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Vendor Review Sites: The Full Picture

When you’re looking to buy something, what’s one of the first things you do? Aside from comparing prices, more than likely you read reviews online about it. Online reviews have become one of the most powerful word-of-mouth marketing platforms of today. Doubting all the buzz? Take a look at these results published in a recent survey:

  • 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 58% of consumers trust a business which has positive online reviews
  • 52% of consumers said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business

The cool thing about online reviews is that they are available for almost anything! If there isn’t a specific site providing online reviews for something, chances are there is some sort of forum or discussion board that may provide the insight you’re looking for.

When planning your event-whether it’s a wedding, religious celebration, birthday or anniversary party-it’s a great idea to research reviews of your prospective vendors. However, there is a proper way to dissect reviews so that you can get the full picture. Take into account the following tips to ensure you don’t wrongfully hire, or dismiss, a vendor.

1. Quantity. When you’re trying to get to know a vendor via online reviews, it’s best to gather as much information as possible. Read as many reviews as you can to get an overall scope of people’s experiences with the vendor. This will help you create a collective understanding of their overall performance. If you see a 1 star review in an ocean of 10 star reviews, chances are the majority’s experience will be yours as well.

2. Quality. What may be more important than the number of reviews you read about a particular vendor, is the quality of the reviews. Taking the writer’s tone into account let’s you decide whether or not their review is valid. For instance, if the review is entirely emotional-expressing only opinions and not facts- it may not be the best source for information. Reviews that mention points like punctuality, friendliness, enthusiasm, quality of equipment, attentiveness, and other relevant information, will be your best resources.

3. Go to the Source. No matter how many reviews you read and how deeply you read them, you might still be left with unanswered questions. At this point it would be best to reach out to the vendor themselves. Asking them about a negative review allows the vendor to explain their perspective on the matter. And don’t be afraid to prepare a list of concerns-if they’re a vendor worthy of your business, they’ll be happy to address all of your points of interest.

4. Pay it Forward. Once you’ve worked with a vendor for your event, it’s a great idea to review them online. You’ll be helping other people choose which vendor to hire, just like the reviews you read helped you decide who to use. Writing online reviews also gives you the opportunity to rate your vendors publicly. If you’re happy with their service, do them a favor and share your experience. If you were dissatisfied with their service, provide specific details as to why you were left unhappy. Either way, create a review that you would appreciate reading and that gives the reader the full picture.

Post by Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Choosing a Wedding Planner Based on Your Needs

You know what they say, a girl’s wedding day is “the most important day of her life.” Although planning a wedding may be the happiest, most exciting time in a bride’s life, it can also be quite hectic, stressful, and overwhelming. There are so many tiny, intricate details that go into planning your special day, which is why many couples decide to hire a wedding planner – someone who assists you in every aspect of your day. But what if your budget isn’t large enough for a wedding planner? Or what if there’s only one aspect of your wedding you’d like extra help with? An easy solution is to hire a wedding specialist – someone who assists you with one specific aspect of your day. Whether it’s the cocktail hour, the décor, the food, or particular vendors, there’s a wedding specialist out there ready to help! Check out some of the components these specialists control to make your life easier and less stressful while planning your wedding.

1. Cocktail Hour. The cocktail hour of your reception is, in other words, the “happy hour” of your wedding where your guests mingle and enjoy themselves. It’s the beginning of your wedding reception and we’re sure you’d love to start it off right-and most importantly-make it stand out. Some of the things your cocktail hour specialist can do includes creating a signature cocktail drink for your guests or arranging comfortable, chic seating for relaxation. They can also draft a menu of delicious appetizers for your guests to have at their leisure or build a playlist of music to set a distinct mood. They can even help you add personalized details such as monogrammed napkins.

2. Décor. Decorating for your special day may be one of the most stressful aspects to your wedding because it involves so many details. We know you’d love to have your guests blown away with your wedding’s décor, and having a décor specialist takes that stress off your shoulders, and has the ability to transform any venue from bland to beautiful. These specialists assist you with your color scheme, flower services, balloon services, backdrops, drapery, lighting, centerpieces, table settings, chair and table coverings, and every minor detail in between to make your wedding unique and one of a kind.

