There are many ways to bring in entertainment for your guests during the cocktail and reception portions of your big day and this season a plethora of our brides have chosen to go the route of live music.
Whether it be a simple duo or a 15 piece band, there are always items to consider leading up to your big day. If you’re not working with a planner, make sure you have the following questions asked and answered prior to your event.
1. Any additional equipment needed or special requests?
More times than not, larger groups may request a stage rental. If this is the case, make sure to get the correct measurements as not to have any sizing surprises during set up. In addition to stages, an additional power source (i.e. generator) may be a necessity, especially when doing backyard events. Make sure you know just how much power they need.
2. Have they played at the venue before?
It isn’t a make or break if your musician hasn’t played at your ceremony or reception venue before, but it comes in handy if the musicians are familiar with the location. Some venues in the area have restrictions on just how high the volume of the music can be as not to disrupt objects on site.
Tip: If your musicians have not been on site prior and you’re feeling anxious, set up a walk through or meet and greet (this can even be combined with additional meetings). At the end of the day, it will only increase your peace of mind and aid in an expedited set up.
Even if your guests are moving and grooving, the band (or other musicians) will need to take a few breaks throughout the evening; check in with them to make sure they’ll have an additional source for music during their breaks (iPad/iPod) and when they expect to take these breaks. Some bands feel out the crowd, some bands have set times.
Depending on when they start playing, it is very common that you’ll have to feed members (or at least those who set up) prior to them starting. Look into specifications and make sure you have enough worked into your catering count.
Tip: Some groups prefer boxed meals in lieu of a hot plate; this allows them time to eat between sets without their dinner getting cold.
5. Song Requests
Do you and your significant other have a special song you’d like for your first dance or to be played sometime in the evening? Although many bands and musicians will provide you with lists of songs they know how to perform, check in with them to make sure they know “your song” instead of just assuming it.
TIP: There are many versions of the same song-give specifications on the artist to ensure you don’t get the rock and roll version of your request (or vice versa).
6. Stage Contact
Throughout the evening, you may find yourself needing to speak with the band to ask them to make a special announcement, take the volume down a notch (if during dinner), or play a certain song. Make sure you have a go to contact that will relay all messages to the additional members when things like this arise.
7. Manning the Mic
If you plan on having a grand march, speeches made, cake cutting, or any of the likes where you’ll need an announcement made, discuss this with your musician to make sure they are willing and ready.
TIP: Give the leader a list of names and pronunciations as we all know there are many that can be easy to stumble over. It will save confusion and embarrassment.
Relay your wedding’s dress code. Is it black tie formal? Or something more casual and cocktail style? If you are requesting guests to dress a certain way, your vendors would love to know what is expected of them as well!
Some musicians have it within their contracts that they are to be alotted a cocktail or two throughout the evening. If this is not something you find yourself settling well with, discuss it with them as to not cause any upsets or surprises throughout the evening.
TIP: Regardless of it being within the vendor’s contract and being okayed on the clients’ end, some venue owners are not okay with any vendors drinking. Clear it with them early on in the planning process.
10. Do Not Play List
Is there a song you loathe or a certain genre you just don’t want to hear? Discuss this with your musician and give them insight on your musical style. Avoid picking out a set list, it is important for your musicians to be able to read the crowd, but giving them an outline of your likes and dislikes will make for a more enjoyable evening on both ends.
Photos Courtesy of Gloss Photography Studios.