Have you recently got engaged? Here is our tips on how to prioritise & plan your big day

How do you go about prioritising your wedding vendors? While each one will play an important role on your wedding day, there are certain vendors you might consider booking at the very beginning of the planning process due to their availability and how many weddings they could do per weekend, or simply because of their importance to you specifically; while others can be booked closer to your wedding date. Here are some tips to get you started:

Priority One:

  • Wedding Planner: Should you decide to hire a Wedding planner, this is probably the first person you want to talk to, especially if you are booking a full planning package, so that they can help guide you through the process and recommend other vendors.
  • Ceremony musicians: there are usually many musicians available so you can wait until about a few months out from the wedding, unless you have your eye on a particular ensemble that might be in higher demand.
  • Photographer: Good photographers are in high demand and they can only work one wedding in a day, or even in a weekend, if they have to travel. Since their schedule is limited, it’s a good idea to look at photographers early in the planning process since some are booked a year or more in advance.
  • Caterer: While a caterer can usually do more than one wedding in a weekend, they can also be limited and if food is a priority for you, this should also be one of the first vendors to consider.
  • Band or DJ: Just like with a photographer, a band or DJ can only do one event in a day so the good ones will get booked early. Since they play a significant role in creating a fun mood for the reception, it might also be high on your list.

Priority Two:

  • Videographer: while some couples consider capturing their wedding on video as a high priority, not all couples will hire a videographer and there are usually some good ones available closer to your wedding date. Some companies also have multiple cameramen so they can accommodate several events in one weekend.
  • Florist: most florists can handle multiple clients in one weekend so you can book them after you have some of the other vendors pinned down.
  • Cake baker: just like with a florist, a bakery should be able to accommodate multiple weddings and it’s something you can book a little later in the planning process.
  • Hairstylist: if you’re looking at a particular stylist, remember that the best ones will also book early and can usually only do one wedding in a day, depending on the timing and number of ladies getting their hair done.
  • Transportation: Many companies have a number of vehicles to choose from, however remember that certain times of year may be popular and it might be a good idea to book your limo or other transportation earlier.

Priority Three:

  • Invitation designer: there are so many invitation vendors to choose from and you can plan to do this later in the planning process. However, if you are doing custom work, you should start looking into it about four months out.
  • Lighting company: most such companies can handle multiple clients in one day and are easier to book closer to the wedding date.
  • Makeup artist: there are numerous makeup artists who can accommodate you and your bridal party, so unless you have a particular one in mind, you should have no problem in finding someone a few months before the wedding.
  • Rentals: most rental companies will have enough items in stock to accommodate your wedding, so you shouldn’t have any issues making a reservation closer to the wedding.

While we here at Bold Monkey Entertainment may not be your best choice when it comes to your makeup or baking your wedding cake we are experts when it comes to your entertainment. Why not give us a call for a no obligation consultation & quotation. Check out our website at www.boldmonkey.ie 

Bold Monkey's Guide to the perfect Office Christmas Party

 

What happens at the office party stays at the office party!

You’ve heard it again… the ‘C’ word. Whether on the radio, in the supermarkets or in the office; Christmas is coming! You’d be forgiven to think, ‘it’s too early to think about that, it’s November’, but in reality, even the most organised of managers and events planners will know that in terms of the working year, unless you’re going to host your office Christmas party on Christmas Day itself, time is ticking to plan your festive extravaganza!
So how do you plan the ultimate party that gets the office buzzing with that festive vibe? It is a well-known fact, that it is a simple combination of planning and props that gives that wow factor. You may be asking what exactly is needed to be planned and what are the special touches that add the X Factor to your Christmas do?
Discover your DIY guide to the office Christmas party!

Step One:

Set the date and work out who is invited: If you work for a slightly larger company, it is worth making a list of all the names of the people you plan to invite, so you don’t forget poor Glenda who has been making you tea for the last 5 years and gone unnoticed. It also helps with your budgeting and personalised gifts if you choose to make/purchase some.

Step Two:

Work out your budget: Set a budget and stick to it! It is important to get this bit right as early on as possible so that you do not end up with surprise costs.

Step Three:

Decide on your venue: Whether your company is small or that little bit bigger, you can jazz up the office and create your own winter wonderland with a healthy helping of fake snow, lanterns and Christmas music. Add the wow factor with some uplighters, a red carpet or an outdoor gazebo, which transforms the space and gives some glitzy glam! Don’t forget the fairy lights and table confetti; an easy and hassle free way to add a subtle sparkle.

