Brides and Grooms in Maryland and Across the Nation, What You Need to Know about Choosing and Hiring Wedding Musicians

Brides and Grooms in Maryland and Across the Nation, What You Need to Know about Choosing and Hiring Wedding Musicians


hiring wedding musiciansGetting engaged is such an exciting time. However, the exhilaration of saying “I will” can quickly be replaced by the overwhelming concerns surrounding planning a wedding.

I’ve heard people say before that the music at a wedding is something guests only notice if it isn’t there. In some cases, may be that’s true, but if you hire an amazing DJ or band with incredible energy and personality, I seriously doubt this will hold true. In short, the music at your wedding is important, and deserves as much of your care and attention as services like photography and catering. Here’s what you need to know when hiring your wedding musicians:

1. Research all musicians before you hire them. This should be a no-brainer, as no wedding vendor should be hired without at least one interview and a thorough review of past client testimonials. Word of mouth is a great way to learn of talented musicians, so chat with friends and family members who have gotten married in your area. Here are a few questions to ask during your interview:

-How long have you been doing this?
-Why did you become a wedding musician?
-Do you have insurance?
-Are there any songs you won’t/can’t play?
-Can I hear some samples of your work?
-How do you handle transitioning from the ceremony to the reception?
-Do you have any specific power needs?
-Tell me about a time when something went wrong at a wedding and how you handled it.

2. Don’t wait until the last minute to hire someone. As with all other wedding vendors, popular wedding musicians book up fast. You’ll want to give yourself at least six months to find and hire the perfect musician for your wedding.
3. A friend with an iPod is not the same thing as a DJ. I’ve had couples ask about bringing in an iPod containing their playlist instead of hiring a professional wedding DJ. I caution against this for several reasons, the first of which being that a DJ does much more than just play music. Who will announce you into the reception? Who will direct the flow of the reception for the first dances, the bouquet toss, and the cake cutting? Who will announce that dinner is served and help conclude the event? Outside of this, you have to think about how you’ll broadcast the sound from the iPod, as many venues impose a sound system fee that will rival the cost of a DJ. Make sure to ask DJs whether they provide additional services too, such as special lighting or dancefloors.
4. The first hour is usually the most expensive. When you book live musicians, they often charge more for the first hour and discount each additional hour. So the more time you book, the better rate you’ll get.
5. Weather can impact performance. If the weather is too old or wet, it could prevent your musicians from being able to play their instruments. Some musicians, especially those who play stringed instruments, may have to request that an event move into the indoor backup space if the weather is too bad.
6. Always ask about special requests. Musicians sometimes need a power drop, a chair to sit in, lighting to read their sheet music, a vendor meal (if they’re there all day), or other special requests. These should all be clearly outlined in the rider that accompanies their contract, so read it thoroughly to make sure your venue and budget can accommodate them.
7. Consider the size of your wedding. If you’re having an intimate wedding, a solo musician such as a violinist or harpist may be perfect for your event. If you’re having a large wedding, though, a multi-piece band or a DJ is probably better for the job.

There is no rule that says you can’t have one type of musician for your ceremony and another for your reception, so feel free to be creative and do what works best for you and your budget.

by Susan Southerland

By |November 16th, 2015|Design, Music, Wedding DJ, Wedding Information|0 Comments

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