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Wedding & Event Planning Tips
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If you're searching for the latest 2019 wedding processional/recessional songs, you've come to the right place! We wrote this article, last Spring, and decided to do an update, since some of the songs have changed and we like to keep the content and ideas up to date! Some of the popular songs from last year, have fallen off, and made way for new songs, as always. Every month, all year long, we have the honor of providing our Austin wedding DJ & Austin photo booth rentals for lots of happy couples from Austin, central Texas, and all over the United States. We are very grateful to be a part of so many special memories!
We have played numerous, great bride/groom processional and couple recessional songs for many happy couples! More and more, we're seeing less of the traditional wedding march songs and couple recessional songs. We always tell our clients, "it's your special day, make it your own! There's no need to do what everyone else does. Choose the music and the songs that fit you!"
One trend we're also seeing for 2019 weddings is live music for the ceremony, and key moment dances. I know you're thinking, I can't afford to add live musicians! Well, what we're seeing is family and friends of the couples, performing for their newlywed friends, so I'm sure it's cheap, or perhaps free, and better yet, they'll want to do an amazing job for your special day! :)
If you don't know any musicians, you can certainly still have the DJ play your special songs, too. Here are some of the popular non-traditional wedding processional and recessional songs we've played over the last year, as well as songs that people are requesting for their 2019 weddings. If you want to see our country wedding songs, check out our Top 15 Texas Country Wedding Songs article, as well as our 20 Great, Texas Country Wedding Songs, article, too! If you're looking for more reception song ideas, check out our Top 200 Must Play Wedding, Party, & Event Songs article.
If you want to hear any of the songs, just click on the video to play the song!
Top 8 Non-Traditional Wedding Procesional/Recessional Songs
Here is the quick, top 8 list, without the videos. The full list is below the top 5 list.
1. "Perfect" Ed Sheeran
2. "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri
3. "Sea of Love" by Cat Power
4. "If I Ain't Got You" Alicia Keys
5. "All You Need is Love" The Beatles (This is not the original version, since the original version is unavailable on YouTube).
6. "I Choose You" Sara Bareilles
7. "Come Away With Me" Norah Jones
8. "Best Day of my Life" by American Authors
Top 20 Non-Traditional Wedding Processional/Recessional Songs
1. "Perfect" Ed Sheeran - There are a lot of different versions of this song, so be sure to listen to all of them. The acoustic version is a favorite, as well as the version with Andrea Bocelli!
2. "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri
3. "Sea of Love" by Cat Power
4. "If I Ain't Got You" Alicia Keys
5. "All You Need is Love" The Beatles (This is not the original version, since the original version is unavailable on YouTube).
6. "I Choose You" Sara Bareilles
7. "Come Away With Me" Norah Jones
8. "Best Day of my Life" by American Authors
9. "This Must Be the Place" Iron & Wine
10. "All My Life" KC & JoJo
11. "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts
12. "First Day of my Life" by Bright Eyes
13. "From the Ground Up" Dan + Shay
14. "God Gave Me You" - Blake Shelton
15. "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop" - Landon Pigg
16. "This Will Be an Everlasting Love" Natalie Cole
17. "You & Me" - Dave Matthews Band
18. "Make You Feel My Love" Adele
19."In Case You Didn't Know" - Brett Young
20. "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" - Haley Reinhart
These are 20 of the more popular songs that we've seen for many of the weddings we do in our area. We didn't want to make the list too long, so we kept it at 20. However, as overachievers, we're going to include a few more popular songs, just in case you didn't like the ones above. :) Here are a few other great songs to consider for your wedding ceremony procession or recession.
"La Vie En Rose" by Cristin Milioti
"You're the One That I Want" by Angus & Julia Stone (song from Grease)
"Forever" by Ben Harper
"The Luckiest" by Ben Folds
"The Book of Love" by Peter Gabriel (this song is different and trending. Bonus info: we did an event with Peter Gabriel, a few years ago!
