Bridal Show Survival Guide

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Attending a bridal show can be intimidating to any bride-to-be; vendors as far as the eye can see, dazzling displays, door prizes and information galore! Fear not, if done right you too can master the great feat that is a bridal show.

While a wedding won’t plan itself, with the right tools and plans in place, you might just enjoy the planning process leading up to your big day!  What is the key to survival? ALWAYS BE PREPARED!

First things first…Bride School 101 JD Entertainment blog

DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
What does this mean? Do your research ahead of time.  Get a list of vendors that will be at the show. Find out which vendors interest you the most so you can focus on them come show time. Have your most important questions ready and don’t be afraid to ask too many questions.  Remember knowledge is power. Take notes at each vendor. The last thing you want to do is try to recall everything from memory at the end of a busy show. Be sure to bring sticky notes and a pen to jot down key items and attach them to the vendor card or brochure.

ARRIVE EARLY
When it comes to bridal shows arriving “casually late” just isn’t cool. Arriving early will cut down on wait time, get you through the show faster, and may just get you some extra special attention. Going through the show first allows you to meet with the vendors at their freshest and will allow you to score all the cool freebies before they run out.

HAVE AN ENTOURAGE
It is always best to bring the groom whenever possible to help with decision making, but a friend is the next best thing. Friends or family members are key for much needed advice, opinions, and yes help carrying the goodies.

BASIC NEEDS
Decision making is hard on an empty stomach. Remember that bridal shows can be long for everyone and snacks don’t always cut it, eating ahead of time is best.
Comfort is crucial, especially when there is a lot of walking and standing involved. Wear comfy shoes and clothing, and bring a sturdy bag for all the show giveaways/goodies. Trust me, they add up fast.

BRING SUPPLIES
Have pre-addressed labels at the ready. Everywhere you turn there is a contest or mailing list to sign up for, and you never know what you might win. Labels will save your wrist some time and agony. Labels should include as much info as possible: Name, Email, Phone Number, Address, and (if possible) Wedding Date/Venue.
Be prepared to make a deposit if necessary to score a great bridal show deal. Have your credit card or checkbook with you, and always get a receipt.

A separate Email account for wedding planning is a good idea. You can be sure to expect an influx of emails from vendors after a bridal show. Having a separate email account can help you sort through wedding emails quickly and you will be less likely to overlook key vendors.bridal show survival guide photo #2

HAVE FUN
Remember why you’re there, to have fun! It’s all about you and your big day. With these simple tips and an open mind you can have your wedding cake and eat it too! Happy Wedding Planning!

10 Ways to Keep Your Dance Floor Packed

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    • Make Sure Your DJ Has A Plan:  Your DJ should have a plan of action in regards to programming music, transitioning songs and “changing it up” when things aren’t working.  Anyone can play music.  You hire a DJ to read your crowd and adapt to what’s working “in the moment.” They should also be skillful in making smooth transitions from song to song.  The last thing you want is a packed dance floor that clears every time a new song comes on.  Make sure your DJ can explain the strategy they have to keep your crowd on the floor.

