While planning your wedding you should take some consideration into what your guests want along with what you want to make the day unique to you and your style.

We found an article on honeybrides.com that we think is spot on from a guest's point-of-view!

Here's the summary:

What's important to guests is
  1. Food and drinks
  2. MUSIC!
  3. Seating chart
  4. Venue
  5. Speeches
What's not important to guests is
  1. The cake
  2. The dress
  3. Flowers and décor
  4. The first dance
  5. Photos


Some items on the second list might be a surprise and may even go contrary to what you think is most important. That is because this is all from a guest's perspective. Even so, you should take it into consideration when figuring out your budget.

Since we are a company that provides music for your wedding day we can't help but point out that music is #2 on the list of what is important to your guests. Other surveys and articles over the past few decades have consistently listed music or entertainment as very important to guests.

We always say the entertainment will be what your guests will talk about for a long time. Please consider that when decided who your entertainment will be.

If you want to read more detail the article is available here.

Thanks for reading!
 
 
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.

 

Guest Shuttles

04/19/2016

 

Why Provide Guest Transportation?

Logistics of moving large groups of people between multiple locations may not be something you think about with weddings, but maybe you should! This is especially true if:

  • You have several guests coming from out of town
  • Parking is limited at your venue(s)
  • Your venue(s) are difficult to find
  • You have a tight schedule and need guests to arrive promptly
  • If you are having an after-party

Scheduling

When scheduling the run times of the shuttles, it is very important that you leave enough time for multiple trips, if needed. The shuttles should start trips back to the parking location or hotel soon after dinner is over in order to accommodate older folks and guests with young children that need to leave early. Knowing what type of guests will be in attendance will help you plan accordingly. Make sure the last shuttle leaves about 15 minutes after the reception formally ends. This will give guests time to make it to the shuttle. You may also want to budget for an additional end-of-night run in case the majority of your guests stay until the end.

Informing your Guests

If your guests are not aware that you are providing transportation they cannot take advantage of it!

So, what should you let them know?

  • Pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Shuttle service start and end times
  • Time in-between shuttles

Here's where we recommend letting everyone know:

  • On your wedding website
  • An informational pack the hotel gives out at check-in
  • A welcome note given to guests at arrival
  • Your ceremony officiant can make an announcement
  • A small sign on the bars
  • Let your DJ or band know to make announcements

If you have shuttles going to multiple locations put a sign in the shuttle window so guests get on the correct one!
 

    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!
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