Hill Country wedding lighting inspiration: A styled shoot at Memory Lane

For obvious reasons, your wedding day is one of the most significant days of your life. That’s one of the reasons people put so much effort into every little detail, from the invitation design and the flower arrangements to the cake, the music and the vows. One important consideration too often left behind is your lighting. It may seem like an afterthought, but it can actually transform your event from something ordinary into something magical.

At Altared, we offer a whole range of event rentals and services to take your special occasion over the top and make a lasting impression. Whether you need to make a large room feel more intimate or cast a warm glow on an otherwise industrial space, good lighting has the ability to affect your guests’ mood. As an added perk, it goes a long way toward making your wedding photos even more beautiful than they would have been already.

One of the things we’re most proud of is our array of lighting elements, from elegant chandeliers and Moravian stars to custom gobos, uplighting, pinspotting, and more. To showcase the way our Hill Country wedding lighting can elevate venues inside and out, we set up shop recently at Memory Lane for a styled shoot with Zack Marks of Boxing Rose Photography.

Glance through what we can do and reach out if you’d like to talk possibilities for your big day!

photos: @boxingrosephoto

Here’s Why You Need a DJ at Your Wedding Ceremony

Ask yourself what the three most important moments in any person’s life might be, and most likely, one of your answers will revolve around saying “I do.” A wedding ceremony is one of the most meaningful rituals we take part in, and often, we’re surrounded by loved ones who make it even more special. So, why would anyone take a chance on letting the moment be ruined over something silly?

Interestingly, not a lot of engaged couples rank ceremony audio high on their list of priorities when planning their big day. But when you think about it, that’s a make-or-break consideration that can dramatically alter the way things go. We’ve all been to that one wedding where the processional music comes to an abrupt, awkward halt when the couple join hands and the officiant begins to speak. Most of us have cast our eyes downward as microphones screech, hum and pop during a couple’s vows, or we’ve strained to hear them speak . Too many newlyweds spend hours selecting the perfect processional and recessional songs, only to wonder why it isn’t playing as they walk down the aisle, unable to fully enjoy the moment. And those aren’t the only things that can go wrong without expert sound management.

Making the moment count

At Altared Weddings & Events, our co-owner and CFO, Shelly Cole, is also a wedding officiant. “From the officiant’s point of view, they may have written something special to commemorate the day and celebrate the couple,” she says. “It was written for a reason, and the expectation is that everyone should be able to hear it.” Shelly also notes that guests can become critical of the ceremony if sound becomes an issue. It can take everyone out of the moment and cause them to become distracted or bored, losing focus of what’s important.

A wedding ceremony celebrates the joining of two people who love one another, making a promise in front of everyone they adore. If all guests can remember is the screech of the speakers or the fact that they couldn’t hear anything and felt left out, well… that’s not what anyone wants.

Who to hire for wedding ceremony AV

In order to make sure things run smoothly, you want a professional in your corner, taking away all your stress and handling everything like an expert. Cousin Joe may mean well when he offers to set up a microphone and hit “play” on those special ceremony songs, but Cousin Joe isn’t a pro and may not work as well under pressure as you’d like him to. At Altared, our team of DJs has a wealth of experience with all sorts of events, including wedding ceremonies. They can set up optimal audio conditions, queue the right music at the right time, and make sure nothing goes wrong when it counts. So, if you’re hiring a pro for your reception, why not take advantage of their expertise and help your ceremony run smoothly, too?

If you’d like to get hitched without a hitch, connect with us and let’s make sure your wedding sounds perfect from beginning to end.

photo credits:

Simple Wish Photography

Brio Photography

Ideas for Interactive Event Experiences at Your Next Gathering

From birthday parties to team-building events, people attend special occasions hoping to enjoy themselves and connect with one another. For some, it’s easy to strike up a conversation with strangers and acquaintances, while for others, breaking the ice is a tough thing to do. When it comes to filling an entire afternoon or evening with activities that make the most of everyone’s time, even the most advanced party planners could use a helping hand.

That’s why we offer a wide variety of interactive event experiences to keep the energy up during a social or professional event. Whether you’re looking for childhood games or truly inventive ways to get people to let their hair down, we have activities and tools to get the party going.

