Let us help you find the perfect entertainment for your event or wedding
Selecting the perfect musical element for your event or wedding can be challenging. There are many variables to consider such as pricing, entertainment type (band, DJ, ect), duration, venue restrictions, and most important, satisfying the entertainment needs of you and your guests. Below we put together information on the three major types of musical entertainment (DJ, Live Music/Band, and Fusion), to help you break down the daunting task of choosing the right entertainment for the night of your dreams.
Entertainment Aesthetics & Logistics
Does the entertainment at the event/wedding of your dreams have a look? At your dream event, did you always imagine a 10 piece band in formal attire, or a DJ playing music sung by your favorite artists, or somewhere in-between? Take a look at our Diagram below that compares the differences you will encounter when deciding between a DJ, Live Band, & Fusion Entertainment. Fusion is a mixture between a DJ and live band. A DJ performs along with live musicians and/or singers.
Structure – The timeline for DJs is very structured as they generally use songs or edit songs to a length they prefer, the music played is more structured since you have the ability to send the DJ versions of the song you love, and in general, there is more control over variables like ambient noise, flow, pitch, etc.
Musical Flexibility – A great DJ has the ability to switch from genre to genre, no matter what music the specialize in playing, or their preference. While a live band would have to have a special skill set to switch from genres like hip-hop to country to today’s hits.
Stage Presence – No matter how you spin it, a DJ does not occupy the amount of space on a stage, that a 10 piece band would occupy. Not saying you couldn’t build a beautiful set and backdrop around a DJ, but in the end, a DJ would not provide you the same amount of skilled personnel playing simultaneously.
Cost – Generally speaking a live band will run you more than DJ. For the sake of simplicity, a DJ is one person, and a live band would likely be 5+ people that need to be compensated for their time.
Uniqueness – This is perhaps where live bands offer the most. They offer a once-in-a-life-time performance, that can never be replicated. The combination of vocals, instrument play, and timing are something that cannot be heard at another event, period.
Among the many things to consider, perhaps the most important question you should ask: Do the entertainment vendors you are considering have the ability to play, or specialize in the specific style of music you want to hear on your special night? Nowadays, every entertainment vendor has hundreds of videos from events they’ve done in the past, ask to see them. There is nothing strange about asking to see videos from events they’ve previously done, it’s like asking a photographer to see their portfolio.
It is important to spend time on details. Make sure your entertainment vendor is aware of all specific requests. Are there certain genres of music you love or do not want to be played; certain artists you love or dislike. You should create several list to help your entertainment vendor get you right. Lists include ‘do not play songs’, ‘must play songs’, and important event related songs, such as the couple’s first dance, mother/son dance, and father/daughter dance.
While the details are important, the big picture is equally important. Your entertainment vendor should be provided with a detailed time line several weeks in advance, to allow them the proper amount of time to provide you a detailed time line of their own. The goal is to provide your entertainment vendor with as much information as possible about your event, and at the same time, not structuring your event so much that it takes away from your entertainment vendor’s creativity and ability to do their job.
Last but definitely not least, your budget is a huge factor when determining what type of entertainment to choose. Once you decide on a budget, there are certain things to consider that will expand or narrow down your search. You will need to decide if you are willing to cover the travel costs of a vendor that is not locally based, if not, you should immediately remove vendors that require travel from your list of potential entertainment options (when you start looking at booking hotel rooms for a multi piece band, the additional costs start adding up). Knowing how many people in total will be there the day of your event is important as well (outside the actual musician(s) there may be one or more techs or support staff), to help you forecast your cost for vendor meals and vendor parking if necessary.
You will also want to ask if the entertainment company has additional exclusions (which might cost you more money, if you have to use another vendor) or inclusions (which might save you money) for your special night. These inclusions might be upgraded audio or lighting equipment, additional audio or lighting equipment, upgraded display, or maybe even complimentary lighting for your reception. It is important to look at what each vendor is offering in its entirety, and see if they offer package discounts. If you are looking to keep the party going, what does your entertainment vendor charge to extend (for 30 minutes? For 60 minutes or more?).
Below, we’ve included a table to help you start the planning process for your next upcoming event or wedding. This is a good place to start when deciding what type of music/entertainment to use for any and all events: