June 24, 2021
Surprise Celebrity Performances
"Wait, you’re saying I can get Jennifer Hudson or Andrea Bocelli to perform at my wedding?" Yes, that’s right!
Since it's been quite a while since most people have enjoyed live music and concerts, what better way is there to make your big day extra memorable than by snagging a celebrity performer?
Vanessa Williams and Jennifer Hudson recently wowed guests at a gorgeous wedding in Dallas, so this is definitely still a thing. Obviously, procuring celebrity entertainment is not easy, so most industry pros go to Rachel Dalton, celebrity talent producer, who has access to all the big names. If you have plenty of Bitcoin or cash to spend, then consider leveling up your event by bringing in a surprise A-lister.
January 20, 2021
Securing celebrity talent for a private event is no easy feat. Establishing contact, determining availability, ascertaining interest, haggling fees, negotiating terms, and implementing riders are each small components of what can be an altogether time-consuming and often frustrating process. It takes a unique aptitude. It takes a special touch. It takes Rachel Dalton.
Simply put: Rachel Dalton knows how to obtain the unattainable. She knows exactly who to call to find out if Jerry Seinfeld is free to entertain at this year’s charity gala; if Drake can perform at a bar mitzvah; or if Bobby Flay is available for a private cooking class. A renowned celebrity talent producer who routinely books musicians, comedians, athletes, chefs, actors, authors, and politicians for celebrations and fundraisers, Rachel loves being the conduit between eager clients and well known personalities. She’s part magician, part legal eagle, and all heart.
“I want to help make people’s dreams come true,” she says. “But what sets me apart is that I’m a lawyer who practices both corporate and entertainment law. There are so many contracts involved in what I do, having that knowledge base makes it easier for me to make people’s dreams come true.”
Rachel's business model leverages an impressive range of services. She and her team can handle all facets of event planning including securing a venue, selecting a caterer, suggesting a décor team, and managing all aspects of the technical production. However, Rachel often collaborates with other event planners. In that capacity, she is charged with the specific task of fielding requests for celebrity appearances. Rachel sagely points out that talent agents represent the artist’s interests and event planners don’t typically have the entertainment experience required to effectively negotiate such contracts on behalf of their clients. Therefore, neither person is ideal for these bookings. With Rachel on the job however, clients’ wishes are made possible and their investments are fully protected. Her combination of contract experience and production expertise bridges the gap.
“Since I’ve been in the business for almost 20-years, I have relationships with pretty much all of the agents in L.A. and New York,” she explains. “I know everybody and I have a solid reputation. They know I’m a lawyer, so they know everything is going to be handled properly, which makes everyone comfortable on both sides.”
As a consummate event professional, Rachel's naturally a gifted problem solver. She’s well aware that celebrities have busy schedules and aren’t always available to grace the stage at a private event. She also knows that sometimes all that’s required to get the job done is a pinch of creativity and a lot of tenacity. When faced with challenges, Rachel's philosophy is to look for another door into the opportunity. She isn’t afraid to build a relationship with an agent, practice patience, and move the negotiation to the point where both the agent and talent see the value of accepting a private booking.
“I had a client who really wanted to work with P!nk,” she says. “It wasn’t easy. P!nk was touring at the time and it didn’t look feasible. But I really wanted to make it work for this client, because it was her dream. I was able to foster a relationship with P!nk’s manager, and we spent months communicating back and forth. I sent information about this client, what made her special, and why this would mean the world to her. Eventually it came through and it was an incredible feeling. The perseverance paid off and we were able to make it happen.”
That knack for perseverance has served her well over the past 2 decades, but as COVID-19 took hold of the events industry she found herself needing to pivot. Even as live gatherings were taken offline, Rachel continued to book online streams and virtual events with beloved musicians and comedians. She’s also been able to steer her clients toward intimate gatherings with big-name guests as an alternative to huge parties with multi-page guest lists.
“You can rejigger a budget,” she points out. “Instead of 300 guests, bring in your 10 favorite people and your favorite celebrity!”
While she is happy to find alternatives to traditional celebrations, Rachel firmly believes we’ll get back to live events in the near future. With that in mind, she plans to continue building and keeping up relationships, including meeting with more event planners. She’s always excited to work directly with clients herself but has also made a goal of growing her base of clients and network of vendors. Rachel has had to make sacrifices and tradeoffs- missing her kids’ school concerts on occasion so she can manage her work duties - so she often finds herself wishing for more hours in the day to squeeze in everything she wants to accomplish. But she’s also incredibly proud of the success she’s built through her celebrity talent production work and is motivated to continue pushing forward.
