5 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

When you look back on your wedding day 1, 5, 10, or 50 years later, shouldn’t you feel like the entire event reflected your relationship as a couple? Your guests should feel like they were able to share a really special ceremony and reception that represented you each and your relationship together. That happens by customizing elements of your wedding to reflect your personalities and interests. Here are 5 ways to personalize your wedding:

1. Play Music They’ll Remember

Most likely, you and yours have a favorite genre of music. Why not bring your playlist to the wedding? Share your love of music with your guests and let them get to know you more and enjoy the event even more yourself. Feel like your music style doesn’t fit the formality of a wedding? Ask your string quartet to play a rock song or the theme to Star Wars. Guests love being caught off guard expecting to hear Tchaikovsky and realizing they’re playing songs from the Top 40.

2. Customize Your Backdrop

So many photos will be taken of you as a couple at the altar. It will be the focus of your ceremony. If your venue has a breathtaking, picture-perfect view, you might be good-to-go, but if not, then create something you love – it’s a great way to personalize your wedding. Think about what you want your photos to look like and add a creative backdrop to bring your vision to life. Work with your florist or event planner to help you create a backdrop that incorporates your wedding colors and style into the ceremony.

3. Incorporate a Theme

Aside from simply choosing colors, add a theme to your wedding. The theme can represent a hobby of yours such as traveling, camping, or scuba diving, or something that is important to you such as a branch of the military. The theme can also be fun and quirky like video games, cycling, or dogs – choose whatever you love! Incorporate the theme into your invitations and event decor to create an event that is one of a kind.

4. Customize Your Aisle

Your florist or event designer can create a jaw-dropping aisle for your wedding ceremony, which is another way to personalize your wedding. Elements usually include florals and can be simple paths of different colored petals or elaborate designs can be created. Not into flowers? Ask your DJ to create a custom gobo that shines on the aisle path. (A gobo is an illuminated design that projects onto a surface,)  The gobo can be a pattern that represents your wedding theme or it can be your names or initials designed to look like a wedding logo.

5. Make it a Family Affair

A wedding is a wonderful occasion to celebrate two families becoming one. Many of your guests won’t know much about your extended families, which makes it a great opportunity to show them off. Create a space at your reception, possibly by the guest book or gift table, to display family photos. Include photos of each of you when you were younger, photos from when you first met, and especially photos of family members that are no longer with us. Your guests will love getting to know more about your background and your relationship, and it is one of our favorite ways to personalize your wedding.

Why Should I Have a “First Look” Photo?

This is a guest post by Mt. Woodson Castle

Having a “First Look” has become more and more popular throughout the years. Most brides tend to ask their photographers and wedding coordinator what exactly a first look is.

The First Look is a special moment that is staged and setup by the wedding photographers that allows the bride and groom to have a special moment to see one another before the ceremony. Typically, the groom will be looking away, toward the photographer, while the bride approaches him from behind. As she approaches close to the groom, she will reach out to tap him on the shoulder, allowing the groom to turn around to see his beautiful wife to be for the very first time.

After they have taken in the moment of seeing one another, the photographer will then take the bride and groom for some portraits together.

Photo Credit: Sean Walker Photography

First Looks are highly recommends by wedding photographers and here are a few reasons why.

1. The First Look allows the bride and groom to have a very special moment of time together before the guests begin to arrive and ceremony and reception begins.

2. Having a First Look will also allow for more pictures to be taken of not only the bride and groom, but also of the bridal party and possibly some family members. If you were not to have a First Look and only take the bride and groom photos after the ceremony, you will only have a limited time during cocktail hour to take all of your photos (includes bridal party and family photos).

3. A First Look will allow you and your wedding party to go an enjoy your cocktail hour and the start of your reception sooner than later after the ceremony. There have been so many times where we see the bride and groom feeling rushed to finish post ceremony photos so that they can go and enjoy their guests and party. You never want to feel as though you are missing out on your special day because you have to take photos. With the First Look, you will be guaranteed to enjoy your reception and the entire experience for a longer period of time.

4. Of course there are still the couples who are very traditional and want the groom to see the bride for the first time when she walks down the aisle, but we have never heard of anyone regretting seeing one another before the ceremony. This is one step closer to minimizing your stress levels and maximizing your time to celebrate with your loved ones and enjoy your big day!

Mt. Woodson Castle is a historic San Diego wedding venue located in the hills of Ramona in North Eastern San Diego County. For more information about Mt. Woodson Castle, visit their website at www.mtwoodsoncastle.com.

10 Things to Ask a Wedding DJ Before Hiring

This is a guest post by Jerry Beck of Becks Entertainment and DJ Service

More often than not at the initial meeting the unsuspecting bride will interview a DJ not really knowing what to ask. On the day of the wedding she finds that all of the things that she didn’t want to happen happened, all of the music that she didn’t want the DJ to play were played. She didn’t ask the DJ for some examples of what he/she would do or play if no one was dancing. As a result of not asking she never knew that the DJ would be trying to get everybody up to do the Hokey Pokey or Macarena. The bride never asked what type or style the DJ had so she never knew that the DJ would be cracking jokes during dinner and the reception with the guests being the target with the intentions of “breaking the ice”. Now the bride is horrified and filled with regret and woe. She wants to blame the DJ for being unprofessional, unprepared, disrespectful, unskilled and inadequate. In all actuality the fault lies with the bride. Had she asked the right questions then she could have been better informed and assured that the DJ would have provided a stellar performance for her, her new husband and all of their friends and family. Here are the top 10 questions you really should ask when hiring a DJ for your wedding. 1) being the most important and 10) being the least.

  1. After describing your musical vision to the DJ ask to give you an example of music that the DJ thinks you would like or that would be played at your wedding that your guests would like
  2. Is the DJ a member of any professional DJ organizations
  3. What does the DJ wear to weddings?
  4. How would the DJ articulate and describe his style
  5. Does the DJ have insurance?
  6. Has the DJ ever worked with any of your other vendors?
  7. How many events does the DJ do a day?
  8. Has the DJ ever worked at the location where the wedding reception will be held?
  9. How long has he/she been DJing?
  10. How much are the services.

Never let price be the determining factor on whether to go with the DJ or not. That is why it is listed last. If you do you will be sorry in the end. Also never let your friend or relative be the DJ who offers to do it for free. That is a recipe for failure. Ask those top 10 questions and more than likely you will have a successful musical experience on your wedding day. Good luck!

If you have any questions about the Top 10 Questions You Should Ask A DJ Before Hiring please feel free to contact me directly.

Jerry Beck
The San Diego Wedding DJ ~ Author
Becks Entertainment and DJ Service