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2019 Quinceanera Expo Austin, TX
Finally, Austin is now having Quinceanera Expos! For a while, they were only taking place in San Antonio. We were a part of the quince expo in mid-March of this year. This was put on by El Mundo Newspaper and Ricky's Events. There is another one happening next weekend, June 23, 2019, at the Diamante Event Center, located at 7801 N Lamar Blvd suite b148, Austin, TX 78752. The time is from 1 - 4 pm.
It is FREE to the public, so be sure to stop by and meet many great Austin Quinceanera vendors, sample great foods, and win some great door prizes at the event. In March, they gave away prizes every hour! If you need directions to the event center, just click the map below.
2020 Quinceanera Expo San Antonio, TX
The 2019 "Austin" and San Antonio Quinceanera Expo took place, this year, in San Antonio, Texas. The quince expo took place on Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 12 pm - 5 pm, in downtown San Antonio, at the the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, located at 900 E Market Street San Antonio, Texas 78205.
The next Quinceanera Expo is already set for Sunday, March 22, 2020. The time is the same as last year, 12 pm - 5 pm. The venue is also the same, which is helpful. If you need directions, simply click the map below. :)
You can buy tickets to the San Antonio Quinceanera Expo, online, for $8. The tickets will be $10 at the door, on the day of the event. Also, be sure to register for FREE prizes, for your Quince, at QuinceaneraExpos.com
Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths will actually not be at this event, this year, but we know a lot of our clients and perspective clients are searching for Quinceanera info, so we wanted to share this info with you. You'll be able to talk to all the vendors you will need, in person, at the expo. If you're looking to book an awesome Austin or San Antonio Quinceanera DJ, or a great Austin, San Antonio, or central Texas photo booth rental, contact us!
At the Quince Expo, You can meet and chat with Austin and San Antonio:
Photographers, videographers, Quinceanera DJ's, bands, caterers, cake or bakery
decorators, mariachis, jumping balloons or inflatables, limo services, party buses, tuxedo shops, bridal stores, jewelry Stores, choreographers, makeup artist, bartending services, florist, anything and everything else you can think of that you'll need for your Austin or San Antonio Quinceanera! Additionally, if you're searching for a great place for Quinceanera dresses, be sure to check out Mary's Bridal, for unique, affordable Quinceanera dresses! Be sure to check out our interview with Austin Quinceanera Dress shop, Ceremonias 15 and Bridal.
We are always happy to help clients plan their Quince and/or Sweet 15, Sweet 16. Business owners, Jason & Diana, are certified wedding/event planners and gladly offer great tips and advice to help you plan the big day. As always, contact us if you have any questions and we'll be happy to help! Be sure to check out our Top Quinceanera Trends article, or 8 Great Planning Tips for Your Quinceanera article!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Note: This article was originally written in 2017, but we update it, as new quince expos happen, yearly.
When it comes to weddings and events, uplighting is often a term you'll hear from wedding DJs, quinceanera DJs, wedding or event planners, and even event venues. Uplighting is very popular and makes wedding and event venues look great! So there is a ton of information and misinformation, unfortunately, about uplighting. There are numerous common questions people have about it. We're going to answer those questions to help you, even if you're not our client. Though we can't understand why you wouldn't be! :) So let's discuss uplighting in detail.
What is Uplighting?
The first question we often get is, "what is uplighting?" Uplighting is a popular lighting effect for weddings and events, created by placing lighting fixtures on the floor, or ground, and shining them up (hence the name). Uplighting is a very effective way to dramatically change and improve the ambience of any event space.
Most uplighting is used indoors, but it can be used outdoors, too. Though there is waterproof uplighting, most companies only carry regular uplighting and do not want to risk testing the water resistance. We have done events and placed uplighting around the tree areas and it looked great! Where the lighting is placed depends on the client's vision, as well as the power supply, if the company only has "wired" lighting (the light must be plugged in). There is wired and wireless uplighting (battery powered), which allows the lights to be placed anywhere! We offer both.
What's the Best Color Uplighting for Weddings?
The next most frequently asked question is about the color of uplighting. Many clients ask what colors should they choose, or which colors are most popular, etc. The color of uplighting is up to you and what your vision is, but we suggest getting colors that will match with your decor or theme. You don't have to do this, but the lighting will really bring the room together, when you do. If you can't decide, the Amber color is often the color most clients choose. It has a candlelit look, which always looks great.
How Much Uplighting Do I Need?
Another great question that we get asked is about the number of uplights needed. This is a tricky question that is honestly up to you, as well as your budget, too. Don't let companies talk you into getting 40 lights, simply because "it will look great." Sure, it will definitely light up the room, but 40 lights would be far too much for most venues.
The number of lights you should get depends on a few factors. First, the size of your venue. The larger the venue, the more lighting you'll want to use. Keep in mind that many venues already have great lighting. You don't need a ton of uplighting if your venue already has a lot of great lighting. Be sure to talk with your venue coordinator about this. Ask about other clients and if they used uplighting, where it was placed, etc.
Most people will get the uplighting in sets of 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. We've rarely been asked for more than 20. Most venues will have lights on a dimmer, but still have some lighting around the room, especially for safety reasons. The average clients will request 8-12 uplights for their event from us. Again, this decision is up to you, ultimately.
How Much Does Uplighting Cost?
The uplighting cost can really vary, depending on who you're renting it from. Your DJ may have uplights, sometimes venues offer the lighting, and other times, clients will rent them from lighting companies. You may wonder what the difference is between the three of these providers. In short, it can be similar, and it can also be very different.
The cost often depends on the company that is providing the lighting and their market. DJ companies will often buy their lighting from the DJ supply store, or online. The lights at these places can really vary. There are some great lights, and some not so great lights. The difference is the colors, the brightness, the color mixing ability, transition ability of the lights, and more. The cheaper lighting will not be as bright and may be limited in color options. The more expensive lights will often have brighter lights and better color mixing ability.
Companies with the more expensive lights will likely charge more per light. The companies that only do lighting often charge much more than companies who simply offer it as an optional upgrade. The lighting companies will often have very high end lights, and charge a delivery fee, setup/breakdown fee, etc. This does not mean that DJ companies or other venues cannot carry the same lights. However, most of the time, the DJ companies and venues usually don't carry the same, high end lights, since these lights are very expensive to purchase.
In our case, we do carry high end lighting, because we want our clients and their guests to be wowed when they walk into their venue for the first time. We're all about making an amazing first impression. Our uplights can actually be as bright as 165 watts, which is the brightest LED lights on the market, right now. Most uplighting is between 20 - 40 watts (even the higher end lights are usually 40-55 watts).
