TOP 10 Music Tips For Your Wedding
If you’re planning the musical elements of your big day, BrideClubME.com is here to help. We’ve compiled 10 top tips (with the help of a few local music experts) for taking into consideration, from making sure your string quartet isn’t drowned out by a crash of waves, to ensuring that you’re covered if your guests demand an encore!
1.Your Wedding, Your music
This is your wedding, so let the music echo your personalities. There are no rules and you are free to choose as many genres as you like. Do you love classical music, but your fiancé prefers big band jazz? Pick the former for the ceremony and the latter for the evening do.
Ananda Shakespeare aka DJ Sister Rock (www.facebook.com/Sister.Rock.Dubai) says: “Weddings are filled with music and it really transforms the atmosphere. Look into having a harpist perform to welcome guests to the blessing or even find out if your DJ can play some classical music for you. Don’t ignore music at the after-ceremony cocktails or during dinner, as these are perfect times to start getting livelier. Many couples ask me to play chill out music while their guests celebrate over cocktails and create mixes for them while dinner is served.”
2.Get Friends & Family Involved
Getting friends and family to pick a track for the evening will ensure the dance floor is packed! We suggest sending out a request card with your invitation to give guests time to think and select their favourite tracks, before posting back to you with their RSVP.
Gary Tierney of The Boxtones (www.boxtonesband.com) says: “Requests are a great way for musicians to get a feel for the night, show what the bride and groom want, and what their friends want. Just be sure to give the musicians the leeway to tailor the night around the crowd. After all, if you’re booking a band, then you have to have confidence in their ability to get people up and keep them up dancing all night!”
3.Think About Space And Acoustics
Where is your ceremony and evening do taking place? You need to think about the space and acoustics. A big band is a great idea, but is there space in the venue? Similarly, will a string quartet be drowned out the crash of waves during your beach ceremony?
Ananda says: “Giving thought to sound for the big day is extremely important. A musician that cares that your wedding day is going to go with a bang will offer to come along and do a free site visit for you. The sorts of things I look for at the venue are different floor levels, columns, and where the service area is going to be – for example, you don’t want a waiter pulling out the power plug from the equipment.”
4.Listen Before Booking
Always listen to the musicians before booking and paying your deposit. Ask for a demo CD, listen to online demos, or (even better) go to see the band or musician play live to get a real feel for how they sound and how the crowd responds to them.
Gary says: “This is very important. When booking your musicians, you have to make sure they have experience and the catalogue to back it up.”
5.Contracts, contracts, contracts
Getting a contract written and signed is very important. This will clear up any confusion over the agreed fee and timings. With everything agreed formally, you can rest easy that music is ticked off your list, you are happy with the terms, and they will turn up on the day.
Ananda says: “A contract will to set out what is expected from your musician and vice versa from the couple – for example how many hours they play, what to do if the weather doesn’t allow an al fresco performance, or what do in the eventuality that the musicians are ill.”
6.Plan For Breaks
Check whether your musicians will take a break during their set and whether they provide background music or a DJ for these periods. If not, work on a playlist on your iPod or computer that can be plugged into speakers to keep everyone dancing during the gaps.
Gary says: “Normally, you would book a DJ or the band would provide a DJ for the breaks. When the Boxtones perform, we normally provide three 45-minute sets, with 20-minute or so breaks in between. This way the crowd gets a break from us and we get to recuperate for another rocking set!”
7.The DO-NOT Play list
Just as important as the do-play list, your musicians need to know if there are any tracks or songs that you really don’t want to be played during the night.
Ananda says: “Most couples volunteer this information and an organised band or DJ will take the playlist along on the day and make sure they don’t play any ‘no-no’ songs. I’ve been asked not to play Jive Bunny at one wedding, whereas it’s been on other couples ‘yes please’ list.”
Your booking will be for a certain number of hours. Want your band for longer? Agree a fee in advance as spontaneous decisions could incur steep overtime charges.
Gary says: “Most nights run until the wee hours of the morning. Dubai law states that most things have to close at 3am. If it’s a earlier show, then sure, we’ll do an encore or two! But if you not sure how long you want the night to go on for, plan for a late one and get the most out of your booking!”
9.Food & Drinks
Your musicians will need a ready supply of water, especially if they are performing outside. It’s also good form to provide a meal for them, so talk to your caterer so they aren’t overlooked.
Ananda adds: “It is just good manners to offer the band or DJ and their assistant if they have one, food and drink on the day. It’s often a long day after setting up, being there early to oversee the speeches, and then performing late into the night and packing up.”
Giving someone the responsibility of pressing play for your grand entrance or first dance? Stick a label to the CD box of iPod with the track number clearly noted. There would be nothing worse than the pieces getting muddled at the key moment.
Gary says: “If you are worried about things getting confused, why not ask your musicians to play your first dance? The Boxtones normally get together with the bride and groom in advance and work out the first dance, rehearse it, record it, and send it to our clients so they can clearly hear a live version of their first song together as man and wife. The Boxtones have done this hundreds of times.”
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