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can we do something a bit different for our celebration?

some folks like the status quo-they want music at their party similar to other parties they have attended. there is nothing wrong with this but it's important to know there are other choices.

here are a few ideas to shake things up a bit:

hire a tribute band for your cocktail hour- imagine an hour of music from your favorite band: the Stones, the Beatles, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Led Zep, the Who, Moody Blues, the Grateful Dead etc. your guests will not be expecting this and it will really add some zip to your celebration.

hire a celebrity impersonator for 1 set of music: Elvis, Tom Jones, James Taylor, Neil Diamond etc.

hire a pipe and drum band to march into your reception wearing ceremonial outfits and wake up your guests.

 

hire a band that plays original music

hire an authentic country band, a salsa band or a Tango band, w a dance instructor 

hire a band that will customize a song or parody, just for you; you can dance your first dance to a song with lyrics written for you

jack morelli music loves to brainstorm with clients to personalize each event-one size does not fit all-there are no off the shelf solutions...

 

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What are some suggestions for the best songs for a ceremony?

 

There are many wonderful choices for ceremony songs and here are a few options:

The quintessential ceremony uses classical music. Recently many couples have decided to try something different and use pop, rock or jazz for the ceremony. Another choice is to use classical musicians playing contemporary songs in a classical style, so for example, you can have a string quartet performing a love song from the Beatles.

 

Here are a few of the most requested songs for a ceremony:

 

Prelude

The prelude is the half hour of music played while people are gathering for the ceremony. Choose classical music to create a reverent mood:

"Prelude in C" (J.S. Bach)

"Ave Maria" (F. Schubert)

"Clair de Lune" (C. Debussy)

"Gymnopedie" (A.E.L. Satie)

"La primavera" and "L'inverno" from the Four Seasons (A.Vivaldi).

Seating of Family

The ceremony begins with the seating of special guests and grandparents, followed by the seating of the mothers. The finest selections for this moment are:

"Arioso" (J.S. Bach)

"Allegro Maestoso" from Water Music (G.F. Handel)

"Meditation from Tais" (J. Massenet)

Processional

As this music begins, the pastor and the groom usually proceed to the front and bridesmaids begin their procession down the aisle. Some traditional choices for the processional are:

"Trumpet Voluntary" (J. Clark)

"Trumpet Tune" (H. Purcell)

"Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring" (J.S. Bach)

"March" from Occasional Oratorio (G.F. Handel)

Bride’s Entrance

It’s time for the grand entrance! Familiar songs that stir your guests to stand and await your appearance are:

"Canon in D" (J. Pachelbel)

"The Bridal Chorus" from Lohengrin (R. Wagner)

"Allegro Maestoso" from Water Music (G.F. Handel)

"Rondeau" (J.J. Mouret)

Special/Interim Music

Your musician or DJ will ask you to choose songs for the special moments in your wedding ceremony (e.g., the lighting of the unity candle or a sacred solo after the prayer). Two exceptional pieces for this time are "The Lord's Prayer" by A. Malotte, or "The Prayer", as sung by Celine Dion and Andre Bocelli. "O Perfect Love" by J. Barnby is another good choice. Stick to two musical arrangements or your ceremony may run long.

Recessional

At this point, you’re beaming with total joy after marrying your partner! Consider these exuberant pieces for a grand exit:

"The Wedding March" from A Midsummer Night's Dream (F. Mendelssohn)

"Ode to Joy" (L. Beethoven)

"Hornpipe" (G.F. Handel)

Choosing traditional or classical music doesn't require you to limit your search to one genre or musical style. Choose music that best reflects the tone and feel of your day. If don't consider yourself a traditional bride, think about hiring classical musicians that play instrumentals of popular songs or having your DJ transition classical selections to more modern weddings songs at the reception.

