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The ultimate wedding planning guide

Posted on Oct 23 13

Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.

Most people will agree that even if everything did not go according to plan on the day of a wedding, it would not matter as the sole purpose of a wedding is for loved ones to watch the unity of a couple who are so in love that they are committing to spend the rest of their lives together.  Most people will agree; but not the brides.  For them, the planning and execution of a wedding is extremely important.  Every bride on her wedding day needs to know that each detail has been planned and there will be no unexpected events to ruin her special day.  So lets jump straight in with our wedding planning guide.
Timeline

Many brides will want to start planning the wedding at the earliest opportunity.  Whilst the grooms to be may think that trying to organise the event a year in advance may be overkill, in actual fact, there are certain things which need to be taken care of as soon as possible.

  • Venue – Any wedding venue (church, hotel, castle etc.) will be busy at the height of the wedding season.  It is important therefore, to at least begin to look at venue options as soon as a date for the wedding has been discussed.

 

  • Entertainment – Entertainment such as acts and live bands are similar to venues in respect that the good ones are often booked up in peak seasons.  Beginning discussions early may avoid disappointment on the big day.

 

weddin planning guide Prepare Your Invitations

You can find good card stock at most stationery stores, and if you have elegant handwriting, simply address the cards yourself. You can also purchase wedding invitations from online stores like Zazzle or Cafepress, where artists create beautiful designs and you simply order as many as you need.

Planning Your Menu

If you plan to have a more formal dinner, then you can employ a caterer to help create a delicious sit-down menu. You may also wish to have a buffet style meal instead, and depending on what venue you have chosen for your wedding, many hotels and resorts offer their own catering or restaurant menus for your reception.

Decorating Your Venue

In order to decorate your venue, it isn’t necessary to break your budget on flowers, and the best linens for the tables. You can simply find silk flowers from a floral shop, or even some good department stores carry crafts in which you can create wonderful designs. You can use elegant candles, and white ribbons flowing over your guests to give a classic feel. If you go for flowers, you can choose small Rose bushes, or Begonias for that fresh, beautiful look.

The Bridal Gown

You might want to save most of your budget for your bridal gown, and have it designed by a local designer. You might also wish to save your money for your honeymoon instead, so you can opt for a rental gown or an already worn dress. The trend is more common for brides to either rent their gowns, or purchase already used gowns in mint condition in order to save money for more important aspects to them. If you are a good seamstress, or know one, you could also design your own creation, making it all that more special.Planning your own do-it-yourself wedding doesn’t have to be difficult and out of your reach; in fact, often it fits most couple’s budgets. If you take the time to do a bit of research and apply your creative talents, you will have a wedding to remember.

 

Plan your wedding completely online.

The age of technology has made many time consuming and formerly difficult tasks much easier to complete and this includes event planning. If you are planning your wedding, there has never been an easier time than now to use available sources you can find online. You don’t need a wedding planner , you simply need research skills and a working Internet connection.

Use Online Planning Tools

Many brides purchase bridal magazines to help with planning their wedding and perhaps use binders and notebooks to keep track of what needs to be booked. However, instead of putting money down on magazines or notebooks, use online planning tools like the ones found at websites like The Knot and My Wedding that help you keep track of expenses, to-do lists and even guest lists.

Find Inspiration

If you are stuck on picking out the right flowers, bridesmaid’s dresses or decorations, you can find some inspiration at several websites. Try searching on Pinterest to find the latest fashions in bridal wear, table settings or even cute and innovative ideas like cotton-candy machines for the reception.

Search for Vendors

In this day and age it’s much easier to find local vendors that are offering their services to you. You can search for florists, photographers, videographers, wedding planners, caterers and even venues in which to hold both your ceremony and reception. The majority of venues offer virtual tours of their premises and explain what you can expect to receive. This helps you narrow down your list of potential vendors and venues and only schedule appointments to those that most interest you.

Invitations Made Easy

The Internet has made creating beautiful invitations easy as well. You can have your own specially made invites created by designers online or choose from existing designs you love, order them and have them shipped to you without ever having to step inside a store. You can try out several websites such as Etsy, Precious Invitations or even Zazzle to find the right designs.

Book the Honeymoon

Finally, you can also book your honeymoon online too. There are plenty of travel websites that offer fantastic deals on honeymoons and package deals alike. You can check out Travelocity.com, Expedia.com or even Hotels.com to find the right package deals for you. Brides may also purchase their gowns online too if the thought of trying on dresses isn’t appealing. The point is, planning your wedding doesn’t have to be stressful and can be as easy as your fingers across the keyboard.

Check out this list of online wedding planners to make your wedding planning easy.

My Wedding Site

The Original Wedding Planner

Weddi GO

Bride Plan

My Wedding Book Pro

 

How to work out a wedding budget

Work out a wedding budget

The budget is one of most the important considerations when planning a wedding. Failure to plan a proper budget can lead to impulse buying that leads to stress and anxiety about lack of funds.

