Let's Get This Party Started

The wedding reception's entertainment is always on the forefront of many couples' minds, beginning with whether to go with a DJ or a live band. There are certainly many fabulous music and entertainment options in the Greater Philadelphia Area that couples will not be left wanting for choices. This week on The Trilogy Blog we wanted to focus specifically on working with a DJ for your wedding reception.

Photo by Daniel Bostwick Photography

Photo by Daniel Bostwick Photography

When selecting your DJ, consider first whether you have a specific DJ in mind or whether you will be hiring a company that has a roster of DJ's to choose from. If you do not have a specific person in mind, and you decide to work with a company, first consider whether you are interested in having any specialty lighting for your ceremony or reception.

Design by Trilogy's Creative Director Francesca Staffieri. Eventions Lighting. Photo by Lindsay Docherty Photography

Why? Because many companies are Sound & Lighting companies that can provide lighting services as part of a package with your music entertainment. If you are considering using specialty lighting — and who doesn't want to see their names in lights on the dance floor …

— then you should definitely consider starting your interview process with a Sound and Lighting Company. If not, then your playing field is wide open!

When interviewing your DJ, consider the following questions:

  • What happens if your DJ has an unforeseen issue preventing their arrival on the big day? Just like working with any wedding professional that is there on the day, they should have a back-up in case something prevents them from being there.
  • What's their style? Many DJs have examples of their work, and can show you a sizzle reel of what they do to get the party started
  • Will they be your DJ on the day? Sounds like a silly question, but many companies will only guarantee that a DJ will be there for the day, not necessarily the one you are meeting with. If you want to work with a specific DJ, they may ask for an additional fee to guarantee that amazing pro you just met with will definitely be there on the day.
  • When will you next speak/meet with them? Most DJ's will speak to you the week of the wedding to review the reception timeline, any special dances you may want to have, any songs that you want played — even what songs you don't want played! If this is not something they normally do, request a check-in call the week of the wedding.
  • Have they played at your venue before? Just because a wedding professional has not worked at your venue before does not mean you should immediately discard them. The best work from a professional comes from a great working relationship between yourselves and the DJ. While it's nice to know that they know the ins and outs of a venue, if they're the right fit for you, they'll be the right fit for the venue too!
Silver Sounds DJs. Photo by Pictures by Todd Photography

Silver Sounds DJs. Photo by Pictures by Todd Photography

There are many more questions you should feel comfortable asking your DJ not only during the interview, but also as things come up during the course of your wedding planning. 

Next week, we'll take a look at a sample music reception timeline. In the meantime, if you're getting married or having an event and you have a question about music and entertainment, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Or, you can go one step further and schedule a free consultation with our Chief Event Planner Randi Martin by emailing info@trilogyeventdesign.com, calling 800-941-2770, or using our convenient online scheduler

Can I Have This Dance…?

The wedding reception's entertainment is always on the forefront of many couples' minds as they start lining up the wedding professionals who will help bring their wedding day vision to life. Once the dust settles, and you'e decided upon whether to go with a DJ or a live band, it's time to decide not only what kind of music you want playing at your wedding reception, but what do you want to do for your first dance.

Every couple is different: many want to have that first dance together, while others want to spend as little time in the spotlight as possible and look to have the bridal party and/or their guests join in the fun rather quickly. 

There really is no right or wrong answer as to how to approach the first dance! Do what makes you feel comfortable. We've compiled a short list of tips below as you consider your first dance.

1. Choose a song that fits you. Nothing will get you in the mood more for your big waltz on the dance floor than by choosing a song that not only you both enjoy, but also one that either fits your story or your personalities. 

2. Just because it's not a common song, doesn't mean it can't be (nor shouldn't be!) an option. Remember: it's your wedding day. If you want a song that isn't on the Top 40 playlist, talk to your DJ to secure it or ask the band-leader if they can learn it. 

