What to consider BEFORE hiring entertainment for your wedding or reception

January 11th, 2010

What to consider BEFORE hiring entertainment for your wedding or reception:

After considering your venue size and deciding on what type of band to go after, there are many other important considerations. I’ll touch on some points overall and go into more detail in future blogs. You can always contact me with questions at: jesse.deese@mac.com

You are about to invest thousands of dollars in food and flowers and clothing and venue and that list goes on. One of the very highest priorities on your list should be your investment in MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT. No offense to relatives, but a common mistake is to try to save on money by using a relative or friend to perform the music or be the DJ. Yes, there are exceptions when this can work but the “consideration” here should be at what level of proficiency do you expect your event to be. A wedding ceremony and a wedding reception are a “one shot” experience. You don’t get to try it again tomorrow.

Only seasoned professionals that have been through the procedure many times before can know what to expect, how to prepare for it and how to execute perfectly every time. Sounds a bit dramatic but believe me, if something goes WRONG with your music, it will likely BE a dramatic experience.

Budget for entertainment just like you budget for food. For example, if you budget $20 for each guest towards entertainment, a wedding with a 100 people would allow you a budget of $2,000. Without a band, just renting a modest PA system that could cover 100 people would cost you $4 or $5 per person, just to help put costs in perspective. That is to say, if you called an AV company to rent a PA for an event that size, you could expect to pay that much WITHOUT musicians…does that help?

It feels good to be able to say this BEFORE an event. Most people do not realize or appreciate the importance until they get to the point where the event is about to take place and the band or DJ is still not there, or they show up looking like they just slept under a bridge OR they’ve been drinking before they even get set up or any of a hundred other things that can go wrong including THEY ARE INCOMPETENT and sound like twice baked crap.

The music IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF YOUR EVENT. Consider this and budget accordingly BEFORE hiring your entertainment.

More on this to come. Call or write if I can be of further assistance. Jesse Deese www.JesseDeese.com

Wedding Reception Locations

January 5th, 2010

You will have limitations for what size band dependent on your reception location. Consider where the band will be staged. Typically, the stage will be the center of attraction for the reception. If the event will be held outside, consider local noise ordinances. Volume becomes a huge issue in outdoor events. Volume is an issue at indoor venues as well but much more controllable in this environment. One question to ask is: “does the band come with a dedicated FOH man” FOH=Front of House aka “sound man”. It is not unusual for a band to mix their own sound off of the stage. Usually someone on either side of the stage will have access to a mixing “console”. The problem CAN BE that that person is not hearing the “MAIN MIX” because they are behind the speakers. Therefore, volume can be a problem. If you are paying top dollar for a band, expect a sound man to be in the package.

Music for your Wedding

December 23rd, 2009

The first question to ask is what type of music do you want. I write this from the perspective of a performing musician so I will be naturally biased to the “live” music side. I recommend a VARIETY of music because typically there will be several generations of family attending a wedding representing a variety of tastes, genres and musical era’s. Variety Bands are the most expensive form of entertainment because they usually have the most musicians in them. A seven piece variety band would have drums, keyboard, bass, electric and acoustic guitars and a male and female vocalist, for example. Variety bands can be much larger, up to 14 pieces or much smaller. As a performer, I do a VARIETY solo act.

You will want to hire a band that has a web presence to assure that you are not hiring a “pick up band” i.e. a bunch of musicians that don’t rehearse but know common songs that they will perform together. This is very typical so check out their website to assure that 1. they are a bona fide band 2. that you can hear a demo of them 3. that you can see their song list.

If you have a special song that you would like to have performed, you will need to negotiate this very early. More on budget and negotiation later. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns that you have at jesse.deese@mac.com

Wedding Music

December 4th, 2009

This begins a series on what to look for and expect from the musician, DJ or Band that you hire to perform for one of the most unique experiences of your life, your wedding.