Tag: pittsburgh wedding reception ideas

DJ Façade

Any professional DJ is going to ensure his (or her) setup is clean and doesn’t have loose cables everywhere. But have you ever thought about taking that setup to a new level? A customized DJ Façade is a great way to add personalized special décor to your wedding venue. The façade will conceal the entire DJ table giving the traditional setup an entirely new look!

These are not your usual façades with the simple one color black or white fabric. You can choose to customize this lightweight fabric with the color of your choice in addition to adding anything from lighting, text with your names and special wedding date, or even your wedding day logo actually printed on the fabric.

Elegant Appearance

A DJ Façade can make the appearance of the DJ table extremely sleek and elegant. Any DJ should do a good job of concealing any cords but the façade makes everything stylish! This route is a great way to supplement a monogram that you won’t use again. You can also use the façade as a great backdrop for photos from the dance floor also.

Modern Style

You can choose to customize this lightweight fabric with the color of your choice in addition to adding anything from lighting, text with your names and special wedding date, or even your wedding day logo actually printed on the fabric!

Personal Reminder

After your Big Day, the Newlyweds actually get to keep the fabric to create a keepsake to keep for years to come! There are a ton of Do-It-Yourself ideas that you can design to showcase this token around your home after the wedding.

Using a DJ Façade is a very simple and nice way to accent any venue and any occasion. The façade will conceal the entire table giving the traditional DJ setup an entirely new look! This style of façade can be a huge addition to the décor at your venue. If you choose to customize your façade it can be a great background for candid photos of your evening and you even get the fabric back as a really cool gift from your wedding day. There are a ton of Do-It-Yourself ideas that you can create to showcase this keepsake around your home after the wedding. Consider using a customized DJ façade to enhance the venue décor for your upcoming event!



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Wedding DJ Myth

A lot of times, the suggestions given to plan your wedding are outdated or simply incorrect. Making your entertainment decision based solely on videos is just one of those wedding planning myths that brides are told to do. Don’t be a victim to this wedding DJ myth.

Don’t Be Fooled

You do not want to let a video you see of a DJ be your final decision maker. The video that you watch is going to be something very similar to highlight clip. Just like with movies and photos, almost anyone can make and edit a video to make them look amazing. During that video there will be no way to see how the DJ interacts with other vendors and no time to discuss your specific wedding details to be sure they can accommodate.

If you choose to make your decision solely on the clip you watched, you may not ask some key questions. At the very least be sure to have a conversation with the DJ to determine their sound and style in order to get a feel for their personality. Ask yourself, will the DJ be a good fit for your family and friends? You want to be sure to take into consideration their organizational skills as well. This will give you an idea on how they multi-task and utilize their time. Other vendors as well as venues may be able to share insight on the DJ also. Ideally, you want to know does this entertainer “play well with others”?

There isn’t usually one deciding factor that you can go from when selecting your entertainment. Do your research and ask as many questions as you can think of to be sure you are hiring someone you think will make your special day memorable!

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Wedding Planning Checklist: Book Your Vendors

Book Your Vendors

Now that you are engaged it is time to start thinking about your wedding planning checklist. What kind of entertainment would you like to have? Do you want to use a band or DJ? What kind of songs would you like played and what is the atmosphere you want your guests to experience. Whichever route you choose, be sure that you ask plenty of questions to be sure that you know exactly what to expect (or what not to expect) from your wedding entertainment.

When to Start

Try to start your wedding entertainment search as soon as you set your date. Many places book 2-3 years in advance so the sooner is definitely better! Believe it or not, there are more couples than you would ever imagine that book their entertainment before their venue. A good entertainer is like a chameleon, able to adapt to any venue, so do not think you need to nail down your venue before you book your band or DJ.

What To Ask

The same goes with booking any other vendors, you have to ask questions to ensure that you are going to get what you want. What training do they have? Are they insured? Will there be a backup equipment and personnel in case of an emergency or malfunction?

Be sure that you are familiar with the contract you are signing and what it all entails. Also, if the vendor offers an online planning site that is a huge help when planning details for your big day. This way you have access to your planning forms 24/7 and can make any updates as needed!

Things to Consider

You may think you know what you want for your special wedding day and that is wonderful. But be open to listing to ideas and suggestions that you may receive from your professional wedding vendors. Remember, this is a first wedding for you and the professionals deal with weddings nearly every weekend. There may be some ideas that they have seen work and alternately not work. Their professional suggestion is just that, a suggestion. Be sure to remain open to various ideas that may enhance your day!

