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Thank-you note etiquette

By brianandersondeejay | December 11, 2017

Thank-you note etiquette never changes, even with our growing menu of communication options. Here are guidelines for proper thank-you note etiquette.

Thank-you note etiquette never changes, even with our culture’s growing menu of communication options.

In other words, you should send your thank-you notes on personal stationary or nice thank-you cards. Emails, Facebook messaging, texting, and phone calls don’t cut it.  Each note should be personal.  Fill-in the blank notes are worse than sending no note at all.

Even more, your thank-you notes should go out within three months of receiving wedding-related gifts. For starters, gift givers want to be sure you actually received their gift, especially in the case of those who had something shipped to you.  But even those who brought their gift to the wedding want to be sure you actually got it.

Who needs to receive thank-you notes?

A well written thank-you note is pure gold.  You should send notes to anyone who gave you gifts at an engagement party, wedding shower, and your wedding itself.

Be sure to send notes to those who hosted those events.

In addition, send a nice note to your entire wedding party, including the officiant.

And, of course, you should send notes to anyone who helped pay for your weddings (such as parents) and even those who helped plan your wedding. If in doubt, send a thank-you note.

The best-written thank-you notes are personal.  Acknowledge receipt of the gift, name the gift, and if possible, how you will use the gift.  For example:

Dear Aunt Sarah and Uncle Joe:  First of all, thank-you so much for attending my wedding wedding.  That meant everything, because you have been special to me my entire life.  Sean and I will think of you every time we use the new grill you gave us.  We look forward to having you over when things settle down to break in the grill and thank-you properly.

Thanks again from us both.

If you’re planning your wedding, be sure to check out DJ Brian Anderson’s wedding services. You’ll thank us for the tip!


 

Second marriage wedding etiquette

By brianandersondeejay | December 4, 2017

second marriage wedding etiquette

As times change, wedding etiquette evolves. We work with many couples of all ages and backgrounds, including those getting married a second time.  In fact, something like one of three weddings involve couples where at least one of you has been married before.  Because this is so common, let’s look at second marriage wedding etiquette based on current cultural norms.

The engagement announcement

If either of you have children, tell them first, and then your parents.  You should also tell your ex spouse the news if you have children with whom you share custody.

May we throw an engagement party?

Absolutely, although parents of the either party don’t typically do this for second marriages. This honor is more likely to fall on friends or other family members, and gifts are not usually involved.  Chances are, an engagement party takes the place of a wedding shower.

May we put our name in a gift registry?

Depending on your age and a number of other variables, you may not even want gifts.  That probably won’t stop friends who absolutely want to honor you with some type of gift.  So go ahead.  Register.  A gift registry is a nice way to guide your friends on selecting gifts that truly matter.

Does a second wedding have to be a small, intimate affair?

Times have changed, and the answer is no.  You can invite whoever you’d like, especially since in most second marriages, the couple is paying for the wedding themselves.  Except in extraordinary circumstances, you may not want to invite ex spouses and ex in-laws.  The obvious exception would be in the case of couples who were widowed, and who maintained a close relationship with their late spouse’s family.

Is the bride limited in what she may wear?

Yes and no.  With the widespread practice of co-habitation, the culture no longer equates white with virginity, so second time brides may wear ecru, ivory, cream, or even white colored gowns, whatever color fits her fashion style.  On the other hand, the culture still views a wedding veil as a sign of purity, so second time brides should forgo it. The slide show above showcases some lovely gowns for second time, and more mature brides.

May Dad walk the bride down the aisle a second time?

Certainly.  But also we’ve seen many second time brides walk down the aisle by themselves.  And some couples prefer to do it together.  What’s right for you?

May we have attendants at our second wedding?

Yes, but we’ve noticed that most second marriages tend to use fewer attendants than first time marriages.

A second marriage is a celebration of love, and like all celebrations, music is THE foundation for your entertainment.  We’ve worked with many, many couples getting married a second time.  Learn more here. Something that has not changed since the first time you got married is that popular dates book fast, especially in June, September, and October. Check on our available dates right now, and then give me a call to share your wedding dreams at 256-638-3535.