Packed Dance Floor - JD Entertainment Blog

    • Make Sure The DJ & The Bar Are Near The Dance Floor:  Believe it or not, the layout of the room really makes a difference whether people are going to dance or not.  Some rooms have a portable bar and there is flexibility for its location.  It’s extremely difficult to keep an energetic dance floor when the bar is in a separate room. However, don’t stress if the bar isn’t in the ideal location, if you have no control over this.  Instead make your DJ aware and let them handle the situation for you. The DJ needs to be near the dance floor because the level of the music will increase during the dancing part of the evening.  You want your dance floor to be fun and energetic but still have other parts of the room where people can talk to each other.  The bar and the dance floor are the 2 most popular spots.  Ideally they work best when you put them close together!
    • Don’t Feel Pressured to Pick Every Song:  Give the DJ a general idea of what you like and avoid trying to “Pre-Program” the evening.  You never know how your crowd is going to react.  Allow some area for improvisation on the DJ’s part. Don’t feel like you have to pick enough music to cover the entire evening.
    • Musical Variety:  You have a variety of guests so it only makes sense to have a variety of music to keep as many people interested as possible.  When you’re picking music for your event try to think of who is on your guest list.  Choosing a mix of different genres including slow songs usually ensures that your guests will feel welcome and “included” in your celebration.
    • Involve Your Friends and Family in Requests:  Usually, your friends and family know a lot of people in the room.  If they are out there dancing, they tend to draw others to the dance floor.  Remember, a dance floor full of people is a lot more inviting than an empty dance floor.  Another common trend is leaving a line on your RSVP card where your guests can suggest a song. This is another great chance to get your family and friends involved in the music for the evening!  Check out our Pinterest Board- for some cool ideas.
    • Look Online and ask your DJ for Music Suggestions:  Billboard.com, iTunes home page and local radio station’s websites are great resources to see what’s currently hot.  Your DJ should have something that gives you guidance in selecting music as well.
    • Keep Your Guests Entertained:  Everything should “Flow” during the evening.  There should never be a “lull” during the evening.  Your guests will generally stay longer if they’re not bored.  You should always make a timeline with your DJ/Wedding Coordinator and rely on them to keep you on track.  The more your guests are entertained, the more likely they will hang out and dance.
    • Participate:  Make sure you dance!  Everyone came to see you and they tend to conjure wherever you are.  Bring them to the floor!
    • Invest in some Flip Flops:  Women like to be comfortable when they dance.  A basket of flip flops (in assorted sizes near the DJ) is a great gift to your guests.  It definitely keeps the crowd at your reception longer and the women really feel appreciated.

FLip Flop Bucket - JD Entertainment Blog

  • Make people feel special by asking them to dance with you later:  You’ll have an opportunity to make your way around the room after dinner.  Just a brief comment like … “I hope to see you on the dance floor later … “ is all you need to plant a seed.

Thanks for reading! Please visit our Pinterest Board for some awesome ideas related to this Blog!

Contact Us for Pricing and Availability!

10 Ways to Keep Your Guests Enthused

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JD Entertainment Blog - Big Dancing Shot

  1. Have a timeline: Make sure you make a timeline after speaking with the caterer, Wedding Planner and your DJ. A timeline is meant to help your event to “flow” so you don’t let the night get away from you. Every activity should happen “one right after another” so you can avoid any lulls (which might cause your guests to get bored or impatient). It always helps to let your bridal party have a copy of the timeline so they are ready for important events and activities.
  2. Appetizers and Drinks: It’s always a good idea to make sure the bar and the hors d’oeuvres are accessible and in a good location. I’ve seen some weddings where there was a table right in front of the bar and only one bartender. There was a sea of people wrapped around this table all evening waiting to get served. A good rule of thumb is 1 bartender per every 50 people.
    Hors d’oeuvres are a great way to not only make your guests comfortable but also to keep the room circulating. This will definitely help bridge that gap between the ceremony and reception.
  3. Photobooth: There a lot of advantages to the Photobooth:
    • It loosens your guests up & keeps them entertained.
    • It gives the guests something to do while you are mingling after dinner.
    • It makes your guests feel more involved in your wedding because their photos are included in your memory book.
    • Photobooths not only help bridge the gap between dinner and dancing but the entertainment value lasts throughout the night because guests visit the booth multiple times during the evening.
    • The photos usually get more interesting as the night progresses!
  4. Words of Advice Table: This is yet another way to give your guests something to do. Why not get wedding advice or words of wisdom from the people closest to you! Check out our Pinterest page for some cool ideas.
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  6. Coffee Table and or Candy Table: Most everyone enjoys sugar or caffeine after dinner. A coffee table with some different flavors and/or a candy table are both ways to keep your guests moving throughout the room and to keep them excited and interested about the “next thing.”
  7. candy table

