Events

Checklist For The Hen Party Planner

HOW TO CHOOSE A PARTY PLANNER SCHOOL

Have you always been an outgoing, organized person with an eye for detail? Do you love to have fun and encourage others around you to enjoy themselves? If so, an event planning career could be the perfect fit for you. Once you’ve made the decision to pursue this career path, it’s time to become properly trained and certified. After all, you want to offer your clients the very best planning services, and you can’t do so without the right knowledge and skills under your belt.

Because the right training can make or break your event planning career, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s why we’re here to help you choose the right party planner school for your interests and career goals. Read on and take notes!

What to watch out for

Instead of diving into what a party planning school should offer you, we’re going to start with a list of poor practices you should be mindful of (a hall of shame, if you will). Not all party planner schools are created equal, which is actually positive! You have a number of options when choosing the right training, but you need a trained eye to know what to look for. Here are some very common practices common amongst subpar party planning schools

No hands-on training

Many career-focused schools will provide students with piles of course textbooks, knowing that the student will gain the skills they need by studying. If you’ve got your sights set on party planning, however, your education will look very different. Event planning is one of the most hands-on, practical careers out there, and you’ll only learn through doing. This is why it’s vital for your party planner school to have a lengthy list of practical assignments that cover topics ranging from sourcing decorations online to coming up with a theme for a baby shower. You’ll need to be able to think on your feet in this industry and to consider all possibilities when planning an event.

Inexperienced tutors

As a student in any course, you need to be mentored and nurtured by your instructor. Specifically, as an aspiring party planner, you need to be shown the ropes in a variety of different ways. Critical thinking skills will ensure you provide your clients with the best possible service, while an ability to budget and see the big picture will allow you to plan the best events possible. The instructor of your party planning courses, therefore, needs to have some serious industry experience under their belt and has to be willing to share their expertise and insider tips with you as the student. Otherwise, how will you possibly learn?

 

Hosting a teenage party

It’s possible to host a fun and memorable party for your child that their friends and their parents will be comfortable with.

Planning a safe party

The Safe party planner is helpful when you’re deciding with your child how their party will be organised and run on the night, and makes sure everyone is on the same page. This includes how alcohol, smoking, and other drugs are going to be managed.

Planning the details

Discussing the following can help make sure everyone’s got the same expectations about the party and has a good time.

Guest list: Talk about how many people you feel comfortable with, the ages of guests, and whether known ‘trouble-makers’ will be invited

Start and finish time: Agree on the start and finish time, including specifics of when the music will be turned off and drinks stopped. A pre-determined time will make it easier to pull the plug

 

HOW TO PLAN A PARTY + FREE PARTY PLANNING CHECKLIST

planning a party can be a stressful business! There’s so much to organise and if you leave it until the last-minute, it’s easy to forget about important party essentials.

Choose your party theme

This one’s a biggie because you can’t really plan anything until you’ve chosen your party theme. But there are so many themes to choose from that you can feel a bit spoilt for choice!

Define your budget

Next up, decide how much you want to spend. This is really important because the cost can really add up when you impulse buy. The best way to avoid over-spending is to set a budget and stick to it.

Set a date, choose your venue and prepare the guest list

These are the nitty gritty details that are best sorted out early on. Throwing your party at home and limiting the guest list to a reasonable number is one of the best ways to throw a party on a budget, but if you can afford to be a bit more extravagant why not hire a venue?

Send your invites

There’s no point planning a party if you don’t give people enough notice to save the date. We’d recommend sending your invites about three weeks before the party to avoid people making conflicting plans. Personalised invitations can be a nice little touch if you’re celebrating a really special occasion like en engagement or a baby shower.

 

EVENT PLANNING

We’ve talked a lot about event planning details. We’ve gone over how to hire entertainment for your event, what to ask when choosing vendors, and how to choose a venue. But if you are a first-time event planner, then even these tasks can seem overwhelming and foreign. No amount of training or reading can truly prepare you for planning an event for the first time. Whether it’s a corporate event, wedding, or conference, the tasks related to planning such an event can seem never-ending and unmanageable to someone who’s new to event planning.