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - this song made a comeback. It was REALLY popular for a few years, then not so much the last 2 years. It's back and rightfully so. It's a great song! :)
Many couples choose the songs, listed above, and many other couples chose the more traditional songs, such as Pachelbel's "Canon in D." We estimate about 70% of couples choose the non-traditional songs. There is no "best song" for the processional or recessional song. Again, we encourage you to pick the song that fits you!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
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
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
When it comes to weddings, one thing is for sure: music can certainly make or break your wedding reception! Before deciding on whether to hire a wedding band or hire a wedding DJ, there are a few things to consider. The Knot conducted a poll on what guests remember most from a wedding, and overwhelmingly, the guests said they remembered the food and music! So now the question is, should you hire a band or DJ for your wedding or event? There are pros and cons to hiring either a band or DJ. Let's discuss those, now.
Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Band or DJ
The first thing to consider is, what type of vibe or atmosphere are you going for? You have to consider your theme, if you have one, as well as what music genre best represents your personalities, as a couple. Maybe you have a Roaring 20's theme, or a rustic, Texas country vibe. Whatever the vibe is, be sure your music choice reflects this. Decide who can best reflect your vibe, whether it's a band or DJ.
Music and Genre Preferences
You also have to consider what type of music genres and preferences you may want played at your wedding or event. Additionally, will your guests all want to hear the same music genres, too? Ask for a playlist of songs that the band is able to play. Be sure to also ask if there are songs that you can request that they play. If you're opting for a DJ, be sure to ask what genres the DJs play and if your DJ is also able to get specific songs, or take requests.
If possible, find out if you can see the band or DJ, live. Many bands and DJs will play public events that you can go to and hear them for yourself. If this isn't possible, see if there are any videos available of any past performances. Also, be sure to read reviews from various websites, to see what actual clients are saying. Reviews within the last 3 months are definitely going to be the most important, since it will tell you how they're performing, now.
Another thing to consider is the size of the venue where your wedding or event will be. Talk to the venue manager about where the bands or DJs usually set up. Bands usually require more space than a DJ, depending on the DJ's set up and the size of the venue. Generally, we ask for about an 8 ft X 8 ft area to set up our DJ equipment (as well as our photo booth area).
If your event is at an outdoor venue, or near a residential area, be sure to ask about noise ordinances. In our area, they usually require the sound to be less than 85 decibels for outdoor events. The venue manager also usually has a decibel reader to be sure your band or DJ is complying with this. If it's louder and the venue gets a complaint, the venue is often warned or even fined, and they may pass this cost onto you. Other times, the police may even ask the venue to stop the entire event, due to noise complaints, and it can happen on the first complaint, without a warning, at the police officer's discretion.
Bands and DJs need power outlets. Usually, a DJ will only need one standard power outlet on its own breaker. A band will likely need more power, since there are more musicians and more instruments to amplify. Be sure that wherever the band or DJ is setting up has the necessary power outlets.
Cost to Hire a Band vs. DJ for a Wedding
Generally speaking, bands cost more than a DJ. However, there are exceptions. If you're hiring a very experienced DJ or DJ company, they are likely more expensive than other DJs. DJs and DJ companies, on average, charge about $1200 for a wedding reception. This can certainly cost more or less, depending on your area or region of the country, how much competition there is in your area, how long the DJ/company has been established, etc.
Bands, on the other hand, are generally more expensive, since there are more people to pay. A large band with several band members will definitely cost more than a smaller band. Other factors that affect pricing are: the day (weekdays are usually less than weekends), the time (daytime events are usually less than evenings/nights), time of year (winter events can often be less expensive than spring or fall events, at least in central Texas). Even summer events can be cheaper in the central Texas area, since it's ridiculously hot, so summer events can often be less expensive.
Pros & Cons of Hiring a Wedding Band
After you've considered all of the above information, it's time to look at the pros and cons of hiring a band. Let's discuss these, now.
