Words by Kavina.
The most memorable parts of any wedding are the moments spent with everyone on the dancefloor, celebrating L.O.V.E. by dancing the night away. Live music + joy = epic wedding! There is much to consider when trying to choose live music for your big day, from the type of musicians, budget and the genre of music. Whether you’re looking for a two-piece to croon the ideal ceremony entrance song or a DJ to keep the good times rolling, we’ve got it covered.
Here’s our music checklist (because we know you don’t have enough of those!) to help you prepare for your perfect day.
To have or to playlist?
You can't have a wedding without music. More precisely, you can’t have a wedding without live music. It’s the most special day of your life and music was made for celebrations, trust me, it’s tradition. I could add a list of direct quotes about music and love, but I’ll spare you the gushy inspirational stuff and leave that for the speeches. Live music creates a fantastic vibe and an atmosphere that takes any event to the next level. I can guarantee that at every special celebration you attend, there is live music. There is nothing more intimate than having musicians devise a soundtrack that carries you and your loved ones into your new life as a married couple.
When do you need music to play at the wedding?
Bands and DJs complement different parts of the wedding, and both can play a similar role, i.e. they can play whatever you like, whenever you want. For example, you could make the entrance ceremony or guest arrival extra special by having a solo musician or an incredible jazz ensemble serenading people, while building anticipation for the bride's arrival. It’s a spectacle and a filler as people arrive and take their seats and perfectly segues into a sparkly atmospheric entrance and ceremony. You can use the musicians to make an impact or infill while people wait, for example, when you’re off shooting those romantic Instagram wedding photos.
Band or DJ?
Once you know where in your ceremony and reception you would like to have music, you’re ready to figure out whether a band or a DJ is the best option. In an ideal world, we could choose both, but it’s not always a luxury we can afford. Unless you can, so I’ll state the benefits of both.
These days you don’t see many bands at a wedding, which doesn't make sense because the most epic weddings I’ve been to have always featured a live band. Nothing beats the juxtaposition and electricity of five guys belting out The Rolling Stones covers for the reception in a beautiful Greek club on the hippest street in Fitzroy, as the bride and groom crowd surf! You don’t need to go that far, but I've painted a picture here. It’s poetic!
However, back to the point, nothing says joy and ‘partaay’ like watching and participating in live music performances. They create excitement and energy, plus having a repertoire of songs tailored to your special day is badass. If you don’t want a whole five-piece band, a stripped-down acoustic duo would be an intimate showcase. Though keep in mind, while a group is a significant highlight to a wedding, they can’t play live all night. It would be best if you negotiate breaks and set times, then you can use playlists or instrumentals when dinner and chill times happen.
A DJ is less of a spectacle and more of a mood setter. They provide a varied selection of beats to fit any moment, and they can play all day. DJs take up less space, so there isn’t as much need for a stage, and they keep the dancefloor pumping all night playing songs tailored to specific moods. DJs may take requests and are more flexible, whereas bands tend to play a pre-set selection of tracks for a shorter time. A DJ also tends to be cheaper because of their less complicated sound requirements.
Hot tip* DJs usually ask for a playlist of music you like before the evening so that they can prepare other similar tracks. You can even let them know the mood you want to create at specific points throughout the evening, e.g. romantic slow jams, 90s party times, etc.
The cost of live music can vary greatly depending on the type of act and amount of time they play. A band's cost is dependent on the number of musicians and is the more expensive option, ranging from $1000 up to $4000, depending on the length of set times. You also need to factor in equipment and room size requirements with the expense of a band. A DJ, by contrast, can play longer and has less expensive equipment. Due to convenience, a DJ is a more popular option, and the cost starts from $100 to $150 an hour, and they can play for the whole day. Ideally, they will have their own setup, so you don’t have to worry about hiring DJ equipment.
How to hire?
There’s an app for everything, including booking artists for your wedding. Platforms like Muso go a step further, and handle your requests, plus tailor the perfect fit for your big day, so all you need to do is set up an event and let the artists come to you. Just answer questions about your budget, the time of day you require music and the genre of artists you prefer, to fit the vibe you are trying to create, then let the rest flow. The great thing about booking platforms, with hundreds of artists, instead of a small agency, is you can accomplish a lot on a budget. From size of band, (if you want a performance feel) to what kind of instrument accompaniments the DJ can provide, Muso can arrange it all. Also, instead of phone calls and emails back and forth, it’s straightforward to communicate any changes or requirements via the app, so there's no room for error. In terms of setup, Muso and the artists collaborate to make sure they meet venue sound-level requirements, plus booking, invoicing, and payment is entirely in-house, so you can take that stress off your ‘to-do’ list. As the Muso platform is casual, it is easier to communicate directly with the artists to arrange a demo or attend a show to get a feel for their live performance. You can include these in your requirements upfront, and the same with making sure the DJ takes requests.
If you need help choosing the right artist for your wedding day, feel free to contact us on the Muso App. We can arrange contact with local up-and-coming talent all over Australia and help you plan your music requirements for the day, including making your sound dreams come true! Muso takes care of talent acquisition, booking, invoicing, etc., and are always happy to offer our advice on how to make your day memorable.