3. Food. Whether you and your partner are interested in a sit-down or a buffet-style dinner for your wedding, the food at your reception affects everyone. Wow your guests with the ultimate feast and a fine dining experience with the help of a wedding caterer. They have the responsibility of designing the meals depending on the time of your wedding and on your guests, incorporating food trends such as cupcakes instead of a wedding cake, selecting main dishes and desserts, and may even choose linens and plates for each table.

4. Vendor Selection. The most stressful part of wedding planning is hiring the right vendors. Be it florists, entertainment, or limos, you want to make sure you hire the right people for your special day. And if you don’t know anyone that personally owns a limo, you might be in the dark as to which is the right company to hire among so many choices. Wedding planners often have developed business relationships with several wedding professionals that they can recommend. Because the reputation of the planner is as much at stake as the vendor, they are sure to only recommend vendors they trust. If you trust your planner, you can trust their vendors.

 

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources:

1, 2, 3, 4

First Dance Songs Made for You!

One of the highlights to any wedding is the first dance. The bride and groom’s first dance fills the air with love and illustrates the story of their relationship. So, if you were to describe your relationship in a song, what melody would you sing? Are you a caring and romantic, quirky and fun, or a traditional and classic pair? There are a plethora of aspects to explore when choosing the song for your first dance, and we’re here to help narrow down the choices! Check out some options for your first dance and see which category you and your partner fall into.

Romantic. Are you and your partner in total adoration with each other, and want everyone to know it? Nothing is greater than two hopeless romantics on their wedding day, and the wedding song should display that perfectly. Here are some options for lovebirds that are interested in a sweet and touching first dance.

  1. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  2. Marry Me – Train
  3. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  4. So Close – Jon McLaughlin

Fun. Of course you are in love, but do you want to go beyond that and show your relationship’s fun side in a song? What better way to start your wedding by showing all of your guests you and your partner’s fun, upbeat personalities? If your goal is to have a light-hearted yet loving first dance, check out these options below.

  1. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  2. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Michael Buble
  3. Is This Love – Bob Marley
  4. Dream A Little Dream Of Me – The Mamas & Papas

Classic. You know what they say, oldies are goodies! The best part about having a timeless song for your first dance is that they are powerful – not to mention everyone in the room will most likely already be familiar with it. You simply cannot go wrong with a classic love song. They effortlessly fit into any wedding along with most couples’ personality and taste. If you and your partner are looking for a song that will please you and your guests, these classics will not disappoint!

  1. For Once in My Life – Michael Buble
  2. At Last – Etta James
  3. Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
  4. Something – The Beatles

Keep in mind, the best song to choose for your first dance should be the one most meaningful to both you and your partner; and you may not always find that on any list.  If you already have a song that you have branded “Our Song,” that would be the one to choose. Remember, it’s your day. So what if your guests have never heard of the indie artist you guys have seen at countless shows; or even if your song is as goofy as doing the chicken dance while wearing a tutu. This is a song that has helped bring your and your fiancé to this very day. While you are dancing together, staring into each others’ eyes and seeing your future with this person, it helps to have the right soundtrack to go with your vision. In the end, that’s the only song that matters.

 

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3

Your Wedding… Enhanced!

We’ve all been there – you’re at a wedding, the reception is beautiful, the food is great, and the DJ is getting everyone on the dance floor; but there’s just something missing. There’s nothing too memorable about it. What was the couple’s biggest mistake in planning the wedding reception? They simply focused too much on the wedding basics, without thinking to add that special touch. Learn from others’ mistakes and go the extra mile! To make your special day memorable, strive for enhancements that go beyond the basics. When choosing which enhancements to incorporate into your party, consider those listed below and make your reception one for the books!

1. Photo Booths.  A photo booth is fun for people of all ages, and is the best way for your guests to remember how great your wedding was. The booth prints a photo strip featuring three pictures taken by your guests, which is theirs to keep as a souvenir from your big day. What’s in it for you? Many photo booths print two photo strips which allow for a copy of your guests’ images to be added to an album for you to keep. It’s no wonder photo booths are one of the most popular enhancements at wedding receptions.