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Wedding Planning Checklist: Book Your Venue

Book Your Venue

When it comes to beginning your wedding planning checklist there are so many details to consider. The planning goes far beyond what you want to be your first dance and smashing cake into your husbands’ face! We hope the wedding planning checklist will help with your pre-planning ideas.

Ceremony Venue

There would be no room to celebrate this wonderful day if there is no ceremony! First, decide if you want a traditional ceremony in a church or something non-traditional at your reception venue. Once you have this detail you can start looking into your venue options. How many guests will it accommodate, is there parking available, etc.

Reception Venue

What style and feeling do you want to provoke with your wedding reception venue? Guests absolutely love when they do not have to drive from the ceremony to the reception. Not only do you eliminate travel time from one location to the other but you also don’t have to provide transportation for out of town guests. There are a number of venues that offer All Inclusive Packages that have the ability to be both your ceremony and reception venue. If that option is not for you, you can always start looking for a reception venue based on proximity to the church you will be married in.

Again, how many guests will the venue accommodate and is parking available are key factors. Also, you want to check into whether the venue is full service or not. If they are a full-service venue then most everything you need to make your space beautiful and serve your guests is offered. If the venue is not a full-service venue then they are simply renting you the space and what you put into décor is what you get out of it. You will also need to inquire on per plate cost and drink costs as well. Be informed on the food tasting policies also. Will there be a tasting prior to finalizing the menu? Is there a fee associated with the tasting? Liability insurance, cancellation policy and weather contingency if you are planning an outdoor event are also details you want to consider when making your decision.


This can be tough to nail down if you are not a member of a church or know someone ordained to legally marry you. You can always ask for recommendations from friends or family that recently got married. You want to be sure to find someone you are comfortable with. This person is going to guide you and your guests during this very special day so you want to be sure you feel confident that they know your story and what you want out of your ceremony.

Your officiant is going to set the atmosphere for your wedding. Be sure to make time to meet with them beforehand and convey the tone you wish to set for your big day. The may want to schedule time to meet with your family and close friends and they should definitely want to hear more stories about the happy couple to get to know you better if you are not already familiar with each other.

Be sure to ask questions about the officiant fee and what is included with it. You do not want to assume anything when you are booking these services. Is pre-martial counseling, legal registration, travel and performing the ceremony all included in the fee? What is the officiant back up plan if an emergency arises?

These are just a few key details you want to be sure you know about before entering into any type of agreement with a venue or vendor. Be sure to know exactly what to expect for the money that you are investing into this day. You want to try to remain as stress free as possible!

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Wedding Toasts

Wedding Toasts

Making sure you enhance your wedding reception so that your guests will remember it for years to come is key. This planning tip will share some guidance on wedding toasts and speeches.

Give your toasts while you have all of your guests’ attention. Couples think it is best to give toasts during dinner, but that is actually the worst time to give them! The only time you really have your guests’ full attention is directly before you begin dinner. This is after your grand entrance. Wedding toasts, speeches & greetings should be given when your guests’ eyes are directed toward the head table and you have their full attention.

Between courses, guests may go to the restroom, the bar, or simply catch up with other guests at other tables. Instead of listening to your toasts they’re walking around with other intentions completely oblivious to what is being said. Remember, it is difficult to settle your guests once they have begun to move around.

Another reason we recommend getting wedding toasts and speeches out of the way before you lose your guests attention is because most likely the person giving the toast is not a professional speaker. When your guests are up and moving around they are not paying attention to the person speaking. This could be a huge distraction to whomever is giving the toast. The distraction can lead to jolting their nerves or causing them to lose their train of thought. When this happens, it could take longer to get toasts and speeches completed which take time away from the catering staff who are patiently waiting to serve your guests the hot meal you paid so much money for.

If you did decide on toasts and speeches between your courses being served bear in mind that the catering staff is going to stop serving your guests when there is someone speaking because they do not want to interrupt. But again, do you really want to make your catering staff pause their duties because of poor time management?

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Power Bar

If you are a tech savvy couple that plans on using a hashtag for your Big Day then the now trendy power bar may be a great add-on for you! With social media becoming more and more popular at weddings your guests will be trying to capture moments to share online. In order to do this, a fully charged device is essential and so is a phone charging station! Why have a hashtag if no one can use it? Since you have invited your guests to use social media throughout the day they will most likely need to recharge their device by dinner.

There are lots of creative ways to display a charging table and have it fit in with your wedding décor. You can choose to rent a phone charging station, or go the DIY route. Most times, when you rent a phone charging station you will get to customize the stretch fabric that encloses the charging station. The design can be anything from using your wedding logo or you can include your wedding hashtag. The options are endless! After your big day, you can keep the fabric and create a keepsake such as a throw or curtains to remember your special day.