But while things can seem overwhelming, they can also have a high reward and can be a great opportunity to learn how to negotiate, schedule, and network. These skills are valuable outside of the realm of event planning, so it’s a nice opportunity to take what you’ve learned and apply it elsewhere

EVENT PLANNING FRAMEWORK

Set a goal. As with any task, it’s impossible to track progress or measure success if you don’t have clear goals in mind. What do you want to accomplish with your event? How will you know if it was successful? Before you ever call a vendor or venue, be sure you know exactly what it is you want to get out of your event.

Put a team together. Though you may be tasked with putting on your event, it should not be a one-person show. Event planning requires a lot of heavy lifting – both in reality and metaphorically – and one person cannot do everything on their own. Just because you need a team, however, does not mean you have to assemble it all on your own. Putting together a team could simply mean hiring third party event vendors, such as AV providers and caterers, to help you with execution. Whoever you choose to put on your team, just make sure you have people you can depend upon that are in your corner.

Set a date and choose a venue. These should come immediately after you’ve identified your team members. The venue is typically the most difficult piece of the puzzle to lock in, so be sure you choose your date early and contact venues you like as soon as you have the date set. Waste no time in securing your venue space.

 

How to start a party and event planning business

Are you organised, creative and client-focused? Learn how to become an event planner or party planner and start an events business with our guide

It may sound niche, but party and events planning is actually a multi-billion-pound industry with plenty of demand across the UK. After all, who doesn’t love a good knees-up?

What’s better still is that you don’t necessarily need a history in events planning to start your own business. However, one of the risks involved with working in events is that the popularity of this fun and creative industry does mean it’s a saturated market.

Define your event planning business idea

When it comes to starting an events company, you’ll first need to decide on the type of events services you want to offer

Researching the competition online

Often a simple Google search will show you who the events businesses in your local area are, but the ONS, the FSB and the British Chambers of Commerce also hold more specific, publicly accessible information about different businesses.

Ideas For Wedding Dj

Should You Have a Band or DJ for Your Wedding Reception Music?

Can’t decide who should play your wedding tunes? Here’s everything you need to know to find the right music maker for your day.

A band has its pros and cons.

There’s nothing like a live wedding band to get a crowd excited and create a sense of sophistication. A good bandleader will play the master of ceremonies at your reception, interacting with folks on the dance floor, paying attention to the “feel” of the room and selecting music accordingly.

  • Pros: Live music is, well, live. You and your guests will experience the pleasure of a performance. Anything can happen to raise the excitement level, from an infectious horn section interlude to a moving solo.
  • Cons: Bands can be more expensive than DJs. Also, no matter how great the band, they can’t have the repertoire of a standard DJ, who can keep a huge variety of music on hand. And if you want to hear a song the exact way the original artist performed it, you may not get what you want.

And so does a DJ.

Today’s DJs are artists in their own right, offering balanced and eclectic mixes of musical styles for all ages. The songs played will sound exactly as you want them to, encouraging sing-alongs and improvisation. And, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they could take up less dance floor real estate and can be relocated with relative ease.

  • Pros: If there are a dozen songs you’re dying to hear at your wedding, it likely won’t be a problem for your DJ to find each track. Also, DJs are generally less expensive than bands. A DJ with a charismatic stage presence and excellent emcee skills can really set the mood and keep the party going.
  • Cons: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a DJ with a less-than stellar personality can be a party killer. Also, improvisation is tough if, say, your dad is dragging behind tempo on the father-daughter dance or your nieces and nephews decide to request the “Chicken Dance.”

 

PICK ONE: DJ OR IPOD

My team and I see equal amounts of both self- and pro-DJed weddings, and what I generally tell our clients if they’re trying to decide between the two is:

  • If one of your top three priorities for your wedding is “completely killer dance party” then go out and get yourselves a really good DJ. Or if you want music, but don’t care to put the time or energy into it? DJ!
  • If you’d like people who want to dance to be able to, and you’d like to dance, but it’s not one of your top priorities? Or if you have VERY strong opinions about music? Start building your playlist.