“This is my baby,” she says. “You take pride in something that you’ve built. I just want to see how far I can grow this.”
There is no doubt, with her magic wand and legal pad at the ready, Rachel Dalton will do exactly that.
April 14, 2020
As a celebrity event producer over the last 18 years, and President and Founder of my own company Rachel Dalton, that specializes in celebrity talent, I have been given many opportunities to help couples hire celebrities and make their dreams come true!
Many couples are not aware that this possibility even exists for their wedding. I am here to tell you that it does and to share the process for how celebrity talent can be attained to enhance a couple’s wedding, engagement party, bridal shower, or bachelor or bachelorette party.
There are a variety of ways to incorporate your favorite celebrity into your wedding festivities. Read on to see the many possibilities that fall within multiple budget points, and can be included anywhere in your wedding timeline – either at the pre-wedding bachelor or bachelorette parties, wedding showers, or during the ceremony and reception, or even the after-party!
Here are 7 of the top unique, customized celebrity experiences for you to consider at each step of your wedding timeline:
Why not enlist your favorite musical artist, such as John Legend or Chris Stapleton, to help surprise your partner with that special moment after you pop the question? Hit the lights and dance away to your favorite love song! It’s never too early to start practicing for your wedding day.
Wedding showers are filled with sweet treats, but what a treat it would be to have a full on cooking lesson or demonstration with your favorite celebrity chef such as Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Padma Lakshmi or Rachel Ray?! They might even inspire some family or friend favorites that you can add to your wedding day menu for all of your guests to taste.
Surprise your bachelor with his favorite professional athlete or sports figure, or even team coach or ESPN commentator for his big night out! Then again, with these professional athletes or coaches in tow, you might have just as much fun staying in and playing ball in the backyard – whether it’s football, basketball, soccer, baseball, you name it.
Add some extra laughs to your bachelorette party with a private comedy show from your favorite Saturday Night Live persona or favorite comedian. (Take Amy Schumer for example, she’ll blend right in with your group!) Personalize it by having them roast or toast your fiance, and if you’re looking for a more affordable option – you can hire them for a single 30 minute set!
If you’re looking to switch it up from the traditional walking down the aisle song “Canon in D,” consider hiring a famous musician to really set up your big moment. If you watched Crazy Rich Asians, you’ll be happy to know that Kina Grannis is available to serenade your guests with “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” just like in the movie!
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The sign of a great summer party....Gold confetti shot out of canons out over the dance floor during the encore of a fabulous musical artist #backyardbash #celebrityartist #privateperformance #TheRDexperience . . . . @lawrencescottevents @bmlblackbird @frostproductionsnyc @ellenwolffphoto
Surprise your guests with a special performance from your favorite musical artist to kick off the reception! This is a sure fire way to make sure that everyone gets up on the dance floor. You can even opt for your favorite full band or DJ, depending on your music preference.
Think outside the (ring) box when getting a wedding gift for your partner, or when creating your registry and Honeyfund! You won’t have to go far for your honeymoon if you opt for a celebrity experience instead.
Try tennis with your favorite touring professional such as Roger Federer or Serena Williams; golf with legends like Tiger Woods or Jordan Speith; music lessons or karaoke with your favorite artist, such as John Bon Jovi or Ariana Grande; or shopping and lunch with your favorite designer like Tory Burch or Donna Karan!
Rachel Dalton is President and Founder of celebrity entertainment production company, Rachel Dalton. She is a corporate and entertainment lawyer who has been securing celebrity talent for nearly two decades. She can create any experience, with any celebrity, in any location.https://bridalmusings.com/162220/unique-celebrity-experiences-for-your-wedding/
May 2, 2020
Rachel Dalton – Professional Speaker. Topic: New Ways to Add Celebrity Talent to Events During the Pandemic, as well as the Legal Aspects Involved
May 5, 2020
Rachel Dalton – Professional Speaker. Topic: Innovative Ways to Add Celebrity Talent to Events and What is in Store for the Future of the Events Industry
January 21, 2020
It's not unusual to see celebrities book fellow A-listers for their special soirées.
Adam Sandler called on Maroon 5's Adam Levine to perform at his daughter's Bat Mitzvah in May 2019.For former first lady Michelle's Obama's 50th birthday bash in 2014 — John Legend, Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder took to the stage.
