Your Key to a Fantastic Wedding

Thursday, June 1st, 2017 at 1:45 PM by Jason Spencer   

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to jump on as a guest of The Stress-Less Wedding: Planning Your Big Day with Ease and Joy interview series on Facebook Live with Erin Summ, owner of As You Wish Weddings.

Each week Erin interviews wedding professionals who will give you tips on staying stress-free during your wedding planning, wedding day, and for keeping your confidence throughout the entire process. As You Wish Wedding Officiant, offers sweet, non-denominational wedding ceremonies in both English and Spanish, and pre-marital coaching.

Check out the interview below and be sure to let us know if you have your own tips in the comments!

Turkey Day Music

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 2:07 PM by Jason Spencer   

Happy Thanksgiving Charlie BrownIf you didn’t start with Halloween candy, I’m sure that Thanksgiving is the time of year in which you bend the rules of your regular diet and eat a little more than usual. Whether you are out braving those retailers that opted to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day, are home preparing for a great family meal, or you’ve already made it to Black Friday, here’s a list of tracks to get you through part of your day.

 

 

BONUS! With Thanksgiving Day is upon us, what better way to celebrate than by tuning into part of my own childhood — “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”? The animated film is set to air Wednesday, November 26 on ABC at 8 p.m. EST.

It’s hard to pick a personal favorite, but they all come from some of my favorite tracks. I hope that you enjoy it, too! What song do you think should also be on this list?

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Listen… do you smell something?

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 6:00 PM by Jason Spencer   

As a seven-year-old boy in 1984, there were two films that I remember being allowed to see that kept me up at night. The first was Poltergeist, which to this day still freaks me out. The other was an Ivan Reitman film starring the ever talented and hilarious Bill Murray, the paranormal genius Dan Aykroyd, the late and great Harold Ramis, silly guy Rick Moranis, alien hunter Sigourney Weaver, and a slew of other marvelous actors. Heck, it even had Reginald VelJohnson cast as — what else — a police officer!

Ghostbusters (1984)

I know what you are thinking: “How could this movie of ever scared you?”

I wish I knew the answer to that. In the years that would follow, I would fall deeply in love with this film. Like most Bill Murray films (especially of the 1980’s), I can quote nearly every line in this movie. As a teenager, it’s one of a dozen that my friends and I would stay up and watch every weekend during sleepovers. Eventually, it’s humor that shaped the personality I have today.

There is no Dana, only Zuul!

Anyone that recently saw the Diet Coke bottle with Dana Zuul written on it and chuckled internally knows the nuances of this film. “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” It’s a quote that anyone who has seen the movie can immediately identify.

That’s why when I learned that the movie celebrated it’s 30th anniversary, I was prepared to gift something pearl or diamond. But then I learned they are running it in theaters again as a limited engagement for one week only (opens August 28th in some cities). It’s been fully restored, and mastered in 4K on Blu-ray, and now includes special features.

Ghostbusters is one of those movies that I really hope they don’t remake, reboot, have another sequel… It’s a classic and it stands all by itself as one of the greatest comedies of all time. The film’s special effects were also quite advanced for the era in which it was made.

The folks over at Gallery 1988 (@galleries1988) have already sold out of most of the amazing 30th Anniversary prints, but if you are looking for some really cool swag to relive your own memories of this film, there’s still a lot out there.

Celebrate on the Facebook page 
Grab tickets on Fandango (Opens THURSDAY in most cities)
Check out the official Ghostbusters website
Grab a copy of Ghostbusters I & II on Blu-ray
LEGO makes a cool Ghostbusters Ecto-1

Tell 'em about the Twinkie.

And finally, this is a website about weddings. That’s why I’m going to share something special for the gentlemen. They may only be made from jewelry grade white steel, but for just about $25 you can get your hands on a set of Ghostbuster logo cufflinks. These are sure to strike up a conversation in any situation.

BONUS: For those of you that live near San Francisco, make sure to keep your eyes out for the non-profit fan group The Bay Area Ghostbusters.

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Building Better Wedding Entertainment: Spencer Weddings’ Top 7 Things of 2013

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 at 2:29 PM by Jason Spencer   

I always look ahead to creative new ideas, new events, and new ways to help couples enjoy great wedding receptions. As 2013 comes to a close, I wanted to take a look back on what helped focus Spencer Weddings and Entertainment towards the amazing past year.