  8. Seating Arrangement: Your guests need to be able to find their seats. Whether it’s “Place Cards” or a seating chart on an easel; the font should be large enough and easy enough to read. Table numbers should be obvious and easy to find on the tables. Don’t let your guests get hemmed up at the door because no one can read or find out where they are sitting. Remember, we are shooting for a level of comfort (from the moment they arrive until the moment they leave).
  9. Toasts: Remind everyone who may be speaking that it is a toast, not a speech. A couple short stories are fine but “less is more.” The guests are hungry by this time and it’s hard to hold their attention for more than a few minutes. A good rule of thumb is to let your Best Man, Maid or Matron know that they should keep it less than 5 minutes (2-3 minutes is ideal).
  10. Shuttle Service to and from the Hotel: If there is a hotel close by, check into a shuttle service and see if they can block off some rooms for your wedding guests. With an open bar, sometimes the drinking can get somewhat indulging. It’s always safe (for everyone involved) if there is an easy way for your guests to get from point A to point B. Note: make sure the shuttle service takes into account that there might be a lot of guests looking for a ride at the end of the night. A lot of guests stay for the last song! I’ve seen quite a few weddings with 20-30 people outside begging the DJ for a ride back to the hotel because they’ve been waiting over 45 minutes for a shuttle.
  11. shuttle schedule

  12. Emergency Kits In The Bathroom: Breath Freshener, Sewing Kits, Pain Reliever and any other necessities that might help your guests in a bind, usually make them feel appreciated. Check out our Pinterest Board for some great ideas!
  13. Visit People! Don’t be M.I.A.: Your guests are at your wedding for one main reason, “to see you.” So give the people what they want and “Be Seen.” The more people you talk to and encourage to stay, the more people you’ll see at the end of the night.
    Good luck and don’t forget to visit our Pinterest page for cool ideas on all of the advice listed above and more!

 

Creating an Extra Special Wedding

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Every couple wants their wedding to be special, but there are plenty of details that often get overlooked. These little touches can make a big impact for you and your guests.

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One thing that often gets forgotten is decorating the areas outside of your main reception. When your guests go to the restrooms, the bar, or even when they first walk in, will they still be part of your wedding or just any venue? Putting little touches, like flowers and other things in your wedding colors, can keep your guests in the wedding mood.

Also pay special attention to the tables that your guests won’t be sitting at. You have centerpieces planned for their tables, but the cake, escort cards, favors, and buffet just get put on otherwise empty tables. Make these special tables a bigger part of your wedding with decorative touches. While they might not be the focus, they’ll certainly make much better background when they’re tied into your wedding colors.

The key to adding finishing touches is to extend your wedding colors and theme across your venue. When you have great details, your guests will enjoy the care you’ve put into your wedding.

Your guests will also love a great choice of DJ. To find out what we can do for your Clinton Township wedding, give us a call today!

Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger Go Gothic

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When two big-name musicians get married, you can be sure that something special is going to be included. For singer Avril Lavigne and Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, the surprise element of their wedding was a great Gothic theme.

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While Avril had gone traditional for her first wedding, she knew she wanted something to reflect her personality while going over the top with a theme. The Gothic theme certainly was done to perfection, too.

The couple flew their guests over to the French Riviera, where the couple held a three-day wedding party at a medieval castle. The wedding itself, held on July 1, featured the couple in all-black attire, with Avril’s black gown being paired with a bouquet of black roses and a black veil.

For their first dance, the musical couple chose a ballad they co-wrote. They met while penning a song for Avril’s latest album, so it was a fitting choice.

If you’re inspired by Avril and Chad’s Gothic wedding, you can bring the theme to your big day with a great choice of music. To find out more about choosing the perfect music for your Michigan wedding, give us a call today!

Why Have Wedding Preparation Photos

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The photo that goes up on the mantle might be one of you posed after the ceremony, or in the middle of your first dance, but some of the most cherished parts of your wedding album are going to be the preparation photos. These pre-wedding photos are always full of emotion and show a time worth remembering.

