Posted by Daryl Thomas on January 3rd, 2016
For many couples, attending a wedding expo or bridal fair can be daunting. With so many exhibitors, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t let the amount of choices intimidate you. If you and your partner are planning to attend one of these events in the near future, here are some tips to help you stay focused and find the best vendors.
Tip #1 – Know What You Are Looking For – Like most couples, you probably have a vague idea of what you want your wedding to look like, even if it’s just an idea for a theme or a few colors you’d like to incorporate. Write down anything you already know you can’t live without and anything else you think you might like. It could be as simple as the type of flowers you want or your preference for a tasty cake over an overly ornate one. Whatever it is, write it down. No detail is insignificant and your list will help you tremendously when chatting with vendors.
Tip #2 – Know Your Budget – Before heading out to any event where you could end up spending lots of money, it’s important to establish your budget and stick to it. First, decide how much you can afford to spend overall. Consider the fact that most Americans spend about $20,000 in total on their wedding, with roughly half of that amount going toward the reception’s catering, decorations and rental fees. Another 30% goes to the photography and DJ or Band entertainment, while the remaining 20% pays for the invitations, the gown, the tuxedo, the limo, the hotel, gifts for the bridal party, etc. Separate all of the expenses you think you might incur and decide where you would like to prioritize your funds. If it’s the menu you’re most concerned with, allow for more money to be spent on the catering. Once you arrive at the event, consider your budget and focus on the products and services you’ve prioritized.
Tip #3 – Know The Event – Most Wedding Expos and Bridal Fairs have websites that let you know which vendors will be exhibiting at the event. Scan the list and Google any vendors that pique your curiosity. Note which vendors capture your strongest interest and research a few of their past client’s reviews. Once you think you’ve found some reputable companies, write down any questions you may have for them. Your questions may be as broad as what’s trending lately among other couples using their product or service, or more specific to the product or service itself. Write down anything you can think of. The more questions you can come up with ahead of time, the better prepared you will be to assess the quality of the products and services on exhibit. Also, check the event’s website the night before as some will post a map. If they do, print it out and give it a quick study so you’ll know exactly how to navigate the moment you arrive and you won’t waste time on vendors that don’t fit your priorities.
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As you can see, the key to finding the best vendors is preparation. The more you know ahead of time, the more likely you’ll find what you want at a price you can afford.
Posted by Daryl Thomas on October 6th, 2015
One of the most important tasks couples take on when coordinating their weddings is the creation of their wedding websites. On it they can feature their engagement photos, the story of how they first met, videos they’ve made together, links to all of the stores where they’re registered at, etc. The options are endless and the services are many. A quick Google search pulls up a wide variety of sites that allow users to customize a basic design to their liking and many of those sites, like mywedding.com or TheKnot.com offer their templates for free.
The trouble with these sites is the templates are limited in scope and don’t offer the uniqueness and functionality many couples are looking for. That’s why some sites, like eWedding.com or WedSimple.com will also allow you to pay for more customization options and even offer to host your site for an affordable monthly fee. Still, many couples complain that when they try to access certain portions of their website or attempt to log onto their wedding registries via the links provided, the pages won’t open or the links aren’t functioning properly.
Therefore, your safest and best bet is to go with the pros. No one beats a professional web designer when it comes to building the most visually attractive, informative, reliable and user-friendly websites. Professional web designers can save you a lot of time, be called upon on a daily basis to make up to the minute adjustments, and they’re easy to find thanks to agencies you can quickly research online.
Before hiring a professional, compile all of the photos and videos you will want to include on the site and any anecdotes you would like to share. Decide which stores you will need to link with in order for visitors to access your gift registries. Think of any themes or colors you’d like to incorporate into your design, if you want music playing in the background and if you would like any interactive elements like a page for your visitors to leave messages or post photos and videos, or even take fun multiple-choice quizzes to see how well they know you. You can also incorporate a mini crowdfunding page for friends and family to donate to your honeymoon fund. Once you’ve got a good idea of what you want, research a few agencies and interview a handful of their top web designers, getting quotes along the way. You won’t have to break the bank, because there are talented web designers in all price points and you’re sure to find one that can deliver everything you want at a rate you can afford.
Posted by Daryl Thomas on February 26th, 2015
With huge advancements in technology and the continual decrease in prices, smart phones, tablets and MP3 players are becoming more and more prevalent in our society and it seems every kid these days has one or all of the above at their disposal nearly 24 hours a day. Therefore, as much as we try our best to protect them, with this kind of technology always at the ready, not to mention the constant pressure of their peers, our kids are exposed to potentially harmful influences on a minute-by-minute basis. All we as parents and educators can hope to do is try and expose them to the safest influences we can. School dances are no exception, which is why principles and faculty take the entertainment provided at their proms, homecoming and other school dances so seriously. Here are a couple smart things to consider when seeking the safest DJs for all of your school’s dances.
First of all, it’s important to know that there are a great number of professional mobile DJs who specialize in school dances. They listen to the radio, they know all of the current Top 40 hits and they know which songs are safe for all audiences and which songs are best avoided during their performances. You can begin searching for one of these talented DJs immediately by consulting reputable talent agency websites that promote DJs who specialize in proms and other school dances in your area. The longer the agency has been in business, the more likely they’re disc jockeys are reliable and represent the best, most responsible DJs the industry has to offer. Just be sure their websites are professional and allow you to easily search for a school dance disc jockey by location and price point.
While most school dance DJs are knowledgeable and aware of their highly sensitive and impressionable audience, there are always songs out there that even the most experienced DJ hasn’t heard and certain words or phrases that a disc jockey may not realize are offensive to certain cultures. Thankfully, there are services like the School Dance Network that can help. By consulting their informative website – www.SchoolDanceNetwork.com, you can access all kinds of valuable information including a giant list of safe songs for students of all ages and cultural backgrounds, a regularly updated ‘Do Not Play List’ and current student trends in both lifestyle and music. In addition, they certify and list the names of responsible DJs in their School Dance Directory. Before you hire your next prom or other school dance DJ, check to see if their name appears in this directory and if you seek to hire through an agency, check to see that the agency is mentioned as well.
As with anything else, when it comes to school dances and events, the safety of our children is of utmost importance. Hiring a responsible DJ for their prom, homecoming or other school dance entertainment benefits everyone, and it’s easy if you know where to look!