How Much Is It? – Average Wedding Costs

One of the largest expenditures anyone will ever make is on their wedding. Most people have no idea what to expect until they start gathering information and pricing. There is a wide variety of services with an even wider pricing structure. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost in all of it.

On average, US couples spend $25,656 for their wedding. However, the majority of couples spend between $19,242 and $32Image,070.    This does not include cost for a honeymoon. Understanding wedding costs can help you with your wedding budget.

To help you get started we have found a wonderful tool to give you an idea on what to expect in your area.

At Cost of Wedding you simply type in the zip code of where you plan to get married. It will give you average pricing on items from attire to entertainment in that area. Costs are based on the spending of other couples getting married not wedding vendor prices. You should expect to spend 50% to 100%+ more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services. The amount you spend may also be affected by the number of guests you invite to your wedding.

Hopefully this tool will at least give you an idea on a wedding budget. We will also place the link in the wedding section of our website As always we are always happy to answer your questions and help you plan the perfect celebration around the corner or around the world.




And the winner is??? The problem with Awards

You don’t have to look far to find a company touting an award they won. In the bridal business you find a number of companies with awards from the Knot & Wedding Wire. Some of these companies do fantastic work worthy of an award. The question is how are the “award winners” chosen?

A first Pierce Events was given the same awards. It was nice to be recognized, but I soon realized that unless you were paying to advertise the awards go away quickly.

Online reviews are important in today’s business. Consumers look at your company website, but they also look at third party reviewing websites. So while honest reviews are valuable, not all reviews posted are honest.

Wedding Wire has 29 “award winning” DJ’s in the Pittsburgh market. The Knot has 3. A bit strange. As for planners, Wedding Wire has 11 The Knot has 1. Yes 1.

How is it decided who wins? Your guess is as good as mine.  

My point here is while there are great companies that are listed in The Knot, Wedding Wire and similar websites, the awards touted by so many may be misleading and about as valuable as a wooden nickel. Shop with caution.

What’s that song?

The foundation of Pierce Events began years ago as a DJ company called Echo Productions. Working with the top radio stations and taking our mobile DJ show all over we met all kinds of people and played all kinds of music.

A real DJ does not just play music. He must entertain, read the crowd, make quick decisions and know how to deal with a number of distractions.

One age old distraction is someone asking a question about a song. They don’t know what the song is or who sings it, but while another song is playing they attempt to convey enough information that the DJ will suddenly guess the mystery song.

Let us try to help you. Ever have a song running through your head, but don’t know who sings it or what it’s called? LyricFind’s Lyric Search helps answer the age-old burning question of “What IS the name of that song??”

By searching the actual lyrics, not only can you “Name That Tune,” but you can create playlists based on lyrics and subjects of songs – imagine making a playlist of songs about San Francisco by simply searching the lyrics for “San Francisco”, “Frisco”, or other keywords.

Try it out –


Prom Planning

It’s Prom season and we at Pierce Events have teamed up with students and staff to create wonderful events that take the worry out of what might occur. Our “Clean Beats” shows have grown very popular and as word gets out more and more people want to learn more.

While we can’t do every Prom, we can share some tips on how to make you Prom Party successful.

The biggest social event for most teens is the Prom. Proms have a mini-industry of its own with almost $1.8 billion spent on prom-related purchases.  

All too often Proms make national news for all the wrong reasons. Drinking, lewd dancing, fights and even DJ’s who play raunchy and offensive music often are part of the story. It’s gotten so bad at times that school have cancelled Prom all together. So here are some Prom Planning tips to avoid problems:

The venue is by far the first thing you want to take care of. All other things flow from the choice of venue. You cannot set the date, hire entertainment, hire security, or plan a budget until your venue is set.

A good rule of thumb is to start looking at your possible venue choices as early as possible and no later than at the end of January before your spring Prom. Early planners will usually get the dates they want, while Prom committees that start the planning process later usually have to juggle their schedule to accommodate the venue they want or stick to their date choice and settle for a venue of lesser caliber. Looking at venues even a year ahead of time is not inappropriate, especially in areas where there is competition for the best sites.

The décor choices you make have only one major limiting factor: finances. If your budget allows you to create a virtual movie studio, then by all means go for it. If your budget is more limited, then you must figure out what part of your budget you can spend on decorations and make sure you do not exceed this amount.

Food is usually tied to the venue, in that almost all hotels and banquet halls have either an in-house catering department or a preferred list of caterers. Your main decision about food will be whether to have a sit-down dinner, a buffet-style dinner, or just have appetizers readily available for students throughout the night.

Entertainment Is Very Important! The subject of entertainment is greatly misunderstood when it comes to budgetary planning. The mistake some groups make is to blow their budget on the venue, décor, and food, and not have enough left for quality entertainment. This is the biggest mistake that a Prom committee can make, as the choice of entertainment will determine the quality of the evening.

If your Prom DJ is great, people will say they had a great time. If the entertainment is bad, your guests will remember the event as a dud. I’ve seen plenty of Proms where the décor and food was not up to scratch but the attendees still considered it a success because of the quality of the entertainment. The trick is to find a DJ company that specializes in high-end events – such as your prom. Find someone who uderstands limitations and concerns. If offensive music is a concern make sure you put all expectations in writing and have the DJ agreee to the contract terms. Find an experienced DJ company that will provide you with the world-class prom entertainment that you require. Don’t settle for less when you deserve the best.

