Booking Wedding Entertainment – What Is The Best Way?

Choosing the right wedding entertainment can put the perfect finishing touch to a special day. It expresses the personality of the bride and groom and who they are as a couple. It reflects the mood of the venue and the atmosphere of the service and reception. It influences how the guests enjoy themselves, putting people at ease and ensuring they have a memorable time.

Those planning a wedding, from brides and grooms and enthusiastic in-laws to professional wedding planners, are familiar with online directories and websites to assist them in the search for a venue or a photographer, however the task of finding good wedding entertainment can be a long and arduous one, with brides and grooms sometimes not knowing where to start. Let’s take a look at the options for hunting down that elusive wedding entertainment:

  • asking the wedding coordinator at the venue; sometimes a DJ is provided as part of a wedding package or they may recommend acts that previous brides and grooms have used.
  • looking through local directories such as Yellow Pages or keeping an eye out for advertisements in the nearest music shop to search for a local group or act
  • attending regional wedding fairs or reading county-based literature to find an act a little further afield
  • searching nationally, either in a national wedding magazine or on a specialist wedding entertainment website that draws together acts from across the country.

With the first option the stress of choosing wedding entertainment is totally removed from the bride and groom. The problem is that so is the choice and they are left at the mercy of the venue’s wedding coordinator having made a good choice of DJ. Selecting entertainment previously used at the venue may put the couple’s mind at rest that the act will be able to find the venue and set up without difficulty if they have been there before, but the act may not be to their taste or fit their individual theme.

If the bride and groom want something different to the traditional wedding DJ, but want to remain local the second option could be for them. It is easier to meet up with the act and see them perform live and they will be supporting a local band or act, however there is a wealth of other acts out there to choose from. Casting the net county-wide or nationally could be a good option, but why not opt for best route of all and use a wedding entertainment website?

A web-based service will give the bride and groom a whole host of wedding entertainment acts to choose from. From string quartets to acoustic guitarists, singers to saxophonists there will be something for every style of wedding. This type of service will take the leg work and stress out of choosing wedding entertainment, firstly by allowing them to search by genre, location, price and availability, but also by providing a lot of the details about length of set, style of clothing worn by the act and demo clips.

With all these options it won’t be long before choosing wedding entertainment becomes more of a pleasure and less of a chore!

Helen is a writer and author who works for several companies in the quirkier end of the music business, including I Do Music Ltd They are a leading, if recent, online resource for booking your wedding entertainment. With 20 years in the wedding music business, they know their stuff!
Helen is very comfortable working in this area as it’s not that many years since she went through the process herself and she retains an unhealthy interest in online forums that feature related content.

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Wedding Favours HQ: All About Wedding Favours

Long, long ago in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries, where almond trees first grew, the almond nuts were prized and were even considered in some cultures to be omens of good luck or even an aphrodisiac. They became symbols of all sorts of good things, including vitality and fertility.

It may have all started in Greek mythology, when the beautiful Greek princess Phyllis was left standing at the altar on her wedding day by Demophon. She waited many years for him until eventually she died of a broken heart. The gods changed her into an almond tree and she became a symbol of hope. When Demophon finally arrived, somewhat late for his wedding, he found the tree, seemingly dead, without leaves. Remorsefully he embraced it and at once it began to bloom, proving that death cannot conquer love.

Precious almonds must have seemed the most appropriate gifts to give couples at their weddings. Later when bridal gifts became more sophisticated, the tradition held and the bride would give her guests a little thank you gift that consisted of five almonds presented in a pretty little package, usually made up of an attractive fabric, laces and ribbons.

The five almonds represented fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness; the ultimate gifts to wish upon anyone. In the 13th century it is believed that the skill of coating the nuts with sugar was discovered. In Greece these were called ‘koufetta’, which was the forerunner of today’s ‘confetti’ now a completely different thing, but still connected with wedding tradition.

