Photo: Austin Gros
So your wedding band-versus-DJ discussions led you to opt for the energy and ambiance that only live music can create. Great! But there is so much more to working with a band on your wedding day than just picking one you like and signing on the dotted line. A great band or talent management company will have options that will help you truly customize your experience and tailor the band to your wedding. Trust us, a band that's really working with the couple is going to keep your dance floor way more packed than a generic option. So what kinds of things can a band offer that will help you make your wedding band your own? Scott Arrington, an account manager (and artist!) with Murray Hill Talent in Boston, has the inside scoop on how you can make the most of your wedding band.
Think beyond the reception.
Most bands will have options that extend to the ceremony and cocktail hour, such as guitarist or keyboard player (or both) who can play background music and then hop on stage when the party starts. "It's much more affordable to use musicians who are already in the band than to hire a separate set of musicians," says Arrington. "Our bands all have trios within them that are perfect for cocktail hour."
Add an additional musician for specialty requests.
If you're hoping to incorporate more cultural music, adding a musician will help transform the sound of the basic band. "We regularly add Latin percussion players to give depth to the performance if the bride or groom is Latin American, as well as an additional vocalist who can sing in Spanish. And for Jewish weddings, while most bands can play the Hora, adding a clarinet or other popular Klezmer instrument will go a long way," Arrington advises.
Ask about their range.
Just because there's a lead vocalist up front doesn't mean other band members can't rock the mic, too. "Bands have much more depth if more than one musician is a great singer, and in most cases, those other musicians will sing a genre that isn't the lead vocalist's style," says Arrington. "This means, whether you want a few country tunes or love indie rock, you'll be able to incorporate more types of music into your event."
Find out what equipment your band provides.
If your band can provide uplighting or other dance floor lighting, it will probably be less expensive than hiring an outside lighting company. Says Arrington, "Booking multiple services with one company will give you a good chance of getting a discount when all is said and done."
Remember the after party.
Planning to continue the party on into the evening? You'll probably want to switch from a band to a DJ for late-night dancing, so find out if a member of the band also DJs. You'll save a ton by hiring a band member to stay on for a few extra hours instead of bringing in someone new.