Keep a sense of humor when planning your wedding

By brianandersondeejay | November 27, 2017

Typical weddings require over one-thousand decisions on your part. Wow! That’s a lot! The key to stress-free wedding planning is a sense of humor and a well-organized wedding plan.

Stress-free wedding planning begins with a good laugh!

Watch the video above for some good laughs. Even more, watch it as a tutorial on how a sense of humor helps turn a few gaffes into something funny and memorable. British comedian, Rowan Atkinson, is a master at showcasing life’s foibles as he so ably demonstrates in this scene from “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

By the same token DJ Brian Anderson is a master at helping you create a well-organized wedding entertainment plan that runs like clockwork.  We coordinate details with all your wedding vendors to create a well-oiled machine at your wedding celebration with no surprises.

For the record, Mr. Atkinson would never cut it as a DJ with DJ Brian Anderson! We offer only the cream of the crop wedding DJ and MC talent in the area.

In other words, you can simply enjoy your wedding day knowing we’ve got you covered. Stress-free wedding planning begins with DJ Brian Anderson. We offer an extensive array of wedding planning tools which allows such tight coordination, that not even a Rowan Atkinson character could muck it up!


 

“No mistakes in the Tango, Donna, not like life”

By brianandersondeejay | November 20, 2017

Welcome to the world of ‘no limits entertainment!’

This is a classic scene from “The Scent of a Woman.” Al Pacino’s character is blind. That doesn’t stop him from dazzling a young woman on the dance floor with a tango. She voices her concerns about making a mistake, which prompts Pacino to utter that famous line in the headline above. Here’s your takeaway: If you are planning a wedding, there is only one major mistake you can make, and that is to scrimp on the entertainment.

Seriously. Watch the video below as Pacino deftly guides the young woman, played by Gabrielle Anwar, through the intricacies of the tango even though she has never danced it in her life. The imperfections of her dance are invisible because Pacino knows exactly what he is doing and, as a result, he makes her look wonderful.

No limits entertainment!

That is what DJ Brian Anderson does for you: no limits entertainment that makes your wedding look and feel wonderful. Entertainment is the great equalizer at weddings. We know what we’re doing, which is to pack your dance floor and show your guests a great time, which makes YOU look wonderful!

Let’s go back to the Pacino video above. Did you notice the musicians? Very nice, except that 2 out of 3 brides prefer a DJ to live musicians according to a survey done by The Knot. There are good reasons why, beginning with price. DJ entertainment is affordable for everyone. And DJ Brian Anderson offers enhancements like lighting and photo booth that takes your celebration to a no limits level that makes the video above look like a bingo game at the old folk’s home.

No limits: we play any style of music!

There’s more. We can play more than tango music. In fact, we can play about anything you’d like. But if you like tango, you’re not limited to what a few string players with an accordion player can play. With DJ Brian Anderson, the sky’s the limit.

Do you like the tango music of the Italian chanteuse, In-Grid? Okay, you’ve got it!

How about a little Julie Iglesias? No problem!

How about some Michael Bublé? Your wish is our command!

Okay … that’s not really a tango, it’s the marimba. But that’s the whole point when you select DJ Brian Anderson: you’re not locked into a certain style of music all night long. The sky’s the limit … even with a limited budget … which is 99% of the brides in America!

If you and your betrothed know your way around the dance floor, well, just let us know. We’ll have the music you need to allow you to live out your “Zorro” fantasy and look just like Antonio Banderas and Katherine-Zeta Jones on the dance floor … or whatever style of music is your fantasy.

When you go with DJ Brian Anderson, there are no limits on your fun.


 

How NOT to buy a gift for your sweetheart

By brianandersondeejay | November 13, 2017

wife gift

Your future wife is your sweetheart for life. Keep that in mind as you read this blogpost that explores the challenge of the perfect wife gift.

Men, you are entering an area of opportunity … and landmines! Beware, a false move can get you in the dog house faster than you can say “vacuum cleaner!” By the same token, the right move can create beauty, joy, and passion to nurture your marriage for a lifetime.