3. Take dance lessons. Wedding planning can take its toll on even the most easygoing couples. If you want to learn a new dance, become more comfortable with how you look on the dance floor, or are just looking for something to do together as a couple, taking dance lessons can be a fun and lighthearted way of spending some evenings together. 

Photo by BG Productions. Monogram light design by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Venue: Joseph Ambler Inn

4. Let others in on the action. If you want to minimize your time alone on the dance floor, consider dancing alone together for pictures and for your guests to have the chance to see you both be together for the first minute, and then asking your DJ or band-leader to get everyone else on the dance floor.

5. In the end, there are no rules. Sure, we've given a few tips in this blog, but keep in mind that there are no rules as to how you dance that first dance together. Keep it fun and keep yourselves sane: the dance is all about you as a couple, so do what will make you happy and enjoy your first dance!

Have a question about the first dance? Are you a DJ or band-leader with your own set of tips for our readers? Leave a comment below, we'd be happy to hear from you.

Are you looking for wedding planning help? Set up a free consultation with Randi by visiting our online scheduler, calling 800-941-2770 or emailing info@trilogyeventdesign.com.

Same Love, Same Rights

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

Marriage Equality finally became a reality for our LGBT friends in the state of Pennsylvania last May 2014, and it is appropriate that in the month celebrating love that we highlight how meaningful this is to us both personally and professionally, and what more is still to be done for our LGBT friends to realize complete equality.

Both in our current Trilogy Event Design incarnation, and as our subsidiary companies which gave birth to Trilogy (Always Fabulous Events and Little Woman Design), we have professionally pledged that everyone who walks through the door to our office will be treated with the same enthusiasm, respect, and warmth. We never felt that we had to spell out that we were LGBT-friendly until we realized that, 1. There are companies out there who may not be; and, 2. It is important to lend support to this civil right for all LGBT people who not only are looking for our services but most importantly are a part of our family, close friends, and colleagues.

In November 2013, we were fortunate to work with Bob and Tom - a fabulous couple who called upon us to help them plan, design, and coordinate their wedding in 10 days in celebration of their 25th anniversary together. Why had they waited so long, some ask? Because it had only just become legal in the state of New Jersey which spurred them into thinking that it was time for them to tie the knot. Ironically, they tied the knot in Delaware :) We got to know them in record time, but the most important thing we realized within seconds of speaking to them on that initial consultation on the telephone was the deep and profound love they had for one another. We've seen that love time and time again in the eyes of so many of our closest friends and family. When you see it, your heart fills with joy that you are able to be with two people madly in love. And, your heart breaks, when you see the pain in their eyes for what they must continue to endure.

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

So, here we are in February 2015, and there are still states in this country that have not legalized marriage equality. Here we are in February 2015, and #DiscriminationExists in the workplace with many states still not offering workplace protections for our LGBT friends. And, here we are in February 2015, and we still have friends, family, and colleagues in pain because of how they are treated, how their rights are limited, and how they just want to be given and allowed to give the same love and respect that we all deserve. 

Here's to 2015 - the year where more is to be done, and more will be accomplished.

For more information regarding #DiscriminationExists and what you can do to help, please follow this link to the DiscriminationExists website. To learn more about LGBT rights in Pennsylvania, visit EqualityPa.com


Posted on February 23, 2015 and filed under Same Sex Weddings.

Mister and the Diva

Last week on the Trilogy Blog, we took a look at ways that our couples can "share the love" with their friends, family, and each other in the days leading up to their wedding day. We also asked our readers to email us with their wedding proposal story — or any of their stories that best represents themselves as a couple.

We didn't have far to look as one of the first people to respond was one of our very own couples who Trilogy Event Design has the pleasure of working with in planning, designing, and coordinating their Destination Wedding! And, when you read their story, one of the things that is so striking is that four years went by between when they first met and their first date, and how everything clicked over Valentine's 2009.

Save the Date designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design

Why is the title of this blog, "Mister and the Diva"? You'll have to read to the end for the surprising reason... Until then, introducing John and Andrea!

