Vendor Spotlight – All Around Raleigh DJ

A few weeks ago, I let my intern write a vendor spotlight post about The Chocolate Boutique. I have been meaning to write more of these types of blog posts, so this week here’s one from me! I have been working in this industry long enough to have worked with some really excellent vendors. Here’s a post about one of the best DJ vendors in Raleigh, or at least he’s one of my favorites.

All Around Raleigh DJ; Eric Hodgedenallaroundraleighdj-logo

I met Eric, the owner of All Around Raleigh DJ, at the Market Hall Spring Showcase. I arrived fairly early, while it was still mostly just vendors and Market Hall employees in attendance. Being punctual, as I always am, benefited me yet again. This time I benefited because I was able to walk around and introduce myself to a few local vendors I have never met. (Another benefit to being early, I was able to get a glass of wine without waiting in line. )

Eric was one of the first vendors I met that night, and he left a great impression on me. We ended up meeting for coffee at a later date and time, where I learned a little more about him and why he got into the events industry.  I really enjoyed his take on why he decided to be a DJ and I hope you do too!

Background Information

Joe Payne Photography

Joe Payne Photography

Eric stumbled on his love of being a DJ like many others do. He went to school and got a degree in Engineering and made the realization that his heart was somewhere else. During the same year Eric enrolled at NC State, he also formed his company All Around Raleigh DJ. When I asked him about his first event as a DJ, he said “I had a typical 19 year old guy’s stereo with huge ridiculous speakers“. This made me really chuckle because, we’ve all known people like that. The first event he worked was for a friend’s Mother. Her DJ had backed out last minute, leaving her with little time to find a replacement. Eric offered his services and quickly realized that he was pretty good and had a blast doing it. After that, Eric bought some professional DJ equipment and began working weddings and events as often as possible. He was eventually able to leave his full-time cubicle job to run All Around Raleigh DJ in 2011. Of course, he also told me it’s the most rewarding job he’s ever had.



I asked Eric a few other questions and here are his responses:

What advice would you offer to couples looking for a DJ?:

“Whoever you hire must be someone you can trust – and someone you feel a connection with, they will be a guest at the wedding so they should fit what you have in mind.”  “You should also trust them to be organized and take care of things.”

How far out from the wedding should couples hire a DJ?:

In general terms somewhere between 4-8 months before the wedding. For popular months at least one year in advance. August tends to be more flexible. But, if you want a specific person, you should book at least one year prior.”

What is the coolest event you have ever worked?

“Very personalized events, people who incorporate their personalities into their events make them the most memorable. In particular one Wedding I worked at Shady Wagon Farm – barely had any dancing. This wedding’s bride was not able to stand for long periods of time, but she danced for at least one song. It was memorable because the people were really awesome.” There was a little less dancing then Eric was used to, but even still this wedding was not lacking in fun. There were a bunch of lawn games for the guests to enjoy, and Eric entertained the guests by playing the shoe game, and hosting table trivia for dinner. “The best part of the night was when the groom surprised his bride by singing to her during the reception while she sat on the dance floor.” 


Caroline Lima Photography

Would you like to pass on your business to your children?

This question was clearly something Eric had not been asked before, but something I personally consider all the time. I of course want to pass on a legacy to my children, but I don’t know how frequently other people also have that desire and if so, how much thought they have really put into it. Eric’s response was “I only have a daughter and female DJs are definitely more rare, but if that was something she wanted to do then heck yes!”

Do you see yourself running the DJ business until you retire?

“Yes absolutely, in some form or fashion. I can’t see a reason to get stuck in a rut and stop, and there’s really nothing else I enjoy doing as much.”

I am very grateful Eric had time to grab coffee with me. I really enjoyed sharing fun industry stories, and getting to know him better. It’s not often that you get to hear about the vendor and their personal life.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Eric and hearing about how he formed his company!! If you are in need of a DJ for your next wedding or event, consider reaching out to him for a quote, you won’t be disappointed. And, if you need more evidence of that, check out his reviews on Wedding Wire.


Wedding Guest Style Guide

This week, I want to address a question everyone asks at some point, but that doesn’t seem to have one simple answer. As a wedding guest, what should I wear? There are many ways to find your answer.

Wedding Attire Basics; What Not To Wear

First and foremost, do NOT show up in white. I repeat, DO NOT WEAR WHITE! This is a major fashion faux pas, and whether you like the couple or not, you just shouldn’t do it. Why not? Well, unless you never want to hear from that couple again I suggest you don’t do it. Brides have been wearing white gowns since 1840, when Queen Victoria made it popular. It is often thought to be because white represented purity, or being virginal. I discovered while writing this post today that apparently before Victoria made white the thing to do, brides often wore crimson, the color of love. Even if you think you are a trend setter, you’re probably not Queen Victoria. 😉

If you’re still at a loss as to what you should wear. Take some advice from the wedding invitation. As we all know, (or maybe some of us don’t) the fancier looking the invite the more formal the attire should be. Lace and calligraphy on the invite? Go ahead and pull that long sparkly gown from the closet. If the wedding is a Pig Pickin’ taking place in the backyard of a family home, it’s probably okay to pull out that cute little sun dress.

