Archive for the ‘Wedding Planning’ category

How Do I Choose My First Dance Wedding Song?

August 8, 2012


Planning a wedding can seem overwhelming at times…and even a routine formality can be hard to approach and decide upon.

One of these is picking your First Dance Wedding Song.  It may be something you’ve been thinking about for a long time and you know just the song you want to use!  That’s great!

Or…you don’t have a song in mind, and you’re not sure where to begin…and there are SO MANY songs to choose from…how do I start!

Here are some helpful tips from TheKnotTV about how to go about picking a song for your First Dance as well as a few specific suggestions.

See also our Ask Mike! videos:  Ask Mike! Video Playlist.

There is also an attached article (see below) that has a list of suggestions.

Image representing The Knot as depicted in Cru...

Your First Dance should be something you look forward to – not to mention, it’s a rare private moment with your new spouse on an otherwise busy day.  So pick a song you love… a song which is meaningful to you and your fiance… a song which is sentimental to your family (i.e., the song your parents used at their wedding)… a song you can easily and comfortably dance to… a song that is a reflection of your personalities…

Anything goes – this is your moment – pick the song YOU want!!  :)

Hope this helped!  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want some additional assistance with this part of your wedding day!


7 Tips to Stay Organized with Wedding Planning

July 13, 2012

Here’s a Blog Post from a local Wedding Coordinator, Kerri Hatter – organizing tips are always handy to have!  Thanks, Kerri!

7 Tips to Stay Organized

June 19th, 2012

It’s officially “wedding season” so for many of you, crunch time is quickly approaching as you figure out the final details of your big day.  No doubt about  it, planning for a wedding can be stressful, but you can handle the stress by staying organized rather than turning into a bridezilla!  Aside from the obvious – hiring a coordinator, below are some other  tips that will be sure to keep you organized and let you relax and enjoy the big day.

  1. First, I recommend buying a calendar and a wedding-specific binder. Make dividers for each section and keep all contracts, vendor information, and timelines in the binder so it’s easy to find. Mark up the calendar with days for when items need to be accomplished.
  2. Share duties with your partner. Make your groom feel like he has a part in the planning (remember this is his day too). By talking and sharing, you both will be able to foresee and avoid any future problems.  Grooms come up with some of the best ideas too, so make sure to include him and let him add his personal touch to the big day too.
  3. Set aside specific days to accomplish tasks and enlist friends and family to help.  It takes so much less time to stuff envelopes and assemble favors when you do it as a team and it’s an easy way to let people help. You will get a lot more done by using your specific wedding planning days and you will feel much more relaxed during your time off.  It’s also important to be flexible when planning so you don’t get bogged down.
  4. Figure out a budget on paper. Find out who will be paying for the wedding and come up with numbers for each category, ie: food, music, flowers…  and don’t forget tipping and misc. last minutes items!
  5. Create a timeline for the week of the wedding.  Make sure you allow enough time for all your tasks to be completed, ie: when to pick up tuxes, dropping off items to your venue, hair/makeup…
  6. Make decisions and then move on.  There is so much information available to us these days that you can go crazy looking at websites and seeing new ideas.  Once you have decided on your floral design, linen colors, table numbers, etc. then stop looking at those items on line!
  7. Of course, hire a coordinator!  If you have put this much time into your planning, leave it to the experts to execute it for you the day of the wedding.

You can find Kerri and many other helpful vendors at ABC – Association of Bridal Consultants.  Here’s a link to my local chapter in Orange County, CA.  However, visit the national website to find a chapter in your area!

Why Hire a Professional DJ?

June 12, 2012

Why should a Bride and Groom hire an experienced, professional DJ?

Well, this video shows one aspect of why it’s important…I warn you – it’s painful, and telling.  Any Bride wondering if she can save a few bucks by not hiring a Professional DJ will think twice…

With 81%** of wedding guests surveyed in a national poll saying that the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment, the quality and style of the entertainer you choose can very dramatically influence the enjoyability of your evening for both you and your guests. Certainly something to think about when debating whether to splurge on chair covers or entertainment.

Here’s a related article on the importance of hiring an experienced, professional DJ from an Entertainment Company like Essence Entertainment.  (See other video below with “iPod” experience…yikes…!)

