Category Archives: wedding budget

wedding lighting

Using Wedding Lighting to Create the Perfect Ambiance

The wedding lighting that you select for your big day is important. Not only does it light the way for you to walk down the aisle, but it also sets the mood for you and your guests on your special day. There are several ways that you can incorporate lighting to create a unique and attractive venue.

Unique Wedding Lighting Ideas

There are several styles and decoration options for wedding lighting that you can utilize for your big day.

Hang Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns are an excellent choice for creating a soft and subtle ambiance. This type of lighting is great for both outdoor and indoor weddings. You can use paper lanterns as the primary source of light for an indoor space, creating a more relaxed and calming atmosphere. Outdoors, you can use paper lanterns for wedding lighting to define the space and provide a touch of lighting to accent the moon and stars for a more romantic feel.

Incorporate Chandeliers

Chandeliers are a great option for wedding lighting when it comes to creating a more formal and elegant party setting. Chandeliers are fancy and stunning, which can be quite jaw-dropping to see, especially when there are multiple chandelier lights throughout the venue.

Keep It Clean

If you are trying to create a more modern and minimalistic theme for your wedding, you can incorporate metal-structured lighting. Selecting fixtures that are clean and modern with a centered bulb will be the perfect addition.

Mix It Up

Always remember that there is no standard on what lighting you should have for your wedding. Lights come in all shapes, sizes, and brightnesses. Mixing up all different styles, shapes, and elements can make a big statement and truly stand out. 

Consider Your Venue

When selecting your lighting, it is important to consider the space that you are in. This can make a difference when it comes to the light that you choose. For example, if you have an outdoor tent, it may not be possible to hang a lot of big, heavy chandeliers. Instead, you could have one large fixture over your dance floor and several small lights scattered around. If you are indoors, it may be overwhelming to have a lot of bright, white lights concentrated in one space. 

If you would like to explore the different lighting options available for your big day, consider contacting our experts. We can review all of the different styles available and help you choose the perfect lighting for your event.

Contact Our Professionals in Chicago for Help

Since 1998, our team at An Enchanted Evening has performed at more than 6,000 events throughout the Chicago area. Over the past decade, we have received over a dozen industry awards, including the Knot’s Hall of Fame Award. We have also won the Wedding Wire’s Couples Choice Award and The Knot’s Best of Weddings award nine times each. You can trust that we will do everything in our power to ensure you have the most magical experience ever for yourself and your guests. To get started, contact An Enchanted Evening to schedule a personal consultation to discuss the options that are available to make your event magical. 

wedding day planned after meeting with DJ

What is included in a wedding DJ cost?

Budgeting funds for a wedding DJ can feel like a guessing game full of questions. How much does a good wedding DJ cost? What services does a wedding DJ offer? How do I find a wedding DJ that keeps my guests on the dance floor without busting the budget?

Hiring the Right Wedding DJ

Every wedding DJ offers different services as part of the cost. At the very least, a wedding DJ should offer the basic services: equipment and a DJ. At the very most, a wedding DJ service should provide equipment, an experienced (this is important!) DJ, back-up equipment and DJ (in case of emergencies). Some DJ services also provide other entertainment as part of a package deal, such as lighting or a photo booth rental.

Choosing the right DJ and wedding DJ cost starts with setting a wedding budget. (This article from Wedding Wire can give you insight into the amount for the wedding DJ line on the budget.) The next step is to compile a list of wedding DJs to contact about services and wedding DJ cost. As you contact DJs, watch for red flags that signal they are not the right DJ for your special day. Be cautious about wedding DJs who don’t have a business address, don’t want to meet or show their equipment, or don’t return your calls.

Once you have compiled a prospective list of wedding DJs, interview each service to narrow down your options. Ask each wedding service:

  • “Are you available on our wedding DJ?”
  • “How long have you DJ’ed at weddings?”
  • “What is the cost of your services? What do those costs cover? Do you charge overtime fees?”
  • “Have you ever DJ’ed at my venue? Do you charge a travel fee for coming to my venue?”
  • “Do you have insurance? Can you provide proof of insurance?”
  • “What is your plan if your equipment breaks down or a DJ can’t make it?”
  • “Do you offer any other services or package deals?”
  • “Is dinner music provided as part of the cost? Does the DJ serve as an emcee?”
  • “Can we meet? What is the best way to contact you as we plan our wedding reception?”

