9 Reasons Why Hiring an Amateur Wedding DJ Is a Huge Mistake

Posted  by Stephanie Padovani

What most couples who are planning a wedding don’t know is that saving money by hiring an amateur DJ for your wedding comes with a high price tag.  Before you make a decision you regret, here are some things you need to know.

1. There’s a high probability that a cheap (or free) DJ won’t be in business by the time your wedding arrives.

Many low-priced DJs aren’t charging enough to support their own businesses for the long term; you’re just financing their hobby.  Meanwhile, your wedding is 6-12 months away or more.

We’ve received those calls from desperate couples who had a “friend of a friend” DJ cancel on them last minute.  It’s not pretty.

Do you want to risk the possibility that the cheapie DJ is bankrupt and out of business before your big day?

2.  Amateurs are less invested in their performance than a wedding professional.

The amateur DJ is doing it “for fun,” and if something goes wrong, it’s not a big deal.  A wedding professional, on the other hand, risks his entire reputation and livelihood with every performance.  One bad review can destroy his business and he knows it.

At one wedding, the DJ brought along his wife and newborn.  Their table was littered with MacDonald’s bags and his wife decided to breastfeed the baby during dinner.

Would you rather have an entertainer who is 100% invested in his business and performance on your wedding day or someone who does it as a hobby?

3.  A wedding is a unique event that require the skills and experience of a wedding specialist for a smooth, flawless ceremony and reception.

It’s about more than just playing music.  Your wedding DJ is responsible for coordinating the timeline, orchestrating the introduction and flow of events, working with your other vendors, managing the guests, reading the crowd and making sure the right song is played at just the right time.

Even a DJ who is quite experienced in the club setting will be at a loss because she simply isn’t familiar with the flow of events and how to prevent disasters when something goes awry.

One inexperienced DJ mistakenly announced a special dance with the bride and her grandfather because he forgot to update his notes.  The entire family started crying because Grandpa had passed away two weeks earlier.

Are you willing to place the outcome of your wedding in the hands of someone who doesn’t “do” weddings for a living?

4.  Your guests won’t dance without an experienced entertainer who can read the crowd and keep the momentum going.

You have to play the right songs at the right time and in the right order to maintain dancing.  Oftentimes, the mood changes and your entertainer needs to change the program to maximize the dancing along the way.

If she can’t mix from one song to another, you’ll have gaps of “dead air” or awkward rhythms that will frustrate your guests and clear the floor.

Many couples think that providing an amateur with a set list of songs they love will be enough to make a fun wedding.  It’s not.  You need someone with experience to work with your requests and what your guests are responding to in order to avoid an empty dance floor.

One bride regrets hiring her DJ because he played “Unforgettable” five times during the wedding because he didn’t know any other slow songs.

Are you willing to sacrifice the fun at your wedding to save money on a cheaper DJ?

5.  The MC (the guy or girl on the microphone) has a huge impact on the mood and outcome of your party, for better or worse.

An obnoxious DJ with an abrasive voice will irritate your guests and dampen the mood of the entire party.  Professional DJs invest in vocal training and practice to optimize their performance.

I personally witnessed one DJ and embarrass everyone by making suggestive comments to the bride over the microphone.

Do you want just anyone acting as your wedding host or do you want a professional speaker you can trust?

6.  Your special events may not happen if you don’t hire a specialist who’s experienced in channeling the flow of events.

Who will direct your bridal party and guests at the ceremony?  Who’s going to line them up for introductions?  Who’s in charge of making sure the toasts, special dances and dedications go without a hitch?

Just having the equipment and knowing how to push play doesn’t guarantee the people wrangling skills you need for a fun, smooth reception.  In most cases, your entertainer is the one who makes sure your special events are executed as you’ve requested.

One inexperienced DJ forgot to bring the couple’s First Dance song; they were forced to dance to Barbra Streisand, who they can’t stand.

Will you risk leaving your special events to chance or do you want to ensure that everything is done according to plan?

7.  An amateur doesn’t have the experience to include your unique requests in a way that truly expresses your personality AND keeps people dancing.

You can’t make your guests dance to the songs you like if they don’t feel the same way.  Your DJ needs to read the crowd and have the experience to build sets of music around your preferences.

