Some Helpful Hints...
About vendor meals...
Be sure to let both the venue/caterer and the vendors know if you are providing vendor meals. We recently worked a wedding where the photographer, event coordinator and the DJ had all been told by the bride that they were included in the meal count. However, there was not a specific seating chart for them and the venue said they knew nothing about it so they refused to feed the vendors. I just hope that the customer didn't end up paying for meals that were never eaten. When creating your seating plan determine where you want to have the vendors sit and then be sure to let them and the venue know.
An Open Letter from your DJ about Pricing
I wish I could tell you that finding the perfect wedding DJ or entertainer is easy, but it’s not. It’s kind of like finding a caterer. He may have the right credentials; but what if his specialty is French cuisine and what you really need is a down home BBQ? Or perhaps you are looking for a wedding photographer as well as your DJ. What if you don’t like their personalities? Imagine spending four, five, or more hours in the company of someone you don’t like.
And yes, budgets do matter. Just because you have a wedding budget does not mean that you have no money to spend on your wedding. It means that you are allocating your money based on your priorities. If your flowers are more important than your cake then you’ll spend more money on flowers. And if your entertainment is more important than chair covers with fancy bows, then you will spend your money on your DJ or entertainer.
Water. It can save your ceremony and reception. If your ceremony and reception will be outdoors on a hot, sunny day be sure to have plenty of water for your guests to drink. Even with shade available, dehydration is a possibility.
Water is also a great alternative for your guests who don't drink alcohol or avoid soda. Tea and lemonade are also refreshing but if you are not making the lemonade yourself at least get a taste test from the venue. I swear, one venue passing a canister of lemonade mix over the pitcher, puts in just enough to discolor the water and calls it lemonade.
Alcohol. Proper etiquette says if serving alcohol you must have an open bar. I say horsefeathers! Certainly, if you have the money and the desire, by all means have an open bar. But if you are concerned that some guests might over imbibe or if you are on a tight budget this is one place you can save money. Options include having a signature drink that is hosted, an open bar only during the cocktail hour, hosted wine and beer, or have your reception in a facility that has a bar on premises but you do not have a bar actually set up in your room.
Also, have some designated drivers or make other arrangements in the event that some of your guests do become inebriated.
Coffee. Even if you don't drink coffee some of your guests probably do and would love a cup after dinner or with their wedding cake. Consider having a pot available but it doesn't need to be gallons of coffee.
Brides, save time and sanity at bridal shows.
Have address labels with your name, address, email address, phone number, and wedding date already printed when you attend the show. It will save you a ton of writing the same information over and over and over and ...
Be aware that when you complete the registrations forms you are giving permission to wedding professionals to contact you about services you are interested in. This can be very helpful to you when trying to chose one service or product over another. At the show you can very easily become overwhelmed talking to 100 or more vendors.
And I love this tip which I received from my nephew's fiancee. Use your cell phone to take photos of professionals you really liked. It will help you to remember them and why you liked their product or service. What a great way to remember who impressed you and who didn't!
Flavors. Wedding cakes used to be white. That was it. But this is your wedding. Have the cake of your dreams. If you love spice cake. then have spice cake. Did you know that chocolate is the most popular flavor at weddings?
Looks. Cakes can be square, rectangles, rounds, hearts, just about whatever you can think of. Granted the more creative, the more expensive. But it isn't just shape that creates a great looking cake. Using ribbons, flowers, colored icing, and other decorations can make your cake unique. If you want both a traditional cake and yet something funky think about letting your imagination go by having an interesting groom's cake. I've seen cakes that look like fish, hot rods, a surfer's shack on the beach, and a tree stump with a couple of squirrels sitting on top. Marci from Colorado Rose Cake Company also does a really nice job with white on white icing depicting a mountain scene with trees.
