Archive For: Planning

Before you hire a wedding DJ, here are some questions you should be asking:

 

Experience:

  • How long have you been a wedding DJ?
  • How many weddings have you DJ’d? This does not necessarily mean that this particular DJ is not fantastic, it might however mean that there is more of a chance for a hiccup.
  • How many weddings a weekend do you DJ at? This one is important. You definitely do not want to sign with a DJ that is committed to more than just your wedding on your big day.
  • Will you be the DJ at our wedding, or could we possibly end up with someone we are not familiar with? If you choose your DJ based on their personality, you want to make sure that personality shows up on your wedding day. If there is a possibility that another DJ will be working your event, you might want to consider meeting with them as well.
  • Have you even DJ’d an event at WIld Basin Lodge? It is important that your DJ be familiar with your event center. If they are not, will they be willing to take the extra time to get to know the space before your wedding day? At Wild Basin, we allow our couples to change ceremony sites at any time, is your DJ flexible?

Style:Please make sure you like the DJ's style

  • Do you have a video from a recent wedding we can view?
  • Do you have references from some recent weddings that we can contact?
  • What’s your style and can you help me choose music? A DJ that knows your style and what type of atmosphere you wish to create with your music, can help you choose a song when you are stuck and looking for “that perfect song”.
  • If you are unable to make it, what is your backup plan?
  • Do you take and play requests from guests? Can we give you a “Do Not Play” list and will       you adhere to it? If you will want your guests to be able to request songs; it’s fun and a great way for your guests to feel even more comfortable. There are DJ’s who will not accept requests. However, if you decide not to grant guests song requests, as the DJ how they will handle song requests from guests. Will they just say they do not have that particular song?

Price and Value:

  • What is your rate, and does this include travel, setup, moving between ceremony and reception and breaking down?
  • What do you charge for Overtime and what exactly constitutes Overtime?
  • How much is your deposit and what is your payment plan?
  • In the event of cancellation, what is your cancellation and/or refund policy?Sometimes you get what you pay for...
  • Do you carry liability insurance?
  • Will we meet again before my wedding? The answer to this question will be based on your comfort level. Usually, you should not need to meet, face to face, with your DJ again.
  • Does your equipment require any special electrical outlets? What type of space/stage do you require?
  • Do you advertise by setting up a banner or sign at our wedding? Another personal preference question. 
  • What are your timeline/timeframe needs for setup etc.?
  • What will you be wearing at our wedding?
  • Do you have any dietary restrictions? With this in mind, any vendor that is present at your wedding through dinner, should  be fed. As a result, you need to respect their dietary needs.
  • Do you have a policy on drinking and or smoking while working our wedding?

Granted, finding the perfect DJ can be a little tricky, However, these questions will help you weed through them. It isn’t really just about asking for pricing. Nevertheless, there are a lot of great DJ’s and prices vary. Some will give you all day, some only a few hours. Others will give you a discount based on your venue. Don’t be afraid to ask. With years of wedding planning experience behind us, trust us when we say not all DJ’s are created equal. If you need some more guidance, just give us a call or email us. 

Wild Basin Lodge DJ’s:

http://www.beggarstunes.com

http://www.adjforhire.com

http://www.myshindigdjs.com

http://www.jahsonic.net

Make sure you take a peak at the Wild Basin Lodge Photo Gallery

Photo Sources: Wedding Connection of Hudson Valley, Surround Sound DJ and Tucson DJ Service

Vendor Spotlight: Bella Capelli

Get a Trial

Have you ever had an awful haircut?  The kind that makes you want to put a paper bag over your head?  Or call in sick for a few days?  Thankfully, I’ve only had one deeply traumatizing haircut, but that one was enough to last me a lifetime.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but I cried the entire way home from the salon that afternoon.  I felt so many emotions.  Frustrated with myself for paying so much money on a hideous style.  Ashamed that I hadn’t been brave enough to tell the stylist that I was unhappy.  Betrayed after I trusted this disappointing stranger.  Yet she never knew how much I hated that haircut.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: you HAVE to say something if you’re truly not satisfied with the service.  As uncomfortable as it was, I had to use this skill while planning my wedding.

