any funny backstories (unless you want to fill us in) but we will keep it classy and let your toasts from the Best Man or Maid of Honor provide the funny tales. After all, this is about you and your family. Our DJs are not going to try to "steal the show".
How the dj performs on the mic is one of the biggest concerns in our industry. At QMEP, we tailor our performances. We can be conservative, adapt to your guests, encourage people or even perform a little bit. It really depends on the type of feel and atmosphere you would like to create at your wedding.
Watchout for the companies with additional charges for MC services. They will want to "add" an MC. This really isn't necessary if the dj has the skills and training, plus it ends up costing you extra money!
Lastly, It's important the dj builds a rapport with your guests. This is accomplished through announcements, introductions and "teasers" during the wedding which leads up to dancing. Expertise will always play a part in the timing and flow of a wedding and the right DJ will use their MC skills to smoothly guide you and your guests through your special day.
Every so often, I run across a client who says "I was going to hire my friend to DJ my wedding, he's really good but I didn't want them working at my wedding".
I always think to myself...why not? And, what exactly are you saying? What are you trying to accomplish by saying that to the dj you've hired? Are you saying that you've "settled" for me? Do you know how good I am?
Do people know how offensive this is to a professional DJ? It seems like everybody and their mama knows a DJ! So I thought about it and here it goes...
First I have to say, I think the excuse of "not working" is a cop out. People have friends help them all the time at weddings. That's why there is such a thing as DIY.
Second, you want a good dj at your wedding and if you already know your friend is good, wouldn't you "WANT" him to dj your wedding.
Which leads me to believe it comes down to the money. People love getting the hook up. Why should a DJ be any different? Maybe some people just do not want to "pay a friend" to DJ their wedding. It's the whole mixing money and friendship thing. It can be really awkward.
Having a friend DJ your wedding opens up a lot of potential for mistakes and unprofessional behavior that simply would not happen otherwise. What if your friend is "too comfortable" and not taking it serious, especially if he's not getting paid adequately. He may feel disrespected or like he's really doing you a huge favor.
Here's my advice, if you truly respect your friend as a DJ and you really think he's that good...
You Should Pay Him To DJ Your Wedding!
If you approach it as a client and vendor relationship and treat it as such, there should be no issues, right?