8 New Wedding Planning Books for the Summer


The First Dance

The First Dance

Don’t just sit there fantasizing about your upcoming winter or spring wedding–the lazy days of summer are a great time to prepare!   Get a jump on it with these inexpensive new books, sale offering advice and resources to help you budget, case plan and enjoy your bridal event.

Wedding Planning On a Budget:  How To Have The Wedding of Your Dreams Without Breaking The Bank by Sandra Breeze.   Offers advice on how to create a wedding budget, DIY suggestions to keep wedding costs down, and a useful list of wedding planning apps.

The Wedding Guide – Planning Your Big Day On a Budget by Meg Fields.  Cost-conscious wedding planning ideas.  Includes helpful chapters on Mistakes to Avoid, Honeymoon Bargains and a Wedding Checklist.

Real World Wedding: Planning your dream wedding without the financial nightmare  by Kristen Hull.  Sensible advice about realistic, financially-responsible wedding planning.

The Rustic Wedding Handbook by Maggie Lord.  Planning advice about a popular trend in  weddings—the Barn or Rustic wedding. 

The $2000 Fairytale Wedding: Planning your dream wedding on a shoestring budget  by Mary Ann Mayer.  Ideas for making an extremely modest wedding budget work.

Wedding Planning:  The Ultimate Dream Wedding Planner to Fit Your Needs and Budget by Alice Meyers.  Welcome, sensible long-term approach to wedding planning. 

Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 6th Ed. by Anna Post and Lizzie Post.  A useful guide to the proper way to coordinate a wedding, compiled by the great-great-granddaughters of venerable etiquette authority Emily Post.  Emphasizes consideration, communication and compromise—essential (and sometimes hard to come by) components of a successful, enjoyable wedding experience.

Wedding Planning: Ask These Questions to Avoid Costly and Upsetting Problems by Sue Shafer.  Interesting tips on how to get best results from your wedding vendors.






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What is a String Trio anyway? (I want it for my wedding!)

The Paragon Trio--flute, <a href=

ambulance violin and cello.” width=”300″ height=”200″ /> The Paragon Trio–flute, and violin and cello.

If you’re planning a wedding ceremony, someone has probably suggested that you have a “String Trio” perform your wedding music.   But exactly what is this popular combination of instruments anyway?   It can be confusing.  Here’s the scoop:

1.  In the wedding music world, a “String Trio” is usually comprised of  flute, violin and cello.  That’s two treble (high) instruments and one bass (low) instrument.  But what, you may rightly ask, is a flute doing in a string trio?   Well, it seems that many people love the mix of flute and strings, and a ton of great wedding trio music arrangements exist for this combo.   So flute/violin/cello has naturally evolved as the dominant trio type–simply by popular demand.

2.  Strictly speaking, a “String Trio” for weddings would consist of two violins and a cello.   (That still fits the “two-treble-one-bass” formula, but here all three are actually stringed instruments.)   This combination can perform the same arrangements as the flute/violin/cello mix.   But some brides prefer the rich, melded sound of pure strings.

3.  In the serious classical music world, a “string trio” usually contains one violin, one viola and one cello. (For those who aren’t sure, a viola is a stringed instrument slightly larger than a violin, and smaller than a cello.   It looks like a large violin but sounds deeper.)   The viola’s sheet music is written differently, in “alto clef,” so this trio version cannot play from the same musical arrangements as the other trio types.   This combination is rarely offered for weddings, mostly because there are so few musical arrangements written for it.

4. For those who love viola, don’t worry–you can have it in a string quartet!  The string quartet instrumentation (two violins, a viola and a cello) has long been considered by composers as the most perfect combination of all.   While a string quartet is not substantially louder than a string trio, it does have a  richer, fuller sound, and the  most varied repertoire of all the string groups.

TIP:  Whichever string instrument combination you love best, be sure to select professional musicians to perform.  Only in the hands of experienced master musicians do the rich beauties of the strings come alive.


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The Outside Choice–Best Musical Instruments for Outdoor Weddings

Jeff Linn Closeup Photo  Holding your wedding ceremony outside, find in the fresh air? Great!  All that wonderful natural light creates brilliant wedding photos.  But  before choosing the musical instruments to accompany your glide down the aisle, treat consider our Top Five Hints for Outdoor Wedding Music:

1.   If there is no access to electricity at your ceremony site, choose instruments that don’t have to plug in.  Strings, woodwinds, bagpipes, and brass instruments work great because they don’t need electricity.

2.  Solo guitar or solo harp can be effective for smaller outdoor weddings, where the bridal party and guests are seated or standing fairly close to the musician.  These instruments are not very loud, so the music doesn’t carry very far, but it’s beautiful.

3.  If you expect cooler temperatures (below 65 degrees Fahrenheit) consider Brass instruments or Bagpipes.  These can play in somewhat lower temperatures than strings or woodwinds.

4.  Choose instruments that excel at the style of music you want for your ceremony.  String Quartets, String Trios and Harpists are experts at classical music, and many can also perform pretty popular tunes.   Some Guitarists perform pop/folk, some perform classical, and some perform jazz.  (It’s rare for a guitarist to play all three styles.)   Brass groups are great for the “pomp and circumstance” style of classical and traditional music.

5.  Choose instruments that are visually beautiful–they can enrich your ceremony photos.  For example, the Harp is exquisite (what a photo op:  picture glowing bride next to the angelic harp!)    Violins and cellos are visually gorgeous, and a silver or gold flute definitely looks classy.


