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.

Holbrook Palmer Park Menlo Park wedding Venue.JPG

Gilroy Gardens as a venue

Recently played at Gilroy Gardens located in Gilroy. I was able to contact the manager and she was very helpful and made sure she was available to guide me in the venue.  With the helpful staff, I was able to go through the employee entrance. Load in was very simple.  I asked in advance for a table and they gave me an extension cord. Once I arrive I asked for another extension cord and they were on it. I brought my big boy speakers and asked for a little barrier so dancers do not put their drinks or purses on them. This was done with little heads up and they were on it.

The coolest thing of the night was I left a mini table behind and I called the manager after midnight and she picked up and told me she would call security to locate it and text me if they find it or not. I just love the follow through. The manager even offered to drop off the table at my location San Jose once it was found. WOW. With teamwork, they found my table in the big park and I was able to get it back.  This is how this venue treats vendors and I was very impressed. I was very impressed with their customer service. I was working with 2 banquet managers and both of them went beyond the call of duty. 

Overall it was a pleasant experience. While I was playing my music students were dressed to the nines and it seemed like everyone was posting their experience on social media. The lights and the elegance made it a very special night. The park offered unlimited games and rides for the party goers. Students were able to win prizes that whey were proud of. Students seemed very excited and happy. Gilroy Gardens is an excellent place to have your party! 


15 Cake Cutting Songs BWADJ Style


Maroon 5  Sugar

Archies  Sugar, Sugar

DNCE  Cake By the Ocean

Def Leppard  Pour Some Sugar on Me

Bruno Mars  Marry You

Frank Sinatra  Love and Marriage

James Taylor How Sweet it Is

Aerosmith  Sweet Emotion

U2  Sweetest Thing

Pat Benatar  Hit Me with Your Best Shot

Rihanna  Birthday Cake

Dean Martin  That’s Amore

Four Tops Sugar Pie Honey Bunch  

The Foundations  Build Me Up Buttercup

The Turtles  Happy Together


Outside Wedding Ceremony versus Inside Wedding Ceremony

For most people it is an easy decision depending on the state or time of year it is. But there are factors to consider when making a decision. 


Benefits of an inside ceremony:

There will be no worry about the rain or snow or temperature. There can be more options about decorating inside. And the inside ceremony can be done anytime during the year.


Negatives of an inside ceremony:

It maybe too small if couple has a lot of guests. 


Benefits of the outside ceremony:

There usually more room since there are not four walls holding everyone in. The photo shoot has more natural lighting for better pictures. There is less to decorate so it would not take as long to decorate. 


Negatives of the outside ceremony:

Bugs and the outside elements during the ceremony will not be fun. Some outside venues are blank slates so couple may need to rent furniture for the ceremony. Power maybe an issue since it is outside.


Before the decision is made, it is good to check if the venue has a back up plan in case being outside is not favorable. Also its good to check on the power source is close by and functional for the outside event so the speaker(s) will work for the ceremony. 


Good communication is key with your venue connection in case there is a sudden change and the outside ceremony has to go inside. Hopefully they can contact the couple a few hours before in case of the sudden change. Djs can set up a ceremony event in 20to 40 minutes so they have to be in the loop in case of a change.


Early Sunday Wedding (Different wedding ideas)

Not every wedding in the same. There is not cookie cutter way to have a wedding. Bride and groom decide what type of wedding they want to share with their guests. 

  I met with a couple that wanted an early Sunday wedding. They let me know they did not want any lights since it was so early.  But I brought one just in case.  It was a cloudy day so it did create a dark room even though they had a lot of windows. 

  They had one of their bridesmaids officiate the wedding. It makes it a nice touch with someone knows the bride/groom officiates the wedding and talks about him or her.

The cocktail hour was held outside separate from the reception. During the cocktail and dinnertime, jazzy music was played so it gave the wedding a classy feel.


The grand entrance was only the bride and groom then it lead to the first dance. Soon after then it was the father daughter dance. After those dances, the bride and groom thanked their guests. 