2. Uplighting. If you’re looking to create a memorable atmosphere on your big day, consider uplighting.  Uplighting is a source of light which is cast upwards to illuminate the ceiling. Add extra flare to your reception by including your wedding colors in the uplighting scheme. When you and your guests enter the reception, you will instantly feel the elegance, beauty, and love in the room!  Uplighting is an easy, yet soft touch to add to your wedding, and will set a luxuriously magical mood for the night.

3. Cloud Machines. Speaking of magic, why not add some cloud effects to your special day? Cloud machines are one of the easiest ways to put your unique stamp on the party, and your photographer will thank you for the incredible shots. Add a little mystery to the party by having your first dance on a cloud. Cloud machines are often used during the grand entrances of the wedding party as well as bride and groom, but feel free to use them any way you’d like! Unlike fog machines that can sometimes trip a fire alarm leaving your special day a soaking mess, cloud machines operate with dry ice that does not set off alarms.

4. Cabanas. Each table at your reception is meant for formal dining, but what about casual mingling? Cabanas can be considered lounge areas, and are one of the best ways to make your wedding cocktail hour stand out. You and your guests will have a chance to mingle with each other in a sexy, unique way. Your guests will appreciate your effort in making their comfort a priority. After all, the party wouldn’t be the same without them being there to celebrate with you.

Post by Izabella De Souza

The Dos and Don’ts to Building Your Reception Playlist

 

Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight. Sounds like the perfect plan for your wedding day, right? We certainly think so. But before you can do that little dance, you’ve got to set the scene for the right wedding reception playlist. Here are some rules to live by when consulting with your DJ about building the ideal playlist.

1. Playlist Harmony. It may come as a surprise, but this is also someone else’s wedding too…your future spouse’s! And just because you’ve come to love one another enough to spend the rest of your lives together, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your playlists feel the same way about each other. Remember to consider both yours and your beau’s musical tastes when compiling a wedding playlist. A variety of wedding songs are to be expected, so don’t worry about his Guns N’ Roses clashing with your Gangnam Style! Maybe he wouldn’t mind hearing an acoustic version of a classic during dinner.

2. Spread the Love. It’s important to keep your guest list handy when formulating the wedding playlist. What will Aunt Debbie and Uncle Rich enjoy dancing to? Or how about Grandma Sue’s favorite ditty, Runaround Sue? Even a sprinkle of some oldies may be appropriate for a portion of the crowd. If your cousin Jaime loves Madonna, throw in a little Like a Virgin. Even if something may not be exactly to your taste, you’ll enjoy seeing everyone else having a great time dancing.

 

3. A Little Goes a Long Way. The biggest mistake people make when going to meet with their reception DJ is bringing along a big list of songs they want played at the wedding. For most DJs, this is unnecessary. At maximum, your DJ should need is a list of about 12-15 songs that depict the mood you want at your reception. From there, he or she will be able to compile a larger playlist based on the list you provide. Remember, DJs have extensive databases of songs from every genre. You may spend hours putting together a list of hundreds of songs that they would be able to compile in minutes.

4. DJ Knows Best. There’s a reason why people hire a DJ. It’s not just to play music; it’s to guide the atmosphere of the party. DJs are trained to read the vibe of the crowd. From there, they choose the best song for the moment. Receptions are usually just 4 hours in length, a time span that is further decreased by formalities like speeches and dinner courses.  It’s crucial that you trust your DJ to make musical decisions during the party. After all, that’s why you hired them in the first place. To feel most comfortable about handing over all the music power for your reception, it’s a good idea to have at least one face to face meeting with your DJ prior to the wedding. It’s best to meet about a month in advance to discuss your expectations, as well as provide a DO NOT PLAY list. This way you’re guaranteed to not hear the songs you dislike. Now you can relax on your big day, knowing the party is in the best possible hands.

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

One word: Insanity

Day 2 of this Vegas trip will absolutely be one for the books.  Priscila & I decided to go Indoor Skydiving at Vegas Indoor Skydiving established as the first Indoor Skydiving location in the US in 1982.  Our instructor Reynolds was hysterical, enthusiastic, and ready to show us a good time.  We would most certainly recommend this attraction to any new comer or frequent visitor of Las Vegas, especially to those who want the thrill without the actual jumping out of a plane.

