Monthly Archives: June 2011

Wedding Music: iPod, DJ, band, musician, etc.

Music is one of the most important parts of your wedding reception, but what you choose like many other elements can be the difference between saving a few dollars and breaking the bank. Usually the big choice is between a costly band or wedding singer and a somewhat cheaper DJ. However, couples are finding many different ways to save money while making sure their guests are thoroughly entertained.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing like live music to get your guests going. This can only be attained by hiring a live band for your wedding reception, and having a specific type of band can give the perfect touch to your themed wedding with the music they play and the tempo they use. However, a live band also has its drawbacks and the main one is the cost. A live band can cost anywhere from $2,000-$15,000, you’re going to want a really good band so penny-pinching here will do no good. Most bands only have one signature sound and they are not able to change-up the tempo as much as the crowd would like them to. You can’t expect to have the band playing the entire night so while they are taking a break it is likely that they will leave a CD playing for you, that has been known to clear the dance floor really quickly.

When you use a DJ at your wedding reception your also in for a great treat. You can hear your favorite songs sung by the original artist rather than a cover band giving you a dry imitation. Most DJ’s come equipped with thousands of songs so you will be able to hear a wide array of great songs without any repeats ( unless you want them of course).The best thing about your DJ is that even when he needs a break the music will never stop.The one and only drawback of a DJ is the possibility that you may get a someone who is bored with doing wedding receptions, this can be a real downer on your big day. Just be sure to meet the person that will be your DJ before the day of the wedding.

The newest trend in wedding music is the “iPod reception”, this is a reception that is solely DJ’ed by your own iPod. The best thing about using this method is that you will be saving a load of money on your music because renting the sound equipment for your iPod is not as expensive as hiring entertainment. This method is also great because you have complete control over the music you will hear, and you can tailor your playlists for each and every portion of the reception. The drawbacks of this method? There is no professional MC for your reception so you will have to depend on your closest friends or family members to take over this role ( this can be tricky and even scary if everyone’s enjoying the bar). The music will lack a “professional” feel if not blended correctly on your computer’s itunes.The sound equipment that you will rent will need to be picked up, set up, taken down, and then returned, that can be an extra hand full if you don’t have enough help.

Picking your music should be fun, your entire planning process should be fun, so ensure that you are not stressed.

ENJOY!!!

Sit-Down Dinners vs Buffets

Whether your hosting an elegant reception or a comfortable “after-party”with close friends and family you will most likely have food served. The big question is the manner in which you serve the food. Both Sit-down dinners and buffets have their advantages and draw-backs, hopefully we can make the decision between the two easier by examining both.

Great things about a Sit-Down dinner:

1. Your guests will enjoy the elegant feel of being served.

2. Your guests will not have to worry about standing in line for food  if they are not physically able to do so.

3. It is easier for the catering company to calculate the amount of food they may need for your reception.

4. PORTION CONTROL!!!!!

Great things about a buffet:

1. You don’t have to pay for a wait staff , therefore making your overall bill cheaper.

2. The atmosphere is less formal and allows your guests the opportunity to mix and mingle with the other guests.

3. A buffet discourages waste because your guest are allowed to choose what they do or do not want on their plates.

4. A buffet is also easier for couples to choose if they want to have family  and friends prepare the food themselves.

Not so great things about sit-down dinners:

1. Per plate dinners are usually out of budget due to the wait staff they require.

2.When you are serving sit-down dinners your guests are limited to a small amount of meal options.

3.This type of dinner requires you to send out meal cards with the invite and R.S.V.P. , this can be a hectic process when you have so many other things to keep up with.

Not so great things about a buffet:

1. There is a possibility that you will run out of food or that you will have a massive amount of left overs.

2. Some of your guests will prefer to be served rather than getting their own food.

3. Lets face it, not everyone is as clean as you’d like them to be, a buffet will allow your guests to freely pick over the food that is out and available to them

If you still find yourself torn between the two then maybe you should explore the idea of having a fully staffed buffet. This means that there will be a wait staff serving the food to your guests buffet style. This way you are still able to get the best of both worlds, with very little hassle. Though it is probably more costly than a self-serve buffet, your guests will be able to enjoy being served while also choosing what they want to eat.Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

Create an Inspiration board

What is an Inspiration Board you ask? Well,  it’s a photo collage that inspires you, drives you, helps you reach your goals, and keeps you focused and organized. The inspiration board helps you visualize how your wedding will look so that you know exactly what direction you’re heading in.

What you put on your board is entirely up to you, some choose to go digital with their boards because they allow for more flexibility. However this will probably require the use of Photoshop, if you are not the computer savvy type then that is also ok the old-fashioned cut and paste method always works.

