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Music is an important part of a wedding. It creates the ambiance of the ceremony and keeps guest entertained. The music played during your wedding can determine the mood of your guests. Music at a wedding reception can be from DJs, live bands, and singers. In selecting and hiring singers and live bands, it is necessary to ensure that they suit the need of the bride and groom. It is also necessary to ensure that the terms and conditions associated with the service are appropriate for the wedding reception.

Here are some of our tips for hiring singers and live bands for wedding receptions. With these tips, you ensure that the music is coordinated to suit the guest, the venue, and the couple’s preferences.

Hire based on referrals: The best way to know if a band is a good fit for your wedding reception is to seek referrals, especially from people with similar tastes. You should also watch out for the music at occasions if you plan to get married soon. You never can tell when the band that will catch your fancy will be playing. Referrals ensure the quality of the service you will be getting. Friends, families, and colleagues with similar tastes in music are great sources of referrals. You should also try to find out the quality of music a band offers personally after getting the referrals.

Request a demo if possible: Music is better experienced, and a demo is a great way to ensure the quality of service offered by a band. With a demo, you get a feel of how the band plays and organizes itself. Demos can be requested in several ways. Some bands put up demos on their websites or offer demo CDs. Demos put up on websites, and demo CDs are great ways of assessing the quality of service offered by a band. You could also request to attend a live performance of a band you are considering if that can be arranged. When you experience a live performance of a band, you might be able to pick up vibes you couldn’t pick up from demos.

Discuss acoustics of your venue: The acoustics of the venue of your wedding reception may affect the quality of the music of the live band. When hiring a band, discuss the acoustics and find out if it will affect the music. If the acoustics of your venue has potential to affect the music, discuss measures that will be implemented to ensure that the effects are mitigated. Wedding receptions venues might also imply extra requirements. For outdoor weddings, the band needs to provide an alternative source of power. Special arrangements also have to go be made for the instruments of a live band. The special arrangements that come with specific locations should be discussed with agreements reached.

Find out the level of experience of your preferred band: Bands with more experience with similar gigs will perform better than bands with little experience. Before hiring a particular band, be sure of its level of experience with ceremonies similar to yours. You should also verify the level of experience as much as you can. If possible, get feedback from clients who have ordered similar gigs from your chosen band.

Discuss terms and conditions: Before hiring a band, it is essential to discuss the terms and conditions of its service. How much does the band charge for overtime services? You can never tell, your reception could extend more than you expected. You should also discuss the selection of songs that will be played at your reception. You should be sure whether the band sticks to routine songs or sings specific songs according to the couple’s request. You should also discuss the time you want the band to be active. Will they be singing all night? How many breaks does the band take? Discussing the terms and conditions will ensure that there are no surprises. You should also ask about the staff policy of your preferred band before hiring them. What if someone catches a cold?

Finally, before hiring a live band, be sure of the quality of the service you will be getting and the terms and conditions associated with the services. Ask as many questions as you need to be sure that a particular band is a good fit for your wedding reception.

Whether it’s the theme tune to your favorite movie or that advert that makes you cry, music makes the world go round and it’s an essential part of your wedding day. It creates the mood and gets everyone on the dance floor to party their socks off. You want your music to be a perfect reflection of you as a couple and a great medley of tunes for your guests to love and party to all night. While you might have a list of your favorite tunes coming out of your ears, you might be stuck on whether to have a wedding band or DJ? We compiled a list of pros and cons for each, so you can just sit back and enjoy the music while you choose.

WHAT TO CONSIDER

Space

First thing’s first: your space. You’ll want to consider whether the venue you’ve chosen will work in favor of a live band. Some buildings don’t have the best acoustics, so a band may not be worth the investment. Also, depending on the size of your wedding venue, you may be forced to choose a DJ over a band. Remember, a DJ can work with an area about the size of a desk whereas a full band will need a stage-sized space to do their thing. This is something to figure out before putting a down payment on a venue if having live music is a make or break for you.

Budget

In the price war, DJs generally cost less, and prices vary depending on equipment requests and whether it’s a weekday or weekend. A 12-piece band, for example, will generally be more expensive than a DJ, since there are more people to pay. (There are always exceptions; celebrity DJs can be just as expensive as live bands.) Band prices vary by the number of musicians, the amount of time you want them to play for, day of the week and what time of year it is.

Music

Once you’ve sorted out what fits into your budget and space, you can move onto the music. DJs and bands have both have their pros and cons in this area. A DJ can tap into a music library of hundreds of thousands of songs with the click of a few buttons, making it easy to please everyone from your top 40-loving teenage cousin to your grandparents. However, live music has better sound quality. On the downside, bands will typically stick to their genre and have a more limited library of songs to choose from, so you may not be able to please your whole audience.

Theme

The overall theme of your wedding is also something to think about. If you’re hosting a vintage affair, a live band may help set the mood. However, if you’re going the more modern route, a DJ would blend in just fine.

BAND: PROS AND CONS

A live band can provide an undeniably classy element to your reception and may even raise the glamour quotient on your celebration, depending on the music genre or style of the band that you select. Having a great band can provide just the right touch to keep the guests talking about this special occasion for years.

Pros:

  • Bands are epic. A group of people rocking out on their instruments can be fun and dramatic and really gets the party started.

  • Music played by a live band almost always sounds incredible.

  • Any love ballads that you choose are guaranteed to sound more heartfelt and emotional when performed by a live band.

  • A band can improvise and adjust the tempo of the songs, to jazz things up when needed!

  • Even guests that don’t enjoy dancing will have fun watching a live band perform.

Cons:

  • Whilst most bands are more than happy to learn a song for your first dance, the remainder of their repertoire might be quite specific. Just make sure the band you pick plays your kind of music! Going to hear them play (before you book) can help with this.

  • Band members will always need a break between sets, which can create a lull in the music. But you can always have a playlist ready to fill the gap.

DJ: PROS AND CONS

The days of disco fever and flashing lights are gone. Today’s disc jockeys are artists in their own right, offering balanced and eclectic mixes of musical styles for all ages. Plus, the songs played will sound exactly as you remember them, encouraging sing-alongs and improvisation. And, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they’ll take up less dance floor real estate and can be relocated with relative ease.

Pros:

  • A DJ will have an endless variety of songs instantly available to them, meaning they can adjust to the mood or even do requests. You can also make sure they have your list of favorites before the big day!

  • A DJ can take breaks without having to stop the music.

  • The volume levels are easily adjustable.

  • Reputable DJ companies will always have a stand-by DJ, ready to take over should anything go wrong.

Cons:

  • Pre-recorded music might not evoke the same energy as live music… Unless the songs played are ‘your’ songs.

  • If the DJ doesn’t have a lively personality, they can be a wedding buzz-kill. So best to meet them before to make sure.

  • A DJ can sometimes go into autopilot and the songs you specifically asked him not to play may make an unwelcome appearance through the speakers. Try and speak to people that booked your DJ for their wedding, to confirm he will rock it!

The bottom line is that no matter which option you choose, both live music and disc jockey entertainment bring their own unique brand of excitement and magic to the celebration of marriage. Make the choice that is right for you, and look forward to being able to relax as a guest at your own party and fully enjoy one of the most memorable days of your life.