Tips on Selecting a Wedding DJ


Cathy's Concepts Modern Love Wedding Dance Floor Decal

Essentially, there are two aspects to a wedding: the reception and the ceremony. Some bride’s think that planning the ceremony is the hard part, but the reception usually ends up winning that battle! You have to select the foods, drinks, location, photographer and more importantly, the DJ! Here are a few tips to selecting a DJ that will make your special night spectacular:

Tip 1: Meet your DJ.
Don’t go by reputation or website alone. You need to meet your DJ to be sure that you like his/her personality. Large DJ companies are always hiring/firing DJ’s so you can’t be sure if you’re getting the same one that your best friend had in 2009.  If you opt for a large company, be certain to meet with the actual DJ who will be entertaining your guests, not just the owner of the company.

Tip 2: Get a Contract.
Don’t go by a verbal agreement. You need to have a mutual contract between yourself and your desired DJ. Make sure this contract has the time, date, cost, location, etc. Any stipulations or requests should also be written in this as well. You should receive a copy.

Tip 3: Consultations
Set up a meeting before the event to consult with your DJ. Explain what you expect/want. Don’t listen to the “I’m a professional.” line because while your DJ may be professional, each job should be customized to meet the clients needs. On the other hand, be sure that your DJ doesn’t need to be hand held through the event. After the consultation, the DJ should be able to play music that you like/want without having to have you write down an entire list. After all, you don’t need the stress of planning a playlist!  Consultations should be free of charge.

Tip 4: Check out their music
Many brides are very caught off guard when their DJ plays only country music. Be sure that the DJ that you are selecting has a wide variety of choices – more importantly, YOUR favorite genre of music! Be sure that the DJ updates their music frequently to have the latest hits, if that’s what you prefer.

Cathy’s Concepts Modern Love Wedding Dance Floor Decal

Ring Bearer Info and Tips!


Lillian Rose White Rose Pillow

Ring bearers are cute. In fact, they are just as cute as the pretty flower girls! In modern weddings,  young boys can play two main roles: ring bearer and page. If you’re wondering the difference, here you go: Pages help the bride with an extra-long train, while ring bearers bring the wedding rings to the altar.

Ring Bearer Duties

Generally, the ring bearers are younger in age (ranging from 4 years old to 8 years old). Traditionally, they walk down the aisle prior to the flower girl, holding a small pillow with two rings tied to it. Because modern brides and grooms don’t exactly trust their 5 year old ring bearer with their wedding rings, it’s common that the ring pillows hold fakes.


Whether you ask your ring bearer to carry your real rings, or just the symbolic, fake rings, it’s very important to have him practice and describe exactly what he will be doing. I’d talk it up, like it’s a huge task and he’s very important (which is no lie, he IS a very important part of your special day!).

Who to Select?

Most brides opt for a young family member. Whether you have a godchild, nephew, or even your own child. If you really can’t find a child that you want in your wedding, or they aren’t able to make it (long distance), don’t worry about it! You can use a girl (go against tradition, which is OK in my book!) You could always skip it all together – the best man usually holds the rings anyways!


Ring Pillows

Wedding Tips for the Bride: The Day Before


Cathy's Concepts Pink Train Travel Case

There are tons of questions that a bride has before the wedding. Particularly 6 months in advance: booking the venue, selecting a dress, etc. The panic sets in, however, the night before the wedding. This is when a short checklist comes in handy! Here are a few or our wedding tips for the bride, the day before the wedding:

  • Nails: This is something that you need to wait for. Both manicure and pedicure are recommended the day before your wedding so that you don’t chip them. It’s also very relaxing and you should get pampered a little the day before.
  • Shampoo and do a deep conditioning treatment on your hair. This can be done professionally at the salon or by yourself. Next day hair is easier to style, so today is the best day to get this done.
  • Drink lots of water today to remain hydrated and maintain your skin. Many brides don’t think about eating or drinking until the main event is over. It’s very important to keep hydrated!
  • Go to sleep early! Keep those dark rings away by getting plenty of rest. The wedding day, while magical and beautiful, is also filled with stress. Be sure that you’re rested and hydrated!

The wedding day:

  • Begin the morning of your wedding stress free. Have a nice breakfast and a bubble bath.
  • Get your makeup and hair done.
  • Get in your dress and marry that special someone!

