wedding food

9 Things Brides Wish They Hadn’t Spent Money On!

As an active DJ Service we get to attend more weddings in the Lancaster | York | Harrisburg area than the two guys in the movie “Wedding Crashers”! Estates, barns, hotels, parks, and back yards are just of few of the venue styles we see. We always like to take in as much of the setting as we can and we often marvel at the details we see.

After the party is over and we are there with the venue staffs packing up our gear we get to see the aftermath. As we see tables with wedding favors left behind, desserts, and centerpieces unclaimed, we wonder if the couples would make the same choices.

To satisfy my curiosity I took to the internet to see what information I could find out. Sure enough there is information out there regarding purchases couples would not have made had they known what they know now.

Here are the most common regrets:


Save on Lancaster Wedding Ceremony Décor

“We had a huge 250 person wedding, decked out to the nines in all regards. The one thing I thought was a waste… the aisle runner! Fricking $1,500 and I didn’t even notice it walking down. It doesn’t even really stand out in the pictures. Definitely an item I recommend to scrimp & save on!”

Save on Lancaster Wedding Programs/Guest books

“Our guestbook is now in the landfill.”

“I wish we would have skipped our guestbook. My husband drew this awesome photo of a tandem bicycle with strings attached to it. We had an ink pad for people to stamp their fingerprints as balloons, and my cousin decided it would be funny to stamp his fingers to make it look like the bike was running over the balloons. We only had about 10 people put their mark in it.

“Total waste and would not do again!”

“I spent all this time creating these super cute Madlibs that doubled as our guestbook. We had 120 guests and maybe…20 completed?

Save on Lancaster Wedding Floral Centerpieces

“My cousin had these gorgeous, involved centerpieces made by the florist but at the end of the night, we basically had to throw them out. She handed a few to guests but a lot of us were traveling and couldn’t take them home.”

Save on your Lancaster Wedding Bar bill

Ever looked at a restaurant menu and noticed that the lunch meal is $8.99 and the drink is $2.99? Apparently the same thing can happen at your wedding.

Dumping Drinks to Inflate the Bar Bill

“I seem to remember a lot of unfinished drinks on tables as guests were dancing. They would return to their table and discover that the caterers had cleared them before the guest could retrieve them!”

Apparently this is common with pay-per-drink bars (either customer-pay bar or the couple pre-paid for X drinks bar).

Toasting with Bubbly

“A champagne toast wasn’t worth it to me. I knew half of our guests wouldn’t drink it. I wish that I had chosen to have my guests toast with wine.”

Decaf coffee

Older women insisted we’d have lots of older guests wanting decaf, since our wedding was in the evening. It was barely touched!”

Wedding Favors


“I wouldn’t have gotten the favors. I had heard a couple times that edible was the way to go if you want people to take them, so we got a bunch of British candies (husband is British, I’m American and the wedding was in the US). About 70 percent of them were left at the tables, and I’m positive no one would have been offended if they weren’t there.”

This comment is from a guest: “I just threw out a bunch of shot glasses, wine glasses, wine bottle stoppers, and mini photo frames. You collect them from every wedding and then never use them because someone else’s name is on it.”

This person worked for an event company: “I worked for an event company while in University and I can’t tell you how many times most of the favors were not picked up. Very frequently there were more leftover than were taken. Event staffs were often offered to take one in these situations and I got some pretty sweet stuff!

Like the one bride that made little Vera Wang gift bags. No lie – people didn’t want to take them! I got home and I had a little body wash, perfume, and lotion set. The male version of the bag was pretty sweet but I can’t remember what was in it.

Thinking back, the most popular favors were the candy bars. People seem to love those.”


Save money on your Lancaster Wedding After-Party

“After-parties are practically standard, and we followed suit at our wedding five years ago. But if I were planning it all over again, I would probably skip it.

Not because it wasn’t amazing and fun—it was! We had a ’90s cover band and it was just a hilarious, drunk bacchanal. But, frankly, we were having a total blast at the reception dancing like maniacs and the DJ was crushing it.

When we transitioned from the reception to the after-party, we lost a bit of that party momentum, and a few guests decided to call it a night (to be fair, it was 11:00 p.m.). I think we should have just kept the reception going.”

Save on lodging for your Lancaster Wedding Party

“I got married in a small town and became obsessed with all my closest friends and family staying under one roof at the hippest hotel in town. We ended up spending a significant amount of money on a buyout fee that didn’t even include everyone’s room rates. At the end of the day, I loved the hotel but let’s face it, we barely spent any time there. Everything would have been just as perfect with guests scattered around town.”

At Perfect Harmony Entertainment we provide exceptional DJ | Photo Booth | Lighting | Amusement service to clients in the four state area. Our dedicated team of DJs perform at events in Harrisburg | York | Lancaster as well as Washington DC | Northern VA | Frederick MD and all neighboring areas.