Austin Karaoke Rentals & Dance Instructors

Everybody’s got an inner rock star, pop icon or diva just waiting to burst out into the spotlight. Our Austin-based karaoke service is perfect for parties, rehearsal dinners, and corporate events. It includes an experienced karaoke host, a projector and two screens displaying lyrics (one for the singer, one for the guests), updated song lists and songbooks, and two microphones with special effects, plus optional upgrades. A party isn’t complete without great music, and you never know who’s going to surprise the crowd with an incredible singing voice or impeccable sense of rhythm!

Speaking of rhythm, our clients rave about our group dance lessons. If you’re ready to get into the groove, we’ll send a professional dance instructor to teach your wedding party, special gathering or corporate group how to shake a tail feather. You can select salsa, swing, line dancing, or almost any other style of your choosing. Dance lessons are an excellent addition to any wedding rehearsal, helping to take the dance floor up a notch at the reception. Likewise, corporate groups enjoy the chance to have some fun and show off their moves, too.

Rehearsal Dinner Rivalry, Trivia Nights & Corporate Game Shows

Good-natured, friendly competition can bring out the humor in almost any setting, and that’s why we offer a series of interactive competitions for your next gathering. Our Rehearsal Dinner Rivalry gets guests up and moving, putting them head to head with trivia games, lip sync battles, games and more. For this special package, we provide the host, music, microphone, projector, screen, and game materials.

Our Trivia Night package can be set up nearly anywhere — a bar, backyard, or the comfort of your living room. It gives your guests an hour or so of interactive trivia fun, with eight rounds of trivia hosted by a total pro, with a projector, screen, and up to 20 remotes.

And for a corporate event no one will ever forget, our Team-building packages are unparalleled. Our trivia and game show options can be customized to fit your brand, and we can even tailor the questions to cover whatever specific material you request. Accommodating up to 100 guests, we provide the host, all necessary A/V needs, and custom questions upon request.

Ready to get the party started?

We’re happy to work with you and put together a package to suit your needs. Everybody loves to have fun, and we’re here to help make it happen. Get in touch today and let’s talk possibilities!

Altared Weddings & Events Wins Big at The GLAMMYS!

In Texas, there are all sorts of things to celebrate and plenty of reasons to host a special event. That, paired with the abundance of creativity, warmth and drive Austinites are known for, makes for a robust community of event professionals around these parts. Since we’re in the business of putting smiles on people’s faces, we also make it our business to support each other, learn from one another, and give credit where it’s due.

It was a pleasure to be honored alongside our colleagues at the 2018 GLAMMYs recently, where Altared Weddings & Events proudly accepted the award for Multi Service Provider. And it doesn’t stop there! Two of our co-founders, Scott and Shelly, took home an award for their wedding officiant service, Short and Sweet Weddings!

Hosted by Austin Event Company, the 2nd annual GLAMMY Awards ceremony “…celebrates the many talented and deserving event professionals with industry-voted favorite vendor awards.” We are incredibly honored to be among the winners this year.

Not only were we winners on this amazing night — we also helped out behind the scenes. Our custom lighting bathed the gorgeous venue, Ma Maison, in soft golden tones and our venue spotlights emphasized an evening of excitement and class. Just take a look at the red carpet lined with 10 of our beautiful chandeliers! Guests took turns capturing memories in our magic mirror photo booth, commemorating the night with personalized pictures full of glitz and glamour. Whew! What a night!

We’d like to congratulate our fellow award winners and express our gratitude to the local events community for recognizing our work. We love what we do, and we’re glad you do, too!

To light up your next big event, get in touch today. Let’s make some magic together.

Behind the Scenes with a Professional Austin DJ: David Schacherl

Altared Weddings & Events Team

At Altared Weddings & Events, we put our all into bringing together the best and brightest team of DJs and event entertainment professionals in all of Austin. In fact, we’ve got some top-tier national talent on our team as well. Before joining Altared seven years ago this October, David Schacherl spent his entire adult life (and a good chunk of his adolescence) making magic in DJ booths at nightclubs all over the United States, and we’re lucky to have him here in our hometown.