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The main focus of the wedding preparation photos does tend to be the bride, but it’s also great to show the groom and his party relaxing before the ceremony. These photos can also show the bride and groom with their parents, siblings, and grandparents in a way that the rest of the wedding photos can’t.

Of course, the key to great wedding preparation photos is a great wedding photographer. If you’re looking for a Michigan wedding photographer, get in touch today to find out what we offer!

Music for a 1950s Theme Wedding

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Theme weddings are great fun, and it can be a wonderful touch to tie the music into the theme. For vintage weddings, this can often present a challenge — do you stick to the era’s music or mix in more current hits?

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If you’re planning a 1950s theme wedding, it can be easy to stick to the era’s hits. This is a decade that included crooners, jazz, and the birth of rock and roll. You can pick things up with a bit of Elvis and slow them down with a bit of Sinatra. In fact, many wedding favorites are from the 1950s.

A 1950s vintage wedding is a great opportunity to really stick with the theme, but don’t be afraid to break free from it. It is your wedding, which means that you can set the rules about how firmly you stick to the theme!

To find out more about how to tie your wedding music into your wedding theme, get in touch. We can also tell you more about the great services  we offer for Clinton Township weddings, from entertainment to photography!

Including Music in Your Wedding Ceremony

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Wedding music is far more than just a first dance, or coming up with the best songs to get your friends and family on the dance floor. Music is also a big part of your wedding ceremony.

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You’ll want to choose music to play while your guests arrive and find their seats. You’ll also need music to play while your bridal party enters the ceremony.

Of course, the song that might be most important is what plays when the bride enters the ceremony. Many couples choose a traditional wedding march, but it is becoming more popular to choose a different song entirely. This can reflect the bride alone, or the couple together.

Another key part of ceremony music is the recessional. This is the song that plays as the newlyweds and the rest of the bridal party leave the ceremony. While there are some traditional choices for this, it is now more common to have an upbeat, fun song that helps get people excited for the reception.

To find out more about including music in your ceremony, and how we can help with the entertainment and photography for your Michigan wedding, get in touch today!

Charts or Classics? A First Dance Decision

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As you decide on your first dance, your songs probably fall into a couple categories. You’ll likely have a selection of classic wedding dance songs, and some more recent favorites. So which do you choose?

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The benefit of choosing a current, or recent, song is that many of your guests will know the song, and it’s unlikely other couples you know will have used the song for their wedding days.

The potential problem with choosing a more recent song is that it might seem very dated within a few years. Think about whether it’s a song you’ll still be happy to dance to when you celebrate your golden anniversary.

When you choose an older song, it is something that has already proven itself to be timeless. You’ll be working within a tradition of wedding dances, and you’ll also know whether your chosen song has been used by other people you know. Of course, it might be something that many of your friends and family have chosen, or will choose, for their weddings.

To find the perfect first dance song, you’ll need to choose a great Michigan wedding DJ. To find out more about what we offer, get in touch today!

Aaron Paul and Lauren Parsekian’s French-Themed Wedding

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Far from his Breaking Bad character’s style, actor Aaron Paul wore a classic Burberry tux when he married activist Lauren Parsekian last weekend. The wedding’s theme was an homage to the couple’s Parisian engagement.

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After the ceremony, guests were treated to a masquerade themed reception, complete with stilt-walkers, mimes, and plenty of big name entertainment. Along with magic performances by David Blaine, the couple had musical performances by both John Mayer and Foster the People. The French influence was also shown in their first dance, which was to “La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf.

The couple, who met at Coachella music festival, had music included in one other way that was a surprise to the bride. Aaron had arranged for all of the guests serenade Lauren. He had emailed them ahead of time and they all sang her favorite song, Beauty by The Shivers, to her.

If you’re thinking about how to bring music into your Michigan wedding, give us a call today!

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