DJs have one giant advantage over iPods, which is that they have a huge selection of music at their fingertips and can adjust to the mood of the crowd immediately. A good DJ’s job is to read the crowd and keep them dancing—they have experience doing exactly this, and are able to switch gears seamlessly when it turns out your crowd is more Katy Perry than Rolling Stones (or vice versa). They can also troubleshoot technical issues seamlessly and adjust volume levels between speakers, music, and microphones (for ceremony, toasts, etc.) easily. They can also give you tips on dance floor set up, volume for different phases of the night, and the music flow for a party. They’re there to make the party happen, and the best ones are very, very good at it.

 

How many hours do I need when hiring a wedding DJ?

We get this question a lot. Ultimately it depends on if you need the DJ for just your reception or for both your ceremony and reception. Typically for a reception it’s about 5 hours but some will only do 4 hours to shave costs. If adding a ceremony then an average amount of time is 6 hours for both your ceremony and reception however we also have seen 5 hours for both to help shave costs.

If you include the ceremony then this is what’s typical of the DJ:

  1. Prelude music 30 minutes to start of ceremony as guests are arriving and being seated waiting for the ceremony to start.
  2. Processional song for the wedding party
  3. Processional song for the bride
  4. Possible music in middle of ceremony for unity sand or other similar event
  5. Recessional music for bride, groom and wedding party after being introduced as husband and wife.

As you can see there are a lot of different things to consider. Wedding ceremonies usually only need one hour for everything from the prelude music all the way to the recessional song at the end. Receptions typically require 2 hours of background music for cocktails and dinner and then 3 hours of dancing and everything in between.

 

Is it OK if Guests Miss the “Cake Cutting”?

A DJ is really more than a DJ. A good DJ often doesn’t get the respect they deserve, to be honest. A good DJ puts a lot of time and effort into choosing music that fits a particular crowd and the personalities of the people getting married.

A good DJ does research and asks questions to find out where the couple is from, what their backgrounds are… to see if some special culturally-significant pieces of music can be played at some point in the night. And they are also… the master of ceremonies, also known as a “wedding host.” Which means they tell us all what to do!

A DJ makes the important announcements throughout the evening to inform guests of what’s going on and to make sure there aren’t lulls. I have to say that I don’t LOVE that this has become a necessity for the modern wedding, and I still don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, but I understand it. What I mean is that I wish that as wedding guests (and couples), we were all MUCH more relaxed in our expectations of weddings and wedding announcements. I wish we didn’t feel like we had to follow these strict minute-by-minute timelines (and you don’t… but you’ll feel like you do) but because this is the modern expectation. SIGH, SORRY that was long-winded.

Basically, your wedding DJ will tell your guests when the speeches are happening, when to eat, sit down, when to gather for certain traditions (parent dances, first dance, cake cutting, garter and bouquet tosses), etc. If these things are important to you, it’s worth it to hire a professional DJ.

 

What You’ll Need to DIY DJ Your Wedding

Obviously, you’ll need a reliable digital player such as an iPod capable of holding enough music. We recommend that you have a playlist that is an hour or two longer than the length of your reception, which will allow you to start the music before guests arrive and have backup songs. You’ll also need a good speaker system, a mixing console, a microphone (either wireless or with a long enough cable), and a cable to connect the Mp3 player – most likely a mini-stereo to dual RCA (male) cord, depending on your mixing console.

Have a Backup Plan and a Backup Backup Plan

Along with your main digital player and its power cable, it’s a good idea to bring a second digital player or a laptop – all loaded with your music. You’ll also want to have on hand the name of an equipment rental company who does last-minute deliveries. In case no one is dancing and you need to switch directions, you’ll want that extra hour or two of music mentioned above. Odds are, you won’t need any of your backups, but the cliché of “it’s better to be safe than sorry” is especially true in this case.

Use Wedding Dj To Make Your Wedding Full Of Music

How to Choose a Wedding DJ

Personality

If we could only give you one tip, it would be this!

