Event Planning Made Easy, with Vibo

If you have had a chance to read our reviews, you probably noticed a lot of folks mentioning the “app” that we use to manage client’s requests and timelines. Well, that app has a story. On this episode of OEP, we chronicle Vibo’s emergence into the US market, and Orion Entertainment’s role in its expansion. As the first DJ in the United States to adopt the platform, and a devoted Brand Ambassador to this day; I cannot express how much Vibo has changed the way we conduct business, meet with clients, and stay on top of the numerous events we do in a single wedding/event season. Vibo does many things, but primarily, it is a way for our clients to input their song requests for each facet of their wedding’s timeline. It keeps them on track, with up to date progress bars that reflect how much they have input, and how much they still have yet to do. Clients often ask if we have sample playlists they can see, with Vibo they can search through recommendations for songs in every section built into the app. They are able to invite their guests to have limited access as well. This allows guests to get their song requests in ahead of time so the DJ can come as prepared as possible to cater their music selections to you and your guests. Most importantly, you can provide detailed instructions for your DJ on how to execute your dream wedding vision. When it comes to planning a wedding, couples can get overwhelmed with just how many decisions they have to make. Vibo gives clients a template to guide them on their musical journeys. Many times, clients don’t realize just how many moving parts there are during a wedding that require music and direction for their DJ and MC. I know that when client’s book with us after their initial consultation, (having been walked through the app) they have confidence in us, and peace of mind that their DJ is their most organized and easiest vendor to work with.

Vibo is always changing and adapting, just as technology and music tastes change over the years. Perhaps one of the most exciting features is the ability for clients to import Spotify playlists directly into their cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing sections. It’s important to meet people where they’re at. We have found that so many clients have already gotten a head-start on their playlists using streaming services, building out their playlists before they even meet with their potential DJs. Vibo makes it as easy as possible for clients to sync their Spotify playlists directly into their wedding timelines. Making the planning process streamlined and easier for everyone involved.

Vibo is more than just a piece of software. It is also a network of committed, high caliber DJs across the country who share a vision of excellence throughout the wedding and event industry. We collaborate, and are committed to sharing our knowledge and experiences with each other to help propel the industry forward. I am so grateful to Micheal Mahler, the founder of Vibo for creating this community and continuing to elevate our industry through continued education, brand ambassadorship, and so much more. Want to learn more about how Vibo can help your DJ business? Go to ViboDJ.com and set up a demo with Micheal! If you are a potential client wanting to set up an initial consultation to see if we would be a good fit, be sure to fill out the contact form and we can get the ball rolling!
Be sure to follow OEP on Spotify to stay up to date and be notified when new episodes are released!

What is an MC?

I make a living talking into a microphone. I have always been comfortable talking to crowds, and while I had never taken any formal training on microphone work or MC-ing, I thought I presented confidently and knew what it meant to be an MC. People always told me what a great MC I was, so I figured they must be right. While I certainly had natural talent, and have improved immensely over the years, I now feel that journey has only just begun.

I learned about “Marbecca” from the first Mobile Beat (DJ conference) I attended. Mark Ferrell was giving his final keynote address on what a DJ is worth. He was brought to tears as he said goodbye to an industry that had given him so much, and in return, they gave him a standing ovation. Fortunately for me, Mark and Rebecca continued to host their MC workshops so that they could pass on that legacy and continue raising the standard for entertainers everywhere.
When I picked up the microphone for my first attempt in front of Mark, Rebecca, and the 5 other professional DJs in attendance my heart started racing – as if I had never held a microphone in my life. Not only did I have to perform in front of my experienced peers but I had to get up and MC in front of a titan of the industry. I gave my introduction, and Mark tore me apart – nicely. He said I had to let my audience catch up with me, slow down, and not use my “DJ voice”. “DJ VOICE? What is a DJ Voice? I am a DJ for god’s sake, aren’t I supposed to use a DJ voice?” I thought to myself.

I asked for clarification and Mark told me that there are actually three different types of voices a person can use when they are on a microphone. One is used to announce (using a DJ voice), one is used to tell a story, and one is used when the speaker functions as a Master of Ceremonies. The way he said Master of Ceremonies made it clear that it was something entirely different than what I had assumed my entire career. He carried on with his presentation and provided us with the dictionary definition of a “Master” and a “Ceremony”. He clarified that a true Master of Ceremonies is someone versed in all ceremonies and masterful in the execution of them. They are someone who presents with poise, speaks clearly, confidently, and with intention. A true Master of Ceremonies knows their audience, is approachable, and above all they have to be genuine. For years I had used the word “MC” so casually as an extension of the title DJ, and I didn’t give it the weight that it deserved. I thought any DJ that can talk on a microphone must be an MC by definition. While that is somewhat true, Mark and Rebecca showed us that we could be so much more.