Work out how much money there is

Wedding funds are usually made up of a combination of money that couples have already put to one side, money that they can contribute to the funds over the coming months leading up to the wedding, and any financial support they may receive from family.When looking at how much money can be put into the fund each month, couples should be cautious. It is better to look at the minimum amount of money which can be saved each month, then the maximum and calculate for a figure somewhere in between the two. Planning to throw every single spare penny into the wedding budget may look good on paper, but should an unforeseen expenditure happen within a month, the whole wedding budget can be thrown off.

Divide the Budget

Once the overall budget has been worked out, it’s time to divide it up to cover the costs of everything. Each and every factor of the wedding should be considered:

  • Ceremony and reception
  • Clothing
  • Entertainment
  • Flowers
  • Photography and video
  • Stationary
  • Extras – Rings, transport, marriage license etc.
  • Unexpected costs

 

The easiest way to allot money to each factor is to use an estimate percentage of the overall budget to each factor; for example, 50% for the ceremony and reception, 17% for clothing and so on. This can then be divided further into sub-categories. The percentages should work in accordance to the value placed on each category’s importance to the couple. If photography is more important than the flowers, then it might be that a couple chooses to spend a little more on the photographer and go with simpler flower arrangements. Using an Excel spread sheet will make it easier to play around with the budget.

Ask for help

Many happy couples will have financial help from family members for the big day. Having the budget split up into concise departments will help others know what is needed from them. The budget plan can be shown to family members who have expressed their desire to help, and they can be asked to contribute to certain parts of the wedding or even choose their own. With the money saved from other’s help, couples can either put the left over funds back into areas of the wedding that they would like to upgrade slightly, or they can use it towards a honeymoon.

Cut down on your budget using these AMAZINGLY simple tips.

Wedding Tips


You want a gorgeous wedding with all the trimmings but may not have the budget to go along with your plans. Don’t worry, you still can achieve the wedding of your dreams by cutting back on a few things and arranging your priorities to match what you really want out of your day.

Arrange Your Priorities

There are going to be some areas of your wedding that are more important to you than others, so your first step is arranging your priorities to match your budget. For example, if you want a designer gown but you want to have a small wedding, then only invite those friends and family that mean the most to you. You will find there are many areas in which you can compromise to gain what you truly want.

Small Wedding Party and Guest List

Instead of inviting co-workers and acquaintances, only invite close friends and family and don’t invite children. It is better to keep your guest list small so you can save money for other areas. Also, keep your wedding party small too; only ask your closest friends or family to be attendants.

Use a Relative or Friend to Officiate

In the majority of counties or states, a layperson may be ordained to perform weddings. This is done by a few organizations; for example, The Universal Life Church and the Esoteric Interfaith Church. These are recognized right across the country by the government and it can cut down drastically on your costs. Research your state laws first for any rules and regulations concerning using a layperson.

Marry in the Off Season

The majority of engaged couples marry in the summer months, typically June, but it tends to be the most expensive time. Instead, why not choose a lovely fall wedding or winter ceremony which can be just as pretty as a summer one. In fact, weddings in the off-season can take up to 15% off your costs. If you want to marry in Florida or the Caribbean however, your best bet is a summer wedding.

Reception at your Favorite Restaurant

Instead of hiring a banquet hall for your reception book your favorite restaurant for your reception. You will most likely save a lot of money and most restaurants already have a fabulous décor and wonderful menu to save you time and effort on decorations and food.

Set a budget and stick to it

Personal finance experts are proponents of setting a budget and sticking to it- so that advice is not new. What’s interesting is that there are ways to keep your budget on track. Make out a list of all the areas you’ll have to spend for the wedding and record all your expenditure so you’ll see where your money is going.Assign priority to everything on your list. A color coded method to indicate priority from highest to lowest may be effective. Setting priorities will help you to quickly determine what areas you can cut costs if the expenses are more than you expected. For instance, if your dress costs more than you budgeted, you’ll have to reduce the amount of money allocated for the cake.

Negotiate with vendors

Vendors want your business just as much as you want their services. Start your negotiations with them on the right tone. For instance, when you request a quote, do not mention that it’s for a wedding. Some vendors charge premium pricing for weddings, so request a standard quote before you let on that the “event” is really your wedding day. Try to hold the vendor to the standard price – unless they have a valid reason for charging more.Ask the wedding vendor to itemize the costs, so you can remove the things you don’t need and reduce your pricing.

Compare quotes

It pays to request quotes from several vendors in your area before you make a booking. Compare the quotes based on the service offered, the cost and the vendor’s reputation. Although you’re looking to save money, don’t immediately jump on the lowest quote. Look for value as much as the costs. Ask the vendors if they’re willing to negotiate on the quote price or ask for extras to be added to the package. For instance, an experienced wedding band may be unwilling to budge on the pricing, but they may throw in an extra set at no extra cost.

Swap gifts for favours

Ask family and friends with special talents to give you a discount on their service in lieu of a gift. For instance, a relative with special photography skills may be willing to take your wedding pictures for free or at a huge discount if you ask. Make sure that you don’t trade professional services for amateurs just to save money because it could really ruin your wedding day.Most of all, you have to be willing to think outside the box. Traditional wedding ideals are sometimes very expensive. Start your own traditions if it helps you save.

Planning a unique ‘twist’ to your wedding…..

Wedding budgetin tips

Every relationship is unique.  There are memories held by each couple which will never be held by anybody else in the world – ever.  The wedding of two people who have shared these experiences should be as unique as the couple themselves.
Themes

One of the easiest ways to ensure that a wedding is unlike any other is to choose an exciting theme.  The more fun and extravagant, the better the overall result normally is.  For the film buff and glamour puss, an old school Hollywood theme would hit the spot.  Alternatively, a favourite song could just as easily be the inspiration for the whole day.  Rock lovers could have a festival themed day out in the open, with great live bands providing top notch entertainment.

Wedding attire

By using unique wedding attire, the focus can stay exactly where it should be, on the wedding party themselves.  The following are some great ideas for wedding outfits with a difference:

  • Coloured wedding dress – Ditch the traditional white, champagne and ivory for a unique pink, red or even patterned wedding dress.  This option is not for the faint-hearted, but is bound to make a huge impact on the day which nobody will forget.

 

  • Different bouquets – Whilst fresh cut flowers are indeed beautiful, wedding bouquets can be as creative as the bride wishes and fit in with a theme if there is one.  For the country wedding, why not use a wheat bouquet to capture the essence of the day?  Alternatively, for the shabby chic wedding or to simply add a touch of glamour, antique brooch wedding bouquets are becoming increasingly popular.  This is also an ideal way to incorporate the “something old” into the wedding.  Or for a festive wedding, use holly and berries which are cheaper as they are in season as well as being in keeping with the spirit of Christmas.

 

  • Props – Props such as umbrellas are a great way to add fun to the wedding photos.  Different colour umbrellas for large groups of bridesmaids can not only be great for visual impact, but they may also come in useful in the British weather!

Invitations

You can use your creative skills in making your own invitations. These can include wedding invitations, engagement party invites, bridal shower and even bachelor and bachelorette party invitations. You can get very innovative and creative with your invitations too; for example for a beach wedding, you could have a ‘message in a bottle’, or for a Christmas wedding, how about in little wrapped presents?

Flowers and Bride’s Bouquet

If you have a green thumb there is no reason you can’t create your own floral arrangements for your wedding. You could choose to pick some choice flowers from your backyard, wildflowers or purchase lower priced flowers from a florist. If you are the crafty type, arranging flowers should be fairly easy for you. You can also create a bridal bouquet from your favourite picks of flowers right from your own home.

Centerpieces

At your reception each table needs to have its own centrepiece and there is no reason that they must include fresh flowers. You may choose to create floral arrangements if you like, or perhaps you would like to make a centrepiece of chocolate, silk or paper flowers or perhaps coloured sand in beautiful vases. You make the centrepiece unique to your wedding and that will show off your style.

Buffet Style Dinner

If you are an amateur chef, or maybe just enjoy cooking or know someone who does, you can create your own buffet style dinner for the reception. If you don’t have a large guest list this can be perfect in order to keep costs down and to put your own flair into your reception meal.

 

 

10 Questions to Ask When You Visit Wedding Venues

earcandy

Your band, food, and dress may set the mood for the wedding, but your venue is what will determine your guests’ ultimate comfort and enjoyment of the evening.The venue is the first thing your guests see upon their arrival, and their first impression will determine whether or not they choose to stay on.Don’t be so drawn to the appeal of the venue that you overlook some very important things that will cost you in the long run. Here are some questions you should ask to ensure that you get the most out of your venue.

How many events will you host on that day?

A venue that hosts more than one event per day may pose a few challenges. If you’re having a morning wedding or a corporate event, you might feel rushed to end the event so the venue could be made ready for the evening. A late evening wedding could be just as risky: You won’t want to arrive to a dirty venue and worn out staff.

What’s the maximum number of guests you can accommodate?

The venue manager should be able to tell you how much people you can seat comfortably at the venue and what the venue limits are based on the fire code. Find out what the limits are. On a different note, if you’re hosting an intimate reception, some venues have a minimum number – and if you fall short, they’ll charge the difference. Therefore, it’s important to ask about minimum numbers as well.

What does the fee include?

Most venues charge a base fee and charge extra for tables, chairs, and linens. Don’t make assumptions as to what’s included in the price. Ask the manager to list everything that’s included in the fee.

Can we bring our own drinks?

You’ll save a lot of money if you’re allowed to bring your own drinks. If you’re thinking of supplying your own booze, you’d better get clearance from the venue before you proceed.

Will we need to bring in sound equipment?

If you have booked party entertainment then you will need to check about the sound equipment. Ballrooms and upscale country clubs usually have built-in audio equipment in place, so the band will be spared the trouble of walking with speakers and other audio equipment. If you plan to get married at a museum or similar place, you’ll need to ask about sound equipment – and most likely, you’ll need to get your own.