Costs. As mentioned earlier the more lavish, the more expensive. However, your cake can also be used as a focal point in your decorating so you can use part of your decorating budget for the cake if money is an issue. There are many ways to save money on cakes. One: simple design and only enough to feed the number of people you have. Two: If you want a big cake but only have a small number of people to feed you can use styrofoam for the bottom layers and only have the top layer be real. Have sheet cakes in the kitchen for serving to the guests. Sheet cakes are less expensive but you are still paying for decorating the foam. Three: A small decorative cake and a large sheet cake (ala a groom's cake). Four: Using a grocery store instead of a professional wedding cake bakery.
What did I not recommend? Doing it yourself or having a friend or family member make your cake. Several reasons for this. What if the first one doesn't turn out quite right? Do they have time to make another? Do they really have time to bake, decorate and set up your cake at the reception while they are supposed to be at the ceremony?
Cutting and Serving. Many venues will have someone on staff to cut and serve your wedding cake. If not, then you need to make arrangements for that to happen. Have the baker provide you with written instructions on how to cut and serve the type of cake your are having. For example, at one wedding the cakes were round and the smallest size was 10 inches in diameter. The ladies cutting the cake were trying to cut and serve it like you would a pie. The pieces were unwieldy and much to big. Cake was falling off the plates and they would have run out of cake had someone not intervened and shown them the proper way to cut a round wedding cake.
The choices are endless. Tastings are definitely the way to go; but, do not abuse this privilege. Know before you start if you are wanting something very upscale or more down home. Before you have a tasting give the caterer an idea of the feeling you want your wedding to have. Yet, be open to their suggestions. If you have a strict budget let them know. A great caterer has many clever ways to keep costs down while creating a lavish feast.
Health Regulations. Regulations in some states will not permit you to take home any leftovers. That is to protect both you and the caterer in the event that food is not properly cooled after serving. An accurate guest count can really help avoid having leftoevers that get thrown away.
Guests Counts. This matters whether you are having food supplied by a venue, yourself, or a caterer. Today our lives are busy and hectic. Sometimes we forget to respond to invitations or we have responded and things change. About two to three weeks before the wedding, confirm the RSVP's you have received and make a phone call to folks who have not repsonded. They may have forgotten to respond but were planning to come. Or they may have said they were coming, had their plans change and forgotten to let you know. If you have a large guest list this is something that could be split among your bridesmaids so they each only have a small number of phone calls to make. You could even make a party out of it. Each bridesmaid brings her cell phone to the party and you all make your calls while munching on snacks and enjoying each other's company.
What could be more frustrating than trying to carry on a conversation with someone whose face you can't see? Design your centerpieces so that they are either above or below face level. A pity your money is wasted if your guests put the centerpiece on the floor so they can see each other.
Your ceremony location is an important decision to make. If you have an outdoor ceremony, be sure to have plenty of water available for yourself as well as your guests. When having outdoor ceremonies, be aware of the temperature as guest will be seated in the sun ten to fifteen minutes before the ceremony starts and will be seated for as long as the ceremony lasts. Small paper fans are a good suggestion for warm days. You will also want to take into account the location of the sun when your ceremony is taking place. Is it directly overhead or is it starting to set and will be in the eyes of your guests. Ceremonies facing west with the mountains in the background makes a beautiful setting for photo’s but if the sun is low on the horizon it will be in your guests eyes.
Adverse weather is always a concern for outdoor events and sometimes does not cooperate with your outdoor plans. Always check forecasts and also listen to your coordinator, DJ or venue host. In most instances, they will be a better weatherman than the ones on TV. Many have been in business in their respective locations for some time and they know the weather patterns better than the “pro’s”.
I have seen too many instances where I have informed clients that the ceremony needs to happen “now” and not be postponed for those last minute stragglers only to have everyone running for cover.
There is a very good possibilty that you will have a beautiful outdoor ceremony but ALWAYS have a plan "B".
Congratulations... But what comes next?
