Category Archives: Blog

Neutrals seem to be this summer’s colors.

Last year teals and shades of purple were very popular colors for weddings.  This summer so far we are seeing more neutral hues and pastels

Brenna and Brett

It can’t get much more country than Terry Bison Ranch, the setting for Brenna and Brett’s reception.  They were married two weeks earlier at Sprague Lake just outside Estes Park but wanted a larger venue to share their joy with family and friends.  When they shared with us that the ceremony was going to be videotaped we came up with a fun way to introduce them into the room for the reception.  Just after the pastor announced them as man and wife on the video and they started to walk out of the ceremony we brought them into the room in a seamless style that helped the guests feel as though they had actually been at the ceremony.

wedding couple dancing
First bridal dance

Family and friends provided a variety of goodies and treats for a heavy appetizer reception Kelly Graeneweg captured plenty of magical moments with her camera and Brenna’s grandfather made all of the centerpieces that adorned the tables.  The main color was bright sunny yellow from the sunflowers and the bridesmaids in a lovely, earthy shade of blue. The room was a bit warm but everyone had a fun time and the night ended with guests being greeted by fireworks as they left the reception.
For their bridal dance Brenna and Brett chose my favorite first dance song so far this year, Wrapped Around by Brad Paisley.

Micah and Andrea

The weather could not have been better for Andrea and Micah’s outdoor wedding at Brookside Gardens.  Slightly overcast, it made the color of the garden’s flowers really pop and kept the temperatures from being too hot.  Everyone was smiling as Andrea arrived under the floral canopy of the arbor.  After the ceremony guests were able to enjoy yummy appetizers from Carter’s Creative Catering and beverages from the well stocked Brookside bar.  Dinner provided by Carter’s was a scrumptious  buffet with both chicken and brisket main courses.
Andrea and Micah selected shades of blue and pink/coral for their colors which we were able to enhance by matching the décor lighting.  Audra Rose Floral created lovely bouquets for the ladies and photographer Amanda Jarmen was a gem to work with.  They chose Amazed by Lonestar for their first dance

Katie and Travis

Start with the intimate setting of The McCreery House, throw in tasty BBQ from A Catered Affair with Connie, delicious cake from Batter Up, and wine slushies and you have yourself an awesome wedding.  Katie and Travis not only did all that, they added  some theater style, fresh popped popcorn, some classic rock and country tunes and danced the night away.  A shout out to Kathi Wright who did a fabulous job as their officiant.
Katie chose coral, teal, lace, and burlap for her décor.  Linda Stotz and her staff are always great to work with.  They genuinely enjoy meeting people and creating a fun, yet relaxing atmosphere.  Guests loved the wine slushies which were flavorful and refreshing on a warm summer day.  Katie and Travis started the dancing with Queen of My Double Wide Trailer by Sammy Kershaw.  It was perfect for the fun atmosphere they had created.  Her dance with her father was Last Date by Floyd Cramer.

Jessica and Richard

The Bill Huth Overlook Chapel at the Estes Park Center YMCA provides a stunning view of the continental divide and a gorgeous place for a wedding ceremony.  The first time Scott performed there McKinney Entertainment provided a battery operated sound system as the site did not have electricity.  That has since changed adding more options for couples wishing to take advantage of the richness of the mountain setting.
The Pine Room was the perfect size for a cozy reception with family and friends.  The food was wonderful as always at the YMCA.  Jessica and Richard also provided a Peach Moscato for toasting.  At the end of the night we were able to sample a small sip and it was very sweet, but delicious.
Cupcakes in different flavors allowed the guests to select their favorites and Best Day Floral did a great job on the flowers.  Occasionally we run into a photographer that thinks the whole day is about the photos and actually keeps the  couple from enjoying their own reception.  That was not the case with Krista Juhl!  Again, we had the pleasure of working with a photographer who managed to take lots of photos, yet worked diligently to be sure Jessica and Richard were able to spend time with their family and friends.  Jessica chose taupe and champagne for her colors.  She and Richard only had eyes for each other as they danced to Marry You by Bruno Mars.

New Year’s Resolutions

Gosh, here it is the beginning of March.  Time to review all those New Year’s Resolutions.  Did we keep them?  Break them?  Not even make them?

