A Winter Wonderland Wedding

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It’s safe to say that most people choose to get married between Spring and Autumn. Not often does someone receive an invitation to a winter wedding. However, winter weddings are becoming more and more popular and here are a few reasons why.

* If you’re lucky enough to get a dusting of snow on your big day, then your photographer is bound to get some amazing and unique photos of your winter wonderland wedding.

* Choosing a winter wedding date gives you a big bargaining chip with your suppliers. Winter tends to be less busy so you’ll often find “off-season” discounts.

* If you’re marrying in winter, you don’t need to worry about whether you’re going to have rain, sun or whether it’s going to be cold. You’re already expecting cold weather and your guests will be prepared for it.

* If you marry in the winter, it’s unlikely that your guests will have  been to a wedding for a while and they’ll be ready for a good wedding party. Unlike in summer when people are bombarded with wedding invitations.

Give us a call at 309-797-2702 to see how we help you with your winter wedding!

The Importance of Wedding Music

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There are two aspects of wedding music that need to be addressed when planning your big day. First, you may wish to select certain music or arrange for professional soloists or musicians to play during the actual wedding ceremony. But at the wedding reception, it’s pretty much anything goes when it comes to selecting wedding music, provided it’s tasteful.

Right away is the time to plan your wedding music. Good talent gets booked fast and you don’t want to end up having to select the brand new DJ with only a few weddings under his belt or something even worse. Booking your music a full year in advance is advisable but at a minimum, you should know who will be showing up and what he or she will be playing at least six months prior to the wedding date.

For most weddings, selecting the music for the wedding ceremony isn’t that complicated because most often, it’s controlled by the person in charge at the location where the ceremony will take place. When you’re researching your wedding ceremony options, be sure to inquire about any guidelines with respect to wedding ceremony music as these could possibly impact your decision. If the ceremony is being held outdoors, check for electrical hook-ups or book live musicians.

Wedding music during the ceremony is basically secondary to the ceremony itself so the music is really meant to sort of ‘fill in the gaps’ during the non-speaking periods such as while guests are being seated, during the procession, and while lighting the unity candles. Of course, it’s your wedding and it can be custom-designed.

The music that’s played at the reception, however, is going to mean the difference between a successful reception and one that’s ho-hum. This is where things can start to get complicated. When you begin searching for wedding reception music, you’ll realize rather quickly that you have a lot of options. You can book a live band, a professional DJ that’ll play pre-recorded music, or you can buy that CD full of top wedding songs and have someone act as the DJ. Most couples opt for a professional DJ as this person is able to keep the reception flowing and knows the ins and outs of making your reception amazing and memorable.

It’s important that you both agree on the type of wedding music you want played at your reception. There are ‘traditional’ songs that almost always are played at certain points during the reception such as the father/daughter dance, the cake cutting, the dollar dance and so on. Then there is all the music in between. Do you want jazz, country, R&B, new age, Italian, Latin, Jewish-inspired, or a little bit of everything? That’s an important decision to make because the musicians you select have to be able to deliver what you want or you won’t be happy.

Try to book experienced professionals for your wedding music. Always ask for and check references. Even contact the Better Business Bureau. If booking live talent, arrange to hear a live performance before booking. Scrutinize the contract before signing to make sure all parties agree on the number of hours music will be provided and that everything that has been agreed to is in writing. Find out the cancellation and refund policy, too.

The Wedding Favors

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Celebrating the unity of two people for eternity is the foremost purpose of a wedding ceremony. It has been this way and will continue to be this way for as long as the tradition lives. Wedding guests are invited to share not only in the joyous occasion but also to bear witness to the union. There is something spiritual about standing before all those who are special to you and making a lifelong commitment to someone for others to hear, which is what really transforms two people into a married couple.

To show an appreciation for their guests, for the time they have taken out of their busy lives to be part of the wedding, the bride and groom shower their guests with wedding favors. These wedding gifts or favors have been the tradition to thank the wedding guests for their thoughtfulness, their gifts, and help in any way given to the couple in making the wedding a special occasion.

Wedding favors traditionally are given to all of the guests that have been invited to the wedding reception. Of course, more expensive wedding favors are available and there are many weddings for which these higher-priced wedding favors are appropriate, but favors are typically inexpensive gifts, averaging in the $1 – $3/person price range. Numerous wedding favors are available in just about any category one could imagine, from sterling silver picture frames, to personalized edible chocolates, and even fragrant bath soaps.