1. Created A Better Wedding Officiant

Wedding Ceremony Officiant Minister Jason SpencerThis year marked the first time that I ever served as a minister and ceremony officiant. Originally, this was a decision made to offer an entertaining option to the otherwise generally boring officiant options that I’ve seen over the years. However, as I developed this service and worked with couples there came a realization that officiant services are a true extension of my role as Master of Ceremonies. Bridging these two together actually created better value and entertainment for all the guests. (credit: Tanja Lippert Photography)

2. More Wedding Workshops for Brides and Grooms

Groomtastic! - The Bay Area Groom's WorkshopThis year was a continued effort to get grooms more involved with their weddings. My Groomtastic! workshops continued to see great success, where we let guys in on little secrets to have fun during the entire wedding process and look great in the eyes of everyone at the same time. In 2013, The Creative Wedding Timeline workshop was added to reduce the stress of brides and grooms and find innovative ways to entertain their guests. (credit: Kris Labang Photography)

3. Expanded To New Wedding Venues

Quail Lodge Carmel Valley WeddingsI am fortunate enough to work with amazing venues nearly every year. This year I had the opportunity to work with great new locations, including Menlo Circus Club, Terra Gallery and Event Center, Hakone Estate and Gardens, David Brower Center, and Congregation Shir Hadash. 2013 also saw the return of several locations I’d not worked in nearly five or more years, including Quail Lodge & Golf Club, Holman Ranch, and Oceano Hotel & Spa. (credit: Lovely You Photography)

4. Continued Community Giving

Holman Ranch Carmel Valley Wish Upon A WeddingThis was my second year of service on the board of directors for the NorCal Chapter of Wish Upon A Wedding. I also accepted a role with the Bay Area ADJA board and am proud to say that we doubled our membership in 2013. Rounding out my year was honoring the corporate sponsors and donors for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night event. (credit: Rachel Capil Photography)

5. Became An Industry Inspiration

Jason Spencer Professional SpeakerAlthough I’ve spoken at The Las Vegas DJ Show and am a regular contributor to The Disc Jockey News, this was the first year I made a broader approach to the service industry. In the first part of the year I presented at networking functions held by Silicon Valley NACE, Weddings of the West, and Tri-Valley Wedding Professionals. Just a few months ago I was the Bay Area Chapter of the ADJA presented me with a Service Excellence Award, in part for my educational efforts within our community.
(credit: Digs Studio)

6. Spent My 5-Year Wedding Anniversary at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Wedding AnniversaryEven though we’ve been together 14 years, November marked our the 5th anniversary of our wedding. We never took a honeymoon, so going somewhere big seemed appropriate. With the help of my friend Frances Hedrick at Magical Vacations by Me, I got a fabulous package staying on the Disney Vacations property. With a meal plan and five days of park passes, we experienced the magic of all things Disney, including the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I observed so much that helped me rethink the kind of experience that sets one company apart from its competitors, and it has already inspired upcoming changes to the Spencer Weddings Experience.

7. Extended My Creative Entertainment License

Training has always played a huge role for me. While I constantly make room for at least one of the national DJ conferences, I try to include smaller workshop training as well. Recent years have included Master of Ceremonies and various business training. Earlier in 2013, I had the privilege of returning to one of my favorites called The Entertainment Experience. This 3-day workshop and performance training for wedding entertainers opens up the power to create and tell a story that’s all about the bride and groom.

Going Forward in 2014…

This was quite a progressive year for my little company, but I have the privilege of doing something I love. With a redesigned website lingering in the rafters and bigger, better training on the horizon, I look forward to the opportunity to amaze my clients and their friends. I look forward to making new relationships along the way. I am only about halfway to the point I wanted to be when I started this company five years ago, yet at the same time I feel that it has grown in directions I never could have anticipated. With inspiration lurking around every corner, I can’t wait to see what I’ll have to say one year from now.

7-Step Checklist for a Better Holiday Company Event

Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 2:44 PM by Jason Spencer   

Holiday parties serve as a great way to reward your employees and show them appreciation for all that they have done in the last year. It’s also a great way to showcase the growth of your company or organization, or server as a recap of a great year. Here’s a quick list of seven steps that will help ensure that your holiday party is a success.