You already have the rings, right? You probably have already found your dress... Maybe your location, officiate and your photographer have been picked out. Now you are looking for entertainment. Interesting! A survey by a national bridal magazine did a survey and found that 73% of the brides would have spent MORE on their entertainment AFTER the reception was over because the bargain they got, was no bargain. Nearly 100% of the brides felt the entertainment was 80% of the success of the reception, but, only about 5% of the budget was spent on their DJ, AND, they were the last item on their planning to be hired. Again...Interesting. Something that seems so important, is left to the end, and then, historically you spend the least amount on it.
Look at it another way...
You spent maybe $35 to $90 per plate for your meals, Thousands on your photographer, but only hundreds on your DJ. If the DJ is not that good and 60% of your guest LEAVE right after the meal and maybe the cake. Now you only have 40% of your guests for your photographer to take pictures of and if your DJ can't hold them there....that number will dwindle. Not a very good feeling since you spent so much time and money for an event that is now fizzling out.
My suggestion is to interview the DJ/MC and get a good feel as to whether you are getting a qualified experienced entertainer or someone you never met that is playing from the company "handbook" that is giving the same event as 20 other DJ performers within the company...or someone that creates special memories based on YOUR input. If "cookie cutter" is OK...by all means go with it. But, if you want a day that is special to YOU....Go with a professional that sees to it that every detail is covered and give yourself a better chance that the guests will stick around just to see what fun is going to happen next.
We do the work so all you have to do is relax and enjoy. Give us a call. We'll help you get your party started. 970-667-0646
Disc Jockeys are an interesting lot. Whereas doctors and lawyers, as well as many other professions, have some type of schooling and certification, it seems that anyone with a music collection and a stereo can be a DJ.
Let’s look, for a minute, at what a “DJ” is.
By definition, a DJ is a person that plays records. (Hence the term Disc from the days of playing black vinyl discs known as "45's" and albums) Now days, many “state of the art” DJs will use some type of computer based music playback system. DJs that still use CDs or even vinyl, should not be discounted as not being able to perform a great party. The equipment they use to perform with is just “tools” and nothing more. Each tool has its pluses and minuses. While we are on the subject of tools, let’s look at equipment for a moment. Just about every client I've ever had has never asked me about what I use to perform with. Most would not know the difference between Radio Shack equipment and Rane, Denon or JBL. To the professional, there is a HUGE difference.
To “you” the client, the only thing that matters is that everything continues to function for as long as your event is scheduled. Lower quality equipment is less reliable than professional grade equipment. Will lower quality equipment work for your event? Probably, but, do you really want to take that chance, on what will be one of the most important days of your life?
Also, does your DJ have backup equipment? Even with pro grade gear, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong. A pro will have something to fall back on so your wedding doesn't grind to a sudden stop.
When looking through websites, do you see “(insert company name here) is #1? Or, “Voted best of”? Maybe, “(insert name here) is Colorado's premier DJ service"? Only to discover, eight of ten are the best, #1 or Premier.
Be Very Careful when DJ's use these buzz words. (other buzz words include "unique" "memorable" and "specialize")
Or, do you see “we specialize” in Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s, School dances and Company parties, etc...”? Really?
You “specialize” in everything?
Does your general practitioner do brain surgery? Probably not, so how can DJ’s “specialize” in everything?
Now, for a moment, let’s look at prices. The fact is quality costs. Look at your engagement ring for a moment. If your stone were just a piece of glass, chances are you didn't spend much for it. However, if it is a flawless two karat diamond, you most likely spent a lot. DJ’s are a lot like diamonds. The higher their quality, the more they cost.
For some, a lower price DJ might get the job done but a high end professional will more than likely give you the quality event you deserve, just like a fine polished diamond.
A lower priced DJ may only have the skills to “play music” but not much else. A more experienced entertainer has Master of Ceremony skills, coordination skills, microphone presence, an ability to get a “feel” for your guests “mood” and adapt accordingly and much, much more.
