Amazing Venues

Wow! Hello again. Wedding season has been in full swing for us and it has been difficult to keep up with blogging. 2012 has been an amazing year. I have personally worked with some of the most amazing couples this year. I love meeting them, getting to know them, watching them share their big day and then following along with their lives afterwards on Facebook.

Another thing I love is the variety of venues I get to work at over the course of a wedding season. This year has been exceptionally amazing in that regard.

Here are a few of the amazing venues I’ve had the pleasure of working with this year. I hope this gives some of you some great ideas for your events. Keep in mind these are only a few. There are links to many more great venues right on this page.

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Griffin Gate Resort -Lexington (above)
Get married on the Mansion lawn and party in this awesome tent. Yes I’ll go to Lexington (Louisville too)

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Green Acres – Indian Hill Ohio (above)

This place is amazing. Talk about a Mansio! Google pictures of this place or see the ones I posted on our Facebook page.  The grounds features a large fountain, a massive rock wall and a permanent tent that is just insanely beautiful.

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Krippendorf Lodge at Cincinnati Nature Center (above)

For an outdoor wedding and reception this place is perfect. The lodge has a wrap around porch that can be used for seating. The patio works for seating and for dancing. Great for those who love nature.

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Newport Aquarium – Newport KY (above)

The Aquarium has a beautiful ballroom and also features added entertainment for your guests. They can view the aquarium then come dance the night away with a city view and a patio right on the river. For a few extra bucks you can even have a penguin visit your reception.

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The Hilton – Hall Of Mirrors (above)

This historic room is one of the nicest in the entire city. With a wrap around balcony this room can be decorated with light and transformed into anything you can imagine. With 5 star service you’ll be sure to impress your guests here.

Drees Pavillion – Devoe Park Covington Ky (above)

It is no surprise that this place sells out every year. The room is awesome and the view of the Cincinnati Skyline is simply breathtaking. The gazebo is a great setting for your ceremony and the patio is perfect for cocktail hour. Then the guests will move inside for the party.

The Schuster Center – Dayton Ohio (above)

This venue is incredible. The Wintergarden features giant palm trees and is surrounded with glass. A giant staircase makes the entrance to the room dramatic and the separate bar area can be used for the cocktail hour.

The Bell Event Centre – Cincinnati Ohio (above)

This renovated historical church is simply one of the most impressive wedding venues in Cincinnati.  Front of the room still features the classic church feel and is perfect for your ceremony. The Veranda outside is elegant and a nice change of pace for your cocktail hour. Then when your guests move back inside they will find that the room has been transformed into a very modern vibrant reception.

Again there are many great venues to choose from in the Tri-State. These are just a few of the amazing places. For links to other places we recommend check out the links on the side of this page.

Finally,. think about this. As amazing as these venues are, without great entertainment your reception could still fall flat. Hire a proven professional. I’m available nationwide.

Until next time… have fun planning your big day!

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Three From Hey! Mr. DJ Heading to ARMDJS

Jason, Bill and I will be heading out to ARMDJS next week. This is one of the best business and DJ conferences anywhere. We are excited to bring back some ideas and concepts that will continue to help us innovate and create with our clients. One thing is for sure in this business. Clients want amazing, fun wedding receptions and  not the same old cheese. You can’t improve if you never look outside of what you are already doing. So we’ll be there for a 5th year in a row.

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New wedding Venue In Cincinnati! The Center

Last week I was able to stop in at The Center for a wedding vendor networking party put on by The Knot. The Center is a new event venue in downtown Cincinnati. The place is awesome! Windows in the venue overlook Fountain Square. The space was big but divided up just enough to offer an intimate feel. I’m sure they offer many options for decorating the venue. At the party I attended the place was popping with fabric on the walls and uplighting used to make the place shine. Some of the space had been set-up in a VIP nightclub feel with lounge furniture. It was very current and modern and really beautiful.

Here is a link to a few pictures on their blog so you can see for yourself.

http://thecentercincinnati.blogspot.com/2012/04/knot-cocktails-and-connections-recap.html

The Center is of course surrounded by many downtown hotels and would make the perfect place for out of town guests to party and get safely back to their rooms.

