Sunday, February 24, 2013

Outdoor Weddings!

So folks- I am going to be fairly active on this blog now- or will try to be at least!!  Bah- who am I kidding.  Anyhoo, it was really busy past summer- and I have again seen SOOO much and experienced so much- its my duty (due to my gift of gab) to make sure I spread the word.  As we approach the upcoming summer wedding season- this one is specifically for brides:

THE JURY IS OUT ON OUTDOOR WEDDINGS!  (Well at least for Hindu Ceremony's) They very RARELY work out the way the unsuspecting bride is expecting them to.  I know, I know I'm bursting a few bubbles here.  But better I give you the voice of reason in advance, than causing you embarrassment on the day of.  I speak the truth and as bluntly as possible- so don't take me as a meanie or anything.  I am doing you a favour here ;o)

The TOP 5 reasons why outdoor wedding ceremony's don't work:

1. Indian people don't like SUN!!  There is no secret here.  It is a time honoured fact that the more "GORA" (white) you are - the more beautiful.  Hey don't shoot the messenger- you know its true!  So why subject the poor Auntiyan to the dreaded sun?  The last thing they need is a TAN!
2. When it gets soo hot in the 11am sun, all your guests will run for cover!  Meaning your nice theatre style seating will be a ghost-town and the bushes around your beautiful setting will have brown people hiding in them.  It looks really bad.  Nobody is occupying the beautiful seating arrangement you have prepared, and in your pictures/video it will look like nobody showed up to your wedding.

3. Bugs.  Especially the "lakeside" outdoor weddings.  Still water is a breading ground for mosquitos and in the summertime there tends to be overnight rainstorms, etc which cause puddles galore.  Sure the sun might be out- but the fact is- so are the bugs.  Trust me- your guests will be eaten alive!

4. I have seen many a mandap toppled over by the wind at your scenic outdoor locale.  Is it worth it?  Luckily nobody has been hurt yet.  Mandaps these days are very complex and the sheers sometimes act as sails.  Its pretty scary.  There has been many a close call. 

5. Lastly and the most obvious.  Rain.  In the summertime, the weather is truly unpredictable.  We once had an outdoor wedding in a tent on a monsoon rain type of day.  It caused so much bitterness that the Bride and Groom were ultimately not happy with anything.  Their parade got rained on- and Mother Nature was not around to be yelled at- only the decorator, DJ, video, and photographer.  

Look, I don't have the greatest luck when it comes to things with chance- so if it was me- I would likely get rain on my special day.  If your stars are better aligned than mine- go ahead and take the chance.  On the ODD occasion (partly sunny day with enough clouds to block the sun, not too hot, not too humid, minimal wind, no chance of rain type of day) you can get extremely lucky and your outdoor wedding can be MAGICAL!!!  Well for the lucky few at least.  Bon chance mes amis!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011



So yes I have not kept up with this Blog as much as I should- but who's reading anyway-- "unsuspecting" Brides and Grooms I should hope!! This edition will be about a phenomenon known as "IN HOUSE" sound/lighting/AV equipment which is infiltrating its way into the South Asian banquet/convention center market.

For those that might be clueless as to what hereinafter will be referred to as an "in house" - basically a prospective DJ and or Sound/Lighting company will go into a new or existing banquet facility and permanently affix into the ceiling, a sound system, intelligent lights, screens and projectors, and for the lucky few halls PINSPOT/TABLE lighting (where each individual table can be lit up and colored with a light). This complete installation is done at a substantial cost- over and above what it would cost someone to haul 4 big black speakers into a hall placed in front of granny and blasting her head off. But I digress. The benefits are a clean look, more space on the ground, and yes- granny saving her already aged ears!

So above is the definition. In the European (mostly Italian) halls in the city- every single hall has an in house. In fact bride and grooms EXPECT an in house. And they have had them for years (think Paramount, Belle Vu Manor, etc). In the South Asian market- a few halls tried to install their OWN systems - meaning without a DJ/AV company (on the cheap as Desi's tend to do) and within months- the REF from the DJ/Video/Photo combo came in and blew up the system rendering it useless. It is not until recently that our company EMPIRE ENTERTAINMENT resurrected this idea (others quickly bandwagon jumped- but that's another BLOG!). We installed into our 1st hall about a year and half ago- spent the money on top gear- and we maintain the gear. It has worked out fairly successfully. We subsequently have or are in the process of installing in more halls.

So above is the history. Now to get brides and grooms (and heaven forbid their parents) to understand some of the realities. When a hall has a GOOD in house system- you should use it!


There are certain things that define good:

1. For South Asians- there needs to be BASS (built in preferably- not hauled next to the stage)
2. Is it top quality gear- JBL, Lab Gruppen, Martin. If its not- its sub par AND YOU SHOULD NOT USE IT!!! (Confirm the equipment is the following brands-- speakers JBL, amps LAB GRUPPEN, lights MARTIN)
3. Is it value for the dollar

Number 3 is most important. I have such a hard time sometimes explaining to brides and grooms that for what you are getting - its a steal!!! When it is packaged together a screen and projector comes out to $200- you cant even get someone to bring a high school style pull up screen and projector for that much. Essentially what happens is in an house - you get a lot more than you would than when someone brings it in. Sure the overall cost is more- but the individual item (i.e. screen) is actually cheaper. For example- 1 screen for mobile setup- we would charge about $400- for in house about $200- but we may have 4 screens - so you pay $800 for 4 screens instead of $400 for 1! Do you need 4?? Well we wouldn't have installed them if we thought that it wouldn't add to the event. You can cut corners with 1- but I can tell you- 4 will be way better (you wont get those uncles who complain all time they have to squint- that's for sure!).
Also, for those that say- it will only be used for 15mins- it makes no difference really- if they weren't there- you would have had to pay to bring them in anyway!

