Tue

11

Nov

2014

5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Travel Agent for Your Next Vacation

Orlando travel agent Burgess Travel Network. Sandals Certified Specialists
Travel Agents help you get the best honeymoon or vacation

It’s so easy to go online a book your own flight, hotel and rental car, so is there any reason to use a travel agent when planning your honeymoon or next vacation? Absolutely! Consider these five benefits travel agents provide leisure travelers:

1. Save time and money. You can spend hours on your computer trying to find the best deals and coordinate your schedule – or you can let a travel agent do the work for you. And the travel agent may find better prices than you can.

2. Special deals. Travel agents often have access to information about promotions and packages not available to the general public.

3. Troubleshooting. If something goes wrong while you’re on your trip, your travel agent can step in. When you book online, you don’t have that personal connection.

4. Recommendations. Travel agents are also travel enthusiasts. Chances are, your agent has been where you’re going and has the experience and knowledge to help you plan a trip that will meet your needs and budget.

5. Bonuses. Travel agents can often score perks for you that you couldn’t get for yourself, such as a room upgrade or fee waiver.

6. You actually get the vacation you want. All too often when people book their travel on the internet, they get the cheapest thing out there. This may not actually be the best option for you. Your travel agent will take the time to get to know you and make sure that the honeymoon or vacation you book will be exactly what you want.

Wed

15

Oct

2014

Wedding Planning? Put Tax Issues on Your Post-Wedding To-Do List

Orlando Wedding DJ reminds you to update your tax forms
It's not fun, but it needs to be done!

 

After the excitement, fun and romance of your wedding and honeymoon, you’ll have to get back to the real world. That’s where, along with writing thank-you notes and choosing which wedding photos you want to frame, you should consider the impact of your marriage on your tax status.

As one of Orlando’s most popular wedding DJ providers, we know more about receptions than taxes, so we checked with the IRS and found these tips for items you should add to your after-the-wedding task list:

Name change. The names and Social Security numbers on your tax return must match your Social Security Administration (SSA) records. If you change your name, report it to the SSA using Form SS-5, which you can get on SSA.gov.

Change tax withholding with your employer. You must give your employer a new W-4 when your marital status changes. If you and your spouse both work, your combined incomes may put you in a higher tax bracket, so be sure you are both having enough – but not too much – withheld from your wages.

Address change. If you move after the wedding, file a change of address notice with the IRS.

Change in filing status. Be aware that if you’re married as of Dec. 31, that’s your marital status for the entire year for tax purposes. Whether you and your spouse file jointly or separately is a decision you should make after consulting with a qualified tax advisor to determine what is best for you.

The IRS suggests that newlyweds also conduct a health insurance review. This is important for a wide range of reasons, but particularly if you’re receiving premium assistance through advance payments of the premium tax credit through a Health Insurance Marketplace. If you, your spouse or a dependent gets health insurance coverage through the Marketplace, you need to inform the Marketplace about your change in circumstances so you can make sure you have the right coverage and your health insurer is receiving the correct amount of advance credit payments.

Getting married also gives you and your spouse the opportunity to sign up for health care during a special enrollment period (in most cases, 60 days from the date of your wedding).

 

I want to stress that we are experienced, popular wedding DJs in Orlando – not tax specialists. If you want to talk about how we can help you have the wedding and reception of your dreams, call me. If you have any questions about the impact of your marriage on your tax circumstances, please consult with a qualified professional for guidance.

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Thu

19

Jun

2014

6 Tips for Including Your Dog in Your Wedding

Having your dog be part of your Orlando Wedding Ceremony is a growing trend
Having your furry friends as part of your ceremony can be great...if you do it right

"Never work with children or animals" W.C. Fields

 

Full disclosure: I’m a dog lover, so when couples want to include their dogs in their Orlando wedding, I’m all for it. I also understand that not everyone agrees with me, but if you do, read on.

 

Including a dog (or dogs) in wedding ceremonies is a relatively new trend that is increasing in popularity. They’re serving as ring bearers, attendants and escorts. However, having a four-legged family member at your wedding requires planning and preparation. Here are some tips:

 

Check with your Orlando wedding venue to find out if pets are allowed. Don’t assume that just because you’re getting married outside that it’s okay – or just because you’re getting married in a church, it’s not. Ask.

Decide if you’ll have your dogs at the reception as well as the wedding. Remember that health department rules may limit attendance at the reception to certified service animals.

Train and practice. If you want your dogs to wear a special collar, carry a basket, pull a small cart or whatever, don’t wait until the last minute to teach them what you want them to do or get them accustomed to a special costume. Train at home and also at the venue so your dogs aren’t surprised.

Assign someone to be responsible for your pets during the ceremony. Choose one of your attendants or a guest who knows the animals and is able to keep them sitting quietly (or take them out if they act up).

Let everyone in the wedding party as well as all of your vendors know the dogs will be there. This gives anyone who might have allergies sufficient notice to prepare for being in close proximity to your pets, and will let vendors take any additional steps necessary to provide their services with the animals in mind.

Feed your dogs well in advance or at the end of the night to avoid any “accidents”. Be sure to give them ample opportunity to do their “business” before the ceremony so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises while you’re saying your vows.

 

Remember that some pets just won’t be able to handle a wedding in an unfamiliar place with lots of unknown people. Don’t try to force your dogs to endure a situation they’ll only find stressful.

 

If you want your pets to share your special day but you can make it work logistically, include them in some of your pre- and post-wedding photos. Just know that you could end up with a Jethro on your hands!

 

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Thu

15

May

2014

Sister Company Burgess Travel Network Now an Accredited Cruise Counselor

We had the pleasure of meeting Capt Stubing himself from The Love Boat at the Cruise3Sixty convention this year.
Gavin McCleod aka Capt Stubing from The Love Boat with Robin and Marc

Whether you’re planning your honeymoon, an anniversary celebration, a reunion or a no-special-reason vacation, consider a cruise. At Burgess Travel Network, we are proud to have earned the prestigious Accredited Cruise Counselor designation from CLIA Cruise Academy. This means we have completed a rigorous training program of seminars, online courses and exams, and experience, and have proven our ability to assist our clients with their cruise travel plans.

As education goes, we admit that it wasn’t all hard work – CLIA’s certification programs require cruise counselors to have a significant amount of personal cruise experience. And what better way to gain the product knowledge necessary to help you choose the right cruise than to take those cruises ourselves?

Consider these great reasons to cruise:

Cruises are an excellent value for your travel dollar. The fares include nearly everything — accommodations, food, entertainment and transportation between destinations. And the cost per person per night is almost always far less than you’d spend on land for a hotel, dinner and show.

See multiple locations without having to pack and unpack. Your floating hotel room lets you wake up in a new place every morning without hauling out your luggage or dealing with transportation schedules.

From the age perspective, most cruise ships are family friendly and have something for everyone. Facilities and activities are organized by age, so the little ones have safe places to play, the teens have cool hangouts, and the parents and grandparents have their own entertainment.

Ships offer a wide variety of onboard activities to keep everyone happy. The kids can play sports or swim while you pamper yourself in the spa. Enjoy exotic foods or simple, traditional meals. Take a class, work out, shop, spend time in a casino – or just do nothing.

Visit exotic destinations that you’ve always wanted to see. Cruise lines make it easy to tour unfamiliar places in a way that is safe and secure.

Cruising is social and so romantic. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people that often become lifelong friends, as well as enjoy the special environment that sets the mood for romance.

Whether you’re just thinking about what to do on your next vacation or you’re ready to book your cruise, call Burgess Travel Netowrk at 407-322-8884 today. We’re ready to make sure your cruise is everything you want and more.

To keep up with all of the latest, be sure to "Like" our Facebook Page.

 

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Wed

16

Apr

2014

Amateur or Professional? How to tell which you need for your wedding or special event

Orlando bride with a chainsaw
If you don't want to hack your wedding vendors to pieces, hire professionals

Let’s get the disclosure out of the way first: Just in case you can’t tell by browsing around my website, I am a professional DJ. I own a company that provides professional DJs for weddings, parties and corporate events in the Orlando, FL area.

 

I also live in the real world on a real budget and I have real friends who often do for fun what others do for a living. And those hobbyists are often quick to offer their services: “You’re getting married? Let me do the [whatever] for you!” I understand why there are times you’re tempted to use an amateur to provide a service such as emceeing, catering, photography, flowers and so on. You don’t want to hurt their feelings and you’d like to save money.

 

With that out of the way, let’s have an honest discussion about the difference between amateurs and professionals, and when you can take a chance on an amateur and when you must use a professional.

 

For our purposes, let’s define amateur as someone who does the work as a hobby without compensation because they love doing it and a professional as someone who does the work as a business for compensation.

 

When you use a professional, you have (or at least should have) a contract that completely spells out the details of your agreement. Part of choosing a professional is doing your homework to make sure that they have a reputation for quality and reliability, and professionals are ready to show you proof that you can count on them. If your friend’s cousin is offering to do something for free, you might not feel comfortable asking for references.  

 

When you use an amateur, you have no recourse if the job doesn’t get done right – or even at all. Sometimes that’s important, sometimes it’s not. Consider:

 

·         A friend prepares food for your wedding reception, and within an hour after consuming it, your guests begin to get sick.

·         A friend offers to make table favors for your party, but for whatever reason is unable to deliver and doesn’t bother to tell you.

 

In the first scenario, you’ve got some serious issues that could possibly even reach the life-threatening and/or lawsuit stage. In the second, there’s an excellent chance that most of your guests won’t even notice.

 

The more it matters, the more important it is to use a professional who is skilled, experienced, insured and has the proper equipment and contingency plans.

 

Let us know in the comments below if you have ever been a guest at a wedding where one of the services was done by a friend/relative and if it was a bad choice by the bride and groom (you can leave names out to protect the...well, you know.)

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Tue

11

Mar

2014

Dreaming of a Destination Wedding? We Can Help!

Destination Wedding at Sandals Emerald Bay
We can help you plan your Destination Wedding

Every couple wants a wedding that’s a special reflection of who they are and their unique relationship. Sometimes that means heading out of town to get married – a strategy that also lets you combine your wedding and honeymoon into one great trip: a weddingmoon.

If you’re thinking about a destination wedding, here are some points to keep in mind:

Location, location, location. The destination you choose sets the tone for your entire wedding. It’s more than just the place for the ceremony, it’s all the other available activities as well as the general ambiance. And, of course, you need to consider travel, time and budget.

Timing. Two key issues related to timing are seasonal issues at the destination and giving your guests sufficient notice to plan their schedules so they can attend. Choosing a date during the high season means higher rates and fewer choices in terms of venues. Off season means lower rates and thinner crowds, but you may find the weather iffy and many of the local shops and attractions closed. Whatever you choose, give your guests plenty of time to schedule their time off from work and book their flights and hotel accommodations.

Planning trips. Take at least one and ideally two or three trips to your destination to visit and secure venues and local service providers. Research local marriage requirements to be sure you can legally tie the knot there.

Check out your suppliers. It’s always important to do your homework on suppliers, no matter where your wedding will be. This is where a good Travel Agent can help. They know the reputable suppliers and have already built relationships with them.

