Make or Break: Wedding Entertainment

Written By: Meaghen Lottman 

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. A day you will remember for years to come. It is a time to celebrate with friends and family. A time to laugh and to cry and most importantly, to DANCE!

For couples, the music at the wedding needs to reflect their unique personalities, include important memories, and bring the families of both sides together in celebration. With so many options available it can be hard to narrow down the choices and sift through the hype and the flashy website’s to pick something that is truly special.

There are a few very important things to consider before beginning your search that can help determine where to begin. Agreeing on a budget can be the most stressful part of planning a wedding, but having one will give you clear expectations and give you a useful negotiating tool. After the budget the rest will seem easy. Consult a booking service! A booking agent will be able to give you advice on what entertainment is available in your area, whether a DJ or live musicians will suit your needs, and how to utilize your budget.

Weddings these days tend to not always fall into the structure of traditional nuptials. Couples all over are reimagining the marriage experience and really bending the rooted customs. Music can be a great way to customize your evening’s itinerary.  Music is your guests guide to their experience; it can be interactive or passive. It can be the focal point or the background. It will also be the second most memorable part of your wedding, after your vows. In addition to setting the mood, the band or DJ is typically the MC of the evening, announcing the happy couple, starting dinner and dancing, leading traditional wedding day events like garter tosses and champagne toasts.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Not every great musician has it all together or has a degree in marketing. Today’s world of social media, Google algorithms, and SEO can make it very hard to be seen for someone who may have talent but not enough hours in the day to study how to make Google pull their name out of the sorting hat for you. Talking to people, especially the ones attending your wedding can give you a sense of the music they like as well; they may even suggest the perfect thing you would have never thought of on your own. Go see live music! Many times musicians and DJ’s that are still building their name play free or low cover shows. What better excuse to have a few date nights with your affianced, than finding the perfect music for your wedding night.

Consider your venue. Outdoor weddings are beautiful and captivating for your photographer, but your musician or DJ is going to need to factor in power sources and weather greatly into their performance. If you are planning an off the grid ceremony on the side of a cliff you may want to think about an acoustic guitar rather than a DJ. Some outdoor venues have power sources close by and it may determine where you can set up an area for musicians and dancing. Many musicians and DJ’s have generators they can use but this can change the length of time they have power available to keep the party rolling. Talk to your venue about power sources, sound requirements and for DJ’s: Wi-Fi, so they can pull up those obscure song requests without skipping a beat.

When thinking about your playlist, think about songs that you want to hear that are special to you first. If you are planning on requesting a wide variety of music a DJ may be the best option since DJ’s have access to unlimited music and can create an elaborate playlist, where as a band needs to practice and learn songs over time, and will play songs that fit their bands talent and style. Bands have great presence and flow and can really hone in on a theme or genre that fits your style. Some bands will learn important songs for you if you request but not all of them so it is important to ask. Consider how much control you want to have over the music. Do you want to pick a list of pre-approved songs or do you want to leave creative control to the entertainer? Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong answer. If you do decide to leave control to the musician or DJ then give clear expectations to them about how you want the night to feel, and the atmosphere you are aiming to create for you and your guests.

After considering the above factors you should have a much better understanding of your expectations and needs. Knowing what you want is going to make the decision easier. You will feel confidant and secure going in to your wedding knowing that you got what you wanted.