A survey by a national bridal magazine found that 73% of the brides wished they had spent more on their entertainment AFTER the event was over because their event wasn't as good as it should have been. While most brides spend about 3 percent of their budget on entertainment, they felt that the entertainment was 80% of the overall success of their reception. So before you spend $1200 on a vegetable tray or $4 a chair for chair covers, stop and think….”What will my guests remember about my reception”? Then, spend accordingly.
Not every DJ is right for you. Just like picking out that diamond, you need to look for the entertainer that will be performing for you. Do they fit your personality? Your style? Your music choices? Your vision of how you see your event flowing? That’s why the interview process is so important. Some DJ’s are stand up comics with banter and quips that keep your guests in stitches; some are very refined and elegant. You need to find which one is “your style”.
Finding the right DJ is a two way street. On some occasions, I’ve said straight out…”I don’t think I’m the right DJ for you”. The “fit” has to be both ways. Sure, I could take every event that comes my way, but that wouldn’t be fair for “me” and certainly would not be fair for “you”.
Don't forget it is really about the two of you
On your wedding day you will be on the go all day. Running to get your hair done or meeting the photographer for photos. Then it's time for the ceremony, more photos, and then more photos. Jump in the limo with your wedding party and photographer and off to the reception where you are still surrounded by all your family and friends. You will not have a moment alone with each other until the party is over and you fall into bed exhausted. Take an extra step, plan to have at least 10 minutes for just the two of you between the ceremony and reception. A limo ride with just the two of you. Or perhaps the church has a room you can use to share your joy in having married each other. Yes, your wedding day is a big celebration but don't forget it is really about the two of you. Take a moment for yourselves.
Ending the Evening
Have you thought about how you want your wedding reception to end? There are two trains of thought in the disc jockey industry. One is to finish the party with a bang. Get the crowd hot and sweaty and clamoring for more. The other is to end with a Circle of Love or some other type of finish that includes a nice, slow, romantic dance that welcomes everyone to the dance floor.
Will you be slipping away in a limo or staying with your family to help with the clean up? Do you want a last group hug or to the excitement of that last rousing song that had you swinging, swaying and jumping? Do you have the availability to extend your time with the venue and the DJ, or must you be out of the room by a certain time?
Whatever you decide, be sure to let your DJ know how you feel so they can program their music appropriately. You can select your own last dance or leave it up to your DJ.
Favors can be a nice "thank you" to your bridal party and guests. They can be as simple as candied almonds or chocolate kisses to very nice "trinkets".
Be careful of DJ companies advertising that they will provide "CD favors" of your favorite songs for all you guests. As the law is written, this is illegal.
The recording industry has determined a maximum penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment and $250,000 dollars fine for EACH song. We have seen and heard on the news of housewives, preteen children and such being sued by these agencies. The original Napster, Audiogalaxy, E-Donkey and Bearshare have been shut down, and now, even Limewire is under the microscope.
Will the RIAA actually burst into your wedding and haul off everyone for "bootlegged" music? Well....I've never heard of it done and I doubt these agencies want that type of press. Also...It would not gain them very much financially, so why spend the time and energy pursuing your event?
My point is this. I'm sure most of us have gone over the speed limit on the highways before, but, it does not really hurt anyone as long as an accident was not caused by this, and, unless we get pulled over, no real harm is done. But, when we download or copy an artist’s song without paying them for it, we are in effect "stealing" from them, and if they are not going to make any money....why perform. Sure, some may do it just because they love making music, but, if they don't get paid somewhere....they don't eat.
Look at it another way. You go to work and put in a 40 hour week only to be told "Thanks" at the end of the week and nothing more. The Artists that get download from a file sharing site don't even get a thank you.
So, back to my point, if your DJ is willing to steal a bunch of songs to hand out to all your guests....What other unethical practices do they participate in? Cash under the table? No insurance? No income tax?
Just something to think about.
