When Planning Your Wedding Reception - Don't Overlook The DJ

The key to a successful wedding reception is planning.  For the most part, brides tend to focus more on the way the room will look, what food will be served and lastly think about the entertainment, simply assuming it will be fun.  How could it not be?  Afterall it is a happy event!

The entertainment is the most crucial factor in whether or not it is a blast or a bust.  So, when planning your celebration here are 5 simple tips as compiled by Brian S Redd - a very well respected DJ turned DJ Tutor - often featured in Disc Jockey News.  I added in my thoughts - comments under each one, to further help you in your planning.

5 Tips To Make Your Wedding Reception As Successful As Possible
By Brian S Redd

1 — When doing seating arrangements, Do Not Put Grandma In Front Of The Speakers.
Your older guests usually want to chat. Even at lower dinner music volumes, they may have a hard time doing so. The most ideal spot for Grandma would be as far away from the DJ as possible. Typically, your younger guests should have no problem hearing & engaging in conversation at those tables closest to the sound system.
( This is especially true for anyone who wears hearing aids.  The volume from the speakers can be painful to hearing aid wearers, even at a low volume)

2 — When making your floor plan, let your DJ help.
Catering and wedding planners can put together some beautiful floor plans that work well for food & beverage. However, an experienced DJ will be able to give you some great tips on arranging a room to maximize the overall success for the entertainment portion of the evening.
(Ideally - the DJ needs to be close to the dancefloor and should have room in front of their setup so people can come up and make requests etc)

3 — Have a Timeline flow chart for the evening.
Timelines are the best way to organize everything from cocktails & dinner to cake cutting & dancing. Your DJ can help make a flow chart that works for you. The specific times you outline may not actually work out to-the-minute, but it will for sure make the evening flow smoother without accidently leaving anything out.
( our planners and Timeline forms do just that!)

4 — If you have a wedding planner, don’t forget to connect them with the DJ.
This is overlooked more often than you would think. When it comes to a well planned reception, it’s always best when all of your vendors are on the same page.
(it is crucial to a smooth event that the DJ, Wedding Planner, and Photographer all to know when you want to cut the cake, etc and work together to make it perfect)

5 — Hire a DJ you trust.
This person will play a big part in the most important day of your life. Regardless of price, make sure it’s someone you like, understands what you want & don’t want, and can Help Make Your Reception As Successful As Possible.

( 2 Wolves DJ Service prides itself in working to help you make your wedding the one you always dreamed it would be!)

Planning a wedding in the North East Alabama area?  Visit our website www.2wolves.com
We would be honored to be your DJ for any event.

Add a Halloween Flair to your Autumn Wedding

Fall weddings are becoming extremely popular, with the cooler weather, the changing of the leaves it makes for a comfortable, colorful time for any ceremony.  And if you have it close the Halloween - that just adds to the fun!
Now borrowing ideas from Halloween need not to be childish or goulish.  Using a pale orange and rich black for your color scheme adds the holiday theme without looking tacky.  Other ideas would be:

Pumpkin at Sweet Seasons Farm Wedding

An arrangement of Pumpkins and gourds make a colorful setting at a wedding.

Pumpkin wedding centerpiece

Another example of how using a Pumpkin added and elegant touch to a Country "Halloween" Wedding

Gourd Vase

Use painted gourds for Vases 

Leaves and Fall Flowers

I know you're saying - I get all that about the decor - but how else can I make it special?

Sweet Favors:  
How about a Smores Bar - where guests can make their own Smores? 
Instead of the usual 'favors' - set up a candy bar - with candy corn, M&Ms, mini candy bars, even bubble gum.  Whatever candies you like ( you can't go wrong here! ) Have little "Treat Bags" the guests can fill.  
Give Candy Carmel Apples for favors - they have some nice 'gourmet' varieties your guests will love!

Now - of Course - The Music
In addition to the "usual" Wedding faire - have your DJ spin some more "spooky" tunes:
  1. Thriller - Michael Jackson
  2. Spooky - The Zombies
  3. Werewolf of London -Warren Zevon
  4. Monster - Lady Gaga
  5. Monster Mash - Bobby Pickett
  6. Timewarp - Rocky Horror Picture Show ( any song from this Classic!)
  7. Season of the Witch - Donovan
  8. Superstition - Stevie Wonder
  9. Jump In The Line - Harry Belefonte ( From BeetleJuice ( Shake Senora) )
  10. I Put a Spell on You - Screaming Jay Hawkins
Having the DJ all in Black would add to the fun - as would a black light or Hazer.  You could even make it a costume party - With you - of course being the Bride and Groom!

The trick is - make the day uniquely yours - after all - it is YOUR wedding - Celebrate!

Author: Susan Leak - DJ - 2 Wolves DJ Service, Fort Payne, Alabama 

Guests dancing to That's Amore at Wedding - 2 Wolves DJ Service

This is what happened at one of the weddings we had the honor of DJing.  What a fun idea ... all ages can participate and the guests had a blast doing it!

Outdoor Weddings Take Extra Planning

Picture Perfect Tented Wedding
Outdoor Weddings have always been popular, and the trend is really growing.  They can be more cost effective (no need for a venue - a backyard will do) can hold more people (limited only by ground space) and are 'kid friendly' ( you can set aside a 'play area').  They also can be a romantically fresh setting ( nothing more romantic than a dance under the stars)  BUT - outdoor weddings can be a huge gamble - you are betting against Mother Nature.