Which brings me to today’s blog post.  If you take away nothing else today, please hear this:  Get a hair and makeup trial for your wedding!  There are SO many reasons why:

  • To make sure your skin doesn’t react poorly to the makeup
  • Get to know your stylist’s personality and comfort level with your needs
  • Pamper yourself before the wedding
  • Excuse to get dressed up and go out to dinner that night… or stay in and just look adorable while you watch Moana
  • Narrow down your inspiration photos from 67 to just a few with professional guidance
  • See if a smoky eye is perfect or too dramatic for your big day
  • Verify that your hair accessories (veil vs. comb, clip vs. tiara) will work well with your hair style
  • Test the longevity, durability, and “pokiness” of your hair pins
  • Make sure the little wisps of hair don’t tickle your neck and drive you bonkers
  • Seek beauty prep tips for the weeks leading up to the wedding, since stylists always have great ideas
  • Gauge if you feel better in naturally blended or wing-tipped eyeliner
  • Practice NOT touching and smudging your face
  • Ask if your (curly, frizzy, stick straight, thin, thick, short, or unruly) hair will work for a particular favorite style you found on Pinterest before getting your hopes up
  • Test out how long that lipstick stain really lasts
  • Acclimate your eyelids to the weight of false lashes
  • Decide if you’re going to need bronzer or if your natural glow is sufficient
  • Make sure your stylist is reliable, doesn’t cancel on you at the last minute, and can show up for the trial appointment on time
  • Determine professionalism: Does he/she bring a contract to the trial, or are they unprepared?
  • When the trial is over, do they offer to snap a few photos for you, or leave you awkwardly requesting this favor?
  • Get pumped up for the actual day, since you can now visualize your gorgeous self

 

How would I know?

To be honest, I actually had to do two hair and makeup trials.  The first lady seemed really nice, but rescheduled my trial three (THREE!) times.  After the trial, I felt a bit like a drag queen with caked makeup and orange tinted lipstick.  My eyeliner was overly dramatic, and I accidentally smudged it on the car ride home.  She botched my hair, then didn’t offer to take any photos of her work.  So… I didn’t realize how awful I looked until I got home and used a mirror to look at the back of my hair.  Sensing my deep disappointment, my fiancé insisted that I use a different hair and makeup vendor.  After agonizing for a week about how to word the “break up” email with this lady, I pulled off the Band-Aid and sent my notice that I’d be using someone else for the wedding.  Fortunately, she neglected to ask for my signature on the contract I’d printed and brought with me.  Her lack of professionalism served me in this singular way.

My point: If you find yourself in a similar situation, please don’t feel guilty about demanding the best.  Weddings are expensive, and you deserve to have full confidence in your investment.  The right vendors can make all the difference in your experience.

Lucky for you, Wild Basin Lodge has an extensive list of tried-and-true vendors.  Let’s take a closer look at Bella Capelli, our preferred vendor for hair and makeup services.

 

 The Experts

Bella Capelli is a partnership of moms who cherish the balance of family and having a successful career.  The company was started by Christie Nagl many years ago, and they’ve built a stellar reputation in the industry ever since.  They frequently travel to Wild Basin Lodge, so all you have to do is show up in your button down shirt or robe, and you’re set.  Mimosa in hand, you can relax in our bridal suite while the ladies of Bella Capelli work their magic.

WBL: Tell us a little about the history of your business.

BC: I started doing hair 18 years ago and became a hairstylist specifically to do wedding hair. I owned a full service salon in Estes for a long time and did weddings there up until I had my first son, eight and a half years ago. At that time I closed the salon and decided to start doing only weddings so that I could focus the rest of my time on being a stay at home mom.  Adrienne, who I had grown up with, and Traci, who is married to my husband’s cousin, both worked with me in my salon. When I closed the salon they continued to do weddings with me and worked other places until they too had their kids. Now they stay home with their littles and still do hair and makeup with me. Adrienne has been with me about 15 years and Traci for 13 years. Over time, my two sisters saw how wonderful it was to be able to stay home with the kids and have a job on the side so they both got certified to do makeup. Melissa has been with us for about 6 years and Julie for about 4.

There is nothing better than being able to work alongside some of your favorite people. Plus, having a job that is flexible enough to work around family schedules is amazing. All five of us truly feel blessed!