Actual Costs - The typical uplighting rental cost from DJ companies ranges from $20 - $50 per light. There are also companies that rent various music and equipment that may also offer uplighting, for $10 - $20 per light. There are even online rental companies that offer lighting for about $25 - $40 per light. The companies that provide only lighting will usually charge $50 or more, per light, along with the delivery and setup fees. Know that these companies will be the highest priced of all the choices, but they also do offer great lighting!
If you're unsure about where to rent, inquire with a few companies and simply ask them why their lighting is better than their competitors. Ask to see pictures of events with their lighting in use. Ask how bright they are. Lastly, be sure to ask about any setup, breakdown, or delivery fees. Overall, we hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
As certified wedding/event planners, we often work with many families to help them plan their event. Besides the timeline, ceremonies, picking the right songs for each moment, and announcements, we often get asked by people "what to wear to a quinceanera," or "what do you wear to a quinceanera?" We also get many people who ask, more specifically, "what do female or male guests wear to a quinceanera? Are they very formal? Do we need to dress up in cocktail dresses or tuxedos?" These are all very popular questions and not quite as easy to answer.
If you have never been to a Quinceanera, Sweet 15 or Sweet 16, or haven't been, lately, then you wouldn't know that they're more and more becoming like "mini-weddings!" The planning and preparation, the decor, the food, the outfits, and many other things, often take just as much time and effort as a wedding. Most quinces and sweet 15s and sweet 16s are planned about a year or more (we often see 2 years of planning and saving), in advance, just like weddings. That being said, the rules for attire are similar to weddings. Let us explain.
What Should You Wear as a Female Guest, to a Quinceanera?
Many people, both men and women, often don't know what to wear to Quinceaneras or sweet 15/16s. Again, a quince and/or sweet 15/16 is similar to a wedding, so it's a formal event. Leave the chanclas (flip flops) at home. :) Though you can wear "dressy" sandals, since you should be comfortable. Generally speaking, anything you'd wear to a wedding is suitable to wear to a quince or sweet.
If you're a guest, be sure to ask what the theme colors are, or at least what colors the court will be wearing. As a female, you should try to not wear the same color(s) as the dresses of the court or the guest of honor (la Quinceanera). You can certainly wear similar colors, but try not to wear the same exact colors as the guest of honor or court.
There are exceptions to this. If you are an immediate family member, such as a brother, sister, or parent(s) of the guest of honor, then most often, we'll see that these guests do actually wear the same exact colors as the quince or court. They just will not have the exact dress style of tuxedo style.
For women, evening gowns or cocktail dresses work well. Women should try to stay away from puffy dresses or clothing, since most quince and sweet dresses are usually puffy. To be honest, the general rule for weddings is the same as quinces and sweets, people don't want to "upstage" the guest of honor.
What Should You Wear as a Male Guest, to Quinceaneras?
Conventional suggestions for men are to wear darker colored suits or tuxedos. Again, if you're not an immediate family member or in the court, then be sure to not wear the same exact colors as the court of guest of honor. Also, a male guest, you don't want to wear a tie that's the same color as what the Chambelan (person who escorts the guest of honor) or members of the court will be wearing. The Chambelan often wears a tie, bow tie, and cumberbund, that is the exact color as the guest of honor.
We have seen many younger, male (and female) quince guests wear jeans and a dress shirt, which is okay, as well. Formal works best, but if formal clothing isn't available, just dress up as you see fit. Remember, it's not too complicated. There's no need to go out and buy a fancy suit or tuxedo. Just dress up as you would dress to a wedding, or perhaps going to church. If you follow this rule, you'll certainly be dressed appropriately.
When it comes to Quinceaneras, we've got Austin, San Antonio, and central Texas covered. We are the #1 Sweet 15, Sweet 16, and Quinceanera DJs in the Austin area. We also provide our DJ and quinceanera photo booth rentals to numerous school events and proms for every district in Travis County, and many surrounding areas, too. The more school events we do, the more teen events we do, and vice versa. It's a great thing for us and we're proud to be the leaders in our market! As certified wedding/event planners, we'll also gladly help you plan the quince or sweet 15/16. We have created our helpful forms to make it easy for you!
We hope this article has been helpful. As always, contact us with any questions and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
If you're planning your quinceanera, in Austin, San Antonio, or anywhere, then you have already figured out how much time it takes to do! It's literally like an intro to wedding planning class! :) Quinceaneras require just as much time and effort as weddings from the planning standpoint. They're also very similar to weddings with the details and even the vendors you'll need to make your quince special!
Luckily, as one of central Texas' leaders in the quince industry, we're here to help. We are a part of quinces, every month, all year long. We get to help many quinceaneras and their families, celebrate this pivotal milestone moment! We're always honored to be a part of these special moments. Also, Jason & Diana are certified wedding/event planners and have created their exclusive planning forms for ABDJs' clients. We noticed that many people struggle with the day-of-timeline, so we created this timeline to help. Simply download the timeline and fill it in with your info.
As always, please feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
If you're considering booking Zilker Clubhouse for your Austin wedding, quinceanera, or event, you've come to the right place! :) We have direct experience from two sides. First, as wedding DJs and photo booth providers, and second, as guests at an event there. So here are our thoughts, based on our experiences. Oh, and no, we were not paid to write this. We're simply trying to help anyone who is considering this venue for their wedding or event.
I like to start with the cons, simply to get them out of the way. I want to end on a positive note! :)
Cons of Booking Zilker Clubhouse in Austin, TX
Pros of Booking Zilker Clubhouse Austin, TX
Now, let's get to the pros of booking at Zilker Clubhouse. There are a few great things about booking here! Let's discuss these.
Overall, the Zilker Clubhouse is a great venue, if you know what you're getting. Check out more info and read the complete list of details about renting Zilker Clubhouse in this PDF. We hope this has been helpful! As always, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help in any way that we can.
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
As certified wedding/event planners, and owners of Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths, Jason and his wife, Diana, help many people plan their weddings and Quinceaneras in the Austin and central Texas area, every year. Today, we're writing to discuss a few great tips to plan the perfect quince!
First, let's discuss the prominence of Quinces in the US. In the United States, the Latino population grew about 57% between 2000 and 2017 (according to the Pew Research Center). About 17% of teens are of Hispanic origin, today. This means about 1 in 6 teens will be turning 15, and many will be celebrating their Quinceanera, in 2019! Wow, that's a lot of teens!
Planning a Quinceanera, today, is very much like planning a wedding! There are so many details to consider, and the average Quinceanera is planned about 12-18 months before the actual date! Let’s discuss a few great tips, and how you can plan your perfect Quinceanera!
1. Determine Your Quinceanera Budget
As we mentioned before, Quinceaneras are a BIG DEAL! They take so much time to plan and there are so many details involved. There are numerous things to consider. The very first thing to consider before everything else is your budget. How much will you spend, total, for the Quince? If you’re looking for great ways to save, check out the Quinceanera.com Quince on a Budget page, for lots of great budgeting tips! They have tons of ways to help you save money and to help you in the planning process.
