Well here we are again, another beautiful summer slipping away and, if you are on the west coast of Canada…into the moody weather of fall. With that, attention is starting to focus on the seasonal parties that will soon be taking place. Halloween and Christmas are the biggest ones but there are lots of birthdays, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs, corporate and various celebrations happening as the colder weather approaches. For organizers, party goers, venue owners or individuals looking to throw a party, event ideas are sometimes hard to come by. However, if you are looking for a few unique ways to spice up your party, here are a few good ones. In some cases you will have to be willing to make an effort, if you don’t want to pay others to do it for you, but the effort will be well worth it for a fun, unique party that will have attendees talking for days and weeks to come.
You have all heard of karaoke, but have you ever thought of combining karaoke with a professional singer? All right, most of us can’t afford a major star singer but there are quite a number of very good pro and semi pro singers right here in Vancouver that can knock your sox off. From having the singers perform a 40 minute set outright or having a more interactive element where they perform duets with your guests, it will be more cost effective than hiring a full band plus this can be incorporated with your DJ /KJ (karaoke jockey). For a more focused function like a religious event, perhaps a Christian karaoke and/or singer night would be applicable. A younger crowd might appreciate a beat boxer. Any event incorporating this idea will be much more entertaining and easier on the ears.
Every summer, as Mr. DJ Vancouver, I see a number of street performers that are unique fun entertainers. Depending upon your guest’s taste in entertainment, you can go for the bizarre sword swallowers, fire performers, martial arts tricking, jugglers, balancing acts, amazing musicians and others. So think street performers as another option to bring the wow factor to your party.
How about dancers? Many younger and, even older, guests love to see a good break dance team. Vancouver has a wide genre of dancers. From ballroom to country line dancers and everything in between, you can find a dancer, or dancers, to fit your group’s dynamic. An aside for the dancer idea is to have them teach a dance and then have everyone try it later in the evening. This is a great way to get the dancing started at any event or for giving away some of those Christmas prizes.
Another interesting and fun way idea for your party is to combine live instruments with your DJ. You can do that with just about any instrument as long as it is electrified, but a tenor sax really seems to work really well. While the DJ is spinning instrumental versions of popular dance hits or even some EDM, the sax player can be out there on the floor jamming along among the dancers. You might even get the audience involved by having some blow up instruments so that they are lip synching along but with fake instruments. Turn this into a fun twist and give away some more of those Christmas prizes to the guest that is the most enthusiastic on their fake instrument.
There are so many things you can do at your parties to spice them up and be unique. Here are a links to more ideas here. “Awesome tips for your holiday party” (This one works for any party not just Christmas. Some great links to Games )
Being a Vancouver DJ , I have seen a lot of parties and I know all it takes is a willingness on your part to want to make your party stand out, and possibly some elbow grease to put the ideas into action. For more ideas, contact me from my website, at 604 816 7727 or firstname.lastname@example.org Happy Partying!
With the winding down in sight of another busy wedding season, it might be a good time to take a look back in review at some wedding etiquette rules that this Vancouver DJ has observed over the last few wedding seasons. Each season brings its’ own share of surprises and mistakes that guests and even family members have made on the special day. Here are a few of them
Every once in awhile, I see venue mangers scrambling for extra chairs, and sometimes tables, at the last minute during some receptions. This can often be attributed to guests bringing along dates or even friends who were not actually invited. Maybe the married couple wanted to only invite close friends and family to keep the wedding intimate or perhaps the reception space is limited. There could also be budget restraints and even just one extra guest can add to the cost for the wedding couple when you add in meals, possibly drinks and other reception benefits for the guests and family. It is not a good idea to show up with a date ore friend who was not invited. If you feel uncomfortable attending alone, ask the bride or groom to seat you at a table where there are other singles.
One of the biggest rude habits that happen at just about every wedding reception now days is how everyone is on their phone. Whether texting, answering calls or even taking photo after photo, the bride and groom more than likely have spent hours going over wedding details to create an event that all their friends and family can enjoy. It really is a shame that guests truly are not in the moment with the reception when on their phone. I wrote an earlier blog on this very subject. You can check it out here. Are cell phones taking the fun factor out of weddings and events?
If you must, take a few photos for Instagram during that amazing sunset at cocktail hour and then put your phone away during dinner… and definitely during the ceremony. After all they did hire a pro photographer.
It is true, some guests do this! It is not ok to touch or sample the wedding cake…especially with your finger. Besides being unsanitary, a wedding cake is expensive and should be only be handled by the caterer or the bride and groom. Besides, how bad would you feel if you knocked the cake over? For all those reasons, and a few more it is best not to touch the wedding cake.
For the ladies at the wedding, it is a considered bad wedding etiquette to wear white at a wedding. Many brides have planned long and hard for their moment in the spotlight as the only lady in white. So while it’s true that white looks stunning on a lady, especially in the summertime… please be kind and let the bride be the only lady in white. However, colorful tones like pinks, yellows and purples are fine and can be quite lovely as well. Oh, and just quick note that Ivory can be considered too close to white
Once the party starts going and the drinks kick in, there are also some party etiquette rules for guests interacting with the music services. Please don’t grab, or try to, grab the DJ microphone and yell into it a drunken message to the bride and groom or try to sing along with a song being played . First of all, microphones are expensive and fragile… if you drop it, you very well could damage the microphone and incur the costs for repair or replacing. Remember, the equipment is not yours and you don’t have licence to abuse it. Secondly, you actually bring down the festivities by interfering with the flow of the evening. Instead, ask the bride and groom to say a few words during speech time when the microphone will be all yours.
