Customer Feedback

Event Date: Thursday, August 05, 2010
Event Location: The Danada House for Ceremony (David) and The Seville
Event Type: Wedding
Event Staff: Kyle

Quality of Customer Service via Telephone: Superior
Quality of Customer Service via Internet: Superior
Quality of Customer Service at Event: Superior
Overall Customer Service: Superior
Friendliness of Your DJ: Superior
Promptness of Your DJ: Superior
Professionalism of Your DJ: Superior
Appearance of DJ: Superior
Sound Quality: Superior
Overall Volume Levels: Superior
Music Selection: Superior
Incorporation of Your Requests: Superior
Lighting Effects: Superior
Equipment Appearance: Superior
Planning Assistance: Superior
DJ’s Cooperation With Other Vendors: Superior
Value for Cost: Superior
Overall Performance Rating: Superior

Is there anything specific we can improve on?

N/A

Additional comments or suggestions?

The ceremony was at the Dana House and the reception was at the Seville.
Dave did the ceremony and helped organize the entire event. I was worried because we did not hire a wedding coordinator but with Dave there everything ran so smooth I did not even need one and I am glad we saved the money.
Kyle did the reception and all my guests could say was “WOW”, every time I looked at the dance floor there were people out there dancing and having a good time. Kyle was also very helpful in helping to keep the night flowing and I never once worried that people were not having fun, he did a very good job at reading the audience and knowing what they wanted. The entire planning process can be stressful and we did not have time to make an entire playlist and it was such a relief that we chose REAL professionals who really know what they’re doing. Everybody had an awesome time and I would recommend this company to anybody looking for a stress-free wedding day!

Would you recommend our service to others? Yes
May we share your comments with others? Yes
May we add you to our list of references? Yes

Name: Jordan and Michelle Benson

Pre & Post Wedding Events

Your wedding may be the main attraction, but there are several other events leading up to and following your big day that need to be planned. From the bridesmaids’ luncheon to the farewell brunch, the entire weekend is typically full of festive celebrations. Here’s a breakdown of the pre- and post-wedding events that you may want to consider:

Bridesmaids Brunch/Luncheon: This is usually offered in the morning or afternoon one to two days before the wedding as a gathering for the bride, mother of the bride, mother of the groom, bridesmaids, wedding attendants, and other close female friends/family members. This event can be relaxed and casual or formal and elegant. Typically, the bridesmaids’ brunch/luncheon is hosted by someone outside of the bridal party (a close friend or family member) and can be held in a restaurant or someone’s home. As the bride, you may also choose to host the event yourself as a way to celebrate and thank the ladies standing beside you on your big day. As for locations, consider a girly tearoom, elegant champagne brunch, or relaxed pancake house.

Welcome Party: If you have several out-of-town guests traveling in for your wedding, you may want to host a welcome party or event to greet them. This can be done one to two nights before the wedding at a private home, hotel, or restaurant. Again, this can be as casual or formal as you prefer, but it really serves as a way to express appreciation to those individuals who traveled a great distance to celebrate with you. Often, in lieu of a welcome party, brides and grooms will extend an invitation to out-of-town guests to join them at the rehearsal dinner. Depending on the number of your out-of-town guests, you may want to offer a cocktail hour in a rented space at the hotel or host a relaxed barbecue at your new home.

Rehearsal Dinner: The rehearsal dinner is typically held the night before the wedding immediately following the rehearsal (which usually takes place at the ceremony site). The rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s parents for the entire bridal party, wedding attendants, officiant, and close friends/family. Typically, this is held at a restaurant conveniently located near the ceremony site, but can also be a catered event at a different location or in someone’s home.

Farewell Brunch/Luncheon: A lot of brides and grooms opt to join their wedding guests, bridal party, and family for one last hurrah before jetting off on their honeymoon. The farewell brunch/luncheon is held the morning after the wedding and may be hosted by the newlyweds, family of the bride or groom, or close friends.

Wedding Transportation

You’ve just said “I do,” hugged your family and friends, and made a hasty getaway from the church. Now what? Your big send-off should be done in style so put some thought into your wedding transportation.

The options for wedding transportation are really as vast and diverse as the wedding itself. The most conventional and traditional option is a limo. It’s classy, private, and doesn’t require you, your spouse, or any of your attendants to operate a vehicle (which might come in handy if you’re offering an open bar). The limo is a great option because it allows the wedding party to stay together throughout the day and nowadays, you don’t have to stick with a sedan. There are a wide variety of SUV limousines for those who want something a little different than the norm.

