Your Wedding Budget . Setting And Sticking To It

Want to make sure your marriage doesn’t end up on the rocks before you get to the chapel? Then set a realistic wedding budget — and stick to it.

In the process of planning a wedding, budget concerns often is a source of disagreement for a couple. They may have different ideas about what kind of wedding they want, and about what they can afford. To make the wedding a truly happy occasion, it is important that the couple discusses financial constraints early.

Set A Budget And Save For It

The first tip is — discuss finances before the wedding plans begin. Everyone involved in the decision-making process needs to understand exactly how much money is available for the wedding.

To maximize that budget, you should start saving early for your wedding. Advance planning and saving will allow you to maintain or even exceed your budget, comfortably. And that will make wedding planning easier and more fun. 

Get Everyone On-Board

Once your wedding budget has been established, set it aside for a few days and then review it again. This gives everyone a chance to let the information sink in. The budget review after this waiting period gives the participants a chance to verify that they understand and agree to the budget. This is vitally important, because someone who does not agree with the budget may overspend in 1 area, leaving the rest of the budget in jeopardy. 

Budget Line Items

When you’ve decided exactly how much money is available for your wedding, the next step is to divide the total into budget categories, such as the venue, food and drink, bride’s attire, groom’s attire, transportation, entertainment, photography, favours, centrepieces, and gifts. It is also advisable to set aside money for unforeseen expenses. 

Who Pays

Part of establishing a budget is to be clear on who will pay for what. 

Shopping And Negotiating

You will need to negotiate contracts for services, and so you must know the budget for each area of the wedding. If you have allotted $1500 for entertainment, look for a DJ whose rate is approximately that amount, then negotiate to ensure that you remain under budget.
 
It’s wise to shop around and compare prices for services. A company may come highly recommended, but if they are outside your price range, let them know why you are going to have to choose another company. You may be surprised at how willing they will be to give you a better offer.

Substitute Creativity For Cash

Doing things on your own is another way to stay under budget. Homemade invitations or making your own favours or centrepieces can greatly reduce the wedding cost, freeing up funds for other areas of the wedding. 

Do not fall into the trap of viewing your budget as restrictive. Instead of thinking about what you can’t afford, focus on how you can make your wedding and reception truly unique. You will be inspired to create a wonderful, memorable wedding regardless of your budget constraints. 

Anticipate The Unforeseen

Realize that there are bound to be snags along the way. If you go over budget in 1 area, you will need to cut the budget in another area. As long as you stay aware of your spending and realize the ramifications of all your actions, you can roll with the punches and alter your plans to accommodate any needed changes.

Make It A Wonderful Memory

A wedding budget can cause emotional strain on a couple and their relationship. It is important for them to discuss their finances and establish a clear budget for their wedding plans. Doing this early in the wedding planning process can help the couple to avoid conflict during the planning phase of the wedding. It can also make the wedding more fun for everyone, and start out the marriage on a positive note.

After all, working together is what a marriage is all about.

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You Can Have A Beautiful Wedding On A Budget

Few people realize that having a beautiful wedding does not require spending their entire savings.

If you’re planning a wedding, learning where to cut costs and how to budget will leave you with money to spare.

* For something old, wear a vintage wedding dress. You can save hundreds on a wedding gown by shopping in consignment or vintage shops, in newspaper classifieds and on the Internet. You also can update your mother’s, grandmother’s or aunt’s wedding dress with a new neckline or hemline, beading or lace.

* Print your own invitations. There are many wedding accessories that can be made instead of bought – the veil, the centrepieces and even the invitations. Do-it-yourself kits are available to help you create designer looks without the designer price tags.

Michaels , for example, has an entire line of paper-related wedding accessories – from invitations to menu cards to guest books and photo albums – designed for brides who want original and elegant paper goods. The invitation kit comes in four styles in three colour options and includes envelopes, reply cards and printing instructions.

* Use an antique or classic car instead of a limousine. Contact a local antique or classic car club to rent a luxury vehicle, such as a 1939 Rolls-Royce or a 1952 Cadillac DeVille. Most of the owners will be thrilled to loan out their cars and you’ll have more than enough room for the married couple at a much lower price. And, whereas a limousine is rented for a couple of hours, you have the benefit of keeping the antique vehicle for 24 hours or longer.

* Keep the flowers simple. Instead of hiring a florist, contact a floral-design school and hire students to provide you with flower arrangements. You also can create your own flower arrangements. Buy one colour of flower in bulk. It creates a visual impact while saving money. Contact a wholesale florist; many will sell flowers directly to the consumer.