Are there any areas that would be off-limits?

If you’re booking the venue because you want access to the beautiful grounds, you’d better ask about it. Don’t assume that your fee will give you access to the entire location.

How late can our guests stay for the party?

Five hours is a lot of time for a wedding party. It should give you enough time for cocktails, dinner, and dancing. You’ll have to pay by the hour if you want to have a late party, but you’ll have to find out if the venue will have any opposition to a late night party.

What about a noise ordinance?

You won’t want to find out, too late, about any noise ordinances implemented at the venue. Make sure to ask about any limitations before you book the venue.

If you would like to learn more about what our bands have to offer or how earcandy can help you, then please feel free to get in touch with one our friendly team.

 

 

How To Pick The Perfect Wedding Venue For Flawless Entertainment

make it personal

You’ve chosen your dress, picked out the wedding rings, planned the menu, commissioned the cake, booked a spectacular venue, and even hired your favorite classical band for the evening. Your to-do list is complete, and now you’re just waiting for that special first dance in the arms of your new husband as your guests circle around you both on the dance floor. But wait! Have you considered that the venue you chose may not be appropriate for the type of entertainment you selected? It’s crucial to choose to right band – you’re talking about your wedding entertainment after all- but it is just as important to pick the right venue.

The venue manager will sell you on all the extras, like free decorations, extra chairs, location, view, and drinks, but they barely pay attention to how appropriate the venue will be for hosting a wedding band. Your guests will be taken in with the view and the food, but it’s the music that will keep their attention throughout the evening. So a venue is only as good as its ability to accommodate your musicians. Here are some ways the perfect venue can prove disadvantageous when it comes to musical entertainment.

Design With Entertainment In Mind

Before you choose a venue, think of where your musical band will set up. Will there be sufficient room for the band members and their equipment? Will you have enough space to accommodate your guests on the dance floor? Ideally, the dance floor should be located in front the band. Depending on your setup, there should also be room enough for the buffet because if you place it in another room, guests will have to walk away from the band.

Timings For Service

Find out if the venue is flexible with their timings. If they must close at a certain time, will they provide an alternative area for guests to hang around? Will they allow early access to the band so they can set up and do sound tests before your guests arrive? They’ll also need time to pack up after the event. Check the parking area – is there a place the band can park with easy access for off-loading their equipment?

Sound Quality

Most venues have a sound limiter installed. Ask about the sound limiter before you confirm your booking. Is the limiter properly installed? A poorly installed limiter will cut the power at the sounds of the very first note. Have a band member come in and ask questions about the limiter and other restrictions to eliminate unpleasant surprises on your wedding day.

Wedding Reception Fun.

The ceremony is over, the formal pictures taken; now it’s time to relax and have a good time with your family and friends, and celebrate your union. Your reception is the place to have fun, kick off your heels and dance while mingling with your guests. Here are some great ideas to make your reception fun, fantastic and memorable.

Slow Dance or Fast Dance

You may opt for a traditional slow dance as your first dance of the night, or you might go the jazz, toe-tapping route. Instead of starting off your married life with a slow song, pick a quick, fun song that will set the tone of the evening.

Have a Kid’s Room

If children are invited to the wedding and reception, than have a kid’s room for them. Kids can get bored easily, so stock crayons, colouring books, games, movies and a babysitter in a different room to allow their parents to enjoy the evening dancing.

Karaoke Night

If you have guests who like to get up and sing in a pub or bar, then why not offer a karaoke night at your wedding? Guests can get up and sing their favourite songs played by a DJ or karaoke band – which can be found at agencies like eyecandy online, and just have a great time.

Set up a Photo Booth

An original and fun idea to have at your wedding is a photo booth, where guests can take pictures of themselves to remember the fun they had. You can either keep the pictures for yourself and place them in a scrapbook or photo album, or you can let your guests take them home for their own enjoyment.

Have an Espresso Bar

Most receptions offer wine and beer to their guests, but how about for those coffee lovers – an espresso bar, or coffee bar? This unique idea allows guests to brew their own cappuccinos, espressos, lattes or regular coffee. It’s a great way for your guests to get involved and still have the beverage they desire.

Hire Professional Entertainment

You could hire a DJ or party bands to play the music at your wedding reception, or you can hire a live band to perform. This route makes for a personal and fun evening, as the band can take requests, allow singers to sing along with the band, and even host karaoke segments of the evening.

 

Getting the entertainment just right…..

 earcandylogo

The Master of Ceremonies

MC stands for ‘Master of Ceremony’ and is a must for every wedding. When most people hear the word MC, they generally think of a rap artist. Now, as cool (or horrific, depending on how you feel about rap music) as it would be to have Eminem or Jay Z performing alongside the band or DJ at your wedding, a rapper is not really the type of MC a wedding needs. No, a wedding ‘Master of Ceremony’ needs a broader range of skills. Some of the skills that a wedding MC needs to possess are the same as those successful rap artists need: personality, a sense of timing and a commanding voice. However, a wedding is made up of a diverse audience and an MC needs to ensure that he/she can inspire a large group and appeal to all ages, backgrounds, and musical tastes. Announcements are a big part of the role and MC must be able to command, keep the interest of the audience during the key moments of the wedding, and make sure boredom never becomes an issue.