Weather is top concern when planning any outdoor affair, now double that for a wedding.  Of course, rain (or snow) is the number one issue, but extreme cold and heat as well as bright sunlight and damp evening dew come into play.  When it comes to planning an outdoor wedding, the brides need to follow the Boy Scout Motto: BE PREPARED!

  1. Be Covered:  unless you have a pavillion in your backyard, tenting is a must.  Of course, tenting offers some protection against those stray showers, but also offers protection against the harsh sunlight and the evening dew for you and your guests.  Be sure to provide tenting as well for your DJ or Band (they need to keep equipment protected), and for your food (sun and potato salad don't mix).
  2. Be on Guard:  The last thing you want is for your guests to be eaten alive by mosquitos, or worse, stung by a bee.  Spray area down with a good repellent like Yard Guard.  We also recommend using citronella - candles or oil in tiki lamps can be incorporated into your decor, adding to the romance as well as offering protection.
  3. Be Aware: That pretty ivy growing up the tree just might be Poison Ivy ...The serene creek just might be home to Cottonmouths.  Nature is full of surprises - Double Check everything
  4. Be Cool:  Or warm as the case maybe.  How much fun can anyone have if they are sweating or freezing? Set up fans in summer, and outdoor heaters in winter.  Do not rely on the indoors - thinking those who get too hot (or cold) are welcome to go inside to cool off ( warm up), unless that is where you want the party to end up at.
  5. Be Hydrated:  WATER - it is vital for those summertime weddings.  Tea and punch are nice, but water is a must have. (and cheap!)
  6. Be Ready:  All the above will not work if it comes severe weather.  Be sure to have an alternative plan to move it all indoors.  If you plan to move into your house, be sure to already have it 'mapped out' as to where everything will go to avoid last minute stress

Successful Backup Plan
2 Wolves DJ Service has done many of outdoor weddings, and this list comes from our accumulated  experience over the years.  What tips would you offer?  What are the best (or worst) outdoor weddings you have seen?

How To Find Great Wedding Vendors That Will Not Break Your Budget

  Proof the perfect wedding does
not have to cost a fortune.

Weddings can be one of the most stressful events to plan in your lifetime.  Finding the perfect Venue, Caterer, Entertainment, dress, flowers, photographer, etc can be overwhelming.  There are many wedding sites online one can go to and see hundreds of wedding vendors in you area, and these can be a good start.  

Let's say you visit one of these sites.  You type in your information and voila!  up pops a list of vendors.  Which one to choose?  Of course the one on the top with the big display must be the best right? - Not necessarily   They have the big ad and the top spot because they paid dearly for it, upwards to $500 per month.  One thing for sure, is that cost for the ad is factored into their pricing.

Now, scroll down the list.  You see the ones on the bottom - no fancy ad - just a small spot, mostly text.  They must be not as good as the big boys on top, right?  Not true.  Many are excellent vendors, they just choose not to pay the absorbent fees - which can mean a big difference in cost to you.  

I recently had one of these sites sales person tell me if I paid for advertising on their site that like their other vendors that pay for the top spots, I  would reach "High End Brides" and could charge more for my services.  And that "It only makes the Bride feel more special being able to say I booked a DJ for $xxx and I found her on ( insert name of wedding site).com! ( Bragging Rights!)" My response is that ALL brides in our book are special - and our goal is to make the music perfect so all of our brides can brag about their wedding. 

The same thing on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.  Say you type in Wedding DJ and your city.  The top results will be ads - often from brokers that have DJs in your area.  They are a good place to start, but remember, they are sending you a DJ from your area, so wouldn't it be great to deal directly with that DJ and eliminate the 'middle man' ? The rest, especially the first page on a search, will be a mix of DJ companies in your area and links to more Wedding sites like mentioned above. Look for the listings that are obviously the actual DJ ( or other vendor) site.

Now there is Thumbtack.com that do not allow vendors to pay for their ads.  They rank them according to reviews, completeness of profiles etc.  They get their revenue from the vendors via a small fee the vendors pay for submitting each quote.  Here you know the vendor is interested in providing you their service and is available on your date.   Other sites that brag "Get quotes from vendors here!"  often charge a huge monthly or yearly fee to vendors to be on the list, again driving up their cost.

Once you done some searching, be sure to contact several vendors and have a list of questions you will want to ask written down beforehand.  
Questions like:
What do you change and do you have any special packages for weddings?
What sets you apart from other DJs - photographers - etc?
Will you be the one actually performing the work?
Do you charge extra for travel, set up time etc?
How long have you been in your line of work?
Are you insured?
For DJs - How is the music determined?  Can I select the songs?
And any other questions you may have.  

Note not just what they say but HOW they say it.  Are they passionate about their work?  Are they too pushy - pushing their big package over the smaller one?  Do they spend time answering all your questions?  And most important - is this the person you feel is going to do things the way you want them done?  Are you comfortable with them?

Your wedding is one of the biggest events in your life and needs to be done in a way that reflects you and your fiancee   Their are many good vendors out there and with a little shopping around you will find the ones that are perfect for you.

 2Wolves DJ Service provides quality entertainment at affordable prices www.2wolves.com