And just last Christmas Eve, the Kardashian-Jenners threw an extravagant party that saw Sia perform her hit "Chandelier" while standing in a gift-wrapped box on stage.
But what about those of us who can't use our star power to secure a high-profile party appearance?
That's where Rachel Dalton comes in.
When the ultra-rich want their party to have the "it" factor, they hire a celebrity talent producer like Dalton to make it happen.
If you want some of the hottest celebrities — it's going to cost you
"There are celebrities in every price point and I work in every price point," Dalton told Insider.
"But there are people in seven figures, so in that range, they're some of the biggest acts you can think of like Bon Jovi, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey."
But don't expect them to hang around for long. On average, celebrity appearances or performances last just 45 minutes according to Dalton — and there may be added costs on top of their appearance quote.
Dalton recently booked pop sensation Pink for a private event in a remote location, which also meant considering travel fees — something clients often disregard.
Clients will also have to pay for the talent's rider, which can include private air travel, meals, and special accommodation.
"Some artists are harder to get, in that they don't want to do it, but I find out pretty easily from their management if they're not willing to do an event," Dalton said.
When working in the world of Hollywood, things are never straightforward
Even if a celebrity is initially obliging, Dalton says each has "different requirements in their riders or some of them require very specific air travel."
One of Dalton's most interesting requests saw her scouring global tech companies in order to find a certain type of chrome microphone which R&B singer Ne-Yo required.
"It was just the microphone that he was most comfortable with from the audio standpoint … We really had to scour a lot of tech companies to try and find it but ultimately we did," she said.
While Dalton called the request "a bit of a first," she says it's all part of the day job: "I search high and low, do whatever I can to make it work."
When it works — Dalton says it's 'magnificent'
Ne-Yo's appearance saw him perform in one of Dalton's most "lavish affairs," an Indian wedding with 500 guests held in a Wall Street skyscraper.
"He sang the first dance song and it was a surprise to all the guests and he blew everybody away," Dalton said.
"He serenaded them on the dance floor and it was really magnificent."
But in her 18 years of booking celebrities, Dalton said working with Pink was a "real career highlight."
"I admire her tremendously as a human being and an artist and it was such an honor and a thrill to work with her and her team," Dalton said.
Dalton managed to pull off an incredibly special experience, which saw Pink also perform alongside country singer Chris Stapleton (who also had a cameo in season eight of "Game of Thrones") for their second live duet in history.
"She was incredible and there was such personal significance to having Pink there, she really resonated with her [client], she loved her for years and we were able to make it happen," Dalton said.
Bar Mitzvahs are some of the most popular celebrity bookings
Aside from weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs are big-ticket items for Dalton.
Some of New York City's elite are now spending well into the six or seven-figure range to ensure their child's celebration is one they'll never forget, Business Insider previously reported.
Dalton says parents always try to be creative with their children's bar mitzvahs, and one she quotes as being one of the most fun she's organised was when she booked HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky.
"We did a live trivia act where we customized a personalized trivia theme for that bar mitzvah boy," she said.
Dalton's also booked singers Austin Mahone and Sean Kingston and NBA player Kyle O'Quinn for the Jewish teen ceremonies.
And apparently Jason Derulo is also a popular choice among the kids — "He's terrific, his team is terrific and he puts on a great show."
While Dalton hasn't had any horror stories yet, she does recall calling security for crowd control at a kid's party — and it was for a YouTube comedian known as GloZell.
"The kids went crazy … like I had to try and protect the artist from the kids and you would think Taylor Swift had walked out it was that kind of reaction," Dalton said.
GloZell has over 4.7 million subscribers and is most famous for her "cinnamon challenge" — which has garnered more than 56 million views on YouTube.
The online comedian, who also doubles as a rapper, performed a personalized rap for a bat mitzvah girl.
"It was really quite funny, it's the artist you just wouldn't expect which causes the most commotion sometimes," Dalton said.
To avoid any potential chaos or extra uninvited guests, the celebrity is often a surprise
"It is almost always a surprise," Dalton said.
"The clients are very excited to surprise their guests and often one of the hosts is surprising the other host."
She's had Kina Grannis sing "Can't Help Falling In Love," which she sang in the iconic "Crazy Rich Asians" wedding scene, as a client walked down the aisle.
