3 Crucial Details About Wedding Entertainment: DJs vs. Bands

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Austin Gros

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that music is the universal language. While some people profess not to know that language too well, there is no denying that, at the very least, music is either a huge mood-booster or mood-killer. You definitely want to get your guests cranking out a few steps on the dance floor, so hiring great musical entertainment should be of considerable importance when planning your reception.

Unless, you know, you’re okay with your older brother trying to impersonate Tupac and rap your first wedding-dance song. Badly.

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Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Music sets the atmosphere and your guests will most likely judge your wedding based on three things: how touching and pretty your wedding was during the ceremony, the food, and whether or not they had a blast during the reception. As such, it’s imperative that you invest some time into making sure that you, your partner, and your guests are having a fun, stress-free time without having to worry whether or not your wedding’s a bore.

And that starts by researching your wedding entertainment.

Commence the Gnarly Guitar Solo

entertainment entertainment

Jonas Peterson

I personally love me some good live music. Not only is there room for improvisation and sexy guitar solos, but the music just seems so much more lively than mere bass-droppers in a seedy nightclub.

Plus, if they’re a reputable band, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be decent live. It’s like having your own mini-concert at your wedding! A great and professional band should also have a band leader who is reasonably experienced in MCing, so you won’t have to really worry about announcements there.

Pros:

  • I mean, please — who doesn’t love live music?
  • It really adds a lot more personality and style to your wedding than a DJ would
  • Professional bands should be open to learning one or two songs for your wedding. Perfect if you want to hear one of your favorite songs played live
  • The band is probably best suited to those who love some classic rock sounds or softer acoustics

Cons:

  • Live bands will not have as many songs on hand as the DJ
  • Maybe you don’t like covers — which limits their repertoire even more
  • Live bands generally tend to be more expensive than a DJ, depending on the size and reputation. You’ll most likely have to pay per piece (person). Prices range from $1k-$10k. Plus meals.
  • Live bands will need a break = less playing/dancing time
  • It’s harder to gauge the talent of a live band than that of a DJ. Hopefully your live band will be amazing. Hopefully.
  • Bands can take up quite a bit of space as well, so you’ll have to look at your venue to see where you can accommodate for their performance.

For live bands, I would suggest that you shop around. Gigmasters is a great resource to look for wedding bands around your local area. Additionally, if you aren’t too picky about making sure that your band is a “wedding” band, you might want to shop around at “pubs” or “bars” that have lots of live music. If they have bands performing that you really like, what’s the harm of asking them for their rates?

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A Simple DIY to Recycle Your Wedding Flowers

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Ah, the wedding aftermath. Half-empty beer bottles line table tops, once-neat chairs lay in complete disarray, and rubble fills every crevice of the room.  You seriously contemplate whether or not a tornado hit once the lights turned out before you realize that, nope, the only natural disaster of the evening was your crazy Uncle Ron doing the splits on the dance floor. And while poor Ron’s dignity isn’t salvageable, there is one thing about your wedding night that is: flowers.

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In the case of my wedding, where flowers were the main decor item of choice, there were so many leftover that our venue was quite literally overflowing with them. Every surface had a mason jar, vase or wine bottle filled with gorgeous stems, which would have been the perfect departing gift except for the minor detail that we needed to return all the holders to their owner. And so began our clean up, which consisted of pouring out the flowers and stacking the vases and jars on their lonesome.

It was tragic to look at the flowers on the table, gorgeous and colorful yet alone and without water. We were unprepared and without a plan B for saving them, until my dear friend Darlene held up a water jug and declared, “This will do!” Confused, we all watched as she cut off the top, filled it with water, and placed a large pile of flowers into the jug. Right after I loudly declared her a genius, the clean up crew followed suit, and soon we all held a simple DIY to recycle your wedding flowers that was nothing short of darling.

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6 Steps on Getting Started on Your Wedding Budget

wedding budget

Sonya Khegay

Now that you’re happily engaged to the love of your life, it’s time to (sort of) come back to reality and start planning your wedding. Weddings are notorious for being pricey, and chances are that you don’t exactly have tens of thousands of dollars to spend willy-nilly. Not only is planning a wedding indicative of your stellar aesthetic taste, but it is also a way to test your financial savvy.

While I cannot guarantee you advice that will have you hitting your budget perfectly, I can promise that this guide will provide a comprehensive overview of where to start with your budget. Having your wedding budget in the back of your mind is a very stressful feeling, but if you plan well and in advance, planning your wedding will most likely go as smoothly as you’ve always hoped for.

Sit Down With Your Partner

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Terra Rothman Photography

Now’s the time to be super-brutally honest with your partner in the midst of the wedding high. There’s nothing like brewing bad blood in a relationship than fighting over money, so you need to sit down with your partner and have a heart-to-heart chat about what how much you can and are willing to spend on the wedding.

The average cost of a wedding in 2014 is $25,200, and there’s no other way of looking at that amount besides thinking, ‘Damn, that’s a lot of money.’ Of course, some people can easily pay that much and some people might be wary of pitching forward that much dough.

The point of this discussion is to not only discuss your own individual financial situation, but the financial situation starting from the moment you both tie the knot. Are you strapped for cash, but your partner’s making more? Communicate that fact, and try to work around a budget. How about the other way around? Still communicate that. Being honest in this discussion particularly will help you and your partner retain a sense of practicality throughout the whole process (and trust me, wedding planning can get very crazy) and give you a better idea of where to cut or indulge costs. I firmly believe in not going into debt for your wedding — spending more than you can afford almost guarantees throwing in some major blips in your wedding. Not a good thing.

Additionally, factor in your parents and in-laws. There might be a fair chance that they’ll want to pitch in too for some of the wedding costs. While it seems tempting at first, be honest with yourself and ask whether or not it’s a chance you want to take with the parentals having a financial stake in your wedding. Although it’s certainly not done intentionally, the parents might subconsciously use their financial contributions to leverage something out of the wedding planning process, whether that be how many guests they get/want to invite, the wedding colors, or whatever.

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Wedding Invitations for Every Bride and Groom

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Mikkel Paige Photography

What is a wedding without wedding invitations? They’re an important yet highly underrated part of wedding planning. After all, how else will you alert your friends and family of your special day?

The best part about wedding invitations is that they can be personalized and customized to fit your unique personality. They can be DIY or store bought. They can be black and white or full of color. They can be simple and understated or elaborate and extravagant. It’s completely up to you.

Whether you’ve had your wedding invitations planned for months or haven’t even begun to think about them yet, Wedding Party has put together a collection of wedding invitations below for inspiration. So sit back, relax and enjoy the pictures! We have something for everyone!

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Becca Borge Photography

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Paper and Lace Collections

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Jaimee Morse Photography

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B Wedding Invitations

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