wedding guest list

Why you want a large guest list for your wedding celebration

By | Guest List | No Comments
wedding guest list

A couple of professors at Emory University conducted a study on weddings and marriage. One of their findings was pretty amazing. The more people you invite to your wedding, the more likely your marriage will be successful.

A couple that invites ten people to their wedding is 35% less likely to ever get divorced than a couple who exchange vows without any guests.

Your wedding guest list should be big, no, make that huge! Your marriage may depend upon it! Let me explain.

Even more dramatically, couples that invite more than 200 guests are 92% less likely to get divorced than couples with no guests.

A large wedding guest list is a good idea

As you review the graph above, you can see that at every level, the more guests you invite, the less likely you’ll ever get divorced. One of the researchers, Randy Olson, explained why:

“Clearly, this shows us that having a large group of family and friends who support the marriage is critically important to long-term marital stability.”

In other words, when you have a large group of family and friends, they have a vested interest in your well-being. They help provide the emotional “safety net” to nurture and sustain your fledgling family over the years.

Remember these wise African proverbs

To quote an African proverb,

“it takes a village.”

To quote another African proverb,

“If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”

Community matters to your marriage as you travel on your new journey together.

Last week’s blogpost dispensed wedding guest list advice. We focused on practical ways to cut your list down to size to accommodate your wedding budget. However, in light of this research, perhaps conventional thinking is backward. Perhaps the proper way to plan your wedding is that your wedding budget needs to accommodate your guest list, not the other way around.

It’s more important to get your community out in full force for your life-changing wedding celebration, even if you need to cut back a little on the menu or the flowers.  The love and prayers your “community” brings to your marriage is more important than a sit-down dinner verses a buffet.

Queen City DJs offers a full palate of wedding entertainment options that are easily customizable to fit your budget.  You never have to scrimp on the fun with Queen City DJs!

So invite away!

wedding guest list advice

Wedding guest list advice

By | Wedding planning | No Comments

Who NOT to invite to your Cincinnati wedding, that is the question! Few issues cause more friction in the wedding planning process than the guest list. Here is some wedding guest list advice to simplify the process.

Wedding guest list anguish takes many forms:

—> Your budget is limited, so you can’t afford to invite everybody you’d like to.

—> Your parents want you to invite people you don’t know very well.

—> Your future in-laws want to invite more people on their side of the family than yours.

—> Which co-workers get invited, and who doesn’t make the cut?

–-> You feel guilted into inviting someone who you know will be disruptive. (Watch video below!)

You get the idea.  There are landmines everywhere.  I’d like to tell you that I can help you avoid each one.  I can’t.  Each situation is different. Nonetheless, you can minimize anxiety if you take our wedding guest list advice.

Wedding guest list advice

Tip #1:  Pay for the wedding yourself. When you’re footing the bill, you have more clout on who gets an invitation. [According to Wedding Wire, the average millennial couple pays for 40% of the wedding budget themselves.]

Tip #2:  Set a budget and your guest list size.  Since so many couples have their parents pay for most or a portion of the cost of a wedding, try to lock in a pretty firm guest list number so you know what you’re dealing with.  Best to start low, because the number will surely grow.

Tip #3:  Develop a ‘family formula’ for divvying up the list.  It might be as simple as a third of the guest list comes from your friends as a couple; a third from the groom’s family; and a third from the bride’s family.  Obviously, this formula won’t work for everyone.  The idea, though, is to establish a formula right for your situation on the front end to minimize wrangling down the road.

If you’re paying for the wedding, the formula might be half for you, with the remaining guest list split between the two families.

Will all parties stick to the formula?  Probably not, but you’re no worse off than if you didn’t establish a formula, and you’re probably going to be way ahead by doing so.

Tip #4:  Categorize potential invitees.  This can be rather fun.  The fun comes in the way you describe your categories.

How to categorize your guest list

I recommend 4 categories, perhaps something like this:

CATEGORY A (the “My Favorite People in the world” category)

CATEGORY B (the “People who mean a lot to me, and I mean a lot to them” category)

CATEGORY C (the “People I really do want to invite, but then I’ll feel guilty if I don’t invite a mutual friend/co-worker ” category)

CATEGORY D (“People I really don’t want to invite, but there will be hell to pay if I don’t” category)

Categorizing helps focus your thinking.  Ultimately, the power of the purse tends to finalize who in each category gets an invite. For example, one bride bristled when her parents invited a couple they were friends with, whom the daughter never liked.  The daughter fumed,

“Mrs. Smith called me fat when I was thirteen! I refuse to have her at my wedding!”