Pros & Cons of Hiring a Wedding DJ
Overall, it's totally your choice on who to hire. Be sure to get a contract with the DJ or band, and be sure to do your research beforehand. We've done weddings with a band and a DJ, and the people had so much fun! If it's in your budget, you can get the best of both worlds! If you're looking to hire a great DJ or photo booth rental for your Austin, San Antonio, or central Texas event, contact us, today. Let's celebrate, together!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
The Wedding Rehearsal Dinner: The wedding rehearsal is really just another great party, with your closest family and friends, which typically happens 1-2 nights before the wedding. If you expect it to be a lively party, with alcohol and ending late, then perhaps you should opt for 2 nights before your wedding date, just in case. :)
DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A REHEARSAL DINNER?
Do you have to have a rehearsal dinner? No. Sometimes there's just not enough time on the weekend of your wedding, to fit everything into your schedule. If you do have the time, then this is a great time to enjoy some time with your closest family and friends. You'll have the time to talk to them, and really enjoy their company.
Another great thing about the rehearsal dinner is that you don't have to watch the clock, as much. This time is usually a great time for those who want to give toasts/speeches to the newlyweds. Fathers, mothers, friends, and anyone else who may be at the dinner, can give a speech or toast and go on as long as they want to! It's hard to sum up years of experiences and how you feel about your son or daughter getting married, in just a few minutes; so the rehearsal dinner can be the extended speech. On your wedding day, things are on a schedule, so speeches and toasts are often limited. Couples also often find that they're so busy with all the wedding details, and time simply flies by!
THINGS TO CONSIDER, WHEN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING REHEARSAL DINNER
So if you decide to do the rehearsal dinner, you'll need to know which places in the Austin and central Texas area are the best to be able to accommodate your wedding rehearsal dinner. First, consider your venue packages and what they offer. Often times your venue will have packages to allow you to have your rehearsal dinner on site! This can be helpful, since you can actually rehearse things at the venue where they will happen, if needed. The only issue with this, is that often times the more popular venues are booked for numerous events, every weekend, so they may not have the space available, unless you've already booked the venue when you initially booked.
AUSTIN'S TOP 10 WEDDING REHEARSAL DINNER PLACES
Where should you have your wedding rehearsal dinner in Austin/central Texas? Well, If you decide to have your rehearsal dinner off site, there are several great options in the Austin/central Texas area. We did some research, as well as asked our fellow wedding professionals, and here's what we came up with. Though there are numerous great places, here are the Top 10 Places:
Of course there are so many great places to eat dinner, in the number 1 city to live in, in the United States (recent news from US News & World Report). These are the ones most people recommended. If you know of a great place that did not make the list, feel free to email us and let us know! :) Check out The Knot's Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Basics, for planning tips. Next, we'll discuss some great brunch options, for the day after the wedding!
- Austins Best DJs & Photo Booths
If you google "questions to ask you wedding dj," you'll get over 67 million results! You'll probably check out page 1 and maybe page 2, but how do you determine which DJ or DJ company will best suit your needs? A great way to do this is to narrow down your results to your top 3-5 companies who meet your price range, have available DJs, and are reputable. Once you do that, be sure to reach out to them and ask for a quote for what you need. Be sure to let them know the date, number of hours you need music for, if you need them for the ceremony and reception, or just the reception, and the type of music you're interested in hearing. Once you've received quotes, the next step is to ask them questions, to determine who will best meet your needs.
Here's a great list of questions to ask your DJ! This is a list of our most frequently asked questions from our customers and our answers! Feel free to use our list of questions to ask your DJ, even if you're not booking with us! Simply copy/paste our questions and delete our answers, of course. :) Here is the list.
Question 1. Can we create our own playlist or request songs to be played?