As far as favors go, will your guest really remember your special day because they received some trinket? Maybe. But, too often I have seen many of these favors left behind because they carry no real "meaning" for those that receive them. So.....How much of your budget was spent on favors that won't be apprciated? Be carful when being talked into those little jars of bubbles, or the little tinkling bells. They may be cute but do they really add to the overall event success? That money might better be spent on other things that mean more to you. You need to decide if you want to spend $500 on favors and only $400 on your entertainment. The choice is yours.
Sorry if I scared you.
When planning on floral centerpeices, be careful! If the spread is too large or too tall, your guests at opposite ends of the table will not be able to see each other as they talk during cocktails and dinner. A lot of times they will move the flowers onto the floor so they can see accross the table, making all your planning and decorating go out the window. Kind of expensive to have your beautiful displys on the floor.
Give separate tables a second thought...
A sweetheart table is a lovely thought and a nice way for the two of you to be alone yet still with all your guests at your wedding. However, it also isolates you from your wedding attendants. Sometimes you just want to turn to your best man or maid of honor and say something to them that would mean more or be funnier than telling it to your new spouse. So before getting a sweetheart table just give it an extra thought or two.
Great seats and not so great seats....
I've been seeing a new trend this year in weddings and corporate events. One that I am sad to say I don't like. Imagine yourself as an invited guest at a friend's wedding. It quickly becomes apparent that you will be sitting outside while all the action is happening inside the building. You won't be able to see anything. Thankfully the entertainer has a speaker out where you are so you at least hear what is going on. Sure hope the weather stays nice. How did this happen?
Several possibilities exist as to why this happened. The venue was so desperate for your friend's business that they promised her seating they could not reasonably fulfill. Your friend absolutely fell in love with the venue and thought she could squeeze in 162 guests when the venue told her their max is 150. Or she and the groom couldn't figure out who to leave off the guest list. So, they invited 250 guests and hoped that only 150 would RSVP yes. In reality, 196 of you showed up.
When it comes to planning your own wedding, you must decide which is more important; sharing the day with all 150 of your family and friends or the gorgeous view from the venue that seats 75? Squeezing in even one more table of 8 people can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous if everyone needs to vacate the building quickly for any reason.
The flower has nothing to do with any of the tips. I just took this picture after an event we did in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on June 6, 2009. I hope it brightens your day the way it did mine.
Honeymoon Travel Packing Checklist compiled by Elegala.com
Packing is less of a chore when you know what to bring with you, and what to leave at home. You’ve picked your vacation style, you’ve decided where and when to go, you’ve chosen your accommodations, you’ve figured out ways to save…let the packing begin! There is a fine line between too much and too little when it comes to gathering your belongings: too much and you’ll be plagued by an unmanageable load; too little and you’ll find yourself buying what you didn’t bring. With flowers and tulle still on your mind, you may want to use our packing checklist to get you through the seemingly endless piles of questionable belongings.
How a Talented DJ can make your Wedding Even Better
Nick and Nadia's Wedding
Our initial meeting was over and everyone was smiling; Nick, Nadia, her parents, Scott, and I. As we all walked out the door Nick, pulled me to the side and whispered, "We'll be calling you next week. The wedding isn't going to be exactly as Nadia's parents think."
"Okay." Sure enough a week later they called and set up a new meeting. They quickly explained that they loved the movie The Princess Bride and wanted to utilize our DJ and sound reinforcement expertise to play sound bites and music from the movie during their wedding ceremony. The whole thing was to be a secret. Only the pastor, the two of them, Scott and I would know.
Keep it about the people...
It is very easy, when planning a party, to get caught up in the pageantry of the event. With the recent loss of Diana's mother we are inspired to remind you that your party is about the people. The heady scent of beautiful flowers will last a week. An excellent meal is a pleasure to be enjoyed. And nicely dressed tables with fancy chair covers are a feast for the eyes. BUT, without people, the room is just a room. It doesn't become a party until your family, friends, or co-workers join you. As you do your planning remember the reason you are really putting so much time and energy into your event. It is about community, belonging, enjoying each other's company, with just the right amount of style and flair.