Wedding Essentials for the Bride

Wedding Budgets with Elegant Thinking


Cathy's Concepts Table Decoration, Numbered Vase

Unless you have unlimited funding, I highly recommend planning your wedding on a budget. Even if you set a comfortable limit, you won’t regret it. In fact, many brides regret the amount of money that they spent on their wedding. Regardless of your budget, it’s normal to dream of a fabulous, luxurious wedding.  Unfortunately, many brides look a budget as a “death sentence”. Luckily, if you plan properly, you can save that money and have the perfect wedding of your dreams. Think small: instead of spending a ton of money on flowers, use baby’s breath and focus on your bouquet. If you can’t stay in a particular theme, try to stick in a color scheme to keep the entire wedding unified and pretty. In my opinion: the more simple, the better the wedding!

Look into a Wedding Planner!

I’m not joking! A wedding planner might take up a bit of your budget, however they can work within your budget. Certain wedding planners have connections and can get cheaper DJ’s, for example. Wedding planners can seriously help take the stress of wedding planning off of your shoulders and leave you sitting back and watching the entire thing transform as you had pictured. 

My last piece of wedding planning advice: Personalize your wedding! By simply adding a few names, dates, monograms, you have transformed your wedding accessories into personalized memories and keepsakes. These also can take a simple ceremony set and transform it into a luxurious piece of your wedding. Personalization is a great way to make a statement and it generally doesn’t cost too much more.

Affordable Wedding Essentials

Picnic Wedding Planning


Weddingstar Miniature Woven Picnic Basket

With the spring weather around the corner, you might want to consider a picnic wedding to entertain your guests. Many brides and grooms opt for this type of wedding because it’s also cost effective and helps to stay under budget. Here are my wedding tips if you are planning a picnic wedding reception.

1. Do some research. You can find local parks which have pretty trees, flowers and lakes. Many of these parks have nominal fees but also include picnic tables for your event. Don’t just settle for a park that you’re not happy with. Make sure it is what you envisioned.

2. Make it rustic. Rustic wedding themes are totally “in” and incorporate nature. You can get crafty with the rustic theme and save a ton of money. For example, save tin cans, remove the labels and tie a ribbon or a piece of burlap around. You can fill these with plants or use them to hold favors.

3. Have a potluck. Because you are opting for a less formal wedding reception, it’s perfectly OK to have a potluck and invite guests to bring their favorite dish. If you would like to cater the event, try small sandwiches and finger foods that you’d find at a standard picnic.

4. Incorporate some outdoor activities. This can especially be fun for children. Bring some footballs or softballs to keep the guests entertained (if your having a laid-back type of event).

The best thing about a picnic wedding is that you are able to relax with your friends and family. You don’t need to worry about every little detail. Who knows, you might get to celebrate and enjoy your own wedding!

Weddingstar Miniature Woven Picnic Basket

Selecting Useful Wedding Favors


D'Lusso Home Collection 4pc Wood Cork Coaster Set Bottles

We have all been to a wedding where we leave with a favor thinking: “What am I going to do with this?!?”. That’s why brides these days are looking into more useful, practical wedding favors.

A prime example is the famous luggage tags. These are very common for destination weddings, however they are a very practical wedding favor. These can be used when your guests travel, repeatedly, and if they are the right color, can fit in very well with any wedding theme or color scheme.

Other useful wedding favors include:

  • Bookmarks
  • Compact Mirrors (for the ladies)
  • Coasters
  • Oil & Vinegar Sets
  • Keychains
  • Bottle Openers

The benefit to giving guests a practical favor is that it won’t go to waste and your guests will be reminded of your special day, repeatedly.

I’m also a fan of using a candy buffet as a favor. While this gift can be re-used (unless the favor box is reusable, which is a great idea), most guests can fill up with their favorite candy and will indulge when they get home.

Practical Wedding Favors

Wedding Budget Tips for 2013


Weddingstar Flourish Monogram Personalized Wedding Aisle Runner, White with Hearts

It happens to the best of us: You know that you have a budget to follow, but your heart and mind are taking you into very different, expensive directions! Don’t worry. There are many, many things that you can do to get creative and still have that wedding that you are dreaming of.  Your budget isn’t the end of the world – in fact, many brides say that they WISH they would have saved some money and followed a budget plan. It may be a little more difficult, however it’s worth it in the long run. You don’t have to sacrifice your dreams because of a wedding budget!

Before you begin any planning, you FIRST order of business is to create the actual budget. Sit down with your fiancé and see what you can realistically afford. This should be done before you create the guest list and look into venues. You want this number embedded into your brain to keep you in focus for the rest of your planning journey. You have to know your limits before you decide on how many guests will be It is important that you set a budget before making a list of who to invite.

