Tag Archives: Chicagoland wedding entertainment

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wedding posing techniques

Wedding posing techniques for awkward brides and grooms

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Wedding photography is such a wonderful art form. But traditional photography has lost a little popularity over the years. The best photographers have compensated by developing better wedding posing techniques which result in far better planned shots than your parents had.

What to do with the hands?

The problem with so many awkward brides, grooms, and wedding parties is what to do with their hands. We’ve noticed that with the best posed shots, creative photographers have put the subjects’ hands to good use to create a more natural posed look.

With the groom, a simple technique is to simply have him grab his lapel.

For a fun couples shot, the bride can tug on the groom’s tie.

For a fun shot of the groomsmen, the bride can simply put her hands on her hips and let them gawk. Or the groomsmen can put their arms around the groom with their hands held high.

For drama, let the groom simply extend his open hand to his adoring bride.

There are some good photographers we’d be happy to refer you to who have developed artful wedding posing techniques. They know how to make your wedding portraits fun and memorable.

In a previous blogpost, we discussed the four most popular styles of wedding photography. The are: traditional, documentary, fine art, and edgy. Contemporary traditional photography has blurred the lines between these styles with fun wedding posing techniques that put the hands to good use.

When the photographs are finished, we’ll put everyone’s hands AND feet to good use by packing the dance floor. Check out Chicagoland wedding entertainment at its finest.


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second marriage wedding etiquette

Second marriage wedding etiquette

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As times change, wedding etiquette evolves. We work with many couples of all ages and backgrounds, including those getting married a second time.  In fact, something like one of three weddings involve couples where at least one of you has been married before.  Because this is so common, let’s look at second marriage wedding etiquette based on current cultural norms.

The engagement announcement

If either of you have children, tell them first, and then your parents.  You should also tell your ex spouse the news if you have children with whom you share custody.

May we throw an engagement party?

Absolutely, although parents of the either party don’t typically do this for second marriages. This honor is more likely to fall on friends or other family members, and gifts are not usually involved.  Chances are, an engagement party takes the place of a wedding shower.

May we put our name in a gift registry?

Depending on your age and a number of other variables, you may not even want gifts.  That probably won’t stop friends who absolutely want to honor you with some type of gift.  So go ahead.  Register.  A gift registry is a nice way to guide your friends on selecting gifts that truly matter.

Does a second wedding have to be a small, intimate affair?

Times have changed, and the answer is no.  You can invite whoever you’d like, especially since in most second marriages, the couple is paying for the wedding themselves.  Except in extraordinary circumstances, you may not want to invite ex spouses and ex in-laws.  The obvious exception would be in the case of couples who were widowed, and who maintained a close relationship with their late spouse’s family.

Is the bride limited in what she may wear?

Yes and no.  With the widespread practice of co-habitation, the culture no longer equates white with virginity, so second time brides may wear ecru, ivory, cream, or even white colored gowns, whatever color fits her fashion style.  On the other hand, the culture still views a wedding veil as a sign of purity, so second time brides should forgo it. The slide show above showcases some lovely gowns for second time, and more mature brides.

May Dad walk the bride down the aisle a second time?

Certainly.  But also we’ve seen many second time brides walk down the aisle by themselves.  And some couples prefer to do it together.  What’s right for you?

May we have attendants at our second wedding?

Yes, but we’ve noticed that most second marriages tend to use fewer attendants than first time marriages.

A second marriage is a celebration of love, and like all celebrations, music is THE foundation for your entertainment.  We’ve worked with many, many couples getting married a second time.  Learn more about our wedding services here. Something that has not changed since the first time you got married is that popular dates book fast, especially in June, September, and October. Check on our available dates right now, and then give me a call to share your wedding dreams at 1-630-766-9898.


 


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stress free wedding planning

Keep a sense of humor when planning your wedding

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Typical weddings require over one-thousand decisions on your part. Wow! That’s a lot! The key to stress-free wedding planning is a sense of humor and a well-organized wedding plan.

Stress free wedding planning begins with a good laugh!