Make Sure your Guests are Safe...
When I was planning my wedding I was so excited to look at flowers, taste cakes, and make decisions about a ton of things to make my wedding day awesome. As someone whose dad was a firefighter I also thought about guests safety. I know, makes me a little weird, right?
But I have just been reading about the 41 women and children who died in the wedding fire in Kuwait. If you think it can't happen here in the United States I am sorry to say you are wrong. I can't begin to count the number of times I performed in a venue that crowded way to many people in a room. Recently I was at a country club and when the guests were all in their seats there was very little room between the tables. You literally sucked in your tummy and hoped your tush wasn't too big because you were trying to wedge yourself in between chairs to get around. If that room had caught fire I am quite certain people would have died that day.
So what things can you do to make sure your guests are safe?
Make your party different
Have you been to three or four events that were all the same. Cookie cutter versions of each other? Make your party different. Inject your own personal style into it.
For example, at a recent wedding the groom was a big fishing fan. The bride surprised him with a groom's cake in the shape of a Rainbow Trout. As it was being brought from the kitchen we played You Can't Catch Fish which is a parody of You Can't Touch This. It was a big hit and everyone will remember that moment. It was one of several things the couple did to make the wedding their own.
For family reunions, birthdays, or company parties you can usually come up with one or two ideas that will be special to your group.
One part of your wedding site is ugly...
Your wedding is in a lovely venue or a nice outdoor site but there is one glitch. One part of the room or the site is ugly! How do you compensate for that? Several years ago I attended a convention for professionals in the special event industry. One of the workshops was on this very issue. The suggestion made by professionals from throughout the industry? Have one focal point. Do something that draws the eye of your guests toward something special. As a bride you are in luck because you have a couple of possible focal points. You! Yes, remember that your guests will be looking at the two of you. Your wedding cake is also another possible focal point. Or the head table. Use an arch made of flowers or balloons that visually says, "Hey, look here!". Then your guests won't notice that floor is a little worn or that the view out that one window is looking at a brick wall.
A real world example: A couple is getting married at Foote Lagoon in Loveland Colorado. They will be standing on the fountain platform (which is also a stage for concerts). Because it has been abused by water from the fountain, it is not the prettiest place to look at. What can the bride and groom do to cover a five foot diameter platform? Outdoor carpet. Fairly inexpensive, comes in a variety of colors and can be reused later on the patio of your new home. I suggest any color except white. You do not want the floor to compete with you looking gorgeous in your wedding gown. And remember, your friends and family are looking at you, not the floor.
Photo's are an important part of your wedding process so make sure you buget accordingly. I'm sure "uncle Fred" has a beautiful camera but if he doesn't have the eye and the know how to take your wedding pictures....you should leave it to a professional. At our wedding, we just bought a whole bunch of film and sat it out for anyone to use and to give us copies of the prints. We got no pictures with us with my family or Diana's family. A lot of "moments" got missed.
Meet with a few and find one that fits your "style" and see's what you want. Watch out for the ones that "have nice gear" but don't have many years ofexperience behind them. A true professional will "shadow"an established photographer for some time before they go out on their own. Make sure you look at their work.
Plan for Weather...
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the party inside is so delightful, let it snow, let it rain, let it blow. (With apologies to Cahn and Styne)
I love Colorado! April 16th through the 18th we had rain, slush, snow, and lots of wind. Five days later we were outside enjoying 80 degree temps and getting our early season sunburn. As you organize your Colorado wedding, picnic, or other outdoor party be sure you have a Plan B. ADDENDUM: Here it is June 2 and we are still getting lots of rain with more predicted for the rest of the week. How is your plan B?
Prepare your guest for outdoor events...
Outdoor events can be absolutely gorgeous. And an outdoor reception can be a lot of fun. Just remember for the comfort of you and your guests, let them know in advance that the party will be outdoors. Even more important if it will be on lawn so that the ladies know not to wear the latest 5" heels.