Round about the 16th century at the beginning of the rise of European ‘high society’, led by France, it became fashionable in the top circles to offer wedding guests gifts in elaborate little boxes, sometimes encrusted with precious stones. The gifts usually contained edible, sugary ‘bon-bons’. These gifts were called ‘bonbonniere’.

This tradition lives on today. In English speaking countries these little gifts are now called wedding favours. They are small tokens of appreciation by the bridal couple to the guests for attending the wedding celebration with them.

If you are getting married soon, you may like to continue the charming almond tradition or include almonds in the little gifts you include in your wedding favour packages. On the other hand you may prefer to break away completely to something new.

Whether you have a large budget or even if it is smaller your choices are endless. You can buy expensive gifts, or you can buy or even make really inexpensive ones. Your imagination is really the only thing limiting you. No imagination? Even this is not a problem. You will see wonderful ideas online and in the shops around you.

The basic idea is to have an attractive container that matches or blends with the colours and theme of your wedding. They are usually designed to complement your table decorations as well as to contain a delicious treat inside, or a useful gift, or an unforgettable memento of your wedding.

For selection of Unique Wedding Favours

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Can You Trust a Friend to Be Your Wedding Photographer?

You’ve set the date of your wedding and you know where it’s going to be. You’ve picked the invitations, the caterer, found a band or DJ and tasted the wedding cake. What’s left? Choosing the wedding photographer.

Of course, everyone wants to try to save money when planning a wedding. Weddings are expensive after all. At the same time though, you also want to reduce your stress. Choosing a wedding photographer is a time where you have to balance these two concerns.

Inevitably, when the wedding is being planned, someone will remember a family friend who is a good photographer. On the surface it seems like a good idea. After all, this person will be willing to work for far less than a professional photographer would. You may have seen some of the pictures they have taken and you may have even liked them.

Of course, everyone has heard stories of the professional wedding photographer that ruined the mood of the wedding by constantly butting in to take pictures. You may have been a guest that had their view of the wedding blocked because the photographer was trying to get the shot. And everyone has heard of a wedding photographer that has charged an arm and a leg to take pictures.

So can you trust an “amateur” to take pictures at your wedding? The answer is maybe… Before you let this person take pictures of your special day though, there are some guidelines you should discuss with them. Setting some ground rules will help decrease your stress and anxiety. Please note that these guidelines apply even if you are hiring a professional wedding photographer.

The photographer has to know their equipment front to back. Your wedding is not the time for a photographer to be using a new camera that they are not familiar with. All equipment should be in good working condition. Your photographer should know the equipment so well that using it is second nature to them.

The photographer needs to have backups and spares of all equipment. This means things like batteries and memory cards for the camera. (Or film if your photographer is old fashioned.) You can’t tell the bride to say “I do” again because you had to run to the store to get more batteries. The same holds true for other equipment like flashes and even for the camera itself. Having a backup means not missing a shot.

Remember that the picture is not just about who is in the foreground. You may have a beautiful picture of the bride and groom, but if someone in the background is sick because they had too much from the open bar, the shot will be ruined. Composing a picture is about more than just the people in the shot. A photographer needs to keep lighting in mind as well. Glare can come from many locations. Windows, room lights and people’s glasses are just a few.

In the end, remember that it is your special day. You’ll be sharing your wedding pictures with people the rest of your life. Imagine how different an experience you will have sharing ugly and poorly shot pictures with your grandchildren than you will sharing beautiful well composed ones.

Are you looking for an experienced Riverside wedding photographer? Then check out

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How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Song

Music has become one of the most important aspects of our lives today, and its importance is most observed during a wedding ceremony. Many couples will tell you that finding and choosing the perfect wedding song sets the tone for the rest of the event or their lives in general. However, before setting foot on the dance floor, there are a few things to keep in mind when making your final selections.