When you learn that David is 34 years old and has been DJing for 22 years, the math might sound a little fuzzy, but it all adds up when you hear his origin story. We sat down with the seasoned pro (and brand new dad!) recently for a chat about his tricks of the trade, his very first turntable, and what’s so special about working with Altared. Scroll on and listen in!

You started DJing at age 12. How exactly did that happen?

My parents opened their first nightclub in 1978. It was a full-on disco era thing at first, and they stayed with it until the 1990s. I was 12 when one of their business partners who was a DJ at one of their nightclubs gave me a pair of turntables for a Christmas present. That set me on my path. I was raised on r&b, funk, disco, new wave, all of it. My parents built the house I was raised in, and their specific intention in building that home was to entertain people. Their Halloween party was a big annual blowout — they had a lot of friends who were DJs who would take turns with the music, and one was the director for the performing arts center at UT, so they’d raid the prop closet and have all these incredible decorations.

My parents were never surprised when my brother and I threw house parties whenever they left town. They taught us how! There was this obtuse triangle table that we rearranged the wrong way after a party, and our mom noticed and we were pretty much busted. They were like, “You did a great job, but you’re grounded for the next month.”

OK, fast-forward to today: What’s your favorite part of the job?

I can name plenty of things that are much worse than playing music for people for a living. (laughs) Music’s always been a passion of mine from a very young age, and it’s great to be able to share that with folks. My work week is essentially Friday-Saturday, which is really agreeable for us with two new twins at home!

Music is such a personal thing for me, and for pretty much everyone. It’s rare that I encounter someone who’s like, “I don’t really care about music.” Even if they do say that, it doesn’t diminish the magic of seeing them on the dance floor, dancing and having a great time or having an intimate moment with somebody. It’s such a powerful mode, inspiring emotions and affecting people.

What’s something people might be surprised to learn about the world of DJing?

In this world of immediacy and everything on demand, sometimes people can view (a DJ) as something of servant, and at the same time, the culture has a little bit of a reputation for not accepting requests. So people might make a point of coming off as either aggressive or meek (when they make a request) because they feel like the DJ won’t accept it any other way. For DJs, wedding guests, clubgoers, and really all of us, it’s important to remember that we’re all people, and we can interact even if we’re strangers. I’m happy to grant people’s requests, and I always want to be approachable and accommodating, especially on a special occasion when it really means something to people.

At weddings, though, people more or less are on their better behavior, so they’re often really polite. While I have strong opinions about music, this is their experience, and I’m here for them. It’s a two-way street. We don’t have to be smug or self-entitled. (Our) livelihood depends on (what we do on the job and how we interact with people), so it’s good to be good to each other.

Is there a magic bullet song you always go to if the dance floor’s a little cool to the touch? Does it vary by event type or crowd type, or is there one that just always works, like presto change-o?

It’s not one particular one — it’s one for each moment. To get the dance floor going, maybe a pop hit — like the two biggest ones to start any dance floor after the pageantry is over and it’s party time are Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” If I’m not feeling that vibe, James Brown’s “I Feel Good” is another great starter.

If the energy is waning after we’ve been hitting it hard with lots of dance music, something slow and classic to get some of the older or more reserved folks out of their seats is Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” or “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” is another great one for that. Two little slow songs for a partner dance, and then I can bring it back up with something mid-tempo and universal, like The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” or “Brickhouse” by The Commodores.

What makes Altared different from other event rental and entertainment brands?

Altared has always been a family business, from its original owners to, now, Scott and Shelly and their sons Dillon and Jared, and we try to keep it friendly and familial rather than just a business. There’s a more personal, human, family touch to it. That really sets us apart from the average business.

Want to put the Altared family to work and make your big day one to remember? Get in touch today and we’ll put together a custom package to keep your guests talking about an event they’ll never forget.

Time to Start Thinking about Holiday Party Rentals!