 

The Importance of the Wedding MC

Wedding music is an essential component, not from an entertainment point of view, but in the entire structure of the day. Whether you are hiring a band or DJ or both (both is good) for your big day, you need someone to take hold of the microphone and make the key announcements necessary for the smooth running of the ceremony. This person will be the MC. They could be the lead singer of the band, the DJ, or a separate person but working in conjunction with the two, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they have skills needed to grab the attention of the crowd.

Wedding Entertainment

How to Choose Your First Dance Song

Choosing your first dance song may push you to the limits, especially if you and your intended have different tastes. Here are some tips to make the decision as simple as possible.

Decide together

Your decision will be a lot easier if you both decide to choose a song that has special meaning to the both of you. Friends and family will offer suggestions, but it must be a personal choice between the couple and no one else. The song could be one that played a significant role in your relationship.

Timing

While every couple should choose the first song as they see fit, it’s a good idea to choose a song that’s romantic to set the tone for the reception. Your favorite upbeat songs could come later on, but for the first dance, take the tone down so you can revel in each other’s arms. The song should be long enough for other couples to join in but sufficiently short so that your guests don’t get bored.

Break from the norm

If you’re not a traditional couple, you might want to break from the norm and go for a first dance with a difference. Couples today are pulling off choreographed routines to rock out their first dance. You can hire a wedding choreographer, sing to one another, or involve your wedding party in a group routine.

Will you rehearse?

Some songs are trickier to dance to than others. And unless you and your groom are professional dancers, you’ll want to choose a simple song if you don’t have time to rehearse your dance. Some couples prefer to plan every aspect of the dance while others like to keep it spontaneous. Choose a song based on skill level and your commitment to rehearse.

Lyrics matter

Will you dance to a song about heartbreak and separation just because you liked to tune but didn’t pay attention to the lyrics? Run through the song to ensure that the lyrics are appropriate for the occasion. Don’t be that couple who looks back in regret at their song choice. When you’ve arrived at a song choice, it’s important to let the DJ or wedding band know. It is especially important for the wedding band since they’ll need to rehearse the song. Ask them to provide a copy of their version of the song, so you can practice and get the timing right on the dance floor. If you’re still stuck for ideas, here are some beautiful first dance songs below.

 

Andy Williams – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

The Beatles – All You Need Is Love

Ella Fitzgerald – At Last

Carpenters – We’ve Only Just Begun

Adele – Make You Feel My Love

Barry White – My First, My Last, My Everything

Lenny Kravitz – I Belong to You

Whitney Houston –  I Wanna Dance with Somebody

 

 

Top 9 musical mistakes at weddings…..

 No time for mistakes

No one can argue that your wedding dress is important and your catering should be on point, but it’s the music that your guests will remember most once the wedding is over. Music plays a role in every aspect of the day, from the ceremony to the last dance at the reception. Your music should also reflect your personality, but there some ways you can get it all wrong. Here are 9 wedding mistakes you don’t want to make.

Starting the Ceremony in Silence

Don’t make your guests wait in silence for your big entrance. They might be seated for 30-60 minutes waiting for the bridal party to appear, that could get uncomfortable. Play some music in the background to soothe their nerves as they wait.

Not Doing A Sound Check

Sound checks are especially important when you’re having your wedding in a remote location. Sounds in the environment can easily compete with and drown out the sounds from the band. Work with the performers beforehand to make sure that the elements won’t affect the music.

Playing The Wrong Music At the Church

Find out about any restrictions on the type of music that you can play in the church. Most churches restrict the playing of secular music in the main hall, so find out what’s prohibited before you make your selections. While you’re at it, you should make sure that there’s space for your live band at the altar.

No End To The First Dance 

Choose the song for your first dance carefully for some not so obvious reasons. Consider the length of the song because dancing alone with spouse with all eyes on you could get uncomfortable after the first five minutes. Time the dance and practice with a demo from the band so you get the beat right.

Don’t Unearth Your Past

Go over the playlist with the DJ or band before your wedding day. You’ll want them to play the songs you approve and avoid the songs that you don’t approve of. The wrong song at the wrong time could unearth painful memories from the past and cause the floodgates to open up. Make sure that your spouse goes over the list as well.

Blowing Out the Speakers

Your wedding should be a classy event, not a frat party. Keep the volumes to a reasonable level so that you don’t offend older guests or exceed any decibel limits at the venue. Discuss volumes levels for specific intervals with the DJ beforehand, so he knows when the turn it down and when to pump up the volume. Give one of your bridesmaids the responsibility to keep tabs on the volume, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about on your wedding day.