How they first met...
We met back in 2005 at a conference where I was a presenter and I remember when he walked into the room. At the end of the workshop, he introduced himself as an educator, handed me his card and said he would like to stay in touch to see how we could collaborate efforts. I handed him mine and we went our separate ways. I would see him once or twice a year over the next five years but always thought of him as super smart and funny with nothing else attached because he NEVER showed any interest in me beyond being a colleague (the nerve!)

How they finally connected romantically...
On Valentine's Day 2009, he called to ask what I was doing and I said nothing. He didn't believe me and after a little digging, he was surprised to find that I wasn't dating anyone at all. He asked to take me to breakfast the day after as he was away at a Robotics conference and would get in too late that evening. I said yes, we met and for the first time, I felt something change between us.

trilogyeventdesign_misteranddiva_philadelphiaweddingplanning2.jpg

What they mean to each other...
We have been fast friends, amazing collaborators and each other's rib ever since that day. We speak without words, we never go to bed angry with each other and he has not once, raised his voice at me. He is my world and I am his. I believe he would give up his very life for my safety and there is nothing more calming to the soul than a mate like him. I love my "Mister" and will keep loving him to my last breath. No one but God will separate us and we are reminded every day when we honor love and respect each other with no boundaries to hold us.

Why the "Mister and the Diva"? When we first met with our lovely bride Andrea, she regaled us with stories of their time together, and you knew what a fun and loving couple they were from the moment she said that John is her "Mister". But, it wasn't until she explained that in all the years that they've been dating, many of her friends and family have yet to actually meet the "Mister" to her "Diva"... at least, not without his face concealed! Whether it was attending parties wearing a mask, or ensuring the photo of themselves together focused onto her, and away from his face, John's identity has been a mystery until they walk together onto a beach in Puerto Rico hand-in-hand in front of their guests.

We can't wait...

So leave some love for the "Mister and Diva" in the comments section, and we'll make sure we share it with them.

Have a great story to share with us? You could be featured on an upcoming blog! Email us at info@trilogyeventdesign.com and we would love to connect with you. Remember: you can also schedule a free consultation with Randi and Francesca for planning or your stationery by emailing us, calling 800-941-2770, or using our handy-dandy online scheduler.

Cheers!

Share the Love

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and we are in the height of engagement season as well! Couples all over the country are making plans to tie the knot in 2015, 2016, or beyond. We couldn't be more excited than when we meet our couples for the first time and hear their love stories... How they met, how they got engaged, and all the special moments that have made up their lives together.

Photo by Daniel Bostwick Photography

These are the unique moments that Randi and Francesca at Trilogy Event Design work to tell through the overall design and look of the wedding, whether it be an elaborate and elegant winter-themed wedding at the Crystal Tea Room...

Photo by Megan W Photography

... or a backyard celebration at the couples' home ...

Photo by Feelings Photos

... or a destination wedding in the Bahamas!

Bahamas

There are so many ways outside of the wedding day itself where a couple should "take their pulses". Remember to spend time together. Don't lose sight of what the wedding is all about; celebrating their love for each other!

Photo by Unique Concepts Studios

We advise many of our couples to take a couple days off (if possible) leading up to their wedding, and book a day just for themselves to spend together whether it is a spa day, a good meal at their favorite restaurant, watch the sunset, or just hanging out on the sofa catching up on their DVR recordings.

Cape May, NJ

Cape May, NJ

Whether or not you take a honeymoon directly after the wedding (we are in favor of doing it if you can both afford it financially and get the time off from work), couples should at the very least take a few days to go somewhere so that they can spend time together after the big day. 

Burano Island in Venice, Italy

Another recommendation we have is to not skip the rehearsal dinner. Whether or not you actually rehearse, plan a dinner with your bridal party and immediate family to thank them for their help in the planning process, and show how much you love them for being a part of your life.

