Hi, I’m Isiah. Happy you are here. My top priority is to serve clients on a personal level and bring their wedding day vision to life.
With a degree in sound engineering and having worked in the audio visual industry for several years, I found when I started working with Allegro in 2021 that this was what I wanted to do. In July 2022, I became the new owner of Allegro Entertainment and it’s been extremely fun and rewarding. My mission to you is to create the most memorable entertainment experience for your wedding or event. I look forward to meeting you!
I worked very closely with Isiah (the owner) and Jason (the DJ). They were both so incredibly helpful and particular it made the day go so smooth. Isiah clearly cares about what he does and that shines through with each and every conversation. DJ Jason was FABULOUS!! We had specific songs that started in the middle and he crushed it. He was so on top of things and continuously double checked everything. It was so greatly appreciated. I highly recommend using this company for your next big event!!
We’ve reached out to the St. Louis Wedding Industry to find out some of the faux pas newly engaged couples make when planning their wedding….Here are the TOP 5 RESPONSES...
#1 – DON’T FORGET TO FEED YOUR VENDORS… Your photographers, planners, videographers, DJ’s & Bands are working 8 – 14 hours on your wedding day, so it’s important to make sure they are included in your guest count for a meal. They’re busting their butts to make sure you have an amazing day, so keeping them hydrated and fed will ensure they don’t keel over in the middle of your event. (*This does not include bar. Pros should not be drinking alcohol on the job.) If you’re worried about the added expense, because the menu options you’ve selected are super expensive…
DO THIS INSTEAD: Ask your caterers if they offer vendor meal options. 99% of the time, a guest dinner ranges between $30 – $60/ per person, so you can even factor that in as part of the gratuity.
#2 – DON’T BRING THE ENTIRE FAMILY… When it comes to your wedding planning appointments, we understand they mom & dad may be paying for the party, so they want their input heard. BUT most meetings are designed for 4 people or less, so bringing Suzy, Sally, Johnny, Cindy, and Baby Wayne can make things feel extremely overwhelming and unproductive if too many opinions are being thrown into the mix. AND having small children running around, or babies crying while you’re trying to have conversation, can be very distracting for everyone involved.
DO THIS INSTEAD: If both sets of parents are adamant about attending, remember that usually Dad isn’t as interested as Mom is about discussing details…. So we suggest Engaged Couple + Mom + Mom = 4 People.
#3 – DON’T ASSUME TO KNOW EVERYTHING… Listen, we love a client who knows what they want, but sometimes ideas get set in stone too early, and end up needing to be changed once the pros step in. One of the biggest challenges we face, is having to explain why things need to be done a certain way. A Wedding is a very big event, that involves multiple people doing specific tasks, at specific times, and for specific reasons. Yes, many online resources help give couples ideas, but it takes a village to execute everything to a “T.”
DO THIS INSTEAD: Before you spend hours planning out every minute of your wedding day, create a vision board, or a list of ideas that you’d really like to include, then TALK to your vendors about the best way to bring those concepts to life. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did!
#4 – DON’T PROCRASTINATE… When you select a wedding date, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to shop around and start making decisions at a moderate pace. Most wedding vendors will provide you with a list of important dates/deadlines that you need to adhere to. THESE DATES MATTER! We have them in place so you’re not cramming everything in at the last minute.
DO THIS INSTEAD: When you meet with your vendors, ask them if what the important dates are, and add them to your calendar right then and there. You’ll keep yourself stress free and prepared this way.
#5 – DON’T MAKE YOUR DECISION SOLEY BASED ON PRICE… Weddings are expensive. And with that, true professionals are not going to be the lowest price. This is their career, and not their hobby. Hiring a professional means getting an experienced individual who is well versed in the wedding industry, that can guide & support you while providing an excellent wedding day. As a wedding vendor, I always have people telling me nightmare stories from when they got married, or when their friends got married… the common thread is always “I wish we would have hired a professional”
DO THIS INSTEAD: You’re essentially throwing the biggest party of your life… Spend the extra money to get the quality you deserve. You only get one chance to make it amazing♥
Our Allegro Showroom is the perfect location for your upcoming engagement party, wedding shower, birthday celebration, or family get-together! When you rent our showroom, you’ll have the flexibility to bring in your own food & beverages. Need help with décor? No problem! We have some linens and centerpieces to help spruce up your event.
There are two main types of lights that are used for décor, in the event world. Uplights & Gobos. Today, I’m going to give you a crash course on both of them. What do they look like? How do they work? How can they be personalized?
An uplight is a small round LED fixture, that measures about 8 inches in diameter, and stands about 6 inches off the ground. The models we use at Allegro Entertainment are called Chauvet 56 Pars, which means that each light has 56 individual LED bulbs per uplight.
