Archive for up-lighting

Wedding Savings Tip: Don’t Rule Out Private Clubs

Posted in Professionalism, Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2012 by djscottshirley

I am often asked about how to save money on weddings. I will be posting a series of money-saving tips for brides in the coming weeks, so be sure to bookmark this site.

We have already addressed one of the best ways to cut costs: hold the wedding on a less popular date, and have it in the daytime. Prime Saturdays in April, May, June, and October always cost more than a weekday in January. Your family and friends will show up no matter when you have it – “If you host it, they will come.”

One idea that many people don’t consider is choosing a private club for your reception venue. It seems counter-intuitive – private clubs evoke an image of being expensive – but many of my wedding clients have saved hundreds and even thousands of dollars by holding their reception at a Country Club.

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Unlike hotels and stand-alone banquet halls, private clubs are often not-for-profit organizations. Banquet rooms are available to members free of charge, and the only cost is for food and drink service. Furniture and even linens are often included.

Compare this to the breakdown of costs from a typical hotel. Hotels charge for room rental, food service on a per-person basis, and beverage service. Some will charge for outside furniture or linen rentals, and for security guards, charges that are often included at the private clubs.

The bottom line total is often less at the private club!

But I’m not a member!

Some are intimidated by the “private” image of private clubs. The truth is that many of them welcome the general public as banquet customers, and even advertise their availability. It is not uncommon to see a Country Club, Yacht Club or downtown City Club advertise in wedding magazines and bridal shows these days.

Some clubs, mainly the older established ones, will require a Member-Sponsor. Many get around this by having a list of members who are willing to sponsor non-member banquets. If a club makes money from an outside banquet, it helps them keep lower dues and fees for their members.

Another consideration is the fact that most major private clubs have “Reciprocity.” If you have a family member who belongs to the local Yacht Club, for instance, he would be granted member privileges at many of the Country Clubs in the area.

Private clubs are generally well-staffed with experienced food and beverage people. Many have a reputation for outstanding food, a great view, or a magnificent staircase for a bouquet toss.

At Party Machine Celebrations, we have worked with major clubs for years, know the facilities well, and can always help save you money.

Let Your True Colors Show!

Posted in Cool Lighting, DJ Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by djscottshirley

Some of my favorite modern technology has to be LED lighting, which makes it easy to make lights shine in any color you wish. It is simple to totally transform the look of any room, or even outdoor spaces.

We can “Light The Night” in your favorite color, your school colors, or your wedding colors.

So it was no problem at all when Tara Eckelkamp handed me a ribbon, and asked me to light her ballroom the same color as the ribbon at her wedding to Jeff Hackney.

The ribbon could best be described as a reddish maroon color, rather like a red wine, only a bit redder. (I have always believed that naming paint colors would be the ultimate lazy man’s job.)

The individual LEDs in modern stage lights are red, blue or green, and they combine, exactly the way your color TV screen does, to render any of 16 million different colors.

The intensity of RBG can be adjusted to blend colors, using either a simple fader control, or with sophisticated computer software. Tara’s mother, Sherry dashed into the ballroom to approve the color match. With a single click, it was perfect – just like the ribbon!

Tara Hackney dances with dad Hugo Eckelkamp with the room bathed in lights in her Bridal Color. NOTE: Camera flash makes the colors appear lighter.

The “old school” method was to place a colored gel on a light. But stage lights get hot, and gels can burn and colors fade, not to mention that the gel must be changed to alter the light’s color. And to have lots of colors available meant maintaining a huge inventory of gels.

Plus the old incandescent lights got hot enough to cook on, and consumed lots of power. A separate electrical circuit was required for every 3 or 4 stage lights. This meant extra power supplies (and extra charges) at many venues, while making such lighting impractical or even impossible at others.

A modern LED Par light can generate the same output on 15 watts that required 400 watts on the old school lights. This eliminates complexity, cost, and saves electricity. We even have portable Party Machine power supplies and control receivers, making them wireless!

But it also opens the door to a whole new realm of creativity in decorating with light…and at a lower cost. Because they don’t get hot, they can even be used on ice sculpture!

The possibilities are exciting.

I have seen the light!

Give me a call at 817-294-9539 to discuss decorating with light.

My Big Fun Jewish Wedding

Posted in Jewish Funnies, Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2010 by djscottshirley

We recently had the opportunity to provide entertainment for a great fun wedding for Isaac and Adriana Watemberg. The Party Machine provided Ceremony Sound, Multimedia Entertainment for the reception, colorful Up-Lighting, Dance Lighting, Videography, and Your Name In Lights. It was an amazing event, that we nicknamed “My Big Fun Jewish Wedding.”

DJ Scott with Isaac and Adriana Watemberg

The ceremony was held outdoors at the Four Seasons Resort in Irving. It was a traditional Jewish ceremony under a chuppah with two Rabbis and a Cantor, and Adriana entered and circled the groom seven times. Later they shared wine and Isaac stomped the wineglass.

The guests then moved indoors for a cocktail hour in the lobby, where a string ensemble played classical music. There were guests in attendance from 17 different countries and five continents!

The guests proceeded into a Ballroom bathed in colored light, with the dance floor in the center beneath a canopy. Isaac and Adriana had their names projected on the wall above their cake table. It was breathtaking!

I welcomed the guests and introduced the Wedding Party, and implored the guests to make a “joyful noise” as Isaac and Adriana made their Grand Entrance. They responded with enthusiasm, and the newlyweds moved straight in to their First Dance.

The Rabbi then gave the blessing over the chollah (bread) and the staff began serving. During dinner the guests viewed an animated photo montage, followed by highlights of the ceremony, and the first dance, that was almost like seeing an instant replay. Since part of this had just happened, it was impressive – a big thanks to Keith Mathis for his outstanding on-site video editing. Nobody does it better!

Next we played the Newlywed Game, then kicked off the dancing with a traditional Hora. Check out this video clip, courtesy of Brandon Steward, who was running our lighting systems that night:

During the Newlywed Game, Isaac learned that his wife was peaking at his answers as our Wedding Party Live cameras were showing the game on the Big Screen, giving Adriana an advantage. When I showed Isaac that his new bride could see his answers, we all had a good laugh.

All manner of dancing and silliness ensued, and a grand time was had by all.

Mazel Tov! I look forward to many more Big Fun Jewish Weddings.