Thursday, August 22, 2013

JT Michaels Entertainment, Up Close and Personal

Getting Up Close and Personal with some of the Professional Vendors I love working with is always a treat for me....some I have had the chance to know personally and have become really good friends with and JT Michaels has become one of them. He has a heart of'll see with some of the personal accomplishments and life events he shares with me. So sitback and read about the talented JT Michaels Entertainment.......

Q: What made you decide to become a Professional DJ, what year did you start? 

A: 1989

I love music. I began collecting vinyl in the 80's, then CD's in the 90's. Because I had a large music library and also enjoy the nightlife, it was a natural fit being a DJ. It's also rewarding to help make a wedding couple's reception a complete success....all while having fun doing so. 

Q:  How was your first event and what would you have done differently if anything? 

A: It was a graduation party for my cousin, Erynn at Darby Creek Park. I wouldn’t have done anything differently, but looking back it would have been easier to create a playlist ahead of time.

Q: What makes couples want to hire you? 

A: That’s easy…just look at me. I’ve always been irresistible to both women & men. LOL 
I’ve been told my pricing is very reasonable. There are so many inexperienced DJ’s offering “too good to be true” pricing like $200 using home stereo equipment. Then there’s DJ’s demanding  $1,500 to play for 3 hours. I charge $100 @ hour for weddings and I’ve not raised my prices in years. 

Q: How do you make sure couples feel confident in your business? 

A: I have references available from hundreds of events I’ve performed at over the past 20 years. I have a $2 million insurance policy. I also make sure there’s an easy-to-understand event agreement…and I don’t rush or pressure them into signing it. 

Q: Do you book more than one event on the same day? 

Q: Not when it comes to weddings. 99% of events throughout the year are single-day events. There are a couple of exceptions. For example, I donate my DJ services each year to the Buckeye Ranch. On August 24th , they asked me to play from 11am – 2pm. I also do events for Macy’s, though, and got a call from them recently asking me to play from 9am – 9pm. I had to decline. They were persistent, however, and asked if I would stop by afterwards and play the rest of the day (approximately 3pm – 9pm) so I agreed to that.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time with family and friends or by yourself? 

A: Well, today I spent the afternoon with my son at Easton. After lunch, we met up with Bobby Rahal who is also donating his time to the Buckeye Ranch by putting on an event called RALLY FOR THE RANCH. This is the 2nd year for the car show. I also enjoy traveling (I’ve been to 47 states), OSU football, video games, aviation, NASCAR, concerts, and romantic walks on the beach. 

Q: Do you have any hobbies? 

A: Anything music-related, flying out of Bolton Field, football.

Q: What is the best advice you can give to a couple when planning their wedding? 

A: Make sure daddy has some deep pockets! LOL  Seriously, though…my #1 piece of advice would be to plan ahead. This benefits everyone. Not just the wedding couple, but the venue, the vendors, and both families. Try and give yourself at least one year in advance to properly plan out everything. Second piece of advice…hire a wedding planner such as Nora McCoy to ensure your day goes smoothly. This will take away a HUGE amount of stress because you’ll have a non-family member by your side when you need her.

Q: Would you say your pricing is compatible with almost any budget? 

A: Yes. As I mentioned, I’m told my pricing is very reasonable and in many cases below what other DJ’s with less experience are charging. It pays to shop around. I offer discounts for Sun-Thur events, those in the military, and those needing more than 6 hours.

Q: What is the funniest thing you have ever seen at a wedding? 

A: Hmmm…well, I could write a book on this one. If I had to pick just one, it would probably be a couple years ago when the groomsmen had a good laugh at the bride & groom’s expense. After a very long day (and even a longer night), they were exhausted and just wanted to head home in order to be finally alone. I watched as they said their goodbyes to everyone and headed out the door ready to begin their honeymoon. Unfortunately for them, the guys had wrapped their car completely in industrial strength plastic wrap. The inside was jam-packed with colorful balloons, too. After a few laughs (and after taking some photos), they all pitched in to help the groom with removing all of it from his car so they could finally go home.

Q: How can couples contact you to set up a consultation? 

