The Seamless Wedding Reception – Live In The Moment

Webster’s dictionary furnishes two definitions for the word “seamless”.  The first definition is “having no seams”, typically used in the context of seamless siding, seamless gutters, seamless countertops; you get the idea.   A house with seamless siding looks better than one with seamed siding.  Seamless gutters are better than regular gutters because a seam will provide a weak spot and a potential for a leak.  Seamless is most always better.

The second definition for seamless is “having no awkward transitions, interruptions or indications of disparity”.  This is the definition we are interested in.  This will translate to “fun”!

Last month in part 1 we talked about how an event loaded with memories and fun moments will seem to be shorter, time-wise, than a boring event.  Time will pass quickly but people will later recall that a lot of fun things happened in that time.

In this month’s article we will discuss a basic step towards staging an amazing, seamless wedding reception.

20091218 and 19 events 016

For the wedding reception experience to be fun for the guests it must first and foremost be fun for the couple.  A bride and groom, along with their wedding party, will set the tone for the evening.  If the wedding party does not engage in the fun-making, neither will the guests.   

The planning of a wedding reception involves an investment of time and energy.  Naturally, any couple wants it to be perfect.  But arriving at the event with the mind still geared towards planning can stifle the brain’s ability to enjoy the moment.   

Here is one tip that helps to keep the couple focused on “living in the moment” during the week leading up to the wedding: Don’t check the wedding day weather forecast.  The couple can designate someone to anticipate any weather related issues and then they won’t have to think about it from that point on.  The event will still happen no matter what the weather conditions.  I have never known anyone who could plan the weather for a particular day. 

Couples who started planning their wedding early, stayed on top of the details along the way and then focused on living in the moment during the home stretch generally are those who have had the most fun at their wedding reception.

A couple that enjoys their big day will remember more of it.  Their enjoyment will spread to the wedding party and ultimately to the wedding guests, who in turn will naturally create more fun moments to remember.  What could be better!

Next month we will discuss how to decide on the ideal length of time for your seamless wedding reception.  Let the fun begin!

The Best Days for Weddings

June weddings!  It seems that the first month of summer still retains its grip on being the most “in-demand” month for weddings despite a strong challenge in past years by the months of September and October.   And as things are shaping up so far, this year is no exception. 

Of course, here in the Midwest we are dependent on Mother Nature as she ordains which months can predictably provide pleasant outdoor conditions.  January and February are dependably frigid, as evidenced by the fact we usually only emcee one or two weddings at the most.  October is beautiful, however, you do run the risk of the weather “going rogue” in the later weeks of the month.  I can recall a couple of snowy October events.

At Black Tie we actually have software that measures potential clients’ demand for wedding dates.  Our website tracks each and every hit on our availability checker.  And here are the most “In-Demand” Saturdays for 2011 so far (at least by our unofficial count):

  • June 11
  • June 25
  • September 24
  • September 10

And, although it’s still early, we have some preliminary data for 2012.  So far our most popularly checked dates are:

  • September 15
  • June 16
  • June 9

If you are still deciding when to have your wedding you may consider the popularity of the above dates and plan an alternative strategy.  Many couples prefer to choose the less popular dates in order to secure the vendors they like and better hotel room/rates selection.  Just something to think about. 

Part 2 of our series entitled “The Seamless Wedding Reception” will be coming out soon.  In part 2 we will be discussing the first steps leading to an unforgettable event.  Stay tuned!

In Celebration of Sugar

I really love wedding cakes! They taste great, especially the corner pieces where all the frosting converges into a big gooey glob of pure sugar. White, Almond, Chocolate, Red Velvet – bring ‘em on!

I got my first digital camera in 2003. It was then that I started snapping a picture of the wedding cake at every wedding reception that I emceed. Don’t know why I did that but clearly I now have a lot of pictures of wedding cakes. I should probably also mention that I have sampled each and every one of these cakes over the years. That’s a lot of cake.

A Yummy Cake from 2004


Everything changes,

Lots Of Tiers and Stairs - Summer 2004

including the time-honored wedding pastry. Some of the cakes that seemed perfectly normal in 2003 would look a little out of place at today’s elegant receptions. I’m talking about those big multi-tiered cakes with the fountains, stairs and interstate highways between the tiers. These cakes seem to have gone to the same place that analog television has gone.

I dug a few pictures out of the archives and thought I would start sharing some of them here. In future articles we’ll also be looking at more of the best cakes I’ve seen (or should say, tasted) over the years.

A Typical Tiered Cake 'Circa 2004

The most interesting sugary creations from 2003 and 2004 are here. If you are a cake professional reading this article please feel free to chime in on the comments section. It would be interesting to get a professional cake creator’s insight.

An Architectural Masterpiece!