Altared Weddings & Events Team

When the holiday season rolls around, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Whether you’ve got friends and family in town from elsewhere or you’re in charge of putting together the year-end office party celebrating everyone’s accomplishments, November/December is a perfect time to kick up your heels and have some fun. There’s no shortage of great venues in Austin to hold your event, and luckily, we’ve got plenty of holiday party rentals to make the night absolutely perfect.

‘Tis the season

If you’re envisioning a cozy, intimate vibe in a space where everything just seems to glow, we can hang string lights from the rafters or create a light wall you can use as a photo booth backdrop. (Speaking of photo booths, ours are some of the best in the business. You can see your images in our magic mirror with interactive on-screen graphics or play with the props in our social booth.) If you’re hosting a large-scale corporate event complete with uplighting, pin spots and custom illuminations, we’ve got you covered. Need your brand’s logo all aglow on the dance floor and entryway? Check. Want a professional set of spotlights for the band and a classic disco ball or pulsing light show over all the revelers? Check, check and check. There’s really not much we can’t do.

As for getting folks onto the dance floor and keeping them there all night long, our DJs can’t be beat. Our team of party pros know how to read a room and get it moving in a snap. For a more laid-back feel, our acoustic musicians can captivate guests and get them singing along. For those who REALLY want to take center stage, our karaoke rentals make a star out of everyone on the mic.

More holiday party rentals

That isn’t all we offer, by the way. We also have special wine barrels that can be used as cocktail tables, serving stations or decorative elements, giving your event an upscale rustic look and feel. Our yard game rentals keep folks in a festive mood, whether they’re playing Giant Jenga, Connect Four, Dominos or Tic Tac Toe. Our sandbag toss is always a fun way to interact over a holiday cocktail, too.

Whatever you need to make your event one to remember, we’re here to assist. The season may feel far away, but it will be here faster than you think, so don’t put off your planning until it’s too late.

Get in touch about our holiday party rentals today and let’s build a custom package to fit your needs!

Lights, Camera, Dance: Look What the Right Austin Wedding Rentals Can Do!

Altared Weddings & Events Team

For couples getting married in central Texas, the right mix of elements can take an already important event over the top, truly making it something to remember. From lights and entertainment to a photo booth primed for capturing the day’s festive mood, those extra touches don’t just magically appear; it takes a team of skilled event professionals to pull it all together and make it happen.

The perfect blend of Austin wedding rentals

At Altared Weddings & Events, we make a point of offering a range of lighting elements, DJs and live music pros, and specialty rentals (lawn games, photo booths, wine barrel accents, and more) to fit each couple’s needs. In fact, when our clients come to us for a mix of services, we’re often able to save them money by bundling it all together in a budget-friendly package.

That’s just what the gorgeous couple in today’s gallery did. They came to us in search of the perfect DJ, beautiful uplighting and a photo booth to end all photo booths, so that’s just what we delivered. They chose to hold their nuptials at the breathtaking Villa Antonia, nestled away in the majestic Texas Hill Country, and they couldn’t have opted for a more perfect place. Scroll through the images below to get a sense of how glorious the scene was… not to mention how great our own DJ Davin was at getting the crowd to break it DOWN on the dance floor!

Experience it all for yourself

If you’re saying “I do” or hosting a special event of any kind this summer or fall, we have a few select dates still available. Reach out to us directly for a deal as hot as these sizzling Texas afternoons!

Venue: Villa Antonia

Photographer: Pearlsnap Photography

The perfect mix of Austin wedding rentals at Villa Antonia

We can’t decide what’s more impressive — the beauty of this stunning Hill Country venue, or the dance moves these guests brought to the party with them!

Austin Event Lighting Done Right: Here’s Everything We Offer

Altared Weddings & Events Team

When setting the scene for a memorable event, lighting makes more of a difference than you might think. From drawing the eye to a focal point (the wedding cake, the first dance, a speaker at a podium) to creating a sense of warmth and coziness, good lighting is essential. Luckily, we’re on hand for Austin event lighting needs of every kind, from intimate garden weddings in Round Rock to grand corporate events in downtown ATX. Read on for a rundown of everything we offer at Altared Weddings & Events to make your event shine bright like a diamond.

