As you may have read in our FAQ section, it has been said that a good rule of thumb is to book your entertainment 6 months ahead of time, when possible.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I REALLY NEED TO BOOK MY DJ OR VENUE? IS SIX MONTHS GOOD ENOUGH?
A Few “Rule Of Thumbs” About Booking Times For A Big Event
With three new venues all on State Street in Albany, there are certainly a lot of options in our area to look at, as far as where to have your wedding. However, that doesn;t mean they will all be available for the date you are hoping for.
Booking your DJ & wedding hall six months ahead of time is a good rule of thumb, but it is not always going to guarantee you will get the exact venue location(s) or the specific DJ that you want. Timing and availability are everything.
Q: IS IT EVER TOO LATE TO CALL? – A: Never! If you have a gig tomorrow and want a DJ last minute, or if your DJ service cancelled on you (those bastards!) …CALL US ASAP! We have covered a number of weddings for slacker DJ’s who canceled with their bride within one day. We actually work well pinch-hitting. We have always pulled off these last-minute bookings with high accolades!
Q: HOW EARLY SHOULD I PLAN TO BOOK A PARTY/EVENT PROFESSIONAL? – A: The bigger the event, the more advance notice you should give. Sometimes, however, even six months ahead won’t guarantee the specific hall, caterer, or DJ that you really want, so do not delay. Always call ASAP, and work out the details later!
Q: WHAT IS CONSIDERED PRIME TIME FOR A PARTY/WEDDING? – A: The most popular dates are Saturday nights, falling on April thru to November. When you select a Saturday for the day of your event, typical 9-to-5 weekday working guests have all of Saturday morning to arrive, and all of Sunday to get home.
Q: SHOULD I BOOK MY PARTY ON A HOLIDAY? – A: We always suggest staying away from booking on holidays. While you may think that choosing a day that many may have off of work may be the way to go, it also can actually reduce guest availability. A Halloween-themed wedding can be very fun, but if it actually falls on the 31st, some parents will take children out to trick-or-treat. Also, keep in mind that people plan for their day offs far in advance.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY VENUE? – A: The smaller the town, the more time you actually need!!! Only about 24 people can book a Saturday night for one particular venue during “Prime Time.” If you really want a good selection, start a full year ahead, or even 18 months.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I BE BOOKING DJs, PHOTOGRAPHERS, WEDDING PROFESSIONALS? – A: While six months ahead is a good rule of thumb for reserving good entertainment, it’s still always crap shoot, when you really want a particular name DJ, band, or photographer. I have found that at the six month ahead point, sometimes we are already booked, sometimes not.
Many Things to Think about On Selecting Your Actual Wedding Calander Date
1) DATE SELECTION – Before booking your DJ, you really should figure out the right calendar date. The safest dates usually fall between spring and fall and are usually Saturday nights so that your guests have Sunday to get back to work, or recover. However, wedding dates in the North East drop off dramatically after Fall. Think about it. Most brides do not want to drop $10,000 on a party where guests could potentially get snowed in. Booking in this time frame of Spring to Fall on a Saturday night means you usually have to pay full price. This is prime time for halls, catering companies, Disc Jockeys and Bands.
Anytime before May 1st and after November 1st is an easy date to get and could save you money in hall/catering due to discounts.
2) STAY AWAY FROM HOLIDAY/SPECIAL DATE COMPETITION – Make sure your date doesn’t conflict with Thanksgiving plans, as you do not want to compete with other plans that your guests may have. Dates that sound good like Halloween, Christmas and New Years or even the Saturday before Veteran’s Day (so people can turn it into a long weekend) may seem like a good plan, but remember, that means your guests may have these dates for something else and will ultimately not make it to your special day. Always check with family members, parents or other significant people so you know that that there are no conflicts.
For example, a Halloween-themed wedding can be fun, but if it actually falls later in the day to eveneing on the 31st, think about how many parents will not come because they want to take their children out to trick-or-treat.
3) CHURCH & HALL AVAILABILITY – In medium and bigger cities like Albany, NY, with six months advance notice, you generally can find something good, but not always the exact hall you are looking for. In smaller towns, you definitely book the church and/or hall first and much earlier than six months. If there is a popular place that you have in mind, it could be difficult to get the prime time which often is 5:30 pm and after on Saturday, during May thru October. Only about 24 people will grab up a Saturday night for any particular spot during this time frame. And if your town is very small with only one or two places that could hold a decent wedding, reports show that some people may start booking it up even a full year ahead of time, or even 18 months.
When You Should Make a choices on Booking Entertainment
When Should You Book Your Wedding DJ in Albany NY?