Playing Hard Rock During Dinner

Hard rock during dinner makes for indigestion. Music should always fit the mood, and when your guests sit down to eat they want to relax and savor the food, not think about how fast they could get away from the dinner table. A professional band or DJ will know how to select the right music to suit your guests’ mood, and that includes choosing dinner-friendly selections.

Vouching R-Rated Songs

Leave the R-rated songs for after the reception if you dare. Your friends and family won’t be appreciative of songs with provocative lyrics, so leave them for the bedroom or when you’re in the company of your spouse.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Your taste in music matters, but don’t subject your guests to all your favourite songs and nothing else. Include some selections from your favourite genre, but consider music that your guests might like as well. Group your guests into categories and choose 4-5 selections for every category. If it helps, ask guests to include a favourite song on the RSVP and you can also get some advice from the DJ. Make the event memorable by giving everyone a few of songs they like.

How a professional entertainment agency like earcandy can help you…..

dj

A professional DJ or band will set the mood for your wedding. You might be tempted to make a choice based on price, but there are some other very important considerations. Professionals offer a lot more, and that would be reflected in the price they charge. Here are some reasonable expectations.

  • Both DJs and bands should be able to provide advice on song choices.
  • They should be on time and complete all song checks before the main events.
  • They should be friendly and approachable to your guests.
  • They should be dressed appropriately for the event.
  • They should have equipment that is well kept and in good working order.
  • They should have public liability insurance when looking to hire a band
  • Live bands may not have the diversity in music as a DJ, but they give energy to the crowd that a DJ cannot provide.

 

5 Ways To Use A Live Band or DJ At Your Wedding

Believe it or not, you can use a mix of a live band and DJ at your wedding for an interesting mix of music. You can use both to keep the energy going throughout the party and to provide a mix of music that everyone will enjoy. Here are five ways to use a DJ-live music combo for an unforgettable wedding.

Black & Gold LiveBand and DJ for Dancing

The band will pull almost all of your guests on to the dance floor. There’s no way they will sit down when popular songs are being recreated before their eyes. When the band takes a break or complete their sets, you can bring the DJ in to keep the dance going. The band will pique your guests’ interest and interact with them, but the DJ will offer a wider selection of songs. When you combine them, you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Use a String Quartet for the ceremony and DJ for Dancing

If you’re hosting the ceremony and the reception at the same venue, you can hire a string band to play at the ceremony. You can even book them for an extra hour to play during the cocktail hour. Once that is over, you can let the DJ take over for the dance at the reception.

Jazz for Cocktails and Dinner and DJ for Dancing

Start the reception on the right note. A jazz band playing light music during the cocktail hour and dinner will make a huge impression on your guests. You can go with a smaller jazz band if you don’t have a huge budget or a lot of space at the venue. The DJ can pick up the energy and provide music for dancing after dinner and speeches.

Band Dancing Early in the Reception and DJ Later On

Have the band start playing as the bride and groom make their entrance to the reception. They can begin their first dance then and there, and the band could continue with formal music throughout the dinner. If you’ve booked extra sets, the band can transition to party music after dinner. Ask the DJ to take over once the band is over for the night.

Strings Dinner, Band Dancing and DJ Later On

Another way to split your music budget and get a wide variety of music throughout the reception is to book a small string section for dinner and a band to kick off the first dance. The band can continue playing a few sets. Complete the night with a DJ, for those guests who have the energy to dance all night long. These are just some ways to combine a DJ and band for a unique blend of music. It might be possible to book both through one Entertainment Company, but if not, you should ensure that all the musicians are professional and willing to work together for the benefit of your guests.

 

4 Tips For Booking The Best Live Band

Groove Enviroment 4

A party is not a party if there’s no live band. Party bands bring energy and life to the party – it’s the type of energy that you won’t get from a DJ. They’ll bring the fun, the wow factor, and they’ll get your guests on their feet and dancing all night long. Use the tips provided below to book the best live band for hire for your upcoming event or party.

Identify the Theme

Your search for a band will be based on your party’s theme and the type of party you’re having. There are live bands that specialize in wedding parties, corporate parties, kids’ parties and others. Specialty bands may or may not save you money when you book one, so weigh the costs of specialty band versus a more general band. The only downside is that you might sacrifice the quality of the entertainment. For instance, a band that performs mostly for kids parties will know how to interact with children and might even include some extra entertainment for them. A general band may not necessarily have what it takes for performing for this younger crowd. The same goes for wedding and corporate bands. Apart from the type of party, you need to also consider your theme and choose the band to suit. Some examples of themed bands are steel bands, Latin bands, Celtic bands, classical, etc.

Check The Band’s References

Your reference check must be thorough. Don’t be so concerned with the quality of the music that you fail to ask about the band’s level of professionalism. Were they well-mannered and accommodating? Did they arrive well before the party to set up their equipment and do sound checks? Did they work well with one another and interact with your guests? Did they communicate your announcements in a way the guests understood? Did the band make an overall good impression on all the references? These are just some areas that you should check on because they are just as important as the music the band plays.

