Monday, April 26, 2010

DJ {Date} Night

Our booked DJ company Admit One DJs, hosts an event called Meet the DJ Night, where their clients can meet their DJs. It’s almost like Speed Dating, but with DJs: Speed DJing! I know, I’m a dork, anyways…

The Mister and I went to this event last week. I have to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. All we knew is that there would be food, drinks, and DJs, and we would pick our top three choices at the end of the night Other than that, we knew nothing. I had no idea what to ask, what I should ask, or even where to start!

The Mister and I walked around the place not really knowing what to do. I have to admit, it was a little overwhelming at first, but we were pros by the end of the night. The Mister spotted one DJ we had met when we booked them in January. He was one of the DJs who spoke Spanish, which was a must for me. We chatted with him for a while, and we really liked him, a lot. He was very professional, with plenty of experience, and a lot of knowledge of the Latin rhythms I know my family will be expecting.

We knew that there was another DJ who spoke Spanish but, after searching for a while and asking one of the managers, we found out he couldn’t make it that night. The manager said we could definitely do a phone interview with the DJ if we wanted to. Although bit disappointed, we decided to talk to other DJs anyways. And so we spoke with DJ #2. And DJ #3, and DJ #4, and DJ #5. Thank God I brought my little notebook; I was jotting down names like crazy.

At some point during the night, I realized why the company does this event, and why it’s important for us, as their clients. The DJ will be an important part of your event, whether it’s a wedding or something else. You want to have someone who you feel comfortable with; you want to have someone with a personality that doesn’t clash with your own.

I also realized that it would be okay if our DJ didn’t speak Spanish. I wouldn’t have been able to realize this if I hadn’t met and talked to the DJs. Many of them had experience in multi-cultural weddings, and their confidence of how to handle such unique weddings, even when they didn’t speak one of the languages, made me confident in their ability of making our wedding a great experience for our guests.

At the end of the night, the Mister and I picked our top three DJs and decided we didn’t need to do a phone interview. We were comfortable with the two DJs we picked that didn’t speak Spanish, and the one who did speak Spanish is our number one choice. I really hope we get him but, even if we don’t, I know any of our choices will make a great job at our wedding!

Have you ever been to a Meet the DJ Night event? How did you choose your DJ?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love at First Sight

Tonight, the Mister and I will be going to an event hosted by our hired DJ company. Which has made me realize that I have not posted about our DJ!! Well, let me fix that right up.

We decided pretty early on in our planning that hiring a DJ would be the best way for us to go. Since we come from different backgrounds, our families' taste in music varies a lot. One of the key things we were looking for was to have some merengue and salsa to dance to. A DJ with a good variety in music could easily have something to please everyone.

Our search was extremely short. Back in July 2009, the Mister, my MOH, and I attended a Bridal Expo. We saw a lot of DJ companies back then, but only one of them blew us away. We loved them so much that, when we decided to look for a DJ last January, the Mister immediately suggested to go see them first.

We met with them in mid-January and booked them right away. Yep, you heard that right. We booked a vendor on our first meeting with them without meeting with any other vendors in their field. Trust me, I've already gone through my share of worrying about it. I'm the kind of person that needs to analyze every option, consider every pro and con, gather every bit of information possible, and make an informed decision. That's my blessing and my curse.

Why did I let us book a vendor without seeing anybody else? Well, this is something the Mister really, really wanted. And by this I mean this DJ company. He wanted this to be his splurge if you will. Did I keep worrying about it weeks after we booked them? Yes, definitely. Do I worry about it now? Not so much!

One of the things that I love about this company is that they host an event called "Meet the DJ Night". During these events, they invite their clients to come out and meet every single DJ the company has. After meeting the DJs, you select your top three DJs, which means you have two back up DJs in case anything comes up on the day of the event. Awesome, huh? I'll let you know how tonight goes!

Oh yeah, the DJ company is Admit One DJs, in case you were wondering ;-)

Have you ever booked the first vendor you met with without shopping around? Did you worry about it? Do you over-analyze everything like me?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Just wanted to let you know about a cool giveaway hosted over at A Chocolate Lover's Confession. Two lucky readers will win a pair of Delicate Soles. How great would those be for dancing on your wedding??? Go on over to check it out!

