Liz Daley & Peter Merry share their expertise with Canadian DJs
Liz Daley and Peter Merry joined forces and shared their expertise teaching their two-day, 16-hour marathon training session for DJs and Masters of Ceremonies called “Make it Grand Workshop” in Toronto, Canada.
Welcome to Canada!
Dave Hastings, President of the Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association picked Liz up at the airport along with Peter Merry who was already in town. Liz was greeted with flowers!!!! What a great way to be welcomed to another country!
The intimate class of six attendees got “lots of love” and “on their feet” training as Liz and Peter nurtured and guided each professional to improve their performance skills as Masters of Ceremonies.
Attendees practiced their “Opening Statements” to wedding guests: getting constructive feedback from Liz, Peter and the rest of their peers. They also wrote and delivered multiple variations of Wedding Party Grand Entrance Scripts.
The intense exercises gave all attendees immediately usable tools for their very next wedding!
It’s not easy to flip food around on a hot grill. (as our chef so kindly allowed us to demonstrate with hilarious results)
It Takes Training!
A lot of training goes into the chef’s presentation. First things first: he must he be an expert at cooking food to everyone’s liking, but then begins the EXPERIENCE! He must also engage, delight and entertain us! We had an amazing experience!!!! Why? Because we had an EXPERT who was well-trained who clearly LOVED what he did and we all had a fantastic time because of our talented CHEF!
It’s also not so easy to be a great Master of Ceremonies: guiding brides, grooms and their guests through an evening of formalities, fun and frivolity. Just like the chef being able to cook, first things first: we must be able to play music that everyone likes. Second, just like the chef, it is also our job to engage, delight and entertain our audiences. (and it’s the second part that really matters)
Do I really need to hire a professional “anybody”.
Answer: NO…But it SURE does help!
Around the time that Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in 1981… Weddings got a lot more lavish and an industry catapulted out of control.
The latest Royal Wedding had a budget of such magnitude that it easily could support me as a woman of leisure for the rest of my life just sitting in a bank account collecting 1 percent interest. Most of us have to work for a living.
Costco and Sam’s Club have “Veggie Platters” and “Ready to Eat” Appetizers to die for.
Your Local Grocer has fantastic cakes.
(Or perhaps you have someone in your family who can still BAKE?)
Photography & Videography
Everyone and their brother has a digital camera (both video and still) on their Smart Phones.
Computers and software have made custom playlists ridiculously easy.
(Most people have huge music libraries stored in their Smart Phones)
Decor & Design
Mail Order and the Internet Warehouses have brought wholesale invitations, flowers, linens, chair covers and anything else you can imagine to the masses.
Everything today is “Do-It-Yourself” and for good reason.
Today’s weddings can cost a fortune!
Why not put a downpayment on your first home and elope?
Nothing about what you are hiring on your wedding day is rocket science……However… you don’t want to be a “working stiff” on your own wedding day!!!!
And while nothing is “rocket science”…..don’t fool yourself either. The results can be catastrophic!
Don’t imagine yourself as Martha Stewart if you’ve NEVER been crafty in your life.
Don’t imagine yourself as Betty Crocker, if your idea of preparing a meal involves opening a pre-prepared package of anything.
Don’t believe that your friends will be able to focus their cameras on ANYTHING after consuming a few adult beverages.
If you’ve NEVER been an organized person and never planned anything more than 24 hours in advance, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can do it alone.
And don’t even get me started on all the things that can go wrong with an iPod…..woof!!!!! The only time that REALLY works is if you only want background music for 5 hours and you don’t really care about the ebb and flow of your event.
If you REALLY want the big party….
The secret is to prioritize your costs and spend your money on the items you value most.
If your wedding gown is your #1 priority…go and get that Vera Wang dress!
(Or the knock-off which is still quite pricy.)
If you want to get married at The Waldorf-Astoria because the location is important…put down the cash and wait 3 years to get married.
If having the most amazing food you and your guests have ever tasted is your priority…hire the very best chef! (Or go to the best venue who has the best chef.)
If you want your guests to walk into your ballroom amazed at the beauty…hire the best designers, florists and lighting designers to create the “WOW!”.
If wedding photography and videography that captures your memories for the next generation is most important…hire the best photographer and videographer!
If you are a very busy professional and don’t have time to handle all the little details…hire a professional wedding planner! Even if you are just a crazy working woman who needs a little help…hire a professional wedding planner! (It’s not really fair to ask your mother or sister to do that…you want them to speak to you after the wedding.)
If you want an amazing party that friends and family will remember forever…hire a professional DJ or Band and a professional Master of Ceremonies!
Everyone has different priorities. Decide what your priorities are…and make decisions accordingly.
Trust your own instincts and you WILL have the wedding and reception that is right for you!
The question of when to do formal wedding dances as you plan your wedding reception agenda can seem daunting, however there are three very popular choices that have proven to work very well in my experience.
Do your First Dance…FIRST…directly following your Grand Introductions.
This is generally the most popular choice. One of reasons why the “First Dance” should be FIRST is because wedding protocol suggests that no one should dare dance until after the bride and groom have shared their First Dance as husband and wife.
If you take care of this formality immediately, then your guests can feel free to dance with their spouse earlier in the evening: during dinner, or between courses, if the DJ or Wedding Band plays a song that inspires them or is very special to them. ( and they can do so without fear of being “rude”)
Another reason for doing the “First Dance” first, as well as the Father/Daughter Dance and the Mother/Son Dance is to simply get them OUT of the way. Many brides and grooms (as well as their parents) get nervous about 200 of their friends and family eye-balling them for 3 to 5 minutes while they struggle NOT to appear awkward on the dance floor. (not everyone looks as good doing the waltz as Derek Hough on Dancing with the Stars)
Quick Suggestion: Ask your Wedding DJ Entertainer or Wedding Band to prepare a shorter version of your songs. This can cut as much as one to two minutes time from each dance, which is quite a relief to the shy and reserved. Better yet, you can combine the parent dances (Father/Daughter and Mother/Son) to save even more time if being the center of attention isn’t your thing.
Wait until after dinner to do all the formal dances. People have eaten, they have had a drink and generally they are more relaxed. Making this decision can also create an impetus to “get the dancing started” with a bang!
Quick Suggestion: Make sure to have your Wedding Band or Wedding DJ Entertainer play your favorite uptempo song immediately following the formal dances to “jump start” the action…to let everyone know that it is time to dance. In fact, you could “hand pick” that song and make sure its one that you absolutely love …one that you love so much, that you and all your friends will immediately storm the dance floor.
Do the “First Dance” First and the Parent Dances after dinner.
This combination gives you the best of both worlds for all the reasons stated above. You have followed tradition and still done the First Dance, “FIRST”….but you also get the benefit of breaking up the formal dances so your guests can be served their meal just a little bit earlier and you can have a clear “starting point” to the dancing portion of your party!
Historic Mankin Mansion was home to the first “Make It GRAND!” workshop featuring the talents of author and international motivational speaker, Peter Merry and National W.E.D.Guild President, Elisabeth Scott Daley. Participants spent 16+ hours diligently working in an intimate and safe environment as they pushed themselves to the next level guided by both Peter and Liz. Detailed, hands-on attention was given to all attendees as they were encouraged to combine humor, creativity, sound clips, music and more while engaging their audience as the Master of Ceremonies during Grand Entrances!