The mother shot back,

“Listen honey, they’re friends of ours and we see them almost every week.  Yes, that was a jerky thing for her to say, but that was 10 years ago. Time to move on.  We’re paying for the wedding.  She’s coming.”

Tip #5:  Don’t tack on the words “and guest” to your single friends unless they’re in a longterm relationship.  Think about it, how would you like to cut someone from the first three categories above and replace them with a stranger you may never see again in your life?  End of story. Right?

How to handle audacious invitees

Well, not quite.  Some of your more audacious friends may take it upon themselves to add on the words “and guest” anyway when they send the RSVP back.  Be prepared.  Write back immediately something like this:

“Anne, I’m so delighted you’ll be able to attend my wedding.  That means so much to me!  I’m sorry to say, though, that we simply don’t have the space to accommodate your guest.  I wish it were different, but it’s just the reality of planning a wedding.  I’ll tell you more about it next time I see you. I’m so excited about this day. Thank-you for coming!”

Then there is the timeless question of children: do you invite them or not?  This is such a highly charged subject that we’ve already written an entire blogpost on the subject.  Go back and check it out!

I hope you find this basic wedding guest list advice helpful, and congratulations on your engagement.  As you work through the planning process, remember that entertainment makes the event.  Check out our wedding entertainment services today.  We would be honored to show those guests who “make the cut” how much fun a wedding can be!

wedding photography styles

What style of wedding photography is right for you?

By | Photography | No Comments

wedding photography stylesYour wedding day presents rich photographic opportunities. The question is, of the four most popular wedding photography styles, which is right for you?

Think of the delightful moments you’ll want recorded forever: your entrance and the wedding vows; the cake cutting and the first dance; and the entire celebratory fervor which Queen City DJs helps to cultivate.

This is life at its best. The moments captured by your wedding photographer matter.  These are the images you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Here’s where things get fun.  Wedding photography styles are dramatically different.  Which is right for you?  Ultimately, it depends on your personality, your traditions, and your personal artistic tastes.

Wedding photography styles

For the sake of this blogpost, let’s focus in on the four basic styles offered by various photographers in this market area. Yes, there are variations on these styles, but these four really cover the approaches you’ll want to consider.

TRADITIONAL PORTRAITURE

wedding photography styles

Traditional wedding photography

Let’s face it, most people love posed shots following a ceremony, whether it is in front of your church or in front of a redwood tree.  These traditional photographs allow a good portrait photographer to bring out the best in you and your wedding party.  Posing is an art form unto itself.  Your grandparents and your parents love these shots, because they had them at their weddings, too.  It’s great fun to go back and compare these portraits to see how fashions and hair styles have changed.  Traditional portraiture has gotten increasingly creative, with great poses in less traditional settings, such as your hotel or even a back road behind your venue.  Traditional portraiture doesn’t have to be stodgy.

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY:

wedding photography styles

Documentary wedding photography

You may not be a fan of posing. If you want a more spontaneous collection of wedding photographs, the documentary style might be a good fit for you.  Your photographer acts like a journalist, roaming your event to record the solemnity, as well as the fun, of your event.  Spontaneous moments, such as the antics of your bridesmaids or groomsmen are captured for posterity, as well as the romantic moments.  There are pros and cons of this style.  Pro:  the subjects aren’t looking at the camera.  Con:  the subjects aren’t looking at the camera.  You get the idea.  It’s all about what you want.

FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY

 

wedding photography styles

Fine art wedding photography

This approach goes beyond photo journalism by transforming a documentary approach into an artistic approach.  It especially lends itself to photographers who still use film, which is dying breed.  However, good digital photographers can still create art with creative use of the focal length of the photograph.  You know what I mean:  the subject in the foreground is in focus, but the background is blurred.  Yes, this style documents your event, but from the artistic perspective of the photographer, who typically prefers black and white to color photography.

