Even though wedding DJs have become all the rage in recent years, some people still swear by the sound and mood of a live band. After all, bands and DJs are often quite different in their style; bands tend to fit the couple interested in seeing an actual performance at their wedding, while DJs are often reserved for people interested in having a vast array of musical genres to choose from. So if you’re planning on having live music at your wedding, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.) Know the difference between set lists and musical style. Setlist refers to the songs the band can play; musical style refers to how those songs will be played. A heavy metal band might have your first dance song on their set list, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be screaming through it.

2.) Make sure everyone is comfortable. Singing and playing musical instruments is a lot more taxing than you may think, so it’s important that the band has the right environment to do their job to the best of their abilities; that means giving them adequate shelter from the elements (don’t make them perform in 90 degrees, direct sunlight) and have plenty of water and snacks to keep them energized throughout the night.

3.) Hire professionals. We know we’ve said it in previous articles (and we’ll keep saying it so long as it drives the point home), you have to hire professionals. That means professional caterers, photographers, and musicians. Playing a wedding is hard work, and you don’t want someone tiring out halfway through the night. In addition, it takes more than good music to get people up and dancing; a professional musician knows this and how to make it happen.

Live music at your wedding tips 3 and 4

4.) Keep them in the loop. If you’re planning on having live music during your ceremony, the band needs to be aware of any changes you might be putting in place, such as the subtraction of a bridesmaid or groomsman or a change in the length of the aisle (maybe you have to take a different route to the alter, resulting in a longer walk and an adjustment in the music). Professionals can adjust to these changes without any challenge since they’ve probably already done it at previous weddings.

5.) Ask about overtime. Many receptions go a little longer than planned, provided the music keeps coming. Since many bands perform 2-3 gigs a day during the wedding season, they might have another appointment after your wedding. Talk to them beforehand to find out if they’re free for a little longer past their scheduled time and how much it would cost to stay and pay extra. That way, you’ll be ready to pay extra if the reception is still going strong around quitting time.

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