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Booking a Band or DJ

According to Diamond Productions and The Knot bridal magazine, there’s no doubt about it: Music can make or break a wedding celebration. It's the heart and soul of a reception and can send your guests home with happy feet -- or pained grimaces! The fact that you want to hire a talented band or professional DJ is a given. Finding one is a matter of polling friends, surfing online, shopping around with fine-tuned ears, and making a move quickly -- top talent can get booked up to a year in advance. What type of entertainment suits your personal taste, budget, space allowances, guest demographics, and a very nice sound at best? Keep an open mind, and consider these issues to start your search.

Don't fear the DJ: The days of disco fever and flashing lights are gone. Today's disc jockeys
are artists in their own right, offering balanced and eclectic mixes of musical styles for all
ages. Plus, the songs played will sound exactly as you remember them, encouraging singalongs
and improvisation. And, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they'll
take up less dance floor real estate and can be relocated with relative ease.

Live bands can add a great amount of entertainment to your reception. Most often they are
great singers and musicians, although they tend to not speak clearly or have any type of
format, such as introducing the bride and groom, cake cutting, and so on.

• Pros: Live music is, well, live. You and your guests will experience the pleasure of a
performance. Anything can happen to raise the excitement level, from an infectious hornsection
interlude to a moving solo.

• Cons: Bands can be more expensive than DJs. Also, no matter how great the band, they
can't have the repertoire of a standard DJ, who can keep a huge variety of music on hand.

Also, keep in mind the time of year that you are having your reception. Most DJ’s have some
flexibility in their pricing. Having your reception in the months that are not as popular can
save a few hundred dollars.

Know that all professionals should be open to your likes and dislikes. Give them your
personal request list, songs they must play, and, perhaps more importantly, a do-not-play list.
Worried that you'll hear the "Macarena" at your once-in-a-lifetime event? Specifically prohibit
the playing of a song you feel strongly about in your contract.

Your wedding is an event that will be etched in your memory forever. Choosing the right
entertainment will ensure that those memories are unforgettable.

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