Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Holiday Gala Events

Summer is just starting to wane and the kids are headed back to school, but now is the time to start thinking about planning that big company holiday party. Here is a list of things to think about now, so that your holiday event goes off without a hitch:

1) Location: Would you like an on site or off site location? Will you need to rent a space?

2) Who will cater? Does your event venue do food, or will you need to contract with another company?

3) What will the menu look like? Will it be a dessert reception, or a sit-down dinner? Will alcohol be served—and will it be an open, or paid bar?

4) How will invitations be sent out? Is an email or evite OK, or do formal invitations need to be ordered and printed?

5) Who is handling the guest list and RSVPs?

6) What is the theme or d├ęcor for the party?

7) Do you need to recruit volunteers to assist with planning, decorations and clean-up?

8) What kind of entertainment will you have? Have you booked your favorite Charlotte DJ?

9) Will the event be a black-tie or a “Hawaiian Luau”? Be specific with your guests so that they can plan accordingly!

10) What kinds of favors or party give-aways will you need? Will there be recognition or awards given? Do you need to make arrangements for any items to be printed ahead of time?

When planning any event, it is important to get a jump start on the details, so when the time comes, everything will fall into place seamlessly!

Professional DJs, MCs, VJs, Event Coordinators, and Party Motivators:
Charlotte, North Carolina

Friday, October 9, 2009

The History of Wedding Cake

As far back as the Roman Empire, there were wedding cakes. Throughout history, the wedding cake has taken on a wide variety of customs and traditions, some of which have stuck, and others that have faded away—many for good reason!

In Medieval England, wedding cakes were really flour-based breads. In one custom, guests would stack small sweet buns in a large pile in front of the newlyweds, and the couple would try to kiss over the pile. If they were successful, they could expect to be blessed many children.

In the middle of the17th century and well into the early 19th century, bride's pie was a popular. The pie was filled with sweet breads, a mince pie, or may have been merely a simple mutton pie. The bride’s pie always included a glass ring—and the lady who found the ring would be the next to be married. Bride's pies were not at all weddings during this time, but it is known that these pies were sometimes made into the main centerpiece at less elaborate receptions.

By the late 19th century, a single-tiered plum wedding cake became really popular, and the use of the bride's pie disappeared.

As far as the 17th century, people would sleep with a piece of cake underneath their pillow, since legend has it that sleepers will dream of their future spouses if a piece of wedding cake is under their pillow. In the late 18th century brides would sometimes pass tiny crumbs of cake through their wedding rings and give them to their guests who would place them under their pillows, but at some point the custom seemingly ended when brides began to get superstitious about taking their rings off after the ceremony.

Wedding cakes are "supposed to be" white. Right? The symbolism is obvious, white has always signified purity. White wedding cake icing that first appeared in Victorian times, as a visual link between the bride and the cake. Previous to Victorian times, most wedding cakes were also white, but not because of the symbolism—instead, white was used for a very practical purpose—colored frosting was hard to make! But very white frosting was also hard to come by, since white icing required the use of only the finest refined sugar, so the whiter the cake, the more affluent the families looked, and each family wanted to appear that they had significant status in their community.

Today, wedding cakes are still front and center in the traditional cake cutting ceremony, a beautiful symbol of the first task that bride and groom perform together as husband and wife.

Professional DJs, MCs, VJs, Event Coordinators, and Party Motivators:
Charlotte, North Carolina

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Questions to ask your DJ

There was a time when having a DJ at your wedding, was mostly a cost decision. But DJ’s no longer just play a couple standard party songs in the corner and go home. DJ’s can offer a huge variety of music selections and styles that a live band sometimes cannot. And a DJ can be an emcee, moving the wedding along, getting the crowd to participate, and gathering the crowd to pay attention to a significant moment in the night.

So when you are considering a DJ for your wedding, here are some questions to ask:

Presentation. Ask the DJ how they will do the presentation of things like the introductions, first dance, cake cutting, bouquet & garter, requests and special dances. You and the DJ should be able to work together to accommodate your needs and their style.

Clothing. What will the DJ be wearing? Some DJ’s wear tuxedos, others suits, and still others show up in whatever they happen to throw on that day. If you have a preference—now is the time to say so!

Food. If you are having a reception at dinner time, rest assured the DJ will be hungry too. If you are serving food, make sure you ask if the DJ would like the meal, (most will say yes) and what choice they would like.

Breaks. Unless the DJ is working in a team, they will need a break (bathroom, drink, fresh air). Ask the DJ what their policy on breaks is and how they will cover the time they step away (Will they have music playing? Etc.)

Time. Ask about the DJ’s start and end times. The DJ can play just during the reception or during the cocktail hour and through dessert, but you should be specific about what you want and what rates apply for the time.

Song Selections. You should be able to select from a song list, and include a few special requests. You can even put a “no-play” list together, (that way if you don’t want a certain song, no matter how many times Uncle Erv requests it, it won’t be played).

Equipment. A DJ should have professional sound equipment – including speakers and a microphone and everything he or she should have to play at your wedding, but they will need access to a power supply, and potentially a table with linens (many will bring this, but it pays to ask). Make sure you know exactly what you are providing, and what they are bringing to the event.

Professional DJs, MCs, VJs, Event Coordinators, and Party Motivators:
Charlotte, North Carolina