Your inspiration board is your chance to pull together all of the elements of your wedding before you get into the planning part. This get’s your wheels turning on what you will and will not have at your wedding, have fun with it, play with color combinations until your 100% satisfied with the colors you’ve chosen. You can also attach different fabric swatch’s to the board ( if it’s not digital) so that you know what type of material and colors you’re looking to use for your bridesmaids dresses and the table linens. This is your chance to also pick out beautiful flowers that match your color scheme.

When your board is complete you can either begin to plan your wedding using the elements that you have pulled together on your board.You can also bring the board to your wedding planner ( if you plan to use one), this will give them a clear idea of what you want and the types of things you would like them to incorporate into your ceremony and reception.

Your inspiration board is meant to diffuse the stress in wedding planning. Have fun placing things you’ve always wanted of on your board and build your wedding around those things. This will probably be the most fun you will have with your planning , other than picking out your dress of course. ENJOY!!!

Wacky Wedding Dresses

In the world of amazing wedding dresses there are more than a few dresses that have the ability to make your guests stop and take million’s of pictures, and not for the right reasons. A bride’s personal style has the strong ability to come out when she’s picking out her bridal gown , this is not always a good thing for the women who is lacking in the style department, classic style anyway.

The biggest mistake that you can ever make as a bride is picking out a dress that is way too revealing for your wedding day. It is perfectly acceptable to want to be sexy on your big day but you must do so with class. The picture shown here is an example of how sexy can turn to trashy really fast, you must remember that the two of you and possibly your children have to look at these pictures years down the line. With that being said, you don’t want to have to kick yourself and say “what was I thinking?!”. In addition you don’t want to shock your grandparents or his when you show up to the church in a number like this one, then you’d be making a spectacle of yourself.

Ok so your husband loves sport’s, what does that have to do with your wedding? Absolutely nothing,  unless it’s incorporated into a beautiful grooms cake. In this bride’s opinion it has so much to do with her wedding that she incorporated it into her wedding dress. This is also something you should not do, other than the fact that it just doesn’t look good , it makes for a pretty tacky wedding picture. Your guest’s were expecting to see you in a beautiful wedding gown, not a basketball team’s jersey.

Are you a care-free bride that enjoys being comfortable and being able to actually breath in your dress? Great, but this like many other things has its limit’s. Tattered jeans are cool and comfortable, but that doesn’t mean you should apply the same idea to your dress. Your guest’s will understand if you changed into something more comfortable for the reception , or even if your dress wasn’t as traditional as others, but they probably will not understand what you were doing with a piece like this one.The real question is will you even understand it when you look at your photo album a few years from now.

Extravagance is great, but like all things, too much of it can be bad for you. There is no need to try to out-do the late Princess Diana at your wedding either. At roughly 26 feet her veil was extremely long for even royal standards. There is no need to revive the bad trend, it was the 80’s and should be left there. In modern times your guest’s are probably going to wonder what you and your designer were thinking ( because there is no way you got a dress like this off the rack). Not to mention that your wedding party would have to be 20+ just for your train or veil alone, that’s a long wedding ceremony.

If you’re not sure of what kind of dress  you should be looking for then bring a friend or two along with you, and a voice of reason for good measure. It is best to know exactly what will work for you when you are looking for that perfect dress. Happy Shopping!!!!

Traditional vs. Non Traditional Weddings

The struggle in planning your perfect wedding is mainly what will work for you. While most couples always settle on the traditional route for most or all of their wedding details some couples choose to trade out some or all of these things for non traditional one’s.

The most stable part of any wedding is always the bride’s dress. In traditional weddings the bride’s dress usually includes a princess ball gown theme or features a long vail.In modern or non traditional weddings bride’s are ditching the idea of long and “puffy” dresses in favor of shorter dresses that allow for more comfort. Some even keep the traditional wedding gown for the ceremony and change in to the comfortable dress for the reception. Either way you choose to do it, the tea length or cocktail dress can be a fun addition to your wedding wardrobe. It is also important to remember that even though your planning to go shorter it is still your wedding day , so keep it classy.

In the traditional wedding the bridesmaids are known to wear the same color and style of dress no matter how it makes them look individually .The bride however, is not the only one who’s allowed to mix it up at the wedding. Allow your bridesmaids to have fun with their dresses, they can get different styles of dress in the same color, different colors of a dress in the same style, or the same dress in different shades of one color.Yes thats a lot in the way of options , but it’s the best way to assure that everyone in your wedding party not only looks great but they are happy with what their wearing.

