Monday, March 15, 2010

Vendor Review: Michael C. Events

So I have been getting questions from people who want to know about Michael C. Catering. I have a pseudo review written up but was just too lazy to post it. So here it goes.

Michael C. Catering was an adventure to say the least. There was one thing that pretty much everyone agreed on: The food was good. I am not going to say it was best wedding food that people ever ate, but it was definitely a good amount above average.

So let's take it throughout the day:
1) We ran out of ice. A decently hot sunny day in Los Angeles requires a lot of ice. We knew this going into searching for a caterer that we would need a lot of ice. How much ice? Not really sure, but definitely more than 100lbs of it. That much ice is expensive because you can just got to the market and pick it up. You have to go back and forth and back and forth. Just not worth it, so we had Michael handle that. He did it. He did it for free. I don't think he really knew how much it was going to cost. So during the day we ran out of ice. Yeah. He didn't order any. He assumed that the ice maker in the kitchen would pump out enough ice. That was a mistake as we ran out during cocktail hour. Our mistake was not giving our planner a copy of the contract so she had to come bug us to figure out what we wanted to do about it. Oh well. Bad planning by us, but even more so by him since he claimed that ice was not included in the contract. We did not get charged in the end, but still kind of a pain.

2) They ran out of plates. One of the waiters had to wash them throughout the night. I know right? How do you run out of plates. Make sure that when you look at the contract, that you do the calculations in your head to figure out if the numbers look correct.

3) He added 2 cooks on a week and a half before the event. We had no choice but to eat the costs. Total 5 cooks + Michael= 6, for 145 party.

4) He told us that he had to keep some people overtime. This means that we would have to pay. But that is his fault for not managing time properly. Look over the contract carefully. After this incident, I am sure that he now puts in a clause that the clients are responsible for any overages that the catering company incurs due to overtime for personnel. If there isn't, then praise God. In ours there wasn't so it was done.

5) He started telling my new wife everything that went wrong during the wedding. WTF? Say we need to discuss some things after you get back, but overall everything was good and congratulations and move on. Very unprofessional. My wife just brushed him aside.

6) We were suppose to have coffee and tea. There was no tea. The coffee you had to ask and it didn't go around poured. The waiters wouldn't even give up hot water. Make sure there is proper wording in the contract and make sure that your planner knows what is suppose to happen with service.

7) He also had to add oIn the contract and estimates, they forgot the ramekins for his butter. That was another $100. If you are getting the basil butter or any type of butter that isn't supermarket, you will probably need ramekins.

8) The waiters had no education on the food. They didn't know what they were serving. Michael should have told them this.

9) Some of the food didn't come out particularly hot. It was warm, which is a shame because the food was good.

10) Michael has no tack on how to set things up, you have to get someone to watch over him to make sure there isn't misplaced items, etc..

11)They tried to run my card after the wedding to pay for the overages. Yeah you heard me right. After the wedding, I cancelled the card just in case they would make any attempts to charge my card. Good thing I did, otherwise we would have have charges for overages that we were not responsible for.

12) He doesn't follow instructions very well. This could be partly because we didn't explain them well either, but I don't know anymore.

13) There was some serious food swapping. We ended up getting an extra appetizer that had shrimp! (Wife is allergic to shrimp). Also we were suppose to have gnocchi and we got mash potatoes. Stuff got swapped, but what can you do since it says that they can swap due to costs. Tough luck.

There are good things that happened:
1) The food was good.

2) The ice cream was really good and a big hit with people.

3) The staff was good. Yeah there was a couple little things, but overall the staff was really friendly with the guests.

Now I am not saying that Michael C. is a terrible caterer, but their operation is young and you have to endure these bumps with new enterprises. Hopefully he does get better and improve his professionalism over time and is more aware of certain things on the contract. I would recommend him with reservations. Definitely do your due diligence with the contract and calculations.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A wedding proposal for photography geeks

Proposals generally consists of boy takes girl to nice place, boy says nice words, girl already knows what is going to happen, boy pops question, girl hopefully says yes. Whether this nice place is in Paris or at a favorite restaurant, it is mostly the same variation of the same basic principles. Yeah, all that stuff takes planning. You got to buy flowers (which I didn't), got to book flights (i did), pick out the spot (i did), order chocolates (hotel did), etc...

But what do you are a broke-ass sucka who poured all your dreams into that rock that is now going to be given to your dream girl (that is why they are called 'dream girls') and all you are left with is a bunch of time and a creative mind? You do something that is crazy kool and make people go "Whoa! Now that is a bad ass proposal!".

