Band versus DJ: What You Need to Know for Your Wedding

It’s the ages-old wedding debate: band versus DJ? Although there’s been much back and forth, there’s no right or wrong answer. If you hire a good band or a good DJ, you can’t go wrong either way. Here are the top three things the StylishO Team believes you need to consider before booking a band or DJ.

Band Versus DJ: The Expense

99% of the time, a band will be more costly than a DJ. A DJ is usually a one or two person show who will put up simplistic equipment (in comparison to a band). Don’t get us wrong, DJs have a lot of equipment, usually very expensive equipment. You’re paying for a DJ’s expertise in ability to select songs, mix music, and read the crowd.

Bands have multiple members who most likely have to travel some distance to get to your reception. Bands usually have an enormous amount of equipment, too. Most wedding bands will allow you to submit songs you’d like played, and they incur some time learning how to perform these selections. Bands have more members than a one or two person DJ, so they tend to be more expensive.

Suggestion: Price out a few different options. This will help you determine what fits your budget best. Bands and DJs can vary widely in price. In our area DJs typically range from $1000 to $2000 versus bands ranging from $5000 to over $10,000.

Band Versus DJ: The Venue

Your family has a beautiful farm, surrounded by trees and open fields… except for that one house right on the other side of the woods. Sound ordinances, even at wedding venues who have operated for years, do exist, and you’ll need to be cognizant of them.

Bands tend to be louder and have a harder time controlling the decibel level than a DJ (you can only hit a drum set so softly). If you are planning to have your wedding at a venue, check to see if bands are okay. If having a band is one of your top priorities, rule out the venues that aren’t able to accommodate them. If you are having your wedding at your family’s home then check with your township about noise ordinances.

The other thing to consider with sound is the space where you will have the reception. If your reception space is enclosed and surrounded by concrete, brick, or material that won’t absorb sound very well, consider putting up draping or other material. A band or DJ’s sound can bounce around in spaces like these, making it sound tinny and SUPER loud.

Bands also require more space, often having 10 to 12 members in them. If you have your heart set on a band then make sure your venue can accommodate your number of guests as well as a space large enough for the band. Some bands also require a stage so keep that in mind.

Band versus DJ: The Vibe

Bands are great when looking for that live music feel…where anything can happen. It adds excitement in the air! DJs are great because they can play a wide variety of songs and sounds. Most likely they can find any song you want, but a band can’t play every song.


When you cut through all of the above ideas, having a band or DJ really comes down to two things: what you want and what you can afford. Our team can pull together any event and make it spectacular whether you have a band or a DJ.

In the end there is no right or wrong answer. As long as you hire a good band or a good DJ…you can’t go wrong!

What’s your take on the Band versus DJ debate? Let us know in the comments!





Wedding Gift Giving Made Easy

Are you invited to a wedding this fall and have no clue what to get the couple? Maybe you’re stressed because you’re not super close to the couple, or you want to get them a gift that’s personalized but not too cheesy. Do the bride and groom even have a registry?! Today we’ll give you some tips to be an expert at wedding gift giving! 

We decided to speak to the wedding registry experts at ZolaHere are some helpful tips from Zola that’ll make you a gift giving pro. This wedding registry makes registering and gift giving easy as they offer price matching, group gifting, and each couple’s registry is easily navigable. Follow these tips and there’s no doubt that you’ll get something the newlyweds would love!

wedding gift registry

wedding gift giving

wedding gift giving

wedding gift giving

What tips do you have? Are there any that we’ve missed? Let us know!

Wedding Seating: 5 Options for Your Head Table

When it comes to wedding seating, couples tend to stress the most over their guest seating. But many forget the various options for their own bridal party seating. Now, we don’t mean to stress you out with more options; we just want couples to have a good understanding for what will work the best for their type of wedding.

Below, we’ve broken down some of the various bridal party seating arrangements with pros and cons. Which one do you think will work the best for your wedding?

wedding seating head tableThe Traditional Head Table

(Photo: Jeff Frandsen)

PROS: With this design, every person in your bridal party is facing out, with no one directly across from them. This wedding seating design makes it easier for the photographer to take photographs of your bridal party, and it also gives your bridal party a clear view of the dance floor, usually.

CONS: We would not recommend this style if you have a large bridal party. The reason is partially design related and also cost related; with this type of wedding seating arrangement, you really only utilize half of the table. An eight foot long table can normally seat eight, but since you are only using one side, you really only have four seats per table. Linens, decorations, centerpieces, and the like will be more expensive. If you have a bridal party that is 16 people, you’ll need (four) eight foot tables, which can complicate the layout depending on the room.