The next step is to decide what you can do yourself. If you are pretty skilled with crafts, you may want to tackle the favors and décor on your own. If you have a friend or family member that knows photography, see if they will do your photo shoot pro-bono (or for a reduced cost). All of these tiny details will help you to keep your budget for other aspects, such as food and venue.

If you can’t afford certain things, try to find help or resources that will make them within your reach, allowing your budget money to be spent elsewhere. A great idea is to buy a used or pre-owned wedding gown. If you think about it, this dress has most likely been only worn for an hour or two. The cost will be reduced in half, a great savings for most brides!

Remember that you should spend time planning a wedding so that cost do not get out of hand. If you being your planning well in advance, you will find that you aren’t feeling rushed and overwhelmed, you will have plenty of time to research your wedding essentials and stay within your desired budget.

Affordable Wedding Essentials

Wedding Theme: Fleur De Lis


Fashioncraft Attractive Fleur di Lis Place Card Holder Favors

The fleur-de-lis (also known as the Lily Flower) is a traditional royal symbol of France and other European nations.  It appears in the flags and coats of arms of territories once colonized by France, including Quebec and Louisiana.

Throughout history, the fleur-de-lis has represented many things, including royalty and religion. Because of this, it’s no surprise that this symbol has made it’s way into wedding themes. In fact, it has become one of the most popular wedding themes!

The Fleur De Lis symbol can be found in all forms of wedding essentials including:

  • Guest Books
  • Pen Sets
  • Toasting Flutes
  • Keychains
  • Place Card Holders
  • And more!

Because it is romantic and “royal” at the same time, this theme can go along with any color schemes, although gold is a perfect suit!

Fashioncraft Attractive Fleur di Lis Place Card Holder Favors

Top Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding on your own is a huge project. Many brides decide on hiring a wedding planner just to save themselves some added stress. What they don’t realize, however, is that it is a lot of work just to find a qualified wedding planner that can help create your big day. Here are some questions that you should ask your potential wedding planner:

1. Do you have wedding planning experience? Your wedding planner should be able to provide references and portfolios.

2. How long have you been in business? You don’t want a wedding planner that is just beginning – unless you have time or patience for that. Ask how many weddings the planner has done and make sure that they know all aspects of what you are dreaming of.

3. What do the services include? You want to know the ins and outs of the services that you will be receiving. Be sure that every single detail is included for the money that you are paying.

4. Do you provide a contract? A professional, experienced wedding planner can provide you with a detailed contract outlining his or her terms of service. It should include a clause about cancellations and any fees.

5. Can you work within my bridal budget? A professional wedding planner can be honest in regards to your budget.  He/She can make your dreams a reality with the budget that you are visioning.

6. Do you work solo or do you have an assistant?  If the wedding planner takes on too many jobs, you’ll want to make sure that there are additional people to help with your wedding if necessary.

7. Who backs you up? Do you have extra staff and is there an extra charge?
Ask the wedding planner to be specific. You don’t want any surprises on your wedding day.

8. Are you available for all meetings with the caterer, location and other vendors?
You’ll want your planner to be by your side and make sure that you are getting what you want, at all times. Be sure that this vendor has the time to walk you through each and every aspect, step by step.

9.  Will you personally attend my wedding? The answer to this question should be “yes”. No matter what.

10. Do you require a deposit to get started? When is the final payment due? This should be addressed in the proposal at your initial meeting. Get all financial questions out of the way immediately so you don’t have to worry about it later. .

Wedding Essentials

2013 Popular Wedding Trend: Owls


Weddingstar Porcelain Owl Pair Figurines Cake Topper

Owls are peaceful and beautiful. It’s no wonder that these mystical creatures are now a huge hit this bridal season.

Throughout the years and across various cultures, the world has thought of owls with a great fascination and awe. Very few species have so many different and contradictory beliefs about them.

Weddingstar Stylized Owl Salt And Pepper Shakers

Many brides and grooms are using the theme “Owl Love You Always” which is a cute spin off of this adorable creature. Owls can be considered elegant as well as incorporated into rustic, outdoors weddings.

If you fancy the owl theme for your wedding, one simple search on Google will turn up hundreds of thousands of owl related wedding images and products – so go ahead! Do a search, jot down some notes and have a “hoot” of a time! Ok – that might have been too much, but my point is, don’t just “settle”. The owl can be incorporated into any theme or color scheme and is a great “wise” way to spice up your wedding theme.

Weddingstar Porcelain Owl Pair Figurines Cake Topper