Monthly Archives: July 2012

Uplighting — Thumbs Up or Down?

One accent piece to a wedding that has gained quite a bit of popularity is uplighting. It is used to add color to a venue that may not be very friendly to decorations and other accents. However, just because uplighting is popular and can add your favorite wedding colors to your ceremony or reception venue does not mean that it is always a good idea.

When deciding whether to use uplighting for your special day, you need to take a good look at your venue. Keep a few things in mind when doing that.

1. Ask the people whose venue you are using. Have they ever seen uplighting used there? Did it look presentable or was it too much? Were there many lights used to create the atmosphere or just a few to add to the mood?

2. Look at the walls and ceiling of your venue. Some venues already have some form of wall decorations, whether it be paintings, photos, curtains, or artwork. Sometimes there are certain paint patterns on the walls, especially in older historical venues, where the structure was built to look a certain way and cannot be changed. For these types of venue either little strategic uplighting or no lighting at all may be your best option.

3. If a venue has solid color walls, columns, and not much decoration, uplighting will be your perfect solution to make that venue feel warmer and to your liking. As the evening progresses, the overhead lights can be dimmed to set the mood, which will cause the uplighting to stand out even more and add that perfect touch to your evening.

4. If you venue has a lot of windows, especially floor to ceiling windows, uplighting cannot be used on windows. If you wedding is during the day, the windows will counteract against the uplighting, so you may consider just skipping the addition all together. The main thing to keep in mind is that just because uplighting may be available and seem like a great idea, it may not necessarily be the best option for you. Ask the lighting professionals from whom you rent your lighting about their opinion on where lighting can be used. They do this on a regular basis so they may have ideas for you that you may not have thought about. Based on any ideas you receive, you can make an educated decision and make your night truly memorable.

It’s All About The Money

When it comes to putting together a wedding, the budget is quite possibly one of, if not THE most, important parts. The budget that you set will decide how your wedding turns out. Obviously if you have a large budget, then making every part of your wedding perfect should not be a problem. However, if you are someone that is trying to make the most of the modest or small budget that you have, then we have some things for you to keep in mind when planning.

1. Decide what is the one thing in your wedding that is the most important to you and you absolutely cannot cut corners on. Is it the venue, the photographer, the food, etc? That one most important factor is the one thing that you want to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for.

2. Make a list of things that you may be able to do yourself to save on the cost. Based on what your abilities are or who you can “recruit” to help you, there may be things you can do without hiring a professional. Sometimes things such as invitations, centerpieces, and decor can be crafted if someone in your group is creative. Make sure that you do them properly, however, otherwise you may regret it later.

3. Take advantage of any friends or acquaintances that may be able to provide any services for you at a discount. Make sure that these people have worked a wedding before. You do not want them to “practice” on your wedding day. If you know someone that can DJ, make sure that they have DJ-ed a wedding before and that you like them. If you know a photographer, look at their work and see what they have to offer. Evaluate the people that are doing you “favors” the same way you would evaluate any vendor.

4. If you are a member of a church, you may be able to have your ceremony at that church either free or for a small donation. Sometimes being a member at a country club or a venue that has available space for rent can aide you in finding the perfect place for you to exchange vows or dance the night away during your reception.

5. Some things you may be able to just do without. Do you need formal transportation after your wedding or can you do your exit in your own vehicle? Is the lighting at your venue elegant enough without having to use any uplighting? Can you still have a great ceremony without the live music by simply hiring your DJ for an extra hour?

You are the person that knows best what you want in your wedding, but your checkbook knows what is possible for that day. The trick is finding the best compromise to make those two things agree and come to a perfect harmony.

Enjoy Your Wedding

When planning a wedding you have several vendors to keep track of and it can become quite a challenge. When the big day arrives, you want to be able to enjoy it all. A wedding day is like a choreographed dance.  You have in upwards of 20 different groups of people all working with different goals in mind: the wedding party, parents, bride and groom, the guests, the venue, the florist, photographer and more.  Each of these parties has a specific goal in mind and a specific step in the dance. Trying to coordinate each one of these separate parties to work towards one perfect day can result in a chaos.

Consider hiring a wedding coordinator for your wedding. They deal with weddings on a weekly basis and have seen their share of wedding mishaps. They know how to deal with them so that your special day is not ruined. You do not want anything to take time and energy from your day. Wedding coordinators are able to work with certain vendors and get you special deals on services for your wedding, to save you not only money, but headaches on your wedding day. They have worked with a number of vendors and have first hand experience in knowing which vendors will make your day sparkle and follow through with all they promise.

If the full services of a wedding coordinator are not in your budget, you should at least consider day-of-coordination services from a wedding planner that can at keep things flowing and on a timeline on your wedding day, just the way you planned. Caterers, photographers, DJs, etc. will have questions on how everything takes place on your wedding day. There needs to be someone there to handle it all for you so that you don’t spend your day managing your wedding, rather than enjoying it.

Envision your wedding day: does it include dancing, eating, visiting with family and friends and laughing or is it answering questions and giving directions.

Make your wedding day enjoyable!

Time…..is of the essence

When it comes to your wedding, time is the most essential component that you need to spend the most effort on. Take the time to look for a venue, take the time to interview different vendors like caterers, cake decorators, wedding coordinators, photographers, etc. DJs are no different. Most brides tend to spend a good amount of time on the venue, the caterer, the photographer and the baker, but one of the most important factors to your wedding, the music and entertainment, gets left for last.

You want to make sure you have the right entertainment for your wedding. After all, your guests will spend more time around your DJ or band than anything else. Think about that for a few minutes. Most people spend:

  • 1-2 hours enjoying and savoring the food
  • 30-45 minutes looking at and tasting the cake
  • 30-60 minutes posing for pictures
  • 1-2 hours admiring the flowers and decor
  • the full length of your ceremony and reception listening to music and announcements

Do not cut corners when it comes to making sure your entertainment is perfect, just like everything else. The time you take to make sure of this is essential to every perfect wedding day. Keep these time frames in mind when looking for and booking a DJ for your wedding.

  • Book your DJ at least 6-9 months in advance. If your wedding is during prime wedding season, such as April-June or September and October, you may want to consider booking even earlier.
  • Devote some time in your busy planning schedule to having an open conversation with your DJ. Listen to any input he or she may have, any recommendations, make sure that they know what you expect out of them.
  • Spend some time brainstorming about what music you want to have during your wedding. Think about the age groups, the venue, what is appropriate and what may not be appropriate. Even though it is your wedding day, your guests are there to share in this day with you, not simply look at you.
  • Have a timeline of when you want things to take place. An order of things to occur, so that all your vendors can be on the same page. Your DJ can help make sure it all flows together since he has a microphone and can lead people through what needs to take place.
  • Keep in mind the time before the wedding when things need to be turned in. If a DJ asks you to turn things in at least 2 weeks prior to your wedding, do not wait until 2 days before to turn them in. You want to make sure your DJ has the music you asked for and readily available as well. Most DJs spend several hours preparing for each wedding so you want to make sure that you do not force your DJ to cut corners because your paperwork was turned in late.

A DJ is the essence that can make your wedding memorable or miserable. A bad or unprofessional DJ can lead to frustrated guests because they don’t know what is taking place, bad photos because the dance floor was empty, missing photos because the DJ did not announce when your cake was about to be cut, causing the photographer to miss it, upset parents because the DJ was inappropriate with some of the comments, etc. Don’t let this be your wedding. You want everything on your wedding day to come together perfectly, and the only way to do that is to make sure that you spend enough time on finding the right vendors and communicating clearly what you want from them, DJs included.