Wedding Tips

How To Avoid Interrupting The Party For Traditional Wedding Moments

 

Wedding celebrations are made up of so many magical moments throughout both the ceremony and reception. While newlywed couples and their guests want to party the night away, there are often special dances and traditions, such as the bouquet toss and cake-cutting, that are factored into the timeline of events.

hile these traditions provide amazing photo opportunities and memories for a lifetime, they should never be made to feel like an imposition to guests who are enjoying the party. Instead, they should be strategically - and tastefully - placed during the reception to avoid any awkward pauses or breaks in dancing or dinner.

Here are some tips to ensure the party doesn’t stop for these traditional wedding moments:

1. Schedule moments immediately following dinner! Before the band or DJ start their first dance set, go ahead and cut the cake (bonus: dessert is served promptly) and get the special dances underway. This will avoid interrupting the dancing later on.

2. Discuss with your DJ/MC ahead of time and ask them to seamlessly integrate these moments into the dance sets! If your Master of Ceremonies makes clear announcements to guests to stay on the dance floor surrounding the bride and room, they are made to feel a part of everything instead of just spectators.

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3. Throw away the rule book and opt out of these moments completely! If the idea of dancing with your parents in front of 100 of your closest family and friends makes you uncomfortable, know that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do! Feel free to make your own rules and traditions, it’s your day after all!

For more industry insights and tips, visit the Downbeat LA blog here

Fall in Love - Autumn Wedding Inspiration

 

Summer is coming to an end and this Friday marks the first day of fall - cue the cool, crisp weather, warm layered clothing, rich foliage, and so much more! When we think of seasonal weddings between September and mid-December, we think of earthy color schemes, pumpkin and apple motifs, rich fall florals and fabrics, warm spices in cocktails and food recipes and rustic decor. 

To get you in the mood for the season, here's some inspiration for all of your autumn wedding needs: 

For more industry insights and wedding tips, head to Downbeat LA's blog here

Wedding Day Music: You Have More Resources Than You Think!

 

 

There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding, but one of the most important things to be excited for - and not stressed about - is the music and entertainment for the celebration! Whether you're a music lover or not, deciding on all of the music for your big day can seem overwhelming, but you have access to more resources than you realize! 

For ceremonies, cocktail hours, dinners and dancing, Downbeat LA recommends tapping into the following resources to create a memorable and meaningful playlist for your wedding:

1. Wedding Band/DJ

If you're hiring musicians to perform, they can help you create the ultimate song list from their experience and repertoire. Don't be afraid to ask them for advice when it comes to the different parts of the wedding day  timeline and what music would work best, they're the professionals after all!

2. Wedding Guests

We've seen couples include a line for guests to fill out their favorite song or music genres when sending back RSVPs in the invitations! This is a great way to find out what your friends and family want to hear and incorporate it throughout the day and evening. 

3. What Songs Are Meaningful To You?

If there are songs that are especially meaningful to you as a couple, make sure they make it into the set list! Save it for a first dance, or make sure it gets playing at some point during the party to create a special moment when you hear it. 

4. Spotify

We all listen to music across various apps and programs, which all have amazing playlists built in for every occasion and mood. Do some research on Spotify to see what wedding day music might be popular and let your wedding band or DJ know! 

For more tips and industry insights, visit Downbeat LA's blog here

Wedding Day Snapchat Geofilters - How To Make Your Own!

 

You've probably attended a wedding or event where you capture a moment on Snapchat and find that as you swipe, there is a custom geofilter you can use! This fun social media tech trend is popping up everywhere and it's surprisingly easier than you may think to create your own!

Our friends at The Knot are the absolute best when it comes to creating personalized wedding websites and providing tools to help you throughout the planning process, including getting all of your social media channels on track. The site just announced the launch of their Snapchat Filter Feature, which allows couples to create personalized geofilters for all of the special events leading up to the big day, including the engagement, bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette party and more!

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With a wide variety of templates and graphics, you can customize your own geofilter and maintain a cohesive theme by using your names, wedding hashtags, date and location and even fun emojis in the design. Downbeat LA loves this tool and we encourage our brides and grooms to explore their tech savviness and use it!