EDGY PHOTOGRAPHY

wedding photography styles

Edgy wedding photography

These avant-garde photographers are not a good choice for couples who lean towards the traditional.  But if you like an artist who thinks outside the box, you’ll want to consider this style.  These photographers don’t frame their shots in the same ways as the photographers above might. They might even like tilted perspectives.  Edgy photography likes to transform the common place into the extraordinary.  There’s a case to be made for it, but spend time reviewing a photographer’s portfolio before committing.  That’s good advice for any wedding photographer you’re considering.

Wedding photography styles really do vary.  Some especially proficient photographers are able to embrace a number of different styles.  You can help them by letting them know which approach best fits your needs.

Queen City DJs likes to know the style of wedding photography you prefer. It helps us to collaborate with you in designing the wedding entertainment look and feel perfect for you.

wedding prices

Wedding prices

By | Wedding planning | No Comments

The video below poses the question, “why are weddings so darn expensive?” It suggests that wedding prices are just plain too high.

But are they?

This video is worth watching because it addresses an important question, something we deal with all the time: why can’t wedding vendors be more transparent in their pricing by listing all their package price on their website?

Price shopping alone can ruin your wedding

The question seems pretty reasonable, except that it has the potential to ruin your wedding day.  If you select vendors on price alone, and not on quality, reputation, creativity and flexibility, you’re going to end up with vendors who aren’t a good fit for you for all kinds of reasons.

That’s what so often happens when companies list prices: prospective brides shop on price alone, which is dangerous.

Let’s use the example of an avocado, like they do in the video above. Unlike wedding services, avocados are a commodity, which means they are especially price sensitive.

You wouldn’t pay $8 for an avocado, as they suggest in the video above, especially when the national average is $1.18 per avocado.  On the other hand, you might pay $2 if it is organically grown, because that is important to you. By the same token, $1.18 may be too much if the offerings on your store shelf are overripe.

You get the idea. All avocados aren’t the same, just as all entertainment companies aren’t the same.

Queen City DJs love price questions!

Queen City DJs love price questions when it comes time for you to plan wedding entertainment. The video offers good advice: offer potential vendors a price range that fits your budget, which helps us present you with the options and add-ons right for your style and budget.

Ultimately, no price is a good price if you don’t love the quality of the service you receive. That’s why wedding prices alone are an incomplete metric when it comes to assessing potential vendors. Be sure to include quality, reputation, creativity and flexibility in your considerations.

Queen City DJs is proud of our website. It reflects who we are. Spend a little time on it, beginning with our wedding services page. Check out our planning tools. And then contact us. Nothing beats a phone call (1-513-659-9293) to help you get to know a company and receive the exact info you’re looking for.

destination wedding

The agony and ecstasy of a destination wedding

By | Wedding planning

Why in the world would anyone in their right mind want a destination wedding? Traditionalists bristle at such a notion. In fact, there is some serious agony and ecstasy associated with a destination wedding. This blog will fearlessly lay it on the line for you, our faithful readers:

ECSTASY—> Simplicity

You’ll spend less time planning your wedding with a destination wedding.  A lot of wedding couples appreciate the entire stress-free vibe of less planning.  When planning a wedding in the bride’s home town, couples have to make well over 1000 decisions. Each decision is a cause for stress.  Destination weddings at resorts often provide turnkey packages which include an onsite wedding planning consultant which radically reduces stress-causing decisions.

AGONY—> Destination weddings may exclude key family members

Let’s face it, not everyone can afford to haul their entire family off to your destination wedding. You may find yourself deprived of loved ones who you really would like to share in the biggest day of your life.  Even more, family members who would like to come may be resentful that you’re putting them in a position of mortgaging the house to fly off to Timbuktu to indulge your destination wedding fantasy.  Then there is the issue of mobility and age.  Elderly grandparents and aunts may not be up to traveling long distances.

ECSTASY—> Destination weddings may exclude key family members

On the other hand, do you have problematic family members you’d rather not attend your wedding?  Destination weddings are a great way to whittle back your list!

AGONY—> Legal red tape

If you’re getting married in another country, you may have to wrangle with a different language while getting all the proper forms necessary to get married there, especially if you’ve been divorced before.  That’s why destination weddings are more popular with younger couples getting married for the first time.

ECSTASY—> Enjoy a better honeymoon

By combining your ceremony and honeymoon, you may be able to get a package that makes a dream honeymoon location more affordable.

