Finding the Right Music for Your Southern California Reception
Even in a town as glamorous as Los Angeles, wonderful, movie-worthy music is not a guarantee. For your wedding, finding the right band is crucial to the style and flow of your ceremony. Whether you want a jazz quartet or a 12-piece orchestra, read on for swinging tips.
Your Los Angeles wedding band search should begin about 8 months’ prior to your wedding, and after you’ve picked the site. Great bands are booked early on, so never wait until the last minute. When searching, ask friends and relatives, and other vendors. The price of bands varies tremendously, depending on obvious factors like size, but where you live and the length of your reception make a difference as well. Expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. You will spend more if you hire members of the band to play during the cocktail hour. Always get references, and contact the Better Business Bureau for complaints.
When interviewing Los Angeles wedding bands, ask to check out a CD or DVD of theirs, and be sure and catch a live performance (but never crash someone else’s wedding). Talk to the band leader about hosting; bands serve like DJ’s, in that they introduce couples, first dances, etc. A great band leader will have a feel for their audience, and know which songs “work” the crowd, but you still need to go over favorite songs, and tunes you do not want played. Make sure your band leader has a list of all wedding sections, and, if you’re also hiring an L.A. DJ, have them work out their schedules ahead of time.
When you’re ready to get serious about music, check out the OurWeddingDay.com Local Vendor Section for a list of top-rated wedding bands in the Los Angeles area.
If you hire a band that is familiar with the site, they will already know where their equipment can be set up, where the dance floor is, and any electrical challenges that might occur—some halls have back-up generators for wedding bands. If the band you hire does not know the site, take them on a guided tour beforehand so there are no last-minute surprises.
Wedding bands usually have a “day rate,” as well as overtime charges. If you are also hiring a DJ, find out if the band can work a smaller number of hours. The band generally takes two breaks, and they should be tipped 20%, provided the service is exceptional. You should serve the band members a meal at some point. The contract should cover all fees, overtime fees, and substitute band members, should an emergency occur.
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