April 2015 Wedding News Digest

Wedding planning can be stressful! DJ Paul Michaels wants to make your planning process as effortless and fun as possible with this monthly Wedding News Digest. Below are articles with helpful Chicago Wedding tips, or a bit of laughter. Happy Wedding Planning! With warmer weather on the horizon, I thought it might be fun to add a theme to this month: DESTINATIONS!


Location, location, location. Venues are generally the first stop when beginning your wedding planning process. Many venues have contractual agreements with a variety of vendors, insurance requirements, specifications for date holds and more. Wedding-Spot compiles all of that information for you in their easy-as-pie search engine. You can enter in your guest count, type of dinner service, and if you plan on holding a ceremony on-site then BAM! Wedding-Spot will calculate a range of pricing. We love this tool!

If you’re not into the tool websites, Crain’s Chicago Buisness has your list of Best Event Spaces in Chicago! They include formal settings to out-of-the-box locations which will give any planner plenty of food for thought.

DESTINATION: Bachelorette Party

Picture of the Las Vegas Strip

One last fling before the ring, but on a budget because planning a wedding is expensive. PopSugar has your top 24 Fun & Frugal Bachelorette Party Destinations some of which include New York, Miami and Vegas!

DESTINATION: Bachelor Party


Tying the knot, so the groom needs a shot. Askmen.com built a list of top 10 destination bachelor parties from Mexico to Vegas. Hey, maybe a joint bachelor-bachelorette party could be fun in Vegas?

DESTINATION: Destination Wedding

Palm trees overhang tropical beach

Would you prefer a small, intimate wedding but can’t avoid inviting your extended family and college friends? Plan a destination wedding! Destination weddings lower your guest count significantly and provide a built in vacation for your family and friends who will be there on your special day. Check out DestinationWeddingDirectory.co‘s top 2015 wedding destinations that does not include Vegas, but has the likes of Bali, Italy and Seychelles.


Women dancing on dance floor

A good chunk of your wedding reception is spent on the dance floor. Borrowed & Blue collaborated with their local vendors to show you the top 5 tips to get your guests out of their seats and in their boogie shoes!


Couple on Honeymoon

Honeymoon’s are for relaxing, building your new chapter together, and having fun which can happen at any of the locations from DestinationWeddingMag.com‘s Best Honeymoon Destinations of 2015! They have sorted the list by season, which you can easily correlate with your wedding day. Where will you planning for your honeymoon?

DESTINATION: Celebrity Wedding

Sooooo, we can’t really attend a celebrities wedding without being invited but we can snoop through their released photos. US Weekly Magazine gives us the scoop on Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr‘s March 21, 2015 seaside ceremony in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Let us know what you want to see next month in the comment box below!

12 Tips to have the most memorable party!

Picture of a great party with DJ Paul Michaels

Based on years of experience in parties, the 12 tips below are extremely important to keep in mind for your wedding or private party to make sure you have the best party ever!