Watch the video above for some good laughs. Even more, watch it as a tutorial on how a sense of humor helps turn a few gaffes into something funny and memorable. British comedian, Rowan Atkinson, is a master at showcasing life’s foibles as he so ably demonstrates in this scene from “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

By the same token Crestline Entertainment is a master at helping you create a well-organized wedding entertainment plan that runs like clockwork.  We coordinate details with all your wedding vendors to create a well-oiled machine at your wedding celebration with no surprises.

For the record, Mr. Atkinson would never cut it as a DJ with Crestline Entertainment! We offer only the cream of the crop wedding DJ and MC talent in the area.

In other words, you can simply enjoy your wedding day knowing we’ve got you covered. Stress free wedding planning begins with Crestline Entertainment. We offer an extensive array of wedding planning tools which allows such tight coordination, that not even a Rowan Atkinson character could muck it up!


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wife gift

How not to buy a gift for your sweetheart

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Your future wife is your sweetheart for life. Keep that in mind as you read this blogpost that explores the challenge of the perfect wife gift.

Men, you are entering an area of opportunity … and landmines! Beware, a false move can get you in the dog house faster than you can say “vacuum cleaner!” By the same token, the right move can create beauty, joy, and passion to nurture your marriage for a lifetime.

Wife gift landmines

We talked to a man who can help you. This gentlemen has been married many years and has enjoyed a beautiful, happy marriage. His wife is his best friend. He is his wife’s best friend. In other words, he can do nothing wrong, right?

Wrong!

Let’s call him Joe. Joe has found himself in the doghouse on more than one occasion thanks to poorly conceived gift ideas. He reveals some of the wife gift mistakes he has made.

The automatic pilot gift mistake

While courting his wife, Joe would frequently buy his sweetheart flowers. Beautiful! She loved them. So when he got married, Joe thought,

“Why mess with a good formula!”

So he gave his wife flowers on her birthday; on their first wedding anniversary; on Valentine’s Day. And the next year, he repeated the same formula … until his wife rebelled. She knew he was putting no thought into the gift any more. Flowers were great when purchased with feeling. They weren’t great when it appeared he was buying them to make his life easy and get it over with.

The functional gift mistake

Then there was the year he gave his wife a functional item, a foldable kitchen stool for Christmas. Ouch! Practical doesn’t work with most women. It didn’t matter that he also gave her a bottle of her favorite cologne. The practical gift expunged the benefit of the romantic gift. To compound his gift-giving gaffe, he gave her cologne every year for Christmas, a classic “automatic pilot gift mistake.” (See above.) Two wife gift mistakes in one single holiday!

The super extravagant gift mistake

As problematic as the mistakes above are, it can actually get worse. Some men swing to the other extreme and buy super extravagant gifts. And then they try to outdo themselves year after year. You can see the risk potential here, like running out of money!

Seriously, it’s not the size of the gift, it is the thought behind it that counts. Sometimes guys buy big, expensive gifts, or even small expensive gifts, like jewelry, in an attempt to make themselves look good. Keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with jewelry, and there is much right with it.

Examine your motivations first.

Are you buying an expensive diamond necklace because your wife really wants it, or do you just want to show off?

Here’s the bottom line: listen.

Listen to hints your wife drops in your day to day living. If she sees something in a catalog or online that she comments on, don’t just make a mental note, make a list and write it down. That way, when you present her a gift she really, really wants, she’ll know that you listened.

Crestline Entertainment specializes in launching couples on their way with fabulous wedding entertainment. Are you engaged? Be sure to check out our planning tools. Great wedding entertainment is a tremendous gift to yourselves and your guests!


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wedding guest list advice

Wedding guest list advice

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Who NOT to invite to your wedding, that is the question! Few issues cause more friction in the wedding planning process than the guest list. Here is some wedding guest list advice to simplify the process.

Wedding guest list anguish takes many forms:

• Your budget is limited, so you can’t afford to invite everybody you’d like to.

• Your parents want you to invite people you don’t know very well.

• Your future in-laws want to invite more people on their side of the family than yours.

• Which co-workers get invited, and who doesn’t make the cut?

• You feel guilted into inviting someone who you know will be disruptive. (Watch video below!)

You get the idea.  There are landmines everywhere.  I’d like to tell you that I can help you avoid each one.  I can’t.  Each situation is different. Nonetheless, you can minimize anxiety if you take our wedding guest list advice.