A: I’m available by phone at 614-571-0820 or you can email

Q: Do you charge for a consultation? 

A: Never

Q: What trends do you see coming for 2014 couples? 

A: When it comes to fashion, I’ll probably let someone else answer this one. From an entertainment perspective, I see the wedding DJ as popular as ever. Photo booths aren’t as popular as they have been in previous years, but uplighting still continues to be strong and will be throughout 2014.

Q: Are you married, single, children...tell me a little about yourself! 

A: Sorry ladies…I’m engaged to my long-time girlfriend of 8 years (I know, I know). I have one son from a previous marriage. His name is Christian. 

JT shared some personal stuff with all of us and I enjoyed learning more about him. 

A few things most DO NOT know about me….

I have worked many odd jobs...I can drive a forklift, I was a credit card fraud investigator for 3 yrs, worked for my best friend and his father’s construction company briefly, I know how to build websites, worked in Master Control for FOX28, a radio personality for 5 FM stations here in Central Ohio, etc. 
I’ve proven repeatedly that money only goes so far in life. I’ve broke up with a “rich girl” on more than one occasion because I was more attracted to a down-to-earth girl making barely minimum wage instead. 
 At age 17, I was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live. 
My parents did their homework and discovered St. Jude and I still fly regularly to/from Memphis, TN to help out whenever I can. My father and Fred Ricart are friends and put together a St. Jude’s benefit about ten years ago. This is an annual event held in July with 100% of the proceeds going to the hospital.
I LOVE 80’s music! Journey, Billy Idol, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, etc. I opened up for Wang Chung and The Fixx this past weekend at the Hollywood Casino and it was a dream come true! In August, I’ll open for the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s and in September, it’s the band Starship and John Waite.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Love Story, A Wedding and The Three Musketeers....

Just when you think you have felt every feeling possible when you perform a wedding ceremony, something always happens that makes your heart thump just a little bit. 

On July 11, 2013 I was asked to do an elopement for a couple, little did I know just how exciting and extraordinary it would be. Still today I think of this couple that walked into my office, marriage license in hand wanting me to marry them. 

Behind them as they walked through the door was a women who introduced herself as Lisa, their daughter. She had a sparkle in her eye... as if to be just as excited as the wedding couple were.

I proceeded to put them in place and they wanted to say their own vows to each other, she had no flowers so I reached over and handed her some silk pink roses to hold. As they turned and faced each other you could see a sparkle in his eyes and the excitement in her smile...she laid the roses on the coffee table and then grasped each others hands so tightly and stood while I began. When it came time for them to read their vows, they both seemed nervous and as they murmured a few quit words to each other before beginning. I leaned over to their daughter Lisa and whispered "they are so sweet" she replied as she was snapping pictures "I know, I just met him yesterday". At that moment I wanted to know more, but knew the ceremony had to continue.

As he began to read the words he wrote on folded paper, I watched as his eyes began to tear up and her lips quivered as a tear slid down her cheek and I began to understand some of what their journey was. A card was unfolded in her hands as she began to read her words. She read with such a soft trembling voice, trying hard to hold back the tears that kept falling down her cheeks. My heart was beating hard and the goose bumps were all over my arms as I listened and watch these two pour their hearts out to each other, like I have never heard before.

Their vows to each other...

Scotty, you are my best friend, my true love, my protector, my brave warrior. I think I fell in love with you the first time we danced, your chin on my head and holding each other so close. But, good things don't always last forever, Unforeseen circumstances took us away from our beautiful dream and I thought I would never see you again. But then, our loving and beautiful daughter brought us together after forty eight long years. My love for you is as strong as ever and this time, I hope God will give us many years together. I will take care of you, honor you, be faithful to you and spend the rest of my life loving you. I LOVE YOU


Marianne, I met you 49 years ago and it was love at first sight. I had never seen a more beautiful woman. Circumstances beyond our control kept us from being together. Then through all the years since, I looked for you, or someone like you, but my search was always in vain. Then, on a day not too long ago, my dream was answered when I heard your sweet voice on the phone again. All of the feelings from the past resurfaced and are with me today. I have found my one true love and want to take no chances of losing it again. I love you Marianne and promise to love and cherish you for the rest of the time I have on this earth and beyond. By saying "I do", I fully commit to you my mind, body and soul forever......