If you would like to learn more about our services or discuss your event in greater detail please reach out to us in the manner you prefer: Call | Text | Email.

Perfect Harmony Entertainment

We help people create legendary events. Compromise some place else.

12 Common Northern Virginia Wedding Questions

We’ve provided DJ and Photo Booth services to many couples in both Northern Virginia and Washington DC. Nearly all of them were planning their first wedding. For many, just getting started can be somewhat daunting. Here are 12 of the most common questions our couples have asked and our take on them.

Q: How much does a wedding cost?

A: While it this is likely not the answer you are looking for it is the truth. No two weddings are alike, and no two couples are alike. While this is not the precise answer you were likely hoping for, I am happy that there is such variety in weddings and in the couples, we celebrate with.

We provide DJ Services to two markets. The Northern VA | Washington DC area is one market. Looking at statistical data for 2018, the average wedding cost was just under $37,000. We also provide DJ Services to the Central PA market and to the Frederick MD area as well. The average wedding cost in those areas for 2018 was just under $31,000.

Our suggestion is that the couples come up with an amount that they feel is reasonable for their market. Use that number to design the wedding that is perfect for you and includes the items that are most important to the two of you.   

Q: Where should I focus my budget?

A: The answer to this question depends upon what is most important to you as a couple. Do you want amazing décor? If you do, then make finding the designer that can create the look that you have imagined a priority. Do you want a raging dance party your guests won’t want to see end? Put your money towards a spectacular DJ and bar list!

Before putting together your budget, sit down with your fiancé, and parents and discuss how you envision the day going and think about the elements that are most important to bringing your vision to life.

Q: Do we have to ____________?

A: The answer is usually no. You call the shots and can make the wedding exactly as you want it to be! You do not need anyone’s permission to go off-script. This is your moment. Of course, you want to create a great experience for the guests, but you need to make sure that it is meaningful and enjoyable for you.

Q: How do I sort through all the information that's out there?

A: The moment you get engaged, you may find herself surrounded by well-meaning friends and family who are suddenly experts in wedding traditions and etiquette. You may feel overwhelmed by the (sometimes, contradictory) advice and find that some of it may conflict with their own ideas of how you have envisioned your wedding day.

Stay true to yourself. Wedding guests know you, either as individuals or as a couple, and if the wedding reflects who you are, it will brim with love and charm.

Q: How do we find the best Northern Virginia venue?

A: There are so many beautiful venues in Virginia and Washington DC. I suggest that you start your search online. There are plenty of websites such as “The Knot” and “Wedding Wire” that will provide much of the basic information such as maximum number of guests and often general pricing or and average cost.

In addition to these national websites, there are many venues that you will not find listed on these sites. Searching Facebook is a great way to find venues that may not have a website yet. This is particularly true for Farm/Barn Venues that have gone from being active farms to part-time or full-time wedding venues.  really special.

Q: Should we offer our guests an open bar?

A: You know your crowd best, and if they are not much of a drinking group, then it is understandable that you may be hesitant to invest in an open bar. However, even people who don't drink on a normal basis are apt to want to enjoy a glass of wine or champagne at a wedding, and it's a generous gesture. If budget is an issue, consider an open bar for the cocktail reception only, or assign a dollar amount that you are comfortable with on a hosted bar. Once that number is reached, guests can start picking up their tabs.

Q: What elements will make the biggest impact on ambiance?

A: Lighting is an important factor in setting the mood for your event. When in doubt, opt for 'soft amber' bulbs; they're classic and flattering. Candles are a part of the lighting design and even just a few votive candles on a dining table can make all the difference.

Nothing will transform a venue more than lighting! The number of options is incredible and make differences that you can see immediately. The first thing that most think of in terms of wedding lighting is uplighting. There are many other options that will make an impact. Among the offerings are pin spots to show off the wedding cake and centerpieces you have spent so much time and money on. Ceiling wash which will bath the venue in color. Dancing Under the Stars which will create a nighttime starlit sky for you and your guests to dance under.

This video illustrates both uplighting as well as a ceiling wash effect.

Q: How do I form a guest list?

A: We recommend reviewing your guest list several times after you think it's final. You don't need to invite everyone on your high school sports team, and the same goes for work friends: you may find yourself in a different job during the planning process. Make sure that your list is full of relationships that you value now and will value later. Those are the people you'll want to take part in your day. And don't forget the cardinal rule: once you send a save the date, the guest is invited to the wedding, no questions asked. If you're on the fence about anyone, better to hold the save the date and send an invitation only later, once you are 100 percent sure.

Q: How do I know what to do next?

A: When working with a planner, rely on their experience to help guide you through the process. They will help you outline the decisions that need to be made, and in what order. If you do not have a planner to guide you, there are many resources and lists online that will help you to know which steps to tackle next.

