Tag: wedding reception
courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography
If you’re a bride up to your elbows in wedding planning and you’re just as nervous about choosing the music and entertainment as you are about picking the perfect dress, it’s important for you to know something… You.Are.Not.Alone. Heck, every bride wants her wedding day to be a flawless celebration of love, laughter and whole lot of GET DOWN, which is why it’s so important to set the mood from the start.
Because musical styles are as varied as snowflakes, it’s vital for couples to narrow down their tastes and choose accordingly. By carefully integrating both you and your beau-to-be’s musical preferences with the overall vision of the big day, you have the opportunity to create the perfect combination of sights and sounds that will have guests ooh la la’ing long after the day is done.
For instance, if you’re envisioning a stately and dignified wedding, chances are a hip hop artist or punk rock band aren’t the best choices to set the musical mood for your ceremony. While their look, dress and lyrical styling’s are just what you and your guests might need to drop it like it’s hot at the reception, the wedding itself would be more suited for a softer sound. Maybe try a string quartet, a chamber orchestra (for larger weddings) or a classical pianist. All of these will lend an air of sophistication to the affair, which can seamlessly be transitioned from one part of the ceremony to the next.
If you’re hoping to set a quiet, ethereal, romantic mood, you might prefer to go with a harpist, rather than a high-powered blues band. Not that blues isn’t B.A. in its own right, it just may not be the best fit for “ethereal.” You could also try a jazz ensemble to help maintain the quiet momentum of a mellower ceremony, as well as a classical or easy listening guitarist… since these would all tend to lend a lighter, calmer, “cooler” air to your wedding festivities.
Other than choosing a musical style and performer(s) that you and your guests will enjoy, the most important consideration is to integrate the music into the overall ceremony in such a way that it provides the perfect tonal backdrop against which your marriage ceremony may unfold. (Golly I sound professional, don’t I? Haha!)
In fact, the right music will provide an accompaniment that can blend so beautifully, it will simply become a part of the ceremony, rather than standing out on its own. And who can’t appreciate that?
Just be sure to take time and really pick ceremony music that fits you and your mood. After all, how often do you get a chance to make it all about you?
May 24, 2011
photo courtesy of scottandtemphotography.com
A key ingredient in any successful wedding is… say it with me…atmosphere! And there are many things a bride and her groom can do to make sure that they establish exactly the mood and tone that they want at their wedding. From solemn religious occasions to tradition-busting YouTube extravaganzas, the decisions made regarding items like decorations, flowers, table settings, food and music will all affect how your guests behave throughout the celebration, but even more importantly, mark your occasion in their memory banks.
Choose A Mood.
Without a clear idea of what they want their wedding to be like, many brides find themselves awash in a sea of numerous, complex choices. Therefore, the first step to take when planning a wedding is to make a conscious decision about the mood and atmosphere guests should experience upon arriving at the occasion. Formal weddings, theme weddings and informal wedding celebrations are all equally valid, and the ideas behind each of these endeavors can be established during the ceremony then brought through to influence the tone of the reception, as well.
Use Music to Establish Atmosphere.
Church weddings often include formal organ music, but what about after the ceremony? With dozens of wedding bands to choose from, couples are often overwhelmed. Some find themselves turning to friends and family members to provide musical entertainment, while others wish to hire professional wedding bands to make sure their guests enjoy a night of dancing and merriment after the wedding ceremony is complete. A professional wedding band should be able to adapt their regular set list to the requests of the bride and groom, and should have a full grasp of the way a new couple wishes to celebrate their special day. By working with the wedding band prior to the celebration, couples can establish the kind of music they want: classic, romantic oldies, new chart-topping hits, or special genres in keeping with the bride and groom’s themed interests!
Although there is plenty of room to tailor general wedding possibilities to a specific occasion or crowd, perfecting the atmosphere at a wedding requires whoever is in charge of planning it – whether it be a professional planner or the happy couple – be clear and reasonable about their desires throughout the planning stages. Finally, once plans are complete, it’s important that the guests of honor – be able to let go, sit back and enjoy their day. Nothing spoils the perfect wedding more than a grumpy bride or groom! So keep that frown turned upside down and plan, plan, plan ’til your daddy takes the budget away, haha ;)
Courtesy of Freak Music Wedding band specialists
March 31, 2011
photo courtesy of computerclipart.com
Don’t rub your eyes. You read the title correctly :)
A man cave, also known as a mantuary, is a male sanctuary found within a home, generally equipped with specialized tackle of the hardy-har-har variety. This includes, but is not limited to: sport’s paraphernalia, video game consoles, big screen TVs, power tools, hot sauces, beer, grease, glory etc… you get the idea.
