Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding DJ

Wedding DJ

Wedding DJChoosing a DJ for your wedding day can be a tricky process. You have the option of doing your own research or hiring someone from word of mouth. Either way, you will want to be prepared with a list of do’s and dont’s that you want for your wedding. Making sure to choose a DJ that will cooperate and help make your wedding day a memorable one can be easy with a few tips.

1) Communicate your needs to the DJ you are planning to hire. Make sure you let him/her know what you want and what you do not want in terms of music, talking, and anything else that may come up. If you want an even firmer contract, put your list of requests in writing.

2) Be as specific as you can when it comes to your playlist by creating your own with following categories:

Ceremony

– Prelude music

– Music for the bridesmaids’ processional

– Music for the bride’s processional

– Recessional music

Reception

– Entrance song

– First dance song

– Dinner music

– Cake cutting song

– Bouquet/garter toss songs

– Last dance

3) Make sure to let the DJ know whether you want him to take requests or not. If you would prefer he not take requests, you can ask him to tell your guests that he does not have the music being requested.

4) Be detailed and specific when it comes to your “Do Not Play” list. There are songs you may not want to hear on your special day and the DJ needs to know exactly what they are.

5) Get your playlist to your DJ as early as possible. Every DJ has a different system and some of them need time to make sure they have all your music ready in time for your wedding. Try to have all song selections on a playlist no less than 30 days prior to your wedding date.

If you’re interested in learning about our St. Charles wedding venue, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to help host your big day.

Wedding Planning Tips from the Better Business Bureau

Credit card with wedding figurines

Credit card with wedding figurinesThe Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging spouses-to-be to make sure to inform themselves before making any purchases toward their wedding. The average wedding costs more than $15,000, so it is important to take every precaution against dealing with sketchy vendors.  The BBB offers several suggestions including making sure to get everything in writing, especially cancellation policies. And of course, a business’ reputation can be found  by going through the BBB.

The following are tips on how to best avoid wedding hassles:

  • Be weary of vendors that employ high-pressure sales tactics to coerce you into committing to a product or service that you are not 100 percent sure about.
  • Make sure to receive a copy of all sales promotions and promises in writing including dates, prices, name brands, products and anything else that may apply to your wedding day. Any oral agreements should also be included in written form.
  • Log on to www.mbc.bbb.org to check out a vendor’s reputation with the BBB. Make sure to be informed about a particular vendor before signing a contract.
  • Try to pay with credit or debit cards. If you want a refund or a cancellation, a credit card offers the protection of being able to retrieve your money, whereas cash does not offer the same comfort.
  • Do not get caught by surprise and confirm all wedding day services at least a week prior to the big event.
  • Be weary of extremely discounted wedding gowns. You will most likely end up with a dress that is of poor quality and fit.

If you are interested in learning additional information about our St. Charles wedding venue, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to help plan and host your special day.

Tips For Personalizing Your Wedding

Personalize your wedding to fit your tastes

Personalize your wedding to fit your tastesThere is no such thing as a “conventional” wedding anymore. Couples nowadays are increasingly looking into personalizing their wedding day into something unique that they can call their own. Bringing out the uniqueness in your wedding-day food, music, invitations and everything else can be easy with a little brainstorming.

Start by writing down your favorite things to see and do as a couple, and as individuals. This list can contain anything from favorite activaties to favorite food and spots to relax in. Though it may not seem like anything you come up with will fit into your special day, it can be surprising how one interest can spark an idea for a theme. An example of a possible wedding theme can be pulled from sharing the common interest of going to the movies together. From this you can:

  • Serve gourmet popcorn as a late night snack
  • Play your favorite movie clips on screens in the background
  • Obtain invitations that look like movie stubs
  • Use old movie reels as décor

What if you’ve named your favorite city? Theme’s from this can include:

Favorite city is New York (bride) and Paris (groom)

  • Offer French macaroons as favors
  • Include late-night food options such as pizza and a hot dog cart
  • Name your tables after New York / Paris street names or museums

Tying your theme with the small details of your wedding day can take time, but can also be fun. Make sure to also consider what type of tone you are trying to set, and budget accordingly based on the type of décor and stationery you are looking to invest in. Personalizing your wedding, whether it takes place in an old movie theater or a St. Charles wedding venue, can be fun for you and your guests.

If you are interested in learning additional information about our St. Charles wedding venue, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to help plan and host your special day.

Tips to Make Your Wedding a Digital One

Man taking wedding photo with digital camera

Man taking wedding photo with digital cameraIn today’s modern world, it is no surprise to see that many more couples are looking for ways to make their weddings a little more digital friendly. Most couples are already taking advantage of today’s technology by sharing their important wedding details online, but there are even more ways to use digital techniques to save on time and money when planning your big day. here are a few:

Digital Stationery

Save time and money by sending digital save-the-dates and invitations. Rather than spending time addressing, stamping and collecting paper invitations, you can just set up a guest list on your wedding website and allow guests to RSVP that way. Guests can immediately notify you if they plan on attending your St. Charles wedding reception and wedding.

