Posts

September weddings

New Place Wedding Fayre ~ Sunday 27th January

I’m delighted to say I’ll be exhibiting at the New Place Wedding Fayre ~ Sunday 27th January ~ next Sunday!

I’ve been fortunate to DJ at New Place on a number of occasions, it’s one of the best venues in the region and seems to be going from strength to strength under new ownership.

CLICK HERE for more information about weddings at New Place.

One of my favourite stories about New Place is of a couple who met and fell in love when they were both working there. The bride was working as the wedding co-ordinator and the groom as a banqueting manager. They had seen literally hundreds of DJs … and they chose me to DJ their wedding.

Come and say hello to me at The New Place Wedding Fayre ~ Sunday 27th January

New Place Wedding

 

 

Am I a wedding planner

Wedding Chair Covers

Rant alert! Wedding chair covers ~ when did they become a thing? Why do people have them? Should you put them in the FIB? What is a FIB?

I will attempt to answer some of these questions, but first let me just say, if you are going to have chair covers do them properly – like this! Make sure they add a real WOW to your wedding.

When did they become a thing? 

I have no idea! What I do think I know is why they became a thing – because of scruffy chairs that needed to be hidden!

Let’s be honest here, weddings are big business for many venues and many venues are a bit shabby with tired carpets and furniture. So, slapping some elegant covers on chairs and using beautiful drapes and fairy lights can improve a room very quickly. The problem, as I see it, is that the venue have found this is great way to charge every couple for the service.

 

Why do people have them? 

The chair covers make everything look clean and uniform. The addition of a sash gives you the opportunity to inject colour and maybe some bling, but that can be at considerable cost. I took the picture below at the recent Chilworth Manor Wedding Fayre and I got really excited because the venue has really good, neutral coloured, comfortable seats that didn’t need covering. That means you might have more to spend on really beautiful things like flowers, the lovely arrangement here was provided by our friend Carole from the Flower Stables.

Wedding chair covers

 

Should you put them in the FIB and what is the FIB?

OK first, the FIB … I’m going to call it the “Forget It Bucket” – but that’s not what the “F” really stands for. I first heard the phrase in the VERY excellent Bridechilla Podcast by Aleisha McCormack. I highly recommend this podcast, in fact I’d go as far as to say it’s essential listening BUT it does come with the warning that Aleisha is not for those who are easily offended by profanities. One of Aliesha’s jingles is “The Bridechilla Podcast, telling chair covers to get f****d since 2014”.  I’ll be posting more about BrideChilla soon but please check it out.

 

In Conclusion

A covered chair with a sash can look really elegant. However, once someones been sat in it for a while the sash often moves and it’s not quite as tidy. Badly tied sashes often come untied and end up being a slip/trip hazard on the floor. I know some venues where the same chairs are used for the ceremony in one room, then moved to another room for the wedding breakfast and then moved around again for the evening party, often the sashes need redoing several times. However they can be a good way of getting your colour theme into the day.

My personal opinion is book a venue with chairs that don’t need covers but if you do want, or need, to have covers do them well, create something special. Here’s a beautiful venue dressed to make it look even more gorgeous. It’s the Hampshire Barn at Norton Park (click here) and it was dressed by my friend Suzanne Tie The Knot Events (click here). The table cloths and sashes really take the room to another level while maintaining a clean, tidy feel.

Wedding Chair Covers

 

What a wedding is really about?

What a wedding is really about … what is a wedding all about?

Now there’s a topic we could talk about for days but, to me, it’s a moment in time when we celebrate the fact that two people met, fell in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

How they choose to celebrate is surely their choice?

I think it’s fair to say that often guys just want to give the woman of their dreams the day she wants. What if they disagree and what about others like the parents, should their feelings be considered in the planning?

My daughter got married in April last year. It was a beautiful day and her mum and I, and her husbands parents, now have many fantastic memories to cherish. We all had a great day and of course we ‘re still talking about it.

THE Dress

However, I see lots of posts on social media from couples planning their weddings and dealing with all kinds of family agro! It’s often very sad. As a wedding planning expert, I like to offer advice but some of their problems just seem impossible to resolve … and then I saw this …

This is a clip from The Steve TV Show from October last year that came up on my FaceBook feed a few days ago and got me thinking. The Steve Show is an American daytime TV show, it’s been around in various shapes and forms for many years. It often has great insights into human nature.

James Sexton’s thoughts really resonated with me – what do you think?

“Do not let the first time all the people you love be in a room at the same time be your funeral”

James Sexton ~ October 2018

What a wedding is really about … well I stand by the description I gave at the start of this post. If you are planning your big day please keep in mind everybody who’s coming. This will probably be the biggest party you ever throw (unless you win the lottery), so don’t rush into it.