1) BOOKING DJs & BANDs – Unless in the rare occasion you have planned the DJ first having one favorite absolutely in mind, usually the hall is booked first. Once you have reception and ceremony locations booked solid, you should go ahead book the entertainment.
From my experience, allowing for six months advance notice isn’t bad when booking a DJ service that has multiple DJs available, but it is a a roll of the dice when you are specifically trying to book one particular DJ name from one particular entertainment company for your wedding.
I find that at the six month point mark, 50 percent of the time I am already booked when a bride is requesting me by name.
2) BOOKING PHOTOGRAPHERS – Using the same rules as above with booking the DJ, from my experience, six months advance notice isn’t horrible when booking a photography, but it is a crap shoot when you are specifically trying to book one particular photographer by name for your special day.
3) BOOKING PRIME TIME SLOTS – For entertainment booking like Disc Jockeys and bands during the prime time season of spring to fall on a Saturday night, the early birds start planning in the fall for next early spring or summer and they usually get who they want. People who wait until after the new year sometimes grab who they want, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
If you are looking at a Friday or a Sunday party and/or in the ealry spring or later in fall, less booking advance time maybe needed. (You also can often save some good money as well. Make sure and ask for a discount as halls and entertainment companies often will give you something for filling empty spots or time slots that don’t fall into the prime time category!)
Every bride-to-be has dreamed about getting married practically since they were little girls. Some brides remember drawing themselves with veils in crayon in preschool. Others remember practicing a new surname on the back of a a high school notebook.. No matter how you cut the wedding cake, every bride-to-be wants their wedding to be considered happy, special, and sometimes “THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE.” However, the reality is …dreams do not always unfold into reality. So, what exactly can a bride do to help her happy visions actually come to life?
DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
A wedding reception is like a research paper. To make for a great one, research has to be done. But before you do any research, you need to focus on finding the right questions, before you can try to find answers. First off, the bride and groom should identify “The Big Question” and then decide on a thesis (an answer) they are both comfortable with.
THE REAL QUESTION IS…
The only real way to be happy with your reception is if all the people around you are happy. The big question, therefore, then should not be “What do I want?” but rather, “What do I want for my guests?”
By formulating this question every time you plan an aspect of your party, you are planning from the guests’ perspective. Planning using the “Big Question” instead of something more selfish and meaningful to only you, will spawn a number of sub-questions that go along with it like, “what do I want my guests to say when they sit down?” and also, “what do I want my guests to say when they walk out the door?”
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
Demographics is everything. Thinking about who is going to be there before you actually plan, will make your reception “the best wedding of all time.” Different people like different things and you have to have a happy medium of what they will like and what you will like too.
BEING A GOOD WEDDING HOST MEANS BEING UNSELFISH –
Realizing that you are trying to accommodate all of your guests’ wishes from a great wedding reception is only the first step. Next, you have to do your research. Your homework is to find what really makes you happy, and also makes every guest attending happy as well. Because wedding receptions happen everywhere everyday, it is safe to say thousands of reception options have been created and your answers are out there. You just have to find them. Using this planning philosophy can work in every area including food, entertainment, music and even the overall look & layout of the decor.
THINK OF EVERYONE AT YOUR RECEPTION –
Don’t force eating restrictions on your guest. It causes friction.
Let’s apply this unselfish planning thinking from the guests’ perspective to one particular aspect of the reception: The Cake. While you may absolutely love the idea of a classy cream cheese carrot cake, Uncle Charlie may absolutely HATE IT. That doesn’t mean you have to be unselfish and not have carrot cake, it only means you have to think outside of the box. What would my guests like to see in a cake? How can I make everyone happy? In this case, why not TRY WEDDING CUPCAKES. Have you heard of this? You tier up a wedding cake display with many different types of cup cakes, in displayed in the shape of a traditional wedding cake. Everyone, including you and Uncle Charlie is now happy.
Same goes for the seating. Putting older folks close to the DJ is usually a bad idea!
As a wedding DJ specialist in Upstate New York, I tell my clients that if you really want to have your guests look back at attending “the best wedding ever,” keep them in mind as much as yourself. Happiness breeds happiness. Playing your favorite songs is important and fine, but remember to always involve some of your guests’ favorite songs as well-even when they might not involve the same types of musical tastes.
Find the happy medium, it is out there.
Speaking of the cake… Here is something else to think about: Try to make the cake as late as possible as this is often a point of exit for many guests. No matter what anyone says, dessert feels like the end and if your reluctant party-goer guests get this feeling, they may leave early!
Wanting to attend a Bridal Show in Albany, NY, but you can’t? Here is our virtual vendor table pitch so you don’t have to leave your seat!
