Event Planning

DJ Duane-Bull Wedding at Sandestin Hilton on March 15 2014

It was a sunny and great day for a wedding at Sandestin Hilton Beach Golf Resort and Spa for Johnny Bull and Danielle Elliott. The Hilton wedding team handled the coordination and catering. The bride’s bouquet and the arbor flowers were provided by It’s A Perfect Day.  Photography was done by one of our favorites, Tay Gray Photography.

I was the Emcee and DJ Josh B mixed the tunes. The ceremony took place on the beach and we were in the Diamond Ballroom for the reception. The mother of the bride and the bride’s aunt took care of the design/décor and truly did a fantastic job! The décor colors consisted of blues, silvers, greens, and white. It was used throughout the room in the form of peacock feathers and other materials.

HIlton Sandestin Weddings DIY Wedding Decor

HIlton Sandestin Weddings DIY Wedding Table Decor
Something that was a little different for us with this particular event was the fact that Danielle, the bride, is hearing impaired. Not to worry, we were able to communicate through phone text throughout the planning process. The day of the event I worked with one of the bridesmaids who knew sign language. Danielle was so excited that nothing was going to get in the way on her day!

Danielle and Johnny set the party atmosphere right away by using “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce as their Grand Entrance song. From there, they went with the East Coast format where we go immediately from the Grand Entrance into the First Dance. They chose “Memories of Us” by Keith Urban. That was followed by the Father/Daughter dance to the song “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw. The Mother/Son Dance had a little twist in that the bride and her grandfather joined Johnny and his mother as they danced to Izzy K’s version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. DJ Josh B then played a cool medley for the Bridal Party Dance of “Cupid Shuffle”, “The Electric Slide”, “Apache”, and the “Wobble”.

We went into dinner so everyone could catch their breath and then transitioned into the toasts. Each speech was heartfelt and there were barely any dry eyes left in the room once they concluded. After the toasts, it was time to get our groove on. DJ Josh B got the crowd up on their feet and out onto the dance floor. We partied the night away and ended on a song Danielle and Johnny had pre-selected called “Stealing Cinderella” by Chuck Wicks.

The music was memorable, the dancing was hillarious (great job groomsmen!) and the bride and groom couldn’t have looked any happier. That is what we like to see  DJ Josh B and I are so happy and honored that we were able to be a part of Danielle and Johnny’s day. We wish both of them many years of happiness!

Vendor Spotlight: Christina D’Asaro Design

“What I’m most amazed by is how you can change the entire dynamic of an event simply by the pieces of paper that you hand out to your guests.”

Those were my words to Christina of Christina D’Asaro Design the day we sat down to look at her portfolio. She specializes in custom paper-based products – everything from event invitations, to hand-held fans for an outdoor event, to coasters, to accordion-style programs for weddings. Her passion is to enable people to carry out the vision of their event from start to finish – from the second a guest receives their invitation to the moment they leave with party favors adorned with custom-printed labels.

Christina D'Asaro original coaster design

Christina D’Asaro original coaster design

Christina has a background in Fine and Visual Arts and a B.S. in Communications from Boston University. She spent ten years helping top-tier companies effectively market and brand themselves, and then, with her love of all things paper and her years of professionalism and experience, she left to create her own design company.

Christina D'Asaro Custom Favor Bags

Christina D’Asaro Custom Favor Bags

Christina provides personal consulting for her customers, and invests the time to get to know them well. She finds out what they care about, what they love, what they dislike, and if it’s a wedding, she gets to know the bride and groom’s story. She is then able to think outside the box, guided by the personality of her clients, to make their events come to life in ways they may not have otherwise known possible.

Christina D'Asaro Custom Save the Date

Christina D’Asaro Custom Save the Date

Christina D'Asaro Custom Save the Date

Christina D’Asaro Custom Save the Date

That’s what is so special about Christina – she pays attention to what her clients love and invents new ways to showcase it. She finds what’s special and makes sure it’s emphasized.

For a couple’s shower at a horse race track, she not only designed a beautiful invitation, but she also custom made bidding tickets that, instead of having horses to bid on, had trivia about the bride and groom. Far from being a formality, these unique pieces reinforced the summertime derby vibe that the couple wanted to bring to life.

