Wedding Planning Ideas To Make Sure No One Forgets Your Big Day

The happiness and love two people share should always be the most important and memorable part of their wedding day. But considering how much time and effort you put into planning your nuptials it’s only natural you want guests to remember some of the details of your big day. There will be an album full of pictures and a loving spouse that will help you share those special moments of your own wedding even though your guests may have several weddings a year to attend and taking advantage of great wedding planning ideas will help yours to be memorable to them.

Venue

Some of the most beautiful weddings take place in a hotel ballroom, but let’s be honest – it’s not one of the most original ideas for planning a wedding. Having ideas for planning a wedding can come from lots of different sources. When you’re in the planning stages keep notes on all the interesting places you visit. A unique place that offers a good opportunity for a surprising concept can definitely be memorable to guests. Consider holding your wedding/reception in a zoo, a historic building, a museum, art gallery, classic nightclub or roof garden instead of the standard banquet room.

Food

Good or bad, guests may talk about the food at your wedding long after they’ve forgotten about those wonderful favors you labored over. Increasing the catering budget isn’t necessarily the way to make the food stand out; fried chicken, corn bread, collard greens and sweet potato pie may not be the most elegant meal in the world, but it’s certainly delicious, and if it uniquely reflects the wedding couple’s heritage or the region in which the wedding is taking place then it will also create a memorable detail.

Guest Participation

Being actively involved in the ceremony is a memory that will stay with guests forever. Have ushers great each guest with a flower. At the appropriate time during the ceremony, whoever is the officiant will invite the guests to place their flowers in a vase on the altar as a symbol of their support for the couple and their vows.

For a large wedding, speak to the officiant about including the guests in the vows. For example, before the bride and groom recite their vows, guests might be asked to answer affirmatively to questions such as “Do you promise to support this couple as they struggle through their first fight as a married couple?” By keeping it light and with a hint of humor, guests will definitely remember how much fun the wedding was.

Regardless of your budget, there are many wedding planning ideas to make yours unique and memorable. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t take a lot of money to make touching moments although it does take a little planning and the ability for a little out of the wedding box thinking.

Live Wedding Bands – 10 Tips For Choosing the Perfect Entertainment For Your Wedding

There are hundreds of live wedding bands advertising their services so here are 10 points to consider when choosing a band.

Musical Ability. This is arguably the most important factor when booking a band, and is also probably the only factor that will be recognised by your guests. Many good bands will have backgrounds in top music schools or performing with ‘big name’ artists. This does not guarantee quality but it is a very safe bet. It is the band’s ability to cover your favourite tunes in a musical way that will make or break the performance.

Repertoire.  A good wedding band should have a broad repertoire, and be flexible with it in order to be able to cater to a variety of styles. Bands that can cover a bit of everything (soul, pop, rock, modern chart, 70s, 80s and even jazz/swing) will be the most flexible as they can tailor their performance to the exact specification of the client.

Experience.  The ideal band will have played at many (possibly hundreds) of weddings before and will have come across most situations. The band will then be able to adapt to a last minute schedule change and they will know when and how to change the set list to cater for the audience. There is no point in playing a set of 60s rock ‘n’ roll if everyone wants to hear ’80s pop!

Professionalism. This is paramount at a wedding as this will be the biggest day of their life for most clients. It can’t just be treated as “another gig” to get through. Most people who book a live band for their wedding will never have booked one before, and will probably never book one again, so the band should guide the client in all aspects of the booking including schedule, equipment, repertoire, size of band etc. No two weddings are the same and a good band will understand this!

How do you choose a band from the hundreds on offer?

The most important thing is to DO YOUR RESEARCH. The first place to start is the internet. A good professional band should invest in a good website, good demo recordings and good advertising, so they wont be difficult to find. Ask the band where they have played before and how many weddings they have performed at. Speak to the band manager on the phone too, or even meet in person. This will give you a good idea into how professional they really are.

How do you compare prices between the bands?

You should ask for a FULLY INCLUSIVE quote from all bands and ask them to list what is included. In addition to the musician fees they should always include a PA system, stage lighting, background music between sets and travel expenses. Always check how much live music you actually get for your money too as some bands will quote for 120 minutes (2 x 60) and some will quote for 90 minutes (2 x 45).

Can you view a band live before booking them?

Unfortunately most professional wedding bands do not have live public performances that you can view them at. It is always worth asking though as you may be able to view them at another wedding or possibly a public showcase if they have one.

