PARTY DJ AUSTIN
Wedding & Event Planning Tips
Relax, we're here to help!
If you're planning your wedding, you're likely doing a ton of research trying to gather resources, find wedding vendors, and basically realizing that wedding planning a like having another job! We get it. We are in the wedding business and help clients plan their wedding all the time. Many clients have asked us for help and we're always happy to help as much as possible.
We've noticed that we get a lot of similar questions along the way, so we decided to write this article to help answer many of of these questions. We hope this helps to make your wedding planning less stressful. Let's discuss the questions.
1. Will a Wedding Planner Save Me Money?
The number one question we get asked is if having a wedding planner will save you money, overall. The short answer is, it depends. The first thing to think about is your overall budget and how much DIY planning you want to do, if any. If the thought of planning out an entire wedding weekend makes you cringe, then you can't afford not to have a wedding planner!
Wedding planners cost can truly vary, depending on your needs as well as the city or region of the country where your wedding will be taking place. They low cost option is to have a "day-of" (really month-of) coordinator. These planners will come in one month before the wedding and organize all the final details and tie up all the loose ends of your already made plans. The month-of coordination costs can vary, but in our Austin/San Antonio, and central Texas market, the average rate is about $1200 - $1500 for a month-of coordinator. Yes, there are some higher priced and lower priced alternatives, hence the term average.
For a wedding planner that will fully plan your wedding with you, the cost is considerably more. The advantage of having a month-of coordinator or a wedding planner is that they work with numerous vendors and already have a short list of vendors that they rely on. They'll be familiar with prices and vendors within your budget. This may save you money, since they may have a deal worked out with their go-to vendors that may be better than the rate you'd get if you were to approach them on your own. This isn't always the case, but it can be at times.
The bottom line is yes, having a wedding planner may be able to save you some money. The planner will be able to work with your budget to get you the best vendors and services within your budget!
2. Which Wedding Planner Book is Best?
For the DIY couples, many will ask us about any available calendars, worksheets, checklists, or books that can best help them plan their wedding. There are a variety of free and paid resources available on the internet. You can likely find everything you need to plan your wedding, free. The only downfall is that you have to do quite a bit of research to get all your resources. We actually also offer tons of great wedding planning tips on this very blog, to help you plan your perfect wedding day. We have free checklists, timelines, budget spreadsheets, and more. They're free and available to anyone, whether they are our customer or not. Our goal of this blog is to help everyone.
If you don't have the time to do all the research and you want a simple, comprehensive resource, the industry leader, The Knot, has made a great wedding planning book/calendar, called "The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer." This guide took all of the resources out there and put it into a handy calendar to help you plan the big day.
3. Why is Wedding Planning so Stressful?
Wedding planning can be very stressful. There are many details that go into planning and there are a lot of people involved in making your dream wedding a reality. First and foremost, the commitment, alone, is stressful. You've decided to spend the rest of your life with someone! That's a big commitment. Beyond this, weddings can be very expensive, which can also create stress!
Weddings are meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime deal, so understandably, you want your wedding day to be perfect. Every detail matters and because of this, it requires a lot of planning and organization, which can be stressful. Be sure to create a checklist, or a to-do-list, to help you stay organized. Get a calendar or planner and use it. We have a few great blogs on what to do before your wedding, that are sure to help. Check out our "What to do 6-12/18 Months Before Your Wedding" blog for lots of great tips. We also have another article, "What to do 1-6 Months Before Your Wedding" article, which guides you during this time. We're working on condensing all these to one article, and we'll create a calendar style book to help you plan your big day! :) Remember, the Knot has one similar, as well, just click the link above.
The sooner you get started wedding planning, the better. The more time you have to plan your wedding, the better for you, since your deadline won't be so near. Most people spend about 12 months planning their wedding. Sure, it can be done in less time, but that's where the stress comes in. Do yourself a favor and allow more time, if possible.