AGONY—>It may ruin your honeymoon

Think about this carefully:  do you want your family hanging around on your honeymoon, because it’s something you may have to deal with if you have a destination wedding.  After all, they may not want to shell out all those bucks just to pack up and jet home the next day.  You may find yourself entertaining Uncle Buck when you’d rather be relaxing in your honeymoon suite.

ECSTASY—> Save money

The way one wedding planner put it, “You get the honeymoon and wedding at the same time for a half the price of what a wedding would cost in the U.S. or Canada,”

AGONY—> You may not be the star of the show

Some resorts schedule lots and lots of weddings in a day.  You may see a lot of other brides and their guests flitting around.  And then there are beach weddings.  How would you feel if the ‘tall and tan and lovely girl from Ipanema’ saunters by while you’re saying your vows and all eyes are on her … and not you?  Just askin’!  Despite their best efforts, resort staffers may not be able to keep the public at bay.

ECSTASY–> Queen City DJs

If you hold your wedding right here in the Cincinnati area, you can enjoy unrivaled wedding entertainment with Queen City DJs! No need to travel halfway across the world!

Is a destination wedding right for you?  For most couples, the agony outweighs the ecstasy.

Honeymoon packing tips

How to pack for your honeymoon

By | Honeymoons

Men and women have totally different ways to pack for their honeymoon, as the humorous video below points out. Nonetheless, there are some rock solid honeymoon packing tips that apply to both genders.

Honeymoon Packing Tips

 

TIP #1: Be sure to label your luggage on the inside and out. Even more, make your bags standout with a unique, colorful luggage tag so it is not mistakenly taken by someone else with a similar bag. Don’t let missing luggage slow down your honeymoon!

TIP #2:  Create a packing checklist. It’s just as easy to overpack as it is to forget critical items. Checklists make packing more efficient and less stressful. By the same token, checklists reduce your risk of leaving items behind at the end of your honeymoon.  I’ve attached a real, nice checklist for women I found from a website at www.HouseMixBlog.com to get you started.

honeymoon packing tips

More honeymoon packing tips

TIP #3:  Travel light. Be honest with yourself, traveling heavy is hard. It’s more expensive. It’s unwieldy. You work up a sweat. Your luggage breaks. And if you are really, really honest with yourself, you never use everything you’ve packed. Traveling light is so much easier. A website called www.TravelJoy.com advises brides to ‘recycle’ and accessorize:

√ RECYCLING: Instead of bringing 8 tops and 8 bottoms for 8 days of travel, try bringing half that amount and then mixing and matching outfits. It will help you feel like you are wearing something new without adding bulk and weight to your bag.

√ ACCESSORIZING: Adding scarves and jewelry to simple outfits is the another way to increase your travel wardrobe. A bright blue scarf and some fun earrings will make a black dress look different than it does with only a simple belt and a simple chain necklace.

TIP #4:  Start with your non-clothes necessities. Here are things your really need to have;

√ Drivers license.

√ Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmations.

√ Passport and visas.

√ Credit cards. Leave behind those you don’t need.

√ Reservation confirmations.

√ Medical prescriptions.

√ Photocopies of everything listed above. Make 2 sets: one to carry with you; one to leave behind in your hotel.

√ Phone #s for your doctor, credit card companies (in case they’re stolen), and house and pet sitters.

TIP #5:  Carry key items on the plane with you, such as medications in their original bottles, tickets, itineraries, emergency contact info, change of clothes, and a few fun and light items, like magazines, e-books, or playing cards.

These simple tips will help you relax and enjoy your honeymoon all the more!

Congratulations … and bon voyage!

[Don’t forget to check out Queen City DJs’ wedding services!]

DJ advantage

Why 2 out of 3 brides prefer a DJ to a band

By | DJ Entertainment

The DJ advantage

I’m like you:  I love music, and I love a good band.

In fact, Queen City DJs is friends with many top notch bands in the greater Cincinnati area.  Having said that, the Knot conducted a nationwide survey of some 18,000 brides and learned that 2 out 3 hired a professional DJ instead of a band.

One DJ advantage really stands out with brides here in our area:  flexibility.  We can play about any song you want by the artist of your choice.

DJ flexibility matters to brides

Take the timeless classic song for a wedding first dance, “The Way You Look Tonight.”  It was written way back in 1936 for a movie called “Swing Time” with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and music by Jerome Kerns.

Many local bands don’t know the song.  And for those that do, can they compete with the polished, professional arrangements and vocals that a Michael Bublé provides?  Just listen to the video above.  It’s hard to beat those seductive Latin rhythms that caress your ears, isn’t it? And Bublé is simply one of the best contemporary vocal stylists around!

On the other hand, perhaps you’d rather hear the great jazz artist, Harry Connick Jr., singing your first dance song as only he can do it: with jazz!

Or maybe you love the super smooth voice of Adam Levine:

Looking for romance on steroids?  How about the legendary Tony Bennet singing a duet with the lovely Faith Hill?

How about a retro interpretation of the song by Chad & Jeremy?

You’ll never go wrong with this definitive interpretation by the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra, and a simply swinging arrangement by the great Nelson Riddle.

Great artists make a great song like “The Way You Look Tonight” their own.  Which version do you like best?

Here’s the thing:  a DJ can play whatever version fits your style and personality.  Queen City DJs has these versions and more.  We can get whatever you want if we don’t.

This flexibility is a significant DJ advantage, one that contributes to the popularity of Queen City DJs with Cincinnati wedding couples.

What songs do you want to hear at your wedding reception? And who do you want singing them? Check out our musical database and start planning the wedding of your dreams!

don't let a friend DJ your wedding

How to ruin a friendship

By | DJ Entertainment

Do you value your friendships? Whatever you do, don’t let a friend DJ your Cincinnati wedding. It’s a recipe for disaster, unless he or she is an experienced professional with at least 50 weddings under their belt.

As regular readers of this blog know, entertainment makes the event. It is the great equalizer for brides on a budget.  Great entertainment compensates for the need for most of us to moderate our desires when it comes to which package we select from our caterer, photographer, and florist.

But if the entertainment is legendary, your reception will be legendary, too, even if you had to cut back a little on other areas of your wedding.

Don’t let a friend DJ your wedding!

Here’s your risk, and it’s a big one: you try to cut corners by having a friend play some tunes off of his iPod at your reception. Not only will you put your friendship at risk, you put your entire wedding reception at risk when your guests start to leave early.

DJing involves far, far more than just playing music. In the hands of professionals like Queen City DJs, it is an art form that energizes and entertains your friends and family.

We know how to read an audience and play music that packs the dance floor. Even more, we know how to engage even your shy guests to move them from their seats to the dance floor.  It’s done so naturally, but the talent to do that was honed by raw experience.

Your friend just doesn’t have that experience. Nor does he have the experience to MC a wedding reception.

Announcements have to be timed perfectly. They need to be coordinated with the rest of your wedding vendors. A wedding reception doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  There are a lot of moving parts. Our skilled professionals are the quarterbacks to pulling everything together so your party flows like clockwork.

And there are practical reasons professional wedding entertainment is priceless. Queen City DJs offers the professional pre-planning, the professional lighting options, the professional microphones and cutting edge sound equipment that transforms ordinary receptions into extraordinary ones.

Two out of three brides hire a professional DJ company

Your friend just can’t bring these resources to the table. This is why two out of every three brides in the U.S. hires a professional wedding DJ company, according to a massive survey of 18,000 brides and grooms by The Knot.

We’ve heard way too many horror stories from people who let their friend DJ their event. Their friend only played his favorite music. Few people danced. The equipment was terrible. There was no first dance. The cake-cutting was ruined. No one could hear the toasts because the microphones and speakers were horrible. Speaker feedback was distracting. The party ended an hour early.

Isn’t your friendship worth more than this? Don’t put him in the position of disappointing you.

Even more, isn’t your wedding reception worthy of a legendary party? Yes, it is, and the key is the entertainment. Entertainment makes the event every time. Learn more about how Queen City DJs can make your wedding dreams come true, while saving your friendships!

best wedding movies

Best all time wedding movies

By | Culture

Wedding movies are so fun. They unite an audience because everyone has wedding experience, either as an attendee or a participant. So when various antics, disasters, and human foibles are projected on the big screen, well, it can be delightfully entertaining.

Queen City DJs gets a big kick out of wedding movies, because we’ve seen it all in real life! When you entertain at wedding celebrations on a weekly basis, you can’t help but encounter some zany escapades that fall into the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ category!

