Thrilling in the moment, and a joy to relive in photos and video long after the big day: That’s great reception entertainment. And that’s what you’ll get when you follow these five tips for keeping guests smiling, dancing, lounging, laughing and living it up, all night long, at your once-in-a-lifetime party!
NACE (National Association of Catering and Events) is THE national organization for event professionals. And this week, the Houston chapter of NACE handed out its prestigious annual awards for achievement in event design and production at a gala presentation at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown. We’re thrilled to announce that the list of winners includes a LOT of Weddings in Houston partners, whose talents are responsible for the gorgeous weddings we feature daily here on the blog and in the pages of Weddings in Houston magazine. We’d like to take a moment to congratulate our NACE Houston 2018 winners on their awesome honors. Thank YOU, NACE members, for bringing so much joy and beauty to Houston weddings!!
- Floral Design of the Year
- Wedding of the Year $50,000 – $100,000
- Event Production of the Year < $50,000
- Event Production of the Year > $100,000
- Entertainment Production of the Year
- Wedding of the Year < $50,000 (with House of Hough)
- Event Design & Decor of the Year < $50,000 (with Johanna Terry Events, Bradley David Entertainment, GTX Productions, En Vogue Events)
- Catered Event of the Year (with Melange Catering, J&D Entertainment, Houston Museum of Natural Science)
- Wedding of the Year > $100,000 (with Johanna Terry Events, Carlton Woods)
- Wedding of the Year > $100,000 (with Events By Sarah)
Gina Gutierrez, Cakes by Gina
- Networker of the Year Award
Andy Hopper, Blooms Design Studio
- Industry Ally Award
Kerri Childress, Sandlewood Manor
- Above & Beyond Award
We are so proud of these top Houston wedding vendors and their awesome accomplishments! Visit their websites for information about what they do and how they can serve you, and find these fabulous Houston wedding vendors and more in the Weddings in Houston wedding vendor directory!
Your wedding day is a celebration of the love and commitment of you and your future spouse usually spent with family and friends. Once you’ve exchanged vows, the party begins with food, drinks and music. However, when it comes to the entertainment, should you opt for an expert DJ or a professional wedding band? Both can be excellent choices, but there are pros and cons to both. Narrow down your choice for great entertainment for your guests with the following in mind.
Keep in mind:
Atmosphere – what type of music are you wanting to hear? what kind of delivery?
Budget – traditionally bands are more expensive, but DJs can be just as costly.
Space – how big is your venue? will it accommodate a full band?
Wedding bands provide you the dynamics of a live performance. It’s traditional and the band you choose can make a real difference in setting the tone for your reception. The party can come alive with a bandleader who’s able to vibe and interact with crowd choosing music accordingly.
- Pros: As with all live music, you’re getting a one of a kind experience. This can enhance the vibe of the party and hype you and your guests excitement as you follow every beat and note. Essentially you’ll be experiencing a concert just for you.
- Cons: Booking a band can be costly, and musical selections will be limited by the repertoire and style of the band. Wedding Bands may charge either a flat fee or per musician, per hour but most will negotiate.
Nowadays, DJs are artists in their own right, with expertise offering diverse mixes of musical styles guests of all ages can enjoy. Plus, the songs played will sound exactly as you remember them, encouraging sing-alongs and improvisation. You can also count on a DJ to take up less space with their equipment than a full on band would, leaving more room for bodies on the dance floor.
- Pros: No matter how many songs you must have played during the celebration, it likely won’t be a problem for your DJ to find each track. Generally, DJs are are more budget friendly to. A DJ with a charismatic stage presence and exceptional emcee skills can read the crowd and seamlessly keep the party going.
- Cons: However, a DJ with a poor personality can really put a damper on the party. Also, if your DJ is not quick on their feet, improvisation can be tough. For instance, if your for first dance doesn’t go as plan or if an impromptu announcement is needed.
Made your choice? Whether a band or a DJ is what your looking for, take care of your entertainment needs with these top vendors.
30 years of brides. 30 years of grooms. 30 years of “I said, ‘Yes!'” and “It was the best night of my life!” 30 years of first looks, first dances, first newlywed kisses. 30 years of fairytale gowns and joyful tears and dreams come true. The thing about being Houston’s longest published wedding magazine is that while weddings may be once-in-a-lifetime, we get to live and breathe weddings, and the joy they bring, day in and day out, year after year. And on Sept. 21, we celebrated that gift, and the incredible vendors and wedding experts who make it possible, with a magnificent gala at Corinthian – Houston.
Here, we share a glimpse at the fun and fabulousness of our 30th Anniversary Gala and Client Appreciation Party. Like many Houston events, our gala was affected by Hurricane Harvey’s wrath. With a sudden city power outage affecting our original host venue, The Ballroom at Bayou Place, our team of professionals had 24 hours to move this 300-person formal event to the Corinthian-Houston. We were so impressed with the level of ingenuity and unflappable professionalism each partner exhibited. Without missing a beat, they provided gorgeous decor, delicious food, a full bar and incredible music, creating a night to remember.
