A central pillar in that of any great wedding is the entertainment which acts as the life blood of the event. The best performers will keep your guests engaged, and will keep your reception flowing in case an issue or delay arises with a vendor. It is not surprising that couples and wedding planners spend so much time considering who is right for the job and what form of entertainment is best suitable for the atmosphere you want for the big day. Traditionally, couples will choose between a professional wedding band or a professional disc-jockey to provide the music and handle the emcee duties of the reception. Both options have their share of strengths and weaknesses. A professional live band is great for producing unique atmospheres, but come at a greater cost and are generally more of a hassle to coordinate around. A professional disc-jockey is a more budget conscious option, and comes with the perk of a nearly limitless digital music archive that can be added to at the click of a mouse button if wireless internet is available. If you are looking for that specific atmosphere that only a band can produce, New Orleans is famous for its music, and professional wedding bands are not an exception to this rule. Below is a guide that should help the search for the band that provides the best fit for your wedding vision.
First step, you should start your search off with the recommendations of your friends, family, and most trusted colleagues, in particular, anyone who has been married recently, or has been involved in a wedding to some degree. We suggest asking the venue coordinator for their recommendations as well, as they may even provide you with a list of preferred or exclusive vendors, so it is a good idea and may save you money in the end to ask. It is also wise to consult online wedding directories as they are a great source of wedding vendor information including pricing, reviews, bridal testimonials, pictures, videos, and more! You ought to make sure your candidates are experienced professionals that specialize in weddings. Once you have a handful of candidates that interest you, call them up, and see if they are available for the date of your wedding. If you are dealing with a booking agent, ask for the bandleader's personal contact information, it will be important going forward.
The next step, start interviewing each of the candidates, and come prepared with plenty of questions for each of them. You should be asking them how much experience they have, and how many weddings they perform at on a yearly average. What sort of condition is their equipment in, and how much knowledge do they have of the equipment? A good professional band will be experts with their equipment, and will be able to adapt to any technical issues that may arise. It is also wise to ask them of their backup plan in case of emergency, some bands have standby members, while some bands actually have an associate band they contact in case the unforeseeable happens. Ask the band leader what their emcee style is like, and ask for a video if they have them available, which most professional wedding bands do. The last thing you will want to cover before the end of each interview is the cost and their labor demands. Some bands require you to place a deposit, and will have demands such as being fed and having a separate space at the reception hall earmarked specifically for them so they have somewhere to take breaks away from the festivities. Ask for a sample invoice from each candidate so you can compare each potential band side-by-side to see which one is going to provide you with the best service.
The key factor is trust, if a candidate just does not seem dedicated or something is just not up to your expectations, it is absolutely acceptable to avoid that group. So if you are comfortable with a certain band, and can afford them in your budget, sign a contract with them, and place a deposit. Trust your instincts, your wedding band will have no issues keeping your guests engaged and happy. On the day of your wedding, you will be ensnared in the wonderful atmosphere the band produces to make your wedding special!
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