Answer: Absolutely! We encourage all of our clients to fill out our music planning sheet that will have the genres of music you prefer, as well as a list of favorite artists and any must-play or do-not-play songs! We do not charge extra to create your playlist. We have a huge online music library that has all genres of music. We even have a helpful "popular songs" section, which provides guidance and suggestions for key moments songs, such as first dance songs, father/daughter songs, etc. This is your wedding and you should be able to decide what we play!
Question 2: How many people will be working the day of our wedding or event?
Answer: It depends on the needs of your event. We typically have two people at every wedding/event that we do, but sometimes, just one person is available. We may have additional people come early, to help us set up, but by the start time, only one or two people will be at the entire event.
Question 3: Will you need a dinner or drinks for you or your staff?
Answer: We do require a vendor meal for any wedding or event that is 4 hours or longer. We ask this because our staff will arrive 2 hours before the start time of any event, and break-down for about 1 hour, after an event, which is a 7 hour day.
Question 4: Do you or your staff drink alcohol on the job?
Answer: Absolutely not. We've seen many other DJs, photo booth staff, photographers, and other staff, help themselves to a plate of food and help themselves to the open bar, which we completely do not understand. We've seen other staff intoxicated, while on the job, and we're always amazed at how they stay in business. We're professionals and we do not do this and require that all of our staff do not do this, either. We'll gladly accept water or non-alcoholic drinks.
Question 5: Do you bring all the necessary equipment for our event or do we need to provide anything?
Answer: We've heard of other DJs and DJ companies requiring the customer to rent the sound system, which is surprising! We bring all the equipment we need for every event we provide services for. For the DJ, we simply need an 8X8 area to set up, near a standard power outlet. The photo booth also has the same requirements. We do require a 6 foot table to be set up in the area where you'll want the DJ. We will bring our own linen, or a linen can also be placed on the table. We provide our own photo booth table.
Question 6: Do you bring back up equipment, in case anything happens?
Answer: Yes, we certainly do. All of our DJs are very experienced and know how to handle a situation where they may need to make adjustments, if equipment isn't working correctly. We always check-in with our staff during set up and are available "on-call", if problems arise at any time during the event.
Question 7: Do you have other staff, available, if the DJ or photo booth attendant gets sick or has an emergency?
Answer: Yes, we have 6 DJs that work with our team and we always check-in with every DJ, the week of the event. We also check in with the DJ and/or photo booth staff 24 hours before the event and then again, 4 hours before the event start time, to ensure they're going to make the event. If a DJ or photo booth attendant is sick or has an emergency, we will notify the customer immediately and provide an experienced, professional staff for the event.
We've NEVER had a DJ no show and don't plan to! :)
Question 8: What is your cancellation policy?
Answer: Our cancellation policy states that all deposits are non-refundable. after 72 hours. We will, however, refund 100% of any payments made toward the balance, outside of the deposit. Fortunately, our deposits are very reasonable. Most DJ companies require 50% of the total balance to book an event and the deposit is non-refundable. We do not do this. Our deposits are fair.
Question 9: Is there an additional charge for special-requested dance floor lighting?
Answer: If there is a particular light that you request that we do not have, then we can obtain the light(s), if needed, for an additional charge.
Question 10: Do you provide an "MC" for our event, who will make necessary announcements?
Answer: Yes, we will gladly be the MC for your event, at no additional charge. Many companies charge an extra fee for an MC, which to us, is crazy. So the DJ will not say a word, unless you pay him/her? Wow. Again, we're fair and don't do this.
Question 11: Do you have bilingual DJs, who can make announcements in Spanish? (If you need this)
Answer: Yes, many of our DJs are bilingual, and can do this. If there is another language in which you need announcements, we will certainly let you or one of your guests make any announcement(s), with our PA system. We've done several weddings/events where other languages were spoken/used, (Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi, ASL, etc.) and clients designated a person to make announcements for guests, in addition to our announcements.
Question 12: How long does it take set up and break-down your equipment?
Answer: Depending on the needs of your event, the set up can take anywhere from 60 minutes, up to 2 hours or more. Most weddings and events that we've done in venues in Austin and Central Texas, take about 60 - 90 minutes, to set up. Break down takes about one hour (or more if using multiple systems).
