Bay Area

Menlo Park Wedding Venue Holbrook Palmer Park

Menlo Park Wedding Venue Holbrook Palmer Park

Up the 101 there is a pretty park that can hold weddings and private functions. Included is a ceremony area that includes trees and stairs great for pictures. One can hold a small intimate wedding at the venue. Then they can walk about a 150 steps to get to the dinner slash cocktail area which is an outside area. It would be an ideal for a summer gathering. There is shade for the outside the dinner slash cocktail area. 

 

I was part of a beautiful wedding celebration this past Saturday. I set up in the corner of the ceremony in the shade which I was so grateful. Classical music from Bach and Beethoven was the pre-ceremony music but the rest of the music was so unique. It was by far a very custom event and not your cookie cutter ceremony.  In the procession, a dancer gave her interpretation of a catchy muppet song. The officiant was a friend of the bride and groom and he said great insights about the couple. The couple had touching vows that they shared with their guests. 

 

There were many highlights of the night but one that stuck out was the bride wanted to dedicate a song to her new husband. She was able to arrange an instrumental and sing a beautiful song in front of everyone right after the thank you speech. It was a big surprise for everyone. Everyone knew the bride can sing but no one knew she was going to give them this treat.

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Throwing a Corporate Event in the Bay Area (San Jose, Sunnyvale, Cupertino)

The idea of a corporate event is to step away from the office and create an atmosphere for coworker bonding and building company culture. Often times the party is held outside of work hours and workers are encouraged to participate in the festivities.

 Being part of the Bay Area, there are so many choices to find a rare location. The first step is to book the venue then select the theme for your corporate event.

 

After the venue has been secured it is best to search for the vendors quickly. The good vendors may have an event so it is good to secure.  The longer you procrastinate the higher chance the vendor may not be available.

 

Also consider the theme of the event and the message that you want to share at the event.

 

Finally, you may think about the add ons such as food, and drinks and transportation for your guests. Providing transportation to the event and back will make it convenient for the guests in case they do not like driving to San Francisco for example or deal with parking situation.

 

 

Some Corporate events are similar to the year before and change is good. With the Bay Area as your venue to choose from, there are many options for cool activities.  A lot of time the major of the responsibilities is bestowed on one person which can be a bit stressful but with a team it can be easier to handle. Some venues can be all inclusive which can include a coordinator who can secure fun activities for your company to do.

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Tips for Planning a Quinceanera in the Bay Area (San Jose, Fremont, Morgan Hill and Gilroy, Oakland, San Francisco)

Quinceaneras are pretty similar to a wedding in how much preparation needs to be done for both events. There is a lot of planning and it would be ideal to book your event at least a year ahead in advance. 

 

Find your date.

The day you select for the quince most likely will not be the day of the actual birthday. Make sure it a good date for your family and friends since they will be attending your function. For example, do not select a 3-day weekend during the summer since most folks will travel during that time unless you give your family and friends a good heads up so they don’t make other plans. 

Venue

Once you have your date in mind then find your venue. Most venues are booked on Saturday so its good to book it a year in advance. By some reason if the venue is already booked then the party can be planned for a Sunday at a lower cost since peak days such as Saturday would be more expensive. 

 

Food (the Grub)

This is one of the most important aspects of a good party. A good caterer is hard to find on a Saturday unless you book way in advance. One has to sample the food to make sure it appeals to the taste buds when looking for a caterer. A good place to find caterers would be at a quinceneara expo or wedding expo. At that moment, you can sample the yummy food. Make sure you do not go hungry to these expos since when you are hungry everything tastes good! 

 

Find your dress

This party is all about the birthday girl so its time to be fancy! There are a lot of girls having their quinceanera so dresses are limited. It is good to check dresses online and find out where they are located. 

 

Get your Mariachi On

Mariachis are not as common as you think. To find a good one is one thing but once you find one will they be available? Mariachis are good for the dinner part of the celebration. It is not a must but its mostly for the older family members who enjoy them. If Mariachi is out of the budget then the dj can be playing the dinner music. 

 

 

Get Your Dance on! Time to book the dj

Find a dj that has the Spanish music. You know your Aunt Cuca will be asking for the Chona. It would be good to find a dj that has the Spanish music and the latest English jams. Check if the dj has done high school dances to ensure he is properly equipped to do a party for the youngsters. There is a lot of family at the party so make sure they have the classic Spanish music to get everyone on the dance floor. Make sure the dj is familiar with the customs of the quinceanera such as the changing of the shoes, the waltz and the surprise dance. 

 

Photographer

This is a special moment for the birthday girl so it all should be documented with lots of pictures especially for the “gram”! Pictures and videos would be awesome to have. The special dance and waltz would be awesome to capture on video.

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Expenses of a Quinceanera in the Bay Area (San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Gilroy)

When it comes to the Bay Area, Real estate is the most expensive in the country. Also when one has to rent a venue that will be the one of the biggest expense of the big event. Saturdays tend to be the most expensive day to hold the event but the non busy days can be considered if it is a budget issue or if the venue is already booked. Venues can be as low as $500 but go as high as $2500 depending how big and fancy one wants their venue.

 

If one is having a Quinceanera mass, it is recommended to donate for their time and space and that will range from 200 to 600 dollars.

 

Caterers:

There is a big range in costs for Caterers. If one goes through the venue it can range from  $25 dollars to $80 per plate. Also outside caterers can be considered and it can run from $10 to $30 depending on what they are serving.

