Summer Wedding Tips

The weather in Florida is always unpredictable, however, when our summer season begins it becomes crazier than ever. This season is also very beautiful and very popular for weddings. Our years of experience providing entertainment for weddings has taught us a thing or two about outdoor weddings in the warmer part of the year…

Have a backup plan!

Seriously. This is basically the theme of the article, and really a good theme to apply to life in general. But, while we cannot honestly call ourselves life experts, we do think we’re wedding experts, so listen to us when we say please take this first point to heart. If you’re having a ceremony on the beach at a hotel make sure there is a room inside set up if you want to move it indoors at the last minute. And if you’re having a reception under the sequined web of Florida stars it’s a good idea to have a backup indoors or a tent. With the technology nowadays it is easy to keep up to date with weather patterns and precipitation percentages. Keep yourself and your guests at ease with a conveniently located nearby backup plan. And if the rain comes, let the party continue!

Make the wait count!

At the ceremony guests will typically wait 10-30 minutes for the pomp and circumstance to begin. In the heat, 5 quick minutes can easily feel like 5 sweltering hours. Providing guests with hand fans is an easy way for them to cool off, and printing your ceremony information on them is efficient and clever. Alternatively, stylish sunglasses or artsy parasols can block the sun. Also, some refreshments are a welcome surprise. Iced lemon water or sweet tea is simple but insanely effective, or consider a cocktail like a classic mint julep or mojito, and the attention to detail will make a classy impression on your guests.

Ew! Bugs…

Bug spray can work wonders for a day-of consideration, and citronella candles are a easy, however, also think about having your site sprayed by an exterminator two days before.

Take a load off.

Outdoor chairs can cause discomfort. This is easily fixed with cute cushions. Or, depending on your location, bales of hay with colorful blankets can add a rustic appeal that enhance the aesthetic in your photographs and bring comfort to your guests.

The sound and the fury of wind!

Wind will probably be a guest at your outdoor wedding, especially on the beach. While keeping your guests cool, wind also brings some unexpected issues:

The sound- making sure your guests can hear your officiant/pastor/priest/rabbi/etc. is extremely important. They want to take in your vows and live the emotions with you. Wind can make this impossible. A sound system checked in advance is very helpful and easy to do. The entertainment from your reception, the officiant, or the hotel can possibly provide you with the amplification necessary to distinguish your ceremony.

The fury- Beware of sheer fabrics such as chiffon or silk in your dress or your bridesmaids can become an annoying problem during a ceremony. Not to mention the shudder-inducing hair getting stuck in lipgloss sensation. Alert your hairstylist of your outdoor situation ahead of time to secure your look. Also, make sure your makeup artist sprays a heavy-duty fixative to protect your makeup so you can put your best face forward on the best day of your life!

Transportation

If your ceremony or reception is on a farm, a golf cart can help transfer guests easily over your rolling plains to the altar. Consider handicapped or elderly guests navigating through the sand or grass as well. An alternative pathway or additional help may be necessary. Notifying guests in advances of the circumstances can help them make conscious decisions about their footwear. The high heel digging in and out of the dirt situation does not leave a glamorous impression (except maybe in the ground).

Bathrooms

Outdoor locations can have bathrooms that are faraway or nonexistent. A trailer with air-conditioned portable bathrooms is something to consider, but if your site already has bathrooms just make them easily available. Adding some luxury items such as soap, candles, or themed hand towels can enhance comfort.

Lighting

Creating a lighting scheme is one of the most special aspects of an outdoor wedding. Paper lanterns, twinkling lights, vintage chandeliers, luminaries, and tea lights inside mason jars, can hang from tree branches or tents or light up pathways. It’s your chance to be creative and ooh and ahh your guests with sparkling enchantment. Also, a lighting professional can assist you with your design for quality, and an electrician can inspect your space for safety.

Having an electrician check your space for power is smart, for

Now for the good stuff…

Food!

Keeping your dishes covered from bugs and heat is a necessity.

Matching your mood to your outdoors is a suggestion. On a farm? Consider home-baked pies instead of cake for dessert, roast pig and barbecue for dinner, watermelon and corn for appetizers. On the beach? Margaritas, coconut crusted shrimp, and surf and turf.

While we’re playing into the theme of nature…

Music!

Setting your music to the outdoors can create a magical soundtrack. Steel drums for a ceremony on the water and acoustic guitar to resonate through the oak trees will enhance your guests’ experience. Music creates memories, and a sense of emotion long after the event is over.

Last but not least…

Keep a positive attitude!

If it unexpectedly rains, dance in it. It’s your special day, and a celebration of love cannot be spoiled by the weather.

Choosing Your Groom/Mother and Fauther/Daughter Dance

Selecting the special dances at your wedding can be a challenge considering the seemingly endless options. After dancing your First Dance, traditionally the Groom/Mother and Father/Daughter dance occur to the joy and happy tears of everyone present. Our experience playing weddings, and therefore special dances, for over 25 years lends us some background on how to make that musical moment memorable.

A Song that is Meaningful to Both of You

Is there a piece of music you enjoyed with your parents when you were growing up? Did you watch My Fair Lady together, or do you have a favorite classic band that you share like The Beatles? Choosing a song from your childhood can create a long-lasting and satisfying memory for you both on the day of your wedding.

Take Careful Consideration of the Lyrics

All too often we have had been asked to play romantic songs for Groom/Mother and Father/Daughter dances. Keep in mind the subject matter and lyrical content of your song choice so that it remains appropriate for your special dance.

Consider a Classic Choice

Typically there is a reason why a song becomes a standard, and sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct one! Choosing a classic song can be a great way to start or continue a tradition.

  • “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
  • “Isn’t She Lovely?” by Stevie Wonder
  • “My Girl” by The Temptations
  • “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle
  • “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
  • “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
  • “This One’s For My Dad” by Nancy Sinatra

Something More Unique

Want to showcase your personal taste with your special dance? Check out some of these options for something less common.

  • “93 Million Miles” Jason Mraz
  • “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World” medley by Israel “Iz” KaʻanoʻI Kamakawiwoʻole
  • “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon
  • “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins
  • “In My Life” by The Beatles
  • “You Are My Sunshine” by Johnny Cash
  • “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Sheryl Crow
  • “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
  • “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
  • “How Sweet it Is (to be loved by you)” by James Taylor
  • “Daughters” by John Mayer
  • “To Sir With Love” by Lulu
  • “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
  • “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John
  • “Lullaby” by Billy Joel
  • “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty

Country-Flavored

Some of the most emotional lyrics come from country and blue-grass genres. If you want to represent your roots, check out the selections below.

  • “I Hope You Dance” by Leann Womack
  • “Ready Set Don’t Go” by Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus
  • “Daddy Dance With Me” by Crystal Keith
  • “I Loved Her First” by Heartland
  • “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
  • “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw

There are many special songs to suit your special dance, and we hope these suggestions help you narrow it down. Remember to make it special to you and your parent, and to create a memorable soundtrack to the most important night of your life!

Holiday Party Tips

Holiday Party Tips

December has begun and DeLeon Entertainment is already in the midst of our Holiday Party season. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, and with our years of experience at holiday parties, we can let you in on some tips on how to have a memorable and magical event.

Sleigh Bells Ring Are You Listening?

A mix of holiday and pop variety music is best. Christmas music enhances the festive ambience; however, your guests have been hearing it on the radio waves and in the shopping malls every second of every day since after Thanksgiving and probably earlier than that. Ensuring that your music can provide variety, dinner and dance music is a must. However, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” never fails to get the crowd going!

Everyone Dancing Merrily In the New Old-Fashioned Way

Don’t be afraid to get on the dance floor! Sure, these people might be your coworkers, but it’s important to remember that holidays and fun should be synonymous. The stress of deadlines and Christmas shopping can bog you down, but this time of year should feel like a holiday!

Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding

Consider heavy appetizers instead of a sit-down dinner. This will make getting out of the chairs and onto the dance floor easier, and also create a casual and celebratory atmosphere. Also, when guests are finished eating dinner, they can leave as soon as they finish their meal. With hors d’ oeuvres, guests will linger throughout the night and eat as they please. Here are some appetizer recipes to get you started:

And a Cup of Good Cheer

A signature holiday cocktail can be a great way to make the party festive and memorable. Check out some of these beverage suggestions:

Dressed in Holiday Style

Dress code will naturally be a consideration. This isn’t the club, but it also isn’t the office. Dressing up for a party should be a fun way to showcase a little personality, and there’s a shade of red for everyone!

Here at DeLeon Entertainment, we pride ourselves on providing merry and bright holiday music for dozens of events each year. Do you have any tips for holiday parties? Favorite Christmas songs? Leave comments below! And happy holidays from all of us here at DeLeon Entertainment.

10 Wedding Reception Tips

10 Wedding Reception Tips

As the spring wedding season approaches, we have some simple tips for you to keep in mind for your reception. Although these are subjective, you can count on our 25 years of experience for these ideas. They may seem like common sense, but time and time again we have witnessed some of these pitfalls. To make sure your wedding is stress-free, listen up.

1) If your event is outdoors, have a backup plan.