I noticed that something had changed in my first conversation with a client after I took the workshop. I was asking questions I wouldn’t normally ask, trying to understand why the bride chose her maid of honor. What about that relationship was special – so I could personalize my introduction for the Maid of Honor’s toast when the moment arrived. It felt a bit strange and perhaps too personal at first, but after all, I am introducing an important person to my bride and groom’s guests at their wedding. I think personal is the point. When I implemented what I had learned from the workshop at an actual wedding, everything Mark and Rebecca said in that small room in Phoenix rang truer. I got one of the loudest receptions in my career for my bride and groom’s introduction, and for the first time I felt like more than a DJ/MC. I felt like a true Master of Ceremonies.

A Wedding with a Theme, is a Fun Wedding Indeed…

I woke up to panoramic views off the coast of Orcas Island prepped and ready to go for the days wedding. I always head up to the San Juans the day before a gig so that I don’t have ferry induced panic attacks – it’s best for everyone. As I sipped my Island grown coffee that my Airbnb host so graciously provided, I hoped a few orca might grace my field of view. Alas, the ferry turned the corner and off-hopped my assistant DJ Christian. I had him walk on the ferry so that we could be certain of our timely arrival for set up.

We walked from the ferry terminal to the cottage I was staying in and pulled out our attire for the day, two jingling jester hats and medieval themed garb. We knew it was going to be a wedding to remember. There’s something exciting about getting dressed up – especially when it’s in character. It prepares you both mentally, and physically for the performance you are going to put on. As a guest, it puts you in the party mindset, and it gets you excited for the event. Who doesn’t love to be someone else for an evening?
We arrived at the venue for set up to find Odd Fellows Hall transformed into a dining hall fit for Kings and Queens. The four head tables lead by House Sigils that the bride and groom had thoughtfully crafted, represented each of the 4 families in attendance, each symbol emblazoned holding a personal connection to the family it represented.

wedding theme ideas

Everyone was dressed to theme, there were children dressed as monks having sword fights on the balcony overlooking the bay. A towering woman dressed in all black as Maleficent, and oh, the Bride, looking radiant as she dawned the same dress that Margery Tyrell wore in Game of Thrones. One fit for a real life Queen.

The ceremony by Reverend Jim Beidle brought the theme to life and encorporated it in meaningful way that made everything feel real. The bride and groom’s hands, fasted by an intricately braided rope as they spoke their vows set the scene for the rest of the night. As jesters of her majesty’s court, I addressed the crowd as Lords and Ladies, introduced the bride and groom to the reception with medieval fanfare and played contemporary medieval covers for cocktail hour. The Genre is actually called “Bardcore” and it created the perfect atmosphere for drinks. After dinner, with the mead flowing, we partied like it was 1322 – albeit to the classic wedding hits from the 60’s, 90’s and early 2000s. Not everyone can or wants to pull off themed weddings and events. But I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I will never forget Luke and Madi’s one of a kind Medieval Island Wedding. It was memorable in all the right ways for all the best reasons. The decor not only sold the theme, but it made the space beautiful and tied everything together. I wish more couples decided to have themed weddings. It not only showcases their personality, it creates cohesion throughout the event. It prepares guests physically and mentally for the day ahead, and creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere for all who attend. If you a flirting with the idea of a themed wedding, I’d encourage you to seriously explore the possibilities. Be unusual, be you. After all, it’s YOUR wedding!

Mike Tech Magic – OEP EP. 3

On this week’s episode of OEP: Get to know DJ Mike Tech, one of South Carolina’s finest.

The Week-in-Round-Up: Our hosts are gearing up for event season as the sun comes out in Seattle. Erin celebrates her birthday with the Orion Crew, and David got his second Covid Vaccine! Mike’s Sister gets married and he gets a little emotional. So who is DJ Miketech?

Mike got his start in the music industry as a Radio DJ and later transitioned into clubs, private events, and weddings. “People that heard me on the radio… wanted me to MC their parties, that’s kind of how I got started in the private event space. In the industry we call it call-and-response…I am going to say something to get the crowd to say something back to me or get the crowd to interact with what I am saying. People hire me because I can get people involved and engaged in their events as an MC.”
Mike is so much more than an MC, he is also a skilled turntablist. You can check out some of his mixes here!

