So now you’re engaged. You’ve taken the first step toward one of life’s most fulfilling relationships. Congratulations! Now that the initial announcement has been made and you’ve celebrated your big decision with family and friends, it’s time to start making those wedding plans. Elements like date, location, food, invitations, guest list, where to register, dresses, tuxes; it can all seem overwhelming.
But think about it, how many of these items will your guests remember in 10 years? They might remember the location and your dress, right? For all of the time, effort, and yes, emotion that goes into choosing the elements of your wedding, very few end up being long-term memories of your special day.
Other than the bride and groom themselves, of all the elements of a wedding, the music (good or bad) is one of the most memorable aspects of the day. So, it is too bad that music is often an afterthought in the planning process, sometimes being left until just a couple of weeks before the wedding day.
While music isn’t the focus of your wedding day, it does set the atmosphere of the day. An inspirational soloist or a really cooking band playing tunes hand-picked for you and your family make everyone happy. At the same time, a band that isn’t experienced at doing weddings, isn’t very good, or can’t adapt to special requests can be a real downer.
1. Start planning your music early. As plans take shape, your wedding day will take on a character of its own. Including music at the beginning of the planning process will ensure a good fit with your vision for the day. It will also make sure that your wedding budget includes enough dollars to get you what you want.
2. Decide what type of music you want for yourselves and your family. There are probably hundreds of options in your community for wedding music. As you go to the marketplace, knowing what will make you and your family members happy will save you time, money and regret after you’re married.
3. One stop shop. You will save money and time by working with a musician or booking agency that offers a wide range of options. You may want a classical singer for the ceremony, a swing band for the dinner and family dances, and a rock and roll band for late night festivities. Booking these three types of musicians separately will probably cost you hundreds of dollars more than if you work with someone that has access to all three styles.
4. Always hear the bands you are considering, preferably live. It is surprising how many brides and grooms choose wedding musicians without ever hearing them perform. Reputable musicians and agents will readily offer you samples of their work, or even better, dates when you can hear them live. Avoid choosing musicians based solely on the recommendation of a friend, family member or through social media.
5. Ask questions. One of the main reasons music planning gets put off is brides and grooms feel intimidated talking to musicians. They feel they don’t know enough about music to make good choices. Any reputable musician or agent will be happy to answer any questions you have about choosing music. Always look for people who take the philosophy that “there is no such thing as a bad question.”
There you are, five tips that will help you get you exactly what you want in your wedding music. A little bit of concentrated effort early on in the planning process can make the long term memories of your wedding day especially sweet.
Author: Rich Frevert President of Heartland Concert Artists in Minneapolis, MN. He has over 25 years of experience as a musician, teacher, agent and music administrator. Heartland Concert Artists offers a variety of exceptional musicians to wedding and event clients