Cost Savings Ideas

Wedding music: DJ, Band, or iPod?

Sunday, March 21st, 2010 | Filed under: Cost Savings Ideas, Party Planning | author: By Keith Sly,    

By Paul Keenan, Banquet Manager, Highlawn Pavilion

A band, a DJ, or an iPod? You’ve got a lot of options in choosing the musical entertainment for your wedding reception. In terms of protocol or etiquette, there is no right or wrong choice. However, some rooms or locations are better suited acoustically or logistically for DJs, and some for Bands. There are other factors to consider as well in choosing the musical entertainment:

DJs, on the average, are slightly less expensive than bands simply because of the number of performing individuals in a band vs. the single DJ. Another plus: DJs are far more willing to customize your song selection than ever before. And they’ll honor your “do not play” list no matter how many times your Aunt Edna wants to request the Electric Slide.

Live music can add a real kick to your reception. Remember though, the more people in the band, the more money the band usually charges. And don’t forget – you pay for their meals. If possible, be sure to see the bands performing in person (either at a friend’s wedding or at a bridal expo) before hiring one, so you have a real sense of their sound and style.

The iPod is arguably the most contemporary and lowest cost option, but it is not a good one unless you have an incredible sound system to plug it into and someone willing to make sure it doesn’t run out of batteries. Anyone who has an iPod knows what I’m talking about!

With a little forethought, your musical entertainment choice will be one of the high notes of your reception.

All the best,


The Rehearsal dinner

Saturday, March 20th, 2010 | Filed under: Cost Savings Ideas, Party Planning | author: By Keith Sly,    

By Christopher Gellings, Banquet Manager, Highlawn Pavilion

The rehearsal dinner guest list is always a matter of discussion. Who should you invite? The answer depends mostly on your budget and the size of your wedding. Certainly all bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as anyone who will be speaking or performing a reading during the ceremony should be invited. You might want to include close family members from out of town, giving you a chance to actually sit and visit and spend some quality time with them, which you probably won’t have on your wedding day.
But even with a large party, you can keep costs of your rehearsal dinner down. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a fancy, sit down affair. It can be as simple as a BBQ in your own backyard. The facility where you’re having your wedding reception may also be a good option for where to hold your rehearsal dinner. They may even offer packages that provide a discount for this meal, since they are also hosting your reception.
At the Manor and Highlawn Pavilion, two Knowles properties in West Orange, New Jersey, we offer private dining rooms for rehearsal dinners, or simply accommodate the wedding party in the Terrace Lounge at The Manor or the Main Dining Room at Highlawn Pavilion.
With a little thought put into your guest list and the location, your rehearsal dinner can be one of the most memorable events of your entire wedding.



Wedding cost savings tips – The Room Block

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 | Filed under: Bright Ideas, Cost Savings Ideas, Party Planning | author: By Keith Sly,    

By Rolf Shick, Banquet Manager, The Manor

As much as they love you, attending a wedding can be an expensive proposition for your guests: gift, transportation, maybe a new suit or dress. Saving them money might get some who are undecided about your invitation to come. Some guests might be traveling from great distances. They’re going to need a place to stay. One great way to save them money and also make the festivities more fun is by partnering with a hotel near the site of your ceremony. You can arrange for discounted rates by blocking a set of rooms. This also makes it easy for your guests to socialize before and after the ceremony as well. The facility where you’re having your reception may have an arrangement with area hotels. For example, a wedding at any of our three West Orange, New Jersey properties – the Manor, Pleasantdale Chateau or the Highlawn Pavilion – will get you top priority at our local Residence Inn.
You may also be able to arrange shuttle transportation with the hotel to and from the wedding, saving your guests wear and tear as well as money – and making it easy for them to celebrate safely. Remember, don’t drink and drive!
Here’s something else you can do when you designate a nearby hotel as “action central” and book a block of rooms: You can put together great welcome packages for guests with snacks, a bottle of wine and information for local things to do in the area. This is a great way for out of town guests to feel special and appreciated!

Thank you,


To make an appointment with a banquet manager, please contact us at 973-731-3100.