The Ultimate Guide To Hiring Your Los Angeles Wedding Band
What if my wedding sucks? Got your attention there, didn't I? But let's be honest. THAT is the question that races through every bride and groom's mind as they embark on the absolutely maddening journey that is planning a wedding.
Well, you can relax now, because you've come to the right place. I'm here to make hiring your Los Angeles Wedding Band a little easier.
But first, some statistics...
After their wedding, 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
During wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is their wedding dress, attire, followed by the reception site and caterer - reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities!
Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!
When asked, 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
In case you didn’t get the message… WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT IS IMPORTANT.
Choosing your Los Angeles wedding band can be crazy-making. Since this is probably the first wedding you’ve ever planned (and hopefully the last), it’s hard to know where to begin since there are so many options to choose from.
Well, it’s time to learn what you need to know about wedding music that most Los Angeles wedding bands will never tell you...
5 Things That Slip Your Mind While Planning Your Reception
1) How will you set the tone?
Through cocktail hour, and maybe even dinner, you may want to stick with softer music that everyone enjoys. A more subtle vibe will help everyone relax and allow people to hear each other, leading to enjoyable conversation.
2) Special dances/songs.
Beyond your first dance, you want to make sure your chosen songs for cake cutting, reception entrances, and special dances are individualized to you and your partner. Pick out some of your favorite songs and delegate them to certain aspects of your reception. Don’t leave this to the last minute! If you’d like a song that’s not on the band’s current song list, most Los Angeles wedding bands will learn 2-3 unique songs per wedding as long as you pick them out far enough in advance.
PRO TIP: Use the notes app on your phone to write down song ideas as they come!
3) "Do Not Playlist"...yes, that IS important!
Don’t like cheesy wedding music? Do line dances make you cringe? If you know you don’t enjoy certain songs or genres, make sure to get that list in order!
4) How many toasts are too many?
Do you want to keep the mic open for anyone, or limit to certain family members/friends? Think about this before your entire dinner is filled with frat stories from all the groomsmen! Unless that’s your thing, of course.
5) Timing for all the big events!
Do you want to cut your cake right after dinner or wait until the end of the reception? First dance with first course or right after the grand entrance? It’s your show, after all, make sure things are done your way!
10 Critical Questions to Ask Your Los Angeles Wedding Band
1) Will you pronounce all our names correctly during the introductions?
It’s ok to ask your band leader/emcee to pronounce some complicated names correctly for you. Not everyone has the easiest first or last name, so avoid the mishap of your grand introduction as a married couple being mispronounced by having that squared away ahead of time!
PRO TIP: Have your Los Angeles wedding band leader record you correctly pronouncing any difficult names so they can practice and make sure it’s perfect come your wedding day.
2) Will you honor a do-not-play list?
As we mentioned prior, it’s ok to have a list ready of songs that you’re not keen on having played at your wedding. It’ll make their job easier to have this ahead of time instead of having an upset bride during the ceremony or reception.
3) Can you help me choose some songs for moments like the introductions, father-daughter dance, etc.?
If you’re stuck on a song for a mother/son dance, or a song to walk down the aisle to, ask them for help! They’ve done this before. They know what works and what doesn’t.
PRO TIP: Our Los Angeles wedding band has an Ultimate Wedding Music Guide for some awesome ideas. Just ask us for it!
4) What audio/visual equipment do you offer?
Do they have a wireless microphone for toasts? Lavalier mics for your ceremony? Do they provide dance floor lights? If so, make sure you’re on the same page of what lighting you’d like or dislike. Do you want subtle mood lighting or a Vegas club style set up?
5) Are you comfortable Emcee-ing the reception?
We often assume they are, but you should always double check and make sure they’re OK doing so. It’s one thing to lead a Los Angeles wedding band and play music, it’s another to seamlessly lead your entire wedding reception!
6) Are there any additional fees that could accrue that I am not taking into account, like travel expenses or charges for special musical requests?
Ask about rates/availability of adding in an extra hour of performance time in case the party doesn’t want to stop! If your ceremony is occurring in a different location than the reception, there might be a charge for the extra audio set up. Know these rates before you book.
7) Do you know the Venue we are having our reception at?
If they haven’t done any weddings at the venue before, ask if they will go see it beforehand. Test their level of commitment.
8) What kind of space or stage do you require for the band?
Bands need lots of power and lots of space. Find out beforehand what they need and make sure they coordinate with the venue.
9) What will you wear to our wedding?
A classy suit? A sequined shirt (with a bedazzled microphone)? They need to fit seamlessly into the style and tone of your wedding, not stick out like a sore thumb. The attention should stay where it belongs -- on you!
10) Will you be the one performing at my wedding on the day of the event?
Some Los Angeles wedding bands have a rotating group of musicians that they send out which changes every event, so you may never know in advance who you’re actually getting. Make sure you know before you book!
Don't be a slave to tradition.
Just because you see certain dances in movies, doesn’t mean you have to follow an exact itinerary of things. Don't feel the need to do what everyone else expects of you. Make this day yours.
Let me tell you about a couple that owned their wedding (and made their guests cry)...
Meet Jennifer and Matt Shaw.
When they first came to me, they were feeling down about the idea of a father/daughter dance that they saw so many times at friends weddings.
With both of their fathers deceased, it weighed heavy on their minds.
We helped assure them that it wasn’t something that had to be done. We could scrap it altogether, or find another way to make it work.
We put our heads together and decided to do a father/daughter dance for all the fathers and daughters.
At the wedding, it touched their hearts, and left many guests in tears, to see all the fathers and daughters celebrate that special bond.
Be you. Because you're awesome.
After the wedding, many of the guests mentioned that it was such a sweet nod to both fathers to honor the traditional dance in a way that brought happiness and created memories for all the fathers and daughters in attendance.
This goes for your entire wedding. Just because your six cousins all cut their cake during dinner, doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Who says you even need to have a cake?
Make your own rules. Forge your own path. Most importantly -- have fun!
What’s right for you?
There’s obviously a lot involved in choosing a Los Angeles Wedding Band. This guide should point you in the right direction.
However, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about wedding entertainment in Los Angeles.
Good luck with your planning!