Seating was going to be tight at Nick and Theresa’s wedding reception. The venue was just big enough to accommodate their guest list. As guests began to flood in to the hall, the couple realized they had forgotten a fundamental courtesy: you’re supposed to feed your wedding vendors!
What made it worse is that their band took it upon themselves to ask the caterer for meals. They grabbed a guest table right in the middle of the venue. When Theresa and Nick entered, all they could see was the band gobbling down the beef tenderloin and parsley potatoes like death row inmates devouring their last meal. Oh and they saw guests standing in the wings looking for a place to seat, as their table had been absconded by the band.
Your wedding vendors work hard. And yes, you need to feed your wedding vendors, so plan for it. Bride Magazine says this is the 13th most common mistakes planning a wedding.
Typically you should feed the vendors who will be on their feet throughout the event, such as your photographer, videographer, DJ, band, wedding planner, photo booth attendants, bartenders, and assistants to any of the above.
Ask your caterer if they provide discounts for feeding these vendors to hold down your expense. Many do.
Earmark a table for vendors
By the same token, plan on a table or two earmarked for vendors if your venue has space. If not, set them up in a side room, although vendors, such as photographers and videographers, prefer to keep the wedding couple in view so they don’t miss key photo ops.
Your wedding vendors work hard. You’ll find they are more creative and energetic when well-nourished, so don’t forget to feed your wedding vendors! DJ Brian Anderson brings energy and sophistication to your Alabama wedding. Learn more today without obligation: 256-638-3535.
It is so easy to blow a wedding toast. We hear a lot of mediocre toasts every month and a lot of really bad ones. Occasionally, we hear a gem. If you’d prefer to deliver a wedding toast disaster, here are 10 tips:
1. Make it long
Most toasts are way too long. Ten minutes are a disaster. Three to five minutes are better only if your toast is impeccably crafted and delivered. One to two minutes is better.
2. Talk about the happy couple’s former boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses
Okay, bad idea. If I have to explain why, you should be fired as a toaster. Watch a funny example from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” above for a demonstration.
3. Talk dirty
Lace your toast with sexual references and profanity. On the other hand, you might want to remember that grannie, pastor Bob and Aunt Lydia may be listening.
4. Get drunk
Everyone loves to hear a rambling toast delivered with lots of slobber and slurred speech. Not.
5. Embarrass the happy couple
Not! Not only does this pain the bride or groom, but the guests as well. Build up the stars of the day, not tear them down.
6. Tell old stories no one cares about
Talk about a prescription for boredom! The best stories are those that occurred after the couple met. If you tell an old story about either spouse, make it an example of his his/her great character as a person. For example:
“I am truly honored to toast the marriage of [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name].
I’ve never been one to pay any attention to people who claim that they can predict the future. But guess what, I’m going to predict the future: I see a happy, fulfilling married life stretching out before you two, and I could not be happier.
Looking out at this great group of your family and friends who’ve come to witness this watershed event, I can see that they agree with me.
The truth is, I don’t need a crystal ball to know that good things await you in your married life, because I know [Groom’s Name].
[Provide personal anecdote]:
We met when we were in college. We had nothing in common. I’m short, he’s tall. I’m a Packer’s fan; he’s a Cowboys fan. I’m really good looking. And he’s … well, he’s even better looking!
But we both had this thing for rock climbing. I tell you what, if you want to get to know someone, go rock climbing with him.
I don’t know how many times we went out. It’s a lot. One time stood out. We were walking on a precipice some twenty feet above a lake. We heard some splashing in the water below. Suddenly, some kid started screaming like I’ve never heard screaming before in my life. His dog was in the water … and apparently drowning.
Now I thought that God had hard-wired the dog paddle into every dog ever born. But this one must have been a mutant, because it was going down for the last count.
Before I could even fully process the situation, [Groom’s Name] made a mighty leap into the lake below. I’ve got to admit, I couldn’t have done it. But he did. Within seconds, he had the scared pup in his arms and back onto dry land in minutes.
You should’ve seen that kid’s face. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget what you did that day.