Multi-Tiered Cake With An Autumn Theme

Typical Multi-Tier Cake from 2003

Autumn 2004 Cake With An Amazing Flower Display

A Winter 2004 Wedding Cake With A Christmas Gift Look

The Seamless Wedding Reception – Part One

Some of the best wedding receptions I can remember over the last 27 years of being a “Wedding DJ” all seemed to have one thing in common. Not only did guests have fun and celebrate, but more importantly, the event flowed seamlessly from one moment to the next. The very best wedding receptions were always the ones at which time seemed to pass by very quickly. One moment people were walking into a beautifully decorated banquet room, and seemingly in the blink of an eye the event was over. But although the perception of the passing time was short, the reality was that the time was surprisingly loaded with a lifetime of unforgettable moments.

This type of event does not happen by accident. It takes months of meticulous planning to create this type of wedding reception. As a contrast, events that are poorly planned seem to drag on forever with very little memories left in the guests’ minds.

Some people have a knack for planning details and others would prefer that those details be left to someone else. Those who are skilled at planning would all probably admit that they rely on some type of tool to assist them. The numbers of little details that go into a great wedding reception are simply far too overwhelming to keep track of without help.

Almost all of our brides take advantage of the planning session that Black Tie offers as an integral part of their wedding package. Many of those brides arrive at that session armed with some type of aid, whether it is one of those big bridal planner binders with all the special pages and pockets, a professional wedding planner, a laptop with a complicated spreadsheet, or quite possibly the ultimate planning tool – the Mother of the Bride.

In any event, those who are serious about planning usually have the greatest chance of staging one of those great wedding receptions where the time flies by and people talk about it for years to come.

A few days ago I was reminded of the useful online planning tools that we offer all of our clients when I received an email from one of our Spring Brides. She wrote, “I can’t say enough about your website. The checklist (planning) has been awesome and I love the music suggestions and such. Thanks so much”, from Kasey Ciccarone. Thank you for the compliment Kasey!

In the coming months I will offer a short series of articles on the art and science of “seamlessly flowing” and “memory loaded” Wedding Receptions based on my experiences and best memories of the last couple decades. I will use a few examples of previous events and also offer some samplings of the online planning tools we provide our clients.

In the meantime we will be looking forward to another year of very happy memories!


New Weddings for 2012

Black Tie Entertainment has recently begun booking weddings for the year 2012.  We are pleased to welcome the following new brides to our schedule:

May 27, 2012 – Jamie Dunn     Reception Venue: Davenport Country Club

June 9, 2012 – Jessica Pryor     Reception Venue:  i.wireless Center

September 15, 2012 – Kelli McMullen      Reception Venue:  Rock Island Holiday Inn

Congratulations to our newly engaged brides and we look forward to celebrating with them in the year 2012!

We still have just one or two prime wedding dates available in 2011.  Please check our website for availability.

A Day At The Bridal Show

It was a great time at the Davenport River Center on Saturday.  Robin and I visited with a lot of old friends and made some new ones during the course of the annual Jaycees Bridal Expo. 

Unlike some bridal shows in the past when there was occasional down time, this day was virtually non-stop traffic from the time the doors opened.  We made a lot of contacts with new potential clients and look forward to the opportunity to work with them in the future!

Aisles Were Busy All Day Long

Here are a few photos from the day:

Our booth featured a color changing uplighting display. Photo courtesy of Best Days Photography. Thank you Melanie!

A View of the Trolley

Best Days Photography Booth

Jaycees Bridal Show-Saturday January 29,2011

We are looking forward to seeing many familiar faces at the annual Jaycees Bridal Expo this Saturday at the Davenport River Center!  The Jaycees Bridal Expo is the larges bridal show in the area, featuring almost 130 vendors. 

Please stop by our booth to say Hello!  You can find Black Tie Entertainment’s booth on the first aisle on the right as you enter the show.  Our booth is conveniently located towards the front. 

Jaycees Bridal Show

We will be featuring a bridal show special and we look forward to seeing you there!

Welcome New Wedding Clients

Black Tie Entertainment is pleased to welcome our newest wedding reception couples signed this week.  They are:

Melissa and Jeric /  Reception Date-June 5, 2010 / Venue-The Starlite Ballroom

The Starlite Ballroom

The Starlite Ballroom

Betsy and Jeffery / Reception Date-July 18, 2009 / Venue-iwireless center

iwireless center

iwireless center

Welcome and congratulations to these two recently engaged couples!  Black Tie Entertainment looks forward to helping them celebrate their big day.

A Job Interview:The Correct Way to Hire a Wedding D.J.

When I answer a phone call from someone looking to get a D.J. for their wedding  invariably the first question fielded seems to be something like “How much will it cost to DJ my wedding?”   In all reality this should be one of the last questions asked.

After all, it is a job interview for someone who will ultimately impact the most important event of your life.  When you are sitting in front of a prospective employer the first question asked of you is not “How much will it cost to hire you?”   Of primary importance to your interviewer is whether you are qualified to do a good job; or not.