Question 13: Is set-up/break-down time included in the time we purchase or charged separately?
Answer: We do not charge extra for set up; your time starts when the music starts, not when we arrive to set up. You are also not charged for break-down time, either. Exception: if you need us to set up earlier than 2 hours, or break-down later than one hour after the event ends, there is an additional charge. Example: wedding ceremony starts at 5 pm, and we'd normally arrive at 3 pm, to set up, but you need the DJ or photo booth to set up at 12 pm. Many companies do not include set-up/break-down time and charge additional fees for this time. Again, we do not do this, unless it is the above exception.
Question 14: What do you typically wear?
Answer: We always dress appropriately for the occasion. Our staff will wear slacks and a button up dress shirt. For outdoor, summer events, we have company Polo shirts we typically wear, with slacks. If we need to dress more formal, please let us know and we certainly can do this.
Question 15: Is there a minimum amount of hours to book?
Answer: Yes, we require a two hour minimum for DJ and/or photo booth services.
Question 16: Will the DJ take requests?
Answer: Yes, we can certainly take requests. We will do our best to play all requests, given that we have the song and there is enough time to get through the written playlist and must-play songs. We ask all our clients to let us know if requests are okay and ask for any restrictions on requests, such as: "Yes, play requests, but no rap, metal, etc."
Question 17: If the crowd is shy or not dancing, do you motivate the crowd to dance?
Answer: We rarely have to do this, but yes, we certainly can. We do numerous weddings and events, all year, so we know what people like and want to dance to. We play great music and people will dance!
Question 18: Can you assist me in finding music for our ceremony or reception?
Answer: Yes, we'll be glad to assist you in planning your ceremony and reception music. We also have numerous planning tips on our blog! Click, below, to browse through our blog for lots of great tips and advice!
Question 19: Do you provide any other services for weddings or events?
Answer: Yes, we certainly do! We provide: photo booth services, uplighting, monogram lighting, sound for live ceremony performances, custom music mix/mash-up, projector, projector screen and more!
Question 20: When is the final balance due?
Answer: The final balance is due 3 weeks before your event. We'll meet in person, or via phone, 3-4 weeks before, to go over your planning forms, answer questions, and collect/discuss the final payment. Many customer also opt to pay payments, and if they do, we send a new invoice, reflecting the payment and remaining balance, each time.
Question 21: Do you take breaks during the ceremony/reception?
Answer: Though most bands will take breaks at events, we do not take breaks.
Question 22: What if my DJ becomes ill or cannot make it to my event?
Answer: We have several DJs that work with us, and one of the owners is always open, in case this happens. Fortunately, this has never happened! We require our DJs to let us know as soon as possible, preferably at least 5 days before the event, if they cannot make it. If this happens, one of the owners will personally DJ the event. We will review all of the wedding documents, to be sure we have all the music and ensure that all the event needs are covered.
Question 23: What time will you arrive to set up for our event?
Answer: We arrive approximately 1.5 - 2 hours before the start time of any event, to set up our equipment. If the 360 package is booked, we will usually arrive 2.5 - 3 hours before the start time of the event.
Question 24: How does it work if I have a band playing and only need you to play during the ceremony, cocktail hour, and for the band's break, later on during the night?
Answer: We base our rates based on the time we start and end any event. If we start the ceremony and then stop playing since there are live musicians, we cannot technically be on "break," since we're there at the event and cannot leave. So we will charge based on the total amount of time we're there, from the time we start until the time we end (we don't charge for setup/breakdown time).
Question 25: How will you decide which of your DJs will DJ my event?
Answer: During our initial conversations, we'll discuss the music you want for your wedding or event. Based on your music choices, we'll select the DJ that best fits your needs. Although all of our DJs are very familiar with all genres of music, we have some DJs who really love certain genres. We'll do our best to match you with the best DJ for your event. All of our DJs are very professional and experienced, and have done hundreds of weddings and events. They're all sure to do a great job!