Christina D'Asaro Custom Betting Slips

Christina D’Asaro Custom Betting Slips

Christina D'Asaro Custom Invitation

Christina D’Asaro Custom Invitation

Another great example of her creative concepts are “advice cards” for a wedding that depicted various scenarios. One said “When they have their first fight as a married couple.” Another said, “When they buy their first house,” and another, “When they have their first child,” etc. Guests could provide their piece of advice for the bride and groom, and place it in a box for the bride and groom to take with them to read and enjoy on their honeymoon. I told her how much that would change the reception – I could just see all of the guests going from table to table, trying to figure out how many different questions there were and what pieces of advice their friends and relatives gave. It’s these simple elements Christina creates that can add to the fun for guests and also serve as a great gift for the newlyweds.

If those examples aren’t custom enough for you, she can put her fine arts background to work. For one wedding that she did at the Bryant Park Grill, she hand-sketched the entrance and a side view of the venue. She then scaled down the one the client preferred and placed it on several pieces she created for the event. She did the same using watercolors to create safari animals for a custom photo album, given as a gift.

This attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile are what set Christina D’Asaro and her designs apart. Her level of skill and level of attention to her clients are rare even on their own, but together they make her an asset to anyone who is looking for custom-designed paper goods that help tell their story.

Christina D'Asaro Custom RSVP, Envelope, and Stamp

Christina D’Asaro Custom RSVP, Envelope, and Stamp

Christina D'Asaro Custom Gift Bag Tags

Christina D’Asaro Custom Gift Bag Tags

 

Loft227: The Event Space We’ve Been Waiting For

“I wanted to build New York. I wanted to build something that would stand the test of time.” Robin Sokoloff – jack-of-all-trades events extraordinaire – gutted and renovated a space at 227 W 29th St, turning it into what we at BBoy believe to be one of the best new NYC venues we’ve ever come across.

Robin Sokoloff

Robin Sokoloff

Robin, prior to investing in this space, spent a significant amount of time doing – well, just about everything. She has choreographed for The Atlantic Theatre School, NYSSSA School of Contemporary Dance, The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory of New York, Students Live! on Broadway, and more. Her show “Spotlight Live” was featured on several notable news shows including “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Whoopi Show.” She was  a producer with Multi Image Group, she graduated from NYU and NEW, and is a member of The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

Why is all of this experience relevant to Loft227? It helped her see the need in NYC for a space like hers. “There are really big spaces and really small spaces. They’re all fantastic, but there’s no space for the middle ground – that place where you feel great and you can do what you want, but you still have intimacy. People want to meet each other and actually connect while having a great time. They can do that here.”

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The year she spent as a carpenter  helped give her the skills she needed to do all of the renovations herself. “I don’t buy that people have to pick one craft and master it. I believe in mastering all aspects of what you’re a part of.” She also did all of the lighting herself, which was one of our favorite perks of the venue. Most venues charge more to use their specialty lighting, and charge even more for someone to be there to operate it. Robin said of this problem, “I know a lot of people who kept complaining that venues didn’t give them any power to change what they didn’t like about the space, so I thought to myself, ‘Why not offer a venue that does?’”

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Loft227-Purple-Movie-View-w-logo-pxm

Clients can do anything they wish with the lighting – you can dim, turn off, or (our favorite) change the colors on each fixture to any color you wish with the simple use of a small remote. Robin joked about the simplicity: “Sometimes you just kinda feel like you need the whole room to be red, and people can do that here.” Cue the Halleluiah Chorus.

She’s already hosted a myriad of events from a private party for a professional chef to a club-like fundraising party to a fireside concert complete with cozy rugs, lamps and a faux fireplace upon which guests roasted marshmallows.

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“People always ask me, ‘What is this space?’ and I always respond, ‘What do you want it to be?’” Robin’s biggest aspiration for the space is for people to make it their own. There’s a fifteen foot retractable movie screen, two  flat screen TVs, a VIP area, a full (and fully-stocked) kitchen, fifty chairs and eight tables, and a private bathroom – all available to anyone who books the space with no extra charge.

