Putting you guys to the test!

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from flem26. Show flem26's posts

    Putting you guys to the test!

    So, my wedding is on 9/18/10. My dad has been going through some nasty cancer treatments and planning pretty much came to a complete halt in case we had to postpone the wedding. Now it seems the best thing to do is move forward with the date we have and I'm in a pickle!

    I've got a venue (Exchange Conference Center), photographer and dress I love. Florist is a family friend and a cake is also all set. But I have no DJ (non-cheesy, please) or officiant to marry us and obviously the top recommendations would be booked at this point. Any ideas on how to not end up with the bottom-of-the-barrel picks? I wish there was a website where vendors would go to post their open dates!

    I'd greatly appreciate any ideas - thank you!
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    Hi I booked a great DJ for my February 2011 wedding.  At the time he had a special $200 off.  His name is Ken Drew.

    Don't have any suggestions on the officiant as we are having a close friend do it for us.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    Hi flem!  I hope your father is doing well.

    I used Curtis Knight Entertainment for my DJ.  They have something like 20 DJs, so a company like that might be likely to have someone available on your date.  I specifically used Mark Cherone and he was fantastic.  I know some people are hesitant to go through a DJ factory, but I have nothing but good things to say about them - super friendly, affordable, did everything I asked.

    If you can't find an officiant, you can always have a friend or family member apply for a one day designation.  All you have to do is pay a small fee ($50?) and have someone write the person a letter of recommendation.  I think you can't apply until 60 days before the wedding, so you wouldn't even be running late on that :o)

    Good luck!!!
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from meanbean220. Show meanbean220's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    We hired Graeme Ritchie for our wedding (he has a website if you google his name), and he was wonderful- we met with him prior to the wedding and filled out a wedding guide, and he kept the dancefloor full the entire time!

    We ended up going with Graeme at the recommendation of our original DJ who had to cancel because of a conflict, and Graeme agreed to do our wedding at the price we had agreed on with our original DJ- so I cannot speak to his pricing.  I can say that our original DJ had to cancel 2 months out, and Graeme was available... and again, he did a great job!

    Just like Winter2011, we had a close friend perform the ceremony, so I cannot recommend an officiant.  However, if you do have a friend who may be able to perform your ceremony, I can say that the process to get a One Day Solemnization Certificate is relatively painless.

    Good luck with your planning!
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    DH & I had a good friend as an officiant, and I can also say that the process is pretty easy and it just makes the day that much more personal. I couldn't have been happier with that decision.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    I agree with everyone else on having a friend do it.

    And, if you have a friend with a decent selection of songs on their ipod, an ipod DJ usually works out just fine in a pinch.  If you would be interested in having nothing but showtunes and '80s Madonna played at your reception, let me know, and I'd be happy to contribute. I should also have some Journey, and a hairband song or two. Wink
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Mo41083. Show Mo41083's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    I can second Fram on Curtis Knight for the DJ.  I used Mike D and he was great, he kept the dance floor packed and definitely wasn't cheesy.

    I did use a JP for the ceremony and we were thrilled with the way that she ran the ceremony and personalized it for us. I hesitate to recommend her here because after the ceremony (she stayed for just the cocktail hour) I've heard from several family members that she said some strange things to them and wasn't very professional. For example an eldery uncle was getting a drink for himself and one for his son from the bar at the same time and she said "Looks like you like your liquor.", nothing too harmful, just weird stuff. So if you're just looking for someone to run a beautiful ceremony that is very personailzed and not to socialize with your family at all, let me know and I'll be glad to give you her name.  
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    We picked a few JPs randomly off the web and went to meet with them.  If you pick a JP this way MAKE SURE TO MEET WITH THEM IN PERSON!  You might be tempted, especially with your wedding not too far away, to just do phone/email, but please meet with them.  The first guy, who came highly recommended by our venue, was a complete head case and all about himself!  Talked about himself for an hour, never asked us a single thing about us, said we had to do what our guests "expected" from a ceremony or they would all be talking smack about us, and on and on... it was ridiculous.  The second one we met with was wonderful, and she did an amazing job on our wedding day.  She did not stay for any part of the reception.

    Her name was Beverly Cooke http://www.beverlycookjp.com/

    We used a "DJ factory" too and he was great.  http://www.murrayhilltalent.com/

    Good luck!
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from elmirag. Show elmirag's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    have you looked into rob peters entertainment (also big daddy ray) for dj?  or gary titus? 
    as far as an officiant, don't know if you prefer male or female, but i have seen 2 females who i know are very nice and let you do everything "your way" which are donna cunio and carol merletti (if you google them, i am sure they will come up in  a search) or you could have someone near and dear to you do the "JP for a day" thing and perform the ceremony (maybe even your dad if he is up to it!!) i forget how much that cost but it isn't much, like $25 or $50 dollars, again just goggle it. you also might want to consider a videographer for your wedding- nothing like being able to see dad on your special day whenever you want to relive it. 
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    I third Curtis Knight.  We hired Mark Cherone on Fram's recommendation.  We met with him and he was SO nice!  We actually dind't even bother to meet any others.  He was so down to earth, has a great voice and obviously a lot of experience.  Curtis is also great (don't be fooled by his multicolored emails) and very responsive.  and their prices are great.  If Mark isn't available, I also so good reviews for DJ Laurie.

    For a JP:  we are using Karol Simon out of Billerica.  She is a newer JP and when we met with her, we just loved her!  She is so enthusiastic about what she does. Since she's newer, she might be more likely to be available on your date.  You can find her phone and email here:


    I second Poppy:  make sure you meet potential JPs in person to make sure you are comfortable with them!  We definitely wanted a JP over having a friend do it because we really want someone who has experience to sort of "run" the ceremony.  It is too stressful for us to worry about doing it ourselves (and if we had a friend do it, it basically means you have to figure it all out and tell them what to do).

    PS.  Hope your dad is doing okay!  Best wishes!

  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    We are using Brett Heeney from Crackerjack Entertainment. He is awesome! He is a little expensive, around $1,600, but we love him. He was by far the most organized DJ we met, and we met A LOT.

    He has a whole online system where you can literally list every single song you want played at your wedding. However, we are only listing about 10 must plays, because we saw him at our friends wedding and he totally rocked it.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from italianqueen. Show italianqueen's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    My daughter used Beverly Cook from Danvers also.  She was absolutely fantastic.  If she is available for your wedding day, you will not be disappointed. 

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from tibird. Show tibird's posts

    Re: Putting you guys to the test!

    Our JP was Michelle Lydon, from Quincy.  She is a casual friend of ours and did a wonderful job personalizing the ceremony for us!  But I agree that you need to meet someone before booking anything.

    You mentioned a fear that the top picks would already be booked.. but everyone's top pick is a little different, so I'm sure you'll be able to find everything you want to have a fabulous day!

    Best wishes to you & your dad... we had cancer-related wedding issues as well. 

    One thing that we did, for ourselves, was to wrap my bouquet and DH's bout in the color of his awareness ribbon.  It was a special thing for us, so I thought I'd share.  Good luck!