COLORS – These uplights operate on an RGB Coding system, allowing us to program them to over 10,000 different colors, by adjusting the percentages of red, green, and blue.
SETUP – Uplights are usually used as perimeter lighting around a room, to add pops of color, depth & dimension, or to accentuate interesting architectural structures or texture.
This one always makes me giggle when I hear people ask about it. 99% of the time, I’ll have clients ask me what a “BOGO” is. When they do, I tell them that it’s a sale at Payless Shoes that offers customers a Buy One Get One special…. But that if they’re interested in the light, it’s called a “GOBO”
What’s up with the name? Well, the word “GOBO” is actually a mixture of an abbreviation and an acronym, that stands for GO-BETWEEN-OPTICAL.
GOBO LENS – This is a small round piece of metal, or mirrored glass, that has a design laser cut into it. Whether you choose to have a personalized monogram or pattern cut into it, the gobo lens sits in between a light source, and a projector lens, so that the light is forced through the laser cut design, displaying the image on a wall or dance floor. FUN FACT! The lens itself is only about the size of a quarter.
At Allegro Entertainment, we have a graphic design team that will help you to create your perfect gobo design!
Let’s talk about creating a playlist for your cocktail and dinner music… One of the most commonly asked questions we receive is, “Can we create our own playlists?”
Absolutely! But let’s talk about that for a minute….. Before you head over to Spotify, or open a new spreadsheet in Excel, it’s important for you to understand how much time you’ll be needing to fill during your cocktail and dinner hours. With the average song ranging from 3 to 4 minutes long, there are approximately 20 songs per hour. It’s not a bad idea to add a few more than that, but make sure you’re not supplying so many song titles that we’ll never have time to accommodate all of them within the timeframe of your event.
should there be a theme?
Every well crafted playlist should be creating an experience. Music helps set the tone for an event, so as you’re choosing your songs, you should be thinking about what type of vibe or mood you want your guests to feel.
One of the most popular genres we see our wedding clients selecting for their cocktail & dinner hour is Jazz & Big Band. Timeless singers like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, mixed with some of today’s favorites like Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, and Nora Jones. These tunes are classic, and add a touch of sophistication to any atmosphere.
Some other options we see couples gravitate towards are Acoustic & Soft Rock artists. These would be songs that feel light, happy, easy-breezy, and upbeat (*Without feeling too powerful). Think of music by Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Mumford & Sons, and ballads by some of the greats like Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Elton John. Having familiar music playing in the background makes your guests feel welcomed and comfortable.
FUN FACT! Did you know that the music you choose will also help your guests remember your wedding day better? According to PsychologyToday.com, A 2009 study from the University of California, Davis mapped the brain while people listened to music and found specific brain regions linked to autobiographical memories and emotions are activated by familiar music.
make your day unique through music!
A fun way to make your special day different from other weddings, is by creating a musical “journey” to transport your guests to a different locale altogether! Ask your music professional to help you create a flavorful playlist that incorporates genres from around the globe!
One of my personal favorite “off the beaten path” go-to’s is Brazilian Jazz. The soothing grooves of samba & bassanova is like a sip of ice water on a sweltering hot day. It quenches the thirst to escape the daily mundane, and infuses a lightheartedness into the air. Seek out artists like Stan Getz, Antônio Carlos Jobim, and João Gilberto and enjoy the listen!
Are there songs I should avoid?
It’s never a good idea to play songs, with lyrics about break-ups or heartaches, but other than that, it’s entirely up to you. At Allegro Entertainment, our Event Specialists encourage couples to slowly build the energy as the night progresses. Play your mid-tempo tunes earlier in the evening, and save the high BPM & heavy bass songs for later in the evening.
The French to English translation is “Please Respond”
At this point in the game, you are about 3 months (or less) out from your wedding date, and excited to see your friends & family RSVP’s trickle in! Every little card clearly states each guest’s name, whether or not they can attend, and their menu selection (*If you’re offering options). Or does it?
efficienCY IS KEY!
Let’s take a beat to discuss the purpose of an RSVP card, and how we can use them to their fullest potential. It’s important to know what information you will need from your guests, in order to understand how to efficiently design the actual RSVP cards, to start with. In the world of weddings, beauty typically trumps function, but if you’re a person who likes to work “smarter and not harder” let’s setup an RSVP system that’s built for success!
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Q: Are you inviting adults only?
Q: Do you have invitations going out families? When you’re reaching out to an entire household, it’s not always a simple “one line response” on who can actually attend.
Q: Are you offering your guests different menu option to choose from?
♦TIP! – Here is a sample card we designed, that clearly states how many guests are invited, plus leaves lines open for them to write in the names, check their response, and select their menu option. We’ve also included 2 lines to write in any additional dietary needs, such as food allergies, that catering would need to be aware of.
