THE PROFESSIONAL SINGER
Emily Saunar, Jerry Barnett Entertainment, Denver, CO
"Just like any other bride who hires a band through our company, I was given a big list of songs and asked to circle our 'must haves' and 'do not plays.' It was hard for me to let go here, because I wanted to be involved in every detail. But as an artist I know that if you're too controlling about what can be played, you lose some of the creativity you hired a live band for in the first place. Professionals know what works and what doesn't, so it's important to trust the people you hire and let them read the crowd. The only guidance I gave the musicians was a list of Big Band-era songs that my mom requested, because she and her husband like to swing dance.
"But I did, of course, have to pick our first dance song. I've sung at hundreds of weddings, and I wanted our first dance to be to a song our guests hadn't heard at a wedding before. I spent hours listening to music and reading lyrics. Eventually, I stumbled upon 'Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop,' by Landon Pigg. My husband and I had met at a Starbucks, and after reading the lyrics, I realized the song was perfect—totally unique and meaningful.
"For the after-party, we hired a DJ; we told him the names of some artists we enjoy, but other than that we just let him do his thing. He played house and hip-hop, which was good, because rap is the one genre that most bands can't pull off as well as a DJ—it doesn't usually come across quite the same with a live band performing it."
Photo: Cheryl Ungar Photography