Some Personal Advice

Aside from not wearing white, some advice to the females in attendance; try to dress a little conservatively. I’m not saying you can’t show a little skin, especially when attending a wedding in the South or the Summer. But, as a wise woman once advised me and a group of girls working in a bar, if you are going to show your legs you should “cover up the girls”. Or, if you’re bringing the girls out for a night on the town, try not to show too much leg. That being said, if you’re attending a wedding in the south on a 90 degree day, it’s okay to wear a sun dress! Just try not to wear one that’s sat in the closet for a few years and that should really only be used as a beach cover up. It’s just the appropriate thing to do. Besides, you don’t want to be showing too much skin when you’re schmoozing it up with the grandparents, parents, etc.

Color Schemes

Another great way to decide what younikki_tara_chrissy should wear for a wedding is to consider the season and color schemes. Are you attending a Fall wedding? Consider wearing some dark crimson or burnt oranges. Dark chocolate browns and navy blues are really pretty too, and if you’re a blue eyed babe like myself, blue always looks good on you. Is it a Spring or early Summer wedding? If so, pull out those light yellow dresses or pastel pinks! The Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016 are a great example of lovely shades of pink and blue that can work for Spring or Summer. Remember, if you are going to be in pictures with the bride & groom wear colors that are complimentary and won’t clash with the Bride’s theme.

Male Wedding Guests

Guys, let’s face it, you don’t have nearly as many options for wedding attire as the ladies. You should most likely wear a suit. BUT, just as the ladies are allowed to dress more casually for hot Summer weddings, a linen suit or khakis can definitely be acceptable. Just remember to check those invitations, or even give the couple a call prior to their big day. If you just can’t figure out whether you can wear something of your own, or you need to make a purchase from TJ Max, it’s more than okay to ask for advice. If you need a little more help, check out these style tips from the Cladwell Guide.

A Final Tip

The last tip I’ll give you is to keep it simple. You don’t want to out-dress the bride and groom! Wear an outfit that you think conveys your personality. If you are a fun and spunky guy, you could wear a bright colored bow-tie or some wildly colorful socks! Or, bring back the suspenders look. I have to admit that I am definitely a sucker for a dapper Dan wearing suspenders under his suit jacket.

weddinggueststyleguideIf my suggestions don’t answer your question, or are not specific enough, take a look at this great infographic from The Black Tux, online suit and tux rental. It is straight forward and gives suggestions for both males and females!

In the meantime, if you can’t find a tux shop or Men’s Warehouse locally, check out The Black Tux! They are reasonably priced, and offer free home delivery.


Vendor Spotlight – The Chocolate Boutique

It’s been quite a busy summer for the Get-Christine team which includes working with the new intern, Lauren. She and I get together as often as possible to collaborate on fun wedding and event ideas and plans. At least, we do so when Lauren’Chocolate Boutique Signs not been at the beach living up her last summer as a HS student. This week, I bring you a vendor spotlight article written by Lauren about a delicious spot in town called The Chocolate Boutique.
I recently decided that since I’ve been working in the events industry for long enough, that it’s well past time I started writing about some of the fabulous vendors I’ve met and worked with. I’ve personally never worked with The Chocolate Boutique on a wedding or event in the past, but I have been in to visit their shop and purchased plenty of their chocolates. Having personally tasted those goodies, I can definitely vouch for their chocolate and it is delicious!

Without further ado, I bring you Lauren’s piece:

The Chocolate Boutique
Owner: Kesha Dozier 

IMG_2876 (1)

Flo The Chocolate Fountain

Nearly five years ago, Mrs. Kesha Dozier left her corporate job to pursue her love of chocolate.  After studying in Italy, Belgium, and Spain about ‘all things chocolate’ The Chocolate Boutique was soon born.  The boutique offers a wide variety of truffles, chocolate covered nuts, and even chocolate covered bacon!  All of the offerings are finely crafted from Belgian and Swiss chocolates.  In addition to the confections behind the cases, you and your friends or family have the chance to make your very own chocolate during a chocolate party!  The Chocolate Boutique hosts parties for any occasion that you desire.  They have over 1,200 chocolate molds ranging from “high heels to spark plugs.”    For huge parties or weddings you can rent “Flo”, an amazing, 2-flavor chocolate fountain!  It’s the only one of its kind in North CarolinaChocolate Fountain

    Most items are customizable for any occasion.  For weddings, you could have a candy buffet equipped with all kinds of truffles, dipped fruits and nuts.  As a dessert alternative, “Flo” would be an excellent idea.  Also, you could have a bag filled with chocolate covered nuts or personalized truffles as a take-home favor.

The Chocolate Boutique has a convenient location at Lafayette Village in North Raleigh. Oh, and another one over in Park West Village of Morrisville.  Contact them today to set up a party for a girls night out, a fun birthday party, or visit The Chocolate Boutique to get your hands on some delicious goodies. Chocolate Fountain Ice Cream

To contact Kesha from The Chocolate Boutique and inquire about some party pricing, or even to rent that fantastic chocolate fountain Flo, she can be reached at: 919.322.0960.

Be on the lookout for our next Vendor Spotlight blog by me about All Around Raleigh DJ owner, Eric.