WEDDING DJ SERVICES
Our 15 years of providing DJ services for weddings in the Albany NY area will lead your reception to success. Our number one priority is setting the atmosphere that you want to create. Planning your special day is just as important as the reception itself. Our worksheet process allows you to have a hand in customizing your night. You can spend 5 minutes, or 5 hours – it’s up to you! Whether you want a classy setting or a hot mess shindig, we will help your wedding day vision become a reality.
“Are you looking to bring in the right entertainment for your wedding? Selecting the “right DJ” really means everything to a fun wedding.
We let YOU customize the song selections so you are not stuck with a default playlist that does not represent who you are. You also can customize!
If you want to bring a great “DJ Show” to your reception and wish to book an affordable wedding disc jockey with a huge library of new music & classics, and one who allows you to fully customize the playlist, then we could be right for you!
Thank you! And we would love to talk to you about your wedding, if you are up for a call.
Thanks for stopping by our “virtual vendor table.” Take a look at these pamphlets here, buddy! You will see that we provide:
• Giant library w/ Billboard Top 100 Hits; 1947-Now
• Extensive DJ/MC experience from 1996
• Option to Customize Your Playlist
• Huge Laser Show
• Uplighting Packages
• Voted Capital Region’s #1 Karaoke KJ
• Radio Personality Experience
• Ring Announcer Experience: WWF / WWE / MMA
• Sports Broadcasting Experience
• Affordable Digital Photography Package
• Many Interactive Events, Dances, & Activities
• Digital Projection & Photo Slide Show Package
• Music Video Package – All tracks with Music Video
• Professional High End Gear; Bose L1 Stick
QUALITY / #1 in The Area – We are quite often ranked #1, voted the best in The Capital Region many years for our services. If you need top quality in music entertainment and disc jockey services for your party in our state’s capital, Albany, New York, look no more! Dance if you want, sing if you dare…
There are many ways to cut corners at your wedding so that you don’t have to break the budget to meet your vision of your very special day. However, sometimes people cut in the wrong places and, in the end, the guests can tell.
Here is a list I created using tips from clients who were married around the area and found ways to make some real good savings without sacrificing from the desired vision of the special day. This is a totally doable top 10 list of ways to save money on your wedding; a list that actually works:
1. PRIORITIZE EVERYTHING– A few years ago, I picked up a neat little tip I like to pass along to my clients from the Williams, who got married at The State Room in Albany, NY…“Before you even begin planning your wedding and reception, you really need to sit down with your partner and make a list of your top five priorities. This way you know what absolutely stays and where cuts can really happen.”
With it spelled out on paper, you both know what is important. This allows for everyone to be on the same page.
2. LIMIT THE GUEST LIST, BOTTOM LINE – Forget about corner-cutting on the DJ, the decorations, or the dinner, those are only savings that amount to pennies on the dollar… The best way to really save is to be ruthless with your head count. Keeping the guest list down as best as possible will drastically reduce your wedding cost, overall.
The Sefik’s, a fun couple from Clifton Park, NY got married at Mallozzi’s Wedding Hall in Schenectady. They pointed out that, “most caterers, venues, restaurants and banquet halls charge per-person.” They noted that if you have a 150 guests and can cut it down to 125, there alone you will save about $1,300.
So how do you do this? One tip if you see your guest list is getting out of hand, omit children and coworkers. Making category cuts across the board is the best way to make people not feel that they were being singled out.
3. FOOD & DRINK – Research all of your options and do not be afraid to ask questions. The Bovairs of West Sand Lake, NY who got married at Lakeview on Crystal Lake in Averill park, NY, recommended that you, “consider a buffet instead of a sit-down meal, or break tradition all the way. Why not go with a dessert reception, or a brunch or luncheon instead of a multicourse meal?”
Some people actually go with an all appetizer / finger food reception now.
Alcohol – Eliminating or limiting a traditional full bar to one or two hours will really cut costs. The Bevans got married at Herbert’s at Birch Hill in Kinderhook. Alternatives include serving beer and wine only, but not serving alcoholic mixed drinks. at all or only pouring a champagne toast.
Depending on the local laws and the rules at your reception hall, if you are able to buy the liquor yourself and then hire someone to pour it — the savings potential is enormous. If you can, in fact, bring your own booze, you can even return any full bottles that your guests don’t drink in the end.
4. Location, location, location. There are boat-loads of options for low-cost or no-cost locations, including local and national parks, forest preserves, your own back yard or that of a friend or relative.
Paul Diamond who got married at a nice little restaurant called, Cella Bistro in Schenectady, NY said, “Unthought-of restaurants are usually a under-rated option. Many establishments would love to have your business and, at the same time have gorgeous tables and chairs, and décor. You could save a bundle, all around.”