Go Over Your Songs

You can let the band play its own repertoire of songs, or you can volunteer some song selections. It all depends on the type of party you’re having. Use this time to sit with the band to ensure that their personalities are a right fit for the guests at your party.

Sign The Contract And Make Your Deposit

Once you’re satisfied with the band you’ve chosen, go ahead and review and sign the contract. Some points that you should pay special attention to are the cancellation policy, the number of band members, the instruments used, costs for extra sets, things you need to supply, and breaks. At earcandy we have this all covered and one of our sales team will be more than happy to talk you through the process.

Odds & Ends

Odds & ends wedding planning

10 Reasons To Say “I Do” To Wedding Insurance

 

Things often go wrong, so smart couples prepare for the unexpected. Wedding insurance must be at the top of your agenda, especially if you’re having a large budget wedding. Stolen rings, absentee vendors, family emergencies, and accidents are just some of the things that can go wrong. Wedding insurance will protect your assets so you won’t have to begin your marriage facing a possible financial ruin.No couple wants to think about the things that could go wrong on their special day, but these are very real scenarios they must prepare for. Protect your investment in your wedding and save yourself the emotional distress. Here are 10 reasons to say yes to wedding insurance.

Unpredictable Weather

If you’re having an outdoor wedding in a place where the weather is predictable, wedding insurance is a must. Flooding and other natural disasters can take place at the moment’s notice, so it pays to be prepared.

Wedding Wear

Wedding clothes will take a huge chunk out of your wedding budget. A missing or soiled gown will cost a lot to replace without insurance.

Photography Retakes

There are so many factors that could influence the quality of your wedding pictures. What if the photographer doesn’t show up? What if his equipment malfunctions while taking pictures on the day? If the pictures don’t come out as expected the photographer may or may not refund your money. But if you decide to get everyone together at another time to retake pictures, it could cost a lot and insurance will help with the cost.

Lost or Stolen Rings

A weddings ring slides down the drain or a best friend runs off with your prized diamond. These things happen, but you won’t need to fret if your policy will replace it.

Double Booking

As professional as we expect venue managers to be, double booking is a sad reality. Insurance will provide the money to book another venue.

Vendor Goes Out Of Business

Millions of businesses go under every year, and bridal vendors are not immune. A bankrupt company cannot refund your deposit, so you must have a backup plan.

Death

You may be forced to postpone the wedding if a close family member dies. Insurance will help with the wedding expenses when the vendor refuses to refund your money.

Thieves Work Around The Clock

You arrive at the venue, only to realize that all your wedding gifts are gone. Include coverage for theft in your policy and the insurance will refund the value of your gifts.

Travel

Destination weddings are particularly prone to travel related problems. If you cannot fly as planned, all your money could go down the drain without some form of protection.

Special Event Liability Protection

A guest trips over your DJ or wedding band’s cord, or falls down the staircase. Specialty event coverage will protect you if there are any injuries or accidents on your wedding day.

Decorations and stationery

Decorations and stationery are the small details of a wedding which can pull everything together and really put a personal spin on the whole day.  Unique table decoration ideas include:

  • Pictures of the bride and groom – these can be as place cards, or perhaps even next to the table numbers, using pictures from their childhood at the same age as the table number in question.
  • Non floral centre pieces – Flowers are beautiful but quite often expensive.  To save on pennies and make the reception tables stand out, why not use jars or vases filled with coloured stones or water and floating candles?

Below are some wording examples of invitation wording for you to adapt to suit your wedding style

Casual

Gerri Jones and Greg Smith Would like to invite you to help celebrate their wedding On 25th May 2012At St Johns Church, Westminster, London At 3 o’clockFollowed by a reception at the Ari Bar, Westminster, London Please RSVP with any special dietary requests by March 17th 2012

Formal

The honor of your presence is requested at the marriage of Miss Jessica Lucy Saint To Mr John Lucas Wright On Saturday the First October Two Thousand and Twelve At Four o’clock Jaspers Park, London Followed by an evening reception RSVP. Depending on your budget and tastes you can either design your own invitations to give a personal touch or you can get them professional printed.

Transport

Transport to and from your wedding and reception venues can be an aspect you may forget to budget for. Some brides have their hearts set on arriving in a horse-drawn carriage, while others may not have given it much thought. Whatever your opinion, you will need to arrange something in advance and, the sooner you do it, the less you’ll have to worry about nearer the wedding day.Firstly, you need to decide where you and the groom will be staying the night before the wedding and with whom. Traditionally the bride gets ready with the bridesmaids and travels with them to the ceremony along with the father of the bride, while the groom gets ready with the best man and ushers. However, it’s up to you who you would like to arrive with.

 

Next think about the distance from the place you are getting ready to the venue. If your venue is only five minutes away, you should avoid spending a lot on expensive transport.

Remember that you will also need to organise transport for everyone else getting ready with you, as well as transport arrangements from the ceremony venue to the reception venue, if it’s at a different location, and then from your reception venue to the hotel at the end of the night.