Our heartfelt thanks goes out to our partners, without whom we could not have celebrated in such extraordinary style: Boyd Bryan of Corinthian – Houston for hosting us at such short notice, Craig Howard and Kirksey Gregg of The Ballroom at Bayou Place (which, in spite of a city power outage, is very much in business and continues to host amazing events) for providing our bar and waitstaff; Darryl & Co. and Bright Star Productions for the exquisite decor and lighting; Danny Ray And The Acoustic Production and LG Entertainment for getting everyone on the dance floor; GTX Productions for outstanding video and sound; Jackson and Company, Lola Catering, The Hometown Chef, A La Carte Catering and Bailey Connor Catering for providing an array of delicious food; Susie’s Cakes & Confections and Cakes by Gina for the delectable desserts; Wink by Erica for the macaron favors; and our fantastic gala photographer Civic Photos.
Guests indulged in sweet treats and desserts by Houston bakers, including gold-dusted macaron favors by Wink by Erica.
30th Anniversary Cake & Ambrosia Cake: Susie’s Cakes & Confections
Chocolate Cake and Desserts: Cakes by Gina
After indulging their discerning palates, Weddings in Houston partners and friends danced the night away to the sounds of LG Entertainment Production and the high-energy interactive performance of Danny Ray and the Acoustic Production.
Guests were treated to a surprise onstage appearance by Weddings in Houston president Vik Day… our resident business man by day, rock star by night.
As always, it was a wonderful experience getting to spend quality time with our friends, partners and associates. Thank you to all of our guests for making it a truly memorable evening. We appreciate you and could not be where we are without YOU!
Weddings in Houston Thanks Our Event Partners:
Photos: Civic Photos | Venue: Corinthian – Houston | Bar: The Ballroom at Bayou Place | Catering: Jackson and Company | LOLA Catering & Events | The Hometown Chef | Bailey Connor Catering | A La Carte Catering & Events | Flowers, Decor & Rentals: Darryl & Co. | Lighting: Bright Star Productions | DJ and Photo Booth: LG Entertainment Production | Live Music: Danny Ray and the Acoustic Production | Sound: GTX Productions |Favors: Wink by Erica
Wedding couples sing the praises of Houston wedding band Danny Ray and the Acoustic Production for two reasons: 1. They create custom set lists to represent every wedding couple, and 2. They have perfected a high-energy, non-stop performance that keeps guests of every musical inclination on their feet.
“We can be a full-fledged party band, but we can also throw in some quirky song choices that reflect who the couple is,” says frontman Danny Ray. “We are just so excited to be playing. When we’re playing, we’re grooving and rocking out, and that shows!”
We asked Ray to walk us through his ideal wedding day setlist, crafted with hints of romantic serenades, Motown classics, Texas country and full-blown party ballads. Listen in:
The Opener —Ray likes to kick off the reception with a recognizable hit that starts off slow and builds to become more upbeat. His go-to’s are “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli and The 4 Seasons, and “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. “They are not really slow, but they are not really fast,” he says. “Those are the two that we start off with most often, but every now and then we get a client who wants to hit it hard from the beginning, and in that case we would start out with ‘Kiss’ by Prince.”
First Dance —Ray says that he and his band will learn any first dance song for wedding couples they work with. In general, if couples have a song with personal meaning to them, no matter where it falls in the set list, he is willing to make it happen. “Any first dance, we are open to those,” Ray says. “If there is any special song, maybe for a last dance or if it’s a song that they say they would go crazy for, we want to add it in.”
Photo: Courtesy of Danny Ray and the Acoustic Production
Mashups — For really letting it loose, Ray likes to mix in custom mashups of 90s hip hop favorites with rock classics — like Snoop Dog’s “Gin and Juice” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama ” — to keep guests on their toes! He will even rap…ish. “I really like doing mashups because the second you go into another song, you see everyone processing what just happened,” Ray says. “Everyone is with you for that moment.”
Modern Hits — And of course Ray and his team don’t shy away from the hits of the moment. “Right now you can’t go wrong with Bruno Mars,” he says (and we agree). “Bruno Mars, Prince and the mashups are the things that almost always happen.”
Ceremony or Cocktail Classics — In addition to the lively reception music, the band also performs acoustic takes of more romantic songs for the wedding ceremony, dinner and cocktail hour. “What we play during the ceremony is completely directed by the bride and the groom,” Ray says, having performed everything from classical compositions, to Beyonce ballads, to songs from Adam Sandler’s movie, “The Wedding Singer.” For cocktail hours and dinners, Ray often performs crooner classics from Frank Sinatra or Michael Bublé, along with contemporary acoustic songs from the likes of The Lumineers or Of Monsters and Men.
Photo: Steve Lee Photography
Want to hear more from Danny Ray and the Acoustic Production? Schedule a consultation now or head to his show, Thursday April 6, at Fox Hollow! And be sure to tell him his fans at the Houston Wedding Blog say hello!!