JPJazz Entertainment Group  - Event Planning & Live Music Performance
Our Blog: Events out Loud

wedding planning

The Right Speaker is Key!

Engage, Educate, Entertain

To choose a speaker for a group of high energy business executives is no small feat.  They have busy lives and if they are going to set and listen to someone for an evening; it better be good!
And it better be relevant to their lives: either business or personal growth , or else forget it, they are out of there!

At a recent event with a group of entrepreneurs, our speaker,Patricia Fripp,made the grade! She had the audiences attention within 30 seconds and as she says

What does live music cost?

So, how much does live music cost? There are exceptions, of course, but we found these figures on a cost search for wedding and cocktail hour combined and they are quite accurate. Many couples will hire musicians for their wedding ceremony and cocktail hour and then another group or a dj for their reception.  We are often asked if Jack will sing for  the "first dances".  He will either add dinner and the first dances on as an incremental cost of performing for the ceremony and cocktail hour OR he might start with cocktails and continue on through dinner and several dance sets with a DJ finishing off the evening.

MoTown Music to get everyone on the dancefloor!

Motown, So much great music! 
And everyone seems to know the words, whether they are in their 20's or in their 50's and 60's and heard the music when it first came out.  Motown music has a sound and a style that continues to be as  popular today as when it was first recorded .  Many popular artists today are rerecording these favorites and it's very danceable!
If you are looking for a good choice to please a wide age range of guests or family members, consider some of this fabulous music!

Planning dinner for your guests: Plated vs Buffet

At the end of the day, Don't run out of food!
Let this be your mantra, repeat 20 times a day!
When talking with your catering professional be very clear that this is your goal.  Now, on to some specifics.

It costs more to serve a buffet than a plated dinner.
It's a proven fact.   You will  have to order at least 20% more food AND your guests WILL take servings of all or most of the dishes; even both or multiple entrees.
You might have the "end of the line" with almost no entree and a plate of side dishes and salads.

Wedding Music; how to choose?

When thinking about your wedding and your wedding music specifically, it helps to have an overall outline of your ceremony and reception.  Will they both be int he same location?  Are you planning on finishing some  photos  between the ceremony and the reception and having a cocktail hour for your guests?
There are three separate times for music within your wedding day.  The ceremony, the cocktail hour and the reception:from dinner on which usually includes the first dance(s).

Catering: Are you considering stations?

I've had a lot of questions regarding stations lately.
How many should I have? Are they more or less expensive than other catering options? How much space do I need? More or less than a buffet?
These are all important questions.
Stations are a lot of fun as your guests can mill around and continue to visit with a lot of people as they enjoy their meal.  Caterers are very creative with stations and they can provide everything from a few appetizers to a full dinner.  Here is San Francisco and in other cities,  they take their food themes from areas in the city; for example Fisherman's Wharf might include be a raw bar with Oysters, then also have Jumbo Prawns, Crab Clawes and Mussels served with cocktail sauce, lemon wedges and sliced sourdough bread.

Budget is not a dirty word!

Everyone has a budget for their events.  Whether they admit it or not, it's there.  Some clients prefer to get a lot of bids on aspects of their event, wedding, party and then compile a budget.  Many people really don't know what a reasonable cost is for specific line items; for instance flowers, limos and transportation, favors, music and catering. This example with focus on wedding budgets.  There is a percentage system that is used sometimes for weddings in particular and helps to give a guideline.

Vendor Meals

How to handle vendor meals?  First and foremost, I always suggest that my clients provide a meal for the vendors.  This is a question that comes up at almost all events.  The vendors, for the most part, come earlier than the guests and stay later and for evening events that means they are there over the usual dinner hours.  They need to be fed to best do what they do for you.    How best to cover this issue?

Unfortunately there are no "industry standards" for this; it is a decision up to the individual client, event planner and/or catering manager.

Wedding Jitters: How to calm yourself during that last week of preparation

You've decided to do much of the planing yourself.  You're almost done!  Last fitting on the dress, guests
have rsvp'd, venue contracts and vendor contracts are complete, and you're a nervous wreck!
What to do?!
Most importantly, don't try and keep it all in your head and be sure to have tasks delegated.  If you haven't done it yet, make your final week list.
Sit down calmly, make two columns on your piece of paper or your excel file one marked task and the other marked who's going to do it.
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