Some sort of a security team is always a good idea at your Prom. Schools often hire off-duty police officers and have them show up in uniform. Some ever administer breathalyser tests before entry. A good show of force will eliminate a lot of the problems before they even start, and for those problems that still occur, the officers are there to solve them

The major overriding concern of every planning decision you make will be whether you can afford to do it. After fundraising efforts by your class, the major source of revenue for Prom expenses is your ticket sales. When making decisions about cost, you need to decide whether or not the incremental increase in the price of the ticket is worth the expense.

For example, let’s say you have 500 people coming to your Prom. You have a choice of an okay DJ company for $750 for the night or an amazing DJ company for $1,500. Your incremental ticket price for the okay company is $750/500 = $1.50 per ticket, and for the amazing DJ company it would be $1,500/ 500 = $3.00 per ticket. Base your decision on whether the increase from one cost per ticket to the next is the best decision for your group.

We are always available to speak to you about your needs and concerns. Our “Clean Beats” program is designed for school events and Proms and we would love to talk to you about your event.


Wedding Songs We Love to Hate

Whenever we sit down with a bridal couple to talk about music selections for their celebration two big questions are asked. What songs do you want to hear? What songs do you NOT want to be played?

Often times people know more what they don’t like. A recent bridal couple began naming songs to put on the the Do Not Play List. Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”; “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang; John Mayer’s “Your Body Is a Wonderland” is not invited to the wedding.

All the typical “wedding songs” were off limits. Being involved in many weddings, a night without the songs that everyone plays is a welcome break. Here’s the problem…. The reason why everyone plays those songs is because people love those songs.

“I Gotta Feeling” is ranked No. 1 on the list of most requested party songs over the last 12 months. Oh and “Celebration” after all these years is still at No. 26.

So it presents a bit of a conundrum in an era when weddings are as much, if not more, about the guests’ experience as the bride and groom. No matter how much a couple loathes “Love Shack” (No. 11 most requested and No. 10 most banned), is there something to be said for putting taste aside to get everyone grooving?

We always stress to couples to consider guests and not just what they like to listen to. Yes it is your day, but be considerate. We have had couples choose every single song to be played frome begining to end and others choose a single artist or group to play all night. Trust me, grandma is not going to want to hear the Greatful Dead for 6 hours.

A DJ needs flexibility to satisfy guests of all ages. Couples should keep “Do Not Play” songs to no more than the 10 songs they truly can’t stand.

A list that’s too long or restrictive can dampen a party. If your guests are asking for certain songs that are banned they feel shunned when told thier request won’t be played.

To ensure that “everyone from 3 to 103” was entertained at her wedding in June, Abby Jakoplic left her musical fate to the DJ and banned the Do Not Play list. She welcomed the cheesy and cliche — including the No. 1 most shunned song. “We had everyone from toddlers to grandparents out there doing the ‘Chicken Dance,'” Jakoplic said.

Yes it cheesy, but cheesy can be fun. That’s a song all ages will dance to. In case you were wondering:


Top 5 Do Not Play songs

“Chicken Dance”

“Macarena” by Los Del Rio

“Y.M.C.A.” by Village People

“Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper

“Electric Slide” by Grandmaster Slice

Top Wedding Songs for 2012

Event entertainment booking service announced the Top Songs for 2012 weddings. The lists are based on a survey of recently married and soon-to-be married brides and grooms.

“Can’t Help Falling in Love and At Last remain the most popular songs, with newer songs like Train’s Marry Me breaking into the top 5,” says Marta Segal Block, GigMasters’ Editorial Director. “Although many of the songs being chosen aren’t new, what is new is that brides and grooms are taking a larger role in choosing the rest of the songs for the reception. The majority of couples are creating “Must Play” and “Do Not Play” lists for their reception, and some are even creating specific set lists.”

TOP 5 FIRST DANCE SONGS 1.    At Last – Etta James 2.    Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley 3.    Marry Me – Train 4.    You and Me – Dave Matthews Band 5.    All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo tied with Lucky – Jason Mraz, The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra and Then – Brad Paisley

TOP 5 FATHER/DAUGHTER DANCE SONGS 1.    I Loved Her First – Heartland
2.    Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong 3.    The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra 4.    Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman 5.    My Girl – The Temptations tied with Unforgettable – Natalie Cole

TOP 5 ‘DO NOT PLAY’ SONGS 1.    Chicken Dance 2.    Electric Slide
3.    Macarena 4.    YMCA 5.    Cotton Eye Joe

TOP SONGS FROM 2011 FOR 2012 WEDDINGS 1.    Marry You – Bruno Mars
2.    Just a Kiss – Lady Antebellum 3.    Love You Like a Love Song –Selena Gomez 4.    Countdown – Beyoncé 5.    We Found Love – Rihanna

We asked Shaun Pierce of Pierce Events about song choices for couples. “Most couples have fun choosing songs that are important to them. It’s amazing how certain songs can set the tone and create romantic or fun moments. Often times even the bridal party will choose their own songs for the enterance”

Pierce says if you find yourself at a loss for choosing songs or are looking for something out of the ordinary they are always ready with suggestions.

Have fun creating your own soundtrack for your special day.