Celebrating Jack’s 60th Birthday At The County Line

Celebrating Jack’s 60th Birthday at The County Line | photo taken by Alex Ramirez

Jack was surprised! His friends and family had arrived at 7 PM to begin his birthday celebration at The County Line On The Lake

The idea of having a mariachi for Jack’s birthday came weeks earlier. 

I received a phone call from Jack’s wife, Vanessa. She explained that a mariachi band would be something her husband would not suspect and that it would compliment a fun and festive birthday celebration. She was given our information by Vanessa Miller, Director of Special Events for The County Line. 

Vanessa Miller, Director of Special Events for The County Line, had suggested to her to call Mariachi Amor. 

There were so many ideas I shared with her like starting at the beginning of the event to the middle of the event or just performing at the last hour of the event. 

She decided to have us surprise her husband after they had dinner and right before dessert. 

Sandy, the event coordinator for this event, helped us to make it a memorable surprise entrance as the guests were done eating and waiting for the dessert. 

With the birthday dessert in route, Mariachi Amor followed. “Las Mañanitas” was the first song we played. 

Jack was surprised! He had a huge smile on his face as we walked up to sing. 

The guests sang along as we played “Happy Birthday To You.” 

Alex Ramirez

Twitter: @alexramirez501

 

 

How Does Mariachi Music Fit In Your Wedding?

In this episode, Alex identifies the reasons for you to have mariachi music at your wedding. 

  • What part of my wedding does the Mariachi fit?
  • I have an outdoor ceremony. Can I have a mariachi band play before the wedding ceremony?
  • I booked the Mariachi for my Cocktail Hour, but I’m taking photos, and I’ll miss them. Can I add additional time?
  • My wedding is Fiesta theme. Does a mariachi band fit this?

 

Who Is The Right Wedding Professional For You?

Episode 1.1 is about choosing wedding professionals.

Listen in as Alex gives valuable insight into the wedding industry.

• Do reviews really matter?

• How do you find the best wedding professionals?

• Are there wedding professionals who do amazing work, but do not use social media?

Best Of Last Three Months 2017

 

We have had so much excitement this year! Five-star reviews, awards, and recognition are only a few of the great highlights of 2017. 

 

Mariachi Amor mission is to create fun and memorable experiences by providing our unique blend of talents.

The majority of our clients are brides. Since getting engaged, the wheels in their mind are searching for their perfect wedding. Once the thought of having a mariachi band at their wedding comes to mind, they research online to see who has some positive reviews, social media, awards, etc. 

One of the brides I consulted was lost as to how she would incorporate the mariachi band without her fiancé finding out. 

As some of you may know, I offer a free consultation with every bride to discover how we can best suit their needs and this was a perfect time to see how we could make it happen. 

You see, most brides work on a wedding budget. Sometimes they have to cut back on some items from their wedding list. The bride told her fiancé the mariachi band was an additional expense and must be deleted from their wish list. Of course, the fiancé would have loved having a mariachi because of the Mexican tradition but agreed in the end. 

In the end, she did book our services without him knowing

On the day of the wedding, we called the planner when we arrived.  Because it was an outdoor wedding, we had to position ourselves without anyone seeing us. The planner walked us to the front of the bridal suite from the parking lot. 

Once the ceremony was over, and people were applauding the newlyweds, we started playing. The groom, as well as the guests, were surprised seeing Mariachi Amor. A big smile came across the groom’s face as he turned to his wife and kissed her. 

Those are the fun and memorable experience we give to our clients and ourselves.

Alex Ramirez

 

 

Most Expensive Place to Get Married?

Luxury Austin Hotel | Hotel Granduca Austin, TX Photo taken by Alex Ramirez

Well, it’s not Austin.

According to XO Group in their Feb 2, 2017 Wedding Press Release, New York – Manhattan is the most expensive place to get married. Thank your lucky stars!

Austin is in the top 25. We are number 21. Again, this is based on the average cost of a wedding in 2016. 

Take a look below to see 1 – 25.

Top 25 Most Expensive Places to Get Married
Based on average cost of a wedding in 2016, couples spend the most on their weddings in the following areas in the US. Four of the five most expensive places to get married are in the New York/Tri-State area.

  1. New York – Manhattan: $78,464
  2. New York – Long Island: $67,831
  3. New Jersey – North/Central: $62,606
  4. Illinois – Chicago: $60,035
  5. New York – Outer Boroughs: $59,027
  6. Massachusetts – Cape Cod: $58,608
  7. New York – Westchester/Hudson Valley: $54,428
  8. Rhode Island: $52,328
  9. Florida – Southern: $48,596
  10. Pennsylvania – Philadelphia/Delaware: $48,093
  11. New Jersey – South: $46,486
  12. California – Santa Barbara/Ventura: $45,957
  13. California – Los Angeles: $44,062
  14. Massachusetts – Boston: $44,028
  15. California – San Francisco/Greater Bay Area: $42,716
  16. Louisiana – New Orleans: $42,628
  17. Connecticut: $42,127
  18. Texas – Houston/East TX: $40,285
  19. DC – Washington DC/Northern VA/Suburban MD: $40,176
  20. California – San Diego: $37,268
  21. Texas –Austin/San Antonio/South TX/Central TX: $36,522
  22. Maryland – Baltimore: $35,861
  23. Michigan – Detroit: $35,576
  24. California – Orange County: $35,303
  25. NY – Capital District/Upstate NY: $34,874

This information is from XO Group Weddings Press Release.

Mariachi Amor has performed at both spectrums of the costs. 

