No business should be without a Dave Drane: A cool cat with a head packed with invention and imagination! Dreamwave Events could not be where it is today and it still rapidly moving on up. The sky’s the limit!
Our Co-Director – Dave Drane
Dave keeps Dreamwave ahead of the game. He is well and truly our ideas man. His confidence in his own ability and that of the team, keep Dreamwave DJ’s and Dreamwave Lighting leading the way in innovation.
Like any creative individual, Dave Drane can be a slightly left of the middle. Fixated on his photographic pose (yes there was much debate on which photos to include in this blog post), chiseled features and receding hairline (😱) he is still a complete teddy bear! But make no mistake his professionalism and focus provides the motive power required for success; and nothing succeeds like success!
Image Credit Lucy Taylor photography. All copyright remains with the photographer Dave Drane Speaking at GeeWizz Midsummer Ball
Dave Drane – What you are will show in what you do (Thomas Edison)
A young Dave begun his career as DJ, “Dave Dreamer.” He also gained a wealth of sound and lighting production knowledge working successfully for Highlite International, a Dutch based audio and visual equipment supplier. Whilst working for Highlite, Dave joined forces with DJ Paul Pollard(our other Co-director) at “Making Waves” to form Dreamwave Events!
I think I have made it quite clear that Dave is our ideas man. I caught up with Dave to get his insight into his perspective on Dreamwave and his role in the mechanics of the business:
When Paul and I started out together almost ten years ago, we never dreamt we would be where we are now within the industry and with such a strong team beside us.
As with any business; roles change, as well as direction. I don’t personally get to DJ as much these days as I’d like but am very happy to hand over the ‘platters’ to our good skilled team of guys. More is required to be done on a day to day basis but we like to stay true to our routes providing a service to clients that is of the highest standard and quality.
Looking ahead Dreamwave is moving in to new areas of the sound and lighting industry with developments in to rental and installations that is proving very exciting and productive.
Sometimes what you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking. James Langton approached us, after moving into the area, looking for potential work. We were so impressed that he soon joined the ranks of the Dreamwave Events team.
Why James Langton?
James is the perfect catch…don’t get excited now ladies; I meant for Dreamwave Events (though I have to admit he is easy on the eyes, don’t you think?). He oozes natural confidence, professionalism and approach-ability. This, accompanied by exceptional DJ skills nurtured from a young age results in the entire Dreamwave DJ package.
James Langton has already ventured out on a few events representing our well respected Dreamwave DJ Brand. We had every confidence that James would swim and meet the high expectation of ourselves and our clients to provide the awesome and personalised evening’s entertainment Dreamwave Events has become nationally renowned for. He has already received his first review from Amy and Chris, who had our Complete Evening DJ Service at Maison Talboothin Essex on 7th September 2018:
“He was incredible and had a great personality whilst being professional. I was very worried about having a DJ as I have been to some weddings where the music is cheesy and the DJ talks more than plays the music. I can not speak highly enough of our DJ. Please do pass on my huge thanks for making our evening entertainment a memorable one.”
James Langton; As a DJ
James has always had one hand to the DJ decks throughout his career in events. He has performed at a wide variety of parties from small personalised weddings to large corporate galas. His music vocabulary is immense but his preference is ultimately the 90’s era of dance and hip-hop. However, James’ fluidity in his performance repertoire means that he can comfortably play pretty much anything and is happy to be guided by what clients want to hear and keep the dance floor full!
I asked James what his favourite floor filler filler was. After much deliberation (lets face it it’s not an easy question, especially as we all play for the crowd at the time), he came up with a few tunes:
My favourite floorfiller of all time bar none is “Superstylin’ by Groove Armada.” I Saw them a few times on the Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury, back in the day. I never get to play that anywhere now, though. It’s gone.
Some songs that James most likes to play (and can still get away with!):
90’s dance: Robin S, Show Me Love
Hip Hop: Wu-Tang Clan, Gravel Pit – “Judged right, this is an absolute floorkiller!”
There are sooooo many to choose from and, you know, I just want to play what people want to listen to.
It is the moments of decision that your destiny is shaped; moving forward, for both Dreamwave and James, the decision has definitely come out trumps. The future is looking pretty bright!
We do not need magic to change the world; we need people like Gina Long, MBE and founder of GeeWIzz Foundation, to raise funds for charity by organising events like the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball. Her success is from championing a cause greater than herself. GeeWizz was created to help children, young adults and their families, living with disability and those affected by cancer in Suffolk and Norfolk.
