“Are you going to have a DJ or a band?” If you’ve been engaged for more than 5 minutes, you’ve probably heard this question more than a few times. I know the last thing you want is MORE decisions to make, but your wedding entertainment is important (and fun!), so we chatted with local singer and musician, Jayme D, to tackle it head-on. Specializing in customized music for small wedding receptions, ceremonies and cocktail hours, we asked her what to plan for when mapping our your music.
From Jayme D: First of all, “DJ or a band” is a BIG oversimplification of your available options. When it comes to planning a wedding, there are many voices and personalities to sort through. You have your own ideas of what your wedding should be, but you can also feel pressured to please family and friends who are involved in the planning, not to mention wanting to make sure that your guests enjoy themselves. While you may end up making some concessions regarding your entertainment, the wonderful thing about music is that there are a myriad of ways in which you can let your personalities shine, while making sure everyone ends up hearing something they like!
Here are some tips to help you dance your way through this musical decision-making process:
1. Your music sets the atmosphere for your big day. It establishes the tone and the energy of your event, and will tell your guests something about you and your fiancée. Whether it is a representation of your heritage or songs that represent special moments in your relationship, think about what you want your entertainment to say to your guests. What kind of mood do you want to set? What will make your wedding day unique and memorable in their eyes?
2. It’s not only about what you and your guests are experiencing in the moment; you are also creating memories, especially for yourself and your spouse. Everyone has songs that take them back to significant moments in their lives. These songs make up the soundtrack of our lives, and there are so many moments during your wedding where you have the opportunity to choose the songs for yours.
3. It is natural (and smart!) to ask your entertainment provider for recommendations. I can certainly tell my clients what is popular, or what might get people dancing, but I can’t guess what is going to be important to them. Be sure to choose songs that have a special place in your hearts so that when you hear them years later, you’ll be delightfully transported back to your wedding day.
5. Don’t leave your ceremony music as an afterthought. While it is important to make sure that the party is covered and that your guests will have a great time, the ceremony is for YOU. Many of the most important and memorable moments of your life will happen in that short period of time, and you want to make sure that they have the right accompaniment. Put at least as much thought and care into your ceremony music as you do into your reception.
4. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that the solo musician, ensemble, band, or DJ has a style & personality that matches the energy that you want for your big day. Find vendors who are flexible enough to create your vision, and excited to make your day YOURS.
As musicians ourselves, my husband and I had tons of fun planning our musical moments. We had planned a laid back brunch wedding where friends and family could mingle and enjoy themselves. Guests could be inside the reception hall or wander the grounds and play yard games–a traditional band or DJ just didn’t fit with our vision. Instead we wrote a song together that expressed our vows to one another and recorded it. That song played as I walked down the aisle, and we burned it onto CDs with hand-stamped labels and sleeves that became wedding favors for our guests. During the reception we had our favorite musician perform a mini-concert–playing many of our favorite songs of his, and ending his set with our first dance song. After that, my husband and his band played a dance set and I joined them to sing a few songs. Everyone loved all of the personal touches, and there was no doubt that our wedding was ours from start to finish!