Frustrations Of Caring

I have an incredible job. My job is to help people have one of the greatest days of their lives. While I don’t take myself very seriously, I do take my job seriously and it seems that almost every week, I find myself in yet another situation where I’m frustrated at how easy it would be for someone to hit a home run, but they just stand there with the bat on their shoulder.

 

Last night’s frustration came from the photo booth operator at the wedding where I provided the entertainment. Full disclosure – I own two Photo Booths and we’ve put a lot of time and attention into figuring out how to make the Photo Booth experience awesome. The reason I added a Photo Booth to our company in the first place was because I used to have experiences like last night a lot. I figured the only way to eliminate those bad experiences was to do it myself, and I was right.

 

I knew there would be a photo booth at last night’s wedding. What I didn’t know until minutes before the wedding just blew me away. I went to the booth operator and introduced myself. I told her that I would be happy to announce when the photo booth was open and that there would be some times, like during the introductions, toasts and first dance, when it should not be running, out of respect for those moments.

 

The operator said, “We don’t open the booth until 7:00.” The wedding was at 5:00, at the same location. Huh? It’s set up in the back yard, where the reception will take place, but not open during that whole hour when we were waiting for the bride and groom to join us after photos? She said, “Oh, sometimes if someone REALLY wants a photo, I’ll let them, but they only booked us starting at 7:00.”

 

So now I know what’s up. This was one of those stupid, greedy vendors with a loss leader price, a “3 hour special” with the hopes of upgrading, but this client didn’t upgrade.

 

But wait – it gets worse. After waiting through that time with the photo booth just sitting there, idle, while the guests sit at their tables just a few feet away, she walked over to me just as I was getting ready to begin the introductions, about 6:45, and said, “I’m bored. Go ahead and make an announcement that they can come to the photo booth.”   She wasn’t kidding.

 

But wait – it gets worse. Throughout the toasts, the booth was open. I’ll bet my last dollar that they didn’t take 100 photos last night (we typically take 400-500) but during the toasts, they let a small, but loud group use the booth. And during the intros, same thing, but it wasn’t so noticeable, because for most of it, we were louder. Although, during the dedication of the celebration to those who had passed away, we could clearly hear the laughter and talking from the booth, mostly from the attendant herself.

 

“I’m bored.’ That was her motivation. Not, “Gee, the guests are all sitting here for an hour, a perfect time for them to be entertained with my service.” Nope, nothing, until she was bored.

 

But wait – it gets worse. She brought along her teenage son to help load in and out, wearing sagging pants (you know the shorts that end up halfway between the knee and ankles) , a t-shirt, baseball cap turned backwards, and ear buds in his ears. He stayed throughout the wedding. I know he stayed, because during the toasts, he was playing basketball on the sports court in the backyard and it was easy to hear the dribbling of the ball throughout the toasts. He wasn’t alone, but that only made it worse.

 

This vendor could have provided a great service, but she simply made no effort. The back of the booth was left open all night, which was an eyesore. She kept the booth closed when it should have been open, kept it open when it should have been closed, and of course, shut it down before the end of the celebration, because her time was up.

 

She’s guilty of working for her clients, instead of with them. I get it – the client didn’t pay for more time, but sometimes, as a service provider for weddings, you have to tell the client what they need to hear, instead of just taking their $350 and running. 3 hours won’t work at a 6 hour wedding reception. Your motivation can’t be, “I’m bored.” It must be, “What can I do to make this event the best it can be?”

 

Zig Ziglar has a famous line: “You can get everything you want out of life if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”   If her motivation was to serve, her service, and the client’s experience could have been much better and she would find a higher demand for her service. But her motivation was simply to find a way to make a couple of hundred bucks. Bringing along a teenage boy to a wedding dressed like that was disrespectful. Playing basketball during the toasts was disrespectful. Running the booth during toasts and dedications was disrespectful. Booking an event knowing they haven’t gotten what they need for the event is selfish and disrespectful.

 

Maybe I’m spoiled. I see what a wedding CAN be every week, but then I see things like this and I want to scream.   We have a photo booth at most of our weddings. It took us a few weeks to figure out how to make it great, but we made those adjustments pretty quickly and without listing them all, none of those ideas were incorporated into last night’s photo booth. It was the least they could do for the money, but of course, they don’t sell it that way and the client gets screwed.

 

Mostly, I like how much I care, but sometimes, caring this much can be very frustrating.

LaVaun & Christy

On June 23rd, 2013, we had the pleasure of providing the entertainment for the wedding ceremony and reception for the Perfect Pair, LaVaun Eades and Christy Gold at Timber Creek Ballroom in Roseville.  Jenny Giallanza, the Director of Fun from Timber Creek is always a joy to work with and it was an awesome day full of laughter, tears, cheers, dancing, celebration and love.

We played the Newlywed Game, with a Giants cap for LaVaun and handkerchief for Christy, who has been known to get a little misty at sentimental times.  Their hysterical Love Story followed dinner, and then several awesome toasts before they shared their first dance and some very powerful parents dances, including one with Christy and her incredible son, Austin.

