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Ask the Experts

Why a DJ?

In today’s world of MP3 players, smart phones, Bluetooth speakers and streaming services, why hire a DJ? It’s a common question that’s being asked more and more. Here are a few reasons why a DJ still has an important place at your event: • A DJ will interact with you and your guests and adjust the playlist accordingly to get folks dancing. A DJ is the master of ceremonies who makes those important announcements and, along with the event planner and venue staff, keeps the reception moving. Choosing a DJ is less expensive than renting a professional PA system. DJs come with backup equipment – does your rental? Professional DJs carry liability insurance. The equipment is managed by a professional so you don’t have to ask a friend to be a part of your reception by manning the music. Do your research to get an idea of what a DJ costs and then plan it …

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Shop Smart for Your Photo Booth

Photo booths are a great way to capture pictures of all the guests who came to celebrate your wedding, as well as fill the downtime during the reception. But photo booths are not all the same. If you are thinking of adding a photo booth to your big day, here are some tips to help you choose the right one: GET A VISUAL: Before renting a booth just based on price, make sure to see pictures of the photo booth that will actually be at your event. Photo booth rental companies have different styles of booths in an array of shapes and sizes. Most companies use some sort of box style layout with drapes. Some simply provide a backdrop to stand in front of and have a camera set up on a tripod to snap your pictures, while others provide sophisticated designs with custom backgrounds, live LCD displays and customizable panels. A visual not only allows …

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Photography Checklist

getting ready

Bride dressing for ceremony Bride, full-length solo Bride with parents Bride with mother and fatherseparately Bride with grandparents Bride with sisters and brothers Bride with maid of honor Bride with attendants Bride with ring bearer, flower girl Garter being put on Groom, full-length solo Groom with parents Groom with mother and father separately Groom with grandparents Groom with sisters and brothers Groom with best man Groom with groomsmen Groom with bride’s parents being seated for ceremony Bridesmaids walking down the aisle Flower girl, ring bearer walking down the aisle Bride and father approaching altar or canopy Bride’s father giving her hand to groom Exchange of vows Ring ceremony Recessional Formal bride & groom together Newlyweds and parents Newlyweds and entire bridal party Close-ups of bride’s & groom’s hands clasped together Receiving line — guests and bridal party Cake table Bride & groom cutting/feeding each other cake Best man toasting newlyweds Newlyweds toasting …

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Multi-Cultural Marriages

Here in ethnically diverse Northern Virginia, multi-cultural marriages embody the best of customs and traditions. Here are just a few: CHINESE The color red is considered a symbol of happiness and luck. It is often used on invitations. GREEK The bride carries a lump of sugar to ensure a sweet life. Ivy in her bouquet represents endless love. HINDU Prior to the wedding day, the bride is tattooed with henna on her hands and feet, known as Mehndi. She wears a red sari embroidered in gold to symbolize abundance and fertility. PERSIAN During the ceremony, married women place a white satin cloth above the couple’s heads. Two cones of sugar are placed in the cloth and rubbed together to represent snowflakes of sweetness and joy. LATIN-AMERICAN A cord called “el lazo” is placed around the couple during the ceremony, signifying they are bound for life. ITALIAN On her wedding day, the …

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Floral Checklist

To keep you on track with your floral needs, here is a brief checklist: Bride’s Bouquet Maid/Matron of Honor Bouquet Bridesmaids’ Bouquets Flower Girl’s Bouquet or Basket Floral Headpieces Hostesses’ Flowers Mothers’ & Grandmothers’ Corsages Fathers’ & Grandfathers’ Boutonnieres Groom’s Boutonniere Best Man’s Boutonniere Ushers’ Boutonnieres Ring Bearer’s Pillow Ring Bearer’s Boutonniere Altar or Chuppah Flowers Aisle or Pew Decorations Reception Room Flowers Head Table Centerpiece Guest Table Centerpieces Cake/Buffet Table Decorations Toss Bouquet