Your DJ is going to be responsible for setting the tone of the evening. If you have a boring DJ…that means a boring wedding.

Communication

You’ve probably been hearing how important communication is during all those premarital classes. Well, working a DJ is no different.

Playing music is only part of what a DJ does. The other half is talking. From making sure you’re on the same page regarding the “do not play” list to making sure the photographer captures the cake cutting, wedding DJs need to communicate and they need to do it well.

Flexibility

Any DJ who specializes in weddings will end up working a lot of them, so they need to be organized. But when those plans go awry, they also need to be flexible.

An organized DJ has a copy of the evening’s timeline so they can keep events on track. But if the bride and groom are an hour late, they should be able to adapt on the fly so that you and your guests are able to enjoy the evening without feeling rushed (with plenty of time for dancing).

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING DJ

KNOW THAT YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

When you start talking about wedding DJ budget, you also have to talk about value. People will invest only where they see a direct value. Be wary of national websites that create wedding budgets. Since those websites that do things on “average,” they are good for couples looking for an average experience. You deserve more! Because entertainment is a service-based business, it is not a product-based business. This means that wedding entertainment professionals are singular – there’s only one Jason Jani. In addition, there’s only one Denny Testa. Your wedding DJ cost will correspond to the experience and professionalism of that DJ.

BOOK OPEN FORMAT STYLE

What is an open format wedding DJ? Open format entertainment mashes different genres of music together, so that wedding guests of all ages can enjoy themselves at your wedding reception. An open format DJ may play Jackson 5, then NSYNC, then Usher, then The Chainsmokers. It’s a DJ’s job to create a unique experience so everyone at your NJ wedding or NY wedding enjoys themselves. Bad song requests can kill your dance floor – an open format DJ ensures that doesn’t happen as they read the crowd. Good songs can inspire and create emotion – music has the power to bring people together and escape from life’s stresses. This is why song selection and timing matters. Therefore, the right open format DJ will spin live and keep the party

FEEL THE VIBES

Chemistry is a big part of choosing a wedding vendor. Your wedding is probably the biggest and also most expensive event you’re ever going to throw, so you should meet with your wedding entertainer prior to your big day. This will relieve stress and ensure you’re making the right choice for you. Start with Googling the person/company and reading their reviews. Watch any videos they may have from other weddings. If you can tell that you like their style, schedule a meeting with that wedding DJ to make sure you vibe with each other in person. Then seal the deal!

PEEP THE GEAR

DJ Jason Jani incorporates DJ gear into your wedding reception that subtly enhances the atmosphere. Special lighting, screens, as well as equipment that looks like strategically placed furniture rather than a bulky DJ booth make your wedding reception look expertly designed and clean. The right entertainment gear adds ambiance to your wedding reception instead of taking away from it. Ask your wedding DJ what gear he/she brings along and how it looks in a ballroom, backyard, or wherever your wedding reception is taking place!

SHARE WHAT YOU LIKE

Your wedding is your wedding – not a replica of what other people have experienced. As a result, detail with your wedding DJ what is important to you. Some couples may have specific songs lists of what they want to be played. Other brides and grooms may give their wedding entertainer complete freedom to play what they feel is right to keep guests on the dance floor. Love Beyonce? More of an 80s fan? No matter what your style is, make sure you communicate your wants and needs, so your wedding DJ is on the same page.

 

Tips for Choosing a Professional Wedding DJ Company

Personality or Party:

One concern for a couple getting married comes down to the music that will be played at their wedding. Some new DJ’s are trying to emulate the club DJ’s. They want to be the personality at the show. And that is part of the issue – it is about them and their show. They have experience playing the new music but often lack the knowledge or experience playing a broader range of music. When you have guests ranging in age from young nephews and nieces to your aunts, uncles and grandparents, you need a DJ who can play music for people of all ages.

That’s why it is important to select an experienced wedding DJ service that are experts at getting people dancing and partying. You want DJ’s who are also familiar with the traditions of a wedding. From the ceremony, grand entrance to the important dances and the throwing of the bouquet, the DJ’s from Quality Entertainment have the right type of experience – and that’s wedding experience.