A great place to start is with my Your WOW Wedding Guide. Use this form to request a copy

The picture of us above and this one were both taken in the minute before I walked Amy down the aisle for the ceremony 😉

 

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

12th and 13th March, the Walk All Over Cancer continues.

12th and 13th March, the Walk All Over Cancer continues, CLICK HERE if you want to support me with a couple of quid.

For the third week running Ce and I had a lunch appointment so I was out early again to get the week started. I made the decision to go with a lighter coat which worked out OK. I normally Skype with one of my colleagues on Monday mornings and he kindly agreed to switch to an old-school method of communication called the mobile phone which worked fine although the quality wasn’t as good – strange what you get used to!

I took a more rural route to start with but this involved walking down a lane and then coming back again. Then I did one of the regular local circuits and returned home after 90 minutes. Ce and I did a little walking in town to get to the restaurant for lunch with our friends and my total for the day was just over 11,000 steps – job done.

Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th March, the Walk All Over Cancer continues

Tuesday the weather was supposed to be better and in fairness in the afternoon for at least ten minutes it was! I went out in the morning and my walk included dropping some more shoes in the Salvation Army collection bin and posting some cards – living the high life.

Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th March, the Walk All Over Cancer continues

Monday and Tuesday 12th and 13th March, the Walk All Over Cancer continues with no real soundtrack on the Monday, just a chat with a good friend. Tuesday I started with The Chris Moyles show on the radio and finished with another of my guilty pleasure podcasts which I will tell you about before the end of this campaign.

That was 12th and 13th March, the Walk All Over Cancer continues tomorrow with the weather turning grim again and people talking about the return of The Beast From The East at the weekend!

To find out more about Cancer Research UK and their quest “Let’s Beat Cancer Sooner” please click here.

Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th March, the Walk All Over Cancer continues

 

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Paul’s Wednesday 7th March Walk All Over Cancer Post

Paul’s Wednesday 7th March Walk All Over Cancer Post is todays report on my Challenge to walk 10,000 steps avery day and raise awareness and funds for Cancer Research UK.

Paul's Wednesday 7th March Walk All Over Cancer Post

I went out twice again today, my first walk this morning was a mission to but a new padlock. So I set off in time to get to the local shop at 9am when they opened – mission accomplished (I even remembered to stop for milk on the way back).

I brought my second walk forward to lunchtime as the forecast for later in the afternoon was sunshine and showers and I didn’t want to get wet. The walk started with a purpose as I had a couple of pairs of shoes to deliver to the Salvation Army bin.

Paul's Wednesday 7th March Walk All Over Cancer Post

The snow has disappeared completely now … actually it hasn’t if you look at this picture of one of the streams I walked past. All this meant over 15,000 steps!

Paul's Wednesday 7th March Walk All Over Cancer Post

The soundtrack to Paul’s Wednesday 7th March Walk All Over Cancer Post was very “Paul The Party DJ”. This morning I listened to last Saturday nights edition of Trevor Nelson’s “Rhythm Nation” with included tracks from Ten City, Faith Evans and Gregory Porter.  He also played “Rhythm Of Life” by Oleta Adams from her album which I then discovered a copy of in my office while I was sorting through stuff later (maybe it will get a play in full soon on one of my walks.

For my afternoon walk I went to my phone iTunes and after flipping around a bit I settled on “Al Green’s Greatest Hits”. What a stunning collection – I’ve posted the cover as part of the “post an album and say nothing” thingy.

Paul's Wednesday 7th March Walk All Over Cancer Post

So that was Paul’s Wednesday 7th March Walk All Over Cancer Post, I haven’t quite reversed my deficit but I’m getting there.

http://www.thepartydj.co.uk/creating-wow-wedding-20th-february/

Sheena’s 60th Party at The Ageas Bowl

What makes a great party? Well, Sheena’s 60th Party at The Ageas Bowl last month is a good example.

From the moment the guests arrived to the moment the last one left, Sheena and I had made a plan to ensure something was happening. We squeezed a lot in but made sure nothing was rushed and that everyone felt a part of the celebration.

I arrived at The Ageas around 4pm to load in and set up in the first floor Robin Smith suite. By the time Sheena and her family arrived I was suited and booted with the music playing and a slideshow running on my big projector screen with over 400 pictures from the family album. Everything was ready for Sheena’s Party at The Ageas Bowl.

Once we had everyone seated, I introduced Sheena’s Uncle Pete who presented a brilliant quiz. When Sheena and I met to plan the party I mentioned a quiz and she told me all about her Uncle who is an excellent quizmaster and has done my family events in the past including her 50th. I had my colleague John with me who run quiz nights and we were both very impressed with Pete’s quiz. There were 9 tables of guests and the winners were invited to go to the warm buffet table first, runners up second, etc … the table that came last had to wait a while longer!