Throughout this month, Trilogy Event Design plans to shamelessly promote love! We will feature a special blog post around Valentine's Day showcasing the best proposal and/or love story from one of you, our readers. Be sure to email us at info@trilogyeventdesign.com if you would like to share your love.

Photo by Megan W Photography

As always, please feel free to leave comments and questions below. And, if you would like to meet with Randi to help plan your wedding and/or any of the small details that it entails, email us at info@trilogyeventdesign.com, call 800-941-2770, or use our handy online scheduler to arrange a free, 1-hour consultation. We'd love to meet with you :)

Cheers!

Posted on February 2, 2015 and filed under Trilogy Event Design, Wedding Planning.

It's the Big Day!

Last week, we took a look at the timeline both you and your designer should work to for creation and delivery of your wedding stationery. This week, we wanted to take a look at items you should start thinking about for your day-of stationery, and some fun ways to incorporate your style and designs throughout the big day itself.

2-sided ceremony program designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design for a couple in the music industry. Photo by BG Productions

Ceremony programs are a great way to commemorate your wedding day, whether you are having a religious or secular ceremony. The length of the program is dictated by how much information you are including. How large is your bridal party? Are you going to have each part of the ceremony listed? Will you be including your music selections? Trilogy Event Design Creative Director Francesca Staffieri has created everything from a 2-sided ceremony program to a booklet that includes all parts of the religious ceremony. One nice touch that we normally suggest to our couples is to include a "Thank you" for your family, friends, and guests on the last page.

Letterpress printed ceremony program designed by Francesca. Photo by BG Productions

Letterpress printed ceremony program designed by Francesca. Photo by BG Productions

Seating cards are usually a necessity as they will direct your guests to their assigned table. Depending upon how formal of a reception you are having, you may also have assigned seating at the table (indicated by using place cards).

Tented seating cards on metallic paper designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Escort card table decor by Randi @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Unique Concepts Studios

Seating cards can be traditional, as pictured above, or you can riff off the theme of your wedding, such as having baseball tickets for a sports-themed wedding...

Seating card ticket designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. 

... or hang-tags around a mason jar or wine bottles.

Wine label and seating card designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Full Circle Photography and Design.

Seating charts can be used to either showcase where the tables are in the reception area (see photo below of a table chart for a Please Touch Museum wedding where the tables were given candy bar names), or actually take the place of seating cards by telling your guests where to sit. If you do use a seating chart for your guests to find their tables, it would be wise to order two or three so that you don't have bottlenecking from people looking for their table number...

LWD-83.jpg

Further additions to your tablescape, could be table numbers or menus for each place-setting.

Table Number designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

We've also had couples leave a card at each seat as a favor indicating a donation made in the guest's name to the couple's selected charity, or a Thank You card with a loving message by the couple to their guests.

Place-setting thank you card designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Unique Concepts Studios

There are other, less obvious ways, that you can work with your designer to keep the overlook look of your wedding cohesive, and add a fun touch that your guests will surely notice. If you've booked a monogram lighting package with a lighting company, let your designer know so that they can provide artwork for the light that fits with the other design elements you've used for your wedding...

Lighting by Eventions Productions. Design by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Lindsay Docherty Photography.

If you are planning to give a favor for your guests that can be personalized, work with your designer to supply the design work to whomever you're ordering from so that you can incorporate your design elements (see photo of rally towel featuring owls Francesca designed for couple Abby & Jim, Temple University grads!)

Designed by Francesca, Trilogy Event Design

From custom-designed photo-booth footers that will print on each photo to ceremony program fans and everything in between, Francesca at Trilogy Event Design can work with you to bring those added design elements that will showcase your story and personality on your wedding day!

For a free, 1-hour consultation with Francesca, email info@trilogyeventdesign.com, call 800-941-2770, or use our online scheduler here.

Have a question about day-of stationery? Leave it in the comments below, and we'll be sure to answer.

Cheers!