Tips + Tricks | Booking Your DJ

At Rustic Elegance, we L O V E working with great vendors. Throughout our time as wedding coordinators, our paths have crossed with some A M A Z I N G ones! As a part of our Tips + Tricks blog segment, we decided to reach out to a few of our favorite DJ’s to ask for their Tips + Tricks on Booking a DJ for your S P E C I A L day.

DJ’s can be present just for the reception, working the dance floor and engaging the guests in the “after-party”, or they can come to the ceremony to run the mic // sound system, and then head to the reception with the group for the M A I N event. We reached out to some of our favorite DJ’s and they provided some great T I P S + T R I C K S, which we outline below:

MEET WITH THEM
You will want to make sure to feel comfortable and relaxed around your DJ, so make sure to meet with them prior to your wedding day. Pay attention to the way that you feel when you meet this DJ in person, and even on the phone. Keep in mind that you’re shopping for a DJ’s personality and talent vs. just the cheapest option! You want someone who will E N G A G E your guests, and make it a night to remember. JD Fischer from Ignite Event Group stated, “Essentially, you are handing a live microphone to someone you barely know in front of all your closest friends and family on one of the most important days of your live!” [we L O V E how he put this – so true!]. He also noted that for larger DJ companies that may have multiple DJ’s, you will want to make sure that you meet the person who will be performing at your wedding, and have their name written into your vendor contract. Also, don’t assume that all companies offer the same things in their regular DJ package. They are usually priced different for a reason, so you will want to understand the difference between what you are looking at between the different companies.

BE UPFRONT
Another great tip that we learned from one of our favorite vendors, Adagio DJ Entertainment, is to make your expectations known at the beginning of your search, and remind the DJ of these expectations closer to your wedding date. Take into account the way you see your day happening – do you need a microphone for your ceremony officiant, music in a separate cocktail area, music at the reception, etc.? Making sure that your DJ knows exactly what you want can make less room for mistakes on your S P E C I A L day! Once you’ve selected your DJ, you’ll want to make sure you understand their process for getting your requests and event information. This also leaves small room for error, and allows the DJ to excel and make your night S H I N E! Also, you’ll want to be upfront with your DJ about their involvement on interacting with the guests, and how often you’d like them to engage the audience during the night. Some couples may prefer that the DJ simply play music, while others may prefer that the DJ says a few words here and there to break up the music playlist. You may also want your DJ to initiate or emcee different wedding games, such as the shoe game, dollar dance, married couples dance, bouquet // garter toss, etc. Make sure you P R E P your DJ for these items ahead of time, so they are comfortable with their announcements!Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Booking Your DJ_0854.jpg

WEDDING DAY SET UP
One thing not to forget to talk with your DJ about is the S E T U P on the wedding day! You’ll want to confirm what the DJ is bringing for equipment [T I P: Don’t forget to ask about their back up equipment // what happens if their items don’t function properly on site!]. Does your DJ need a table [or two?!] for all of their gear? Or, does the venue provide or the DJ bring their own table? Once you figure this out, you may also want to consider a linen for these tables so that they match the rest of your tables // decor. Another item to touch base with your DJ about is power – will they need extension cords? If so, how many? Who will provide? For backyard // outdoor weddings, power is A L W A Y S a concern – check with your DJ to see if they offer low power options! For their microphone system – do they have a cordless microphone for the ceremony or a corded microphone with a stand? Does your DJ have clip microphones for your officiant so they won’t have to hold onto a mic? Lastly for set up, you may want to check with your DJ to see if they will bring in speakers // lighting for the reception. Ask to see a picture [or a few] of previous wedding set ups.

DON’T FORGET
The T I P – ask if this is included in their pricing ahead of time so you’re ready the day of with the correct amount. And last, but not least, and our favorite piece of advice from these two G R E A T vendors [who we highly recommend, by the way], is to be O P E N to suggestions from your DJ! They are at weddings A L L – T H E – T I M E and have great insights to the in’s and out’s of wedding DJing. If you’re in the process of booking your vendors now, check out these two companies below who were S O gracious in sharing their tips with us!

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Booking Your DJ_0855.jpg

Emily + Kyle | Carpenter Nature Center

Ever thought about getting married at a N A T U R E center? Emily + Kyle had the most B E A U T I F U L wedding at the Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings, MN, and we are A L L about it! The Rustic Elegance team of Lynse and Kellie led this wedding and loved every minute of it.

The day began with the ladies + gents getting ready in their separate spaces. Although the weather was a bit chilly outside, everyone’s hearts were W A R M with love for this special day. One of Emily’s bridesmaids, couldn’t make it for the big day, so the couple printed out a life size cardboard cut-out of her so she could still stand up for the ceremony [this included real florals and everything – so creative!]. To keep warm, the bridesmaids wore fur mink stalls to keep warm + stay stylish of course. After taking pre-ceremony pictures with Hattie Ann Photography, it was time for “I do’s”!