If you need an easy template to help you get organized, feel free to download our Quineanera Budget template, and simply input the items and costs for your quince. We've done the hard work for you! :) Just click the file, below, to download it!
2. Choose Your Quince Venue
After you've determined your budget, the next step is to choose the right venue for your Quince. You'll have to decide on how many guests you're inviting, before choosing your venue. Many quinces have well over 100 people. We've often seen 200 - 300 guests at some of the quinces we've done. How big you want your quince depends on your budget. Remember, the larger the venue, the more expensive it is, usually. You also have to consider feeding all of your guests. So inviting your tio's neighbor's neighbor, may not be the best idea. :)
If you want to invite everyone, but can't afford to feed everyone, consider scaling down your list. How? A basic rule of thumb that we tell our wedding and quince clients is this: If you haven't actually spoken to the person in any meaningful way in over a year, you can probably take them off of your list.
3. Find a Great Catering Company
Now that you've determined your budget and booked your venue, it's time to take care of the food! Do you want to serve appetizers? Do you want to serve a plated dinner, family style dinner, or a buffet? Buffet style is the cheapest option to feed a lot of people. Generally, your venue and food will usually take up most of your quince budget.
Always get 3-5 quotes for everything you need. Food, music, decor, etc. After you've received your quotes, find out what the food options are. If you really want to save money, consider getting food from a local restaurant, versus a catering company. Just be sure to ask if they offer catering. Be aware, that local restaurants will not always offer service staff, so you and your family/friends will have to all come together to help out with dinner, if you choose to hire a local restaurant.
If you want to save even more money, ask your family to help with the food and bring a dish. This is an easy way to save, if you need to. Be sure to check out the Mi Padrino site for a few helpful articles on how to save on catering costs.
4. Book Your Entertainment
The next important step to think about is your Quinceanera entertainment. Do you want to hire a band, or a DJ? Generally, bands cost more and they do take breaks, understandably. Bands won't always MC your quince ceremonies, either, but some do. As we stated above, be sure to get 3-5 quotes and find out what's included with the price. Many companies will offer a low introductory price, but have nothing included with the package, making you spend more to get things you may want, like dance floor lighting, uplighting, etc. By the way, we know some awesome Austin/San Antonio Quinceanera DJs, if you need a DJ! :)
Next, think about what other entertainment you'd like to offer. Many quinces are now adding a photo booth rental as part of their entertainment. Everyone loves taking selfies! Additionally, you can ask for social media uploading from your photo booth provider, and this will be great! Just ask everyone to use your hashtag, or location, for your Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat.
5. Choose a Quince Theme
Now that you've got the main parts of your quince at least booked, it's time to focus on one of the best parts, choosing a great Quinceanera theme! What theme are you looking for? A Disney theme has been very popular for 2018 and upcoming 2019 Quinceaneras. We've seen "Beauty and the Beast" Quinces, "The Little Mermaid" Quinces, "Frozen" Quinces, and many others! You don't have to have a theme, of course, but many love the idea!
Choosing a theme comes before choosing your Quinceanera dress, because you'll need to choose a color that goes with it. There are plenty of great places to choose a quinceanera dress. In California, one of the most popular places is Moda 2000. They have an online shop with tons of colors and styles to choose from. Looking online helps you save time, since you can narrow down your favorite styles and colors, before going to the shop.
In Texas, you can simply visit Mary's Bridal Store, for tons of great Quinceanera dress options, as well. Though they're located in the Houston, Texas area (Stafford, TX), you simply have to enter your zip code on their store locator site, to find stores closer to your area. There are many stores for you to be able to try on your dress.
After you select the perfect dress, you can then focus on decor. You can choose your matching colors for the table linen, add centerpieces, add uplighting, perhaps add a custom-made monogram with your name or quince logo, and much more!
Overall, these are the top 5 tips to help you get started on planning the perfect Quince! Of course there is a lot more to do in the months before your Quince, but these are the 5 things to do to ensure your Quince goes just the way you want it to. If you're too busy to plan the quince, consider hiring an event planner to help you along the way. Planners can be very helpful and take our all of the stress of planning. Your job will simply be to show up and have fun! If you're curious about new quince trends, check out our article, 2019 Quinceanera Trends, for lots of great info on the latest trends, new dress styles and colors, and more!
Also, an easy way to talk to all of your vendors for your quince, at once, is to attend the Austin/San Antonio Quince Expo, this February. Simply click the link for more details. A great thing about attending these expos is that vendors really want to book as many events as possible, that day, so you'll often be able to get great discounts! As always, contact us if you need any info and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Events go from good to great when you start to personalize the details. From choosing a wedding processional song that speaks to your love rather than keeping it traditional to adding a photo booth to your event where you can make memories that you will keep forever, these little decisions will make all the difference.
If you’re planning on hosting a holiday party this season, or a wedding, quinceanera, party or event, here are a few great ways you can personalize your event!
Choose the Right Music
Begin by choosing music that you and your guests will enjoy. For holiday parties, try to incorporate a mix of classic holiday tunes with a variety of more modern hits. For weddings, parties and events, definitely add all of your favorite genres, and be sure to consider music that your guests may want to hear, too. If you're not sure, simply ask your guests to requests music.
Many couples will set up a wedding website, and guests can often visit the website and give song suggestions for the wedding. Simply ask your guest, what 2 songs will make you get up and dance? Collect the responses and be sure to filter through them, since you'll have the ultimate say in what your DJ plays at your wedding or event. Be sure to give your DJ a list of all the suggested songs ahead of time so that they know what to play, as well as the kind of vibe you’re trying to set. If you need some song ideas, check out our Top 200 Wedding & Party Songs article.
Create Unique Decor
Wow your guests as soon as they step in the door by transforming the venue with new, unique decor. A fun way to do this is by creating statement floral balloon garlands. FTD has 3 floral balloon garland tutorials to help you personalize your decor. Just pick the one that fits your theme and give it a try! The tutorials make it simple to easily create your decor by breaking it down in a few, easy steps.
The top picture shows the classic balloon garland. This will look great at any wedding, party or event. You can also add your choice of colored balloons to match your theme colors. For a holiday party or event, or even a wedding/event that occurs in December, you can add the Christmas Floral Balloon Garland, pictured on the right. New Year’s floral balloon garlands also look great for New Year's Eve parties and events!
Take the Memories With You
Be sure to document your entire wedding or event. by hiring a photographer, videographer, or set up a themed photo booth to capture all the special moments. Photo booth photos also double as the perfect favor to take home at the end of the night! You can also add props to go with your theme, to tie in the photo booth to your decor.
