Thursday, August 21, 2008

The wedding DJ - perfect wedding reception entertainment

I've been to some weddings, where the entire evening's entertainment is provided by a wedding DJ.
Infact, wedding DJ's are now much more popular then hiring a band to entertain your guests.

The trouble is, how do you find a great wedding DJ when there are so many around, making wild claims to be the best DJ around ?
You can't really turn up at someone else's wedding day and ask to stand in the corner to listen to their wedding DJ because you are considering hiring them can you ?
A decent DJ can keep the dancefloor packed for hours, ensuring the wedding guests enjoy themselves - continuously playing classic wedding tunes to make even your Great Uncle "shake his thing".
A poor DJ will ruin your reception by playing awful music that no one wants to hear, let alone dance to, leaving all your guests hanging around the bar area and potentially drinking your bar tab instead of partying the night away.

Here's a few things to look for and ask for when booking your wedding DJ :

Are they using Vinyl, CD's or a laptop to work from ?
Basically, vinyl DJ's are old-hat. BUT, having said that, vinyl DJ's make the best mixers and dance DJ's - how to spot the difference is simple - their age.
If you find a young wedding DJ who says he uses vinyl, he's probably a cool funky type who'll bring a good vibe to your wedding. If he's 50 + and has a grey beard, this means his music hasn't been updated since the 80's.
Technology brought CD's to us, they were never perfect to DJ with, but still good. These days, top wedding DJ's will use a laptop, and this means they are guaranteed to be able to play every single song you want at your wedding reception.

How modern is their lighting display ?
Simple question to ask - if the DJ hasn't bought any new equipment for years, this means his lights will be rubbish flashing light bulbs. There are some awesome lighting rigs available to mobile DJ's and a top wedding DJ will want high quality lights.

How many sound systems do they have ?
By this we mean speakers, if they just have one set of speakers, ask yourself why. How many weddings have you been to.....where they all the same ? No. Some weddings have 60 people, some have 400 people. Would you want to listen to the same sound from the same speakers if you had 5 times the amount of wedding guests then the previous wedding that the DJ played at.
Superior DJ's will have at least 2 or 3 sets of speakers and will bring the most suitable ones dependent on the size of the wedding venue.

Finally, ask them for an idea of what music they play.
Don't just let them say "disco classics" or "party tunes" - ask them for which song they play that really gets the crowd on the floor. When they answer, ask yourself "can I see myself dancing at my wedding to that song".

The number one reason not to hire a wedding DJ is this - price. NEVER, ever simply hire the cheapest wedding DJ - you'll regret it I promise.

Hope this helps some of you ....!

David Thurston writes for Essex Wedding Services the online wedding directory containing over 60 different categories of wedding services to help you plan your perfect wedding day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wedding Day Madness

Wedding day options - spend more money then you ever have before.

Weddings, we love attending them - but when it's your own wedding day it's even better then you could imagine.
I've spent months reading about how to save money for this, and how to cut corners on that - what is the cheapest entertainment, how to save on the buffet etc etc.
This article will tell you how to blow a fortune on your wedding day, how to spend more money then you ever have before, and how to look back on your wedding and think "All that just for one day.....wasn't it great".

Firstly, whether you're getting married in a church or a wedding venue, make sure it's your favourite. By no means should you choose a wedding venue because it's in a handy location for guests, or has plenty of accommodation for people staying over night. Book the wedding venue that is the best thing you've ever seen. Imagine your photographs in years to come, do you want a local hotel in the background or some stunning 18th century mansion ?
By all means view many wedding venues when you're looking, but choose the one that is the most jaw dropping. You'll be happy with your wedding venue chose for the rest of your life.

Once the wedding venue is booked, you need to think about who is coming to share your special day. Our tip (yes you've guessed it) - invite everyone you know. All the family, right down to cousins and their kids. Invite all your mates, even if it's your partners mate who you've never met before, make sure you invite every one to your wedding. There are several reasons for this, 1) no one can moan behind your back that they weren't invited. 2) It'll be the biggest wedding party they've ever seen and will remember it for years to come. 3) Bonus, you'll get loads of wedding presents.
So, ensure everyone is coming to your wedding - buy the best wedding invitations you can find, and invite them all !