Selecting wedding favors is not that difficult at all, nor is it necessary to purchase these well in advance of the wedding date. Most are readily available at online and retail outlets that specialize in these kind of wedding accessories. You don’t want to wait until the last minute however, as that is a particularly hectic time. You will need to allow ample time for personalization or shipping if you select an item that requires special ordering, for example; an unusually large quantity, or an exclusive item. To be on the safe side, two to three months prior to the wedding date is a good time to make your wedding favor selections. Once you have them in your possession, the only other thing you need to worry about is getting them to the reception before the guests arrive and presenting them in a unique and beautiful manner appropriate for the occasion.

Online shopping has made finding appropriate wedding favors very easy. Type ‘wedding favors’ into Google and you’ll get pages of web sites offering every type of wedding favor you could ever want. So where do you begin? It’s definitely a good idea to consult your budget worksheet first so you know the price range to focus on. From there, think about what makes you and your partner unique. Do you both love golf? Are you wine connoisseurs? What about a theme? If your wedding has one, there’s sure to be a favor to complement that theme. Do you want the favor to be the place holder? If so, select one that allows you to write the person’s name and table number. Creating your own wedding favors is another option and can end up being the most unique wedding favor of all and one that your guests are sure to treasure!

Wedding favors most suited to the occasion are the ones that reflect your personal style and personality. So select something that you personally enjoy and that your guests will appreciate and remember your wedding and you for a long time to come.

Gifts for the Wedding Party

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The wedding party is comprised of all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and ushers that the bride and groom have chosen to be by their sides for their special day. They are the people that are closest to the bride and groom, and have been there for the couple long before the wedding day. Gifts for the wedding party are a special way to recognize their contributions.

Gifts for Groomsmen

There are a number of fantastic gifts available for groomsmen and ushers in the wedding party. Choosing gifts can depend on the individual interest of the men. If the group is interested in sports, there are a number of sports themed gifts including golf, baseball, and football. Other good ideas are cigar sets or a glassware sets. All these gifts can be personalized with the men’s names and details of the wedding. Engraving the personalization is a special and meaningful touch for the gifts for the wedding party.

Gifts for Bridesmaids

A bride has many options for choosing gifts for her bridesmaids. Jewelry is always a great idea. It can be worn during the wedding and after. There are some amazing sets of bridal jewelry available for the bridesmaids ranging from simple pearls to elegant diamonds. Cosmetics sets and cosmetics bags are a good idea. They can be given to the bridesmaids prior to the wedding and be used that day during wedding preparation. Handbags and jewelry boxes are also great gifts for bridesmaids.

There are so many options for wedding party gifts. The bride and groom should really consider the interests of their attendants when choosing gifts to choose one that truly suits their personality and will be a sincerely meaningful gift. Gifts can be lavish or just something simple to symbolize the appreciation the bride and groom have for their attendants.

In preparation for the wedding, the wedding party is truly able to bond with the bride and groom. Through all the events and all the preparation, those in the wedding party are able to help the bride and groom prepare for the most important event of their new lives together. Giving gifts to the wedding party is a wonderful way to thank them for all they have done throughout their friendship and during this special time.

The Invitiation

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The most important purpose of a wedding invitation is to let guests know the particular details of the wedding so be sure that these details are accurate. You will want to hold off on ordering your invitations until you have finalized all of the details to ensure that your invitations are printed with correct information. In order to avoid confusion that results from misinformation on you your invitations, it is critical that you proofread your invitations several times to ensure that all of the information in correct. Once you have proofread the invitation a few times, you might consider having someone else proofread it as well. This is sometimes necessary because it is easy to overlook a mistake on your invitation when you know what the invitation should say. Sometimes your mind will subconsciously fix the error, making it appear as though everything is correct when it really isn’t.

Check your names and your parent’s names, if they appear on the invitation, carefully to confirm they are spelled correctly and also check the spelling and punctuation of the rest of the text. Wedding information that is accurate and contains no errors is sure to make a wonderful impression on your guests and can help to avoid guests from missing parts of the wedding because they were misinformed by inaccurate information on the invitation.

 

Don’t Get Married Without It!

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It is true that weddings are wonderful affairs and proper preparation requires a great deal of down-to-earth paperwork. The written contracts with all the vendors you hire to carry out the biggest day of your life are so important.