A big no no and one that can really shut down the festivities is leaning over the DJ with a drink in your hand. As a DJ in Vancouver, at almost every event this occurs. Guests have to be reminded that if the drink spills into to the equipment, that could be the end of the night. It will certainly be the end of a computer. Best to not try to talk to the DJ while the dancing is going on… they probably can’t hear you over the music anyway. Instead, just write down your requests on the dance song request sheet that is provided at the DJ station or speak to the DJ earlier in the evening. During cocktail or dinner hour the music is much lower in volume and the DJ is just tending the music at that time. Fewer drinks have been consumed and that is a great time to speak to the DJ about your particular dance request or even just chat.
I hope the few points mentioned above help with the weddings you are planning to attend next year. Looking back, did you break any wedding etiquette rules this year?
Perhaps some of you have been invited, and will be going, to an Asian wedding this summer …or in the near future. It is a wonderful thing to have the blessing of experiencing different cultures, so I thought some of you might find it interesting to read about the differences in cultures as it applies to weddings. Being as I was married in Japan and have provided services for many Asian style wedding receptions, passing along some of my observations might be helpful in preparing you for what you might expect at an Asian wedding reception.
The majority of Asian wedding receptions that I have had the pleasure of DJ-ing have been Chinese wedding receptions with more or less western nuances added. In Asian weddings, showing respect for your parents and the guests is very important. Quite often, the bride and groom will have taken their wedding photos a week or more before the wedding day and reception. This gives them the ability to do an Asian custom of standing at the door of the reception room to greet the guests as they arrive. Sometimes, the couple will also be at the door as guests leave the reception after dinner to thank them for coming.
Food is also very important at Asian weddings, particularly at Chinese wedding receptions. There can be as many as 10 to 12 courses. In some cases, the waiters may carry the courses of food above their heads through the tables accompanied by traditional Chinese music and fan fare. This can be quite exciting with sparklers and lights.
The timing of speeches can also be quite different than in western wedding receptions. Because there are so many courses in the dinner, speeches often take place as each course is being served. With the guests partaking in the food, drink and conversing with each other, I am not sure that anyone actually hears the speeches but it is interesting to experience.
For this DJ in Vancouver and I think for others not used to a Chinese style wedding reception, the custom of guests leaving right after dinner was quite an eye opener. I remember the first time it happened where I was Dj-ing a mixed marriage between a Caucasian lady and an Asian men. Half the guests were from Alberta and half were Asian. The Caucasian guests were quite surprised and not sure what to do when at the conclusion of dinner; the Asian guests stood up and proceeded to leave. As the waiters quickly cleared the dishes, stripped the linen from the tables and rolled the tables through the reception room to be put away, the Caucasian guests from Alberta had a shocked look on their faces. It was quite a surprise.
In the case of Japanese weddings, there are about three changes of outfits for the married couple at the reception. On our recent tour of Japan, there were numerous displays of wedding attire at the hotels we stayed. They normally had a whole department dedicated to this.
One hotel, in Hiroshima, had a chapel with the Christian cross for the wedding ceremony. Although there are Christian Japanese, most Japanese religious beliefs are based on Shinto or Buddhism…or both. Probably the room sometimes does have meaning for a Christian Japanese couple, but for others, it is just a trendy style in the marriage process.
Japanese wedding receptions, when done in Japan, tend to be only about two or three hours long. It can be a jam packed event with lights, karaoke, food, dress changes and entertainment… all within that two or so hours. The wedding reception can be in the day or in the evening. At the end of each wedding reception, the hotel then strips the tables and décor and is ready to go do another wedding reception within an hour, or less, of the first wedding reception. In this way, the hotel can have a number of wedding receptions in the same room on the same day. Of course this time frame usually does not apply when Japanese Canadian weddings take place here in Canada.
One thing that was great fun at some of the Taiwan weddings where I have provided DJ services is the tendency to have the married couple, sometimes with the bridal party, perform for the guests. As a Vancouver DJ who has experienced many weddings, I find this quite enjoyable. Take a look at the dance routine one Taiwanese couple performed for their guests where I had the honor of DJ-ing. Taiwanese performance.
Throughout the world weddings still are an important part of the circle of life. If you have the opportunity to attend an Asian wedding, I think you will find that it is a wonderful, enjoyable experience.
Where we listen to you and get it right on your big night!
DJ Gary, based in Vancouver, BC, has been in the music business internationally for over 20 years as a live performer and event DJ. He formed his company, DJ Boogie Shoes & Karaoke Services, in 2007. Having performed at thousands of weddings and events and committed to creating a fun, interactive, and flexible atmosphere for all his happy clients and guests, DJ Boogie Shoes can provide everything needed to enhance your events and entertain your guests.