For your big day, there are a myriad of choices that are personal: Deciding when and where to propose, finding just the right ring, agreeing on the perfect venue, picking out that special dress that suits the bride’s unique tastes.
But the ceremony—and then the reception—is where the guests matter as much as the bride and groom, which is why selecting the right entertainment is such an important decision. We went to the expert, Rob Cross, Entertainment Consultant at EastCoast Entertainment (ECE), to guide us through that process.
Start with your budget: Don’t be afraid of the word budget. After all, everyone has one—they simply come in different sizes. Sit down and talk about the goals for your wedding with your fiancé. Then determine how much you need to set aside to achieve your wedding vision. The cost of a band spans a wide range—you probably don’t need a band as big as Glen Miller’s 25-piece orchestra of the 1940s—but there are entertainment options for everyone.
Consider your venue: For both practical and aesthetic reasons, you’ll want the size of your band to complement the space. An 18-piece band might be too cramped for a smaller venue, while a 4-piece band may be dwarfed by a cavernous wedding hall. If you’re unsure of the size of band that would work best in a certain venue, your event planner, venue coordinator and/or entertainment agent can be a great resource.
Use a professional entertainment agency: Using an entertainment agency like ECE can save you tons of time, headaches, and money. As agents, we are incredibly knowledgeable about bands that are as professional as they are fun and engaging—agencies wouldn’t want to represent a band disappoints. You provide us with basic parameters (event date, city, budget, vibe, etc.) and we send you a pared-down list of artists who meet your requirements. ECE, as an example, has over 157 artists on our exclusive roster and books entertainment for over 6,000 events each year. The breadth and depth of artists we represent ensures we can provide our clients with entertainment perfect for their event regardless of artist type, genre, budget, etc.
Scour the song list: The song list provided by each band will give insight into the types of music they specialize in. If you find yourself scrolling through the song list saying, “Ooh, I love that song … and that one … and that one,” chances are you’ll be happy with the band. However, if, for example, you hate country music, but 75 percent of the songs on a band’s song list are country, that probably isn’t the band for you. If there’s a particular song you have your heart set on and don’t see it on many song lists, don’t despair. Many bands will learn a song or two prior to your event if enough notice is given. Additionally, some bands structure their song lists in a way that gives an overview of the types of songs they play, but isn’t a full representation of their repertoire.