Sunday, January 22, 2006

WEDDING BANDS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (PART I)

“We’ve all been to weddings where people are dancing the whole time, and others where people are just wall flowers. Why? Does a good band make people want to dance, or [do you just] have boring people regardless of how good the band is, [who will] just watch from the side?”

My friend Jon raises a good question, but I think the answer is that the band makes a HUGE difference in the vibe/mood guests get at the weddings they attend.

After having attended several weddings and hearing about others, I believe there is a direct relationship between the band and the overall success of the event. .

My first wedding was BigSis'.... When BigSis and MyAwesomeBrotherinLaw got engaged, the first thing they did after setting the date was to hire the band that they loved. Having attended several New Years Eve parties in Manhattan at one particular event that hired the same band each December 31st, they knew exactly what band they wanted even before they got engaged. This particular band was so good, they said, that everyone was on their feet well into the morning.

Before the wedding, my brother (LilBro) and I joked about how we’d be sitting down the whole time, unless we were forced to dance to ensure that at least a few people were on the dance floor.

I thought LilBro in particular would be the ubiquitous wallflower, as he was not fond of dancing in the least AND thought he was really bad at it.

However, BigSis and MyAwesomeBrotherinLaw's band wasn't only good, but it was amazing—simply because they were not at all wedding-band-like (with the schmaltzy music you would expect).

The fact that it was a NON-WEDDING-LIKE-BAND was the key to its success... You can see from my embarassing "bust-a-move" movement in this picture that an effective band can get even the most reluctant guests off of their feet. I was having so much fun that I simply threw my inhibitions out the window.


Not only did a majority of the guests dance every single song, but the band members were SO good that their songs sounded exactly like the originals (If I weren’t looking directly at the band members, I could have sworn Chuck Berry was singing Johnny B. Goode).

The band played a vast array of music that BigSis had requested, and they were fun, young, and able to reach not only the twenty and thirty-somethings in the crowd, but my parents’ generation as well. I have NEVER seen my MomandDad dance, but wow--they just went for it. By the end of the night, most of the guests were still dancing—and disappointed when they called for the last song.

My point: In order to ensure that your guests are in for a kick-ass time, do your research, and try and find a band that breaks with convention -- oftentimes, the boring, cheesy wedding bands are those that everyone chooses--simply because they are labeled a wedding band and are deemed "safe" choices.

The band BigSis chose was a band of all occasions -- which reflected its versatility and provided guests with a respite from the band that you often see in the movies (When Harry Met Sally and My Best Friend's Wedding are just two movies of many that feature the traditional wedding band).

Remember that many elements of your planning are not simply about aesthetics (i.e. the flower arrangements, color themes for the room), but ensuring that your guests are having a good time. Therefore, choosing a good (and not necessarily SAFE) wedding band/DJ is of utmost importance.

This week, I'll focus on SCENARIOS YOU'LL WANT TO AVOID AND WHEN THE MUSIC SHOULD STOP (OR NOT EVEN START!)

Stay tuned!

2 comments:

jennster said...

i FIRMLY believe that the band/dj/music- makes the reception! shitty ones= shitty reception.

Robin said...

Yeah, so I know I'm commenting 3 years late but I just found the blog.

So one thing I hated as a guest was having a band that I in no way related to. In Miami, that means groups doing Latin Hits and such. While it did get half of the group going, the other people were sitting around because the music didn't inspire me. So for my wedding, I'm having an awesome blues band that plays at a nearby bar play for cocktail hour and dinner and then a DJ for the rest of the night. My theory is that I want the live music experience but I don't want guests who don't like blues to feel bored by the music. I also happen to like country and while I'll ask the DJ to throw in a few songs, I would never dream to monopolize the night with country music (because I'd probably be kicked out of my own wedding) :)