Why Hire a Professional DJ?
Ohio Wedding DJ'sWith today’s economy, many couples are looking for ways to save money on their wedding. You may be wondering to yourself “why spend hundreds of dollars to hire a professional company when my friend, a DJ from an online classified ad, or an MP3 player can do the same thing for less?” But, remember: like choosing a photographer, dress designer, or cake artist, hiring a DJ is not always an “apples to apples” comparison. While you might pay less for the services of an amateur entertainer, you may not be buying an equivalent product. Differences in quality and style can make a very big difference. The abilities of your DJ selection can determine how enjoyable your reception is for yourself and your guests — whether your dance floor stays packed all night long or whether everyone leaves by 9:00 P.M.

While it is certainly true that, like higher-quality photographers, dress designers, and cake artists, a professional DJ company may not be your lowest bidder, here are a few good reasons to choose one anyway:

  • Experience: how much experience does the person operating the sound equipment have, not only with the equipment itself, but with public speaking, crowd control, and problem solving? Even using professional-grade equipment, an amateur DJ may not have sufficient knowledge to effectively use all those knobs and buttons to their best advantage. The resulting sound may not be much better than your boom box. A professional DJ will know how to evaluate acoustics, “read” the crowd to keep them dancing, speak with good diction, be tactful with guests, and anticipate the needs of the bridal party.
  • Peace of Mind and Good Memories: what do you want to remember most about your reception? Worrying whether your caterer knows it’s time to pour the champagne or if your photographer knows it’s time to cut the cake? Coordinating your reception instead of dancing? Cheesy announcements? Cueing and re-cueing the MP3 player? Listening to songs you don’t particularly like or maybe have never heard? Hiring a professional DJ company allows you to relax and actually enjoy the party you’ve spent so much time planning.
  • Reliability: what will happen if your friend or amateur DJ develops an illness, equipment failure, or transportation problem? With a professional company, replacement equipment and additional staff should be readily available.
  • Equipment: is the stereo setup able to produce high-quality sound sufficient to fill your reception hall but still sensitive enough to prevent the music from blaring or becoming distorted? Do you need a microphone for toasts or other events? A professional DJ company will utilize specialized equipment designed to fill a large hall without distortion and will have microphones available for speeches and announcements.
  • Etiquette (Professionalism): how will your DJ dress? Will your DJ adhere to your “must play” and “do not play” lists? Will your DJ be set up early and ready when the guests arrive, or still be loading in at the beginning of dinner? A professional DJ will partner with you in planning, paying careful attention to your musical preferences. The DJ will arrive early and dress appropriately for your event, according to your preferences, typically in tuxedos or other black-tie eveningwear.
  • Music Variety: will your DJ have access to all your favorites? What about newer music? Professional DJs often have access to new music before it is available for purchase to the general public. A professional DJ stays up-to-date on the latest music.

If you are very brave, you can watch this video courtesy of the American Disc Jockey Association entitled “iPod Wedding Disaster”… While not exactly a “disaster,” I warn you — it’s not pretty. The excitement — or lack thereof — starts about 1:50 in. It points out — “You have worked countless hours and spent thousands of dollars on decorations, food, beverages, flowers, etc. But if your guests leave early, how will they ever enjoy your hard work?”

With 81%** of wedding guests surveyed in a national poll saying that the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment, the quality and style of the entertainer you choose can very dramatically influence the enjoyability of your evening for both you and your guests. Certainly something to think about when debating whether to splurge on chair covers or entertainment.

(Today’s Bride – Magazine & Shows)

Essence Entertainment specializes in experienced Professional DJs – Don’t let this happen to you – let us help you have a successful and wonderful wedding day!

Do you have any questions about hiring a DJ in Southern California?

Do you have a related story you’d like to share with us?

Do You Need a Wedding Planner? How do you Know?

May 15, 2012

Here’s an article from that I thought was very helpful…many Brides wonder if they need a Wedding Planner but don’t know how to make the decision Yes or No.

Sharon and Laurie are two of the many wonderful Wedding Planners we love to work with…

Sharon Gall  Wedding Planner

Laurie Davies Wedding Planner

Do You Need a Wedding Planner?

Easy Checklist to Find Out if You Need a Wedding Planner

By , Guide

Many couples never even consider hiring a wedding planner, not realizing that having outside help can save you time, aggravation, and even money.