Be Lyric Conscious:

It is always important to know what the lyrics of your favorite song contain before deciding to dance to it. Do not be misled by the title of the song or its catchy chorus. For instance choosing a song like “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder might seem romantic at first and seemingly the perfect song for a groom to choose for his bride, however, the lyrics actually focus on infidelity and it is definitely not a song you’d choose to dance to on your wedding day. Try to choose songs with lyrics that are meaningful and deep or a song that speaks and summarizes your relationship to your guests. Some suggestions include Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love” and Shania Twain’s “From this Moment On”.

Don’t be Afraid of the Classics:

If you’re more into the new or hip music, there’s nothing wrong with that, and there are many songs today that do have some romantic content especially if it’s a song that both of you really like. However, take the time to peruse some classic hits that are bound to bring a feeling of nostalgia especially to your older guests. You’d be surprised at how fitting some of the lyrics of these songs are to your special occasion. Some suggestions include Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall in Love” and Elvis Presley “My Wish Came True.”

Know Your Audience:

Nothing is worse than getting to the middle of the dance floor and blasting a rap song or lyrics with adult content that only you and your spouse enjoy but leaves the rest of the guests (or a majority of them) shaking their head in confusion or disgust. The last thing you want to see is parents covering their children’s ears or leaving the reception hall due to your poor music choice. If you must choose an unconventional song, then pick one with lyrics that speak to the occasion and celebrate your relationship. You can always dance to the more adult content when you are with your peers who can understand and share your interest.

Make it Memorable:

Choose a song that you both fell in love with. Is it the song you danced to for the first time? Was this the song playing when you laid eyes on each other? Or is it simply a song that you both enjoy at the end of a long day? Whatever the case, your song should represent you as a couple and should tell a story of your past and what you hope the future holds.

Lisa Longport is a contributing writer for Additional wedding information and articles can be obtained at

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FAQ About Throwaway Bouquets

Can I make a different bouquet to throw at my wedding? I want to keep mine.

Sure you can. Having a second bouquet is increasingly popular. It can either be similar to the bridesmaids bouquets or be a miniature replica of the bride’s bouquet. This bouquet can be made with real or silk flowers regardless of which you chose for your bridal bouquets. Keep in mind though that artificial flowers are tougher and can withstand the grabbing and tugging from hopeful single women. If you accept that flowers will break and that bouquet may very well fall apart under the pressure (depending how rough your bunch gets)

If you have questions about your throwaway bouquet and what is appropriate, you are not alone. As a wedding florist in a busy flower shop for 15 years, I noticed that most brides were unsure about their throwaway bouquet and often had questions about them. Here are some of the most popular questions that kept coming up. Here they are:

I want live flowers for my throwaway. Are there any special precautions I can take to give them the best chance of survival at the bouquet toss.

If you choose live flowers for your throwaway bouquet, make sure it is well glued. At the back of the bouquet, apply glue with a low-temperature glue gun to bond thick stems to the plastic parts of the bouquet holder. Glue half on the stem, half on the plastic and hold to bond. Roses or other large flowers should definitely be glued. If you chose a cascade bouquet, the upside down flowers need to be wired. An extra precaution would be to spray “Bouquet Hold”or another similar floral glue in an aerosol with a little straw to reach into the bouquet. Make sure the inside of your bouquet is very solid as too.

I don’t feel like going through much hassle for a bouquet that I will just throw away. What is the best and cheapest way to get a toss bouquet?

You can simply purchase an artificial pre-made bouquet priced between $15 and $20 at a discount box store or craft store such as Wal-Mart, Michael’s, Lewis Craft. Online in places like eBay are good places to find cheap bouquets. For most brides, a simple artificial bouquet, all white with greenery is perfect for a throwaway.

I want to make my throwaway special for the lucky girl that catches it. Do you have any ideas?

