An Edmonton Wedding planned in 5 weeks.
September 6, 2009
I received a call from the mother of the groom on or about August 3rd looking for an Edmonton DJ and slideshow like I had just done that past weekend. The nephew of the mother of the groom was at a wedding that past weekend said that I did some creative things and referred me to Gail and Paul.
So we got the ball rolling and due to the condensed time frame we are all working under the gun as there was a lot to do, and very little time to do it.
Paul and Gail were very accommodating to get all that we had to get done in order to make the slide show happen. We got together and shoot the video and we were off to the races. I was under a lot of pressure to complete the slide show in under a month as I had a number of other projects on the go.
With the BIG day now upon us, I arrived at the Oasis Conference Centre about 2:30 in the afternoon as the wedding ceremony was also being held on site at 5pm. This was the first time I ever played at the Oasis Conference Centre and was blown away by the look of this venue. Wow, the Oasis is a beautiful place to hold a function and has almost everything you need to have a successful function.
I was very impressed with the staff at the conference center as there were tremendously helpful to me as I was setting up for the ceremony.
The wedding ceremony went off without it hitch. With Gail’s brothers being in the military and dressed in uniform added to the formalities. It was all topped off with bagpipes filling the room with music as the bride came down the aisle. One other unique thing happened that was very special, was that each woman that came to the ceremony was given a single rose. They held onto the rose until Gail walked down the aisle, she then proceeded to collect all of the roses to form a bouquet. One of the bridesmaids quickly tied the roses together to secure the bouquet. All I can say is that this created a very special moment in the ceremony. Paul’s father and brother in law officiated the wedding ceremony and together did an amazing job of joining Paul and Gail in marriage. There were a number of funny points made along the way as Paul’s father made good use of his role as the marriage commissioner.
Following the wedding ceremony we flipped the room to get ready for the reception. With only about an hour to do this made for quite a good deal of work to be done in a very short period of time. The guests were then allowed to reenter the room about seven o’clock which was then followed by a nice meal provided by Elizabethan Catering. It was a pretty standard meal with all the fixings and the highlight of dinner for me was the green leaf salad with raspberry dressing. The master of ceremonies did a great job of entertaining and leading the evening. Unfortunately, as hard as he tried, the guests did not respond as well as he hoped to some of his jokes and interactions.
As an Edmonton disc jockey I thought I had seen every kissing came ever invented, until tonight. The bride and groom decided to play Plinko, a game need famous on the “Price is Right”.
You simply had to come out and drop a disc down the pegboard and where it landed told you what would happen or what you have to do. Either the bride and groom would kiss or you have to do the bird dance or even spin a hula hoop. I will be sure to recommend this kissing game idea to all my clients.
Speeches follow dinner and everybody was very well spoken which made speeches even more enjoyable. Right at the end of speeches we ran the slideshow which seem to go over quite well. The brother of the groom, as it turns out, was at another wedding I did this summer and he commented on the difference between both slideshows. The slideshow I built for Gail and Paul is an advanced product with a video interview of the bride and groom a long with pictures of the bride and groom over their lifetimes. The brother went on to say how unique this slideshow was as it was like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
We then moved into the dance were the bride and groom decided to do a choreographed number. I helped put together a sequence of songs were they did different dance moves the each of those songs. It really helped to get the party headed in the right direction and added a lot of energy to the night. The first dance where everyone was asked to join in was great.
I think everyone in the whole room was on the dance floor, and you could barely move without running into someone else. With a good start to the night, and the first dance in the bride and groom being on the dance floor helped get the party right off the ground. Everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves the whole light through. Just after 12 o’clock the party got even better everyone that was there was pretty much on the dance floor having a great time. Had we not had to shut down at 1 a.m. I am sure we would went for another hour.
I am happy to say, that Paul and Gail were a joy to work with. They were easy-going, laid-back and a lot of fun which made my job that much easier.
Edmonton Oasis Conference Centre Highlights: What impressed me were the following.
1. The look and feel of the venue were great and is one of the nicest venues in Edmonton
2. The Garden. Great for pictures or an outdoor ceremony. The waterfall just makes the space pop.
3. The upstairs rooms. Made available for a place for the bride and groom to get ready or hang out before they come into the reception. Almost like a hotel with seating and bathrooms that allows for a great place to catch your breath between the pictures and reception.
4. Very good lighting control. Lots of dimmers and I could fairly easily adjust the lighting to the setting I like for the dance.
5. The Staff. Everyone there works hard to make sure the details are done well and for the most part they were. A gentleman (I can’t remember his name) was amazing. He made sure I had what I needed and made sure the venue looked its best and were 100% people focused. Thanks for all your help that day.
Edmonton Oasis Conference Centre Low Points: Here a couple of things that I noticed that were a bit of a challenge.
1. Storage. As an Edmonton Disc Jockey and being in almost every venue in the city this venue was built almost to perfection EXCEPT there is almost no in house storage for my empty containers. This almost doubled my work load by having me put all my empty containers back into the trailer and then get them back out again at the end of the night.
2. The A/V department. This was very disappointing. On Thursday Anne McLennan called me to make sure all is in order for the wedding and we talked about mics for the ceremony and plugging in a video feed to the projectors and this is not rocket science but she still had their A/V tech call my on Friday to ask me a bunch of questions that made no sense at all. What was nice the A/V tech did come a little early to make sure all was ready to go and I gave them the video feed and they powered up the projectors for a test and there were reddish lines running horizontally through both projectors. We then went on to confirm that this problem was caused by something on their end. As it was almost 7pm when we got to this point there was nothing that could really be done to fix the problem. What annoyed me was that the A/V tech tells me that they had someone into do some work and it has not worked properly since then. OK, if you knew of the problem why didn’t they get this fixed prior to the function and more so the new of the problem and proceeded to charge the customer for something that was not working properly. This did not impress me at all.
3. Rules. They have a lot of rules that did not make sense to me. Being an interactive Edmonton DJ I want to be as close to the dance floor as possible so I can jump into the party and have some fun with the guests. I had to work a little to get them to place me as close to the dance floor as possible. My rig is very sharp looking and very clean, I don’t even have my company name on any of my equipment as I think that looks tacky, and since I am generally 4 hours of the night a little more emphasis on the DJ would be great as generally I am the reason you stay or go home.
4. Cost. From what I have heard talking to other people in the industry this is one of the most expensive places in the city to hold a function and they charge for everything. Just to have someone turn on the projectors for 1 hour you had to pay the tech for 4 hours labour. I could have turned on the projectors myself and saved the costumer that extra fee. Also, if you do not use their preferred DJ, that’s right they charge you, I believe, $300 extra. If you want to use an outside catering company or event company there are fees attached to that as well. Just to name a few things. All I can say is make sure of all your costs prior to signing a contract with any venue.