For most people, budget is always a concern. If you can afford it, hire the best, most experienced, well referenced professionals for every aspect of your wedding. They will know what to do, will be insured, and have backup equipment and staff on hand, just in case. They will guide you through your options and will be able to relieve a lot of the stress that comes with planning an event. My advice, hire people you trust and let them worry about the details so you don’t have to.
Of course, there are many couples that don’t have an unlimited budget and would like to save as much money as possible. Some aspects of a wedding are extremely important and it is risky to try and replace their services with an amateur. In later blogs, I will touch on this again.
ENTERTINMENT: Music for your wedding ceremony should create a mood of elegance and beauty. There is generally background music played while your guests are gathering. Closer to the actual ceremony might be a good place to have a song. At the very beginning of the ceremony, there can be some sort of an attention getter where you guests will be welcomed and informed that the ceremony is actually starting. (Without this, I always felt that the start of the ceremony was kind of disorganized. People like to know what’s going on!)) Next there is music for the seating of the mothers of the Bride and Groom. After that, the bridal party will enter followed by the processional for the Bride. During the ceremony, there might be some background music during a candle lighting ceremony. There might also be a place for a song or instrumental solo. After the newlyweds kiss, the recessional will provide music for the Bride, Groom, Bridal Party and guests to exit, heading to a receiving line and/or the party! Background music can still be played until all the guests have gone through the receiving line.
A DJ will usually have a smaller sound system to provide music for a wedding ceremony. Sometimes the venue will have a sound system and will provide the music. Timing is very important. DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT give the Best Man an iPod two minutes before the ceremony and expect good things to happen.
Live performers or DJ should have a written schedule of the wedding ceremony so they know when to play. Five seconds of awkward silence will feel like an eternity!
The entertainment you choose for the reception will either make or break your wedding. If you choose a band, find a band that specializes in performing at weddings. They will know how to please a group of mixed ages and musical tastes. They will know how to get your guests dancing. Your favorite bar band or the Rolling Stones might be wonderful at what they do, but a wedding is a different situation.
When DJs first got into the wedding picture, they were a low budget form of entertainment for weddings. (At that time, I was a band leader. I would have rather cut off my right arm before I became a cheap low class DJ.) Years later, the DJ business has become very sophisticated and can provide numerous entertainment options. (I’m glad I didn’t cut off my right arm because I became a very successful DJ/party entertainer. It was an entirely new form of entertainment. I loved doing it!) Choosing a reputable company is really important.
Why should I hire a DJ when my friend has 20,000 songs on his computer that we can use? That is as really good question! First of all, if he/she has 20,000 songs, most likely they were obtained from an illegal file sharing website, where the artists, composers, record companies etc. don’t get paid for their hard work. No grey area here as some people would like you to believe, it is stealing. Would you like it if you worked at your job for a week only to find out that the company decided that they didn’t have to pay you? It is the same thing. Would you buy a wedding cake if you knew all the eggs used in your cake were stolen? Of course not! Another huge reason, is the questionable reliability of a friend or acquaintance. As I’ve stated before, I entertained at weddings for 30 years. Every year I would get 3 or 4 calls from frantic brides who could not get a hold of the “low budget” DJ or friend they hired to perform at their wedding. No contract, no deposit, NO DJ meaning a really “quiet” party and a really sad Bride! I am networked with DJs all across the country and they ALL have similar stories. That’s a lot of people who have been burned by non-professionals. You want a company that you trust and will be at the right place at the right time and not decide to go to the beach at the last minute. Unfortunately, this happens. Having a large music library is only a small aspect of being a professional DJ.
The Master of Ceremonies or MC basically runs the party. He/she works with the banquet facility, photographer and videographer to make sure all wedding events and formalities are smoothly incorporated into your reception. Good entertainers make their job look easy but it is a lot more involved that what meets the eye. Tiger Woods makes golf look easy. That is because he practices all day, every day!
In future blogs, I will touch on photographers (Once again, hire a pro!) and other people you will need to hire for your wedding.
I hope my words of experience will help you.
Purchase wedding ceremony music HERE!