Uplighting

If you’ve ever walked into a space that felt almost magical, cast in a warm orange, red or pink glow or bathed in blue, green, or purple, chances are, you’ve entered a room with uplighting in it. To uplight your event, we strategically place our wireless LED lights throughout the venue and illuminate it in the hue of your choice. As the event goes on, we can transform the color to transition from dinner to dancing, or just mix things up for fun. We can even program it to sync up with your music, so you can get Tangled Up in Blue, dance in Fields of Gold or just let the colors pulse as you sway through the night.

Show Lighting

If your event features a live band, we can light them up like absolute rock stars, and we can set the dance floor on fire, too — well, not literally, of course. If you’ve got a DJ (whether it’s one of ours or someone of your own), we offer everything from trussing and moving lights to disco balls. No matter the combination, we make sure it’s festive and fun, turning any space into a party-ready wonderland.

Chandeliers & Pendants

Our quartet of chandelier and pendant options bring a sense of old-world elegance to the table. Our classic 5-bulb and larger 12-bulb crystal chandeliers are embellished with hanging jewels to heighten the drama, while our rustic chandeliers and Moravian stars take your imagination from the nearest farm to the far reaches of bohemia. Each has a dreamy, picture-perfect effect wherever you choose to feature it.

String Lights

String lighting can be used in a variety of ways, from a simple backyard-style sweep to a dramatic light wall acting as a dramatic backdrop. This popular option is great for ambient lighting, giving everything a sweet, familiar glow. Wrap it around some big tree branches or string it out from the center of a tent — it’s versatile, hardy, and works well indoors or out.

Pin Spots & Cake Lights

Pin spots and cake lights are perfect for calling attention to your centerpieces, wedding cake, and any other focal point you wish to highlight. Guest books, gift tables, and other special items can benefit from a small spotlight of their own, making sure guests don’t miss them as they walk by.

Industrial & Drop Lights

Edison lights have come back into vogue in a big way, thanks to their timeless appearance. Their superpower is their classic appeal: they can warm up the look of an industrial space or make a modern space look more industrial. Either way you use them, they’re as much a decor element as they are a functional way to light a space. Hang them in a group above your cake table as an alternative to modern cake lighting, or let them add strong visual appeal over a rustic, farm-style buffet.

Gobos

Ever wanted to see your name (or your new monogram) in lights? This is your chance! We can customize your corporate logo or personal monogram into a spotlight that shines up on a wall or down from above, and we can set it in motion, too. Or, to lend some subtle special effects to your dance floor, choose from over 1,000 patterns and let us set them spinning. The sky is the limit, so let your imagination run free and we’ll make sure to keep up.

Need us to give your next big event that certain something? Get in touch today and we’ll customize a lighting package that’s perfect for you.

Austin event lighting done right

Click through this gallery for a sampling of our gorgeous Austin lighting rental options.

Fun for All: Lawn Games for an Austin Wedding

Altared Weddings & Events Team

When two people get married, a sense of celebration comes part and parcel with the big day. After all, what could be more worthy of a party than the beginning of a new forever? But for couples who want to infuse a little extra fun into their big day, we’re always ready to bring in the lawn games for an Austin wedding to end all weddings.

One of our recent brides wanted a particularly festive rustic-chic affair complete with uplights, a mirror photo booth, wine barrel accents, a twinkly custom light wall, and a heaping helping of yard games, so that’s exactly what we provided. As a result, the party kept rockin’ well into the evening, with everyone gathering together for friendly cornhole competitions (aka “shot put”) and giant Jenga and Connect Four games. We made sure to cast everything in a warm glow, helping the cozy atmosphere translate perfectly into photographs and capture all the love. According to the bride, we succeeded!

“I cannot emphasize enough how much of a difference lighting (both indoor and outdoor) can make,” she said in her 5-star review of our services. “We had Altared bring lawn games, a photo booth and lighting for our big day and it was PERFECT!”

Wedding Lawn Games FTW

The bride and groom’s planner, Tessa Johnson of Eclipse Event Co, echoed the happy bride’s sentiments. “(We) wouldn’t have been able to have our s’mores station without the lights everywhere! Honestly almost everyone was playing games or hanging outside the entire night… it was just such a fun and pretty area and a huge part of that was because of Altared.”