Get started on your personalized geofilter by clicking here

For more wedding industry tips and insights, visit the Downbeat LA blog here

Wedding Day Reminder: Don't Forget To Party!

If there's one thing Downbeat LA prides itself on, it's knowing how to get the party started and how to keep it going strong! Weddings involve a great deal of planning and hard work, but when the day comes it's important to enjoy it to the fullest, and as musicians and entertainers, it's our job to make sure everyone in the crowd is having the time of their lives. 

Here is some inspiration to serve as a reminder that no matter what, when the big day comes, don't forget to have fun and party! 

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Read more from Downbeat LA's blog here

Libraries, Museums & More! Unconventional Wedding Inspiration

Los Angeles is home to many different and unique wedding and event spaces for those looking to take a more unconventional approach to the big day. In fact, any city will have historic locations, popular attractions, museums, libraries and public spaces that can accommodate weddings if you can find one that suits you. 

We rounded up some specific spots around Los Angeles County that would make for an unconventional and memorable wedding: 

1. Natural History Museum

Imagine having your wedding ceremony in the African Mammal Hall or North American Mammal Hall, then taking guests to the impressive Grand Hall or Rotunda to continue the celebration in true "Night at The Museum"-style. 

2. The Last Bookstore

Archways of books, labyrinths of shelves and hidden passageways make up this iconic bookstore in Downtown Los Angeles, perfect for the book-loving couple who are looking for a unique and intimate gathering for their big day.   

3. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

This 207-acre estate has endless possibilities when it comes to weddings. If the idea of being surrounded by art, history and literature on your big day excites you (and you don't mid a site fee between $50,000-$150,000), then this is the place for you! 

4. California Science Center

Did you know you can host your wedding in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, which is home to the space shuttle Endeavor? You and guests can dance the night away under the last orbiter built by NASA. Space junkies, you're welcome. 

For more wedding tips and industry insights, visit the Downbeat LA blog here

Wedding Planners, Vendors and Couples: Navigating the Process Together

A recent article featured on the Martha Stewart Weddings blog addressed the question of how hands-off couples should be with their wedding planners. Author Alyssa Brown outlined the following key things to remember: 

  1. Your wedding package should be customized. 
  2. Your wedding planner should keep you organized and on track. 
  3. There are always going to be things your wedding planner cannot do for you. 
  4. You should feel comfortable with the amount of and quality of work your wedding planner's doing. 

Not only are these important to remember for planners, but they can apply to wedding vendors as well. Whether it's the planner who communicates with the team of service vendors, or you are in direct communication as the bride and groom, it's important to establish mutual trust and respect, be very clear about what your vision is, and be vocal about how involved you'd like to be from the beginning. 

If you're aligned with a team you trust, there's no need to constantly check in with your planner or your contacts. Brown states: 

"Wedding planners hate being micro-managed just as much as the next service provider, but don't be afraid to say something if you're not getting your needs met. The relationship you have with your wedding planner works best if you're able to communicate and honestly so that all tasks on both your lists are taken care of in a timely and professional manner. Trusting your planner's guidance, organizational tools, creative ability, and general advice are crucial to the enjoyment of working together and planning a beautiful, fun, and relaxing wedding."

As long as you remember it's a team effort, and there are responsibilities that everyone owns - including the bride and groom - then the process is much easier to navigate together. 

For more wedding-related tips and advice, head to Downbeat LA's Wedding Tips Blog here. 

Summer Wedding Weekend Inspiration!

For family and friends traveling from out of town to celebrate your wedding day, planning local activities and social gatherings around the date is a great way to welcome everyone and spend quality time together. Weddings have become so much more than just the big day as more and more couples are planning entire weekend itineraries around any budget for guests to enjoy. 

With summer in full swing, we've got plenty of inspiration to share with you for a sunny wedding weekend itinerary, including rooftop cocktails at sunset, beach games, boat excursions and more! And while it's never mandatory or expected, giving your loved ones the opportunity to continue the celebrations above and beyond the wedding day is something you'll both cherish forever: 

Fore more wedding tips and inspiration, read more from our blog here

How To Host Wedding ANY DAY of the Week!

