Music, Sweet Music
Entertainment at weddings can be tricky. On one hand, trying
too hard is never a great look and is an easy way to waste a lot
of money without adding anything special to your day. On the other
hand, having the deafening sound of silence at a wedding celebration
is a nightmare situation! The trick is to decide on what you want
and make sure you know what is allowed at your locations.
- Try and find a band/group/DJ that is able to do 'double duty'.
Rather than having the expense of hiring one group or musician
for the ceremony and another for the reception – look for
people who have a range that will allow them to do both. Shannon
had hired a band for her reception but when she heard the lead
guitarist playing solo acoustic guitar she asked him to also play
during the ceremony. He did that at no extra charge, saving her
the $400 she was going to pay to book a harpist or violin group.
- Think about your family and friends. It is best to think of
this before people start volunteering as saying no to someone's
'talents' can sometimes offend. But if you know for absolute certain
that Cousin Peter is an excellent violinist or Aunt Sheryl is
the talented soloist in the church choir – you can save
a fortune and feature your family/friend as a performer on your
- Comparison shop. Compare fees and charges (especially over-time
charges) and length of breaks the musicians want. You don't want
to be paying for 5 hours of music only to find the band takes
three half-hour rest breaks!
- Compare prices for both flat fees and per-hour charges. Work
out how long you reasonably expect the reception to go for (or
at what time you'd be happy to switch over to a collection of
Cd's) and see which is more affordable for you.
- If you do find yourself wanting to play Cd's. Rather than having
a dodgy CD player in a corner somewhere, ask the reception hall
while you are doing the booking if you would be able to use the
built-in sound system. It makes for a much more evenly distributed
sound quality and removes the potential tacky-factor of a boom
box under a table!
- Always specify when booking a group the exact members of the
group and what music they will play. Poor Elaine learned the hard
way when the swing jazz group of two men and two ladies she booked
in March showed up at her December wedding as a three man 80's
pop cover band! Make sure your written contract with the band
lets you out of the agreement without expense should the band
change members or musical styles.
- Check with your local music school or University music programs.
Hiring a studying musician is a fantastic way to get a highly
talented young person who often will accept far less in payment
than a graduate or older musician.
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