Here’s an easy checklist to find out if you need a wedding planner:

__ You’re way behind on your checklist and schedule.
__ You both work full-time jobs that will prevent you from meeting with vendors on weekdays
__ You don’t have other outside help such as an involved mother-of-the-bride, helpful bridesmaids, or knowledgeable friends
__ You don’t know many people who can give you reliable vendor recommendations
__ You are having a destination wedding
__ There are personality conflicts between the couple, their parents, and/or other people
__ You’re excited to be married, but just thinking about wedding planning fills you with dread
__ You’re having a very short engagement
__ You can envision your wedding, you have no idea how to make your dreams come true
__ You can’t even envision your wedding
__ You’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and generally wishing that you had decided to elope.
__ Even after you’ve read the *ahem* excellent advice here at’s wedding website, you still wish that you had someone to give you advice and leadership.

If you’ve checked off one or more of the above options, you should at least investigate hiring a wedding planner.  Of course, if you’re looking to save money, this may be an expense that you can avoid.  But keep in mind that because of inside connections and experience that allows them to avoid common mistakes, hiring a wedding planner might be the most cost-effective move in the end.  Read about what wedding planners do, and consider the cost of wedding planners, and see if you should hire some outside help.

Here at Essence Entertainment we have many Wedding Planners we work with often and who we  appreciate very much.  If after reading this article you still have questions about what a Wedding Planner can do for you or would like a referral, don’t hesitate to contact us.  We’d be delighted to help!

Question to our Wedding Planners – do you have any additional information you’d like to add to assist Brides with this decision?  What aspects of a Wedding Planner do you feel are particularly important? 

We look forward to hearing from you!!

Will the DJ also be the MC at my Wedding?

April 19, 2012

This is an important question!

YES - with Essence Entertainment you can rest assured that all of our Disc Jockeys are also professional and experienced MCs (Masters of Ceremony)!

Wedding Receptions, especially, have many formalities, introductions, and announcements that are important for the overall flow and success of the event.  Having a professional MC to coordinate with your Bridal Consultant, Catering Manager, Photographer, etc., and make the appropriate introductions and announcements the way you want them done, is not only critical to the success of your event, but it will also allow you to relax and enjoy your event without having to worry about the schedule.

At Essence Entertainment all clients are encouraged to conduct a Planning Session – this is where the timeline and schedule of formalities are discussed and customized for you and your event.

Things like… your Grand Entrance…is it Bride & Groom only?  …with Bridal Party?   Does it go directly into the First Dance?  Are Parents and/or Bridal Party invited to join First Dance half way through?

This is just a very small sample of the kinds of things we discuss in a Planning Session.  Your musical requests are also a big part of the discussion.

From this Planning Information and discussion with our office, our DJs are prepared for your event long before the ‘big day’.  They will then conduct the formalities when and in the manner in which you desire.

Be sure to visit our YouTube DJ Playlist to watch videos of our DJs and see examples.

Traditional Ceremony Music Still Popular

April 17, 2012

Our Wedding Ceremony clients always ask us about Ceremony Music options, and we often get the question, “Can I still use Traditional Ceremony music?”

Our answer is always a resounding YES!

If you are a Bride who wants something unique or contemporary…terrific!  Not a problem!

However, if you are a Bride who loves the traditional classical selections, please don’t hesitate to use them!  They are ‘traditional’ for a reason.  These musical selections evoke lots of emotion, they are ‘familiar’ and are therefore comforting and reassuring for you and your guests, many selections have family history attached to them (i.e., “My Mom used Pachelbel’s Canon in D at her wedding”), etc.

We still love, enjoy and recommend traditional wedding ceremony selections…

Here are a few short selections performed by our talented musicians (available for your event!):

For a more options, visit our Wedding Sampler YouTube Playlist!

Visit our Website for more ideas!

Pachelbel Canon in D   –   Solo Guitar

Vivaldi, Spring  -  Harp Quartet

Bach, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring  -  All String Quartet

Bridal Chorus  -  Solo Harp

Trumpet Voluntary  -  Brass Quintet

Wedding March  -  Harp & Cello Duo

Check out our new Website Home Pages!

April 5, 2012

Hey, everybody,

Please check out our new website Home Pages (Main Landing Page, Wedding Page & Corporate Page) and let us know what you think!!

Essence Entertainment Website

We’ll be working on updating the rest of the site, but first things first!

New EETA Logo

Please visit, make a comment here, go to our Facebook Page…make a comment there…   :)  :)  :)

We’d love to hear your feedback!

(Thanks to David Dial,!)


By the way, Congrats to Sharon Gall, Once Upon a Time Weddings, for posting her first Blog Post!  Check out Sharon’s Website and Blog – let’s support her efforts and get her off to a celebratory start!  (Sharon is one of Southern California’s finest Wedding & Event Coordinators and we LOVE working with her!!)