 

From the traditional to the quirky, there are lots of different options for your wedding day transport. Here are some ideas:

  • Cars: Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes, Jaguar, Mini, Beetle and Limousine
  • Motorbike and side-car
  • Hot air balloon
  • Helicopter
  • Horse and carriage
  • Red bus
  • Mini bus
  • Boat
  • Bicycle
  • Vespa

 

Thank you & Gifts

If you have a template thank-you email to send out to guests who attended your special day, think again! Thanks to texts, email and messages via social networking, the handwritten letter is now even more special to receive. As well as reflecting the time and effort your guests have put in to attending and sharing in your special day, according to a recent survey by Staples Customisable Arc Notepad, 78% of people questioned said that a handwritten card is much more personal and meaningful to receive. However, with the rush of organising your big day, the stresses that come with it, and everything in between, it’s all too easy for the bride to forget the importance of such a method  – something which the guest will far more appreciate than any other note of gratitude.

In fact, a third of people also said that they like putting pen to paper when communicating with wedding guests because it is in keeping with their traditional values, and therefore in keeping with the spirit of their wedding. Anthropologist Kate Fox said: “When you think about it, guests have given an awful lot of time, effort and money not just for buying a wedding present but for travel, a new outfit, accommodation and so on, so the least a bride can do is send a written letter.”When quizzed about whether it’s the bride’s job, and her job only, to send thank you letters to guests she quipped: “Why can’t grooms pull their weight? It’s as much the grooms job as well.”Kate goes on to say that if you send an email to say thank you, the person receiving it can feel a little bit insulted because they know how quick and easy it is to write one.

So, brides AND grooms who have that template thank-you email ready to send out, think again! With pen and paper to hand, then, the Staples research also shows that 70% of us still use this method to make to-do lists, with all brides needing a notepad on hand to jot down any tasks and to make sure nothing slips through the cracks – plus, doesn’t it feel great when you get to tick off all those tasks!

 

Makeup Emergencies!

 

Just to wrap up our wedding planning guide we’ll end off with a touch of make up ! No bride wants to think about anything going wrong on her big day but it’s always best to be prepared for the worst. Here are a few emergency tips if should you need them.

Sunburn

If you’re getting married abroad, you may be tempted to relax in the sun before your wedding day. Avoid sunbathing in direct sunlight as you may get uneven tan marks or sunburnt. If you do get sunburnt, apply aloe vera or vitamin E cream immediately to the affected areas and avoid any more contact with the sun. If you face has turned quite red, you can use a green-toned correcting foundation which will help balance the redness, but make sure you blend it in well!

Flushed skin and rashes

Your wedding day can be quite a stressful occasion, so if you break out in a rash apply some lotion to help soothe your skin. Take some time out to relax and to calm down but if all else fails, you can apply some concealer foundation to the affected area.

Puffy eyes

You will probably find you don’t get much sleep the night before your wedding, which may result in puffy eyes. If you do wake up with raised eyes, splash your eyes with ice-cold water and cover them with cold tea bags, cucumber slices or a cold flannel and lie down for 20 mintues.

Spots

No one wants spots on their special day but if you find you do, ensure that you squeeze the spot to drain the fluid as early as possible and then apply an ice cube to help with the redness.  Once you have moisturised and had your hair and make-up done – no one will even notice!

 

Keep Calm & Carry on. Most importantly you need to relax and enjoy your dream day.

Keep calm and carry on

Success is more than luck, it’s about planning towards achieving it.

Avatar Author: Ben Rogers

8 responses to “The ultimate wedding planning guide”

  1. Avatar Cynthia Jovel says:

    Thanks Earcandy! This guide has helped me tremendously in my wedding planning.

  2. The best wedding planning guide around, maybe a little on the long side for a read but the information is just second to none – please can you contact me on my email as I would like to discuss some entertainment options as you’re band the somebodys really looks like it could be a good fit for my wedding.

  3. Avatar earcandy says:

    No problem Cynthia! We’re glad it helped. We wish you all the best with your wedding and if you’re looking for some of the UK’s finest wedding entertainment then please check out some of our great wedding entertainment acts here.

  4. Avatar earcandy says:

    Hi. LotusFlower. One of our team has send an email to your above address. Please could you contact us here as well just so we ensure we have the correct contact details. Here is the link to the online video for the somebodys. We hope you enjoy, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  5. Avatar JellyHog says:

    One of the best wedding planning guides I’ve seen around, really appreciate it.

  6. Avatar Anne says:

    Wow, this is an incredibly comprehensive list! Thank you so much! I feel like the people I know who had the most stressful weddings were very disorganized and last-minute in their planning. I tend to be a very organized, low-key person and I intend to carry that through the planning process so the big day can be enjoyable for everyone! We’re starting to plan well in advance and I’m printing out this list to use along side our planning notebook. Thanks again!

  7. Avatar earcandy says:

    No problem Anne. We’re glad it’s helped you and a big thank you for taking the time out to leave a comment. We wish you all the best with your wedding planning.

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