Should you book through an entertainment agency or direct with a band?

Entertainment agencies are a good way to find bands as they will work with bands on a regular basis and will know exactly who is good at what. You will usually pay a little more (20% on average) for a band from an agency though, so if you are on a tight budget it may be best to book directly with a band. If booking through an agency always make sure that they clearly state the commission they are charging and ask who the contract will be with; the band or the agency. This could make a big difference to how your booking is dealt with and the level of come back you have should something go wrong.

How much should you expect to pay?

Most well established, PROFESSIONAL wedding bands will fall into the region between £1000 and £2500 and the price will depend on the size of band and the distance they need to travel to your event. Bands that charge a very small amount may be inexperienced, have no contract or insurance, and are probably not full time professional musicians. You should always ask what is included in the package and what level of protection the band’s contract gives you.

Why should you choose a live band over a DJ?

A live band gives much more of a ‘wow factor’ than a DJ and will often make or break the evening party. DJs are definitely useful at what they do, and in some cases will be more suited to a wedding than a live band, but nothing can beat a live band for the energy, crowd interaction and sheer enjoyment factor!

How Much Should I Pay for Wedding Transport?

Arranging for high quality and efficient transport for your wedding is often very high on the list of priorities for couples tying the knot. In fact, not only is it necessary to have great transport options in place to ensure the punctuality, comfort and safety of guests and the married couple, but the right transport can also add a real level of luxury to the occasion.

However, one of the main concerns of people considering which kind of wedding transportation to invest in is how much it is going to cost them. Many people would like to invest in luxury wedding transport, but can be concerned that it going to cost them an arm and a leg if they end up booking the level of luxury that they crave.

Of course, how much you pay for your transportation will all depend on one thing – the going rates for the level of luxury that you want in your local area. It is necessary to bear in mind that luxury car hire services will all have competition, regardless of target market that they are serving and the location that they are in – this will drive prices down to some extent at least.

The first thing to do is research the average price of the type of service that you are looking for in your area. You should also take the time to note down all the services that you would like included in your transportation package, including the type of vehicle, whether you would like drinks included or not, what kind of decorations are provided and much more.

You should also think about the experience and professionalism of the drivers that you will be hiring, and any guarantees such as punctuality or a 100% satisfaction guarantee. All of these are worth something so will likely be accounted for in your quote. After you have this list of essentials for you, you can find out the average going rate for these services.

Chances are that you will have to actually apply for a quote from all the different companies that provide wedding transport in your local area. This will also give you the chance to evaluate the quality of service that you receive as well as the professionalism of the company.

When you receive your quotes back, you will likely have a number of services that are slightly higher or slightly lower than the others you asked for. This will help you work out a mean price for the services that you need. However, the question remains about how much you should pay for the services and which quote you should accept.

Firstly, make sure that the quote for wedding transport that you book is inclusive of everything, and that there are no hidden charges or added fees for extras that you would like to have. Some companies can lure you into booking their services with low prices, and then hit you with an amended bill after the event.

It is therefore very important that the pricing structure is clear and absolutely transparent so that you are fully confident that what you will be paying is the final price. After this, it is also very important that you ensure that you ask if the company you are thinking of hiring offers a price match guarantee.

Many excellent wedding transport companies will match quotes of equivalent services meaning that you can likely get money off the service that you really want by showing them that you can get a lower price elsewhere.

You should definitely not pay more than the average price of services in your area, therefore asking for a price match will ensure that you get the best deal on what you want and need every time. Of course, total prices will depend on the going rates in your area, so being aware of this will stand you in good stead for getting the best price.

Using Wedding Quotes To Make Your Speech Sparkle

If you are in a position where you have to make a wedding speech, but you are not really sure what to say, then I have a bit of advice for you, which may help you out.

One of the most memorable parts of any wedding, are the wedding quotes and speeches. This is the part of the evening where the audience gets to hear the members of the wedding party speak and share their stories about the bride and groom.

The speeches at a wedding also serve as the entertainment for the evening, as they usually include a few humorous stories and about the new married couple.

If you are involved in the weddings speeches, then you are faced with the tricky task of having to make one of these speeches. The best advice I can give you is to try to find a great set of wedding quotes or speeches, which will help you create your very own speech.

A lot of people never really think of looking for great wedding quotes and speeches to use in their own speech. They will often try to write their speech on their own, but if you ask me, they are missing a big trick here, because if you can find some great wedding quotes, all you need to do then is work them into your own speech.