You could make your throwaway bouquet special by re-creating your fresh bouquet but in silk and make it way ahead of time. If you are making your own wedding bouquet, the practice of making this throwaway bouquet will actually give you a good idea of how many flowers you need to order for your fresh bouquet. You will get good practice and you will feel more confident when the time comes to make your real live bouquet. In my experience, I’ve seen brides get a replica of their bouquet made up with the intention of tossing it, then deciding to keep their silk replica as a souvenir of their wedding and tossing the live one. Another idea to make a throwaway bouquet special is to make a break-apart bouquet. Make 3-5 small separate hand-tied bouquets. Loosely tie them together with ribbon that will be easy to take off at throwing time. Surprise all by throwing a bouquet that will split into pieces to bring happiness to more than one lucky woman.

If you are thinking of making your own wedding bouquets, you can read more questions and answers in my How To book. You can also follow along step by step to make your corsages, bouquets, centerpieces and church flowers. It`s all in my handy reference book. All you have to do is follow the instructions and you will end up with gorgeous wedding flowers. Everyone will be complimenting your flowers and you can proudly say that you made them yourself. Their reaction will be priceless. How To Wedding Flowers

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Must I Sign Contracts With Wedding Vendors?

A Contract Outlines Exactly What You Are Purchasing

Are you requesting something out of the ordinary from your venue (upgraded linens instead of standard linens for example)? Your contract outlines specifically what you are expecting your wedding vendor to provide. Look for these items in your contracts:

  • Date of event
  • Arrival Time
  • Specific package/service/product (should be very descriptive)
  • Amount of deposit needed to book services and whether or not it is non-refundable
  • Payment schedule
  • Cancellation policy
  • Whether the vendor should be provided a hot meal on wedding day
  • Date the final product (such as wedding videos) will be completed
  • Any special requests (even if your vendor has verbally agreed to do something special for you, if it’s not in writing, it may as well not exist!)

Pay special attention to the cancellation clause of your contract. In many cases, it will state that the initial deposit is non-refundable if the event is cancelled. This is to protect the vendor from loss and to compensate them for work performed to date. Keep in mind that once you booked your date with a vendor, they are probably turning down other business for the same date.

A Contract is a Means of Protecting Oneself

Because the contract is clear on what products and services are being provided, it is a reference in case you have an issue or concern with what has been received. If your florist agreed to provide calla lilies for your bouquets, and they are delivered with roses, you have recourse to request new bouquets! Because there are so many details to remember regarding your wedding, contracts are a great way to keep up with the specifics.

A Contract Should Be Read Carefully!

Don’t just gloss over the language and rush to sign! Read each clause of the contract carefully, and if you have questions, ask! A professional should be happy to explain each clause to you, so you fully understand what you are signing. Be leery of a contract that requires an extremely large payment upfront or of a vendor who cannot (or will not) address your concerns.

Read and ask questions! I can’t emphasize this enough! And make sure your contracts contain all of the specifics and special items requested before you sign. Don’t allow a vendor to intimidate you into signing something you don’t understand or something that is incomplete.

Happy Planning!

Brenna Taylor has been planning weddings, special events and conferences for several years. She combines her love for event planning, particularly weddings, with her almost 18 years of corporate project management experience, to assist clients in planning the important events of their lives.

To receive a copy of Brenna’s free wedding planning resource, please visit her website at

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The 3 Essentials for The Perfect Grooms Speech

What are the three essentials for the perfect grooms speech?

Let me firstly say that the wedding day is not about you! The grooms speech is not about you. You should focus on the people who you don’t want to let down. The more you focus on these people the less self conscious you will be. The grooms wedding speech can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. It can be as humorous or as serious as your personality requires. You can find grooms speech ideas, grooms speech jokes, grooms speech examples, and who the grooms toast must include, but before all that you should consider the essentials. Remember this – you should focus on the people who you don’t want to let down.

