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Articles Tagged with "marta block"

When to Hire Wedding Vendors

Brittany Anderson

Planning a wedding includes a lot of moving parts and for most people, hiring a lot of different vendors. It can be confusing to know who to hire when. What follows below is a rough timeline, assuming a one year engagement. If you have less time, don't panic! You may be a little busier the first few months of your engagement than some people, but it will all work out in the end.... MORE

Posted January 10, 2019

Wedding Tips from the Pros: Getting Organized

Brittany Anderson

Having worked at and attended hundreds of weddings a year, wedding pros have a wealth of helpful wedding info they bring to your wedding. That's why every week we bring you tips from some of our favorite wedding pros.... MORE

Posted January 10, 2019

Ask the Experts: When to Hire Wedding Entertainment

Marta Block

Question: When do I hire the entertainment for my wedding? A: Ideally, you'll begin researching your wedding entertainment options nine months to a year or more before your wedding. It's not that you need to choose someone at that point, but you want to start getting an idea of costs and possibilities. Most people hire their wedding entertainment four to nine months before the wedding. ... MORE

Posted January 10, 2019

Kids Party Tip: Age Appropriate Entertainment

Marta Block

Not every party for kids has professional entertainment. Sometimes parents choose to hire an entertainer because of a child's interest or special request, a beloved costumed character for example. Sometimes the entertainment is a natural outcome of a theme, a clown for a circus theme for example. But sometimes the decision to hire entertainment is just a matter of trying to make sure the party has some activity. How can you make sure your entertainment is age appropriate? We have some thoughts!... MORE

Posted June 27, 2018

Kids Party Tip: Kids and Costumed Characters

Marta Block

On Monday of this week we received tips from some of our fabulous costume character performers on how to safely hire a costumed character for your party. This, plus a recent trip to Disneyland got me thinking about children I've know and their diverse reactions to "characters." If your child has been invited to a party that may feature a costume character, or you're planning on hosting one, here are some tips for making sure all goes smoothly, with the child half of the equation. ... MORE

Posted June 27, 2018

Why You Need Engagement Photos

Marta Block

A lot of the recent popularity of an engagement session has to do with social media. In the old days (you know, back in the year 2000 or so), there wasn't much to do with your engagement photos except send them to your hometown newspaper. Today though, with the explosion of social media, your photographs can be seen and shared in so many places. It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement. Like all wedding decisions, whether or not to invest in an engagement session has a lot to do with both time and money. Although you don't have to have an e-session, here are ten reasons we think you should.... MORE

Posted June 27, 2018

Hiring a Jazz Band for Your Wedding

Marta Block

If you're looking to hire a jazz band for your wedding, we can help! This advice from our Jazz members on how to hire a Jazz Band originally appeared on our sister blog, Life of the Party. ... MORE

Posted June 27, 2018

5 Questions to Ask a Wedding Band Leader

Marta Block

There are people who make their living booking bands in to clubs and for special events. Then there's you, an about-to-be-married person who for some reason is instantly expected to know everything there is to know about hiring live entertainment for your wedding. That's why we started this series of 5 Questions to Ask. It's not a definitive guide, just a quick look at some things you should know.... MORE

Posted June 27, 2018

Party Tip: Estimating Drinks

Marta Block

It's one of the central questions of party planning, how much will people drink? How much should you buy? The most common estimate given for adults is 1 drink per hour, per person. So, if you're having 20 guests for a three hour cocktail party you'll need a total of 60 drinks.  Of course, you know your friends and their drinking habits best, and there are other things to consider.... MORE

Posted June 27, 2018

Ask the Experts: Negotiating with the Band

Marta Block

Question: Should I try to negotiate with your band? A: Yes. We recommend thinking of this as starting a conversation, as opposed to demanding a certain price. Try and find out a little bit more from the band about why their costs are what they are and what those costs include (travel, parking, set up and tear down?). Be polite, and ask if they have any room to negotiate in their price. ... MORE

Posted June 27, 2018

The Perfect Wedding Cocktail, 5 Tips to Create Yours

Marta Block

Special to GigMasters from mixologist H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir in San Francisco At GigMasters we know it takes two things to make a great party, great entertainment and great refreshments. Unfortunately, it can often seem like your budget makes you choose between the two. That's why one standard piece of wedding advice is to forgo a full bar in favor of a few specialty drinks. Mixologist H. Joseph Ehrmann can help you do just that with these tips.... MORE