Alert your friends and family. Tell people about the destination before you issue the invitation or ask them to be a part of the bridal party. This gives them the opportunity to gracefully decline if they can’t make the trip for any reason. And don’t be hurt if they can’t attend; they may not be able to afford the cost or time off work.

Now for the unabashed self-promotion:

If you are planning a destination wedding in Orlando (Central Florida) and want a professional DJ for your reception, the DJs at Marc Burgess Productions will work with you in person, on the phone and via video call to make sure you have the wedding of your dreams. We’ve got plenty of references for you to check.

If you live in Central Florida and are considering a destination wedding elsewhere, our travel planning professionals are standing by to help with every detail from choosing the location to the travel arrangements to making sure everyone gets home on time.

  

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Wed

05

Feb

2014

Planning Your Honeymoon? Orlando DJ Offers These Great Tips

Let us help you plan your first vacation as a married couple.
Hassle free honeymoons with Burgess Travel Network

Let’s start with a bit of trivia: Why is the post-wedding trip called a honeymoon? The internet is rich with explanations. One that I like goes back to the 5th century AD, when it was common practice for newlyweds to liberally consume mead, a honey-based alcoholic drink known for its aphrodisiac properties, during the first month (or moon) of marriage.

 

Today’s honeymoons range from short and simple to long and elaborate, depending on the couple’s preferences. Whatever you choose, these tips will help:

Set a budget. Before you consider anything else, decide how much you can spend. Then don’t allow yourself to fantasize about trips you can’t afford so you won’t be disappointed. Because many couples don’t need traditional household items as wedding gifts, a popular trend is for family and friends to contribute to the cost of the honeymoon. Click here for details on creating a honeymoon registry.

Share your ideas with each other. Talk about where you’d like to go and why. Consider the experiences of others. Browse around the internet. Then narrow it down. Make sure you choose a destination that you’ll both enjoy.

Choose a travel agent. Click here to read my article on why you should use a travel agent to plan your honeymoon. Along with the actual trip issues such as hotel and transportation, a travel agent will help you with other planning details, such as what to take, what sort of documents and vaccinations you’ll need for international travel, and other tasks that need to be done before you leave.

Decide on the timing. Sure, romantic movies often show the bride and groom racing off from the church or reception in a shower of rice to board a plane or ship, but you may want some rest between your wedding and your honeymoon. As a professional Orlando DJ, I see first-hand how exhausted couples are after the wedding. Some couples leave the next day, others wait a few days, still others may wait a few weeks or months. Do what fits your schedule and works best for you so that you get the most pleasure from this very special trip.

Make arrangements for kids and pets. Bridal couples who have children need to decide if they want to make the honeymoon a family event or if they want to leave the kids behind. If the kids are staying home, you need to plan ahead for reliable child care. If you have pets, be sure to make kennel or pet-sitter reservations so your non-human family members are safe and cared for while you’re gone.

What other advice can you offer about honeymoon planning? Please share your tips below.

 

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Wed

15

Jan

2014

Planning Your Honeymoon? Great Advice from an Orlando DJ

Number one All inclusive, adults only resort brand in the Caribbean, Sandals Resorts
We are your Certified Sandals Specialists

At Marc Burgess Productions, we think the only way to make a perfect wedding more perfect is to follow it with the honeymoon of your dreams. That’s why our Burgess Travel division is available to help you plan a romantic honeymoon that will be a memory you’ll cherish forever.

You may be thinking that with all the online travel resources out there, you can arrange your honeymoon yourself – and, of course, you could. But here are some reasons to plan your honeymoon using the services of a knowledgeable travel agent:

 

• Save time. The average packaged-travel purchase occurs after 38 visits to various websites. Many of those sites can be challenging to navigate, and then you have to remember what you saw where and how to get back to it once you’ve made a decision. Experienced travel agents know where to look for exactly what you want – and that lets you spend your time thinking about how much fun you’re going to have instead of trying to find the online resources you want.

• Save money. Of course, time is money, but a good travel agent can also save you cash out of pocket by getting you the best prices on the trip you want. They know, for example, when an advertised price isn’t the real price, and they’ll guide you in the right direction so you get the best value and stay within your budget.

• Peace of mind. Doing it yourself can be fun when everything goes right – but what about when things go wrong? Consider what you’ll do in the case of canceled flights, transportation strikes, overbooked hotels or any of hundreds of other unforeseen problems that could disrupt your honeymoon. This is especially important if you’ve got a complex itinerary that includes multiple exotic destinations. A travel agent knows what to do and is there to help when the unexpected happens.

• Personal relationship. No matter how user-friendly a website is or how much of your individual information it’s programmed to remember, nothing replaces a true personal relationship with a travel agent who gets to know you and is genuinely committed to making your trip wonderful. More than ever before, travel agents are valuable partners in trip planning.

 

Call us today for more information about how Burgess Travel can work for you as you plan your wedding and honeymoon. Be sure to share this on Facebook by clicking the button below.

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Mon

16

Dec

2013

Are You Engaged? Orlando DJ Explains Why You Should Attend a Bridal Show

January and February are popular months for bridal shows. If you’re newly engaged, you’ll find that wedding planning will be a lot easier if you attend at least one show. Here’s why you should take this advice from our team of professional Central Florida DJs:

There’s so much more to a wedding than meets the eye. A bridal show will expose you to all of the aspects of planning a wedding, whether you’re going to do it yourself or hire a professional wedding coordinator.

Shows are a great place to find service providers, including professional DJs for your reception. At the show, you can talk to providers, see samples of their work, and get a sense of whether they’d be appropriate for your wedding. It could take you months to meet with the same number of vendors at their individual locations that you’ll see in just a few hours at a show. However, remember there are many more service providers who may not be exhibiting at the show, so don’t rush into a commitment there. Also, most vendors won’t have time to give you the personal attention you need at the show, which is another reason to make your decision later.

Now having said that, a few vendors may be offering show specials for brides who sign up at the show.

You’ll see the latest in wedding fashion and décor. A runway show will let you see bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen attire on models so you’ll have a better idea of what you like before you get in the bridal shop.

Get some great travel ideas. If you’re thinking of a destination wedding or are looking for honeymoon ideas or assistance, there will be an abundance of information about some of the best places.

Find out how much things cost. Budgeting is one of the biggest challenges of wedding planning. A bridal show lets you get an idea of the price range of the elements you want so you can create a budget that works for you.

Ideas, ideas, ideas! Bridal shows are a wonderful place for ideas you may not have thought of that will help to create the wedding of your dreams.

Of course, the best reason to attend a bridal show is to have fun. For tips on making the show a pleasant and productive experience, read “Get the Most Out of a Bridal Show or Wedding Expo.”

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Wed

20

Nov

2013

How to Accommodate the Special Needs of your Guests? An Orlando DJ Answers:

Accessible Weddings in Orlando
Orlando Wedding Guest in a Wheelchair with Bride

If you’re hosting an event – a wedding, party, corporate event, or something else – chances are good you’ll have some guests with special needs. As professional DJs in Orlando, we’ve seen the situations handled with grace and tact – and we’ve seen them become a serious embarrassment for the hosts and inconvenience (or worse) for all. Our advice is to plan ahead for these issues so they don’t disrupt the flow or ambiance of your event.

 

Some tips:

Accessibility. Most public venues can accommodate individuals with mobility issues or who in a wheelchair. However, this can be a challenge in older facilities that may not meet the current standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and when events are held in private homes.

The issue of accessibility goes beyond just getting through the door and navigating the interior (like the bathrooms or weaving through guest tables to get to their seat). Keep parking in mind as well. For example, many great downtown venues are blocks away from the nearest garage.

Consider accessibility when selecting your venue. If necessary, personally contact any guests who may need assistance ahead of time and let them know what to expect and the best way to access the facility.

 

Other physical issues. In addition to those with limited mobility, you may have guests with other impairments that you’ll want to accommodate. In most cases, awareness and some simple advanced planning will be sufficient to make the event pleasant for all.

 

Dietary preferences. It’s impossible to take every dietary preference into consideration, but you can deal with the most common ones. For example, it’s common to offer a choice of meat and/or poultry, fish and a vegetarian option when serving a formal meal at a banquet. Ask your guests to indicate their selection on the RSVP card.

If you’re serving buffet style, the process is easier because your guests will simply choose what they prefer from the serving table. Your caterer can help you plan the quantities of each item based on what they typically see consumed and your own assessment of your guests.

 

Allergies and sensitivities. Beyond simple preferences is the issue that some foods and other items can cause a physical reaction ranging from minor to life-threatening. While it should be the responsibility of the individual to alert a host of such a condition, it’s also a good idea for you to be proactive. The most common food-allergic reactions are caused by peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. Also, an increasing number of people are following a gluten-free diet due to Celiac disease, gluten-sensitivity or just personal preference.

 

This issue is not limited to food. You may have guests who will be negatively affected by fragrances or even fresh flowers and live plants. Certainly it’s your event and you can do what you prefer, but these are things to keep in mind as you plan.

 

The best way to identify and accommodate your guests’ needs is to ask. You can either do it as part of the response or make a personal contact and simply say, “We’re looking forward to having you with us. Do you have any food allergies or other issues we should know about ahead of time?”

 

With some advance planning and communication, your special needs guests will be comfortable and feel welcome at your event.

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Mon

21

Oct

2013

Getting Married Over the Holidays? Some thoughts and tips from an Orlando DJ

Orlando wedding disc jockey Marc Burgess Productions
Orlando wedding during the holidays

The winter holiday season generally kicks off in late November with Thanksgiving and lasts through the New Year. It’s a busy, often-chaotic time – and it will be even more so if you’ve chosen to get married.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons to schedule your wedding during the holidays. It may be the most convenient time for your family and friends to get together to share your joy or there may be a date during that period that’s special to you. Whatever your reason doesn’t matter. But there are some things you should keep in mind if you want to tie the knot at this time of year.

Choose your venue early. The best and even not-so-great venues get booked well in advance, so get your wedding and reception locations under contract as soon as possible. Remember that the weather in Central Florida is generally balmy in December, so you can usually schedule an outdoor wedding and know you and your guests will be comfortable.

Send your save-the-date notices. Just as the venues get booked, so do the calendars of people. As soon as you’re sure of the date (usually that’s when you know you’ve got a location), send your save-the-date cards so family and friends can avoid scheduling conflicts.

• Book your DJ, church musician, other entertainment, caterer, photographer, etc. as soon as possible. The professional DJs at Marc Burgess Productions are booked for the holidays well in advance. Most of the other services you’re going to need are likely to be busy this time of year as well.

Take advantage of holiday decorations. Choosing a venue that’s already decorated for the holidays can make your own decorating efforts much easier. In fact, you may be able to get away with providing little more than your own flowers. However, you may want to check with the venue to find out how it will be decorated before you choose your own colors and decide on additional items.

 

If you like the ideas in this article, please give us an early holiday gift and share it with your friends. There are a bunch of buttons below that make it easy for you.