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0849.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0848.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0842.jpg

The ceremony aisle doubled as a “walking program” vs. the typical paper one – the Rustic Elegance team put signs in the ground on the pathway so that guests could read the information as they took their seats. Strings by Sarah played beautiful string music as the ceremony started. The couples had their dogs as their flower girls [+ they were O H so adorable]. Matt Berdahl was the officiant and did a G R E A T job [as always]! After the couple said Y E S to forever with one another, it was time to head to the reception.

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0827.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0840.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0833.jpg

Inside the pavilion, the S T U N N I N G fall decor was spread throughout the space, including different colored pumpkins. They also had an ice sculpture from Ice Occasions [yes it was a donkey, Emily’s F A V animal] that doubled as a booze luge – too F U N N Y! The couple opted to do their first dance before dinner, dancing to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. In their middle of the first dance, the wedding party joined for a flash mob to “Uptown Funk”. The wedding party was then seated at their harvest style head table for dinner from River Valley Catering. After dinner comes our favorite thing – D E S S E R T. The cake from Miss Sarah’s Cakery was mouth-watering and also S O cute! We loved the gold tier at the top. After all the guests were full from the good food + great fun, it was time from DJ Dan from Adagio to get the night started. He did a F A N T A S T I C job of getting the guests dancing and keeping the party going! For a late night treat, Green Mill brought in some pizzas for the end of the night snack [guests loved it!].

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0828.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0826.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0830.jpg

Emily + Kyle – Rustic Elegance L O V E D helping with your Day of Coordination, and hope that married life is as sweet as you two are!

Special shout out to Hattie Ann Photography for the G O R G E O U S photos used in today’s blog!

Vendors
Venue: Carpenter Nature Center (Hastings, MN)
Caterer: River Valley Catering
Rentals: Affordable Elegance
DJ: Adagio DJ Entertainment
Florist: E.L. Design
Officiant: Matt Berdahl
Photographer: Hattie Ann Photography
Desserts: Miss Sarah’s Cakery
Ceremony Music: Strings by Sarah
Transportation: Country Inn
Security: Washington County Sheriff’s Department
Heaters: Crow Party
Bar Service: Green Mill
Draping: Avent Decor
Ice: Ice Occasions
Videographer: Rico Roman
Coordination: Rustic Elegance
Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0831.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0832.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0834.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0835.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0837.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0829.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0836.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0838.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0839.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0841.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0843.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0844.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0845.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0846.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0847.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Emily + Kyle, Carpenter Nature Center_0850.jpg

Andrea + Eric | Bullard Creek Barn

Taking it back to 2015 – when Andrea and Eric tied the knot! We L O V E D working with this sweet couple. Lynse + Kellie worked on this wedding with these two lovebirds. This couple used a T O N of rentals from Rustic Elegance, which we of course love! They rented cupcake stands, burlap table runners, mason jar beverage dispensers, vintage dinner plates, table numbers, chalkboard signs, etc. They also rented a few of our sofas to create a fun L O U N G E area for their guests. Their guests loved be able to hang out in this area and enjoy conversations with family and friends. They also used our ladder to display memories // photos of past loved ones. It was a sweet touch to remember those who weren’t able to be there on their special day! Our team placed our vintage plates delicately at each place setting to create a cute dressed up table setting. One of our favorite things to do is integrate our rentals into the weddings we work on – so much F U N!

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0814.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0813.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0815.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0825.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0823.jpg

The day began with the ladies prepping and the guys doings the same. They then headed to the church, where the couple officially could call themselves a M A R R I E D couple – yay! Before the couple left the alter, the groom took a selfie with his new wife and then preceded to walked down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife. [don’t worry, Alison Geier, the couple’s photographer, snapped a photo of this as well]! So fun!

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0809.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0811.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0810.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0812.jpg

When the groom was satisfied with the selfie quality, the wedding party, consisting of 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen, hopped on the super cute trolley that the couple rented out for the day [such a fun + unique transport]. The wedding party arrived at the Bullard Creek Barn, where they made their grand entrance to the song “Gold Digger”. During cocktail hour and for the remainder of the night, guests enjoyed yard games including Jenga, bean bags, and ladder ball. Post cocktail hour, guests were then seated for speeches and dinner. They found their place on the old door that doubled as their seating chart [loved this!]. Liberty’s provided the Y U M M Y buffet style dinner: marinated chicken and pork, roasted red potatoes and veggies. Dinner was followed with some A M A Z I N G cupcakes by Hanisch Bakery, placed on top of our cute little cupcake stands! As an added snack, they also had a old style popcorn machine throughout the night for guests to enjoy. The couple enjoyed their first dance together as husband and wife, to the song “Inspiration” by Chicago and it was so A D O R A B L E. As the dance continued, energy F I L L E D the barn, as the guests danced the night away. To make sure that their guests were comfy, the couple provided “dancing shoes” for their guests – love this idea! Later in the evening, guests also had the option of enjoying the B O N F I R E outside on this gorgeous night.