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What Women REALLY Experience Before The Wedding

The flowers, the dress, the caterer, the guest list. Our focus during engagement is obvious – the ever so important details in planning the perfect wedding. Yet if we can manage to tear ourselves away from the 5th revision of the seating chart for just a moment, we realize that engagement is one of the most significant psychological transitions in our lives, packed with an assortment of tangled emotions and conflicting feelings. Inside the newly engaged woman often lie fear, anxiety, sadness and loss. It is these important internal details, so largely ignored by conventional wedding guides and planners, that an engaged woman must face and confront if she ever hopes to arrive at the altar fully prepared to enter into a healthy marriage.

Feelings of loss?
There is no other time in your life when you are truly giving up one identity for another. The transition is more complex than simply taking a new last name, a literal change of identity and a decision that brings with it its own set of questions and anxieties. You are also giving up your symbolic identity as a single woman, even a child. Women often worry, “I’m losing my youth,” or, “I won’t be able to relate to my single girlfriends.” A stage in your life, the only stage you have ever experienced, is ending, and many women experience feelings of loss as a chapter closes on their lives.

What if
As one chapter closes, another begins. A chapter of commitment and togetherness. This new stage brings forth feelings of joy and excitement, but fear and uncertainty are also involved. You are entering into a partnership with another human being, causing your future’s happiness to rely so heavily on the actions of another. Needless to say, this realization can expose feelings of fear. What if our marriage doesn’t last? What if he cheats on me? What if I cheat on him? What if the passion fades and we grow apart? What if something terrible happens to him? These questions can penetrate the veneer of even the most outwardly joyous bride.

Am I making a mistake?
Popular culture and society seems to conveniently ignore these questions and uncertainties. As engaged women, we hear a barrage of “congratulations!” and “what will your dress look like?” when we announce the big news. Even those closest to us neglect to recognize the importance of more internally probing questions and advice during our engagement. As a result, many women begin to question their readiness for marriage. Any feeling less than euphoric is deemed as indication of making a mistake, as we have been conditioned to believe that anxiety and confusion are a reflection of “not being ready” or choosing the wrong partner. Thus, instead of accepting and discussing these feelings, we distract ourselves with the wedding planning and ignore our internal emotions.

Harness and Accept your feelings!
In reality, these thoughts could not be more normal. In every other major life transition, simultaneous feelings of loss and gain are not only expected, but encouraged. When you graduated high school, when you graduated college, when you moved away from your hometown, when you left your first job for a better opportunity, those around you understood and sympathized with your conflicting emotions. But did those feelings of sadness and loss hinder you from taking that next step and succeeding with flying colours? Of course not. You allowed yourself to address and analyze your thoughts, and then you proceeded with the change. This is exactly what you need to do during your engagement as you prepare for your journey to the altar and marriage. Realize that feelings of sadness and anxiety are normal, allow yourself to feel these feelings, and discuss and analyze them with those around you. Don’t allow your friends and family to focus on the wedding planning process to the exclusion of your internal struggles.

The engagement stage involves more than simply planning a big party. It involves introspection and emotional analysis. It involves open communication with your fiancé, family and friends. It involves acceptance of fear and sadness. Once a bride realizes the complexity of this transition, she can address her emotions and move forward in planning for both a fabulous party and a successful next chapter in her life.

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After The Vows!

• 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
• Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
• During wedding planning, brides say their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer – reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities.
• When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
*These statistics were published in St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine. Sources include: Simmons; USA Today; National Bridal Service; The Knot; Brides Magazine.

What You Should Know About DJ Pricing!
Over the last several years, the biggest change in the wedding industry has been that today’s couples want more personalized, individualized, fun weddings. With more involvement in the planning and expressing your style in the reception, your guests become connected and part of the celebration. By giving them the opportunity to be an active part of the festivity, your friends and family will be more interested and involved, stay longer, have more fun, and take home many more priceless memories.
How then do you want to remember your reception? Would you say Amazing, Fun, Lively, Elegant, Classy, Stress-Free, Well-Organized, Romantic, Sentimental, Personalized, and Pleasantly Memorable? How do you want your guests to remember your reception, Interested, Involved, Entertained, Remarkable, and The Best Time Ever?    Would you ever think of your description to be Average, Ordinary, Fair, Run-of-the-Mill, Uneventful, Boring, or McWedding? It doesn’t seem like it should be much of a choice, but
Think of the last wedding you attended, and how the DJ contributed to how you remember the event. It is important to clarify your budget and prioritize your wants &
needs, prior to interviewing your entertainment. You need to understand what you’re looking for, the differences between DJ pricing, the right questions to ask, and the realities of hiring DJ wedding entertainment.