He knew early on that his music taste clicked with his wedding clientele, coming to the realization that the 90’s throwbacks that millennials enjoy in the club, is the same kind of music people want to dance to at their wedding. Mike has a passion for nightlife and weddings, and often he will have brides and grooms that will hire him for a wedding, end the evening early, and gives his couples VIP treatment at his nightclub in SC.
Mike’s DJ company in SC has a similar mission to our own. Mike’s desire to blend the world of nightlife and private events together, is what drew him and I to collaborate. When we realized that our wedding seasons start when the others end, we knew that it would be a perfect match. “These days brides and grooms want to go out afterwards in their tuxedos and dresses.” Mike’s goal is to make his couples feel like VIPs on their wedding day.
If you are thinking about having a little Mike Tech Magic of your own at an upcoming event, fill out the contact form and mention Mike in the message. We will set up an initial consultation and you can determine if he is the right fit for you and your wedding, corporate event, club night or private party!

OEP EP2 – The History of Weddings: How the Modern Wedding Came To Be

On this week’s episode, we take you back in time, way back in time, to discover the roots of the modern wedding. Erin and I go in depth, taking a historical perspective on modern wedding traditions to find their origin stories, drawing connections between the past, present, and future of weddings. Take everything you think you know and throw it out the window! These revelations on how the modern wedding came to be are sure to surprise, as well as provide context for the wedding industry itself, historical trends, and may even give you some fun new ideas to incorporate into your own upcoming wedding!

Below: Queen Victoria Pictured at Her Wedding

Transcript: Happy Wedding Wednesday everyone! You are listening to the Official Orion Entertainment podcast: OEP. My name is David Schwartz, DJ/MC and Owner of Orion Entertainment a local DJ and photo booth company based in Seattle Washington. Alongside me is my co-hostErin Brennecke, associate DJ/MC and chief inspiration officer – and together, we put the fun and mental in fundamental.
Erin: Welcome to the show everyone! On this week’s episode we are going back to basics. Back in time if you will, to understand how the modern wedding ceremony and reception came to be. We will be answering questions you didn’t know you had, and of course giving our take on these revelations.
David: Now, we should preface by saying this is a non-exhaustive and broad history of European weddings and their influence on American weddings, we are well aware that every culture has had its own unique history and traditions and we could devote an entire podcast series to going in depth on every single wedding tradition that exists, but we are hoping to draw connections from the past present and perhaps to the future using this as our catapult if you will.
Erin: Catapult? That sounds medieval!
David: It certainly is, and that is precisely where our story begins…
Here are the Key Takeaways from my notes if you don’t have time to listen to the entire podcast! Feel free to read these while you follow along as well.
A History and Analysis of Weddings and Wedding Planning: Clare Finnell