After the two course buffet it was time for the formalities. I introduced another of Sheena’s uncles, Malcolm, who had travelled from Canada to join in the celebrations and he gave a lovely speech. Then I had video messages I’d collected from friends and family who couldn’t be there – messages from Thailand, Hong Kong, more from the family in Canada and many other places – over 6 minutes of snippets! Finally Sheena said her thank you’s – with many lovely insights into her family and friendships.

Then we gathered everyone together so that the official photographers could get a big photo of everyone together. Two of the guests, Thelma and Jacob, were also celebrating birthdays and Sheena had cakes for both of them. Then, birthday girl, Thelma sang “Ain’t Missbeahvin'” acappella with everyone singing and clapping along.

Finally it time to get the dancing underway and it wasn’t long before the floor was busy and it stayed that way until the end at 12:30. I had plenty of requests from the birthday girl which I had in advance and I was able to add requests from the guests as the evening went on. We were also entertained with an excellent version of “Never Gonna Give you Up” by Gerry who sang over a backing track I had ready for him.

There were a few other things that we did to make the evening special – but if I tell you everything people will just copy and that wouldn’t be right 😉

That was Sheena’s fabulous Party at The Ageas Bowl, truly a night to remember.

December weddings

Christmas Parties at The Port House

This is my third year of Christmas Parties at The Port House in Port Solent.

The Port House is a cafe, bar and restaurant and home to the Portsmouth Harbour Yacht Club. It’s located in Port Solent passed the Broadwalk shopping and bars area in the heart of the marina.
CLICK HERE for more information about The Port House.

christmas-parties-at-the-port-house-2

Most of this years Christmas Parties at The Port House were for individual companies or groups from the Q.A.Hospital although we did have one night of mixed tables.
paul-taylor-a4-xmas-request-sheet
Every night I use these cards >>>
so that I get as many requests as possible – hopefully something for everyone!

I’ve found everyone to be really friendly and absolutely lovely but the cards indicate that around 80% of the guests attending have been naughty and this is usually borne out by what they’d like for Christmas (most of which I couldn’t write here for you!).

I’m actually amazed that my picture (at the bottom) has only been “tampered with” a few times and I actually quite like the additions that were made.

Guests usually arrive between 7pm and 7:30pm for arrival drinks and are then seated for 8pm ready for their meals. I cannot speak highly enough of the quality of food and standard of service by the team from Vanilla Catering at The Port House – it’s brilliant. There are several guests who attend more than one Christmas party every year and some of them have been coming for almost a decade – praise indeed. Christmas Parties at The Port House with Sally, Kit, Laura and the team is great fun.

I thought it would be fun to share my playlist from one of the nights, so here you go …

Following on from background music during the arrival and meal, I started the dancing at around 9:40pm
Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Lou Bega – Mambo No.5 (A Little Bit Of…)
Michael Jackson – Rockin’ Robin
The Jackson 5 – I Want You Back
Stevie Wonder – Superstition
Dolly Parton – 9 to 5
Nolans – I’m In The Mood For Dancing
Which took us to 10:00pm
S Club 7 – DJ Beats: Bring It All Back
Bruno Mars – DJ Beats: 24k Magic
Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling!
Kool & the Gang – Ladies Night
Shalamar – A Night To Remember
Sister Sledge – We Are Family
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
OMI – Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)
DNCE – Cake By The Ocean
Prince – 1999
David Bowie – Let’s Dance
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Calvin Harris – My Way
Daft Punk – One More Time
Faithless – Insomnia
Five – Keep On Moving
Five – Everybody Get Up
Busted – Busted – Year 3000
Reef – Place Your Hands
Spice Girls – Wannabe
which brought us to 11:00pm and into the last hour …
Spice Girls – Who Do You Think You Are
Wham! – Club Tropicana
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
Robin S – Show Me Love
Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
Lulu & Take That – Relight My Fire
Village People – Y.M.C.A.
Whigfield – Saturday Night
DJ Casper – Cha Cha Slide
Walk The Moon – Shut Up and Dance
The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men
The Foundations – Build Me Up Buttercup
S Club 7 – Reach
Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta – Grease Megamix
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
Take That – Never Forget
The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York

Looking at it now, it appears I played 46 songs in about 140 minutes so an average of just over 3 minutes of every song. The reason I chose this night to share is that every one of those songs was requested by someone on the cards I handed out, obviously lots of them were track’s I probably played anyway but I love looking into this kind of information to help me work out what I might play next time.