[Bring bride into the toast]:
Now, imagine what a guy like that would do for a friend. Even more, imagine what a man like that would do for the woman he loves.
I can attest to the fact, [Bride’s Name], that [Groom’s Name] loves you more than anything … or anyone he’s ever loved in his life.
When he spoke that line in the vows about loving you even in ‘sickness and in health, in good times and in bad,’ well he meant it.
And since I’ve gotten to know you and discover what an incredibly wonderful person you are too, [Bride’s Name], I know you meant those vows every bit as much as [Groom’s Name]. You are a beautiful person on the outside, but even more importantly, on the inside.
Some people would say that it’s destiny that brought you together. Well, I would suggest God had something to do with it. Yes, I maintain that the creator of the universe surely pulled some strings to bring you two together, because you are so right for each other.
[Close by telling the audience specifically what they’re supposed to do]:
On this day of celebration, I ask each of you to raise your glass and join me in paying tribute to Mr. and Mrs. [Couple’s Last Name].”
7. Talk about yourself alot
Even more, practice one-upmanship. The video example below from the movie “Bridesmaids” demonstrates the (hysterical) flaw in this approach:
8. Overreact to your own material
Guffaw at inside jokes. Start blubbering uncontrollably. Actually, no one appreciates it. Rehearse your toast in advance so you are in full control.
9. Target the bride and groom alone
Ignore the guests. This is a great way to lose your audience. However, if you want to win over your audience, INCLUDE the guests in your toast.
10. Forget to make a toast
Don’t raise your glass at the end. Don’t ask guests to do the same. Just walk away when you’re done rambling. On the other hand, you can bring your toast to a natural close with these words:
“Ladies and gentlemen, together let us raise our glasses to honor this extraordinary couple!”
Billboard Magazine compiled a list of the top 50 love songs of the past seven decades. Let’s face it, love songs never grow old. Billboard’s top love songs are a great guide for couples brainstorming on first dance songs.
Here’s how Billboard devised their ranking system:
“The ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.”
“How Deep is Your Love?”
Two of their highest rated love songs were written a few years apart. Number four on their list was a huge hit from the iconic movie from the seventies, “Saturday Night Fever.” The movie was packed with hits, with “How Deep is Your Love?” being the biggest. It topped the Billboard charts for three weeks. Here it is sung by the writers of the song, The Bee Gees:
Dig those do’s and duds!
The lyrics are all about expressing the depth of love, which makes it perfect for a first dance at a wedding:
“How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.”
Michael Bublé and Kelly Rowland sang a delightful cover of this monster hit song:
Which do you like best?
You pick, we’ll play it!
The number one love song on Billboard’s top fifty love songs was “Endless Love” from the 1981 movie by the same name. This Lionel Richie song topped the charts for nine weeks.
According to Billboard:
“Producer Jon Peters and director Franco Zeffirelli asked Lionel Richie to compose an instrumental along the lines of the theme from “Love Story” for their movie starring Brooke Shields. When Zeffirelli changed his mind and asked Richie if he would add lyrics, the Motown star agreed to write some. Then Zeffirelli made one more request – to add a female singer, someone like Diana Ross.”
The result was a love song that is the #1 choice by many couples for their first wedding dance. Take a listen to the original hit song with Lionel Richie and Diana Ross:
And while the former song extolled the depth of love, this one acclaims love’s eternity with lyrics like these:
You’ll be the only one
‘Cause no one can deny
This love I have inside
And I’ll give it all to you
My love, my love, my love
My endless love.”
If you’re a fan of Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey, here’s their cover version of “Endless Love:”
The beauty of dj entertainment provided by DJ Brian Anderson for Alabama couples is we’ll play the version of Billboard’s top love songs of your choice. In other words, we’ll customize the entertainment to your tastes, your style, and even your era.
Whether you want a love song from yesterday or yesteryear, that’s what you’ll get with us.
Even more, we’ll enrich yours’ and your guests’ entertainment experience with elegant decor lighting and the wildly entertaining photo booth. Need pricing and availability info? Check us out. And we always love phone calls: 256-638-3535. Let’s talk.