Lastly and probably MOST IMPORTANT!!! For the people who might think because its already INSTALLED in the hall its "INCLUDED". Unfortunately its not..Not...NOT...NOT!!!! Funny- I get those people that say- its already there- just flick a switch. This is what I tell them- why don't you invest $250,000 in a condo (which you plan on renting, just like we plan on renting the equipment) and simply give me the key to crash a few nights-- it's already own it...would it kill you to let me stay a month for free??? Do you see my point? Sure you bought a condo and its sitting there empty- but would you start letting people tenant it for nothing? Likely not. Why? Not because you are trying to be difficult (as I am told sometimes)- but because you made a big investment- and that investment needs to pay off.

So what does it all sum up to? Most of the higher end halls are starting to, if they haven't already, install an in house. As long as the pricing is fair, and the quality is there you should book it (if you need advice on quality- ask other REPUTABLE DJs- THERE ARE SOME HALLS THAT HAVE AN EMBARRASSING IN HOUSE). Yes- it will likely end up costing you slightly more- but you will be getting A LOT more, which will add to your event! (4 large screens will ALWAYS trump 1 flimsy pull up!). Yes South Asian weddings are SO much bigger than European ones and those sheer numbers add up to bigger halls, which require more equipment- but that's the reality. Maybe we will start to follow our European cousins and scale down the size of weddings eventually....In the meantime- if you book a NICE hall, have 600ppl attending, and are looking for your night to be perfect- do it right!!

ps. For those who have booked halls without an in house...not to worry- have you seen our Illuminated Truss Lighting, or LED lighting...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Busy January!

This has arguably been the busiest January ever- not necessarily with events (we tend not do do many Lohris, etc!) - but with client meetings and future projects. Not much time to breathe- but I thought I would take a few minutes to write this. In reference to client meetings.

Mostly just to point out to "unsuspecting" brides and grooms a few pointers when "DJ shopping" (although I believe those that have to "shop" are already going about the process totally wrong). But lets just say you are not clued into the market and really never heard of any DJ or company. How do you ascertain if you are making the "right decision". Here's how (IMHO):

- Have you seen them in action? If you have seen them in action and have liked what you saw/heard etc. Providing the pricing works- what more research do you need to do than seeing with your own eyes?

- Have you got a great reference from friends/other vendors? If all roads are pointing you in 1 direction- chances are they are right. Surely friends of yours should have similar tastes to yours- and if they liked the company- likely you will too. Also- if more than a few professional vendors are saying go with this company- its likely because they appreciate the professionalism as well.

- Does the company have a professional presence? This to me is the clincher! So you go to company A- they have a warehouse, office, employees, showroom etc- it should tell you right away- this is not a fly by night operation! How can you fairly compare the guy that meets you at Tim Hortons with that? To me - it boggles my mind. UNLESS- the Timmys bloke is 50% of the price- it should be a comparative red flag. Remember the office, etc implies it is a FULL TIME operation (meaning when you need to reach someone anytime- you can), and they are serious about what they do- and have made the investment in their company. They are not just looking to make extra coin on weekends. Look if the entire market is meeting at Timmys- then great- it means the market hasn't matured to the level that companies can sustain a full time operation. But the fact that we are at a point in our community where there are companies that can- the Timmys choice should not even be an option- regardless if they put out CDs or DJ at clubs. This is your wedding- not a Lohri party ;o)!!!

Lastly, there are a lot more criteria such as age, maturity, years of experience- but as an "unsuspecting" bride and groom- that can't be easily verified.

So final point. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Its all there for you to make the distinction.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So much to say - but no time to say it!

I have always wanted to a start blog- and what better time than the new year. So hopefully I can stick to this. Photographer/Videographers have blogs- not many DJs do. So thought I would be THE FIRST to do this (watch others will follow!) So here goes...

Well as I sit here and write this- I have TONS of things on the plate/on the go. Almost feel like I am wasting as much time on this as I do with Facebook! But this blog may shed some real light to "unsuspecting brides and grooms". Why do I call them "unsuspecting"- because the vast majority have no clue how to go about the wedding planning process! So in the weeks and months to come- I plan on "illuminating" (like we do with our LEDS --cheap plug) "unsuspecting" brides and grooms.

I will try and keep it mostly positive- things to help them out. But if I occasionally have to "s#it" on someone - I will. Likely wont call them by name as I don't need the bloody headache. So that is it for today. If this is my last blog - ahhh well at least I gave it a shot. But I've been told I have the gift of gab and a perennial bout of verbal diarrhea- so I can't see myself not keeping this up- but time is of the essence...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Welcome to the Empire Entertainment blog! New for 2009, DJ Jiten, CEO of Empire Entertainment, as well as our other DJs, will be keeping you abreast of all the exciting and interesting weddings we have the privilege of deejaying at.

Looking forward to a great year!