Overall, these are just a few great ways to add unique, personalized decor for your holiday party, wedding, or event. Be sure to check out our other articles to learn about the latest 2019 wedding trends!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Alexandria Heinz of FTD
2019 Quinceanera Trends
If you're planning a Quinceanera, Sweet 15 or Sweet 16 in the Austin, San Antonio, or central Texas area, or anywhere, then you have probably noticed that there is far less information available for Quince planning, than say, wedding planning. Fortunately, we're here to help!
As 2019 is just beginning, more and more, we're getting asked "what are some new, 2019 quinceanera trends that you're seeing?" Every year, we see different trends, and often, similar trends from the prior, but slight variations of the previous quince trends. As the leading provider of Austin and central Texas Quinceanera DJs and Austin photo booth rentals, (including sweet 15/16s, school dances, fundraisers and proms), we get to be a part of numerous Quinces & sweets, and we get to work with a lot of great teens! We also help many families plan their events. We already have several events booked for 2019 and we've seen some trends. Here are the top 3 trends we're seeing for 2019 (we also included some of the 2018 trends for reference).
1. New Quinceanera Dress Colors!
For most quinces and sweets, we usually see the more traditional pastel colors and lighter colors, like Pink, Tiffany Blue, Emerald Green and often Red. For 2018 events, we noticed changes to these traditional colors. More people broke the traditions and went with new, different colors! We saw more Burgundy theme colors really taking over! Darker colors definitely made their way into many quinces, in 2018. New dress colors are were trending, especially Rose Gold and Mariachi style Quince dresses! Here are some pictures below of those dresses. They'll still look great for your 2019 quince!
2019 Trend: Green Quinceanera Dresses
For 2019 quinces, these colors are changing, again! What we're seeing now, is newer, fresh colors. Green quinceanera dresses are making their way into 2019 quinces and sweets. There are different variations of the green dresses, such as a Mint Green dress, Turquoise, and even Lime Green dresses!
2019 Trends: Royal Blue Quinceanera Dress
Royal Blue quince dresses are also the new trend! Also, if you haven't noticed, quince dresses are also making their way to more than one night the quinceanera's life: Prom! As Austin's favorite school dance DJs, we provide prom DJs and photo booth rentals for many Austin and central Texas proms. We see many young ladies with similar dresses that look like they could be a quince dress, and well, why not? Who says you can't wear these dresses to prom? We love it! :)
Also, if your guests aren't sure about the quince attire, be sure to have them check out our article, what to wear to a quinceanera. Here are some of the Royal Blue dresses and of course, last year's trend, tied with this year's color, in the picture on the right.
2. Beauty and the Beast & Other Disney Themes
We also noticed that many Quinceaneras opted to have themes, paired with music from the theme. We did many Quinces with a Beauty and the Beast theme. Sometimes, the Chambelan de Honor (the Quinceanera's escort) even dressed up exactly like the beast, with a Beast mask/headpiece! It was awesome! We played most of the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, as well, for the different ceremonies.
Other Quinces are also discussing other Disney movie themes, like Cinderella, The Little Mermaid (the court is even dressing up as characters from the movie), and Frozen!
3. More Entertainment Options & Decor
We're noticing that more and more Quinces and sweets are choosing to go "all-out" and add as many options as they can. As we previously stated, Quinces and sweets are like weddings, but for 15 year olds, now. Most Quinces are planned 12-18 months in advance, and have many of the same options. From us, they'll now add a photo booth, uplighting, a personalized monogram, giant lighted marquee letter rentals, giant games, glow sticks and balloons, projector and screen (for slideshows and/or videos) and even now, Karaoke!
Additionally, many quinces will have limo service or a party bus, sparkler entrances/send-offs, and even choreographed father/daughter and now, mother/daughter dances, too! Things are changing for 2019 and we're excited!
Still have more questions? Be sure to contact us, today, and let's celebrate, together!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booth
Planning a wedding, party, or event is stressful. There are numerous details to think about, and the first, of course, is your budget. Everyone wants to have an amazing wedding or event, and though some people can have an event and not worry about the cost (A-List celebrities), not everyone can enjoy this luxury.
Check out the article "Planning an A-Lister Wedding Party on a Budget" from our friends at Wow Event Hire, in the UK! They wrote a great article on this topic and we were also quoted, too! :) Enjoy the article and the great tips!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
So you're having a wedding or special event, soon. How do I know this? Because you wouldn't be reading this, if you weren't. :) Everyone wants to have a great wedding, birthday party, quinceanera, or special event, and if you can save some money in the process, why not do so? Here are some easy tips on how to have a fabulous wedding or event, and save money, too!
We actually were interviewed on "Good Day Austin," on Fox 7 News, discussing this very blog! If you didn't catch it, here are the tips. :)
1. Take your time - Not only is "Take Your Time" a great Country song by Sam Hunt, but it's great advice! The average length of engagement is 14 months, but it can certainly be longer. Why? The longer your engagement, the longer you have to save money and plan your big day! This goes for planning any event, such as a quinceanera, anniversary, birthday party or special event. You already know the date, so the sooner you get started planning, the better chance you'll have to save!
2. Don't Get Saturday Night Fever - Though "Saturday Night Fever" was an iconic 70's movie, don't catch it! Saturday weddings are the norm and venue owners and vendors know this. You'll always pay the "normal," premium price for a Saturday wedding or event. Book your event on a Friday, Sunday, or even a weekday, and save some serious money!
3. Consider the Off-Season - Have a wedding or event in the "off-season" and save lots of money! Wedding season is typically March - late July, in central Texas. Fall weddings are becoming increasingly popular, too! Now, fall weddings and events, September - mid-November, are just as expensive as Spring events. If you can have a wedding or event in the "off-season," December - February, you'll save a lot of money on your venue and possibly, your vendors! Be sure to find out when the off-season is for your area.
4. Use Non-Required Vendors - Many venue owners have a written or verbal contract with vendors, and many times, they will receive a referral fee, for each booking the vendor gets from this venue. Though this is great for them, but it's not for you! Why? Simply because the vendors are not going to lose that referral fee. Chances are, they'll raise their prices to cover that fee and you'll end up paying a premium price for the "preferred vendor." Some venues will even charge you a fee, if you don't use their vendors. Feel free to dispute this fee. They want your business, so it doesn't hurt to try.