Robin noted of her own experience working with venues, “I worked casting commercials for four years, and rental spaces just weren’t cutting it. I wanted to give people a little more.” With Loft227, you don’t just get more – you get it all. With full use of everything in the venue and full freedom to rearrange and decorate based on each event, this is the ideal space for any event for 20-100 people. Check out New York’s best new venue and book your event today here: www.loft227.com

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DJ Spotlight: Graeme Cowgill

This week we’re excited to brag about one of our own – Graeme Cowgill. Graeme has been with BBoy since 2008, and has been one of our most-requested DJs for quite some time! He’s based out of California, and in true Cali fashion is one of the most “chill” people you could ever meet. We’re excited to share some fun facts and insights into the very tall man behind the DJ booth.

Graeme Cowgill

Q: Why did you decide to be a DJ?

A: I actually just got into it because my wife needed a DJ for an event, and I had a significant musical background – my mom used to be in operas. I have an eclectic music taste, so I decided I would give it a shot. I stayed with it because I just really enjoy using this skill that I’m blessed with. Wedding coordinators and venue people aren’t always treated the best, so I enjoy using the platform I have to really get to know them and make them feel valued.

Q: What’s your favorite part about being a DJ?

A: I enjoy DJing, and I’m not bad at it, but I’m certainly not the greatest. My favorite part about doing so many events is being able to connect with the audience, the bridal party and the bride and groom. I really let their personalities run the show. With weddings, the entire event is based on the relationship between bride and groom, and that needs to be carried out through the whole experience. I love the formalities of weddings when personalities come out.

Graeme Cowgill

Q: What’s the weirdest song request that you’ve ever gotten?

A: One time, an eight-year old requested Peter, Paul, and Mary. It would have just murdered the party, but I had no idea how to respond. I didn’t want to say no because it would’ve ruined her life, but to say yes, the wedding would have just ended right there. “Puff the Magic Dragon” just wasn’t going to kick it right then. I didn’t play it.

Q: Ever witnessed any strange or terrible wedding toasts?

A: The best and weirdest toast was when one guy during an open mic toast said to the bride and groom, “It just looks like you’re meant for him and that he’s meant for you. So it’s kinda like ‘Matrix Revolution.’” And then he sat down.

Q: What do you do when you’re not DJing?

A: I work for FCA Volleyball in Southern California. I meet with different coaches and, during the summer, manage a team of forty-two interns. I also used to be a youth pastor in the panhandle of Florida, which is where I grew used to being in front of a large crowd.

FCA volleyball tournament

FCA volleyball tournament

Q: Any good stories from those days?

A: Oh, so many. One time I let some kids borrow my truck to pick up a gumball machine, and they brought it back absolutely covered in paint. They said they got in a paint war, which I didn’t even know existed.

Q: Any advice to DJs or wannabe DJs out there?

A: From an events perspective, the biggest thing is to be someone people feel comfortable with. The vendor, wedding coordinator and DJ – we are all hired so that the bride and groom can relax on their big day and not have to worry about logistics. Meet and talk with the bride and groom before the event. Establish a relationship so that they know they’re taken care of and so that you’re taken care of in the unusual event of something going wrong. There’s a lot of grace established when there’s a relationship.

Lastly, I used to be super nervous because I was responsible for so much on someone’s big day. I used to have my announcements printed out, but the quicker I went from having it printed to just being myself was always good. I realized that people aren’t buying my announcement skills; they’re buying my personality. So I let that show instead of trying to be perfect.

Blog Contributors Wanted!

Write for B-Boy Productions

CC photo courtesy of Sarah Reid via Flickr

While the B-Boy management team is extremely talented, we realize we can’t do everything ourselves. Because of that, we are looking for a couple of blog contributors to show their stuff!

We’re not in this for ourselves. We want to help promote you and your business as well so this is a great way to cross-promote your brand. We’d like to select our contributors soon and have everything in place by September 1st!

We’d love to recruit 5-6 contributors to blog on B-Boy Productions, Inc. We’ll choose bloggers for each category below. Categories are:

  • Decor/Event Design/Event Planning
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Catering/Desserts

We’ve outlined the details below:

HOW OFTEN WILL YOU POST: 1-2x per month for 6 months.

EXPERIENCE: Yes – Must have an active/updated blog. We’re looking for bloggers who have some knowledge of programs like Photoshop & have a ‘similar aesthetic‘ as B-Boy Productions. The posts you write for B-Boy cannot be posted on your own blog, but you can link to it from your blog.