Other more random songs I’ve had requested and managed to fit in over the party season include …
Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
M – Pop Music
Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend
Chumbawamba – Tub Thumping
Jim Jamison – I’m Always Here (Baywatch Theme)
Vanessa Amorosi – Absolutely Everybody
The Black Keys – Lonely Boy
Smash Mouth – All Star
DeBarge – Rhythm Of The Night

I’ve still got a couple more Christmas Parties at The Port House to go … I wonder what the request cards will bring up 😉

christmas-parties-at-the-port-house-3

I'm On A Mission To Stamp Out Boring Weddings

I’m On A Mission To Stamp Out Boring Weddings

I’m On A Mission To Stamp Out Boring Weddings

I'm On A Mission To Stamp Out Boring Weddings

If you regularly read this blog you may be aware that I joined Toastmasters International earlier this year. I go to the Hamwic Speakers group meetings at Tauntons College in Southampton. I’d recommend Toastmasters International to anyone who wants to improve their speaking skills, it’s a very supportive organisation. There are T.I. groups all over the World, so there’s bound to be one in fairly close proximity to you. If you’d like to find out more feel free to contact me directly (paul@thepartydj.co.uk) or click here to go to their website.

Yesterday I gave my second talk and it was all about my mission to stamp out boring weddings. I had to speak for between 5 and 7 minutes. The notes for this speech were …
“The speaker is to present a talk that is organised in a manner that leads the audience to a clearly defined goal.”
Ce suggested that I should consider videoing it, so here it is! I’ve edited in a few pictures to make it more interesting.

“I’m On A Mission To Stamp Out Boring Weddings” basically covers why I think the spark is missing from some modern weddings and how I use my “WOW Weddings” formula to create something more personal and unique. Of course “My Mission” also includes improving and developing my skills and T.I. is just one of the ways I try and do this.

September weddings

How’s It Going To Sound? ~ WOW Countdown … 8

How’s It Going To Sound ~ now there’s a thought!

hows-it-going-to-sound-8

Many DJ’s have a star-line around the “right tune at the right time” idea, well there’s way more to it than that. The real focus for me is how is it going to sound – will everybody be able to hear it at the right level – not too loud or not loud enough – and will the right moment in the tune be playing at the right time. This video explains what I’m talking about (I hope) …

So, how’s it going to sound at your wedding? It should be like a moment from a film where you are the stars ~ seamless, beautiful, a true WOW moment that sets the tone for everything that follows. If you haven’t read the two pervious posts scroll down and read them now.

This is the latest post in my countdown to the WOW wedding evening I’m presenting at Ampfield Golf Club on Tuesday 15th November. The evening starts at 7:30 and I’ll be running through a typical wedding timeline sharing ways I feel you can really make the day special. Tickets are £10 per couple with every penny of that going to The Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity. The event comes will a full money-back guarantee – if you say to the end and don’t feel the evening was great value for money I will refund the £10 from my own pocket – your £10 will still go the charity. For more information and to reserve your places please email paul@thepartydj.co.uk

PLEASE NOTE ~ this is NOT a sales event to promote me. It’s about helping couples create something special regardless of whether they book me.

There are still seven more tips to come ~ please make sure you let anyone know who might be interested ~ Thanks x

Bring back the Receiving Line ~ Countdown … 12

Todays topic is “Bring back the Receiving Line” – many couples have no idea what a receiving line is! Do you?

the receiving line-12

The Receiving Line is one of the things that is often no longer considered but I believe it’s a great way to get everyone engaged with you at your wedding. This is a classic example of dumbing down. It takes time and needs to be organised correctly, so venues often gloss-over it and say it’s unnecessary, boring or a waste of time – how can spending time, even just a few seconds, with the people you’ve invited to share your wedding day with be a waste of time!

It’s just a simple opportunity to meet and greet your friends and family on their way into the wedding breakfast.

Please watch this video to see my thoughts …

I would suggest you talk about this before you make decision. Wwhat could be nicer than a quick hello, a hug, a “thanks for coming” and a kiss with all of your guests!

If you have any questions about the Receiving Line or anything to do wedding etiquette, or things you’d like me to blog about please let me know. Just email paul@thepartydj.co.uk

I’ll be talking about this and lots lots more at my “Creating Your WOW Wedding” on Tuesday 15th November at Ampfield Golf Club – here are the details …

the receiving line

To reserve your places at the event please email me paul@thepartydj.co.uk

paul-the-party-dj-regional-finalist-london-and-south-eastP.S. in other news yesterday I found out I’d made it through to the regional finals of The Wedding Industry Awards. All of my 2016 couple shave voted for me – thank you to each and every one of you x
If you are wondering why I enter these competitions please take a moment to read the post I wrote a few weeks ago on that very topic PLEASE CLICK HERE