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Fri

20

Sep

2013

Liven Up the Company Holiday Party with Games

Orlando Game Show DJs for your holiday party
Fabulous Feud is just one of the games available

It may still feel like summer in Central Florida, but it’s time to be thinking about your company holiday party. And if you’re looking for something new and different, consider one of the Game Show Mania options from Marc Burgess Productions.

Annual holiday corporate gatherings may be beloved or dreaded – or both. They may be for employees only or include family members and/or customers. Whatever description fits yours, you can make it memorable for all the right reasons when you let us create a fun and exciting atmosphere by playing games based on your TV favorites. These familiar games encourage interaction between people who may not know each other, promote team-building, boost morale and provide a range of other benefits that will last long after the buffet is forgotten.

Our professional DJs and equipment keep the energy level high and engage even the wettest wet blankets and sourest sourpusses. Your game show choices include:

The Challenge – a Jeopardy-style game that lets participants put their knowledge to the test. We have a comprehensive inventory of questions or we can develop a customized program that incorporates your products, services and company knowledge.

Fabulous Feud – an adaptation of the popular Family Feud that encourages collaboration even as it reveals often-surprising opinions about your organization and its people.

Who Wants to be a Game Show Maniac? – another adaptation of a popular TV show that everyone enjoys playing or watching. You can create your own questions and point values, or use the installed questions.

Spin to Win – this one is based on Wheel of Fortune and uses audio and video effects to create the same exciting atmosphere.

Our professional DJs and game show equipment are already being booked for events in December and beyond. Check out the Game Show Mania page on our website and call us now to schedule your event.

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Tue

20

Aug

2013

Orlando DJ’s Advice: Ways to Save on Your Wedding & Reception

Narrowing your Orlando wedding guest list

Weddings are expensive. When I’m talking to Central Florida couples about providing professional DJ services for their special day, the conversation often turns to ways to save money but still have the wedding and receptionof their dreams. If you’re planning a wedding or even a party, these tips can help keep the cost down:

Set your budget and rank your priorities. Decide how much you can afford first, and then allocate your funds. Think about what’s most important to you and budget more for those items. Be willing to forego the things that don’t really matter to you.

Be ruthless with your guest list. Keeping the number of guests down is the best and easiest way to keep your costs down.  When I was planning my wedding one of my friends gave me some great advice. If you must trim your guest list, ask this question; “Have you ever been in their living room or have they ever been in yours?” If the answer is No, you need to decide if they really must be on your list.

Shop for the right venue. Hotel banquet facilities are beautiful but costly. Read my article on Orlando DJ’s Advice on Affordable Wedding and Party Venues for budget-minded suggestions.

Choose a date during an off-peak time. You can negotiate a better price when venues are hungry for business. Off-peak times for weddings in Orlando are typically January and February (except for Valentine’s Day) and July and August (If you choose to do your wedding in the summer keep your guests comfort in mind and do an indoor ceremony). Also, consider any day of the week except Saturday, which is the most popular day for weddings. Again, when there are fewer prospective customers, you have more negotiating power.

Don’t do a traditional sit-down meal. Some of the ways to save on food at the reception include: serve a brunch or lunch rather than dinner; if you want a meal, eliminate a choice of entrée and/or serve an inexpensive dish such as chicken and pasta; don’t do a meal at all, just serve cocktails and cake (or punch and cake); or, for a less formal atmosphere, do a potluck reception.

Keep the cake small. Make the official wedding cake – the one that’s beautifully decorated that you use for the cutting ceremony and pictures – small. Then have sheet cakes in the kitchen to serve to your guests.

Choose one kind of in-season flower for all your bouquets and arrangements. Not only does this provide visual continuity, it lets the florist place one bulk order, which is less expensive than several smaller orders for a variety of blossoms. Also, consider the design of your bouquets and tabletop floral decorations; keep it simple to save on labor costs.

Take advantage of the talents of your friends and family. Anything you can make yourself or with loved ones – such as the invitations, programs and favors – will be a fun activity that’s more meaningful and personal than if you just purchased those items. And when it comes to favors, remember that edibles are the most popular and appreciated. Bake a few batches of your favorite cookies and put them in small bags or boxes for your guests to take home.

Don’t be shy about negotiating. Let the vendors and service providers know what your budget is and that you’re going to stick to it. I’d rather get that number up front so we can plan realistically than waste a lot of time talking about DJ and entertainment options that are outside of your budget.

 

I'd love to hear your ideas on where you found to save money on your wedding. Tell me about it below.

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Wed

17

Jul

2013

Orlando DJ’s Advice on Affordable Wedding and Party Venues

A big Thank You Abba Photography for this beautiful picture
Intimate Garden Wedding at the Secret Garden in Orlando

According to TheKnot.com, the average wedding costs $27,800, but our professional Orlando DJs regularly entertain at beautiful weddings that are far less expensive. You don’t have to spend a small fortune to have the wedding of your dreams.

 

The cost of wedding and party venues can run anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. If you’re shopping for a location for your wedding, reception or another type of event, consider these suggestions for affordable options:

Public parks. Central Florida has an abundance of public parks that can be rented for private events for a nominal fee. If you find a place you like in a public park, contact the appropriate parks department for information about reserving the space, getting the necessary permits and details about applicable regulations. As you plan your outdoor wedding, be sure to keep my article “7 Tips to Make Your Outdoor Wedding Perfect” in mind.

Small specialty venues. Our favorite, The Secret Garden is both beautiful and affordable.

Garden clubs. Many of the garden clubs in Central Florida have facilities that are appropriate for small to medium-sized weddings.

Community clubhouses. Many residential communities (apartments, condos, single-family homes) have clubhouses available to residents for a minimal fee.

Local government facilities. Many cities have lovely event venues at affordable prices. For example, the Bettye D. Smith Cultural Arts Center in Sanford can accommodate up to 115 people for weddings and other events in a beautiful, fully-restored historical building. 

Churches and church fellowship halls. Most churches allow non-members to use their sanctuaries and fellowship halls for weddings and receptions. Rates and policies vary.

Private homes. The professional DJs at Marc Burgess Productions have provided entertainment services for some stunning weddings at private homes in the Orlando area, both indoors and in the backyard. If your home is too small for the wedding you want, consider asking a friend to let you use theirs.

 

Keep in mind that parking may be limited at many of these locations, so you may need to make alternative transportation arrangements for your guests, such as shuttling them to and from an available parking facility. You’ll also want to consider noise issues, particularly in residential areas.

 

While the venue itself may be less expensive than a hotel or upscale restaurant, you may have to provide some of the equipment and supplies (such as tables, chairs, linens, etc.) yourself. It’s also likely that you’ll end up doing more of the work in terms of preparations and clean-up. Find out what is and isn’t included in the rental fee before you make a final decision.

 

As professional DJs, we have years of experience working weddings and other special events all over the Orlando area. We’re happy to share our thoughts on the venue(s) you’re considering. If you have your own ideas or favorite rental facility, please share in the comments below.

 

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Mon

17

Jun

2013

Unplug Your Wedding: Advice from an Orlando Wedding DJ

Orlando Wedding Ceremony Unplugged
Orlando Wedding Ceremony Unplugged

 

 

Full disclosure: I use social media. I have fun on Facebook, I use LinkedIn for business networking, I show prospective clients videos of my work on YouTube.  But it breaks my heart when social media mania ruins a wedding or other special event for my clients.

Technology has changed the way we do almost everything, but weddings are about the bride and groom, not about who can get the pictures up on Facebook first.

The annual What’s On Brides’ Minds survey by David’s Bridal revealed that:

56% of newlywed women think it’s important to have social media rules at the wedding (and I, a long-time married male DJ, agree)

61% of brides forbid their bridesmaids from uploading pictures of the bride donning her dress before the ceremony (the bride’s entrance is a special moment – don’t spoil it!)

52% say the bride and groom must be the first to post a picture of the wedding to a social media site (I repeat: the wedding is about the couple)

Professional wedding photographer Corey Ann wrote a poignant blog about how amateur photographers (that would be anyone with a smart phone or iPad) have been major spoilers at weddings. In Why You Should Have an Unplugged Wedding,” she shares how thoughtless guests have not just disrupted the ceremony but ruined the professional photos the bride and groom are paying for. You pay a lot for professional photos of your wedding. The photographer should be able to get the images they need without a guest “photo-blocking” or “photo-bombing” them.

Wedding etiquette is constantly evolving, but one thing that should never change is that the wishes of the bridal couple should be respected – even when they move into Bridezilla/Groomzilla territory. The key is to let your guests know what you want. Some ways to do that:

Put a notice at the bottom of the program that this is an “unplugged ceremony” and ask guests to refrain from using electronic devices.

• Ask the officiant (or the wedding DJ) to make an announcement just before the ceremony begins.

• Post a sign that’s visible as people enter the venue or put it by the guest book.

Generally, the rules for social media are more relaxed at the reception than at the ceremony itself. If you want to establish some guidelines, ask your professional wedding DJ to make an announcement at the beginning of the reception and then periodically throughout to remind people of your preferences. All of the professional Orlando DJs who work with Marc Burgess Productions are happy to make those kinds of announcements so you can have the wedding and reception of your dreams. 

 

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Mon

06

May

2013

Planning an Outdoor Event? Great Tips from an Orlando DJ

Ants at a picnic with Orlando DJ company Marc Burgess Productions
Ants at an Orlando picnic

Central Florida’s climate makes it a great place for all types of outdoor festivities all year round – from private parties to corporate gatherings to public events. As professional Orlando DJs who often provide the entertainment, we’ve got some advice to help make your special occasion absolutely spectacular! 

 

Secure the venue and obtain any necessary permits.Find out what restrictions may apply, such as limits on food and beverages; noise ordinances; and fire and safety codes. Be sure the location and your plans are truly compatible. 

Confirm availability of utilities (electricity and water). If you’re going to have a professional DJ or other live entertainment, you’ll need electrical power that is safely accessible from the stage or performance area. Your plans for food may also require electricity and water. Important note: If you must use extension cords, remember that sound equipment and food service equipment should not be plugged into the same extension cord or outlet.

Check out sanitation resources. A lack of restrooms or inadequate facilities can make everyone uncomfortable – and bring your event to an early close. You should also be sure to have sufficient trash receptacles.

Consider pest control. Florida is famous for bugs! You may want to have an exterminator spray the area in advance of your event (check with the venue owner to be sure this is permissible). Set up fans that will blow the mosquitos and other flying bugs away, as well as provide additional comfort for your guests and the professional Orlando DJ providing your entertainment.

Anticipate your guests’ needs. Be sure your guests have easy access to plenty of water and other beverages to keep them hydrated. Keep other items such as sunscreen, insect repellent, hand sanitizer and a first aid kit readily available.

Monitor and plan for weather. Be prepared for an unexpected pop-up storm, as well as the possibility of more serious weather events such as hurricanes and other tropical systems. How will you keep your guests, vendors and equipment safe and dry during a surprise storm? Have a way to communicate with your guests at the last minute if you need to launch contingency plans (such as a rain date or alternate location) due to weather.

