LOOKING FOR AN ALTERNATIVE WEDDING HALL IN YOUR AREA?
If you are looking for a nice event hall for a small-to-medium sized wedding that allows outside catering, you probably know that your choices are limited. Many places today, have in-house catering, as this is a big money maker for the venues.
If you live in the Troy area, or nearby, and are working with a budget as many of us are, Petersburg might work for you.
LOCATION – “Petersburg, NY? Where the heck is that?” It’s funny. I’ve been a disc jockey for a number of years now and never heard of Petersburg Memorial Hall before, either.
I live in Wynantskill, off of Pawling. This is between Troy and Albany and I asked the same question. After I initially talked with the bride and groom about providing music for their special day, I had to run a Google map search to familiarize myself with a town that was less than 25 minutes away from me. (In case you are like me and are wondering, Petersburg is the next town down Grafton State Park.)
The reception I DJ’ed for was at a cute little place called “Petersburg Memorial Hall,” located conveniently on 71 Main Street. The venue is located right before the Petersburg Town Library. The hall provides plenty of parking and does work out to be a great little place for a great little wedding to take place.
AFFORDABILITY – Someone looking for a smaller wedding with the potential to meet affordability restraints can benefit considering this venue. While many halls in and around the Capital District that house wedding receptions also provide their own dinning packages, at the Memorial Hall, this is not the case. Here, you can book any catering service that you like and also make provisions to set up your own bar. This means an incredible amount of savings, as these two expenses are quite often the largest for any wedding.
SPECIFICS – The Memorial Hall can seat 80-100 people fairly comfortably. It has two side access doors to allow easy access for vendors and also any decorating purposes you may have. It has plenty of chairs and tables and a decent linen selection resource, along with seat covers. The hall also has very high ceilings and also a great little stage with draw curtains that could easily be used for your DJ or even a small live band.
There are a few little facility points to note. There is a decent kitchen, but it is not very large. It is probably, however, suitable for your outside caterer to make due with for what the hall can comfortably occupy. Also, it is import to note that there is only one shared bathroom. It is, however, handicap accessible, I believe.
On a technology note, the town of Petersburg is out in a rural area. It does not provide any Sprint cell phone coverage, but it does have Verizon cell phone coverage. Internet access is also provided to the hall through a wi-fi hub in the town library, nearby.
I would give it a three out of four stars for a good affordable wedding venue/hall option.
There are many ways to save for your wedding in Albany, NY, or other corners of the Earth. You can have a beautiful and yet affordable wedding, if you keep a few simple things in mind, during your planning process. That’s right, in order to save, you have to plan.
Here is a top 10 list of ways to save money on your wedding:
1. Your Wedding Invitations – Online is totally acceptable now, so you can save a bundle on postage right there. If you do not want to go the e-invite route, at least shop your invitations online. Competition is fierce and you are bound to find a deal if you look enough.
2. Cut Down The Guest List – Don’t invite anyone you haven’t seen or even talked to in five years. Don’t encourage singles to bring a date. Avoid inviting work colleagues. And let your friends bring their children. Watch
3. Play on eBay – Anything you buy, always check eBay and Amazon first!
4. Affordable Wedding Dresses – Online and believe it or not, thrift stores, can be a great resource to save literally hundreds of dollars on the wedding dress. Having your mother’s dress altered is often far cheaper than buying a new one, as well.
5. Be frugal with Decorations – There are countless ways to save on decorations. Sometimes, candlelight can be the most romantic and beautiful alternative to fancy centerpieces and decorations. You do not need expensive flower arrangements everywhere.
6. Save on your Flowers – Check with the hall to see who else is having a wedding there that weekend. You may be able to save on flowers by sharing. Also, some vocational schools have Floral Classes. Sometimes you can work with your local votec to turn your wedding decoration into a classroom assignment and only pay cost of the flowers.
7. Throw a “Wedding Prep” Party – Get all of your bridal party and friends together. Turn on the tunes and have them put together favors, flower arrangements and anything else that you have to pay more for when it comes completely assembled.
8. Think Food and Drink – Always provide your own caterer when you can. If your hall does not allow this, ask where money can be saved. See if they’ll let you provide your own liquor, or if serving only wine and beer will be cheaper than a full bar. Also consider only having open bar open during your cocktail hour, then serving an inexpensive wine with dinner.
9. Consider Your Day of the Week – Prime time is Fridays & Saturdays (sometimes Sundays) April thru October. Booking outside your hall’s primetime definitions will really help you save.
10. Ask for Help – Who do you know? Why spend a bundle on the officiant, musicians, photographers and even DJs, if one of your guests can make this happen for nothing.
If you follow these guidelines, you will certainly have some money left over. That means a better home together and/or honeymoon you could have.
The other day, I saw a message posted on a message board explained how to DJ your own wedding. I was like, “huh? How can you do that?”” It is true that you could save money, but at what expense? I just thought I would throw a few thoughts at you on why I believe that the professional DJ is needed especially at a wedding, at all costs.
1. If you are planning on anything traditional at your wedding, you know that you will need a sound system, including microphones for things like speeches, toasts and/or blessings.
2. An iPod cannot speak and offers no interaction with the guests. A good DJ hypes up great introductions, instructs on custom activities and also special announcements. If you have a crowd that needs prodding to jump up and dance on their own, an iPod will just sit there and allow the night to unfold into a boring reception.