Well Derick did just that when he proposed to Emily. I don't know if Emily is wearing all of his dreams, but man this guy can dream big. Check out this proposal: Derick and Emily Proposal

Thursday, December 10, 2009


In the post "*Deal Alert* 44 cent personalized stamps for less" I wrote about how you could get a deal on 44 cent stamps. Well the stamps are basically forever stamps. I am just getting around to ordering some and did the math and the price for 1 sheet of 20 stamps came out to be around 45 cents per stamp after shipping. In my mind that isn't a deal. I change the quantity and figured out that the coupon is actually worth a little bit more than $21. Well that is kind of interesting. Then I got to thinking. What if I can stack coupons. I got to order multiple of these things anyways. So I increased the quantity to 2 and used 2 coupons. The shipping stayed at 2.99 (how kind of them since they are only shipping paper) and both coupons negated any additional charges so the price per stamp came out to be 40.85 cents. That sounds like a deal to me since a normal stamp is 44 cents. Well you know you got to take it one step more. So I increased the stamp quantity to 3 sheets of 20 stamps and brought the total down to 38.9 cents per stamp.

Basically if you order multiple sheets of the same stamp they bring down the price per sheet.

What is the ultimate lowest you can get. Well you don't want to end up with a bunch of stamps that you can't use cuz the prices went up, so the ultimate you can get is.....(drumroll pleasssseeee....blat pat blat pat)

24.4 cents per stamp!!!!

What a steal! Order 10 sheets and use 7 coupons. Wah bam! Those are 1988 prices.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's War! CreekHiker vs. Alycia

The undercard fight tonight is....

CreekHiker aka "Haymaker Holly" vs Alycia aka "Thief and Liar"
5' 2" | HEIGHT | 5' 6"
108 CM | LENGTH | 120 CM

What is going on with this blog. There is a war of words going down in this post "Do not use Custom Caters and Catered Affairs" and I love it. I love the drama. It is like an online version of Gossip Girl, Melrose Place, 90210 or some other Aaron Spelling program. Like the soap opera in the middle of the day, but not on your tube (does anyone still have a tube?), but online.

Granted it is only 3 comments long, I am glad that CreekHiker came back and fought with words to get the last laugh. I so wish that I could somehow elevate that post to the top level so that Alycia can fight back and defend her name!

I love drama. I squirt my toothpaste from the top just to infuriate those bottom toothpaste people. I put non-matching socks to piss off those who think stripes shouldn't go with polkadots. I sing off key to tick off glee club members. All these things so I can feed my need for drama. It is like speed and I can't get enough of it!

As of now, I believe it is a TKO for CreekHiker!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vendor Review: Amy Carter @ Ruby Slippers Events

Our wedding is suppose to be a budget wedding. Now that budget wedding got a little over budget, but it was still the most cost effective wedding out of all of my friends. How was this done? Well it was done by trying to use services from people who were just starting their service business. Well how did that turn out? Not so good to OK.

I was browsing the Wedding Bee classified boards to find some free stuff. One of the posts that I stumbled upon was a thread started by Amy Carter or AmyM83 entitled "Southern California DOC & Planner, FREE services!" so I said what da heck, I like free, my favorite F word. I contacted her and exchanged a few emails and we worked out a trade: services for pictures. I agreed and we were on our merry way.

Now I will admit that we could have finished our timeline a little earlier and given it to Amy to mentally prepare for the wedding day, but honestly, I think that if you are a professional and want to be part of this space, then you go to be able to jump into any situation. We ended up handing off the timeline to her the day of when she showed up to the venue. Our whole purpose of having her there was to take care of the vendors and to keep us on track. If our helpers were pressed for time, then they could ask her for help.

What was the outcome? Let's say that our DJ asked it if was her first time. We fell behind our timeline. She asked us vendor questions during the day. She ended up asking one of the MOH's what to do. She was not authoritative. She didn't say goodbye to my wife, but she did leave some business cards. When there was chaos, she checked out. Now, I won't say it was all bad. She was there and she did handle some stuff. But if you are going into this biz, you go to take charge. The coordinator is suppose to be in charge. She was not.

One thing that was kind of jacked up is that she didn't know people you would think she would know. Example: My sister and mother wanted to use the bathroom in the wedding party changing rooms (immediate family and wedding party were allowed to) and she denied them. Why? Because she didn't know who they were. She thought they were just regular guests. Our venue coordinator knew who they were and let them through. And when they came back from the bathroom, they felt that Amy glared at them. How's that for professionalism.

