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Wedding Bands

January 2nd, 2012 | Posted by DJ Antonius in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

DJ, Band or iPod?  Part 2…

 

How can the couple see or build the song library?

DJ
Ask the DJ if he can email you an Excel or PDF file listing all the music in his library.

Band
Ask the band to provide a demo that includes live recordings of the band’s performances. We have several MP3s on our MySpace music page as well.

iPod
Sit down together and reminisce about important moments in your relationship. Are there songs that remind you of your first kiss, your vacations together? If you know what kind of genre you’re going for, check some websites for playlists.

Who emcees the reception?

DJ
The DJ usually emcees, but sometimes a bride may bring her own MC, or a guest or family member may want to take charge and make the announcements.

Band
Different areas have different practices, and the bandleader only emcees if the bride requests. Sometimes a bride provides her own MC; sometimes she hires one in the wedding locale; sometimes she asks someone in the band to emcee.

iPod
Since no one is being paid to emcee the reception, you’ll have to put one of your guests to work. Maybe you have an outgoing aunt who’s the life of the party or a funny groomsman who’d be comfortable making announcements. This guest will also have to cue the important songs at the right times. Be sure to go over all of their responsibilities with them in advance.

How can a couple make sure the band or DJ has their essential songs?

DJ
At least two weeks prior to the wedding, I ask my clients for a playlist that includes special dances and favorite artists, genres and songs. Even if your DJ doesn’t ask you for this info, you should pass it along with plenty of advance notice.

Band
Make sure to provide the band with these songs, either on a CD or by email. It’s also critical that the bride discuss and decide with the band beforehand whether she wants these songs played live by the band, played by a DJ (if any) or simply played on an iPod through the band’s sound system.

What’s the cost typically?

DJ
Professional DJs run from about $800 to $1,500 for a standard four-hour reception. To trim costs, ask if the DJ is willing to be contracted for less time.

Band
There’s no typical cost, though bands tend to be more expensive than DJs. Hiring a band is like buying anything else — you get what you pay for; the best bands will cost from $1,500 to $2,500 per hour. Costs can be cut by negotiation.

iPod
Playlists are by far the cheapest way to go. When bought alone, MP3s generally cost 99 cents each, but full albums are usually discounted. You’ll need between 75 and 100 songs to cover a standard reception, so look for compilation albums (Amazon offers deals of select full albums for under $5). Also check music stores in your area for gently used CDs at discounted prices.

What are your tips for a flawless night of dancing?

DJ
Playing music your party will respond to is key. Look at your guest list to gauge your crowd — what are their ages, where do they come from, are there more girls or guys, etc.

Band
Make sure the band has a great repertoire and entertaining vocalists with strong communication and interaction skills. A band that gets the audience to participate in the performances livens up the party.

iPod
Your guests might not like the same music you do, so pick a good mix of songs, with something for everyone. Also have a backup iPod on hand; that way, if one goes kaput, you’re still covered. The night before, fully charge the batteries for both. Lastly, plan at least five hours’ worth of music, and have at least two playlists ready: one for background dinner music and the other to get the dancing going.

What trends do you see?

DJ
Pop music is hotter than ever; even hip-hop artists are moving to this genre.

Band
In order to leave more time for dancing and enjoying the band, brides are moving the toasts and formalities (cake-cutting, bouquet toss, etc.) to the dinner hour, instead of before or after the meal.

iPod
One of my fave trends is the hybrid first-dance song. The couple starts off slow-dancing to a traditional song, and then it surprisingly changes into a more upbeat, fun track. Bonus if the bride and groom have unique choreography!

DJ, Band or iPod? Part 1…

 

What kind of bride should consider this option?

DJ
A bride who wants to dance to her favorite songs by the original artists and wants someone to keep an eye on the party mood. A DJ can read the crowd and play the right songs at the right times — even create mixes at the last minute. An iPod is a machine, which can’t do that, and no matter how good a band is, they can’t sing every song. I have 20,000 songs in my collection and update it weekly.

Band
The bride who really loves to party and wants that concert atmosphere at her reception, enhanced by the band’s live interaction and communication with the audience.

iPod
Music snobs, control freaks and brides throwing a very small wedding. An iPod wedding will ensure you have complete control over the playlist, something all music buffs can appreciate. Plus, an intimate reception might just need a few key songs paired with background music.

What are the disadvantages of going this route?

DJ
If any problems come up, a DJ is on his own to fix things, while a band has multiple people to help work out any issues.

Band
There’s always some risk involved with hiring a band you’ve never seen perform before — the band may not be very good, or they may not be capable of playing the type of music you’re looking for.

iPod
Without the help of a professional band or DJ to keep the reception events flowing smoothly, there’s the assurance of more stress on the wedding couple.

What are some good ways to find a DJ or band in a new location?

DJ
Check magazines and the Web — blogs, forums, social networks. Also ask friends or other brides who married in your destination for recommendations.

Band
Without a doubt, the best way to find a well-regarded band is to seek the opinions of the locals who live in the location, such as taxi drivers, restaurant servers and people who work in the local stores.

What are some important details to check?

DJ
Ask the DJ questions: Do you offer a written contract? Will you be the DJ at our wedding, or will it be someone else from your company? What experience do you have on a microphone? What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody’s dancing? Do you take requests from guests? Do you bring backup equipment with you just in case?

Band
Find out the type of music they play, the versatility of their repertoire, the length and frequency of breaks, whether they’re restricted by any local union regulations or practices, the length of performance sets, the number of people in the band and the basic terms and rates of their performance contract. It’s also important to ask if the band has its own sound equipment; if they don’t, you’ll be charged for the rental.

iPod
Look into what equipment is available at your venue — is there a microphone, sound system, docking station? Another important thing to consider is the bit rate of the songs; differences in bit rates can mean lower quality and reduced volume. Ideally, each MP3 should be between 256 and 320 kbps. When importing CDs and buying songs on iTunes, check bit rates by clicking the View menu and then View Options.