If a limo really isn’t your style, there are a number of other transportation options that are fun, romantic, classy, or unique. Choose something that best reflects your wedding day and your relationship. If you’re going for a fairy tale motif, why not ride off in a horse and carriage? If you’re wedding is more about fun, how about renting a sports car? If you want something charming and nostalgic, why not consider a classic or vintage automobile? And if you and your spouse are known for your adventurous and athletic sides, imagine riding off on a tandem bicycle.   Whatever your style, taste, and unique personalities are, there’s a mode of transportation that will best reflect you as a couple and leave a lasting impression on your guests. Be sure to check out Joseph Limousine for a limo and Spare Wheels Transportation for your shuttle needs.

A Stress Free Wedding Day

A Stress Free Wedding Day

A Stress Free Wedding Day

One of the most common things we hear from brides following their wedding day is, “Where did the day go?  It feels like a blur, so much happened, yet I can barely remember any of it.”  Unfortunately, much of this “memory loss” is due to stress on the big day.  Though stress and wedding planning often go hand in hand, stress and the wedding day do not.  Even when thorough planning takes place, many brides find themselves stressed and overwhelmed on the big day.  The day is too special and too important to be stressed, so we are offering a few simple tips to help you keep stress free on the big day.

Hire a wedding coordinator. Ok, we know, technically this is something that would have been done way before the wedding day, but we list this to highlight how valuable a coordinator is on the actual day of the wedding.  No matter how thorough and perfect the planning is, there will inevitably be last minute details that need to be taken care of.  The placement of the flower arrangements, the lighting of candles, the setting of tables, the timing of when ceremony seating begins…there is a lot to do, and if you try to take care of it all, you won’t be able to enjoy your day.  So, seriously consider a wedding planner so that when the flowers are late, when there are no matches in sight, and when you’re 25  napkins short, you won’t know a thing about it!

But if you can’t afford a wedding planner, don’t fret.  There is still a stress free way to deal with the details.  Think about a close friend or family member that you really trust.  Someone who is level headed, assertive, and efficient, and ask them if they would consider being the point-person on the wedding day.  The person that others come to with details and crises, the person who carries out your wedding day vision, and the person who solves those little stressors without mentioning them to you.  Perhaps a maid of honor could fill this role.  Regardless of who you chose, spend time with them the week before the wedding talking about your vision (i.e. how things will be set up, the schedule for the day, etc.) so that they can execute your vision while you stay stress free!

A Stress Free Wedding DayCreate a day of timeline. What things do you want or need to get done the day of the wedding?  A bridesmaids brunch, a special time with your family, manicures, makeup, hair…there may be a variety of things you want to do on your big day.  Write these things down, think about how long each thing will take, and then create a schedule.  Plan in thirty minute increments and leave yourself some cushion time with each activity.  Consider emailing this schedule to your wedding party a week before the wedding so they know what to expect and how they can help you stay on schedule. Be sure to check out the Music By Design event timeline for all your important details.

Have people come to you. Are you getting your hair done?  How about your makeup?  If so, consider having these vendors come to where you and your wedding party are getting ready.  This will cut down on travel time, traffic, unknown delays, and of course, stress!

Get ready at the wedding site. This stress free tip isn’t always possible, but when it is, consider primping at the ceremony site.  Lots of venues have bride and groom suites for each respective wedding parties to get ready in.  This cuts down on last minute rushing, people getting lost, and of course, your stress level!  It can also help set the wedding day tone earlier in the day.

Put your phone away. Though many of us are attached to our cell phones, consider detaching, at least for your wedding day.  Guests will get lost, friends will be late, and kids will get sick.  These things happen.  These things also prompt a lot of people to call you to tell you about them.  Though it might be nice to have a heads up, it will also likely lead to unnecessary stress.  You won’t be able to change whatever is going on, and there is likely another guest they can call for directions.  So for your big day, we encourage you to tuck your phone away and enjoy a stress free wedding day!

Bridal Expo Chicago Promotion

Below is an invitation for 4 free tickets to Bridal Expo Chicago from Bill Brennan. He is the CEO of Bridal Expo Chicago.

“Greetings staff at Music by Design. I know you’ve had a busy summer with weddings galore, so I wanted to share an update for all of your fans and invite them all to receive 4 Free Tickets to Bridal Expo Chicago. Click Here for the schedule and enter promo code:M-B-D.”

Hey Bill…thanks for extending such a great offer to all the fans and customer of Music By Design.

If you are a bride considering attending Bridal Expo Chicago, be sure to read our the following blog post about ‘wedding show tips‘.

Party Favors – why not donate instead?

Why not Donate instead?

Practically 100 percent of the time, when I attend a wedding and at the end of the night I’m given a wedding favor, I end up doing one of two things with it:: eating it or trashing it. Plain and simple. We all know that’s what happens. Sure, the display of candy looks fabulous and tasted fabulous in my mouth. And yes, I may have used that book of matches with the couple’s name on it for a few weeks. Or I may even have listened to the cheesy cd of favorite love songs for about a week. But in the end, I most definitely threw out that wedding favor or ate it all in a matter of minutes.