Everyday, as you wake up, you should think of all the things you can be thankful for and on your wedding day this is especially true. You have so much to be thankful for and your wedding speech is your golden opportunity to express your thanks. This could be a once in a lifetime deal. To publicly express your appreciation. You can make your bride and both your families so proud of you.

The 3 Essentials Are:

  1. Thank your parents for bringing you up. Thank them for all their love, their support, their encouragement. Have you ever done this privately or publicly? Many people wait until their parents are in a coffin before they express their silent thanks. Now is your moment to thank them publicly and completely. (It can also serve as a signal to your bride that you have left your mother to join her. No more comments about how your mother used to do things!)
  2. Charm your In-Laws. This is your first major opportunity to show them what you’re made of. To demonstrate publicly that their daughter has made the right choice (in spite of what her mother may think). Win them over today, and this will smooth so many paths, and make your future together so much easier.
  3. Lastly and most importantly! Demonstrate publicly how much you love your new bride. Tell her how amazing she looks. Tell her how much you’re looking forward to spending your life with her. You can do so much to make your bride happy.

Yes, my friend, today isn’t about you at all it’s about your bride and your future together.

Click for more information on the perfect grooms speech

Click for more information on how to make a perfect grooms speech.

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How To Have A Great Wedding On A Budget

Planning a small budget wedding is not as difficult to do as many people imagine. It just takes a little thought and some careful preparation. Give yourselves plenty of time. A year is ideal. This gives you plenty of time to shop around for the bargains that are out there.

Booking the venue needs to done as soon as you set the date. Venues get booked up very quickly, especially in spring and summer. But why not think about having a wedding out of season, say sometime between October and April when you can save as much as 30% on the cost of hiring a venue?

People such as wedding caterers, DJs, bands and photographers will usually offer a discount for off season weddings. Why not hire your wedding dress and your bridesmaid’s dresses? And what about the wedding cake? That can be a very expensive item. So why not buy some high street cakes and take them to a cake decorator for finishing? And what about your wedding car? There must be someone in your circle of friends who owns a lovely car. Ask them if they will do you the honour of dressing their car with ribbons and be your driver for the day.

As you can see, just by using these tips it is possible to have a great wedding on a small budget. It just takes a bit of work and determination and a bit of shopping around. And allowing your friends to rally round and help with your preparations gives your wedding the personal touch.

If you’re planning your wedding and you’d like to find out how to have the wedding of your dreams without spending more than you need to, check out the ultimate guide here: Wedding Planner Book

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Throwing a Margaritaville Birthday Theme Party That Will Knock Everyone’s Socks Off!

A Margaritaville birthday party theme is one of the best birthday party ideas. Taking a line from the popular song from Jimmy Buffet from way back when, this birthday party theme signifies a certain lifestyle that you get to enjoy for at least one night. This is one of themes for a party especially for 40th birthday celebrations although it is suitable for all ages. This article discusses throwing a Margaritaville birthday theme party that will knock everyone’s socks off!

It goes without saying that a Margaritaville birthday party theme without the Margarita is not a Margaritaville birthday theme party. You will need blenders and ice and salt. The food is also important and party food ideas include shrimp cocktails, cheeseburgers (build your own), dessert such as fruit cake or sponge cake and various other finger foods. Various menu items can be obtained from the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville Cafe to ensure that your party meets all specifications for this particular theme.

This theme requires the right weather in order for the birthday celebration to occur on a patio or backyard. Any location can be used including indoors or in a tent if the weather does not permit a backyard or patio party.

This birthday party theme requires tropical flowers, shark fins, tikki lights, coconuts, grass skirts and various other tropical items to decorate the venue in order to pull off this birthday party theme successfully and transport your guest to the tropics.

You should have a tikki bar for the Margaritas to be served at and the tables upon which the food is to be placed should be set with the grass skirts. Although alcoholic Margaritas will definitely get the party started, you can also provide non alcoholic Margaritas if there are going to be people not of drinking age at the party or those who abstain from alcoholic beverages. You want to be able to cater to everyone to ensure that this is THE party of the year!