If you are considering downtown venues for your reception, put The Center on your list to visit.

http://www.thecentercincinnati.com/

Journey To The Canadian Disc Jockey Show

I had the great honor of being asked to speak in Toronto Canada last month at the Canadian Disc Jockey Show. First, thanks to everyone who attended my seminar, purchased my DVD and a really big thanks to those responsible for bringing me in.

A big thanks to my traveling partner John Moore of John Moore Weddings. He is such an impressive guy. He started his DJ company just a few short years ago and has been a sponge soaking up information and ideas in the industry. He is the top entertainer in his area of Zanesville Ohio and after having some time to chat with him on our 9 hour trek, I am positive any bride would be lucky to have him as her entertainment on her wedding day.

John and I met up in Columbus about 6:30am and pulled into Niagara Falls at around noon. We would have arrived sooner if not for a flirty border patrol agent with a million questions. Arriving at noon was the plan since I had to get in front of a TV before the NCAA tournament tipped off that Thursday. Here we were just a mile from Niagra Falls and amazingly instead of first taking in the beauty of the falls for the first time in his life, I had John belleyed up in a sports bar. What a trooper!

It was a cool sports bar though. They had over 150 TV’s. They even had TV’s in the restrooms.

I made it up to him though by upgrading our room for the night to a falls view. Here is a picture out our hotel room window.

The next day we drove on toward Toronto checking my speed in kilometers I was going 100!

arriving at the Four Points Sheraton John and I spotted a guy with a tail. I don’t mean a haircut with a tail or like a dark tinted windowed car following him, I mean he had what seemed to be a giant squirrels tail hanging out the back of his pants. We thought it was odd but it was a foreign country so whatever. That was until we opened the doors to the hotel. The entire lobby was full of people wearing animal costumes. Apparently the hotel was also hosting a convention for these folks called Fernal Equinox. As strange as it was to me, it was actually very entertaining. John and I made sure to catch the animal parade through the hallways at 3 o’clock that day.

This picture was taken just before the parade as they all gathered in costume.

So onto the CDJshow and the reason I was there.

The show was very well put together and the content in the seminars was fresh and useful. I really enjoyed Robbie Britton’s Interactive On a Mission seminar. He demonstrated 50 something games in 60 minutes. It was high energy and really focused on using the ideas to create your own similar games for your own unique situations. You can pick up his interactive games DVD on his website!

I received some excellent reviews of my presentation and my DVDs were well received. If you didn’t get one at the show you can buy them online here. The first to buy one was Bill James who later took us out to dinner and really had some great things to say to me about my presentation. Bill is a guy who I really respect in the industry and his words meant the world to me. After our return Robbie posted on Facebook that he thought I was “The next big thing”. That’s pretty cool!

John even manned the table for me and helped me sell a few DVDs.

I was the only Cincinnati Area DJ in attendance which wasn’t a surprise because it was in Canada but there were several friends there who I’ve met through networking over the years. John Tuck better known as JT Vegas was on hand.  Alan Dotson was great to talk to in the hallways and his seminar was very good. I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Haibeck for the first official time. We have been at several conferences together before but he is a popular guy and it’s difficult to get a chance to say hello. His books are excellent and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who ever has to use a microphone at a wedding reception. Ben Stowe from NLFX pro who is a regular at these things, dropping knowledge on all of us simple minded DJs  was there. He actually traveled south from the US to get to Toronto.  We talked it up and shared a meal with a group of DJs.

Mike Buonaccorso, who is a legend in the DJ industry and the producer of  The Mobile Beat DJ show in Las Vegas was there promoting his new book. John Moore was nice enough to buy a copy for me in trade for my DVD. If you want a real history of how the mobile DJ came to be then this book, A Different Spin is for you.

After the show, just after we crossed the border into Buffalo, we met up with Mike and Robbie at The Anchor bar home of the original Buffalo chicken wing. Make sure if you are ever traveling through the area you check this place out. It was really good.

I’d highly recommend the CDJ show to any DJ who is serious about their craft. They have already been kind enough to ask me back. I look forward to speaking again there in the future.

