wedding

Pittsburgh Wedding Transportation

Guest Blogger: Pittsburgh Limousine Bus

Pittsburgh weddings are beautiful events, and it takes some work to create a seamless event! There are many pieces of the puzzle, and everybody has their own strategy in putting them together. Each wedding is a completely unique ceremony, and this is why planning one takes much time and effort. When you find yourself at the beginning of the important task that is vendor research and hire, it seems like it’s hard to know who to trust! This is especially true when it comes to transportation.

24bus2[14298]There is a diverse array of charter, limousine, and party bus companies to choose from in Pittsburgh which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s pretty easy to pull up a listing of companies with great reviews across the internet, but it’s getting harder to know who to trust! There are a few points that you’ll specifically want to look out for when searching for Pennsylvania Transportation.

How does their website look?

If you’re perusing transportation companies and their website is outdated and unresponsive on mobile phones, you might want to look elsewhere. Technology is such an important part of business competency these days, and this especially goes for transportation. A great company will have a easy to use website with clear directions on how to get the information you’ll need! If a company lacks on their website, they will probably fall short of state of the art traffic tracking and customer service

Can you come view the vehicle?

22bus2[14297]Many couples overlook this step when choosing a vehicle for their Pittsburgh wedding, but visiting the office or garage to view the vehicle you’re looking to rent will certainly bring you closer to finding the best choice for your wedding. It give you the closest look into how they conduct business face to face before the big day, and it’s very helpful to see what you’re working with before it shows up.

Is the contract transparent?

The contract is the final step in securing your wedding day transportation, and arguable the most important! It’s not out of the norm for a company to sneak in some hidden charges at this stage under the guise of fuel or tip to the driver. However, this is the last thing you’re going to want to deal with right after getting married!

Pittsburgh Limousine Bus

232 Taylor Street #2

Pittsburgh, PA 15224

(412) 385-4412

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Why Do You Charge That?

cheapdjedit (2)Over the years we have been a part of many weddings, providing entertainment and planning services for couples with different tastes and different budgets.

When it comes to providing DJ entertainment, one of the questions we are most asked is why some DJ’s charge $200 and some charge $2000. I can’t explain what other people do or why they do it, but I can explain why we charge what we do.

It’s not some random number we pick out of the air. In order to run any successful business you must have a solid cost analysis of your services. You have to weigh the cost of equipment, time, labor, expenses and compensation. Because we take what we do very seriously and don’t approach one of the most important days in a person’s life as just a “job” we could not charge $200 and stay in business.

For a typical wedding we bring about $10,000 worth of equipment. We have equipment most people will never see such as equalizers and lighting controls, plus back up equipment just in case something fails. All that has to be maintained and replaced from time to time. If you were to go out and rent the equipment we bring it would cost you about $1500. In our pricing model we provide clients $10,000 worth of equipment for about $500.

Then there is the cost of music. We update our music library at least once a month. That annual cost is over $1000. That does not include the purchase of special songs our clients request. The cost is spread out between the number of DJ events we do each year. This allows us to always have to songs that are important to you.

Then there is transportation costs. All that equipment has to get to and from events. That requires time to check equipment, load and unload equipment, update new songs, maintain a company vehicle, insurance and fuel costs and time spent meeting with clients.

To maintain an office, website, phone line, liability insurance all are additional costs that must be factored in to pricing.

Then of course we have to make a living as well and we do this full-time. It’s not just us playing some songs on the weekend for a few extra bucks.

When you add it all up, we charge what we believe is the lowest price possible in order to provide our clients with the highest level of service.

 

30 Requests For Your DJ

When it comes to hiring a professional DJ for a wedding or an event there is often a conflict between perception and reality. The perception is a DJ plays music and makes the lights blink. How hard can that be? He (or she) probably sleeps all day and only works on Friday and Saturday nights. While that may be true from some out there, those are not the people you want to hire for your event. They are not professionals.

The other perception is a DJ should not cost more than a few hundred dollars. I mean really, the DJ is pressing play on songs, so why should it cost more?

When you hire a professional DJ, that person has likely invested over $10,000 in equipment. They are often the first one to arrive and the last to leave, so a 5 hour event is 9 hours or more for them. They pay thousands of dollars to update their music collection every year. They spend time reviewing new music, answering client questions, visiting venues, maintaining equipment, directing caterers, photographers and venue managers as to what happens and when. They attend meetings, send out contracts, work on timelines, deal with drunken guests and go out of there way to make sure everything goes perfectly. They need to be able to make a living just like everyone else.

