Exceptional Music For Your Wedding
They say music is a universal language. Everyone has a favorite song, or singer or band etc.
Choosing the right music for your wedding is critical in making it memorable or not.
Here are a few tips we have learnt over the last 5 years of performing at and attending weddings.
#1 – DJ or Live Music
- A DJ is able to play the original recordings of songs at anytime through their system, however they are restricted to what tracks they have on their IPod, or CD database.
- A Live band is restricted to what songs they know, and their willingness to learn your special songs.
- A DJ fundamentally lacks the dynamic of the live music element that is inherent with live musicians playing instruments.
- A live performance is always unique, and therefore special to your day.
- A DJ is generally more economical, as there is only one person, whereas a band will be more expensive as the number of members in the band increases. (Remember you need to include a meal for each of the band members)
Generally speaking, people do prefer a live music experience over a pre-recorded one, which means that the majority of your guests will too.
#2 – Ceremony & Reception
Generally for the ceremony, a song to walk down the aisle, one or two songs for signing of the register and maybe a song to walk back out.
Popular choices for ceremony music include strings (violin, cello etc.), acoustic guitar and vocals solo or duo, harpist etc.
Sometimes your location can restrict what is possible. i.e. in a church, on a beach etc.
For reception, generally 5-6 hours is standard. This could be upwards of 5-6 sets of music, however all best laid plans mostly never go to schedule, so having a music provider that is experienced with weddings and can work in with the ‘actual’ timings of the event is ideal.
Specific songs may include: Bridal party entrance into reception, First dance, Cutting the cake, Garter & Bouquet toss, Circle of Goodbyes.
#3 – Song Choice
There is no substitute for experience here. Playing the wrong song can clear a dance floor, offend your grandma, annoy the venue staff etc., all of which results in a less than ideal wedding experience.
Playing the right song keeps the floor dancing, makes the first dance beautiful and can even tie in the ceremony to the reception. This results in a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.
Ensure you discuss you and your partner’s favorite songs or bands etc., as well as a demographic profile of your guests.
For example, if you are having a group of young children at your wedding, or a group of elderly grand parents etc. then current hip hop songs laced with swearing is not going to go down well.
Understand that guests at your wedding can range from infant to great grandma, so a mix of popular songs from across all ages will appeal to all of your guests. As opposed to 5 hours of Metallica, because that’s what the groom likes!
- A DJ can play any song you want.
- A live band can (at least we do!) learn your special song for first dance or walk down the aisle etc. to make the moment special. A live band can also play pre-recorded songs (off an IPod etc.) during the breaks just like a DJ, which will give you all the songs that the band themselves don’t know or play.
?? US2 DUO HOT TIP ??
A great idea for song choice is for you to include a section on your invitations that says: ‘The song that will get me on the dance floor is _________’ Once you get the RSVPs back, compile the list together and send it to your band or DJ. This allows the band or DJ to tailor their set list to music that all your guests are going to enjoy, and even announce songs along the way. ‘Where’s Aunt Martha?. This ones for you…’
#4 – Professionalism
The biggest complaint with music from guests is ‘IT WAS TOO LOUD’ or ‘bad song choice’ (as covered in point #3).
The biggest complaint with venues is the band was rude, arrogant and hard to deal with.
Your music supplier is like any other provider (be it cars, or dress or cake etc.) and should present themselves professionally at all times both with you, and the venue management.
They should communicate with you well, be upfront with costs, and work with you proactively to meet or exceed your expectations. Testimonials are helpful here. As are venue recommendations. So is the ability for you to be able to watch the band or DJ in a public setting prior to you making your decision.
#5 – Costs
These days’ costs are going up everywhere and all of us have a budget to work within. Weddings are no different.
Prioritize your spend based on the importance the element is to your wedding.
As mentioned earlier, a DJ in theory should be the cheapest option as there is only one person, and therefore a 9-piece big band will be very expensive.
A good rule of thumb for wedding music is $100 per hour, per person. This is how we charge and it factors in the following:
- Time spent at your wedding
- Time spent learning songs
- Time spent learning and practicing playing and singing to remain gig ready at all times
- Cost of equipment (Instruments, PA system, lighting, transport, insurance etc.) e.g.: DJ playing 5 hour reception = $500, Duo playing 5 hour reception = $1000, 4 piece band playing 5 hour reception = $2000, 9 piece band playing 5 hour reception = $4500.
Additional costs that you might experience include:
- MC Duties
- Playing at Ceremony (as well as reception)
- Travel for regional areas.
It is common for a deposit (20% is approx.) to be made to secure a date, as many weddings are booked 12-24 months in advance.
The best weddings are the memorable ones. It is the one you think back to because the bride was leading a conga line through the venue, or the bride and groom were dancing choreographed to a specific song.
I have been to weddings without a cake, or cars, or bonbonierre etc. I have never been to a wedding without music. Have you? It truly is what makes a wedding special.
Article written by Steve Legg – Singer and guitarist in Us2 Duo – ‘A professional and versatile musical duo specializing in weddings’ – ‘Tailored musical solutions for your special day’. http://www.melbourneacousticduo.com
Article Source: http://www.weddinghouse.com.au
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