Austin and Michelle’s Wedding | William Chris Vineyards Photo taken by Alex Ramirez

One of the best weddings we were a part of was Austin and Michelle’s wedding in Hye, TX at William Chris Vineyards. With a total of 12 guests, the couple was able to have an outdoor wedding in a beautiful vineyard. Aside from Mariachi Amor, there was a caterer, officiant and photographer to be a part of this three-hour wedding. 

Jordan Hicks and Ivana Rodriguez Wedding | The Wildflower Atrium Omni Barton Creek Photo taken by Alex Ramirez

Jordan and Ivana’s wedding was incredible. The couple had their wedding at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa. The Philadelphia football player Jordan Hicks married Ivana Rodriguez (now Hicks). The guests were surprised as they entered The Wildflower Atrium to see and hear Mariachi Amor. By the end of our performance, the atrium was filled with family and friends—a total of 250 guests! 

In the end, what it really comes down to is what type of wedding would you love to have and based on your dream wedding what would be the cost? I don’t even like to use the word cost because it’s really an investment in yourself. And, thank your lucky stars your not marrying in Manhattan. 

 

Alex Ramirez

Do you feed the musicians at Weddings?

Whim Hospitality Grand Opening THINK | Photo taken by Alex Ramirez

Yes and no. Wait, What?

Musicians are hired to perform at a point during the wedding. For example, you may have a string quartet for the ceremony, a mariachi band for the Cocktail and Dinner Hour, and a cover band for the rest of the evening. 

Some musical groups, in their terms of the contract, will have the “meals provided by the client” clause. Others may verbally tell the wedding couple that the meals are appreciated. A few groups may not have it in their terms nor might they ask for it. So, it is a good question to ask when booking the entertainment. 

So, the question is, do you feed the musicians? Absolutely!

What do you feed them? I would say feed them just like your guests. If you have budgeted for 150 guests, add some musicians to your budget. For example, you have 150 guests, and you plan to have a string quartet, a mariachi band, and a cover band. Well, you know the quartet has four musicians, and perhaps the mariachi band has five performers, and the cover band has eight members. That is a total of seventeen people. We will add the 150 + 17 = 167. So, the budget is now for 167 guests.

At $50 per person times 17? The total is $850.00.

What kind of options do you have to keep costs down? Perhaps, the caterer may provide you a discounted rate for working professionals. Another option could be to ask the caterer to create sandwiches or sliders. There is always an alternative. Find out what works for you.

Remember, not all the musicians will have the opportunity to eat. In the case of Mariachi Amor, our schedule sometimes does not permit us to stay, and therefore we will not add it to our terms of the contract.

Alex Ramirez

© Mariachi Amor

 

 

Pyrotechnics at a Wedding?

I have a great friend in the pyrotechnics business named Carolina Moody Bear. She owns Big Dog Pyro. They have created some amazing pyrotechnic shows for their wedding clients. Here is just one example: Big Dog Pyro Facebook Page

With July 4th tomorrow, I thought about weddings with a fireworks theme. Is this way too much? Alternatively, is this the new trend?  

We are all mesmerized when we see a fireworks display whether it be at 4th of July or New Years. However, a wedding? Would we be mesmerized? Absolutely! Who does not want to see, and be surprised, by fireworks?

Mariachi Amor has performed at several events where the bride and grooms send off is with some sparklers or fireworks displays.  

Armando and Meghan’s Wedding at Hacienda del Lago. The wedding couples send off.

Although it is not common at most weddings, it is an idea wedding couples are considering into their wedding plans. 

My suggestion would be to talk to the venue about your plans. Talk with your wedding planner and asked if this is permittable at your wedding venue. There are city ordinances in your city, so this would also be a great avenue to start your research.

I give the sparklers and pyrotechnics at weddings a thumbs up.

 

Alex Ramirez

Mariachi Song Suggestions For Ceremony?

A question I get asked most often is, “What songs will you be doing for the wedding ceremony?”

A church wedding is different than a wedding ceremony (off-site location).

In a church wedding (assuming it’s a Catholic Church), all the songs will be mostly from the Flor Y Canto book. The processional, mass and recessional songs would come from this book. The choir/musical director of the church can best assist the mariachi band in the most traditional songs for the entrance/exit. Some churches may not let you play any secular music (i.e., “Motivos” “Somos Novios”) inside the church but will allow it outside as you exit.

At an off-site wedding, with a wedding officiant, it is more common to hear songs like “Solamente Una Vez” “Motivos” “Hermoso Cariño” and most of the romantic traditional mariachi songs. 

Is it better to hire a Wedding Planner? Day Of Coordinator? or just Do It Yourself?

 

I consistently work with brides on their choice of entertainment for their Cocktail Hour, Dinner Hour or both. One of the first questions I ask is, “who is your wedding planner?” So, you may be asking why would I want to know whether they have a planner or not. I’ll tell you why. 

When they answer with their planner’s name, and they give it to me, I know it will be easier to increase the experience, the bride will have a lot less stress, and chances are I’ve worked with their planner before, so it makes it easier for everyone. 

When they answer they have a Day-Of-Coordinator, it still a great option but in my opinion, not the better choice. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve performed at many successful weddings with only the Day-of-Coordinator. However, most begin working on the couple’s wedding anywhere from two weeks to two days before the wedding day. I have less contact with them because they are only responsible for the day of the event. 

And, when they answer they are a do it yourself bride, I know I will have to educate them on how we fit into their wedding day. I understand brides may be on a budget or decide they want it a particular way. It makes sense. There are a ton of websites to assist them in doing their wedding, and lots of them have templates they can print and use to help them. But, in my opinion, it’s a lot of work. Remember, wedding planners become wedding planners only after several exercises and exams to become certified. And, wedding planners do this for a living, so they have the experience and expertise. 

In the end, it’s the brides choice. She’ll determine how much time and stress she’ll devote to her wedding. 

 

Alex Ramirez