Step Four:

Plan your food and drink: Work out if you are going to book caterers or hire a venue that will look after all the catering on your behalf. Most large venues these days will have special christmas packages that will include a Christmas menu and mulled wine reception.

 

Christmas Cocktail Ideas

Snowballs: A zingy and yet creamy balance of Advocat, lemonade, fresh lime and garnished with a cherry!

Mulled Wine: A winter warmer (serve warmed) with a blend of red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, oranges, sugar and either cloves/bay leaves.

Christmas Punch: Blend Cointreau & cranberry just with a jumble of fruits. Float orange slices to garnish.

Hot Buttered Rum: Dark rum with butter, water and sugar.

Spiced Chocolate Eggnog: A creamy mingling of vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, brandy, egg, milk, cream and sugar.

Non Alcoholic drinks (chances are some people will be driving)

Spiced Hot Chocolate: Melted chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, milk, cream, cinnamon and chilli.

Cranberry Fizz: A fusion of cranberry juice, (non alc) ginger ale and sugar. Garnish with segments of fresh grapefruit.

Ginger Beer: You can buy these in!

Fruit Punch: Get creative and blend some fruit juices such as orange and cranberry together. Chop up some fresh fruit and add a splash of lemonade for some sparkle!

Snow Storm: Cloudy lemonade and edible glitter!

 

Naughty Nibbles

 Mince Pies

 Gingerbread

 Stollen

 Sherry Trifle

 Candy canes

 Christmas Cake

 

Step Five:

Decide on whether you are going to have a themed party: Are you opting for a winter wonderland black tie event or are you aiming for informal and fun with Christmas fancy dress? If you opt for the latter, here are some costume suggestions to consider below:

 Santa / Santa Baby

 Christmas Cracker

 Gingerbread Man

 Snowman

 Penguin

 Reindeer

 Christmas Pudding

 Christmas Tree

 Christmas Turkey

 Elf

 The Grinch

 

Step Six:

Christmas Presents! Whether offering a free bar, organising a Secret Santa gift exchange or creating individual employee stockings; Christmas gifts demonstrate appreciation and can act as a memento once the hangover haze has lifted!

Step Seven:

So you’ve organised the ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’. What’s next? The optional extras. What for example are you doing at your party? Here are some more things to consider below.

Party Games

Time to break the ice! These low-budget and easy-to-do party games encourage all to embrace their inner child and have a good laugh!

Snowballs: (Essentially the Malteaser Game with white chocolate malteasers)

Pin the [nose, tail or other!] on Rudolf!

Pin the carrot on Frosty!

Christmas Quiz

 Name Game – Attach a Christmas character’s name to your colleague’s forehead using paper and sellotape. Have them do the same for yourself, then try to guess which you’ve been assigned. You can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to questions.

DJ Santa

DJ Santa

Music

Christmas Karaoke: A slurred Slade rendition belted out with the tunefulness of a cat with a stomach upset – who could refuse?

Create a Christmas playlist of your own: We would only advise this in the case of a very small party with a limited budget as it is very hard to plan for an unknown atmosphere, It is frankly impossible to tell what people will want to be listening to come 10pm.

 Hire a Santa DJ!: Most common form of entertainment at an office Christmas party is to have a Professional DJ to take care of the entertainment for you. In this case the DJ will have the skill and knowledge to play to the crowd and including all the Christmas hits, 80's 90's and current chart hits so everyone has a great night on the dance floor. 

Musician & Vocalist: Why not have a singer serenade your guests either on arrival or after there diner, the waiting around in the lobby before or even after diner can be a little tedious as you wait for the festivities to commence so why not have some easy listening live music to entertain.


Photo Booth Or Photographer

Create some lasting festive memories and some great pictures to brighten up the office walls in January with the help of either photo booth or Photographer! Watch as colleagues adorn themselves with Santa hats, elf ears, tinsel and other such hilarious accessories!


Last tips and advice

Keep the party light-hearted and simple. Remember to review your budget once you have finished your planning. Also, if you have sent out invitations, make sure you keep a note of who can and cannot make the party so you don’t cater for too many or too few. Finally, enjoy yourself, relax and have a very Merry Christmas Office Party!


Avoid the cowboys, how to identify a professional entertainment company

Okay so i decided to write a little blog this morning simply as a result of continued and shocking reports of people just like you getting let down by your DJ's, events company or any vendor for that matter.