But one of Dalton's favorite surprise moments was when she was hired to surprise a client's husband by getting his favorite comedian Jim Gaffigan to randomly appear on stage and host his 50th birthday.
"Even the guest of honor had no idea that they would get a comedian to come out after dessert.
"[The client] was blown away and all her guests were blown away, and it was really an incredible moment for that client and her husband."
'It's a gift that the client remembers for the rest of their lives'
It's those kinds of wow moments that give Dalton "the greatest sense of satisfaction" when she sees the clients "beaming with joy."
From weddings, bar mitzvahs, charity events, even organizing one-on-one golfing lessons with Tiger Woods.
"It's so hard to buy people gifts, people in this upper echelon, they often do this type of experience as it's a gift that the client remembers for the rest of their lives," Dalton said.
But if you're a guest or plus one lucky enough to score an invite to one of these celebrity-infused soirees, Dalton has just a few words of polite advice — leave the phones in the pocket.
"We don't get the guests to sign anything but we often make an announcement to please keep your phones away and just live in the moment and enjoy the moment," she said.
January 17, 2020
I find the work and family balance to be one of the biggest challenges facing working moms today. I want to be able to flip the switch when I walk in the door at night, and just be a 100% calm, loving mom. But in today’s ultra-connected world, it’s not so easy. It’s hard to turn the phone off, and not pick up that call from a client or my production partner.
My kids know that when I am with them, I sometimes have to take an important call, but thankfully they are very understanding. Their maturity and support allows me to do what I have to do, with less guilt! And I do my best to transition from “executive” to “mom.” One rule I try to live by is, “DFD: device-free dinner.” My kids know, once we sit down to dinner, the phones must be off and away from the table. That one routine has led us to device-free meals, which helps us to all focus on each other and connect in a meaningful way.
At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep, preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving women who have gleaned and are practicing their own philosophies on maintaining their wellbeing.
As a part of this series about what successful women leaders do to thrive, both personally and professionally, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Dalton.
Rachel is an attorney who secures all types of celebrity talent for any kind of event and customized, unique experience. She started her career in corporate and entertainment law and founded her own company 18 years ago, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Rachel has three children, whom she adores, and keep her very busy during her off-hours. Rachel also thrives on an active lifestyle, loves nature and particularly enjoys her time on the golf course!
Thank you so much for doing this with us Rachel! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path and to where you are today?
My brother, Mitch, is actually responsible for my career path taking a turn to the celebrity side. Mitch and I were always very close and I wanted him at college with me. He was a standout football player in high school and I helped recruit him to UPenn to play football there, where he achieved all-Ivy honors. From there, I worked with Mitch’s agent, who helped him become a 3rd round draft-pick for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Working with Mitch’s agent opened my eyes to the world of professional sports and entertainment, and from that moment on I knew that was what I wanted to do — work with celebrity talent.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I think the most interesting story would have to be, that I was brought in on a fun surprise last spring while backstage at Madison Square Garden in New York City. I was meeting with the legendary manager for the musical artist, PINK, who was performing that evening. We were meeting to discuss details for a private event that we were working on. Then all of a sudden, the manager told me he was going to fill me in a secret…As it turned out, country music star Chris Stapleton was going to join PINK on stage for a duet that they sing together — performing it live for the first time in history! No one knew this was going to happen except the artists and their teams. As I watched the show, I was thrilled and excited when both artists stepped out for the duet and the entire crowd went wild!
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
Early in my career I booked Jackson Browne for a client’s private birthday celebration at their summer home in Nantucket. There are very few 5-star hotels on the island, and they were all booked by the time we went to make reservations. I had to pick a hotel that I never heard of, which wound up not even having air conditioning! And the party was in July! Well, when we got there, my production partner and I looked at each other and our jaws just dropped, as we stood there starting to sweat. Well, we got some fans and put lots of goodies in the room to try to distract the artist upon arrival. Thankfully, the artist’s team was very cool about the whole thing (no pun intended!), and they put on an amazing show. But I learned to always do a site meeting and to check out each hotel thoroughly in person, in advance of booking!
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture and work life?