GeeWizz Midsummer Ball 2018
The first ever GeeWizz Midsummer Ball was held this year at The Hangar, Milsoms Kesgrave Hall in Suffolk. We, at Dreamwave Events, are proud to have offered our support. I’m please to say the event was a more than a sound success raising nearly £50,000!
Hundreds of guests attended a glorious evening of fantastic food and exceptional entertainment. There was music, dancing and a grand auction to be enjoyed by the all in a sunny summer setting.
How did Dreamwave support the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball?
Gina said: “We just wanted to say the BIGGEST THANK YOU for your WONDERFUL support in helping us raise £48,797 for our very special GeeWizz Charity at our Midsummer Party, on what was the most perfect Friday evening at Milsom’s Kesgrave Hall. To say you so went above the call of duty, would be an understatement. I am indebted to you, you really are SUPERSTARS, thank you, thank you, thank you. The Hangar and Kesgrave Hall Gardens, looked so absolutely beautiful. It really was the best, most memorable, magical evening, one that everybody loved being at. Ali LOVED working with you all, we can’t wait to work with you again and again.”
Outside – DJ and Concept Lighting at Kesgrave Hall
Our Festoons were positioned outside in Festival style lighting hanging from tree to tree, decorated with foliage from Figa & Co, leading guests down steps to The Hangar entrance. Selected trees were also wrapped in our Fairy Lights to further enhance the festival feel.
Outside – The Hangar Entrance – BBQ Area
The festival feel event lighting continued down the steps leading to our Dreamwave designed outdoor stage wood pallet composition with a hessian backdrop. This was additionally complemented by hanging lamps, our Wooden DJ Booth , large Vintage Blaze retro lights to add to the vibeand a stunning enrichment of foliage. The composition of this set up completely blew me away! On top of this, our Dreamwave DJ performed our renowned Cocktail DJ Set whilst guests arrived to upbeat festival music in the mix.
The Hangar, Marquee Entrance
We supplied and installed lose hanging festoons in the entrance marquee and further greenery was added by Figa & Co to continue the theme.
The Main Hangar Area
The festival vibe progressed into the main Hangar area by hanging pendant lamps and foliage around the wall areas. A simple Fairy Light design was hung to a central point.
Our specialist Dreamwave Lighting Technician controlled the lighting from our own control desk to create the inspired festive effect.
The guest DJ’s, Brandon Blockand Alex P, performed their stupendous sets on our supplied DJ Equipment and Dreamwave designed Pallet Booth with one of our Dreamwave DJ’s filling the gaps.
All in all it was a pretty awesome day. Judging by the amount raised the event was obviously a huge success that was enjoyed by all who attended. We had a great time. Thank you to Gina Long and GeeWizz for asking us to be part of the day!
I know all our guys at Dreamwave Events are at the top of their game and highly skilled DJ’s – but do you know how to clock a skilled DJ? How do you know the DJ you have booked is the person who will bring a fantastic evening party? I have put together a few tips to help you choose the right DJ and spot the techniques that make the so good at what they do……
Skilled DJ’s will Read the Dance floor
First of all, not one person wants their dance floor empty at their party. A skilled DJ will assess their audience and play music that works for them and keep their dancing shoes alight! A wedding DJ needs to be particularly good at this as the guests at a wedding tend to be mixed ages that will generally want certain era’s and genres of music to get them moving! A skilled DJ will also be aware of cultural backgrounds of the wedding party and would have prepared music especially for the evening.
Keeping the dance floor full is definitely what I would want from a DJ – after all, a party is’t a party without a good boogie!
Skilled DJ’s have the Ability to get back the Crowd
Secondly, should your DJ happen to try a song that doesn’t work (and it happens to the best of them); the dancers will surely disperse! It will be well within a skilled DJ’s capabilities to switch to a song that will re-captivate the crowd quickly. This is much more difficult than it sounds – keeping their cool whilst realising their error combined with hasty thinking to re-gather the group.
A DJ can earn their stripes by showing their skills off by seamlessly synchronising the tempos of two songs. A skilled DJ adjust pitch and time and then make beats of the two well chosen songs hit at the same time and enables a smooth transition between them. If not done properly the beats will fall out of sync that will result in an oh so obvious blip in performance…and yes the dancers will notice!
I just touched on this in beat-matching. A skilled DJ can adjust the length and pitch of a song that there is a seamless transition between two tunes without affecting the quality of their performance.
Skilled DJ’s will give an Energetic Performance
Indeed, a DJ indisputably needs a technical edge and knowledge of music, but there ultimately is something you cant teach – how to be energised and engaged with the crowd. A fantastic DJ will visibly be enjoying their performance. They will be completely committed to the party and be animated on the platform of their DJ Set.
Experienced, Skilled DJ’s will have a great Music Repertoire
Yeah, OK, so I included this one even thought it’s pretty obvious. Having an awesome range of music knowledge has to be a must for every skilled DJ. I think a DJ that has this, shows fluidity and more confidence in their performance. Skilled DJ’s will use their knowledge to adjust their act and a great music repertoire will certainly them to adjust to the dance floor.
All the above combined will surely equal a highly skilled DJ that will execute a mind-blowing performance and give a guaranteed fantastic party that will set your dancing shoes on fire!
Ali and Jim picked the perfect Autumnal day in October to get hitched at Layer Marney Tower in Colchester, Essex. I spent a fab morning catching up with Jim and getting his take on their day over coffee and a much welcome box of Krispy Kremes (provided by Jim – they didn’t last long!).
A bit of Background
Ali and Jim had a whirlwind romance and our dream couple were engaged after only 5 months together. But the sound of wedding bells were not to be heard for some time. It wasn’t until they had undertook the life experiences of home owning and extending their family with their beautiful daughter, that Jim planned to surprise Ali 20 years later by re-proposing on a romantic beech in Norfolk.
A small shin-dig just wasn’t going to cut it after all this time. Ali and Jim wanted to celebrate their lives together. With Jim taking the reins on the planning side (Yes ladies, the groom planned most of the day!), despite the horror stories of groom-planned weddings – Jim is living proof its possible and he did a smashing job!…………
Here’s Jim’s insight on the day….
Why choose Layer Marney Tower as your Wedding Venue?
“It has always been Ali’s dream to get married atLayer Marney Tower. So in that way it was an easy choice. Having said that we did visit a few alternatives but that really just reinforced was an amazing venue Layer Marney Tower is. Yes, it’s a beautiful place in itself but what makes it truly special are the people who work there. We felt immediately comfortable with no question too small.”
What Drew you to your Choice of Wedding Attire?
“With the help of the excellent Abigail’s Collection and Grooms Roomin Colchester. They have such a wonderful setup there and we immediately felt so comfortable.
Ali wasn’t going to have a dress with a train and I wasn’t going to have tails … but guess what? That’s exactly what we ended up with because in the end, they looked fantastic! Seeing Ali in her dress for the first time as she walked down the aisle really was a ‘WOW’ moment (I found out later from the guests, I actually said ‘WOW’ out loud when I saw her!). So, morale of the story: don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone a little and take the advice of the experts.”
Any Personal Touches?
“We settled on an Autumn theme early on which followed through from the wedding invitations to the decor at the wedding breakfast. It kept a lovely timeless feel and created a flow which tied together pretty much every aspect of our wedding journey.
Ok, so some might say I went a bit over the top on this one. I say, Ali deserved the wedding she had been waiting 20 years for. One I especially like was a custom ‘Order of the Day’ board which we put outside the entrance to the Long Gallery. It looked perfect.”
Décor and Lighting at Layer Marney Tower – An obvious focus!
Here’s where Dreamwave came into their own. We had originally planned for a another DJ but he was unavailable on our date, so Plan B had to be found. This was a real stroke of luck as it tuned out because not only would Dreamwave be able to provide the DJ for the evening but the added bonus of the fabulous decor and special touches too.
From the script-style ‘Love’ letters which worked brilliantly under the main window in the Long Gallery to the candles on the staircase (a late addition but totally worth it), the woodland “gobos” and the up lighters. These are all the things that made the venue ‘ours’ for the evening.
We settled on an Autumn theme early on which followed through from the wedding invitations to the decor (the woodland gobo’s worked complemented this perfectly) at the wedding breakfast. It kept a lovely timeless feel and created a flow which tied together pretty much every aspect of our wedding journey.
The Wedding Ceremony at Layer Marney Tower
“I was fine until about an hour before the ceremony. We’d been at Layer Marney Tower all morning setting up and making everything “just so”. We had the use of the bridal suite, which was perfect for us to get ready. From there it was a real blur and before I knew it I was standing in the Corsellis Room waiting for Ali to arrive. I’ve been told that when the door opened and she began to walk down the aisle, I turned round and audibly said “Wow!”. She looked absolutely gorgeous; exactly as I’d dreamed she would.”
The Drinks Reception and Wedding Breakfast at Layer Marney Tower
“We were so lucky with the weather to be able to have our drinks reception outside, given it was late October. It was lovely to go into the Long Gallery whilst it was still empty, just us with the smell of the log fire burning in the fireplace. We were able to take a moment to admire everything and take a breath before the wedding breakfast. The flowers, from W Flowers, were amazing and reflected the whole Autumn theme perfectly. Wendy and Julia understood exactly what we wanted including Ali’s favourite Dahlias. They also provided a couple of Bay Trees for the entrance which set it off nicely.