5. Shop Around - Always, shop around. With the internet, it's so easy to get quotes from various vendors. Don't book the first vendor with the lowest price. Remember to look at the value of what you're paying for, not simply the lowest price. You may get more value from a vendor who is not the cheapest! Always ask what comes with the service. If you need to hire a great DJ or photo booth in the Austin, Texas area, we know of one! :)
6. Use One Venue - Have your wedding ceremony and reception in the same place, if possible. This way, you won't have to pay the rental fee for two different venues. Many venues offer an outdoor ceremony area and indoor reception area, for one, flat fee. Just ask your wedding officiant to perform the service at your venue. This also saves time and saves your guests from having to travel to different venues.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for More – Weddings and events are great moments, for you, your families and friends, but don’t forget, for venue owners and vendors, though it’s always nice to be a part of someone’s special day, it’s still business. Ask the venue owner/manager, what’s included with the price? Do they offer table linen and chairs with the price, or are they extra? With vendors, ask the same question, what’s included with the price? Then follow it up with “If I decide to book, today, will you throw in anything free or extras?” It doesn’t hurt to ask.
8. Consider a Restaurant - We're seeing more and more weddings and parties held at local restaurants, versus wedding or event venues. Most restaurants have a minimum person fee, many start at 50 guests. Restaurant managers will simply charge you for the food and drinks, for your guests, and not a venue rental fee. They'll set up the room, tables, linen, decor, etc., AND they'll clean up, afterwards, too. Saving you the time and hassle of doing this! You can also ask about hiring your DJ or band to come in and play, for the reception.
9. Take it to the House - The courthouse, that is. Consider getting married at the courthouse, to save a ton of money. You'll simply pay the filing fee, about $85, in Travis county. This saves you the time and stress of planning your ceremony, hiring ceremony musicians or a DJ, planning the ceremony, etc. This will leave you time to focus on planning a great reception. This will also mean you'll save money on your venue, since the number of hours will be less (you won't need time for the ceremony and cocktail hour). Yes, this is not the same thing as getting married in front of all your family and friends, but if you're on a tight budget, this is an option.
10. Consider Other Dinner Options - Many restaurants offer on-site catering for phenomenally less than the typical wedding/event catering companies. Call around and get quotes. Be sure to know the number of guests you'll have. Many weddings we've done served BBQ, for dinner. You can save lots of money doing this, and it's Texas, so nearly everyone loves BBQ! Be sure to have healthy and vegetarian options, too.
Additionally, always serve buffet style, not plated. Plated dinners always cost a lot more. If you really want to save, you can serve heavy appetizers throughout the event, as well.
11. Reconsider the Cake - Though cakes are traditional for weddings, quinceaneras, and other events, they're not required. The wedding police won't show up at your event if you opt to serve something else. Many couples have a small wedding cake for them to cut, and then serve sheet cake from Sam's Club or Costco, or cupcakes, to their guests. Other weddings we've done have served cookies, donuts, and even apples! One wedding had decorated apples for the bride and groom, and each table was served a bucket with a variety of chocolate-covered or candied apples. Great idea!
12. Consider Your Drink Options - When it comes to drinks and cocktails, find out if the venue will let you bring your own alcohol. You can simply buy as much as you'd like, and when you're out, you're out. You can simply buy a keg of your favorite beer, and serve 1-2 types of wine, and perhaps 1-2 signature cocktails. This will save a lot of money! Be sure to hire a TABC certified bartender, so your guests don't get over-served and make it home safely.
13. Flower Power – The power of flowers is real, except you don’t get to throw fireballs at things, unless you’re Mario or Luigi, from Mario Bros. Real or fake flowers? Depending upon which kind of flower you choose, real or fake flowers can cost nearly the same. If you’re dead set on real flowers, always choose in-season flowers. If you choose fake flowers, scent can also be added! Keep in mind, roses will always cost more, so consider other types of flowers. We’ve done many weddings without flowers, except the bouquet, and to be honest, no one came up to us and asked “Where are the flowers?” No one will really miss them, honestly.
Don’t forget, your local grocery store sells flowers at a fraction of the cost! Give them plenty of notice, and you can get a great deal on flowers, versus the local florist. You can also get great cakes, much cheaper, too!
14. Second Beats First, Sometimes – Though second place is rarely seen as better than first, it can be with décor. Go on Craigslist, and look for wedding décor. You’ll see lots of recent newlyweds selling décor and other items from their wedding. You can save a lot of money buying items second-hand, and no one will notice!
15. Be Your Own DJ – You can certainly “be your own DJ” for a fraction of the cost. Simply create a playlist of your favorite music, hook up your laptop or iPod to the venue’s sound system, and you’ll hear your favorite tunes, all night! Don’t forget that your guests have a variety of musical taste, so include various genres. If your venue doesn’t have a sound system, rent one from a local musical instrument rental store.
Keep in mind, your playlist will not change, take requests, mix the music, or “read the crowd.” Your playlist won’t know when to change genres, like a good DJ will. You will need to have someone “MC” key moments, so you may have to hire someone or have a friend/family member do this. You’ll need dance floor lights, to create the fun atmosphere, too.
16. Know When You Need a DJ – Plan out your timeline and find out when you actually need your DJ to start playing. Keep in mind, DJs charge for their time, hourly, so be sure to ask if set up and break-down is included with the price, or charged separately. If the wedding or event is small, consider only using the DJ for the reception. Often times, we’ll be booked for the ceremony and reception, but the officiant didn’t really need the microphone, since the venue was so small. Think about dinner, too. You can create your own playlist, as mentioned above, and bring a good stereo system to play it during dinner, saving you the cost of having the DJ play music during that time.
17. DIY Your Wedding/Event Photo booth – You’ll need to buy all the props from Amazon or your local party store, buy your backdrop, a few stands to set up your backdrop, and you’ll have an open-air photo booth! Guests can take pictures with their phones. Set up an Instagram wedding account with whatever hashtag you choose, ask your guests to tag your wedding account and voila, your guests' pictures will all be there! Your guests won’t be able to have their own photo strips to take home, though. You’ll also have to set up and break-down the photo booth area. Check out our Simple, Affordable DIY Photo Booth Options blog, for more great photo booth ideas!
18. Deposits & Payments – Ask about the amount of the deposits, when they’re due, cancellation policies, etc. Many vendors charge 50% of the total cost, for the deposit. Though this is okay, be sure to ask if this is flexible. Can you pay 25%? Why not? Can you pay the total amount in payments? Is there a charge to do this? Get receipts for everything you pay, and always correspond via email, so you have it in writing, too. Vendors sometimes require full payment, before the event happens. Be careful when doing this. Sometimes, the vendors can be late, not fulfill their end of the contract, etc., and you’ve already paid them. Ask if payment can be made the day of the event.
19. Get it in Writing – Though this doesn’t seem like a tip to save money, it actually is. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve received calls that their DJ or photo booth service won’t return their calls, and they’ve already paid the deposit! These customers lost their deposit, and then had to hire us, anyway. Be smart, get it in writing!
20. Do Your Research – Do your research on vendors, the venue, planning tips, etc. Look for reviews. Remember, no business can have 100% positive reviews. You can’t please people 100% of the time, it’s just not possible. Look at the date of the reviews. Look for different sources: Google, Wedding Wire, Yelp, Facebook, The Knot, etc. If you’re reading this, then you’re obviously doing your research! Way to go! Certainly feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need any advice, and we’ll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
What is a Quinceañera?
