Arranging for the best kind of music at your wedding will really set a tone, entertain your guests, and keep your dance floor filled throughout the event. You’ll need to arrange for music in different areas of your wedding…the ceremony and reception (cocktail hour, dinner and after dinner). Your budget will be a deciding factor as to how many and what kind of music you will have throughout the events of the wedding. Every couple wants a fun and entertaining reception. I recommend a lot of your budget be set aside for your music and entertainment. Let’s break it down…..
At my wedding, I had an outdoor ceremony and knew I wanted a trio of strings to play. I was on a budget and knew it would probably be ok to only have 3 play vs the typical quartet. It worked out just fine. The more popular musicians are going to cost you a little more but you know you’re going to get a really good group that is reliable, professional and sounds great. One way to save on this is to contact the music department of local colleges and see if there are students that play on the side. I can guarantee you they will be cheaper but you are chancing the quality and reliability. If you are getting married at a church look into their organist. This might be included in their ceremony services at no charge. Guitarists are another great idea for a different style of music you want played. Something that is done a lot in San Antonio is Mariachi bands. Mariachis really make a statement and is entertaining for sure. I had a couple that got married in very old cathedral with a very traditional Catholic ceremony but really wanted the Mariachis to play there for an even more authentic Mexican feel. It was spectacular! The easiest and most popular way of having the music for the ceremony is through the DJ. They can usually set up an extra speaker and create a song list just for the ceremony.
I have seen many of my couples extend the guitarist, strings and Mariachi bands into the cocktail hour as well.
You can usually get a good rate by extending out the music from the ceremony into the cocktail hour. You’ll want background music played typically during this timeframe while the family and couple are taking pictures. Mariachi bands are entertaining so a lot of times the band will play half way through the cocktail hour and part of dinner so the couple can enjoy them as well. One hour is a good timeframe for them to play. I have seen jazz bands & guitarists hired just for the cocktail hour as well. Having the DJ play background music is the simplest and probably cheapest way. Even better is using an ipod.
Music during dinner
Dinner usually takes anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hour depending on how many guests are at the wedding. As a coordinator, I always tell my couples how important it is to greet your guests. All of the guests came from all over just to attend your wedding. It would be disrespectful by not saying, “Thank you.” I usually advise the couple to eat quickly and then use the dinnertime to greet the guests. With that being said, you would not want your band or DJ to start playing loud dance music during dinner. You could have them play some soft background music or even set up an ipod with your play list. Some venues even have their own surround sound system and you might be able to use theirs. I do not recommend having the mariachis play for the entirety of dinner as they are very loud and they might start to annoy the guests after a while. Keep it simple during dinner.
Music after dinner
Now the fun starts! Dinner is done and let the dancing begin. Again, depending on your budget you will want to either hire a DJ or a band. Popular local bands can easily cost up to $6,000-$8,000 so make sure you budget well for this. You’ll want a band that has a repertoires that span all kinds of music for all types of guests. Guests really love the live bands and I have never seen a wedding where no one danced with a live band. I always see it opposite of that. The right DJ is so important. Your wedding coordinator can advise you of the best ones so be sure to really take her advice. You want a DJ that has the experience, is professional, fun and reliable. I recently coordinated a wedding and I must say that this DJ I worked with really got the guests on their feet. Everyone was dancing and had the best time!
A few DJ’s that I recommend in the San Antonio area are DJ For Hire, Cutting Edge Entertainment, and 5150 Productions.
The DJ can make or break an event so be sure to interview them and ask these questions:
- How many years experience do you have being a DJ?
- How many events have you DJ’d?
- Do you have a video or recording your can share with us?
- What will you be wearing?
- How do you charge (hourly, the event)?
- What is the additional cost for an extra hour?
- do you take breaks?
- Will you emcee during the reception?
- Will you put together a timeline (if you do not have a coordinator)?
- Will you play requests?
- What does your packages include (lights, uplighting, gobo, etc.)?
- What is the deposit?
- When is payment due?
- How long will it take you to set up?
- What do you need for the set up (table, chair, linen, electrical outlet)?
- Will you play outside?
- Do you have an extra speaker for the ceremony location? If so, is it an extra charge?
- Do you provide a lapel mic?
- Do you have references and testimonials?
If you need help planning your wedding please contact Trudy Scott at 210-595-9263 or Trudy@RoyaltyEventsPlanning.com. Please go “like” my FB page to keep up with events, tips, pictures and blogs of mine. I am here to help! http://www.RoyaltyEventsPlanning.com