Value is often forgotten and instead people look strictly at cost. You can always find someone cheaper, but you must understand what you get in return decide how important you event is to you. Here are some key questions to ask yourself of any DJ you consider:

  1. Do you get quality, professional equipment?
  2. Do you get a 2 person team that understands your event?
  3. Will your actual DJ meet you in person before you book them?
  4. Does your DJ know how to use their technology and how to troubleshoot issues?
  5. Will they set up long before guests arrive and work with other vendors?
  6. Can they adjust to schedule changes and unplanned issues?
  7. Do they know how to do introductions, tell a story and properly use the microphone?
  8. Will they be respectful to all your guests and not play offensive music?
  9. Do they prepare well in advance for your event?
  10. Do they play music from legal and reliable sources? Not from streaming or internet sources.
  11. Do they make sure their set up looks clean and professional?
  12. Do they refrain from drinking and smoking during your event?
  13. Do they dress in proper attire and appear well groomed?
  14. Do they speak clearly and naturally without putting on a show?
  15. Do they understand proper volume, tone and clarity for the entire room?
  16. Can they multi-task with music selections, announcements, and guests?
  17. Do they know how to mix different types and eras of music?
  18. Can they adjust to the crowd and bring people to the dance floor?
  19. Do they understand they are not the focus of attention?
  20. Do they value what they do and charge appropriately for it?
  21. Do they honestly answer your questions?
  22. Do they care about you and don’t consider your day another “gig”?
  23. Are they insured?
  24. Do they clearly explain what they will and will not do?
  25. Will they give you the time and attention you deserve?
  26. Do they have a back up plan should something go wrong?
  27. Do they have experience and a good reputation?
  28. Are they someone you trust and can work with?
  29. Will they promptly answer your calls and emails?
  30. How will they make your event unique and memorable?

Any professional DJ is going to have quick and honest answers to every question. Most people only hire a DJ once in their life and so many part time amatuers count on ignorance. A bad DJ can will ruin a great event. Don’t let it happen to you.

Saving Money On Your Wedding

Almost half of all couples get engaged between December and Valentine’s Day. If you are one of them congratulations. It’s an exciting time, but assuming you don’t plan a wedding everyday, it can also be shocking as the cost of your wedding celebration adds up. wedding cost

Here are a few ideas that may help you save:

Flowers – If you have the time and desire to design your own florals, you can have your wedding flowers shipped directly to you. Bridesign offer fresh cut flowers sent to you and can include a number of pre-made bouquets. You pick the colors and options and save over the cost of a traditional florist.

Rent Instead of Buy – While most brides understandably want to purchase their wedding dress, bridesmaids may not. With companies like Rent the Runway, Vow to be chic and Weddington Way offering affordable rental access to famous name designers, renting dresses may be a great money saving option.

Ebay Shopping – Check out Ebay for some great deals on everything from chair covers to favors. Look for gently used or even discounted new items on everything you need.

Groupon Planning – Deals change often, but with regular checks of the popular site Groupon you may find a deal on a photographer, transportation, rehearsal dinner and more.

Design Your Own Invitations –  You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to create fantastic looking invitations. With user friendly sites such as Zazzle, a few clicks and you can create your own wedding invitations.

These are a few of the many ways you can save money on your wedding. Decide what is most important to you and invest your funds in that area. For more ideas and links to these and other wedding resources visit our website.

Looking Ahead – Event Trends for 2015

lookWe are often asked what’s the next big thing? Sometimes the answer depends a lot on style and taste. Chic and Elegant can be two very different things to people. Truth be told, we would rather be trend setters than followers.

Still as one year near it’s end and the next one looms in the distance, we attempt to look into our crystal ball to give our clients a few ideas to consider.

Style……

Recently we saw the reawakening of Gatsby-style glamour and we expect elements of that trend to continue with classic strings of pearls, silver, ivory, and gold accentuated with a bold pops of color, and contemporary interpretations of classic styles.

Yes the shabby chic mason jars are fading and making way for classic elegance.