I think having a positive attitude is the single most important thing one can do in both the office and in life. It gives you a sense of inner peace and confidence. In addition, everyone around you can feel your positive energy, and that transforms your work environment. Not only will you see productivity increase, but you will also notice a feeling of happiness in your workplace.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive in three areas, body, mind, and heart. I’d like to flesh this out with you. You are a very busy leader with a demanding schedule. Can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
I find the body, mind and heart are connected. Feeling good in one area, helps you feel good in all. I like to exercise daily — whether it’s a nice walk at a brisk pace (even just 20–30 minutes) and immerse my senses in the great outdoors. I find appreciating nature to be a huge part of calming the mind, which translates to the body and makes my heart happy. If the weather is bad, I will hop on my indoor exercise bike instead. I also enjoy taking a hot bath at night just before bed. After I shut down for the evening, spend some time with my kids and everyone is tucked in, a peaceful bath is a nice way for me to unwind.
Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)
Every morning when I wake up I meditate for about 5–10 minutes. I think of all the things that I am grateful for and that starts my day off on a positive note. Another routine I have is writing out a daily “to do” list. This helps me organize my thoughts and goals for the day — even if I don’t get to everything, the list helps me to visually see what I have to do and prioritize.
Finally, can you share with us two routines that use to help your heart, your emotional or spiritual life to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)
I find spending time with my children helps my emotional life. Helping with homework, chatting during the ride to tennis practice and having dinner together really give me perspective on what matters most in life. Another routine I have is my daily nature walk. By forcing myself to get outside and observe nature, it clears my mind and allows me time to embrace my emotional and spiritual side.
When life is very busy, and you cannot stick with your ideal routine, are there any wellness practices, rituals, products or services for your mind, body, or soul that you absolutely cannot live without?
Even when life gets insanely busy, I find spending the 5 minutes meditating first thing in the morning really sets the right tone for the day. In addition, even a short 10 minute walk, just to get outside and clear my mind is invaluable.
All of us have great days and days that are not as great. On days when you feel like a rockstar what do you do? What does that day look like, and what did you do to get there?
Great days are incredible. On those days, it just seems like everything goes my way, and I am aware and very grateful for those times. That day might start with a relaxing and focused meditation, a good workout, and productive session at my desk, some good client calls and a relaxing evening with family or friends.
In contrast, on days when you feel down, what do you do?
Some days feel like the odds are stacked against me. On those days, I try to stick to my usual routines, and tell myself that things will turn around, and just do my best to get through it. I remind myself that without the bad days, there would be no way to differentiate the good days.
You’re a high achieving business leader, and you also have family and loved ones that may require a different side of you at home. How do you leave the executive at the door, and be the most loving caretaker at home?
This is a great question. I find the work and family balance to be one of the biggest challenges facing working moms today. I want to be able to flip the switch when I walk in the door at night, and just be a 100% calm, loving mom. But in today’s ultra-connected world, it’s not so easy. It’s hard to turn the phone off, and not pick up that call from a client or my production partner. My kids know that when I am with them, I sometimes have to take an important call, but thankfully they are very understanding. Their maturity and support allows me to do what I have to do, with less guilt! And I do my best to transition from “executive” to “mom.” One rule I try to live by is, “DFD: device-free dinner.” My kids know, once we sit down to dinner, the phones must be off and away from the table. That one routine has led us to device-free meals, which helps us to all focus on each other and connect in a meaningful way.
Is there a particular practitioner, expert, book, podcast or resource that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?
Back in college a family member recommended that I read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. That book changed my life. It taught me how to interact with people, whether strangers, family members or friends. The book gave me the tools to start a conversation with anyone, in either a business or social setting. It had such a significant impact on me that I had had my own children read it, and I still thumb through it every now and then to refresh the concepts.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Hands down, it would have to be a “kindness movement.” Getting people to understand that their behavior and attitude is contagious and one kind word or gesture can change a person’s day, week, month, life. I always tell my kids, it costs them nothing to give someone a smile, ask them about their day, and say please and thank you. Simple things that can have a huge impact others, that hopefully those people will pay forward.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is, “The noblest question in the world is: What good may I do in it?” — Ben Franklin. This is relevant to my life as this has really become my life’s philosophy. I try to reflect on and integrate this idea into my daily life. And I try to instill this philosophy into my children as well, giving them a challenge and a goal to reach for not only in their own lives, but in their communities and the world around them. This philosophy has inspired my family to start a charity focusing on food rescue for those suffering from food insecurity in our community, which helps to feed 10,000 people in our area weekly.
