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!)
Place cards…. They are the little folded business-card-looking thingies with the guests’ names directing them to their assigned table. At a recent wedding that I was the DJ for the bride and groom decided to go a different route, as discussed in another one of my recent blogs Themed Place Cards at http://thedjservice.com/2010/07/themed-alternatives-to-wedding-place-cards/.
At this reception, they decided to trade in the paper for fire. They used little tea lights in votive candle holders with the printed names on each one. It was really cool to see everyone surround the table and look for their candles! Then, on by one, each person carefully brought their little candle keepsake to their destination table.
When purchasing the following materials, it is very important to use tealights in place of the actual votive candles that often come with the holders. Using actual candles will result in the outside to hot to the touch. Tealights will getting warm but will not be uncomfortable to hold as the guests bring the place card alternative back to their table.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR DIY CANDLE PLACE CARDS
MATERIALS NEEDED: Tealights /tea light candles (enough for each couple), Plain glass votive holder (Candle holder cups), light -medium weight transparent vellum (thin paper is best), Laser printer, double-sided tape roll;
1) Get the proper measurements…. Measure the votive candle holders to determine the height and length around the cup. Make a template of the shape of your label. Note that even the most plain votive holders will have a slight curvature, so expect the template to be in an arch-like shape.
2) Set up the template… Set up Microsoft Word or PhotoShop so that you can space your guests names and your actual table numbers the right distance. You can probably get about three templates to a page with room to spare.
3) Print out the sheets… Use the template you made in step one to cut the right shape out of the larger sheets of vellum. Organize the labels, as you set them aside after printing.
4) Open shop… Set up a big workstation with all your materials at a table and make sure to enlist help. Even one extra person will cut your time in half, or more! Wrap each printed label around the votive and trim accordingly. Depending on your printer, you make need to be careful that the ink is dry, and you do not smudge the names during this process. When the label is lined up correctly, it will lay out smooth and flat. Apply the double-sided tape and put aside.
5) Quality control… Keep all the candles in front of you. This will allow for an overall consistent appearance of the candles and give also it you a preview of what they will look like all lined up at the wedding.
Make sure to light candles no more than 30 minutes before your guests come to pick them up to ensure long lasting light.
Last year was a rough one. The holidays are finally behind us now. We have opened our presents, made our returns, made our resolutions and probably already broke them. A bunch of celebrities died. A bunch of Hatchimals didn’t hatch. BUt we made it through all of that, somehow regardless.
Now it is time to get back to reality. For some of us, the big wedding is only around the corner and waiting to plan because it could bring some headaches is a bad idea.
I too often hesitate to do something that can be stressful. Hell, sometimes I sit in the parking lot of the gym and fiddle with my phone, because I know the gym is going to hurt a little. However, if we take this approach with planning a wedding, it could impact the success of your wedding in the long run.
IT IS TIME TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING NOW!
In other places throughout this blog, I posted information that encouraged you to plan six months or more ahead of time to book your DJ, and up to a full year ahead of time to secure your hall/catering service. That means if you are planning on getting married in the prime time availability slots; summer on a Saturday might, you really need to start moving now!
Yoda once said, “There is only do, or do not.”
If you wait until the last minute, you may have to settle for something you do not really want for your special day. Last week in the Albany NY area, we already had days with about 3 to 5 wedding inquiries, speaking with anxious, but prepared brides looking to secure particular dates. They could be competing for day with a location that you have in the back of your head, or a vendor that would fit you perfectly.
Even with four DJ’s at TheDJService.com, we have already seen conflicts on dates and may have to turn a few couples away. There are only so many good companies servicing the Albany & Troy, Saratoga Springs & Schenectady NY area. Get a move on it!
If you start planning now and you will be all good! Just pick up the phone and call.
Fill The DJ’s Dance Floor With A Wedding Flip Flop Basket – Another Albany NY wedding DJ idea!
At a very recent wedding in the Albany, NY area, I was the DJ for great number of guests sporting their bare feet by the end of the night on the dance floor. Adding in the lack of comfort factor with an outdoor ceremony where high heels sink into the ground, has lead me to suggest that adding a basket of flip-flops is a courteous “must” for many settings.
Here is an idea some of you may not have seen yet. Rather than have your guests dance in uncomfortable shoes, why not be a stand-up host and provide a basket of cheat-but-nice wedding flip flops?
Have you ever got all dressed up to go to a wedding and know fully well that your feet are going to kill you with the first ten minutes on the dance floor? You are not alone.
