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Posted by Cayla Capri
Picking The Right Musicians
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A guest list heavier on the disco moms than the blasé teens is not what differentiates a crowd of head bobbers from gyrating foot stompers. It’s the music. If you’ve chosen to go the way of the tangible, take heed to the little things before unleashing those songsters on a finicky audience. Atmosphere is what makes a wedding worthy of anecdotes to come, and nothing tarnishes mood like an earsplitting band throughout dinner or an empty dance floor post pot roast. So know your stuff and style before diving in.
musical pricetag
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String trios and quartets can cost anywhere between four-hundred and four-thousand dollars, while five member bands are a lot steeper, ranging from one thousand to ten big ones. Because the price is based on the number of members and their degree of experience, this is one area where you don’t want to pinch pennies. The night’s energy rests on the shoulders of your music makers, after all.
fine tunage
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Once you’ve ransacked your iPod, dusted off attic dwelling records and scoured the web, you’ll probably notice a pattern, determining your status as a jazz lover, bonafide crooner gal, or Motowning fool. Your faves are swell for the reception, but as music is mood making, you may want to consider taking it one step further. A classical quartet during the ceremony, jazz trio throughout cocktail hour, or soulful duet all through dessert adds a nice soundtrack worthy of a true femme fatale.
what to ask
Are you familiar with the reception area?
Your band will likely tow their own gear, so make sure it’s compatible with that of your hall. Inquire about speaker levels and electrical equipment (especially if you’re celebrating under a marquee).
The same applies to ceremony musicians playing in a church.
What kind of music do you specialize in?
Admitted specialties will give insight into a band’s passion- their preferential and most practiced genre. Some will tell you they specialize in every kind of music, but kindly ask them to reveal the styles they are most comfortable in.
What are your going rates?
As always, you get what you pay for, though musicians that are new on the scene may charge less as they are still building their reputation.
Can I listen in?
Actually, this isn’t really a question so much as a demand. You should absolutely ‘sneak’ a soundbit of their work, either requesting a wedding video, live CD (studio’s too risky), or dropping in on a show.
Is this your first wedding gig?
The wedding vibe’s completely unmatched, so make sure the band or quartet feels at home playing that niche gig, because concert halls and jazz bars won’t necessarily translate.
How much time do you need to setup?
Get an exact number and if you can, arrange to tag along to avoid any last minute complications born of venue unfamiliarity.
Do you have qualms about working with a DJ?
If you’re double dipping, be sure to warn both parties. Try setting up a meeting where the two can meet, get acquainted and squash your unease.
What kind of attire will you be wearing?
Etiquette implores your modern minstrels to don dress shirt and pants, if not a suit. However, if your bash is real caj or tres chic, be sure to request they match the décor before getting into the swing of things.
Are you comfortable emceeing?
If you find an outgoing musician willing to project his sing-song voice for your emceeing needs, there’s one less thing you have to worry about. Intros, toast announcements, bouquet and garter belt hyping are all off your hands.
Do you have break-time music?
Some bands will leave one man behind, on guitar, sax, what have you, while the rest re-fuel. Others schlep their own CD anthology to keep the flow uninterrupted. Others still will put a complete pause on the cacophony, leaving you to bring your own music, or to insert speeches and toasts in the gaps. If this is the case, you’ll definitely want to inquire about the number and timing of sets, so you can correspond appropriately.
When does the music stop?
If your band’s quitting time doesn’t coincide with your guests’ burn out point, plan accordingly. You can either hire a DJ (hopefully through the same service for premium prices), or simply bring your own CD collection to set the a.m. partying in motion.