An amateur DJ can play the songs you request, but lacks the experience necessary to make it work.

One bride told us her DJ played the unedited version of Sexxy Back during dinner and had five minutes of dead air while he queued up the next song.

Do you want your guests on the dance floor all night or is it acceptable to have large chunks of time with no dancing?

8. An amateur DJ has inadequate or non-existent backup equipment, which means that if something fails you have no music at your wedding.

A fully functional backup system on the premises is essential to making sure you have music at your wedding no matter what.  Most amateur DJs won’t have a backup plan if a speaker blows or a laptop crashes.

We were approached at the end of one wedding by a DJ in the next room who asked if he could “borrow our speakers” because his were broken.

Are you willing to takes your chances without a backup on your wedding day?

9.  DJs who charge less invest less into their equipment, which means you have inferior sound and performance at your wedding.

A stereo system that sounds great in your living room doesn’t sound good in a spacious wedding venue.  Professional speakers and equipment are necessary for clear sound that has impact at low volumes, so your guests can speak at the tables even while the dance floor is thumping.

If you want your guests to actually hear your exchange of vows at the ceremony, you’ll need professional equipment and an onsite tech to make sure that happens.

One DJ showed up at a venue for the first time without ANY speakers or mixer because he’s been told that he could, “use the venue’s sound system” and he didn’t call ahead to verify.

Are sound issues like blasting music or impossible to understand audio acceptable on your wedding day?

If you’re not planning to have any formal events at your wedding, and you’d like a cocktail party more than a dance party, it may make sense to save money by hiring a non-professional.  But if you’re investing thousands of dollars on creating the perfect day, please don’t jeopardize it by hiring someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Your wedding day only happens once; make sure you hire a DJ who gets it right.


8 Fun Wedding Trends for 2014

8 Fun Wedding Trends for 2014
POSTED IN: Inspirations

As we begin a new year, there will be an entire array of upcoming wedding trends for couples to watch and follow while planning their big day.  Wedding dresses, décor, color schemes, and even cakes have stylistic trends that vary from year to year.  Some couples choose to follow these big trends of the year, while others decide to take their own individualistic approach during the planning process.  No matter what your approach is, these trends of 2014 are sure to make your wedding unique and memorable.

 

Style Me Pretty, Oak Hill Wedding, Illinios

Style Me Pretty Eagle Ridge Resort Wedding Illinois, Bride and Groom

 

 

TREND 1 | RADIANT ORCHID

The pantone named Radiant Orchid is the 2014 Color of the Year, and for good reason! This enchanting shade of purple adds a gorgeous pop of color and coordinates well with various color schemes. In this upcoming wedding season you will see variations of this color appearing in centerpieces, decor, floral arrangements, bridesmaid dresses, etc.

 

Radiant Orchid Bridal Bouquet

Radiant Orchid Centerpiece

Radiant Orchid Center Piece

 

 

TREND 2 | DECADENT DESSERTS 

Couples have started to explore different options in addition to the traditional wedding cake in order to satisfy their sweet tooth on their big day.  Cupcakes, cookies, candy, or even doughnuts can all be personalized according to the couple’s favorite sweet treats!

 

Candy Table

Wedding Cookies

Wedding Cupcakes

 

 

TREND 3 | RUSTIC

You don’t have to live in the South to have a rustic theme for your wedding!  Mason jars will continue to be a popular décor item this year to add some country flair. Try adding some elegant details for a rustic chic vibe.

 

Mason Jar Floral arrangement

Rustic chic wedding reception

Wedding decor, mason jar floral

 

 

 TREND 4 | THE GREAT GATSBY

The Roaring Twenties will be making a strong appearance at weddings in 2014.  This classy and elegant theme is the perfect way to incorporate glitz and glamour into your big day.

 

Great Gatsby Wedding, Black and Gold Wedding

Great Gatsby Cake

Great Gatsby Wedding, Feather Centerpiece

 

 

TREND 5 | ALTERNATIVE GUEST BOOKS

Couples have started to get more creative when it comes to their guest book.  Why not have your guests sign something you’ll look at in the future? Message in a bottle, signed quilt squares…. oh the ideas are endless.  Here are some cool ideas for inspiration!