Many women struggle with their feet and have a terrible time finding the right balance between wearing comfortable shoes that also go with their dresses. Most high heel shoes cannot hold any woman up comfortably for a full four hours or more.
You really cannot expect the majority of your guests to make the best decisions in their footwear choices. After all, they are really putting one foot forward to look their very best for you. And getting together the perfect ensemble almost never translates into comfortable footwear.
WEAR TO BUY CHEAP WEDDING FLIP FLOPS?
It is even easier than you think! When in doubt, I am sure you can find a discount somewhere online. However, there may be savings waiting for you in your own neck of the woods allowing you to save a bundle in shipping costs.
Old Navy currently has a variety of colors for only $1.65 a piece, which is pretty reasonable. Some dollar stores even stock them. However, your favorite Walmart probably stocks what I just saw; an ultra-sweet-for-your-feet “98 cent flip flop box.”
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN ADDING THE FLIP FLOP BASKET TO YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION:
So, did we sell the idea to you? If you are reading this far down the page then it is possible you are thinking about using this tip! If this is the case, great. Here are a few points to think about:
– Try and make them available to your guests in your wedding colors.
– You can make them look pretty with vibrant ribbons holding pairs together.
DATES TO KNOW BEFORE PLANNING YOUR WEDDING IN 2014 –
If you want success at your wedding, attendance plays a big part.
There are a billion things to think about when planning your wedding in Albany NY or around the world, but what some people do not take into account is the importance of the actual date selection itself on the calendar.
NEVER NEVER NEVER select a wedding date because that is the only day a wedding hall has open. There could be a reason it is open that nobody has booked for that day! Do your homework and figure out what else could be happening that day before selecting.
What are the days around they day you are thinking of choosing? What other things could be happening on this date that could create competition? Choosing a “Holiday Weekend Wedding” can totally have it’s pros and cons, but however, sometimes the nostalgia is not really worth it, in the end.
THE PROS OF PLANNING A HOLIDAY WEDDING –
1) HOLIDAYS ARE EASY TO REMEMBER
2) HOLIDAYS HELP PROVIDE YOU WITH A THEME TO FOLLOW
3) GUESTS MAY HAVE OFF OF WORK – Another great thing about planning a holiday wedding is that your guests will have an extra day off of work 9usually a monday) for recovery and travel time. Or, a holiday weekend can allow for a better Sunday wedding, which incidently, is often more affordable that a Saturday wedding works out to be.
THE CONS ON SELECTING A HOLIDAY FOR YOUR WEDDING –
1) TRAVEL INCREASE – Traveling costs are traditionally more on holidays, bottom line. Your costs and the the cost for your guests’ airfare traveling and/or hotels are often higher on holiday weekends, due to supply and demand of travelers.
2) GUEST ATTENDANCE – Choosing a holiday wedding might hurt your wedding guest attendance list. Let’s face it. People are creatures of habit, and nobody likes change. Some families have other regularly scheduled commitments and traditions for on-going standing holiday weekend and, more often than not, these are traditions are ones that some people would not want to change, no matter what the cause.
HOLIDAY WEEKENDS FOR 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 17, 2014 Washington’s Birthday
Monday, May 26, 2014 Memorial Day
Friday, July 4, 2014 Independence Day
Monday, September 1, 2014 Labor Day
Monday, October 13, 2014 Columbus Day
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 Veterans Day
Thursday, November 27, 2014 Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, December 25, 2014 Christmas Day
3) RELIGIOUS DAYS –
While you may or may not recognize a number of religious holidays, your guests might. Think about religious holidays when choosing your wedding date. There may even be church restrictions on if you are allowed to marry at these times, so you may have to make some calls if you go against this one.
April 13, 2014
March 29, 2015
March 20, 2016
April 20, 2014
April 5, 2015
March 27, 2016
Passover (begins at sunset the night before)
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Friday, April 22, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
Tisha B’Av (begins at sunset the night before)
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Rosh Hashanah (begins at sunset the night before)
Thursday, September 25, 2014, until nightfall on Friday, September 26, 2014
Monday, September 14, 2015, until nightfall on Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Sunday, October 2, 2016, until nightfall on Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Yom Kippur (begins at sunset the night before)
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Hanukkah (begins at sunset)
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, until nightfall on Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Monday, December 7, 2015, until nightfall on Monday, December 14, 2015
Saturday, December 24, 2016 until nightfall on Sunday, January 1, 2017
DJ TIPS – MORE WEDDING DATE SELECTION TIPS
COSTLY HOLIDAYS – Valentine’s Day will make your floral bill shyrocket, and New Year’s will make your venue more too!