4. Are Wedding Planners Worth it?
This is a commonly asked question that has a tricky answer. The short answer is yes, absolutely! The tricky part is determining how much you want to be involved in planning your wedding. Your wedding planner will certainly work with you to make your wedding vision come to life. This will be the main advantage of having a planner. Your planner will know exactly who to contact for your every need, have an idea of the cost, and know the best vendors for your needs. This will save you a ton of time, since you won't have to spend countless hours researching and contacting people.
The other tricky part of the answer is determining how much is "worth it" to you. If you're on a tight budget, then every penny counts. Your wedding planner will cost you money, so be sure you have this cost built into your budget. If you just can't afford a planner, you can certainly go the DIY route, but that can certainly be more stressful. Again, the value of having a planner is well worth the cost. We'll discuss the costs in the next section.
5. How Much do Wedding Planners Cost?
Wedding planner costs can vary, depending on where you are and what your going market rate is. For our area (Austin/central Texas) month-of-coordinators hover around $1200 - $1500. For full service wedding planners, the cost can be quite variable. If you're hiring someone new in the business, their fees will be considerably less. We've seen some full service planners charge as little as $1200. Other more experienced planners can range from $4000 - $10,000, or more, depending on who you hire. Some planners charge a 10% of your total budget fee, as well.
Choosing a wedding planner can be difficult. Be sure to read reviews, find out what's included with their services, and ask for references, if you feel you need to.
6. Can Wedding Planning Make You Depressed?
This is a very commonly asked question and issue that many brides and grooms face. For this question, we'll let Diana answer this, since Diana is actually not just the business co-founder and owner, but she's also a licensed therapist! Yes, Jason and Diana both have professional Master's Degrees and they also DJed for many years before, and during college. You won't find any other DJ company owners like them! :) Here's Diana's answer.
I want to be the first to say that wedding planning is hard work! You are doing an amazing job. Now, too much of anything can be bad for you, right? Well, the same goes for wedding planning. Depression can affect people in different ways for a variety of reasons and it is a common mood disorder that can affect the mind and body. Some of the many possible symptoms of depression include sadness, decreased energy, and a lack of interest in activities. Many of these symptoms can be regulated by taking breaks from the wedding planning, and incorporating some self-care or mindfulness activities (even if its for 2-3 minutes per day).
Although it can be tough, try lowering the expectations you have on yourself that everything must be perfect (because there is no such thing as perfect). Don't compare your wedding to everyone else's or the amazing weddings on Pinterest. Remember, this is YOUR wedding. Accept that your friends and family are there to witness your happiness, not to critique your decor or venue - they love you! Sure, the plan is to have everything go as you envisioned it would. Occasionally, things don't go exactly as planned, so leave room for self-compassion and radically accept that you are doing the best you can, and some things are just beyond your control.
One way to help minimize the stress, which can ultimately lead to depression is to hire vendors who have a solid track record of doing a great job, not just in the last few months, but in the last few years! This way, you'll know if they are truly experts in the field and can do an amazing job. Whether it's for a wedding DJ, a photo booth rental, a planner, catering, or any vendor, remember, this is your special day and we encourage you to choose vendors who are going to help you execute your wedding day vision as best as possible!
We hope this article has been helpful and has answered many of the questions you may have. As always, be sure to contact us with any questions you may have and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Boots Team
For months, you’ve been planning the décor for your special day—but what do you do with hundreds of mason jars, candle holders, and floral arrangements once the dust has settled and the honeymoon is over? If you recently got hitched and now you have no idea what to do with all your leftover decorations, don’t get out the trash can just yet. It may seem daunting at first, but there are plenty of ways to reuse, donate, or recycle your wedding décor.
How to Organize Your Décor
First thing’s first. To avoid drowning in a sea of leftover table decorations and bridal magazines while you figure out what to do with your décor, it’s time to get organized! Create a system so that you stay organized and on top of things. This means keeping like items together (family photos go in one container; mason jars go in another) and using clear plastic bins to store everything.
