The importance of having a contract

12 January 2019

Being in the wedding industry now for a number of years I have become a member of a lot of facebook groups especially over the last few years, in these groups, I have seen horror stories posted by unfortunate brides week in week out

it happens with appalling frequency - a few brides were in the process of explaining how they'd been stung on their wedding day by suppliers who didn't offer the full service or failed the provide the service at all.

- One paid a fortune for bridesmaids dressed a year in advance, received the 2 days before the wedding and they didn't fit properly and couldn't be altered in time.

- Another had booked a décor package and only received about half of the items and then had the supplier accuse her or the venue of damaging one of the pieces.

- Closer to home, a family hired trick cocktail waiters to do fancy stuff with the bottles and pour drinks in the afternoon. These guys poured scores of cocktails in one go and then handed out warm, flat drinks for a few hours - no tricks and the venue had a more than capable bar staff to just serve drinks.

I could go on with other examples but the one thing they all have in common - none of the suppliers provided a contract and it's left the bride and grooms in a much weaker position legally to gain any recompense - if the venue décor client has it in black and white that they are paying for X centrepieces, a backdrop, Y chair covers, so many sashes, a dancefloor etc... then the firm doesn't have a leg to stand on if they don't provide all of that.

The wedding industry is full of professional, hardworking and honest suppliers. But with online avenues to promote a "business" for absolutely no cost like Facebook, Gumtree etc... there's also a lot of chancers who wouldn't have had access to clients before. This means there are a lot of half-arsed operations out there cashing in on how big the wedding industry is.

Chances are they aren't declaring their income to the tax man but that's a whole other blog post, and most of them certainly aren't running a professional business in any sense of the word.

Would you buy a house without having the paperwork in place?

Would you take out a phone contract without knowing what you were getting for your payments?

You ever buy a loaf of bread and get home to find it's gone a bit mouldy? You take it back to the shop with your receipt (which acts as a contract between you (purchaser/client)  and the shop (supplier) and you get a new loaf or a refund.

Does it make any sense to have more legal protection and safety nets in place for a loaf of bread than your wedding venue, dress, DJ?

Of course not. I stand by every single aspect of this business right down to the t's and c's in my contract and if I ever underperformed or didn't deliver what is laid out in that document, it would be put right because it's only the right thing to do but if I didn't fancy being a nice person, the client could simply take the contract and drag me through small claims course at which point I would lose rather easily.

There's no excuse in this day and age for a legitimate, truly professional supplier not to have a contract in place and if you come across one who for whatever reason won't deal in contracts then for your own sake, walk away.

Tips for Ending your Party or Wedding on a High Note!

Tips for Ending your Party or Wedding on a High Note!

You’ve planned your wedding or special party for countless hours and sometimes it seems like an endless task list. You’ve covered every detail, from the start and end times to the special dances, the toasts and speeches, the cake and the flowers and all of the decisions about food, entertainment, drinks, decor, etc. But have you considered how the event will end? Or, have you thought about how you want it to end?
Think about how important the end of a movie is, and if it’s a bad ending, you probably won’t recommend it to friends and you certainly won’t watch it again. Weddings and parties don’t get a second chance, we have to get them right the first time around. One of the biggest pieces of advice I give to clients is to make sure they consider ending their event on a High Note! A sure way to do this is to organize a “Last Dance” ahead of time. Pick a song that is upbeat if possible, and the DJ should ask all of the guests to come out to the dance floor for the last dance of the evening. I always ask everyone that’s left at the party to get out there if they’re able, “we want everyone on the floor to experience this and to dance and celebrate with Mike & Sarah one last time!” Once everyone is on the dance floor I get them in a circle around the guests of honour or the bride and groom, and the song begins and the couple will dance alone for about 45 seconds to a minute, then I ask everyone to “get in close to them and show them how much you love them!” Everyone starts screaming and yelling and hugging and kissing and saying how much fun this night has been. It’s a wonderful moment. Once the energy begins dying down a bit, I say my Thank You’s to the Bride and Groom, the guests of honour, the families and the venue and other vendors in a quick shout out. I always leave the guests feeling fulfilled but also wishing it could have gone on all night. I generally play one last song at half volume as I’m packing up my gear, something like “Good Riddance, The Time of Your Life” by Green Day. The family usually stays behind and are helping to clean up and gather their things, and then the lights come on and the party is over.
Here are just a few examples of upbeat Last Dance Songs, some start out slow so we can feature the Bride and Groom or Honored Guests dancing by themselves with all their friends and family in that big circle around them, then the song changes to an uptempo beat so everyone can dance and sway together one last time:

1. Last Dance by Donna Summer (perhaps it’s cheesy or dated, but it still works and people love it)
2. I’ve had the time of my life (from Dirty Dancing) by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
3. The Time (The Dirty Bit)– Black Eyed Peas
4. Don’t Stop Believing– Journey
5. Save the Last Dance for Me– Michael Buble (this version really swings in comparison to the original versions)

Lough Eske Castle gig log

Lough Eske Castle gig log

Well, what a pleasure it was to provide my services to Pamela and Patrick on their big day .it was my first time playing lough Eske this year, the castle looks great all year round however being December it was looking especially magical with Christmas lights around the venue  

I started the night with some rock and the requests soon came flying in, everything from the smiths and ACDC to 90’s hip-hop and club classics and The tune of the night was the soul classic (your love keeps lifting me) higher and higher by Jackie Wilson which had everybody up partying on the dancefloor, the disco went on until the wee hours of the morning and what better way to end the night than the usual Christmas crackers.

This was the first night out for my Novo pro podiums with white scrim at each side of my DJ booth and don't they look well :-)

To Have Christmas Music At Your Winter Wedding Or Not?

To Have Christmas Music At Your Winter Wedding Or Not?

The festive season is upon us and many brides and grooms choose this time of the year to tie the knot, with the frosty weather and magical atmosphere being a great setting for a beautiful wedding.

But, the question is, if you’re saying ‘I do’ over the next few weeks, will you be including Christmas songs on your wedding entertainments setlist?

I know some people who are huge fans of Christmas and can’t wait till December to put their tree up and slip on their woolly jumpers. If this sounds like you, then having Christmas tunes at your winter wedding is probably a no-brainer.

But if you’re slightly more indifferent to the occasion, you may be unsure what your guests would prefer – crooning to Driving Home For Christmas, or dancing to the latest chart music?

Unless you socialise with a very hip crowd who may detest Slade and the likes, there are some great reasons to include festive tunes in your evening. For a start, everyone is familiar with them, so all your guests – from Great Aunty Betty down to your little nieces and nephews – will be hitting the dance floor all night long.  

Secondly, some of your friends and family will probably have skipped their own Christmas dos to be at your wedding, so it may be nice to say thank you with a few happy Yuletide songs. Otherwise, they might feel as though they missed out this year.

Lastly, Christmas songs aren’t all cheesy, and you can find some lovely jazzy numbers, instrumental pieces and soulful classics that might fit in at other times of your day. For example, you could have a string quartet play White Christmas or Winter Wonderland during your drinks reception.

No – It’s our day!

Or, of course, you might be of the mindset that your wedding isn’t Christmas – it’s your day.  

You, or your guests, may also despise Christmas songs, whether it’s Noddy Holder or Michael Buble, in which case, choose a setlist that will please the majority.  

And you might have always known the music you want to be played at your wedding, and Christmas tunes don’t feature at all.  

It’s fine if you really don’t want festive music on your Big Day, but it’s a good idea to let your DJ or wedding singer know, so if any of your guests do make Christmas requests, they can kindly ignore them.