I couldn’t help but laugh at a recent wedding ceremony that was held on a Sunday afternoon. The poor priest officiating the service kept referring to it as a funeral instead of a wedding. That got a ton of laughs. He explained that he almost never performs weddings on a Sunday, and that funerals are more typical on Sundays, so it was tough for him get his mind out of funeral mode and into wedding mode.

(For the record, Sunday weddings can often times save you money, since most couples prefer Saturdays. Some wedding vendors offer more favorable pricing on these “off” days.)

Entertainment Tonight’s list of best wedding movies

Entertainment Tonight compiled a list of their favorite wedding movies in the video below.

Here’s their list of their top seven, along with their respective box office receipts:

7. My Best Friend’s Wedding | $299 Million

6. 27 Dresses | $160 Million

5. Bridesmaids | $288 Million

4. The Wedding Planner | $95 Million

3. The Wedding Crashers | $285 Million

2. The Wedding Singer | $123 Million

1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding | $368 Million

wedding movies

Wedding movies are so much fun!

There’s money in wedding movies!

The risk of watching movies like these is that most brides don’t have Hollywood budgets! Some brides get a little overwhelmed and fret that their wedding celebration will pale by comparison.

Your wedding can be better than a Hollywood movie!

Don’t worry, your wedding can easily exceed any you see on movie screens, even if your wedding budget is on the ‘normal’ side, which is most of us. Everything depends on the entertainment. If your guests are having fun, they aren’t even going to notice if your reception is a buffet or a sit down dinner.

Queen City DJs offers a rich selection of entertainment options with attractive package pricing.

Check out our wedding DJ entertainment services and uplightingEntertainment provides 90% of the fun at wedding receptions, but only costs 10% of the typical budget.

Uplighting transform a plain hall into a palace.

Just as a good Hollywood wedding movie provides you with great entertainment on the silver screen, Queen City DJs will provide you with fabulous wedding entertainment, defined by packed dance floors, flawless MCing, and a spirit of fun.

It’s your turn. Your wedding CAN be better than a movie. Start planning your dream today.

 

passionate spaghetti and meatball recipe

Here’s a passionate spaghetti and meatball recipe for newlyweds!

By | Recipes

Italians know how to love life, beginning with their spaghetti and meatballs.  This blog commends their panache for living, and goes even further with this philosophy:  great food enhances marriage.  So here’s a passionate spaghetti and meatball recipe for newlyweds which will enhance your marriage!

Italian cuisine offers endless possibilities on the creative use of pasta.  In this recipe, the meatball is king.  You’re going to savor them.  At the same time, the pasta gives you something fun to do with your fork.

To enhance the sensuality of this recipe, immediately lower the lights.  Then open a nice bottle of cabernet and pour a glass for each of you.  Furthermore, select some nice music with an Italian flair.  You can’t go wrong with Andre Bocelli.

Okay, get ready to live life to the hilt with this passionate spaghetti and meatball recipe for newlyweds!

Ingredients make the difference in this passionate spaghetti and meatball recipe!

Meatballs:

4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces

8 ounces (1 cup) whole-milk ricotta cheese

2 pounds ground pork

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 large eggs

2 shallots, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

10 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Ready for the passion? Here are your easy-to-follow instructions:

  1. FOR THE MEATBALLS: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Then set wire rack in aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet and spray evenly with vegetable oil spray. Next, combine bread and ricotta in large bowl and let sit, mashing occasionally with fork, until smooth paste forms, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add pork, Parmesan, parsley, eggs, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest to bread mixture and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Then divide meat mixture into 24 portions (about 1/4 cup each) and place on platter. Roll meat between your wet hands to form meatballs and space evenly on prepared wire rack. Roast meatballs until browned, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through roasting. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  3. FOR THE SAUCE: Meanwhile, combine oil and garlic in Dutch oven set over low heat and cook until garlic is soft and golden on all sides, 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover, with lid slightly ajar, and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes. Also, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4.  Nestle meatballs into sauce, cover, and transfer pot to oven. Bake until meatballs are tender and sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Transfer meatballs and sauce to serving platter. Sprinkle with basil and serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.
  5. Finally, serve over pasta that has been lightly oiled with olive oil.

Bon appétit!

Planning a wedding? Then check out this recipe for great entertainment!