Call to action
Now that we’ve established the information we need returned to us, let’s create an alternative method to gettingit to us. As you know, we live in a cyber society, so your tech savvy guests are more likely to “click & respond”, rather than they are to “stamp & respond”.
For optimal response, we recommend using an online system such as TheKnot Wedding Website, Eventbrite, or even Facebook Events in addition to traditional mail-in option. When setting up your RSVP template, be sure to include the same fields you have listed on your RSVP card:
•First & Last Name •Accepts or Declines •Entreé Selection •Dietary Concerns
Take it to Excel! Man, I LOVE a good spreadsheet!!! The best part about this whole “Inviting/Rsvp’ing” process is that you are literally creating your contact list for EVERYTHING♥
Holiday Cards? Birthdays? You name it, you’ve got it! This spreadsheet is going to be super handy for ALL of life’s events, as long as you keep it organized, and add any additional columns you may need down the road….
But, for today’s blog, we’re keeping it simple, and to the point!
You can see that I’ve created a column for Last Name, First Name, Table Number, Entreé, and Dietary Concerns. The Table number will probably be the last column that gets filled in (since you’ll be shifting the seating arrangements over and over until their perfect!) As the RSVP’s come in, be sure to plug them into your spreadsheet.
♦TIP! – Don’t let them pile up. Just knock it out as they come in. Procrastination is the root of most anxiety, so putting things off is never a good idea. You’ll be glad you got it done, and you can toss out the card when you’re finished.
planning for more
“I love how responsive, and considerate my guests were at letting me know who was coming” – Said no one, ever!
Listen, we may have some people show up who didn’t RSVP, and we will probably have some people “no show”. It’s all part of planning & hosting events. So, rather than get flustered about it, let’s just plan for it.
NO SHOWS – To be honest, it sucks to be stood up for anything, and when it comes to a wedding, it hurts. How rude?! But it’s their loss. Think about it…. Fabulous location! Great food! Free drinks! Friends & Family! Fun music! If you have guests that choose not to show up, that’s on them. It won’t effect your plans too much, other than some extra food left over at the end of the night.
NO RSVPS – Now this is the one we want to plan for. I once had a wedding, where 15 extra people showed up unannounced. (mmm, hmmm. Hair flip!) I know right?! Gah! So my team and I scrambled to get 2 more tables setup, and it all worked out. Since we always recommend having a “vendor table” this can also double as our “holy crap! I had no idea you were attending, but I will play it off like I did”, table.
A standard 60″ round can seat up to 10 guests, and your catering company typically prepares 10% more food than what the actual head count requires, so if we have the extra table in the plans, we will be able to accommodate the potential handful of Non-RSVPers. To be fair, 9 times out of 10, weddings have less people then the final headcount. It’s very rare that extra people show up, but being prepared for anything is what makes everything easy-breezy and stress-free!
♦NOTE: We LOVE our vendors, and would never want to confiscate a table, but we know you would understand if it was an emergency ♥
FINALIZING THE GUEST LIST
At 2 weeks out, you have a pretty accurate number for your headcount, but your venue and your caterers will require the absolute final headcount around 1 week out. Since you’ve been diligent and organized, you can attach your spreadsheet to an email, and send it right on over to your planner, catering, and venue.
SEATING CHART – If you are planning on having a large sign made up, for guests to see where they are sitting, be sure to have it listed by LAST NAME, and not by table number.
♦TIP: It’s a common mistake most couples make, but if you have guests organized by table number, you’re causing a ton of confusion. People will naturally find their names by alphabet, so make that the focus. Yes, it looks pretty to organize names by groupings per table, but it’s not functional. Let’s make it easy for your guests to find their table number, searching by name.
PLACE CARDS – Same thing. You will want to make sure that your name cards are printed, and organized by last name. If you’re using a designer or print company, simply send them the spreadsheet. But if you’re creating these cards by yourself, let’s take it to Word and use the Mail Merge feature….
From rustic barns, to elegant ballrooms, contemporary museums to industrial warehouses, St. Louis offers a plethora of wedding venues to choose from. So where do you start?
STEP ONE:Consider Your Budget First
Since there are so many different styles and sizes you can choose from, prices can range anywhere from $1,500 – $9,000 just to rent event space, so it’s important to consider EVERYTHING when planning your budget.
According to the 2020 Wedding Report, the average wedding in St. Louis cost $22,000.
Once you land a total amount, that you feel comfortable with, THEN you can start actually planning your wedding. Why is this important? Without stating a number, you leave yourself vulnerable to overspending, which will only result in buyer’s remorse, making it very difficult to enjoy the whole wedding day experience. Trust me, I’ve seen it.