Saturday weddings are commonly desired by couples for many reasons, but what if your dream venue doesn't have any dates available or the price tag isn't as flexible as the Friday or Sunday option? There could be a number of reasons why you choose to host a wedding on an off-day, but here are some things to consider before you do to ensure it's the best it can be:  

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1. Guests traveling from out-of-town may need to take time off from work on one or both ends of the trip, if that's even an option. While you shouldn't expect them to do so, be sure to show you're consideration by hosting a welcome reception or planning to spend together before or after the actual wedding day. 

2. For weekday weddings, make sure to ask your vendors for any deals or discounts they may offer, especially if most of the weekends are already booked. You and your planner should feel comfortable having these discussions with the people you'll be working with for the wedding.

3. Plan for evening activities and celebrations for Monday-Friday weddings. Anything after 6:00pm is safe if guests are expected to travel on the same day. For activities before or after the actual wedding day, consider a cocktail hour instead of brunch, or an intimate dinner instead of a luncheon. However, if the day after your wedding is a Saturday then anything goes!

4. If the day following your wedding is a work day, don't feel like you have to cut celebrations short on behalf of guests who can't take the time off. You can still plan an after party or keep the reception going late, just give them the option to stay of leave if they'd like. 

Remember that whatever day you decide to host your wedding will be perfect because it will be what's best for you! 

For more Downbeat LA wedding tips, click here

Wedding Day Transition Tips: Ceremony to Reception

Congratulations! You've found your dream wedding ceremony and reception venue! If they're two totally different properties, you and your guests shouldn't experience much trouble transitioning from one part of the day to the next. However, if they're on the same property, planning a seamless transition is key. 

Downbeat LA has performed numerous ceremonies and receptions located within the same venue, and have compiled a list of helpful tips to ensure the transition goes smoothly: 

1. Immediately following the ceremony, have servers greet guests with champagne and/or passed hors d'oeuvres to keep everyone in the same area while bridal party and family photos are taken at the ceremony site. 

2. Consider the use of custom signage or detailed ceremony programs with information as to what the rest of the night will entail, letting guests know where to be and when. 

3. Ask your officiant or wedding band MC/DJ to make clear announcements following the ceremony leading into the cocktail hour and reception, including where guests should go, when meals will be served, when everyone should take their seats, etc. so guests aren't left wondering. 

4. Whether you want to switch right into party mode or set the mood for a romantic dinner, make sure your wedding entertainment can play or perform the music accordingly as a cue for what's to come. 

5. Plan on a change in decor! Unveil a photo booth area, bring out the cake or special personalized items once the ceremony has passed and the celebration is underway.

For more wedding tips and advice, visit our Wedding Tips Blog!

Before You Book: Top Questions to Ask Live Wedding Entertainment

Whether it's a high energy DJ or a 10-piece live band, highly sought after wedding entertainers get booked far in advance. In searching for the best option, it's important to have open dialogues with potential entertainment vendors before signing a contract! Downbeat LA has created a list of 15 important questions you should ask any entertainment prospects before you book: 

AMFM of Downbeat LA 

AMFM of Downbeat LA 

1. What do you include in your package? 

2. What sets you apart from other bands? 

3. Can you fulfill the role of an MC? 

4. What genres of music can you cover? (Ask to see a song list!)

5. Do you take "must-play" and “do-not-play” song requests?

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6. Do you perform ceremonies and cocktail hours as well as receptions? 

7. Can you assist in choosing music for processional, recessional, parent dances, etc.? 

8. Can you provide an example of number of sets/set lengths you can perform, including breaks?

9. How much space do you need?

10. How much time do you allocate for setup, soundcheck and breakdown? 

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11. If overtime is requested the day-of, what do you typically charge?

12. In addition to your sound equipment, can you provide other elements such as lighting? If so, what is the cost?

13. What electrical supply will you need the day of?

14. Do you have any former clients I can contact for references?

15. Will you be expecting meals and/or drinks the day of? If so, for how many people?

For more tips, visit our Wedding Tips blog series here

Tips for Outdoor Summer Weddings

Summer is approaching, and so are all of the beautiful outdoor weddings you've RSVP'd to (or are in the process of planning). In warmer climates like we have in Southern California, there are some important factors to consider when preparing for outdoor celebrations, which is why Downbeat LA has prepared the Top 3 Survival Tips for Outdoor Summer Weddings: 

1. Stay hydrated!

Brides/Planners: Make sure guests have access to water or pitchers of cool, non-alcoholic drinks for both outdoor ceremonies and receptions. 