 

Wedding Guestbook

Wedding Guestbook

Wedding Guestbook

 

 

TREND 6 | SIGNATURE COCKTAILS  

Serving signature cocktails at your wedding is a perfect way to add a personalized touch.  Choose drinks that are significant to you as a couple, and be sure to give them a fun and clever title! Many couples create their own special recipes and incorporate their colors/theme of the day. More of a beer connoisseur? Incorporate unique brews, and give them fun names.

 

Signature Cocktails

Signature Cocktails

Signature Cocktails

 

 

TREND 7 | EXTRAVAGANTLY DETAILED DRESSES

Beautiful and dramatic necklines are extremely popular this year. And what about a unique back for your gown? Wearing an elegant strapless gown, while lovely, is no longer the growing trend. Brides are saying yes to dresses with lace, bling, and elegant detailing.  How gorgeous are these three looks?

 

Detailed Wedding Dress

Detailed Wedding Dress

MAGGIE SOTTERO DESIGNS Bridal gown, detailed back

 

 

TREND 8 | UNPLUGGED WEDDINGS

Many couples are choosing to follow the new trend of “unplugged” weddings.  They want their guests to enjoy the day without the many distractions technology brings.  Often times guests are physically present, but their attention is focused on updating Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram instead of living in the moment and enjoying the events going on around them.

 

Unplugged Weddings

Unplugged Weddings

Unplugged Weddings

 

 

PHOTO CREDITS:

Top Left – Michael Novo Photography

Top Right – Robyn Rachel Photography

All other images gathered from Pinterest.


Decorating a Wedding Reception Tent

Decorating a Wedding Reception Tent

Planning a warm-weather wedding? Whether it’s August in Chicago or March in Miami, you can take advantage of the balmy temps by holding your reception in a wedding tent. There are wedding tents fit for every size guest list, and they can be as rustic or as fancy as you’d like. But when it comes to decorating a wedding reception tent, there are a few special considerations.

Other People Are Reading

 

1.   Lighting Your Tent

  • The key to a tented reception is good lighting, especially if you plan on having your guests dance late into the evening. Talk with your tent rental company about what types of lighting it can provide. Pole lights, accent spots, colored or patterned gels, even a disco ball–all will help to give your guests enough light to see. You can also train strings of small lights along the circumference of the ceiling, to help outline the tent’s dimensions. Or, hang groups of paper lanterns lit with electric bulbs at the tent’s peaks, to create a crisp, elegant look.

Of course, no light is more romantic than candlelight and unless your tent rental company has strict regulations about candle usage, you’ll want to incorporate at least a few candles into your decor. You can set small tea lights into the centerpieces or scatter them on the tables so that guest can see each other.

2.   Decorating the Tent Poles

  • Wedding tents come in all sizes and styles, but most likely your tent will have a number of interior support poles and possibly a large center pole. Often these poles are made of jointed metal struts. Dress up the poles by wrapping them with bunched sheets of white tulle or organza. You can add wide ribbons in white or perhaps a light color that coordinates with your color scheme, but be careful not to go too dark, or else you’ll end up with a “barber pole” effect. Strings of small white lights also work wonderfully tucked into the fabric and can have the added benefit of lighting up the poles so that your guests don’t collide with them.

3.Finishing Touches

  • Flowers and greenery are a natural match to the fresh, outdoorsy mood of a tent reception. Work with your florist to design centerpieces for the tables that will complement the look of the tent, but won’t draw the eye so strongly that they detract from the overall setting. Your florist might also suggest other pieces to add to the decor, such as an arch decorated with greenery you can place inside the tent’s main door, perfect for the wedding party’s grand entrance.

Wedding Tent Decoration

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Outdoor weddings and receptions often include the use of a large, temporary tent. These tents add enclosed space and provide shelter from the weather and a customizable environment. Incorporating the tent into the wedding environment requires lighting, decorative elements and staging to create focal points.

Other People Are Reading

  1. 1.   Lighting
  • Choose lighting that reflects your personality and your wedding’s overall theme or style. Twinkling strings of rope lights cascading form the tent ceiling creates a magical fairy-tale mood. Lighted candles and dim overhead lighting create an intimate, romantic feel. Bold lights covered in rice-paper lamp shades will add a soft, yet bright, diffused light.

