Don’t Be Afraid of Flowers!

Not only have I seen a big debate on DJs or do-it-yourself music playlists, but I’ve seen a surge in brides asking where to find flowers cheap, or should they just use fake. If at all possible, avoid fake flowers! They don’t photograph as well as real. So what are some other ways to cut down on costs? After a great meeting with a bride and Melissa Timm Designs, I wanted to share a few tips with you.

First, it all starts with a great florist. Find someone in your area who 1) knows her flowers and 2) is good about working with a budget. Your florist should be knowledgeable about what flowers are in season at the time of your wedding, and what flowers can be used if you’re wanting to stay in a specific color range. They’ll be able to use this info to help keep you in budget, but also achieve a final look you’ll love.

Second, start big and work your way back. In your first meeting with your florist, go over your “perfect world” scenario. Start planning without the budget, and include the most expensive flowers to achieve the look you want. See how far off you are from the budget and scale back from there.

Third, don’t be afraid to mix and match! Not all the tables have to look the same and you don’t have to use large floral centerpieces at every table. Maybe pick two looks: one floral arrangement and one non. The non-floral arrangement could be lanterns, a stack of vintage books with rose petals scattered around, or something else. This will help the budget so much!

Lantern

You can use lanterns with LED candles as a great centerpiece alternative to a large floral arrangement. (Image from Wedding Stuff Ideas Blog)

Lastly, REUSE! Are you lining the aisle with floral arrangements? Have your wedding coordinator move them to reception tables after the ceremony. You can also use your bridesmaid’s bouquets as centerpieces or accent pieces on the gift or cake table.

DJ or No?

I’ve seen a lot of brides asking recently if they should stretch their budgets to book a DJ. Is it worth the cost or should they just create a playlist? My answer: ABSOLUTELY!!

There are quite a few pros of having a DJ.

1. They keep the party going.
When you have a DJ, they can take requests from guests and get everyone hype and on the dance floor. They can make sure to avoid any silent moments or awkward pauses. I attended a wedding once that had a playlist on an iPod. One recurring issue was when guests wanted to hear specific songs. They would scroll through the iPod until they found something that sounded good and then press play. This whole time, though, guests would be standing around in silence, waiting for something to start playing. Your DJ can avoid that. Almost 3 years later, one of the biggest compliments I get is about our DJ. I’ve had 2 brides book him this year solely based on his performance at my wedding and his ability to keep the party alive.

2. They handle the timing of the evening.
DJs will work with your wedding coordinator to announce when it’s time to cut the cake, toss the bridal bouquet and garter, etc. They’ll keep the evening flowing so you don’t have to worry about what’s coming next and keep checking the time so you can cut the cake. Enjoy your evening!

3. They won’t repeat songs.
When you create a playlist, what’s the correct number of songs to insure you will get through them all without starting over again? What if you never make it to the song you chose for your final dance? Trust me. Leave it to the pros. Your DJ will schedule a meeting with you before your big day to pick out your must-haves and your list of no-nos. For example, my DJ knew we absolutely didn’t want to hear the Electric Slide but I HAD to hear Love on Top by Bey before the party ended. He made sure to work it in before our final dance to The Time of My Life.

4. Professional DJ means professional equipment.
I remember one wedding I attended did a playlist. They rented one speaker and had an iPod hooked up to it. The issue: the dance floor was the tennis court and that one speaker didn’t project the music loud enough for that large of a space. Your DJ will know how many speakers will be needed for your space to make the music sound just right, and they will bring any other equipment that might be needed. If any equipment malfunctions, they’ll know how to fix it and make sure your party isn’t interrupted.

5. Just because you don’t want to dance, your guests will probably want to.
You will be told multiple times during the planning process that this is your wedding and you can do whatever you want. Although that’s true, you have to keep in mind your guests when planning certain aspects. All of them are there for one big reason: to celebrate with you and your new spouse! They want to talk with you and have a great time! You might not be a big dancer, but your guests might be and they may be expecting a party. If you are set on not having a DJ or some sort of entertainment, maybe consider moving your ceremony and reception time to earlier in the day or evening.

If you’re still worried about how to fit a DJ into your budget, consult with a local wedding planner. Chances are good they will have a list of DJs in your area to work with every budget. If you’re in Knoxville, I offer $50/hour consultations. We can meet and discuss vendors that fit your budget!

Check out Style Me Pretty’s blog post on 2016 Wedding Music Trends. Happy planning!