Marriages are more mixed than ever. The Knot tells us that 51% of couples marry someone with a different background, whether of a different race, religion, ethnicity, or geographic area.
The Pew Research Center studies marriage trends. They learned that in 2015 forty percent of marriages were between interfaith couples compared to just nineteen percent in 1960.
By the same token, research by Pew showed that 15.1% of all new marriages in the U.S. were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity as of 2010.
Creative customization opportunities abound when weddings are mixed. It’s not surprising that the word ‘customize’ is an American creation. The word was born in the 1920s as immigrants from around the world poured into the U.S., creating a melting pot of new customs.
So wedding customization is nothing more than building on tradition and creatively blending customs to the individual specifications of the couple.
Top cultural ceremony traditions according to The Knot
- Religious reading
- Ceremony held in a religious institution
- Lighting of a unity candle
- Sand pouring ceremony
- Breaking the glass
As The Knot points out, DJs and wedding planners are key players in helping you create a totally unique, customized celebration to honor your cultural traditions. In fact, 38% of couples incorporate cultural, ethnic, and religious elements into their ceremony.
However, couples still overwhelmingly honor good old standby traditions. For example, nine out of ten couples use a first dance ceremony. Eighty-two percent go with a cake-cutting ceremony at their receptions.
Customized music is often an important element in mixed weddings
DJ Brian Anderson plays a key role in customization plans for mixed weddings. We offer customized music to honor your ethnic customs for both your ceremony and reception. If we don’t have a unique piece of music, we’ll get it. Even more, we’ll MC your event to announce key elements of your customized celebration at just the right time. We’ll control the flow of your event like a maestro conducting a symphony.
Whether yours’ is a mixed wedding or not, DJ Brian Anderson offers flexible planning, creative thinking, and customization to create a celebration that is uniquely you.
The Knot’s 2019 Real Weddings Study revealed a trend that will accelerate due to the coronavirus impact: the size of weddings is declining.
In 2007 the average size of a wedding was 153 guests. That number dropped to 131 by 2019. Until a vaccine is approved, older wedding guests may shy away from attending large gatherings, such as wedding celebrations, even after lockdowns end and businesses reopen.
The coronavirus fatality rate is minimal for those under 45 years of age, but more significant in older populations over the age of 70, especially among those with pre-existing conditions.
However, the FDA is fast-tracking new medications to treat the coronavirus. The first, Remdesivir, reduces recovery time by four days. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases:
“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”
So that’s some good news.
What that means for your wedding plans
As you plan your guest list, you may only want to invite those older guests who are nearest and dearest to you. Grandparents. Beloved aunts and uncles. Etc.
On the other hand, you may shed older guests from your list that you don’t personally know, such as your dad’s boss or the mother of your mom’s best friend from college.
You get the idea.
The coronavirus impact may be entirely different on a different wedding trend. The Knot’s study identified a desire among couples planning their wedding to provide their guests with an ‘enriching experience’. That was the most important consideration for 72 percent of surveyed couples.
Nearly half, 47%, invested in enhanced entertainment options, a nine percent increase over 2018, to enrich their celebration.
Alabama couples are often pressured by family to invite guests they don’t know, but their parents do. The coronavirus provides you a good excuse to moderate the size of your guest list at the same time you increase the entertainment impact.
DJ Brian Anderson offers everything you need for an enriching experience for your guests: DJ entertainment, photo booth, and decor lighting. Questions? We’re a phone call away: 256-638-3535, and we love your questions!
Wedding celebrations are temporarily disrupted due to the Coronavirus pandemic. If you’re engaged or considering marriage, this is a good time to home in on what’s important when it comes to the marriage covenant, because you will be called upon to publicly state what it means to you during your wedding vows. You and your betrothed need to be ready to express wedding vows that matter.
The Knot is a good source for wedding vows. Here’s one they suggest:
“Love is a word that is much too soft and used far too often to ever describe the fierce, infinite and blazing passion that I have in my heart for you.”
It’s pretty good, especially the first part. The second part certainly expresses young love and new love very well, because it tends to be ablaze with passion.
