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wedding budget

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Top 5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding DJ

Top 5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding DJ

You want your wedding to be a party that guests will remember for years to come – so booking the right wedding DJ is key! DJ Jason Jani from SCE Event group sits down with Denny to share how professional entertainment transforms your wedding reception and keeps everybody having a great time on the dance floor. Here are our

Top 5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding DJ

1. Know That You Get What You Pay For

When you start talking about wedding DJ budget, you also have to talk about value. People will invest only where they see a direct value. Be wary of national websites that create wedding budgets. Since those websites that do things on “average,” they are good for couples looking for an average experience. You deserve more! Because entertainment is a service-based business, it is not a product-based business. This means that wedding entertainment professionals are singular – there’s only one Jason Jani. In addition, there’s only one Denny Testa. Your wedding DJ cost will correspond to the experience and professionalism of that DJ.

2. Book Open Format Style

What is an open format wedding DJ? Open format entertainment mashes different genres of music together, so that wedding guests of all ages can enjoy themselves at your wedding reception. An open format DJ may play Jackson 5, then NSYNC, then Usher, then The Chainsmokers. It’s a DJ’s job to create a unique experience so everyone at your NJ wedding or NY wedding enjoys themselves. Bad song requests can kill your dance floor – an open format DJ ensures that doesn’t happen as they read the crowd. Good songs can inspire and create emotion – music has the power to bring people together and escape from life’s stresses. This is why song selection and timing matters. Therefore, the right open format DJ will spin live and keep the party bumpin all night long!

3. Feel the Vibes

Chemistry is a big part of choosing a wedding vendor. Your wedding is probably the biggest and also most expensive event you’re ever going to throw, so you should meet with your wedding entertainer prior to your big day. This will relieve stress and ensure you’re making the right choice for you. Start with Googling the person/company and reading their reviews. Watch any videos they may have from other weddings. If you can tell that you like their style, schedule a meeting with that wedding DJ to make sure you vibe with each other in person. Then seal the deal!

4. Peep the Gear

DJ Jason Jani incorporates DJ gear into your wedding reception that subtly enhances the atmosphere. Special lighting, screens, as well as equipment that looks like strategically placed furniture rather than a bulky DJ booth make your wedding reception look expertly designed and clean. The right entertainment gear adds ambiance to your wedding reception instead of taking away from it. Ask your wedding DJ what gear he/she brings along and how it looks in a ballroom, backyard, or wherever your wedding reception is taking place!

5. Share What You Like

Your wedding is your wedding – not a replica of what other people have experienced. As a result, detail with your wedding DJ what is important to you. Some couples may have specific songs lists of what they want to be played. Other brides and grooms may give their wedding entertainer complete freedom to play what they feel is right to keep guests on the dance floor. Love Beyonce? More of an 80s fan? No matter what your style is, make sure you communicate your wants and needs, so your wedding DJ is on the same page.

Ready to learn more? Finally, visit Hooked’s 60 Second DJ and Entertainment video page to see more of DJ Jason Jani.

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Top 3 Reasons Why Cedar Lakes Estate Should Be Your Wedding Venue

Cedar Lakes Estate is the premiere wedding venue for Hudson Valley NY weddings. Even NJ wedding and NYC wedding couples travel north to this romantic getaway and adventure destination. Just 70 miles from New York City, this 500-acre estate features rolling hills, beautiful lakes, and cedar forests. Cedar Lakes Estate’s rustic charm paired with its elegant accommodations make it the top wedding venue in the tri-state area. Denny talked to Cedar Lakes Estate co-founders and sisters Stephanie and Lisa, who grew up on the magical grounds of the estate and have transformed it into the best New York wedding venue. Here are our

Top 3 Reasons Why Cedar Lakes Estate Should Be Your Wedding Venue

1. The Accommodations

Cedar Lakes Estate’s Garden Suites are brand new and great for couples and families with a main bedroom and two mini bedrooms. The bright and airy setting makes for a cozy atmosphere. Privacy doors and tvs in each room allow for personalized space. The kitchens feature vintage fixtures for a cool, retro vibe. Brides and grooms love Cedar Lakes Estate because all their family and friends can stay with them for the entire weekend. You’ll have the whole estate to yourself, all of your loved ones will be there, and you can spend quality time together outside of the wedding!

2. The Farm-to-Table Menu

The Cedar Lakes Estate Chef’s Garden grows about 25% of the venue’s produce. Everything they grow, they use in your wedding menu! Any food that isn’t grown in the garden comes from a 20-mile local radius. The Chef’s Garden offers edible flowers like nasturtium for signature cocktails. A beautiful table in the garden houses rehearsal dinners of up to 50 guests. The gorgeous Cedar Lakes Estate Pavilion is where breakfast, brunch, lunch, and large rehearsal dinners are served. Special personalized menus, including gluten free and vegan, are also available. Lisa was the Executive Chef before advancing to Culinary Director for the property, and she cites their food as putting Cedar Lakes Estate on the map. One bride said it wasn’t only the best wedding food she ever had, but also some of the best food she’s ever had in her life!