Posted June 22, 2018

How to Hire a Bartender for Your Wedding

Marta Block

In recent years DIY catering and DIY bartending have become popular ways for couples on a tight budget to keep their wedding spending under control. Unfortunately, a lot of couples assume that they can simply ask their uncle or friend to take turns running the bar. Having an amateur bartender may actually wind up costing you money both in terms of alcohol poured, and also in terms of potential legal issues. Here are some key things to understand and questions to ask before you hire a bartender.... MORE

Posted June 22, 2018

Ask the Experts: Band or DJ?

Marta Block

Question: Should I hire a DJ or a band for my wedding? A: Here at GigMasters we love bands and DJs equally! A lot of sites will tell you that the decision comes down to cost, but while DJs do cost less than bands, we don't think that should be the only factor for choosing your wedding entertainment.... MORE

Posted June 20, 2018

Kids Party Tip: Choosing Kid Friendly Music

Marta Block

Thanks to artists and entertainers like Dan Zane and Ralph Covert kids' music has become increasingly sophisticated, music that the whole family can listen to together. At the same time, thanks to ipods and other sources of on-the-go music, kids are routinely exposed to much more sophisticated adult music. Sometimes, the music is a little more sophisticated than many adults would like. This can make choosing music for a kid's party difficult. What's a party planning parent to do? We have tips. ... MORE

Posted June 20, 2018

5 Questions to Ask a Wedding DJ

Marta Block

There are so many things to consider when hiring a wedding DJ or other entertainment for your wedding. It can seem overwhelming. That's why GigMasters has created this "5 Questions" post. It's not meant to be an all inclusive guide to hiring wedding entertainment, just a quick way to get started.... MORE

Posted June 19, 2018

A Hanukkah Party to Rock the Ages

Marta Block

If you understand the pun in the title of this post, you've probably been to a Hanukkah party or two. But if you're new to the idea of a Hanukkah party, or are just looking for some ideas to spice up your annual festival of lights, we've got tips.... MORE

Posted November 30, 2015

Hosting a Hanukkah Party: An Easy Guide

Marta Block

The obvious first step in hosting a Hanukkah party is to pick a spelling! Just kidding, but if you aren't that familiar with the Jewish holiday the multiple spellings of the name can be just one of the many things that intimidate you about throwing a Hanukkah party. That's why we have this easy guide. ... MORE

Posted November 30, 2015

Holiday Weddings: Do You Dare?

Marta Block

Certain wedding arguments just never seem to get solved. Should you have children at your wedding? Are destination weddings rude or fun? Will the black wedding dress ever really take off? You can add, should you have your wedding on a holiday to the list.... MORE

Posted November 30, 2015

Your Fall Wedding Photo List

Marta Block

A lot of people think of June as "THE" month for weddings, but Fall is becoming a more and more popular season. The weather is a little more predictable than summer, and the gorgeous colors can't be beat. Wondering what photos you should take to capture the magic of your Fall wedding? We have a list, illustrated of course, with gorgeous wedding photos courtesy of Christy Whitehead Photography in Florida.... MORE

Posted August 31, 2015

Top Wedding Songs for Teachers

Marta Block

If you're a teacher who would like to add a little schoolhouse fun into your wedding day soundtrack, you've come to the right place. For all of those brids and grooms who are also our talented and dedicated teachers, we present the best and worst school inspired wedding songs.... MORE