Sharon Gall
Once Upon a Time Weddings

Great Tips for Brides on their Wedding Day

March 7, 2012

I thought this article had some great, easy tips for Brides to help you be prepared on your Wedding Day.

Check it out!  Let us know what you think by making a comment below!

10 Essentials For Brides at Their Wedding – Tips to Keep You Looking Your Best


Expert Author Cherie Johnson

It’s the day of your wedding, and the tips and advice you received from your mother, friends, and loved ones have paid off and you look and feel beautiful. Time has been spent arranging your hair just so, making up your face perfectly, and getting you ready for your big day. Many times, however, brides just consider the big picture – and often forget how uncomfortable they may be during the ceremony or reception in a hot, heavy dress with four-inch heels. It’s a bad scenario, but it happens. To keep you up, dancing, and mingling with your guests, here are a few of the most essential bride must-haves for your wedding day. With a little forethought and a carefully packed cocktail bag, you can be prepared for whatever the day has in store with these wedding tips!

The Top 10 Bride Must-Haves

1. Comfortable shoes: One of the most essential bride must-haves is comfortable shoes. Imagine having to dance and walk around in those four-inch heels for a few hours. Sounds painful, doesn’t it? Not buying comfortable shoes is the reason that many brides switch to flip-flops during the reception. Though a quick wardrobe change is one option, consider testing out the shoes you buy well in advance. One of the more routine wedding tips that experts suggest is to walk around your home to break the shoes in and ensure you don’t get any annoying blisters in the process. After all, squinting and wincing in your pictures will not be pretty. And if you’re insistent on those pretty, but painful four-inch heels, bring along another pair of more comfortable shoes for the after party – some simple flats will do the trick!

2. Breathable gown: Much like your shoes, one of the best bride must-haves is a wedding dress that moves with you. A constricting dress will make you cringe as much as those shoes do, and tugging and jerking the fabric will damage it, not to mention alert everyone to the fact that you’re extremely uncomfortable. Try your dress on beforehand. When trying it on at the shop, if it feels too tight, then your wedding day will be no different. Move around and get a feel for the dress to ensure that you are at ease on your big day.

3. Waterproof mascara: Oh, there will be lots of tears shed – by you, your mother, your close friends, and family. But, you’ll be heartbroken when you see your mascara making bee lines all over your face. One of my favorite wedding tips is to wear waterproof mascara to combat the ‘raccoon look.’ Wearing waterproof mascara on your wedding day will keep your makeup looking fresh, and you’ll rest assured that you have no smudges to worry about.

4. Long-lasting lipstick: From eating to kissing, your lipstick has many opportunities to fade or smear away. Before deciding on one brand or color, try it out for a while. Wear it while doing all the things you normally do to see if it has the possibility of fading, smudging, or smearing. And make sure you pack the tube of lipstick in your ‘bride must-haves’ bag!

5. Durable antiperspirant: Whether your dress is sleeveless or not, antiperspirant that stands the test of time is an absolute necessity. You want to stay clean, fresh, and sweet-smelling throughout the ceremony and reception, and one of the many wedding tips that experts suggest is to use long-lasting antiperspirant. The only way to guarantee this, of course, is with durable and/or prescription strength deodorant/antiperspirant. This extra layer of protection will give you more confidence in whatever you’re doing.

6. Small compact mirror: Throughout the ceremony and reception, you’ll be relieved that you had your little compact mirror on hand. Tucked away in a small cocktail purse with your other bride must-haves, it’s just a little bit of added confidence. You can quickly check for makeup smudges and reapply as needed or see if any food particles have become lodged in visible places.


Let us know what you think – do you have any other helpful tips that have not been mentioned here?

Please help out all Brides by sharing your ideas with us!

(I don’t know Cherie, nor do I know anything about her Favors company…)

Attention All Brides – New WordPress Blog Template Just for YOU!

March 1, 2012

WordPress has designed a Blog Template that is just right for this year’s Bride…from engagement to honeymoon…and beyond, this tool can help you organize and share your wonderful experience.

Check it out!

Get Married With WordPress

by Ian Stewart

One of the most important events of your life might just be your wedding. It also might be one of the craziest, disorganized, mixed-up times of your life too. We’d like to help with that a bit with a free wedding theme we call Forever. Along with a handful of cool features we’ll get to below, Forever makes it easy to wrap your wedding up in a neat little blog on You can show off every one of your best photos and highlight every important detail leading up to the big day and beyond.

