Chicago Wedding Times – Oct, 2023

Test Your Music Knowledge

Let’s go back to 1995. Name the artist who performed each of these hit songs.

  • Zombie
  • Take a Bow
  • When I Come Around
  • Circle of Life
  • Whoomp! There It Is
  • I’ll Stand by You
  • Cotton Eyed Joe
  • Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman
  • Lightning Crashes
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

We’ll have the answers at the end of the newsletter.

Your Chicago Wedding – What Will Your Guests Remember?

Read any wedding magazine, and you’d think that the only thing a bride is supposed to care about is her gown. In fairness, the makers of wedding gowns spend a fortune advertising in those magazines; so they get a lot of attention because they provide the magazines with a lot of revenue.

Brides also stress about their flowers, favors and food; but if you’ve ever been to someone else’s wedding, you’ve probably already forgotten the colors of the flowers, and what you ate; and your wedding favor is probably buried in some forgotten drawer.  Not exactly a lot of “bang for the buck,” right?

So what do wedding guests really remember about a wedding? Thousands of brides were surveyed after their weddings, and the results, in The Knot and Brides Magazine, may offer you valuable guidance as you prioritize your wedding budget:

  • Almost 100% of brides say, if they had it to do over again, they would have spent more of their budget on their entertainment ; 78% said they would have made their entertainment their top priority.
  • By contrast, during their planning, entertainment tended to be a very low priority for brides. They simply assumed that all DJs were alike, and figured all they had to do was choose one at random.
  • 81% of wedding guests said the strongest memory of their wedding reception was the entertainment, and whether they danced and had a good time.
  • 65% of all couples who hired bands for their entertainment said, if they had a second chance, they would have hired a DJ instead. They didn’t like their bands’ limited music selection, or the fact that their bands took long breaks that disrupted the flow of their parties.

A cheap wedding DJ is little more than a jukebox. An experienced professional wedding DJ is far more knowledgeable, and willing to work harder; he is your reception field general, always on alert that the caterer, photographer, videographer and other vendors are in the right place at the right time. He ensures that the reception doesn’t come to a screeching halt while everyone searches for the photographer for the First Dance, or for Dad for the Father-Daughter dance. He knows the thousands of things that can go wrong, and he has a “Plan B” for every unexpected detour your wedding takes.

The best DJs also provide a wealth of valuable wedding planning resources to take the pressure off you, and reassure you that you are doing what you need to do to be fully prepared for your wedding; then you can simply show up, relaxed and confident that your big night will unfold exactly as you dreamed it.

Do your homework. Check your DJ’s online reviews – and not just those on his own web site. Wedding Wire and Yelp are great sources of independent, unfiltered reviews by people who have already hired the DJ you’re considering; and the Better Business Bureau rates companies from A+ to F for customer satisfaction. Anything below an A should be a big red flag.

Meet your DJ and see whether he fully understands and embraces your vision of the perfect wedding. Then, and only then, should you talk price. There’s no comfort in saving a few hundred dollars on your entertainment if you and your guests have a miserable time at your reception. Don’t cut corners on something that vital.

Real Chicago Wedding – Sept. 8, 2023

Molly Clementz and Boris Krivoshein were married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Eagle Brook Country Club in Geneva. Then it was indoors for cocktails, dinner, an inspiring musical performance by the bride and groom, and dancing to a well crafted playlist by the wedding pros of Fourth Estate Audio.

Six Secrets to Writing the Perfect Wedding Vows

A couple’s wedding vows can be the emotional high point of their wedding day. But perfect vows take work. Here’s how to get them just right.

  1. Set the mood. Find a special place where you’re relaxed and where you won’t be interrupted. Try to write your vows at least a couple weeks before the wedding, because relaxing moments will be harder to find as you hit that whirlwind week of last-minute crises.
  2.  Agree upon length and spirit. You and your fiancée should be on the same page when it comes to the tone of your vows — funny or serious, long or short, and so forth. If they both have the same general feel, the whole ceremony will flow better.
  3.  The vows are not for your guests. You’re writing a very personal and intimate message to your lifetime partner. Don’t play to the crowd. This isn’t the time to craft a speech to bring your guests to tears, or make them laugh. They are there to share your joy, not to be entertained. Whatever you have to say to one another will be well received if it comes from the heart.
  4.  Write more than you need to write. Give yourself weeks, even months, to distill your deepest feelings into a concise speech. But when you begin, write down everything that comes into your mind. You won’t use most of it, but you’ll be able to draw upon a lot of material as you decide what’s most important for you to say.
  5.  Read other people’s vows. There’s nothing wrong with getting ideas from couples who have come before you. Every good writer researches his or her subject material. You can bet your Maid of Honor and Best Man are going to Google ideas for their reception toasts. So why shouldn’t you gather ideas the same way? Trust your feelings, and you’ll eventually come up with vows that are very personal to you, even if they were inspired by someone else’s words.
  6.  Rehearse. When you actually read your vows out loud, you may discover that the words don’t flow as smoothly as they appeared on paper. Wrapping your mouth around the words isn’t the same as wrapping your brain around some text on a page. Rewrite as necessary to make your vows more conversational and natural. And if you can get through the speech several times without stumbling, and you like what you’ve just said, you’re ready.

Here are the answers to this month’s quiz: 

  • Zombie – Cranberries
  • Take a Bow – Madonna
  • When I Come Around – Green Day
  • Circle of Life – Elton John
  • Whoomp! There It Is – Tag Team
  • I’ll Stand by You – Pretenders
  • Cotton Eyed Joe – Rednex
  • Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman – Bryan Adams
  • Lightning Crashes – Live
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me – U2

How did you do? Most people got between 5 and 7 right.

To learn more about professional Chicago DJ entertainment and lighting by Fourth Estate Audio:

Jay Congdon