But love is so much more complex than that, your views molded by your religious, or lack thereof, viewpoint. Greek philosophers did a pretty good job of breaking down love into four types:
4 types of love
Storge love. This is a fondness forged by familiarity. It is emotive, but as the writer C.S. Lewis said, it is a dependency-based love that often doesn’t last once certain needs cease to be met.
Philia love is the bond between friends. C.S. Lewis said, “to the Ancients, Friendships (philia love) seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves …”
Eros love is passionate, expressed in sexuality and an ardor for beauty.
Agapic love is self-giving without concern for reward or payback. This is the love upon which the strongest marriages are built.
Looks fade. Sexual passion can fade. True love, agapic love, stays and grows over time, regardless of changing circumstances. In other words, this is a mature love that is much more than an emotion. Perhaps these descriptions of love can guide you in your quest for the proper vows for your wedding ceremony.
Here are some good sample wedding vows
If you’re looking for wedding vows that matter, this one from The Knot is pretty darn good:
“Everything in me recognizes your heart as my home and your arms, my shelter.”
A vow like this prepares fertile ground for agapic love to flourish over your lifetime.
The great philosopher, Thomas Aquinas, gave his own definition of love: that love means to will the good of the other for the sake of the other. In other words, love is about giving, not taking.
If that resonates with you, write a vow that fits your personality.
If you’re religious, you can’t go wrong with a vow right out of the book of I Corinthians (13:7):
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
Or The Knot suggests a lovely vow like this one:
“I promise to pray with you, to dream with you, to build a family with you and to encourage you.”
If religion isn’t your thing, here’s a profound vow from The Knot which says a lot in a few words:
“They say when you meet your soul mate you should feel calm, no anxiety and no agitation. And your calmness is what gravitated me towards you from day one.”
As much as DJ Brian Anderson believes in a grand wedding celebration, it is your love that matters. That’s why you should use this slowdown to spend some time writing your wedding vows that matter. Whether you exchange vows before ten or a hundred and ten people, these vows define the rest of your life.
The shutdown won’t last much longer. When things start opening up again and wedding celebrations return, we look forward to making your celebration everything you dreamed of, and more. Check us out. We offer dance-floor packing DJ entertainment, decor lighting, and photo booth. We love questions. Call today with yours: 256-638-3535.
Some coronavirus good news is coming into focus, providing hope for couples planning their weddings.
The coronavirus disproportionately affects older folks, those with with serious pre-existing conditions, and the obese.
- 78% of all coronavirus fatalities occur in those over 65 years of age, especially if they have respiratory, heart, diabetes, and obesity issues.
- By contrast, only 143 people thirty-four and under died from the coronavirus.
In other words, as public gatherings re-commence, coronavirus health risks are minimal for most healthy adults you may want to invite to your wedding.
More coronavirus good news
Even more, researchers are discovering that the coronavirus isn’t as deadly as originally thought, according to Andrew Bogan, a molecular biologist writing in the Wall Street Journal.
He said researchers studied a representative sample of residents in Santa Clara County, California and discovered a far greater percentage of the population had been infected with the coronavirus than originally thought. In other other words, infections were 50 to 85 times as great as they thought. That’s actually good news. Mr. Bogan explains:
“That may sound scary, but it’s great news. It suggests that the large majority of people who contract Covid-19 recover without ever knowing they were infected, and that the U.S. infection fatality rate may be more than an order of magnitude lower than authorities had assumed. Based on this seroprevalence data, the authors estimate that in Santa Clara County the true infection fatality rate is somewhere in the range of 0.12% to 0.2%—far closer to seasonal influenza than to the original, case-based estimates.”
Smaller tests in New York discovered the same thing. Same thing in Robbio, Italy, Iceland, Gangelt, Germany, and Denmark.
Yes, the coronavirus is worse than the typical influenza. But the medical community seems to be reducing fatality projections on a weekly basis. As Andrew Bogan stated above, the true fatality rate may be closer to that of seasonal influenzas.
As an article in Forbes pointed out, we’re seeing a sharp drop in the daily growth rate of the virus, and new cases are declining.