For more advice on outdoor events, read “Outdoor Weddings: 7 Tips from an Orlando DJ to Make Yours Perfect.”

 

What tips do you have to avoid disaster at an outdoor party?

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Thu

02

May

2013

Have You Registered for Wedding Gifts Yet?

Honeymoon Gift Registry from Orlando Wedding DJ Marc Burgess Productions
Have you set up your Honeymoon Gift Registry?

Recently I shared my advice on what to do now that you’re engaged, based on my experience as an Orlando wedding DJ. If you’re newly engaged, something else you’ll want to think about very soon is wedding gift registries. These tips will help make that process more efficient.

 

Don’t rush.The etiquette experts say it’s perfectly acceptable to register for gifts as soon as you are officially engaged, but be sure you’re registering for what you want and need. Make a list of what you both already have and plan to keep as well as the things you don’t have and would like. Don’t feel bound by tradition – if you don’t care about formal entertaining, don’t register for crystal, china and silver that you’ll never use. Decide on color schemes and patterns before you set up your registry lists.

 

Evaluate each registry before deciding. Find out how each registry works and what perks the stores offer before you decide where to register. For example, how long will the registry list remain active after the wedding? Will the store let you buy items you don’t receive at a discount? Will the store ship to any address you designate to save your guests the hassle of doing it themselves? Does the store have a registry specialist who will help you or are you on your own?

 

Register in more than one place. Give your guests some choices by registering in two to four places. To avoid the possibility of signing up for the same item at different stores (resulting in the chance of duplicate gifts), don’t let the items on your lists overlap – for example, register for linens at one store, for dinnerware at another, and for gifts related to your honeymoon at another. Also, be sure you include items in a range of prices so people can choose gifts they can afford.

 

Finally, remember that it’s never appropriate to ask for gifts, so don’t include gift registry information with your wedding invitations. If you will be having a shower, the host (not you!) can include registry details in the invitation. If you’ve set up a wedding website, you can add it there, as well. Send thank-you notes for gifts received before the wedding within two weeks of arrival; you have a month after returning from your honeymoon to thank people for gifts received at or after the wedding.

 

At Marc Burgess Productions, we are committed to helping you have the wedding and honeymoon of your dreams. Our professional Orlando wedding DJs are the best in the area and our Travel Services will help you plan a wedding trip that you’ll remember forever. Call for a consultation today.

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Mon

04

Mar

2013

You’re Engaged – Now What? Advice from a Wedding DJ

Orlando Wedding DJ and honeymoon
He asked...She said Yes!

The two most popular times of the year to get engaged are around Christmas and Valentine’s Day – which is probably why there’s been a bridal show just about every weekend since the beginning of the year.

 

If you’re newly engaged, congratulations! As a leading professional wedding DJ in Orlando, I’ve had plenty of experience working with couples during the wedding planning period. So if you’ve hit information overload and aren’t sure where to start, let me help.

 

Choose the date. The most important issue to consider is a date that works for you, the bridal couple. But you also want to be sure the officiant of your choice is available and that the date also works for the close family members and friends you’ll want in the wedding party. Along with choosing the date, you also need to choose the time of day for your ceremony and reception. Around the majority of the country, summer is the busy wedding season. Here in Florida, it is hot, humid and it rains alot during the summer. Keep that in mind if you are planning an outdoor ceremony or reception. Some wedding professionals also have lower rates in the summer because it is considered the "slower season" in Florida.

 

Find and reserve your location(s). If the ceremony will be in a house of worship, be sure to get on the calendar – and find out if anything else is happening that day that could affect your wedding. If the ceremony and/or reception is to be in another place, get the venue under contract. This means paying a deposit and getting a document confirming your reservation.

 

Send save the date cards. You may not have your full guest list at this point, but send out save the date notices to the people you’re sure you’ll be inviting. Refrigerator magnets are a great idea for this.

 

• Book the people/companies providing key functions. As soon as you have the date and location, choose and get a contract with a caterer, photographer, wedding DJ, entertainment, videographer, florist, wedding coordinator (if you choose to have one), and so on. Remember that the best service providers are usually booked well in advance, so don’t wait until the last minute. Be sure to download and ask these 8 questions before you make a selection.

 

Plan your honeymoon. That first trip you take as a married couple should be special, so give it the attention it deserves. But be practical – make your reservations early for the best pricing and availability. This honeymoon questionnaire will help. We also own a Travel Agency and would be glad to help you with your honeymoon planning.

 

Of course, this is not a complete list, but it will get you started. And I’m ready to talk with you at your convenience about providing a talented professional Orlando wedding DJ for your special day.

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Fri

22

Feb

2013

Follow a Professional DJ’s Advice: 7 Tips to be a Great Wedding Guest

Orlando wedding DJ
Orlando Wedding Receiving Line

Recently I shared some of the most common complaints wedding guests have and what the bridal couple can do to avoid them. Let’s turn the tables and talk about what you can do to be a great wedding guest.

 

1. Respond to the invitation. Your hosts (the bridal couple and/or their parents) need to know how many people to plan for, so tell them if you’ll be attending prior to the RSVP date indicated on the invitation or at least 2-3 weeks before the wedding date. Don’t assume you can bring a guest –if the invitation was addressed to you alone, don’t put the hosts in an awkward position by asking if you can bring someone. They may be under budget or space constraints, and “just one more” will matter. If you must cancel after you’ve responded, let the hosts know as soon as possible.

 

2. Don’t take the gift to the wedding or reception. The bride and groom have enough to worry about on their wedding day – don’t add to their responsibilities by making them have to keep gifts safe at the venue and then get them home later. Most wedding gift registries can arrange to have your gift delivered to the location the bridal couple chooses, either before or after the wedding. Or mail the gift yourself. In any case, be sure to include a card inside the gift box.

 

3. Dress appropriately. Choose an outfit that matches the degree of formality or casualness of the wedding. Save the flashy, sexy attire for another occasion – don’t wear anything that distracts from the bridal party. Female guests should not wear white, off-white or ivory – those colors are reserved for the bride.

 

4. Arrive early. Plan to get to the ceremony a half-hour prior to the time on the invitation. If you are late, wait until after the procession has gone down the aisle and then seat yourself quietly in the back.

 

5. Turn your phone off. This is a special day for the bride and groom; don’t let an incoming call or text interrupt the ceremony or a reception activity.

 

6. Keep the receiving line moving. You should absolutely go through the receiving line to speak to the bridal party, but make it quick. This isn’t the place for lengthy conversations; say congratulations and best wishes, and move along.

 

7. Participate in the reception. Even if you think the activities are corny (such as the bouquet and garter toss, or the conga line dance), keep your feelings to yourself and be a good sport. Clear the dance floor for the special dances (the bridal couple’s first, the bride and her father, the groom and his mother). When someone is making a toast, don’t talk or leave the room, even if it seems like the toast will never end. Raise your glass and drink to every toast, but consume alcohol in moderation. Engage with the other guests and you’ll have more fun. If you can’t stay until the end of the reception, stay at least until the cake has been cut.

 

As professional Orlando Wedding DJs, we’ve seen more than our share of bizarre and downright rude behavior by wedding guests. Follow these tips and you’ll be doing your part to assure a special, memorable day for the bridal couple.

 

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Tue

22

Jan

2013

What do Wedding Guests Complain About?

The bride and groom may never hear these complaints directly, but if your wedding guests are uncomfortable, bored or just aren’t having a good time, they’ll likely be sharing their feelings with others – and that’s not the way you want your special day to be remembered. And while this is your big day, if you want your friends and family to remember it as fondly as you do, be sure to keep your guests in mind as you plan.

 

As professional DJs in Orlando, we often hear things the bride and groom don’t. Here are some of the most common complaints guests make and how you can be sure they don’t make them about your wedding:

 

• They don’t know where to go. They’re likely in an unfamiliar place and they’re not sure where to stand or sit – or even which they’re supposed to do. Have some friends or family members who are not in the wedding party stationed at appropriate places so they can answer questions and give directions as needed. Be sure they know to seek out anyone who looks lost and confused with an offer to help.

 

• Endless speeches. You may be delighted with the best man’s 20-minute trip down memory lane or the maid of honor’s detailed recollections of your grade school escapades, but most of your guests won’t. Ask everyone who is scheduled to make a speech or toast to keep it short – 2-3 minutes at most. Professional wedding DJs in Orlando like the pros at Marc Burgess Productions can give you some additional guidelines for keeping this part of the reception under control.

 

• Seated with a bunch of strangers. As you plan the seating chart for the reception, be sure everyone knows at least one other person at their table (in addition to their spouse, partner or date). Even if you think certain people will enjoy each other, don’t make your wedding a forced getting-to-know-you event. Your guests will be more comfortable and have more fun if they are sitting with people they already know and like. (Here is a template for creating a seating chart.)

 

• Too much time between the wedding and reception. The wedding day is usually non-stop for the bride and groom, but while you’re posing for pictures after the ceremony and taking care of other issues, your guests are hanging around with nothing to do. Think about how you can make them comfortable and keep them entertained during that time. And related to this is transportation from the ceremony to the reception, particularly for out of town guests – be sure they know where to go and have a way to get there.

 

You may not be able to prevent every possible snag, but thinking of these issues ahead of time will make it more likely that your guests will remember your wedding day for the joy of the celebration and not for the things they didn’t like.

 

If you have been a guest at a wedding and something frustrated you but you didn't tell the bride or groom, share it here.

 

 

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Mon

03

Dec

2012

Orlando DJ Offers Stress Management Advice for the Holidays

holiday party DJ in Orlando
Don't let holiday stress get you down

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year …” Or so the song lyrics go. But you could argue that it’s also the most stressful. As a professional DJ in Orlando, I know how chaotic things can get between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Certainly it’s the busiest season for Marc Burgess Productions – we’re booked solid with holiday parties and weddings.

 

We’ve seen more than our share of melt-downs by party planners and brides – especially in December. Something we’ve learned over the years that I want to share with you is this:

 

Don’t let stress take the joy out of the season!

 

For some of you, I know that’s easier said than done. These tips may help:

 

1. Don’t over-commit. Don’t schedule more than you can reasonably do. It’s okay to say no to invitations or to requests for volunteer tasks. Agree to only the things you can comfortably and happily do.

 

2. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s natural to want things to be perfect down to the last detail – whether it’s a perfect party, a perfect wedding or a perfect gift. Perfectionism will drive you crazy! Whatever you’re doing, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be meaningful and fun.

 

3. Take care of yourself. Put your own wellbeing at the top of your priority list. Get plenty of rest and adequate exercise. Eat as healthy as you can, but don’t beat yourself up over a few culinary indulgences. If you don’t feel well, don’t ignore your symptoms and just soldier on – figure out what’s wrong and deal with it (even if it means taking the time to go to the doctor).

 

4. Set a budget and stick to it. Spending more than you can afford will only turn what should be happy holiday memories into a financial hangover in the New Year. Put together a realistic budget for gifts, clothes, entertainment, travel and other holiday extras. When you hit your limit, stop buying.