Posted August 31, 2015

Backyard Summer Parties for Kids

Brittany Anderson

You don’t always need a special occasion in order to throw a party. Celebrating with the people you love is enough - especially your little ones.  Summer is the ultimate season for kids' parties! And what better way, than throwing an outdoor summer party - the weather is warmer, the days are longer, and there’s no mess to clean up after in the house! Here are some tips on how to throw the ultimate kid’s bash this summer: Plan ahead. Make sure to give extra notice to all of your guests, as families tend to make summer vacation plans ahead of time. Extend the invite to parents or entire families for all to enjoy! Stay cool. Summer days can reach stifling temperatures, so it’s important to keep everyone happy and hydrated. Provide easy access to an assortment of ice cold drinks so that thirsty kids can help themselves as needed. Pool Safety. Who doesn’t love to dive in for a refreshing swim on a hot summer day? If you have a pool that kids will be using during your party, establish rules for safety. Not everyone knows how to swim, either, so it would be smart to have floaties or life jackets available just in case. You may even want to hire a lifeguard or assign parent supervision shifts during pool time. Having someone there to keep an eye on the children will allow parents to relax and enjoy themselves. If you don’t feel comfortable letting kids in the pool during your party or don’t have one, set up a kiddie pool! Plastic or inflatable kiddie pools are inexpensive and easy to maintain! Sun Protection. The sun’s rays are too strong to ignore. Set up a U/V protection station so that all guests can protect themselves while the sun in shining. Include sunscreen with higher SPF for the kids, hats, and sunglasses that can also double as party favors.   Grown-Up Area. Don’t forget to cater to the adults at the party, they deserve to have some fun too! Have adult refreshments and food options. (check out our Pinterest boards for inspiration!)   Keep it fun. Make your party stand out from a typical summer outing. Consider getting a bounce house for the kids to enjoy, you’d be surprised at the types of themes available these days!  Take your party up a notch by booking entertainment for both kids and adults to enjoy, such as a DJ or band.   Follow us. Check us out @GigMasters (for Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!) for all of your #partyinspiration. ... MORE

Posted June 24, 2015

Kids Party Tip: Emergency Change of Location

Marta Block

I've always been jealous of people with summer birthdays, or people whose kids have summer birthdays. The party options always seemed so much more varied than my December birthday, or my kids' January & February ones. They also seemed so much more secure, since there's no worry of a blizzard canceling you cookout. But, this summer's nationwide string of storms, rain, and power outages have me rethinking that.... MORE

Posted June 24, 2015

Top Father Daughter Songs ABOUT Dad!

Marta Block

There's nothing as tear jerking as the father/daughter dance at a wedding. But have you ever noticed how almost all the songs are not actually about Dear Old Dad, but about the bride? In honor of Father's Day this weekend we thought we'd give you 5 Father/Daughter songs that are actually about Dad. Of course, we also give you five father/daughter songs you should probably avoid.... MORE

Posted June 11, 2015

Wedding Tip, Surviving the Father-Daughter Dance

Marta Block

With Father's Day this weekend, a lot of brides are thinking about the other important guy in their life, their dads. The Father/Daughter dance is supposed to be bittersweet and beautiful, but, here's a secret, a lot of dads don't really like to dance. So, how can you and your dad survive the big dance with feet and egos intact? Here are some tips.... MORE

Posted June 11, 2015

What to Expect at an Indian Wedding

Marta Block

Photo Credit: Jihan Abdalla PhotographyInvited to an Indian wedding? You're in for a treat. But first, You probably have a lot of questions about what to expect. ... MORE

Posted April 08, 2015

Hot Weather Wedding Savers

Marta Block

The "woodland wonderland" wedding theme has taken outdoor weddings out of the shade this year, but whether your wedding is indoors or outdoors, the heat can still have a big impact on your wedding plans. We have some great tips for keeping your wedding cool this summer no matter where your wedding will be. We've used images from this gorgeous Black Hills, South Dakota wedding with an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception to illustrate some of our points.... MORE

Posted April 02, 2015

Indian Wedding Ideas You Can Steal

Marta Block

Photo Credit: Pearl Moon Photography Thanks to movies, music, and a growing South Asian population in the U.S., Indian weddings have entered the U.S. mainstream when it comes to wedding planning. If you’ve been to an Indian wedding, or seen one depicted in a movie, it’s hard not to covet the bright colors, extravagant entertainment, and general sense of fun and excitement that accompanies the wedding. One of the best things about living in a multicultural society like ours is that ideas pass back and forth between groups. But, you also want to be careful that you aren’t accidentally insulting a culture by taking pieces of it without fully understanding their meaning.... MORE

Posted March 17, 2015

How Much Do Engagement Photos Cost?