Good luck!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Photography Chronicles

We did it! We finally have a wedding photographer! Our last big-ticket item can be officially scratched off our list. Photography was one of the things we were really worry about, budget-wise, since we knew it could get pricey. How did we go about our search? Well, it was a team effort.

First, I put together a list of absolute must-haves:

1. High-resolution digital files (or digital negatives) with copyrights released to us

Okay, so not much of a list. That was my absolute requirement. Price range? Well, we were hoping no more than $1,500. A wedding album? For me, it wasn't a deal breaker. The Mister really wants one and, after talking about it, we decided that this was something we could add on later.

Then, I looked for possible candidates. I decided to use The Knot to find photographers in our area, and came up with a lot of results. I combed through them, looking at countless portfolios and packages, and selected those that met my requirement and our price range.

I put everything together in a spreadsheet and sent it to the Mister. The Mister was to go through the list, check out portfolios, select his favorites, and make appointments. Let me say, he did a great job! He even uploaded his edited spreadsheet into Google Docs without any prompting from me. After all these months of me trying to force Google Docs on him for wedding planning, he finally did it all on his own. But I digress. Let's talk about our appointments, as we had quite an interesting experience.

Appointment with Photography Studio #1

Our first appointment was at 11am, and we found the place easily. We were a little apprehensive of this place because of the $999 price. However, we went in with an open mind and knew that our budget wouldn't allow for a lot of fancy or extra things anyways.

Our consultant was a sweetheart! She was an absolute delight to work with and we hit it off right away! We looked at samples of their photographers' work and it was amazing. The Mister knew what he wanted with photography and, although neither of us knew the terms, she was able to narrow it down to two photographers who would be a perfect fit for us.

The package that they had to offer was extremely attractive. Some of the highlights are: ten hours of coverage, unlimited locations, high-resolution files, portable backdrop for the reception, an in-studio engagement session, and a 20-page album.

They have about ten photographers and, instead of assigning a photographer for us, we selected a photographer based on his work. Our consultant brought us two albums, each album containing the sample work of a photographer. She gave us some time so we could look through both albums and see if we liked what we saw. Let me tell you, we LOVED what we saw! We picked a photographer and we were both really excited.

However, we were not ready to sign the contract. We had another appointment that afternoon and, for my peace of mind, I needed to see what else was out there. The Mister did not want to lose the photographer that we picked, in case we did sign with this studio, so our consultant sweetened the deal. If we filled out the contract {filled out, but not signed}, she would hold the photographer for us for a week. No strings attached, if we decided to go with someone else, there would be no charge. Nothing. So we did! And then, we left for lunch.

Appointment with Photography Studio #2

After lunch, we headed off to our second appointment. We were very excited about our first appointment, but we went into this second one with an open mind. I wanted to see what they had to offer and, if they were a better fit for us, then we would have gone with them.

We were waiting out in their lobby area, just browsing at a wedding magazine, when the consultant came out to greet us. A nice and friendly greeting. We followed her to her office and it just went downhill from there.

As many of you know, when you're planning a wedding, you have to interact with a lot of vendors. We have been interacting with our fair share of vendors, and every single one of them have always been a delight to work with, whether we chose their services or not. Until now...

I'm not sure what happened, I'm not sure what was going on, but I don't think she was thrilled of having us there. She wasn't really friendly, she barely smiled, and she talked to us with a bit of a condescending manner. She wasn't very helpful at all and, when we asked her questions, she would respond almost like we were kids.

I'm not even going to bother to describe what they had to offer as she barely made an effort to sell their services to us. We just wanted to get the hell out of there.

Impromptu Non-Appointment with Photography Studio #1

After our second appointment, we drove straight back to the first photography studio. We decided to go with them, and were hoping to close the deal that day. We met with our consultant again, and she was such a refreshing delight. Needless to say, we signed the contract and our chosen photographer is officially ours.

How did you find your photographer? Did you have a strategy? Did you have any bad experiences with a wedding vendor?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

David and my Ladies: The Dress(es)

After trying on a lot of dresses, my girls made their decision. Even though I told them they didn't have to wear the same dress, they ended up choosing the same one. The dress is very flattering on both of them and they look amazing in it! Which one they chose? Well, dress #1!!

My MOH, doesn't she look gorgeous?

My BM, so pretty in pink!

The dress is so flowy, you can't help but twirl in it!