Now it's time to consider what you're wearing on your special day. The all important wedding dresses and formal wear for the gents. Do you consider a charity offering or something from ebay ? Why ? It's the biggest day of your life - ensure you look the part ! Wedding dresses should be made to suit the individual, get the wedding dress maker to not just tweak one off the rack, but to measure you, show you designs, and actually make the perfect wedding dress for your big day. Gents - you can buy a suit if you want, but we prefer the option of hiring one. Well, not actually one, hire loads of them. Both the Dad's need one, the best man, the ushers, your mates - make them all feel special and part of your wedding day - hire them all a quality wedding suit.
Then the bridesmaids, please, no off the shelf numbers for them either. Even if they are little kids - get them measured and have some lovely bridesmaids dresses made for them. They'll feel like princesses themselves and will look stunning beside you on your wedding day.

The wedding cake, it has to be memorable, it'll be in loads of photographs, people are going to eat it - don't cut corners here, buy the best wedding cake money can buy. Whether you opt for a chocolate wedding cake, or a classic fruit cake - find a designer, see examples of their work, taste their best offerings and don't ask how much.

You'll want to capture your wedding forever, so you need at least two photographers, one to be taking photos of the happy couple, the other to be taking the reportage photos of the guests. Again, don't ask the price, see examples of their previous wedding photos, and make sure they are the best. There is a massive difference between cheap wedding photographs and a real high quality snapper. But remember - two wedding photographers, not one.
Along side the photographer will be the wedding video man - the videographer. Ensure he is up to the highest standard latest technology. You want HD wedding DVD not a VHS. You want the wedding video to look like something the BBC would produce about the royal family. You'll need to agree that he will start from the moment you commence getting ready, he'll need to have a friend who is round at the husband-to-be's changing room too. And make sure he is there to film the final goodbye's at the end of the evening.

Ok, so we've got the wedding venue booked, the outfits, wedding cake, photographer and videographer - now all we need is the entertainment for the guests. Just a DJ in the corner ? Forget that.
Splash out, go crazy, ensure that every wedding guest leaves the reception saying "wow that was the best wedding I've ever been to".

Flowers or balloons to decorate the wedding venue ? Both obviously. And plenty of them, get them all to match the colour of the bridesmaids dresses. Flowers for the jackets on all the guys wedding suits, and don't stop there, flowers for all.

You'll need to book a toastmaster, a professional guy in his red jacket. He'll organise the day.
Buy top quality wedding favours for the tables, not just a bag of sweets or a miniture bottle of port, something they'll want to treasure forever.

Hire entertainment to keep the wedding guests amused. A close up magician for when people are sitting at their tables, a childrens entertainer for when the kids are bored during the wedding speeches. Get a harpist or guitarist to play live but subtle background music, alongside a pianist of course - who wants recorded CD's on their wedding day ?

When the sit down part is over, move the guests towards the champagne fountain and the chocolate fountain. Here's a good chance to get that wow factor before the evening wedding entertainment. Hire a fun to play casino for the afternoon, there's always a couple of hours wait between the meal and the party, don't let your wedding guests stand around bored.

Plan the evening's entertainment well, make your wedding guests have the time of their lives, this is the part you can let your hair down so ensure you get everything you want.
Hire the best DJ around, he'll keep the dancefloor packed - don't get some old bloke with a few CD's - that would ruin the wedding. Also, hire a band. Why not. A wedding band can lift the party up another level.
While the wedding guests are taking a break from the dancefloor, arrange for a caricature artist to give them a special memento of the wedding day. Show off with an ice sculpture made to the initials of the bride and groom. Let the kids play on the bouncy castle you hired and that'll keep them from skidding on their knees across the dancefloor.

So that's our suggestion. Stop reading how to save money on your wedding day. Spend a fortune, you'll love every second of the day, and all your wedding guests will too.
Remember, it's YOUR wedding day - make it the best day of your life.

David Thurston writes for Essex Wedding Services the online directory of wedding day services with everything from wedding venues in Essex to your wedding DJ and wedding flowers