QMEP Blogs So You Can Party
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?
Most couples have attended a wedding and explain they didn't know the cake cutting happened and they missed it! It's now a concern for their own wedding. The solution is simple. The MC needs to let everyone know what is happening. Keeping your guests informed is vital.
QMEP DJs (Yes, our DJs are MCs) use what I like to call a "Teaser" followed by a "Directive" announcement.
Imagine the dance floor is packed, people are having a great time. We don't want to kill the music or the dance party but need to let your guests know about the cake cutting. While guests are still dancing, the MC announces "Ladies and gentlemen, you'll want to stick around, the cake cutting is coming up in about 10 minutes". This allows guests to keep dancing, know what's about to happen and it gives them a time frame if they need to run to the restroom or check out the photo booth.
When it's time to cut the cake the MC announces it again. "Ladies and Gentlemen it is Cake Cutting Time! We would like to invite Jeff and Kim over to cut their beautiful cake. Feel free to make your way over to get a closer look. You do not want to miss this, as they will be sharing their first piece of cake together as husband and wife". The announcement may even include the location of the cake. "Please make your way over to the far corner of the room and gather around Jeff & Kim as they will be cutting their beautiful cake". By the time the announcement is made and repeated, the photographer is in position and you've made your way over, your guests are there with their phone cameras ready to share the moment with you!
There are many things to consider when choosing a photo booth, from the quality to the props. Here is the Most Important Photo Booth Tip to help make your booth a real hit at your wedding.
Have the photo booth set up near the dance floor! Planners make the mistake of placing the photo booth in a separate area. The DJ competes with the booth due to the separation. The photo booth will take guests away from the dance floor. But, if the DJ is killing it, you've wasted your money on the photo booth.
When the photo booth is located near the dance floor it keeps everyone together and creates more of a party. Guests will dance in line, easily go back and forth from the dance floor to the booth and props start making their way out to the dance floor!