LIFE ON THE A-LIST

Event Log - Egypt Valley Country Club Members Party 

"We wanted to say thanks again for bringing so much fun to the event last night. It may not have been anything like we planned, but our members had an AWESOME time – we’ve received great feedback so far. And as for all of us Staffers, we were rocking out and dancing all night… it’s always such a bonus when even WE are able to have fun. Thanks for your diligence with details leading up to last night as well. Really looking forward to working with you again soon. Events seem to be popping up on the calendar weekly, so it probably won’t be long until you hear from us again." - Emily Cole

This past Friday night, we were honored to provide entertainment at an awesome event for awesome people.  

Emily Cole and her team at Egypt Valley Country Club host member parties that rock - and we wanted to help them take it to the next level.  

Brevin and Camar from the A-List Event Group team provided a soundtrack of old new tracks to add ambiance the the indoor/outdoor event.  

Additionally, the team supplied uplighting, as well as out custom DJ booth to add event branding to the occasion.  

In addition to providing the members a soundscape for the evening - it is often overlooked the effect quality entertainment can also have on event staff - which positively correlates to the overall experience.  

As an event planner, working with professional entertainers you trust to deliver a great product in an efficient manner has value beyond measure. 

The A-List team prides ourselves on exceeding from start to finish, which includes; comprehensive pre-event communication to understand your objectives in hosting the event, ultra efficient load in, rocking your event, getting out in a timely manner and following up to make sure we delivered.  

Hitting on all of the facets is what makes "Life On The A-List" a superior experience.  

We can't wait to get out to Egypt Valley to do it all again soon!

Equipment Utilized:

Technics Turntables (2)

Pioneer DJM S9 (1)

Serato DJ Pro

EV Evolve Speakers (2)

Chauvet EZPar T6 Uplights (4)

Toadmatic Custom DJ Booth with 55 inch monitor with custom event branding

EPIC Socially Distant Block Party 

The last couple of months have been ROUGH, to say the least. 

That said, the A-List Event Group team has done our best to make lemonade from lemons - whether it has been organizing awesome giveaways for displaced brides, working to include live streaming services, performing streams, and most recently providing entertainment for an EPIC “socially distant block party.” 

When our friend Bill Gilbert, owner of OnCore A/V contacted us with the idea, we jumped at the opportunity to bring a little light to otherwise dark days.  It didn’t take long for others to rally to the cause, and what resulted was an amazing scene in the Planters Row neighborhood of Byron Center, Michigan. 

There were food trucks, adult beverages courtesy of New Holland Brewing Company, a wicked sound and light show courtesy of OnCore A/V and family friendly tunes spun by DJ Brevin and DJ Camar of the A-List Event Group

Additionally, we enlisted the help of CJ DeVries of GRNow to help spread the word pre-party, and invited out our uber talented friend and famed photographer Amber Stokosa to document the days festivities.  Check out all the amazing images of the day she was able to capture HERE.

The turn out and response were overwhelming, and we had an amazing time being able to give back to our community during a time we all needed it the most. 

The entire day was the epitome of “Life on the A-List.”  Thank you to all who helped in making it an amazing experience for all involved!


 

Introducing LIVE STREAMING Services 

COVID-19 STINKS. 

It has and will continue to effect the way we gather to celebrate group functions, weddings and life events. 

Sharing these special moments with your guests, clients, colleagues and loved ones is an invaluable part of these experiences, and we are committed doing all we can to assist you in allowing for this.  

To that end, we have teamed up with our friends at OnCore A/V to offer professional streaming packages to our clients.  

These packages vary in size and scope - but share the fundamental purpose of allowing the attendance of customers, clients, family and friends virtually - from anywhere in the world.  

All of the package options are 100% customizable, open to negotiation and can be streamed to the service of your choice. 

If you are an individual or organization grappling with the difficult decisions related to a safe way to carry on with your event, we would love to chat!  

About OnCore A/V:  

OnCore A/V is a Grand Rapids, Michigan based audio visual company with over 15 years experience in the live streaming realm. Most notably, they provide these services to the West Michigan Whitecaps and Traverse City Pitspitters baseball clubs - so rest assured, they know their stuff!