In our house it was all three.  We decided rather than actually making resolutions this year we would set some goals.  We are on track for some, sort of dropped the ball on a couple and doing well with at least one.

1.  Reduce credit card debt.
We stopped using our credit cards and the debt is indeed going down.  Not as fast as we would like but still it is getting smaller.
2.  Set aside one day a week to actually have some fun.
Doing pretty well on this one…if you consider detailing your pickup inside and out to be fun.  We did!  🙂  We’ve also spent days doing nothing which is kind of new for us.
3.  Walking the dogs every day.
Not doing so well on this one and feeling a little guilty.  Thank goodness we have a nice yard for them to run around in.  Still.

How are you doing?  If you are slipping a little please join Scott and I in accepting that tomorrow is a new day and goals are just that, something we strive for.  If we fall off the horse we dust ourselves off, get back in the saddle, and move ahead.
-Diana

Cannabis and Alcohol

We all knew it was going to happen sooner or later.  In the past we have had guests that consumed a bit too much alcohol and as a result we have seen fights break out, people sent to the hospital in ambulances, a groom miss most of the reception (bachelor party the night before), and even one newlywed couple yelling at each other about getting their marriage annulled 2/3 of the way into the reception.  No doubt about it alcohol can seriously mess up your wedding day or party.

In Colorado we now have cannabis aka marijuana available  either to smoke or eat.  Many planners have said they are seeing a huge increase in cannabis/alcohol consumption that are turning a fun event into medical emergencies.  Many out-of-state folks have no idea how much cannabis is safe and are consuming too much.

One planner had a bride spend five hours in the hospital before the doctors were able to adequately treat her.  She had refused to admit that she had mixed cannabis and alcohol together.

When planning your next party or wedding please give careful consideration as to whether or not you want to encourage cannabis use and what measures you can take to deal with any issues that may arise as a result.

What guests hate about your event

I recently read an article regarding the top 10 complaints your guests make about your event.  It was actually 12 complaints and somewhat difficult to read.So I thought I would share my observations based on what I have seen and heard.  This is part 1.

#1 – Inconvenient Date – because people don’t want to attend your event on Super Bowl Sunday or during the Christmas holiday week.

There is no perfect date.  If your event or wedding is local you do run a good chance that people may have other plans and not want to change them.  Holidays can be bad or good if you are having a destination wedding.  Bad because getting an airline seat may be tough and expensive.  Good because the family and friends can take a week and actually vacation in the area of your wedding.

It is pretty easy to figure out when Super Bowl Sunday is going to be so you can avoid that.  However, we had a wedding date the couple selected a year before the hockey playoffs.  When planning they had no way of knowing that the local team would be playing game seven of the Stanley Cup on their wedding day.  This holds true for non-wedding events as well.

Accept that some of your guests may be excited about a sporting event happening on your wedding day and make arrangements to take that into consideration for the festivities.

#2 – Invitation Confusion – Who is being invited?  Just me?  Me plus One?  Me, spouse, and the kids?  No kids?

In my opinion, for what it is worth, when people are confused it is because they do not understand proper etiquette.  If the invitation is addressed to Sally Smith and guest, then it is obviously Me plus One.  If it is only to Sally then only Sally is invited.  To Sally Smith and Family then the kids and spouse are included. 

However, to make it easier for all concerned you could list each person and have a check yes or no for each person.  Seriously, a right royal pain but it would make things clear. 

#3 – Seating Snafus – Oh God, I’m seated next to someone I don’t like.

This is the stuff nightmares are made of.  You could just let people sit wherever they like but then you run the risk of having a couple who have to sit at separate tables because the only seating left was one seat at table A and one seat at table B.

     In over 25 years in the business I have found that letting people fend for themselves works out fairly well.  Just have reserved seating for the immediate  special guests.  Make sure those people know in advance where their table is.  Use a floor plan if you have to.

#3.5 – Unfriendly Centerpieces – I can’t see the people across the table from me because of the centerpiece.

    Agreed.  Keep the centerpieces short enough for guests to be able to carry on conversations.  Besides your guests are here to enjoy the event, not gush over ultra fancy flowers, candles or what-have-you.

#4 – Cash Bars – I was invited, why should I have to pay to drink?