In addition to an interview, research each DJ service. Check their social media sites and major wedding websites for reviews from past customers. Before signing on the dotted line, carefully review the contract fine print to ensure that the DJ is the “one” who fits your needs and your budget.

Wedding Budget Tips

  • Allocate the majority of budget funds for wedding details that make a big impact on guests, such as the venue, catering, and entertainment. While a particularly budget-busting favor may be incredibly cute, good food and an excellent wedding DJ have a bigger overall impact on guests’ experience.
  • Use a wedding budget checklist or wedding planning app to stay within budget and avoid overspending on minor details.
  • If the wedding budget is a concern, try to choose a wedding date during the off-peak season (when weddings aren’t popular) and on a day that isn’t in high demand (such as a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday).
  • Always review every vendor contractor for hidden fees, such as overtime charges by wedding DJs.
  • Ask wedding vendors if they offer additional services or package deals. Many wedding vendors offer discounts for packaged services (i.e. many wedding DJs offer discounts for music and lighting).
  • While sticking to a wedding budget is important, be cautious about always choosing the lowest cost option. The cheapest vendor is not always the best vendor for the job.
  • Carefully screen each wedding vendor. Look for red flags, such as a vendor with no business address or no communication before the big day.

7 Money-Saving Wedding Hacks

wedding table with estomas flowers arrangement and candles how to save money during wedding planningWhen you’re crafting your wedding budget, the list of wedding expenses can get really, really long—and so can your desire to save money as you plan your wedding. It can be done, and done without your guests noticing if you’re smart about getting the most out of your wedding budget.

Prioritize your wedding budget.

What is really important to you and your fiance? Allocate the money in your wedding budget accordingly—and to areas that have the most impact. Your guests are most likely going to remember the setting, food, and fun they had at your wedding, so make those vendors your top priority. Your goal is to save money while still hosting a very special night, so make sure you don’t make price your only factor in choosing entertainment for your wedding reception. Your guests will thank you later—and you’ll avoid one of the top wedding regrets.

Ask about package deals.

When you contact your vendors, ask about package deals if you use one or more of their services. For example, if you want photo booths and a DJ at your reception, choose a DJ that offers both as a package deal. This not only consolidates your costs; it also consolidates your time researching and contacting vendors as you plan your wedding.

Schedule your wedding day off-season.

As long as you don’t schedule your wedding on a holiday, you’re likely to get cheaper rates for your venue and other vendors if you schedule your wedding during off season. Sorry, that means no June dates. Remember, even if you do plan your wedding during the less popular days of the year, make sure you book your vendors early to make sure you get the best wedding DJ, fantastic caterer, beautiful venue—all for a cheaper cost.

Get married on a Friday.

bride and guests having fun at wedding after enjoying planning wedding dayActually, you can get cheaper vendor rates for getting married any time between Sunday and Friday. Think of hosting a Friday evening wedding, a Saturday luncheon, a Sunday brunch, or weeknight fun to get discounted rates from your DJ, venue, and other wedding vendors.

Save on décor.

If you want to cut your church or reception décor costs, choose venues that don’t need a lot of décor. Consider venues with a fantastic view or beautiful atmosphere. Another tip for saving money on your décor is to select one venue for both your ceremony and reception so you can use the décor for both parts of your big day. Holding your wedding at one venue also eliminates transportation costs.

Be creative with your cake—by not having one.

If you haven’t been dreaming about your wedding cake all your life, or you really don’t care for cake, ask your fiance about alternative ideas for a wedding desert. For a brunch style wedding, order a pancake-layered cake or donuts that you can make into a beautiful display. Hosting a summer picnic? Simplify with a selection of summer pies, or pumpkin pies for a fall wedding. Macaroons and cake pops can also make a sweet impact on your guests. We’ve even seen pictures of cookies, truffles, and candies that looked absolutely sweet. One couple even had their guests bring deserts for a pot luck effect; the guests were exchanging recipes and sweets. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you actually save money on your non-cake alternative.

Don’t go nuts on the wedding favors.

Wedding favors are a sweet gesture, but make sure that you’re reasonable when placing your order. Not all of your guests are going to take your wedding favors, so don’t order an extreme amount of wedding favors for the occasion. To save more money, keep your choice of favors simple to keep the cost of your wedding favors low.