What can we say? When it comes to shot put, we always aim for the center, and when it comes to our clients, we always aim to please.

Cruise through our gallery below for lovely photos of all the fun. If you’d like to rent our lawn games, photo booth, lighting, musical entertainment or special accents for your wedding, reach out and let us know. We can’t wait to make your day as fun as ever!

Fun for All: Lawn Games for an Austin Wedding

Bet you can’t scroll through without smiling.

Hey Mister Deejay: Meet DJ Davin!

Altared Weddings & Events Team

At Altared Weddings & Events, we only work with the best and brightest entertainment partners in the business, and Austin-based DJ Davin Lawrence is no exception. In fact, you could even say he was born to do what he does: get people on the dance floor and give them the time of their lives. Read on to learn about one of our fine collaborators who’s always ready to help you bust a move.

It was a good day

When it comes to a musical maestro’s pedigree, there’s no better origin point than a real-deal disco DJ, and that’s just what Davin’s dad was back in the 1970s. In fact, that’s how his parents met. “It’s exactly like that Human League song,” he laughs — his mom was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when she met a man on the ones and twos who stole her heart.

Davin grew up listening to his dad’s favorite records, and it was his father who got him into the fastest-growing (and longest-lasting) genre of the 90s. With a love for (now) old-school hip hop, classic soul and throwback r&b imprinted onto his brain and a knack for working a crowd passed down through DNA, there was only one thing to do: build a career at the point where those things intersect.

If you want it, you got it

Professionally DJing for seven years now, Davin has been working with Altared for nearly three. When a client hires us for musical entertainment and requests someone to keep the dance floor burning, we embark on a tried-and-true matchmaking process. We take into account their personality, their guests’ musical tastes and the style of the event. We take care to place each client with a pro who can deliver exactly the experience they’re looking for, and when what they want is for a DJ to bring the funk, that’s where Davin comes in. He brings a wealth of musical styles to the table and can easily switch between genres to suit the room and the people in it, but if you want an undeniable mix that doesn’t spare a single beat of the 808, this is your match. In fact, quite a few clients seek us out because they attended an event where Davin was on deck and decided they wanted him at their own big occasion, too.

This is how we do it

But what about just building a playlist of the songs you like and letting a laptop do the work instead of hiring a DJ? Isn’t that cheaper and easier?

Davin explains: “If you’re planning on building a custom list or hitting shuffle on your own collection, you may need up to six hours’ worth of music, and there’s no way to predict how your guests will react to each song.” As any great event professional knows, some tunes have a great opening and then just sort of die after the first chorus, and the wrong mix can kill a room’s energy in a heartbeat. Timing is important. With a professional on board, there’s always someone paying attention to the sequence of events taking place in the venue, keeping tuned into the crowd’s mood, and constantly adjusting the mix to fit.

As a bonus: if anything technical goes wrong — a mic dies in the middle of a toast or an in-house speaker won’t stop popping during dinner — having a seasoned pro on hand is essential. It’s a life-saver to have a problem solver nearby who can handle the issue (or hand you a new mic!) and let the event keep on flowing.

Don’t believe me? Just watch

Davin says he can tell a lot about a person’s expectations for an event simply by asking the question, “What do you NOT want us to play?” That simple query helps narrow the focus down to what the client likes personally, but also gives insight into what they’re envisioning for the event. Just a few notes about genres, moods, or particular songs can give Davin nearly everything he needs to know about which lanes to stay in to give the host what they want. (When in doubt, he says, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars is still getting crowds of all ages up on their feet a solid four years after it first hit the charts. “Not a lot of recent pop songs have that kind of staying power,” he notes.)

As for his favorite part of the job: “Just the energy in the room,” he says. “When you get a room going, there are these magical moments that can’t even be quantified or qualified — moments you never forget. I get to make people’s nights and be a part of their lives in a special and unique way. When everything comes together and the whole room is losing their minds in front of you, that’s the best part.”

To bring Davin (or any of our entertainment partners) on board for your next event, get in touch with Altared and let’s get you into the groove.