WILL THERE BE COMPENSATION: Not at this time. But it’s a great chance to gain more exposure & collaborate with the B-Boy blog.

BIO PAGES: We’ll be adding a page with photos & short bios of all the current contributors.

RESOURCES: It’s very important to credit all images properly.

CREATIVE POSTS PLEASE: We consider ourselves creative. That said, we love reading interesting and quality posts with pictures throughout. So please put some LOVE into it!

PHOTOGRAPHER SUBMISSIONS: While pictures are awesome and we do want them posted, please make sure you add some written words to tell the story.

HOW DO YOU SUBMIT: If you want to give this a try, email us and let us know which category you’re interested in. Write ‘Contributors‘ in the email subject please. Also, please include a link to your blog so we can see your writing style!

WHEN WILL WE SELECT CONTRIBUTORS: If you don’t hear from someone at B-Boy in about 2-3 weeks from this post, it means someone else was selected. Unfortunately, we may not be able to respond to everyone. We will post the selected contributors in an upcoming post!

Thanks & looking forward to hearing from you!

Vendor Profile: Cloud Nove Events – Wedding Planning and Coordination

Regina of Cloud Nove Events

Photo courtesy of  Alan Abrams Photography

Cloud Nove Events is a full-service event planning company that provides hands-on attention to all the details of planning your special event — from helping you develop a budget, to selecting vendors, to day-of coordination services. But their services go above and beyond just “traditional” planning, and extend to elements like customized invitations, honeymoon planning, destination weddings, etiquette advisement and more.

We checked in with founder and chief planner, Regina Cialone and asked some questions about Cloud Nove Events:

How did you get started in the event planning business and what is your background?

I started Cloud Nove Events in 2009 with one goal in mind: to help as many couples as possible be stress free throughout their engagement, and most importantly, on their big day. I’ve worked with nonprofit events for over 12 years, and have experience in fine dining, directing and stage managing theater, and budget management. I knew I had a talent for pulling things together efficiently and with the most impact, and coming from a huge family I am no stranger to drama and complex relationship dynamics. Wedding planning is a natural fit for me.

Where are your offices physically located and what areas do you cover for events? Do you travel upon request?

The Cloud Nove Events studio is located on the south shore of Long Island in Lindenhurst, NY.  The space provides a relaxed comfortable environment for us to hold consultations, meetings, and various vendor trials and tastings. We also host wedding planning guidance and education workshops and events.  We serve Manhattan to Montauk!

What do you love most about being an event planner?

There is a moment, usually during or after the first dance, where the couple looks at each other and smiles. The nerves of the day are gone, everything has gone perfectly (or near perfectly!), and here they are breathing a sigh of relief and just happy to be in one another’s arms. That’s a great moment. And I’m always proud to have helped in some small way to make that moment happen.

One piece of advice regarding hiring an event planner?

Realize you can work with an event planner for all levels of service –perhaps you just need help finding the perfect venue, or maybe you’d like someone to handle all of the details from start to finish.

Many of the couples who come to me are worried that they don’t have enough time to get all of the wedding planning done. Some worry that they do not have enough resources and want help executing their vision while staying within a limited budget. No matter what the reason they come to me, I work best with couples who enjoy laughing and smiling and want the wedding planning process to be fun and enjoyable! You’re going to spend a lot of important moments with your event planner, so select someone who you trust, genuinely like, and would want to share a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with.

Photo courtesy of Alan Abrams Photography

Photo courtesy of Alan Abrams Photography

What trends are you seeing for 2013 events/weddings?

I don’t think this qualifies as a trend, but I see a lot of couples who have seen things at other weddings and then think they need to have them at their own. They ask me, “What do you think? Do I have to have a slipper basket/cry packs/petal cones/pashmina basket/garter toss/symmetrical bridal party/etc.” and I always answer “You don’t have to have anything. Is this important to you? Is this something you envision will make your day more special and more unique to you as a couple? If not, it’s superfluous. Keep it simple and authentic to you.”

Visit the Cloud Nove website or Facebook page to learn more about how Regina and her team of professionals can help you realize your dreams for your special day!