Here are some easy do’s and don’ts when hiring a live band for your wedding day.

By Misty Milioto

Wash Park Wedding

Your selection of musical entertainment can easily make or break your big day. DJs offer versatility and an almost limitless selection of songs, and live performers can be a bit more limited in vocal style and repertoire; however, a live band creates a unique ambience and energy that is difficult for a DJ to match. We consulted Pat Bruno, president of A Music Plus Entertainment, and Terri Fisher, owner and president of 5 Star Talent and Entertainment, to get some helpful tips on the topic.

According to Bruno, it is imperative to clearly define your vision for the day, so you can hire a band that fits. He also suggests having an in-person conversation, so you can easily communicate what you want. “Decide how much control you want to have over the music selection,” he says. “If (overseeing) song selection is important to you, be certain that your entertainers are enthusiastic about this.” Fisher echoes this advice and adds that couples should focus on creating a balance between aesthetic, emotional and practical considerations. “Aesthetically, live music creates a sense of sophistication,” she says. “You should decide very early in the process what style of music you want for your wedding: a variety or a specific style like bluegrass. The emotional considerations are what will make you feel good. The practical considerations, beyond your budget, include the types of guests you will have, including their ages, as well as the size, location and type of venue.”

Of course, the more planning you do ahead of time, the more smoothly everything will run on the day. There are several important questions to ask when considering whether or not to hire a specific band. According to Fisher, these include the following: Will the band be able to provide the selected music you want? Can the band provide references, a website or other reviews for their music? Does the quote include all possible fees for what is needed? Will the band provide a written contract? Are they properly insured?

In addition, Bruno is quick to point out a few red flags and things you should avoid. Red flags include poor responsiveness and not working with a contract in place. The biggest pitfall, however, is hiring a band based solely on budget. “Of every decision you make for your wedding, the entertainment is probably the biggest factor in its success or failure,” he says. “It doesn’t make sense to put your entire day at risk by hiring cheap entertainers. Also, be wary of entertainers that can’t produce recommendations or testimonials from clients and (especially) other vendors. And be careful about overburdening your entertainers with demands.”

Although the wedding planning process can seem overwhelming at times, it’s important to remember to go with what feels right. “A success- ful wedding is a bit like a mosaic in which many smaller pieces go together to create a beautiful picture,” Fisher says. “And just like the cement that holds the mosaic in place, music binds the elements of the wedding together into one mem- orable whole.”

A Music Plus Entertainment

5 StarTalent and Entertainment