Now we told her that she could use our pictures from our event. I am down with her using pictures of things that she did, but there is a little problem: She didn't setup anything. Yup. I had people do it. So she will probably end up using the pictures, but if she takes any credit for it, I am going to have to call her out on that.

I take some blame for finding her, but I needed to save some cash money. The fact that my wedding was 2.5 months ago tells you how vivid her services were to us. So would I recommend her? No. Would I pay for her services? Hell no. If people are shooting off glowing reviews, then I guess someone has got to put a lightbulb in my ass and then my review will go also.

Not that I want to promote her or anything, but this is so people can find this review:
Amy Carter

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is this a wedding or are we going clubbing?

What is deemed proper wedding attire for women attending weddings? Maybe a dress? Maybe heels or flats? Maybe a bra? Maybe underwear?

Yeah the last two seem like no brainers right? Not to some ladies. My friends told me of a wedding that they went to and this chick was wearing a short dress. How short you ask? So short that when she sat down, she flashed the goods. Yes the goods. Lefty and Righty. Drop it like its hot. The salt shaker. The humpty hump. Sick. Put those undies on. Shoot they give them away for free at VS. Cover it up and maybe wear something that is knee length. You are not heading to some new hot joint in the city looking for your next man. You are going to a wedding looking for your man. Look decent. Please. For all of us.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How to give a great speech

A lot of weddings you go to, the speeches suck or are less than memorable. What gives that edge to some people and not to others. There are a few things that you should keep in mind when giving a speech.

1) Confidence - Everyone is staring at you when you give your speech. What you have to do is be confident. Be confident in your voice and your posture. Don't fidget or sway side to side. Stand up straight and in one place. Look relaxed. Feel relaxed. The thing you go to remember is that no one knows the stories that you are about to tell better than you do. You didn't just make this stuff up on the fly. This stuff actually happened and you actually mean everything you say. You are the freakin' source, end all, dictator of this stuff. If Bob got mauled by a bear and the groom screamed like a little girl, gosh darn it, he screamed like a little girl cuz you said so. Be the speech, be the topic, because no one is the wiser.

2) Don't say umm, hmm, like - This isn't the valley. Don't say like. Don't pretend like you are in the movie "Clueless". You don't look like Alicia Silverstone and you must learn how to parallel because not everywhere has valet. Umm and hmm is not a word. They are modifiers because you forgot what da heck you were going to say. If you must use them, please do it softly. If you are started going..."We met high school and our fifth grade teacher was ...UMMMMM...", people are going to laugh. Ok, they aren't going to laugh, but you will definitely be the butt of some jokes later on. The best thing to do is just pause. Take a break and compose your thoughts and then continue on.

3) Don't ramble - This isn't English class or Speech 101 where you must speak for a designated amount of time. This your speech. You have as much time as you need. If it is over in 1 minute, then it just be one good ass speech. If you are over in 10 seconds, that better be the best one-liner ever. Don't let your speech go for 20 minutes and it is filled with nothingness. Fill your speech with substance.

4) There has got be a point - There should also be at least one good story. Generally you want it to be a story that is funny and embarrassing. If you have two stories, the 2nd one should contain both your subjects, i.e. Bride and Groom. But don't go on and on about the story. Make it short. Make it concise. Make it funny. No one wants to know that Jimmy's fifth grandmother was on insulin unless it is totally related to the story. The story has to have a point. It should be structure...Bob is a cool guy......that is why Bob is cool.

5) Preparation - don't forget to practice. The best stories come from those who memorize their speeches. Don't read off a piece of paper. Don't read off your iPhone. If you want to deliver jokes and want them to work, do it from memory. You don't see comedians go on stage with a giant teleprompter or a long sheet of a paper. That is the best part. They deliver it and they deliver like it is their mess. They own it. You must own your speech. The best way is too memorize it. By memorizing, you don't have pause during the speech to find your place or scroll through the document to see if you missed anything. Own it. Prepare. Memorize.

6) There are two - If you are giving a speech as a Best Man or Maid of Honor, remember there are two people that should be included in your speech and it is not you and Groom/Bride. Both of the Groom and Bride should be mentioned in the speech. I don't care if the first time was over spaghetti two nights ago. Somehow work into the speech that the Groom slurped up his noodle and got sauce all over his face and the Bride promptly threw sauce on her face so he wasn't embarrassed and that is how you knew that they were meant to be. Doesn't matter if the first time that you met the other person was on the wedding day. Mention both. There are two. Remember that.