You have endless choices to make this a reflection of your personality.

the classical string quartet-the quintessential choice for ceremonies

the classical string quartet-the quintessential choice for ceremonies

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a good music agency helps you make the right decisions

A while back, I was playing at a party at the Carlyle Hotel NYC and a chef came charging out of the kitchen and ran over to the band. I asked if everything was ok and he said, yes, I want to hire you for my wedding. He turned out to be the head chef of the Carlyle and I was flattered. The next week, I met with him and his fiance;  they were a handsome couple-he was Italian and she was Russian, both with heavy accents.

When I asked what kind of music they wanted, she said Russian. I asked how many guests were invited, and she said 250, I asked how many of them were Russian and she replied 4. I took a deep breath and suggested they consider various styles of music- some jazz, blues, rock, pop-basically something to please the entire crowd. I then suggested that during our breaks, we would play prerecorded Russian music of their choice.

Her eyes it up and she said that was a good idea since they have been taking dance lessons. So, the day finally came, we played our first set and the entire crowd loved the music. Then our break came and we played Russian waltzes, the crowd sat down and the couple began to dance on the empty dance floor. It was amazing; it was like a scene from a movie. They looked beautiful and we helped them create a special memory. At the end of the wedding they sincerely thanked me for helping them come up with the right choices for their music.

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DJ vs. Live Music - How to Decide!?

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DJ vs. Live Music - How to Decide!?

Live or DJ?

One question we get asked often is whether a client should use a live band or a DJ.

We chose this topic for our very first blog post because it has been a prominent point of discussion for us as a music agency.

No doubt about it, Music can make or break a wedding—we think of it as the heart and soul of the celebration. Hiring a talented band or DJ is a given. But how do you find exactly what you want? It starts with asking yourself some basic questions, specifically what type of entertainment suits your personal taste, budget, space allowances, guest demographics and killer dance moves.

Live music creates warmth, excitement, and there is a “performance to watch," while DJ’s can spin every style of music and “sound just like the record.” Well, after helping thousands of people with their own celebrations over the years, this is what we've found:

 

live band:

  • 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 horn section 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.

there are some clients that demand a live band because they know their audience loves to see musicians do what they do best, create and improvise on the spot. 

DJ:

  • Pros: If there are a dozen songs you're dying to hear at your wedding, it likely won't be a problem for your DJ to find each track. Also, DJs are generally less expensive than bands. A DJ with a charismatic stage presence and excellent emcee skills can really set the mood and keep the party going.

  • Cons: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a DJ with a less-than stellar personality can be a party killer. Also, improvisation is tough if, say, your dad is dragging behind tempo on the father-daughter dance or your nieces and nephews decide to crash with "The Chicken Dance."

Some people have chosen to use BOTH, and guess what-- it sounds great! Here is why we're now asking, "why choose when you can have it all?"

1. Alternate the sets of live band and DJ, so the band plays a set, then the DJ, and so on. This way you get the excitement of live musicians and the versatility of a DJ. This may seem strange at first, but trust us, it works!

2. You can also do the first half of the celebration live and then the second half have the DJ come on. That way, as things heat up, you know your dance floor will be pumping!

3. Another cool and unconventional option is to have live musicians perform simultaneously with the DJ. This way, you get the best of both worlds.

The choices are endless.

These are some of the ideas that have worked for us many times. Have you seen this before? What was the last memorable celebration like for you? 

We'd love to hear from you! 

We have a very small budget for our music..."

Quite often, we hear couples saying they may not have much left in their budget for the music that they wanted. We might be prejudiced, but besides a nice venue with good food, the music is the critical part of the celebration.

Years ago, people spent huge sums of money of photographers, fancy invitations, giant flower arrangements for each table etc. It’s no wonder they ran out of money.

Instead, some couples have decided to have a few friends take candid photos, send out invitations on line and use small floral displays on each table. (Not only less expensive, but now guests can see each other, without putting the large display on the floor)

For years, couples have been buying large costly arrangements like the one on left, only to have guests put them on the floor...

Be wise with your budget, and remember, music makes the party!

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