I knew I was watching a love story unfold right in front of me and felt so proud to be officiating this ceremony.

We finished and walked outside by the tree lined fence outside my office to get a few we walked their daughter started telling me the story of how she found her father and of how she really did it for her mother to finally bring some happiness back into her life. Turns out it brought even more happiness to her father as well. 

I asked Lisa to please send me photos and if possible to write to me about how today came about. 

In her own words, this is what I received...again my eyes filled with tears and those same goose bumps appeared as I started reading.....
The Love Story of Darrell Scott and Marianne Swisher

This is a true story as told by their daughter Lisa

Well, where do I start? 
I was pretty much raised in Kansas City, MO. Then when I was 18 I married a military man and moved to Washington State, a year later my daughter Ashley was born, this was in 1985. My husband at the time had to go overseas to Korea for about a year, so I decided to go back to K.C. and stay with my mom until he returned home. 

One day my mom and I were sitting and talking about her past boyfriends and things like that, she started talking about this guy named Scotty that she use to date, they were only together for about 3 months before he had to go overseas and then on to Vietnam.
I asked what they used to do together and she said dance and hang out in bed on rainy days a lot. 
I then asked what he looked like and she said, "he had reddish hair and freckles," and I jokingly said, "Hey, he sounds like he could be my dad!" Since I too had red hair and freckles, but my mom or dad did not! The look on her face when I said that really took me off guard and made me start thinking! I really didn't look like either one of my parents. 

I started doing some investigation and found my birth certificate and realized by the date that I was 6 months old when my mom and the dad I thought was my dad got married. I showed her that and then she told me the truth. I wasn't really surprised and I was fine with it! At that time we had no idea if my real dad was still alive or not, she thought he had died in Vietnam. So we decided to look him up and see if he was in the same town she remembered. He was and we found his number. 

My mother called him and told him that I would like some pictures of him, for some reason at that time that was all I wanted, I was 25 and young! I really had no desire at that time to meet him. I forgot to mention that he always knew he had a daughter out there somewhere. So he sent us some pictures and my mom and him talked a few times and that was about it then! He was married at the time and my mother was in a relationship. So I was satisfied just to get some pictures and see what he looked like! 

For me it was like looking in the mirror! 

Then we jump ahead to St. Patrick's Day 2013. I was home alone and something just came over me, I started crying and I didn't really know why! It's like something just hit me over the head and said you have to find and know your real father! 
All of a sudden I wanted this so bad! 

I called my mom and told her that we needed to find my real dad again! So we both looked up different numbers and found him again! I wanted her to call so she did and got his answering machine, and new instantly that it was him. The message she left was, "This is Marianne and it's about Lisa and it's important, could you please call me back." 

Within 5 minutes he called and they talked and she told him I wanted to get to know him and meet him! He was very excited to hear this, that same night he called me and it was unbelievable how natural and easy everything was! It was like we had known each other all along. From then on we texted a few times a day and talked every few! In the meantime my mom and him were doing the same thing and began to fall in love again after 48 long years! The timing was perfect this time, neither were married or with anyone! My dad said he had always loved my mom and that's why none of his other marriages worked out because he was always looking for her! I think it took my mom a little longer to fall back in love, but she sure fell hard and as you know they are now married and act like two teenagers in love! Before you married them my mom and I planned a trip to go see him in Ohio! I live in California and so I flew to K.C. where my mom lives and then we drove to Ohio! When we pulled up to his house he was sitting on the porch and he came to greet us, I said "Hug mom first", they looked into each others eyed and didn't stop for 10 minutes! The love was so real and obvious! Then I went over and we all three hugged and from then on it was like a special bond that will never be broken!

