Archives for October 2011

7 Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding DJs

One of the most important parts of your wedding preparations is choosing a DJ. We often don’t realise what a vital part they play in making sure our wedding reception is a success.

So because it’s not always easy to know how to pick a good DJ, I’ve put together a list of the 7 most frequently asked questions about wedding DJs, and I hope it’ll help you out.

1. How Can I Find A Good DJ?

Well, of course word of mouth is always useful. You may know people who have married recently who can recommend the DJ they hired.

But personally, I think asking the people working at your venue or your caterers is one of the best ideas. After all, they must have seen and worked with dozens of DJs.

2. Should I Ask For A Written Contract?

Yes, definitely. A true professional will always offer a written legal contract. You need to know things like how much you are paying, what it covers, are there likely to be any extras, and what those costs could be.  Get all these things in writing in advance so that you can avoid problems later.

3. Will The DJ Agree To A Meeting?

It’s important that you meet with your DJ beforehand, so only go with a DJ who is prepared to meet you well ahead of your wedding day. You will need to discuss the general theme of your wedding, the lighting, the music you like, and the music you don’t like.

And of course he will need to know which song to play when you dance for the first time as man and wife!

4.  What Can I Expect The DJ’s Role To Be?

He will be your emcee and keep everything on schedule. He will work with your instructions, coordinating with the caterers and the photographer when introducing the toasts, your first dance together, the cutting of the cake, and the bouquet toss. That’s a long list of important jobs, and that’s why your choice of DJ is an important one to get right.

And he will make sure everyone, especially the bride, has a great time.

5. Should We Ask For References?

Yes. You should ask for references from recent clients. Most DJs will also be able to show you some of their work on video. This gives you a chance to see him in action and decide if you like his style, his speaking voice etc.

6. Can We Ask That The DJ Wears A Tuxedo?

Yes. Although most professional DJs would dress appropriately for a wedding reception, you do need to clarify this. You certainly wouldn’t want a DJ to turn up wearing jeans and t-shirt.

7.  Should We Feed Our DJ?

Yes – your DJ will probably be working for quite a few hours. He will be setting up his equipment long before you and your guests arrive, so you do need to offer some kind of food and drink.

It doesn’t have to be a sit-down meal, but you should ask your caterer to prepare a light meal or some sandwiches which he can eat during his break. This will keep your DJ happy during your reception, and a happy DJ will be a well-performing DJ.

Complete Wedding Budget Guide – Part 2: The Reception

Check out the other parts of this 7 part wedding budget guide at the links below:

Complete Wedding Budget Guide – Part 1: The Wedding Dress
Complete Wedding Budget Guide – Part 2: The Reception
Complete Wedding Budget Guide – Part 3: The Cake

The reception is a big part of your wedding day. It takes a lot of planning and organising and can take a huge chunk out of your budget.

In fact, it’s estimated that the average couple will spend around half of their entire wedding budget on the reception alone – that is often as much as $14,000!

Since your wedding reception will devour so much of your entire budget, it’s one of the best areas of your wedding to make substantial savings. Actually, you’ll find that you can slash as much as half off the cost of your reception if you make a few simple changes to your plans.

To help you to make these savings, I’ve put a little plan together for you. This plan will show you how to make savings in 3 key areas of your wedding reception:

  • The timing of your wedding
  • The food you serve
  • The drinks you provide

The Timing Of Your Wedding

Did you know that the day of the week you choose for your wedding, and the time of year you choose for your wedding, can have a huge impact on the cost of your reception? If you know how to use this to your advantage, and you know the correct time of year and day of the week to have your wedding, you can make substantial savings.

First of all, let’s take a look at the time of year you have your wedding, and how it affects the cost of your reception.

Time Of Year

Most couples want sunshine on their wedding day, so choose a spring or summer date. Venues, caterers, hotels etc charge higher prices during these months. But choose a date out of season, between October and February (excluding holidays) and prices can be as much as 50% less.

Choose an unusual date like Friday 13th or April 1st. Dates such as these are not popular with some couples, and can often mean big savings on venues, and from caterers and suppliers. You can also often find photographers, DJs, and live bands willing to give reduced rates on these not so popular dates.

Okay, so that covers the time of year to get married to make big savings on your wedding reception. Now let’s take a look at the day of the week you get married, because that makes a big difference too.

Day Of The Week

Everyone wants to have their wedding reception on a Saturday night. This means some venues get booked up a year in advance. And it also means you pay a premium for a Saturday night.

Getting married on a week day is one of the easiest ways to save money. There will be a great choice of venues available and once again caterers, photographers and bands will be willing to negotiate and offer discounted prices.

Monday is often the cheapest day of the week for all the costs associated with your wedding reception, so make sure you look into the possibility of a Monday wedding if you’re trying to save money.

The Food You Serve

The food you serve your guests will make up a big chunk of your reception costs, but thankfully, if you know a few tricks there are great savings to be made.The 3 areas where you can save the most money are:

  • The Guest List
  • The Menu
  • The Drinks

The Guest List

When you’re trying to save money on your wedding reception, it’s worth remembering that every guest you invite costs you money, so be strict and only invite the people that are really special to you

As nice as it might be to invite everyone you know to your reception, you need to be realistic. If you’re trying to make savings, cutting the numbers of those you invite to your reception is a simple and instant way to save a lot of money.

Imagine you’re inviting 100 people to your reception and you’re paying $100 per head. That’s $10,000. Now imagine that you cut that number in half and only invite 50 people to your reception.

