Vendor Spotlight: Brad Strouse with ECE
Meet Brad Strouse, Entertainment Consultant/Event Producer for ECE. When it comes to your wedding entertainment, you want to keep your guests happy and dancing! Brad, with his experience, will help you find a band or musician that will fit your dream wedding plan.
What makes your business stand out and why should a couple hire you?
I think it’s a three-prong approach. Foremost, we have a passion for customer service and creating unforgettable experiences. Secondly, ECE has a 40-year reputation for professionalism and is the industry leader in wedding entertainment. Lastly, we represent and book only the best while holding our artists to the highest standards in the industry. You are guaranteed to leave the dance floor smiling and with sore dancing feet.
What’s a weird/unusual tip you tell your couples?
Celebrate early on and often throughout the process! There is plenty of time to pick out silverware or comb through band promo videos. So make time to go to your favorite restaurant and tell everyone at the bar you just got engaged. Tell your story; relish it. There won’t be a dry eye or a paid for drink!
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I’ve been a music nerd and musician most of my life, so the fact that I get to share that knowledge with couples and guide them through the arduous process of planning their wedding entertainment is so energizing for me. No two couples or weddings are the same, and I love finding out what the first dance song will be and what other special moments they are dreaming up with ECE artists.
How did you get to where you are now?
My first taste of the entertainment industry was as a merchandise seller for a metal band. I soon ended up at a record label, followed by a boutique booking agency in Nashville, and finally at ECE on the private party/wedding/corporate event side of things. ECE called me to book a band I represented for a festival and once I dug more into what they did, I wouldn’t leave them alone until they brought me on!
What’s your go-to spot to eat in RVA?
Boka Tako in the Fan never ceases to hit the spot for dinner. Cap Ale in Midlothian is my favorite “neighborhood bar,” and I’ve yet to taste a beer I didn’t like there.
What did you want to be when you were little?
Most days it switched between professional soccer player and ninja. I think it’s obvious I didn’t become a soccer player, but ninjas do move in the shadows and live a life of anonymity so…
What was your first job?
My first job was telemarketer/phone survey rep. At the age of 15, I would throw on a headset, interrupt people’s dinners, and try to get their opinions on politicians, new food products, etc. I learned a lot of phone skills and colorful language used by some angry, disrupted residents.
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
I’m nothing without my daily routines. For me, it’s always the same breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, banana, and two cups of black coffee. On Saturdays, I make pancakes for the family, but the other 6 days of the week are the same. Boring I know!
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
I love endurance sports (triathlons, marathons, trail running), listening to vinyl with the windows open, living room dance parties with my wife and toddler, and visiting RVA Breweries.
Where is your happy place?
When I need to silence my mind and gain clarity I go to the pool. When I need to let my mind wander I throw on running shoes and head for the woods. When I need to go back to the roots of why I love my job I go to see live music at a local venue like the Broadberry or I sneak into the back of a wedding venue to see one of our artists perform to a full dance floor.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on now?
I just returned from Charleston where I worked with a corporate client to bring in late 90’s rock sensation Smash Mouth! The band played to 1,000+ attendees in the hangar bay of the USS Yorktown, a decommissioned WW2 aircraft carrier. They played in front of a massive American flag and surrounded by fighter jets, armored carriers, and even a moon lander! We can procure celebrity talent for any event – even your wedding! Ever dreamt of doing your first dance to the actual, live and in person, harmonies of Ed Sheeran? We can make that dream a reality!
What would be in your dream sandwich?
My mind immediately goes to ice cream sandwiches because I’m a sucker for sweets. It would involve peanut butter, cheesecake flavored ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie base, and chocolate syrup. No stealing my idea!
Nachos. What would you put on yours?
Carnitas, hot salsa, 5 cheese blend (does this exist?), Doritos chips as the base, jalapenos, and beer cheese.
What’s your go-to dance move?
Usually starts with the “wall hugging head nod,” moves to the “dragged onto the dance floor deer in the headlights,” and, with the right song, ends with “white boy shimmy and shake”.
Learn more about Brad and the rest of the team at ECE on their website!