Your memories of your event should be pleasant, so make sure you have plenty of water, suntan lotion and mosquito spray available for your guests. Because it is hard to spray your face you may also want to invest in insect repellent packets that can be carefully wiped on your face. Finally, if guests will be bringing small children in strollers you may wish to consider having an area with netting or some netting to place over the stroller to protect the little ones.
Venues are listed in alphabetical order by town name.
Aspen Lodge - Three beautiful ceremony sites and an awesome view of Long's Peak from the Long's Peak room for your reception. Amber and Paula will take good care of you.
Big Horn Mountain Lodge - For the small wedding on a budget this is a great reception site. A nice fireplace, bar set up, wooden deck. Bring in your own food and Diana really likes playing here.
Black Canyon Inn - Rosemary will help you have the wedding of your dreams. Three beautiful ceremony sites. Backup room availabe on the outside chance of inclement weather.
Della Terra - What a view, what a venue! A lovely secluded mountain location.
Mary's Lake Lodge - Breathtaking view of Mary's Lake in the Rocky Mountains. Great staff who will treat you well.
Lakeshore Lodge - Right on the shore of Lake Estes with a pretty ceremony site with the lake as a backdrop. The look of a lodge on the outside with the upscale feel of a nice hotel on the inside. Enjoy the panaramic view of the mountains. Sandy and Patti have a terrific crew that will make your wedding day special.
The Stanley Hotel - Angie, Morgan, and Candace are wonderful to work with.
The View at Historic Crags Lodge - with the best wedding coordinator on a venue site, Keelee Doan.
Twin Owls Steakhouse - Sharing property with the Black Canyon Inn provides you a two for one with a rustic mountain lodge and beautiful views of the Twin Owls mountain feature. Talk to Sandra.
YMCA of the Rockies - Teresa is the new coordinator at the YMCA but she is not new to taking care of people. Give her a call for info on ceremony sites and reception facilities. They also have lots of lodging so your guests and family can come out for your wedding and have a family reunion as well. Three chapels and two outdoor ceremony s
The Money Dance
Loved by some, hated by others. Very common in some cultures and never heard of in others. What does it mean to you? Some guests see it as a money grabbing scheme while others see it as an opportunity to have a few special moments alone with the bride or groom to congratulate them on their marriage. But one bride saw it an entirely different way. She is a vet and instead of a money dance she had a doggy dance. All the music had a dog theme such as Hound Dog by Elvis Presley or Atomic Dog by George Clinton. The guests still presented a monetary amount to dance with the bride and groom but the money went to the local Humane Society. Is this something you might like to try? What charity would you like to benefit from your money dance?
Even if you choose not to benefit a charity with your money dance, you still might want to consider the type of music to be played. Do you want to swing dance with your guests or would you prefer something slower so you can chat with each other? Who will announce your money dance and how will the money be collected? Ask yourself, what message is this sending to my guests?
And do call it a money dance, not the dollar dance. When you use the term "dollar" it puts a label in people's mind of how much to spend. With the use of the word money you might just find yourself collecting fives, tens, and twenties.
The Proverbial Wedding Budget
A 2009 Amercian Wedding Study conducted by Brides.com complied some interesting statistics about wedding budgets. Spending may be up, but people are being smarter about how they are investing their money. In 2009 the average traditional wedding cost $28, 082 and the average destination wedding cost $27, 981.
However, as always, statistics can be misleading. One or two weddings on the expensive side can really raise the average. Here are some figures that are a little more helpful.
- 27% will spend less than $10,000.
- 27% will spend between $10,000 and $20,000
- 25% will spend between $20,000 and $35,000
- 21% will spend over $35,000 on your wedding
This does not include the cost of the rings. By the way, up to 39% of you will spend more than you budgeted. The most expensive parts of your wedding will be the reception and the photography. And this is why it is so critical to figure out your priorities before you start spending any money. I personally know of one bride who was so ga-ga over a venue that she spent over 1/3 third of her entire budget to book the location. She spent another 1/3 on the venue recommended caterer. When she began purchasing her other wedding services she was dismayed to learn that she couldn't have much of what she wanted because she had no money left.