PERSONALLY SIGNIFICANT DAYS – Check your own calendar for college reunions, family weddings, anniversaries or other events, like big conventions or festivals in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual occasions that involve your family or close friends.
HOLIDAY WEEKENDS – Holiday weekend weddings have pros and cons. You’ve got an extra day for the festivities (and recovery!); plus, a Sunday wedding is often less expensive than a Saturday one would be. However, costs of travel and hotels may be higher. And if you’re looking to marry around Valentine’s Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you’ve got your heart set on red roses — they’ll likely be more expensive than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year’s Eve wedding. Also consider the impact of a holiday weekend on your guest list: Some families have standing plans or traditions that they’d prefer not to miss.
Do you want the wedding of your dreams, but don’t think you can afford it? Paying for a wedding can be really expensive, to really get everything you want. However, where there is a will, there is a way…
FOOD IS NOT CHEAP – No matter how you slice the wedding cake, your largest bill at a wedding will waht you pay to the caterers. If you will be feeding say 120 guests or so, by today’s industry stanards you are probably looking at $50 a plate, or more. Then, add $6,000 for meals to additional venue costs, and whatever package you are choosing for booze, and you will quickly come close to the $10,000 mark. If you are like many people in today’s economy, you may be asking yourself, “how can I pay for it all?
Breath easy. Aside from the most important way to save money (keeping your invite list down to save on catering), many brides & grooms have been same boat as you are in, and have come up with ways to still make their dream wedding happen.
ONLINE INCOME SOURCES – If you are like many people today and do not have a whole lot of time in your week to work extra hours, some customers have told me that offering a skill on Craigslist is a great way to pick up some extra work here and there to generate some extra income. If you do well with landscaping, carpentry, housekeeping, babysitting, or even bartending, you can go online to craigslist at any time and pick up some extra temporary work to supplement your income.
If you have a product you can sell, others tell me that Ebay and Amazon both offer storefont potential with no overhead. That means, if you have a product you can sell, you can do so on these sites and reach tons of customers, without having to pay rent or employees to man a store. If you don’t have anything to sell, some of my customers have told me that they make thousands by finding collectibles at yard sales and reselling them on Ebay/Amazon.
PART TIME JOB – However, I have found that a number of my DJ customers have decided to treat their wedding budget the same way as some families treat huge Christmas lists; by taking on a part-time job for a short period of time to make it happen. A part-time job really is a great way to pay for things, with the potential to just go back to your comfortable lifestyle, soon after the wedding kitty is full. Here are some good resources to use, in case you are thinking about taking on some side work, so that you can have the wedding of your dreams!
However, if you don’t mind throwing a few hours into the dream wedding kitty, a part time job with an additional hundred or two dollars of income for a few months may really be the way to go!
PROFESSIONAL RESUME – To get that extra little job, you really need to stand out from the rest in today’s economy. It is alll about packaging. If it is skill-based, bringing a portfolio to your interview with lots of great pictures is a good idea. But first of, you need to have a professional resume to get your foot in the door. Sometimes 100-500 people may apply to the same job, so you have to stand out from all the rest. Professional resumes are not just lists of dates and addresses, today they have finely crafted bullets with action phrases displaying what it is you did at a past work experience.
I am a succesful wedding DJ and have seen it all. Also being a certified English teacher in a Career & Technical school, I have some career resources that I would like to share with you, in order to help your dream wedding become a reality.
Resume Template <- Here is a link to a great RESUME TEMPLATE that I have created. TIP- make sure to make EVERYTHING uniform on your resume. This is your first impression to a potential employer. Make it count!
Resume Action Verbs <- It is always important to add ACTION VERBS under your work experiences. These will help the potential employer understand what kind of experience you have that may be a good match for them. This link is a list of those words that will better help them to visualize you working for them.
Resume Sample <- Here is a sample of what the RESUME might look like when you are done.
ADD A COVER LETTER – Don’t forget to add a COVER LETTER along with your resume, before sending it out. Here is a few links to some cover letter resources that I have created to help make your resume stand out from the rest:
COVER LETTER logic <- Here is a link to a list of things to think about when writing your cover letter.
Cover Letter Sample <- This is a sample of what a cover letter might look like when it is done.