WBL: Do you have any “Pro Tips” or words of wisdom for brides as they prepare for their wedding?

BC: It is your day. Do what makes you and your fiancé happy. As far as hair and makeup go, make sure you are comfortable and feel like you. You don’t want to look back at pictures and not recognize yourself. Don’t get me wrong, everything should be a little bigger and fancier but still holding true to your style.

WBL: What is one thing that you love about your industry?

BC: We love all the joy that surrounds someone’s wedding day. It’s hard not to be happy when surrounded by happiness. We also love all the wonderful vendors we get to see and work with. We are lucky to be in this industry, in this area, with amazing people!

WBL: Do you have a personal favorite memory from your wedding day you’d like to share?

BC: I’m sure we all have our favorite memories but I have 2 personally that stand out. I love the memory of entering the church to see my super sentimental, sobbing husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle. He is just a big teddy bear and I love him! Also, my dad and I took tango lessons for the father/daughter dance and told no one. My dad is not a dancer so the reactions were priceless. That moment was really special and fun! It was such a great day and there are endless memories. Now we have been married 10 1/2 years.

Bella Capelli translates in Italian to “beautiful hair,” and the photos on their website speak for themselves.  Don’t repeat my mistake of going through multiple hair and makeup trials.  Save yourself the emotional stress and shoot the ladies at Bella Capelli and email as soon as possible.  They are frequently fully booked 6 months or more in advance.

-A presto!

Courtney

 

 

Christie Nagl

bellacapelliweddings@gmail.com

Bellacapelliweddings.com

Perfect Wedding Songs

Choosing the perfect Wedding Songs for your special day can be tough and stressful. We are here to help pick the best songs for your special day.

Below is a list of the top 10 must-have songs to make your wedding night the most memorable.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xdyRsGOl6U

  1. Marry you – Bruno Mars

Although this might seem to be the most cliché song on the list, it truly does commemorate your significant day. Marry you brings not only life and rhythm to the dance floor, but it brings a heartwarming feeling to the bride and groom.

Lyrics you’ll love: “Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you. Is it the look in your eyes or is it this dancing juice? Who cares baby, I think I wanna marry you.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGJTaP6anOU

  1. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley

Who else to bring to your wedding other than the famous and lovable King himself? This song gives the bride and groom to hold each other in their arms and realize that they can’t help falling in love with each other.

Lyrics you’ll love: “Take my hand, take my whole life too. For I can’t help falling in love with you.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob7vObnFUJc

  1. Love On Top – Beyoncé

Love on top has an upbeat rhythm to it that will keep the party going all night.

Lyrics you’ll love: “Every time you touch me I just melt away.” “You’re the one I love, You’re the one I need. You’re the only one I see.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkHTsc9PU2A

  1. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

Lyrics you’ll love: “There’s no need to complicate, our time is short. This is our fate, I’m yours.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp-EO5I60KA

  1. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is a man of love, so what better song to have playing during your special night? This song will touch the hearts of the guests when they look at the bride and groom as they hold each other close and dance as a married couple.

Lyrics you’ll love: “And darling I will be loving you ‘til we’re 70. And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1tzURKYFNs

  1. Adore you – Miley Cyrus

This song will show that the bride and groom were truly meant to be together “in holy matrimony.”

Lyrics you’ll love: “When you say you love me, Know I love you more. And when you say you need me, Know I need you more.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtOvBOTyX00

  1. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

This slow dance gives the bride and groom a chance to slow dance with each other.

Lyrics you’ll love: “I have died everyday waiting for you. Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years. I’ll love you for a thousand more.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-MBfn8XjIU

  1. Like I’m Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor ft. John Legend

This song is very loving and sentimental, especially for a newlywed couple. It’s a perfect combination of pop and soul by these two amazing and inspiring artists.