Choose between colorful or white lights to coordinate with the wedding colors. Select decorative lights such as hearts, butterflies or bells to go along with the wedding theme. Consider mosquito-repelling candles or lights along the walkway to the tent to keep guests comfortable and light their path.

  1. 2.   Decorative Elements
  • Fabric such as tulle, chiffon or other sheer cloth can be used to add color or texture to a wedding tent. Cover strands of lights with tulle or cascades of draped cloth. Use fabrics to cover the support arms or wiring in the portable tent. Drape fabric on the walls of the tent to add texture or a pattern.

Decorate tables with floral bouquets, and use coordinating flower garland around entryways, arches or support beams. If flowers are plentiful, consider attaching a mesh screen to the ceiling of the tent, and sewing the flowers into a carpet of color and fragrance above the guests. Choose long-stemmed flowers that can easily be secured to the mesh.

Suspend seasonal decorations from the ceiling of the tent with clear fishing line. Use snowflakes for an early winter gathering. Fall leaves work well for a fall wedding, and try butterflies for a summer or spring occasion.

  1. 3.   Staging
  • Set tables and chairs in a pattern that focus guests’ attention on focal points in the tent. Decorate the paths among the tables and chairs with runners to keep guests flowing around the tent room. Allow the paths to lead to the tent entrance, exit, dance floor, buffet, head table, guest book and gift table.

If vows are going to be exchanged in the tent, add a decorative focal point to distinguish the area. Use an arch, columns or podium decorated in flowers, tulle and lighting, to draw guests’ attention to the homemade alter. Lay a decorative carpet under where you, the bride and groom, will stand. This makes the area special and lets guests know to gather outside that area.

 

 

How to Decorate the Inside of a Large Tent for a Wedding Reception

 

2008_0830WeigeltWedding0016

Hardwood floors make dancing easier in tents.

Wedding receptions are often the most intimate and exciting part of the wedding experience, and the venue’s location and decorations can make the reception even more memorable. Though some receptions are held in indoor venues, a tent reception allows the wedding guests to experience the feel of an outdoor wedding without the hassle. These tents can be decorated to be as eye-catching as indoor venues and sometimes can look even more elegant.

Things You’ll Need

  • Tulle
  • Scissors
  • Ladder
  • Christmas lights
  • Staple gun
  • Tablecloths
  • Vases
  • Flowers
  • Water
  • Candles
  • Tree branches
  • Pearls
  • Tables
  • Colorful light sheets or bulbs

 

 

            Instructions

  • 1

Decorate the walls of the tent. Cut large strips of tulle. Climb a ladder and staple one end of the tulle to a corner of the tent. If the tulle is long enough, drape it to another corner and staple it there. If not, let the tulle drape to the ground and staple it or nail it there. If desired, combine both ideas. Place strings of light beneath the tulle drapes, securing them to the tent with a staple gun.

  • 2

Twist ribbon and tulle or any other fabric around the tent poles. Also, twist strings of light beneath the tulle. Climb a ladder and staple one end of tulle to the top of the tent near the pole. Then, spiral the fabric around the pole and staple or nail it to the ground or tape it to the bottom of the pole. Staple the lights in the same way.

  • 3

Spread tablecloths on each of the table, and then decorate the table tops. Create unique centerpieces that match the theme of your wedding. Set up vases filled with flowers of your choice, bowls or vases of water with floating votive candles and flowers in them or painted tree branches with pearls or lights woven in them.

  • 4

Set up extra tables around the tent. The tables can have different purposes. Some may have snacks, others may have the cake and others may contain favors and activities such as bride and groom guessing games and even party themed board games and karaoke machines. These will help keep the reception area moving and will prevent people from staying in their seats for too long.

  • 5

Decorate the dance floor. Though candles are not a good idea for the dance floor, as they may cause guests to ignite, lighting is important. Colorful lights create a festive atmosphere. Place colorful filter sheets over spotlights, or replace standard light bulbs with colorful ones to change the look of the tent during dance time or throughout the entire reception. Colorful filter sheets can be found at some party stores, online or at audio equipment stores.