Band vs. DJ

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Should You Hire a Band or a DJ For Your Wedding?

The lists are endless and everyone has their opinion on which music will get them on the dance floor. Here are some things to consider before you cross “music” off your wedding to-do list.

The perfect dress? Check. A beautiful venue? Check. The music and entertainment? Eh…almost! The day you have both been dreaming about is almost here and you are still torn between a DJ and a band for your wedding day. You could ask your closest friends or Bob over in accounting which they preferred on their big day, but the results will always be the same — a tie. So here are four simple things you can do prior to the down payment

1. Ask For Referrals

Ok, hear us out — just a few sentences before this we threw in the bit about ‘Bob in accounting’ and how you’re likely to receive mixed responses for the music. Our generation has been gifted with the luxury of modern-day technology. Don’t be afraid to post questions on your personal Facebook page or local Facebook groups you are a part of and ask about their experience. Reach-out to a few close friends and family members and ask why they did or did not enjoy their music choice. This will be a great opportunity for you to keep a list of bands or DJs you want or definitely do not want.

2.   Pay Close Attention

If you have any weddings in the near future, be sure to pay close attention to the music they play. Regardless if it is a band or a DJ, make a mental note (or a note in your phone if you can) of what makes people get out of their seats, grab their friend and let loose. It’s also important to recognize which songs force people to leave the dance party and mingle in the corner with their friends. A great band or DJ will understand there is a balance of genres and tempos to play so that there is always a steady amount of people partying it up on the dance floor.

3.   Consider the Reception Space

Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor wedding, you will want to discuss your options with the venue. They might have recommendations for which is best with the space you’ve chosen. A smaller indoor venue might do better with a DJ. A large open space might have better acoustics for a band. The physical space might have constraints and could force you to narrow your decision quickly from a 20-piece live band to a DJ flying solo. The theme or vibe you’d like to convey could sway your choice from a DJ to a band. So the space you have could be key in the decision making process.

4.   What Will Make YOU Happy?

Of course you want to keep your guests happy, but at the end of the day, it is about you and the love of your life! What kind of music is going to get you out and party like it’s 1999? Which type of musician(s) will have you and your significant other hand-in-hand and make you feel like you’re the only two people in the room? Keeping your guests entertained is extremely important, but if you have a preference of band over DJ or vice versa, then don’t let that stop you from dancing your heart out on the Best. Day. Ever!


Newly Engaged? Congrats! Here's Where To Begin…

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And 3,2,1….Get ready for all the questions from your friends, family and co-workers. When’s the date? Where’s your venue? Were you surprised? Can I see your ring? When are you planning on having kids!?

Don’t allow the pressure of family and friends questions to add stress to your journey. We know it can become repetitive. Just remember, this is a time in your life that you CAN brag about the glory, the enjoyment and the emotions you feel.

Of course you aren’t going to have all the questions answered right away, but with these 8 tips you will soon enough! Congratulations again and happy planning!

Insure / Size Your Ring

Diamonds are a major investment for most couples. You’ll first need to have your ring appraised to evaluate it’s worth. They will evaluate the 4 C’s of a diamond: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. To give you an idea, the cost of insurance on a $10,000 ring is roughly $200 annually. Your insurance can just be added to your homeowners / renters policy. While having your ring appraised, consider getting it sized as well. You’ll feel a bit naked and sad giving up your beautiful new ring, but when you get it back it’s like you just got engaged all over again! Jewelers can take up to a couple weeks to get your ring resized, so make sure to plan this around your engagement pictures/family visits so you don’t miss the opportunity to show it off!


Share Your News

Spread the love and announce your latest news! Share your pics and the special moments captured. If you had a videographer record your marriage proposal, you may want to post it on social media so your friends and family can witness your emotions and see how joyful your engagement day was.

Don’t forget to change your Facebook status to engaged! *cheesy but you know you want to*

And you’ll want to start thinking of hashtags if you haven’t already!! #soontobeagoone

Choose Where

Ok so now begins the long standing debate of the destination vs local wedding! Some travel agents coordinate with hotels/venue/room blocks for destination weddings. There are also event planners specializing in destination weddings. Couples that decide on a destination wedding tend to deal with the event coordinator at the venue they choose. Just be aware that some venues and coordinators are subject to “island time” and responses may take longer than you’d expect. Think about some of the pros and cons of a local wedding vs destination.

Once you have where figured out, the real fun begins!

