Monday, January 23, 2012

Wedding Gratuity Guidelines

The following is just some guidelines to tipping those who helped make your wedding day special. Actually, no tipping is mandatory ever, but if you enjoy the work someone does, this list can give you an idea. Some people are happy with $25-$50 extra... Below is a percentage list:

Caterer/Banquet Manager
15% to 20%, this is usually included in contract, however, if the hall caterer or manager has done a great job, an additional $25-50 may be in order.

15% to 20% (usually included in contract.)

15% to 20% (when the bartender isn't accepting tips from guests, an additional 10% is suggested, but it is not required.)

Limousine Drivers
15% to 20%

15% - 20% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel that the DJ has done an exceptional job, a tip is a nice gesture.

Usually there is not a percentage, and most do like $25.00 per band member. As is with the DJ, gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel the band members have provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Restroom and Coat Check Personnel
$0.50 - $1.00 per guest (if not accepting gratuity from guests, the host would be responsible for tipping personnel at the end of the event.)

Parking Attendants
$1.00 - $2.00 per car (if not accepting gratuity from guests, the host would be responsible for tipping parking attendants at the end of the event.)

$75.00 - $100 .00 (Note: It is appropriate for a clergy member (priest, rabbi, minister, etc.) to accept gratuities or a donation along with their regular fee (if any), however, civil officiants (judges, clerks, etc.) receive a flat fee and are usually not allowed to accept gratuities.)

Ceremony Staff
$35.00 - $75.00 is suggested for organists/musicians. $5.00 - $25.00 is suggested for altar boys, sextons, etc. (gratuity is not usually required, however, if fees for the above are not included in the ceremony site fees, the suggestions above are appropriate.)

Photographer / Videographers
15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Wedding Planners / Coordinators
10% - 15% (gratuity is not usually required)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WWE Nasty Boys at The Black Cat in Cohoes, NY

After a smooth autograph signing and awesome training seminar at the "In Your Face" Wrestling Gym in Cohoes, NY, we tag teamed up the former WWE Tag Team Champions, Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs, for some buffalo wings, Polish food and Sunday Night football action at the famous sports bar, The Black Cat.

As many of you know, before becoming a wedding DJ, I was mostly known for being a ring announcer with experience at WWE wrestling and other independent leagues. Therefore, this past weekend, I had the "pleasure" of reconnecting with my roots by having dinner with The WWE Champions The Nasty Boys in Cohoes, New York, on Sunday, January 8th, 2012.

The Nasty Boys enjoyed the scrumptious homemade perogies smothered in onions and downed a massive nasty-size order in record time. Jerry Saggs, an avid Polish cuisine enthusiast discussed recipes with The Black Cat owner, as well as enjoyed looking at the artwork on the walls and the pictures in my phone. Before the night was done, we all enjoyed the Giants game in full Black Cat style.

The pub fare at The Black Cat was outstanding, as is the atmosphere. At $3.99 for about a dozen wings, five bucks for clam steamers, and other good deals on sandwiches and Polish food, The Nasty Boys found themselves right at home, in "Pitty City."

For my wedding readers, while The Black is a small bar, it does have a bigger eating area in the back that I am sure would work well for an engagement party, or wedding rehearsal party. Your event could really work here, especially if you are looking for an intimate place in Cohoes.

Many of The Black Cat bar's older seat-warmers recognized The Nasty Boys for their former WWE Tag Team championship reign, back in 1991. Some of the younger people at the pub recognized Brian Knobbs for his many more recent appearances on VH1's reality series "Hulk Knows Best" & spinoff "Brooke Knows Best."

Aside from my business partner in crime who showed up late to the party as usual, Marty "The Party," having to provide the ravished 320 plus pound Nasty Boys with Hot Sauce on demand, it seemed that a good time was had by all. The Nasty Boys gladly oblidged with autographs and photo opps for any of the locals who asked.

"In Your Face Wrestling," known for bringing in former WWE talent on occasion, will also be having one of their own shows featuring WWE Legend Tony Atlas this Saturday in Ballston Spa, NY. See for more information.


...More wedding & DJ Kenny Casanova information at


Thursday, January 5, 2012

How to Pay For Your Dream Wedding In Today's Economy

Do you want the wedding of your dreams, but think you just don't have the money to do so?

Maybe the fiscal cliff has been solved, but that doesn't matter. Wedding bills sometimes make people feel like driving off a cliff. It is true. Paying for a even a moderate traditional wedding can be very expensive, getting everything you want. I mean think about it, if you were to pick up the tab for 150 people at a restaurant, it is going to be big bucks. Now, add booze and entertainment to the list! However, there are ways to prepare for your wedding and supplement your income so you don't have to cheap out, and still get what you want in the end.