Also, by choosing a location that allows outside catering or you to bring your own booze, you are also opening up the potential for great savings! Saratoga’s Museum of Dance and Pryne Hall of Latham both allow for these potential savings, for example.
5. Wedding Attire – Here’s where you have many options for stretching your bridal dollars. You don’t have to buy at a traditional bridal salon. You could purchase a gown at an outlet or from a department store in the special occasion’s off-the-rack area.
6. FLOWERS – If you choose to wed in a location that is already naturally decorated, you will see big savings. To set a stylish mood without much work, plan the wedding to take place in a garden, art museum or even at a beautifully-gardened home.
Saving on flowers – Choosing flowers that have bigger buds means you’ll need fewer stems, thereby helping your bottom line.
Self-proclaimed “hippies,” The Losaws of Hudson Falls, NY got married at The Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, New York. They planted 200 bulbs months before their wedding, and then married right in the middle of the fully-blooming cheerful yellow tulips.
7. INVITATIONS – You don’t need to print invitations up on thick paper and chalk up another $500 bill. Invitations are definitely an area where do-it-yourselfers can show off their skills and can create great savings by pocketing the difference in costs.
Orvin Bennitt and his wife-to-be will be getting married at The Edison Club in Rexford, NY this summer. They showed me their announcements. They printed their wedding invitations on their computer, and I would have never have guessed!
8. GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS – Think of it as cost-free outsourcing. Posse up your friends and play to their strengths. Some people may have a creative inner-circle of peers who will want to donate services to you! This could be in the area of music for the ceremony, or even for photography!
Also, befriend teachers! Try calling a few schools if you want a decent student ensemble to play your wedding ceremony music! Or call your votec (like Capital Region Career & Technical School of Albany, NY) and get the floral class behind your wedding as a school project!
Initiate an Officiant – Are you looking for an intimate ceremony that has meaning AND affordability at the same time? Consider having your vows administered by a relative or friend, like the Carbones did at The Inn in Saratoga. Web sites like Universal Life Church (ulchq.com) and Esoteric Interfaith Church are two organizations that “ordain” laypeople so they can officiate weddings, legally.
9. Embrace The Off-Season – Wedding receptions that don’t fall during peak months will help you save big bucks. The Bucklands got married at a popular location called Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs, NY early in April. By doing so, they estimate that they were able to negotiate a savings of nearly $3,000!
10. Lose The Limo – “Transportation can be a huge cost,” says Mike Brooks, who got married at Crystal Cove in Averill Park, NY. “Since my bride wasn’t obsessed with having a vintage car drive us one mile to the reception, we just borrowed my friends’ SUVs to shuttle the bridal party and family. Nobody noticed the difference.”
When I got married, I got my groomsman a bunch of watches and we put out some random shot glasses for the wedding favors. I didn’t exactly know what to get so they basically got the same things. I had no idea that there were resources out there that could help me customize and get together individualized gifts but my groomsman could appreciate even more that would reflect well upon their personalities. Here is one site that does just that:
Knowing how much bridesmaids mean to a brides, it is easy to see understand why they have some difficulty figuring out just what to buy their friends to show them what they mean to them in Upstate NY where I DJ, or anywhere really in the world. The good thing is, there are a number of companies out there that specialize now just in providing gifts to buy your groomsmen or bridesmaids. And they specialize on showing appreciation to these ladies.
Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique, for example, has a good selection of products that includes bridesmaid robes, bags, jewelry, and more. It’s a great mix of unique and affordable bridesmaid gifts. The other cool thing about this company was, they sent me a sample so i could review it for the readers of our site! I had the opportunity to test out a personalized leather clutch, and my wife, DJ Maria, absolutely loved it!
Leather Clutch – $29.99
The delivery time was on outstanding x days. Yes, I know in this day and age we are used to two day shipping, but let’s not forget that the clutch comes engraved with your initials. Speaking of the engraved initials, they are absolutely beautiful. The leather is of good quality considering the price tag of $29.99 and although I chose the brown it also comes in pink and blue. The size is perfect for carry personals without being overly bulky. The exact measurements per the website are 3.8 X 7.3 inches. Overall I would highly recommend this gift as it makes a great gift for any bridal party.
I also wanted to take a moment to call out a couple of their more unique gifts that I thought looked pretty cool.
Bridesmaid Group Caricature – $30 Per Person
The examples of the group caricature looked great. The cost is $30 per person but the possibilities are endless once you have caricature in digital format. Essentially you could have it printed on anything and shared on all your social media accounts.
Vintage Leather Journal – $44.99
The vintage leather journal is also extremely unique seeing that they can engraved it with a photo or your own hand writing. Talk about personalization…this gift will blow your bridesmaid minds!