Another way to simply drop traditional from your wedding is to change up your vows. You can either write them yourself, or change the way you would like to recite the “traditional vows” by adding or omitting a few words. If your a couple with blended religions or you don’t want to offend anyone in particular you can re-write the vows so that they do not include prayer and religion and only speak of love and commitment. After the ceremony is over you can laminate your special vows and either have them framed or add them to your wedding scrap book along with your wedding photos.

Finally, the easiest way to incorporate a non traditional twist to your wedding is with your invites. Because they are the first taste of your wedding that your guest’s will receive this is the best place to add a little individuality. Make your guest’s laugh or tell them a story about the two of you if you want,tell them what your expecting them to wear or what you don’t want them to wear (depending on how non traditional your wedding will actually be).

Either way you go it’s important for you to have fun in every way. Enjoy!!!

 

Cheesy Wedding Songs

The date is set, you have your dress, the reception venue is in place, and all the little details are close to being final, but you two have one more thing to really think about, reception music. Most times couples go back and forth about having a live band or a DJ, once this choice is made the bigger question is what type of music will you play? or even more important what type of music will you not play.

The first thing most couples choose when thinking about their wedding music is what song they will dance to on their “first dance”. It is important that you remember that this is your first dance as husband and wife and that it should be every bit the romantic moment. This is not the time to play your favorite break-up song or songs about undying love for someone who has passed, it makes the moment awkward and raises the eyebrows of your guests.Play your favorite love song or the first song you guys danced to when you were dating, that’s romantic.

Though popular group dance songs (i.e. Cha Cha slide, YMCA, Macarena) have been known to get the crowd moving it doesn’t make them great for a wedding reception. Chances are your guests have heard these songs millions of times before and they either love them or hate them with a passion. At one point these were great dancing songs, but now all they promote is bad dancing. If you’re the type of couple that enjoys this type of group dance ten by all means play them until your hearts are content, but for the sake of your guests keep them to a minimum.

In all be careful of what songs you play at your wedding, they can and will determine the overall mood and experience of your guests. No break-up songs even if it’s a hit at the time, no cheesy or over played songs that will evoke moans and groans from your guests. Your wedding is a time to celebrate your love and the music you choose should reflect that. ENJOY!!!

DIY Wedding

Though everyone would love to have the extravagant wedding of their dreams, most of us have strict budgets we must adhere to when planning our special day.Some couples find it hard to stay comfortably in the budget while getting all that you want on your wedding day. However it is easy to have what you want and not pay an arm and a leg for it, just DIY (do it yourself). Plenty of couples have found crafty ways to save money on the things that are costly when planning a wedding by making their own centerpieces, cakes, programs, and wedding favors.

Looking for a beautiful way to decorate your dinner tables at the reception doesn’t have to be an expensive venture for the two of you. One great example of a DIY centerpiece are these beautiful painted candles grouped in the middle of the table behind a matching number card. There are many different ways of executing this idea to make it your own, you can paint them in many different patterns, use stencils, and even paint your official monogram on them if you have one. This is your chance to have fun with you decor, grab a group of your closest friends on a lazy weekend and have fun customizing each and every candle.

Though the thought of designing and then baking your own wedding cake can strike up fear in the hearts of most couples, it is also something else you can do yourself. When your going in this direction the amount of wedding guests you’re expecting plays a large part, this is not something you would do if you’re expecting a large amount of guests. Again this is something that you can involve your wedding party in, especially if one of them is a very good baker. Going this route not only saves you money, it ensures that you are getting exactly what you want with no surprises.

Wedding programs come in many shapes and forms depending on the couples style choices. For example this wedding program pays homage to the couples love for travel and adventure. The program cards in the shape of luggage tags are bound together by string and covered with beautiful flowered paper. Ideas like this one ensure that your programs will stand out from the rest and highlight your interests as a couple. Ofcourse not every couple is not gonna like this particular design, that is why the two of you can take it upon yourselves to decide what it is you really want to say to your guests through your program. This is another process that you to can dive into together on your free time while discussing your big day and the fun you plan to have.

No wedding reception is complete without fabulous parting gifts for your guests. Of all the things at your wedding this is the most customizable but can also take up a lot of the costs. However, you don’t want to give your guest something they will take home to throw in the junk drawer. One great idea for DIY wedding favors is this great candy buffet. You two can take the time to pick an assortment of your favorite candies to share with your guests, the personal touch is added by placing small personalized pouches on the table for your guests to gather their goods in. Your pouches can feature the wedding colors, your initials , or even a special parting message.

as always this is not meant to be stressful but fun. So grab a group of your closest friends and see what you guys can come up with in order to make your day special and cost-effective. ENJOY!!!