Lonumn Events

Midwest DJ and Special Events

Themes

We love a good theme around here. Our kids always pick a  birthday party theme, typically a tv show they are into and we usually go a little crazy with it. One year our son wanted angry birds so we made our own slingshot and used playground balls for the pigs and birds that we drew faces on, and got  bunch of cardboard boxes from Menards to build with. The kids loved it and it looked awesome. 

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For our 10 year wedding anniversary the 10 year is represented by tin so at our party there was some tin but a lot of silver and because we made a 10 year anniversary banner for pictures we took we also used that which had pink.

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Obviously for weddings there is always a color theme. The dresses can't clash with each other and usually need to go with the flower scheme. Maybe your wedding has a lot of country touches so the girls and guys are wearing cowboy boots.  Or you really love flowers so everything has to go with them. You dont need a theme to a wedding but if you want to the most obvious are the seasons fall, winter, spring and summer or the style which is typically either modern or rustic. Who says you need to get married on the beach or in the forest to incorporate that theme? If you haven't checked out our pinterest recently we have added some fun new things. Mostly the reason for this post was because I was at Target and found some cute things to use for a wedding shower  which almost always has a theme along with some things for the actual wedding. All these items were found in their spot section, a great place to not break the bank but still have attractive items.

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So for these they would make cute gifts more than anything. The water bottles say I do crew and team bride. The glasses say Mr. and Mrs, Maid of Honor, Best Man,Groomsmen, and Bridesmaid. 

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I love the wood signs they come as a pack of 3 so I flipped over each saying that is on them. I think chalkboards are a quick and cute way to add a saying, have for seating arrangements, or to put instructions on, and using different sizes makes for a nice contrast.

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Having a summer wedding might mean you are having a spring shower ( not that it feels like spring here in Iowa) which might call for flowers, pinks, and greens. A simple way to have something standout it to have a backdrop, the ribbon streamers are  great way to do that. I love that the flower banner even matches the bridal shower games. There was also some very pretty glass water bottles that had flowers on them that would make a great prize giveaway.  The nice part is that some of these things such as the chalkboards, flower banner, ribbon streamers, starry lights, and some of the wood signs could be reused for other parties.

What's all the hoopla about wedding games?

Something that is becoming popular at weddings is playing games.  From trivia games at the reception, to games for the outdoor wedding, and even games to play before the ceremony. If you are having an outdoor wedding there are plenty of games to choose from. Giant Jenga and bags quickly come to my mind but with a few materials you could also build you own games such as Mini Golf, Ring Toss, Connect Four, and Tic Tac Toe. If you have plenty of room outside there isn't a shortage of games you could do in between the reception and ceremony. I love Pinterest because there is SO many ideas you can find on there. Check out the ones I have found so far here (https://www.pinterest.com/djlonumn/wedding-games/). I'll continue to add more to that board as I find them. From free printables to ideas on how to tailor your games for your wedding, you'll find something unique to get your family and friends involved in the games. Wedding speech bingo might not be for everyone (especially since bingo may be yelled out during the speech) but it may be something fun you would like to add. Your DJ is there to help facilitate any games that are played especially the shoe game which is becoming popular. The bride and groom sit in chairs back to back and take off their shoes. They give each other a shoe so they have one of theirs and one of their significant others. The DJ or someone from the bridal party would ask questions related to the couple and they would hold up the corresponding shoe to match the answer. While we are all about the music we also love everything about weddings and are here to be a helpful resource if you don't have time to live on Pinterest (like I, the wife, does!). You will find our Pinterest link at the bottom of our site, so you can reference it anytime you'd like. Let us know if there is anything you would like to see on there. Happy wedding planning!

Time To Pick Your Playlist

You booked your DJ, now what? Building a playlist sounds easy but when you think about how much music is out there and how many songs you love it can be difficult. Here I have a list of songs you typically would want to pick yourself. It certainly does not mean you have to do this alone. Your DJ should be there to help you through it and make suggestions.

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Ceremony Music

Let's start with the ceremony first. If your ceremony is in a church, music will need to be discussed ahead of time. Most likely they will offer someone to play the music before the wedding starts. I would recommend music being played at least 20 minutes before the start since that is when most guests will be arriving, and also during the walk down the isle and back.  The most common classic songs to walk down the isle to are Canon in D, A Midsummer's Night Dream, and the Wedding March. You may be limited to your options of  music during the ceremony due to rules the church may have, so definitely take the time to discuss. If there is a little leeway and you would like something different I highly recommend Enya. She has a lot of beautiful music with very little words or The Piano Guys who do popular songs with no words (check out their version of Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years"). If you are not limited to what you can play it opens up so much more. Do you love Christian music? Brandon Heath's song "Love Never Fails" is one of my favorites, or if you want something a little more fun and upbeat "Something Beautiful" by the Newsboys is a good recessional song. A little different, but some other fun songs which could also be used in other parts of the wedding are American Author's "The Best Day of My Life", John Legend's "All of Me", Train's "Marry Me", or Faith Hill and Tim McGraw's "It's your Love". If you are having a hard time choosing, decide what kind of feel you would like to have. There is nothing wrong with wanting classic and traditional versus fun, 'let's get the party started immediately'.