You could also delegate stuff to your bridesmaids or groomsmen (yep, just because the wedding is over doesn’t mean you can’t ask them for help)—if, for example, dealing with the centerpieces feels overwhelming to you, don’t hesitate to see if your friends can take them off your hands.
What to Do with Your Décor
Now for the fun part! Here are some of the all-time best uses for your old wedding décor:
Decorate with it
There’s no reason why you can’t use some of your wedding décor as home décor. For instance, if you have a bunch of leftover candles and candle holders, spread them around on coffee tables, on bookshelves, or on your dresser. Incorporate any linens, pillows, or blanket you bought for guests into your home (keep in mind that when you’re wedding planning, it’s a great idea to consciously pick items that will fit in with your existing décor at home).
Did you collect family photos for your wedding? Add them to your mantle at home or create a whole new gallery wall with all your framed photos. Take any leftover flowers, press them, and hang them in a shadowbox on the wall. There are countless ways you can decorate your house with your wedding treasures.
Keep it for another party
Want an excuse to throw another awesome party? Hang onto all your old décor and use it to spice up another celebration! It doesn’t have to be wedding-related—use your leftover balloons for a children’s birthday party or put out leftover candy during a get-together with friends.
Although you may be tempted to toss everything in the trash, try to resist the urge. If there are some customized items that can’t be reused or gifted, be sure to recycle what you can. You could also try taking items to Goodwill or a local thrift store.
Donate it to another couple or a charitable cause
Chances are, you probably know another couple about to get married, so why not donate some of your old décor to them? Ask around to other friends and family members and see if they know anyone in need. Weddings can be incredibly costly, so if you know a soon-to-be-hitched couple who may not have all the money in the world, consider donating your decorations to them.
You could also donate your décor to a charitable cause: For example, if you’re wondering what to do with all your floral arrangements, there are several companies (including the Bloom Project and Petals with Purpose) that will take your flowers and distribute them to hospitals and nursing homes. If you have time, consider delivering them yourself.
Save your leftover bottles of alcohol
Ah, the wedding booze—when the bar closes, what do you plan to do with all those leftover bottles? If you have a bunch of half-empty bottles of wine and liquor left after your big day (and you had your wedding in a private venue), ask your caterer or day-of planner to set aside any open bottles at the end of the night. For identical bottles of liquor, combine bottles and fill them up, and take them to your bar at home. Let's be honest: You probably deserve a drink after all that wedding planning, anyway. Some liquor stores allow you to bring back your unopened bottles after the big event. Do some adequate research ahead of time to see if that's an option for you.
Whatever you do, after your wedding is over, don’t just throw away all your décor! After all, you probably spent months agonizing over all those decorations. Plus, chances are that you’ll regret getting rid of that beautiful family altar you crafted or those intricate DIY centerpieces you spent so long making. But even if you do want to throw out some of your old wedding stuff, at least you know you did your due diligence to repurpose most of it. When the time comes to say goodbye to the leftover, makes it easy on yourself by hiring a trash removal service in Austin so you can just Otherwise, it’s time to get creative: Recycle, reuse, or donate your decorations.
Guest Contributor: Abigail Golder
If you're planning your wedding, then you already know that having a wedding can be very expensive! Whether you're planning your wedding in Austin or central Texas, or in Manhattan, NYC, having a wedding means spending a lot of money! Everyone wants to have a fun, memorable wedding. How much it costs you, depends on your preferences and budget. Luckily, we're here to offer you some great money-saving tips, to help you save and still have your dream wedding!
Another way to save is by reconsidering the venue. We've seen couples choose to have their reception at a restaurant. Yes, this is very untraditional, but also somewhat brilliant! You don't have to pay for catering staff, you can bring in your own decor, you don't have to worry about cleanup, they'll have the space you need, etc. They'll likely have a minimum order that you have to purchase, but if you're looking to save a lot of money, this is certainly an option!