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Bridal Attire Checklist

Bridal attire is more than just a gown. This handy checklist, courtesy of Trousseau Ltd., will keep you – and the ladies who play a key role in your wedding day – looking great from head to toe. Personal Attire: o Tiara, Hairpins, Headband or Comb o Bridal Veil o Bridal Jewelry o Garter o Bridal Foundation Bustiers and Shapewear to Look Your Best! o Hosiery o Shoes o Handbag or Make-up Pouch o Handkerchief o Gloves o Wedding Night & Honeymoon Lingerie o Get fitted with Trousseau’s Bra Expert Bridal Attendants: o Foundation o Dyeable Shoes and Handbag o Jewelry o Hair Ornaments Mothers of the Bride and Groom: o Foundation o Dyeable Shoes and Handbag o Jewelry and Hair Ornaments Stationery: o Save the Date Cards o Wedding Invitations o Thank-you Notes & Personal Stationery Bridal Accessories: o Guestbook and Pen o Ringbearer …

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Get Involved Grooms

Image Courtesy of Amy’s Bridal Boutique As the cost of weddings rise, as well as the age of today’s bride and groom, many couples find themselves sharing the cost of their wedding, with little to no help from their parents. Although there are benefits in being able to make the wedding completely unique, along with showcasing the couple’s styles and personalities, the groom’s financial obligation has opened the door to the vast world of weddings. The groom now has an opinion on something he has never thought of before, while the bride has been following her favorite wedding blogs for over two years now. In preparing to go on the wedding planning journey together, it is very important that the couple find an effective communication tool to make the experience one that brings them closer. And both parties must compromise in order to have key elements that are important to each of them. A great way …

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Don’t Step on Anyone’s Toes

By Deborah Joy Black Excited about rehearsing that new “first dance” choreography you learned but have no room to practice? For about $10 an hour you can practice in one of the many professional studios around the area. Here are some tips to help ensure a pleasant environment and allow you to feel comfortable practicing in the studio. If space allows, dancers should set up speakers and use mirrors at opposite corners of the studio; once all four corners are full, fill in the middle sections. Rent space during non-peak hours (anytime before 6:00 p. m.) if you are practicing tap or flamenco, drumming or other loud percussive dances. Use earphones — especially if you need to play music loudly or nonstop and when directly next to ongoing lessons. Be mindful of volume levels and speaker location/angle. Turn your music off when not dancing to minimize the overall …

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Wedding Cakes with Style

By Emily Yu Wedding cakes are a centerpiece for the reception — they balance a bridal couple’s style, palette, theme and creativity. And couples are now mixing tradition with contemporary elements to create unique designs. Here are some helpful tips when choosing your wedding cake. Find your comfort zone: It’s important to be comfortable with your wedding cake vendor, whether it’s a full service bakery or dedicated wedding cake specialist. You should be offered a consultation where you are able to taste various flavor combinations, browse through a portfolio of their work and begin to create your cake. Celebrate with style: Gone are the days in which wedding cakes had to be round and covered with a thick white icing with tons of piping. Brides and grooms are now incorporating color, shapes, sugar flowers, height and even cupcakes. Consider having a square cake with each tier slightly off-set and decorate it with very delicate piping to highlight the squares …

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Social Media Wediquette

By Amanda Causey Baity Social media is embedded in our day-to-day life; in fact, for most of us, social media facilitates the majority of our daily interactions with others. We use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay in touch, share updates and celebrate milestones; it’s only natural that social media has found its way into wedding celebrations. That said, before uploading a photo of the happy couple saying “I Do,” it is important to remember your social media wedding etiquette. HERE COMES THE HASHTAG A particularly social couple may utilize social media to engage and communicate with their guests from the first RSVP to the last thank-you card. While the majority of couples still choose to mail out paper invitations, many opt for electronic RSVPs: a cheaper, more environmentally friendly option. It’s also a more efficient option for guests. Wedding websites and blogs are also commonly used to share updates and information …

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.wed: Wedding Websites & Domain Names

It seems almost second nature to want to create a wedding website. You can share your love story, post your engagement session photos, keep your guests in the loop and drop not-so-subtle hints about your gift registry. And your website provides a great icebreaker for bridal party members who haven’t met yet. “How to build a wedding website” nets over 31 million (yes, million!) results on Google. Templates make design easy and hosting is often free. The basics of your wedding website should include: • An “about” page, which is the story of how you met and fell in love (a great place to put your e-session gallery). • A “cast of characters” that includes your bridal party and why they play a role in your wedding. • Details (date, time, location) for all events. • A registry page which you can easily update. • Guest accommodation information with links to hotels. • A way for …

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