Seriously, Florida is known for its insane weather. If you imagine your ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception to be held on a sunny with a high of 75 type of day, it’s time to get your head out of the unpredictably stormy clouds. In other words, make sure your idealism comes with another option. A tent, a room inside the venue, umbrellas and fans are just a few ways to avoid cranky, hot, sticky guests.

2) Do introductions and dances at the beginning of the evening.

This ensures that your participants and guests will all be in the room. For the participants, this will make everything easier, more efficient, and quicker to coordinate. Also, your guests are relatives who have traveled great distances to see you dance your first dance. If you do it right away they will not miss it, and the party as a whole will be more attentive.

3) Speaking of dances, a smaller dance floor is better!

A gigantic dance floor can be intimidating, and can reduce the likelihood of your guests enjoying themselves dancing. A smaller, more intimate dance floor is encouraging to guests (not all of whom are professional ballroom dancers), and can provide for more of a connection to your entertainment.

4) Consider having longer toasts at the rehearsal dinner.

The toasts are a magical and personal moment for every wedding reception. However, an overtly lengthy toast is undesirable because your entertainment and food service are on a schedule, and your guests want to eat, drink, dance, and be merry! Having longer toasts scheduled for the rehearsal dinner gives wedding party members time for anecdotal jokes and tears without making the reception schedule fall behind.

5) It’s good to have a schedule, but prepare to be flexible.

For your reception, a timeline is essential. However, you don’t want to break up a great dance set with a cake cutting. Alternatively, if nothing is going on, why not do the bouquet and garter a bit early to get the crowd going?

6) Keep your photographer and/or videographer there for the entire reception.

Too many times I have seen the photographer/videographer leave the reception an hour too soon. The party is just getting started! It is worth it to keep them there for the entire event, so they don’t miss a single special moment.

7) Consider having the bar closed during dinner.

Guests will be retained to drinking wine or water or whatever from their tables, and will be able to enjoy their dinners together.

8) Speaking of the bar….

Keep the bar inside the room of the reception! This keeps guests inside the room, which is necessary for everyone to celebrate together. A bar placed outside the reception room, in a lobby, for example, displaces a large amount of guests, and creates a sloppy flow of people between the two locations.

9) When selecting your song list, consider the demographic of your guests.

Aunt Nancy from Ohio isn’t going to have the same music tastes as your college buddies. If you are going to have variety in your party, consider variety in your music as well. A wedding is a celebration of tradition and love, so if it is applicable, think about your ethnic customs and traditions; for example, the Jewish Hora, the Italian Tarantella, or Polish or German Polkas.

10) A late-night snack can be fun and smart.

Getting some food into your guests before they drive- or take a taxi- home is thoughtful and welcome. Comfort food, such as hamburger sliders, or breakfast food, is sure to delight and fulfill your guests when the reception is coming to a close.

That’s all our wedding reception tips for now, folks. Feel free to comment any of your ideas or experience, and please like and share!

Oktoberfest Ja!

Oktoberfest Ja!

Every October here at DeLeon Entertainment, we trade in our tuxedos and black dresses for lederhosen und dirndls! Oktoberfest falls upon us with the nicer autumnal weather, and we perform at several annual German celebrations.

For 27 consecutive years, DeLeon Entertainment has performed at the Citrus Sertoma Oktoberfest, which raises money for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss. Taking place in beautiful Crystal River, this event features traditional carnival rides for the kids. Plus, the potato pancakes at this Oktoberfest cannot be beat!

In another part of South Florida, we entertain at the Family of Christ Lutheran Church Oktoberfest. An open field for children to play, a variety of vendors, and a wide selection of food options make this an Oktoberfest that can’t be missed!

The third Oktoberfest we have played for several years includes the Indian Rocks Beach, which helps raise funds for Action 2000 (A2K), allowing A2K to jointly fund several City street-scaping projects as well as pedestrian benches and shelters along Gulf Boulevard. This celebration includes over twenty vendors ranging from jewelry, stained glass, specialty foods, golf carts and more!

What does it take to have a successful Oktoberfest? German Beer and excellent music, and some fun and games help. We have the music part covered; our wide-ranging German repertoire includes traditional favorites and the newest popular music that they dance to in Munich! If desirable, we can easily fluctuate between German music and American pop favorites. Our instrumentation features accordion players Anthony and Mario DeLeon, who know dozens of German songs, and other standard Oktoberfest fare, including polkas made popular by Frankie Yankovic, “The Pennsylvania Polka” and “Roll Out the Barrel.” DeLeon Entertainment’s rich and long lasting history with Oktoberfest ensures a professional and fun musical experience that really gets the crowd going. We look forward to seeing you all at Oktoberfest next year, but for now, Ein Prosit!