Wife gift landmines

We talked to a man who can help you. This gentlemen has been married many years and has enjoyed a beautiful, happy marriage. His wife is his best friend. He is his wife’s best friend. In other words, he can do nothing wrong, right?

Wrong!

Let’s call him Joe. Joe has found himself in the doghouse on more than one occasion thanks to poorly conceived gift ideas. He reveals some of the wife gift mistakes he has made.

The automatic pilot gift mistake

While courting his wife, Joe would frequently buy his sweetheart flowers. Beautiful! She loved them. So when he got married, Joe thought,

“Why mess with a good formula!”

So he gave his wife flowers on her birthday; on their first wedding anniversary; on Valentine’s Day. And the next year, he repeated the same formula … until his wife rebelled. She knew he was putting no thought into the gift any more. Flowers were great when purchased with feeling. They weren’t great when it appeared he was buying them to make his life easy and get it over with.

The functional gift mistake

Then there was the year he gave his wife a functional item, a foldable kitchen stool for Christmas. Ouch! Practical doesn’t work with most women. It didn’t matter that he also gave her a bottle of her favorite cologne. The practical gift expunged the benefit of the romantic gift. To compound his gift-giving gaffe, he gave her cologne every year for Christmas, a classic “automatic pilot gift mistake.” (See above.) Two wife gift mistakes in one single holiday!

The super extravagant gift mistake

As problematic as the mistakes above are, it can actually get worse. Some men swing to the other extreme and buy super extravagant gifts. And then they try to outdo themselves year after year. You can see the risk potential here, like running out of money!

Seriously, it’s not the size of the gift, it is the thought behind it that counts. Sometimes guys buy big, expensive gifts, or even small expensive gifts, like jewelry, in an attempt to make themselves look good. Keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with jewelry, and there is much right with it.

Examine your motivations first.

Are you buying an expensive diamond necklace because your wife really wants it, or do you just want to show off?

Here’s the bottom line: listen.

Listen to hints your wife drops in your day to day living. If she sees something in a catalog or online that she comments on, don’t just make a mental note, make a list and write it down. That way, when you present her a gift she really, really wants, she’ll know that you listened.

DJ Brian Anderson specializes in launching couples on their way with fabulous wedding entertainment. Are you engaged? Be sure to check out our planning tools. Great wedding entertainment is a tremendous gift to yourselves and your guests!


 

Why you want a large guest list for your wedding celebration

By brianandersondeejay | November 6, 2017

wedding guest list

 

Your wedding guest list should be big, no, make that huge! Your marriage may depend upon it! Let me explain.

A couple of professors at Emory University conducted a study on weddings and marriage. One of their findings was pretty amazing. The more people you invite to your wedding, the more likely your marriage will be successful.

A couple that invites ten people to their wedding is 35% less likely to ever get divorced than a couple who exchange vows without any guests.

Even more dramatically, couples that invite more than 200 guests are 92% less likely to get divorced than couples with no guests.

A large wedding guest list is a good idea

As you review the graph above, you can see that at every level, the more guests you invite, the less likely you’ll ever get divorced. One of the researchers, Randy Olson, explained why:

“Clearly, this shows us that having a large group of family and friends who support the marriage is critically important to long-term marital stability.”

In other words, when you have a large group of family and friends, they have a vested interest in your well-being. They help provide the emotional “safety net” to nurture and sustain your fledgling family over the years.

Remember these wise African proverbs

To quote an African proverb,

“it takes a village.”

To quote another African proverb,

“If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”

Community matters to your marriage as you travel on your new journey together.

Last week’s blogpost dispensed wedding guest list advice. We focused on practical ways to cut your list down to size to accommodate your wedding budget. However, in light of this research, perhaps conventional thinking is backward. Perhaps the proper way to plan your wedding is that your wedding budget needs to accommodate your guest list, not the other way around.

It’s more important to get your community out in full force for your life-changing wedding celebration, even if you need to cut back a little on the menu or the flowers.  The love and prayers your “community” brings to your marriage is more important than a sit-down dinner verses a buffet.

DJ Brian Anderson offers a full palate of wedding entertainment options that are easily customizable to fit your budget.  You never have to scrimp on the fun with DJ Brian Anderson!

So invite away!


 

Wedding guest list advice

By brianandersondeejay | October 30, 2017

Who NOT to invite to your Alabama wedding, that is the question! Few issues cause more friction in the wedding planning process than the guest list. Here is some wedding guest list advice to simplify the process.

Wedding guest list anguish takes many forms:

—> Your budget is limited, so you can’t afford to invite everybody you’d like to.

—> Your parents want you to invite people you don’t know very well.

—> Your future in-laws want to invite more people on their side of the family than yours.

—> Which co-workers get invited, and who doesn’t make the cut?

–-> You feel guilted into inviting someone who you know will be disruptive. (Watch video above!)

You get the idea.  There are landmines everywhere.  I’d like to tell you that I can help you avoid each one.  I can’t.  Each situation is different. Nonetheless, you can minimize anxiety if you take our wedding guest list advice.

Wedding guest list advice

Tip #1:  Pay for the wedding yourself. When you’re footing the bill, you have more clout on who gets an invitation.

Tip #2:  Set a budget and your guest list size.  Since so many couples have their parents pay for most or a portion of the cost of a wedding, try to lock in a pretty firm guest list number so you know what you’re dealing with.  Best to start low, because the number will surely grow.

Tip #3:  Develop a ‘family formula’ for divvying up the list.  It might be as simple as a third of the guest list comes from your friends as a couple; a third from the groom’s family; and a third from the bride’s family.  Obviously, this formula won’t work for everyone.  The idea, though, is to establish a formula right for your situation on the front end to minimize wrangling down the road.

If you’re paying for the wedding, the formula might be half for you, with the remaining guest list split between the two families.

Will all parties stick to the formula?  Probably not, but you’re no worse off than if you didn’t establish a formula, and you’re probably going to be way ahead by doing so.

Tip #4:  Categorize potential invitees.  This can be rather fun.  The fun comes in the way you describe your categories.

How to categorize your guest list

I recommend 4 categories, perhaps something like this:

CATEGORY A (the “My Favorite People in the world” category)

CATEGORY B (the “People who mean a lot to me, and I mean a lot to them” category)

CATEGORY C (the “People I really do want to invite, but then I’ll feel guilty if I don’t invite a mutual friend/co-worker ” category)

CATEGORY D (“People I really don’t want to invite, but there will be hell to pay if I don’t” category)

Categorizing helps focus your thinking.  Ultimately, the power of the purse tends to finalize who in each category gets an invite. For example, one bride bristled when her parents invited a couple they were friends with, whom the daughter never liked.  The daughter fumed,

“Mrs. Smith called me fat when I was thirteen! I refuse to have her at my wedding!”

The mother shot back,

“Listen honey, they’re friends of ours and we see them almost every week.  Yes, that was a jerky thing for her to say, but that was 10 years ago. Time to move on.  We’re paying for the wedding.  She’s coming.”

Tip #5:  Don’t tack on the words “and guest” to your single friends unless they’re in a longterm relationship.  Think about it, how would you like to cut someone from the first three categories above and replace them with a stranger you may never see again in your life?  End of story. Right?

How to handle audacious invitees

Well, not quite.  Some of your more audacious friends may take it upon themselves to add on the words “and guest” anyway when they send the RSVP back.  Be prepared.  Write back immediately something like this:

“Anne, I’m so delighted you’ll be able to attend my wedding.  That means so much to me!  I’m sorry to say, though, that we simply don’t have the space to accommodate your guest.  I wish it were different, but it’s just the reality of planning a wedding.  I’ll tell you more about it next time I see you. I’m so excited about this day. Thank-you for coming!”

Then there is the timeless question of children: do you invite them or not?  This is such a highly charged subject that we’ve already written an entire blogpost on the subject.  Go back and check it out!

I hope you find this basic wedding guest list advice helpful, and congratulations on your engagement.  As you work through the planning process, remember that entertainment makes the event.  Check out our wedding entertainment services today.  We would be honored to show those guests who “make the cut” how much fun a wedding can be!


 

What style of wedding photography is right for you?

By brianandersondeejay | October 23, 2017

wedding photography styles

Your wedding day presents rich photographic opportunities. The question is, of the four most popular wedding photography styles, which is right for you?

Think of the delightful moments you’ll want recorded forever: your entrance and the wedding vows; the cake cutting and the first dance; and the entire celebratory fervor which DJ Brian Anderson helps to cultivate.

This is life at it’s best. The moments captured by your wedding photographer matter.  These are the images you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Here’s where things get fun.  Wedding photography styles are dramatically different.  Which is right for you?  Ultimately, it depends on your personality, your traditions, and your personal artistic tastes.

Wedding photography styles

For the sake of this blogpost, let’s focus in on the four basic styles offered by various photographers in this market area. Yes, there are variations on these styles, but these four really cover the approaches you’ll want to consider.

TRADITIONAL PORTRAITURE

wedding photography styles

Traditional wedding photography

Let’s face it, most people love posed shots following a ceremony, whether it is in front of your church or in front of a redwood tree.  These traditional photographs allow a good portrait photographer to bring out the best in you and your wedding party.  Posing is an art form unto itself.  Your grandparents and your parents love these shots, because they had them at their weddings, too.  It’s great fun to go back and compare these portraits to see how fashions and hair styles have changed.  Traditional portraiture has gotten increasingly creative, with great poses in less traditional settings, such as your hotel or even a back road behind your venue.  Traditional portraiture doesn’t have to be stodgy.

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY:

wedding photography styles

Documentary wedding photography

You may not be a fan of posing. If you want a more spontaneous collection of wedding photographs, the documentary style might be a good fit for you.  Your photographer acts like a journalist, roaming your event to record the solemnity, as well as the fun, of your event.  Spontaneous moments, such as the antics of your bridesmaids or groomsmen are captured for posterity, as well as the romantic moments.  There are pros and cons of this style.  Pro:  the subjects aren’t looking at the camera.  Con:  the subjects aren’t looking at the camera.  You get the idea.  It’s all about what you want.

FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY

 

wedding photography styles

Fine art wedding photography

This approach goes beyond photo journalism by transforming a documentary approach into an artistic approach.  It especially lends itself to photographers who still use film, which is dying breed.  However, good digital photographers can still create art with creative use of the focal length of the photograph.  You know what I mean:  the subject in the foreground is in focus, but the background is blurred.  Yes, this style documents your event, but from the artistic perspective of the photographer, who typically prefers black and white to color photography.

EDGY PHOTOGRAPHY

wedding photography styles

Edgy wedding photography

These avant-garde photographers are not a good choice for couples who lean towards the traditional.  But if you like an artist who thinks outside the box, you’ll want to consider this style.  These photographers don’t frame their shots in the same ways as the photographers above might. They might even like tilted perspectives.  Edgy photography likes to transform the common place into the extraordinary.  There’s a case to be made for it, but spend time reviewing a photographer’s portfolio before committing.  That’s good advice for any wedding photographer you’re considering.

Wedding photography styles really do vary.  Some especially proficient photographers are able to embrace a number of different styles.  You can help them by letting them know which approach best fits your needs.

DJ Brian Anderson likes to know the style of wedding photography you prefer. It helps us to collaborate with you in designing the wedding entertainment look and feel perfect for you.


 

Wedding Prices

By brianandersondeejay | October 16, 2017

The video above poses the question, “why are weddings so darn expensive?” It suggests that wedding prices are just plain too high.

But are they?

This video is worth watching because it addresses an important question, something we deal with all the time: why can’t wedding vendors be more transparent in their pricing by listing all their package price on their website?

Price shopping alone can ruin your wedding

The question seems pretty reasonable, except that it has the potential to ruin your wedding day.  If you select vendors on price alone, and not on quality, reputation, creativity and flexibility, you’re going to end up with vendors who aren’t a good fit for you for all kinds of reasons.

That’s what so often happens when companies list prices: prospective brides shop on price alone, which is dangerous.

Wedding prices are an incomplete metric

Let’s use the example of an avocado, like they do in the video above. Unlike wedding services, avocados are a commodity, which means they are especially price sensitive.

You wouldn’t pay $8 for an avocado, as they suggest in the video above, especially when the national average is $1.18 per avocado.  On the other hand, you might pay $2 if it is organically grown, because that is important to you. By the same token, $1.18 may be too much if the offerings on your store shelf are overripe.

You get the idea. All avocados aren’t the same, just as all entertainment companies aren’t the same.

DJ Brian Anderson loves price questions!

DJ Brian Anderson loves price questions when it comes time for you to plan wedding entertainment. The video offers good advice: offer potential vendors a price range that fits your budget, which helps us present you with the options and add-ons right for your style and budget.

Ultimately, no price is a good price if you don’t love the quality of the service you receive. That’s why wedding prices alone are an incomplete metric when it comes to assessing potential vendors. Be sure to include quality, reputation, creativity and flexibility in your considerations.

DJ Brian Anderson is proud of our website. It reflects who we are. Spend a little time on it, beginning with our wedding services page. Check out our planning tools. And then contact us. Nothing beats a phone call (256-638-3535) to help you get to know a company and receive the exact info you’re looking for.


 

The agony and ecstasy of a destination wedding

By brianandersondeejay | October 9, 2017

destination weddingWhy in the world would anyone in their right mind want a destination wedding? Traditionalists bristle at such a notion. In fact, there IS some serious agony and ecstasy associated with a destination wedding. This blog will fearlessly lay it on the line for you, our faithful readers:

ECSTASY—> Simplicity

You’ll spend less time planning your wedding with a destination wedding.  A lot of wedding couples appreciate the entire stress-free vibe of less planning.  When planning a wedding in the bride’s home town, couples have to make well over 1000 decisions. Each decision is a cause for stress.  Destination weddings at resorts often provide turnkey packages which include an onsite wedding planning consultant which radically reduces stress-causing decisions.

AGONY—> Destination weddings may exclude key family members

Let’s face it, not everyone can afford to haul their entire family off to your destination wedding. You may find yourself deprived of loved ones who you really would like to share in the biggest day of your life.  Even more, family members who would like to come may be resentful that you’re putting them in a position of mortgaging the house to fly off to Timbuktu to indulge your destination wedding fantasy.  Then there is the issue of mobility and age.  Elderly grandparents and aunts may not be up to traveling long distances.

ECSTASY—> Destination weddings may exclude key family members

On the other hand, do you have problematic family members you’d rather not attend your wedding?  Destination weddings are a great way to whittle back your list!

AGONY—> Legal red tape

If you’re getting married in another country, you may have to wrangle with a different language while getting all the proper forms necessary to get married there, especially if you’ve been divorced before.  That’s why destination weddings are more popular with younger couples getting married for the first time.

ECSTASY—> Enjoy a better honeymoon

By combining your ceremony and honeymoon, you may be able to get a package that makes a dream honeymoon location more affordable.

AGONY—> It may ruin your honeymoon

Think about this carefully:  do you want your family hanging around on your honeymoon, because it’s something you may have to deal with if you have a destination wedding.  After all, they may not want to shell out all those bucks just to pack up and jet home the next day.  You may find yourself entertaining Uncle Buck when you’d rather be relaxing in your honeymoon suite.

ECSTASY—> Save money

They way one wedding planner put it, “You get the honeymoon and wedding at the same time for a half the price of what a wedding would cost in the U.S. or Canada,”

AGONY—> You may not be the star of the show

Some resorts schedule lots and lots of weddings in a day.  You may see a lot of other brides and their guests flitting around.  And then there are beach weddings.  How would you feel if the ‘tall and tan and lovely girl from Ipanema’ saunters by while you’re saying your vows and all eyes are on her … and not you?  Just askin’!  Despite their best efforts, resort staffers may not be able to keep the public at bay.

ECSTASY–> DJ Brian Anderson!

If you hold your wedding right here in Alabama, you can enjoy unrivaled wedding entertainment with DJ Brian Anderson! No need to travel halfway across the world!

Is a destination wedding right for you?  For most couples, the agony outweighs the ecstasy.