Attendees: Bring your own bottle of water just to be safe. It's not tacky, it's smart. 

2. Stay protected!

Brides/Planners: Whether its with sunscreen, fans or sunglasses, it's important to stay protected under the sun. Consider using one of the above as a favor for guests!

Attendees: Make sure to be prepared with a fan or some shades in case they aren't offered to you upon arrival.

3. Wear powder-based makeup and an up-do!

This goes for Brides, Planners AND Attendees: Nobody likes to be the sweaty one in photographs. Ladies, avoid liquid foundation or makeup and don't be afraid to wear your hair up for the big day! Also, oil-absorbing sheets are your best friend on a hot day. Make them available in bathrooms for guests, or keep them handy in a purse or bridal suite. 

For more Downbeat LA wedding tips, click here.

Engagement Party: To Have or Not To Have?

Getting engaged is most definitely a cause for celebration! After sharing the wonderful news with your closest family and friends, you might begin to wonder whether or not you should host an engagement party. While it is not expected or even required to have one, it is definitely a great way to get your loved ones together to celebrate this milestone. 

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Whether you envision a casual get together at your favorite restaurant or bar, or an elaborate party that requires RSVPs, there are three things we recommend considering before planning to host an engagement party: Budget, timing and guest list.

1. BUDGET

If you're doing the hosting, make sure you set a realistic budget with the understanding that there will be a great deal of costs associated with the wedding itself. Don't overspend. If someone offers to throw you a celebratory get together or you find yourself walking into a surprise party, that's the perfect solution!

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2. TIMING

Engagement parties usually occur within 1-2 months of being engaged. If you've already locked in your wedding venue and started working on sending your save-the-date's, don't confuse friends and family by giving them too many celebrations to RSVP to leading up to the big day. 

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3. GUEST LIST

Consider who you'd want to be there to celebrate your engagement. This will also have a lot to do with budget considerations. Remember, you'll be having showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsals, dinners and more. You don't need to invite everyone to everything, however it is important to note that whoever you invite to your engagement party should also be on the guest list for the wedding.

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For more wedding tips by Downbeat LA, click here

Wedding Resource Rundown

When it comes to wedding planning and inspiration, there are so many amazing resources available right at our fingertips! Luckily, we've compiled our top three go-to blogs and books into one place: 

WEDDING BLOGS

For the "style-obsessed" bride: Style Me Pretty

For all wedding ideas: Woman Getting Married 

For finding the best vendors: The Knot / Carats & Cake

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WEDDING BOOKS

For planning and organization: The Wedding Planner & Organizer, by Mindy Weiss 

For style inspiration: Style Me Pretty Weddings: Inspiration and Ideas for an Unforgettable Celebration

For more ideas and inspiration: Martha Stewart Weddings: Ideas and Inspiration 

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Planning for a wedding is an exciting time, remember to have fun and try not to get overwhelmed! For more tips, visit our Wedding Tips Blog. 

You're engaged! What happens next?

Congratulations, you're engaged! Whether it was a complete surprise or you were in on the proposal, it's truly an exciting time for couples to enjoy together. Before diving into wedding planning, here are 3 important things to do right after you say "yes" (after taking ring selfies, of course!): 

1. Share the news with loved ones. 

Before posting those ring selfies on social media, remember to call your closest family and friends. Picking up the phone goes a long way, and no one should have to find out about a family member getting engaged via mass email or Facebook post. Once you've shared the news privately, then you can craft the perfect status update and let the notifications come rolling in!

2. Get your ring sized and insured. 

ENGAGEMENT RING PICTURES

ENGAGEMENT RING PICTURES

Maybe your fiancé nailed it and the ring fits perfectly. Chances are it will need adjustments, and since you'll be showing it off quite a bit you want to make sure the fit is right and it's covered. This is a very important step to remember that often gets overlooked. Try taking it back to where your fiancé purchased it, then sneak a quick peek at wedding bands to get an idea of what you'd like down the road. 

3. Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!