  1. Most marriages in medieval times were formalized only by a public announcement and a kiss. Any formal ceremonies were typically held over a local blacksmith’s anvil, and it was not until about 1215 that weddings became involved with churches.
  2. The best man back then was not the groom’s closest friend or relative but instead was the best swordsman that they could afford to hire to stand by them and insure that the wedding went on smoothly
  3. Quite the opposite, as bridesmaids originally wore similar dresses to the bride to confuse her exes and outsmart evil spirits. That way, the evil spirits wouldn’t know which woman in the group was getting married.
  4. Similarly, the tradition that we see today of a father walking his daughter down the aisle originated as a man walking the bride down the aisle in order to ensure her safety on the way to the groom. Safety was such a key focus in weddings at this time because many times the marriage was a “marriage by capture” (Doll, 2016). This continued into the 16th century when it was known as “stealing the bride” (Doll, 2016). Members of the wedding party had to be prepared to protect the bride and groom and fight off the bride’s family should they come protest the wedding or try to steal her back. The groomsmen, also known as “Bride’s Knights” (Doll, 2016), were the ones responsible for assisting in the kidnapping and later keeping the wedding on track and free of interruptions. Interruptions, other than the bride’s family, that the groomsmen had to look out for were that “another suitor would try to take her, or she might try to escape. This is also where we find the origin of the honey moon, the groom would kidnap the bride and take her somewhere far away so that no one would be able to find her.
  5. The bride’s dowry was typically the money that was used for the wedding ceremony and feast while the groom’s tended to be money for a home or to support them going forward in their life together. The guidelines for who paid for what were laid out in a relatively clear-cut manner back then especially compared to nowadays when the person responsible for paying for a wedding could be any one person or a combination of people involved in the lives of the spouses.
  6. Flower’s began to appear in weddings during the Elizabethan era. Flowers in the Elizabethan Era played a much larger role in the wedding. Bridesmaids were responsible for creating bouquets and the garland of flowers that the bride held until the end of her wedding when it was placed on her head. At this point in time, the activities of bathing and washing clothes were considered a luxury and did not occur often, so in addition to serving as decoration for the bride and the wedding, the flowers acted as a way to cover up the fragrance of dirty individuals. Pungent flowers such as fresh rosemary, roses and even garlic stems were used in order to add a more pleasant fragrance to the ceremony.
  7. Wasn’t until the 1800’s that Women began to really have much of a say regarding their wedding day. The concept that the wedding day is all about the bride is a very modern concept. This began by her ability to choose the day that it would take place, but that was it.
  8. This is the period in which we get to see the tradition of the white wedding dress as well. This was likely because at that time white was a very popular color to wear in general. “White was the most popular color for debutantes, but soft colors such as pink or blue were worn, too.”
  9. Question: What are your thoughts on the wedding dress, specifically the color, my mother wore a red wedding dress for her 2nd wedding.
  10. Victorian Era: Wedding Dresses become more ornate
  11. Flowered path down the aisle: This was “because it was believed that this ensured a happy path to life for the bride” – reminds me of the flower girl tradition.
  12. It was during the Victorian ages, the bride originally tossed her bouquet to a friend as she left the festivities to keep that friend safe (by warding off evil spirits, of course) and to offer her luck” (The Knot, 2015). This luck was believed to help the bride’s friend, that caught the bouquet, become the next one to get married.
  13. Other sources indicated that the real reason for the bouquet toss was to distract the guests so that the bride and groom could consummate the marriage.
  14. The garter toss: This tradition originated in England and France. Guests would try to obtain a piece of the bride’s dress for good luck, which often left the bride nervous and tense throughout the entire ceremony in anticipation of her dress being ripped to shreds by the eager mob of wedding guests.
  15. White dresses may have been introduced in the Regency Era but in the Victorian Era the white wedding gown gained great popularity after Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840.
  16. Weddings in America during the same period were transactional, a bride was married to provide children, look after the house, cook for the family. Love had little to do with it.
  17. It wasn’t until the mid 1900’s that the wedding industry began to look the way we think of it. Weddings became more elaborate, and as a result people began to hire outside help. Here we also see the beginning of the bachelor party, destination weddings, engagement parties, and other pre wedding events and traditions
  18. After WWII formal weddings became more popular, as weddings became more complex, people began to hire vendors to assist in the days affairs. Much more personalization.
  19. This coincides with the rise in the employment of women. This is notable because it meant women had less time to plan their own weddings. Typically the first wedding planners would have been women as well, so this adds up. If women wanted to make a career out of wedding planning, it was now more societally accepted to do so.

Where do our some of our favorite wedding traditions come from?

  1. Tying the knot (handfasting) dates back to 7000 BC: Many cultures have adopted the once pagan tradition but anyone can incorporate it into their own ceremony! (Brides.com)
  2. Jumping the Broom: is a tradition that started during slavery in America, slaves would jump over a broom to get married. This is still seen today and carried forward in modern African American weddings. (Brides.com)
  3. Money Dance: A ritual you may see at a wedding is the money dance, which is also called the money spray, dollar dance, and apron dance. The money dance is part of many cultures, but it is most common among Yoruba and Igbo tribes in Nigeria and the countries that Nigeran people have immigrated to. The money dance occurs during the wedding reception. When the newlywed couple dances and celebrate their good fortune, guests toss money at them. The money is seen as a fund for the couple to start their new life and can be in any amount. There are people designated to collect the money off the ground for the newlyweds once the money dance has ended. (Brides.com) Personally, I have seen this done mostly at Phillipino weddings, Mexican weddings, and other Spanish influenced cultures.
  4. The Wedding Cake: It was common for grooms to take a bite of bread at the wedding, crumbling the rest over the bride’s head for good luck. Guests would then scramble around her feet to pick up the crumbs, in order to absorb some of that good luck. This is where we get the “shoving the cake” in the newlyweds faces, the bread was later replaced with the wedding cake.
  5. Rice Throwing: was originally done to “shower” the bride and groom with fortune, prosperity, and fertility. Today, you’re more apt to seeing bubbles used in its place to celebrate the couple. Less clean-up!
  6. The First Kiss: In the early days of weddings, it was customary for the priest to give a holy “kiss of peace” to the groom, who would then pass the kiss on the bride. This was done to bless the marriage inside of the church, giving way to the common phrase heard today at most ceremonies: “You may now kiss the bride.”

The Official Orion Entertainment Podcast is Ready for Takeoff!

