The question of wedding band vs. a DJ is a conundrum that couples will have to tackle fairly early in their wedding planning, and this decision could make or break the atmosphere of your wedding reception. If you and your significant other have decided to take the plunge with a full band, there are a few important points you should keep in mind to ensure that the night goes smoothly for everyone involved.
- How long will they play?
Do you want the band to play throughout your cocktail hour? To serenade you and your bridal/groom party as you enter your venue? The timing and duration of the band’s efforts will add up in the final price tag, so make sure you go over exactly when and where you’d like the band to come in to allow everything to go off without a hitch.
- Do you compensate for breaks?
Throughout the night, your band will most likely have a short intermission and take a break to eat before (make sure you factor this into your food budget!) finishing up for the evening. Make sure you plan for these brief periods to fill in the gaps with bride and groom speeches, the cake cutting ceremony and other activities so everything can flow smoothly and there aren’t any gaps of silence!
- What style should I go for?
Most professional wedding bands will play a huge range of styles ranging from oldies to present day hits, but you should look into key factors like band size, instrument choices and vocal styles to help narrow down your choices. When choosing your band, you can often choose from a catalogue of songs that they know how to play, but if there is a song that is outside their repertoire, they will typically offer to learn it for your big day (but a fee may be added).
- What is the band’s pacing?
Last but not least, talk with the band about how you’d like the reception to flow through all the important events that will take place. The early moments of the reception will call for a certain style of music that flows into the father-daughter dance, best man and maid of honor toasts and so on, so design your set list with this in mind. After all, your reception is one of the biggest parties you’ll ever throw, so your soundtrack will play a leading role in the event’s overall atmosphere.