No Margaritaville party theme or any other party for that matter is complete without good music that will keep all the guest entertained and on their feet. You can play other music besides Jimmy Buffets that is in keeping with this birthday party theme. Consider the various tastes of your guests as well. You do not want to play music that they will not enjoy.

You should encourage your guests to comply with tropical dress codes. This is the time to pull out the Hawaiian shirts, Bermuda shorts and flip flops. The ladies can have fun with various flower dresses or other tropical attire.

Another great idea with this Margaritaville birthday party theme is to rent a karaoke machine if you do not have a karaoke machine to add to the evening’s festivities and have Jimmy Buffet karaoke.

When the night is winding down, do ensure that you make sure that everyone is able to get home safely. The Margaritaville birthday party theme is one of the best birthday party ideas and the most fun by far. For a truly festive birthday celebration, this is a great party theme to consider.

For additional birthday party theme, visit The opportunity to throw a fabulous birthday celebration does occur often so make sure that you properly plan for this. Visit this website also for ideas on the best birthday gifts for him, her, kids and for yourself.

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5 Bridal Trends for 2011

2011 is just around the corner, and with it, a whole new wedding season with fresh trends for brides. No one wants to be “so last year” on her wedding day, so take some time to get caught up on the latest styles for the new year. These top 5 bridal trends for 2011 will help get you off to a great start.

One: 1950s inspired wedding gowns. This trend started in 2010, and will be hotter than ever for 2011. Look for bridal gowns with natural waists, tulle skirts, and lace or bow embellishments. Symmetry is also back for wedding gowns in a big way. Veils are a must with the classic ’50s inspired gowns. A fun way to add a personal touch to this classic gowns is to wear custom bridal jewelry in a pale pink or blue color.

Two: Cover ups. Many designers are now showing coordinating cover ups to wear with their strapless wedding gowns. Whether it is a sheer beaded shrug, a fur wrap, or a lace bolero, 2011 brides will find that they have some lovely options for elegant cover ups. This is a wonderful thing for a cold weather bride, of course, and also a great option for a bride who wishes to make her strapless gown more conservative for a church ceremony. The cover up can be quickly removed for the reception, allowing for a fresh new party look.

Three: Polished hair and makeup. After several years of beachy bridal hair, the trend has swung back towards a more classic elegant look. Smooth chignons, braided buns, and other classic pulled-back hairstyles make a wonderful accompaniment to the 1950s gowns which are so popular for 2011. They give brides a sophisticated ladylike appearance which is absolutely gorgeous. Makeup will be equally polished for the next season. Think red lipstick, soft eye makeup, and of course a radiant bridal glow!

Four: Custom bridal jewelry. While the overall trend for 2011 is towards a classic 1950s sensibility, that does not mean that personalization is not still very popular. The clean lines of the 2011 bridal gowns are the perfect canvas for experimenting with unique custom bridal jewelry. Top option include wearing colored crystals or pearls instead of all white jewelry, layering necklaces, and mix and match necklaces and earrings. The customized look also makes it easy for a bride who is wearing family jewelry for her wedding to layer in some new pieces for a fresh take.

Five: Short bridal gowns. Virtually every designer now has a collection of knee length wedding gowns in their collection. For 2011, the short gown trend is stronger than ever. These cute little numbers are ideal for destination weddings, chic City Hall nuptials, and quirky or informal ceremonies. A short wedding gown is also a fantastic option for the bride who wants to have two wedding dresses. She can wear a traditional full gown for the ceremony and then slip into one of the cute short dresses to party at the reception. It is a great way to have the best of both worlds.

Finding the whole process of weddings and all the planning that goes into one fascinating,Laura writes about many of the considerations that brides have to deal with. Treat yourself to custom bridal jewelry from and receive complimentary shipping on your jewelry order over $99.

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