 

5. Let others help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Even Superman has a support team. Don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it. Even when you probably could have handled whatever you’re doing alone, it will be more fun when you share.

 

Those are my tips for de-stressing the holidays. Do you have any to add? Please share them by commenting below.

 

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Tue

27

Nov

2012

What do Wedding Coordinators Do – and Do You Need One?

In some ways, a wedding is like a live theater production. The bride and groom are – or at least should be – the stars of the show. And in many cases, the “director” is someone who usually has the title of wedding coordinator or wedding planner. Their job is to work behind the scenes before and during your wedding to make sure it is exactly what you want and that everything goes smoothly.

 

In general, a wedding coordinator will help you

with overall planning, including choosing the venue, finding and selecting vendors, deciding on a theme and making sure it’s carried through all the details, etc;

create a budget and stick to it;

create a wedding planning schedule and checklists;

• create a wedding day schedule;

• supervise the wedding day activities;

• provide assistance as necessary at the wedding and reception, and handle any emergencies that arise.

 

Whether you need to hire a wedding coordinator depends on the type of wedding you want, your own organizational skills and your support network. I’ve seen beautiful weddings coordinated entirely by the bride and one of her friends and near-disasters under the supervision of supposed professional coordinators.

 

My perspective on wedding coordinators comes from years of experience as a professional DJ in Orlando. I’ve seen coordinators that shouldn’t have even bothered to show up and ones that tried to run the wedding like a precision military exercise. At one wedding, the coordinator was following the schedule and insisted it was time to cut the cake. But the bride and groom were late arriving at the reception (a common occurrence) and they had just been served their entrees at the scheduled cake-cutting time. At another wedding, the coordinator told me to announce the cake-cutting because it was time – but the bride and groom weren’t even in the room!

 

I know that schedules are important, especially if you have the venue and other vendors for a limited period. However, a good coordinator is flexible and doesn’t interrupt one activity to move to the next. She’s prepared from the beginning with a Plan B and the skill to deal with whatever happens.

 

Here’s what I think you need to know about wedding coordinators:

 

Like many wedding-related vendors, anyone can call themselves a wedding coordinator. No training is required, there’s no equipment to buy. But just because someone got married once (or twice) or was a bridesmaid doesn’t mean they’re a qualified wedding coordinator.

 

Look for a coordinator with professional credentials. The Association of Bridal Consultants provides training and certifications that demonstrate a degree of professionalism and commitment that you want to see in someone you’re trusting with such an important event.

By the way, this organization is for wedding coordinators what the FAME DJ School is for professional DJs – and all of the DJs at Marc Burgess Productions are FAME graduates.

 

Don’t hire the first coordinator you meet with. Interview several, check their references, compare their services and then choose the one that’s a good fit for you. Take the time to read some valuable information posted by wedding planner Elisa Delgardio on her website A Flair for Affairs.

 

Do you have a great story – good or bad – about a wedding coordinator? Please share!

 

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Tue

20

Nov

2012

Orlando DJ Comments on Wedding Cake Trends

Orlando wedding cakes and cupcakes
Wedding Cake Cupcakes from Effie

First, full disclosure: When it comes to wedding cake, my primary expertise is in eating it. But as a professional DJ in the Orlando area, I see a lot of wedding cakes and thought I’d share my observations with you.

Years ago, traditional cakes were multi-tiered with bridges and fountains. They were beautiful, but it always made me nervous watching a couple cutting the top level of a $600 cake (the average amount couples spend on their wedding cake these days) that was balanced on columns of plastic with water underneath. Today’s traditional tiered cakes tend to have the layers stacked directly on top of each other, which I think is more stable and easier to cut and serve. The tiers are getting taller – often 8” and 6” – which makes for overall taller cakes.

The professional DJs in Central Florida on the Marc Burgess team agree that the most popular alternative to a traditional cake is cupcakes. Creative bakers can arrange the cupcakes in towers so they look like a traditional wedding cake, or use another design for a different look.

One of my favorite bakers, Effie of Effie’s Culinary Delights, told me: “I think the reason cupcakes have become more popular is that people want something different. Cupcakes can be just as cute or fancy as a cake, and there are a lot of options for design, taste and size. There is so much variety, you can have just about anything you want.”

We’re also seeing cake balls and other desserts at weddings, along with bakery boxes so guests can take these sweets home to enjoy the next day.

Other trends our DJs in Orlando have noticed include:

Color. Brides want lots of color everywhere – and the cakes are getting brighter and more dramatic.

• Design elements from other parts of the wedding. The invitation or part of the design of the bride’s dress are being replicated on the cake.

• Tier shapes and heights. Bakers are getting creative with combinations of various shapes and heights of cake tiers.

• Flavors. The trend is moving away from traditional white or chocolate cake to a wide range of flavors for both cake and fillings.

Of course, the trend that never goes out of style is to choose what you want: a cake that tastes great with a look you love designed especially for your special day.

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Thu

15

Nov

2012

Why do some DJs cost so much?

Have you shopped for a DJ lately? If so, you know that fees can range from substantial to “will work for beer.” As one of the leading DJs in Central Florida, I can tell you upfront that we are not likely to ever come in as the lowest bidder for your event. I also want you to know why our fees are reasonable compensation for the services we provide.

 

I am well aware that often when people are trying to justify their rates, it comes across as whining. That’s not what I’m doing – but if it sounds like that to you, please leave a comment and let’s discuss.

 

Let’s begin with this reality: Marc Burgess Productions is a business and, like any business that wants to stay in business, we have to be profitable. To be profitable, we have to provide consistent, high-quality, reliable service so that our clients will call us again and refer us to others. That means we have to invest in our operation, so our rates have to cover expenses such as:

 

• Wages. Our DJs need to be fairly compensated for their time.

Insurance. This includes liability (on the unlikely chance that something happens at your event); property and casualty (to protect our property and equipment from damage or theft); health, disability, life (insurance benefits for our employees).

• Music rights. We have built a large, legally-acquired music library, which means we pay the appropriate fees and royalties to the artists and have the legal (and moral) right to play the music you want at your wedding reception or other event.

• Equipment. DJ equipment is not one-size-fits-all – we have a broad range of equipment so we can deliver quality sound in any venue. It costs money to buy and maintain.

• Vehicles. We have reliable vehicles that we can count on to get our DJs and our equipment to your wedding reception or other event.

• Clothes. Our DJs invest in professional wardrobes so they can dress appropriately for your event.

• Training. As professional DJs in Central Florida, part of our mission is to make it look easy – but while it helps to have natural talent, training is essential. We invest in attending seminars and industry conferences so that we can deliver the performance you want, and so we know what to do when things don’t go exactly as planned.

• Marketing. We have to spend money on advertising and marketing – otherwise, how will you know about us? This includes our website, printed materials, participation in bridal shows, and so on.

• General overhead. This includes our office, storage for equipment, phones, utilities and other administrative costs.

• Retirement. Yes, we love what we do – but we don’t want to do it forever. At some point, we’d like to retire and we need to set aside some money for that.


Stacie Tamaki’s article, How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?, goes into even more detail about DJ fees and what you should be willing to pay. It’s long, but if you’re shopping for a DJ, it’s worth taking the time to read.


Could you save money hiring a part-time DJ who isn’t serious about the business? Sure. But is the risk to the success of your event worth it?

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Mon

13

Aug

2012

Making Karaoke Part of Your Reception – Or Not!

karaoke singer at a wedding
wedding guest singing karaoke at the Hilton at Disney

Just about everyone has at least one funny karaoke story to tell, and professional DJs in Orlando have more than most people. If you really, really enjoy this type of entertainment and are considering it for your reception, recognize that there’s a big difference between karaoke night at your favorite bar and karaoke as part of your wedding celebration.

 

Some points to keep in mind:

At a traditional reception, there’s a lot going on: the couple’s first dance; the father/daughter and mother/son dance; other dancing; toasts; bouquet and garter toss; cake cutting; photographs; and dinner. Will you have time for karaoke?

Karaoke takes the spotlight off the bride and groom and turns it on the individual singers. Is this what you want your guests to remember?

• Some people are very talented karaoke singers; others are awful. Do you want to try to control the quality of the performances?

 

This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t have karaoke at your reception if it’s what you really want – just be sure you really do want it.

In my experience as a professional DJ in Central Florida, karaoke works best for more casual events such as rehearsal dinners/parties and receptions for second weddings that will not include a lot of the first wedding traditions. Of course, the choice is yours – just be sure it’s what you really want.

 

If you do decide to have karaoke at your reception, these tips will help:

• Let your DJ know ahead of time. Karaoke requires different equipment, an additional music library, additional microphones and an external monitor. Be sure we reserve the necessary equipment for your event and bring it with us.

• Schedule the karaoke time. You could limit it to a few pre-selected performers or for a specific period during the reception (perhaps the last hour). As you plan, allow plenty of time for your special post-wedding activities. And remember that not everyone likes karaoke, so don’t force them to endure an entire evening of it when they really wanted to be celebrating your wedding with you.

• Review the song selections with your DJ in advance. Let your DJ know what songs you consider unacceptable. You don’t want a guest singing a song with lyrics other guests might find offensive.

• Set limits. Make it a maximum of one or two songs per guest – don’t turn your reception into a solo concert.

• Choose a DJ with karaoke experience. It takes special skills to keep a karaoke event from bogging down and to adjust the sound to accommodate a range of singers. The DJs at Marc Burgess Productions have the experience – and the tact – you need.

These guidelines also apply if you’re considering karaoke for another type of occasion, such as a holiday or birthday party or corporate event.


Are you a karaoke fan? Share your favorite karaoke story!

 

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Mon

02

Jul

2012

Marc Burgess Productions is WeddingWire Rated 2012

Orlando wedding DJ Marc Burgess Productions
We have won this award 4 years in a row!

Sanford, FLJuly 2, 2012 – WeddingWire is excited to announce that Marc Burgess Productions is WeddingWire Rated in 2012 for DJ. WeddingWire Rated is the annual ratings program that recognizes wedding professionals across the country for their commitment to service and is the most recognized and trusted brand among engaged couples, as they start their search for local wedding businesses. The ratings program is based on hundreds of thousands of recent newlywed reviews of over 200,000 wedding professionals in the US and Canada, across 20 different service categories.

Marc Burgess Productions has 8 reviews on WeddingWire. Reviews by our newlywed clients include detailed ratings and insightful descriptions about their experiences working with our business and staff. Our reviews provide transparency for potential clients, assisting them in making informed decisions for their big day.

"We are very pleased to announce WeddingWire Rated 2012, recognizing Marc Burgess Productions for their commitment to exemplary service in DJ," said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire, Inc. “Marc Burgess Productions has shown dedication to their craft and service, helping engaged couples understand what to expect from their business through reviews on the nation’s leading wedding review site.”

As the largest site for wedding reviews, WeddingWire empowers engaged couples with the most comprehensive and trusted review system available in the wedding industry. WeddingWire Rated provides Marc Burgess Productions with the distinction of being WeddingWire Rated and a simple platform to capture client feedback from their wedding planning experience. Engaged couples can easily access all of the reviews for Marc Burgess Productions on WeddingWire.com. We have all of our newlywed clients to thank for our WeddingWire Rated 2012 recognition.

