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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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 and follow us on twitter @weddingdj1

Who Is Who On The Bridal Shower Guest List

When getting married, it can sometimes be difficult to understand the proper etiquette involved with many of the wedding functions.  The bridal shower is no exception.  Many brides-to-be are left uncertain of the proper procedures to follow when planning a bridal shower and who to invite.  In addition, the proper role of different guests on the list can become confusing.  With a few simple rules of thumb, however, you are guaranteed to have a memorable and proper bridal shower.

Who Hosts the Bridal Shower?

The maid or matron of honour, and never the bridesmaids, traditionally hosts the bridal shower.  It is, however, acceptable for another close friend of either the bride or the groom to take on the responsibility.  For the most part, it is considered unacceptable for a close relative of the bride, such as the mother or siblings, to throw a bridal shower.  This is because it gives the appearance that the family is scouting for gifts.  In some areas of the country, however, it is customary for a close relative to throw the bridal shower.  In addition, if the bride does not have anyone else to throw the party for her, it may be acceptable for the mother or a sister to throw the party.  The family members should, however, try to have as little involvement as possible.  It is never considered acceptable for the bride to throw her own bridal shower.

Sometimes, the coworkers of a bride-to-be also decide to throw a bridal shower.  A group of coworkers or just one coworker may host this shower.  So far as etiquette is concerned, this is perfectly acceptable.  Just be sure to limit the guest list to coworkers.  Inviting friends and family to a bridal shower hosted by coworkers is tacky.

Who should be invited to the Bridal Shower?

You can invite whomever you want to your bridal shower.  Your guest list should certainly include your mother, your future mother-in-law, and your maid or matron of honour.  If the bride or the groom has a stepmother, she should also be invited.  Traditionally, a bridal shower involves only women.  But, co-ed bridal showers are gaining in popularity.  This decision is one you will have to make when creating your guest list.

Typically, brides-to-be invite their immediate family members to attend their bridal showers.  They also invite all of the female members of the bridal party, and the male members if the bridal shower is co-ed, and other close relatives.  Close friends are also invited to the bridal shower.  As a rule of thumb, only people who have been invited to the wedding itself should be invited to the bridal shower.  It is uncouth to invite someone to the shower without also inviting him or her to the wedding as it implies you are only interested in receiving his or her gifts.  You are not, however, expected to invite everyone who will be attending the wedding.  Of course, bridal showers hosted by co-workers are the exception ñ you are not expected to invite you co-workers to your wedding, even if they do throw you a bridal shower.

If you are having a difficult time deciding who to invite to your bridal shower and who not to invite, take a look at your wedding guest list.  First, eliminate all of the females with whom the bride does not know directly, such as the wives of male friends.  Next, cross off people who were invited to the wedding simply because it is proper, but who are not close to the bride.  This can include distant relatives or female friends of the bride-to-be’s parents.

What if there will be more than One Bridal Shower?

If you will be having more than one bridal shower, mothers, stepmothers, and female siblings on both sides, as well as the maid of honour, should be invited to every shower.  None of these women, however, should be expected to provide a gift at each shower.  In addition, the female siblings of the groom should have the option of choosing to attend only one of the showers.  Any other guests should be only invited to one of the showers.  If you do choose to invite someone to more than one shower, be sure to make it perfectly clear that the person is not expected to bring a gift each time

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