Photo Sharing Account

Though placing cameras on every guest table was the thing to do, it is now no longer relevant. Most wedding photos will be taken digitally, whether it be with a smartphone or a digital camera. Create an account on a photo sharing website like Flickr or Shutterfly so your guests can share pictures of your special day even faster.

Digital Favors

Avoid the hassle of placing wedding favors on each table that can be accidentally forgotten and opt to go in another, more tech-savvy route. Give your guests a digital gift by placing an access code or a gift card with the information they will need to go online and retrieve their gift.

Stream Your Wedding

If a certain guest cannot attend your special day, or your wedding is being held abroad, do not fret. You can now stream your ceremony and reception so your loved ones who couldn’t make it can have a first row seat to your celebration.

If you are interested in learning about our St. Charles wedding receptions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to help host your big day.

Bridal Trends for 2013

Fake cakes can save hundreds


Fake cakes can save hundredsBrides nowadays have a much wider selection of choices than ever before. From fake cakes to wedding dresses with pockets, the choices are limitless when planning out wedding details. It can be overwhelming having to plan out every small detail from décor to choosing the right location. Fortunately, there are some recent trends you can take advantage of in order to have a fun, affordable wedding at your St. Charles wedding venue.

Ever considered food trucks? It’s the new trend for weddings throughout the country. Whether its after midnight, or during the reception, food trucks are a fun way to keep the celebration going, and it’s affordable. With prices ranging from $6 to $12 per person, hiring a food truck is an enjoyable way to make your special day a memorable one for you and your guests

Yes, you’ve had your dream dress planned out in your head, but nowadays there are many more choices than the conventional white. Colors can now be seen in every aspect of a wedding gown, including lining and accessories. Brides are also now allowing their bridesmaids to choose the color and style of their dresses. Let go of your former ideas and have fun with your bridesmaids.

And finally, brides all over the nation are taking part in wedding cake alternatives with choices such as sweet buffets. These “candy buffets”  can include chocolate bars, whoopee pies, cupcakes and anything else your sweet tooth desires. It’s fun and can be a cheap alternative to an expensive wedding cake. Another alternative many are employing are fake cakes. The trick is to display a fake cake, then take a sheet cake and deliver that to your guests. No one will be the wiser,
and you will save hundreds.

If you are interested in learning about our St Charles wedding venue, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to help host your big day.

How To Choose the Perfect Wedding Colors

Orange wedding hall

Orange wedding hallWhen planning for your wedding, it is a given that one of the first things you will need to do is choose a specific color palette. Whether you’re planning the celebratory event at a Chicago wedding venue or a St. Charles wedding venue, color and style are important. The colors you choose for your wedding will ultimately set the mood of the entire event. Following are a few tips on how to go about choosing the best colors for the decor, flowers and all other wedding details.

1. Browse for colors outside your home. Any venue will work for this task, from an upscale restaurant to a retail store. Make sure to choose a venue where there are a variety of colors to examine. Take note of the colors that immediately catch your eye and pay attention to the details, because the small details can help when developing a color scheme for your special day.

2. Take a look around your home. Are there any color patterns that continuously keep popping up? The colors you’ve chosen to decorate your home can also make for an interesting color palette for your wedding.

3. Consider the mood you want to set for your big day. Are you looking more towards fun and sweet or dramatic and elegant? These details can greatly influence the colors you will want to set for your wedding decor and will ultimately end up setting the tone for your special day.

4. Forget your preconceived ideas of what a color represents. Though orange may seem like a fall color at first glance, a light orange can give the feeling of fun and frivolity. Thinking outside the box in terms of colors can make for a great way to choose the perfect colors for your special occasion.

If you are interested in learning about our St. Charles wedding venue, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to help host your big day.

What Are Some Fun Wedding Shower Games?

Games can add an element of competition to your bridal shower, giving your guests the chance to win something small like a candle or gift card. There are traditional games that have been played for years, but feel free to play anything you think your guests will enjoy. Just keep them fun and make sure they focus on the bride! Here are some ideas…

Purse Bingo: Each guest holds their purse while a list of items is being read aloud. The list begins with common things like lipstick or a makeup compact, but moves towards more unusual objects like a sewing kit or toothbrush that not as many people carry around. Whoever pulls the item out of her purse first wins a prize!

Safety Pins: When guests arrive, give them a safety pin to affix to their clothing. Post a list of words like “wedding” or the groom’s name that people aren’t allowed to say, and anytime a person says one of them, another guest can take her safety pin. The guest who winds up with the most safety pins wins!

Marriage Recipe: Hand-out recipe cards to every guest and ask them to write down a creative recipe for a good marriage. Then have the bride read them aloud and try to guess who wrote what.

