When you start planning your wedding you will find items and services you never knew you needed or wanted! Here are 15 expenses that can be easy to overlook.

Engagement Photos

Typically your engagement photos can be worked into a package with your wedding photographer. Bundling always saves a few dollars! The added bonus is you get to know your photographer that much better before the big day.

Engagement Ring Sizing

Some jewelry stores will do this at no charge when you buy your ring, some won't. If you are using a vintage ring you will need to pay to have it sized.

Asking Bridesmaids

Of course you can just ask them straight-forward if they would be a bridesmaid, but that's not much fun. Take them out for a fun night and ask them to be your bridesmaid then!

Invitation Stamps

These days we don't send much in the mail so the cost of stamps might not be on the top of your list. Don't forget to budget correctly. Some envelopes that are heavy will require extra stamps. The Post Office's website has a tool to help you figure out how many stamps you will need for each invitation. Don't forget the return envelope postage!

Dress Alterations

Unless you are very lucky and find a dress that fits you perfectly you will need alterations. This cost can vary, so make sure you ask your bridal shop about alterations.

Bridal Party Gifts

Plan these purchases early. If you wait until the last minute you may end up spending more than you'd like. Purchasing early also gives you time to have something personalized for each bridal party member.

Ceremony Music

Even if your ceremony is in a church you will likely need to pay an organist to play at your wedding. If you are having your ceremony outdoors or in a location not designed for ceremonies you may need to hire a company to provide sound so your vows and the officiant can heard. River City DJ can help you with this service.

Cake Cutting

Not all venues will cut the cake for you. Make sure you ask about this with your venue contact! If they will not cut the cake you need to check with your bakery for other options.

Transportation

Wether you are taking your own car, hiring a limo, or carriage, you will need a way to get to the ceremony and reception locations. You may also need to provide some transportation for older guests.

Vendor Meals

Sometimes vendors are forgotten about when it comes to dinner. Remember, your photographer and videographer have been with you all day. Giving them the same meal as what you are serving your guests is very appreciated. The typical vendor meal is no comparison.

Non-RSVP Guests

No matter how well you plan, no matter how much you ask for a RSVP, some people will just show up. Your caterer will help you plan for this. On the plus side there is usually a few guests who won't show up. Typically it all works out just fine.

Sunset Wedding

Having a sunset wedding can allow for a dramatic change in the lighting for your venue! Talk about this with your wedding planner or whomever is providing the decorations. The lighting River City DJ provides can provide multiple different looks throughout the night. We can help you make your reception venue pop!

Overtime

If the party is going hard and you don't want it to stop you can keep it going, at a cost. Check with your venue and entertainment about their overtime costs.

Dress Cleaning

It is important to have your dress cleaned after the big day! Having it preserved is a cost you want to budget for before you leave for your honeymoon.

Legal Documents

After you get your official copy of the marriage certificate you will need to update your passport, drivers license, credit cards, bank accounts, etc. Sometimes each of those accounts will require a separate copy of the marriage certificate; budget for extra copies.

 

Money Saving Tips

04/26/2016

 
Weddings can be expensive. In 2015 the average wedding in the United States cost $26,645! We want to share some tips to meet your wedding budget.

1. Set Priorities!

The first step is to decide what is most important to you. Is it the ceremony location, the reception locations, the dress, or the entertainment? Spend more on what is important to you!

2. Use Your Friends

Your friends can help you as much, or more, than your family. Figure out who would be best for a certain project, such as centerpieces, and ask them to help!

3. Headcount: Less is More

The is the biggest budget-buster of them all! If you are having difficulty parring down the list start with coworkers and children. Your friends and family are the ones who are most likely to share in your joy!

4. Think About the Off-Season

Major savings can be had if you get married in the off-season. In St. Louis this means Summer and Winter. Sure the weather might be 100º and 100% humidity or -10º with a foot of snow but that's what all-inclusive venues are made for. Have your ceremony and reception in one location and your guests won't have to go outside!

5. Wedding at a Restaurant?

Many restaurants can handle weddings! They are sometimes less expensive, the food is great, and they already have great decor!

6. Spend Money on a Planner

This might sound counter-intuitive, but spend money on a professional wedding planner. They know how to do budgets and they are not afraid to haggle on price with vendors. They also have relationships with the vendors which helps more than anything.

7. Flea Market Decor

Before you eschew this idea, think about all the unique items you can find at a flea market for your centerpiece and other table decorations. Shabby chic is in!

8. Get the SPAM

Sign up for the email lists through various wedding vendors. You will learn about last-minute trunk shows at bridal shops and other money-saving specials! Pro Tip: Create and email address just for this purpose.

9. Something Borrowed

Borrow one of the big-ticket items. This could be jewelry, the veil, cuff-links, or just about anything else!

10. Family Style

Instead of buffet or individual plated dinner, consider a family-style dining option. This will be unique, encourage guests to talk to each other, and allow you to offer a wider variety of food options. Sounds like a win-win-win to us!

11. Limited Open Bar

If you limit your bar to beer, wine, and a signature drink you can save big. The bonus is, it will speed up the bar service!

12. Cut the Cake

Instead of a cake you can have brownies, donuts, or gooey butter cake. This can allow you to provide a variety at less cost than a fancy artisan cake.

13. OK, Don't Cut the Cake

If you must have a designer cake you can have a small one made for the cake cutting ceremony and then serve sheet cake to the guests. This will be a huge savings and your guests won't know the difference!