We call ourselves The Three Musketeers! We then spent a week with him and never once turned the t.v. on! That was amazing, we just had so much to talk about! His family says they have never seen him this happy in his life! He is a former Marine who was in Vietnam, he saw and went through a lot there and suffers from PTSD!
With the love of my mother and I, he has never been happier and finally feels like his life is complete! We all feel that way now too, none of us have ever been more happy..... it's like there was always something missing, but now everything is how it should be! The only reason I can think of as to 25 years ago when we first contacted him nothing happened, it just wasn't the right time, but it is exactly how it should be now! I want to thank you for marrying my mother and father.

I wish for Scotty, Marianne and Lisa all the love in the world and thank them for allowing me to be a part of their story...The Three Musketeers!


If you have any comments about this story or want to know more please leave a comment and I will do my best to find the answers for you.
Thank you Lisa so much for sending your photos and letter and allowing me to print word for word.
Party Planners Plus
Wedding Planner
Wedding Officiant

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Up Close & Personal with Joy Macke, State of Face Artistry

We are so thrilled to bring you exciting interviews with some of Central Ohio's best Wedding Professionals! 
Today we will be getting Up Close & Personal ...(just a tad) with

Joy Macke, owner of State Of Face Makeup Artistry.

We have worked and Highly recommend Joy to our clients because of her professionalism and her beautiful work. Most important to us here is the way Joy brings with her a calming effect that every bride needs on her wedding day...along with a great personality and smile. Let's get started....

Q:   Joy, what made you decide to become a Professional Makeup Artist? 
I     AI started doing makeup in 2001 in the cosmetics industry. With a degree in theatre, inability to sit still in a corporate type of job all day, a new obsession with beauty products and the need to be colorful and creative- I decided that working in makeup was the only job I could tolerate! I started my freelance biz in 2008, it was when a long held belief that I needed to be self-employed became a necessity. I had been a Regional cosmetics trainer for years on the road and was OVER being in planes, hotels and malls all the time.

Q:  Joy, how was your first event and what would you have done differently if anything?

A: Oh my gosh Nora...can I say everything??! I look back 5 years and can't believe how lost I was. Good thing I didn't know any better, but it was a different time in weddings even in 2008. Hiring a makeup artist wasn't thought to be a necessity until about 2010, so I got into it at the exact right moment! I didn't used to have a contract, was totally disorganized in my kit, had no good photos to showcase my work and loved bright colors so much then, that I had a difficult time doing a timeless look.

Q: Joy, what makes couples want to hire you?

A: I would say most of my business is from referrals at this point, the rest is from a combo of my portfolio and reviews. It has become like a family- a bridesmaid one year becomes engaged and remembers loving her makeup, then hires me. I love getting to know people and making those personable connections. After all, I will be staring at your face close up for an hour or so. I also have a blog that has been active for about 8 years, so people can get to know me and my work that way. I've had many people in my chair who say that they read my whole blog!

Q: Joy, how do you make sure couples feel confident in your business?

A: My communication is always nearly immediate, which gives confidence in my reliability; plus the reviews are a good way to see that many people have felt very happy with my work over the years.

Q: Do you book more than one event on the same day?

A: It's imperative as a mainly wedding makeup artist to book as many weddings as you can in order to be able to afford to do it for a living (and not have to take a day-job). There are only so many days every year that people get married and most peak months Saturdays (May-October) I will double book in a very strategic way. I always pad my timeline so that nobody is running behind or concerned about being late because of makeup. I always tell people that I will not be a reason for them to worry- I leave lots of time and have done this so many times that it is predictable how long each face will take, how long it takes to pack up, get to the next venue, unpack and be ready to start again. I always account for everything. And if there's ever a question of being a little short on time, I will bring additional artists.