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0808.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0822.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0819.jpg

Andrea + Eric – we hope that married life is treating you well and we loved reminiscing about your special day!

Special thanks to Alison Lea Photography for sharing these wonderful photos with us! We always love working with you have so much fun!

Vendors
Reception: Bullard Creek Barn
Church: First Lutheran
Officiant: Kevin and Chris Tjaden
Catering: Liberty’s
Rentals: Ripley’s
Florist: Cindy’s Florist Creations
Photographer: Alison Lea Photography
Desserts: Hanisch Bakery
Coordination + Decor Rentals: Rustic Elegance
Trolley: Rochester Trolley

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0796.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0797.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0798.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0799.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0800.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0801.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0802.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0803.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0804.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0805.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0806.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0807.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0816.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0817.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0818.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0820.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0821.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Andrea + Eric, Bullard Creek Barn_0824.jpg

Lauren + Steve | Green Acres Barn

While some of the venues that we go to are farther outside of the cities, Green Acres Barn is situated seemingly close, located in Eden Prairie, MN. Lauren + Steve celebrated their S P E C I A L day at this location and Rustic Elegance was there to prep and help flip the space and had the B E S T time doing it [and helping out these two lovebirds!].

At Green Acres Barn, the lower level is filled with vintage items, including jukeboxes, older framed photos, and a small fountain. On this level, we set out place cards for guests to grab as they came in prior to the ceremony. Lauren + Steve also opted to have their guest book + card table near the door, capturing guests attention as they walked in [they got LOTS of signatures in their guest book – we loved seeing guests add their special note!]. For the wedding party pictures, this group braved the windy day and took S T U N N I N G pictures by a lake nearby. Studio Twelve:52 was able to capture these amazing memories, while still ensuring that the wedding party looked great for the ceremony. Prior to the ceremony itself, the wedding party hid in the silo that Green Acres has flipped into a wine cellar. It’s G O R G E O U S in there, and even features a little trap door.

On the upstairs level, the set-up for the ceremony was simple, yet extremely elegant. The venue set up the ceremony chairs, creating a perfect aisle for Lauren to walk down, walking towards the man of her D R E A M S. After a ceremony with the help of officiant Matt Berdahl, the guests were guided back to the downstairs level for a cocktail hour while the upstairs level was flipped by the Green Acres crew and catering staff from Sterling. Rustic Elegance worked on adding the finishing touches, such as the centerpieces, setting up the head table, and of course, setting up the dessert table. The centerpieces were simple white floral arrangements accompanied by white pumpkins, set on top of a square cloth napkin. The head table was abundant with floral from Lauren’s aunt, pulling in romantic tones for this October wedding. They also added a cute little addition of wooden names for each plate at the head table [we L O V E D this idea]. Lastly, the set-up for the dessert table was accompanied by Rustic Elegance dessert stands and a variety of cupcake flavors from Nadia’s Cakes. As if this couple wasn’t sweet enough [as sweet as the cupcakes even], they ordered one cupcake specifically for Kellie, her favorite kind of Vanilla Vanilla [how T H O U G H T F U L you two – thank you!!].

The rest of the evening ran smoothly and the DJ Andrew from Three Six Sound kept the crowd engaged. The bride, groom, as well as their friends and family were dancing the night away!

Lauren + Steve – thank you for having Rustic Elegance be apart of your first day of forever together! We are so thankful for the opportunity and L O V E D working with the both of you sweet lovebirds [Kellie will also miss the planning meetings that consisted of The Lion’s Tap hamburger + fries… D E L I C I O U S]!

Venue: Green Acres Barn
Catering / Bartender: Sterling Catering
Rentals / Decor: Rustic Elegance
DJ: Three Six Sound
Officiant: Matt Berdahl
Photographer: Studio Twelve:52
Videographer: Oldenburger Videography
Desserts: Nadia Cakes (Woodbury)
Hair/Makeup: Teressa’s Makeup
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0784.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0786.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0791.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0787.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0788.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0793.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0789.jpg
Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0785.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0790.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0792.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0794.jpg

Day of Coordinator, Lauren + Steve, Green Acres Barn_0795.jpg