Engagement Rings - 24% of you will be wearing a ring that cost between $1,000.00 and $2,499.00. 44% percent of you will have a ring that ranges in price between $2.500.00 and $9,999.00. 2% of you will have an engagement ring that is valued at over $25,000.00
Video is a wondeful addition to your wedding memories and can be enhanced if your DJ/MC has the skills to give your videographer what is called a "direct feed" directly from the mixing console. What this means is that sound and music goes directly into the video camera without interference from outside noises such as wind, guests and other outside distractions, giving you cleaner sound makes your memories much more enjoyable than just hanging a michrophone on a speaker.
Watch your wedding budget...
In today's economy it is especially important that you watch your wedding budget carefully so you are not wasting money. Your appetizers is one area that can dramatically affect your budget.
- Exotic Items - Don't waste your money on foreign or exotic appetizers if your guests are meat and potatoes people. Last year one of my brides spent $200 on a tray of appetizers that was ignored once the word got around about the goat cheese wrapped in steamed grape leaves. Her guests just didn't like it.
- Chicken on a Stick - Unless you are serving a vegetarian meal it makes no sense to serve a meat dish as part of your appetizers. Save money here.
- No more than three choices, two is better - Appetizers are just that, appetizers. You do not need to make so much food available that your guests are stuffed before they get to the main course.
- Easy to eat - Try to avoid appetizers that will roll around on someone's plate. They are often standing and chatting with other guests rather than sitting down so it helps if the appetizers stay on the plate.
Wedding coordinators are a wonderful thing. Taking the stressful planning off of your shoulders and figuring out what to do and when to do it. They help find the vendors that match your needs and keep the day flowing based on what your wishes are. They can see to it that everything you desire gets done so you can relax and enjoy. However, when it's time for the reception, let your professional entertainer take the helm for the musical portion of the evening. That's why you hired them.
A professional entertainer/DJ will have a comprehensive planner that you and they fill out so they know what you desire to make you and your guests welcome and to insure that a great time is had by all. A professional entertainer will have the skills to "read" how your family and friends are reacting to certain types of music and can adapt instantly to changes. You hired them because you like them and trust their judgement to keep your reception flowing. Let them weave their magic without a heavy hand overseeing everything they do. A coordinator is part of the team you assembled to help remove the stress from you, let each one do what they do best.....Work as a team.
What are your priorities when it comes to your wedding?
When you became engaged did you begin to think about how much your wedding was going to cost? Did you start checking websites to see what percentage of your bridal budget should be spent on flowers, cake, your venue, or disc jockeys? May I suggest a different process?
Think about your priorities. What are the most important aspects of your wedding day? Is it the ceremony? The reception? Your dress? The celebration with your friends? This information is invaluable in helping you determine the best way to allocate your wedding costs. Put your money where your priorities are.
The next step is determining what you should expect in the way of wedding costs. Since you probably haven't planned an event of this magnitude before you may be surprised at what it costs to hire a DJ or buy a six tiered wedding cake with the sugar flowers cascading down the side.
You get what you pay for...it's still true
How many times have you heard the phrase, "If it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is"? Or maybe, "You get what you pay for." Cliches exist for a reason. However, during turbulent economic times you can find some good deals. But, the buyer beware caveat still holds.
Why is the deal being offered? Just as a freeze may cause a shortage and higher prices of one product, another product may have an over abundance due to ideal growing conditions that created overstock. How does that affect your wedding purchases? If fewer brides were getting married you might see lower prices on some items. And from what I have seen Colorado is seeing fewer brides in 2012. But we are seeing an uptick in 2013 brides. So now might be a good time to look for some deals for your 2014 wedding.