Off to the right, you will find our party planning blog. It has tons of ideas for all kinds of events. Just clicking on the category you are looking for, and you will find a number of topics there. It’s great for inspiration. Check it out!
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!)
Want a great place to hold your wedding??? Here’s our DJ Cam quick tour of Pats Barn of Troy, NY.
Pat’s Barn is one of my absolute favorite wedding sites in the Capital District, and it is only 5 minutes or less from our office!
This iphone footage is simple, but effective. Our quick look at Pat’s Barn was shot during a set up for a wedding to help you get an idea of what this nice venue offers. As you can see, you can hold a really super nice rustic theme wedding here, with the ceremony on site.
LOCATION – Pat’s Barn has ample parking with a big lot for all of your guests. It is conveniently located at Rensselaer Technology Park. Technically Troy, NY, Pat’s Barn is near HVCC, within 3 minutes of Interstate 90, with access to the Taconic Parkway, the New York Sate Thruway and the Adirondack Northway nearby.
SPACIOUS – There are three different patios and an upstairs, as well as a great area for dinning. I would recommend a wedding of perhaps 150 guests or so, if you were just seating downstairs, but you can have even more guests if setting up tables upstairs, in a balcony like setting. There is also a great location to hide the bride and groom away in a bridal party suite, upstairs.
FULL KITCHEN – For catering, anything is possible.
Below are some more pictures of this wedding venue option. If you appreciated this virtual tour of Pat’s Barn, please consider us to be your DJ for your big event at 518-506-3305! www.theDJservice.com
Trying to keep your wedding affordable? You too can save a lot of money and make this happen at your wedding for virtually dimes on the dollar. It’s really a simple idea. All you do is put out a selection of gimmicks and props and leave the photo fun up to your guests.
HERE ARE THE TOP 5 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN INCLUDING A “SELFIE STATION” TO YOUR WEDDING DAY
PROPS – Everything is about gimmicks. Fun hats, mustaches, picture frames, sunglasses, feather boas, wigs, foam fingers, canes, bandannas – you get the idea. Just go crazy at the dollar store and you really should be good to go.
INSTRUCTION SIGN – Don’t forget the instructions! Even though most guys don’t read them, it is important to not forget this next rule. So it doesn’t just look like a pile of junk from the thrift store, it is very important to put out a sign so people know the intended use of all the colorful goodies.
BACKDROPS – Much like a photo booth shoot, you set aside a little area where pictures would look good. While a backdrop is not entirely needed, it is a nice touch. If you are creative or really ambitious about this idea, you could set up a backdrop curtain to really help the station take off. Usually you can find these backdrops available online for $100-$200 or so on say eBay, or you could even put something together even cheaper using PVC pipe form Home Depot.
OFFICIAL HASHTAG – Finally, what good are pictures that you never see? Post your wedding’s official hashtag and tell people which social media platforms you endorse (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc…) If you create a good official hashtag for your wedding (make it something original,) all your guests’ pictures will be easy for you and other guests to find on social media.
SMARTPHONE WEDDING APP – Don’t really want to go the hashtag route? There are now some really cool wedding picture aps that allow your guests to snap shots and send them all to one place in the cloud. If you think you have a number of photo-bugs with iPhones on your guest list, tell them ahead of time, maybe in your invitation, to download an app like The WedPics Smartphone App. This app doesn’t only collect unlimited photos taken by the guests, but it also gives important information like accommodations & your registry information.
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!