wedding music and entertainment
Nothing sets the mood for your celebration like music. Though its purpose to entertain and provide a backdrop for the wedding celebration has remained the same over the years, the range of wedding music has changed considerably and can reflect your creativity and style. Wedding guests have heard everything from gospel singers to solo pianists playing scores from movie soundtracks. The music portion of your event may begin with a soloist or chamber group for the ceremony, then change moods with a dance band or DJ for the reception. Just as every other aspect of your wedding can be tailored specifically to your tastes and interests, the music can also reflect your sense of formality and fun.
When choosing music to be played for your ceremony—the prelude, processional, and recessional, with optional music during the ceremony—it helps to consider the size of your wedding and how formal it will be. Smaller, less formal weddings are wonderful settings for a single classical guitarist, string quartet, or flute-and-harp duo. These are also excellent choices for an outdoor wedding. The majesty of the larger, more traditional wedding is captured through the bold sounds of a trumpet and organ combination, or even a small orchestra. A range of popular, classical, and even jazz standards are being used in wedding ceremonies today, and the combination of selected pieces that mean something to you will set the mood for the rest of the day.
The dance floor is lit. The music is incredible. The crowd is celebrating the night away. This is the image that many couples pictures when they think about their wedding night. To ensure your night is the celebration that you are looking for, you will need to be sure to hire the best emcees.
Hiring a professional that will be able to compile a great list of songs for your day is critical. This is not an area to pinch your budget. Keeping the dance floor packed it truly a talent and you will want someone who has a lot of experience in this area.
For the reception, which includes the social hour, dinner and dance, there is an important choice you’ll have to make -- and it’s not an easy one -- hire a live band, or a DJ? A great many couples don’t realize that, aside from the attention given to them, the entertainment is the most visible element of the reception. Whether you go with a live band or DJ, either one will essentially serve as the hosts of your reception, so it’s important to be selective and take the time to find the best fit in terms of personality and style.
A live band can bring an incredible energy to any wedding reception. Live bands typically do business through an entertainment agency, which should offer you the opportunity to audition several different bands through audio or videotapes. Style in presentation is important, so attending a live performance may be the best way to make an informed choice.
Unless you’ve made arrangements for continuous play throughout the evening, in which case the band members alternate breaks, it’s important to make arrangements for the bandleader to play CDs while the entire band takes a break. It’s also very important to arrange ahead of time what will be played for the first dance and the follow-up dance, which is usually celebratory and should draw guests to the dance floor.
You can also work with a bandleader on the level of involvement you prefer in their communications with the group, such as coaxing guests to the dance floor, or the length and tone of the other special dances or rituals such as the father-daughter dance or bouquet toss.
Hiring a DJ is not unlike finding a band for your wedding — professionalism, adaptability and a match in personal style are key — with a few added conveniences. The extensive music library almost always includes a large assortment of genres, and you’re guaranteed your favorite version of the song, just as you’ve always heard it. Some DJ companies have their library online for you to browse through. DJ companies are also considerably easier on the budget than a live band.
However, don’t be tempted to choose a DJ without meeting them in person or at least viewing a videotape of their work. Ask for credentials and references, and request to meet the DJ who will be at your wedding. It is also a good idea to ask about their equipment; professional DJs use top-notch, digital sound equipment. Bring ideas of your favorite songs or genres so they can get an idea of your preferences. Remember to start your search early as the best, in-demand DJs may require booking eight to ten months ahead of time.