Entertainment Basics | The DJ, the Band and Your Wedding Sound
Photograph by Synchronicity Photography
Wedding Music Options and Challenges
Choosing music for your wedding often means choosing between getting a band or a DJ. Each has advantages and it is not unusual for those with a large budget to hire both, but most couples have to go with one or the other in order to keep their costs under control. In your planning consider these points:
- Will typically cost significantly less than a full band.
- Can put any song you want into the set list.
- Can work in small spaces.
- Able to keep the music going without breaks.
- Can work with your reception schedule to keep announcements, introductions, speeches and the dancing moving efficiently.
- Has a dramatic physical presentation.
- A bandâ€™s energy and personality can get people onto the dance floor that might otherwise remain seated.
- Live music played by musicians has an effect that recorded music does not.
- Even those who wonâ€™t dance will usually enjoy watching a band.
- A band contains a number of entertainment personalities, not just one.
The music you choose for your ceremony often has to cover several movements: the arrival of guests, the processional of the brideâ€™s party, the processional of the bride herself, and the recessional. The reception may need choices for: introduction of the bridal party, the entrance of the bride and groom, the wedding coupleâ€™s first dance, a Father/bride dance, a Mother/groom dance, cake cutting, a final dance before the bride and groom exit the reception.
The DJ/Band gratuity: Be sure to designate a responsible member of your wedding planning group to give the customary 15% cash gratuity to the musicians or DJ at the end of the evening.
An â€śextraâ€ť thirty-minutes: Usually there will be a set time for the reception to end, at which point the DJ or band will pack up and leave. But what if the dancing has finally taken off and now you have to pull the plug? You can negotiate an extra block of time ahead of time that you leave open to implement depending upon how the evening is going.
â€˘ If youâ€™re putting together a low-budget (or even no-budget) wedding event, you can use a MP3 player hooked up to the appropriate amplification pre-programmed with a list of the music you want to hear. Better: pay a fee for a DJ to set everything up for you to transport to the event and then you just plug-and-play. Give it at least one test run-thru!
â€˘ Synchronize the music to play with a visual presentation of your favorite photos or home movies celebrating the bride and groom.
â€˘ Place inexpensive disposable cameras or video recorders at each table and have guests record each others comments, wishes for the bride and groom, or general reactions to the event as it unfolds.