STEP TWO: Create Your Guest List
I know what you’re thinking… “Dori?! C’mon! Can’t we start touring venues yet? I’ll think about my guest list later!!!”
Wellllllll…. You can, but let’s be realistic. It doesn’t matter how much you love a particular venue, if you won’t be able to fit all of your guests inside of it. Right?!
Creating The Perfect Guest List is another article, for another blog post, so I’ll skip ahead….. Once you’ve tallied up the names on your list, remember that on average 20% of your invited guests will not be able to make it, and now with COVID concerns still lingering, that number might even be as high as 30%.
I’m telling you this because it will help you to zero in on the realistic number for your headcount. For instance, your invited list tallies up to be 200 guest…. Then you subtract 20% (40 people) you will most likely have around 160 in attendance on the day of your wedding.
STEP THREE: Consider Location & Logistics
YAY!!!! Now you’re ready to tour! Well, almost! Your wedding day is all about you and your boo, but I also want you to consider your guests, as we take a look into where to host your Big Day!
Questions To Ask Yourself:
1.) Is there a location that is centrally located between my relatives and my fiancé’s relatives?
2.) Do we have a lot of out-of-town guests that will need lodging accommodations?
3.) Are there some specific St. Louis hotspots we MUST have our photos taken on our wedding day?
4.) Do we have any handicap guests, or loved ones with mobility issues?
STEP FOUR: Style & Concept – Now that you’re ready for the fun stuff! What are you envisioning for your wedding day vibe? Are you wanting something Rustic Chic? Maybe something Classic & Regal? Below, you will find a guide I’ve created for you….. 6 venue venues per category, sorted by direction from St. Louis County.
Let’s have a heart to heart, (pats the couch) come have a seat sister girl.
I want to talk about a not so glittery side of wedding planning. It’s a slippery slope, so I want to make you are aware of the potential risk of wedding addiction.
First of all, I want you to know that I fully understand how exciting, stressful, and all consuming everything can be when you’re trying to balance the multiple aspects of planning a wedding, AND keep up with regular daily life.
I get it girl. It’s a lot.
Since most of us woman LOVE a good to-do list that we can sink our teeth into, we relish in the organization of our wedding binders, pinterest boards, and don’t even get me started on the spreadsheets. Gah! Its deliciously detailed. I mean, its like we can’t get enough of it…. 😬
And that is exactly what I want us to focus on today….
Imagine this… You get your hands on your grandmother’s insanely scrumptious flourless chocolate fudge cake recipe. It’s your favorite! You’re so excited that you immediately head to the store, get all the ingredients, rush home, put on your perfectly adorable apron, and go to town like you’re Betty Freakin’ Crocker.
Pinch of this, dash of that, stir stir stir, little batter taste, and viola! It’s time to pour this gooey goodness into your super cute cake pan, EEK!
Then into the oven it goes!
But guess what?! Once it goes into the oven, the OVEN does the work from there.
You can’t pull it back out, and start adding or removing the ingredients from the batter.
At this point, you need to just patiently let the cake bake, sweety♥
What most planners won’t say to your face is this…
“Stop overthinking things!” Your wedding is less than 2 weeks away, and you’ve done a great job making all of your decisions. Now, listen to me baby girl…. it is time to accept the fact that the planning has officially concluded. (holds your hand, and nods slowly).
Yep. It’s done babe.
You chose all of the perfect flowers. You chose all of the best food items. Your linens are going to look great! Your hair trial went flawlessly! Your bridesmaids’ dresses have all been altered, and look stunning. Your out-of-town guests have all confirmed their accommodations. The weather forecast is looking incredible. Your photographer got the exact time of the sunset for your wedding date. The Earth is still rotating. The sky isn’t falling….
You see where I’m going with this?
Stop. Nit. Picking. Every. Little. Detail. Trying. To. Find. Something. To. Plan. Or. Revise. (clap, snap, hair flip)
What some planners won’t say to your face is that you are literally making yourself crazy, driving your fiancé nuts, and quite frankly, making your wedding planner’s job a little difficult to finalize everything, with all of these teeny tiny last minute changes.
This overthinking is NOT helping you, or anyone else around you.
Here’s a trick to ween you off of “wedding plans”, and ease the withdrawals.
Since you’ve been primed to dive into planning mode as soon as you arrive home from work,
Turn that energy towards another outlet…. Like journaling!
What are some things you want to do in your first 12 months of marriage?
•Buy a house? •Remodel a kitchen? •Start a family? •Move to another state?
Divert your attention from away from overthinking wedding plans, and redirect it towards a new project that you can look forward too! I promise that your wedding day is going to be magical & memorable!
Now exhale, trust, and change the channel in your brain. It’s all going to be fabulous♥