Carol Rosen (Professional Wedding Coordinator) gives expert video advice on: What should I think about when choosing my wedding entertainment?; What are the pros and cons of hiring a band? and more...
What types of entertainment can I have at my wedding?
The entertainment in your wedding will usually be musical. Generally speaking, people hire either a DJ or band in order to provide dance music for their wedding. On occasion we have other kinds of entertainment, but not too often; most of the time, weddings follow a pretty set formula for what goes on throughout the party.
What should I think about when choosing my wedding entertainment?
When you're deciding on your wedding entertainment, you want to think about a couple of factors. The first one, foremost probably, is budget. A DJ is going to be less costly than a ten-piece band, so definitely start with your budget. What you then want to do is examine your own preferences. Some people really far prefer a DJ regardless of cost, because they know that the music that's played is going to be exactly the sound of that artist playing that music, as opposed to what a band might do, which would be an interpretation of that music. If you are going to hire a band, you want to be sure that they are well-versed in doing things like weddings, and you want to be sure that they do play the music the way you expect it to sound. You don't want to hear Frank Sinatra played in triple-time. You want to hear it played the way you expect that song to sound.
What are the pros and cons of hiring a band?
Having a band at your wedding can be an absolutely wonderful thing. But the first thing to discuss is the budget. That can be a definite negative. If you're going to have a ten-piece band, it's going to be much more costly than having a DJ. However, many people far prefer a band. It very often feels more formal, and more elegant, to have a band on stage. Lots of people prefer to have live musicians, as opposed to having a DJ at their wedding reception. That's going to be your personal choice.
Should I get a bigger band if I have a lot of guests?
What you want to think about is if you have a smaller wedding party, you are in a smaller room. You don't want a ten piece band in a small room that's going to absolutely blow out the walls; it would be inappropriate, it would be too loud and it wouldn't work. With a smaller party, you might have a three piece, a four piece, or even a five piece band, perhaps. As you get into the higher numbers on your wedding guest count - if you are at 150-250 - a larger band is what you are going to need to fill your space with sound and to really give you the kind of impact that you want for that size of a guest list.
What are the pros and cons of having a DJ?
I'll start with the cons of having a DJ as your wedding entertainment. The con of a DJ is people often feel it doesn't look as elegant or formal. They feel that if it's an evening wedding in a ballroom at a hotel, they really should have a band. On the other hand, the DJ is going to play the type of music you really want to hear. It's going to be exactly as the artist recorded it, so it won't be an interpretation of someone's song. The other big pro to a DJ is that it's going to be less expensive than a ten-piece band!
Why should I choose a song for the first dance at my wedding?
The reason you should choose a song for your first dance at your wedding reception is because, firstly, you want it to be at the right tempo that you and your fiance like to dance to. You don't want them to play rock and roll if what the two of you like is waltz, and vice-versa. Also, you want to choose that song ahead of time so you have a chance to practice to it. If you haven't selected it, and you let the band or the DJ just play any old song, who knows what's going to come up? Maybe it's something you're not prepared to dance to, or you don't know how long it's going to be. Choose that music before your wedding. Tell the band or the DJ what it's going to be, and then everybody's prepared.