So there’s good coronavirus news unfolding on a daily basis.
When will things return to normal? Time will tell. Public spaces and events will start reopening on a state-by-state basis and city-by-city basis.
How does this affect wedding planning?
So how does all of this relate to wedding plans? The Knot’s executive director, Lauren Kay was optimistic.
“when large gatherings are permitted again [I] anticipate weddings will be among the first events to thrive again.
It will definitely take some time to define what ‘normal’ looks like again for events and weddings following the COVID-19 pandemic. There will definitely be a ramp-up period and consumers who are hesitant to travel or be in large crowds at first, but what the coronavirus has done for so many is show them the value of human connection with those near and dear to their hearts.”
According to Ms. Kay, only 4 percent of couples outright cancelled their weddings.
So start planning your wedding knowing that friends and family are hungry to reconnect. Start planning because this country and this state need wedding celebrations to help us heal from this national trauma.
Things will be different for awhile. Some of your older guests may not be able to attend due to health concerns. But even if you downsize your guest list, entertainment makes the event. DJ Brian Anderson will make it a celebration for the ages whether you have 200 or 100 guests. Learn more today without obligation with a single phone call: 256-638-3535.
Let’s face it, the national shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic affects spring wedding plans. Time will tell if disruptions continue into the summer. But one thing is for sure, wedding gown nightmares are going to be with us for awhile.
Here’s the problem: eighty percent of wedding gowns purchased in the U.S. are made in China. China factories were shutdown for awhile due to the coronavirus. China supply lines acknowledge U.S. brides should anticipate delays of at least several weeks or even a month, as you can see in the report from NBC News above.
Steve Lang is the CEO of Mon Cheri Bridals, as well as president of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association. His company has 45 factories, most of which are located in China. He told brides that there’s no need to panic:
“No one’s gonna go without a dress, no one. I think, right now, it’s a lot of uninformed panic.”
“People are getting upset for I think the wrong reasons. I don’t want to tell any woman that she doesn’t have the right to worry about her wedding gown. But put it in perspective, it’s not like a heart-lung machine that you need that’s not gonna arrive on time.”
Hmm, we’re not sure that last sentence is going to sit well with a lot of anxious brides. Granted, a gown isn’t a life or death product, but it IS a life-affirming product for the most life-affirming day of a person’s life.
If it’s any consolation to jittery brides, a very famous bride from another era experienced the ultimate in wedding gown nightmares.
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier’s wedding dress was destroyed just ten days before her wedding day when the studio it was in flooded. The future First Lady of the United States, better known as Jackie Kennedy, called upon a little-known designer, Ann Lowe, to “whip something together” at the last minute, and the result is the beautiful gown pictured below. The cost? Five-hundred dollars (in 1953 dollars).
So for future brides, a few suggestions:
- Purchase your wedding gown earlier than you planned on. As recently as December, 2019, Harper’s Bazaar Magazine advised brides to purchase their gown 8 months in advance of the wedding date. They suggested a year in advance is too early. Maybe not, in light of conditions on the ground today.
- Don’t purchase a gown based on achieving an unrealistic weight loss by your wedding day.
- Buy a gown off-the-rack and eliminate shipping delays.
- Buy a used gown at a consignment shop.
- Borrow a family member’s or friend’s gown.
Whatever you do, keep your wedding dreams alive. Wedding celebrations are such a beautiful part of life. And music and entertainment make the event (even if you’re wearing a sackcloth!). DJ Brian Anderson specializes in making your wedding dreams come true. Learn more without obligation today. This country needs beautiful weddings more than ever!
The Coronavirus lockdown won’t last forever. So while everything in our lives is changed today, one thing won’t change: people will keep getting married, and wedding day traditions will continue.
When large scale weddings resume, whether this year or next, two wedding day traditions will return to the forefront, according to a WeddingWire survey.