We are proud to announce the launch of our official podcast OEP! The Orion Entertainment Podcast is hosted by David Schwartz the Owner of Orion Entertainment, and Erin Brennecke Headliner DJ/MC. On this show we will be exploring the do’s and don’t of the event world, the ins and outs of the wedding industry, and the ups and downs of life as a DJ. We provide industry advice, event tips, and share our experience with fellow friendors and clients.

In our debut episode, our hosts introduce themselves and discuss their experience working events in the age of COVID-19. David and Erin discuss what inspired them to become professional DJ/MC’s and when they realized that music was more than just a hobby but a way of life and a means to self sufficiency. On their first weekly topic, David and Erin explore creative solutions for problems that our clients are going through when navigating their own wedding planning in the age of covid. Our hosts also discuss why it is important to still have a DJ even though you may have had to significantly reduce the guest count at your upcoming event. You can listen to the first episode on Youtube, Spotify, and right here on our blog! The show airs weekly on Wednesdays at 5:00pm. Just in time for your evening commute. Tune in every week to stay up to date on what your favorite DJ/MCs are up to!

From the Show: Week in Round Up: Photo’s From Anjani’s Wedding Courtesy of Cameron Zegers Photography

5 Tips to The Best Virtual Event Experience

1. Dress to impress The physical act of dressing up, doing your hair and getting yourself ready will put you in the party mindset. You may only be “going out” from the bedroom to the living room, but not only will you look good, you’ll feel good and be in the right mindset to dance like no ones watching, because guess what, no one is!
2. Set up your own night clubThe audio quality of the DJ livestream is only as good as the audio device you chose to listen to it on. If you chose to party with us on your laptop or iPhone expect to have laptop or iPhone quality sound. A pair of headphones, the best set of speakers in your house, or even an HDMI connection to your TV should vastly improve your livestream experience and make you a part of the party. Decorate your space with streamers, and fun lights, put up signs and posters and make your environment one you want to party in. You don’t have to spend a lot to make your space amazing. Purchase colored lights online and replace your standard bulbs, set the mood, and make it a competition amongst you and your friends as to who can decorate their space the craziest.
3. Connect with your friends There are a ton of ways to share the experience with the people you love. Apps like HouseParty, FaceTime, and Zoom, to name a few, allow you to see other people during the experience and feel even more connected. Set up a simultaneous zoom call invitation to begin at the start of your virtual event and your whole squad is there for the entirety of the party. Post to instagram, tiktok, facebook, snapchat and use the hashtag your host provides you to be a part of the digital experience. We have partnered with Tagboard to display your posts live during your event. When you use your custom event hashtag you can see how other people are experiencing the virtual magic.

4. Give your DJ some love DJs thrive in a crowd environment and they feed off the energy of an audience. It can be daunting to stare into a camera lens in an empty room when you’re used to watching the reactions of a group of people. Sending your DJ positive comments or providing constructive and specific song requests with the title of the song, and the name of the artist can help the DJ customize their set for whoever is watching the stream. Making requests ahead of time on our mobile app can make it even more likely that the DJ will play your favorite songs. The more love and positive vibes you send your DJs way, the more fun and engaging the experience will be for you the viewer. The DJ will feed off of the positive vibes your post in the chat.
5. Treat Yourself and Embrace the ExperienceWhether the event is in person, or online, one thing remains constant. The goal is to celebrate, to let loose, and have fun. This is no time or place for cynicism, leave your judgements at the door. The more you buy into the experience, the more fun you allow yourself to have. Come in with a positive mindset and embrace the experience. Order your dinner on door dash, or grub hub, (and don’t forget dessert), have a spa day before the event, maybe order a new dress. TREAT YO SELF. You deserve it.

20 on The Rise!

Orion is proud to announce its first ever national recognition by Honeybooks and The Rising Tide Society. We are so grateful to our fellow vendors and former clients for nominating us for this incredible award. We are humbled to be alongside some incredible event industry pros and other creative professionals in their respective industries.

“20 On The Rise is a celebration of individuals who are making waves and raising the tide, rocking their respective industries through hard work and creativity. This isn’t a popularity contest nor is it a ‘most liked’ list. 20 On The Rise is a curated list of 20 rising stars in 5 categories nominated by you and selected based on: empowerment, impact, purpose, and passion.”
2019 has been an incredible year of growth for Orion Entertainment, and this recognition truly embodies and validates that growth. It excites and amazes me that respected industry experts see what we are trying to do, and recognize that we are doing it in a way that is different, cutting edge, and making a difference in our community.
I look forward to connecting with this years winners in the Event Professionals Category, expanding our network, and hopefully learning from these incredible pros. To view the write up and read more about our story that inspired this recognition, check out our profile on the 20 on the Rise website!