What is a Quinceañera? The term quinceañera is a Spanish term, derived from "quince," or 15" and is a special, milestone celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday. This 15th birthday marks her passage from childhood to womanhood; the term is also used to refer to the celebrant herself, or "la quinceañera." The quinceañera is also called quinceaños, or quince años, or often, simply quince. It is also often written as XV. By the way, you may notice the fancy gown/dress, and may be wondering how everyone who is attending the quince should dress. No problem, we got that covered, too! :) Read our article "What to wear to a Quinceanera" to learn more!
Because the Aztec and Mayan cultures also had similar rite-of-passage customs and traditions, it is thought that the quinceañera may have originated during this time, with the Spanish cultural influence (including Roman Catholicism) combined with the indigenous tribes that the Spaniards colonized.
The quinceañera celebration is both a religious ceremonial event (usually Catholic) and a social event that emphasizes the importance of religion, family, community, and society in the life of a young woman. Quinceañeras are celebrated in Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, and in Latino communities in the United States and around the world. Though these celebrations are often for young women, parents can also have a quinceañero for a young man's 15th birthday. Additionally, sweet 15's and sweet 16's are celebrated throughout the United States, and are very similar to a quinceañera, except that they do not have the religious mass.
Quinceañera Ceremonies & Traditions
The typical quince celebration begins with a mass attended by the girl and her family and godparents. The mass is followed by a reception, or party, to which family and friends are invited. The reception features food, music, dancing, and other entertainment, with the birthday girl accompanied by her “court” of damas (“maids of honor”) and chambelánes (“chamberlains” or the maids of honors' escorts).
There are a few symbolic traditions at the quince that are still done, today. One tradition is the presentation of "the last doll," or "la ultima muñeca" that is given to the to quinceañera. If she has a younger sister, the quinceañera will give the doll to her, to show that she is giving up her childhood. If she does not have younger siblings, the celebrant will keep the doll as a last doll, to remind her of the transition.
The crown or tiara, "la corona" is also given to the celebrant, as well as jewelry, such as a necklace, bracelet, or earrings. The tiara/crown symbolizes that the celebrant is a "princess" before God and the world, and that she has transitioned from childhood and now has the ability to face the challenges ahead.
A bible and a rosary are also gifts that la quinceañera may also receive. The bible will be an important resource that the celebrant can use to always keep the word of God in her life. The rosary is also a religious symbol that helps remind the celebrant to keep her faith in God and in herself.
The final ceremony and gift that is presented before the dance or reception starts, is the shoes. The "changing of the shoes" ceremony is done to symbolize the transition from childhood to womanhood. These are supposed to be the first pair of high heels that the celebrant has ever worn.
The Quinceañera Reception
Traditionally, the dance portion of the quince begins with an introduction of the court of honor and la quinceañera, escorted by her chambelan. The celebrant may also choose to be introduced with her parents, instead of a chambelan. After the introductions, a choreographed waltz-type dance is done with the entire court. The court and la quinceañera usually work with a choreographer well before the date, to prepare; this is is considered one of the main events of the evening. The choreographer, planner, or parents usually work with their band or DJ, to determine the song and when the song is to be played. "Tiempo de Vals," by Chayanne, is one of the most popular quince waltz songs we play; however, more and more, we're seeing less traditional Waltz dances and more quinces choosing to create their own mix of songs or use a non-traditional song.
After the court waltz, the celebrant usually does a father/daughter dance, and sometimes a mother/daughter dance. In more traditional quinces, la quinceañera will dance with all of her uncles, after the father/daughter dance. Later in the evening, there is usually a "baile sopresa," or surprise dance. This dance is usually done to a mixture of music of any genre, but often it is done to more current, Pop or Latin music. The choreographer also works with the court to prepare them for this moment. The choreographer, planner, or parents usually work with their band or DJ, to have them create the special mix of songs for this surprise dance. Sometimes, the choreographer or planner will offer to create the mix, as well.
Later in the evening, toasts are often done by the parents of the celebrant, and often grandparents and uncles, too. Cake is also normally served, as well, during this time. The celebration is generally very elaborate and very similar to a wedding! Years ago, the quince signified that a young woman was ready for marriage; now, many parents will allow their daughter to begin dating, after their 15th birthday.
Today, some girls choose a trip abroad rather than a party, and others now choose a car, or may not celebrate their 15th birthday in the traditional manner. The tradition of the quinceañera continues to evolve, today. What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment on traditions or customs that you may have seen, that we forgot to mention.
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
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 quinceanera is a very special moment in a young girl's life, as well as her family's lives. This milestone is a very big cultural celebration for many Latino families in the U.S. and around the world. We are lucky enough to provide our DJ and photo booth services for quinceaneras in the Austin and central Texas area, every month, all year long.
One of the important moments at a quinceanera, is the father/daughter dance. We've come up with a list of the most requested father/daughter dance songs for quinces in our area. We've also noticed that the traditions are changing. We're seeing mother/daughter dances, more and more, which is great! Mothers and fathers both play a very important role in their daughter's life, so why not share the spotlight moment? Some of these songs are the traditional songs you may have heard at many quinces, while others are more modern songs. If you want to hear the song, simply click on it and it'll play! :) Here's the list:
If you want to view the playlist, check out the Austin's Best DJs YouTube Channel, for this list, and many other helpful quince, wedding and other music playlists!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Where do you find Quinceanera dresses in Austin/central Texas?
If you're planning a quinceanera in Austin or central Texas, then you definitely need a quince dress, formal wear, tuxedos, etc. If you're just starting to plan your quinceanera or even a wedding, be sure to stop by and visit Ceremonias 15 & Bridal, for all your formal wear needs. They also carry wedding dresses, too! We got the chance to talk to the store owner, Copitzy Vazquez, and we did a brief interview, discussing the store and other details. Here's the interview:
It's great to be here, today. Thanks for taking some time to sit and talk with us. So how you got your business started?
It was a lot of events that got me started in my business. The store I was managing decided to close it's doors, here in Austin, and at the same time this was happening, I was offered a chance to buy the boutique. I had previously thought about starting my own business, since I had been working in the business for over 10 years. It all worked out in my favor and we took over the business in April 2014.
How long have you been in business?
April 1st, it would be 4 years.
What items can people find at Ceremonias 15 and Bridal?
They can find the ideal dress for Quinces and even custom made dresses.
What do you like most about what you do?
Being able to help girls find the perfect dress for their occasion and seeing them smile at that moment!
Who should people contact if they have questions or would like to know more information about your business?