Personally, I have come to believe that wedding favors can be a wasteful. That thought entered my mind after attending the wedding of a close friend. This was a few years before I was married or even engaged. So planning a wedding and wedding favors were definitely not on my mind. However, I will always remember this particular wedding. At the end of the night, instead of handing out useless party favors, I received a little note from the bride and groom. On this note, it stated that the bride and groom had decided that instead of giving everyone a party favor, they had made a donation to a charity with the money they would have used for the wedding favors. The charity’s cause was something that was very meaningful to them and their relationship. Instead of spending their money on something trivial, they decided to invest it in furthering a great cause.

If you’ve been racking your brain about what kind of wedding favor to give out at your reception, why not donate instead? Donate $1 or more per guest that attends your wedding to further a cause that means a lot to you and your future spouse. Tell your guests what that money will be used for and that it was donated in their name. Of course, there is a tricky part. You want to try not to offend people if at all possible. It might be a good idea to pick a cause that won’t start any negative political or religious discussions. Steer clear from donating money to a candidate’s political campaign, especially if you are telling your guests that the donation has been made in their name. Although, at the end of the day, it is your wedding, and it is your money!

Guestbook Ideas

Guestbooks have had a long standing presence at weddings.  However, after years of being tucked away in boxes and drawers, guestbooks are getting a revamp!  Brides everywhere are seeking out new and creative ways to capture their guests’ presence on their special day.  Here a few ideas to help you do the same!

The Signature Frame. The guestbook and the wedding portrait are both key players on the big day.  So why not combine the two for a keepsake that will last a lifetime?  A signature frame is made special by its photo mat which starts out empty and is soon filled with the signatures of all your wedding guests.  While special signature frames can be found at most craft stores, the DIY route is quite easy.  Just choose a frame, typically with an opening at least 11 by 14 fourteen inches, and find a white mat to rest inside the frame.  For the big day, combine the frame, the mat, and an engagement picture of the happy couple.  (This picture can later be swapped out for a wedding picture.)  Set the frame on a table outside of the ceremony so that guests will see it and sign the mat as they enter.  Fine tip sharpies work great for the signatures, and adding a few flowers or candles around the frame will help tie the table together with the rest of the décor.

The Signature Platter. If having your guests featured on your wall isn’t your thing, how about having them on your table?  Instead of having guests sign a frame mat, have them sign a serving platter!  The Younique Boutique offers lots of options to help you create a perfect platter, including a version that features you and your honey hand painted in the middle of the platter.  You can customize almost every detail of the platter, including the artwork, size, shape, and color combo.  On the big day, guests sign the platter with a special pen, and then to preserve their signatures, you bake the platter in the oven as directed. What other way can you have all of your wedding guests over for Thanksgiving dinner?

The Guestbook Tree. Perhaps you want to choose a more whimsical way to showcase your guests.  If so, consider the guestbook tree, which features thin, twiggy branches, strung with notecards tied with ribbon.  The tree is typically “rooted” in a tabletop planter, large urn, or vase, with foam, sand, or rocks securing branches in place.  Next to the tree, create a pile of “notecards” complete with a hole punched at the top and a string of ribbon tied in a circle.  Ask guests to write their best piece of advice for a happy and  healthy marriage on the card, sign it, and then hang it from the guestbook tree.  This will create a gorgeous and fun conversation piece at your reception.  Once the wedding is over, collect the cards and place them in a large glass vase in your home.  They’re great conversation starters when you have guests, and great reminders for you and your partner about the people you shared your big day with. You can see a fun example below.

Wedding Cake: To Smash Or Not To Smash?

We’ve all seen it. A beaming bride and groom delicately cut the first slice of wedding cake, posing for photographers along the way before removing a small piece each, waving it in front of each others faces and then…SMASH! Wedding cake and frosting is falling in clumps off of the face of the bride, groom, or both and the guests either erupt in laughter, cheering, or sighs of disgust.

The smashing of the wedding cake is actually an age-old ritual that has positive origins. Dating back to Roman times, the smashing of the wedding cake was a way to shower well wishes and blessings on the happy couple. As the tradition started, the wedding cake wasn’t eaten by the bride and groom, but rather thrown at them. The reason? It was meant to symbolize fertility. Wheat is thought to represent fruitfulness and throwing the cake at the newlyweds was meant to ensure they would be fertile. Over time, the tradition changed and eating wedding cake became the norm. A hint of the ritual remains though, every time a new husband and wife decide to smash cake in one another’s faces.

The question for you is: to smash or not to smash? Is the ritual fun and cute or tacky and outdated? You’re the only person who can answer that. Smashing wedding cake in one another’s faces can be seen as playful, funny, and entertaining, but it can also come across as rude, disrespectful, and disgusting. It hinges a lot on you and your fiancé. What kind of couple are you? If you’re typically conservative, reserved, or classy, smashing wedding cake in one another’s faces might come off as uncharacteristic. Then again, your guests might get a big laugh out of it.