We certainly hope this list of questions has been helpful for you. As always, if you have additional questions, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help!
- Jason & Diana
Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
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
As one of the top DJ and photo booth rental companies in the Austin, San Antonio, and the central Texas area, we provide music and entertainment for weddings, quinceaneras, parties, and events, every weekend, all year long. Around 80% of our events are weddings! So, we know a thing or two about weddings! :) There are many great DJ song lists out there. Simply doing a Google search for "top wedding songs" will bring you thousands of results! Over time, we've noticed that many of the songs in our list, below, always packed the dance floor at weddings! Of course every DJ has his/her own preferred "go-to" songs, and the top songs that are played at weddings and events may also vary by region.
Our job, as DJs, is to ensure that our clients and their guests have a great time! We know there are literally millions of songs out there and there may be some great songs that we left off the list, but these are the top songs that we frequently play at weddings. This song has a range of different songs, from different genres and decades, so that all your guests can enjoy dancing to music they love! That being said, here is our list of the top 25 fun wedding reception songs that get people dancing!
Overall, we play all the music that our clients prefer or ask for, first. If they allow us to take requests, we'll play those songs, as well, if they fit with the client's preferences. Some clients may want only Country and Texas Country, while others may want only 90's, or only Top 40. We generally recommend that you have a variety of music, since your guests may all have different musical taste. The above songs usually pack the dance floor at weddings here in the Austin and central Texas area; however, these songs are great hits and should pack dance floors all over the country!
- 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
When most people think of wedding ceremonies and sometimes wedding reception songs, no one thinks about fun songs, or even songs that they have in their Spotify list or on their phones. Most people are used to the traditional wedding classical music for ceremonies, and for receptions, the key moment songs can vary, too.
We're seeing more and more people making their wedding ceremonies and receptions as unique as they are, by choosing songs that fit them! While there are a variety of genres, we encourage people to choose the music for their ceremony and reception that best fits them. Here are some popular Country songs that we see used in many of our weddings. If you're looking for Texas Country songs, be sure to check out our Texas Country Wedding Songs article, or our Top 15 Texas Country Songs article. By the way, if you're having a wedding in Texas, you must include a song from one of those lists, or any George Strait songs will work, too. haha :)
Country Wedding Ceremony Songs
"Beautiful Every Time," by Lee Brice
"Bless the Broken Road," by Rascal Flatts
"Valentine," by Jim Brickman and Martina McBride
"Cowboy Take Me Away," by Dixie Chicks
"When I Said I Do," by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black
"Makin' Plans," by Miranda Lambert
"Lost In This Moment," by Big & Rich
"Look at Me," by Carrie Underwood
"Wanted," by Hunter Hayes
"From This Moment On," by Shania Twain
"Your Everything," by Keith Urban
"First Love Song," by Luke Bryan
Country First Dance Wedding Songs
"God Gave Me You," by Blake Shelton
"It's Your Love," by Tim Mcgraw and Faith Hill
"I Don't Dance," by Lee Brice
"I Do," by Jessie James Decker
"You Move Me," by Garth Brooks
"My Best Friend," by Tim Mcgraw
"You Had Me From Hello," by Kenny Chesney
"Making Memories of Us," by Keith Urban
"I Run to You," by Lady Antebellum
"Mine Would Be You," by Blake Shelton
"I Cross My Heart," by George Strait
"You're Still the One," by Shania Twain
"Breathe," by Faith Hill
"Me and You," by Kenny Chesney
"Dance Real Slow," by Easton Corbin
"Amazed," by Lonestar
"Then," by Brad Paisley