Reality #1 – Lack of resources telling you “How To Have a Great Time”. Pick-up any bridal magazine, any one of hundreds of wedding web sites, ask people you know, and you can get expert information on dresses, food, flowers, decorations, and so on. You will rehearse your ceremony with professionals so it will be perfect. But no one can tell you how to have a “great time”, or how to personalize a reception throughout the entire evening. If you don’t have a professional in this area, you are on your own, and there are no do-overs. So ask your prospective DJ, “We and our guests want to have fun and a great time…How will you make this happen?” Listen to the answer, you will know very fast what you are dealing with, and if it meets your expectation.

Reality #2 –    Personalized, original, memorable, incredible, amazing, and fun won’t happen by accident nor do they just magically fall from the sky. On the other hand, ordinary, average, and boring will happen by itself if you don’t plan otherwise.
Reality #3 – Make sure your DJ’s talent level, professionalism, appearance and planning assistance can fulfill your wants and needs. Could you expect something that is cheap or average to create something truly remarkable? Ask your prospective DJ, “How is your service and performance different & better…what sets you apart from the others?” (Note: I did my first DJ performance in 1970!)

Reality #4 – Bigger is not always better. With the large multi-system DJ company their time, resources, attention, and importance of your event is divided between all the events they perform that night. Your planning could be as little as a 15 minute phone call a few days before your wedding, and a different person you don’t even know showing up the night of the reception. What would make your reception stand out? Perhaps the best choice is a single-system DJ where 100% of their focus is on your event. In-person planning sessions with the actual DJ that will be performing at your reception, getting to know you, helping you plan & organize the entire event with the intent to personalize, individualize, involve your guests, and to make your reception incredible and memorable and to be “The Perfect Host!”. Just ask you prospective DJ “How much time do you
Within one week after their reception, 78% of brides say they would have made the
entertainment their highest priority!
the right or wrong
DJ at your reception can produce these different results.
Wedding receptions will be exactly what you plan them to be.
spend planning with us? How will you personalize our reception throughout the night? How will you involve our guests, and how will you make us the Stars-of-the Night?”

Reality #5 –    It gets booked first and early, because there is a difference. It’s true for DJ entertainment as well as wedding sites, reception venues, photographers, and many other vendors. For any given date, there are many more couples in need of top DJ entertainment than there is top DJ entertainment available. So, many couples will end up settling for an average or below average DJ. If having a fun, original, memorable, stress-free reception involving your guests is important to you, put a top priority on booking your entertainment early. Ask your prospective DJ, “When can we get together in person to get to know each other a little better, and find out if you are the right DJ entertainment for my wedding?”

Reality #6 – There are only few times in our lives that provide the opportunity to be surrounded by those who mean the most to us…friends, family and loved ones. Your wedding is one of them. Choose an entertainer that recognizes this special day for what it is – a celebration of life!    I believe… that your wedding day will be one of the most cherished days you will ever share with those who are most important to you. I also believe… that I have an enormous responsibility not only to you but your family, friends and guests. This responsibility is to ensure your every wish and desire is not only met, but exceeded. As you plan your special day, remember that the entertainment is the most important element to a successful reception. No other single element will effect more how you and your guests remember your wedding day, than a fun and magical reception.

Reality #7 –    . The top DJ entertainers/hosts will cost more than the other companies in the region (sometimes 3 to 5 times more), but they are the most busy and in high demand. The average cost of a cheese and vegetable buffet is about $12 per person in this region and if you have just 150 guests, you could be spending over $1800 just for finger food for your guests. Is the entertainment at your reception worth more to you than broccoli? I offer a 100% Satisfaction – Money Back Guarantee!

Reality #8 – Is your prospective DJ Entertainment company a professional? How can you define professional? Is it a “real company” with a business license, liability insurance, toll free phone number and a LEGAL music library with professional audio equipment (with a 100% complete backup system)? Is this business their only job or do they have a “real job” and only DJ to make extra spending money? Do they belong to a National Association with a code of ethics and standards of performance? I am a member of the American Disc Jockey Association and the Secretary for the East Tennessee Chapter.

Reality #9 –    Talk to recent clients of the entertainer you are considering! They should be thrilled to provide the last 3 or 4 events that they have done! Any performer is only as good as their last performance!

  We would love to hear your thoughts . Please comment below, stop by and check out http://www.djxtc.net and follow us on twitter @weddingdj1