Q: How can I predict how many guests will RSVP 'yes'?

A: There is always the tried—and mostly true—'two-thirds of the invited guests will attend' rule, but I have quickly learned that this theory can be very wrong. When planning your list, feel free to use this as guidance, but ALWAYS be prepared to host a full guest list, just in case. If you are unable to host the full list for some reason, you may want to re-evaluate your numbers!

Q: We want to stock the bar ourselves to save money. Will it?

A: By the time you buy all the mixers, liquors, beers, fruits, ice, and tools, you'll spend more money then an average per person bar cost. Plus, you'll be burdened with setting it up, and—not to mention—the liability should any guests over serve themselves (assuming you also forgo any bartenders).

Q: Is there a venue that will let us dance until 2 a.m.?

A: Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and, understandably, you want it to last forever. But all good things, even weddings, must come to an end. Six to seven hours is plenty of time to wine and dine your guests and dance the night away (start your event by 5 p.m. and have it end by midnight). The affair should end with a bang (and with your guests wanting more), rather than with a fizzle. Plus, you'll spend extra money on overtime staffing fees so that your handful of raging friends can stay out late, and that's just not worth it!

Draft a Team of Harrisburg Event All-Stars for Your Wedding!

If you are planning a corporate party, wedding, anniversary, birthday, or holiday party in York | Harrisburg | Lancaster you’ll want a great team of professional vendors to help you pull of an amazing event. Creating a killer party definitely requires a team. It is unlikely that you’ll find someone who plans parties, bakes cakes, caterers, shoots photo and video, creates floral arrangement, and entertains. If you could find such a person I doubt they would be great at all of those things.

So, what do you do when you need to assemble a team and this may be the very first time you have needed such a team? How do you find the best people for your event when you may not know exactly what they do?

You have come to the right place. In this blog I have some tips and suggestions to help guide you in putting together an All-Star team of specialists that will remove the stress and anxiety and have your guests talking about how awesome your Harrisburg area party was!


Personal recommendations are always a good idea. This is especially true if the person that you speak with puts on or attends a lot of events. Ask your wedding venue, your wedding planner, and a wedding specialist you have already hired, or, why not, ask your family and friends too.

In terms of venues, keep in mind that they as well as DJs and Photographers are in the event industry. It is sometimes mentioned that there is favoritism or quid pro quo that takes place between some venues and vendors. This arrangement is said to put some vendors on the “preferred vendor list” and serve to keep other vendors off of it.

I can only speak to our business. We have no arrangements with any other vendors or venues. We are thrilled to make recommendations for other professionals that will do a superior job for you. You do not need to be our client to get our advice. We want everyone to have a fantastic event and to be honest, we can’t do every event.

Vendor Website

Your vendors’ websites can be extremely revealing. Take an attentive look at their portfolios and see if their style suits your event. Moreover, take a look at their blog too and see what type of content they publish there, as well as how frequently they do it. The more active they are on their blog, the more likely it is that they are actively searching for clients.

Some website will definitely look glossier than others. I would not necessarily decide not to hire someone simply because of the appearance of their website but I would pass on someone based on their content. If the website is filled with stock images, it is a sign that they are either new to the business or don’t work often. If the photo’s are dated it is a sign that they either don’t work often or don’t stay current. In those cases the website matters and I would likely pass on them if putting a team together for an important event.

Their Reviews

Do they have reviews? If so, how many and how recent are the reviews. In my opinion if their last review was four years ago it carries much less weight than one from four months ago. The total number of reviews is not nearly as important to me as the date and the quality. Why? Because when was the last time you bought something on Amazon that you were happy with and then went to the site and left a review? My guess is you either have never done it or have rarely left a review. And this is after they have sent you four email requests pleading with you to leave the review!

People lead busy lives and getting reviews is tough. If the vendor has great reviews that is one positive indicator and it should factor into your decision.

Last, but not least, remember that a chat or “Zoom Meeting” with your vendors is also extremely important. Interview the short-listed specialists and see if you “click” with them. No matter how amazing a vendor may be, if you cannot communicate with them or if you are simply incompatible with each other, it will eventually impact your event too.

I hope that you have enjoyed this article. If you have please share so that others may benefit as well. Our blog is dedicated to providing useful information and tips for anyone planning or thinking about planning an event.

At Perfect Harmony Entertainment we provide exceptional DJ | Photo Booth | Lighting | Amusement service to clients in the four state area. Our dedicated team of DJs perform at events in Harrisburg | York | Lancaster as well as Washington DC | Northern VA | Frederick MD and all neighboring areas.

If you would like to learn more about our services or discuss your event in greater detail please reach out to us in the manner you prefer: Call | Text | Email.

Perfect Harmony Entertainment

We help people create legendary events. Compromise some place else.