All of the catering was taken care of by Bouquet Garni, the resident caterers at Layer Marney Tower. They provide all the amazing food as well as serving canapés and drinks.
Throughout the reception and wedding breakfast, Spencer Wood performed his brilliant magic to entertain the guests. We had so many complements! He was also able to provide all the Master of Ceremony duties too, so he really tied the whole day together.”
“We opted for an Early Set Up with Dreamwave. What a great move this was. We didn’t have to worry about the the chaos of the room turn-a-round. Our transition from day to night for the evening party felt like a natural progression. Definitely worth the extra money! Following the speeches, Spencer hosted another little surprise for everyone: a quick game of Mr & Mrs! It was so simple, yet so much fun too.
I had one last ‘little’ surprise; my gift to Ali on our wedding day. We had a rouse to get everyone outside, a photo shoot with sparklers, which in itself went really well. Then the surprise: a full fireworks display by Dynamic Fireworks. Queue lots of oohs and aahs and a very, very pleased Ali! A blow torch to light the sparklers was a great idea. It was a pretty windy evening and we had not trouble lighting them!
Then it was onto the party! Our Dreamwaves DJ, Spike was amazing! From the first dance (Still Falling For You by Ellie Goulding) to the last song the music and dancing just kept coming. We had previously shared a Spotify playlist with Dreamwave so they had an idea of what we liked. It was fun selecting songs you both love, but not too many: there’s maybe 60 tracks in a 4 hour party. Also, make sure you let your DJ know if there are any songs you DON’T want played too! I still have that playlist, it’s a cherished keepsake I hadn’t expected. It’s something to take away from the day and enjoy again and again, much like the wedding photos. Music is so emotive too and those happy memories just keep flooding back.”
TIP – You can backup Spotify playlists to files usingExportify.
Advice from the Groom
“I would definitely say to sort out the big questions to start with. It makes it far less daunting. So, big or small wedding? Summer or Winter? Posh or Shabby Chic? Get the basics right first and you’ll get a better idea of what you’ll need to do later on.
Plan as much as possible as soon as possible. We set ourselves a goal to book all the main suppliers before Christmas 2016 (for October 2017) and even then it was tight. Many suppliers will be booked up a year or more in advance, so it pays to get in quick.
Get Organised – Make a list for everything and start from day one. It’s easy to keep on top of it then. On the day there is so much to do and just having a check list of things to do was invaluable.
Get to know your suppliers.
Decide on a realistic budget and keep a spreadsheet to help keep you in check. There’s such a lot to think about, from the obvious like stationery, menu choices and wine selections to the more subtle details like easels and drinks.
Keep an open mind – What immediately springs to mind about something may not be what works out when you try it. So consult your supplier on your thoughts, that’s what they are there for.
Leave a couple of surprises. In our case the Fireworks and the “Mr & Mrs”
Find a good photographer. Not just one who takes photos you like but one you would want to spend time with.
Take a moment. This will be one of the best days of your life and one of the busiest. During the day itself make a specific effort to take a moment to take in what’s happening. It’s an amazing time but it is a whirlwind. You will (necessarily) be whisked off here and there and before you know it, it can be all over before you realise.
Get on the internet. Etsy, Notonthehighstreet, Weddingspot, Pinterest. These site were really useful for getting ideas.
Finally, have fun! I met so many lovely people through thus journey. It was an honour and privilege to able to organise our wedding. Not only did I get to finally marry the love of my life, I had such an amazing time doing it.”
A HUGE thank you to Jim and Ali for inviting us to be part of your day and taking the time to meet me to write about your awesome wedding!
If you liked the look of the Lighting and Decor at Jim and Ali’s Wedding or just want a fab wedding evening party; Contact Usto find out more!
Supplier Credits for Ali and Jim’s Wedding at Layer Marney Tower:
It’s time to dig out your gown from the back of the cupboard. Dust of your dress; “Wear your Wedding Dress Again” is back for 2017 hosted by awesome Abigail’s Collection. Join the party on the 12th November starting at 7pm at the prestigious Prested Hall near Colchester.
Wear your Wedding Dress for this Wedding Themed Party of a Lifetime!
This social shin-dig is not to be missed. Take the opportunity to relive the revelry of your wedding day and take the rare opportunity to wear your wedding dress once again. After all, everyday is a fashion show; this time make “Wear Your Wedding Dress Again” your runway!