If, on the other hand, you’re known for your playfulness, spontaneity, or sense of humor, your guests might expect you and your new spouse to face off with the wedding cake. Ultimately, make a decision that you’re comfortable with and talk about it ahead of time. There’s nothing more awkward than when only one person smashes cake and the other person is left seething. Chat with your fiancé ahead of time and make a decision, or if you’re really trusting, let the moment lead you and do whatever feels natural. Just make sure you pack extra tissues, napkins, and makeup to clean yourself up afterwards.

Keeping Kids Entertained At Your Wedding

A lot of couples debate whether or not to invite children to their wedding and reception. If you have a large family, many nieces or nephews, or a lot of close friends with children, including kids in your big day can add to the overall fun, excitement, and magic. However, it’s no surprise that kids have short attention spans and no shortage of energy so plan ahead with ways to keep the children in attendance happy and entertained.

Kids Meal: A great way to please kids and parents alike, as well as cutting down on overall expenses for your wedding, is to offer a separate meal specifically for kids. Talk to your caterer about providing a small kid-friendly buffet that includes staples like chicken fingers, hot dogs, or grilled cheese. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your caterer for a lower cost on the kid-friendly fare since it’s clearly cheaper to prepare and much less of it will be consumed.

Goodie Bags: In lieu of favors for children, provide them with a fun and entertaining goodie bag. Head over to your local arts and crafts store and stock up on drawing kits, coloring books, markers/crayons, bead sets, or something similar. Hit up the dollar store for other fun games and surprises to drop into the bags, as well. If you want to go the extra mile, create gender or age-specific goodie bags and mark them as such. Have them waiting on the children’s seats at the reception or at a special table for parents to pick up on their way in.

Games/Entertainment: Depending on the age of the kids in attendance, you might want to consider providing games or entertainment for them, as well as an additional space for them to play. If your reception venue allows it, book a small separate room to be used for children. Hire a teenager/college student (or two) to chaperone kids during the reception. For younger kids, offer a showing of family-friendly DVDs or cartoons or provide an arts and craft station. For older kids, set up a video game station with Game Boys or various game consoles. If you want them to remain in the reception hall, offer board games or cards that can be played at their table during the event.

Thank You Card Etiquette

Just when you thought all of the stress of wedding planning was behind you, the daunting task of writing thank you notes looms in front of you. There’s nothing more exciting than returning from your honeymoon to a room full of beautiful presents all for you, but with every gift you rip open, a thank you card needs to be written. Here are a few tips for proper thank you card etiquette:

  • First things first, a personalized card is a must! We know it’s tempting to consider preprinting a couple hundred generic thank you notes, but when it comes to your wedding, only a handwritten, customized message will do. No emails, no phone calls, no fill-in-the-blank cards, and no generalized post on a website/blog/social networking site.
  • Address the gift giver by name, include a few words of appreciation, and acknowledge the gift specifically. A generic “Thank you for the gift” won’t do (unless the gift in question was money). If an actual gift was given, acknowledge it in the card.
  • A thank you card is required for every gift you receive, even if it’s from the same person. If your cousin Susie buys you a toaster at your bridal shower, then a month later gives you a place setting of china at your wedding, proper etiquette requires you to send two separate cards.
  • High-quality, formal stationery should be used for your wedding thank you cards. Often, you can purchase thank you notes to match your wedding invitations.
  • Monogrammed stationery with your new married names/initials is a great choice for thank you cards, but should not be used until after the wedding. Do not use stationery with your new name/initials for gifts that were received prior to the wedding.
  • All thank you cards should be written in blue or black ink. We know this rule seems silly, but we didn’t make it up.
  • For gifts that were received prior to the wedding, thank you cards should be sent out within two weeks. If a gift was shipped, it should be acknowledged as soon as possible. Follow up with a thank you card immediately, or, at the very least, a phone call that is followed up by a written note.
  • For gifts that were given at the actual wedding, you have slightly more time to mail out a thank you card. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have an entire year to send out thank you notes. Thank you cards for wedding gifts should be sent out within three months of the event, but the sooner they’re sent out, the better.
  • Thank you cards should be sent to the following: anyone who purchases you a gift, whether given at your wedding/shower or mailed, even if you’ve thanked them in person; anyone who gives a monetary gift to you; participants/attendants in your wedding; individuals who contribute towards a group gift; anyone who organized a shower/party/celebration for you; individuals who house or entertain your wedding guests; wedding suppliers/vendors; anyone who offers favors/service to you leading up to your wedding or on the wedding day; and the person/people who host your wedding (typically your parents/guardians).
  • Thank you cards should be sent via postal mail. Be sure to include your new address as your wedding guests will be grateful to have it!