HOW TO AFFORD THE FOOD - No matter how you slice the proverbial wedding cake, your biggest bill overall at any wedding will what you pay for food. If you will be hosting say 120 guests or so, by today's stanards you are probably looking at $50 a plate, or more. Then, add this $6,000 to additional venue costs, and whatever you are choosing to pay for boozing, and you find yourself close to a $10,000 bill. If you are like many people in today's economy, you may think you simply cannot afford it.
MINIMIZE YOUR GUEST LIST - Take a deep breath. An elementary way to really save money is by keeping an eye on your invite list down to save on catering. That means you only invite the important people; friends, family and the people you really care about in your life. Keep the guest list number low! If this is not something you really can do, keep in mind that many brides & grooms have been same boat that you are in, and have come up with ways to still make their dream wedding happen, with a little planning and organization.

ONLINE INCOME OPTION - If you are like many people today and do not have a whole lot of time in your week to work extra hours all the time, offering a skill on Craigslist is a great way to pick up some extra hours according to your availability here and there, to generate extra income. If you do well with landscaping, carpentry, housekeeping, babysitting, or even bartending, you can go online to craigslist at any time and pick up some extra temporary work to supplement your income. Make a hobby of this and see what happens!

SELL SOMETHING !!! - If you have a product you can sell, do it! Both Ebay and Amazon, and even your local Craigslist offer storefont potential with no overhead (rent) and many people earn almost an additional full-time income from junk they sell online! That means, if you have a product you can sell, you can do so on these sites and reach tons of customers, without having to pay rent or employees to man a store.

If you don't have anything to sell, some of my customers have told me that they make thousands by finding collectibles at yard sales and reselling them on Ebay/Amazon.

PART TIME JOB - However, I have found that a number of my DJ customers have decided to treat their wedding budget the same way as some families treat huge Christmas lists; by taking on a part-time job for a short period of time to make it happen. Grabbing up part-time job really is perfect for making that little bit of extra money needed, with the potential to just ease go back to your comfortable lifestyle, soon after the wedding kitty is full. Here are some good resources to use, in case you are thinking about taking on some side work, so that you can have the wedding of your dreams!

However, if you don't mind throwing a few hours into the dream wedding kitty, a part time job with an additional hundred or two dollars of income for a few months may really be the way to go!

PROFESSIONAL RESUME - I also teach a career-based class at The Capital Region Career & Technical School in Albany, NY. I explain to my students that, to get that extra little job, you really have to stand out from the rest of the people applying for a position in today's competitive economy. It is alll about packaging.

If the position you are interested in is skill-based, bringing a portfolio to your interview with lots of great pictures is a good idea. But first of, you need to have a professional resume to get your foot in the door. Sometimes 100-500 people may apply to the same job, so you have to stand out from all the rest. Professional resumes are not just lists of dates and addresses, today they have finely crafted bullets with action phrases displaying what it is you did at a past work experience

Also being a certified English teacher, I have writing resources that I would like to share with you, in order to help your dream wedding become a reality.

Resume Template - Here is a link to a great RESUME TEMPLATE that I have created. TIP- make sure to make EVERYTHING uniform on your resume. This is your first impression to a potential employer. Make it count!

Resume Action Verbs - It is always important to add ACTION VERBS under your work experiences. These will help the potential employer understand what kind of experience you have that may be a good match for them. This link is a list of those words that will better help them to visualize you working for them.

a href="">Resume Sample
 - Here is a sample of what the RESUME might look like when you are done.

ADD A COVER LETTER - Don't forget to add a COVER LETTER along with your resume, before sending it out. Here is a few links to some cover letter resources that I have created to help make your resume stand out from the rest:

COVER LETTER logic - Here is a link to a list of things to think about when writing your cover letter.

Cover Letter Sample - This is a sample of what a cover letter might look like when it is done.

Cover Letter Template - Here is a template on how to write a cover letter.

If you enjoyed this blog... check out my web site at

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Party Planning - Plenty of Time

It is really best to allow six months ahead for planning big events like weddings. WHile it is always important to think ahead, there are two very important reasons why this is so:

For one, lots of people have things that they like to do in the summer. Many plan all year for a little bit of time that they can have together when it gets warmer, here in Upstate New York. Therefore, if you want a good turn out, you need to give your huests plenty of time to make sure your wedding will be a priority.

The other reason is vendor availability. Coordinating the three important facets to your wedding's success is crutial. The hall/cateror, the disc jockey or band, and/or any sort of photographer & videographer, are often booked up sometimes in upwards to a year in advance. This means if you have someone in mind for each of these roles, you have to give yourself plenty of advance time to make sure that they will be available. Also, keep in mind, the real good vendors book up even faster.

If you follow these ideas, everything will turn out great! Good luck!