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What You Ask For

Wedding service professionals answer questions on trends and unusual requests in preparation for the big day

by Stephen Leon on January 31, 2013 · 1 comment

When you are discussing your wedding-related service with clients, is there any one thing almost all of them ask for?

To look stylish and comfortable on the dance floor on their wedding day. –Michèle Marie Paré, Albany Ballroom Social Dance Studio, Albany

Is there an average price for flowers? No, because every wedding is different. We customize each wedding according to the bride’s flower choices, the size of the wedding, what is seasonal, and colors. –Michele Peters, Ambiance Florals & Events, Albany

Do they have an idea of their budget, and what has been your dream of a honeymoon? –Cindy McKeehan, McGeary’s Travel, Albany

PRICE! Brides now more than ever want great service at a great price. You have to really shop and you will find great shooters at a very reasonable price. I believe you don’t need to mortgage your house for good wedding photography. –Dino Petrocelli, Petrocelli Photography, Latham

A variety of flavors for their guests when they do cupcake tiers. –Lorraine Murphy, Bettie’s Cakes, Saratoga Springs/Colonie

Capacity, outdoor space and hotel accommodations are the common points. Preferred vendors is another topic they ask for, and we are happy with the partnerships and networks that we have established. Same-sex marriage availability is another topic that we are happy to accommodate. –David Hostig, Normanside Country Club, Delmar

Yes, a variety or requested songs, and more recently, non-traditional reception events. –Joe Kulewicz, Skeeter Creek, Hagaman, N.Y.

As a bartender, the one thing EVERY wedding party asks us for is a fun but safe night for their guests –Nicole Runyon, bartender, Albany Country Club, Voorheesville

The most common question almost all clients ask is “How much experience do you have with both formal and informal weddings, involving not only the receptions but the actual wedding ceremony itself?” Seems like a lot of clients are now having the ceremony and the reception in the same place, so we as DJs might have to learn certain norms, customs or religious formalities as a precursor to their event. –Kendrick ‘DJ Debonair’ Ricci, Uforia Entertainment, Troy

Yes, They want to coordinate their bridal gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, tuxedos, veils, shoes and jewelry under one roof –Sindi Saita, Apropos Prom and Bridal, Guilderland

For nail services, almost every bride asks for a French manicure or French acrylic. It’s a timeless, classic look that looks gorgeous with brand new wedding rings. Brides typically ask for a hairstyle that will work with their veil or hair accessory, but is versatile enough to look good if the bride decides to remove the veil/accessory after the ceremony. For makeup, brides typically want a natural look that will look great in pictures. –Danielle Klahr, Inside Out Beauty Consulting, Latham

Brides are excited to know that I offer the option of providing a beauty entourage for the entire day to make them beautiful! –Tek-Nik, Tek-Nik’s Traveling Scissors

What new trend are you seeing only recently?

Many destination weddings. –Sindi Saita, Apropos Prom and Bridal, Guilderland

Younger honeymooners are realizing that all-inclusive resorts are better than cruising. Exotic travel is more popular than ever. –Cindy McKeehan, McGeary’s Travel, Albany

A lot of couple looking for theme weddings, and In our case, country/down-home receptions. With the popularity explosion of country music in the 20-plus crowd, it’s becoming more the norm than it ever has been. –Joe Kulewicz, Skeeter Creek, Hagaman, N.Y.

Late-night food is a big thing over the last few seasons. That “fourth meal” to quote Taco Bell, if you know what I mean. We do late-night slider stations with burgers and fries for the guests. We try to get some food in their stomach at the end of the night to ensure they get home safely. Plus, after dancing all night, who doesn’t want a midnight snack? –Nicole Runyon, bartender, Albany Country Club, Voorheesville

Large hair accessories are becoming more and more popular and seem to be replacing traditional bridal veils in many cases. Fabric flowers, fluffy feathers, jewels, and peacock feathers are all popular choices for bridal hair accessories. –Danielle Klahr, Inside Out Beauty Consulting, Latham

Many more clients are using technology more than ever, with wedding day specific apps like “appycouple.com” and “weddingpartyapp.com.” –Katie O’Malley, Katie O’ Weddings & Events, Troy

A lot more winter weddings. –Michele Peters, Ambiance Florals & Events, Albany

Gone is the wedding DJ that comes in with minimal equipment, that sets up on just a table with very few antiquated lights. I believe that the wedding reception should resemble a nightclub curtailed to the genre of music the couple is fond of and to resemble the time when they first met and had their intimate and memorable times. . . . I provide a custom playlist of music based on the bride and groom’s wants/needs and transform the room to that era or a combination of all based on their guests in attendance. –Kendrick ‘DJ Debonair’ Ricci, Uforia Entertainment, Troy