  1. Hire DJ Paul Michaels! – Okay, this one may be a little bias
  2. The party is where you are! – I always ask my clients “Where is your party?”, with the response usually being the city, or the name of the venue. The actual answer is that the party is wherever you are. Whether it’s a wedding and you’re the bride and groom on the patio grabbing a drink with guests, or it’s your Bar or Bat Mitzvah and you’re out running around in the hallway, that is where your guests will be! On the flip side of this, if you are on the dance floor, that’s where you’ll find your guests. Your guests are there to be with you!
  3. Don’t “micro-manage” the timeline – When completing the online timeline, give me the details, but let me use my experience when it comes to the day of your party. What I really need to know is the order of events you’d prefer, not necessarily the exact times. Keep in mind – I’m here to provide my feedback to you as well in terms of what I think will work best, and what won’t work!
  4. Do not seat your older guests in front of the speakers – They will enjoy the party just as much further away from the speakers, and they will still be able to hear everything clearly. I use a very high end audio system which can be heard clearly throughout the entire room. If I feel (throughout our meetings, consultations, and discussions) that your room configuration needs extra speakers (located in different areas), I’ll be sure to let you know.
  5. Do not place the DJ table out of the way – The DJ table doesn’t necessarily need to be front and center (especially for weddings) but it should be near the dance floor if that is where you expect/want the party and dancing to take place! Keep in mind – it is YOUR day, and YOUR party, the spotlight should be on YOU, but the entertainment still needs to be present. 🙂
  6. Do something about those house lights! – No one wants to have a spotlight directly on them while dancing. Have the ‘house’ lights at the venue turned off or dimmed to make sure your guests want to get to the dance floor. All of my services include dance floor lighting which should make sure the dance floor area is appropriately lit at all times. Think about adding the uplighting option as well, which can really set the mood/ambiance for the entire room!
  7. Don’t make people leave the room! – If possible (depending on the size of the room), always try to keep the bars in the same room as the reception/party. Keeping them near the dance floor is great (as opposed to on the other side of the room), as long as any lines at the bar wouldn’t interfere with the dance floor area. This applies for dessert stations and photobooths as well! You don’t need to give your guests any reasons to leave the room.
  8. Re-think that online playlist – Keep in mind your audience (guests) when making your online playlist. Just because you like obscure 80’s New Wave Pop doesn’t mean that everyone at the reception does.
  9. Let your party end as a party! – Your party should (this doesn’t ALWAYS apply) end on a high note. Energy flowing, music pumping, etc, instead of ending on a low, subdued song. Make people want more, since that is the last thing they’ll remember from your party or wedding! I usually do this for all parties anyway, but if you have a special slow song you want played at the end of your wedding or party, think about having a little “pick-me-up” song immediately after (even if it only gets played half way through the song)
  10. Don’t cut corners on the entertainment – If you have to cut corners, don’t compromise on the entertainment. Your DJ affects everyone in the room and can make or break the evening. No one will talk about your wedding or party years down the road and say how wonderful the chair covers were, or how perfectly cooked the chicken was.. they remember the time and experiences they had, which is guided by the DJ!
  11. Give the kids something to doThis applies mainly for weddings – If you are going to have a lot of kids at your wedding, offer them something to do. Have balloons on their chairs and “busy” packets at their table with crayons, coloring books, puzzles, etc. Another alternative is to hire a few babysitters to watch over all the kids in a separate room all together. This makes it easier to serve the kids a different meal, and makes sure that your friends with kids still attend and aren’t separated from their kids for too long at a time!
  12. Don’t over think the music requests – When picking your music, don’t over do it. The online music request system limits your “Must Play” songs to 15 songs. This doesn’t even mean you NEED to have 15. Many clients put the 5 most important songs to them on that list, and put the rest in their “Play if Possible” list. I try to play every song on the “Play if Possible” list, assuming we have the time, and the song won’t kill the dance floor! If you put a song on the “Must Play” list, it WILL be played, even if I know it WILL empty out the dance floor. Leave the rest up to me. I usually chat with your guests to find out what type of music they like anyway, and have years of experience of “reading the crowd” to make sure I play the right songs, at the right time!

March 2015 Wedding News Digest

Wedding planning can be stressful! DJ Paul Michaels wants to make your planning process as effortless and fun as possible with this monthly Wedding News Digest. Below are articles with helpful Chicago Wedding tips, or a bit of laughter. Happy Wedding Planning!

WEDDING PLANNING TIP: To cut or not to cut?

Engaged couples are always trying to find ways to trim costs when planning their wedding. Celebrity wedding and event planer Danielle Rothweller has the list on Huffington Post of items that you should definitely KEEP when looking at your planning checklist.

Being in the industry, I definitely believe this is a strong list of non-negotiables. It’s not about ‘robbing’ money from your budget, it’s more about putting your mind at ease. There are plenty of details that you and your fiance will be worrying about on your special day and you never want to look back at your wedding day and regret any decisions.

WEDDING PLANNING TIP: How to incorporate summer into your wedding

The top months to get married are June – September, here is a short list of how you can bring a touch of summer into your wedding all year long.

1. During your ceremony, provide your guests with a fan program to keep them cool, and informed. Brides.com shows you an easy DIY Wedding Program Fan!

Example of DIY Wedding Programs

P.S. If you really have your wedding during a HOT Chicago Summer, it is a good idea to provide your guests with pre-ceremony beverages. Ask your caterer to provide ice water, iced tea, and iced flavored lemonade to keep your guests happy.

2.  Provide flip-flops for the gals dancing at your wedding. Not only is it a fun additional gift, but an enjoyable gift to enjoy all year round. Check out weddingpartyapp.com for a cute idea!

3.  Alcohol Popsicles! Pass them during cocktail hour, or as a late night snack – popsicles are reminiscent of childhood and add a little bit of adult fun. Bridalguide.com has this idea and many more summer wedding ideas for you to check out.

Frozen Cocktail Hour Popsicles

4. Add sparklers for added photo pizzazz and that summer feel. Buzzfeed.com shows you how amazing and memorable sparklers make your wedding day.

5. Sunglasses as favors! Offbeatbride.com shows you how to present them at your wedding so your guests will be able to use them during the outdoor ceremony, for cute reception photos, and all year long.

Customized sunglasses as wedding favors

Actually planning a summer wedding? Check out shefinds.com list of top 10 mistakes couples make when planning a summer wedding.