The Forever Theme

Forever makes it easy to welcome your family and friends to your blog with a dramatic personalized home page. The design is bold and clean with lots of room for large, colorful photos of the happy couple (that’s you!) in an optional featured post slider and home page excerpts.

You can also easily customize the color scheme and get Forever to match your wedding colors with only a few clicks. You can update the background color (or add your own pattern) from the custom background page in your blog dashboard and even change the color of the all the links from the Forever Theme Options page.

We also built in a special Guestbook Template that lets your guests take over a page of your choice with their best wishes for you … and maybe a few embarrassing stories :) … as comments.

And, of course, Forever works seamlessly with all the other features you love…Click here to read more…

Let us know what you think about it!!

Tips for Spring 2012 Wedding

February 23, 2012

Who’s having a Spring Wedding?  :)

Here are some tips:

When it comes to music, there are a few options I like to suggest.  Here in sunny Southern California, Spring Wedding usually means ‘garden wedding ceremony’ or otherwise ‘outdoors’ (could be beach, park, patio, etc.).  To add to the ‘garden’ ambiance, I like to suggest a Harp ensemble (Harp Trio with Cello & Flute is lovely), or a Guitar ensemble (Guitar & Flute/Sax Duo gives you some nice flexibility if you’d like to incorporate Jazz/Pop repertoire).

Be sure to visit our YouTube Playlist for Wedding Music Samples.

Here’s a sample of a Harp Trio playing La Rejouissance.

Here are some additional tips from Mabelle Sese:

Saying Your “I Dos” This 2012?  Spring’s the Best Time and Here’s How to Start Planning


Saying yes to the marriage proposal and setting a date is basically the starting phase of planning a wedding. From the gown to the bridal hairstyle, the food to be served, the number of guests to invite – these are just some of the small and big details about the wedding that you need to decide on. As much as possible, give yourselves plenty of time to iron out all these details. Hire a wedding coordinator if you want, although you can also be a hands-on bride and coordinate with the suppliers yourself.

What if You’re Planning a Spring Wedding?

Setting a date for the big day means that you already know what season of the year, and probably the time of day when the ceremony and reception will be held. What if you’re planning a spring wedding? In terms of color and theme, there are plenty of pretty ideas that you can come up with.

Let’s start with a few tips on how you can have a beautiful ceremony and reception when saying your “I dos” during springtime:

Go for sweet pastel colors.

When thinking of a theme for your wedding, it always pays to go with the season of the year that the wedding will be held. Since spring is when flower bloom at their most beautiful, use sweet pastel colors as inspiration for your wedding. Pale pink is a classic pastel color which can be seen in most wedding receptions and venues. For 2012, an emerging trend is to use greenish blue as a theme. Complementing hues include teal and sunshine yellow. You can mix these all with tan or emerald green and you’ll have a beautiful rainbow of sweet pastel colors on your big day.

Be one with nature.

If the groom would not like something that’s too feminine for the wedding reception, go for rich, earth tones which also somewhat remind people of spring. Golden yellow, brown, green, burnt orange are some of the shades that you can play with.

Wedding Gown & Bridal Hairstyle Ideas for Spring Weddings

Now, when it comes to wedding gowns and bridal hairstyles, what are the hottest trends for the spring bride? Two-tier gowns are definitely hot for 2012, as well as gowns with illusion necklines. Instead of seeing too much skin, you can still feel sexy yet ultra-elegant wearing gowns which are made with illusion necklines that have embellishments. As for the hairstyles that brides and bridesmaids can have, the elegant updos and romantic down hairdos are still very much in style.

Spring Weddings: It’s All About the Flowers!

Finally, you can incorporate spring flowers in every aspect of your wedding. If you want, you can have the bridesmaids wear fresh spring flowers on their hair. The wedding cake is another thing which can be designed using spring flowers as a theme. The center tables in the wedding reception can be decorated with spring flowers, as well as the aisle that the bride will be walking through – be it a church or garden wedding.

As you can see, there are plenty of wedding planning aspects where you can incorporate spring colors and flowers as a theme, so have fun with it!

If you are looking for ideas on how the bridesmaids hairstyles, wedding reception, gown and all the other aspects of the wedding can be planned, always consider the time of the year when the wedding will be held. For springtime, pastel or earth colors and beautiful spring flowers can be easily incorporated in the theme while planning the details for your big day.

Article Source:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: