When we first started planning our wedding, we thought that we’d have an iPod reception. Our venue offered up their iPod deck and said a lot of couples choose to use it. It seemed like a great idea.
Image via Apple
But I swooned over the idea of having a string quartet for our ceremony music. Something about it seemed so classic and pretty. And just very wedding. But it got me to thinking…why not have live music for the reception, too? Well, it’s expensive. That’s why. And it wasn’t something that we had thought about before, so the imaginary budget we had doctored up didn’t include an extra couple thousand for live music.
We considered hiring a string quartet for the ceremony and having a DJ for the reception. But what about cocktail hour and dinner music? The way our venue is set up is that the dinner is upstairs, while the dance is downstairs in the ballroom. The dinner area and the dance area are completely separate…which means the DJ would have to set up equipment in two locations, putting a serious damper on the evening. Plus, I kind of felt like a DJ just didn’t really match our venue. We wanted to host a true black-tie event…and while I’m sure the right DJ could create that sort of atmosphere, I felt like a live band would be a great experience for our guests.
I really didn’t even contact any DJs and just started contacting bands. We met with Don Campbell of Estelle Elegance in Music, who we immediately loved. Their vast experience and music samples were enough to reassure us that we were making the right choice going with a live band. And while it is expensive to hire live music, the price is actually only around 50% more than a DJ would have cost to provide ceremony and reception music.
For our wedding, we will have a classical string trio for ceremony music. This includes the trio playing for a half hour before the ceremony and also for our champagne toast, which will immediately follow. Then, new band members will come, and we will have a smooth jazz trio for the cocktail hour and background dinner music. Following that, we will have a five-piece “big band era” ensemble with a female vocalist for the dance.
Image via Estelle Elegance in Music
I’m really glad I went with my gut on this one and hired the band. I think they will bring a lot of elegance and class to our wedding (and I love that they wear full black tie) and give our guests a truly unique experience. I’ve never been to a wedding with live music before, and I hope that many of our guests haven’t either! I think it will make our wedding all that more special and unique.
How did you choose your wedding-music provider? Have you been to a wedding with live music before?