There was two big stories from this weekend alone and both were as a result of the DJ simply not turning up to the event, not answering calls, Texts or providing cover support if there was a genuine reason he could not attend (Car crash, sick etc i am not aware of the actual reason).

It is a very sad state of affairs these days that some (This does not include professional DJ's, companies etc) so called DJ's/companies will simply take a booking from you most times with a deposit required and on many occassions it's forgotten about for a period of time as the event is not for another couple of months, however you as the client are confident the booking is confirmed as your deposit is paid and the DJ is on top of it and will get in contact as the date draws near. Problem here is there are 10's of hundreds of companies, DJ's, so called professionals out there happy to take your booking and deposit and mark it on a piece of paper, back of a tissue (i'm sure you get my meaning). Now while you think you are all set with the entertainment booked (normally at an extremly low price) and get on with managing all the other hundreds of tasks & todo's needed to put the entire wedding or event together so everything turns out to be a great success.

The big day arrives and well to keep it simple your Entertainment/DJ simply doesn't turn up, no calls, no texts, not even an email, most likely reason for this will be he/she had a last minute booking that paid substantially more then the booking you had agreed with them a couple of months ago when you paid your deposit.

This might sound shocking and quite unbalievable but this is happening week in week out, There has been a large influx of people (we in the industry call them Sids) purchasing a cheap laptop with a basic DJ mixing programme accompanied by sub standard sound and lighting equipment and promoting themselves as a ligitimate Entertainment/DJ company. These guys are not professionals, most have no morals or any idea how to control an event, conduct a wedding, or even read a crowd and thats provided they actually turn up to your event.

The only reason these guys are getting booked at all is because they are advertising themselves for practically nothing, The deal of the centuary, Wedding DJ to play your wedding for 5 hours for 150 Euro "come on?". It's time to face the facts people if you are willing to hire a DJ based on his price or Deal without looking into the 100's of other details that are more important then the price chances are you are going to feel very let down and quite possibly ruin the biggest day of your life.

Here are some examples:

  • The DJ never showed up.
  • We hired a friend of the family really cheap and he canceled a week before because he forgot that he was attending a music festival on my wedding day.
  • The DJ was drunk. The DJ was drunk before the dance started so some members of the wedding  party took over and ran the music.
  • The DJ just stood behind his table and did not say anything all night.
  • The DJ said vulgar and obscene things on the microphone.
  • The DJ was dressed shabbily.
  • The DJ had lots of pretty lights but had no clue about how to connect with my crowd.
  • The DJ gave no direction or made any announcements. No one knew what was coming up next or what was going on.
  • The DJ never met with us beforehand to get to know us or to discuss our wedding details.
  • The DJ thought the wedding was about him with his funny antics and completely forgot that it was about the bride and groom.
  • We requested no cheesy songs and the DJ played a number of cheesy songs.
  • The DJ took a number of smoke breaks outside.
  • The DJ was hitting on the bridesmaids!
  • The DJ played only few of our requested songs.

Ok so that is just a rough idea of some of the horror stories i have heard from people.

Below is just a few items that you should absolutely confirm with your DJ before making a booking and we wonder why so many people don’t take what we do seriously!

Here are some things to consider when hiring your wedding DJ:

Are they a Registered Irish Business?
Does your DJ have references from other wedding vendors, local banquet halls and hotels, from bride and grooms? 

Have others heard about your DJ? If not, why not?
Do they have current reviews online?

Do they offer a consultation before your event?
Will they know how to read a crowd?
Will the DJ have the talent and skills to act as your master of ceremonies & or be able to mix your music?
Do they have a professional looking web site? That is one of their calling cards! Also is it a .ie domain as anyone can purchase a .com
There are many levels of talent in DJ’s. Not all DJ are created equal!
Are they primarily wedding DJs?
Are they insured?
Have they taken performance courses?
Will your guests be entertained?

Will it be FUN at your wedding?

WILL THEY PROVIDE A CONTRACT OF SERVICES? This is very important please insure you get all details in writing from your DJ/company at the time of booking.

So in conclusion, hiring a professional company or DJ is not cheap, why should it be? DJ's work just as hard as everyone else and yes it also takes them years of training to learn their craft. Other factors to consider when looking at costs is Equipment, Professional DJ's and companies have to spend Thosands every year on equipment to stay at the top of their game.

If you are looking for a PROFESSIONAL service you will have to pay a little extra but what you get back in return is the confidence that your wedding or event will be a guaranteed success!

I hope this helps some of you avoid dissapointment.

Kind Regards,

John Doyle

Owner

Bold Monkey Entertainment