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Before hiring a wedding planner and picking a date, don't forget to relax, celebrate and have fun just being engaged! Go out for drinks, plan get-togethers, travel to see family and most importantly set aside time for just the two of you. Once planning gets under way it's difficult to find the time to just be together without having a million ideas and to-do's running through your head. Take your time, and enjoy the entire ride!

Unique, Outside-The-Box Venue Ideas

Wedding venues set the tone for the big day and should reflect the bride and groom's personalities and styles. For something truly unique and memorable, try wandering off the beaten path to find something that suits you as a couple.

Depending on what type of couple you consider yourselves to be, here are some outside-the-box venue ideas that could work for you: 

FOR ADVENTUROUS COUPLES: 

Say "I Do" in a hot air balloon OR host an intimate wedding in a cave!

 

FOR HOPELESS ROMANTIC COUPLES:

Invite guests to a castle OR consider a candle-lit wine cellar reception!

FOR ART/HISTORY BUFF COUPLES: 

Lock down a date at a national museum OR rent out an acclaimed art gallery!

We promise that your wedding will be beautiful and unforgettable no matter what you choose!

Winter Wedding Destinations

The term “Destination Wedding” commonly incites imagery of blue oceans and white sandy beaches, but wintertime can be just as intimate and appealing for the big day if you find the right location.

For a true winter wonderland wedding, surrounding yourself with a snowy landscape and warm, luxurious accommodations is key, not to mention the added bonus of roaring fireplaces, horse drawn carriages, lodging with mountain views and more!

Get inspired to cozy up and say “I Do” with these images from real weddings, and check out our recommended locations for your dream destination winter wedding:

The St. Regis Aspen Resort (Aspen, CO) 

The Little Nell (Aspen, CO)

Dunton Hot Springs (Dolores, CO)

Hotel de Glace (Quebec City, Quebec)

ICEHOTEL (Jukkasjärvi, Sweden)

The Ranch at Rock Creek (Philipsburg, MO)

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe (Lake Tahoe, CA)

Where Should You Host Your Wedding?

So you are planning your wedding and starting to think about the big question, "Where will I host my big day?" The location of the wedding will make a huge impact of the feel and atmosphere of the day. Picking a good venue or location can seem like a daunting task but if we start by figuring out the region you feel would work best, we can start to narrow down the field quickly.  

When thinking about location some factors to consider are: 

a.) who do I want in attendance?

b.) how many people do I want in attendance?

If you are looking to have an intimate wedding, a destination wedding could be unforgettable! 

The easier or the harder you make it for your loved ones to make an appearance will help determine the number of guests and what to start planning for. 

 

Other things to consider are:

1.) Do you live in a warm place or want to get married somewhere warm?

2.) Does Europe call your name? 

3.) Or does travel just sound fun?!  

 

There are countless reasons and places to get married so we are gonna spend the next few weeks talking about fun exciting places to make your big day the most memorable! 

At the end of the day, what matters most is spending your special moment with the people you love but doing it away from home is always fun! 

Winter Engagement Photoshoots Inspo

Happy Engagement Season once again! It gets a bit tricky when the holiday season hits but here are a few ideas to stay in the spirit of the holidays and in the spirit of your wedding.

We've found some awesome photoshoots that includes both, check them out!

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These are just a few ideas and theres so much more. Get out there and get creative!

Photography: India Earl | Colin Cowie Weddings

Holiday Wedding DOs & DON'Ts

Everyone celebrates and observes holidays differently, which is why it’s important to consider the following DO’s and DON’Ts of booking your wedding on or around a major holiday. 

  • Do give guests as much notice as possible. Travel costs are always inflated around holidays, and family members who typically go on vacation will need to plan accordingly. 
  • Don’t be surprised when prices are higher. Venues and vendors may charge higher rates during holiday weekends. If your budget is tight, consider the Friday or Monday over a long weekend, as Saturday’s and Sunday’s are the more expensive days for weddings.
  • Do incorporate holiday elements into your ceremony and reception. This can be in the form of favors, music, signature cocktails, or more!
  • Don't be disappointed if the guest count isn’t as high as you expected, as holiday celebrations can be very important to some people who aren’t willing to sacrifice their traditions.

Tags: #weddingtipwednesday #downbeatlaweddings #holidayweddings

Photography: The Bride Link | Martha Stewart