We could go on and on on how to save, but these are just a few, great ways to save. As always, contact us if you have any questions, and we'll be happy to help. Check out our 20 Smart, Money Saving Tips blog for other great ways to save!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
The order of your wedding processional or recessional, will depend on the type of wedding ceremony you're having. We usually see a religious or civil ceremony, and sometimes a military wedding ceremony. We'll discuss what we normally see at our weddings and events, but remember, this is your big day, so you can do whatever you'd like, traditional or not! :)
Christian Wedding Ceremony Processional Order
We provide our DJ and photo booth services for numerous weddings, every month, all year long. Most weddings that we do are traditional, Christian weddings. The Christian processionals and recessionals usually follow the same order. The processional order in a Christian, heterosexual wedding ceremony is:
Civil Ceremony & Same Sex Wedding Processional Order
Today, wedding ceremonies are becoming less traditional. Whether the ceremony is religious or not, couples should do what they want to do. There are no set rules and there is no set order for a civil ceremony. You can borrow procedures from a religious ceremony, or simply create your own. Just discuss what works for you, write it down (or your planner will) and practice it at the rehearsal. Again, what's most important is that the ceremony feels right to you!
Here's an example of the processional order in a same sex wedding ceremony.
We hope this has been helpful. By no means is our lists the only way. As always, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Weddings should be fun for the bride, groom, and of course, the guests. If everything is planned right, it’s an event people look forward to and most are honored to be a part of celebrating your union.
Most decisions leading up to the wedding day are about you. It’s a time to celebrate and declare your love in front of the people who care about you most. But as with any event, it’s important to keep your guests’ experiences at the forefront of your mind. If you plan it right, you will be able to sit back and enjoy your day and know that everyone is having a great time and all their needs are met.
However, if you neglect to consider all your guests’ needs, how they will feel about the day’s timeline and what they’ll be looking forward to most, you will feel the stress and pressure on the big day when you should be sitting back and enjoying yourself.
So consider these basic guidelines for some of your guests’ most prominent needs. Writing your thank you notes will feel a lot more fun if you know everyone had a blast and the pictures prove it!
Your wedding is likely the largest party you’ll ever throw. Though you may know what you want to eat on your special day, it’s important to consider the needs and wants of your guests so they don’t leave early and head through the nearest drive thru.
Nothing kills a party faster than bad music. And, if the music is great, chances are your guests will never forget what a great time they had after the ceremony. Finding the right DJ can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a basis for what you’re looking for. For you and your guests to have a great time keep these tips in mind:
Whether your wedding will be held right down the road from your childhood home or you’re planning a destination wedding and requiring your guests to travel, you want to be considerate of your guest’s time and personal budgets for being in attendance.
Above all, if things don’t go as planned or you are concerned about your guests’ experience, remember that they are there to support and celebrate you on such a special day. Minor hiccups happen, but the more planning you get ahead of today, the more you can focus on the special moments and excitement for your new life.
When it comes to planning a wedding, quinceanera or event, one thing is for sure, it's a lot of work! There are numerous details and things to consider. Beyond the details, you have to choose the best vendors from a list of sometimes hundreds of wedding and event vendors. However, sometimes, you may have a friend or family member, who's a DJ, or runs a photo booth business, a wedding planner or coordinator, a photographer, etc. It's definitely great to know someone in the business! You can discuss your event with them and get their advice on things. This is certainly a great way to lessen your stress and help you be sure to hire the best vendors possible, for your event! However, the question that many friends of wedding or event vendors struggle with, is "Should I hire my friend/family member, to do my wedding/event?" The answer is actually not too easy to answer. Let's discuss this.
In order to thoroughly answer whether you should hire a friend or family member to work at your wedding, you should answer a few questions, first. Here are a few questions and things to consider.
1. Why are you hiring them?
This seems like an easy question to answer, but be truly honest with your answer. Are you hiring him/her because you truly value and respect their work? If you do, are you willing to pay their normal rates that they would charge any client? If not, then perhaps you may not value their work as much as they do. Wedding and event professionals work hard and put in countless hours, just to be sure your wedding/event goes just as you want it to!