We had a very different style Anniversary Dance, which ended up honoring their good friends, Bean & Sarah, who were celebrating their 5 year anniversary that very day.  At the end of the night, we culminated with a fun and sentimental farewell dance to The Story, before playing So Long, Farewell as their exit music.

Our Open Air Photo Booth was a big hit, as always.  Below is the highlight video we made from those photos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QW_JnaO6pY&feature=em-upload_owner

 

MDA Muscle Walk

Premier Entertainment was pleased to provide the Open Air Photo Booth for the MDA Muscle Walk around the State Capitol on Sunday, April 28, 2013.

MDA 2013 from Randy Bartlett on Vimeo.

Hundreds of people of all ages were on hand to show their support for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the great work they do to work towards better treatment and a cure for Muscular Dystrophy.  As you can see from the photos on this gorgeous Spring Day, everyone had a great time and raised lots of money for Muscular Dystrophy.   To find out out to participate or help, contact the Muscular Dystrophy Association through their website at www.mdusa.org.  All photos are available here on our website!  Just click on the Photo Booth link!

 

 

Photo Booth Highlights for McClellan Park

These are the photo booth highlights from the holiday party for McClellan Park at the Aerospace Museum on December 8, 2012.  As you can see, this was a highlight of the night and over 400 photos were taken.  These are just a few!  You can also view all the photos at our Facebook Fan Page.  Like us there to see new ideas all the time!

 

Robbjack Photo Booth Highlights

This is the video highlight for Robbjack Corp. from their holiday party on December 7, 2012 at Sunset-Whitney Country Club in Rocklin.  This was our 10th year of providing entertainment and our first providing the photo booth.  As you can see, it was a big hit, as always with our photo booth.  Like everything we do at Premier Entertainment, it’s not WHAT we do, it’s HOW we do it.  Does this look a typical photo booth?

 

These photos can all be viewed at our Facebook Fan page.

 

 

Bashir & Tracy El-Khoury

Bashir El-Khoury and Tracy Broadley were married on July 22nd, 2011 and had their reception celebration at the top of the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento, one of the most stunning views in the area.

Tracy is a nurse and Bahir is a flight surgeon serving in the United States Air Force. His family is Lebanese and some, including his parents, traveled all the way from Lebanon for their big day.

Bashir & Tracy attended a wedding at which we performed back on May 28th, 2011 for Nolan & Jessica Umana, who had discovered Premier Entertainment at the wedding of Cory & Lauren Kleinfeldt on August 1, 2009…

This was a great celebration, truly taking into account the unique desires of this great couple. From Lebanese dancing to Tracy’s beautiful piano performance of a Liszt piece to hysterical wedding party introductions and insanely funny toasts, a very entertaining video montage created by Premier Entertainment and Tracy even opening with a quick welcoming in Arabic, this reception was an international celebration of epic proportions. Below are highlights of the reception, along with their video montage. The music for Bashir’s portion of the video fired up their guests and really helped set the tone for the celebration.

Thanks for letting us be a part of this great day!

Wedding Reception Highlights for Bashir & Tracy El-Khoury from Randy Bartlett on Vimeo.

Here is their video montage we created:

 

Video Montage for Bashir & Tracy El-Khoury from Randy Bartlett on Vimeo.

Marc & Alex Johnston – Grand Island Mansion

We’ve performed at more than 25 weddings at the Grand Island Mansion over the years, so I thought I knew the place pretty well, but they’ve undergone a major renovation since I was last there.  It was exciting to see such a historic and awesome place made even more spectacular.  Now being managed by Rick Francis, with whom I’ve had the priviledge of serving on the board of the Association of Wedding Professionals, International, this venue is spectacular!

So with a very fun couple, a spectacular, well-managed venue and *ahem* an outstanding entertainment company, this was destined to be an epic celebration!  Marc Johnston, an officer for the California Highway Patrol and Alex Wawrzynski, a firefighter for the Novato Fire District were married on November 18th, 2011 in the ballroom and then moved with their guests to the main dining area for a great dinner, a fun coloring contest for the kids (and more than a few adults) and their funny and romantic Love Story.  Afterwards, it was back into the ballroom for dancing, and Marc & Alex dazzled everyone with their choreographed first dance, before everyone cut loose in celebration.

It’s always to honor to serve those who serve us, and since Marc and Alex are both community servants working in heroic professions, literally putting their lives on the line for all of us, this was an especially rewarding celebration for us.  We added some nice uplighting in the main dining room as well as in the ballroom and enjoyed the very personal approach they took, including a more low key introduction of their wedding party, which they each delivered sincerely.

Marc & Alex, thanks for your service to community, congratulations on your marriage and thank you for including Premier Entertainment & Video!

Here are some highlights:

Tim & Krystle Ellis Photo Booth

IMG 1278 1024x682 Tim & Krystle Ellis Photo BoothRoseville’s Timber Creek Ballroom was the setting for the wedding and reception of Tim & Krystle Ellis on April 28, 2012, and Premier Entertainment was chosen to provide the entertainment, Master Of Ceremonies and Wedding Entertainment Director, as well as providing our incredible Open Air Photo Booth and videography service.