Rustic-style weddings are one of the biggest trends along with Chiavari chairs. We have made accommodations to have ideas available for brides to see how our venue, although it isn’t a barn, can bring in that style. –David Hostig, Normanside Country Club, Delmar

1. Photobooths 2. Really don’t know what people see in this, but a lot of shooting into the sun with super-washed-out background almost to where you can hardly see the couple. Guess I’m old-school and I like crisp clean photography. –Dino Petrocelli, Petrocelli Photography, Latham

Bright-colored shoes for the bride! –Michèle Marie Paré, Albany Ballroom Social Dance Studio, Albany

People are seeing that it is not just about the dessert, it is about the experience so brides and grooms hire us to show up in our cupcake trucks and hand out cupcakes to guests. What’s more fun than a giant pink cupcake bus from London at a wedding? –Lorraine Murphy, Bettie’s Cakes, Saratoga Springs/Colonie

What is the funniest or most unusual request you have received from a client?

We are booked for a wedding reception at a truck/tractor pull this year. Does it get any more redneck than that? –Joe Kulewicz, Skeeter Creek, Hagaman, N.Y.

Lol If I could accompany the bridal party (bride & bride) on their honeymoon. –Kendrick ‘DJ Debonair’ Ricci, Uforia Entertainment, Troy

Someone that I had only met once before when I helped her select her wedding gown asked me to be her maid of honor. –Sindi Saita, Apropos Prom and Bridal, Guilderland

I had a potential client ask if I would be able to source “midgets/little people” to either serve food in a creative way during cocktail hour or do a small show as the bridal party was introduced. –Katie O’Malley, Katie O’ Weddings & Events, Troy

One couple wanted a fondant tent with two fondant hikers on top of their woodsy themed wedding cake. –Lorraine Murphy, Bettie’s Cakes, Saratoga Springs/Colonie

A dance routine for a bride and groom to “Baby Got Back.” No, I’m not kidding. –Michèle Marie Paré, Albany Ballroom Social Dance Studio, Albany

I have had the bride ask me for my phone number for her brother at the wedding. That was definitely unusual and pretty entertaining. The bride can have anything she wants on her wedding day, but that one was unique. –Nicole Runyon, bartender, Albany Country Club, Voorheesville

Most unusual, and its happened a few times, going to the cemetery to get a shot of the family around grandma’s or grandpa’s headstone, or a shot of the bride with mom, but the mom is ashes in a urn. –Dino Petrocelli, Petrocelli Photography, Latham

I had a whole bridal party getting their nails done. The little ring bearer was very interested when I was painting the flower girl’s nails. He was the bride’s nephew and was probably around 4 years old. After I finished the flower girl’s nails, the bride pulled me aside to ask me if it would be weird to paint the ring bearer’s nails, too. Apparently he had asked his mom and his aunt if he could get his nails painted too because his cousin (the flower girl) was getting hers done. I told the bride that as long as she and his mother were OK with it I could definitely do it, so we went ahead and painted his nails a bright blue. When his father came to the salon to pick up some of the kids, the little boy ran right up to his dad yelling “Daddy look at my nails, they are awesome!” The look on Dad’s face was priceless! –Danielle Klahr, Inside Out Beauty Consulting, Latham

I have been asked about body-painted wedding party! –Tek-Nik, Tek-Nik’s Traveling Scissors

Do you have control of the heat?…..gave me a laugh, but I had to smile and say of course we do. –David Hostig, Normanside Country Club, Delmar

If I would make a “flower girl crown for the pet cow! –Michele Peters, Ambiance Florals & Events, Albany

Is there anything people sometimes ask for that you caution them that they might regret later?

