Allie and Jared’s Unique Hudson Valley Wedding at Locust Grove Courtesy of EID Photography

Earlier this June I had the honor of providing DJ services for Allie and Jared’s wedding, working at one of the Hudson Valley’s truly unique locations, Locust Grove Estate, with catering by Lola’s Cafe. With an opening set of Best I Ever Had –> It Had to Be You –> The Hora –> Twist and Shout –> You Can Call Me Al, Allie and Jared and their friends and family hit the dance floor for some serious fun. My good friend Elissa Davidson from EID Photography was on hand to capture all the memories as only she can. (Special thanks to my friends Heather and Bryan at A Night In Bloom Event Floristry as well!)

Hudson Valley Wedding Ceremony DJ Bri Swatek Locust Grove EID Photography ASJH

Hudson Valley Wedding Hora DJ Bri Swatek Locust Grove EID Photography ASJH
Allie and Jared

Congratulations,
Bri
__________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email: briswatek@gmail.com
Phone: 845.235.0080
Online: www.djbriswatek.com

 

#djbri #djbriswatek #hudsonvalleyweddings #spinningwithstyle #locustgrove #eidphotography #lolas #anightinbloom #seriousfun #readytocelebrate

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Photo Gallery of Jen and Terrence’s Unique Hudson Valley Wedding at the Links at Union Vale Courtesy of EID Photography

Recently, I had the honor of providing DJ and uplighting services for Jen and Terrence’s wedding celebration at The Links at Union Vale. Thanks to my good friend Elissa Davidson from EID Photography for capturing all of the memories.  

Hudson Valley Wedding Party at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Party at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Floor at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Floor at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Floor at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Floor at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Floor at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Floor at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek Spinning with Style at the Links at Union Vale Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek Spinning with Style at the Links at Union Vale Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Sparkler Send Off at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Sparkler Send Off at the Links at Union Vale with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Jen and Terrence (Facebook Gallery)

Congratulations,
Bri
__________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email: briswatek@gmail.com
Phone: 845.235.0080
Online: www.djbriswatek.com

How to Hire Vendors for Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding

While all couples should have a firm budget in mind for their wedding that they are comfortable with and that they can work within effectively, it’s also important to consider this question when planning your wedding: Who are my wedding vendors?

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at Villa Borghese with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Owl's Eye Studios

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at Villa Borghese with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Owl’s Eye Studios

It sounds like a simple question, but the truth–as always–can be a bit more complicated. In fact, this question actually answers a second question which all couples do consider at some point: Why are all of these wedding vendors’ prices so different?

Here’s the truth: full-time, professional wedding vendors set prices that are a reflection of the time, effort, quality, and service that they will provide for your once-in-a-lifetime event.

First, are your wedding vendors full-time wedding professionals? If they are, chances are you’re going to have a vendor who is responsive to your emails and calls, and treats your wedding as the most important event on their calendar that day. If your vendor is not a full-time wedding professional, it’s good to find out if a) they’re a wedding vendor first with a related sideline second to bring in a little extra income outside of the wedding season, or b) it’s the opposite: being a wedding vendor is really a part-time job for them and they have another career that takes up the majority of their time and energy. Imagine doing your own job as a part-time, weekend sideline–would you be able to do it effectively?

Second, who is actually coming to work at your wedding? If you signed a contract with a company that has several staff members, who is the actual person who will be working at your wedding? Make certain you know *who* your vendor is going to be on your big day.

Hudson Valley Wedding Cake Cutting at Patriot Hills Set to Music and Uplighting by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Custom by Nicole

Hudson Valley Wedding Cake Cutting at Patriot Hills Set to Music and Uplighting by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Custom by Nicole

There are many great companies in the Hudson Valley that offer multiple DJs, photographers, etc. for you to choose from for your event. They offer the opportunity for you to see samples of their work and meet with your personal vendor before the big day. However, there are also a number of services in the tri-state area that offer “too good to be true” prices for “someone” to come work at your wedding.

I’ve said this many times in my career as a DJ, MC, and event host: the words “surprise” and “wedding” rarely go together well. You should know exactly who your wedding vendors are and you should have the opportunity to be totally comfortable with them well in advance of the big day. Anything less than that feeling of complete confidence is not worth it.

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Villa Borghese Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Majestic Studios

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Villa Borghese Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Majestic Studios

Here’s an example from a bride named Lauren who confesses that she “made a mistake” and “took the cheap photographer route,” only to regret it after her wedding:

Lauren’s Wedding Story: “I Took the Cheap Photographer Route”
You can hear it in Lauren’s voice as she tells her story: she regrets her decision to not hire a wedding professional.