I ran across a great article which illustrates the D.J. hiring process exactly as it should be-an interview.  Consider the Bride as the employer or interviewer and the D.J. as a prospective employee with resume in hand.

Here’s the article:

Looking For A Job: The Perspective Swings
By Ken Petersen

School is over, and you enter the employment hunt.

Your resume has all the pertinent information in clearly defined sections:

-How to reach you.


-Summary of skills.

-List of Education.

-Additional training.

-Certificates and Accreditations.

-Work Experience.


You know the next step in the job search is to get that resume out.

You have a great cover letter that expresses how you found out about the job opening and sets up dialogue for scheduling an interview.

You take an extracurricular class or two on job interviews.

You have practiced the interview numerous times with friends, roommates, or maybe even a few family members.

You get the call – a company is interested. It’s a company you have stock in, you speak well of to your friends, and you really want to work for this firm!

The appointment is set.

This is your big break! You have been preparing and waiting for this moment. You know your are ready; you have put in the work to make yourself the best choice for the position. It is now time to show this company you know what you are doing!

You are excited! You may even dress one step higher than appropriate for the line of work you are interviewing for.

You’re there on time – actually 10 minutes early.

You can already envision working for this firm.

The HR Dept calls you in…

The only question asked is simply, “How much do we have to pay you?”

There is no greeting, no handshake, no welcome, no offer to sit down or get comfortable, no query about anything on the resume. HR doesn’t probe about history, education, skill sets, references, or even if you are over or under qualified for the job… Just a lone question: “How Much Are You?”

You are on the spot. You are the interviewee. You need to answer that question.

Your mind runs wild, “What about my qualifications, why aren’t they asking about those? The entire labor pool is out there; and I know I am the single best candidate for this position. Is this company really looking for the cheapest labor? What if I say, ‘I want $xx,xxx per year salary.’? The next guy in the lobby is wearing tattered jeans and a stained t-shirt. He’s got a ticket for the company to sign off from the placement referral service so he can continue to collect unemployment and furthermore he’s absolutely clueless – I know he’s going to ask for less.”

Many couples that are planning a wedding unknowingly do this daily to many service providers within wedding entertainment field.

Engaged couples are at that stage in life where the job hunt is very fresh in their mind; either they are about to start the search, right in the middle of it, or were recently placed in a nice job environment.

Wedding Entertainers (mobile DJs) can be thought of as the candidates waiting in the lobby (your lobby – you are the employer). They offer a service and a willingness to work for you. Some DJs position themselves for the menial tasks. Others, the better ones, can become your right-hand.

Wedding DJs have a resume. It’s their marketing: a website, their printed materials, an informational e-mail. They have references to check such as thank you cards, happy clients to email, and reviews found online. There is a confirmable work history: ask your other vendors if they have worked with the DJ before –  ask your DJ about the vendors they’ve worked with. What about training, accreditations and certificates? What have they done to earn the spot in your wedding budget.

Have some fun, pay us DJs back with the same thing you are going through (or went through recently). Scrutinize. Find the right employee for your own “wedding firm.”

Reprinted with permission from the Disc Jockey News and author Ken Petersen of Rapid City, SD. Ken is a freelance writer and entertainer who can be reached at:

New Specialty Items For Your Wedding

Our online wedding store has released some clever new products for your wedding.  Here are a few examples:

Gold Mini Chair Place Card and Favor Holdersgolden-chair

Modeled after an intricately carved antique chair, this little place card brings a bit of formality to your tabletop without getting too serious. We include a vellum strip that you can personalize with a felt-tip marker or pen and a sticker with your initial that you apply yourself. The bottom of the chair also doubles as a favor box and holds little treats like chocolates or mints. Each box includes a white and gold organza bow with a gold heart charm. Measures approximately 4″ tall. Fillable box measures 1.5″ square.

Wine Cork Place Holders


I can’t tell you how many couples I have worked for who were wine aficionados and would have enjoyed using these place card holders.

Share your affinity for wine with guests by choosing this charming place card holder that can also hold a photo or menu card. Each “cork” is made of lightweight resin and measures approximately 2″ wide, .75″ tall and 1″ deep. Matching place card is included.

Cherry Blossom Candle Favor


A delicate cherry blossom is painted on a square white candle as a symbol of love, affection and good fortune. Each candle measures 2″ tall, 1.5″ wide and 1″ deep. Arrives in a clear gift box with a brown ribbon and matching “For You” tag.

“Perfect Pear”  Favor


This lightly scented pale green soaparrives beautifully packaged and ready to present to your guests. Two pear shaped soaps are placed on a bed of raffia and then nestled in a textured brown and light green gift box, and finally tied with a perfect brown bow. Each soap meausres 2.25″ tall, 1.75″ wide and .5″ thick. Gift box measures 3.25″ tall, 2″ wide and 1.25″ deep.

There are 36 new specialty favors now available at our wedding store.