For more information, please visit Marc Burgess Productions on WeddingWire at www.weddingwire.com/vendor/VendorViewStoreFront%3fvid%3dcf5eb6cee7a3baf7. For more information on WeddingWire Rated 2012, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.

About WeddingWire, Inc.

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Wed

20

Jun

2012

5 Tips to Make Sure Your Wedding Reception is Perfect

You want your wedding to be memorable for all the right reasons, not because of what went wrong. We all know that sometimes “stuff happens” – a member of the wedding party gets sick, a clumsy guest spills something on the bride or the weather doesn’t cooperate. But the professional DJs at Marc Burgess Productions have seen plenty of ceremony and reception glitches that could have been prevented with a little thought and planning.

These 5 tips are based on our years of experience and helping couples cope with wedding disasters as professional DJs in Central Florida:

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Tue

08

May

2012

Outdoor Weddings: 7 Tips from an Orlando DJ to Make Yours Perfect

Photo courtesy of Lori Barbely Photography
Outdoor ceremony at Church Street

Outdoor weddings can be spectacular – but along with the stunning scenery comes an assortment of challenges you don’t have with an inside venue. These tips will help make your outdoor wedding and reception as beautiful and perfect as you dreamed:

 

  1. Reserve the space and get the necessary permits. Just because a park or stretch of beach is public doesn’t mean it’s okay to hold a wedding there – or that you can restrict the area to your guests. Check with the city parks department and/or local government to find out their requirements for events. Also ask about the rules for food and beverage service, trash removal, decorations, candle or torch lighting, music, and pre- and post-wedding photography.
  2. Prepare for the weather. As a DJ in Central Florida, I know how fickle our weather can be, and summer storms can be unexpected and dangerous. No matter where you are located, you can’t count on the weather cooperating. Have a backup plan so you can move your ceremony and reception quickly if you need to. And even if you’re willing to stand in the rain, your guests might object – and your Central Florida DJs, photographers, videographers and caterers are not going to risk damaging their equipment. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking a drizzle or a downpour – water and electronics don’t mix!
  3. Make your guests comfortable. If it’s warm, have a cooler of bottled water available before the ceremony begins. In fact, have your ushers offer water to guests as they are seated. Instead of a traditional wedding program, print yours on a fan so guests may cool themselves before and during the ceremony and have a charming keepsake to take home. Consider renting large electric fans and/or misting fans.
  4. For daytime events, a tent will shield you and your guests from the sun. And have sunscreen on hand to offer those who may not have their own. For a daytime or sunset ceremony, consider the location of the sun so you and your guests are not squinting during the ceremony.
  5. Finally, remember that metal chairs can get scorching hot in the sun. Choose wooden chairs for a daytime outdoor wedding.
  6. Be prepared for wind. As you shop for your bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses, think about the possibility of a brisk breeze. Look for fabrics heavy enough so that you’re not worried about the wind exposing more than you intended. Choose hair styles that can tolerate wind without looking like a bad costume. Anchor tents and other decorations so they don’t become airborne during the ceremony.
  7. Make sure everyone can hear. Outdoor weddings often have to compete with the sound of the surf, traffic, wind and other nearby people and events. Ask your DJ about microphones so your guests can hear you exchange your vows.
  8. Don’t get bugged. Citronella candles, other repellents and/or bug zappers will help keep mosquitoes, gnats and other flying things at bay.
  9. Be sure your suppliers are experienced with outdoor events. You want your wedding and reception to be memorable for all the right reasons. Choose a caterer, DJ, photographer and other suppliers who are prepared to deal with all the unexpected aspects of an outdoor event.

By the way, these tips were written with warm-weather weddings in mind, but they can also apply to winter outdoor weddings in any climate. The professional DJs at Marc Burgess Productions have year-round experience with outdoor events and we’re happy to help you with yours.

 

Do you have a story about an outdoor wedding or a tip to share? We love comments! Just hit one of the buttons below to share.

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Wed

04

Apr

2012

Here Comes the Bride – Again! Tips for second weddings

2nd wedding disc jockey in Orlando
Encore wedding couple

At almost half of weddings today, either the bride or the groom (and often both) have been married before. The style and tone of these encore weddings can range from very small and quiet to a celebration designed to rival the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. As professional DJs in Central Florida, we believe your wedding – whether or not you’ve been married before – should be the special celebration you want. Here are some thoughts based on our experience.

 

• It’s the first time for you as a couple. Though this may be your second wedding, it’s the first for you as a couple, marking the beginning of your life together. It should be a reflection of who you are.

 

• Formal or casual – your choice. Second weddings tend to be less formal, but not always. And less formal doesn’t have to mean less elegant or sophisticated. Be creative with your theme and location. Tuxedos and gowns are not essential unless you want them. Remember that nice casual attire can be stylish and beautiful—and the bonus is that you can wear those clothes again.

 

• Invitations and announcements. The wording of your invitations will likely be different than for a traditional first wedding. Again, be creative. And if the guest list is limited because you choose a small event, remember that you’ll still want to get news of your happy event out to folks who weren’t invited or able to attend the ceremony. My favorite invitation store is Write in Style in the Altamonte Mall; owners Barry and Gayle will be happen to help with any questions you may have about invitations and announcements.

 

• Blending the families. If you have children, consider involving them in the ceremony. Older and adult children often serve as attendants for their parents. Younger kids and even teenagers may exchange vows with their parent’s new spouse during the ceremony. Reverend Jimmy Johnson of Affordable Orlando Weddings has the children say their own vows accepting the new parent and, instead of a ring, the child gets a medallion or other token commemorating the occasion. And in lieu of a traditional honeymoon, blended families may opt to celebrate the wedding with a familymoon. Let Burgess Travel Network help you plan a trip that fits your family and your budget.

 

• At the reception. Because of our extensive experience as DJs in Orlando, we’re able to help you think of all the details that you need to remember when organizing your reception. For example, if you have very young children, you’ll want to make arrangements for someone who is not in the wedding party to care for them during the party. You don’t want the bride or groom to have to leave the celebration to feed a baby or change a diaper. If the new blended family will mean some interesting dynamics in terms of guests at the reception, we can help you address a wide range of special needs, from music and dance choices to maintaining space between relatives who don’t get along.

 

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Mon

12

Mar

2012

DJ Wedding Disasters: When things don’t go as planned

We take pride in our reputation as some of the most talented, professional DJs in Central Florida. And we are very serious about our mission to make your wedding day as perfect as possible. But sometimes things happen that are out of our control – and we just have to do our best to manage the situation with grace and humor.

 

I thought you’d enjoy some stories from the Marc Burgess Productions Wedding Disaster Hall of Fame:

 

• An entire wedding party (bride, groom, attendants) decided to dance on the head table. Before I could suggest that the safest place for dancing was the floor, the table collapsed. Fortunately, no one was hurt – but the table was totaled.

 

• A caterer used plastic greenery on a buffet and got the decorations too close to the Sterno. The fire spread across the buffet before it could be extinguished. Fortunately, it was put out quickly, no one was hurt and the food was just fine.

 

• A bridesmaid jumped to catch the bouquet – but her dress didn’t go all the way with her. It was a very revealing wardrobe malfunction.

 

• When it comes to what music we play, the bride and groom are in charge. So when the bride told me three Polish songs were enough, I politely declined her drunken father’s requests to play more. He began threatening me, and the bride’s mother tackled him to keep him from taking a swing at me. Someone called the police and the dad was taken away. If it had been a movie, it would have been funny – but it was sad.

 

Uninvited guests and alcohol never mix well:

 

• Because of something that had happened a year before, the bride decided not to invite some people she knew. They showed up anyway, drunk, and started a fight that turned into a full-fledged brawl. The police were called and the crashers were arrested.

 

• One of the groom’s brothers was not invited because of his inability to control his alcohol intake. Just 20 minutes after the reception began, the brother arrived drunk and started a fight with the groom. Drinks and fists were flying, and when the bride was hit in the face, the wedding couple made an abrupt departure and the reception was over. This went on record as being one of the shortest events we’ve ever handled!

 

On a more serious and practical note, we want you to know that as professional DJs in Orlando and Central Florida, every member of the Marc Burgess team has been trained on how to deal with the unexpected ranging from catering mistakes to rowdy guests and more. As you plan your big day, you may want to consider wedding insurance to cover the costs if something major goes wrong (such as a venue overbooking, caterer not showing up, etc). You can be confident knowing that if we’re on the job, we’ll do everything humanly possible to be sure that your reception goes as planned and all of your memories are happy ones.

 

Do you have a wedding disaster story? Please share it!

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Tue

31

Jan

2012

The Perfect Proposal: 7 Tips for How to Pop the Question

Valentine’s Day means roses, candy, romantic dinners—and marriage proposals. If you’re planning to pop the question to your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day (or whenever you choose to do it), here are some tips from your favorite DJs in Central Florida to make your proposal a memory you’ll both treasure:

 

• Talk about marriage before you propose. Your proposal shouldn’t be your first discussion of the “M” word. Have conversations about what you both think of marriage, kids, family relationships, and so on. You should have a pretty good idea of what her answer is going to be before you ask.

 

• Practice what you’ll say. Don’t just ask her to marry you—tell her why you want to marry her. You don’t have to memorize a script, but rehearse enough so you can get your message across without stammering.

 

• Choose a special and meaningful place. The location should be a reflection of your relationship—a place that is important to both of you.

 

• Make it private. Public proposals—especially those that end up on YouTube—may appear to be popular, but most women would prefer this special moment to be between them and their husband-to-be. Unless you know for absolute certain that your lady would appreciate a public proposal, keep it to yourselves. You can always tell people about it later.

 

• Be creative, not complicated. Don’t set up a scenario with so many moving parts that you can’t enjoy the moment because you’re worried about the details.

 

• Get down on one knee. Sure it’s old-fashioned and corny. Do it anyway.

 

• Seal the deal with a ring. Slipping the engagement ring on her finger is almost as important to most brides as exchanging wedding rings during the ceremony.

 

What about the ring? Keep these points in mind:

• Most of the time, it’s best to let her be involved in choosing the ring. It’s a piece of jewelry she’s going to wear for a long time—make sure she likes it and it suits her style. You can use a placeholder ring for the proposal.

• Don’t hide the ring in food. It’s not funny or cute—and you just might end up with a huge dental bill and/or a lost ring. And who wants to put on a ring that’s got some kind of food—or worse—all over it?

• If you have a family heirloom you want to use as her engagement ring, be sensitive to her feelings about the ring’s style and history. Kate Middleton was probably delighted to accept Princess Diana’s ring; other brides might not be so enthusiastic about wearing a deceased relative’s jewelry. If she wants a ring of her own, she should have one.

 

Once you’re officially engaged, you can begin planning for the next big event: your wedding, wedding reception, and honeymoon. Our team of the top DJs in Central Florida are here to help you in any way we can. Call us!

