Setting the Tone for Your Reception: Find the Perfect Wedding Band or DJ

In order to create the perfect ambiance at your reception, finding a phenomenal band or a stellar DJ is imperative.  Booking the right band or DJ will keep your evening on track from the very first strains of music that reach your guests’ ears.  Do you want your guests to waltz the night away or party it up?  Are you looking for romantic background music or a DJ who can single-handedly run the show?

With so many decisions to make, finding a Wedding Band or DJ who fits the bill to a ‘t’, is significantly more difficult than any other task on your wedding to-do list.  When you think of it as adding the ideal soundtrack to some of life’s most precious moments, it does seem like a daunting challenge, but we know just what you need to look for

Jason Fioto

Check out our super-helpful tips below.  Whether you have or haven’t already addressed everything on this list, we’re sure that our guide will help you make an excellent decision that will completely set your mind – and ears – at ease for the evening, letting you focus on the most important aspect of the day- your new marriage!

West Coast Music Jim Eppolito

Keep these things in mind when you set out to book your Wedding Band or DJ:

Attend an event. The best way to get a feel for a Wedding Band or DJ is to see them in action for yourself.  Have you been to a wedding recently where the band kept the guests dancing all evening long? Have you gone to a corporate event where the DJ really kept the party hopping?  If you can’t attend an event yourself, filmed footage can help you ascertain the band’s credentials and ability to deliver what you’re expecting on your big day

Ask your friends and relatives. Ask around to see if those you trust most have been to a wedding recently with an awesome band or singer. Get a recommendation from a friend or family member who recently married or hired a band for a party.  Most likely, they will have expectations similar to yours, and can give you some great insight.

Talk to your wedding planner. She has probably seen it all- the good, the bad, the lackluster and the show-stoppers.  Wedding planners have seen all sorts of wedding singers perform, and know a ton about the wedding music industry. It’s super-handy to have a planner. She can scout vendors for you and help you compile an exclusive list to select from. She can also hear out your options before introducing you to the top picks. If you don’t have a planner and don’t plan to hire one, speak with a consultant at your wedding venue.  She may have a list of some preferred bands and DJs you can hire for your wedding who work well in the space and are experienced with the venue’s acoustics and clientele.

Search Online. Make sure you check out reputable wedding bands and DJs in your area.  Always explore their website to make sure that you are getting a band that is the “right” fit for you. You can tell a lot from a webpage!  Is it fresh and clean or cluttered and chaotic?  Is it up to date, or has it been years since they’ve posted new media?  Be sure to watch any live videos posted, look at pictures and read testimonials from recent clients and venue owners.

Make a list. Compile the contact information of all your favorite performers (based on family recommendations, your wedding planner’s advice and the options you research online) and give them a call to get a better feel for each group.  Before your call ends, ask to see an updated list of happy customers.

Meet with the band or DJ. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, you’re sure to have found a couple of great options.  This is the moment you’ll want to sit down with your final selection and ask the group every single question on your list. From timing to fees- get everything out in the open. Discuss whether you want dancing after dinner, during dinner, before dinner, or all of the above.  Find out what the group’s specialty is and how they can really shine and create the atmosphere of your dreams.  Make sure the band catches your vision.

Sign a contract. Once you’ve found the band or DJ that suits all your needs, it’s time to put it in writing! The best wedding bands and DJs can book up over a year in advance, so act quickly once you have found an act that suits your wedding music needs.  If your date is set in stone, it’s never too early to begin booking your dream vendors!