Wedding Vendors We Love - Christina Leskovar Photography 

Christina Leskovar and her photography exude style and class.

When we first met Christina at the 2020 Grand Rapids Wedding Show, we knew we were going to be fast friends.  

Contemporary yet timeless, edgy yet vintage, dramatic yet subtle, Christina's photographic approach is the perfect compliment to "life on the A-List."

With a full service west Michigan studio based in Rockford - and available for shoots across the state - Christina specializes in luxury wedding, maternity, and newborn photography.

"My images radiate the soft & natural beauty of the subjects I capture. I strive to accentuate natural light in all of my images because there is nothing more beautiful! I believe in capturing elegant portraits that tell your life’s story in a special and heart-felt way, beginning on your wedding day & throughout each special milestone as your beautiful family grows."

A photographer for 15 years - 7 of which she has owned and operated her own business - Christina self describes her images as timeless, bright, and joy-filled.

"I love creating uniquely beautiful portrait art. I look at each image I capture as a delicate, fine piece of artwork: something you can proudly display in your home and treasure forever!"

At the core of everything Christina does is love of family.  Christina and her husband Matt are proud parents to youngsters Luke and Ryan - who undoubtedly serve as inspiration for the images she captures. 

"The experience I offer comes “full circle”! I want you to leave with something beautiful & tangible in your hands. Heirlooms. This is what photography has always been about. It’s about making history and keeping it alive in tangible form for us now & for the generations that will follow us!"

When not capturing amazing images, Christina enjoys spending time out in nature, iced chai tea lattes, trips up north, and quality time with friends.

She is currently accepting limited bookings for 2020 and 2021, so head over the her website at christinaleskovarphotography.com and see what amazing work she can do for YOU.

"Getting to connect with amazing people is a big part of why I enjoy being a photographer. I believe life is about relationships!"
 

In Times Of Crisis - You Can Count On Us 

We believe in walking the walk.

In our many years as full time professional DJs, we often joke that we have "seen it all."  

While the vast majority of those memories are good ones - laughter, dancing, togetherness -  you don't do something as long as we have without facing challenges, perhaps none more daunting than Covid-19.

It is gut wrenching to see couples we have grown to know and care about having to make difficult decisions such as rescheduling or postponing their weddings.

While it is easy talk a big game and say things like, "we are there for you" or "we will get thru this together" - we have faced these challenges before and back up our words with actions.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, our very own DJ Rock City flew from Chicago to New York on his own dime to provide DJ entertainment for a couple who nearly lost their home in the storm.  Full article here.

In the wake of 9/11, DJ Brevin provided complimentary DJ entertainment and MC services for first responders at the "Guns N Hoses" softball game and fundraiser on Mackinac Island.

And when Covid-19 struck, the team again jumped into action to organize and sponsor the "Dream Event Giveaway" - aimed at easing the burdens on displaced events.

In good times and bad, you can count on our award winning team of professionals to have your back - just as we always have in the past.

10 essential questions to find a great DJ 

1. Is this your full-time business? Are weddings your primary focus? What clubs, lounges, and corporate clients have you performed for in addition to weddings? 

These are the three most pivotal questions you NEED to be asking someone charged with conducting one of the biggest days of your lives. 

Your DJ should be a well-rounded, full time professional entertainer who brings expertise and versatility to your event. 

You want to ensure that your DJ isn't a one-dimensional part-timer. 

Aim to find true performers with varied and extensive experience performing in front of different audiences. 

If there primary focus is on weddings, are they well versed in other types of events as well? 

2. How do you customize the music experience for each couple? Can you help with song lists and providing suggestions? 

An exceptional DJs main goal is to assist in creating a soundtrack for your wedding - based on YOUR style, taste, and vision for that day. 

Will your DJ accept your “must-play” and “do-not-play lists,” no matter how short or long? 

Additionally, will they allocate time to work with you and your events planner(s) to ensure smooth timing for your event? 

All of the aforementioned is achieved when your entertainers are flexible and willing to listen. 

It's easy to come up with lists of songs to play—determining the placement of the music (e.g. cake-cutting and bouquet toss) and how it fits into unique themes is the real challenge. 

3. How do you get the crowd pumped? 

A great DJs understands how to read a crowd, build up the energy - and keep it there. 

There should never be a lull - great DJs have the ability to blend all sorts of genres to accommodate everyone and keep them on the dance floor. 

A truly great DJ will NEVER subscribe to cheesy gimmicks or over the top antics on the microphone - their music will do the talking for them. 

4. How do you handle song requests? 

There could be instances where the client directives are diametrically opposed to the guest requests. How a DJ strikes a balance to deliver on the couple's desires—while still satisfying the guests' requests—determines the skill and experience of the DJ. 

Some DJs (with the permission of the newlyweds) may tell partygoers that they need to stick to their playlist, but they'll do their best to fit in their song, while others will appoint a bridesmaid or relative to screen particular requests. 

5. Can I hear some examples of mixing and blending different tracks? 

When mixing is done correctly, you probably aren't even aware of it.  However, when this technique is performed incorrectly, you'll be able to discern it instantly. 

When there is no mixing or blending, there is awkward silence between songs - it's the same thing as your iPod. 

You want a DJ who is able to blend between songs seamlessly.

6. What sound equipment do you utilize? Do you have back-up equipment? 

DJ equipment is just as important as a musical instrument. Turntables allow the DJ to have hands-on control of the music and the ability to manipulate it instantly. A simple touch can change the sound, speed, and tone. 

Ask if your DJ knows all of the ins and outs of connecting a sound system. Do they allow their equipment to operate without overdriving it, which is when guests start to complain about it being too loud sometimes referred to as 'muffled' sound? 

At a wedding, you should hear every word, nice and crisp, at a moderate level; so guests who want to be able to talk at their tables can do so, while others are showing off their latest moves on the dance floor. 

Backup equipment is also essential: DJs should always have the equivalent of a "flat spare" on hand, whether it be a microphone, computer, mixer, etc. 

Don't forget to ask how soon before the reception they plan to arrive and how long it will take for them to set up. 

7. Have you played at our chosen wedding venue before? If not, can you make a site visit beforehand? 

The sound varies drastically depending on the room where your reception will be held. Don't underestimate the importance of a site visit. 

We recommend that brides ask prospective DJs if they can set up appointments to visit such locations - this allows us to become acquainted with new staff members, learn their rules for vendors, and plan correctly for providing the correct equipment for acoustics and lighting design. 

At the same time, DJs can then offer to provide these establishments with insurance certificates and updated company information. 

With these steps, they know your DJ means business. 

8. Do we have our choice of DJs to select from, or is one automatically assigned to us depending on date availability? What happens in case of an emergency? 

We believe choice is important: no two weddings are alike! You should have a choice of top DJs that fit your style and personality, and have the proper experience and skill for your wedding. 

We recommend investing in time with your prospective DJ so they can answer concerns in detail and make suggestions when called upon. 

In turn, they learn more about our experience and everything we bring to the table. 

Make sure they DJ you choose has a contingency plan should the worst-case scenario arise. 

9. What other services do you offer (e.g. lighting, HD video screens)? 

Intelligent lighting and video screens are amongst the most popular enhancements we see offered in 2020. 

We like to explain it as personalizing your day. 

Imagine watching memories roll by on the screens while you're sharing that first dance. Then, you can add a few photos to enhance the parent dances as well. 

Remember to get any details clearly outlined in your contract. 

Also, don't feel pressured into signing up for extra amenities if you don't need them. 

10. Why should I choose you as my wedding DJ? 

The last - and perhaps most pivotal - question. 

What makes YOUR DJ different?  What added value do they bring to the table? 

Remember you have a choice, so don’t be afraid to make them sell you on why their services are the perfect fit for YOU.

The final word - VALUE:

This topic of price should arise only after ALL the questions above have been answered.  Price is irrelevant unless you know exactly what you are getting in exchange for the agreed upon fee.  Just as you would not expect to pay the same rate for a room at a 5 Star Hotel as you would a Super 8, the same is true of DJ services.  If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Reputable professional DJ services average between $1000 to $5000, depending on what is included.  Typically, you are using less than 5% of your total budget towards the thing almost every former bride will tell you has the greatest bearing on the overall success of you event - the entertainment YOU choose.