You just saved $5,000!

So go through your guest list again and ask yourself if everyone on that list needs to be there, and start cutting names. The more money you need to save, the more ruthless you’ll need to be.

The Menu

A smaller guest list means you can enjoy a more relaxed and informal wedding. And this makes planning the menu for the reception very easy. It’s also a great chance to save money.

Having a smaller reception means you really don’t need to follow the tradition of a sit-down multi- course meal. Why not give your guests a buffet?

Just think for a minute of all the advantages:

  • No seating plan to arrange!
  • Guests can sit wherever they like
  • No need to ask in advance about special dietary requirements
  • Everyone can find something they like
  • Guests can enjoy a a varied selection of savoury and sweet foods

The Drinks

Providing drinks for guests the whole evening can be a very expensive business, but there are a few ways you can save money here.

For instance – did you know that cava is around 80% cheaper than champagne?

And although it’s usual to welcome guests to your reception by offering them a drink, it doesn’t have to be champagne. Will anyone really mind if you give them a glass of cava or sparkling wine? I don’t think so. And don’t forget to offer a non-alcoholic option.

These drinks can also be offered if you are having speeches and toasts.

Provide a keg of beer, some soft drinks and a cash bar. If guests want something other than beer, they can purchase it from the cash bar.

Check Out The Previous Part Of This Wedding Budget Guide:
Complete Wedding Budget Guide – Part 1: The Wedding Dress

Check Out The Next Part Of This Wedding Budget Guide:
Complete Wedding Budget Guide – Part 3: The Cake

7 Age Old Wedding Superstitions That We Still Use Today

There were many wedding customs and superstitions even as far back as the middle ages. And they all revolved around protecting the bride and groom from the evil spirits that were all around, and old wives’s tales about fertility.

But thankfully, although some of these old customs are still around today, we don’t treat them seriously.

But there is one tradition that dates back to Victorian times, which most of us, when we marry still adhere to, and that is the famous good luck rhyme:

1. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Something Old

This is normally to signify that the bride is leaving her old life behind.
Popular choices for something old are:

  • Piece of old family jewellery
  • Wedding dress – mother’s or vintage
  • Grandmother’s picture in a locket

Something New

This symbolizes that the bride is about to begin a new life, and taking something new into her new life will ensure good fortune throughout her marriage.
So a bride might consider something new to be:

  • The key for her new home
  • A new item of clothing
  • A new wedding ring

Something Borrowed

This is an item a bride borrows from a happily married friend or relation. Providing she returns this item after the wedding, she too will have a happy marriage.
Some things that brides might borrow are:

  • A friend’s watch
  • A mother’s handkerchief
  • Pearl necklace belonging to a close relative

Something Blue

The colour blue was thought to be lucky and represent fidelity, purity and faithfulness.
Some of the things a bride might choose for her something blue are:

  • A blue garter
  • A blue ribbon
  • A blue sash

2. The Wedding Cake

As with most of these customs and superstitions, the wedding cake has always been an important part of the wedding ceremony and celebrations.

Back in Roman times the wedding ‘cake’ was a kind of crude bread made from wheat and barley. It would be broken over the bride’s head by the wedding guests. This was to encourage fertility.

And down through the centuries the wedding cake has evolved into what we know today and is now one of the most photographed parts of a wedding – second only to the bride’s dress.

3. Over The Threshold

The act of a groom carrying his bride over the threshold can be traced back as far as medieval times.

The origin of this ritual seems to vary from region to region, but the most likely one seems to be from Western Europe. They believed that if the bride tripped as she entered the house, it would bring bad luck into the house.

Other parts of the world believed that as long as she was carried into their home by the groom, she was safe from the evil spirits that were lurking.

Thankfully, we’ve moved on a bit since then, and now being carried over the threshold by your new husband has become a tradition that is great fun.

4. Shoes Tied On Car

This is something that really began back in Tudor times. As the newly wed couple left the ceremony, guests would throw old shoes at them. If the couple were hit by any of the shoes, it meant they would enjoy good luck during their marriage.

But thankfully these days, old shoes are tied to the back of their car, and not thrown at them.

5.The Veil

Veils were first used way back in the days when marriages were arranged between families purely for monetary gains. And this almost certainly meant that a man and woman would marry having never previously met.

Family members would cover her face with a veil. It wouldn’t be lifted until the ceremony was over in case the prospective groom didn’t like the look of her and refused to marry her.

6. The Bouquet

In bygone years a bride’s bouquet was actually a bunch of garlic, herbs and spices. Apparently, the strong aromatic smells served two purposes – firstly to mask any odours from guests who may have forgotten to bath, and secondly, (you’ve guessed it), to frighten off the evil spirits.

7.  The Bridesmaids

In medieval times it was thought that evil spirits were all around, wanting to cause mischief and bring bad luck to the bride.

So in order to outwit these evil spirits, a bride would be accompanied by several bridesmaids dressed the same as her. This confused the evil spirits. They didn’t know which one was the bride, so she was safe.

It can’t have been much fun being a bride back in the middle ages. The poor girls must have feared for their lives as they prepared for their wedding day whilst trying to outwit the evil spirits that were out to get them.

But as crazy as these superstitions were, we should be grateful that they have been handed down to us over the years. Without them we wouldn’t have some of things that go to make up modern day weddings – like bridesmaids and wedding cakes for instance.