Lyrics you’ll love: “So I’m gonna love you, like I’m gonna lose you. I’m gonna hold you, like I’m saying goodbye.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09R8_2nJtjg

  1. Sugar – Maroon 5

Lyrics you’ll love: “I need your loving, loving, I need it now. When I’m without you, I’m something weak.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HL_8XRt5Xk

  1. Love on The Brain – Rihanna

Lyrics you’ll love: “No matter what I do, I’m no good without you.” “Don’t you stop loving me (loving me), Don’t quit loving me (loving me), Just start loving me (loving me).”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnVUHWCynig

  1. Halo – Beyoncé

Lyrics you’ll love: “Everywhere I’m looking now, I’m surrounded by your embrace. Baby, I can feel your halo. You know you’re my saving grace.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkK8g6FMEXE

  1. I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

Bring back the old times and through this song, the bride and groom will remember and cherish the memories they have already had together.

Lyrics you’ll love: “Don’t want to close my eyes. I don’t want to fall asleep, ‘cause I’d miss you baby, and I don’t want to miss a thing.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6ukLUAyeew

  1. My Best Friend – Tim McGraw

This song is another lovely country song with a message that will completely symbolize the bride and groom’s need for each other.

Lyrics you’ll love: “You’re more than a lover. There could never be another to make me feel the way you do.” “I don’t know where I’d be without you here with me. Life with you makes perfect sense.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfmkgQRmmeE

  1. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

Lyrics you’ll love: “Our hearts a-thumping. And you, my brown-eyed girl. You, my brown eyed girl.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FjRyV-Mqh4

  1. Bubbly – Colbie Caillat

Lyrics you’ll love: “That you make me smile, please, stay for a while now. Just take your time wherever you go.” “You give me feelings that I adore.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf_gPZSDIxI

  1. Clumsy – Fergie

Lyrics you’ll love: “Can’t breathe, when you touch my sleeve. Butterflies so crazy.” “Clumsy ‘cause I’m fallin’ in love (in love), So in love with you.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1-4u9W-bns

  1. I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz

Lyrics you’ll love: “Well I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough. I’m giving you all my love, I’m still looking up.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0put0_a–Ng

  1. Make You Feel My Love – Adele

Lyrics you’ll love: “No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do, to make you feel my love.” “I could make you happy. Make your dreams come true. Nothing that I wouldn’t do. Go to the ends of the Earth for you, to make you feel my love.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqZmJ7RGAP4

  1. Baby I Love you – The Ramones

Lyrics you’ll love: “I can’t live without you, I love everything about you.” “Oh, I’m so glad I found you, I want my arms around you. I love to hear you call my name.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT1taJStGOk

  1. Remedy – Adele

This song is just another one of Adele’s irresistible love ballads.

Lyrics you’ll love: “No river is too wide or too deep for me to swim to you.” “Your love, it is my truth. And I will always love you, love you

How to Choose a Wedding Date

It is definitely overwhelming – there is so much to consider.

Couple all the details you have to juggle with venue availability (they often book at least a year out) and it can quickly become complicated. Consider the following to help you choose a wedding date.

If you are a visual person, buy a cheap calendar and cross out dates as you eliminate them, noting why in the space for each day. This will provide you with a quick visual as you go, and an easy way to keep track of why you made each decision.

Season

Season is an easy one. Do you want your ceremony and reception to be outside or inside? Is your dream an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception? Do you love snow or hate snow?  Do you just have to have golden aspen leaves in your photos? Most couples have an immediate and definite idea of this in their minds. If so, check this one off your list and read on.

If you two are one of those couples who don’t care which season it is (you just want to get married! And soon!) or you are motivated by cost, consider a winter wedding. Off-season rates at most venues are less expensive and guests have fewer commitments than in the summer, so a winter wedding may be easier on the budget and easier for your guests to attend.

Friends and family commitments

Note the most important friends and family members on your guest list and reach out to them to find out if they have any major prior commitments that would prohibit them from attending your wedding. If you are marrying in the summertime you will have to contend with summer vacations, and let’s be honest: other weddings. If you wish to marry in the late summer you will contend with kids going back to school.

Venue availability

This can be a large hinderance in your planning. A good piece of advice is to find the perfect venue first, then choose a date. Reason being, venues often book about a year out, sometimes more. It is instinctive to automatically eliminate a venue if they don’t have your perfect date available, but this method may cause you to settle for a less than perfect venue, because it has your date. Five, ten, 20 years from now your memories will consist of the events and impressions of your wedding day, not the perfection of the date itself. The perfect venue will contribute to these fabulous memories more so than a particular day in, say, June, compared to a day in June. Read more about how to choose the perfect venue.

