Vendors we love:
So much to do, so little time! Fortunately, we can put you in touch with some of Kansas City's top wedding talent. Below is a list of some of the professionals in the Midwest that I have personally worked with who will help to make your day unforgettable.
Perfect Pairing Approved Coordinators
Above & Beyong
Before making any big decisions, it helps to be informed. Below is a list of commonly asked questions that are geared towards helping you plan for your big day.
Who are you?
My name is Michael Lauren Westerman. My background as a DJ is extensive. I started Premier Sound DJ services of Kansas City, DJing for a variety of events, from the Missouri Mavericks Hockey Team, to several local lounges, grand openings, and private celebrations in the Kansas City area. I have loved helping the people who I've worked with to create the best event possible, whatever they were celebrating. However, my focus with Michael Lauren Weddings is solely on you and your big day. Since weddings are the only event I cater to, you'll know you'll get the attention to detail you deserve.
What makes your service different than a traditional DJ service?
As mentioned, I specialize in weddings, which are completely different from other celebrations. To be successful, you will need a lot more planning to take place to make sure if feels both elegant and fun. It also needs to flow well.
Instead of focusing only on music, which is only one of many components to a successful wedding reception, I help to plan a very customized experience for each bride and groom from the very beginning of the reception, to the very end of the night. This might include a unique timeline, customized introductions, creative guest involvement, or simply finding the best way to transition from one event to the other.
I'm also a professional MC. What this means is that I will not just make impersonal announcements, or try to steal the show and create awkward moments. My goal is to engage your guests, entertain them when appropriate, and put the focus on my bride and groom celebrating with their friends and family.
I'm part of a 2 person team which allows us to coordinate and DJ at the same time during our events. Our service in general is far more inclusive than a traditional service that plays music and makes a few announcements.
Who is the DJ that will perform at my reception?
This one is important. You want to know who you are dealing with, but many services cannot guarantee a specific DJ. When you book with Michael Lauren Weddings, you get me, Michael Lauren Westerman. I handle all of your needs from beginning to end. This includes all planning meetings in person, phone and email support, and day-of services such as coordination, MC services, and DJ services. To make your experience as seamless as possible, unlike a lot of services, Crystal, my experienced assistant, lighting tech, and coordinator (as well as being an all-around awesome wife) will help me to bring it all together for you.
What can I expect from you?
I want you to be able to celebrate with your friends and family and remember your wedding day as one of the best days of your life. This involves skilled direction, personalized touches, romantic moments, seamless transitions, and absolute fun! When you book with me, you'll get more than just a DJ. As mentioned, you'll get a planner, coordinator, director, and MC to help you achieve great moments and priceless memories.
How will I know what music you like?
I'll provide a form for you to fill out that allows you to provide a list of requests and suggestions, songs or artists you do want played, or that you don't want played, etc. along with your schedule of events. We'll then sit down and go over your needs in person. This allows us to seamlessly integrate our services into your reception or event, and play the music that you want.
Are you prepared if there is equipment failure?
You hope it never happens, but the reality is, anything is possible. What is important, is that there is minimal downtime, and the party doesn't skip a beat. I carry sufficient backup equipment to replace any unit that ceases to function properly, and keep your guests out on the dance floor. Additionally, the equipment that I use is professional grade DJ equipment, and designed to sound great and be durable.
How much can I expect to pay?
What is it that you really need to make your personal wedding a success? I do not offer the traditional "4 Hour Package" as is commonly the case with DJs whose focus is just showing up and playing music. Why?
Two couples getting married at the same venue might have completely different visions for their perfect day. Different equipment might be needed such as room uplighting for one couple. And the other couple might need help with their ceremony in addition to the reception. Since no 2 weddings are alike, sitting down with each couple and finding out their specific needs helps me to give an accurate quote on my services. That quote will be a flat-rate price for their specific wedding day, with no time limit for day-of services. This means that they won't need to stress over hidden or additional charges, and can sit back and enjoy the process of creating their designer wedding reception. On average, my pricing will be higher than a traditional DJ service, but significantly lower than hiring a someone solely for music, a day-of coordinator, and professional director of event separately
Do you have any other suggestions while planning for our wedding?
Since my goal is for you to have the best wedding reception possible, I know that more is involved than my services. You need it all to come together. From the photographer to the florist, and beyond. Here are a few tips:
1. Keep a Journal:
So you've said "Yes" to his proposal. You've told all of your friends and family. This is the start of unbelievable memories to be shared for a lifetime. Some amazing. Some great. Some not so great. But to keep it all straight...you guessed it. You need to write it down. Keeping a journal during this time will help you to document all the details that might be hard to remember later on. Items to keep include invitations, bridal shower details, family trees, bridal party info, post-wedding details, and much more. You can even pass these memories on to your children.
Beyond marking significant events, writing in your journal will keep you organized, and avoid many frustrations during the whole process.
2. Set the budget
Read this first. Assuming you've told everyone, and have set the date, you need to start thinking about the tone of the event. Will it be a formal wedding or a little bit more relaxed? Once you start shaping your wedding, you an start to get a good idea of what it will cost. Look at your finances. How much do you have in savings? How much you are you prepared to set aside each month? Talk to your parents and ask them to determine what they are prepared to contribute to your wedding. Think about what's really important to you on your wedding day. This is one of the most important days of your lives, and a celebration with family and friends. What will you remember on that day?
Get a realistic idea of what certain things are going to cost you and what is really important to you. At the very least, you need to consider the following factors in terms of price:
DJ/Director of events
Decorations for the Wedding & Reception
And believe me, there's more. For instance, are you giving gifts to your bridesmaids? Are you planning to tip the vendors. Once you determine what your budget is, and have familiarized yourself with what you'll need, you can start to shop around for vendors. But don't start until you have set some spending limits for yourself first.
3. Choose Attendants (Bridal Party)
Your attendants do a lot more than just stand next to you on the day of the wedding. You need to get them involved as soon as possible. While it's true that some couples decide not to have any attendants at all, usually 2-10 members are selected for the bridal party. And they can prove invaluable in helping you plan your wedding.
Now is the time to look over these responsibilities for bridesmaids and groomsmen before you make your final choices. If they live nearby, ask them in person. A phone call works for out-of-towners. But don't wait until the last minute.
4. Start looking for Venues
Inside or outside? Weather and time of year play a big part of this in Kansas City. There are plenty of places to choose from, depending on your budget. But for this purpose, we'll focus on inside venues. Make sure that you have a good idea of how many people will be attending, and what you want the feel of your wedding to be. Choosing the proper event will go a long way to create the proper atmosphere. Work with the vendor to find a good compromise on pricing, as you can often get a lower rate. Keep in mind, however, that most popular places are booked a year or more in advance.
5. Wedding Professionals
Your wedding day should be a day to remember. You want to have fun, not be stressed out. Picking the right people to help you achieve that is important. I've provided a list of vendors I recommend at the top of this page to help you get started. But whoever you choose to go with, make sure to read reviews and do your homework before committing to their services. Something I highly recommend is picking vendors that have worked together in the past. This will go a long way to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that everybody is on the same page during your wedding day. Many of the top wedding professionals (Photographer, DJ, etc.) will fill up their calendars quickly, so don't hold off searching under the mistaken notion that you have plenty of time to decide. Hiring and starting the planning process early with the people who will be key in helping to direct your event will help alleviate the stress of putting together your big day.