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Is A Band Qualified to Perform at Your Wedding? Ask a Simple Yes-or-No Question to Find Out

For your wedding, sickness you want to choose a band which 1) you like, patient and 2) is qualified and experienced.   It’s pretty easy to tell what you like, online but how can you tell if a band is qualified?  Ask the band one simple question: “Can you wear tuxedos?”  (It doesn’t matter whether you want them to wear tuxedos or not.)

Most couples getting married prefer bands to wear tuxedos.  As a result, any band which has played any number of weddings at all, will own tuxedos.  If a band hasn’t performed at enough weddings to have met this demand, they are not qualified to perform at yours.

Experienced Bands Who Wear Tuxedos at Weddings

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DJ Services: You Pay for Everything, Whether You Need It or Not!

You want your wedding to be memorable in every respect, for sale and you are willing to pay a  reasonable fee to have an unforgettable experience. But will your desire for a memorable wedding make you vulnerable to overpaying for services you don’t need, sales without even realizing it?

In the case of DJ Services, all promise that the DJ will learn about your needs and desires in advance of your wedding–that’s unquestionably important. But many DJ services exaggerate the time and labor required to gain that understanding.   This allows them to justify an exaggeratedly-high price for their services.

DJ Services promise all manner and means of learning about your needs and desires.  This includes multiple meetings, lunch meetings, dinner meetings, meetings in your home, unlimited number of meetings, etc.  It’s almost as though they need to live in with you until the wedding, just to know what you have in mind for music.  And remember that although it’s not itemized in the DJ Service’s fee, you are paying for those lunches, dinners and all of that face time–every minute of it.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with extensive contact with any vendor.  But as with anything else you are paying big money for, it’s appropriate and important to ask whether or not it’s necessary.

If you are willing to pay $400-$2000 more than necessary in order to have a lunch or dinner companion, have unlimited face time, have a visitor in your home, make a new friend, or just to have your hand held, then there is nothing wrong with hiring a DJ Service who will do that, and charge you for it.  (Some people who have been scared about having their cars fixed exactly right, might be willing to pay an auto mechanic for five hours to learn how to fix their particular car before she/he lifts the hood–it doesn’t make it necessary though.)

On the other hand, an experienced professional DJ can thoroughly learn about your needs and desires from a well-designed worksheet and a conversation or two.  He should not require you to pay for hours of his time to learn something he should be able to grasp much more expeditiously.

Don’t pay inflated prices by allowing a DJ Service (or anyone else) to create false needs and thereby prey on your desire to have a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.  If you’re smarter than that, you  can save $400-$2,000, and lose absolutely nothing.  Can you think of a better way to spend that money?

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Choosing Ceremony Music without Becoming a Musicologist

As with all other elements of your wedding, click your ceremony music should be a reflection of your vision.  But choosing ceremony music isn’t like choosing a wedding gown or choosing an entree for your reception.  You can easily look through wedding gowns and taste different entrees. 

Until now the only way for a bride-to-be to choose ceremony music was to search the internet for hours or, generic even less conveniently, spend hours at the library listening to all manner of recordings.  In either case,  trying to judge which pieces are appropriate for what parts of the ceremony is difficult.  And even if you get that far, you then need to find musicians who have the pieces you choose in their repertoire.  Even if all of this were possible, it’s completely impractical.

We would like to propose something different, which we think is infinitely more effective and convenient.  It also allows you to hear the specific music group you are considering, playing the standard wedding ceremony pieces even before you hire the group, while telling you the name of each piece.  This allows you to choose what you will actually hear at your ceremony.

As an example, here is a ceremony music demonstration recording for one of our most popular ceremony music groups, The Symphony String Quartet.  (The narration starts after some brief, introductory music.)    


Should you choose to hire such a group, you can then use this type of recording to pick specific pieces, knowing exactly what they will sound like at your ceremony.

We believe that this is a convenient way for brides to choose ceremony music which reflects their vision for their wedding ceremony, without spending hours and hours, searching high and low, for pieces the group they have chosen might not even play. 

What do you think?

More information about The Symphony String Quartet:  http://www.paragonmusic.com/images2/guides/classical/symphstring/symphonystring.html

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Welcome–We’re Here to Help!

WELCOME to the Paragon Music & Entertainment Wedding Music Blog!

A very brief introduction for those of you who may not know us well–we  are  a customer-oriented music and entertainment company which has served Columbus and Central Ohio since 1985.  We offer everything in the world of entertainment:
      *Symphony Musicians (from the Columbus Symphony)
      *Professional, no rx  Fun DJs  [The Paragon DJ Service]
      *Bands (Central Ohio’s finest)
      *Soloists (All Instruments)

That’s what we offer, but that’s not all we do.  What we do primarily is to help people!

Choosing music and/or entertainment can be a minefield.  Nowadays anyone with software can call themselves a musician or a DJ.  And with web design software, they can post a convincing web site.  Whether they have any talent, performance knowledge or experience is not readily discernible.  Those considerations are however critical to the success of an event!

In coming posts, we will share some of the tools we have developed to empower you to make intelligent choices of music and entertainment, we will share information which will help you avoid all of the common pitfalls,  and we will offer tips on how to discern professional, experienced performers from greenhorns who could ruin your event. 

For now, we are glad that you are here, and we plan to make it worth your while to return again and again.  We hope that you will!

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