When you get ready to tie the knot with your beloved one, you might want to both sit down and imagine which style of wedding would suit you two best. You might have always dreamed of a white traditional wedding in the church, the bohemian wedding at the beach, the rustic wedding in the barn or backyard or a seasonal wedding. 

Are there specific colors you feel drawn to, you feel represent you best and you like to implement? 

Is there a special venue you already have in mind? 

Your wedding theme and color scheme will set the stage for your special occasion and can add greatly to the beauty, the aesthetics and the enjoyment of the event. 

With style, color, clothes, food, decoration and the location of the event, you two will create your unique celebration together, in which all your family and friends participate. 

If your venue is a modern setting with white walls, black and gray chairs, red carpets and lots of steel, you might reconsider it, if you are planning a romantic wedding with dusty rose dresses for the bridesmaids. 

So start to imagine and dream and we will go over some examples for wedding styles and colors in our next blog. 

You are creating your very own possibly first piece of art together here and it will be fun too!




Here are some more ideas how you can save money getting your perfect wedding dress: 

1. Negotiate 

After you found your perfect match in the bridal store, can you negotiate the price of the dress? 


If you are able to find competitive pricing online, make sure you bring it to the store and ask the sales manager to match it. 

2. Renting a dress and the accessories is another way to go

If you put "rent a dress" in a search engine, lots of local stores to choose from will pop up, or another option is: 

Here you can rent a designer dress for 80 % off retail. 

3. By buying a machine-made gown and by shopping at large retailers you can easily land at the lower end of the price spectrum. 

Here are 26 places to shop for affordable wedding dresses: 

4. Another charming idea is to wear the dress that is handed down through generations. It might be out of date and might not be your style, but you will look like a million bucks.

Happy creating and saving!


With the average price for wedding dresses between $500 and $4000, the wedding gown is an item on the wedding list that is worth getting some attention. 

Here are 8 easy tips how to get your desired dress at an affordable price: 

1) Make time to watch out for sales

By starting 6 to 12 months prior to your wedding, you have enough time to watch out for sales by brands or designers. You can check out your favorite websites to know when sales begin and end up buying a dress for 20% of its original price. 

2) Avail yourself of sample gowns

Shopping sample gowns in stores that are still in excellent shape is another alternative, if you allow for enough time to find your perfect match. 

3) Buy second hand

If you have your heart set on a designer dress but don’t have the wallet for it right now, here are 7 top sites to buy a designer wedding dress second hand for an affordable price: 

4) Another great idea to get to your perfect wedding gown is to buy separate parts and become all creative! 

There are sites like etsy, who do not only provide all the ingredients for a perfect gown at an affordable price, they also give lots of ideas and inspiration: 

Join us on part two of our blog for further tips!!



Due to popular demand we are extending our weddings on a tight budget tips blogs.  There are many ways to achieve this, especially in our electronic age.

Here is some more information that can be useful to safe money on your WEDDING INVITATIONS:

1. You can easily send your invitations and receive your RSVP electronically on many sites, specifically created for this purpose, like for example

2. You can also send your wedding invitations through emails or social media platforms.

3.  Another creative idea is to set up your own wedding website and let your guests know about it. The RSVP can be done online or by phone then. There are many providers for a free website. is one of them.

4.  By printing your own wedding invitations, you not only save money, but also open up room for creativity. You can create your very own invitations or use templates with beautiful designs. There are many sites to find free templates. One of them is

5.  The last idea is probably the most creative: DIY invitations! You save money, get your own creativity going, stamp your own personality on it and have fun.  Here are 500 DIY wedding invitation ideas

You can save extra money for postage by turning the RSVP envelope into an awesome postcard. 

Have lots of fun creating your unique wedding invitations!



Here are some more tips on how to have the wonderful wedding you always dreamed of but without worries about future bills possibly spoiling your happy day!


1 ) Hire a smaller band 

The Harrison Jazz Ensemble, a jazz band based in the greater Tampa Bay area, is proud to help you with your unique needs for your special day by working with you on staying in your budget. 

We can perform for you as quartet, as trio, as duo and even as a one man band, that sounds just like a whole band with a special set-up and including vocals as well, if that is desired from you. 

2 ) Hire a band that can even provide the mic for the speeches and toasts. 

Here again we can be helpful to arrange amplification for you as a one-stop-shop. 

3 ) Choose greenery over flowers 

With the gorgeous looks of foliage, which is on top of it in style right now, as decoration in church, on tables and more you can hardly go wrong. 

4 ) Pick from the less expensive flower choices, by choosing the ones that are in season. 

We have so many wonderful in season flowers to pick from, that we don’t necessarily need to pay for expensive exotic flowers to express ourselves on our special day. 

5 ) Settle on only one or two different kinds of flowers

Using only one or two kinds of flowers together with foliage can give your decoration a very unique and totally in style look. As you will probably buy larger amounts of one flower kind you will very likely be able to get a discount. 