We had a great time planning all the fun in the months leading up to the wedding and when the big day came, it was another smash success!  From the personalized wedding party introductions through the specially edited 1:40 It’s Your Love first dance until the finale late in the night, Tim & Krystle and their families and friends had the time of their lives, including Krystle’s 100 year old great grandmother, Thelma Kirkish.

When Krystle presented her mom, Cathleen, with a surprise bouquet, it was a very touching moment and preceded a fun bouquet toss for all the single women.  But it just kept getting better, and when the guests weren’t rocking on the dance floor, they were rocking the Photo Booth.  This video shows just a few highlights from that part of the wedding.  We even surprised a few people (including Krystle) by putting a few photos from their ceremony right into the Photo Booth live montage, which was playing just outside the booth on a 32″ flat screen for all to enjoy.

Photography was provided by Jacqueline Willard of Jacqueline Photography.

Drew & Karaleigh – The Big Reveal

Screen shot 2011 08 06 at 3.31.13 AM 300x248 Drew & Karaleigh   The Big RevealDrew Johnstun & Kara Leigh Stofle were married on January 14th, 2011 at Granite Bay Golf Club.  We were honored to provide the entertainment for the reception and doubly honored to help do the “big reveal.”

Karaleigh and Drew had a big surprise for all of their guests.  Most of them knew that she was a few weeks pregnant, but almost no one knew if it was to be a boy or girl, because she only found out a few days before the wedding.

Her mom, Sherry, wanted to do a big reveal at ther reception and together, we came up with a great plan.  She had the color photo of the sonogram, which she gave to us.  We had her do the last toast and during her toast, she pointed to the screen as we put the sonogram up on Granite Bay’s big screen.  Then, very slowly, in pink at the bottom of the photo, the words “Olivia Leigh” appeared to great applause!

Afterwards, Sherry did a fabulous job of setting up the father daughter dance, which was to be another surprise.  The screen changed to show a balloon with the words, “It’s a girl!” on it, as the opening notes of “I Loved Her First” began to play.  Watch in the video as Karaleigh’s dad, Mark, finally realizes that the photos behind him are changing in beat with the song, and the photos are all of him and Karaleigh.  He does a couple of double-takes and then once he realizes what’s on the screen, he never looks away again.  That balloon that was on the screen was not announcing Olivia Leigh, but Karaleigh!  To see the full length video montage, click here.  Our montages are more than just photos and music – we really tell a story!)

Afterwards, we danced and celebrated with some fun and unique twists.  Watch as they cut their wedding cake, using an ax, as Drew is a firefighter.  And then, being a 49er fan, he tosses a 49er football with the garter around it, and even signs it with a Sharpie he pulls from his sock, a la Terrell Owens.  An Anniversary Dance for all the married couples ended with two sets of grandparents who had each been married for 58 years imparting some great wisdom to Drew and Karaleigh.  It was a great family celebration, from the ceremony to their sparkler exit, and we were proud to be included!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Vbr6v7-jV0

Eric & Fiona – A Shrek-ish Wedding

With a bride named “Fiona,” and a groom named “Eric” who stands towering above everyone else, the Shrek jokes were bound to come, and Eric & Fiona loved it.

Married on his Dad’s property in Woodland on June 6th, 2009, Eric was the quiet giant, while Fiona was the beautiful princess.  Their reception followed, with personalized introductions of the wedding party, a Fairy Tale Love Story, beautiful lighting and dancing into the night.

Eric surprised Fiona with their first dance, “Look At You Girl,” and we surprised them both by embedding their wedding vows into the song.

But for me personally, the highlight was a strange conversation I had with one of  Fiona’s bridesmaids, her sister in law, Jamee.  Later in the evening, while the dancing was in full swing, she came over to me and said that Fiona had told her about this awesome DJ she had hired, that she had seen him (me) at another wedding and that he was really great – kept everything moving, got everyone involved and was really funny.  So far, so good.  But then she said, “So I thought you were going to be really obnoxious, but you’re NOT!  You’re really very sweet and easygoing.”  She sounded surprised at that.

Huh?

I asked her to explain that.  I mean, it didn’t make any sense.  If Fiona was saying her DJ was great, how did that become obnoxious in her mind?

Jamee said it was because every time she heard somebody talk about a DJ who “kept things moving,” he turned out to be on the microphone a lot, telling everyone what to do, and whenever a DJ was said to “get everyone involved,” it meant that they were forcing people to do things that they didn’t want to do.  It never occured to her that it could be done without the DJ being the center of attention.

Oh.  Glad she cleared that up.  And, I was thrilled to find out I had changed another person’s perception of what wedding entertainment could be.

Their photographer, Jeremy, from Sharpe Photographers, captured it all in typical Sharpe Photography fashion – fast, non-intrusive and with a sense of fun. 

Check out some highlights!