Preparing for a Rainy Wedding in Gilroy

  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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How to throw an Event in the South Bay (San Jose, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy)

Rule 1: If you want to throw a fun party then you have to really know your audience. When you send out the invites make sure you use terms that would excite them. Be very detailed and specific so your guests know the deal from the start. 

 

Rule 2: Make sure your venue is easily accessible. People want it to be a piece of cake to get there so find a cool place with lots of parking. If it’s a formal event then you have a better understanding of the people that are going to the event and you know how many tables and chairs will be needed. Also make sure you have great communication with your venue. It is awesome when you call them or email them they get back to you right away. Nothing is more frustrating than an absentee venue manager. Some venues are all inclusive so that means they can do it all and less worry for the host. They can decorate and or host an open bar. Best ways to find venues is to ask other folks who secured venues before or you can trust strangers on Yelp. 

 

Rule 3: Find the right dj.It is good to secure the venue first so you know the date and times you need a dj and you have to see if the dj is available. So rule 1 is to know the audience and Rule 3 is to find the right dj. You would want a dj that fits the occasion. Find the right dj to do the event and call or email him or her to get a vibe from them

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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! 

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Sycamore Vineyards in Morgan Hill

Sycamore Vineyards in Morgan Hill

 

I was fortunate enough to play at Sycamore Vineyards in Morgan Hill. They are able to host ceremonies, receptions and private events. They were able to accommodate an inside ceremony or an outside in no time. I was set up inside then the weather cleared and within 15 minutes they were able to make the outside area ready and they were professional and made it happen!

 

The staff was very helpful. They did everything to make the event as enjoyable as possible. They let me know if there was anything I needed be sure to ask. They were easy to work with and kept me in contact before the wedding. During the wedding we were in constant communication to make sure the wedding went smooth as possible.

 

The outside ceremony area has a view of pretty vineyards. For the cocktail area people can play bocce ball that they offer at no cost while other venues charge to play the game. Inside the reception area was many wine barrels to give a nice touch. The venue offers their own food menu and I give it two thumbs up. The place offers their own djs and if other djs are brought it they have to have insurance and have to sign an agreement to follow the venues rules (such as professional attire and not having subwoofers). The manager was helpful with helping me find the right insurance.

 

Overall a very beautiful venue to have an event. They have everything inhouse and it best to go that route to keep it nice and easy. It is a good  all in one venue.

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Will Micheal Jackson not be played at Weddings and Events anymore?

The wedding is full of special songs for specific events. A romantic song is played for the first dance and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” is played for the bouquet toss. After all the selected songs are played it is time for the Open Dance. At that time, I would throw on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” to get everyone to the dance floor. That song would get everyone in the party mood.

 

Recently HBO started streaming Leaving Neverland which talks about the allegations of Jackson’s misconduct. So, the question for djs is : Should MJ be played at weddings or events?

 

About two weeks ago, I did a school fundraiser with just adults. I asked one of the hosts if it would be ok to play Michael Jackson it was a quick no. I always play Michael Jackson. There was a point of the night where I felt I could have thrown in some PYT and one guest asked for Thriller but I did not play it for that event.

 

He has been an icon and a staple for years. I believe that since the show was recent there has been some folks who feel strongly about MJ not being played. I have asked some people if they have seen the documentary but not many have seen it. There has been debate in Dj circles and both sides have valid points. After hearing both sides and putting in more thought, I do agree with the djs who say that it is up to the clients who hire you and they can tell you if that are comfortable with playing MJ.

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Best Man Speech Tips

They have to organize the bachelor party and they have to deliver the best man speech at the wedding. Some folks may not like  public speaking but if one is prepared then they can really have a great speech.

 

If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. I know that you have heard that before but it is so true when it comes to the best man speech. With all that is going on, the best man should get the speech ready 2 to 3 months in advance. There will be so many distractions happening so its best done right away.

 

Only make jokes about your groom and leave the new wife alone with your jokes. She will get her turn with her maid of honor. Do not revel too much about the groom but some stories need to be shared while others should be left alone. 

 

Practice.. Some folks are awesome speakers while others not so much. But with dedicated practice then the speaker can at least look the part. Practice the speech in front of the mirror. Also, maybe have someone record you on your phone. You don’t want to talk to fast and you want to make sure you sound good. Speak slowly. One trick of the trade I used is really move your lips when you speak each word. They come out clearer than ever. Maybe practice in front of some trusted friends who can give you feedback. 

 

Don’t try to wing it and not have your speech not written down. It does not need to be written down word by word but at least be in bullet points. I would also have the notes on your phone in case your notecard gets lost in the shuffle of the wedding. 

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How much musical control to do you give to your dj?

The couple can pick the important songs such as the first dance song and cake cutting song and can trust the dj to play what he thinks would be good. Some couples can just give an outline and let the dj run free. Since some couples are super busy and would want to dj to do all the leg work. Other couples may incorporate a do not play list. Also, the couple can give a list of must play songs for the wedding. Dj would be able to incorporate those must play songs throughout the night. 

 

The best weddings I have been a part of was when couples gave a list to the dj. Often times the couple does not know when to start. With my couples I give them a list of popular songs played at weddings. Music ranges from 80s to pop to jazz to rock. From the list, the couple would send their selections. The couple is also free to include songs that are not on that list. From the selections, the dj can continue the vibe of the event with the songs that they were given. 

 

Also communicate is key with your dj so the dj can see what kind of music to be played at the wedding. The dj can use the playlist the couple gives them as the foundation and play songs that would fit in that category. Also, as a couple, it’s good to be specific with the music requests. An example would be if the couple wants old love songs but in reality, they wanted Motown. 

 

In a nutshell, the couple should help the dj build a list and the dj uses that as the foundation.

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