What are the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Facebook: Rachel Dalton
LinkedIn: Rachel Dalton
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!https://medium.com/authority-magazine/how-i-thrive-one-rule-i-try-to-live-by-is-dfd-device-free-dinner-with-rachel-dalton-bf02e2c54cb2
September 12, 2018
Having your favorite musician perform a live rendition of your first dance song, or else dancing to a selection of their greatest hits during the reception, sounds like a dream to most brides and grooms, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, turning that fantasy a reality could actually be possible, especially if you have Rachel Dalton—who helps couples secure star talent, like musicians, for their events—in your corner.
Recently, she's help clients secure Jason Derulo, James Taylor, Ne-Yo, and Austin Mahone for their receptions and events. How does it work? The bride and groom send her their A-list performance wish list and she'll check availability and cost, then use her lawyer background to handle all contracts and insurance. Her production partner helps tackle the rider and travel needs, meaning that the couple (and their planner) get to sit back and enjoy.
From a planning perspective, Dalton notes that having a few months to sort things out is ideal, but that going the last-minute route sometimes yields the best deal. "It gives more leverage to negotiate if the artist is available," Dalton says of tight timing. Regardless of the time frame, budget is most likely the key factor in determining whether or not a famous musical guest is an option. Dalton has worked with artists who charge anywhere from several thousand dollars up to those in the seven-figure range, so part of her job is to also help couples evaluate the bigger entertainment picture. By helping them select amazing but well-priced bands and DJs , they are able to free up more of the budget for a notable performer.
Once you know you can pull it off financially, you'll want to talk to your planner to discuss logistics and to make a plan. Some planners are used to handling star talent on their own, too. Kimberly Curtis of Toast Santa Barbara recently had John Legend play the processional song during a ceremony. She suggests having a dedicated staff member for any star talent, to focus solely on logistics (like travel and sound production) and needs (such as a meal).https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/643800/how-to-hire-celebrity-musician-for-your-wedding
August 15, 2018
Ever wonder how that one gal from high school managed to get John Legend to perform at her wedding reception? Or how celebrities like Taylor Swift manage to catch wind of their fans’ big day and show up unannounced? For one expert, whose job description is brokering celebrity appearances at events and weddings, the bridge to bringing the stars to soirees is none other than herself.
"My role is to help people turn their dreams into a reality," says Rachel Dalton, the founder and president of her own namesake company. "I help my clients secure their favorite celebrities to perform at their events or help them create a unique gift experience, such as dinner with their favorite fashion designer, tennis lessons with their favorite professional, or cooking lessons with their favorite celebrity chef."
Of course couples oftentimes demand a guest appearance on their wedding days and other related events. "People often call me to help secure their favorite musical artist to sing the first dance song at their wedding," she says. "Others want to surprise their guests with a fun musical artist later in the party, or have a celebrity DJ for the afterparty… Other ways that I can be involved in the wedding festivities include bringing in celebrities for the bachelor party (think Eli Manning of the New York Giants hanging with the guys) or having Padma Lakshmi do a cooking demo for the ladies during a bridal shower."
Proposals are also a prime opportunity to involve a favorite star, she says. "Such as having John Legend sing one of his love songs during the special moment."
Mostly, clients find Dalton via word of mouth and directly through party planners. "Working with celebrities is a job unto itself, and my legal skills come in handy," she muses. "My clients are delighted that I can protect them on the legal front. I handle all the contract work, insurance, and negotiating, as well as all of the technical aspects of the production."
Once a couple decides to work with Dalton, she then requests a talent budget to see if the artist is available within the limitations. "For instance, if a client wants Ed Sheeran, I will check with his agent to see if he looks to be available on that date and confirm his talent fee," she adds. "I now most of the agents in Hollywood and NYC, having been in the business for the last 18 years. If the client wants to move forward, then I’ll submit a formal offer on behalf of my client, which is binding if the artist accepts. Once the offer has been accepted, we are off and running."
With nearly two decades of experience in the industry, Dalton says she takes pride in each celebrity secured for clients, but one career highlight of hers was a rather emotional one. "I secured Good Morning America’s Amy Robach, herself a cancer survivor, to speak at the opening gala for The Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha," she recalls. "And her speech, describing her own personal experience [with cancer], brought everyone in the room to tears. Her participation helped the facility raise substantial funds for cancer research, which is truly fulfilling to me on a personal level."
Dalton also negotiates riders, which is a luxury for most couples working with stars. "Certain artists have had interesting demands. One required a private plane from their home in Europe, which really threw a wrench into the budget," she laughs. "Another wanted a certain type of champagne that was very difficult to get. Another needed a specific type of chrome microphone, which was not easy to find. [So] nothing really surprises me anymore."