The Family Style 

(Photo: Sparrow and Lace)

PROS: With this wedding seating arrangement, it’s all in the family (and sometimes friends!). Sometimes the couple wants to let the bridal party sit with their dates or families so the couple decide they’d like to sit with their family. If the guest tables are round, then typically this table is too. This type of layout is ideal, too, if you’d like to incorporate family who aren’t necessarily in the wedding into your head table. The bride and groom would sit on the side that faces the rest of the guests and then their family, or friends, would sit in the other seats around them.

CONS: While you are maximizing table space with this design, it does mean someone will have their back to the action. Usually the head table faces the dance area, so some of your family and friends will have to turn a 180 degree pivot to see the dance floor, toasts, etc. It also makes it harder for the photographer to get photos of you during the dinner time or while toasts are happening.

The Sweetheart Table 

(Photo: Lauren Fair Photography)

PROS: This wedding seating arrangement is perfect for the couple who wants to be able to focus on themselves for dinner. You won’t be able to prevent people from walking up to your table, but you will be able to enjoy dinner mostly just the two of you. It gives you a little bit of “alone” time (well as alone as you can be with 150 people watching you!). This design will also save you on linens if you have a super big bridal party because you won’t be doing an extra-long head table.

CONS: This wedding seating arrangement is not for the spotlight-shy bride or groom. With the sweetheart table, you are the center of attention the entire evening. People will still continually come up to talk with you, even when you are eating.

The Combo Sweetheart + Head Table

PROS: Welcome to the best of both worlds! If you still want to sit just with your sweetheart but want your bridal party close at hand, this wedding seating setup is the one for you. This design is visually appealing as well. If you have a smaller bridal party, you can angle the tables out off of the sweetheart table for added flair. Often the couple is at a small round sweetheart table and then there is either a round table on each side or a rectangular table on each side of them for the bridal party (and sometimes their dates).

CONS: This design is still unfortunately not the best if you’d like to have a large bridal party, unless you seat the bridal party on both sides of the tables, like a family style setup.

The King Arthur Table

(Photo: Lisa Hornak Photography)

PROS: Get a unique look with this wedding seating arrangement for your bridal party! If you’re looking for a statement focal point, the King Arthur is a good fit for you; this layout typically consists of four 8 foot tables put together to form a larger rectangular table 16 feet long and 5 feet wide. With this type of setup, you can seat up to 20 guests. This wedding seating arrangement is perfect for your bridal party if you’d like to serve your meal family style since it will give your caterers more table surface to work with!

CONS: While this layout is ideal for certain situations, it will increase the number of linens you will need. For example, an 8 foot table can usually seat 8 people, but when you take 2 of them and butt them together to create the King Arthur design, you can only seat 12. If the linen cost is already high for you, this may not be the best arrangement for you.


Wedding seating for your bridal party and immediate family can get tricky. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  1. Does your bridal party have spouses? If so, where will they sit? What if they have kids?
  2. Where will you seat parents or very important family and friends?
  3. Where will the kids sit if there will be children at your wedding?

Our team at Stylish Occasions can help you with any floor plan arrangement so you don’t have to stress! Get in touch with us today!





Unique Wedding Invitations You Will Love

I recently came upon wedding invitations site Basic Invite. They have some great looking invitations and many options available so I asked them to write a guest blog this week. So here goes…


It’s wedding season! But are all of the wedding invitations you’ve been receiving starting to look alike? A white background with jet black calligraphy or maybe a photo backdrop with some white text… Don’t get me wrong these are both BEAUTIFUL choices, but sometimes receiving an invite that is truly unique is much more appreciated and worth while, right? Everyone loves to see something new and unique so they can gain inspiration for their own events.

So with the help of stationery company, Basic Invite, here are a few ways to create truly unique wedding invitations that both you and your guests will adore!

foil wedding invitationsFoil

Foil invites are a gorgeous way to add an extra sparkle and shine to a simple design. Choose from gold, silver, or rose gold and either flat or raised foil. All of these combos are beautiful and elegant and will make an all around pretty invite.


wood wedding invitationsReal Wood

Real cherry wood veneer is pressure mounted onto double thick card stock for a triple which look. The awesome part about real wood invites is their one-of-a kind wood grain texture with knots, coloring, and imperfections in tact.

acrylic wedding invitationsAcrylic

This is a fancy look and brand new… Something your guests probably haven’t seen yet! These clear acrylic stock cards have a bright white design which can be written on using permanent marker. Such a fun detail for your guests to play around with when responding to any RSVP or dinner preference requests.

