Planning Your Wedding Reception
Years from now, what are people going to remember from your wedding reception? They won’t be able to recall the type of flowers in the centerpieces or the color of your tablecloths. And they may or may not remember the food, but they will definitely remember the entertainment. Wedding reception entertainment can make or break the entire party atmosphere. It’s important to find a form of entertainment that fits your event, your personality, and your desires. Here are some tips:
Decide what type of atmosphere you want. Do you want someone who will pull out a limbo stick and party all night long or do you want someone who will create a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere – or something in between? Maybe you want quiet, easy-listening dinner music or to get up on the dance floor and boogie oogie oogie till they turn off the lights – or both? Decide what you want. Then select the band.
Are you planning a dance party? A good wedding band will present you with different style options (e.g., easy-listening, classic rock, standards, Reggae, Top-40, etc.). A good wedding band will have a playlist of, at least, 70 songs (that’s over four-hours of music). This will give you a good list for picking certain songs you like and do not like, while also having enough song choices for the band to keep your guests on the dance floor. If a band only knows 30 or 40 songs, they won’t have many options to keep your guests on their feet. By the same token, if a band claims to know “hundreds of songs”, this usually means they use a laptop computer with recorded, play-along tracks for many of their selections. While this may be satisfactory in some situations, it is not a top-choice for creating that memorable-event. Always insist on live-music.
Do you want music during the meal? Tasteful, easy-listening music played during a meal can create the perfect atmosphere for making your reception a memorable event. If you want dinner music, be sure to select the appropriate group. Remember, dinner music and high-energy dance music are not the same. Most wedding bands will be able to provide dinner music, as well as dance music, by using a small segment of the full band (usually, keyboard or guitar, bass, drums and one horn). Speak with the band leader to be sure. If your wedding band solely performs high-energy dance music, consider hiring a separate group (trio or quartet) to provide reception/dinner music, beginning with the arrival of your guests and continuing through dinner (usually two hours). Dinner music is typically performed by a small, instrumental group – no vocalist.
Know your audience. Most wedding receptions have guests of many different ages and personalities. Although you may want music that reflects your tastes, you also want your guests to enjoy the affair. When choosing a band for your reception, find one that performs a variety of music, so there’s a little something for everyone. Nothing makes a reception more memorable than seeing your friends and family all dancing and singing along, and having fun together.
And remember. If there is a special song(s) you want played at your reception, be sure to tell your band, at least, two-weeks early so they can be prepared.