Marta Block

Photo Credit: Blume Photography Once the rush of being newly engaged has worn off, it's time to think about your engagement photography session. This may be the first of many cost decisions you make together as an engaged couple -- don't let the wide range of prices and endless options zap your romance. Instead, we asked pro photographers from around the country to share their prices to help you navigate your options and find the engagement photographer that's right for you.... MORE

Posted February 13, 2015

5 Trends in Engagement Photography

Marta Block

Cover Photo: Zorz Studios Social media has made sharing engagement photos so fun, easy, and expected that engagement photo sessions have become a standard part of the wedding planning process, and another form of couple self-expression.... MORE

Posted January 29, 2015

Wedding Trend: A Normcore Wedding

Marta Block

Have you heard of normcore? Normcore is a style and fashion trend about being, well ... normal. Normcore is about spending less time trying to stand out and more time doing what matters to you. So, what is a "normcore wedding"?... MORE

Posted December 22, 2014

Pantone Color of the Year 2015: Marsala

Marta Block

Every year Pantone announces a new "color of the year." This color is not only expected to show up frequently in design and fashion, it's description is meant to say something about the trends for the year. Wedding designers and vendors always take an interest in the color of the year, not because they suddenly expect everyone to choose it as a wedding color, but because they expect it to influence wedding designs and trends.... MORE

Posted December 16, 2014

Wedding Dates, How Couples Really Feel

Marta Block

We often talk about picking the right wedding date as being one of the most important steps in wedding planning. The date you choose can affect everything from attendance to cost, but in the long run, how important is it? How do people who chose wedding dates that others thought weren't such a great idea feel about those dates later on?... MORE

Posted December 09, 2014

Wedding Dates 2015 and 2016

Marta Block

Are you one of the 70% of couples who get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentines' Day? Your first step of course is to pick some possible dates. So, we present our annual list of good, bad, and just plain weird dates for your wedding (the list is also good for other party planning).... MORE

Posted December 02, 2014

How to Make Your Guests Hate Your Wedding

Marta Block

Everyone knows it's a losing proposition to try and please everyone with your wedding. People who are determined to find fault, will find fault no matter what. If you read one article that says how much people hate buffets, you'll read another that says how much people hate sit down dinners. As a general rule, brides and grooms are encouraged to do what makes sense for them on their wedding day. But there are certain categories of wedding complaints that it makes sense to think about when you're making your plans.... MORE

Posted November 25, 2014

Ways to Destroy a Flower Girl Dress

Marta Block

Whether or not to have children at your wedding remains one of the big wedding controversies. Personally, I had a Sunday afternoon wedding and a lot of children in my life, so it made perfect sense for me. One of my favorite pictures of the day is of my Goddaughter and her little brother completely passed out on chairs. But, if I'd known what I now know about kids back then, I probably would have done a little more to occupy the kids at my wedding.... MORE

Posted November 18, 2014

How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost

Marta Block

I found budgeting to be the hardest part of planning my wedding. Not sticking to amounts, or keeping costs under control, but just figuring out what my wedding budget should be. I found a lot of articles and pie charts telling me what percentage of my budget should be reserved for each element (dress, ceremony, food, etc). But I had a hard time getting anyone, even wedding vendors, to give me actual approximate costs. The cost of a wedding photographer was one of the most difficult items to nail down. ... MORE

Posted November 03, 2014

Themed Weddings: Doing It Right

Marta Block

We love themed weddings at GigMasters. Every year around Halloween we set off looking for the most outrageous Halloween-themed weddings, and we've published dozens of real weddings with themes ranging from circus to super heroes to Christmas. But compared to the rest of wedding tradition, the idea of a "theme" is still pretty new. What is a themed wedding? How do you make it work?... MORE

Posted October 28, 2014

Holiday Stress and Your Wedding

Marta Block

Family issues, money issues, scheduling issues, planning issues, shopping issues - does this sound like a list of wedding issues? It is, but it's also a list of winter holiday issues. Some of the biggest stressors of the holiday season coincide with some of the biggest engagement stressors. So, it's no surprise that even couples who generally make it through the wedding process with limited stress wind up a little stressed around the holidays. Three big issues tend to come up for engaged couples in November and December. We present them now to give you a little time to prepare.... MORE

Posted October 21, 2014

Should You Go to a Bridal Show

Marta Block

Long before there were blogs and wedding websites there were bridal shows. They go under a lot of different names "bridal expo," "bridal fair," "bridal show," "wedding show." But they all have the same basic idea, you go to one location and meet a lot of wedding vendors and other people interested in talking to the recently engaged. Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding if a bridal show is a good idea for you?... MORE

