After you choose your wedding DJ or band, and after you create your wedding playlist, make sure you provide the aforementioned entertainment with a letter of agreement.
A letter of agreement should include the following information:
- Your wedding date along with the expected musician arrival time.
- The address of your wedding.
- A list of equipment that the musicians are responsible for bringing to your wedding. (Music stands, amplifiers, chairs etc.)
- If you are going to hire a wedding band make sure to include the exact number of musicians you’ve booked, their names, and the instruments they will be playing.
- A list of substitute musicians in case there is an emergency and someone needs to be replaced.
- Also include a detailed guide on what the musicians are expected to wear.
- The wedding music playlist.
- Songs that you do not want them to play.
- The time frame you are booking them for.
- The time of their dinner break and any other breaks that might occur throughout the reception.
- The amount you are paying them as well as overtime rates.
- The due date of their payment.
- A policy that covers cancelling or refunding.
Of all the vendors that you interview and evaluate when planning a wedding, DJs are among the most important. Wedding DJ prices vary significantly, and often the more expensive DJs are worth the price. However, there are some excellent DJs that are reasonably priced and pleasant to work with. In order to find these DJs, you will need to do some research.
- Have several in-person interviews. There are many questions you should ask this contender. Does he have a music database where you can work together to choose your key songs? How does he set up his equipment? Does your venue have specific requirements for set-up (and if so, can he work within those parameters?) Does he do any wedding games?
- Ask for (and speak to) his or her references. If he or she runs a good wedding DJ service, then there should already be a list of references that you can call. If not, you should move to the next person on your list. Also, be prepared with a list of questions when you call a former client.
- See if he or she is flexible on rates. Definitely try to negotiate (and remember that most wedding DJ prices have a specific price range), but do remember that DJs work hard for their money. If your DJ is good (and has been distinguished from the many other professional DJs available), then don’t ask them to do your wedding for a price that is unreasonable.
The first major music decision you will have to make is whether to have live wedding music or to hire a DJ. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Having a live band at your wedding is fun and festive; however, this is typically expensive and not always an option for everyone. You can have a fabulous reception if you choose the right DJ. Just be sure to do thorough research on wedding music ideas beforehand.
- If you really want some type of live music at your wedding but are weary of the cost, consider hiring someone to play music (such as a harpist) for your ceremony, then hiring a DJ to do the reception. If you have friends that play instruments, consider asking them to perform.
Choose the right DJ
If you decide to go with a DJ, it is important to meet with him or her in person on a few separate occasions. People give off certain vibes, and you want someone that gives off the type of vibe you want at your wedding. This is a time to go with your instinct about a person.
- Ask someone you trust if they can recommend a DJ. You want someone who is reliable and who knows how to be a “master of ceremonies.” The DJ is responsible for keeping energy levels up and setting the pace of the reception. Remember that the time will fly by, and most people only have a few short hours at their venue.
- Choose a DJ who has experience with weddings that are similar in size and atmosphere to yours.
- Choose someone who is familiar with the type of venue you are using, for two reasons: 1) the nature of the venue’s space can drastically affect the way a DJ sets up his or her equipment, and 2) venues often have regulations or restrictions regarding music. Make sure that you know anything of this nature well in advance of your reception.
Choose songs that are meaningful and appropriate
Strike the right balance between crowd pleasers and music that is special to you.
- Even though your favorite band might be Radiohead, their music is not the appropriate genre to be played throughout a celebratory occasion. Remember that a wedding is not the time to showcase your identity through your cutting edge taste in music; rather, choose music that you enjoy, but music that will also set the right mood and atmosphere for this type of event.
- When considering wedding music ideas for the first dance, it is extremely important that the bride and groom practice dancing to a few different contending songs. Choose a song that feels right, one that both of you are comfortable dancing to.
- Remember that many top wedding songs have been recorded by different artists, and you should listen to each version to figure out which has the best rhythm. A song such as The Way You Look Tonight has been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, Rod Stewart, Billie Holiday, Steve Tyrell, and others. Also, do not choose your first dance song based on what is trendy at the moment, unless it is a song that you both love or has special meaning to you.
The difference between having live wedding bands or a DJ at your wedding is hefty. This decision will influence the variety of music as well as the overall experience guests have at your wedding reception. Some couples choose to have both a wedding band and a DJ, ensuring that their wedding reception is full of non-stop entertainment and the perfect mixture of songs that range from background music to base-bumping dance jams.
If you’re a conservative traditionalist and you plan on having an elegant wedding without much dancing, then you should consider hiring a sophisticated string quartet. String quartets are ideal for the ceremony as well and can provide classic wedding music for that portion of your wedding.
Pleasing to Everyone
Some wedding bands are capable of playing classics and modern day pop hits. If you want to please your guests, young and old, then find a band that will play Beatles and Sinatra classics as well as songs by Ke$ha or The Black Eyed Peas. You’ll be surprised to find that countless wedding reception bands offer a wide variety of songs from a handful of decades.
If you are religious and would like a specific religious song played at your reception, you’ll have to ensure the band or DJ you choose can provide that for you. For example, if you’re Jewish chances are you’ll want the Hora song played at your reception after you and your hubby-to-be make your grand entrance.
Meet happy new bride Bella and her handsome groom performing a duet of Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" at their wedding reception.
Pretty darn cute, no? We love it when couples inject their personalities into their weddings, and really make it their own! (via Gawker)
Most brides are familiar with searching for wedding cake vendors, photographers, DJs and florists. But what about specialty vendors? If you’re planning an elaborate wedding reception or you have unique needs, look into specialty vendors to help make your big day memorable. Here’s a brief look at some specialty wedding vendors to consider.
Read the rest of the article here including advice on horse-drawn carriages, specialty bartenders & mixologists, photo-booths, live music and more.
To make sure you hire the right professionals for the biggest day of your life, check our latest Local Vendor Guides dedicated to hiring a live band for your reception:
Booking a Live Wedding Band in Houston
Booking a Live Wedding Band in the San Francisco Bay Area
Booking a Live Wedding Band in the New York Metro Area
We have great Local Vendor Guides to everyone you need to hire for your wedding, from florists & photographers to limos & reception halls!
And check out our complete local wedding guides for the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Newark, Houston and Chicago.