Thursday, July 23, 2009

Please don't stop the music

Great way to hear your music options - Showcases.

These mini concerts give you a chance to hear the band or dj live, rather than via Internet. Most of the band/dj websites list their showcases - if you don't see any offered, don't be afraid to call and ask. However, try to request a dvd or other recording of the entertainment performing at an actual wedding or similar event. The showcase is typically in a small room with a limited amount of people, just a bit different than a large venue with 100+ guests, and you want the opportunity to see them work a crowd. If possible, ask to stop by a wedding or other event that the band/dj is actually playing at. A lot of companies offer this service-they just have to run it by the wedding couple first.

Some questions to ask during a band/dj showcase:

Does the lighting scheme (shown at showcases) come with the package?

Does the package include ceremony and cocktail house music?

Is the band able to be modified (i.e. extra horns, singers, etc.) and at what cost?

Can you see a song list?

Is there a preference of music the band leans toward playing?

Does the band/dj require compensation for travel, overnight accommodations?

How does the band/dj plan to work with other event staff?

What is the band's/dj's plan of action in moderating the night in terms of timing, meal service, etc.?

Can they provide references that you can speak with?

What happens if one of the band members can't perform on the day of your wedding?

How does the band/dj cater to audiences comprised of people young and old?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Book the Biggies...

... and do it quickly! Weddings nowadays have turned into small, or large, productions. Whether you are aiming for a 400 person extravaganza or a family and close friends only destination wedding, venues book up and the book up fast.

It may sound crazy, but if you have your dream wedding in your head: time of year, atmosphere-start looking before the big question is even popped. A lot of venues will hold dates for a specific amount of time without a deposit. Shopping around early will also give you an idea of what you want, maybe want, and absolutely do not want, in your wedding space.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Don't be afraid to ask

It doesn't matter if it's a long lost friend or a complete stranger, if you want to know something about a wedding, you have to ask.

A childhood friend of mine got married almost two years ago at the synagogue I grew up in, and also one of the places I am considering the wedding. I remember the room being vast and on the older side, and my recent visit to the location confirmed my memory. However, the room had potential. I needed to do some research.

As I looked through my facebook friends to see if any happened to have a wedding at this synagogue, or had been to one, I came across an old friend who was married there two years ago. Strange as it may have been, I immediately sent her a message.

Not only was I met with an almost immediate answer, but one with such enthusiasm! *(First lesson I have learned as a new bride to bee: past brides love to share their wedding stories, information and vendors. This is a GREAT tool! In the past two weeks, I have learned of a new photographer, florist and band). Not only did Friend tell me her wedding was absolutely amazing, mainly due to her florist, Petal Pushers, who completely re-vamped the older room, but she offered me to visit her apartment and watch her wedding video! Talk about hospitable.

Of course I took her up on the offer, and stopped by her apartment last night for a viewing. She was right, the room looked amazing. I now have a visual aspect as to what can be done with space, and ideas of what I would want, not want; what I could change and leave the same.

I would like to personally thank said Friend for her kindness and excitement; and eagerness to share her resources. Lesson learned: it never hurts to ask!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Let the planning begin!

So I have forever waited for the day to plan my wedding. I have been planning parties since I was a wee one (see: planning a pizza party in nursery school and having four year olds show up to my door, parents not informed). In high school, I spent my weekends slaving away making centerpieces and favors, because I had more fun doing that than getting wasted in some loser's basement (or was I the loser? Probably).

That being said, in the past few years with an overwhelming amount of friends getting hitched, I have been more than ready to lend my services: producing themed events, creating centerpieces, accompanying brides on site visits, menu selection, band, caterer and florist recommendations, you name it.

Two weekends ago, I had the most amazing man, who I fell in love with one year ago, get down on his knee and ask me to marry him. It was the most amazing moment of my life, and I have had constant butterflies since, while walking on Cloud 9. Planning our wedding is going to be the most fun, exciting, special, crazy, stressful, emotional time and I cannot wait to start (I mean, I started last year when I met him, duh).

I will be planning this extravaganza from start to finish, and writing daily about my experiences! Please post your questions, stories, tips and tricks-let's talk wedding, chicas!