Trapped In DJ Hell

I took the night off on New Years Eve and quickly found myself in DJ hell. My Facebook friends saw my status updates that night.  It was not good but by the time we figured out that it wouldn’t be good we had already spent a pretty penny and it was too late in the night to make other plans.

Here is some of what I put on facebook that night.

I’m at a new years eve party and the DJ sucks BADLY! No kidding he just went from New York New York to Sharp Dressed Man to open the dance floor. Calling a cab stat!

Ah Old Time Rock & Roll for a second time! Not! This is what I get for scheduling the night off.

A local hotel has been hosting a NYE party for years. The deal includes purchasing a room which gets you access to a party with open bar and dinner. My wife and I along with some friends decided to check it out because it was close to home and wouldn’t require us to drive anywhere. It sounded like a good deal and overall it was. Except for one thing, THE DJ.

It wasn’t just his poor choice of music, or his 20 year old speakers that sounded worse than my home stereo but it was also his constant talking between songs. It was also the random order of songs going from one genre to the next with a silent pause between some songs that would clear the dance floor. This crowd was ready to party and he made it so difficult for us all.

Although this post may sound like a DJ bashing, it is not. It is me telling you that I learned a lesson that many brides don’t learn until after it’s too late for them. You hire a DJ because it sounds like a great deal only to end up trapped in DJ Hell at your own wedding reception.

When you hire a DJ for your wedding, you are hiring someone who will have a live microphone in their hands in front of all the most important people in your life on the biggest day of your life. You are hiring someone who will be responsible for entertaining your guests for the majority of your wedding day. You are hiring someone who will oversee the flow of your reception and make sure that things stay on schedule. You are hiring the person who controls the energy in the room and helps create atmosphere. You are hiring the single most important wedding vendor of your wedding day.

Don’t be a bride who decides to save money on the DJ just because there are cheap DJs out there. They are cheap for a reason. They know exactly what they are worth and your wedding day is worth more than that. Once you arrive and realize your DJ isn’t very good, it’s too late.   DJ is not the place to save money in your budget, it just isn’t. If you want to know what to look for when you hire a DJ come meet with me. If you want to see the difference on video from one DJ to the next come meet with me.  Don’t find yourself trapped in DJ Hell at the biggest most important party of your life.

D.J.P at ARMDJS

It was recently announced that D.J.P would be presenting at ARMDJS. ARMDJS is a regional DJ Conference held in Tennessee and produced by my friend Robbie Britton. Incredibly D.J.P joins Social networking guru, Author and amazing business person Gary Vaynerchuk in an All Star conference line-up.

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I can not tell you how excited I am for this conference. However, I am very familiar with both of these presenters and I know some DJs are not. Recently in a DJ Networking Forum another friend of mine Neal Howard said “Something that some may find beneficial is if you promoted how you think the attendees will benefit from listening to them.”

Back in 2008 at The Mobile Beat DJ Conference in Las Vegas. I was with a group of DJs who decided to head out to the clubs after the close of the show. We stepped just a few feet inside the door of Studio 54 at the MGM Grand when one DJ said, “Who is this DJ he is tearing it up?” From our vantage point we couldn’t see anything except a TV screen that said D.J.P.

We had a table that night overlooking the dance floor and the DJ booth. For DJPs entire set we were on the railing looking down at a guy who was using nothing but vinyl records to rock the crowd. He was playing so many records that he was literally sweating like he was getting in a good workout. He was using vinyl to play the vocals of one song over the instrumental of another. The DJs I was with were very respected club DJs. In fact three of them had just closed the DJ hall of fame show with some amazing sets. Yet, here we all stood mesmerized and in agreement that this was the best we had ever seen.

After D.J.P finished his set we relaxed and the talk was still about how great it was. So I decided to go downstairs and see if I could find this guy. I saw him in the hallway talking with a hostess. I asked if he could come say hi to our group and he was excited to do so. He was a very humble down to earth guy, who had an obvious passion for the art of DJing. He hung out we exchanged phone numbers and some of us made a new friend that night.