A couple of years ago I was asked to make a speech at a wedding. I found myself in the same position you probably are in right now if you’re reading this, in that I really didn’t have a clue what I should say and where to even start with creating my speech. Luckily, I did a bit of looking around online, and managed to get my hands on a wedding speech package which offered all sorts of best mans speeches, groom speeches, bride speeches etc., which all had some great wedding quotes in them which I could then pick out and add them into my own wedding speech.

I managed to create a great opening to my speech with a couple of classic wedding quotes that proved to go down really well with the audience. Everyone loves a funny opening to a speech as it breaks the ice and sets the mood.

I then was able to build a strong middle section of my speech which included a few of my own personal stories about the bride and groom, telling the audience how we all met, and a few of the memorable times we have shared together.

I again called on my wedding quotes package to create a great toast to the bridesmaids. This was almost the highlight of the speech as I used a great quote about their beauty and how they had been a real help in the wedding preparations.

Finally, I closed off my wedding speech by using a wedding quote which expressed my sincere well-wishes for the couple and mentioned that they would hopefully grow old together.

All in all, the wedding speech went down pretty well, and the audience seemed to love it. I had genuinely been really worried about knowing what to say during the speech, and if everyone would enjoy it or be bored to tears by it, but luckily for me they all seemed to love it.

The main key to my success was definitely getting my hands on some wedding quotes and speeches and doing a little research with these to build my own perfect speech.

If you are in the same position that I was, and are a little lost as to what you should say in your wedding speech, I would highly recommend you get your hands on a decent wedding quotes and speeches package which will help you create an outstanding wedding speech.

Choose the Right Wedding Music For Your Reception

The idea of booking wedding reception music may seem simple, but there are a few details to consider. The process is simple enough: You should choose a band based on your musical tastes and what you think will appeal to the widest variety of guests. The following topics will help you narrow your choices to make sure you and your guests have a great time!

NARROW BY GENRE: If you like a certain style of music (rock band, jazz band, blues band), then it’s a good idea to search for that style of entertainment. Trust that your family and friends will like the type of music that you like – while keeping in mind age range and different backgrounds of your guests. Most good bands are experts in a certain type of style, but can occasionally throw in a special request to make grandma happy or switch to an iPod on a break to keep the kids dancing.

NARROW THE POOL: After you get an idea of the genre you are looking for, try narrowing your selection by websites that are designed for live entertainment, such as Gigmasters or Gigsalad. These sites will help you compare and contrast bands from similar genres in your areas and can often deliver more of what you’re looking for than a generic Google search. No matter how you narrow your selection, use other web resources like YouTube to get more information about what the band actually sounds like live.

WHAT WILL THEY ACTUALLY PLAY? Remember that bands range in approach to playlist as much as they vary in style and size. Some bands offer many different styles of music. Others come in with a strict “set list” (the list of which songs they’ll play in which order) because they do it that way every time, and that’s what people love them for. Other bands pride themselves on being able to read the mood of the crowd and are flexible moment to moment. All of these styles have their strengths. You can work with the band depending on how much input you want to have about specific songs, or how much you want to relax and let the party ride. (Tip: If you have a special song you definitely want to hear, it helps to let the band know ahead of time so they can prepare.)

MAKE AN OFFER: Inquire about the price of the band but remember you can make an offer based on your budget. There are no firm and fast prices out there, and a good band will negotiate with you based on your needs. See if there are additional details you may need to provide for the band (staging, electricity, a dressing room also known as a green room). If your offer is accepted, the band should provide a detailed contract and may ask you to put down a deposit. If you and the artist accept the terms of the contract and pay a deposit, then you are contractually obligated to go forward. If the artist declines, then there is no further obligation and your deposit is yours to keep. Be careful. Once the contract is signed and the deposit is received by the band, it’s like saying “I Do!”

ON THE BIG DAY: Make sure your wedding planner’s contact information is available to the band well before hand. There are often last minute questions about set-up, entry to the space, electricity, etc. that are best answered by someone other than you! You’ll have enough to think about on your wedding day, so even if you don’t have a wedding planner, it’s a good idea to assign the task to a member of the wedding party or close family or friend so that you can concentrate on getting married. Coordinating music between ceremony and reception can be a tricky spot, so make sure there is clear communication between the bands, you, and/or wedding coordinator about exactly how that transition should go.

Above all, remember to have fun! It’s your special day, and you should be able to enjoy the reception along with your family and friends while having the wedding you always dreamed of.