In addition, consider what professional Hudson Valley wedding photographer Autumn Thomes has to say on why

“Hiring Professional Hudson Valley and CT Wedding Vendors Matters!”
Clearly, Autumn has had the privilege of working with some great Hudson Valley wedding vendors, but she has also seen some vendor horror stories that could really ruin your big day.

Madison, Wisconsin photographers Primavera Studios further highlight the importance of paying for the time and effort that goes into quality wedding photography when they answer the question,

Why Does Good Wedding Photography Cost What It Does?
Most of this article could really apply to any of the Hudson Valley wedding vendors you are considering for your big day.

At I Found The Place, Stacie Tamaki asks the question

How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?
and encourages couples to raise their expectations when it comes to a wedding DJ’s level of professional service at your once-in-a-lifetime event.

Taking her own personal “horror stories and success stories” as a bride “into account,” Jill Tooley at Best Hudson Valley Wedding Ever offers “seven red flags to watch for when you’re interviewing/researching wedding vendors”:

7 Signs It May Be Time to Find a New Wedding Vendor

Moral of the story: “It’s your wedding, not anyone else’s.”

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek at Christo's Courtesy of Cheryl Bolton-Reuter Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek at Christo’s Courtesy of Cheryl Bolton-Reuter Photography

Don’t ever be afraid to ask your wedding vendors any of the following questions:

– Are you a full-time wedding professional?
– How many years of experience do you have in the wedding business?
– Why did you decide to become a wedding vendor?
– What do you enjoy most about being a wedding professional?
– How many weddings do you work per year?
– How many weddings do you (or does your company) work in one day?
– Do you ever “subcontract” your work out to other wedding vendors?
– If we hire your company, who will be working at our wedding?
– Are you registered as a legitimate business? (DBA, Inc., or LLC)
– Are you a member of a professional association?
– Are you insured for liability?
– Do you use professional equipment?
– Do you provide backup equipment at my wedding?
– What’s *your* backup plan?
– What happens if I cancel the wedding or need to change the date of the wedding?
– When will you arrive on my wedding day?
– Will you be suitably dressed for our wedding?
– Will you be willing listen to me, and follow my plans for my wedding?
– What are your pricing packages, options, and services offered?
– How much is your deposit, how do payments work, and what methods of payment do you accept?
– Do you provide a written contract?
– Can I have references and contact information from previous customers?
– Can I have references and contact information from other wedding professionals?

The American Disc Jockey Association provides questions like these, as well as things to look for in your vendors’ potential answers, online. While the ADJA article is mainly focused on hiring a DJ, these questions could easily be applied to most of the wedding vendors you are looking to hire for your big day.

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Party at Le Chambord Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Elissa I Davidson Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Party at Le Chambord Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Elissa I Davidson Photography

Once you begin looking at true professionals as vendors for your wedding, you will find that while there are always differences in packages, options, and approaches to your big day, the price range for quality service is actually fairly consistent in the Hudson Valley. As always, you get what you pay for!

Need help looking for professional wedding vendors to make your big day the best it can be? Start with the list of true wedding professionals located on this blog: Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding, including recommended

– Venues and Locations,
– Caterers,
– Photographers,
– Videographers,
– Florists,
– Photo Booth vendors,
– and much, much more!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Bri

__________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email: briswatek@gmail.com
Phone: 845.235.0080
Online: www.djbriswatek.com

Making the Most of Wedding Shows and Expos in the Hudson Valley

Whether you are recently engaged and just starting your wedding planning, or you have set a date and are looking for professional vendors to make your Hudson Valley wedding truly unique, a high quality wedding show can be an important–and fun–part of the wedding planning process.

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Surprise Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Surprise Photography

As the owner of Spinning with Style, your professional wedding DJ service in the Hudson Valley, I, DJ Bri Swatek, have participated in a number of wedding expos over the years.  I would offer the following tips to brides and grooms planning to spend a few hours taking it all in at their next local wedding show:

Bring Your Wedding Team!

Wedding shows can be very overwhelming, as you will meet a variety of vendors offering many different services in different ways.  Bring along friends and / or family members who you know will enjoy the experience with you and be helpful to you throughout the show.

Take Notes.

Assign one of your Wedding Team members to take notes for you, especially if you are already keeping a wedding journal or notebook of some kind.  Spend your time as a bride or groom talking with vendors directly, and ask your family and friends to write down responses that you found interesting, so that you can review these notes later when visiting vendors’ websites or setting up meetings.

Hudson Valley Wedding Cake Cutting at the Links at Union Vale Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Owl's Eye Studios

Hudson Valley Wedding Cake Cutting at the Links at Union Vale Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Owl’s Eye Studios

Protect Your Privacy.