What made this wedding so different was it was not dark outside and it was minus the bouquet toss and garter toss.  A wedding can be any which way. It is a celebration of passage of life and certain traditions do not need to be included. Wedding was a blast.  

The pluses of having an early Sunday Wedding is that guests do not need to leave the event early since it finished at 330. It would give guests an opportunity to get home at a reseaonable time in case they have to go to work the next day.


Playing to a Different Beat of a Drum

I always had my style and way of doing things. If it is my business, then I can run it any way I see fit. When you do a job a certain way and always get it done a certain way, then I may become difficult if one switch things up since you are used to do it a certain way. Sometimes it is good to step back and learn from the change.

During the September month, I had a Saturday off and decided to help out another Dj Company with a wedding. I met with the company and I was impressed with their structure and that they have been around over 20 years in the business. They have multiple djs under their wings and keep busy the whole year. This is what I learned and want to incorporate in my business.

Dress to impress. Weddings should be djed in suits or tuxedos. I enjoyed wearing suits but it would get super hot setting up heavy equipment. I understood one can wear a polo while setting up then put on the tie and jacket once everything is set up. Now in my business, I make it a standard to wear a suit and tie for weddings.

I also learned to do a walk though with the venue if I never played there before so I can be at ease on the day of the event since I know where the set up is going to be and know where all the outlets are going to be.

Last but not least, I was able to use a dj cart during the wedding event. Before I would carry all my equipment by hand and make 4 to 5 trips . With this dj cart, I can make two trips and it made a huge difference and felt way more efficient.


Ways to Find your Wedding Vendors

Ways to Find your Wedding Vendors

One way to find vendors is to ask someone who recently got married and ask for their input. The newly married person can give their recommendations and who to stay away from. 


Also once you secured your wedding vendor then you can ask them if there are people they worked with that would be a benefit to the wedding.  People in the industry know other folks in the industry and have seen and heard of their work. 

Also the venue may have their own preferred vendors to help you get ideas of who to select. Usually the preferred vendor has been there a few times and knows how the venue does their business. 


Another way would be to go under yelp and see who has good reviews. It is quite humorous how people trust stranger’s recommendations. Yelp uses an algorithm rank the top performers. I would trust someone with more reviews than someone less that 15. 


A way to find vendors would be to search under Google. Google will rank based on how often the vendor is searched. If the business is registered as a business then they will have Google reviews. 


Another way would to go to a bridal show. To actually set up a display at a bridal show as a vendor is very pricey. Vendors who invest in a booth are serious about their business to invest so much. Beware of the folks who hide behind the table. The best vendors are in front of the table and make them easy to approach. Be aware of those vendors that seem too pushy. Ideally, you would want to select someone you chose as opposed to someone who bullies you to buy his or her service.


Why Can DJs Charge what they Charge? 


 One cannot run a dj business over night. They have to build their song library, get their contracts in order, and have the best equipment available, and pay for the all time committed and marketing.


For djs to have all the newest latest music they are involved in digital record pools. Djs are able to download daily the latest songs. If the song is an older one, they can search through the database to get the classic.


Anyone can play music with entry-level sound system but you get what you pay for. Ideally one wants professional equipment to be played at their event that sounds like a million bucks not like equipment you buy at a garage sale.


Contracts are in place to protect the client and the dj. It holds the dj accountable for what services will be provided with the times permitted and it holds the client accountable for paying for the service.


Setting up for a wedding is not a piece of cake.  It takes hours to find the right songs and labeling the songs so they go on at the right time. Often times, I meet with the couple more than once to figure out we are on the same page. This wedding is the couple’s wedding not your own, so it is their custom playlist that you are playing.  The dj has to set up the equipment before the wedding and have to take everything down after the wedding.


  Djs have to market themselves. They cannot sit around and hope someone contacts them. They have to pay to be at a Wedding Expo and pay for postcards. Also they can do online advertisements, which can lead to hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the service they are using.