14. A Different Kind of Champagne

Champagne is sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France. There are other sparkling wines such as Cava, Prosecco, and Cremant which taste as good or better than Champagne at much less cost.

15. Basic Services

Do you have your eye on a photographer or DJ that you really want to book, but you don't think you can afford them? Book their basic package. You can always upgrade or add extras later on once you have other budget items figured out.

 
 
We are participating in some upcoming wedding shows. We encourage you to come out to meet us and many other fantastic wedding vendors ready to make your wedding dreams come true!

If you book us at the wedding show we will defer your non-refundable retainer for 30 days!

Here are the next two shows we will be at:

My Dream Wedding Show
Our Lady of the Snows
Belleville, IL
Sunday, April 24
12:00 noon - 3:30 pm
Perfect Wedding Guide Wedding Show
Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel
9801 Natural Bridge Rd  
St. Louis , MO 63134
Sunday, May 1
12:00 noon - 4:00 pm
 

Backyard Weddings

04/05/2016

 
Spring is finally here and that may have you thinking that a backyard wedding is perfect for you! There is a lot of planning involved, much more than just having a party at your house. Here are some tips for planning the backyard wedding of your dreams!

Budget

Picture
Just because you are not paying a venue doesn't mean that a backyard wedding will be less expensive. There are a lot of rentals and incidental costs to consider which can actually make it more expensive. Keep in mind things like refrigeration and caterer friendly kitchen equipment (typically your home kitchen will not suffice), tables and chairs, decorations, portable restrooms, electrical power (usually the outdoor outlets cannot provide enough and a typical generator is not safe or quiet enough), dance floor, protection from the sun or rain, guest parking, etc.

We may sound like a broken record in our newsletters but we cannot recommend enough hiring a professional wedding planner, especially with something like an outdoor wedding.

Unpredictable St. Louis Weather

Picture
Everyone knows to just wait an hour if you don't like the weather in St. Louis, it will change; sometimes dramatically.

Renting a tent with sides that can be quickly deployed is a must. DO NOT rely on pop-up canopies from the local store! Those are not safe in even moderate winds. They also are not very tall and can feel claustrophobic with a lot of people in them. A professional tent will be installed safely and provide plenty of room for your guests. Don't forget to give the caterers someplace protected to prepare the meals!

Not only will a tent protect your guests from the rain it will also shade them from the sun. Tents can even be heated or air conditioned if needed!

A nice touch is to provide plastic heel covers, hand fans, and bug spray for your guests to keep them comfortable.

Choosing the Right Food and Decor

Picture
The decor and food should reflect your personal tastes and the vibe of an outdoor wedding.

It is easier for your caterer to provide grilled food at an outdoor reception, plus the smell of the grill will add to the ambiance!

Flowers should be hardy enough to take the St. Louis heat. Work with your florist to choose flowers that won't wilt quickly. Orchids and potted plants are ideal.

The decor should be heavy enough to not blow away in the wind. Napkins, menus, and place cards should be secured with tape or a weight to keep them in place. Anything hanging should be heavy enough to not blow around and be secure enough to not get knocked down by the wind.

Keeping the Neighbors Happy

Picture
Keeping the neighbors happy can be as much of a challenge as the rest of the planning combined! Invite them over for lunch or dinner and drinks let them know you are planning to have a wedding at your home. If you can, invite them! If you can't invite them, giving them notice that allows them to plan accordingly.

Parking will be problematic. Contact City Hall about parking regulations so you know exactly where you can and cannot park cars. One solution is to hire a valet company. This will ensure cars are parked legally and your guests will not have to walk very far in an unfamiliar neighborhood. A second option is to work with a local business to use their lot and hire a shuttle limo bus to bring guests to the house.

Noise will be a concern for your neighbors. Work with your entertainment vendor to make sure it doesn't get too loud outside of the property. The layout of the wedding and the direction the speakers face makes a big difference in how far the sound travels. A professional sound company or DJ will be able to help you figure out the best layout. They will also have a sound level meter with them to ensure they stay within city and homeowner's association regulations on noise.

 

Did You Know?

02/23/2016

 
Picture
We were reading the latest edition of Brides Magazine and ran across a very interesting poll on page 114. The magazine polled brides who were married in the last two years and asked them what they would have spent more on and what they would have spent less on if they had it to do over again.

Here's what they said.

They would spend LESS on:

  • Flowers
  • Invitations and Postage
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Bridesmaid's Dresses
They would have spent MORE on:
  • The Photographer
  • THE DJ!
  • Transportation to the After-Party
  • The Honeymoon
So, obviously music should be a big part of your wedding budget, but how much? On page 320 the magazine states that the average couple spends $1,811 on music! Wow, right!?!? That sounds like a lot!

The average budget was $28,392, so that means only 6.5% of their budget was spent on entertainment. For something that can make or break the reception, doesn't it make sense to splurge a little? After all, what do you remember most from wedding receptions you have been to? Chances are, the entertainment made a lasting impression!


 

    Author

    Josh has been a DJ in the St. Louis area for 22 years. In this blog he offers tips and ideas to help you plan your amazing event!
    If you want to see all our blog posts as soon as we write them, sign up for our Newsletter!

Archives

January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016

Categories

All
After The Wedding
Backyard
Budgeting
Ceremony
Guests
Outdoor
Parents
Planning
Reception
Songs
Tips
Transportation
Vendors
Wedding
Wedding Shows