After choosing the dress, they got to pick which color they wanted their dress to be. My MOH originally chose truffle, but then had second thoughts. She was curious as to how the pink would look against her skin so she held up the dress against her.

We all loved it! It looked perfect! My BM decided to wear truffle, and it looked really great! Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of her with a truffle dress, but the color looked amazing on her!

Did your bridesmaids choose the same dress? Did they find the perfect dress on their first dress-hunting trip?

*All pictures are personal pictures.

Friday, April 9, 2010

David and my Ladies: Evidence

Early last month, we had an appointment at David's Bridal to look at dresses for my MOH and my BM. When we made the appointment for bridesmaids dresses, we made sure to book it with the same bridal consultant that helped me and she was great! I brought in pictures of eight dresses and she pulled seven for my girls to try. One dress was discontinued so we skipped it.

But enough explaining, let's see the goods!

Dress #1

Dress #2

Dress #3 and Dress #4

Dress #5

Dress #6

Dress #7

Don't they look lovely? At the beginning of the appointment, I told them that they didn't have to match. They could choose any dress they wanted in any of the wedding colors. After this first appointment, my girls did choose their dresses and, I must say, they look great in their dresses!!

How many dresses did your girls try on? Did they have matching dresses and colors? Did they find them at their first appointment?

*All pictures are personal pictures.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

An Entrance to Remember

Last summer, my lovely bridesmaid sent me a link to a wedding video with a very interesting offer:

From:    Bridesmaid
To:    Nina
Date:    07/24/2009 04:30 PM
Subject:    Walking down the aisle

Nina, I will pay for your entire wedding if you walk down the aisle like this:

On another note, this couple has a huge wedding party.

Bridesmaid :-)

While my dearest bridesmaid will not be shelling out big bucks to pay for my wedding, this was definitely a unique wedding entrance that won't be forgotten. Who knows? Maybe I'll make the bridal party dance their way into the reception, and I certainly have three or four uncles who would do this just for the heck of it.

Are you planning a unique entrance for your wedding? Or do you prefer the more traditional walk-down-the-aisle entrance like me?

Video Source

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Our {Cake} Crown Jewel

Our cake topper dilemma is no more!

The Mister did warm up to the idea of the crown topper after my initial trip to Hobby Lobby last week and gave me the green light to proceed. Since I had already checked my nearest Hobby Lobby, the mister went with me to another Hobby Lobby. A much bigger Hobby Lobby, an I-wish-I-could-trade-with-my-nearest-Hobby-Lobby Hobby Lobby {making you crazy yet?}.

We visited the store armed with last week's 40% off coupon and with a back up plan {me to the Mister: "If they don't have the topper, we'll just buy two sets of three pillar candles for our centerpieces"}. After grabbing a set of pillar candles {What? You thought I was kidding?} we went to the bridal section, scanning the aisle for the crown.

And I'm proud to say, we found it! Along with its $24.99 price tag... and two pearls had fallen off. I was ready to put it right back where I found it, but the Mister insisted otherwise. "I can glue them, it's not big deal," he insisted, so off to the register we went.

After using my coupon, I paid $15 for it, plus tax. Not bad! And the Mister was right, the fallen pearls were quickly fixed by a hot glue gun. However, since I wanted pictures, I glued them instead of the Mister. Please excuse the bad quality of the picture, I'll definitely have the Mister be the official photographer for this blog {and everything else!}.

Have you gone to multiple locations of the same store searching for a particular item? Are store coupons part of your arsenal? How much fun is it to say 'back up plan'?

Monday, April 5, 2010

David and my Ladies: Inspiration

Since we had set up an appointment at David's Bridal to look for bridesmaids dresses, I decided to revisit the My Favorites section at their website. I had looked at every bridesmaid dress in their website a month or two before we actually set up the appointment and had saved my favorite dresses to my account. Since it had been helpful to bring my top dresses to my  bridal appointment, I wanted to bring examples of bridesmaids dresses that reflected the style I was looking for.

I wanted my girls to have options to choose from, so I found eight different dresses that I thought could work.

All images from the David's Bridal website

I couldn't wait to see my girls try the dresses on. I wanted them to find their own perfect dress! At our appointment, I think they tried on about four or five of these dresses, and I have the pictures to prove it ;-)

How many dresses did you look at for your bridal party? How far in advance did you start researching?