"Whatever It Is," by Zac Brown Band
"Holding on to You," by Miranda Lambert
"Speechless" Dan + Shay
"Tennessee Whiskey" Chris Stapleton
Parent(s) Dance(s) (Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, Mother/Daughter)
"My Wish," by Rascal Flatts
"I'll Be," by Reba McEntire
"Anything Like Me," by Brad Paisley
"I Hope You Dance," by Lee Ann Womack
"Like My Mother Does," by Lauren Alaina
"Mother Like Mine," by The Band Perry
"The Dance," by Garth Brooks
"The Baby," by Blake Shelton
"All-American Girl," by Carrie Underwood
"Love Like Crazy," by Lee Brice
"My Little Girl," by Tim Mcgraw
"Don't Blink," by Kenny Chesney
"How 'Bout Them Cowgirls," by George Strait
"There Goes My Life," by Kenny Chesney
"I Loved Her First," by Heartland
"It Won't Be Like This for Long," by Darius Rucker
"Daddy's Hands," by Holly Dunn
"Mamas Song" Carrie Underwood
Couple Introduction Country Songs (Wedding Grand Entrance)
"That's My Kind of Night" Luke Bryan
"Check Yes or No," by George Strait
"Lovin' You Is Fun," by Easton Corbin
"Homegrown," by Zac Brown Band
"Sunshine and Whiskey," by Frankie Ballard
"Me and My Gang," by Rascal Flatts
"Party People," by Florida Georgia Line
"Stuck Like Glue," by Sugarland
"Somebody Like You" Keith Urban
Last Dance Country Songs (End of Reception)
"Friends in Low Places," by Garth Brooks
"Honey Bee," by Blake Shelton
"My Eyes," by Blake Shelton
"Carrying Your Love With Me," by George Strait
"These Last Few Days," by Lee Brice
"Your Man," by Josh Turner
"True Believers," by Darius Rucker
"Rewind," by Rascal Flatts
"Baby Be My Love Song," by Easton Corbin
"Just a Kiss," by Lady Antebellum
"When the Stars Go Blue," by Tim McGraw
"This," by Darius Rucker
"Run Away With You," by Big & Rich
"That's Where It Is," by Carrie Underwood
"She's Everything," by Brad Paisley
"Perfect Storm," by Brad Paisley
While there are numerous other great songs from all genres, these are some of the popular examples of great Country songs that we often play at weddings. Don't forget to check out our online music library, for more examples of songs, from a variety of genres.
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Wedding planning can be quite challenging, since there are numerous details to consider. There are so many details and things you never thought about. Luckily, Jason and Diana, of Austin's Best DJs, are also certified wedding/event planners and we’re here to help you every step of the way!
Wedding Ceremony Tips
Cocktail Hour Planning Tips
5. What songs are best for the cocktail hour?
After the ceremony is complete, Cocktail Hour begins, to allow the couple and wedding party to take pictures. Most couples choose soft, background music to be played for the hour (sometimes 1.5 hours). Cocktail hour is the perfect time to play all of your favorite songs that perhaps may not be "danceable" or slower songs. Many people choose their favorite songs, but acoustic versions, Country love songs, Bluegrass remakes, Jazz, Big Band, etc. Be sure to check out our Country Wedding Songs article, or our Cocktail Hour Wedding Songs article for more great song ideas.
Grand Entrance & Dinner Tips
6. The Grand Entrance
Once Cocktail Hour is complete, the wedding party will make their grand entrance. Some couples choose to announce their parents and the entire wedding party, while others choose to introduce the newlyweds, only. A song can be chosen for the wedding party and usually, a different song is chosen for the couple’s introduction.
7. Wedding Dinner Tips & Playlist Ideas
After the couple has been introduced, dinner usually begins. Some couples will choose to do their first dance as soon as they enter, while others may wait until after dinner. We see about an even 50/50 split of couples doing this.
For dinner, most couples play a mix of soft, background music, but any music/genre can be played, depending upon the couple’s taste and preferences. Check out our 21 Awesome Wedding Dinner and Cocktail Hour Song Ideas article, for great song ideas. Toasts are usually done towards the end of dinner, as well. Most couples do this, so that no one is missing or has to find the person doing toasts. Other couples may wait until the cake cutting time to then do toasts.