 

Dress: The dress can range from $400 to $2000. The latest collections will get a premium cost but later collections will not be as expensive. 

 

Photography, Photobooth and Video:

Photography and Video can range from 800 to 3000. Video is must especially for the waltz and the special dance. Photobooths can go from $500 to $800 depending if one wants the basic or want the upgraded features. 

Let’s not forget the entertainment. Please check out www.bwadj.com for more info!

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Destination Wedding in the Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Napa) (Finding the Right Dj)

There are many reasons to have a destination wedding. Maybe the bride and groom had the dream of getting married by the ocean or even the Golden Gate Bridge! When you do get married locally it is easy to meet local vendors and venues to see whom you would pick for the location and vendors. When you are doing a destination wedding, visits to vendors and venues can be more limited due to the distance.

 

For brides and grooms looking for an easier way to book their venue and vendors in the bay area then they can select an all-inclusive packages to lessen the stress. In these packages, the venue with décor and catering can be included. Open bar anyone? Venues can set up tables and chairs and take them down. If the ceremony is held at the venue, some venues will provide seating, the arch, wedding rehearsal and recommend officiants.  While some venues may be able to provide the sound for the ceremony or recommend the right dj for that.

 

Speaking of the right dj, Black and White Affair (www.bwadj.com) can set up the ceremony with multiple speakers to ensure everyone can hear the vows and the officiant no matter how big or small the ceremony is. Need sound for your cocktail hour? That is an easy fix for Black and White Affair. As your Bay Area Dj, we can travel anywhere in the Bay area to make sure your destination wedding happens as smooth as possible. We can also do video calls to make iron out all the details for the wedding.  Let us provide the sound track for your Bay Area destination wedding.

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Quinceañera in Saratoga banquet hall

I had a  quincenera event in Saratoga this past Saturday at a banquet Hall (http://ilcsaratoga.org/hall-rental/). I have done all Spanish parties before but a quincenera is very similar to a wedding. Like the grand entrance for the wedding party and the bride and groom, thequincenera court and the quincenera are announced. Like a wedding, a quincenera does not have mandatory events. It is all based what was planned. We did not do the crowning of the quincenera since she already had a crown. During the party, the queincenera was presented with a doll. We had cake cutting on the timeline. One of the biggest event is the waltz by the court. Usually it takes months of practice. They have a formal waltz then often they have a surprise dance which is more modern and hip. There is an event called the changing of the shoes. This is when the dad gives his daughter new shoes as a symbol of the daughter going through a transition. Then after we had the father daughter dance. Just like a wedding, we had toasts and thank you speeches planned out. Our last event was the Last song meant for the Dad, Mom and special people. 

 

The banquet hall was attached to a church. It was decorated with nice drapery. I had a very good playlist that the quincenera gave me. On the list there was not too many spaniish songs. A good tip is to have Spanish music ready for the quincenera. I had a lot of cumbia, and banda for the night. Overall it was a fun night. A mariachi started the night then I was able to finish it. 

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Preparing for a Rainy Wedding in Gilroy (Prepping a wedding for the weather)

  I did a wedding this past Saturday in Gilroy. Based on the weather predictions, it was suppose to rain all day Saturday. My wedding clients were prepared and ordered a tent to protect against the elements. 

  When I got there, it was not raining so unloading and setting up was not difficult. The tent kept my equipment dry for the most part. It is ideal to keep some towels handy when the event when rain is involved. Electronics and water do not mix. It can be a little stressful when a speaker is getting wet without being dried. 

  The wedding folks were very prepared. They made sure they had other people to help setting up the party and be there for anything. We were provided with towels for the wet dance floor. At the beginning of the event, someone brought another canopy to add to the tent. It would be ideal to bring extra canopies just in case more ground has to be covered during a wedding. 

 For the ceremony, I had a wireless lapel for the officiant and a wireless microphone on a stand to hear the wedding couple to do their vows. I tested all wireless equipment and it sounded perfect. Then finally I put on a wired microphone close by and let everyone know its there just in case. It is always good to be prepared. 

 Although it was raining the whole time, the party was a huge success. Everyone was dancing even though it was raining cats and dogs. By being prepared made it a great as it was. It takes a team to make it happen and knowing who is in charge of what.

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The Sea by Alexander Steakhouse in Palo Alto

The Sea by Alexander Steakhouse in Palo Alto (https://theseausa.com/home/)

Last Wednesday, I had a corporate event at the Sea by Alexander Steakhouse. This restaurant can hold multiple events at one time. (https://theseausa.com/privatedining/) My group were able to hang out in the outside patio then came in to our room. They also had a trivia team that led the group with a trivia session. I was able to hook up the trivia team into my system so everyone could hear their questions and their music. Once they were done with their trivia session, I had a karaoke machine hooked up to my system. I made sure I brought my 14 channel mixer to plug in my dj controller, two wireless microphones, two wired microphones and a channel for the trivia music.

 

Let me talk about the beauty of this location. I was able to have dinner during the trivia session and the food was the best I had at any venue. The food just melted in my mouth. The salmon and the roast beef were so perfect. The dessert was picture perfect and it was as good as it looked. At the end of the night a staff member helped me load up my suv with my dj equipment. We even had to take a flight of stairs! The best food and the most helpful staff at the Sea by Alexander Steakhouse in Palo Alto make it an easy choice in the peninsula area. It is a no brainer to have your corporate event (in house sound system and a built in projector) or private event at this venue. 

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