 

 

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Mon

09

Jan

2012

Get the Most Out of a Bridal Show or Wedding Expo

Did you join the list of celebrities who got engaged over the holidays? If so, it’s time to start thinking about your wedding.

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Tue

06

Dec

2011

YaY! I Booked My DJ!...or Did I?

Why You Need a Written Contract with Your DJ in Central Florida

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Fri

18

Nov

2011

The Best DJs in Central Florida do More Than Play Music

When you decide to hire a DJ for your wedding reception, party, or other special event, you expect that person to play music and perhaps emcee, but that’s not all top-ranked DJs do. We coordinate with all the other service providers at the event, we make sure everything is in place for each segment before we announce it, and we’re even willing to give directions to the restroom or accept a dirty plate from a guest who mistakes us for a member of the wait staff.

 

It’s common for the go-to person at an event to be the one with the microphone. After all, we’re usually the most visible. And when there’s not a professional wedding planner or event coordinator, that job often defaults to the DJ—which is why you need a DJ who is experienced, flexible, and willing to go above and beyond at your event.

 

For example, at a wedding reception, anniversary party, or other celebration, I know to make sure the champagne has been poured before introducing the people who are going to make toasts. In fact, I’ve popped more corks and poured more champagne than I can remember at wedding parties where the couple did the food themselves and didn’t think about serving. I don’t mind—it’s all part of the celebration. But a tip: if you are doing the food and beverages for your event yourself (rather than using a caterer), be sure you have a bottle opener and corkscrew for the beer and wine.

 

Before I announce anything that puts a bride and groom in the spotlight, I make sure they’re ready. The bride may need a few minutes to check her hair and makeup—and do all the other things brides and their entourages do when they head to the ladies’ room. The groom might need a few minutes for a pit stop as well. When I get the green light from the couple, I let the photographer and videographer know what’s next in case they need time to adjust lighting, change memory cards, or replace batteries. I check to make sure everything else is in place. More than once a caterer has told me everything is ready for the cake-cutting but the knife and cake plate are missing. It only takes a few seconds to take a look at the cake table, so I check before bringing the bride and groom up and letting the guests know what’s going on.

 

This level of communication, caring, and concern is something excellent DJs do as a matter of course for every segment of every event. We know what can go wrong and we know how to prevent it—well, most of it, anyway. We can’t stop an obnoxious relative from saying something rude, but we can help guide them off center stage if they start to misbehave.

 

What it really comes down to is this: In addition to being highly-trained professionals, the DJs at Marc Burgess Productions are personally vested in your event and are willing to use every ounce of their talent and expertise to make it a success—and that usually means going far beyond just playing music.

 

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Wed

26

Oct

2011

Thoughts from an Orlando DJ about your company holiday party

The holiday party season is upon us. I am definitely not a party planner, but I’ve learned a few things about holiday parties over the years. Allow me to share some thoughts as you finalize the plans for your company’s 2011 holiday party:

 

Consider an alternative to the traditional splashy Saturday-night full dinner event. You can save money and reduce the chances that the people you want to attend will have conflicts.

 

One option is a mid-week party. You’ll find venues have greater availability and are more likely to be willing to negotiate on prices and services. Instead of a full dinner, offer a heavy hors d’oeuvres buffet instead.

 

Another option is to have an event in your office during a portion of the workday. Set up a sandwich and non-alcoholic beverage buffet in your break or conference room, and have a DJ come in to play music and MC any award presentations or announcements you want to make. I’ve had a lot of experience with events like this, and I’d be happy to share more details with you. An in-office event like this can not only work during the holidays, it can be effective at any time throughout the year that you want to observe something special, like a company anniversary or performance awards.

 

If you’re having trouble finding a workable date for your holiday party in December, think about scheduling it earlier (November) or later (January). In November, you’ll still be competing with weddings, but January is a very slow month for event service providers, so your chances of getting a great venue, excellent rates, and the service providers you want are strong.

 

Regardless of where, when, and how you hold your company party, keep these important tips in mind:

 

1. This is a company party and all company rules of conduct apply.

 

2. Limit alcohol consumption by hiring a bartender, issuing drink tickets, or restricting the hours the bar will be open.

 

3. If the party is at a hotel, negotiate a special room rate so guests can go to their rooms after the celebration instead of having to drive. If the party is not at a hotel, arrange for designated drivers or even taxis to make sure your guests get home safely.

 

4. Before the party starts, do a check of the room for safety issues. Scan the floor for cables and other things people might trip on. Make sure decorations are secure and aren’t likely to shift or fall. Check that candles are positioned so that the flames aren’t going to ignite an unwanted fire.

 

What’s your best business holiday party tip? Please use the comment function below to share.

 

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Mon

19

Sep

2011

Are you a squirrel?

When to book your wedding professionals

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Wed

24

Aug

2011

Consider the Nature of Your Event when Choosing the Music Your DJ will Play

Music has a tremendous ability to invoke feelings and trigger memories, which is why it’s important to consider the nature of your event when choosing the music you ask your DJ to play. In my blog, “Choosing the Right Music for Your Event,” I talked about issues you should think about as you put together your playlist. Let’s take that further and talk about the types of music that work best for various events.

 

You want the music to evoke positive memories and emotions, not to drag up unpleasant feelings. You also want the music to be appropriate for the situation. For example, a lot of contemporary music contains profanity, violence and sexually-explicit references—the beat may be great, but do you want those lyrics at your wedding reception or a corporate event?

 

Wedding receptions are probably the most sensitive event when it comes to choosing music. Typically, you’ll see every age group, from youngsters (especially if your wedding party includes a flower girl and/or ring bearer) to seniors (grandparents and even great-grandparents) and every generation in between. It’s okay to skip the Sesame Street songs the children listen to, but otherwise your music selections should span all generations. In addition to being romantic, the melodies and lyrics should be positive and uplifting—after all, do you really want to dance to a song about heartbreak and misery at your wedding?

 

You also want to be sensitive to how the music will affect your guests. You certainly can’t be aware of everyone’s special songs, but if your parents are divorced and will be attending your wedding with new partners, you probably don’t want to play “their song” at your reception.

 

Mitzvahs are interesting events and bring their own special challenges when it comes to choosing music. Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs are Jewish coming of age rituals; it makes sense that the music should appeal to the kids who are being celebrated. But it’s important to keep the adults happy as well. I’ve already mentioned the special challenge of contemporary youth-oriented songs, yet a good disc jockey will be able to play music that the kids will enjoy but that won’t give Grandma a heart attack. At Marc Burgess Productions, we get our new music from a reputable subscription service that provides us with cleaned-up versions of current songs (it’s the same service that provides Ryan Seacrest with music for his radio program).

 

When it comes to corporate events, the issue of appropriateness is critical. If your goal is to motivate your sales team to hit some new quotas, you don’t want to play a bunch of sappy love songs or slow dance music that could lead to some inappropriate behavior (and possibly damage some careers). Consider your program, the various presentations, and how the music and lyrics can positively contribute to the mood. When people get pumped, they’re likely to start singing along, so be sure the words reflect the results you want.

 

As you interview prospective DJs in Central Florida, ask what they recommend in terms of music that is appropriate for your event. Their answers will help you choose the right DJ.

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Thu

14

Jul

2011

Choosing the right music for your event

Choosing the Right Music for Your Event

 

When it comes to the music for your event, hiring a good disc jockey (whether you’re looking for a DJ in Orlando or somewhere else) is only the first step. Once you’ve chosen your DJ, you need to work with him or her to choose the right music. Here are some key points to consider:

 

What is the nature of your event? Is this a wedding, an anniversary, a celebration of some other sort, a general party, a fundraiser, or a corporate event? The type of event, the size, the guests, and the venue will all affect the type of music you’ll want.

 

What impact do you want the music to have? Think about the atmosphere you want to create. Do you want your guests to mingle and talk quietly to each other? Or do you want them dancing? Do you want a mood that is relaxed and mellow or dynamic and high energy? This information is important so the DJ can not only play the right songs but can play them at the most appropriate volume.

 

Just because you want the music to be more of a background element doesn’t mean your DJ is restricted to instrumentals that might just put your guests to sleep; there are plenty of middle-of-the-road songs that can create the right mood without being distracting. Of course, if you want folks moving and up on the dance floor, you’ll want different songs—or at least, different renditions. You might want music specifically designed to get folks up and doing dances such as the Electric Slide, Conga, folk dances, and other popular line dances. This can be especially effective if you have a DJ who demonstrates the dance and then leads it so that everyone knows what to do and is going in the same direction at the same time instead of stepping on each other’s toes.

 

What are your favorite songs? If your event is a personal celebration such as a wedding, birthday, or anniversary, certainly you want the music to reflect your tastes. On the other hand, you need to consider your guests as well. Hours of nonstop Gregorian chants might seem like paradise to you, but your guests may have a totally different opinion. Even if it means playing some songs that rank far down on your preference list, keep your guests in mind. If the event is honoring a person, couple, or group, you should include some of the favorites of the guest(s) of honor on the playlist.

 

I recommend a mix of music from a variety of genres so that everyone will likely hear something they’ll enjoy. Years ago I did a wedding where the bride and groom insisted on choosing every song and the order in which I was to play them. The entire list was comprised of techno and heavy metal music. I wasn’t surprised—although the bride and groom seemed to be—when the reception ended early because the majority of guests left right after the cake was cut.

 

A good DJ will want as much information as you can provide about your music preferences. Many DJ companies offer the convenience of creating your music playlist in a specially designed section of their websites—although you should still talk with the DJ before you finalize your list. If you aren’t sure what to request, tell the DJ what stations you have programmed into your car radio—these are obvious representations of your favorite music (excluding the talk stations, of course). An experienced DJ can make a playlist using that information and requests from your guests at the event.

 

In a future blog, I’ll explain more about choosing music for specific types of events.

 

 

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Mon

09

May

2011

How DJs are Trained and Why You Should Care

As you evaluate DJs for your wedding, party, or other event, you’re asking all the right questions, finding out about their equipment, music selection, experience, pricing, insurance, contracts, and more. But did you ask how they learned their craft? And does it matter?

 

To answer the last question: Yes, it matters, because how your DJ was trained will tell you a lot about how they are likely to perform at your event.

 

Here are the most common ways DJs get trained:

 

1. They attend a few events, watch some movies, and think the job looks cool. So they go out and buy a bunch of gear on their credit cards, often spending too much and not getting equipment appropriate for events, get some music that is possibly downloaded illegally or of questionable quality, and they consider themselves “in business.”

 

2. They get a job with a larger DJ company that sends them out a couple of times for some on-the-job training with a “senior” DJ or the owner, then assigns them some equipment and turns them loose. This DJ is not as risky as the first, but much depends on who trained the trainer and how well that trainer is able to share his or her knowledge.

 

3. They invest in professional training from a reputable DJ school where they learn the different aspects of what it takes to manage an event, emcee skills, event-specific protocols (like how to present the bride and groom at a wedding reception), music knowledge, karaoke, equipment, and more. Once trained, they invest in continuing education by attending conventions and advanced seminars, as well as belonging to industry trade groups for DJs and event-based associations.