Contracts are legal documents that define specific terms and conditions of the service to be done, keeping misunderstandings to an absolute minimum. A properly prepared contract should protect you and the vendor you hire. Most commonly wedding vendors provide you with formal contracts. Contracts are not fun to read but doing so can save you time and money later.

It is your responsibility to understand everything included in the contract. If you are unsure of something that is included in the contract, have it explained before signing. Most importantly include the exact date of the wedding day. The exact time of your event must also be included. Many reception sites have multiple events, even multiple weddings on the same day. The total cost and itemized rundown of what is included in the prices is important to avoid last minute surprises and expenses. You may assume certain accessories are part of the price until you are told on the big day that it costs extra.

Make sure that accessories such as tables, chairs linens, etc. are included in the price.

What specific decoration is included? What areas are decorated? If you agreed on specific colors, be sure to include it in as much detail as you can.

Insist on including the date and dollar amount of your deposit and the date of when the total amount is due. Include the exact address of the venue. You don’t want to send out invitations without having the exact address in writing. If the company has multiple rooms for events, make sure the name of the room is included in the contract.

Make sure you understand the cancellation and refund policy of the venue. You have to understand you options in case you must change the date or change the venue altogether.

You should be provided with name and phone number of the emergency contact person.

Room capacity, to make sure the site is big enough to accommodate your wedding party.

Contracts are a serious matter, and they require careful attention. They are legal and binding, so you might want an attorney or a wedding professional to review it for you before you sign it. You may save a lot of money by investing a little in some professional help. Before signing the contract, read it over carefully. Don’t allow it to be rushed into signing the contract until you have understood it entirely.

Never pay the entire amount in advance, but many companies will ask you to pay half of the total amount upon closure of the contract. Others may ask only for a down payment. Be prepared to pay with cash, card, or a personal check, and always get a receipt. To protect yourself, try to pay with a credit card. When reading the contract and before signing, find out what your obligations are. If you guests drink a bit too much, find out who would be responsible should anything happen. Make sure the place is insured; get detailed information about their coverage.

Once you made your decision, you have to receive a written contract signed and dated by the person in charge. The contract must include all of your responsibilities and all of the responsibilities, warranties and guarantees offered by the venue.

Be sure to keep copies of all signed contracts with all of your vendors in safe place until at least 1 year after your wedding, just in case.

Wedding Entertainment

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A wedding is one of the most special days in a person’s life and a day of celebration shared with family and friends. The wedding entertainment you choose helps to create and maintain the air of celebration, turning the day into a really memorable event. Entertainment at a wedding has many practical uses as well, such as adding structure to the day and breaking the ice between guests.

There are quite a few options for entertainment at a wedding. Many people first think of a live band. Live bands provide music and entertainment and are very popular at weddings. Lately, we’ve been seeing more and more comedians, mentalists, and magicians at weddings. These types of entertainment get the guests at your wedding to participate and adds an extra “wow” factor.

The entertainment we see most often is the DJ. DJs play a vital role at weddings. From before the reception even begins, your DJ is behind the scenes preparing a timeline for the whole night. There’s nothing worse than running out of time for special dances, favorite songs, or speeches. You should be able to count on your DJ to get out on the floor and keep the guests happy all while ensuring all the special moments you want happen on time and aren’t rushed. This is especially important as most photographers don’t stay all night. Your DJ will make sure all the important events of the night happen before the photographer leaves so you can be confident that all special moments were captured on film.

 

Hiring a DJ from a Reputable Company

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Agreed, wedding planning is not easy on the pocket, even the smallest wedding can turn out to be pocket-draining. One of the worst things you can do is to tighten the purse strings when it comes to hiring a DJ to entertain you and your guests at your wedding reception. Yes, you may be tempted to hire an individual DJ instead of hiring a reputable DJ company just because the individual DJ is charging you 100 to 500 dollar less than what a professional DJ company is charging. But what if that DJ gets sick, or decides last minute he just doesn’t want to DJ your wedding?

It is in your best interest to hire a reputable DJ company; this is because a full-time DJ company always put a plan B in place in case anything goes wrong. If your DJ is unable to show up due to unforeseen circumstances, then the company already has a backup DJ who is also well trained, highly experienced and totally committed to ensuring that you and your guests have a really great time. With a reputable DJ company, you can count on not only having a skilled backup DJ, you can also count on quality service because a DJ company can afford to purchase world class sound equipment that will make the music and announcements sound crystal clear as well as insurance in case there is an  unanticipated accident.