Guest Post: Becca Kaufman (BeatMix Music) & Nicole Zenner (CSEP, LK Events) discuss the best ways to go about hiring musicians for your wedding and reception.
Whether you’re tapping your feet to a ceremony recessional
song, swaying to a cocktail hour song, or dancing like no one is watching
during the reception, when the music is good, you dance. For us, we certainly understand
the unique experience that live music brings to a wedding celebration. But we
also understand that a live band does not fall within everyone’s budget or
musical taste. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out live music entirely. In
fact, we are seeing a trend of a musical fusion in weddings today with
musicians performing part of the celebration and a DJ playing another!
Let’s start with your ceremony. If you are getting married
in a house of worship, be sure to check with the music director to see if you
are allowed to hire outside musicians, as most have a list for you to choose
from. But if you are saying “I Do” elsewhere, the world is your oyster! Live
music can add personal touches and flourishes that recorded music simply
can’t. Sit down with your planner and a
recommended music professional to discuss song selections you like and then the
complimentary instrument combinations can be selected. For example, if you want
to walk down the aisle to The Beatles
or Dave Matthews songs, then a solo
guitarist or guitar/violin combination may be perfect.
Here are some helpful tips on hiring ceremony musicians:
- Most musicians have a minimum of 2 hours in
their contract, so if you’re having a half hour ceremony, think about hiring
the musicians for your cocktail hour too.
- Build in the time for your musicians to play
15-30 minutes of prelude music as guests are arriving and finding their seats.
- Many ceremony musicians will not come with a
sound system, so ask if they can also provide microphones for your officiant
and readers. Most will be able to add this to your contract for an additional
Now let’s take a look at your cocktail hour. You’ve
exchanged your vows and rings and you are ready to celebrate! Make sure your
song and musician choices reflect your celebration. If you like a slow build,
then keep your choice to classical music performed by a string quartet. If you are
looking for a middle of the road tempo, then you can have a string quartet
perform contemporary instrumental songs. If you want to spice things up, have a
jazz trio with piano, bass and drums. Sure, guests will be chatting with each
other during this time, but the excitement that live musicians bring to this
moment in your celebration will set the stage for the rest of the evening.
We have now arrived at the high point of the celebration –
dinner and dancing. If your budget or musical tastes point you in the direction
of a DJ, please know you still have some options for live music to enhance the
experience. Perhaps you keep your cocktail hour musicians through dinner or add
a percussionist or violin to the DJ’s mix. Have some fun with providing your
guests a unique experience!
Here are some helpful tips when hiring DJs:
- · Meet them in person before signing a contract.
You want to understand their personality and their emcee capabilities.
- We cannot stress this enough, but work with a
professional. You should have a say in your playlist, but a professional will
be able to read the crowd and adjust the mix to keep the party going.
- Many DJ’s can also provide lighting packages
that can enhance the room and the energy on the dance floor.
We love the spark that live music brings to a wedding and
believe it has a place in at least one moment of your celebration. Have fun
planning and let your music tell your love story!
is the home for the Becca Kaufman Orchestra
, Time Chicago, and TC2, along with a wide variety of
well-known entertainment acts. Whether it be a solo
pianist, a string quartet, DJ, or a 20-piece orchestra, BeatMix Music’s
professional musicians bring passion, preparation, and musical versatility to
every event the play.
LK Events – Savvy Wedding Planners, Making Your Day
Beautiful. LK Events is an award-winning full-service wedding and event
planning company, here to help you produce your perfect event. We guarantee the planning process will be
organized and executed to your complete satisfaction, and most importantly,