Over the past few months, I've gotten to know Lindsey Huddleston of Nashville's dandyLion Events. She's a new creative force in the event planning world - with a real eye for originality. Lindsey shares with us her thoughts on the role of music and entertainment at parties.
MARISSA: There is a lot of talk in the event planning industry about the visual aesthetic. How do you use sound and entertainment to create an "audio" aesthetic or atmosphere at your parties?
LINDSEY: Music affects your body in the same way lighting does- maybe more so. It directs emotions, so whatever type of emotion we want people to feel- we want the music to emulate that. Tempo affects movement, so if you want people to mingle or dance, we'll play a fun mix that's upbeat. Same goes for a dinner party- it moves the conversation. If you choose music that is purely instrumental, it can be very somber.There are some mellow instrumentals for smaller gatherings that aren't classical music like Ratatat and Explosions in the Sky. With that, genre is also a factor in choosing music for an event- I wouldn't choose something glib for a formal dinner.
MARISSA: How do you go about selecting entertainment for your parties? What are the most important things that you look for in an entertainer?
LINDSEY: Flexibility is the most important thing. Even though we have a game plan in your hands well in advance, you can count on last-minute alterations. Being able to roll with the punches and make adjustments in real time is something we value in all the vendors we work with. Along with that, sense of humor is absolutely necessary!
Excellent quality- I put this before cost because the impact of entertainment has value. A band can get a crowd going, a performance can bring a group together and DJS who are in touch with their audience all make the difference. We want to transform people's mindset from 'just another event' to creating a time when they feel connected and alive.
Good rates- Having said that, we're also looking for reasonable prices for your time, skill level and artistry. In Nashville there is a plethora of musicians available so that helps keep pricing competitive.
Can communicate needs clearly- Many of our clients don't know, when beginning the planning process, how much they need to budget for entertainment or specific needs. They don't know how many sockets the venue needs to have, the timing and lighting of the presentation, what to do when the entertainer has breaks, what or if to feed the entertainer, etc. Clear communication from the start helps eliminate issues down the road and on the day of the event. I'm speaking from personal experience on this one!
MARISSA: Please share with us any examples of how entertainment has enhanced or tied into a theme for a party that you've planned?
LINDSEY: We designed a child's birthday party this past September. It was a jungle theme and what really pulled the whole event together was the tiger moon bounce for the kids. It made everything else make sense! It was perfect entertainment for the kids and the adults were free to lounge under a tent that was made to look like a canopy.
MARISSA: Tell us more about you and your approach to event planning.
LINDSEY: I'm the idea + planning lioness for dandyLion Events. I ponder all sorts of things. I love to dream all day and all night. I love to read. I'm goofy and I take it seriously. I am obsessed with the details of an event. That's why i'm the idea and planning lioness. I encourage my clients to dream + then come see us. We’ll make a plan together. My personal style is classic with eccentric twists - always looking for something new! I don't watch toxic wedding shows -they pollute originality.
I love etiquette. sounds counter-intuitive, but it lays the foundation for connections to be made. I really believe events are the best way for pure face-to-face connecting. The truth of the matter though is sometimes it's hard, especially when planning a wedding. We understand. We can handle the details and keep you excited about what's coming. Celebrate love!