6 ) Go with two different cakes for the cake cutting ceremony 

Order a small cake for your special cake cutting ceremony and provide additional slices of cake for everyone from a large sheet cake in the kitchen. This way you have your wonderful symbolic cake cutting ceremony and everyone gets a piece of cake too, without the wedding cake putting an extra high expense on your budget. 

7 ) Skip the champagne 

Just have everybody say “cheers” with whatever drink they have at hand. As long as the drink bubbles and is drinkable, the good wishes most certainly won’t lose their power just because you don’t serve expensive champagne. 

Happy celebrating on a tight budget!


Many brides and grooms have very tight wedding budgets.  Yet they don’t want to go super cheap on the most special day of their lives.  

If you fall into this category, there are fortunately some things that can be done to reduce stress and make sure that you  can then fully enjoy your big day without any worries about future bills to pay. 

Here are a few tips that won’t take anything away from your wedding, but can possibly cut some of the expenses:  

If money is getting tight while you are still in your planning stages, trimming the guest list will shrink your expenses a lot right there, as about 50% of the money spent on your wedding is for food and drinks.  

Book your venue for a Friday or Sunday, which usually saves your 25% of the cost.  

Sometimes booking late like 2 months before the wedding, while the average venues are booked 6 months in advance, can give you also a 25% discount.  

Plan a late winter or early spring wedding. By having less competition in those seasons, you will get better prices for venues and more, especially in a state like Florida that gives you year round favorable weather conditions.  

Hire a band that can play at the ceremony, the cocktail hour and at the reception. If you prefer a DJ for the reception, The Harrison Jazz Ensemble, a jazz band in the Tampa Bay area, can provide music for the cocktail hour, ceremony, or both as they have lots of experience with weddings in the Tampa Bay area. 

This is part one and stay tuned for part two of tips for weddings on a tight budget!


Usually when couples decide to get married, they enter into a time full of wonderful expectation of the greatest day of their lives. They finally can plan for and prepare all they have ever dreamed of. 

But then again there is so much to do, so much to decide, so much to consider, so much to organize and prepare and finally so much to pay for, so that time can bring with it also so much stress, that it can almost overshadow the joy. 

Often by aiming for that picture perfect wedding we can put ourselves under a lot of pressure. 

While a picture perfect wedding with beautiful and exquisite quality and quantity of everything is not to be knocked, there is also a totally different approach to a wedding by simply being your unique you. Instead of aiming to have everything picture perfect, we can also just aim to share our uniqueness with our wedding celebration and simply be us. After all, that’s what your friends and family come for, to celebrate you and take part in your unique and special day. 

You can make a list of the special things YOU TWO love and would like to share with family and friends and organize your wedding around some of those, to make it your original celebration. 

There is no limit to creating that way. 

The bride adores the color pink. Why not color coordinate the whole wedding in pink shades? 

Possibly a honey moon to Mexico or Thailand is planned, as the couple loves those countries. You can put the whole wedding under that motto, decorate accordingly, serve matching food and all your guest partake in your love for that country and learn more about you too.

The groom loves spaghetti bolognese as meal and tiramisu as desert. Why not offer it to the guests and share that passion for Italian food with them, including decoration about Italy? 

Some couples are involved in charities, like helping animals or taking care of the environment. Why not put the wedding under a special theme and get some donations for that good cause as wedding gifts too?   

How about singing or playing that special song you two share as a symbol of your love? The Harrison Jazz Ensemble, a jazz band in the greater Tampa Bay area, can help with that! 

Or how about sharing that romantic or funny story when you two first met? Make sure you have a master of ceremonies and mic to present all your original speeches of bride and groom and of family and friends involved, in order to share memorable moments. Again, your band might be able to help with that too.

If the couple loves jazz music in general, have a live jazz band. The Harrison Jazz Ensemble can accommodate all your jazz needs as a jazz band in the greater Tampa Bay area, help with your song choices and make this a very special event for you and your loved ones. 

Happy Creating of your unique wedding!





Of course nowadays in our so called modern times, getting married has almost become old fashioned or out of style. 

In our fast times, where everything is instantaneously available, why even commit to loving another person for a whole life, why wait for a wedding night? 

Why not test drive that relationship a bit, like one would do with a car before a binding purchase, see where it leads us and what happens and then take it from there? 

Yet, we are here to make that point for the old fashioned custom of marriage: making up one’s mind, committing to a loved one for a whole lifetime and making a promise, depending on our religion in church in the presence of god, or somewhere else in the presence of life by another ceremony. 

For jazz fans there is The Harrison Jazz Ensemble, a jazz band in the greater Tampa Bay area, or Roger Harrison as a solo pianist and singer to help you celebrate!

There is a lot to be gained from such a commitment, even though at first glance it might look like a lot of responsibility and little fun. 

There is the beauty of faith, the nurturing of the marriage partner to his or her best, at times hard work on the relationship and on one’s own flaws, not quitting, keeping one’s promise, going through hell and high water despite all odds and the reward of coming out the other end, victorious and all grown spiritually, mentally and as a human.  