3. While the iPod itself may cost less than a professional wedding DJ, how do you plan on amplifying the music? Sitting around an iPod dock isn’t going to cut it. To rent professional equipment, you come very close to some DJ’s actual price.
4. The professional wedding DJ also acts as a wedding planner/organizer. An iPod doesn’t know when is the best time to toast, dance, eat, drink and/or cut the cake actually is. , etc. Experience is something that can’t be pre-programmed.
5. A professional wedding DJ doesn’t just play random “shuffled” songs. The good DJ looks at the audience at hand, reads the crowd and constantly adjusts the music selections to get or keep people dancing.
6.Finally, what happens if your rented equipment fails. Do you want to rent an additional backup system to have on hand?
If you are having a laid back small reception, you may be able to get away with supplying your own background music. However, if you are hoping for a crazy party with dancing, energy and excitement, no machine can replace a man.
Not everyone can afford a real wedding planner, and quite often, some people do not even want one. Sometimes it would seem the quote “the more the merrier” when it comes time to do some wedding planning, however, for some, this may not be the case. In more cases than not, having “too many cooks will spoil the brew.”
Most often, people can help and everything will be just fine and turn out exactly how you wanted. However, wedding party members or relatives who either take it on themselves to become part time wedding planners can either become an asset to you, or can actually be a source of stress.
There are a few things to think about when bringing friends and family in for additional help.
1. Are you deciding for yourself what you are expecting the extra person to get done?
2. Do you really want to give them ultimate control, or rather guided direction? It is best to ask a few people for help with one small goal, then to put a lot on one person and have someone feel like they are actually in charge. If you put a family member “in charge” things may not go exactly your way, with the wrong person at the helm.
3. Has the person in question been helpful before, or are could they potentially be overly opinionated and pushy in times of stress?
4. Can you risk the friendship? I have heard horror cases where differences in taste result in problems. Weddings are stressful and can cause all sorts of in-fighting.
5. Does your spouse REALLY like the idea of the person helping?
So if you choose not to have Aunt Bertha run things now… You are not alone. If you have rented a hall that often books weddings, usually there is a person in charge of things that go with your expense. Use them!!! (Remember, however, they also have their own agendas as far as things to cut corners and save money. One way they do this is to push to have the cake cut earlier so that they can send staff home.
Also your wedding DJ is often your best bet for party planning at the reception. If they are a professional, not only will they be able to read your crowd and play all the songs you want, as well as others will enjoy, but they will organize the events along with your caterer and photographers so that everything comes off without a hitch.
As you probably already know, I am a huge “theme wedding” fan. In fact, I am set to have my own on a pirate theme wedding come next April when I marry Maid Maria. This past Saturday, I DJ’ed a Halloween wedding in Grafton, NY that was great fun.
Something interesting that I would like to share; groups of people came in themes to match the tables organized into costume categories!
Halloween Theme Wedding Seating that Counts
An interesting idea for a Halloween theme wedding is to organize your guests by costumes at each table. There are different ways to do this. You know your guests better than I do. You can either try and get a list of what people will where, or attempt to offer movie themes and other group-like categories for your guests to chose from.
At this particular wedding, we had a Superhero table, complete with Batman, Superman, Clark Kent, Wonderwoman, Spider-man, Wolverine and a Transformer to boot.
We also had an Wonderland Table, with Alice, the Queen, The Mad Hatter, and a Door Mouse. And, one other cool table was The Wizard of Oz table, with a male bearded Dorthy, The Lion, The Witch and a person actually dressed as a chuck of the yellow brick road!
Another table was the Seriel Killer table. Another grouping was cartoons. Another setting was monsters. For your Halloween wedding, the grouping ideas can be endless.
Early on during the cocktail hour, as certain characters started to enter, I gave them their own entrance, aligning their costume to a related song. It was really fun to give them each time to shine by playing songs that went well with each character. Great fun was had by all!
Since DJs have become such a popular choice for weddings, they are no longer a guy who just “plays music” at your reception. These days, the wedding DJ has transformed into a full-fledged organized entertainer, with many responsibilities.
With a good wedding DJ, you get an emcee (M.C.) who keeps your guests happy and having fun, and you also get a coordinator who also, for the most part, acts as a wedding planner in many cases. Most professional DJs who don’t just play in bars, understand the import role that organization and planning plays.
In most cases, your DJ , handles all the important announcements so that your guests know what’s coming up next during your reception. Don’t fool yourself. This is not an easy task. The ability to communicate well with large crowd is a talent. Knowing what to say, how to say it tastefully, and what professional voice to use is difficult.
The best way to judge if your DJ will communicate well with your audience is really listen to your first conversation with your prospective disc jockey on the phone. Do they know what they are talking about? Is your DJ clear? Do they make sense? Do they sound like they have several experiences to pull from?
Your first conversation can help you get a sense of your DJ’s personality and can help you decide on whether or not you should even think about setting up a meeting. Also, ask for multimedia website information, such as pictures and videos that might portrait your DJ-in-question in action at an actual wedding.
Your DJ is also responsible for the music and the flow of the evening, as well as take on the role of event coordinator. This includes the all the stuff that happens like the grand entrance introductions, the first dance, the father-bride dance, mother-groom dance, the cake cutting, and the garter/bouquet toss.