(Image Credit, Amelia & Mark Photography)
-The best way to choose a band or dj is to have been at an affair where you, or someone you trust, has heard them. Pay close attention while attending others weddings or affairs to the music that is being played. Is their a good variety? Are people constantly on the dance floor or listening to what is going on ? How is the sound? What is the energy like? These are important factors to take note of. If you haven't been to any affairs since the music hunt began, try to think back to weddings or parties where you had a really good time on the dance floor. Ask those hosts for the vendor information and start researcher.
-Ask others who you trust for the same information. Have they recently been to a wedding where they loved the music that was played?
-Read reviews online. I write this with caution because everyone looks for something slightly different when it comes to music styles. Much of what is played is at the request of the bride and groom and so be weary when guests write about the types of music. Pay more attention to the quality and sound, the energy level, the trust in what they said they were going to do and actually did and what it was like working with the vendor in general.
-Listen to demos offered. Many of these vendors, especially bands, offer complimentary Cd's or DVD's that allow brides and grooms to listen to them perform. Again, caution with this because many of the bands that we heard via audio sounded very difference in person. Despite those discrepancies though, this is a good way to weed some of the options you are choosing between. A great deal of DJ's offer sound mixes on their websites as well.
(Image Credit, Docuvitae)
-Go see the bands live! If you haven't seen them at an actual wedding, this is the next best thing. Many bands and Dj's offer showcases where they perform for a short period of time at local venues such as catering halls. These are usually complimentary to the bride, groom, and any other interested parties and allows you to get a first hand ear on some of the important qualities. It also gives you a better sense of the type of music that the band is strong in, as well as weak. Comparing those strengths and weaknesses to your likes and dislikes can be important when making decisions. Be sure to bring a notepad and jot whatever critiques you may have. These end up being fun outings for you as well. JT and I enjoyed dancing away at some of the shows and when I took a few of my bridesmaids, we enjoyed the show over some wine. Makes for great bonding wedding moments.
-Ask questions; Be sure to ask what the cost is and what it includes. Do they require being fed at the affair? What are the hours? What are the overtime costs? Does the price include cocktail hour? If not, what is the additional cost? If lighting is something you are interested in, what are those fees? Who will be present the day of the wedding? If it is a band, do they require notice if certain band members can switched out? (Wedding bands happen to lose and acquire members over the course of time and considering some of us book these vendors a year in advance, this is an important question) If it is a Dj, do they provide handouts? If not, what are the additional fees? What types of music do they play? Do they work directly off a list of songs or do they do a range of similar songs? Do not assume anything when it comes to musical vendors, there are so many loop holes that can arise if the right questions aren't asked and no one wants to be disappointed with the outcome of their entertainment on the big day.
-Be sure to read the contract, small text included, before you sign. Find out about the payment plan and form of payment they will take. Many music vendors insist on cash only and this is an important factor to know when budgeting.
(Image Credit, Christian Oath Photography)
-Form a comparison list. List all the vendors with cost and then plus and negatives.
-Most importantly, get a gage on the personality of the band and how they will mend with you and your groom. This is the most important tip when choosing any vendors as these are the people you will be surrounded and in contact with in the months before and on the big day. Having vendors that are trustworthy and accessible whether it be by email or phone, is the best advice one can give.
Trying to choose between bands and/or DJ's in the NY Metro area, we can help! Afterextensive reviews and comparisons while on our own hunts, we would love to keep you a little more sane..