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How to Choose Wedding Musicians and Entertainment
We recommend that if possible, both bride and groom will attend all
interviews. Always carry a note pad and pen to write down important information
and questions that may arise during your interview. In order to comparison
shop and select wisely, interview at least three Music or Entertainment
Music is a very important aspect of your wedding.
It walks with you down the aisle for the marriage ceremony, accompanies
you when you leave the ceremony as husband and wife, entertains your guests
while you are being photographed and throughout the reception.
Start your search for your wedding music providers as early as possible,
but after having secured both your ceremony and reception sites.
You'll need to follow the guidelines set by your wedding venue. Be aware
of any requirements and rules pertaining to DJs and music performers.
If there is a limit to the size of the band, the volume or any aspects
of the performance, you must take it into consideration when choosing
you DJs or musicians. Additionally, many religious institutions work only
with an in-house approved list of performers.
Make your music and musician selection carefully. You
want it to represent you, your taste and the atmosphere you want your
wedding to have. This makes choosing the wedding music and the style of
musicians or entertainers, a lot of fun.
Before you start looking, you should brainstorm. As you do, take into
- Your budget. Quality should be your main concern. Budget enough so
you do not risk the success of your wedding by cutting corners.
- Your wedding theme
- Y our preference of music for ceremony
- Your preference of music for reception
- The mood and atmosphere you want at your wedding - Read tips below
- The location and size of your wedding - Check with your wedding reception
venue if and what live music is permitted. Make sure that the room is
large enough to accommodate your musicians.
- Your interests
- Your guests - Will they want to dance or will they prefer to listen
to music and have conversations?
Since the music sets the tone of your wedding,
consider carefully what will make yours a special, one-of-a-kind wedding
You have several options in two categories - live music or recorded
If you opt for the recorded music, you'll need to hire a DJ. But if
you choose live music, you are presented with having to choose a band,
soloist, instrumentalists or a combination.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE WEDDING MUSICIANS FOR YOUR CEREMONY
For a formal atmosphere you may consider: a singer, a string quartet,
a harp or an organ.
For a dramatic atmosphere you may consider: a string quartet, bag pipes,
For a traditional atmosphere you may consider: a singer, a string quartet,
an organ or a classical guitar.
For an enchanting atmosphere you may consider: a singer, a harp or a
harp and a flute.
For a light and uplifting atmosphere you may consider: a string quartet,
guitar and flute, piano or piano and violin.
For background music you may consider: a string quartet, piano, piano
and violin, piano and saxophone or classical guitar.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE WEDDING MUSICIANS FOR YOUR RECEPTION
For a formal atmosphere you may consider: a singer, a singing group,
a string quartet, a jazz band, a classical ensemble, guitar(s) and - or
For a fun and loud or just something different atmosphere you may consider:
DJ entertainment groups, Rock or swing live bands, popular
music bands, Latin, Klezmer, polka, Irish, or other ethnic bands or
best yet, a world music ensemble or a barber shop quartet. This atmosphere
is a natural for games, entertainment and contests.
For a sophisticated atmosphere you may consider: a jazz band, a classical
ensemble, a piano, a piano and a violin, a piano and a saxophone and -
or a harp.
For background music you may consider: a string quartet, a jazz band,
a piano, a piano and a violin, a piano and a saxophone, a classical ensemble,
a solo singer or a classical guitar.
HOW TO FIND WEDDING MUSIC PROVIDERS
Once you have chosen the type of wedding site you want for your wedding,
do the following:
- Ask the director of your chosen wedding site for recommendations.
- If you have a caterer, ask for recommendations.
- Ask your family, friends and acquaintances for recommendations.
- Attend bridal shows.
- Search the yellow pages under the appropriate category.
- Call and request a brochure specific to weddings.
- Place the brochures in a folder until you are ready to choose a
- You want only the best! Be selective!
- When calling, were you greeted cordially?
- Were you able to obtain the information you requested in a timely
- Were the people you spoke with helpful? Too helpful and eager?
Now, check the internet for local wedding music providers
and go to their web sites.
- Do you like the look and feel?
- Does it provide you with the information you are looking for?
- Does it show or tell about unique one-of-a-kind weddings they performed
- Can you find Free articles or Free information on the web site?
- Are they helpful? or are they over selling?
- Did you find a clearly posted name, address, phone and email contact?
If not, skip it and go to another site.
- Keep the sites that interest you and are agreeable on your
There are a few elements you need to pay attention to if you want your
association with the music - entertainment providers will be successful.
- Did they merit good references?
- Can they offer you what you want on your terms?
- Will they guarantee that once you reserve their service, you will
have the specific performers you chose for your wedding?
- Are you happy with the customer service you receive?
Are they courteous?
- Are they accommodating?
- Are they helpful?
- Visit THEIR facility and check it out. Are they a real company running
a real business full time?