Now, before you get ahead of yourselves, ladies, and think, “Why the heck would I ever want a man cave at my wedding?!?”, please allot me a moment to explain. Recently, I attended a wedding (holler Kelly and Matt!), where they had a man cave or more appropriately a man corner set up in the rear of the reception hall.
It was kind of like a kid’s table you’d see at someone’s reception today. Actually, it was just like a kid’s table you’d see at someone’s reception today – the maturity level at least, hehe! The only difference was the equipment.
Instead of coloring books and crayons, the man cave or in this case the man corner had blackjack and brandy. Mixed nuts and flavored cigars replaced the typical kiddy supplies of fruit punch and sugar coated candies, and right smack dab in the center of it all was a large – but not overtly cumbersome - air hockey table. Yes, I said air hockey. (They’re from Chicago; so, apparently the Blackhawks – and all that is holy – is engrained in their blood.)
The emblematic connotation of a man cave may make women leery of its presence, but let me reassure you that was not the case here! It was actually a huge hit and become a part of the reception rather than a distraction to it. And just think of the possibilities! You could sanction and supply your wedding day man cave however you see fit, and who knows?? It just may be one of your favorite spots too! — Goodness knows I was schooling kids with these mad, air hockey skills :)
March 15, 2011
photo courtesy of jaredwilsonphotography.com
From bagpipes to stand-up comedians turned DJ’s, wedding entertainment runs the gamut. The only difficulty is in determining what type of entertainment suits your personality and the likely mood of your guests. Whatever musical group or entertainer you choose, here’s a few general tips to keep in mind.
1. Keep It Light.
Weddings are festive occasions, meant for celebration. Don’t skimp on the cost of a band if it means you’re going to end up with a dour, listless bunch of performers. If possible listen to recordings of the band or better still watch a video to make sure they know upbeat songs that get people in the mood to dance and have a look that will suit your wedding’s style. Even a jazz band can play popular standards that will energize the crowd while keeping the reception moving. If you can’t afford a full band and choose to hire a DJ instead, ask for a sample playlist to get a feeling for what the DJ considers a musical good time.
2. Don’t Micromanage.
Although every bride wants her big day to go according to plan, there’s a difference between choosing the right entertainer and dragging them down with too many demands. Entertainers need a little spontaneity to keep their performances from feeling stale. Although it’s perfectly fine to request certain songs or ask for a DJ to follow a pre-programmed routine, don’t make the mistake of trying to plan out every last song or moment. Great entertainment will provide a mood; don’t get too nitpicky as to how they’re going to do it.
3. Plan for Different Stages.
Speaking of the right mood, what specific musician or entertainer should you choose to make the day memorable? In most cases, the bride and groom should choose someone who reflects their tastes but can also cater to an older crowd. After all, most weddings have a grandmother or two in the crowd. If you’re planning a big family wedding, make sure the group isn’t overly offensive. Jazz combos can make a fantastic addition to any wedding, as can eclectic DJ’s who know they should save spinning the more risqué numbers until after 9 or 10pm. Most wedding receptions have stages; there’s the immediate post-ceremony glow, followed by the mid-evening dinner/drinks period, followed by the late-night shift of die-hard partiers. Each stage has its own mood. Truly talented wedding entertainers will be able to effectively shift from one stage to the next. This will give your special day a textured quality suitable for all age groups.
By Freak Music Wedding Entertainment Specialists
March 1, 2011
photo courtesy of english-wedding.com
Every wedding has one. Some are given by the best man; some by the maid of honor, and still others by the bride or groom’s parents. They may make you laugh; they may make you cry, but one thing they certainly should NOT do is make you cringe.
I’m – of course – talking about the inevitable wedding speeches!
Wedding speeches are perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of your big day. It is, or at least it should be, an interesting insight to your relationship as a couple, a wish of goodwill and a toast in to your love. And because whatever the speech-giver says is generally amped across a microphone and loud speakers, it’s important that it’s good! So, here are a few tips on how to make it count:
First, let’s start off with what you should avoid at all costs. Humorous anecdotes are wonderful, but keep in mind that embarrassing does NOT always equal funny. Reminiscing about senior year spring break or that one time the groom went streaking through the frat house may make some (namely the bride and groom and more than likely Great Aunt Edna) uncomfortable.
