5 Star Talent and Entertainment, Inc.
Weddings are like puzzles with many pieces. Assembled, the whole picture is indelibly memorable and so completely reflects the personalities of the wedding couple that the guests remark to one another: “It was just like them!” and even more important, “That was a great celebration!” Music is the element that brings all the pieces together from the rehearsal dinner, to the walk down the aisle, to the reception and party.
In the 15 years that I’ve been in the entertainment business, I’ve seen the desire for all kinds of music at weddings grow tremendously. Both live musicians as well as DJs are in demand, and for good reason. As Stevie Wonder sang, “Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.”
Music makes magic. It creates atmosphere. For example, at the rehearsal dinner the right mood is warm but not intrusive – appropriate for conversation. Before the ceremony the mood should be quiet and romantic and for the walk down the aisle the music should direct the gathering’s attention. Reception music should set a convivial mood to enhance the welcoming nature of the event. And when it’s time to get down to dancing the bride and groom’s personal tastes really shine – from ballroom to salsa to techno-rock.
Every wedding is unique and every couple has a seemingly infinite number of choices for music. Beyond personal taste, the most fundamental choice is whether to have live music, a DJ or recorded music (such as from an iPod). Beyond that there are considerations based on finances, type of guests (including their ages), and the size and location and kind of venue.
Live music creates a sense of sophistication. It encourages community and excitement because it’s not just about the music, it’s also a performance, and performance commands a certain level of attention.
A DJ with recorded music, on the other hand, will have access to a greater repertoire and will be able to tailor the sound and volume from background music to room-filling rock.
At most weddings, bandleaders and DJs also act as emcees for the reception, able to direct the crowd by making introductions, directing attention to the first dance, the toasts and keep the crowd dancing all night if that’s in the plan.
More and more, I see couples choosing to have live music for their wedding. For instance, a walk down the aisle can be very romantic to music from a string quartet to a- cappella singers performing classical, pop & jazz songs, or a vocalist singing a favorite song during the ceremony can be emotional and inspirational. Then, when the reception is ready to take off, hand the entertainment over to a DJ or bandleader to direct the action. A new trend we’re seeing is more couples hiring both a band and a DJ. The band can play for dancing with the DJ providing music during their breaks – it’s non-stop entertainment for the guests.
Here are some tips for selecting the perfect entertainment or combination:
o Make sure you’re working with a reputable company that can provide information and current references.
o Plan as far in advance as possible to have as many options as possible.
o Check the venue to make sure what’s permitted (be sure to check noise ordinances and rules), and how much space is available.
o Decide on the entertainment budget.
o Ask for entertainers’ websites, videos, YouTube videos and any other relevant information. When it’s possible, see them in action.
o Discuss your likes and dislikes.
o Review the planned playlist in advance and make any special requests – either “must play” or “must not play.”
o Get everything specified in writing.
Music plays a major part in making a wedding the once-in-a-lifetime celebration the couple intends it to be and a magical beginning to their life together.