Posted October 14, 2014

Choosing Your Wedding Music

Marta Block

When my husband and I got engaged we did not have "a song." In fact, we didn't even really like the same types of music. We struggled to find appropriate music for various parts of the ceremony and reception. Some things came together nicely, we walked down the aisle to the Beatles' In My Life, it just fit for us. Some things were a little stranger, our first dance was Stephen Foster's Swanee River, because that was the first song we ever danced to together. I was curious, how do other people decide what makes a great wedding song?... MORE

Posted September 30, 2014

Should You Have a Brother Sister Dance (The Experts Weigh In)

Marta Block

A few years ago we started hearing of more and more brides and grooms looking for song choices for a "brother sister dance." We offered some suggestions. The trend kept growing and so, did the backlash.... MORE

Posted September 26, 2014

Is Used a New Wedding Trend?

Marta Block

When Andrea Lown started SmartBride Boutique in 2008 a lot of her clients couldn't get over the idea that they'd be using someone else's wedding dress. According to Lown, brides were nervous and somewhat secretive about it, hiding the information from friends and family. Today though, Lown says that with the rise of the sharing economy outside of the wedding world, more and more brides are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of buying a used dress, and selling their dress later. Lown points to the rise her company has seen in resale of dresses costing over $2,000 as evidence that this trend isn't just for the cash strapped, and isn't in fact just about saving money.... MORE

Posted September 16, 2014

Public Weddings, So You Want to Be a Star?

Marta Block

Singer Robyn Monks and L.A. comedian Adam Gropman were happily engaged and happily pregnant when Adam saw the casting call from a friend. The call was looking for couples willing to be married on T.V., no other details provided.... MORE

Posted September 10, 2014

Wedding Planning 101 (Part 2)

Marta Block

Last week we broke the news to you that the first step in planning your wedding was not Pinning 100 beautiful dresses. Rather, it was coming up with your budget and your approximate guest list. This week, we get to some of the fun stuff, and some more stuff that isn't always so fun. But, to keep you inspired even with the less fun stuff we illustrate it all with a gorgeous wedding.... MORE

Posted September 02, 2014

Wedding Planning 101 (Part 1)

Marta Block

One of the hard things about writing a wedding blog is that you never know where your readers are in their plans. Some people have been planning for years and others are just starting to think about their wedding. Those who haven't been planning for years often find the wedding info available online more confusing than helpful. We thought with everyone getting ready to go back to school it would be a good time to offer an intro course for those of you just entering the fun that is wedding planning.... MORE

Posted August 25, 2014

Rehearsal Dinner, What Kind of Entertainment Is Right?

Marta Block

Every week our bridal expert tackles a new question from a wondering bride. This week a bride wants some advice on what kind of entertainment to hire for her rehearsal dinner.... MORE

Posted August 21, 2014

Top Questions to Ask Your Caterer

Marta Block

Casual or formal, sit down or buffet, food is a big part of any wedding budget. Although it may seem like the most fun wedding vendor to hire (tastings, yay!), hiring a caterer can actually be very stressful. Not only are there a lot of industry terms to decipher (wait, what does plated mean again and what's a charger?), but each catering company has their own way of breaking down the bill so it can be hard to compare quotes.... MORE

Posted August 19, 2014

Ask the Experts: Small Reception Entertainment Suggestions

Marta Block

Question: I'm having a small cocktail reception for 60 people. What sort of entertainment do you suggest?... MORE

Posted July 30, 2014

Modern Country Wedding Songs

Marta Block

Country music is skyrocketing in popularity. As music crosses boundaries and defies genres, more and more people consider themselves at least a "little bit" country. ... MORE

Posted July 30, 2014

Ask the Experts: Wedding Speeches

Marta Block

Question: I was wondering, is it okay to give a speech at a wedding if you're the bride?  A: Absolutely! Giving a speech at your wedding is a great way to express your joy and your gratitude for everyone who has helped you with your wedding day. One thing to remember, there will already be a lot of focus on you on your wedding day, so you want to use this time to bring attention to others. Make sure you talk to your DJ or band leader and let him know of your plans, when you'd like to talk, and if you plan on letting others give toasts or speeches. ... MORE

Posted July 30, 2014

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