Drinks……

It’s easy to overdo it when it comes to libations. I’m not talking about consumption, but sheer variety. The flavor craze has exploded. Every type of liquor now comes in flavors from Cherry to Espresso. We predict and suggest a simpler balance of cocktails of high-caliber liquors and fresh ingredients. Want a classic at your event? Talk to your bartender about adding Moscow Mules to the offering.

classic cocktails

Might we also suggest a well-made Harvey Wallbanger with Chopin Vodka, fresh-squeezed orange juice and a float of Galliano.

Food……

food trends

Work with your chef or catering director to create meals using local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients whenever possible. It opens the door to fresh and unique fare.

We also see a shift in event serving style. Opting for small bites, tray-passed appetizers and family-style dining, event and wedding reception dining is a not just about eating, but the social aspect as well. This also allows you to incorporate a larger variety of cuisine options. Keep in mind some of your guests may have to dietary restrictions of vegan, gluten free, and allergy-free offerings.

It’s your party…….

Trends are meant to give you and idea of what others are doing, but don’t become a slave to the hot new trend. If you want BBQ and Beer served in Mason Jars go for it! Trends are created by someone doing what no one else is. Be that person. It does not matter what is in or out, hip and trendy, your event should embody your personal style and taste.

Contact us if we can help you with your next event. http://www.pierceevents.net

Choosing a wedding DJ: When and How

I can’t tell you how many times the phone will ring a month before a persons wedding and they are just starting to look for a DJ. It’s kind of liking starting your shopping on Christmas Eve. What you end up with is what no one else wanted.

First understand how important you entertainment is. If everything else is perfect except your entertainment, your wedding celebration is a failure. That’s all there is to it.

The problem is most people don’t understand this until it is too late. So let us give you some tips to try an avoid any problems.

Let’s start with what NOT to do. Don’t just hook up your iPod and hit play. It may be fine for a backyard party, but not a wedding.

Don’t hire and club DJ. Club DJ’s are great in clubs, but not at weddings. Mixing and scratching have a place and time, but it’s a whole different skill set to be able to entertain a crowd of mixed ages and musical tastes.

Don’t ask a friend or choose the lowest bidder. You really need a pro for a number of reasons. Unless your friend is a pro wedding DJ with experience don’t ask, and that Craigslist guy that will do your wedding for $100 and some beer, well need I say more?

If you want the best entertainment for your day plan, research, and book early. We are booking weddings a year in advance if not more. Once you are engaged you need to pick a wedding date, location and DJ. Those should be your first three things.

Here are some key questions to ask when looking for a wedding DJ (and our answers to those questions):

Who will be the actual DJ entertaining on my wedding day? (We do every wedding we accept. We don’t run an agency or assign others)

Does the DJ provide a contract? (We provide a full 4 page contract that outlines everything in detail and what happens for weather, cancellation, damages, etc.)

How long will you hold the date for us? What deposit is required to hold the date? (We typically will hold a date for 5 days with no deposit. A portion of the price is required to secure the date. That cost varies depending on what services are chosen but is usually less than $300)

How long have you been in the business? (We have been doing wedding for 18 years)

Do you have other events on the date of my wedding? (We only accept one wedding per weekend to provide our full attention to our clients needs)

What differentiates you from all the other DJs? (It’s our personal approach as we strive to make your wedding unique to your style and taste)

What are the latest trends in wedding entertainment? (We constantly educate ourselves on trends and products such as led up lighting, audio advances and popular themes)

Will you emcee the wedding? (Yes. We do all your introductions, announcements and guide you throughout the night)

Can you provide custom up-lighting? (We offer full service event planning include up-lighting, Monogram lights, dance floors, rentals, etc.)

Have you performed at my venue? (We have entertainment at venues all over Pennsylvania, Ohio & West Virginia. While we have not been to every venue we would be happy to discuss yours)

What do you do if my guests aren’t dancing? (It’s our job to make sure everyone is having a good time. We always make adjustments to ensure the dance floor is full all night)

Can we do anything different for the typical wedding formalities vs. what is typically done? (We love making your wedding unique. We can offer ideas on things to do or we are always happy to incorporate your ideas and traditions)

Can we submit a “Do Not Play List” or a “Must Play List”? (Yes. While we don’t suggest you attempt to choose every song that will play, we will gladly play your requests and avoid any songs you don’t like)

These are only a few questions to ask when reviewing wedding DJs or entertainment. If a DJ or company seems to stutter at any of these requests, move on.  They will not customize your evening and chances are they have a pre planned routine that will not be the entertainment you want.