Wedding guest list advice

Tip #1:  Pay for the wedding yourself. When you’re footing the bill, you have more clout on who gets an invitation.

Tip #2:  Set a budget and your guest list size.  Since so many couples have their parents pay for most or a portion of the cost of a wedding, try to lock in a pretty firm guest list number so you know what you’re dealing with.  Best to start low, because the number will surely grow.

Tip #3:  Develop a ‘family formula’ for divvying up the list.  It might be as simple as a third of the guest list comes from your friends as a couple; a third from the groom’s family; and a third from the bride’s family.  Obviously, this formula won’t work for everyone.  The idea, though, is to establish a formula right for your situation on the front end to minimize wrangling down the road.

If you’re paying for the wedding, the formula might be half for you, with the remaining guest list split between the two families.

Will all parties stick to the formula?  Probably not, but you’re no worse off than if you didn’t establish a formula, and you’re probably going to be way ahead by doing so.

Tip #4:  Categorize potential invitees.  This can be rather fun.  The fun comes in the way you describe your categories.

How to categorize your guest list

I recommend 4 categories, perhaps something like this:

CATEGORY A (the “My Favorite People in the world” category)

CATEGORY B (the “People who mean a lot to me, and I mean a lot to them” category)

CATEGORY C (the “People I really do want to invite, but then I’ll feel guilty if I don’t invite a mutual friend/co-worker ” category)

CATEGORY D (“People I really don’t want to invite, but there will be hell to pay if I don’t” category)

Categorizing helps focus your thinking.  Ultimately, the power of the purse tends to finalize who in each category gets an invite. For example, one bride bristled when her parents invited a couple they were friends with, whom the daughter never liked.  The daughter fumed,

“Mrs. Smith called me fat when I was thirteen! I refuse to have her at my wedding!”

The mother shot back,

“Listen honey, they’re friends of ours and we see them almost every week.  Yes, that was a jerky thing for her to say, but that was 10 years ago. Time to move on.  We’re paying for the wedding.  She’s coming.”

Tip #5:  Don’t tack on the words “and guest” to your single friends unless they’re in a longterm relationship.  Think about it, how would you like to cut someone from the first three categories above and replace them with a stranger you may never see again in your life?  End of story. Right?

How to handle audacious invitees

Well, not quite.  Some of your more audacious friends may take it upon themselves to add on the words “and guest” anyway when they send the RSVP back.  Be prepared.  Write back immediately something like this:

“Anne, I’m so delighted you’ll be able to attend my wedding.  That means so much to me!  I’m sorry to say, though, that we simply don’t have the space to accommodate your guest.  I wish it were different, but it’s just the reality of planning a wedding.  I’ll tell you more about it next time I see you. I’m so excited about this day. Thank-you for coming!”

Then there is the timeless question of children: do you invite them or not?  This is such a highly charged subject that we’ve already written an entire blogpost on the subject.  Go back and check it out!

I hope you find this basic wedding guest list advice helpful, and congratulations on your engagement.  As you work through the planning process, remember that entertainment makes the event.  Check out our wedding entertainment services today.  We would be honored to show those guests who “make the cut” how much fun a wedding can be!


 


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bridezilla

What style of wedding photography is right for you?

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Your wedding day presents rich photographic opportunities. The question is, of the four most popular wedding photography styles, which is right for you?

Think of the delightful moments you’ll want recorded forever: your entrance and the wedding vows; the cake cutting and the first dance; and the entire celebratory fervor which Crestline Entertainment helps to cultivate.

This is life at it’s best. The moments captured by your wedding photographer matter.  These are the images you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Here’s where things get fun.  Wedding photography styles are dramatically different.  Which is right for you?  Ultimately, it depends on your personality, your traditions, and your personal artistic tastes.

Wedding photography styles

For the sake of this blogpost, let’s focus in on the four basic styles offered by various photographers in this market area. Yes, there are variations on these styles, but these four really cover the approaches you’ll want to consider.

TRADITIONAL PORTRAITURE

wedding photography styles

Traditional wedding photography

Let’s face it, most people love posed shots following a ceremony, whether it is in front of your church or in front of a redwood tree.  These traditional photographs allow a good portrait photographer to bring out the best in you and your wedding party.  Posing is an art form unto itself.  Your grandparents and your parents love these shots, because they had them at their weddings, too.  It’s great fun to go back and compare these portraits to see how fashions and hair styles have changed.  Traditional portraiture has gotten increasingly creative, with great poses in less traditional settings, such as your hotel or even a back road behind your venue.  Traditional portraiture doesn’t have to be stodgy.

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY:

wedding photography styles

Documentary wedding photography

You may not be a fan of posing. If you want a more spontaneous collection of wedding photographs, the documentary style might be a good fit for you.  Your photographer acts like a journalist, roaming your event to record the solemnity, as well as the fun, of your event.  Spontaneous moments, such as the antics of your bridesmaids or groomsmen are captured for posterity, as well as the romantic moments.  There are pros and cons of this style.  Pro:  the subjects aren’t looking at the camera.  Con:  the subjects aren’t looking at the camera.  You get the idea.  It’s all about what you want.

FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY

 

wedding photography styles

Fine art wedding photography

This approach goes beyond photo journalism by transforming a documentary approach into an artistic approach.  It especially lends itself to photographers who still use film, which is a dying breed.  However, good digital photographers can still create art with creative use of the focal length of the photograph.  You know what I mean:  the subject in the foreground is in focus, but the background is blurred.  Yes, this style documents your event, but from the artistic perspective of the photographer, who typically prefers black and white to color photography.

EDGY PHOTOGRAPHY

wedding photography styles

Edgy wedding photography

These avant-garde photographers are not a good choice for couples who lean towards the traditional.  But if you like an artist who thinks outside the box, you’ll want to consider this style.  These photographers don’t frame their shots in the same ways as the photographers above might. They might even like tilted perspectives.  Edgy photography likes to transform the common place into the extraordinary.  There’s a case to be made for it, but spend time reviewing a photographer’s portfolio before committing.  That’s good advice for any wedding photographer you’re considering.

Wedding photography styles really do vary.  Some especially proficient photographers are able to embrace a number of different styles.  You can help them by letting them know which approach best fits your needs.

Crestline Entertainment likes to know the style of wedding photography you prefer. It helps us to collaborate with you in designing the wedding entertainment look and feel perfect for you.


 


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best wedding movies

Best wedding movies ever made

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The best wedding movies are so fun. They unite an audience because everyone has wedding experience, either as an attendee or a participant. So when various antics, disasters, and human foibles are projected on the big screen, well, it can be delightfully entertaining.

Crestline Entertainment gets a big kick out of the best wedding movies, because we’ve seen it all in real life! When you entertain at wedding celebrations on a weekly basis, you can’t help but encounter some zany escapades that fall into the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ category!

I couldn’t help but laugh at a recent wedding ceremony that was held on a Sunday afternoon. The poor priest officiating the service kept referring to it as a funeral instead of a wedding. That got a ton of laughs. He explained that he almost never performs weddings on a Sunday, and that funerals are more typical on Sundays, so it was tough for him get his mind out of funeral mode and into wedding mode. (For the record, Sunday weddings can often times save you money, since most couples prefer Saturdays. Some wedding vendors offer more favorable pricing on these “off” days.)

Entertainment Tonight’s list of best wedding movies

Entertainment Tonight compiled a list of their favorite wedding movies in the video above. Here’s their list of their top seven, along with their respective box office receipts:

7. My Best Friend’s Wedding | $299 Million

6. 27 Dresses | $160 Million

5. Bridesmaids | $288 Million

4. The Wedding Planner | $95 Million

3. The Wedding Crashers | $285 Million

2. The Wedding Singer | $123 Million

1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding | $368 Million

There’s money in wedding movies!

The risk of watching movies like these is that most brides don’t have Hollywood budgets! Some brides get a little overwhelmed and fret that their wedding celebration will pale by comparison.

Your wedding can be better than a Hollywood movie!

Don’t worry, your wedding can easily exceed any you see on movie screens, even if your wedding budget is on the ‘normal’ side, which is most of us. Everything depends on the entertainment. If your guests are having fun, they aren’t even going to notice if your reception is a buffet or a sit down dinner.

Crestline Entertainment offers a rich selection of entertainment options with attractive package pricing.