- Are their prices competitive?
- Do you feel comfortable working with them?
With this information on hand, check out their reputation by contacting
others in the wedding industry and asking about it. If you are satisfied,
keep the information until you are ready to choose and commit.
FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF QUESTIONS AND IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED.
- Do you want recorded or live music?
- Do you want the same musician(s) for both ceremony and reception?
- How large is your wedding?
- Will you have an indoor or an outdoor wedding?
- What time of day?
- What kind of meal?
- How formal or informal?
- Will there be dancing?
- Your music preference - For ideas and selections go to http://www.a-weddingday.com/articles/weddingmusic.html
- Your choice of musicians - DJ - band - soloist - instrumentalist
- Should the musicians also be the Masters of Ceremony? Should the
musicians provide additional entertainment? (games, jokes, dancing contests
- Have you prepared all the details for your wedding reception? that
is: the names of the bridal party, times of scheduled events, type of
music to play - when (First dance, mother and son - father and daughter
dance - other special requests, etc..)
You can probably come up with some more ideas. The tips, questions and
ideas you gathered, is actually a wonderful preparation for your interviews.
WHAT TO EXPECT OF THE CONTACT PERSON:
- A business card of each person you will work with.
- Contact information including cell phone, email and web site address.
- A brochure that explains what is offered and any exclusions,rules,
regulations and options
- A sample of their work on video and/or CD.
QUESTIONS FOR THE CONTACT PERSON:
Please note that not all questions apply to all. Some questions
are specific to DJs, some to musicians and some to both.
- How many songs and musical pieces are in your library? (Should be
at least 5,000-10,000)
- Can you provide music for both ceremony and reception?
- Will your repertoire be tailored to suit our wedding requirements?
- Will you provide us with a list of songs and music selections to choose
- Will you accommodate special requests for songs or musical pieces
we would like played at our wedding?
- If so, how long in advance do we need to provide them?
- If we include children in the reception can you have music game or
activities geared for them?
- What is the latest time frame for making changes?
- What are your hours - minimum - maximum?
- Will you be able to, and prepared with additional material, should
we want you to stay longer than planned?
- What do you charge for overtime?
- What kind of equipment do you use? (The most common sound system
for DJs is by-amping. In order to achieve clear and loud music, it separates
the bass from the music, amplifies it separately and then plays it through
- How long before the wedding reception will you set up? (Be assured
that there will be ample time before the wedding reception to allow
for set up and testing of the equipment, lighting and special effects
- Do you bring backup equipment with you?
- Is basic effects lighting included in the price?
- Do you provide an entertainment planner?
- Will you come to my home to go over the music and - or entertainment
- How soon before the wedding will you go over the program with us?
- What will happen to us if for some reason you have to back out?
- How long have you been accommodating weddings?
- How many wedding clients have you served?
- Can you provide us with references?
- Can you provide us with a profile of the DJ / musicians that will
be assigned to our wedding including: musical training and education,
experience in performing at weddings and how long what size weddings,
full or part time musicians (Professional or hobbyist)
- Do you also provide a cordless microphone and an Emcee or someone
who will announce toasts, speeches, special dances, at the reception?
- What is your attire? Does it vary according to the wedding theme?
- Do you offer a variety of wedding musicians - entertainers to choose
- How many people will perform at our wedding?
- How often and for how long do they take a break?
- Will they require a meal?
- Do you offer a bridal package? More than one?
- What are your rates for the different packages and what are the
- Are gratuities included in the price?
- Are taxes included in the price?
- What additional expenses may be charged? (other than overtime)?
- Do you require a deposit?
- How much and by when will we need to put down the deposit?
- Do you offer any discounts?
- Do you accept checks and credit cards?
- How many consultations do you provide in your package prices?
- Do you offer any guarantees?
- Will you provide us with a written contract?
- Does the contract include a 3 days cancellation clause?
- What is your cancellation policy should we cancel after 3 days?
- Do you carry liability insurance?
- Are the musicians - DJ insured and bonded?
- Are you members of any professional organizations?
Once you made your choice, you need to receive a written contract signed
by the person in charge, and dated. The contract must include all of your
responsibilities and all of the responsibilities, warranties and guarantees
offered by the DJ - Music Service Provider.
Caveat Emptor - BUYER BEWARE! Read each contract very carefully, on,
under and above the line. Be sure that you understand it fully and agree
with all the terms. If you have questions, concerns, or are uncertain,
contact them for clarification.
In most parts of the USA you have 3 days to examine the contract and
if you need to, cancel with no penalties.
By Nily Glaser
Copyrights © 2004 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser.
Nily Glaser is the founder of A-wedding
Day, a very popular Wedding Resource and Information Center, offering
articles, tips, ideas and a discount shopping mall for wedding gifts,
supplies and bridal accessories.