If you have questions or would like to discuss your needs please contact  us at Pierce Events 724-986-6939

TLC’s “Four Weddings” Casting in Pittsburgh

four-wedding-call-for-talentATTENTION PITTSBURGH BRIDES!!!!!

If you are planning a wedding you want everyone to see, well here’s your chance. If it’s the best weeding ever then you may even win a free honeymoon. (Oh, we can help you make it the winning wedding…. wink, wink)

TLC and Semi Sweet Productions is casting NOW for the TV production “Four Weddings” and they are searching for brides in Pittsburgh!

So what do you need to do to get in all this excitement????

First contact Pierce Events right away because we can only work with one bride and we want it to be you. Then gather your wedding date, contact info and a photo of you  and your fiance and click here to apply.

We wish all the “brides to be” the best of luck!

Spending Wisely – Planning Your Budget

Pierce Events Pittsburgh event Planning Budget

Event Planning Budget

It’s imperative that planners do the most with the least for clients.  In our planning process we represent our clients to vendors and always seek about he best values on their behalf. We never exceed a projected budget without prior approval and we must have a darn good case to present to even ask a client to amend an agreed upon budget.  In the rare event that we do seek an increased production budget a complete explanation as to why the cost overrun exists and the benefit of the additional cost is always explained to our clients.Last year some of our national events increased in production cost for several key reasons. Rising fuel costs can have a big impact on your budget. Everything from deliveries to generators to food costs go up as the price of fuel rises.

Trust is very important in the client/planner relationship. Our client know that we explore the most cost effective options for each production and clearly understand the goals of every event. Without spending wisely, our clients would not come back to us again and again. Creating a wonderful event can be accomplished while sticking to your budget.

Often times we start of with the “Cadillac Plan” and whittle it down to the “Chevy Plan”. That’s because client like to know what the event could be but needs and wants must be sorted in the budgeting process. This is true of corporate events, weddings and any other event.

Needs and Wants are not always easily identified. A want disguised as a need can reveal itself in later stages of the event planning process. You may think you need live entertainment, but space and acoustics could limit options and push that live band into the “want” column.

Often times we must eliminate unnecessary items once the event starts to come together. Often keeping a few items on the list that can be removed without a major impact on the production provides a nice buffer for your budget.

There is always more than way to get a job done. When it comes to event services, sometimes there are non-traditional options. We have used local talent, volunteers, community groups and schools to assist in everything from entertainment to marketing.

Staying within budget requires us to value good business dealings, be cognizant of the current economic climate and understand the needs of our clients.

www.pierceevents.net

The Event Symphony – Cinema Cake

One of the things I love about what I do is meeting other talented people who are passionate about what they do. I constantly discover new and exciting things to offer clients.

An event planner must rely on a team of dedicated peofessionals who are the best in ther perspective areas. When the pieces come together, it’s like a symphony that can stir emotion, exhileration and a lasting impression.

Recently we traveled to Atlantic City, NJ to meet other event professionals from the Northeast region. I was introduced to so many new and improved event elements from technology to design. Each person I met shared their expertise in a specific area of event production. There are many things I could share with you, but let me focus on one that really impressed me. It a new twist on classic video production.

Many brides are forgoing video on their wedding day. Family and friends have camcorders. Professional video doesn’t always fit int the budget and how often will you watch a video after the wedding? Besides, do you really want someone sticking a camera in your face all day capturing your every move?

Before you answer, let me introduce you to Dave Williams and CinemaCake Wedding and Event Filmmakers.

Dave and his team seemlessly blend into the background with small and unobtrusive cameras. Often you don’t even know they are there.

They capture moments that most of us miss in the whirlwind of a wedding day. The set up for the ceremony. The bride and groom preparing. That breathless moment when they step forward. The thoughts of parents. The emotions of the moment.

They capture the grand enterance and first dance. The amazing part is you and your guest view this beautiful produced video at your reception. With constant editing throughout the day, the folks at Cinemacake will deliver and unforgetable moment for you and your guests.

Check out the video and the reaction of the couple. It’s a powerful example of just one part of the symphony. If you are as impressed as I was, contact us to talk about bringing Dave and his team to capture your celebration.

Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at www.pierceevents.net