It’s difficult planning a wedding after all we’re only suppose to do it once (unless your Jennifer Lopez or Kim Kardashian)so no one is an expert at planning their own wedding. You talk to friends, read bridal magazines and talk to wedding vendors. It’s all so much. Down the list is your entertainment and music, so let me put in my plug in for disc jockeys and wedding music and entertainment and hopefully spare you the phrase after the wedding “I wished I had spent a little more on my DJ". Look at these statistics:
- 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
- Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
- During wedding planning, brides say their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer – reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities.
- After their reception, 78% of brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!
- When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
- 65% of all couples that chose a band for their wedding, said, "If they had it to do it again, they would choose a DJ".
*These statistics were published in St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine in 2003.Sources include: Simmons, 2001; USA Today, 2002; National Bridal Service, 2001;The Knot, 2002; Brides Magazine, 2001
Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality. Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $350.00 to $3,500.00 with an average of $1,200.00 for a 4-hour booking. The cheapest price is not always the best deal. Surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight*
* Do you think these figures for professional DJs for weddings have not gone up since 2005?
After many years of being in the wedding business, we have picked up quite a few tips that you may find helpful when planning your wedding. We hope that you will find these tips useful. Even though we're a Disc Jockey business we see the behind the scenes that take place on most of the weddings we do. Hope these pointers help in making the planning a little easier. Part 2 will be posted in a couple of weeks.
Always order 25 extra than what you think that you will need. Just in case you forgot someone. It is very costly to go back and reorder 25 later.
On your Response Card, in addition to having a line for guests to mark that they will be able to attend. Make sure to also give a place for them to put if they are unable to attend.
Number your guest list. Then as you are addressing your invitations, put the number that corresponds on your list on the bottom back corner of the response card. You would be surprised at how many guests forget to put their names on the response cards. If you get one that has no name, all you need to do is flip over the card and look at the number. Then match it up with your guest list and your mystery guest is solved!
TIME BETWEEN CEREMONY & RECEPTION
It is important not to make your guests wait too long from the end of your ceremony to the start of dinner. Even if you put that, your reception is to start later, 90% of your guests will still go directly to the reception. Your guests will start to get impatient if they have to wait too long. Always think from your guest’s perspective. Most planners state that you should not start your reception any longer than 1 hour from the end of your Ceremony. And remember, your guests will be at the reception for about an hour before the Bridal Party arrives. The Bridal Party generally arrives at the Reception about 10 minutes before the start of dinner, right before the end of Cocktails.
Assigned seating is generally the best way to go. It may be a challenge to do this, but very much worth the effort. When you have general seating, it is human nature for guests to leave spaces in between themselves and another guest. If you have a family of 4 that arrives a bit late, chances are they will not be able to sit together.
When planning your seating arrangements it is always important to make sure that your DJ, Photographer and Videographer are all seated at the same table and also in the same room as your guests. Your wedding professionals will be coordinating your events of the evening as they dine. There are a few reasons as to why they all should be in the same room as you and your guests. From the Photographer and Videographer standpoint, quite often during dinner something impromptu can occur, if they are in another room they will not be able to get the footage of what is happening. From the Disc Jockey's standpoint, because we provide music during your dinner hour Put your Place Cards in alphabetical order and not by Table #'s.
Seat your younger guests closest to the dance floor.
Head Table - The easiest and best way to seat your Bridal Party is to put your Bridesmaids on one side and the Groomsman on the other. If you have ever seen a Bridal Party that has been seated by couples two things generally take place. Immediately after dinner, they all move so that they are sitting in the way mentioned above. In addition, during dinner the Bridesmaids are leaning back in their chairs to talk with the other ladies and the Groomsman are leaning forward doing the same. They feel more comfortable in groups.
Well here are with Planning Tips Part 2 for you to read through and see which ones might fit your needs. If you have some suggestions to add to this list, drop us a line. We 'd love to hear from you.
ITEMS THAT ARE FORGOTTEN THE MOST
Pen for the guest book
Cake Knife & Server
Throw away bouquet (Not all florists will provide this automatically, you must ask.)
Bridal Bag or Apron for Dollar Dance(if your doing a dollar dance)
Helpers for afterwards. You will be surprised at how much stuff that you will have to try to pack into vehicles while still leaving a place for passengers.
IDEAS TO KEEP KIDS AND ADULTS ENTERTAINED
An Activity Bag as a favor for your child guests. (Crayons, Coloring Books, Cards, etc...)
Candy Bouquet Toss for the children before the Garter - Bouquet Toss
It is generally customary for a couple to greet their guests at the tables after dinner. The best time to start this is as soon as you have finished eating(Remember eating and drinking water is important.I've seen a number of brides feel ill at their reception because of the stress of the wedding and they just forget to eat and drink something and it catches up with them. However, do not take too long. Once again, think from your guest’s perspective. They have been sitting for a very long time and they want to dance. Most couples will go to the most important tables, get the first dance started and then mingle around to greet other guests throughout the evening.
In the Rest Room put together a basket of items that may be needed. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness. And you will be amazed at how many of these items get used.
Band aids Shout Wipes
Feminine Products Tylenol
Tums Safety Pins
Imodium AD Sewing Kit
Dental Floss Mints
Comb Clear Nail Polish
Hand Lotion Gum
Tissues Hair Spray
Nail File Garter & Bouquet
One of the hardest things about planning your Wedding Reception is the fact that even though it is your day, you cannot forget about the guests that you have invited to help you celebrate the special day.
With this in mind, you do not want to give your DJ a large list of requests. You want your guests to be able to make requests as well. And of course there are many songs that you may not be fond of, but many of your guests will most likely enjoy them. It is okay to give your DJ a list of your favorites and of course all of the songs for your Special Dances. You also want to try limiting the number of songs that you ask not to be played as well. Your DJ will try to get as many requests played that time allows. But do not expect your DJ to play every single request. The reality is that after dinner and your Traditional Events there will generally only be time at the most for about 55-65 other songs to be played throughout the course of dancing. In addition, the biggest surprise to most couples is that you will be so busy that you will not even be aware that a song had been played. It is common for a couple to come up and ask when a particular song will be played and then shocked to hear it was played 5 minutes before.
Not all receptions are adult only. If you are planning on having children at your reception, a few years ago a family had us make an announcement at their reception and we have had quite a few since then who have had us do the same. Kids will be kids and that is a fact. Kids like to run around and play on the dance floor, which can deter your adult guests from dancing. In addition, can get dangerous, we have seen many kids get injured during a reception. The announcement that was given to us was this, "For the safety of those here this evening, the families have requested that all children under the age of 12 be accompanied by an adult at all times. We thank you in advance for your cooperation." All of your guests will appreciate your concern over their safety.
The most important tip of all is to enjoy your day! Your Wedding Day will be here and over before you know it, so enjoy the moment but hopefully you will enjoy the trip getting there and rely on your professionals to make it a Stress Free Day for you.
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