 

Think about it: What type of training would you prefer your DJ to have? What type of training will give you the confidence that the DJ is a true professional and is going to be able to handle your special event to your expectations? And what commitment has the DJ made to stay up-to-date on industry trends, technology, and other important issues?

 

Before you make your final decision on hiring a DJ, ask these two questions:

 

• How were you trained?

 

• How often do you participate in continuing education programs?

 

I welcome questions like this, and so do other professionals.

 

In the interest of full disclosure, I am the senior instructor at the F.A.M.E. (Florida Academy of Mobile Entertainment) DJ School, and we provide excellent training. We are not, by any means, the only DJ school, but if you are interested in learning more about becoming a professional DJ, I’d be happy to talk with you about what F.A.M.E. has to offer.

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Thu

07

Apr

2011

How to Choose a DJ for a Wedding or Other Special Event

When it comes to hiring a DJ in Central Florida, you have a wide range of choices, and it’s important that you make the right choice. Whether you need a professional disc jockey for a wedding, party, corporate event, or another type of special occasion, how do you choose one who will deliver the performance, impact, and results you want? These tips will guide you:

 

Pay attention to the chemistry between you and the DJs you’re considering. Certainly this is a business arrangement, but you need to like each other—you need to click. Be sure you appreciate and understand the DJ’s style and sense of humor, and that the DJ gets yours as well.

 

Cover all the basics. Ask about equipment, available music, contracts, insurance, staffing (who will actually perform at your event), experience, and, of course, fees and payment terms. Be clear and specific about what you want the disc jockey to do and make sure the DJ is willing and able to deliver on your requests.

 

Talk about culture. No, don’t ask if the DJ knows the difference between a cocktail fork and a salad fork—you want to find out if the DJ can handle the cultural issues surrounding your event. Is your wedding likely to have a mix of American and even international regions represented, creating a range of cultures that all need to be respected? If it’s a business event, do you want reserved and formal or freewheeling and casual—or something in between?

 

Be candid and honest. If this is a wedding reception, the DJ needs to know if the bride’s mother hates the bride’s father’s second wife (or girlfriend); if the best man is likely to drink too much and say embarrassing things; if there’s a guest whose claim to fame is starting fights; if there’s a family member who always cries or sings along loudly when a certain song is played; or whatever other personality and behavioral issues are likely to come up. A good DJ will know how to deal with such situations, but it’s easier if you’re upfront about what to expect.

 

You’re hiring a DJ for your wedding reception or other special event because it is, indeed, a special event. Be sure the DJ you choose has the experience, sensitivity, and ability to make your event the occasion you’ve been dreaming of. When you hire Marc Burgess Productions, you’ll get a professional, experienced DJ who understands the challenges of event planning, the politics and personalities involved, and who cares as much about making your event as perfect as you do.

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Tue

01

Feb

2011

Marriage Humor

We all get those funny emails from time to time I'm sure. I received this one recently about love and marriage as seen through the eyes of kids. We all need a laugh now and then. Please enjoy.

 

1. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?  
 - You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
- - Alan, age 10  

- No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.  
-- Kristen, age 10
   
2. WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?  
- Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
-- Camille, age 10


3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
-You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
-- Derrick, age 8

 

4.  WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
  - Both don't want any more kids..
-- Lori, age 8

   
5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
  -Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
-- Lynnette, age 8
(isn't she a treasure)

 -On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
-- Martin, age 10

   
6.  WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
  -When they're rich.
-- Pam, age 7

  -The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
- - Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
- - Howard, age 8


7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?
  - It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
-- Anita, age 9 (bless you child)

 

8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?
  - There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
-- Kelvin, age 8


And the #1 favorite is .....

 
9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
  - Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck .
-- Ricky , age 10   (isn't he just the smartest kid going)

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Tue

25

Jan

2011

Marc Burgess Productions wins award

Marc Burgess Productions wins Wedding Wire's Bride's Choice Award for third straight year

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Tue

08

Jun

2010

Get the most out of your honeymoon

When choosing your honeymoon, the first and most important step is deciding and agreeing upon your destination. Among couples who have a traditional wedding, 99% take a honeymoon. Roughly 60% travel to a foreign country and 40% honeymoon in the United States. You want a destination that will please both of you, so here are some tips and ideas to ensure your honeymoon lives up to your expectations:

1. As a couple, discuss your ideal vacation. Do you want relaxation or an on-the-go vacation? Do you desire warm weather or would a colder location be ideal? Do you want to visit museums and see cultural ruins? Or would you rather sit on a beach and participate in water sports? Know that you may need to compromise with each other. Although this is your first trip as a married couple, it will not be your last. You may need to negotiate on certain aspects of the trip.

2. Choose the time period. Would you rather travel immediately after your wedding, or would you prefer to wait and travel at a later date? If you are on a budget, you may be able to save money by traveling during off-season time periods.

3. Decide on the type of honymoon you desire. Do you want a land based honeymoon, a cruise or an all-inclusive resort? Burgess Honeymoons offers a wide variety of options, so as a couple, decide on the type of honeymoon that fits your personal style and budget.

4. If you are taking a honeymoon abroad, leave plenty of time to ensure your passport is current. It can take two to four weeks to receive your passport once you have applied.

5. Sign up for a honeymoon registry. Your wedding guests count on your gift registry to know what to give you. By registering for your honeymoon, you can have a remarkable honeymoon paid for by your friends and family.

 

Get your free Honeymoon Planning Questionnaire to help you decide what type of honeymoon you and your fiance want by emailing us at marc@djmarcburgess.com

 

Thank you to Monograms Travel for the information provided in this article.

 

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10 Shocking Secrets of the First Year of Marriage

I saw this article on Yahoo's home page. It is from Bride's Magazine and I thought it was pretty good so I am posting it here for you. Enjoy - Marc

 

--By Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine

Think that your first year as newlyweds will be total bliss? Of course it will—but even paradise comes with surprises. Here's what to expect.

1. THE SHOCK: You'll gain a little love weight.
You've been dieting since the moment he put the ring on your finger. But chances are that celery-and-Fresca regimen will end as soon as the honeymoon begins. (Christening every Thursday "Pasta Madness"? Go for it!) "I starved myself for months to get in shape for the wedding—I even ordered my ring a size smaller to force myself to keep dieting," admits Melina M., 29, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Of course I've gained it all back—and a few extra pounds."
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Putting on a bit of weight is normal for a newlywed. "Give yourself permission to enjoy your new life and the food that comes with it," says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. But don't make chili-cheese dogs an everyday thing, or the pounds will keep piling on. Spanx has its limits.

2. THE SHOCK: Your B-list buds will go MIA.
You're a single girl with a tribe of friends. Once you're hitched, though, some may mysteriously vanish from the scene—unless you bribe them with Friday-night drinks.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
If a friend is keen on getting married, jealousy may play a part, or she may be having a hard time dealing with a former free-agent pal's wanting to check in with her hubby before making plans. But don't worry—your closest girlfriends won't leave your side, especially if you make a conscious effort to keep them there.
 
3. THE SHOCK: Your sex life will be off the charts—sometimes.
After the honeymoon and a happy homecoming, life can turn, well...a bit PG. One night, you may just want to do the laundry. Or there will be a Project Runway marathon that you really, really want to watch. Before you know it, a week will have gone by since you and your spouse got romantic.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Nothing. Studies show that, over time, married people have more—and better—sex than singles do, says Scott Haltzman, author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women: "The sense of commitment helps loosen a couple's inhibitions and strengthens their sexual bond."

 

4. THE SHOCK: You won't unpack your china for six months.
Engaged girl's fantasy: kitchen shelves full of gleaming new china and stemware organized by color, pattern, and size. Married woman's reality: stacks of unpacked boxes in every corner.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Everyday things—working late, paying bills, taking the dog to the vet—will get in the way of setting up that idyllic space. Try this as a compromise: Open one box each week until you've achieved that sublime kitchen display. And then use the stuff!

5. THE SHOCK: You'll do the dishes; your husband will fix stuff.
It'll be like living in a Mad Men episode as you fall into clichéd roles—you're in charge of laundry; he hammers things. "One day, when our dryer's bell went off to signal that the clothes were done, my husband jumped a foot off the couch and shrieked, 'What was that noise?' That was when I realized he hadn't washed a sock since we'd been married," says Anna W., 28, of Austin, Texas.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Devise a plan, if you'd prefer to split chores 50–50. "Consider which chores each of you doesn't mind doing, and agree to divvy up the responsibilities in a way you both think is fair," says Lombardo. Studies show that when roles are clearly defined and equitable, everyone's happier.

6. THE SHOCK: Even though you'll have two paychecks, you'll still feel broke.
That "we'll have twice as much money" theory? Just an illusion. While you'll save on housing if you weren't living together before (and don't move someplace swankier), you'll also be spending more. For example, that hand-me-down couch was fine for a single gal, but now you'll want a nice sofa in a lovely home that looks as if grown-ups live there.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Don't fret too much, says Haltzman. The investments you're making now will pay off for decades to come, whether they're in furnishings, friendships (throwing dinner parties), or the future (loading up your retirement accounts).

7. THE SHOCK: You won't want to spend every moment with your new husband.
Your spouse may be your best friend, but he won't suddenly become your only friend.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
"My husband and I have no problems maintaining individual friendships," says Meghan E., 29, of Richmond, Virginia. "The poor guy shouldn't have to be dragged to every new chick flick simply because he's married to me." She's right. Go out with the girls, and give him nights with his guys. You'll come home and swap stories—and your marriage will be the better for it.

 

8. THE SHOCK: You'll go to bed mad, even though you vowed not to—ever.
Count on falling asleep fuming at least once that first year.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
"It's okay if you're getting nowhere with a compromise," says Lombardo. "Forcing things will just make them worse." So don't be scared of getting some shut-eye. Most likely, you'll both wake up refreshed and ready to make up. Studies show the best predictor of a marriage's success is the couple's ability to repair the relationship after a fight, so as long as you resolve your conflict quickly, you can rest easy.

9. THE SHOCK: Being a wife won't mean you'll instantly have skills worthy of an Iron Chef.
"When I was single, I rarely turned on the stove in my studio apartment. Then I got a husband, new kitchen gear (all those shower gifts!), and my grandmother's take- care-of-your-man attitude," says Molly S., 32, of Baltimore.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Marriage vows are powerful, but they don't include instructions on how to make meatloaf. "I'd rush home from work and try to cook a spread worthy of a magazine photo shoot, but I couldn't take the pressure," says Molly. "Now making dinner might mean opening a bag of salad or a take-out menu," she says. "And we're both okay with that." Or you may find your husband grabbing the apron—now there's a win-win!

10. THE SHOCK: The world will feel like a better place.
Marriage is more than changing your last name and getting a joint checking account.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
"Getting married is a declaration to the world that you want to be with each other forever, and a huge sense of security, devotion, peace, and love comes with that," says Lombardo. That intensity will not only deepen your bond but also give you quite a buzz. Says Krista N., 31, of New York City, "We were really supportive of each other before, but now that we're married, it feels like we're tackling life together, and that's a pretty great feeling."