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Jazz Music for Wedding

Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life, which means that it’s important to get every detail just right! In order to make sure things run smoothly it’s helpful to appoint someone to follow through on each and every aspect of your day so you can focus on the fun with family and friends. So after the ring, the shoes, the dress, the ceremony, the cake, the limo, and all those other details – the music is the key component that determines whether your reception is a dance party or a nice dinner party. Nothing beats a live band with a fabulous singer playing your favorite songs!

It’s the swing and sophistication of current popular jazz that has such a strong appeal now-a-days. So with that in mind, take a look at these ideas:

Music Playing As Your Guests Arrive – The Style of music will absolutely set the tone for the evening’s parties. Jazz from the 1920s and 40s are often cross-generational, popular hits. Music made famous by great musicians such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, or Louis Armstrong and re-made popular today by Michael Buble, Diana Krall, and Harry Connick Jr. can make your party popular for the kids and grandma, and everyone in between. This genre, known as the “Great American Song Book,” will set the mood as your reception begins.

The Flow of the Party, or “How To Avoid the Low Points” – Best advice for avoiding low points of the party is to plan ahead. Important elements of the reception such as toasts, bouquet, garter toss, and the cake cutting should be programmed ahead of time so that the musicians’ breaks can coincide (or not) with these important moments. Of course it should be a given that the band can play background music from an iPod or mp3 player during their break, if desired.

Don’t hire the band for too long (or short) of time. Most wedding receptions tend to last between three and four hours. Most musicians who are hired for a 4-hour gig think of it as a “half-day” rate. So whether it’s a trio or a 10 piece band with horns, you can expect to pay a “labor cost” on a per musician basis. For a good, live band with horns will require 5 to 8 musicians. Depending on the number of guests, size of venue, and how much dancing you anticipate for the evening, this can vary and be customized to your particular affair.

Choose your Songs in Advance – Seasoned professional musicians can play hundreds of songs from memory but in a four hour event you can expect to hear around 50 songs. It’s a good idea to get the band a list of songs you’d like to hear (about 25 or so) and a list of songs you DON’T want played. Also be sure they have that about 4 to 6 weeks in advance encase they need to work up a special arrangement of a tune. While on this subject, think about your first dance, and any other special dances in the evening.

Encourage Dancing – It usually only takes one or two couples (don’t count on children) to get others to the dance floor. You may want to suggest to close family or friends to consider helping out here by getting on the floor first. You know better than anyone which of those people are not shy and even a little bold to show off their moves on the dace floor. Another way to encourage dancing is to consider the placement of the band in the room. It’s a good idea that food, beverage and the music is in the same room. (You’d be amazed how many times people think about putting the music in “the other room” for dancing. That almost never works!)

Finish Big – For your last dance of the evening you may prefer a slow song such as “What A Wonderful World” or perhaps a salsa swing version of “Save The Last Dance For Me”. Of course, in the south, second line parades and hiring a separate brass band to lead everyone out the doors has become very popular in the past few years.