CELEBRITY NEWS: Lady Gaga + Taylor Kinney are engaged!

Hands holding hands with wedding ring

We think that Taylor Kinney took our Valentine’s Day Proposal advice as the two got engaged on 2.14.15! Since he followed us, we wanted to learn more about him. Did you know that Taylor Kinney lives in Chicago? ABCNews.com has more fun facts about Lady Gaga’s to-be husband. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for their wedding.


WEDDING PLANNING TIP: March Wedding Show Expos

Brides Against Breast Cancer Logo

Saturday & Sunday, March 6-7, 2015 at Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront holds the Charity Bridal Event hosted by Brides Against Breast Cancer. Check out DJ Paul Michaels as he is a preferred local sponsor of the event and will be spinning tunes all day.


Bring your entire bridal party, address stickers and a notebook because you will get to meet tons wedding vendors at these shows!

Let us know what you want to see next month in the comment box below!

February 2015 Wedding News Digest

Wedding planning can be stressful! DJ Paul Michaels wants to make your planning process as effortless and fun as possible with this monthly Wedding News Digest. Below are articles with helpful Chicago Wedding tips, or a bit of laughter. Happy Wedding Planning!

ENGAGEMENT TIP: Planning a proposal for this upcoming Valentine’s Day?

One of the most romantic days of the year: Valentine’s Day is filled with joy and love! Getting engaged on this special day is even more extravagant. For those of you looking to take your relationship to the next level, HowHeAsked.com has the do’s and don’ts of proposing on Valentine’s Day.

Man proposing to woman on a boat
 WEDDING PLANNING TIP: Planning a Rehearsal Dinner

With Chicago Restaurant Week from January 30 – Feburary 12, 2015, you have the perfect opportunity to try Chicago’s top restaurants and a potential rehearsal dinner spot.

  • How formal does a rehearsal dinner need to be?
    This can be as casual or as formal as you would like it to be, make it your own!
  • Ask how many guests can the restaurant’s private dining space hold?
    Typically you can find the capacity listed on the restaurant’s website. Always call to ask because the type of meal service you want could cause the capacity numbers to change (ie) a seated dinner vs. a cocktail reception.
  • Know how much you want to spend per person, but you can ask how much it could cost per person?
    Most restaurants just have a package for food, alcohol packages are usually separate. Be sure to ask if prices include tax OR gratuity (which can be about 18 – 22%). If you have a specific budget, you can tell the private events manager and see what packages they can create for you.
  • How much are the alcohol packages?
    There are a variety of options: cash bar, based on consumption, or an open bar.
  • What is the food and beverage minimum and/or rental fee for the space?
    To guarantee space, most restaurants require a food and beverage minimum (the total amount that the client must spend order to book the space). Some locations also have a room rental fee – ask if that can be waived if you meet the food and beverage minimum. If you are short of the minimum, ask for extra food or beverages (ie) appetizers, one more liquor option, etc. Food and beverage minimums are normally determined by the space your are renting, the number of guests attending, and the date and time!
    Tell us your favorite restaurant in Chicago or where you are thinking of holding your rehearsal dinner!


WEDDING PLANNING TIP: How to get an Illinois Marriage License

One of the items on your checklist should be applying for your marriage license. In the state of Illinois, you are required to have both parties (ie. bride-groom, bride-bride, groom-groom) present at the time of your application. When you apply, be sure to bring a valid form of US photo identification – Driver’s License, Passport, you get the gist!

Chicago Style Weddings has further details about cost, restrictions and locations.


CELEBRITY NEWS: Adam Levine drops in on LA couples

US Weekly has the scoop on Maroon 5 surprising newlyweds with an unexpected performance at their weddings. DJ Paul Michaels already has this on your next playlist!

Image of Maroon 5 Music Video for "Sugar"


We were awarded the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards 2015!

Thanks to all of our clients who reviewed us! Our recent newlyweds have earned us the prestigious WeddingWire award, which means we are in the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide! We can’t thank you enough.

DJ Paul Michaels is a Wedding Wire Couple's Choice Awards 2015 Winner

Let us know what you want to see next month in the comment box below!

January 2015 Wedding News Digest

January 2015 Wedding Digest Blog Cover

Wedding planning can be stressful! DJ Paul Michaels wants to make your planning process as effortless and fun as possible with this monthly Wedding News Digest. Below are articles with helpful Chicago Wedding tips, or a bit of laughter. Happy Wedding Planning!

WEDDING PLANNING TIP: 2015 – New Year, New You!