On the other hand, don’t be boring. An easy way to find a compromise is through genuine sincerity. Try taking the emotional high road. Whether you choose to be humorous or sentimental, make sure that any stories or memories you have about the couple are relevant, sincere and stay on topic.
Another thing to consider when beginning the speech-writing process is time frame. It’s difficult to wax poetic about a couple’s love in five minutes, but any longer than that and guests will be agitated by your long-windedness. (Heck, they may even get restless after 2, pending on how many people feel the need to speak after!)
That being said, do not go into a speech without a plan… no matter how skilled you think you are at impromptu. Because even the most brilliant “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” stars can stutter after a couple drinks.
When you actually start to construct your dialogue, think back to your middle school speech class: every speech should have a beginning, middle and end. Begin your toast by introducing yourself and your relation to the bride and groom. Talk about the beautiful ceremony to create an easy gateway to lead into the meat of your speech.
The Middle. This is where your original content should come from. Memories are great, but too many inside jokes will leave those on the outside unsettled. So, stick with subjects that will personalize your toast and maybe garner a few laughs and tears. Having the best of both worlds will create a well-rounded speech. So for every joke you tell, balance it with a genuine, maybe even tearful, sentiment of love. Also, avoid hard subjects like the economic state or politics and harsh language like cursing or vulgarity.
Finally, finish with a bang! If you’ve racked your brain for more perspective only to come up empty-handed, it’s time to bring in the experts. Quotes, whether they’re spoken by a famous author or a member of the family, serve as the perfect standby conclusion. Some great examples of touching quotes:
- “Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” – Amy Bloom
- “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin
- “Marriage: that I call the will of two to create the one who is more than those who created it.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
- “We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world. It’s called love.” – Gene Perret
- “A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” – Andre Maurois
- “A happy home is one in which each spouse grants the possibility that the other may be right, though neither believes it.” – Don Fraser
- “To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
At this time, you will cue all of the wedding guests to join you in a toast to the bride and groom by raising their champagne flutes and wishing them eternal joy and happiness. And hopefully you’ll hear cheers and clapping, not crickets.
October 1, 2010
photo courtesy of stylemepretty.com
While there’s always discussion on whether or not children will or won’t be attending certain weddings, there’s not a single doubt in my mind when they do make the “A List,” they’ll have nothing but love for these creative, autumnal creations!
*Candy Apple Creation Stations
Feel free to set up a table and cover it with stick sturdy apples, warmed caramel, melted chocolate and all the crushed candy toppings you can find, and let your guests enjoying making their own treat to eat or take with them when they leave! It’s a great way to involve your guests as well as keep the kiddies occupied. (And no worries about hyping them up on too much sugar… they’re not going home with you! Haha!)
photo courtesy of recycledlovelies.com
photo courtesy of inspiredoccasions.blogspot.com
*Pumpkin Carving Campgrounds
photo courtesy of reverseshot.com
Okay, you don’t really need campgrounds, but the name just rolls off the tongue; so, I went with it :) Anyhoot, this is something – when done under adult supervision – can be a really great way to create lasting memories, as well as super fun photographs for your album. Hit up your local pumpkin patch, buy in bulk and let the fun begin! Feel free to accompany this reception section with pumpkin carvers, gloves and aprons… and if you’re worried that the carving may cause too much stress, use acrylic paints instead! And let the kiddies paint on their favorite face!
*Coloring Book Bonanza!
There’s no question that kids love to color. Whether you choose to man your coloring book station with fairy tale / dream-come-true images or Marvel comics finest character pages, there’s no doubt that kids of all ages will love gettin’ their color on during your big reception!
photo courtesy of weddingcustomcoloringbooks.com
*Disposable Glam Cams for Kids
And even more so than coloring, kids love feeling like grownups; so, why not arm your mini attendants with disposable glam cams for their very own “I feel soooo biiiig!” photography debut? They can get goofy pics of each other while trying their best to capture the day as they see it. And trust me on this one… some of their finds will be priceless :)
photo courtesy of greatexpectationsky.com
*Face-painting, Magic Tricks and Balloons… Oh My!
Pending your budget, sometimes the most well received children stations are the most over-the-top ones! So, bring in a magician, a balloon animating clown or even a face painting wizard to really let the kids get “wild” at your wedding! Of course, it never fails, sometimes these sections become even more populated by adults. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a butterfly painted face or giraffes made out of rubber? Uhhh, no one! Duh :)
photo courtesy of blog.catchmyparty.com
September 10, 2010
So… many… things… to… say…
But I’ll just let the video speak for itself. Why?