2. Do you want a discount?
If you're hiring your friend or family member, simply because you want a great price, or even, FREE, here are some things to think about. There is a lot of preparation involved for any event. For us, we often put in about 30 hours of prep work for every event! The day of the event is also many more hours then just the hours your hired us for. A 4 hour event where we provide a DJ, only, usually requires a 2 hour setup and 1 hour breakdown, not to mention drive time. If we're providing other services, such as a photo booth, games, or extensive lighting, we have to arrive about 3 hours before. So when you hire any wedding professional, remember that all the work you don't see, factors into their current, normal price.
3. How close are they to you?
This last point is one thing that many people don't think about. Perhaps you're willing to pay their normal rates and you truly value their work. That's great! However, if this person is your close friend or family member, do you really want them to work at your event, or would you rather them attend as a guest? Working at an event as a wedding professional is far different then attending an event as a guest. Though working or attending is enjoyable for wedding pros, there is an obvious difference between the two. Do you want your friend or family member to enjoy the event, as a guest, like the rest of your guests? Would you rather have them dancing out there with you, or taking pictures with you, versus behind the DJ booth, coordinating or taking the pictures?
Overall, the choice to hire your friend or family member to work your event is yours, of course. These are just a few things to consider, before asking him/her. As wedding and event professionals, this situation comes up a lot, for us. We're often booked up to 12 months in advance, so most of the time, even if we wanted to, we're booked. I will say that if it's a close friend or family member, we'd always much rather be invited as a guest, than to work, but that's our preference. Other vendors may have a different opinion.
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Austin's Best DJs is now offering day-of coordination services and full service wedding planning! Business owners, Jason & Diana, are actually certified wedding/event planners, and due to the overwhelming number of inquiries, we're now offering these services for Austin and central Texas weddings, quinceaneras, parties, and events!
Planning a wedding or event can be very stressful and time-consuming. We know that you are busy and don't have much free time to take on a new, part time job (aka wedding planning). We know you'd rather spend your free time doing things you actually want to do, such as going to the gym, hanging out with your friends and family, and of course spending time with your significant other! Wedding planning can certainly be fun to do, with your significant other, as well as with your wedding party and family, but if you find yourself getting overwhelmed or stressed out, then perhaps it's time to take a break and let us help.
Your entertainment is a huge factor in the overall success of your wedding, and therefore,
as wedding/event planners, we created our forms to outline every key moment of weddings and events, down to minute by minute! Providing the music and entertainment for weddings and events requires us to know all the key details of every event. We always take the time to discuss your wedding or event vision, and how we can help you achieve it. This is why we decided to also take the time to earn wedding/event planning certifications. We knew we could not always rely on others, to ensure our clients had a great event.
Over time, we noticed that some of our clients did not have a planner or coordinator. We don't require that our clients have a coordinator, nor do we charge extra fees if they don't. (Some DJ companies do). We simply go over the key details with them, and answer as many questions as we need to. Many clients always tell us how helpful our timeline and forms are, in organizing their wedding or event. Some clients would literally print out or documents and use them to coordinate, the day of the wedding. We happily assisted them, as much or as little as they needed.
Even if clients do have a planner or coordinator, the event's success highly depends on the coordinator working with all the vendors, especially the DJ/band, to ensure the night goes as planned. The DJ often is the MC, and makes key moment announcements, helping the guests know what is happening, before it happens, or as it happens, throughout the night. Coordinators and DJs have to work side-by-side, to ensure the event goes perfectly, every time! Just ask a coordinator if he/she has ever worked with a "bad" band or DJ, and how that event went. :)
Wedding and event planning is what we have been doing with our clients, every week, all year long, for the last several years. We're happy to help you plan your wedding or event, as the day-of coordinator (month-of) or with full service planning, if you need it. We'd love to help you and your guests have an amazing time, and a stress-free day, on one of the most important days of your life! Contact us, today, and leave the hard work and stress to us! Let's celebrate, together!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths