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EBE Spotlight – Benjamin Ostroff: MC & DJ

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Benjamin Ostroff has been with EBE Events & Entertainment for 15 years as an Emcee, DJ, and Entertainment Representative.

With an unmatched knowledge of music and all things pop culture, Ben has been performing at a wide range of events since his early teens. Utilizing his talents as a Club DJ, Ben was the House DJ for both the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers from 1997 until 2015. He was a popular fixture at all home games, pumping up the crowd using a mix of music, trivia, and sound effects. He understands how to reach an audience, especially the youth scene, with the latest sounds.

Ben honed his skills on the weekends during college at American University. His talents are requested from Philadelphia to DC and everywhere in between.

In an effort to get to know him better and discover what it is that makes him tick, we recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ben and interview him for this Q&A piece.

Q: What genre of music is your ‘specialty?’

A: Anything mainstream since the 1960s.

 

Q: Who is your hero?

A: Bruse Springsteen

 

Q: What is your favorite movie?

A: Fletch

 

Q: What is your zodiac sign?

A: Leo

 

Q:  What is your go-to at karaoke?

A: Born to Run

 

Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A:  Pizza

 

Q:  If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and why?

A:  I’m more interested in the future, but otherwise 1973.

 

Q:  If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?

A:  Invisibility

 

Q:  Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

A:  Kevin James (People often think I am him.)

 

Q:  What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?

A:  My engagement proposal.

 

Q:  If you could join any past or present music group, which would you want to join?

A:  E Street Band

 

Q:  Do you have skills or talents that most people don’t know about?

A:  With a little more practice, I would have been a legendary NFL punter.

 

Q:  What motivates you to work hard?

A:  The immediate gratification from every bride and groom

 

Q:  What is your favorite thing about your career?

A:  Being around music all the time.

Wedding Planning Basics

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You’re newly engaged and ready to start the process of planning your wedding…but where do you start and what all does planning a wedding involve?  While there are several variables, like budget, location, and size, that will impact your wedding planning specifics, we wanted to go through the general basics to help give you a guide to get the process started.

Wedding Planning: First Steps

When you’re ready to get the planning process started, the first thing you want to do is create a wedding binder.  Give yourself a good 2-3 weeks to really pull your ideas together.  This binder will be your goto book until your big day.  It will also make a cool keepsake once you’re married.  You’ll want to keep a variety of things in your binder as you go along:

  • Articles and photos from bridal and lifestyle magazines and websites
  • Contact information for your wedding team
  • Budgets and contracts
  • Swatches, colors schemes and a photocopy of your vision board (if you opt to create a poster size version)
  • Copy of your invitations, reserve the date cards, and your announcements

Your next step is going to be to define your budget.  Decide what the absolute maximum you can afford to spend is and then define your ideal goal.  This way you’ll know how much wiggle room you have to splurge as you go along.

Finally, you want to select your wedding party and pick a date.  Your bridal party will be by your side throughout the process so you want to get them confirmed early on.  And let’s face it, the entire planning process will revolve around your wedding date, so this is a must have before you move forward.

These first steps should take you about a month from start to finish.

Wedding Planning: Bringing in the Professionals

Most newly engaged understand the value of a wedding planner but are under the impression that it’s too expensive or that they can handle everything by themselves.  We caution against this misconception as hiring a professional wedding planner can actually save you time, money, and stress down the road.

When selecting your wedding planner, remember ‘referral, research, and interview’ in order to find the right wedding planner for you and your soon-to-be spouse.  Also, it’s a great idea to share your wedding binder with your planner during your first meeting.  Seeing your binder, and vision board, if you have one, will give your planner a good idea of your wants and likes and will make the overall process much easier for you both.

Once you have your wedding planner secured, you will begin the process of selecting a venue, an officiant, photographer, caterer, band, and florist.  When it comes to finding the perfect wedding professional services, your wedding planner will be able to guide you and help to set up tastings, meetings, and events where you can experience for yourself which services you would like to book.  The monthly EBE Live Band Showcase is a great example of how you can hear tons of great bands in one afternoon and find the perfect sound for your upcoming wedding.

This phase typically lasts about three months from start to finish.

Wedding Planning: The Little Things

Your wedding planner will guide you through everything as you get closer to your big day, but some little details to keep in mind include:

  • Reserving hotel room blocks for out of town guests
  • Creating wedding goodie bags for out of town guests they’ll receive upon arrival
  • Creating a wedding website
  • Developing a day-of timeline so everything is laid out in detail (make this available to your maid of honor as well)

Create a detailed checklist with your wedding planner so you’re sure everything that’s important to you is covered, no matter how small the task is.  RealSimple has a great checklist that you can use as an initial wedding planning checklist guide.  This checklist will help guide you through the remainder of the process, right up through your big day.

The two most important things to remember are that no two weddings are alike….this is your big day, so make it personal and a reflection of you.  This is your love story to tell, not anyone else’s.  Secondly, relax and have fun!  This process can be an overwhelming one, so lean on your wedding planner and maid of honor (that’s what they are there for) and soak up every moment along the way to your big day.

Holiday Wedding Inspiration

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Holiday weddings are a great idea because it allows everyone to be together to celebrate both the holiday and your special day all at once.  When done correctly, they are also absolutely breathtaking events.

Here are some of our favorite design ideas to help inspire your holiday wedding planning.

Holiday Weddings: Colors of the Season

If you’re planning a wedding in late November or December, then you’ll want to go with the colors of the season.  Think warm rich reds, greens, golds, blues, and silvers.  Try and avoid anything over sparkly and super muted as the impact can get lost in photos.

You can mix the colors or select the main one, like a deep red, and use gold or silver as an accent.  And remember, when it comes to holiday colors, less is more, so there is no need to drape everything that doesn’t move with red and green.  Incorporate white and black to help off-set the overwhelming effect too much red and green can have on a venue.

Tip: When it comes to finding holiday decorating pieces, shop in the offseason as you’ll be more likely to find them at discounted prices.

Holiday Weddings: Incorporating Tradition

The holidays have lots of traditional elements that, when you see them, immediately envoke the feeling of the season, so tie them into your decor wherever possible.  Here are some fun ideas to consider:

  • Give gold bells as wedding favors
  • Use pine cones as your cake topper and decoration
  • Use linens and glassware with snowflakes on them
  • Add small bells to your bridal bouquet
  • Use comfy, holiday colored blankets to mark the bride and groom chairs
  • Use stockings to hold the flatware on your table setting
  • Surrounding the altar area with Christmas trees and hang mistletoe overhead
  • Use colored ornaments to decorate your buffet and gift table
  • Use lush greenery and twigs to create stunning Star of David decorations
  • Add elf accessories and snowman attire to your photobooth props for whimsical fun

Need a little more inspiration?  Check out our Holiday Wedding Pinterest board or this great article from Martha Stewart Weddings for more ideas of how to create the holiday wedding of your dreams.

 

Rules of Engagement

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The day has finally come and you are officially engaged — congratulations!  Now what?  Well, outside of beginning to plan for your upcoming wedding, there are a few things that go along with being engaged that most people don’t talk about, so we thought we would take a few minutes to cover them with you.

Don’t Down Play Your Proposal

However it happened, wherever you were, it was special and was about the two of you, so don’t downplay your story or try and compare it to the lavish experiences of others.  When people ask, share all the details of the moment if you want or simply say something like ‘it was quiet, intimate, and perfect’ and leave it at that if you prefer to keep the details of memory to yourself.  And be prepared to repeat the story because people will ask.

 

It’s Polite to Stare

I know your mother always told you it was impolite to stare, but in this case, stare away at your ring all you want!  For many newly engaged, things are still a bit surreal — even if you were expecting it.  Enjoy staring at your ring as the reality sinks in.

And be prepared to show it off!  Get a manicure immediately because people are going to ask to see the ring and you want to be prepared.

 

It’s Okay Not to Know

Right out of the gate, people are going to ask you if you’ve chosen a date yet.  It’s okay to say ‘no’ or ‘we haven’t even started planning yet.’  It is more than acceptable to take a step back, let the reality of your engagement sink in, and just enjoy being engaged for a while before you select a date.

Remember, this is your engagement and your wedding, so it’s fine to take things at your own pace.

 

Happy and Unhappy

While you know the majority of people will be as excited as you are about your engagement, be prepared for the occasional nay-sayer.  For whatever reason, some people are down on marriage or might be less supportive than the rest of your friends and family.

When you run into a negative reaction, just be polite and move on.  Don’t dwell on it and don’t let it ruin your excitement.

 

Know-It-All Married Folk

Be prepared for your married friends to start shelling out advice immediately about how to plan or who to call.  Just remember that they mean well.  Graciously accept their advice and take their suggestions in stride.

Remember they are just trying to be supportive.  At the end of the day though, it’s your special day and you can take or leave their advice because you’ll be planning a wedding that is a reflection of your love story and not their’s.

 

Enjoy Being Engaged

Don’t try and rush the process or become so consumed by planning your wedding that you miss out on enjoying being engaged.  Even if you’ve been living together for a while, becoming engaged will feel different and your relationship will need some time to adjust to this new level.