color block wedding invitationsColor Blocked Invitation Suite

At Basic Invite each of their 200 plus wedding invitation designs are part of a set. That means you can create a custom wedding invitation and match each of your enclosure cards to it. Once you’ve done this, order a pocket invitation to house your cards in. This makes for a concise look that is clean and organized. To take this look over the top try color blocking your cards, making every other card a color of your choice that matches your pocket envelope. This takes the entire look to a whole new level that will surely impress your guests!


wedding invitationsNo matter what you choose you go set yourself apart! Make sure your invitation is a representation of you as a couple and is cohesive to your overall wedding theme. If you are having a tough time deciding, choose one design for your save the date card and a second for your invite. Basic Invite has tons of options and unlimited customization options and they are there to help along the way. Check ‘em out!




Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue with These 5 Tips

wedding venue lancaster pa

This venue was the perfect location for a fun, laid back wedding!

Rustic and chic. Elegant and formal. Bohemian and wild. Whatever your style, there are endless options for you to choose the perfect wedding venue. Most couples have an idea of what they would like the venue to look like, but there’s also some other things you should have in mind before you book that dream venue.

We’ve listed out five different categories to give you some ideas on how to close the perfect wedding venue!


Costa Rica destination wedding venue

This venue (in Costa Rica!!!) had nothing included so we had to source vendors for tables, chairs, linens, catering, etc. It turned out fantastic though!

First thing’s first: will your venue be for just your reception, or are you planning on hosting a cocktail hour and/or your ceremony on-site?

Some venues have pricing for an all-inclusive package, including your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Others allow you to add items a la carte depending on your plans. It doesn’t hurt to ask a venue if they will lower the price if you aren’t planning to host your ceremony or cocktail hour onsite. Venues tend to be more flexible with non-Saturday dates, so keep that in mind when searching. The more flexible you are, the more flexible venues can be on their pricing.

When you are inquiring, keep in mind some venues have additional or extra charges for certain services. Common extras are:

  • Trash Removal
  • Heaters or Fans/AC units
  • Day of Event Insurance for the Couple
  • Tables, Chairs, Linens and China
  • Reception Lighting and Decor

Make sure you get everything in writing from all of your vendors, including the venue!


Lancaster Wedding venue

This couple loved candles, check out the fireplace mantle!

Every couple has something they deem as necessary for their wedding to be complete. Some venues, though, have restrictions on certain things based on their rules or location or township. Make a list of your must-haves at the wedding and ask the venues about them before you book. Here are a few examples of common must-haves for the wedding:

  • The Wedding Date
  • Music End Time
  • A Band versus a DJ
  • Sparkler Send Off
  • Candles in the Reception Space
  • Alcohol in the Getting Ready Spaces
  • Pets at the Venue


wedding venue Philly

This venue was the perfect size for their guest count and was able to accommodate their table set up with both round and farmhouse tables.

There is no point falling in love with a venue if they won’t be able to accommodate all of your guests comfortably. Always ask about maximum occupancy and if maximum occupancy still allows for guests to be comfortable.

Some venues have stipulations on the set up depending on the size of the guest list. For example, if your guest count is at the maximum, you may not be able to have a buffet or photo booth/lounge in the reception area because they will not have enough room for tables. On your venue tour, ask to see a floor plan mock-up if you’re concerned about space.


Costa Rica destination wedding venue

This couple really wanted a private island wedding…I got them pretty close!

Whether your guests are from near or far, making sure the venue is easily accessible is important. When you are trying to choose the perfect wedding venue, take a note of whether or not it’s confusing to find. Ask about whether the reception venue provides parking attendants or venue signs to help guide people to the parking area.

If you have older guests or guests who will have a harder time with mobility, make sure you ask venues what their protocol is for these situations, especially outdoor venues. Some will have shuttles or golf carts to assist guests.


wedding planner

Make sure you can bring in any vendors you might have your heart set on before booking a venue. Some venues have restrictions, some even have restricted lists of wedding planners you must choose from (we’re honored to be on most of those local lists!).

Unless you’ve worked in the wedding industry or helped to plan another wedding, you may not know that there are two types of venues: those that are have exclusive venue lists and those that are open to all. Some venues require you use certain caterers, djs, or planners while others are more flexible. If you’ve already fallen in love with another vendor and know you will be using them, make sure your venue is okay before you choose your perfect wedding venue.

There are so many things to think about when it comes to planning a wedding. It’s not an easy task to choose the perfect wedding venue. While our Stylish O Team offers day-of planning, we also can help you take your event from start to finish, walking you through all of the steps. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at all of the things you have to think about to make the wedding day go perfectly, give us a call. Our Stylish O Team can help you!