We caution them about renting motorized vehicles on any island where we don’t trust mechanics. We caution them about not taking travel insurance. We caution them on going over-extreme on the money they spend on their honeymoon that they might regret later. –Cindy McKeehan, McGeary’s Travel, Albany

A purple (or other deep-colored cake) cake—colors can change with high temps and the food coloring can stain your teeth which isn’t so good with photos! –Lorraine Murphy, Bettie’s Cakes, Saratoga Springs/Colonie

I have cautioned them that if they didn’t be a little daring in their dress they would regret it later. Example, jumping on a huge bed doing flips, walking through the sand on a beach, doing jumps rolling around etc., not to dirty the dress but to take caution and have fun. I always say you can have a Plain Jane looking album like most everyone or you can have an album that will stand out from the rest and your friends will say “Are you kidding me, these shots are so much fun.” –Dino Petrocelli, Petrocelli Photography, Latham

Scantily clad or body painted Go-Go Dancers, which we do provide upon request but wouldn’t work for their reception. –Kendrick ‘DJ Debonair’ Ricci, Uforia Entertainment, Troy

Sometimes clients will tend to go overboard with their food offerings and although it is nice for business, I feel obligated to recommend curtailing their requests. It’s nice to be an honest guide so that when they look back on things they will not feel as if they wasted money. –David Hostig, Normanside Country Club, Delmar

Ordering their gown online. –Sindi Saita, Apropos Prom and Bridal, Guilderland

Midgets. Just kidding! Typically we try to provide the best advice to clients based on things we have seen work best and steer them away from potential disasters. I always caution people away from not providing enough food or seating for all of their guests. –Katie O’Malley, Katie O’ Weddings & Events, Troy

Trying to do too much themselves on the day of the wedding. Choose professional vendors that have good reputations and that you are comfortable with. You should relax and enjoy your day. Let them handle your details. –Michele Peters, Ambiance Florals & Events, Albany

Too much choreography for their first dance. One mistake can and will mess the whole thing up! Better to learn how to lead and follow patterns and not rely on putting them in a particular order. –Michèle Marie Paré, Albany Ballroom Social Dance Studio, Albany

Shots. Our policy is that we do not offer shots to guests during an open bar at a wedding, or ever at the club to be honest. We want our guests to have fun, but we do not want them to make a decision they are going to regret later, especially if they are the driver. There is plenty of fun to be had without shots. –Nicole Runyon, bartender, Albany Country Club, Voorheesville

Yes, we’ve had a few couples ask to do an outdoor event, with no tent or cover. We all know the weather changes here about every 10 minutes, it’s a recipe for disaster. –Joe Kulewicz, Skeeter Creek, Hagaman, N.Y.

You definitely do not want to alter your appearance too drastically for your wedding. Stick to classic looks like French nails and simple makeup so your own natural beauty can shine through! –Danielle Klahr, Inside Out Beauty Consulting, Latham

I never use the word regret during any part of my wedding consultations; it can trigger all kinds of crazy emotions. Generally things that won’t work don’t work so everyone still gets what they expect. –Tek-Nik, Tek-Nik’s Traveling Scissors

Is there anything about your business/service that you have changed based on accumulated input from clients?

To try and use local whenever possible. I have several flower farms I use that are in and around the Capital District. –Michele Peters, Ambiance Florals & Events, Albany

I’ve done away with group classes. Most clients feel much more comfortable in a private session setting. They can concentrate better and have more confidence while learning. –Michèle Marie Paré, Albany Ballroom Social Dance Studio, Albany

We have become a vacation destination agency and not just an air/hotel agency. After 22-plus years in business, we realize we have so much value-added information to offer our clients. –Cindy McKeehan, McGeary’s Travel, Albany

I listen to my clients, I hear them all talk about price, that’s why my price has only increased once in the past eight or nine years, and it was only a $150 increase. The one thing I have added listening to all the brides is a photobooth. –Dino Petrocelli, Petrocelli Photography, Latham

We went from the typical table-top wedding DJ’s, to a full production reception with a nightclub feel. –Kendrick ‘DJ Debonair’ Ricci, Uforia Entertainment, Troy

Chiavari chairs. They are one of the hottest trends out there. We chose to purchase the Chiavari chairs and include them in our packages as a service to the bride and groom. They are spending a lot of money on a lot of different things, why not make it so that renting chairs isn’t one of them? –David Hostig, Normanside Country Club, Delmar

Increased my inventory to include the best of the best, including a custom millinier, and I have added less-formal dresses for people attending weddings. –Sindi Saita, Apropos Prom and Bridal, Guilderland

We have installed a brand-new outdoor bar for weddings. In the summer, the terrace at ACC is a beautiful place to step away from the madness inside on the dance floor, and many folks enjoy spending some time out there after dinner. –Nicole Runyon, bartender, Albany Country Club, Voorheesville

Clients always say, “I wish you can be here with me the whole time.” When I tell them that I have blocked the entire day just for them they feel like a celebrity. –Tek-Nik, Tek-Nik’s Traveling Scissors