Best of all, you will be having this fantastic evening whilst doing your part towards a very deserving cause – Help for Heroes!
And guys, don’t worry, your not expected to wear a dress too! Bring your handsome selves along all spruced up in your suave tuxedos.
Its gonna be legend…..wait for it…..and I hope your not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY! (Barney Simpson, How I Met Your Mother)
Sign Me Up – Where Do I Get Tickets?
The smashing event is organised annually by the award winning Abigails Collection and Grooms Room and this years chosen charity is Help for Heroes. At £40 per ticket, this is an absolute steel! But you better hurry as tickets are limited and sold on a first come first served basis. Call 01206 574 575 to find out more!
I have been looking forward to writing about James and Grace’s wedding day for a while. An epic day at Houchins last year filled with fun, good food and smiling guests. Then throw in some serious attention to detail on décor and styling. You then have yourself a dream wedding!
James and Grace are couple who emanate happiness and contentment. Both, like many, are not the type to lap up spotlight a wedding brings, but they seemed so elevated by the throws of the day that this was forgotten. Grace made a stunning bride and her never ending smile though-out the celebrations completed the visage. James was the image of warmth and satisfaction. And lets not forget about their beloved pugs, Hugo and Percy that finish the family picture!
James and Grace with their two beloved pugs, Hugo and Percy (Helen Elliott Photography)
This wedding venue is a traditionally styled venue with a modern twist. The grade II listed farmhouse with a new barn complex invites chic styling and décor with its spacious, contemporary feel with oh so heavenly light. Houchins offers exclusive use of the whole venue and grounds with overnight accommodation available for the bridal party just 50 metres away. What I love is the different options available of room usage giving a choice for all possible weather outcomes. This self contained gem of a venue is easily accessible and found only 15 minutes from Colchester and 10 minutes from Braintree.
Festoon Walkway at Houchins Essex, (Helen Elliott Photography)
The whole event was completely ethereal. Houchins lends itself to the opportunity of so many stunning lighting and décor options.
‘We had so many compliments and comments on the amazing ceiling of Kilner jars filled with fairy lights installed by Dreamwave following our wedding at Houchins. We knew the beautiful, rustic high ceiling in the barn needed something to set it off and when Paul came up with this idea it was just perfect! Dreamwave also lit up the pathways with lanterns & festoon lighting which led our guests to our evening food of paella & an ice cream van and fit in with our vintage theme so well. “
“Our DJ had everyone up dancing all night, despite the super hot weather & we were so pleased with our non-traditional DJ booth (another idea of Pauls) made from wooden pallets which finished off the dancing room perfectly alongside our ‘love’ letters and other props. We were a bit concerned this room would look like an afterthought after with Houchins having so much space & having put so much attention to detail elsewhere & we needn’t have worried. Thank you!”
The Evening Party, Image Source Helen Elliott Photography
Want to know more….
If you like the look styled by James and Grace, contact usto help you re-create the effect and get on the path towards your dream wedding.
The Evening Party, Image Source Helen Elliott Photography
Le Talbooth in Essex is once again hosting its famous Summer Barbeque sizzler. Personally, I love barbeque. Its one of my all time favourite food to eat. It simply screams summer! Combine the perfect summers evening by the river, a flow of refreshing drinks, comforting barbeque food whilst listening to the Steel Band and one of our Dreamwave DJ’s mixing your favourite beats in the marquee; you have the unequalled formulae for a smashing evening! After all, “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” (Wayne Dyer)
You can’t buy happiness – but you can barbeque!
Us and the Milsoms team are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday 27th August to satisfy your urges for delicious and fabulously prepared cuisine in the splendour of Le Talbooth’s mesmerising setting.
Hi all! Grab the opportunity to speak to one of our Dreamwave characters along with other experts in the wedding field. Join us at the up and coming Truly Vintage Wedding Fair. This is a hugely popular show set in the picturesque grounds of Glemham Hall in Suffolk. We will be on hand to chat all things wedding, music, lighting and décor whether you just want an evening DJ or full wedding lighting production!
Dreamwave Events will be at Truly Vintage Wedding Fair
Like all the suppliers attending, we love everything vintage! A quote from the organisers: “We’re dedicated to bringing creative, vintage, wedding inspiration to East Anglia with our Truly Vintage Wedding Fair. Inviting the best Suffolk suppliers to showcase their products and services at one of the county’s leading wedding fairs.”
Tori and Donna, the wedding planners based at the venue do a fantastic job. Now’s you chance to take advantage and check out the stunning marquee filled with wedding suppliers, the sanctuary of the powder room, the beautiful building and grounds of Glemham Hall.