Sure, they can email email@example.com or call the store at: 512-832-6763 or even my cell, at: 512-573-6278
Lastly, what kind of great deals or promotions can you offer our blog readers and social media followers?
Sure, we can offer a free peticoat rental, with a purchase of a quince dress or ball bridal gown. We can also offer free grooms/chambelan tux with 6 regular rentals!
Thanks, again, for taking some time to do a brief interview with us, we really appreciate it!
If you're planning a wedding, quinceanera or event, chances are, you have already created a Facebook invite, maybe an Instagram hashtag, and perhaps a wedding website. Though we're in the Austin & central Texas area, we know that this is the case for most weddings and events, worldwide! Cell phones have become such a major a part of our lives that most people simply cannot attend an event, or even go through a regular day or two, without texting, or using social media to post about their daily activities. It's the norm and it's just what we've become used to.
Believe it or not, there was a time before cell phones, where people attended weddings or events and did not take pictures with their phones (remember the old disposable cameras), did not text people, did not post on social media, etc. People simply enjoyed the event and lived in that moment. We actually attended a comedy show, with Dave Chappelle, a few weeks ago, here in Austin, Texas. Dave Chappelle created a no-phone policy and had everyone get a "Yonder" pouch upon entry. Everyone placed their phone in the pouch, and it was locked by a staff. You could keep your phone with you, but you had to have it on silent or vibrate and could not access it, until after the show, when they opened the pouch for you, at the exit. I thought wow, he must be very concerned about people taking video of the show and sharing it online; however, I also thought, wow, this is the first time I've come to an event in a while, and did not use my phone! What a brilliant idea!
Well, why not "unplug" your wedding or event? You'll already hire a photographer and possibly a videographer, so there will be plenty of great pictures and videos. If you want to share those pictures and videos with your guests, you can always post them on social media, later, or send them via email or Google drive, etc. You don't have to go and buy lockable phone pouches, but simply ask your guests to turn their phones off (or on silent) and to please not take pictures or post on social media. Then, you and your guests can fully enjoy the moment, with no distractions, just like the days before cell phones! All thanks to Dave Chappelle or to our blog! :) Just kidding, but really, it can be done!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
If you're having a wedding, quinceanera, party or event, you'll need a "save the date" card or reminder. Sure, you can certainly make an online only version, to send to your friends and family, but it's best to send out actual cards. Why? Well, not everyone is tech savy or uses the internet well. Think about older relatives, grandparents, those who may not have internet access, etc. Plus, it's very nice to have a nice, printed version of your special event! :)
If you really want to save, then just do the online version for everyone that you know has internet access and only print invitations for those who may not, or your immediate family and close friends. You can certainly print your own, but they may not be the same quality as having them printed with a high end printer. We chose to do magnets for our save the dates, so no one misplaces them. They'll simply put them on the fridge and have a reminder! Here's a link to vistaprint. A very good option, that is also pretty economical!
Good luck and feel free to comment with other ideas!
- Austin's Best DJs Team
When you're planning a wedding, quinceanera or party, one thing you may have already found out, is that it's a lot of work! It's almost like having a part time job! We meet with clients who are having their wedding or event in the Austin or Central Texas area, every week, and they tell us exactly this! We know, from experience, just how much goes into planning, since we planned our own wedding, too! We always appreciate any helpful tips and great websites, beyond the usual Pinterest and other sites. This is actually why we write this blog, too!
One great website for all the DIY Brides and clients, is Oriental Trading. They have all types of decor and supplies for nearly any type of event. They have decor and supplies for weddings, birthdays, holiday themes, etc. For weddings, you will find wedding decorations, cake toppers, centerpieces, knife and cake servers, champagne flutes, candy for a candy bar, candles, sand for a sand ceremony, arches and columns, aisle runners, and just about anything you may need for your own wedding or event. The prices are very reasonable and the quality is good! Visit www.OrientalTrading.com and get all your supplies for your wedding or event! Good luck!
- Austin's Best DJs Team
1/5/2017 0 Comments
So it's 2017 and we're still providing the same great DJ and photo booth services for Austin and central TX weddings, quinceaneras & events! Everyone wants to be "new and improved" for the new year, and though we always strive to improve, we still want to continue providing great services and wedding planning tips to all of our clients and even those who don't book with us, though we can't imagine why they wouldn't! :)
This January is our busiest January we've ever had. January tends to be a "slow" month for most DJ companies, but more and more, we're seeing weddings and events taking place in the "off season." Why? Well, you can save a lot of money! Everyone is slow in January and February, so take advantage and have your event during this time and reap the benefits! If they don't offer you a discount, simply ask! Most venues and vendors would much rather be booked at a discounted rate, than not booked at all! So go ahead, ask and see what happens. The worst that can happen is that they say no, and you decide to book somewhere else or with someone else! Good luck!
- Austin's Best DJs Team
If you're reading this, you're most likely planning your wedding, quinceanera, party or event, and most likely in the Austin, San Antonio or central Texas area. As you already know, having a wedding or event is expensive! So, here's a few tips to save you some time and money!
Make a Playlist
Playlists are easy to make on iTunes, Windows Media Player, Spotify, or whichever player you use. Create a list of the songs you want to hear during your event and label it for whichever moment you'll play it, such as: Cocktail Hour, Prelude, Dinner, etc. Be sure to create the list for a little longer than your planned time, to allow for wiggle room. For example, if you plan for an hour cocktail hour, make this list for an hour and 15 minutes, just in case it takes a little longer than you anticipated, to take pictures. Do this for any time of the night, since most often, your evening will not go exactly as planned. Always allow a 15 minute window. Sometimes people may eat slower, speeches may last longer, more people may arrive than you planned for, which causes dinner to last longer, etc.
How to Use it
Making a playlist is the easy part. Now, you'll need a way for it to be heard. If you want to save money, find someone to bring a small PA setup, or rent one. We often refer our clients to Rock N Roll Rentals, located in Austin, TX. Here's a link to their wedding PA systems: http://rocknrollrentals.com/t-WeddingEventPackages.aspx
We've been a customer with Rock n Roll Rentals for over a decade. They have great products and the staff will show you how to hook up everything, if you ask!
Once you have a portable speaker or PA, you'll need to get the correct wires to hook up your laptop, or even phone, to your powered speaker.You can ask the Rock n Roll team for the correct wires, or you can easily order a 3.5 mm to RCA cable, 3.5 mm to 1/4" cable, or 3.5 mm to XLR cable. Here's a link to some of the wires we use, on Amazon:
3.5 mm to RCA
3.5 mm to XLR
The smaller, 3.5 mm headphone plug will connect to your phone or laptop, and the other end (RCA, 1/4 " or XLR) will connect to the speaker input. Once it's hooked up, simply power on the speaker, adjust the volume, and you're good to go! Keep in mind, prelude, cocktail hour, or dinner music doesn't need to be super loud, so you won't need to rent a huge, super loud speaker. Any 200 watt (or more) speaker should work, depending on the size of the area where you'll need music.