Holiday Parties and Entertainment

1. Luncheon or dinner, or something else?

The first step is to determine what kind of gathering you want to have. In 2012, more than half of all holiday parties (51%) are held as a luncheon in the workplace, but an evening event isn’t far behind (38%). Bear in mind that the time of day will usually impact who can attend, the formality of the event, and the overall budget.

Daytime events certainly tend to be less expensive, but going outside of the box (say a catered evening event at Bowlmor Lanes in Cupertino) could be far less expensive than a formal lunch outing via shuttle bus during work hours.

2. Select a date and time.

With a general idea of your event in mind, now select a date and time. Over half of all corporate parties (58%) take place during the second or third week of December, usually on a Friday or Saturday. You’ll likely save a bundle of money if you can move to any other day of the week. If it’s possible to offer Friday as time off to your employees, then Thursday could work out in your favor.

Don’t feel that your party must take place in December, either. Many organizations will wait until after the new year and celebrate during the first two weeks of January. Not only will this cut back on your overall budget, but it allows you to alter the aspect from a “year end” event to that of a “kick-off” to the upcoming calendar year.

3. Forming your guest list.

This sounds easy, but can get tricky. Growing up, my father worked for IBM and I remember many family oriented summer and Christmas parties where spouses and children were invited. That kind of extravagance certainly carries added expenses. Daytime luncheons are likely to be employee only, but if your event in in the evening or on a weekend, extend the opportunity for employees to bring significant others or their families. They will appreciate the opportunity and you’ll start earning even greater respect and rapport.

4. Choose a venue and caterer.

Now that you have a general idea of the kind of event you are having, as well as the guest count, you’re all set to nail down a venue and your catering. Sometimes you can get these all in one, and there’s a growing trend to start with your caterer and letting them work for you in finding a suitable venue. One example is Mike Shin at Michi’s Catering. He will help you find everything you need, and it just starts with a call for catering.

Bear in mind that you may need to have multiple dates in mind for your event. This year the most popular date is Friday, December 13th. Friday the 6th and Friday the 20th are the next two most popular dates in 2013.

5. Select a theme and entertainment.

The simplest holiday parties are just a gathering and a meal, but many organizations will hire entertainment for the better enjoyment of their employees and families. Placing a theme on the event will make it more memorable as well. Entertainment is not limited to DJs, but can also incorporate comedians, live bands, corporate speakers, and much more. One year in San Francisco, I saw HP bring in a 20-minute feature presentation of Cirque du Soleil. With the right budget and some imagination, anything is possible.

6. Create an entertainment itinerary.

This is probably the most crucial step of the process, and doesn’t have to wait until the very end. Bringing in someone that understands Entertainment Direction and the flow of events will help ensure that your event runs as smoothly as possible. Your DJ and Master of Ceremonies (like Spencer Entertainment) should probably play a heavy hand in this, but that’s up to you.

Create a natural flow that incorporates arrival time with hors d’oeuvres, mealtime, speeches by company officers, employee recognition, and sort of gift-giving or raffles, entertainment, and a way to cap off the event closure. Again, your entertainment professional will have seen enough events to work with you on an entertainment itinerary that makes sense for your event needs.

7. Incorporate recognition.

I can’t stress this enough: The entire purpose of a holiday party is for the recognition of your employees and their hard work and successes over the year. Make sure that your employees feel appreciated when they leave the event. Disgruntled employees often show up trying to stick it to their company by gouging an open bar. Alleviate this by fostering pride in your company culture and celebrating with your employees. Incorporating your culture will keep it from feel contrived and insincere. Hiring entertainment, catering, and other vendors that understand and reflect your culture will convey this message too.

Still stumped? Check out this list of Ways to Thank Employees this Holiday from ERC.

There you have it…

If you are stumped, perhaps you can check in with an Entertainment Director, like Jason Spencer here at Spencer Entertainment. He’d be happy to help you get going in the right direction, and even work on your itinerary to make sure that it doesn’t feel to cramped with events. Avoid the hourlong raffle drawing in favor of shorter, quicker interactions. Call today and we’ll get you going in the right directions.