7) It is a conversation - The misconception about speeches is that you are broadcasting it to everyone. Technically you are speaking to everyone, but you have to imagine that you are talking to one person. You are having a conversation with that one person. The whole thing is that most everyone knows what you are talking about and if they don't, they will be genuinely interested because it feels like you are talking directly to them. Make that eye contact like you would in a normal conversation. Throw in a "You know what I mean?" or "Ain't that true?". It will relax you and relax the audience.

8) Slooooooooooow down - This isn't the Kentucky Derby. Speak clearly and normally. When people are nervous, they tend to speed up their speech. Slow down. Pause after sentences so that they sink in. Speak at a normal rate. It helps to feel that confidence. If you are nervous, throw in a good joke to break the ice. Embarrass yourself to get the audience laughing. All this will help you relax and slow your speech down.

No one can tell you how to write a good speech. We all write, talk, and convey things differently. I can only help you deliver it, structure it. The speech must have a point, a reason, an example, and a point. Once you got that, you got the makings of a good speech.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We are married!

Yes, we are married. What to blog about now. Well, how about the wedding. Things went wrong, things went right, but things went smooth. That is the way it should be. I will be blogging about this later as I am probably on my honeymoon and just post randomly.

For those who are using Michael C. Events for your wedding, email me at baleong at gmail and I will have to tell you what to watch out for when you use him. Just some bewares which we found out first hand.

Woot woot, married and now it is honeymoon time!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What's my name fool?

Yeah, what is my name. Let's just say my name is Dan. You know my name is Dan, my parents know my name is Dan and my librarian knows that my name is Dan. My name is not Daniel, Danny, Dannyboy, David, Ron, Bob, or any other creative name. On my wedding invitation it says Dan Doe and Jane Doe's Wedding. The check that you are getting from me says Dan. So why do you insist on calling me Danny?

We were at my wedding and this DJ, let's say it was a she and her name was Karen (b/c as Dane Cook says, "Karen is always a douche bag") can't my name right for the life of her. So Karen proceeds to say, "Welcome to the wedding of Danny and Jane". Strike 1. My name is Dan. Then she goes "Danny and Jane want to hear those glasses clang." Strike 2. You get the point. Even after we go up there and tell her that my name is Dan, she proceeds to call me Danny. Even after my grandma goes up and says "Listen douche bag, his name is Dan and I don't know who Danny is, but you better get this right before I take my teeth out and throw down", Karen still gets it wrong.

Now, how are you suppose to make money after this wedding if you can't even say the groom's name correctly. Do you have some place else to be? Do you have to go meet your boyfriend DANNY. Who is this Danny who is supposedly at the wedding. Some summer fling you can't get out of your mind. A hidden 90210, Melrose Place, or Gossip Girl character?

Please, how hard is it? I would understand if they had some name that was like 10 syllables, but for realz. 1 syllable. That is it. 1 syllable, 3 letters. That is all it is. you suck as a MC because you don't even know who is getting married. And you suck as a DJ b/c you can't mix worth a $@!t. You are fired. End of story.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I hate Gary Fong

Ok, I don't hate Gary Fong, but I hate the inventions that he has made for the camera flash. There are two that are just horrible: the Lightsphere and the WhaleTail. If you don't know what these are, here is a picture:

Essentially they go on top of the flash to make the light softer so that you look prettier. I have no problem with diffusers as they really help, but these completely suck. Not for the photographer, not for the subjects, but for all the people around these monstrosities.

Let me get my first beef out of the way: They are both ugly. Who wants a freakin WhaleTail coming out of your camera. This isn't some rice rocket Civic cruising down the street; this is a wedding, an event. The photographer is not suppose to stand out. It isn't suppose to look like Shamu is breaching from an ocean of guests everytime the photographer gets up from their knees. We are at a wedding, not Marine World.

My second beef with these things are: They light up like a lightbulb. Seriously. The whole thing lights up like the sun. Not only do they light up the subjects, but they light up every one around it. They light up Mom to the left, Dad in the back, and Grandma up top. Every time the photographer takes a picture, you think it is distress beacon. You immediately look for a raft and life vest until you realize you are at a wedding. (Of course you are drunk, so this realization might take a minute or so.)

I have been to two weddings with photographers who use these beasts. The first one, I was just in awe because I have never seen anyone use it before. The 2nd, I was just plain annoyed. Mainly because I sat in front and sometimes the photographer would come in front of me and take pictures. After a while, I just had to close my eyes because it was getting some damn annoying. I started hallucinating and thought I was in a X-Files episode and the aliens were doing experiments on me.

In general, photographers don't use these products, but I would just inquire when you are interviewing them so your guests are not subjected to constant strobe light.