3. The Ceremony Space

Originally built in 1920, the Cedar Lakes Estate Amphitheater is the best wedding ceremony spot on the property. Stephanie and Lisa recommend it as an easy location for all of your guests to find on the large estate. If you want to have a beautiful, rustic outdoor wedding ceremony, look no further! Wooden benches, pine trees, lake views, and great lighting make for a breathtaking ceremony location. You can even have cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the Amphitheater before moving on to your reception.

Have we convinced you? Contact Cedar Lakes Estate to book your wedding today! Also see more Hooked videos + wedding photos Off BEET Productions took at Cedar Lakes Estate!

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Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

So, you got engaged (congrats!), and it’s time to start planning your wedding. Don’t go it alone! Jasmine of This Moment Events talks to Denny about why wedding planners are important, and hiring a wedding planner from the start of your engagement is one of the of the best investments you can make. Here are our

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

1. Save Time and Money

We’re sure you’ve heard wedding planning takes a ton of time and is stressful, too. A seasoned wedding planner has all of the connections and information you will need to make planning more enjoyable. After all, planning a wedding should be fun! Do you want to spend every night of your romantic engagement on the couch researching vendors? We didn’t think so! A wedding planner will research for you and ensure that you don’t become overwhelmed. They find the best deals for your wedding budget and keep you organized and not wasting time. Wedding planners are invaluable, so their fees pay for themselves in the amount of time, money, and headaches saved.

2. Stay in Budget

Budget is the biggest concern of most brides and grooms. Are you having a ballroom wedding with luxury details, or a small, backyard BBQ style wedding? Jasmine has seen weddings in New Jersey with total budgets of $8,000 all the way up to $200,000. A planner will help you no matter what your budget is while also making your wedding dreams come true!

3. Stress Less

Wedding planners work well under stress and know that perfect weddings don’t exist! They realize something will go wrong (it’s just a matter of how and when), and that’s when they come in to protect your peace of mind. You won’t know about it, and it will be handled, because your wedding planner has your back! They will help you breathe easy on the big day.

4. Manage Your Guest List

Need some wedding guest list tips? Jasmine advises that you don’t send your Save the Dates until you’ve made your guest list. Did you know that adding a single person to your guest list can increase the cost of your wedding by $200-$300 per head? Every time you add a person, you add an invitation suite, escort card, program, menu, dinner, and possibly more! Should you or your parents create the guest list? Preserving relationships is key. Stay focused on the priority, which is throwing a fabulous celebration. Wedding planners help you manage this crucial part of your big day.

5. Escape the Pinterest Trap

Are you looking at wedding Pinterest boards? Your wedding is not a competition! It’s about celebrating the fact that you have chosen somebody to spend the rest of your life with, and you’re going to have a kick ass party! Comparison is the thief of joy. A wedding planner ensures you have a wedding that’s fun for you, not necessarily someone else on social media.

6. Discuss Unique Ideas

Wedding planners help brides and grooms think outside the box and share unique ideas, such as wedding floral alternatives like DYI origami flowers. Flip through a home decor magazines with your planner to find different elements that match your personality. Looking for wedding garter toss / bouquet toss alternatives? You can give your bouquet to a friend as a heartfelt gift. Maybe you want to skip the cake cutting and have more time to dance, or do a quick cake cutting off to the side. Just make sure your family knows what to expect. You could even skip toasts and have your Best Man and Maid of Honor write you private letters. Want to arrive via hot air balloon or helicopter? As long as you have the budget, do it! It’s ok to be different; things don’t need to be any certain way but your own. As a result of fresh ideas, your wedding will be a blast for everyone there!

7. Pick the Best Bridal Party

Don’t worry about how many people are in your bridal party. Choose the people you love the most, because bridal parties are the friends who will support you in your marriage. It’s not about picking 12 girls who all look great in the same dress. You might even want to have a Best Woman or Man of Honor! Wedding planners know it’s all about the people who are supporting you in this new step you’re taking in life.

8. Find Vendors Worth the Price

Traditionally in the past, wedding planners have been known for their ability to get discounts. Jasmine takes a different approach, helping you find vendors who are worth what they’re charging. Instead of asking for discounts, she finds things that can be added to a service as a bonus or works hard to find somebody with the same style you’re looking for within your budget. She focuses on value and reputation to benefit you in the long run!

9. Stay Organized

Imagine your inbox is clogged full of vendor emails, and you’re confused about which ones you liked best, what their prices are, and if they’re available for your wedding. Now forget that nightmare! With a wedding planner, you don’t have to worry about endless emails or extensive spreadsheets. A planner keeps everything organized for you, sometimes with apps like Aisle Planner and Evernote. Wedding planners keep track of everything from seating charts to decor to ceremony rehearsal details and can quickly pull information for you. What a relief!

10. Keep Everyone on the Same Page

Wedding timelines keep you, your family, and all of your vendors on track during the big day. What if you want everyone in your bridal party to meet before the ceremony, but the day of is the only chance you all will be together? A wedding planner helps coordinate your timeline to ensure everything fits just right. Your photographer will know how much time they have for photos, your florist will know when they should arrive, and you will be able to relax. Your wedding planner has the “big picture view” and makes certain each person involved is informed, so there are no surprises on your big day.

Ready to learn more? Finally, visit Hooked’s 60 Second Wedding Planning video page to watch Jasmine explain all of these topics + more wedding planning tips!

Looking for wedding planners in NJ and NYC? Contact This Moment Events!