Covid-19 and YOUR event. 

A-List Family & Friends: 

As we all work to find our footing in difficult times, we wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude and commitment to YOU.  

Though present circumstances preclude us from doing what we do best - it has given us time to reflect fondly on all the awesome events we have been trusted to take part in - and look forward to all of the amazing celebrations that are sure to come as we emerge on the other side of this.  

For those of you with family and friends directly affected but recent events, our thoughts are with you.  To those on the front lines fighting the good fight, we offer our sincere thanks.  

To our clients grappling with tough decisions and circumstances beyond their control we say simply,  “we’ve got your back.“  If there is anything at all our team can do to ease your burdens - whatever they may be - we are here for you.  

This too, shall pass - and when it does - there will be one heck of a party on the A-List. 

Brevin “DJ Brevin” Cawthorne & Brandon “DJ Rock City” Joseph 

Co-Founders

Wedding Pros We Love - CJ DeVries 

CJ DeVries is a boss.  Intelligent, relentless, energetic, and unapologetic - she "makes shit happen."

A small town girl with a big vision, CJ honed her skills and abilities while studying Applied Behavioral Analysis at Grand Valley State University and wasted no time making waves in and around Grand Rapids.

CJ's current projects include owning and operating GRNow.com and Innovative Social Exchange - entities that are instrumental in shaping the landscape of West Michigans' social and business scenes.

When the A-List Event Group set out to launch their services in 2020, one name kept coming up - and the individual behind the myth did not disappoint.

As we move to reshape the entire perception behind "mobile entertainment" in West Michigan, CJ will serve as one of the the better "angels on our shoulder," providing us with guidance and consultation in the market she knows so well.  

If you don't know CJ (though odds are you do) do yourself a favor and check her out.

When not crushing it, CJ enjoys bourbon, hot sauce and the countless charities which she and her husband/fellow businessman Jason actively support.

Rest assured, any future success the A-List team is able to achieve will in some way be related to our evolving partnership with CJ.

She is the embodiment of #LifeOnTheAList." 

Venues We Love - The Lit - Grand Rapids, Michigan 

"The Lit" is...well...lit. 

Rob DeVerna and his dedicated team of event professionals recently purchased the original site of the Ladies Literary Club located in downtown Grand Rapids - and have wasted no time in turning it into a premier destination for high end wedding, corporate, fundrasining, and private events. 

With a rich history dating back to the 1880's, "The Lit" has hosted speeches by three U.S. Presidents - in addition to countless performances, celebrations, and educational events. 

Following a successful career managing venues and events in Silverthorne, Colorado - Rob wisely identified the enormous potential of this charming property and dove head first into making it a premier destination for unique experiences of all shapes and sizes. 

Boasting an open floor plan, state of the are A/V integration, highly experienced event team, and flexible planning options - The Lit is definitely worth a look when planning your next event. 

The A-List event team is honored and humbled to be recommended vendors of this fine establishment, and look forward to working with their team to create unforgettable entertainment experiences for our valued clients. 

To learn more about the rich history of The Lit or to book YOUR amazing experience, reach out to Rob and his team by visiting thelitgr.com and experience #lifeonthealist.

Wedding Pros We Love - Kelly Stroburg 

Kelly Stroburg - simply put - is a tour de force in the West Michigan wedding scene. 

In addition to serving as owner/editor of the wildly popular Grand Rapids Bride Magazine, Kelly also organizes the annual Grand Rapids Wedding Affair - the creme de la creme of area wedding shows. 

Next years show will take place Friday January 8th from 5PM-9PM at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. 

Having scoped it out this past year as an attendee - I can tell you first hand - this is not your average wedding show. 

Curated swag bags, delicious food, signature cocktails and free valet parking are highlights of this event that can be simply described as Elegant, Upscale, and Sophisticated. 

The A-List team is thrilled to announce we will be a part of next years event, and look forward to the opportunity to showcase our services to prospective brides and grooms at this amazing event which shares so many of our core values. 

If you are planning a wedding - Kelly and all she represents are amazing resources.  Make sure and follow learn more about her endeavors and entities throughout the year by clicking on the provided links above. 

Happy planning!