  • Con: Legalities

    Con: You Aren’t In Full Control

  • Con: People You Care About Might Not Make It

  • Con: Your Family Is on Your Honeymoon

  • Pro: Smaller Guest List Means Less Expensive Reception

  • Pro: Honeymoon at Your Dream Location

  • Pro: Activities

  • Pro: Backdrop

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Figure Out Your Budget & Make Your Guest List

Before you start planning anything you’ll need to figure out your budget. It’s time to talk with your family on who will help pay for what. It may be awkward, but the conversation has to happen and the sooner you have the answers the sooner you can start planning! Don’t expect your family to pay for anything. Receive their gesture as a blessing.

Before you pick a venue you need to figure out how many people there will be. Be realistic about the number of guests you’re inviting to avoid stress later on.

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Get Some Guidance

The Knot just made life a lot easier. Nearly every vendor in your area is listed by location, distance, style, and price range. Videographers, Florists, Jewelers, Venues, DJ’s, Beauty, etc. are all on this website where you can effortlessly keep track of all correspondence.

If you don’t have the time or don’t want to DIY you should consider hiring an event planner. A few of our favorites in the St. Louis area are Saving Grace Occasions, Allyssa Elaine, Events, Hillary J Events and K.Hart Events.

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Create A Pinterest

Time to start pinning if you haven’t started already! Make a private board on Pinterest so friends that follow you won’t see your pins. There are sooo many options to look at; centerpieces, dresses, beauty tips, color schemes, dessert ideas, hair styles, and so much more. Creating these boards will help when it comes time to meet with vendors. You will certainly have a picture or five ready to show the bakery the style cake you want or to show the florist what type of flowers you’re going with. This website should help you get organized, but don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of information. Remember, this is YOUR wedding and it doesn’t have to look like all the pictures online.


Start Envisioning

Pickup a magazine from Saint Louis Bride and start creating your vision board! Get inspired! These visuals make everything more exciting. The articles share about planning, real wedding stories and local vendors. STL Bride will keep you in the loop about everything going on in the St. Louis area and of course all the latest trends.

*Planning Tip* We’ve heard it helps to make a new email address for your wedding planning correspondence with vendors. This way the messages won’t fill up your personal email and you can share access with your partner, parents or whoever else is involved with the process!

Wedding Shows

Get out and actually meet those that will be a part of your big day. You most likely won’t find all of your vendors through a wedding show, but it might be nice to see what all is available in your community. Search for vendors that invite you into their office. This is (one of) the most important day(s) of your life. Work with people that appreciate and understand that. Always meet your vendors face to face. It will help put you at ease.

A few upcoming shows in the St. Louis area are

Credit: http://www.perfectweddingguide.com, pinterest.com, traveler.marriott.com/weddings, the knot,

Proposal Do's and Don'ts

Meaningful vs. Trendiness

-DON’T do what everyone else is doing or try to copy a romantic idea/movie that has already been done

-DO pay attention to your own relationship! Think about what is special about it and use that to help form an idea that is unique to the 2 of you (Need help with an idea? We offer proposal planning HERE) *Want to give your partner a little push to propose? Drop a hint HERE.

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-DON’T forget about a budget…after all, the engagement is only the first step in the beginning of your wedding planning!

-DO take into consideration what your significant other would be comfortable with. For example, would he/she be more comfortable in public or private? Would your partner want an intimate experience with just the 2 of you? Or would they want family and friends involved?

The Little Details

-DON’T make the proposal TOO complicated. Keep the focus on what matters… the proposal and your relationship.

-DO be creative… think about the details. Do you want to document this? Videography? Photography?

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-DO prepare. Practice what you are going to say.

-DON’T just utter “will you marry me?”. Tell your partner why! Now is the perfect time for romance.

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Take a Moment!

-DON’T spill the secret. Be careful how many people you tell before your proposal happens! The last thing you want is for the element of surprise to be ruined.

-DO share the news after the proposal happens… but take the time to reflect on your engagement, just the two of you before publicizing. Announcing an engagement is a big deal!

This Years Wedding Trends - 2019

  1. Wedding Cake Alternatives

    Wedding Cakes are becoming less and less common. It’s 2019 and we are all about change! Macarons, cake pops, doughnuts, waffles, cookies and pies are in the running for some of the most delicious wedding desserts. Even the display of the sweet treats are becoming a large part of decor.

Credit— Dessert: stacysconfectionerystations Photography: Carretto Studio andycarretto 

2. Backdrops

Photo Booths pictures are a special keepsake. If you are looking for more of an organic touch, see if your Photo Booth company offers a naturalistic background. There are SO many options organic, floral, balloons, greenery, fairy lights, pallet board, etc.


Credit: Photography: Jasmine Lee

3. Boho-Chic Themed

Decor: Earthy and inspired by nature. Natural elements of the breathtaking outdoors, floral garlands, dream catchers, feathers, cactus, rustic wood, and wild flowers are a must. Glass bottles, boho rugs, and fairy lights are all great ways to decorate a Bohemian Wedding. You can’t go wrong with using natural materials, as well as vintage furniture which pulls the look together.

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Hairstyle: Brides can opt for an updo or downdo… as long as there are waves or braids. Trendy headpieces such as, metallic flowers, gold draping crystals, natural greenery, and lace scream Boho. Get a hair trial with the St. Louis Experts at Belleza Hair and Makeup Salon.


**Not only does this salon cater to the bride and bridal party, but they make the men feel special by dedicating an entire space for the groom and groomsmen in their barbershop. They give fresh shaves, haircuts, beard trims all while enjoying the atmosphere and cold drinks.

Color: Warm earthy colors are popular, as are metallics. Browns, dark greens, and grays with a deep purple, and or red-orange pop. The combination of these colors is what makes this style unique.


Credit: Greenweddingshoes.com ; Pinterest.com ; www.joy-wed.com ; aandbebridalshop.com

4. Greenery

Still trending! What’s popular? Eucalyptus, sage, hops, lambs ear, lemon leaf, leather fern and more. Your local florist should have exactly what you are looking for! In the St. Louis area Rouge Events & Designs tends to have exactly what bride and grooms are looking for. Check out their portfolio for ideas for your special day.


5. Videography & Drone Shots

Not capturing the moment through videography is the biggest single regret couples have post-wedding. There’s nothing like reliving your special day; seeing your Dad walk you down the aisle and hand you off, your Grandpa moon-walk on the dance floor, and watching the celebration unfold, family and friends gathered together to celebrate you — a timeless memory only a gifted videographer can capture. Your night goes so fast. Moments are missed. With video, they aren’t.

For those at a venue with a picturesque view, don’t forget a drone shot. This is the latest and greatest way to capture another perspective of your once-in-a-lifetime day.
Videography examples here.

Credit: weddingchicks.com

6. Neon Lighting

Light up your wedding reception; decor that demands attention. Customize a neon sign to place above your sweetheart table, dessert table, entertainment stage, or on a green wall for photo backdrop. Choose different fonts, sizes, and colors to accent your theme.

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Credit— Photography: davidcampbellimagery.com

7. Metallics

*Coming in hot* Copper, Bronze, Rose Gold, Silver, and Iron shades are taking over. These shimmering metallics are fun, yet elegant with a modern twist. From decor to dresses these colors are gorgeous! The best part is, Metallics go with almost any theme from greenery, to boho-chic, to industrial.

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Credit: pink-book.co.za ; stylemepretty,com

8. Hashtags

Rolling into 2019 and hashtags are still trending. A few websites we’ve found popular to create your wedding hashtag are listed below.

www.happilyeverhashtagged.com ; weddinghashers.com ; www.ewedding.com/free-wedding-hashtag-generator/ ; weddingwire.com

Hashtags create a place where all your guest can post pictures from your special day/evening. It’s basically your very own social media photo album. #weddinghashtag

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etsy.com, bustle.com

Top Wedding & Event Lighting 2018-2019

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GOBO - Monogram Lighting

Another newer trend is the "gobo" which is a disc template that light shines through to project an image onto a surface. You can display your monogram, names, wedding date, or even designs onto surfaces such as the dance floor, main wall, or entrance to the venue for a special wedding lighting effect.

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LED Fairy String Lights

One of the newest trends is fairy twinkle lighting. Every bride deserves to feel like a princess on her special day. Talk about a fairytale wedding! These elegant lights can be displayed vertical or horizontal depending on how it fits with your decor. Fairy lights are a great addition to your design to give the night a magical atmosphere. The twinkle certainly adds a romantic touch.

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Pinspot Lighting

Pinspot lighting is typically used for highlighting certain designs or decor at your wedding. Lighting up items such as flowers, centerpieces, and the dessert table is most common. Photographers are big promoters of these lights as it helps with picture quality. Pinspots add a pop to the room decor and help your beautiful centerpieces (you spent hours deciding and putting together) pop! Pinspot will ensure they get noticed.

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Uplighting is the foundation of all lighting. Most likely, every wedding you’ve ever been to has used uplighting to transform the ambiance of the room. The colors you choose decide the mood, so do your research on what goes best with your theme. We’ve found most people go with light lavender or champagne. These colors are more neutral and blend well with warm and cool colors.

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Moving Heads

Moving heads bring energy to the party as they move and sweep the entire room. An array of disco colors typically go behind the DJ or Band setup at your venue and are displayed towards the dance floor.


Make your event a starry night with the ceiling washed with sparkling sky views. Take an adventure into the forest with lush trees and branches, or join your wedding party in a winter wonderland with snow flakes.

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Laser Lighting

Laser Lighting is the highest energy, most technologically advanced lighting system. Our high end lasers have character generators to include custom shapes, names, patterns, characters, and custom designs.


Go for a unique experience with UV Neon Glow-in-the-Dark lights. These lights are commonly used for post wedding reception ‘after parties’. Looking for extremely high-energy? Try black lights with DJ Silent Disco!


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Neon Lighting

Hottest Trend for 2019* Customize a neon sign to place above your sweetheart table, dessert table, entertainment stage, or on a green wall for photo backdrop. Different fonts, sizes, and colors are available.

Giant Letter Lighting

Customizable large letters can be placed throughout your venue! Some fun ideas are: LOVE, MR & MRS, I DO, JUST HITCHED, or your last name.

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Source: www.pinterest.com, www.etsy.com/shop/MKNEON, www.aliexpress.com, www.cheersevents.com, www.idjnow.com

11 Questions to Ask Your Wedding DJ


1. How far in advance should we book entertainment?

  • First and foremost make sure they have your date available!
  • Most couples start booking 9-12 months before their wedding. Obviously your venue should be the first on your list, but quality DJs tend to book up, so give yourself enough time to research.

2. How many weddings have you done?

  • You'll want someone with quite a bit experience.  While working with a friend of a friend might seem more cost effective, it could end up costing you more in the long run. It's probably not a great idea to use Uncle Joe and his Ipod playlist for your special day.
  • Going with a larger entertainment company could really save you some stress. We've heard horror stories of friends-of-friends DJ's canceling within days of a wedding and the bride and groom must frantically search for a replacement. 

3. Do you offer other services such as lighting design & decor, videography, or photo booth?

  • The average wedding couple deals with 12 vendors. What if one company could be your Event Planner and handle everything from your Venue, DJ, Band, Caterer, Decor & Design, Photographer, Videographer, Photo Booth, Florists, Dessert Options, Bar Services, etc? Those are the type of organizations you'll want to work with for a stress-free wedding day. If you aren't already on the knot it's a great resource for planning. 

4. Have you done parties at my ceremony/reception location before? If not, will you check out the power and best location to set up beforehand?

  • Your vendors should always plan a site visit with you. While most venues have ample power, making sure your floor plan is thoughtfully planned out will ensure vendors have the access to power they need. Don't leave anything to chance on your wedding day. 

5. How do you motivate a shy crowd to get on the dance floor?

  • There's nothing that motivates a shy crowd to get on the dance floor more than the bride and groom themselves getting on the dance floor. If the guests are there to celebrate you, they will feed off your energy. If you have high energy entertainment, great music, and a bride and groom on the dance floor, your wedding will be an energy packed, fun experience for kids and adults alike. 
  • Consider having an MC at your event in addition to your DJ. This allows your DJ the ability to focus on music and read your crowd while your MC  makes announcements, engages and interacts with your guests. When interviewing MC's always ask about their dancing ability. A fun crowd always loves an emcee that can spin on their head!

6. Do you have liability insurance?

  • Accidents happen. Make sure you cover your a$$.

7. How extensive is your music library? Are you able to offer the genre we're looking for?


Music changes very rapidly. Your entertainment company should meet with you months prior to your wedding and then again before your wedding to make sure your music taste, timeline, and structure of your event hasn't changed. 

8. How do you handle song requests?

  • An option is to submit a poll to your guests on songs they'd like to hear on the dance floor prior to your wedding. The last thing you want is for your DJ to get distracted with guests constantly going up to the booth.

9. What sets you apart from your competition?

  • Make sure the company you go with makes your event feel special and not just another number. Ask how their company differs from others.

10. If we choose to have a "surprise choreographed wedding dance" are you able to assist us with music ideas and/or dance routine?

  • Entertainment companies may have dancers that help choreograph a fun dance for those brides and grooms wanting to show off some skills!
  • Work with a company that is able to help you plan your wedding from beginning to perfect ending.

11. What are your payment options?

  • Work with an organization that is conducive to your budget, whether that be a payment plan or quarterly installments. Find out when deposits are due and don't forget to budget in tips for certain vendors.