Try placing your customized phone charging station in a common area where people can have access to their devices without “hanging around” the charging station and missing out on any traditional wedding events! It can be set up near the bar or restroom or even just at the ballroom entrance. Be sure to include a sign near your phone charging station with your #hashtag so that your guests will know what to use when posting their pictures. Also, remind your guests not to hang around the charging table or they will miss some great memories…with or without their mobile devices. All of the fun for the evening will be on the dance floor, not at the bar or phone charging station! It is not uncommon for the bride and groom to not want their guests on their cell phones throughout the day. If you and your fiancé do not want your guests on their phone all evening you can make a note in the invitation stating that. This way your guests are aware beforehand.

Give us a call today if you are interested in finding out more details about adding a phone charging station to your wedding reception. We would love to start discussing ways to make your 2018 wedding stand apart from the rest!

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Wedding Planning: Reception Seating Guide

So much work goes into reception seating and most times your guests have no clue how much time you dedicated to this detail! If you are having a buffet style meal with less than 150 guests it may not be necessary to do a seating plan. However, if you will be having a sit down meal and serving different entrees then this element is a necessary evil. But don’t worry, it will get done!

Display Options

There are a variety of factors that go into completing the seating chart. Once you have received all of your RSVPs and know what size and style table you will be using it is time to get down to business. Will you choose to use a seating chart or place cards? A seating chart is placed at the entrance and designates the guests’ names and the table they will be sitting at. A place card is the tented cards that are generally displayed in alphabetical order near the entrance and list the guests’ name and table number. You also have the option to use escort cards or seating chart place cards to tell each guest exactly which seat to have at the table. These are not always necessary. Hey, you have already put the table together, let them choose where they want to sit!

Who Sits Where

If at all possible, you want to group your guests together with similar interests and backgrounds. This way they will have something to talk about, even if they have never met. Generally your family will sit together and you can choose to sit your friends from different areas of life together; such as colleagues, college friends and childhood friends. You can also choose to mix up the seating a bit. Try to split your friends up so that your childhood friend from out of town can meet your college roommate they have always heard stories about! If you have any single people attending, try not to put them all at the same table or at a table with newlyweds. If you don’t have many single guests or a guests or two that you know most likely will not know anyone else, consider letting them bring a plus one, even if it is not allowed across the board.

Don’t Over Think It

Ideally, your guests will not be sitting for long. They will have every chance to move around throughout the evening and mingle with whomever they choose to. So if you keep your younger guests close to the dance floor and the older guests a little further away everyone should be content. At the end of the day, your guests will be happy to have enjoyed celebrating your wedding day with you. They won’t over think who they had to sit with, so you shouldn’t over think it either!

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Creating your Wedding Website

Nearly everyone utilizes a wedding website lately. Your wedding website is where your guests will go to see all of the important details of your special day! If you have any detailed information to share with your guests about your wedding, your wedding website is a great place to do it.

Now, I bet your next question is, “what information do I include on my wedding website?” Below we have listed some items you may want to consider adding to your wedding website. This way you can be sure that you are sharing information with your guests that will be helpful for them!


Give your guests an idea of what they can expect during your special day. What time should they arrive at the ceremony location? If you are having a cocktail hour, be sure to share with your guests what time they should arrive at that location. If you can avoid it, try not to leave too much time between your ceremony and reception. Since there may be guests that are from out of town, you do not want them to feel like they are left to wonder around your city while you take your formal pictures before beginning your reception. If you will be providing transportation to your guests here is where you will want to be sure to share the shuttle pickup schedule. Be sure they know what time the last shuttle will be leaving your venue so no one is stuck or inconvenienced.


Unfortunately, this type of R&R is not rest and relaxation. Not yet at least. You can enjoy that during the honeymoon! We are referring to RSVPs & Registry. Obviously, you can still utilize the traditional method of retrieving RSVPs from your guests. Just bear in mind that there are also some very tech savvy people who may not make it to the mailbox as often as others. Offering a way to RSVP online will keep you from having to make phone calls asking if guests will be attending as you try to finalize your meal count. Most wedding website templates offer a way to be notified as your guests RSVP online. You may also be able to create a field for your guests to leave comments for you as they RSVP. Guests can share any dietary restrictions or simply tell you how excited they are to be attending! As for what gifts the newlyweds would like to receive, simply share a link to the various registry pages directly on your website.


Whether you are listing hotel accommodations or car rental information try to give your guests options. Guests that may be traveling from out of town could possibly need a rental car if there is no other transportation available.