Q:  Joy, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time with family and friends or by yourself?
A: This sounds so canned, but I volunteer a lot of my time. I work with Dress for Success in their Rouge and Resumes program where we prepare people to reenter the job force and show them how do makeup in a professional fashion. I absolutely love working with DFS! I also am part of a charity mass choir (200 people) called Harmony Project ( that raises funds for various programs (South High music program, revitalization of the South Side, building a new playground, painting murals, working with Children's Services at the holidays and raising money for bikes for foster children, among other things). The singing is to inspire others to give back to their community, but it's not all preachy and typical choir music- we have done songs from Earth Wind and Fire, U2, Annie Lennox and at some shows I have a solo to belt out. Until about 2 years ago I also played bass and was a singer/songwriter in indie bands. Other than volunteering, I like to try new non-chain restaurants, hang out with my often hilarious friends, cuddle with my 2 dogs, watch youtube makeup reviews and some bad reality tv.
Q:  WOW...Joy do you even have time for any hobbies?
A: Nora I spend SO much time researching products, watching tutorials, talking in groups of artists about application techniques and product choices that my job is also my hobby. Other than makeup, checking out live music, spending time with my niece and nephew, and I love party planning too!
( I will have to remember this Joy Macke!) Anything that lets me be creative and a little bossy usually works :)

Q:  Joy, what is the best advice you can give to a couple when planning their wedding?
A:  Don't put things off. I have many people inquire for availability 5 months prior to the wedding day because that's what some book told them to do and I'm already booked. If you are engaged and know you want to hire a makeup artist (or any type of wedding pro), sooner is always better. Get the vendor of your choice! And hire a planner. I wish I had done that for my own!!
Q:  Joy, would you say your pricing is compatible with almost any budget?

A:  I always tell people that my pricing is moderate, which, considering my heavy bookings and how many reviews and awards I've gotten, that's a bargain. Not everyone can afford a wedding, but if you can, you simply can NOT skip getting makeup done professionally. I can always tell when I see the professional pictures when the bride and party have not chosen to do this.

Q: What is the funniest thing you have ever seen at a wedding?
A:  I actually don't go to the weddings, since my job happens before it all goes down. I see a lot of family drama and inner workings that most close friends don't even get to see though. But I've definitely seen some hilarious things go down, like the 12-piece mariachi band that thought the bride would like them to play for her and her girls while they got ready. In her home. Full blast. For an hour. Funny, sure- also painful.

Q:  How can couples contact you to set up a consultation?

A: The bride usually emails or calls me and I'll email or talk to them. or (614)296-0123
Q:  Do you charge for a consultation?

A:  Just talking, no- but I do that via email usually. I do charge for a makeup trial, which is about an hour or so and I will talk to them about the look they want, look at inspiration photos if they have any, and then do full makeup on them, including airbrush foundation and lashes, then make adjustments as needed.

Q:  Joy, what trends do you see coming for 2014 couples?

A:  For makeup, I think lips are coming back. For the last 12 years people have skewed away from doing anything besides light pink/rose, nude tones or glossy lips, but in the last 6 months I've had more people wanting and open to mid-tone, brighter or darker lips. There is a way to make it  fashionable and current.

Q:  Just one more question that's a tad more personal...Are you married, single, children...tell us a little about yourself!

 A:  I got married at 36 years old almost 3 years ago. I never thought I'd be married since I've always

Jay & Joy Macke on their wedding day!
been such a free spirit, but then I met my (now) husband and it just made sense. He was the same way. He and I are totally obsessed with our pets: 2 dogs named Nova and Liza and our cat, Seymour. His family lives in the Columbus area and we love to spend time with his parents, brother, sister and niece and nephew. He and his Dad are both attorneys and love to talk shop, his Mom used to be in the beauty industry, so we can talk shop :) His brother is a realtor and knows EVERYONE and his sister just became a realtor is one of the most positive and magnetic people I've ever met and she's raising 2 of the funniest and brightest kids I've ever met.  My family lives outside of Cleveland and my sister and Mom are also really into their dogs. Together we have a total of 8! It's too much :)

Thanks so much Joy for allowing us the privilege to get Up Close & A Little Personal with you and your fabulous company....You Rock!

To contact Joy or visit her website.......

Joy Macke

STATE of FACE artistry
(614)296-0123 cell

facebook: State of Face Makeup Artistry

pinterest, twitter, instagram: joyheartshearts


Please comment to us to let us know if you enjoyed learning about this Professional!

Take care as always!

Nora, Wedding & Event Planner in Columbus Ohio

Nora McCoy Wedding/Event Planner Wedding Officiant If you should choose to copy any of my blog feel free as long as you give credit and link back to my website at