And she’s flexible about budgets. "I work within all price points. There are some artists that are quite reasonable and many that are more reasonable than one would think," she adds. "For the money that many people spend on a big band, they could afford some level of celebrity talent (and I recommend getting a more affordable DJ to handle the rest of the party)."
Overall, Dalton sees weddings as an opportunity to bring spectacular memories to loved ones. She previously orchestrated a moment when Ne-Yo came out to surprise guests ahead of a couple’s first dance. "I love that moment," she concludes. "When we add a celebrity to that moment, as we did recently Ne-Yo, it really is a game-changer for the event. It heightens the emotion in the room, almost to a spiritual level, for all in attendance."https://www.theknotnews.com/celebrity-wedding-appearances-expert-30501
February 2, 2018
Have you ever mused about getting a celebrity to come to your wedding? It's totally understandable if you have: Over the years, celebs like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Bon Jovi have all crashed the nuptials of us normies, and seeing those stories in the news is bound to make a bride a little jealous. Who wouldn't want a celebrity wedding singer crooning at their reception? Well, instead of just daydreaming about the possibility, consider hiring Rachel Dalton, whose namesake company specializes in getting celebrities at weddings, parties, and special events.
We chatted with Dalton to get the inside scoop on how she makes these special appearances happen— and how you can score a celebrity to play your wedding (without being famous or royal yourself).
"I was an attorney—I still am. I always wanted to get into sports and entertainment law. I was told to get some good corporate [law] experience, and I did for a few years. Then I got a great opportunity to work at a company doing fantasy experiences with celebrities. That company went a different way, and I'd had a baby, and I decided I could do this myself from home. It's been about 17 years with my own company. It's a lot of fun, but I love that I can still use my law experience—I do all the contract work, negotiate the agreements, do all the research on talent, handle the rider agreements, tech details, travel, and I'm on set for the entire event. It's really turnkey from start to finish."
"Oftentimes, couples have a favorite singer or two, and then other [couples] will just say they have a certain amount in their budget and I can come up with a list of people in that budget who are available. They might want Taylor Swift and then when they hear her fee, they make other choices. Since I've been doing this for so long, I have relationships with all the agents, so I have a good sense of what people are charging and then I double-confirm it with the agent because artists are able to change their price at a moment's notice. From there, I am able to negotiate the best pricing—that's what sets me apart from my competitors. I don't charge any more for that."
"I did one recently with Ne-Yo which was a lot of fun. He came and sang the first dance song, then he sang a couple of fun songs. I did something with a family who loved Air Supply. That was a lot of fun. I did a wedding for two gentlemen who love the Pointer Sisters, and that was a surprise for the guests. And I worked with Michael Feinstein for an older couple."
"They should get a sense of what their budget is for the whole event, then see how much they can allot for the talent. Once they have a sense of the budget, call me and I can help you figure out who would be a realistic option. If they're not going for the hottest artist right now, they might be surprised at the pricing—not everybody is in the million-dollar price-range. I welcome clients with all budgets to come to me because we can often find the right fit."
"Maybe go the route of a DJ for the rest of the party, and allot the rest of the budget for a celebrity. Artists will usually play up to 60 minutes, but most couples only want about 30 minutes because they don't want to have the artist steal the show. I'm in favor of that as well—just a pop of entertainment during the night that doesn't take over."
"There's a lot of ways this [service] can tie into the wedding process. I've talked to people about bringing in a celebrity chef for the wedding shower. All the events having to do with the wedding—shower, bachelor party, bachelorette party —are doable. We can even bring the bride-to-be's favorite celebrity to the proposal."
"It's not something [event planners] do every day. It takes a whole other set of skills to deal with celebrity talent—something that's outside the scope of a typical party planner. They come to me because they know I know how to handle it. I am very passionate about what I do. I love my clients and I strive to really just make their experiences the most memorable, unique, special moments of their lives."
Just consider Rachel Dalton your celebrity wedding whisperer!https://www.brides.com/story/how-to-get-a-celebrity-to-come-to-your-wedding
Rachel - Thank you so much! You were amazing and we loved working with you! You put in a huge effort and we greatly appreciate it!
Partner from large NYC Law Firm at their Corporate Client Event with Comedian, Jim Gaffigan at Zuma New York