It’s a wonderfully unique and special part of the getting married process, so try and soak up every moment of it.

 

Destination Wedding and Local Reception

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Destination weddings are increasing in popularity, so we thought it was time for us to dive into the topic ourselves.  From etiquette to inspiration, we have everything you need to know about planning a destination wedding and holding your reception back at home.

Planning Your Destination Wedding

Before you settle on the ‘perfect location’ you will want to do your research.  Find out everything about your hotel, resort or venue.

Here are some common questions you’ll want the answers to before choosing your location:

  • When is the hurricane or the rainy season?
  • Are there any health or safety issues guests will need to be concerned about?
  • Is your destination LGBTQ friendly?
  • Are children allowed at your venue?
  • Will there be discounts or special rates offered to your guests?
  • Is this an all-inclusive venue and if so, will your guests receive any of those benefits?
  • Are passports required to attend your wedding location?
  • Are there limitations as to what you can bring with you (drinks, flowers, gifts, etc.) for the event?
  • Does your venue offer any guarantees or money-back returns for you and your guests should the event be canceled and if so, what is the policy for cancellation? (Note: Guests might have to cancel or inclement weather could prevent the event from taking place as scheduled, so this is always good to know ahead of time.)

We also recommend that you visit your venue before booking your wedding.  Yes, photos and reviews can tell you a lot about a place; however, nothing will give you the best information like first-hand experience.  You’re about to ask your friends and family to shell out some cash to attend your destination wedding, so you want to make sure everything is in order and the place is all it says it is before inviting your guests.

When it comes to inviting your guests, be as clear and transparent as you can about any potential costs.  It’s also helpful to secure a travel agent as part of your wedding planning team and include their information in your invitation details.  Also, send your invitations out extra early in order to allow guests ample time for planning and purchasing tickets.

Planning for Your Reception at Home

You most likely won’t be inviting everyone to your destination wedding, so it will be time to celebrate with family and friends once you’re back!  You’ll want to plan this party before you head out for your wedding and send out the invitation out 5-6 weeks prior to the event.

A post-destination wedding local reception works very much like a traditional reception, except you will have been happily married for a few weeks.  If you want to redo your vows that’s absolutely acceptable.  If not, then do your best to allow your local guests to experience what the wedding was like by setting up a photo and/or video station by the sign-in book.  This way they can see everything that transpired and feel like they were a part of your big day as well.

When it comes to what you, your new spouse, and the bridal party should wear, you have optionsEveryone can wear their wedding attire or you can all opt for something more casual. If you do go for casual, consider displaying your wedding dress and tux just to show them both off, and keep with your wedding colors.

The rest of the event will run pretty much like a traditional wedding with food, drinks, music, and dancing. You can include as many or as few formalities as you would like – the most important thing is to celebrate!
Looking for assistance planning your destination wedding and local reception?  Contact our EBE Expert Wedding Planners and let them help to guide you through the entire process.

 

 

Purple Wedding Theme Ideas

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If purple is your favorite color, you’re in luck! Purple is one of the hottest colors for weddings this season.  Here are some of our favorite ideas to include in your purple wedding theme and decor.

Purple Wedding Theme Ideas

Obviously, wedding attire is the first place you’ll want to bring in your favorite color.  When it comes to your bridesmaids, have some fun and let them each wear varying shades of purple…the variations in color will add subtle depth to your wedding photos.  You can also tie in an accent color, like a sash, that will make their dresses pop even more.

Don’t forget your groom!  Now we’re not saying to deck out the groom’s party in purple tuxes, but purple pocket squares, ties, and cummerbunds would help to carry the theme through into the look of the groomsmen as well.

Amethysts would be the perfect goto jewelry for both you and your bridal party.  They will carry the theme through without being overpowering.

You don’t want to make it overwhelming so when it comes to the bouquets, make the base of the arrangement white and simply pepper in a variety of purple flowers and then tie everything together with a purple ribbon that is a different shade than the dresses.

When it comes to your decor, you can incorporate purple into almost anything.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Drapes, table clothes, and canopies
  • Candles, flowers, and centerpieces
  • Favors for your guests
  • Lighting and balloons
  • Confetti and bubbles for your exit

And then there is the  music…no really, the music!  There are tons of songs that include purple in the title somewhere, so do a quick search, find the ones you like, and share them with your wedding band or DJ.

Sending out the invitations that are purple or include purple ink, will let your guests know what your color choices will be and will give them the heads up on what colors to wear should they wish.

Looking for more inspiring ideas and wedding traditions for your big day?  Our wedding planners are some of the best in the business and know a thing or two about making weddings fun and unique.  Contact the EBE Event Planners today and let them help you create a day of magical memories.