For those of you beautiful brides who have made a resolution to shape-up before ‘I Do,’ Fitness Magazine has your next Bridal Boot Camp Workout! Trainer Tommy Europe has designed a six-week plan that  has helped Brides trim down before their big day.

WEDDING PLANNING TIP: 2015 Color of the Year

Recently announced by Pantone, Marsala is the color of the year.

Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman states that “Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability.” The Chicago Tribune explains how Marsala was chosen and how to incorporate it into your color palette. You can see wedding color pairings from BridalGuide below:

Examples of Marsala Color PairingsMarsala colored wedding invitations

Funny: CLEVER RSVP Cards

BoredPanda has compiled clever and funny RSVP cards that may give you ideas for your wedding invitations.

Example of a funny wedding invitation

YOUR CLAIM TO LOCAL FAME: spotlight your wedding in ChicagoStyle Magazine!

ChicagoStyle Weddings is a magazine that helps brides & grooms in the Chicagoland area with wedding ideas, tips, contests, and a look at recent weddings. Submit your wedding for a chance to be featured in the Real Weddings section.

Let us know what you want to see next month in the comment box below!

December 2014 Wedding News Digest

Wedding planning can be stressful! DJ Paul Michaels wants to make your planning process as effortless and fun as possible with this monthly Wedding News Digest. Below are articles with helpful Chicago Wedding tips, or a bit of laughter. Happy Wedding Planning!

WEDDING PLANNING TIP: Wedding Color Combinations

The Knot shows you how to personalize a classic wedding color with these 25 colorful combinations for your wedding. Tell us what your favorite color combinations are, or your particular style!

WEDDING PLANNING TIP: Blocking Hotel Rooms

Chicago is quite the destination city, whether you are from here or not. When planning a Chicago Wedding, it’s always a courteous gesture to reserve hotel room blocks for your out-of-town wedding guests. Most of your out-of-town guests may not be as familiar with the city and will look to you for suggestions. To make it easier on you and your guests, here is some helpful information below:

What is a hotel block?
A hotel will place a group of rooms, usually 10-15, on hold for your guests to reserve at a discounted rate. This hold is usually placed under the wedding name (ie) Jolie-Pitt.  Remember that Chicago is a destination city, so if the Chicago Marathon is also occuring the weekend of your wedding, hotels may not be able to provide a discount.

How do I book a hotel block?

  1. Gather the following information: how many rooms are you looking to block, the dates of your block (typically you would want to include one day before your wedding and one day after your wedding).
  2. Call the Local Group Sales Office at your preferred hotel(s). We recommend asking for a few quotes to get the best pricing. If you have a lot of out-of-towners, you also can block multiple hotels.
  3. Negotiate! Planning a wedding is expensive, but so can be attending a wedding. Get the best deal for your guests who will be staying at a hotel.

Who pays for it?
Unless you decide to pick up the tab for everyone, the guests will pay for the room themselves.

How do my guests book a room?
In your RSVP Card, you should include a one-sheet of pertinent hotel information. Feel free to get creative with this, but be sure to include: Hotel Name, Address, Phone Number, Room Block Names (ie) Jolie- Pitt Hotel Block, Dates Available, Book by Date (ie) Please book your hotel by 09/10/15. 

What if I need more rooms than I blocked?PSA - Don't Drop the Bride!
Call the hotel and let them know how many more rooms you require. Usually, they will be able to add on additional rooms.



As seen in the graphic on the right from weddingful, you want to make sure she’s supporting her own weight on one leg (bending her knee) and the groom should put his own knee forward which will support both of them easily. This may be something worth practicing before trying it out on the dance floor at your wedding.

Choosing a photographer to capture your special day can be stressful and is no easy task! Here is Weddingful.com‘s list of top Chicago Photographers! They will be sure to show you the proper way to dip your blushing bride.

Let us know what you want to see next month in the comment box below!

November 2014 Wedding News Digest

The Monthly Wedding News posts contain a few relevant articles and links that DJ Paul Michaels has found may be informational (or provide some laughter and entertainment) relating to Chicago Weddings.



Wedding Planning Tip: Interested in staying with the current ‘hip’ accent colors for your wedding? Use an accent of Purple!

Pantone (known as the global authority on color) has decided (through extensive research) that purple (or more specifically, “Radiant Orchid”) is the color of the year for 2014!  “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

Wedding Planning Tip: WeddingWire posted a great list of 16 Details Every Couple Forgets but Shouldn’t


Viral Video: One creative couple really wanted to document the other (less documented) side of their wedding by strapping a GoPro camera to a bottle of whiskey

It now seems to be an ongoing fad to create videos based off the one above!

Celebrity News: Snoop Dogg decided to crash an Hindu wedding in Chicago. Full story here.