There is a loving and stable family unit to be gained, for children to grow up in, getting nurtured and supported to become their best! 

Then there is a whole world that needs love and faith, to be nurtured to its true potential of Brotherhood of Men and of peace and love on earth!

To your wedding!

Planning For Spring and Summer Weddings 

Let's all knock on wood that the worse of this pandemic is behind us.  All indications are that in Florida at least, we've rounded the curve.  As a jazz band performing in Tampa, we've noticed our inquires for weddings and other events accelerating, which is a good sign. 

So how do you factor in this information in terms of planning for your wedding? Well the first thing is to consider locking down your venue NOW for your spring or summer wedding.  It's possible and even likely that there is pent up demand as a result of the earlier lock downs, which could affect availability for your preferred venue.  So don't wait.

Try to get a room that is adjacent to an outdoor space, rather than a room that is in the middle of the building.  This way you'll have the option of conducting your ceremony inside, or if many of you guests are uncomfortable, you can move the festivities outside, where it's easier to social distance. 

Weddings are notorious for running over budget, so plan each item.  Look at how much you want to spend for food, venue, and music.  Try your best to stay within what you can afford and still have a great event.

As we know that budgets can vary, we offer in the Tampa area, jazz trios, jazz duos, jazz quartets and even a one man band that sounds like a full group.  We offer this in order to work within your budget while making your wedding sound awesome.

Let us know if you have any questions and CONGRATS!

The First Dance  


One of the most special parts of the overall wedding celebration is the first dance.  It's here that you inaugurate your new marriage.  The ideal time for this is right after you've been introduced for the first time to your guests.  The MC or bandleader should announce something like "Ladies and gentelmen may I have your attention.  Please rise and give a big welcome as I introduce to you for the first time Mr. + Mrs. _______!!"  This naturally will create a big response and high point of applause, enthusiasm, cheering etc. Right after this is a great time for the first dance.  You have all of your guest's attention and they will be eager to join your special moment.  The stage is set for the first dance!

The next question is what should the song be?  If there is a song that has some special significance for you both, that would be it.   It's best that the song is connected with some aspect of your relationship.  Perhaps it's the song that you heard during the prosposal, or a song or artist that you both particularly like.  Those would be the best choices. 

If there is no such song or artist that is not a problem.  We can provide you with lot of suggestions and can perform these as an instrumental or add vocals.  

Also, there are lots of options! Here's a example of a couple who were really creative and created a fun and memorable first dance. Check it out!

Here are some suggestions for starters. These are from the

1. "At Last" (Etta James)
2. "As Time Goes By" (from Casablanca)
3. "Come Rain or Come Shine" (Ray Charles)
4. "Because You Loved Me" (Celine Dion)
5. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" (Elton John)
6. "Can't Help Falling In Love" (Elvis Presley)
7. "Chances Are" (Johnny Mathis)
8. "Close To You" (The Carpenters)
9. "Could I Have This Dance?" (Anne Murray)
10. "Dream A Little Dream" (Mamas & the Papas)
11. "Embraceable You" (Nat King Cole)
12. "Endless Love" (Diana Ross & Lionel Richie)
13. "Fascination" (Jane Morgan)
14. "Fever" (Peggy Lee)
15. "Forever and Ever, Amen" (Randy Travis)
16. "Forever" (Kenny Loggins)
17. "From This Moment" (Shania Twain & Brian White)
18. "Grow Old With Me" (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
19. "Here And Now" (Luther Vandross)
20. "I Finally Found Someone" (Barbra Streisand & Bryan Adams)
21. "I Only Have Eyes For You" (The Flamingos)
22. "I Will" (The Beatles)
23. "If I Loved You" (from Carousel)
24. "In My Life" (The Beatles)
25. "It Had To Be You" (Harry Connick, Jr.)
26. "Lady In Red" (Chris DeBurgh)
27. "Love Theme To Romeo & Juliet" (from Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet)
28. "Marry Me" (Neil Diamond & Buffy Lawson)
29. "One Moment In Time" (Whitney Houston)
30. "Our Love Is Here To Stay" (Billie Holiday)
31. "So This Is Love" (James Ingram)
32. "Some Enchanted Evening" (from South Pacific)
33. "Something" (The Beatles)
34. "Somewhere" (from West Side Story)
35. "The Best Is Yet To Come" (Frank Sinatra)
36. "The Rose" (Bette Midler)
37. "Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You" (Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson)
38. "True" (Spandau Ballet)
39. "Unforgettable" (Nat King Cole)
40. "Up Where We Belong" (Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warrens)
41. "Wedding Song (There Is Love)" (Captain & Tennille)
42. "Wedding Song (There is Love)" (Petula Clark)
43. "We've Got Tonight" (Bob Seger)
44. "We've Only Just Begun" (The Carpenters)
45. "When I Fall In Love" (Nat King Cole)
46. "Will You Marry Me?" (Vonda Shepard)
47. "Woman" (John Lennon)
48. "Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong)
49. "You Are So Beautiful" (Joe Cocker)
50. "Your Song" (Elton John)