Crestlne DJ uplighting

Uplighting transforms a plain hall into a palace

Check out our wedding DJ entertainment services, uplighting, and the always popular Crestline Entertainment photo booths. Entertainment provides 90% of the fun at wedding receptions, but only costs 10% of the typical budget.

Just as a good Hollywood wedding movie provides you with great entertainment on the silver screen, Crestline Entertainment will provide you with fabulous wedding entertainment, defined by packed dance floors, flawless MCing, and a spirit of fun.

It’s your turn. Your wedding CAN be better than a movie. Start planning your dream today.


 

 


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celebrity marriage advice

Celebrity marriage advice. Beware!

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Celebrity marriages don’t always work out so well. So celebrity marriage advice is always a little suspect. But it can be so much fun!

For us ‘little people,’ there are still some nuggets of wisdom worth considering from these larger than life figures. Or at the very least, we’ll get a good laugh.

The notorious actress and sex symbol, Mae West, offered profound advice to future wives:

“Don’t marry a man to reform him – that’s what reform schools are for.”

Comedienne Phyllis Diller’s advice was totally practical:

“Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age – as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.”

The 18th century German satirist, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, provides ‘snarky’ advice, to use a 21st century word:

“Love is blind, but marriage restores its sight.”

Which leads us to Marilyn Monroe’s advice posted above:

“I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes. I’m out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Everyone is flawed. Everyone is going to have their moments with their spouse. That’s when love actually flourishes, for love isn’t a just feeling. If it were merely a feeling, it could never last.

Love is choice.

It’s a choice to mend fences, even when the love of your life is difficult to handle and you don’t feel like mending fences.

When you hit a rough patch in your relationship like everyone else in recorded history has, you might take some advice from the wisest man who ever lived, according to the Old Testament of the Bible, King Solomon. Writing in the The Book of Proverbs, his advice still resonates three thousand years later:

“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

In other words, guard your relationship by controlling your tongue! Now that’s a celebrity worth listening to!

Ready for more advice? Check out our event planning tools. They make wedding planning so easy.


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Chicagoland's finest wedding DJd

How to know if you’re in love

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Here’s a great quote from the timeless Dr. Seuss. The same sentiment is at work when you hire Chicagoland’s finest wedding DJs: Crestline Entertainment.

With us, your wedding reception will exceed your dreams. You won’t want your celebration to end, because it will be so much more than you ever dreamed possible.

Let’s be clear about something:  you don’t have to spend a fortune on your wedding day to experience the party you wish would never end. But you DO need to invest your limited resources wisely in one key area:  the entertainment.

Chicagoland’s finest wedding DJs

Chicagoland's finest wedding DJsEntertainment makes the event.  Crestline Entertainment knows how to bring people together and fill a dance floor in celebration of your special day.  Our uplighting will transform a plain hall into a palace, so don’t worry if your decorating budget is modest.  We will make you feel like royalty.

It’s really true, like Dr. Seuss says.  You’ll have trouble falling asleep that night, because at last, reality has become better than your dreams.


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Chicago wedding planning

How to break the ice at a pre-wedding luncheon

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The scene is tense.

Families come together for a pre-wedding luncheon.  An old girl friend of the groom is there.  Yikes!  This could get pretty uncomfortable.  Fast.

What to do?  Why it is simple:  break into song!

I post above for your viewing pleasure that memorable scene from “My Best Friend’s Wedding” when Rupert Everett does just that.  He starts singing that golden-oldie from the 60s, “I Say  a Little Prayer for You.”

Before you know it, the whole restaurant is singing along!  Aah … if only life were a musical!

Stress-free Chicago wedding planning

Many brides let the process of planning their wedding stress them out.  I get it.  There are a lot of details to get in place.  We can help you with the entertainment. We’ll take the stress right out of the wedding planning so you can start having fun again.

Even more, Crestline Entertainment offers a wonderful online planning portal to make Chicago wedding planning easy for our clients. Once you have an event booked with us, you can access all of our online planning tools such as our Event/Wedding Planning form, Music Request list or Timeline.

Get your password by filling out the form here.

In the meantime, take a few minutes to watch this very funny scene starring Julia Roberts.  A good laugh always makes the day better … and less stressful.

[Entertainment makes the difference at wedding receptions. Check out Crestline Entertainment’s helpful online planning portal here.]


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