If your reception is at a hotel and you have rooms blocked off easily share rate information and booking details. You can simply provide a link directly to the hotel website for their convenience. Providing your guests with as much information here should ensure that your guests have a wonderful time. Guests will be able to plan for their trip without contacting you over and over asking for certain details.

Love Story

You took the time to write a short bio about yourselves, so let’s make sure that your guests read it! This page can be helpful for guests that only know the bride (or groom) and want to get to know more about who they are marrying. It is also helpful if you have extended family that have not met your fiancé yet. They can learn what you (they) do for a living, hobbies you enjoy and of course, how you two met! The trick to creating a wedding website that gets used is to try and make your URL easy to remember. If you will be using a hashtag to recall all of the photos from your big day perhaps that could play a part in the wedding website URL.

Social Media

Share with your guests the hashtag you will be using for your wedding and the time leading up to it. Have your guests post any photos they may have taken to social media using your hashtag so that you will have an online memory of this special day! Consider putting a link to both of your social media sites so that guests can stay up on how the newlyweds are doing.


What am I going to do with all of the engagement photos? Well here is a great place to display them. You can also add albums on your wedding website. This way all of the photos can be viewed by event online by your guests. Even after the deal is sealed you can add your wedding and honeymoon pictures to the site to share! Try not to post too many photos of one event or some of your guests may feel overwhelmed.

Bridal Party Link

There will be places that you expect your bridal party to be on certain days and times. Be sure to include a special link and sign in page for the bridal party to access. These wedding party exclusive events should be password protected. This will make it easier for you to keep the information you are sharing with your bridal party limited to them. You can share details with dates and times for the bachelor/bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and arrival times to the various venues. You may also want to provide information for dress and tuxedo pick ups, hair/makeup times, and anything else specific to your wedding.


Your guests may be wondering what you have planned and where you are taking your honeymoon. Share a picture of your destination and some details about what you have planned to do while you visit. Have guests check back on the site during your time away to see photos of you enjoying yourselves!

The entire idea of utilizing a wedding website is to aid your guests. The website is where you will want to list any special instructions that will help your guests plan. If you will be having a cash bar you want to share this so that guests can be prepared. You can also share information on the attire you expect for the evening. If it is usually cold during that time of year remind your out of town guests that they may want to bring a cardigan or if the ceremony will be outside suggest wedge shoes over high heels. The more information, the better. We suggest designating someone to field phone calls for you during the weeks leading up to the wedding. You will be busy with final planning so answering the same questions repeatedly may not be ideal.

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New Isn’t Always Better…

As the fall rolls in either your planning is just beginning or you have taken it into overdrive. Either way, you are trying to come up with new and creative wedding ideas that will make your Big Wedding Day stand out from the rest.

Keep in mind that many fresh ideas can work out wonderfully, however, it is never a bad idea for you to run some of those creative wedding ideas by the Industry Professionals to ensure that your initiative will go over smoothly and not be a bust. Your Wedding Planner or Coordinator has most likely been in the business for a number of years and has seen far more Weddings than any of your family members or friends that have input on your Wedding Ideas. Many social media platforms will give what seem to be new and creative wedding ideas until you actually execute them and find the flaws that a Wedding Professional may have been able to foresee.

Recently, one of our previous Brides thought it would be a nice touch for guests to send a song request in with their RSVP. It was definitely a great idea to try to involve their guests in the event with their song requests and Kudos to the Bride for “thinking outside of the box”, but this added confusion to the guests because they thought their song would definitely get played. After the wedding, the Bride gave us a call to say that in retrospect she wished she “would not have done that.” Additionally, she said if she could give any advice to future clients she would advise them not to do anything like this. Realistically there would have been no way to play 150 guests request in addition to the main events of the evening within the 5-hour reception! If the Bride & Groom approve, our DJs are always willing to take guest requests on site at the event.

Usually, for a 5-hour reception complete with first dance, cake cutting, mother/son & father/daughter dances, garter/bouquet toss, and the anniversary dance leaves only about 2 hours of dancing for the evening. 2 hours of dancing equates to around 30 songs; most of which you as the Bride & Groom have chosen and some that the DJ chose to maintain guests on the dance floor and high energy through the evening.

In certain event situations it would be preferred that guests make song requests. A class reunion or Sweet 16 Birthday Party would be an ideal setting. On your Wedding Day, there is a superior expectation and many special moments that you will cherish for a lifetime. Hiring the right entertainment for your Big Day will ensure that your guests remain involved and engaged throughout the evening. Why waste your creative juices on something you have already paid your vendor to do? Be inspired to continue to come up with original and innovative ideas for your magical day, but also keep your Industry Professionals in the know to help implement your plans.

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