Most wedding shows will ask you to register in order to win a prize.  In addition, many of the vendors at the wedding expo will also ask you to register at their booths for their individual prizes.  Decide in advance what phone number, address, and / or email address you want to provide, as vendors will be contacting you after the show to discuss your wedding plans further.  Many brides and grooms set up a unique email address just for their wedding planning process, to keep emails with vendors separate from their work-related or personal messages.

Stickers Save Time.

Bring two types of stickers to wedding shows.  First, prepare labels in advance so that you do not have to fill out vendors’ cards for further information and / or prize giveaways.  Be sure to provide information on these labels that directs vendors as to how you want to be contacted.  If you prefer a certain email address or phone number be used, make sure to include it.  Second, bring along a fun or silly sticker (such as a gold star or smiley face) to note which vendors you felt you connected with when discussing your wedding.  After visiting with a vendor that you particularly liked, ask one of your Wedding Team members to place a sticker on the vendor’s brochure, business card, or other provided information.  This note to yourself about your first impressions will be invaluable in the weeks to come when you are deciding which vendors from the show you want to speak with further.

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Grandview Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Grandview Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of EID Photography

Ask Questions.

Most wedding vendors are prepared at a wedding expo to answer your questions about pricing, packages or options, and the availability of their services for your wedding date.  However, one of the most important questions you can ask a vendor at a wedding show is “who will I be working with on my wedding day?”  If the sales representative at the booth is not the actual wedding professional you would be working with, find out how and when you would be able to meet that person prior to your wedding day.  As always, insist on the best for yourself—hire and work with full-time wedding professionals who will provide personal attention to you throughout the wedding process.

Buyer Beware.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  If a price is too low, find out what is (or isn’t) included.  Don’t feel rushed into making a decision simply due to a special offer or prize.  Don’t be afraid to ask if the vendor is a full-time wedding professional.  Don’t be afraid to ask for references from a vendor’s previous customers.

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Vivian Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Vivian Photography

Enjoy the Show!

Most wedding expos provide food samples and a fashion show.  Make sure to see and experience what you want that day, and make sure to have fun!

In the Hudson Valley, the many venues offer excellent wedding shows throughout the year.  Check out the following venues’ websites on a regular basis to get the latest on their upcoming wedding expos:

Anthony’s Pier 9

The Garrison and Highlands Country Club

The Grandview

The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel

The Links at Union Vale

West Hills Country Club

In addition, “DJ Bri’s Blog:  Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding,” features links to highly recommended Hudson Valley wedding venues, caterers, photographers, videographers, florists, transportation, and more.  All of the vendors recommended on my blog are professionals that I have worked with closely over the years, who I know will provide the very best in service for your wedding day.

Congratulations,

Bri

__________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email:   briswatek@gmail.com
Phone:  845.235.0080
Online:   www.djbriswatek.com

Photos from Unique Hudson Valley Weddings — Summer and Fall 2010

The visual elements of your wedding can truly define your event’s unique style.  A personalized look can tell your guests what type of celebration your wedding will be:  a formal occasion, a gathering of close family and friends, an elegant reception, a real party, or a little bit of all of the above!

Hudson Valley Wedding Image Courtesy of Beautiful Memories

Consider these different looks from some of the Hudson Valley weddings I’ve had the privilege to provide music and lighting services for as the owner of DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style over the past few months:

Lisa and Michael at Mills Mansion, Images Courtesy of Lori O’Toole Images:

Click Here

Jill and David at The Links at Union Vale, Images Courtesy of Wishimay Photography:

Click Here

and Here

Jill was also interviewed by Stephanie and Jeff Padovani of Best Hudson Valley Wedding Ever about her wedding’s unique style: 

Click Here

Trudi and Patrick at The Grandview, Images Courtesy of Lori O’Toole Images:

Click Here

Katelyn and Fernando at The Grandview, Images Courtesy of Elissa I. Davidson Photography:

Click Here

Michelle and Dustin at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Images Courtesy of Vivian Photography:

Click Here

Nicole and Paul at The Grandview, Images Courtesy of Allan E. Levine Photography:

Click Here

Andrea and Nick at The Links at Union Vale, Images Courtesy of Owl’s Eye Studios:

Click Here

To truly create a unique look for your big day, talk to all of your professional Hudson Valley wedding vendors about how they can contribute to your wedding’s visual style–your caterer and / or reception venue or location, photographer, videographer, florist, and DJ can all give you great ideas on how to achieve the look you want for your once-in-a-lifetime celebration. 

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding,
Bri

________________________________________________________ 

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your Professional Disc Jockey and MC Service
in the Hudson Valley of New York 

Email:   briswatek@aol.com
Phone:   845.235.0080
Online:   www.djbriswatek.com