Hey there brides and grooms, you just got engaged - congrats! And now your head is spinning with delight and overwhelm. There's so much involved in planning a wedding. We get it, to us weddings are one big theater production with costumes, lighting, hair and makeup, a delicately timed 'performance' of your "I Do's", your grand entrance, your first dance, the cake cutting, oh my!
That's why hiring the right vendors as soon as you select your date will help to make sure your big show is a five star event! At the Melonlight Ballroom - our downtown, historic venue in Eureka Springs, Arkansas - we actually produce amazing shows for the stage, but we also co-produce amazing weddings, like yours! So we know which moving parts and pieces are a must to make your wedding an incredible show. So here they are...
Yes, I know this is one of the places couples often love to trim the budget, I get it! But here's what you should consider. A band or DJ represents the entire element of sound, and that's a big part of what sets the energy in a given room. A good band or DJ knows how to read the room and modify the mood or volume as your event progresses. They are also responsible for transitioning from one occurrence to the next (i.e. your grand entrance into the room, your first dance, the cake cutting, etc.)
Now, if you book a venue like the Melonlight Ballroom, then you can definitely save money by creating your own playlists* and tapping into our high quality sound system.
*I recommend creating one playlist for cocktails and dinner, and a second playlist with a party vibe as the dance floor opens. Also think about what songs you may want to walk down the aisle to or dance to with your new spouse or a parent. Put each of those tracks into their own playlist - you'll thank me later.
So if you do choose to skip a band or DJ, don't forget to assign that iconic friend or family member who is great on the mic and would be excited to announce the special moments as your night unfolds. We provide a mic for that as well.
Check out Smooth Man Music, one of our favorite Preferred Vendors, who can hook you up with a wide variety of musical entertainers.
Sure, you may be incredible at styling your own hair and makeup, or you may not be a very 'girly-girl' to begin with. But booking this service will make you feel like a million bucks - while being styled and sipping champagne with your fellow ladies, also as you do your final mirror check before you walk down the aisle, and lastly, for years to come as you gaze back at your stunning wedding photos.
I highly recommend setting a budget for this service. And if you can't afford to pay for all your ladies to get styled up, simply ask them if they'd like to join you on their own dime. A little champagne goes a long way.
Check out Blossom Beauty. They service weddings exclusively, and they're damn good at it. In fact, they styled me on my own wedding day! See if you can find me on their website. ;)
I think my husband and I actually spent the biggest chunk of money on our photographer. Your memory may be stellar, but a picture seriously lasts forever. You put so much effort into making your event perfect in every way, so capture it darling!
I know there's often a friend who is willing to take pics on their iPhone, or a family member who is just getting started in photography and will do it for free. But event photography is very skilled work - being in the right place at the right time, creating the right lighting and settings on the camera, knowing how to pose you and get you to smile and look natural - these are learned skills. You'll know by the photos if the person you choose is great or not. Don't skip hiring a great photographer!
Check out Ashton Rail Photography. I can vouch from personal experience that she is great at all of the above.
So when I got married, I thought that hiring a wedding planner meant they would steal my opportunity to be creative and envision every detail of my own wedding. And that’s just not true. A good wedding planner helps bring your creative vision to life by handing all of the details so you don’t have to. And if you’re not the creative type, then they’ll help to fill in the gaps in your vision.
It’s not 100% necessary to hire a wedding planner, but I can tell you that the events we host that have a wedding planner always have the most beautiful décor and are the smoothest running. That means less stress and more feeling fabulous for you.
At Melonlight, we do offer a pre-event-coordinator (that’s actually me) as well as a day-of-event host. These are wonderfully helpful services, but they don’t cover all the many aspects that a wedding planner will.
Check out The Vintage Soul Events. They’ve got incredible style, a warehouse full of décor themes, and a wide range of options to fit your budget and needs.
Am I biased on this one? ABSOLUTLEY! My husband and I are professional dancers and instructors, and we’ve been teaching couples to dance for years. So, biased? Yes. Well educated on the topic? Yes again.
Even if you don’t have visions of grandeur for your first dance, I still strongly encourage taking dance lessons, but you may be surprised as to why.
Taking dance lessons together leading up to your big day can make you feel wonderfully connected. Just the act of learning something new together creates sparks and butterflies, much like when you first started dating.
There’s also this cool thing that happens, your relationship is amplified on the dance floor. Meaning that who you are and how you communicate will show up through dance lessons, this can be fun and playful, and even therapeutic and reveal something new about each other.
And while your first dance lasts just a couple minutes, what you learn on the dance floor will stick with you for your entire lives. What a lovely way to commence your marriage, right?
Check out Dance Dates - our online streaming dance lessons designed to get you connected and dancing beautifully to any music.
So there you have it! From my experience in showmanship, weddings, dancing and being a wife and former bride myself, those are my tips for vendors not to skip as you plan your wedding. If you’re interested in booking the Melonlight Ballroom for your ceremony or reception, you can submit the form on this page. You will also receive our complete Preferred Vendor List when you inquire about our venue or dance lesson services.
If you’re looking for unique entertainment while your family and friends join you in Eureka Springs, then be sure to get tickets to our original show or inquire about booking a private showing just for your group. Unique rehearsal dinner perhaps?
Happy planning and congrats on your engagement!
I'll send you a Melonlight love letter - it could be a story from the stage, a teaching from the dance floor, or something simply meant to entertain you.