After Indoor Skydiving, we prepared ourselves for dinner & a night at the Marquee.  We had a VIP section that included bottle service with beautiful women tending to our every thirst quenching desire.  Yes, thats right, in Vegas you don’t even pour your own drinks in VIP (take a note of that New Jersey).  We also had the opportunity to run into former *NYSNC member Joey Fatone.  Yes, I was an *NYSNC fan and my favorite member was always Mr. Fatone and not only was he sweet enough to take the time to take a photo with me but he was hysterically funny.

The highlight of the evening had to be the mini concert by Busta Rhymes.  Incredible! This was definitely the best part of the trip for me thus far because I have loved Busta since he got me all in check back in the day.  I will be posting up the video on our Facebook page later on today!

 

Keep track of our Vegas adventure via Twitter & our blog!

 

 

A Giant Superbowl Win!

Well, we arrived in Vegas.  Lets just say its all and more I expected it to be.  Our first stop was at In & Out Burger which serves burgers and fries in an old school setting.  The line was long, quick, and service was perfect.  It literally is a burger factory that produces amazing burgers in a quick amount of time.  I would definitely recommend eating a double double with an order of fries.  My only qualm with In & Out is the lack of “healthier” choices but if your hitting up a burger joint its probably because your not looking for a fresh salad.

After In & Out we began planning where we would watch the Super Bowl.  Although I am not a Giants fan I definitely looked forward to a good rematch between the Patriots & the Giants.  We decided to watch the game at Mandalay Bay in one of their amazing bars.

Drinks flowed, food was served, and the excitement could not be contained.  There were some anxious moments for giants fans especially right before Manning made that huge throw giving them the opportunity to capture the lead with little time left on the clock.  Once the game was over the crew separated and everyone went about their own celebratory path.

The girls along with Jorge and Fawzy decided to explore the Vegas strip.  Honestly, if you’ve walked the NYC streets you may think you have seen it all but Vegas will trump NYC any day.  You will see Elvis impersonators, magicians, and so much more; but you will also find a plethora of people handing out fliers advertising “sexy girls”.  I suggest that you stay away from those fliers, no bueno.  What I do suggest is that you eat at the Bellagio buffet.  They have an incredible variety of delicious food.

Well, I am done here for today…off to explore what else Vegas has to offer.  Todays itinerary includes Indoor Skydiving, dinner, and the Marquee.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful post-Superbowl Sunday Monday!  Congrats to all the NY Giants fans out there!

2011 Party of the Year

 

LJ Productions proudly announces 2011 Party of the YEAR!

Paige’s Tiffany’s Sweet 16

There is no denying this party was lavish, exciting, and full of surprises.  When Paige booked her Sweet 16 with LJ Productions she detailed the importance of having a high-energy party.  She knew her Sweet 16 would be one for the books and would rival any of those Super Sweet 16’s you’ve seen on MTV.  Her theme was Tiffany & Co. and her spectacular dress fit her theme flawlessly, cascading in Tiffany blue with a diamond encrusted top.

The beautiful Lakeside Manor was the perfect venue to hold such a spectacular event.  Paige’s Sweet 16 included a concert package complete with motivators, a photobooth, intelligent lighting, DVD montage, monogram, and more!  Paige requested a club atmosphere with her music selection including club hits, remixes, mashups, and special guest DJ Lil Cee from 92.3.  Lil Cee played a club set mixing classic dance mixes with todays biggest hits keeping everyone on the dance floor.

Paige had a few surprises for her guests which included giving away three 30+ inch flat screen TV’s to guests selected at random from a hat.  Her parents on the other hand had a totally different surprise for their beautiful birthday girl.  Their surprise gift included a brand new black Bentley convertible that arrived during the party and was revealed to Paige and her guests.  The Bentley was an incredible ending to a superb Sweet 16!  LJ Productions would like to thank Paige’s family for allowing our staff to host their daughters Sweet 16 and look forward to working with them again soon.

Another successful event and year for LJ Productions has gone by and we look forward to an amazing 2012.  Thank you to all of our clients for giving us the pleasure of hosting their beautiful events all year round.  Keep partying hard and perhaps your event will be the 2012 Party of the Year!

Looking for a reputable and reliable DJ Entertainment company to host your next event?  Call LJ Productions @ 973-751-8850 or visit our website.

 

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