Wedding Reception Planning Tips
8. Now the fun begins! :)
After dinner concludes, the dance floor will open. As we mentioned earlier, some couples will then do their first dance, and parent dances at this time. For the couples who already did their first dance after the grand entrance, they will then do their parent dances after dinner.
Couples should choose the genres of music they wish to hear, along with other genres that their family and friends may enjoy. A good mixture of music works best, to ensure everyone will have an enjoyable evening. Be sure to check out our Top 200 Wedding Songs article for great wedding reception song ideas! Other moments where songs will need to be chosen are: cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, the last dance, and the send-off song.
This is the basic timeline of how most weddings are done, but of course every wedding can be changed, according to the couple’s needs and wishes. We hope to have provided you with some helpful advice. Please feel free to email us, if you have any additional planning questions and we’ll be happy to help, congratulations!
-Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Outdoor weddings and events in Austin and central Texas are always fun! The weather is usually warm and we rarely have extreme temperatures in the central Texas area. This is great, since all your DJ, photo booth, photographer, caterer and other vendors will need to set up outside, too! However, we're here to let you know a few tips for "plan b."
Let's face it, no one wants to create a plan b, since we all envision the perfect wedding/event with perfect weather! Just saying the "r word" (rain) upsets some brides and grooms. We've even had a client from another state not hire us, since the planner said, "it's always warm in Austin, especially in February, right?" We replied, "honestly, it can be warm, but it can also be cold, too. We've done many outdoor events in February, and it was usually cold." The bride and planner didn't appreciate our honesty. This was 6 months ago and we had no idea that most of February was actually going to be warm, this year, who knew?
Back to plan b. Here are some tips:
1. Budget for a tent rental.
Always have a budget set aside for a possible tent rental. I know this is very difficult to do, but trust me, you'll be glad you did, if you need to actually rent one!
2. Get quotes.
Search for event rental companies in the area and get quotes, early! Find out what their rates are, deposit, available sizes for your number of guests, etc. Also, be sure to ask your venue manager if they have a tent rental. Many venues offer this at a much lower rate than rental companies. Find out the costs for the company to set up and tear-down the tents. Theses are often extra charges, unless you want to DIY, but we'd recommend letting the pros do it. You'll be too busy that day, anyway, and it's not as easy as it looks.
3. Make the call to rent a tent, early, 3-5 days before the wedding/event.
It's wise to watch your weather app (we use Wunderground, which is very accurate) and a few days before the wedding/event, make the call to rent a tent. We advise a few days before, so you won't be stuck calling around at the last minute and no one has any tents available! Find out if the event rental company has a cancellation policy. If you decide to cancel your rental (ideally because you don't need it after all) find out about the charges.
4. Don't use make-shift tents/tarps!
We actually just completed an all outdoor wedding, last weekend, and it rained 90% of the time! Their family and friends scrambled to buy tarps and canopies, the day of the wedding, to cover their guests. They managed to get them all up in time, but it wasn't the best idea. Right after the ceremony, the tarp lines broke and everyone got wet! It was tough to see and we weathered the storm right along with them. They decided to just have the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and the first dance, only. They ended their wedding 2 hours early, due to the non-stop rain. So don't make your own rain coverings.
5. Read your vendor contracts.
Last, but not least, read all your vendor contracts to find out about their inclement weather plans. Most vendors will not refund any portion of your fees, even if you end your event early or cancel that day. (We actually gave our couple above the additional 2 hour fees back, even though our contract says we don't). We require a cover in extreme temperatures and in rain. We will also turn off the equipment, if lightning is within 1 mile from the location (using the cloud to ground measuring technique). Also, if there are extreme or imminent weather warnings, most vendors will end their services, since it may be life-threatening.
Overall, do your research and plan early, for all possibilities! You'll be glad you did!
- 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