From cheesy DJs to drunken bands (as evidenced in The Wedding Singer) everyone knows how much these vendors can influence the mood of the reception, especially when things go bad. But when these guys are great, they make it look completely effortless. Here are some ways that you can ensure that you will find a terrific music option.
Don't just take someone's word for it. Even if your best friend loved them at her wedding, unless you saw them in person, take the time to meet the band or DJ. The band leader or DJ will be informally in charge of the flow of the reception, so you should enjoy their personality.
Can you see them perform? Some bands and DJs have gigs that you can attend. If you are seriously considering hiring someone, you shouldn't miss out on this opportunity. Seeing them at an event allows you to see their stage presence (which can be very different than one-on-one) and professionalism.
Yes, come up with a song list. But, no don't ask that they stick to it as if their lives depended upon it. Musicians can read the room. And they have been to countless weddings. They might know the perfect song to get the crowd on the floor, and it may not be on your list.
For bands, don't ask for too much out of their repertoire. If you want swing music, hire a big band. If you want 80s pop hits, don't hire a big band. One or two cool covers would be awesome, but hire a band that makes sense for your event.
Feed them. Just do it. Hungry musicians are not happy musicians. And the last thing you want is a passive-aggressive DJ with low-blood sugar.
Photo credit: Ever After Visuals