Weddings, anniversaries, and private parties have more of an issue with this than other types of events.  And the guests do have a valid point.  If you cannot afford an open bar you can be alcohol free, host beer and wine, or have a signature drink in order to keep costs down.  You could also cut your guest list a little if necessary.  By the way, don’t forget those of us who don’t drink alcohol.  Consider hosting soda, lemonade, and ice tea.  Always, always have plenty of water, especially if it is a hot day or at altitude.

#5 – Weather for outdoor events – Too hot, too cold.

     Let’s face it, sometimes you get lucky and the weather is perfect.  Other times you can’t win.  Be a good Boy Scout and be prepared.  Too hot?  Have lots and lots and lots of water available.  Umbrellas are nice too for shade.  If there is no way to avoid having your guests sitting in the sun do not seat them until just immediately before everything starts.

     Too cold, get heaters.  Let guests stay inside until the last minute.  Seriously consider in advance having a tent on call or moving the event to an inside location.  If your guests are chilled they will be miserable, leave early, and have poor memories of your event.

     Special note for brides – I observed a wedding where everyone except the photographer tried to convince the bride to move the wedding inside.  The seats already had four inches of snow on them and the snow was still coming down.  Her bridesmaids had strapless dresses and stilletto heels on a grass surface.  She insisted on having the wedding outside. The bride herself had a stole so she was toasty warm.  She would not let her mother or mother-in-law to be wear coats because she wanted everyone to see their dresses.  A ceremony that was scheduled to be 30 minutes long was actually only eight minutes.  The pastor told the DJ that the redder the bridesmaids shoulders got the shorter the ceremony became.  I always wondered what the groom thought of a woman who would subject her friends and family to such poor conditions just so she could have awesome photographs.  Special note # 2, if you are this kind of bride, please do not call McKinney Entertainment.  Our equipment doesn’t like snow either.  🙂

Terha and Jay’s Wedding

When Terha first met with me she explained that she wanted a 1920’s themed wedding; but, not a flapper wedding. The ceremony would be at 11:00AM and the reception immediately following. Because it was an afternoon event she wasn’t sure how much people would dance so she wanted some games that her guests could participate in and enjoy.

One of the ideas I had for a game was a version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The only two people actually doing the game would be Terha and Jay but I thought the guests would get a real hoot out of it. I was right! I created pictures of Terha in her dress and Jay in a suit. All Jay had to do with pin a bouquet to Terha and she had to pin a Bow Tie on him. You can look at the picture to see how well she did.

Website Pin the tie on the groom.

Instead of a regular cake, Terha had cupcakes. We kept them in a back room until time to deliver the cupcakes to the guests. Terha’s friends, Shannon, Julia, Coral, Lolly, Dixie, Michelle, Lisa, and Donna served trays of cupcakes to the guests while entering the room to the strains of “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast.

I am delighted to say that Terha and I have become more than vender/client. We have become friends. Which I am sure The Next Door Restaurant and Generations Martini Bar both appreciate because we love meeting and enjoying their bacon wrapped dates.

Oh, did I mention that we only played two games. Scott was rocking the house with great music and the guests were loving it. They danced until the venue kicked us out.

Using old frames for wedding photos
Many photographers use old frames for photos after the wedding. Do something fun and frame the wedding itself.

Many thanks to the ladies at Pelican Lakes for the awesome wedding ceremony site, Emily Moon Photography, and Susan at Something Borrowed for the fabulous decor items.

Wedding ceremony location in Windsor CO - Pelican Lakes #windsorwedding
The happy bride and groom right after the ceremony.

American Disc Jockey Association

Music For 6-1-2014

New Music review 6-1-2014

One new song that is being played for first dances is called “All of Me” by John Legend (With a remix featuring Lindsey Sterling) It’s a very nice tune and well worth checking out.

Hot from the Dance/Club scene is a song called “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake and l’il Jon. Very catchy.

For you Country fans, Luke Bryan’s “Play it Again” is a good mid tempo song that will get you swingin’ ‘cross the dancefloor.

For an easy Alternative genre song…A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay has a nice sound and is being received well.

“Happy” by Pharrell Williams still continues to be the hot song of the summer.

More later…