August 5, 2010
photo courtesy of sundaepaper.com
Nowadays, everyone is on a budget; so, when it comes to your wedding, it’s important to get the most bang for your buck. One way you can do this is by having centerpieces that double as favors!
One of my favorite dueling decorations is potted or replant able centerpieces that your guests can take home and enjoy long after the disco lights dim and the dances are done. By using dual purposed décor, you’ll not only create a standout look for your reception, but a standout memory for all your guests.
Everything from fragrant herbs and superb spices to vibrant blossoms and tall grasses can all be arranged to your liking and sent home with your guests for theirs. It’s a win / win for everyone!
And depending on your budget, you can easily make homemade plant boxes for super cheap, simply by using wood, nails and a stain of your choice… or leave the wood as is for an even cheaper, more rustic solution! As always, it’s really up to you. Get as over the top or under the radar as you want… just be sure to have fun and stay happy :)
Here are some of my faves:
photos courtesy of theknot.com and marthastewartweddings.com
July 16, 2010
As if the schmillion other posts I’ve previously done on this topic weren’t evidence enough, let it be known to all – men, women and children alike… I la’louvre Photo Booths! (For those of you who don’t speak Mary: la’louvre = deep rooted levels of paramount love, which hover somewhere between “pushing the limit” and “you’ve gone too far” – hehe.)
Which is why I am through the roof with excitement to present our latest line to enter the realm of awesomeness – aka Marilyn’s Keepsakes :) – Personalized Photo Booth Backdrops! With reception photo booths becoming one of 2010′s biggest wedding trends, it’s no wonder we wanted to be first in line to give brides-to-be something to make them even more amped to use them on their big day!
Available in 6 designs, 13 of today’s hottest wedding colors and personalized absolutely free of charge, these are the kind of products dreams are made of! Okay, okay, maybe dreams is taking it too far, but at the very least, there have to have some sort of rainbows, candy coated shells or pot’o'gold magic somewhere in their formula, because they are all kinds of fab(to the)ulous and create a great way to inspire interaction and entertainment among your guests!
Below are the current designs we’re offering – as modeled by yours truly, three of my work cohorts and a bucket full of ridiculousness :) Of course, I’m using the word “modeled” here very loosely – haha, but we’re workin’ it nonetheless! So, without further adieu, I give thee Photo Booth Backdrops, as presented by Marilyn’s Keepsakes:
April 30, 2010
photo courtesy of beautifulblooms.com
YOWZAS! Talk about making a statement from floor to ceiling… floating or hanging wedding décor is one way to get more bang for your buck! Because they offer a means to create more levels of dimension throughout your entire reception hall, you’ll easily streeeetch your real estate dollar to its fullest potential by filling in areas that otherwise would be lost… And who doesn’t love that??
After perusing through several images on BeautifulBlooms.com, I couldn’t help but be inspired by these float-tastic furnishings and immediately set off on a journey to discover more. (Of course by “journey,” I mean manic mouse clicking and by “discover,” I mean whatever Google Images wanted to show me… but alas, I digress.) I went absolutely Lady GaGa for the one of a kind, optical illusions they create and fell even deeper in love when I realized their practicality.
Not only do these suspended superstars create an allstar look, but they also offer brides and grooms a way to decorate their tables without blocking the view of their guests. Because big, bold centerpieces can create such big, bold WOW factors, so many brides are drawn to them… but they don’t always create the most rational way for your guests – seated in between and across from them – to communicate to others or worse yet… see you! Blasphemy!
Hence, only furthering the appeal of hovering centerpieces! By cutting out the middle “man” altogether and suspending the décor, you can be as big and bold as you want without blocking the view of your guests! It’s a win / win for everyone!
Just be sure to go over things with your venue. Since some of these will more than likely need more planning to accomplish, you should definitely work with your reception hall vendor and / or coordinator to make sure they go off without a hitch!
And if you’ve found yourself already booked to venue that doesn’t allow or have a means to hang things, there are still several options for you to create this look. One, consider using super tall, thin vases and placing floral or “pom pom” styled arrangements on the tops only. This will ensure you’ll get the height you want with minimal to no distractions of your guests… Or I like the idea of using large, elevated glass cylinders. You can fill them to the top with water, creating the illusion of “clear” space, and crowning them with your favorite flower buds, floating candles or fiber optics.
March 17, 2010