The Dating Game: Before the shower, ask the bride a list of questions about herself and the groom. These questions can include things like “When was your first kiss?”, “Where was your first date?” Be sure that she keeps her answers a secret from attendees, and at the shower, give everyone a list of the questions to fill-out. The couple will sit on chairs in front of everyone and the groom answers each question, “Dating Game” style. Whoever gets the most answers right wins a prize!

Ways to Make a Creative Exit from Your Wedding

We’ve all watched the entrances and exits on YouTube that have millions of hits. And of course, there was the famous episode of “The Office” when Jim and Pam finally tied the knot. Who can forget that entrance? When it comes to exiting your wedding creatively, here are some ideas!

Go For a Ride: Put a “Just Married” basket on the front of a bike and the fun tin cans on the back. It’s a cute way to ride away from your wedding!

Umbrellas: Rain or shine, colorful umbrellas can make for a great photo-op. Hand them out to your bridal party to form an arch as you leave your ceremony.

 

Scooters: Consider renting scooters that you can ride off on. Or, if you’re motorcycle fans, you might give that some thought too!

Light the Way: Give your guests sparklers to light at the end of the reception. They look great in photos and will make a fantastic exit!

Golf Carts: Sitting in the backseat of a golf cart means you’ll be able to wave goodbye to your family and guests as you drive off towards your new life together.

Vintage Car: An old-fashioned car is a great way to go from ceremony to your reception.

Get Carried Away: Nothing is quite as romantic as the idea of the bride being carried over the threshold by her groom. Make sure you pose for a few photos at your threshold so you have the memory to add to your wedding album!

Throw Flower Petals: It’s classic, and classic things never go out of style! You can buy or make simple paper cones and fill them with rose petals, or any other kind of petal you like. Then simply leave them hanging at the end of each aisle or assign someone to quickly hand them out as guests exit the church.

The Details Every Bride Forgets

You probably think you have ever detail covered for your big day, but this list of details that most brides overlook may have you thinking twice! Make your list, and then check it twice against this one to ensure that every last detail is accounted for.

  1. A Pretty Dress Hanger: Your dress will likely be professionally photographed, so don’t ruin it with a plastic or wire hanger.
  2. Advising Family of Reserved Seating: Make sure your family knows at the rehearsal where they’re allowed to sit.
  3. Cell Phone Charger: Your phone will be ringing off the hook the day of your wedding, so pack that charger!
  4.  

    Wedding Night Bag: Make sure you pack and overnight bag with the items you’ll need for the morning after your wedding. Have a bridesmaid drop it off wherever you’re staying.

  5. Extra CashYou’ll need extra cash the day of your wedding to tip vendors, so make a stop at the bank the day before.
  6. International Travel Documents: Honeymooning in Fiji? Make sure you have a valid passport!
  7. Thank-You Speech: If you’re going to give a speech, don’t forget to bring it with you!
  8. Assign a Gift Collector: You don’t want to be responsible for the gift table when your guests leave, so appoint someone to handle your gifts.
  9. Day-of-Transportation: How are you getting to your venue?  Make sure that someone is available to drive you!
  10. Pack an Emergency Day-of Kit: It should include bobby pins, a sewing kit, safety pins, clear nail polish, extra pantyhose (if you are wearing it), bandages, aspirin, antacids, tissues, etc…
  11. Bridal Party Gifts: It doesn’t need to be big, but make sure you  bring them something to say thank you.
  12. Toasting Flutes: If you received special toasting flutes, make sure you have them with you on your big day!

Dealing With Divorced Parents at Your Wedding

If yours or your fiancé’s parents are divorced, it can cause a lot of anxiety when you’re planning a wedding. Where do you seat everyone? Will they get along? This is your big day, and you shouldn’t be playing the role of mediator while at the same time reciting your vows. Here are some tips for dealing with divorced parents at your wedding!

  1. Treat Parents Like Adults: It seems silly, but what you should do is treat your parents how they should behave. Adults are, by and large, reasonable creatures, but sometimes they have their moments. If your Dad has his heart set on walking you down the aisle but is afraid your Mom will want her new husband to do it, nip it in the bud from the start. Sit them down and tell them how it’s going to be. Remind them you’re not taking sides, and move on.
  2. You Too Should Act Like an Adult: No tantrums, no screaming, etc… This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be bullied into something you don’t want, but you will have to lead by example in some regards and act like an adult in front of your divorced parents. You can’t change their behavior, but if you change your own, eventually it will rub off on them.
  3. Remember Their Intentions: Hopefully, both sets of parents have your best interests at heart, but remember that each set of parents can have different ideas of what that means. Remind them that you love them both and are really happy that they’re both going to be there to celebrate with you, and that’s all that you want.
  4. Don’t Let Their Failed Marriage Reflect On Your Big Day: Remember, this is your big day and your future marriage has nothing to do with theirs that broke-up. Keep in mind what makes your relationship great, and enjoy your wedding day!