Here are my Top 10 Ways to Avoid Wedding Disasters, in music form. “Huh? How does that work?” Well, just think of these ten songs while planning your special day and you will have a safe and fun time for everyone. Each tip from this “playlist” (written by DJ Kenny Casanova) has a song that represents a potential “disaster-in-the-making” when you do not plan against it. HerAnd now for your Wedding Disaster playlist:
10. “Just The Two of Us” – Will Smith Make sure your wedding is a reflection of both of you; the bride and groom. Sometimes we forget to put in the personal likes and dislikes that make the event special. In the end, everyone should have some of the traditional wedding to make them happy, but also a mixed in balance of things that are important to the newlyweds.
9. Be careful not to waste… “Money” – The O’Jays
“Do we really need that extra decoration in the bathroom?”… “Do we really need a violinist in the hallway?”… The Wedding Industry is a big money maker. It is often easy to get caught up in all the options and wish for the very best of everything. This can get very costly, if you don’t pay attention to the little costs.
8. Plan out the ceremony and… “Have The Time of Your Life” – Greenday
The Ceremony is the most important thing. After all, the reception is actually the celebration of having had the ceremony. Spend a little time putting things together to make it memorable.
7. “I need Somebody to, HELP, not just anybody.” – The Beatles
Know who is running the show. This means if you hire a boring officiant for the ceremony, your ceremony will be boring. Also, if you hire a bad band, people will not enjoy themselves, or on the inverse, hire a lame DJ and get tons of hokey stuff like chicken dances and The Macarena.
6. “Singing in The Rain” – Gene Kelly Make sure to have a back up plan for everything that could go wrong. People often think, it could never happen to me, but they are the same ones who end up with ketchup all over the bride’s wedding dress. If you don’t keep this in mind, all your people could be stuck out in a rainstorm.
5. “More Money, More Problems” – Biggie Smalls
Stay to your budget. If you let them, the wedding professionals, caterers, and even your guests can end up costing you a fortune. Figure out what you want to spend and stick to it!
4. “I’m Here For The Party” – Gretchen Wilson It is not a good practice to get plastered the night before. Do you really want to be hung over on perhaps the biggest day of your life? If a bachelor / bachelorette party is set up for the night before, be careful you don’t spoil things for the day after.
3. Be a good host and think of… “Everybody” – Backstreet Boys
While it is your “day,” the reception will only be fun for everyone if you include everyone. That means perhaps playing some music you may not particularly like, or allowing something to happen for the good of the whole that you may not be particularly fond of.
2. “It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right” – Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
Quite often, the bride takes over. Ladies, if you want the groom to enjoy himself, let him have a little fun in the planning as well. And if you have a groom that shows little interest in the planning element, give him total control of something. SOmetimes a theme wedding is a great way to get the groom in on the fun.
1. “Lose My Mind” – DMX
Don’t get stressed out and sweat the little things. If something doesn’t go exactly as planned, take a deep breath and move on. No one will care. We are all human!
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.
A month ago in Albany, NY, I was the wedding disc jockey for a younger Lithuanian couple, proud of their roots. They were good people, so I can understand why their guests wanted to shower them with money, but something at this wedding was different. These cash gifts were not in card-form at the gift table, but rather people showering the dance floor …with coins!
As the first dance came to an end, the wedding party rushed to pour tons of silver dollars, quarters, and smaller coins, all around the dance floor corners. When the newlyweds finally made their exit, the guests frantically moved in to pick up the coins to fill a tall glass vase on the head table. Eventually, a lucky guest held the specially marked coin in the air and demanded his dance with the bride.
I since learned that the Lithuanian love coin wedding tradition originated from a 1500’s Lithuanian town legend that would later resurface as a fad in the 1800’s. Here is what our Disc Jockeys at TheDJservice.com could find about the original story that transformed into the wedding tradition we have today:
THE LITHUANIAN LOVE COIN LEGEND: In a small Lithuanian village in the 1500’s, a young man did not have enough money to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. With the country involved in one of the many Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars, most men didn’t have much money and had to be creative. What this man chose to do to profess his undying love, was to provide his bride-to-be with a personalized gift. He took a coin and spent many hours cleaning it, sanding it, and overall, turning it into a piece of beautiful art. When he finished, one side now had a beautiful dove and both of their initials. When he presented this treasure to his lady and proposed, she of course said “yes.” But the ceremony was, unfortunately, not to happen anytime soon. Soon after the proposal, the man was drafted off to war and would not able to first marry his true love for another ten years.
In the meantime, she waited. As a symbol of their love, she treasured the coin and kissed it every night before bed, awaiting his return. One night, however, thieves broke into her house and stole her very few valuables and also put the coin in a bag. The girl awoke the next morning and was heartbroken.
After ten years, the man finally returned to his home town as a hero. His bride-to-be had waited eagerly and was very elated with his return, but very sad to confess the loss of the coin he had made for her. The man comforted her and decided to waste no more time. They planned their wedding for the weekend. The next day, the entire village passed word of the news. Come the weekend, the whole town came to what was supposed to be a small wedding ceremony to show thanks to the man who fought so bravely for them for many years.
The guests felt badly, however, when no rings were exchanged during the ceremony. They realized that the couple had no money. They learned that the wife had recently been robbed and decided to do something about it. Between the ceremony and the reception, the villagers ran home. When they returned to the reception hall, they brought with them lots of great food and presents to show thanks to their war hero.
As tradition, the couple entered the reception hall last. They drank wine and ate salt and bread to symbolize joy, tears, and work; the three main elements of a life together. Then they were surprised with an even better feast from the thankful guests. During dinner, word got out that the bride’s belongings and their precious love coin had been stolen less than a year before the groom’s return. When the first dance began, the villagers emptied their pockets and purses in merriment onto the floor, as gifts to start the home the new husband and wife.
As the guests collected the money for the couple in a flower vase, a curious thing happened. The original love coin was, in fact, found. It had been re-circulated and passed around the village and ended up in one of the guest’s pockets! The coin was happily returned to the couple who danced with it’s finder in celebration. As the story goes, they lived happily ever after.
THE LITHUANIAN LOVE COIN WEDDING TRADITION LIVES ON: Today, some Lithuanians re-live this beautiful love story, in memory of this couple and the good people of the village. The guests bring loads of silver dollars, half dollars and quarters to weddings and throw them all over the dance floor. One of the coins is marked with bride and groom’s initials. At the end of the first dance, the wedding party collect all of the coins for the newly weds and fill a clear vase, and the lucky person who finds the “love coin” gets a special dance immediately with either the bride or groom for their find.
LOVE COINS – If you are considering doing this tradition at your reception, you can make your very own Lithuanian love coin, buy a hobo nickel, or you can try to find a vintage one with their initials on it. There are many vintage ones on ebay and at: Love Tokens: Engraved Coins.
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.
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!
Have you been to a wedding lately? Was it good or bad? If you answered “good,” there is a good chance that the DJ had a good part of helping you come to this answer. Audience interaction is the key to success.
It is funny how a lot of weddings have so many similarities, but can still be good or bad. There are many traditional activities that happen at most all receptions. The first dance, the bouquet toss, father & bride dance, mother & groom dance, toasts and the cake cutting… we have seen these all time and time again. But these activities alone do not make the wedding reception a night to remember. If you really want people to have fun, your guests need the option to interact.
Dancing Activities are important to many of you guests.
Some will argue that group dances are hokey and there are a number of them that really, really are. One example is the dreaded “Chicken Dance”. I personally, hate that song! However, there are some that are very modern and can do wonders for getting people out of their seats.
Even if you as the bride and groom absolutely hate dance activities, these are great ice breakers. If you can sacrifice a couple of songs to the majority of your group and and moving, it may be worth it in the big picture. If you get the people up and dancing with The Cha Cha or Electric slide, they may very well stay up there for the rest of the night.
There are many activities you have at your disposal as options. Others include The Cupid Shuffle, The Apache, The Mississippi Mudslide, The Conga, Souljaboy and The YMCA. Also, there are dollar dances, the freeze dance, The Limbo, the twist, and anniversary dances – where the DJ calls out numbers of years married to leave the dance floor, until the couple that had been together the longest remains.