How You Save
When you use your own playlist for prelude, cocktail hour, or dinner (or all 3), you eliminate the need for a DJ/band to play the music for you! Ironically, I'm telling you how to spend less on hiring a DJ. :) We're very open and honest with our clients and we want to give you great advice that is useful, too. Even if it means we may make less at your event. If you use your own playlist for these moments, you'll only need to hire the DJ for the dance portion of your event. So if your event is 5 ours, and 2.5 hours is for ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, then you'll only need the DJ for 2.5 hours, versus 5 hours!
We hope you find this useful. Feel free to email us and we're always happy to help, even if you're not our customer! :)
- Austin's Best DJs Team
Weddings, quinceaneras, parties, and any event where you may need a DJ or entertainment require a lot of planning and preparation. We often tell our clients that wedding and event planning can be like having a part time job! We certainly recommend that you start planning as soon as possible, to ensure you get to have the wedding or event that you want to have!
Planning 12 months or at the least 9 months, in advance, is ideal for booking your DJ, photo booth and other vendors. However, in the Austin area, you may want to plan 12-18 months in advance (if possible), to pick your wedding venue. There are only so many venues in Austin, and there are nearly 1 million people living in Austin; as we all know, more and more people moving to Austin (about 125 per day), every day! A recent study showed that Travis County netted more people moving here in 2015, than the other top 10 counties, combined! So as you can imagine, planning your wedding or event and having an available venue requires planning well in advance, especially if it's a Saturday event! Most venue owners/managers have told us that there is an 18 month wait-list for a Saturday event!
We're seeing more and more people planning 18-24 months in advance, for their event. The struggle with this, for us, is having the staff who are willing to commit to being available for an event, more than 12 months in advance. Our general rule is that we only book out up to 12 months in advance. Due to the increasing demand, however, we may change it to 18 months, since we're seeing the trend of early wedding and event planning!
So overall, the earlier you plan, the better! Don't forget, we offer wedding (ceremony and reception) and event (parties, quinceaneras, etcetera) planning assistance, FREE! Don't take on this task, alone! We're here to help you plan and we also offer FREE day-of-event-coordination, too! We want our couples and clients to simply show up, the day of their event, and have fun! Leave the stress to us! :)
- Austin's Best DJs Team
Austin and Central Texas weddings keep all of our DJs busy, all year! However, we also stay very busy doing Quinceaneras, Sweet 16s, parties, and events, too! We've found that Quinceaneras and Sweet 16s are very similar to weddings. Planning these events requires just as much time and attention to detail as weddings. As you may have found out, Austin, San Antonio, and central Texas is a very popular place to have a wedding, quinceanera, party or event. Many of our clients are from other cities and states, and plan to have their wedding, or event in Austin. We know Austin is fabulous, so we can't blame them! :) So our advice is to start planning, early! This often means up to 1 year before your event. So let's get to the details.
1. Determine Your Date
First and foremost, determine the date of your event. If you're having a quinceanera or sweet 16, this will most-likely be on a date, very close to the actual birthday; however, we've seen many people plan to have their event on a different date that works best for their family and friends. The picture above, was from a Quinceanera we did on June 11. The family chose to have the event in June, so that people could travel and attend the party, kids were off from school, etc. So remember, having a flexible date can be an option!
2. Book a Venue
Right after you have your date planned, you should book your venue as soon as possible. Most people want to have a Saturday event, and therefore, many venues get booked up to a year or more, in advance, for Saturday events. If having your event on a different night is an option, consider this to have more venue options and even save a little money, since many venues will offer a better rate for a non-Saturday event!
3. Find a Caterer/Food
I'm sure you're surprised that we haven't said to book your DJ, yet, but we give our honest advice, and don't simply try to pitch our business. :) So now that you have your place, the next thing is to find a catering company or restaurant that will serve your food. We recommend this, early on, simply because the same rule that applies with venues, applies with catering and food. You'll need to find time to actually sample the food, so schedule a future date where you can take a weekend to try the different options. Even attending a Quinceanera or Sweet 16 expo is a good idea, since there are many caterers there, and you can sample their food on site.
4. Find Your Dress
Quinceanera and Sweet 16 dresses are not everyday clothing, so these dresses are limited to very exclusive clothing retailers. With so many people in Austin and Central Texas, your options are limited, so it's best to find these retailers and check out their options. A good time-saver is to go online, to see if they have their clothing online. This will save you some time!
5. Book Your DJ & Photo Booth
Okay, so here we are, finally on the list! Booking a DJ for your event is very crucial to the success of your event. Quinceaneras often require a DJ who is versatile and can play a variety of genres of music. The DJ should also be familiar with all the ceremonial traditions of the Quinceanera, such as the changing of the shoes, jewelry/crown presentation, the last doll, court waltz, surprise dance, etc. All of these traditions are a very important part of this special day, so be sure to hire a DJ that has lots of experience with Quinceaneras. Ask your DJ company what options they have, as well. You may want uplighting, a custom monogram, a photo booth, a projector to show a slideshow, etc. Any professional DJ will have these options. If they do not, find a DJ/company who does.
Additionally, consider adding more entertainment by booking a photo booth! Everyone loves to take selfies at the photo booth. The best part, you can add custom text onto each printout and your guests will have something to take home to remember the special day!
6. Book Mariachis
Many people book Mariachis for the dinner portion of their Quinceanera, or Sweet 16. This is optional, but always nice. Having live entertainment is a nice touch. We recommend booking your Mariachis early, since there are not a whole lot of options, so they get booked up pretty early!
7. Book a Photographer
Quinces and Sweet 16s are a milestone moment in a young woman's life, so capturing these memories is very important! Be sure to meet with a few photographers and view their portfolios, to be sure their work is great! Memories are priceless, so be sure to get great pictures and video, if you prefer, of the entire event!
Last, but not least, is the decor. This is the fun part! Think of the theme you'd like, first. Finding a theme helps you identify what decor to look for. A new trend with quinces that we've been doing, lately, is a Paris theme. Who doesn't love Paris? :) We traveled their in late 2015, and again in 2017, and it was absolutely amazing! Capturing the greatness of Paris is tough, but there are many decorations that you can find, that will do just this! Start on Pinterest for ideas!
We hope that these 8 tips have helped you start planning your event. This is not an all-inclusive list by any means, but a great place to start. We offer a very detailed Quinceanera planning document that helps you plan out the entire reception, from dinner, to the ceremonial moments, to the last dance! Be sure your DJ has a timeline of events, to help guide the night, if a day-of-coordinator is not available. As always, feel free to email us, if you have any questions, and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs Team