Flower girls go all the way back to ancient Rome
One is the use of flower girls and ring bearers, an element used by 60% of couples at their wedding ceremonies last year. The tradition extends all the way back to ancient Rome, as it symbolizes the bride’s transformation from a child to an adult. According to Reader’s Digest:
“This tradition originally began in Ancient Rome. During that time most marriages were arranged and the main purpose of the marriage was to have children to carry on the family name. Therefore, fertility was a concern for the newlyweds. Back then only youth would attend to the bride, so a young girl would walk down the aisle before the bride carrying wheat and herbs.”
Needless to say, flowers have replaced wheat and herbs since those days, a nice improvement don’t you think?
Brides used to be ‘bought’
The other top wedding day tradition is the couple-performed first dance, used by 91% of couples, according to 25,000 surveyed couples who married last year.
This tradition was born in an era when brides were actually ‘bought’ from their fathers. The first dance served as a sort of fertility ceremony. By the early 20th century, though, the tradition had changed. According to America’s top arbiter of etiquette, Emily Post, the newly married couple were supposed to wait until their wedding guests had begun dancing.
Today, it’s the other way around once again
In fact, it is the most highly-anticipated moment at a wedding reception. That’s why DJ Brian Anderson is popular with Alabama couples. Our equipment is tops. Our sound is amazing. Music volume is controlled to please and allow guests to converse, when they’re not packing the dance floor.
DJ Brian Anderson can provide exactly the music you’d like to hear for your wedding ceremony as the bride, bridesmaids and her flower girls process in. And we can provide exactly the song you want to hear for your first dance. These wedding day traditions will be a part of wedding celebrations when you’re ready to say ‘I do.’ Keep your wedding dreams alive. Check us out without obligation. Better yet, pick up the phone and give us a call: 256-638-3535!
The year of the Coronavirus crisis will usher in a new era of marriage. If you’ve been contemplating marriage, this is the time to act. If you’re already engaged and have plans disrupted by this national lockdown, don’t give up the ship. This disruption will make your pending marriage better, even if you have to reschedule it.
A new era of marriage
The Great Recession of 2008 was our last dramatic economic downturn. People lost jobs, net worth, and any sense of financial stability in their lives. The upheaval led husbands and wives to a deeper appreciation of the commitment of marriage.
Many, many couples in stressed marriages reassessed divorce considerations and stuck it out, to their longterm joy. Divorce rates began a decade long decline, dropping some twenty percent.
Get ready for a deeper downturn in divorce
Expect the same in our current upheaval. In fact, The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) projects the divorce is going to drop even faster in the wake of current events. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, W. Bradford Wilcox, a senior fellow of the IFS, explained:
“That’s because in times of trial and tribulation, most people—and most spouses—don’t become more self-centered, they become more other-centered, more cognizant of how much they need their family members to navigate difficult and dark times. In post-Covid-19 America, I’m confident that the family-first model of marriage will gain ground against the soul mate model.”
Beware the ‘soul-mate’ marriage model
Some marriages will suffer in this downturn, and he explains marriages most at risk embrace the ‘soul mate model’:
“The soul mate model—trumpeted in books like Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love,” not to mention countless songs and rom-coms—is the idea that marriage is primarily about an intense emotional and romantic connection between two people and should last only so long as that connection remains happy and fulfilling for both parties. This self-centered model gained in popularity for many Americans starting in the 1970s, the “Me Decade.”
But feelings are fickle
“But feelings are a fragile foundation for marriage. A recent YouGov survey indicates that married people in California who hold this view of marriage are about 60% more likely to think their marriage might end in divorce, compared with those who have a more family-first model of marriage, believing that “Marriage is about romance but also the kids, money, raising a family together.”
So as you plan your Alabama wedding celebration, ask yourself this: what gives your life meaning?
The IFS asked adults across the country this question, and the number one response was family. As we’ve written before, data reveals married couples fare better financially than their unmarried friends, live healthier, longer lives, and have better outcomes if blessed with children. In other words, this new era of marriage will lead more couples to a deeper, more meaningful life.
A marriage renaissance awaits! Although we’re all hunkered down weathering the storm right now, DJ Brian Anderson loves to talk wedding plans. Nothing lifts spirits more than a wedding. Nothing makes dark times seem little bit brighter. Give us a call today without obligation: 256-638-3535.