Wedding Party

Next up will be deciding what music you want playing as the DJ announces the wedding party. A "Beautiful Day" by U2 is very popular along with Pharrell's "Happy". If you want something a little different and like country, try Florida Georgia Line's "This is How We Roll" or Sugarland's "Still the Same".

Dinner Music

The music during dinner should set the romantic mood. I would recommend the Piano Guys again if you would like something without words but plays popular songs. The music during dinner should be pleasant but not distracting since most of your guests will be talking to each other. If you would like songs with some words I would recommend Michale Buble and Jim Brickman since they have collaborators to their piano playing. You can always just play a mix of songs you love, so don't feel restricted.

Cake Cutting

The cake cutting is done some time during dinner. A lot of people choose something fun like Maroon 5's "Sugar" or Michael Buble's "How Sweet It Is". Just think of songs with the words sweet or sugar in it and it is commonly used during the cake cutting. 

First Dance & Parent Dances

Probably the easiest choice is the song you will have as your first dance and the dance you will do with your parents. They should be a reflection of you as a couple and the relationship you have with your parents. Most opt for something like "Butterfly Kisses" or "I Loved Her First" but if you and your dad have a fun loving personality and love to be goofy together choose something fun! Sometimes it might be hard to figure out a song for the mother/son dance because there just isn't as many songs about letting a son go as there is for a daughter. I really love Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" and The Band Perry's "A Mother Like Mine" if you are wanting something more sentimental. I have a feeling for first dances we will be seeing Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" more often, which is a beautiful song. I love music because if you dig hard enough you can almost find a song that fits different life situations perfectly and I hope you find that with your first dance. It's up to you what all specific dances you would like to have. Some weddings have had the grandparents dance together after the first dance and parent dances are over. If there is someone who is no longer with you that you wish could be there you can add a dance in for them. Some weddings have the bridal party all do a dance together a lot of "Celebration" and "We Are Family" are pretty common. You can always have a dance just for the girls and just for the guys. I am loving Keith Urban's song "Female". Not a fast dance but an empowering one. Also, I love Miranda Lambert/Carrie Underwood's "Something Bad" as a fun dance. If you choose to separate dances, Black Eyed Peas' "Let's Get It Started" or LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" could work well.

Reception Dancing

Now comes the music for the rest of the reception. Anything that is a must have, add to your list. The same goes if you absolutely do not want a certain music/artist played. You will want a wide variety so it appeals to everyone. If you have special traditions, like in our family we always have some polka songs, don't be afraid to add those in even if they won't appeal to everyone. Communicate with your DJ if guests are allowed to request music or not. There will always be guests who are not comfortable with fast pace songs so I would recommend one slow song (a good excuse to get close to your bride/groom) to every 6 upbeat songs. Again, you do not have to decide your entire playlist. Your DJ should help build around your interests.

Be sure to use free access tools to help you decide like YouTube, Spotify and Google Play Music. There you can search songs and listen to them while you picture your wedding. Does that song fit with your dream? Does it compliment the feeling you want? Enjoy this process! The music you play during these special moments will live on long past your wedding day. Happy listening!  

Follow The Leader

It has been easy to find articles about hiring your DJ or band for your wedding. Articles like "7 things to ask your DJ" or "10 things to ask before paying your entertainer". This is something that does create stress for some people. In a lot of cases, this decision is a big one for two very important reasons: it costs A LOT of money and it makes or breaks your wedding. I find this questionnaire approach a problem for one important reason...you shouldn't have to ask. This doesn't just apply to hiring an entertainer, but to any service that you pay for. This notion that you have to "expose" the problems before hiring someone is a sad truth. There isn't enough drive to "do well" for someone out of kindness, dignity and raw hard work. Instead we find a lot of deceit, laziness and lack of empathy. When you ask someone the generic questions, it is supposed to expose the frauds and help you find the perfect match...right?

Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.
— Margaret Thatcher

What I challenge is that the answers to the questions aren't what helps you decide who to choose. Well, not entirely at least. What you decide is based on how you feel about the situation, as it should be. Wouldn't you get the best feeling about a DJ if they answered all the questions you had even before you even asked them? Not as a fake facade of empty promises, but as a proof that this entertainer has it all put together. My point to share from all of this is that there are A LOT of people in the world who declare themselves a DJ and there are a lot of DJ's who want to make a lot of money as one. There are a much smaller number who take their craft very seriously, who carry a value much higher then they charge, and who carry empathy much higher then the others out there. This performer is one who would never come cheap, but would earn every dollar. This performer is one who everyone wants, and everyone can have if they search hard enough for them. These performers don't fill the stereotypes because they lead instead of follow and they cannot be defined the same as the rest. You find this performer by asking the same "10 things" you read about elsewhere, but be sure to judge based on the two most important qualities: attention to details and empathy. That will get you the best entertainer for your most important day and a performer that leads instead of follows. One who is defined by details never lets anything fall through the cracks and is prepared in every way possible. One who runs by empathy makes decisions for you and what you want, which is the only way it should be on your wedding. 

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West Des Moines, IA