Ethical business practices

When it comes to choosing your DJ company, please check that they have the right type of insurance and licenses. Check with your wedding venue as some insist that the DJ’s have a certain level of liability insurance. Some DJ’s have skipped the step to safeguard your wedding. In addition, they may have side-stepped the legal procurement of music. They bought a laptop and downloaded music but they haven’t paid the license fees that allows them to be DJ’s in Ontario.

For example, Quality Entertainment is a proud member of the Canadian Disc Jockey Association and as part of its membership, they are fully licensed by the AVLA and completely insured for your protection. They are also licensed for business in Ontario.

Emergency Back up

It is the ultimate fear at a wedding – that a vendor doesn’t show up or a piece of equipment fails. When choosing a DJ company ask them about their emergency back up plans. Do they have back up DJs that can be called if yours becomes ill? Do they have equipment standing by in case something fails? This can give you a sense of their organization and how professionally set up they are. Quality Entertainment has you covered on both points

When you choose a DJ company for your wedding music don’t trust one that hasn’t taken the steps to be a professional company. Trust the company that has been doing it for 17 years – Quality Entertainment.

 

How to choose the right DJ for your wedding party

Professionalism and personality

Any form of contact with a wedding DJ should speak volumes. Danny advises that during any correspondence, be it in person or over the phone, you can get a feel for whether the DJ is a good business person, has a can-do attitude and is someone you can get along with… key qualities which suggest a superior service for your special day.

Awards

An award win can be the deciding factor when torn between any two wedding suppliers. Some awards may be more valuable than others, but always research the authenticity of any award titles or accreditations stated. Mainstream industry awards are often a winner.

Reviews

Online reviews made by other couples will tell you all you need to know about whether a wedding DJ is good or great and will provide a professional and reliable DJ service. Browse the DJ’s website and social media; if the DJ has been given exceptional reviews, they’ll certainly want to share them.

Look further than five-star reviews, as Danny advises: “A five star-review is one thing, but read the content. This will really give you a better flavour for the company through the eyes of their clients.”

Recommendations

Danny says: “DJ2K is recommended by a number of top wedding venues in the UK. It is always worth considering a venue’s recommended suppliers and having a chat in the first instance. However, if your chosen supplier isn’t recommended or hasn’t worked at your venue before, don’t worry – they have the potential to bring a fresh approach to proceedings.”

 

Most Important Tips For Finding The Best Wedding DJ

Know what you should wait for, and know what you shouldn’t.

Uplighting gets cheaper every year. There’s a new style photo booth coming out each month. The point is, no one is going to run out of a commodity like lighting or photo favors for your wedding date. However, great wedding DJs get booked up far in advance because they have a high demand. With only 52 weekends a year to perform from the 100s of requests they get each year, make sure you don’t wait too long to secure a DJ. Unless you don’t want the best, which in case you should wait as long as you’d like.

Beware of the all-in-one.

Generally, any company that provides a lot of multiple services such photography, videography, entertainment, decorations, etc. in one package is  not great at any of those things, or only great at one of those things. Your DJ should be able to provide you with music for your ceremony & cocktail hour, and also lighting and sound for your reception. But beyond that, you’re not going to find the best of anything all from one single vendor.

Hire a two person wedding DJ team.

The best wedding DJs consist of a two person team, an emcee and a DJ. It’s practically impossible for one person to play music and run your wedding reception at the same time. Formalities can be announced from behind the turntables, but don’t be surprised if the solo DJ talent that you hired to focus on the music for the reception is a little overwhelmed by the additional demands that come from performing for a wedding (as opposed to a nightlife event). A two person team will make formalities smoother, allow the emcee to check in where needed, and much more. In addition, some venues that host multiple weddings on the same day only allow for a small window of time for your vendors to setup. If this is the case, hiring a two person team is going to ensure that they are setup in time. You should have a great DJ focused on the music at all times, and a great emcee to focus on the rest of the party.