It wasn’t until later when I returned home to Cincinnati that I did a little research on the guy. I read about how he and world famous DJ Z-Trip had done an album of blends (what we call mash-ups today) called Uneasy Listening that was named one of the most important musical moments of 2002 by Rolling Stone Magazine. I bought a few albums from his site and was a fan.

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I still had his number and over our next few trips to Las Vegas I would call him and get on his guest list for the club he was playing at. Now he had moved over to The Palms and was playing the two story Playboy Club/Moon. This is where we got to talking about music and the use of computers and when I first got the idea that he might be a valuable speaker for a DJ conference. Just after ARMDJS 4.0 I was speaking with Robbie and mentioned D.J.P as a speaker. I then sent over a couple of videos. A few months later D.J.P turned up on a reality TV show on BET called Master Of The Mix and Robbie saw his name again. At that point he asked me how to get in contact with him and made it a reality.

So now that you know the back story let’s get back to Neal Howard’s statement. What do I see as the value?

First of all I believe Danny (D.J.P) has a unique appreciation for where our industry started and is completely devoted to it as an art form. I know for a fact that many of us in the industry got into it without that understanding. We bought gear, we got a computer, we hopefully loaded it up with legal music and we pressed play. We later developed our skills and many of us appreciate it as an art form but we lack that historical importance and understanding of the craft itself. I really think D.J.P will bring a new perspective to mobile DJs and a renewed passion for the art of purely playing music.

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I also believe his creativity will inspire. Look I’ve already heard a few guys say “he’s a club guy what he is doing my clients at wedding wouldn’t understand or appreciate.” As a wedding guy I can’t completely disagree with that. However, some of the best results I have ever had on a dance floor are from taking risks and being creative with my mixes. I’ve played mash-ups. I’ve dropped old school songs I wasn’t sure would work and they have produced some amazing results. In fact one night I played a few mashups that impressed the staff so much at a wedding that I ended up being referred for years and to this day by one of my city’s best venues.  Mixing skills are a part of what we do. They should be a major part of what we do. They are not limited to the club. The club hires great mixing DJs because transitions and the way they build energy with music creates amazing results on the dance floor. I know my clients want amazing results on their dance floors.

Danny also has an extraordinary knowledge of music. The guy has thousands of records. He knows who produced them, where different samples of popular top 40 songs originated and a BIG opinion on how people tend to dance to what they know and not appreciate good music simply because they are not familiar with it. I’ve heard him discuss this and the art of playing to a crowd that is there to dance as opposed to playing to a crowd who is there to watch the DJ. I really think his perspective on this is valuable to mobile DJs. How do you balance playing what people are familiar with, when sometimes your clients, have eclectic musical tastes that they are asking you to get it into the mix? How do you balance this and keep it entertaining for all? I think Danny’s experience with balancing his own eclectic tastes with what works in the club is what makes him so unique. I look forward to hearing his thoughts on it.

The other thing about D.J.P is he is captivating and he rarely uses the microphone. Watching him do his thing is exciting, he brings energy, people like him (on Master of the Mix fan voting he has acquired about 53% of the fan vote every week, there are 10 DJs to vote for and he is getting an incredible 53%!) Now I doubt he can describe the energy he puts off. I doubt he can tell you how to do it. Just watching him and the way he pulls the crowd into what he is doing with the music is a master lesson all on it’s own that I think DJs will love.

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Of course he also has a great branding story for DJs. How do you develop your name to the point that your playing major clubs, TV shows and asked to become a member of the world famous “Rock Steady Crew”? I’m sure that story alone would be beneficial to mobile DJs developing their brand.

So hopefully that answers Neal’s request and hopefully it will get a few more of you as excited as I am to see my friend Danny Phillips AKA D.J.P rip it live on stage on vinyl and then talk about it at ARMDJS. I hope to see you there.

I’m Uncorked!

I wrote a guest blog that is kicking off a series called Vendors Uncorked. Kellie Daab an event planner at Hand in Hand Events is hosting the series. You’ll get behind the scenes thoughts from some of the best in the wedding industry.


Check it out

http://handinhandevents.blogspot.com/2011/10/vendors-uncorked-hey-mr-djdj-services.html