Day of the week

Most couples start out with the “have to have a Saturday” mentality. And why not? It makes perfect sense – guests don’t have to take off work, children don’t have to miss school. If you make it easy for your guests, more are likely to attend. The potential issue, unless you’re planning about two years out, is venue availability. Those pesky venues! Again, most venues book about a year out, and Saturdays are the first to go. It is worth considering a weekday, or a Friday/Sunday wedding. Depending on what you are willing to consider, going with a day other than a Saturday is in your benefit. Venues often charge less and vendors have greater availability; their Saturdays book up first, too.

Consider a Monday wedding. Mondays usually aren’t even on a couple’s radar, but there are good reasons to include them in your decision-making process. One reason is that you will have more time to spend with your guests. If guests have to travel to your wedding, whether it is from out of state or a neighboring town, they will either make a weekend of it or drive up on the day of regardless of the day you marry. For those who make a weekend out of it, you will be able to spend more time with them marrying on a Monday than on a Saturday. You will have all day Saturday and Sunday to spend time with them, rather than being consumed with your wedding Saturday and missing them Sunday as they leave for home.

Personal meaning

But what if there is a particular date that has great personal meaning to the two of you? Despite everything you just read, if none of the arguments were enough to sway you away from the perfect date you have in mind, then by all means find a way to make it work! Going through this process will help you decide what compromises you might have to make to get married on it. If you are okay with the consequences of your choices then go for it!

How to choose a wedding date: remember, you are the only one who has to be happy with what you choose. It is your day!

 

At the Basin

At Wild Basin Lodge, you can marry year-round, seven days a week. We have two outdoor ceremony sites to choose from, or you can marry indoors if that is your preference, and you will have our rocky-mountain-elegant lodge to yourself for your reception. No matter how you come to your perfect date, we have an option to meet your needs. Find out more about a wedding at Wild Basin Lodge or take a lookl at our gallery. Please reach out if you would like more information or to schedule a tour.

 

Outdoor Mountain Wedding Ceremonies

Love the mountains? Say your vows right in the middle of them.

There are a lot of options to choose from when you get married in the mountains: alongside a river, in a meadow at the base of mountains, or even on top of a mountain. Any one of them is breathtaking and will create a memorable experience for you and your guests; choose the one that is best for you!

Alongside a River

The sound of a rushing river is calming and beautiful. Exchanging your vows near one while listening to the water is magical. Add to the sound of the water the accompanying nature often found on river banks: lush trees, green grass, and birds, for example, will complete the experience and make your ceremony one that stands out in the minds of guests who are used to attending ceremonies at traditional sites. The North St. Vrain River rushes through the Wild Basin Lodge property, providing a special place to say your vows.

In a Meadow

With mountain meadows come awesome mountain views; the change in landscape from rolling meadow to jutting mountain is striking. And regardless of the season, the landscape will be beautiful. Green grass and wildflowers in the spring, shades of red and gold in the fall, a hint of snow as fall progresses. With views and colors such as these behind you as you say your vows you and your fiancé will stand out amongst the beauty in a stunning way. The Meadow ceremony site at Wild Basin Lodge looks into the Wild Basin portion of Rocky Mountain National Park, providing an unadulterated mountain backdrop for your wedding day.

On Top of a Mountain

Marrying on top of a mountain gives you and your guests mountain views as far as the eye can see. The blues and greens from the land below is understated yet stunning in its beauty and breadth. Mountaintop ceremony sites exist at ski resorts, as well as venues that are located higher in the mountains. Ski resorts are an exceptional place for a mountaintop ceremony; your guests ride chair lifts from the base to the top of the mountain, giving them a stunning ride on the way to a very special occasion. Wild Basin Lodge does not have a mountain top ceremony site but is happy to recommend venues nearby that do.

Regardless of the type of mountain ceremony site you choose, being in mountains is invigorating and exciting! Contact us to learn more about our meadow and river ceremony sites or see photos in our gallery.

 

Photo courtesy of Mallory Munson Photography. @mallorymunsonphotography